Bankruptcy Law: Some Important Facts

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As applying for loans, credit cards and other forms of credit are easier to come by, so are the bankruptcy rates in the United States. In a ten year period, between 1994 and 2004, bankruptcy rates in the United States nearly doubled.

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As applying for loans, credit cards and other forms of credit are easier to come by, so are the bankruptcy rates in the United States. In a ten year period, between 1994 and 2004, bankruptcy rates in the United States nearly doubled. The government’s reaction was to take a closer look at reasons parties were filing for bankruptcy, new laws were instated to ensure that individuals and businesses had valid reasons for applying for bankruptcy.

One of the primary laws regarding bankruptcy that was passed in the United States in 2004 is the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act. This law just went into effect in October 2005, but has already caused quite a stir in the financial and bankruptcy law arenas. Besides making it more difficult to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or complete bankruptcy, the law imposes stricter rules and budgets on Chapter 13 debtors.

A major change the law makes throughout the United States is the need for debtors to have filed tax returns for four years in a row before qualifying for bankruptcy. As well, dischargeable debts, or those debts where personal liability is taken away by the court system, is more difficult to come by. The Act requires that debtors prove good reason for dischargeable debt and is even requiring more debtors to take responsibility with non-dischargeable debt budgets.

As far as the two major types of bankruptcy laws are concerned, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that which allows the debtor to keep some assets upon proving only limited debt and a steady income. This bankruptcy is excellent for those debtors who have gotten themselves into major financial difficulty but still have means of paying for some assets. The court will set up a repayment schedule and budget that allows for full repayment of mortgages or cars within three to five years.

If repayment is simply not an option, the bankruptcy law requires that a debtor will file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This is often referred to as complete liquidation of assets, except for exempt items. Exempt items in a bankruptcy hearing are determined by the court and are usually items that are a necessity, such as a car or work related items. As well, the courts will distribute debts into two categories: non-dischargeable and dischargeable debt.

Non-dischargeable debts also fall into two categories: non-dischargeable due to wrongful conduct on the debtor and non-dischargeable due to public policy. Wrongful misconduct by the debtor could mean theft or laundering money while public policy could include child support payment or court related judgments.

Keep in mind that in either type of bankruptcy, an individual is almost always required to still pay for taxes, student loans, alimony, child support or court related fees. This is the place where many bankrupt parties are misled in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy, as it is often referred to as “a fresh start”. While the court can set up payment plans to help the debtor repay public policy debts, even Chapter 7 debtors will still be required to make payments.

Another major point regarding bankruptcy law is that a bankruptcy will stay on a credit report for approximately ten years. This will make it extremely difficult to become eligible for any type of credit, even a credit card, but especially for a car loan or a house mortgage. While some creditors will still offer limited credit to bankrupt individuals, the interest rates and finance charges are usually through the roof. This makes it even more difficult for debtors to get back on their feet.

Last but not least, keep in mind that bankruptcy law will require any co-signers to be responsible for debt payments. If mom or dad signed for a car loan when you were young and you still owe on that car, they are liable for payments. These friends or family members who were once doing you a favor may be brought into the bankruptcy law court proceedings, which can put a strain on friendships and family relations.

For specific bankruptcy law questions it is best to contact a bankruptcy attorney or legal aide in your county or state. Bankruptcy laws and proceedings may vary slightly from state to state, so be sure to make contacts in the state where you plan to file for bankruptcy.

Cash Advance Loans Online – The Plus Side

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Cash advance loans online can be a huge lifesaver when you find yourself in a bit of a pinch in between your paydays. So just what is a cash advance loan and how will it be helpful to you?

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Cash advance loans online can be a huge lifesaver when you find yourself in a bit of a pinch in between your paydays. So just what is a cash advance loan and how will it be helpful to you?

A cash advance loan (or payday loan) is a very short-term loan that carries extremely high interest rates. Generally, these types of loans last from a period of one to four weeks and you either write a check out that the company will cash when the loan is due or you would have to authorize the company to be able to make withdrawals out of your savings or checking account.

