Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Credit Repair and the Recession

An Urgent Need for Credit Repair

Credit repair has become a necessity. Prior to the recession you could afford to have blemishes on your credit report; lenders didn’t really care. If your credit score was a little low you would simply pay a modestly higher interest rate. Not the end of the world. But along with the recession came the most dramatic credit crunch ever. It started with mortgage lenders as they scrambled to mitigate risk in their real estate portfolios. Over the following year every other creditor followed in step. One thing leads to another and now millions of people are finding that without some form of remedial credit repair effort they are unable to purchase anything on credit.

The Credit Crunch

The severity of the credit crunch has taken many by surprise. In mid-2006 money was flowing freely. The economic froth was beyond anything the world had seen since the roaring twenties. Even then credit repair paid dividends, it’s true, but there was no desperate need. You could purchase a home with credit scores in the low 500s. You might even get an interest rate as low as one percent, albeit an adjustable rate mortgage. But, oh, how times change. Now, for millions of people, the lack of an intelligent credit repair effort can mean no loan at all. And the non-availability of credit can mean real hardship. Just think of something as simple as automobile financing. Can you do without a car? Urban dwellers might get by with public transportation, but that is not the case for most of us.

Is Credit Repair for You?

Credit repair can change everything, and quicker than you may think. Credit repair can be done by you, but for most people it is worth considering employing the services of a professional credit repair service. A professional service will offer comprehensive clean up and restoration with a focus on credit score optimization. If you are shopping for the right credit repair company, make sure they offer more than just credit bureau disputes. Your goal is to improve your score and make your credit as lender-ready as possible. The right company will produce the right results. How about you, are you a candidate for credit repair? If you have examined your credit reports and imagine that there is little benefit to be had, I would like to share a little information that might inspire you to take a step towards credit repair today.

A Lot of Mistakes

Almost three-quarters of all credit reports contain errors. Not all of these errors are significant enough to cause major financial disruption, but a lot of them are. How many? According to a series of studies conducted by public interest research groups over the last decade about half of all credit reports include errors serious enough to cause consumers to pay premium interest rates or to be denied outright for loans. To put these statistics into perspective it helps to know that the three major credit bureaus each report on just over two hundred million Americans. Half of the total is one hundred million. That’s a lot of mistakes. Where do you stand? Here are some things for you to consider.

Your Credit Repair Opportunity

Credit reporting errors are not always easy to spot. You may have multiple errors which could use credit repair attention, and not even know that they are present on your credit reports. One of the most insidious forms of reporting errors is caused by the redundancy of illicit collection accounts. The cause is simple. Collectors buy and sell debt on a regular basis. By law, a collector is supposed to withdraw their reporting of a collection account immediately upon the sale of the debt to another collector. And yet this rarely happens for the simple reason that there is no punishment for compliance failure. Other common errors needing credit repair attention include duplicate accounts, accounts reported as open with balances that are closed and paid, underreported credit limits on revolving accounts, and file merger errors causing other peoples accounts to report on your credit.

Reach Out Today

It’s time to reach out for credit repair help. Shop the internet; call three or four credit repair services before making up your mind. Most legitimate companies offer a free consultation. I suggest that you take advantage of this. You should make a list of questions that you want to ask. Be organized. Think about the issues that are of concern to you. Make notes. It is important to feel comfortable with the company you hire. Take your time and do it right. Your credit repair project is bound to succeed. Good luck!

How Prepaid Cards Make You Money

Many credit card companies have started using the cardholders as a part of their marketing plan by offering them the opportunity to earn cash back or referring a friend. There are several credit card companies that offer you a referral fee when you have someone sign up and start using the credit card. You should check out the different opportunities offered by these credit card companies. Many of the companies offer you a lifetime commission and tiered commissions. You are interested in earning money from your prepaid credit card check out where you are getting your card and the company that is offering you this card. You can contact them and find out if they have the marketing plan in place where they pay you to refer customers to the company. You should also find out what percentage they are offering as this can differ from company to company.

Many companies offer you rewards or cash back even if they do not offer you referral fees. You can earn cash rewards towards other purchases or point rewards to be used for the purchase of products that they designate in their catalog. These point rewards are valuable and can help you to get many things that you want without having to pay out cash money. The rewards programs can be used with airline miles and gas miles. You need to check out how your company handles their rewards and cash back programs. The opportunity to make money is just another way the credit card companies have to gain new customers but it can be your means of earning cash.

When you’re in the market to find the perfect prepaid card, there are a lot of things that you need to look out for to ensure you that you’re getting the card that works great for your wallet. Since prepaid cards may differ than regular cards, a credit card company may want to look into tagging on fees elsewhere so that they can make money off you.

This is why you need to look out for particular fees when you’re applying. Every application that you look at online will show you exactly what they are going to charge when it comes to fees. If there’s an annual fee, monthly fee or activation fee, I would recommend that you look elsewhere because there are so many cards on the market that are great that have next to no fees. You have to think about it this way and that if a card has a fee; you’re going to be paying money to hold a card in your wallet. Does this sound like it’s worth it? Absolutely not.

When it’s time to apply for a card, make sure you do your homework. There are so many resources online that enable you to find the card that you need. Look at the fees, look for the major logo and make sure that the card fits your needs when you want to put money on it. If you find yourself with a complicated card, you may be regretting it in the long haul.

Credit Repair and Identity Theft

The Problem of Unrecognized Accounts

Discovering the presence of accounts on your credit report that clearly do not belong to you can be unnerving. If you are the target of identity theft you will need to employ a very specific credit repair solution. But you must explore the nature of the issue before utilizing this powerful credit repair tool. Literally millions of people discover accounts on their credit report each year that do not belong to them. Only a very small percentage of these incidents are the result of identity theft. The vast majority of these events are the result of what are called file merger errors.

File Merger Errors

File merger errors occur when the credit bureaus confuse your credit file with the file of another person and accidently merge their accounts with yours. This can prove to be inconvenient but it is not the result of illegal of malicious activity. Oddly enough, these file merger errors are an accepted side effect of a decision made by the credit bureaus in setting the accuracy requirements for sorting credit data. They have built in a certain margin of error to allow for mistakes in data entry by lenders. This allows lenders to access a consumer’s credit file in cases where some amount of identifying data is missing or in the case where there is a small typographical error.

File Merger Credit Repair Solution

Fortunately, it is easy to determine if you are a victim of a file merger error and almost as easy to resolve it with credit repair without invoking the identity theft laws. Just call the creditor and tell them that you see an account on your report and you need to know if they are really reporting it as yours. If they tell you that they have no record of an account belonging to you it is not the result of identity theft. If this is the case, you will need to submit a simple credit bureau dispute letter listing the erroneous accounts and informing them of a file merger error. On the other hand, if they tell you that it is yours and you know for a fact that you did not apply for the account it’s time for credit repair action.