If you are in a bad credit situation when it comes to obtaining a loan, getting a cash advance loan may just be the answer you are seeking. Most all payday loan companies only require that you have either an active savings or checking account and have held your current job between 3-6 months and be able to prove how much you make in a month.

You can obtain your money very quickly when you decide to into applying for cash advance loans online. After you have provided the loan company with all of the information that they require and you are approved you are likely ti have your cash within 24 hours sometimes instantly depending on the company you are getting your loan through.

Getting a cash advance loan can assist you in making your credit score better. Just make sure that when you are getting an advance you make sure that the loan company reports to one of the three major credit agencies.

Now the next time that you are in a bind and need some cash quickly, if you are you sure you can meet the terms, applying for cash advance loans online would be a smart move.

Doorway to Quick Cash Immediate Approval Loans!

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In case of an immediate approval loan, you do not provide any guarantee, so there is more risk for the lender and less for you.

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Financial matters are crucial one and you need to be extra careful while opting for any kind of loan. One more thing, in financial matters you should remember that a stitch in time saves nine. Therefore, always consider whether you will receive instant cash to meet your needs from that particular loan or not. One such loan in financial crisis is immediate approval loans.

Have you missed few monthly payments on your home loan? Are you a discharged bankrupt? Do you have arrears to clear? You have probably convinced yourself that loan market has no options for you and the few options available are way beyond your reach.

In case of an immediate approval loan, you do not provide any guarantee, so there is more risk for the lender and less for you – but you still have some risk because you have to pay the loan back, and lenders can still take some action against you to recover their money. The amount of money you can borrow on them is usually limited by your ability to repay.

Prior to applying for a personal loan against next pay cheque, note that such a short duration of loan, prompts the lenders to charge exorbitant fees. These immediate personal loans therefore may even result in debts for the borrowers. So be careful in finding a suitable lender who has lower fee charged on instant personal loans.

The lenders do not insist any security for instant approval loans. So much time would have been otherwise spent on evaluation of the residential property is now saved. It facilitates for the instant approval of these loans. These loans are slightly expensive compared to other loans. As they are short term loans, lenders charge very high interest rate on these loans.

Lenders usually have no hesitation in approving the loan amount within a short span of applying for it, if the borrower enjoys a constant source of income to repay the loan amount. The loan approval process is very easy. Apart from the identification and employment status of the borrower, another factor that needs consideration is borrower’s regular monthly income. If the monthly salary of the person is in accordance with the amount to be borrowed then it cuts down the risk of the lender. Lender therefore can quickly approve your Fast approval home financing loan plan. Find out from experts which loan serves you right, try now!

A New Wall Street Line Dance: Performance

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Every December, with visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads, investors begin to scrutinize their performance, formulate coulda’s and shoulda’s, and determine what to try next year. It’s an annual, masochistic, right of passage.

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It matters not what lines, numbers, indices, or gurus you worship, you just can’t know where the stock market is going or when it will change direction. Too much investor time and analytical effort is wasted trying to predict course corrections?even more is squandered comparing portfolio Market Values with a handful of unrelated indices and averages. If we reconcile in our minds that we can’t predict the future (or change the past), we can move through the uncertainty more productively. Let’s simplify portfolio performance evaluation by using information that we don’t have to speculate about, and which is related to our own personal investment programs.

Every December, with visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads, investors begin to scrutinize their performance, formulate coulda’s and shoulda’s, and determine what to try next year. It’s an annual, masochistic, right of passage. My year-end vision is different. I see a bunch of Wall Street fat cats, ROTF and LOL, while investors (and their alphabetically correct advisors) determine what to change, sell, buy, re-allocate, or adjust to make the next twelve months behave better financially than the last. What happened to that old fashioned emphasis on long-term progress toward specific goals? The use of Issue Breadth and 52-week High/Low statistics for navigation; and cyclical analysis (Peak to Peak, etc.) and economic realities as performance expectation barometers makes a lot more personal sense. And when did it become vogue to think of Investment Portfolios as sprinters in a twelve-month race with a nebulous array of indices and averages? Why are the masters of the universe rolling on the floor in laughter? They can visualize your annual performance agitation ritual producing fee generating transactions in all conceivable directions. An unhappy investor is Wall Street’s best friend, and by emphasizing short-term results and creating a superbowlesque environment, they guarantee that the vast majority of investors will be unhappy about something, all of the time.

Your portfolio should be as unique as you are, and I contend that a portfolio of individual securities rather than a shopping cart full of one-size-fits-all consumer products is much easier to understand and to manage. You just need to focus on two longer-range objectives: (1) growing productive Working Capital, and (2) increasing Base Income. Neither objective is directly related to the market averages, interest rate movements, or the calendar year. Thus, they protect investors from short-term, anxiety causing, events or trends while facilitating objective based performance analysis that is less frantic, less competitive, and more constructive than conventional methods. Briefly, Working Capital is the total cost basis of the securities and cash in the portfolio, and Base Income is the dividends and interest the portfolio produces. Deposits and withdrawals, capital gains and losses, each directly impact the Working Capital number, and indirectly affect Base Income growth. Securities become non-productive when they fall below Investment Grade Quality (fundamentals only, please) and/or no longer produce income. Good sense management can minimize these unpleasant experiences.

Let’s develop an “all you need to know” chart that will help you manage your way to investment success (goal achievement) in a low failure rate, unemotional, environment. The chart will have four data lines, and your portfolio management objective will be to keep three of them moving upward through time. Note that a separate record of deposits and withdrawals should be maintained. If you are paying fees or commissions separately from your transactions, consider them withdrawals of Working Capital. If you don’t have specific selection criteria and profit taking guidelines, develop them.

Line One is labeled “Working Capital? and an average annual growth rate between 5% and 12% would be a reasonable target, depending on Asset Allocation. [An average cannot be determined until after the end of the second year, and a longer period is recommended to allow for compounding.] This upward only line (Did you raise an eyebrow?) is increased by dividends, interest, deposits, and “realized?capital gains and decreased by withdrawals and “realized?capital losses. A new look at some widely accepted year-end behaviors might be helpful at this point. Offsetting capital gains with losses on good quality companies becomes suspect because it always results in a larger deduction from Working Capital than the tax payment itself. Similarly, avoiding securities that pay dividends is at about the same level of absurdity as marching into your boss’s office and demanding a pay cut. There are two basic truths at the bottom of this: (1) You just can’t make too much money, and (2) there’s no such thing as a bad profit. Don’t pay anyone who recommends loss taking on high quality securities. Tell them that you are helping to reduce their tax burden.

Line Two reflects “Base Income”, and it too will always move upward if you are managing your Asset Allocation properly. The only exception would be a 100% Equity Allocation, where the emphasis is on a more variable source of Base Income?the dividends on a constantly changing stock portfolio. Line Three reflects historical trading results and is labeled “Net Realized Capital Gains? This total is most important during the early years of portfolio building and it will directly reflect both the security selection criteria you use, and the profit taking rules you employ. If you build a portfolio of Investment Grade securities, and apply a 5% diversification rule (always use cost basis), you will rarely have a downturn in this monitor of both your selection criteria and your profit taking discipline. Any profit is always better than any loss and, unless your selection criteria is really too conservative, there will always be something out there worth buying with the proceeds. Three 8% singles will produce a larger number than one 25% home run, and which is easier to obtain? Obviously, the growth in Line Three should accelerate in rising markets (measured by issue breadth numbers). The Base Income just keeps growing because Asset Allocation is also based on the cost basis of each security class! [Note that an unrealized gain or loss is as meaningless as the quarter-to-quarter movement of a market index. This is a decision model, and good decisions should produce net realized income.]

One other important detail No matter how conservative your selection criteria, a security or two is bound to become a loser. Don’t judge this by Wall Street popularity indicators, tea leaves, or analyst opinions. Let the fundamentals (profits, S & P rating, dividend action, etc) send up the red flags. Market Value just can’t be trusted for a bite-the-bullet decision?but it can help. This brings us to Line Four, a reflection of the change in “Total Portfolio Market Value” over the course of time. This line will follow an erratic path, constantly staying below “Working Capital” (Line One). If you observe the chart after a market cycle or two, you will see that lines One through Three move steadily upward regardless of what line Four is doing! BUT, you will also notice that the “lows” of Line Four begin to occur above earlier highs. It’s a nice feeling since Market Value movements are not, themselves, controllable.