Identity Theft Credit Repair Solution

The credit repair solution for identity theft is codified in the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Section 605B, and is very clear and simple; follow the instructions, and the identified information will be blocked from your credit report within four business days. All you need to do is circle the suspect item on your credit report, and bring it to your local police station. Tell the police that you are a victim of identity theft and you need an identity theft report to send to the credit bureaus. Theoretically you only need to send this report to one of the credit bureaus as, by law, upon receipt of an identity theft report each bureau is required to notify the other two, but I suggest sending to all three. You must also include identification. I suggest that you include clear copies of your driver’s license and your Social Security Card. You must also provide a written statement that the accounts in question are not yours and do not relate to any transaction entered into by you. I suggest that you have this statement notarized. Bundle all of this together and mail it to the three credit bureaus via certified mail, or if you wish, via FedEx or other overnight service. Once the credit bureaus receive your package they will block the suspect information within four business days.

A Cautionary Note

It is worth understanding what will happen after you initiate this credit repair process. Upon blocking the information from your credit report the credit bureaus will contact the creditors and an investigation will ensue. Identity theft is considered a serious crime and there is a strong possibility that when the culprit is caught they will be prosecuted. There are two major considerations; first, if you think that a family member might be involved, think carefully before using this Section 605B remedy, second don’t ever think of using this process as an expeditious means of credit repair. If you initiate this process and it is later discovered that you have committed fraud, you will face jail time.

You Are Not Alone

Credit repair assistance is available if you need it. Identity theft can be a very disturbing event and needs to be handled properly. If you do not feel up to the task you should contact a credit repair professional. A credit repair expert will help you through the process and insure that everything is done in an efficient and effective manner. Good luck!

How to File a Total Loss Car Insurance Claim

Total loss claims are filed when a vehicle has been so badly damaged that it would cost more than it`s worth to repair it. However, just what that worth is depends on how the car insurance company sets their standards, so you`ll need to know what this is ahead of time.

What You Will Need

First, you will need to have a police report. When the accident occurs, the police should be called immediately and an accident report will be drawn up. In the case of serious injury (which is quite common in total loss claims), you will need to get a copy of the police report after the fact. Nearly all car insurance companies will disallow damages that have no report, especially when it comes to a total loss claim, since an accident that big should definitely be marked down by the police.

It's important to call the insurance company as soon as possible after the accident, whether you call yourself, or have someone phone in for you. This ensures that they are aware of the problem and will be ready to proceed once the paperwork has been filed. A file for the incident will probably be opened at this point, awaiting any other information that you can gather.

After the fact, as soon as it`s possible, you will need to write down your own statement of what happened. This will help the insurance company process your claim and most won`t move forward without an accident statement, so make sure you get it out as soon as you can. Try to include anything and everything that could be relevant, since this is not a good time to make judgments. The insurance company will make the call on how important each bit of information is, just get all the details down.

Being Honest Will Help

The truth is that an insurance company is looking for holes in your story. There are a lot of people who just make up problems to try and get the insurance money, so understandably, it`s something that needs to be carefully researched.

It`s important not to lie as you go through the process of filing a claim. Even embellishing the facts can be a risky business, it will be assumed that everything you have been saying could be false, so watch it. If you are confused about things and the details of the accident, it`s a better idea to let people know where things are fuzzy, as opposed to inventing it.

What Happens to a Total Loss

If your car is completely destroyed and the insurance company can replace it for less than the repairs would be, chances are the vehicle will be declared a total loss and you`ll be given a replacement vehicle. This should be as similar as possible to your original car and in the same or better condition. However, keep in mind that you can reject the new car and the insurance company will give you the money they would have spent on a replacement, instead. This is a whole other process, but keep in mind that it is possible.

If your car is a total loss, file your auto insurance claim as you would normally and make sure that you have all the paperwork possible. Keep notes on all things pertaining to the accident and be honest, to ensure there are no problems with processing the claim. Should the car insurance company rule in your favor, you`ll be presented with a replacement vehicle or the money to replace it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cheap High Risk Health Insurance In Alabama

Health insurance is not cheap in Alabama or anywhere else. In fact, it has become so expensive that 16% of all Alabama residents can't afford to pay for health insurance at all. Fortunately there are steps that almost every Alabama resident can take that will save them hundreds of dollars each and every year on it.

First, you need to find group health insurance and not individual health insurance. If your place of employment doesn't offer you an affordable group health plan don't give up. Did you know that many groups, organizations and associations offer their members low-cost group health? Ask around. If you don't belong to a group that provides members with group health see if any of your family or friends belong to such an organization. If so - join.

Don't smoke cigarettes or use chew. You've heard it all before a thousand times, but it's still true. You will not find the cheapest insurance if you smoke or use chew.

Unfortunately you also won't find it if you are overweight. Insurance companies base your premium, at least in part, on your Body Mass Index (BMI). There is hope, however. If you can manage to lose even a handful of pounds it is possible that you will drop down a notch on the insurance company's BMI chart - and if you are lucky enough for that to happen then you could save money every single month.

Paying your premiums automatically each month saves your insurance company the expense of billing you and they will pass a portion of that savings on to you. If you don't see your doctor on a regular basis then it will pay you handsomely to increase your co-payment to 50%.

Increasing your deductible will save you money instantly. Increase your deductible to the highest level you feel comfortable with, just keep in mind that you will be required to pay your deductible out of your own resources each year so don't go overboard.

Finally you can save a great deal and most easily find the cheapest high risk health insurance in Alabama if you look for your insurance online. Obviously you want to see the largest number of quotes possible so you can be certain of finding the best possible price, and the only way to do that is to run your price comparisons on more than one site.

But once you've taken the time to run your comparisons on multiple sites then all that's left is for you to review all the prices you found and simply pick the lowest one. This is how you find the very best price possible on health insurance here in the great state of Alabama.

Finding cheap medical insurance companies in Alabama is becoming harder and harder to do. It seems that no medical insurance is cheap any longer. In fact, the cost of medical insurance has gotten so high that more than 16% of all families in Alabama are currently without health insurance of any kind. Fortunately if you find yourself in that position, or close to it, there are a number of things you can do today that can lower the cost of your health insurance as quickly as tomorrow.

If you haven't already set up the automatic payment of your monthly premium directly from your bank account then do so today. This isn't a huge savings, but every little bit adds up.

If you don't see your doctor very often in a normal year then increase your co-payment from 25% to 50%. This can save you several hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.

If you can possibly afford it, increasing your deductible will decrease your monthly premium almost instantly. Just be sure that you have the resources to pay for the additional deductible each year before your insurance takes over.

If you smoke or use chew you simply must quit if you want any chance of finding the cheapest medical insurance you can. If you're serious about saving money then you've got to get serious about quitting smoking.