Line Four will rarely be above Line One, but when it begins to close the cap, a greater movement upward in Line Three (Net Realized Capital Gains) should be expected. In 100% income portfolios, it is possible for Market Value to exceed Working Capital by a slight margin, but it is more likely that you have allowed some greed into the portfolio and that profit taking opportunities are being ignored. Don’t ever let this happen. Studies show rather clearly that the vast majority of unrealized gains are brought to the Schedule D as realized losses?and this includes potential profits on income securities. And, when your portfolio hits a new high watermark, look around for a security that has fallen from grace with the S & P rating system and bite that bullet.

What’s different about this approach, and why isn’t it more high tech? There is no mention of an index, an average, or a comparison with anything at all, and that’s the way it should be. This method of looking at things will get you where you want to be without the hype that Wall Street uses to create unproductive transactions, foolish speculations, and incurable dissatisfaction. It provides a valid use for portfolio Market Value, but far from the judgmental nature Wall Street would like. It’s use in this model, as both an expectation clarifier and an action indicator for the portfolio manager, on a personal level, should illuminate your light bulb. Most investors will focus on Line Four out of habit, or because they have been brainwashed by Wall Street into thinking that a lower Market Value is always bad and a higher one always good. You need to get outside of the “Market Value vs. Anything?box if you hope to achieve your goals. Cycles rarely fit the January to December mold, and are only visible in rear view mirrors anyway?but their impact on your new Line Dance is totally your tune to name.

The Market Value Line is a valuable tool. If it rises above working capital, you are missing profit opportunities. If it falls, start looking for buying opportunities. If Base Income falls, so has: (1) the quality of your holdings, or (2) you have changed your asset allocation for some (possibly inappropriate) reason, etc. So Virginia, it really is OK if your Market Value falls in a weak stock market or in the face of higher interest rates. The important thing is to understand why it happened. If it’s a surprise, then you don’t really understand what is in your portfolio. You will also have to find a better way to gauge what is going on in the market. Neither the CNBC “talking heads” nor the “popular averages” are the answer. The best method of all is to track “Market Stats”, i.e. Breadth Statistics, New Highs and New Lows. . If you need a “drug”, this is a better one than the ones you’ve grown up with.

Financial Budgeting, Income, Costs and Hints (Part 1 of 5)

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The 1st of a 5 part series covering aspects of Personal Financial Budgets and moving forward.

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Part 1 is: Create and Maintain a Budget

The first step to avoiding the troubles of financial debt is to create and maintain a budget. It’s not as intimidating as it sounds, don’t worry.

First off, create a list of all your monthly income and also a list of your monthly expenses. When determining income, list all sources including alimony, child support, side jobs, etc. In calculating expenses, be sure to include housing, food, transportation, utilities, entertainment, etc. To gain an accurate reflection of actual expenses, sit down each night and write down expenses, just make sure to save receipts. Determine if your income covers all of your expenses. If the answer is no, then some expenses need to be reduced.

Adjust expenses. If it is a small discrepancy, it may mean reducing some minor expenses like entertainment or cell phone plan. If the deficit is larger, you may need to downsize your vehicle or living arrangements. If your income covers all of your expenses, you still may want to trim some of the excess fat off your spending habits. This can free up extra money for things such as vacations or college funds for your children.

Additionally, consider if you need to add new categories. Some areas that are often overlooked are debt reduction, emergency savings funds, and retirement savings. An emergency fund ensures there is an adequate amount available to cover unforeseen events (car emergency, etc), should it arise. This will eliminate the need for using credit which can quickly damage your budget.

There are several advantages to sticking to your budget. Firstly, most people have set financial goals that they would like to reach in the future. Sometimes it may be a trip, a brand new car, or a college education. A budget can help people save money to make these goals a reality. Additionally, many people are crushed under heavy consumer debt. Without a disciplined pattern of spending, it is virtually impossible to make much headway in reducing debt. A personal budget will provide the necessary framework to begin eliminating these inflated account balances.