You've also got to get serious about improving your health in general. Stop eating at fast food restaurants - or at least cut back the number of days you do considerably. Do not super-size meals and do not buy french-fries or other fried items. Changing your eating habits is not as difficult as you might think.

Getting a little exercise will improve your health and help you lose weight. Walk around the block a few times each week. Ride your bike to do errands or ride your bike to school each morning with your kids. Join a group that walks around the mall each morning. Get up, get out and move around!

There's only one place for you to find the cheapest medical insurance companies in Alabama and that's online. It's not hard to find several websites that allow you to make comparisons of health insurance prices from different insurance companies. Just make sure that you check out the prices from a number of different sites rather than relying on just one site.

But after you've taken the time to make comparisons on 3 or more websites you should have sufficient choices to pick the very best rate for health insurance that you are likely to find.

Cheap High Risk Car Insurance Online In Alabama

For many drivers in Alabama car insurance represents a significant drain on their monthly resources and almost all drivers would like to find cheap high risk car insurance. Fortunately the state of Alabama offers just such insurance.

It's called a basic liability policy and it is the smallest - and cheapest - insurance policy that an Alabama driver can purchase and still drive 100% legally. If cost is your only concern then a basic liability policy may be what you are looking for.

Each state sets its own minimum requirements for liability car insurance. Here in Alabama the legal minimum amount of liability insurance you must purchase is what is called a 20/40/10 liability policy.

What this means is your insurance will pay out a maximum of $20,000 to any one individual for medical expenses which result from an accident with your vehicle. It will pay a maximum of $40,000 in medical expenses for everyone involved in an accident with your vehicle regardless of how many people are hurt or what the extent of their injuries are. Finally the insurance will pay a maximum of $10,000 in property damage for any accident. Property damage generally means repairing the other person's vehicle, but property damage can include other property as well.

Two things make this insurance risky. First, this insurance pays ZERO for your medical bills and ZERO toward the medical bills of anyone in your vehicle at the time of an accident. Also this insurance pays ZERO toward the repair of your vehicle.

Secondly - and possibly more importantly - the maximum payout of a basic liability policy is not necessarily enough to cover the actual medical expenses or property damage which could easily result from an accident. If the insurance fails to pay all of the medical or property damage expenses of the other party you could be held personally responsible for paying the remainder out of your own purse or pocket.

This could, conceivably, result in you losing your life savings or even being forced to sell your home in order to make payments.

It is possible to purchase liability insurance with higher payouts at a higher monthly premium. Regardless of whether you choose to purchase a basic liability policy or a full coverage policy or something in between, your best bet for finding the cheapest high risk car insurance is to buy your policy online.

Online insurance companies have very little overhead and they pass that savings on to you. Obviously if you want to find the rock-bottom price for your car insurance then you are going to have to compare prices at the largest number of insurance companies possible, and the only way to do that is to make your price comparisons on more than one website, rather than relying on just a single site.

But as soon as you've finished making all of your comparisons the final step is simple - just choose the lowest price you found and count your savings month after month, year after year. If you drive on any public road in Alabama you'd better have up-to-date car insurance - or be prepared to face the consequences. If you're caught driving without insurance your car's registration can be revoked on the spot, your car can be impounded, and you will not only have to prove that you have insurance to get your registration reinstated, you'll also have to pay a $100 fine. Fortunately there's a way to get super cheap car insurance here in Alabama so you won't have to risk all of that.

The cheapest car insurance you can buy in Alabama and still drive legally is what is known as a 20/40/10 basic liability policy.

This policy pays a maximum of $20,000 in medical payments to any one individual who is hurt during an accident with your vehicle. This policy will pay a maximum of $40,000 to cover the medical bills of everyone involved in an accident with your car, regardless of how many people are hurt or what the extent of their injuries are. The final "10" refers to $10,000 as a maximum property damages payment, which typically pays for the repair of the other person's car.

There are two things you have to keep in mind if you decide to buy the cheapest car insurance you can in Alabama. First, basic liability pays ZERO for your medical bills or for the medical bills of anyone in your car at the time of an accident plus basic liability pays ZERO for the repair of your car. You're on your own when it comes to getting yourself repaired or getting your car repaired.

And second, the payments that a basic liability policy makes are pretty, well...basic. They may not cover all of the costs involved in even a moderate accident. If your basic liability policy doesn't pay for all of the real medical costs or the actual property damages costs of an accident then you may be forced to make up the difference out of your own resources. That could mean depleting your life savings or even being forced to sell your home.

No matter what kind of car insurance you settle on - basic liability, full coverage, or something in the middle - your best bet for finding the lowest price possible is to purchase your insurance online.

If you are serious about getting the absolutely lowest price for your car insurance online then you'll want to be able to see as many prices as possible. The way you do that is to make your car insurance price comparisons on multiple websites rather than relying on just one site.

Once you've made all of your comparisons and you've reviewed all of the prices you've been shown, all you need to do is to choose the lowest price you've found and you've done it! You've gotten the cheapest car insurance that you're possibly going to find here in Alabama.

Cheap Car Insurance in Arizona

If you are looking for the cheapest possible car insurance in Arizona there are only two things you have to know.

First you need to know about Arizona's low-cost basic liability policy. This policy is the cheapest insurance you can possibly buy in Arizona and still drive 100% legally.

Each state sets its own minimum limits when it comes to its approved basic liability policy. In Arizona the lowest pay-out limits you can buy are 15/30/10. What this means is that if you are at fault in an accident your liability insurance will pay a maximum of $15,000 in medical claims to any one individual who is injured and your insurance will pay a maximum of $30,000 if two or more people are injured, regardless of the total number of people injured or the extent of their injuries. Your liability insurance will also pay a maximum of $10,000 for any property damage you cause. This includes the cost of repairing the other person's car.

One of the things you need to be aware of if you are going to purchase a minimum liability policy is that the maximum amounts that the insurance pays may not be enough to cover all of the medical or property damage bills in even a moderate-sized accident. If your basic liability policy doesn't cover the full costs of the accident YOU could be forced to pay the difference. This means it's possible for you to have insurance yet still lose your savings account or even be forced into selling your home.

The other thing you need to be aware of is that a basic liability policy doesn't cover YOU at all. In other words it won't pay a penny for the repair of your vehicle and it won't pay a penny for your medical bills or for the medical bills of any passengers in your vehicle.

The second thing you have to know if you're serious about finding the cheapest car insurance in Arizona is that the best place to find your insurance - whether it's a basic liability policy, a full-coverage policy or something in between - is online.

Online insurance sellers have very few expenses and virtually no overhead so they are able to offer their insurance at far less cost than their brick and mortar cousins.

One trick to finding the very best price online is to make price comparisons on several different websites that are designed to compare the prices from different insurance companies. Don't rely on just one site since each site only compares a small handful of insurance companies.

Once you've looked at prices on at least 3 different price comparison websites then simply choose the lowest price you've found and you're done!

This policy pays out a maximum of $20,000 in medical payments to any one individual who is hurt by an accident with your vehicle. It pays a maximum of $40,000 in medical payments to everyone who is hurt in the same accident with your vehicle and it pays a maximum of $10,000 in property damage. A basic liability policy pays NOTHING for the repair of your car and it pays NOTHING for your medical bills or for the medical bills of anyone in your vehicle at the time of an accident.

Whether you decide on a basic liability policy or whether you decide on full coverage car insurance or on something in between, you will save even more if you buy your insurance online. Just be sure to look at the prices from at least 3 different car insurance price comparison websites if you want to be sure that you are seeing as many different prices as possible.

But as soon as you've compared prices on at least 3 different websites then all you have to do is to pick the lowest price you've found and you've done it! You've found the most affordable high risk car insurance in Arizona.

Cheap Car Insurance Companies in Arizona

If you're looking for cheap car insurance companies in Arizona there's really only one place to look, and that's online. Online insurance sellers charge far less than their brick and mortar competitors for a variety of reasons. However, before you randomly choose a website on which to make your price comparisons, you should be aware that there are things you can do that will save you even MORE money.

Paying your monthly premium automatically from your checking or savings account saves the insurance company the high cost of sending you a bill every month and they pass the savings along to you.

Not making a bunch of small claims all the time will also save you money.

If you are married you can save money by putting the wife on the policy as the primary driver and the husband as the secondary driver.

If you drive back and forth to work every day a large part of your premium is based on the number of rush-hour miles you drive every month. If you join a carpool at work and you cut those rush-hour miles in half then your insurance rates will be far less.

Similarly, if you can use public transportation as much as possible and you can cut the number of miles you drive every month to below 500, you just may be able to take advantage of a special Low Mileage Discount and save even more on your insurance.

Increasing your deductible to the highest level that you can actually afford to pay if you ever have a claim can also reduce your insurance costs - often dramatically.

And, as mentioned before, buying your car insurance online is the only way to go if you are really serious about finding the cheapest rate possible. Just be sure that you don't rely on the results from just a single website. The reason for this is that in order to find the cheapest car insurance company in Arizona you need to see the prices from every insurance company doing business sin the state. You can't do that if you only make your price comparisons on just one website.

The good news is that once you've spent the time to make your comparisons on at least 3 different sites your job is done. All you have to do is to review all of the prices you found and then choose the very best one.

Keep in mind that a basic liability policy such as this won't pay anything toward the repair of your vehicle following an accident - you will be on your own as far as the repair of your vehicle is concerned - and it won't pay even a penny toward your medical bills or the bills of anyone in your vehicle.

But what really makes this type of insurance high risk is the low maximum payouts. If you are at fault in an accident that results in medical bills or property damage in excess of what your insurance will pay, YOU could be on the hook to pay those bills out of your own pocket or purse. In theory you could be forced to spend your life savings or you could be forced to sell your home to pay the bills.

But regardless of what kind of insurance you are looking for - a cheap high risk liability policy, a full-coverage policy or something in between - your best bet for getting the cheapest possible price is for you to buy your policy online.

Advice On How To Find Cheap Car Insurance Companies In Arizona

If you're looking for cheap auto insurance companies here in Arizona then there's good news for you. Not only are there several cheap auto insurance companies operating in the state but they are easy to find if you know the right trick.

Let's start by looking at the cheapest auto insurance that you can legally buy in Arizona - a 15/30/10 basic liability policy.

This basic liability policy pays a maximum of $15,000 to cover the medical costs of any one individual who is injured in an accident with your vehicle. It pays a maximum of $30,000 to cover the medical costs if two or more people are hurt in the same accident and it pays a maximum of $10,000 to cover all property damage cause by the accident. Property damage normally refers to the repair of the other person's vehicle, but it can also include other damaged property.

If you buy this cheap auto insurance you are taking a risk. You are gambling that the medical costs of any individual hurt in an accident with your car will not exceed $15,000 and you are gambling that the total medical bills of everyone in the other vehicle will not exceed $30,000. Finally you are gambling that the cost of repairing the other person's vehicle will not exceed $10,000.

If you lose any of those gambles - which it is easy to do in even a medium-sized accident - then YOU could be held liable for paying any difference out of your own pocket or purse. This could mean that you would be forced to spend your entire life savings or even be forced to sell your home to pay the unpaid bills.

You should also be aware that a basic liability policy pays NOTHING for your medical bills or for the medical bills of any passenger in your vehicle at the time of an accident, and a liability policy pays NOTHING toward repairing your vehicle following an accident.

But regardless of which type of auto insurance you decide upon, you will save the most money - by far! - if you buy your insurance online. Online insurance sellers have almost no overhead costs and so they can pass tremendous savings along to you.

One last trick for getting your auto insurance at the lowest possible price: make your price comparisons on more than one of the price comparison websites rather than relying on the prices you find when you look at just one site.

No matter what type of auto insurance you need, however, you can save even more on it if you purchase your policy online. And you can save even more when you purchase your policy online if you compare prices on more than one of the websites that encourage you to compare auto insurance prices in Arizona.

Once you've made all of your online price comparisons, all you have to do is to pick the lowest price you've found and you've done it - you've saved as much money as you possibly can on your auto insurance each and every month.

How To Get The Best Rates On Automobile Insurance In Alabama

As is true in almost every state in the Union, Alabama requires each of its drivers to purchase automobile insurance. Failure to purchase insurance - and then driving on a public roadway - can result in fines and fees and wasted time that, ultimately, is more than if you had simply found and purchased cheap automobile insurance in the first place.

So how do you get the best rates on automobile insurance in Alabama? The answer is surprisingly simple.

Start with your own driving record. If you want the best rates on automobile insurance then you are going to have to drive legally and safely - all the time. If you earn even one speeding ticket or other moving violation then you can't expect to get the best rates on automobile insurance.

If you are stupid enough and irresponsible enough to drive when drunk or when impaired and you are convicted of a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) then it will be years - usually a minimum of 3 years - before you will be offered automobile insurance at anything approaching an affordable rate.

Getting the best rates on automobile insurance begins with your choice of car. In the eyes of your insurance company not all cars are created equal. Some cars cost a lot more to insure than others. If you're really serious about paying the least amount of money possible for your insurance then begin by asking your agent for a list of the least-expensive cars to insure.

If you can keep your car in a garage at night then you will save money on your insurance.

If you can use public transportation for as many of your "driving" needs as possible, you may be able to save quite a bit on your insurance. If you can keep your average driving down to less than 500 miles a month you could qualify for a Low Mileage Discount on your monthly premium.

If you have recently stopped working and you are no longer driving back and forth to work everyday then you will also save money on your insurance. Let your agent know about any change in your routine driving habits.