If executed properly, a budget will allow a person to simultaneously meet their expenses, place money into savings, and pay back outstanding debts. Therefore, it is anyone’s best interest to create and implement a budget.

About Dormant Bank Accounts

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It’s estimated that up to ?bn may be sitting unclaimed in UK dormant bank accounts. Could you be entitled to a share?

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Banking experts estimate that up to ?bn may be sitting unclaimed in UK bank accounts that have gone ‘dormant’. What does this mean, and could you be entitled to a share in this huge amount of idle money?

A bank account goes dormant when, in the words of the British Bankers’ Association, a bank and a customer ‘lose touch with each other’. What this usually means in practice is that a customer has either passed away or moved house, and the bank haven’t been told and are unable to locate the account holder some time later.

If there are no transactions on an account over a period of around 12 months, the bank will write to the account holder at the last known address to ask them if they wish to keep the account open. If no reply is received, then the bank will change the status of the account to ‘dormant’. This means that from now on, no statements, chequebooks or other correspondance will be sent out to the customer.

The money in the account will still earn interest at whatever the normal rate of that account is, and the bank will still keep track of the account balance and keep a record of the last known address of the holder.

There are two main reasons for an account being made dormant. The first and most obvious one is to save the banks the administration costs of sending out statements and the like when there is no activity on the account from month to month (other than that initiated by the bank itself, such as interest payments).

The more important reason however is to guard against identity fraud. If a bank continues to send statements to an address when the account holder is no longer there to receive them, it is all too easy for these documents to end up in the hands of fraudsters, who could use the sensitive information they contain to begin a campaign of ID theft.

Most dormant accounts will have very small balances, but some will inevitably contain a substantial sum, often those belonging to someone who has passed away. If you think you may be entitled to money held in a dormant account, you can make a claim by filling in a form available from the bank in question.

You will need to give your reasons for making a claim, such as that the account belonged to a close relative whose estate was passed to you. You will also need to prove your own identity, and your connection to the original account holder if applicable.

If the bank don’t agree that you’re entitled to take over the account, you have the right to pursue an appeal, where your claim is re-examined. If the appeal fails, you can take your claim to the Financial Ombudsman Service, whose decision is final and binding.

Changing You Spending Habits

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It is every one dream being a millionaire and retiring with a healthy bank account, but how many people can actually achieve it? So few. This is largely due to lack of discipline in building up their retirement fund and poor spending habits. While building a retirement fund requires time, you can accelerate the process by making incremental but positive changes in your spending habits. Here are seven ways that you can change your daily lifestyle for more positive results in y…

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It is every one dream being a millionaire and retiring with a healthy bank account, but how many people can actually achieve it? So few. This is largely due to lack of discipline in building up their retirement fund and poor spending habits. While building a retirement fund requires time, you can accelerate the process by making incremental but positive changes in your spending habits. Here are seven ways that you can change your daily lifestyle for more positive results in your spending habits:

1. Have you ever noticed how much time you spend sitting in front of the television? The longer you sit, the worse it is for your blood circulation. Besides, the time you free up can be used for more useful tasks such as teaching your kids or learning a new skill.

2. If you are an avid reader, use the public library whenever possible. There is no need to buy the latest books from bookstores like Borders unless it is in a category that does not fit into a public library. The public library will usually acquire popular titles after some times. Learn to be patient.

3. If you are a smoker, start reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke each day. Over time, you may be able to quit smoking completely. Besides saving money by not buying any more cigarettes, your health will also improve and this means a huge saving in your medical bills.

4. Use a bicycle if the destination is within 30 minutes by car. This helps promote blood circulation in your body and also reduces environmental pollution. You can also save on gasoline and parking fees.

5. Dine at home more frequently. You can experiment with different recipes and save some money at the same time. In addition, you are honing your cooking skills and this could be very useful for the home dining experience.