Adding simple anti-theft features to your car can save you some serious money. Ask your agent how much you could save if you simply purchase (and regularly use) a simple steering wheel locking device. There is also a relatively simple electronic device that shuts off your fuel pump unless you punch in a secret code or press a hidden button. Such devices are inexpensive and relatively easy-to-install yourself. Talk to your agent and see what your monthly savings could be.

Check around at work as well as with any clubs, groups or associations you might belong to and see if any of them offer a group discount rate on automobile insurance. You'd be surprised at how common this is becoming.

If you are 25 years old or younger stay in school and get good grades. If you can manage to maintain at least a "B" average then you could save 5% each month with your Good Student Discount.

If you are 55 or older ask if you qualify to take a special driver's refresher course. Not every company offers this discount, but if you qualify and you pass the course it can save you a cool 10% per month on your insurance premiums.

And then there's your deductible. The bigger your deductible the smaller your monthly automobile insurance premium will be. Of course, you need to exercise caution when increasing your deductible because if you ever have a claim you will have to come up with your deductible in cash. Don't promise to pay more than you can actually afford.

Now it's time for you to go online and find 3 different websites that permit you to make quick and easy comparisons of auto insurance prices among different insurance companies. Using everything you have learned from this article carefully enter the exact same information onto the form on at least 3 different comparison websites.

Now simply pick the company that offers the best price for the insurance you want. That's it. You're done. You've done your homework and you've compared prices and now you've got the best rates on automobile insurance in Alabama and you'll be saving money every single month for a long time to come. Congratulations!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Wave Goodbye to Recession With the “No” Benefits of Online FOREX Trading

Although the formal declaration on the fact that the United States is in recession happened on December 2007, the rest of the population was already sensing the pangs of it way before the said date. Of course, countless deliberations between the government and the economic experts were carried out before the National Bureau of Economic Research recognized the state of their country.

Yes, the news on recession is enough reason to be worried but you can actually prevail over this in your own small ways. If you have half a brain and the interest on forex trading, you’ll survive. What’s more, the availability of online forex trading eradicates the need for a suit and tie and the hassles of the trade.

With recession all around, you might want to consider taking part in forex trading online!

No Geographical Limitations

Thanks to the Internet, you can do business anywhere, anytime and wearing your most preferred clothes. The same is true for forex trading. Especially with online forex trading, there is no need for you to wear that suit or to be in that lush office.

The beauty of forex trading online lies on the fact that it doesn’t need to happen in a fixed trading center. You can make yourself richer by simply utilizing the basic tools: an Internet connection, a fax machine and a telephone. This line of business accounts for an incredible $2 billion in currency and assets.

Of course, with online forex trading, you won’t be subjected to the nine-to-five working hours. Therefore, income will come to you whatever it is that you’re doing. All these are made possible by the online trading tools that are available to be of service to you 24 hours a day!

No Commissions

Another benefit of this kind of trading is that it does not create an opportunity for your stockbrokers to rob you of your earnings. This is so because in online forex trading, no commissions are part of the whole transaction. Your market maker (the counterpart of a stockbroker) earns through the “spreads.” Let us take an example.

You buy from the market maker the currency of your choice with another currency, say, a US dollar in exchange for a euro. The market maker makes a profit from the "spread", which is the difference between the amount he’s willing to sell you ("ask") and the price he’s willing to pay you ("bid"). Needless to say, the bidding amount is always lesser than the asking amount. As a result, both parties come out happy with this type of transaction.

No Requirement for a Hefty Capital

Another interesting thing about forex trading online is the fact that don’t have to slave or starve yourself just to put up that big capital. And the leverage is simply awesome at 100:1!

You may set off with as little as US$200 and grow it from there. Such an amount is so minimal that it doesn’t even completely cover your monthly groceries. With $200 as an initial investment, you gain more experience with the in’s and the out’s of the trade. You’ll be amazed at how your minute $200 has transformed into $2 million using only the right strategies.

Now, income isn’t anymore exclusively dependent on a traditional job. Thanks to online forex trading, you can continuously make money without the pangs of the limitations of the traditional office and office wear, and financial responsibilities!

Paying Off Holiday Debt Quickly - 6 Tips For Consumers

Dana, a 30-year old public relations specialist, may be earning big bucks while climbing the corporate ladder but like most unattached career women in town, she is struggling with the payment of her credit card balances. For Dana, Christmas is a challenging season as she would have to rein her spending impulses to remedy her already worsening credit rating.

Like Dana, most Americans (single or married) are faced with budgeting problems. Bad credit can get worse with overspending especially during the Christmas season. Holiday debts can pile up and contribute to a negative credit rating.

A negative credit rating is just a symptom of a budgeting problem that can get worse if it goes unchecked. If you still have left-over holiday debts from last year or if you have already placed yourself in deep Christmas debt this year then talk to a debt counselor or consider the following sure-fire tips for paying off your holiday debts quickly.

1. Use CASH whenever possible. Have you noticed how you become more conscious of spending when you need to pay in cash? Paying in cash allows you to keep track of your purchases in real time and by doing so (whenever possible) you would be able to keep yourself from splurging. Ergo: less credit card balances to pay at the end of the month or whenever your card is due.

2. Use your credit card wisely. That strip of hard plastic should be used only when necessary. The first rule of thumb is to use CASH whenever possible. However, American society is so dependent on plastic that you may have to use your credit card more often. Just make sure you do so for reasonable and necessary purchases. Christmas is not a license to overspend. You may be able to buy all the things you want for Christmas (up to your credit card's limit, that is!) but your credit history will suffer if you are not able to pay all your debts on time.

3. List all your outstanding debts. You may be spending too much because you do not keep track of your debts. Document your debts (both credit card and otherwise) and print them out for a quick reference. Seeing your actual debt in black and white will help you cut back on unnecessary expenses and Christmas spending until you have cleared your credit card balances.

4. Make holiday debt payment a priority. It is fun to spend but if you have over-expended your wallet then you have no choice but to prioritize the payment of your debts first before you incur new ones. If your Christmas debts are divided among several credit cards, choose the ones with the least amount and pay it first. Then choose the other credit card balances that you can afford to pay given your financial state.

5. Sacrifice your little pleasures. Paying off your credit card balances can be a pain especially when your finances are limited. This can mean little sacrifices like cooking home meals instead of eating out and drinking instant or office-made brewed coffee instead of going to expensive coffee shops during break time or after work. Before you know it, you already have enough savings to pay for some of your holiday debts.

6. Look for additional sources of income. If your income is limited then you may have to look for additional sources of income to pay off your holiday debts. You can monetize your hobby and make good money out of it. If you are good in photography, why not take photos of your fellow workers during the Christmas party and sell them their photos? Or if you bake a mean chocolate cake, why not sell them this Holiday season? Who knows, your sideline can become a business someday which will help you improve your finances.

If despite these tips you still find yourself overspending and incurring Christmas debts like there is no tomorrow then you should get professional help. Debt counseling groups and Certified Credit Consultants can help you get your spending habits as well as your credit back on track.

7 Power Habits To Guarantee Financial Independence

Are you always running short of your funds? Do you still have to borrow money sometimes to at least live comfortably? Do you get to pay your bills on time?

If you answered mostly yes, then you are in danger of being financially unstable. You cannot afford the things you want and sometimes, even the things you need. Don’t go sulking out there! You better move your body. If such is the case, better tell yourself that you cannot afford to be that way always. You have to be financially independent.

What is financial independence? Financial independence is the capability to determine and support yourself through your own endeavors. There are 7 ways or habits for you to follow to gain financial independence. With the right attitude and the proper goal in mind, you might just find yourself beaming with pride because of your achievement.

1. Keep a focused vision

Start with a vision. What is your vision for your life? Where are you definitely heading? You want financial independence. You want to be able to stand on your own and have a more stable and secured life, for yourself and for your family.

Keep that vision in mind. Hold on to it as you start to realize that vision. The choices and decisions you will make in the future will have to head to the direction of your goal. Return to that vision when things get doubtful or tough.

2. Invest your money wisely

Generate income. Your income will be the financial foundation of your vision. This will basically come from your job’s income, but don’t settle with that.

Aim to increase your income. Invest your time, money and effort into a beneficial enterprise. Start a business that you feel passionately about and make sure it will work. Think carefully of every detail in your enterprise and work on it. Do not settle with good enough results. Aim for excellence, quality and integrity to succeed.

3. Save up

Start a fund for your future. Allot a percentage of your present income to savings. Do this at the start of each month, before you go ahead. This will avoid the enticement to buy, buy, and buy. It will also teach you how to properly budget your money for necessary expenses.

Money in the bank could also earn interest. Although it is not considerable compared to a good investment, it is still a good way to keep money for your future. Just make sure you maintain the money in your savings account. Avoid touching it unless it is really necessary.

Give value also to your coins. Every single cent matters. All of those scattered coins you have there could comprise a few dollars. Even if it is considerably small amount, it will still find some use for that.

4. Spend wisely

Don’t spend all your earnings. As they say, don’t earn to spend. Buy only things that you really need. Tighten those belts for now as you bank for a more secured future. Choose to live simply. Forget the need to show off on other people that you can afford. If you want achieve financial independence, you must hold on to your money as much as possible.

Avoid incurring debts as much as possible. Take control of your finances as much as possible. Credit cards for example could hold you locked in a desperate state. You could be getting what you want now through that credit card, but imagine yourself giving the bulk of your income for interest payments! Make ends meet in the meantime for later on in life, you will surely afford to be leisurely.

5. Keep contingency plans

You must plan ahead for events in the future. Have contingencies. Make certain that your financial assets are secured. At this phase, it is a good option to get an insurance policy. Insure your life, health and property, even your loved ones.

Protect your interests whenever you enter into any engagement. Make sure that your endeavor is legal, that you are financially capable, and that it is feasible within your means. This way, you will have optimal performance and desirable results. You could prevent harmful losses in the long run.

6. Take care of yourself

Health is wealth. The only way for you to achieve your dreams and be able to stand on your own is when you are physically and psychologically able to do so. Have regular checkups with your physician. Have a healthy diet. Exercise Regularly. Health will be your asset to achieve financial independence. Only a good physical standing would allow you to enjoy the fruits of your toils today.

7. Be Unstoppable

You must keep yourself focused to achieve the goal of being financially independent. Do not let yourself be distracted by whimsical desires. Do not spray. Do not procrastinate. Every cent and every minute counts as what you do today will have a lot to say on what you will have in the future. Take advantage of every opportunity that will come your

Why Invest In Mutual Funds?

It is easy to understand why people would invest in mutual funds, but is it really a smart play? I would say the majority of investors select mutual funds because a) it is easy b) they think the professionals must be able to do better than them c) only option in their company’s 401K. Now there isn’t anything you can do about a company not offering self directed accounts, but most investors even given the option would go mutual funds over selecting stocks themselves. To compound the problem, the majority of investors select the top returning mutual funds from the previous year when they select one. If a mutual fund they own is doing bad, they will drop that one and take the highest returning fund in their pool of funds. Statistics prove that this strategy will not beat the S&P 500 over the long haul.

There is no doubt that there plenty of good mutual funds out there; in fact there are some great ones. The problem is the majority of investors are not in these funds. I’ve read multiple articles with various stats on how many mutual funds actually beat the S&P 500 year over year. These numbers generally are between 10 and 20 percent, which is a staggering number if you think about it. Why would you want to park your money in a fund that isn’t beating the indexes on a consistent basis? Why not just pick an index fund and avoid the fees.

Does anyone like paying fees? I know I don’t and mutual funds charge you fees to run your account. They generally run between 1 and 2 percent, which may not sound like much but it can add up in a hurry. If you started with $10,000 and earned a compounded return rate of 7% in 20 years it would be $38,697. Now lets say with that same starting figure you earn 8.5% (1.5% increase from above), your new total after 20 years would be $51,120. Now doesn’t that extra money in your wallet/purse look nice just by avoiding fees!

If you have a fund that isn’t performing well, we can assume the manager of the fund will likely swap in and out of winners and losers he or she is holding. They undoubtedly will not sit on their hands and watch their stock selections circle the drain. This movement in stocks is music to the ears of the brokerage firms that has their account. They are collecting transactions fees for every stock they get in and out of. Who do you think is paying for that?

Okay this is all fine and dandy but you don’t have the time to pick stocks. It doesn’t take as much time as you think with stock screeners and the amount of information on the internet these days. Now there are hundreds of different approaches to investing in stocks, so I won’t get into which way is the best. You know your risk tolerance and can select stocks off that. If don’t trust yourself picking stocks you can select stocks that the dependable investors like Warren Buffett or Carl Icahn select. You can even find several mutual funds that have historically beat the market over the years and look at their top 10 holdings. If they are in these stocks and have traditionally beat the major indexes, then they most likely are pretty good stocks.

The key to making your stock picks work for you is staying diversified. To what level of diversification should you have your portfolio setup? That again depends on your risk tolerance, but keeping your stocks spread out amongst the different sectors is a good way to avoid heavy losses. If you spent a little time researching stocks, you will see it is time well spent in most cases.

I know selecting stocks can be a scary process for a lot of people but at the very least aren’t you better off in an index fund with no fees. When I am working on my portfolio I have my best interest in mind and I’m not sure that always happens when other people are playing with your money. As an exercise, it might be a good idea to write down stocks you are thinking of buying and track how they are doing compared to your mutual fund. What have you got to lose except the fees.

Review Charities Before Donating

Donating to charity is a great way to support a local organization as well as help out your fellow man. However, not every charity is all that its cracked up to be. You need to take a good look at a charity before you hand over your hard earned money. There are so many scams currently going on that are disguised to look like charity. It’s sick and sad but it is true. You need to protect the money you are donating so that you know it is getting to the right place. Before you hand over money without a second thought, you should consider a few things.

Giving money simply is not enough. You must know where that money is going. Even if the charity you give to is legit, you may not know how much of your donation is actually helping and how much of it is getting eaten up in administration and advertising costs. These numbers and percentages can vary so make it a point to ask. Most charities will have this type of information listed on their website so gather necessary donation information first.

A good charity will give at least 75% of donation proceeds to the program directly. No more than 25% should be spent on other costs otherwise not enough money is getting to the people that need it the most. With an unstable and unpredictable economy, taking chances with your money is hardly worth the risk. By doing your part as a donor of funds, you have a say in how they are used. Make it a point to have your say when doing your part to help out.

Charitywatch.org is one website that lists several well known charities and grades them all. This is a good way to look up charities and see how they have been scored and why. If this site does not answer your questions then do a Google search for further information. There is a large amount of results that will be able to point you in the right direction.

If you happen to come across a charity that is involved in less than legal practises then be sure to report them right away. Not only are scams unfair to those giving their hard earned cash, it’s also unfair to those who really could benefit from that donation. Report all illegal or suspicious charity activity to your local police. These people must be stopped.

If you have any questions for the charity of your choice, get in contact with someone that runs the organization. They should be able to answer all of your questions in full. If they seem to be lacking or hiding information, you make want to think twice about donating. A good charity will have some kind of proof to show donors regarding how their funds help to make a difference. When choosing a charity you should combine your research skills with your personal judgement in order to make an educated choice. Review charities to the fullest, especially if you are not familiar with them. Make sure that your donation is secure.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Debt Consolidation?

Debt consolidation is something that people turn to when they are unable to make their monthly payments on their unsecured debts. These debts include personal loans, credit cards, and anything else they owe money on that did not require collateral when the credit was extended. While this sounds great, there are some advantages and disadvantages that you must be aware of when you take out a debt consolidation loan. This is so that you can determine whether or not this is the right move for you to make.

The advantages

The advantages are quite obvious. If they weren't, so many individuals would not turn to debt consolidation as a way to get themselves out of debt. The advantages are:

- Instead of paying many monthly payments on your unsecured debt, you are only paying one payment per month.
- The interest rates are lower, but it is possible that the long-term debt may not be reduced.
- If you compare the amount of a debt consolidation loan payment and the amount of all of the individual payments that have been made each month, the debt consolidation loan payment is cheaper.
- There is only one creditor involved instead of multiple creditors.

These are fantastic advantages in that they make debt consolidation seem like a wonderful idea. However, it is also a good idea to be aware of the disadvantages because these can alter your decision regarding debt consolidation. Then again, they may not alter your decision at all.

The disadvantages

There is something to be known about debt consolidation loans. Although the debt that has been paid off by these loans are unsecured debts, the consolidation loan must be secured. This means that the loan is secured by an asset such as your home or a piece of property that is the same value as the loan. This means that defaulting on the loan could result in you losing that piece of property. If the asset is your home, then that means you will lose your home if you do not make your loan payments.

And although the interest rate is lower, the loan is for a longer term. Having a longer term loan means paying interest for a longer period of time. This can cost more money by the time it is all said and done. However, it also depends on how much your interest was on credit card debts. Sometimes, an individual can have a debt consolidation loan that could be paid off quicker than a credit card with a higher interest rate. It simply depends on your individual debt on whether or not it will actually cost you more in the long term.

There are, however, some disadvantages that you can avoid. Those disadvantages are:

- Closing your accounts after paying them off can hurt your credit score because the more unused credit you have, the better. This means keep them open.

- Many individuals feel that they can use their credit accounts after paying them off. This simply increases debt. Leave them open, but don't use them.

Are they for everyone?

The truth is that debt consolidation loans are not for everyone. People must take into consideration the debts they are paying off, their ability to pay the loan, and if they can afford to lose the property that they would put up as collateral on the loan. For some individuals, it may be the right move to make. For others it can be a huge mistake. That is why it is important to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages and see if you can deal with the disadvantages. If you can, then you are a candidate for a debt consolidation loan.

Pregnancy and Travel Insurance

Travelling while pregnant can be a bit of a gamble. “When should be your cut off date? What kinds of travel are worse than others for heavily pregnant mothers? Should you risk it if the destination isn’t prepared for or can’t or won’t offer maternity care?” The last worry you would want on top of this is “how much will it cost?” We take a look at the world of travel and pregnancy and see how having travel insurance on holiday is very important when pregnant.

When can and should you travel?

Experts differ as to when you should stop all travel if you are pregnant. To an extent it depends on the type of transport you are taking. Driving isn’t usually a problem, nor is walking unless you are trekking along very strenuous trails (though doing almost anything close to the due date may induce labour). Travelling by ship or train are, similarly, not huge problems. The main type of travel that is unsafe while pregnant is flying. The pressurised environment is arguably bad for the baby the closer to term a woman gets, and may cause complications and possible premature births.

Most airlines, for example British Airways, don’t allow pregnant women past 28 weeks to travel. Others allow you to fly after that with a doctor’s certificate up to 36 weeks and not at all after that, but that can be pushing the limit.

Will my usual travel insurance cover me?

Many companies offer travel insurance up until 28 weeks, depending on the company and the individual case. Most standard travel insurance policies don’t cover pregnancy as a medical condition, and therefore it’s best to check with your holiday insurance provider before you go. Many standard and cheap travel insurance companies will offer top-up pregnancy travel insurance policies, and it’s best to invest in one of those even just for the peace of mind it will bring. It’s also best to check the facilities of the country you are travelling to and what documentation you might need – better to be prepared than be caught short while abroad where there’s little you can do.

Do I only need travel insurance if going by plane?

No. When pregnant you will want to have the extra travel insurance in place even if you are going by train, ship, car or any other transport. This is because the main point of travel insurance whilst you are pregnant is to literally ensure that you can be pregnant and give birth in another country if necessary. Most countries have no national health provision, and health care is paid for on insurance or billed to your account when your procedure is over. Some go as far as not treating you if you are unable to pay for the treatment there and then. The last thing that you want when going into labour is to have someone questioning your financial situation. To make sure that you are covered for any foreign medical expenses, always check that you have travel insurance before booking your holiday.

How Much Can I Get From 2009 Social Security Disability Benefits?

How much will the SSA grant in supplemental income, and what benefits can you receive?

When you or a family member is unable to work due to a work-related injury or a severe medical condition, you can apply for Social Security benefits from the Social Security Administration.

How soon, and how often, will I receive Social Security disability benefits?
Once your application is approved, you will start receiving benefits in about 6 months. You will receive your Social Security benefits on a monthly basis.

How much will my benefits be?
The amount of your monthly disability benefits is based on your average lifetime earnings. You can get an estimate of your benefits from the SSA’s Benefit Calculator on their website. For guidance, below are the 2008 v. 2009 Social Security disability thresholds:

- 2008: Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) - Non-Blind ($940 / month), Blind ($1,570 / month), Trial Work Period ($670 / month)

- 2009: Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) - Non-Blind ($980 / month), Blind ($1,640 / month), Trial Work Period ($700 / month)

What kinds of benefits can I get?

In addition to a monthly amount, you may be eligible to receive other benefits. Additional Social Security benefits that you may be eligible for are:

- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if you are 65 or older, blind, or disabled
- Food stamps
- Medicaid
- Medicare (after 2 years)
- Services under the Ticket to Work Program (allows you to go to work to earn more money)

When do I get Medicare coverage?

You will get coverage after you have received disability benefits for 2 years.

Is my family eligible to receive benefits?

Yes. Certain family members may qualify for benefits. They include:

- Your spouse, if he or she is 62 or older
- Your spouse, if he or she is financially supporting a child of yours who is either disabled or under the age of 16 younger
- Your child, if he or she is under the age of 18 and in school full time
- Your child, over the age of 18, if he or she has a disability that started before age 22

How much can a family member receive in benefits?
Each family member may be eligible for a monthly benefit of up to 50% of your disability rate.

Adjustments to your benefits:
Your Social Security benefits may change as necessary. Your benefits may change or be stopped if:
- The cost of living has gone up (in which case, your benefits would increase)
- Your medical condition improves
- There is any change in your ability to work
- You get married or divorced
- Your citizenship changes

What may cause my Social Security benefits to be temporarily or permanently stopped?
- You have an outstanding arrest warrant
- You are convicted of a crime
- You are also receiving Railroad Retirement benefits
- You earn more than $980 or more per month ($1,640 if you are blind)
- You violate a condition of your probation or parole

What may cause my Social Security benefits to be reduced?
Your Social Security disability benefits may be reduced if you receive other government benefits.

Your Social Security benefits may be reduced if:
- You are receiving workers’ compensation

- You work for an employer that does not withhold Social Security taxes from your salary (Windfall Elimination Provision)

- You receive a pension from a federal, state or local government based on work where you did not pay Social Security taxes (Government Pension Offset)

Social Security Attorneys and 2009 Social Security Disability:

What 2009 Social Security Disability changes will occur? A Social Security Disability attorney is an expert on disability law. Hiring a disability lawyer helps improve your chances of winning disability benefits and can impact the speed from date of application that you start to receive benefits. If you have questions about the 2009 Social Security Disability application, or if you have a case from a prior year that has not been awarded benefits, consider contacting an experienced disability lawyer.

Looking at Travel Credit Cards With No Fees

If you’re in the market to find an airline card simply based on your travelling habits or you’re looking for a card that has no annual fee, there are some good ones out there that don’t carry one. Unfortunately, there are cards that do carry a hefty annual fee and there are cards that are very comparable when it comes down to an annual fee.

I’m going to show you some things you should look out for when you’re looking for a card that has no annual fee because just because it doesn’t have one, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be a great card for you and your travels.

Look at the point system: Does the card have a great point system? If so, how do you get your free airline miles? Is it worth it when you spend a dollar? For example, are you spending one dollar and getting one point or are you spending one dollar and getting 6 points? The more you spend, the more you get in return.

Are there blackout dates? One of the perks that I hate with travel cards is that they have expiration dates or blackout dates. If your card has one of them, I wouldn’t even consider it! You’re going to find that when you go to cash it in, your points will probably expire and that won’t make you a happy camper, trust me.

Can you get rewarded everywhere? Some cards will only allow you to get rewarded with particular airlines while others will allow you to use your card everywhere. The question is, do you want to be restricted to one airline or do you want to use your card and get rewarded for every purchase? Sure, it’s great to be loyal to a particular airline company but you may find it more beneficial to get a card that rewards you across the board.

Are there a lot of fees? Sure, the card has no annual fee but does it have monthly fees or other hidden fees? Sometimes, the credit card companies love to play a game that tricks the mindset of many individuals looking to apply for a card. The lesson learned here is to make sure that you read the application over at least three times to make sure you know all the fees that are going to be included. You want a card that has no fees at all. If you’re looking for a card with no interest rate, you’re going to need luck because most have rates!

In the end, you want to read the application carefully. Make sure that you know what you’re doing and just because it has no annual fees, it doesn’t mean it’s a great card. It’s like a purchase in life. You may spend $1 for a toothbrush but is it really good? Sometimes an annual fee is a good thing but other times, it’s not. This will all depend on the card itself. Go out there, do your research and you should find a perfect travel card.

Key Person Life Insurance

Imagine a story of a business owner that found out their passion at an early age. This passion was for formal wear. Yes, tuxedos. A young entrepreneur found the desire for business, as well, at the very young age of 17 during a business class in high school. This passion led to many years of working in other people’s retail stores, then managing the stores, then one day the dream came true, the goal was finally met. After 15 years building a reputation of excellence in this field, a financial backer was willing to grant a loan to this still young entrepreneur. Thus, he was able to buy his own Formal Wear retail store.

This business had an employee that brought in a tremendous amount of revenue from doing on site customer sales. This one employee truly had an impact on the business’s bottom line. Without this employee going on site and working his magic with the customers all year long, the business’s sales would suffer greatly. This is when it dawned on the business owner that if he did not protect his “asset” a great loss to his business could occur. The savvy entrepreneur called his insurance agent and started a conversation about buying “Key Person” life insurance. This entrepreneur didn’t work all of his life to get to where he is to leave himself exposed if an unfortunate event caused him to loose such a key revenue generator for his company. He has built his life around his business and has made a smart move to find protection in a Key Person life insurance policy.

When a corporation is formed it separates the business from the actual owners. In a corporation setting there may be a highly valued employee, also know as, a Key Employee, or a Key Person. A business may want to protect themselves from incurring a loss should that Key Employee from that company die.

Key Person Insurance allows a business to buy life insurance on the life of its key employees. This type of insurance will ensure that the business can continue if that person should die. The reason why a business would be allowed to buy a policy on an employee is because the employee/employer relationship creates something called insurable interest.

This type of insurance policy covers the financial loss that the company may suffer at the employee’s death. The policy is set up that the company is both owner and beneficiary of the Key Person insurance policy.

Further, when the company pays a premium for this type of policy these payments are not deductible business expenses. Conversely, the death benefit that is received by the company from this type of policy is income tax free. Overall, as a rule of thumb, life insurance premiums are not deductible if the person who pays the premium has any direct or indirect interest in the policy or its proceeds.

There are more ways to have life insurance provide protection in your life. An insurance agent can help you understand the products offered through insurance companies. They can also give you a better picture of what product is right for you or your business’s needs.