6. Bring your own coffee to office. Many people like to drop by a Starbucks or similar coffee outlet and end up spending a few dollars or more on a cup of coffee. You can potentially save many dollars each week just by making your own coffee at home and bringing it to your work place in a Thermos. Besides, who knows, it may taste better than the coffee from Starbucks! If you really cannot live without Starbucks coffee, consider getting a Starbucks rebate card. You can use the rebates to redeem free Starbucks coffee after you have accumulated enough points.

7. Do more walking than driving. If you can reach your destination within ten minutes by car, consider leaving the car behind and walk instead. You will save money on gasoline and parking fees. This can easily add up to a few thousand dollars a year.
These seven ways are a good start for changing unhealthy spending habits. However, you should continue to research and incorporate more healthy habits that contribute to the building of your retirement fund. By re-investing the money saved from using these tips, you will be many steps ahead of your peers and closer to your retirement goals.

Avoid Financial Disaster with Good Planning

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You never know when financial disaster – job loss, illness or natural catastrophe – will happen. But you can take a few simple steps to be prepared, just in case.

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It’s tough to get by financially in today’s fast-paced life. With mortgages, car notes and massive amounts of credit card debt, most people struggle to get by from month to month. With most people doing what they can just to pay their bills, few people are prepared for the unlikely event of a financial disaster. They come in many forms; a storm like Hurricane Katrina, a loss of job, or a sudden illness can break anyone who isn’t prepared for an unexpected interruption in their financial life. But it isn’t all that difficult to make preparations that will help you in times of a money crisis. All it takes is a bit of planning ahead of time.

Here are a few things that will help you be prepared for the unexpected:

Get an ATM/Debit card – You may not regularly use cash or have a need for a debit card, but there are some circumstances where it may be necessary. People from New Orleans who were temporarily displaced by Hurricane Katrina would have benefited from having access to cash even while away from home. If you don’t use one regularly, get one anyway and keep it in a safe place.

Sign up for direct deposit – With direct deposit, you will know that your paycheck will be in your bank account even if you cannot, for whatever reason, physically get to your bank. This will help you in the event of illness or natural disaster that may have your local bank temporarily closed.

Sign up for online bill paying – You can pay bills even if you aren’t at home via the Internet. You don’t have to use the service, but it may come in handy at a time when you least expect it.

Save some emergency cash – Financial experts recommend that you save at least three months’ worth of financial expenses. That’s difficult, but every little bit can help. Try to cut back on a few unnecessary items, such as that tall latte you buy every day. It adds up, and you never know when you may need to access that emergency cash.

Set up a home equity line of credit – Unlike a home equity loan, which provides you with a lump sum of cash right away, a home equity line of credit provides you with cash that you can use a little at a time, and only when you need it. If you don’t actually take any money out, you don’t have monthly payments. But if an emergency strikes, you’ll have cash available. This can be particularly helpful if you find yourself out of work for a short period of time. Your bank won’t lend you money when you are out of work, so plan ahead of time and the money will be ready when you are.

A little bit of planning can go a long way when a financial emergency strikes. If you plan for it now, you will have fewer worries later.

Avoiding High Interest

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Frequent flier credit cards are a unique way for consumers to reward themselves wile spending money.

Avoiding High Interest

Frequent flier credit cards are a unique way for consumers to reward themselves while spending money.

There is, however, a hefty price to pay for spending while earning-interest rates average 16.99 percent on airline mileage credit card balances.

As consumers look for alternative choices to managing debt, the inevitable hunt for a low-rate balance transfer begins. Innovative companies such as E*TRADE FINANCIAL are making it easier for consumers to transfer their balances to a low-rate card while preserving their ability to earn rewards on the card of their choice.

Instead of the standard one-time balance transfer, the E*TRADE Mileage Maximizer Account is an automated balance transfer system that allows customers to transfer their balances on higher rate credit cards to a lower rate credit card each and every month. Low-rate credit products like these allow consumers to reduce the interest paid on balances, paving the way for effective debt management.

So celebrate the rewards you get from your airline mileage credit cards-take that trip, upgrade your seat or turn the miles into a charitable gift. But be smart-don’t pay for those benefits with an exorbitant interest rate and manage the balances you are carrying down to a low interest rate.

Finding The Right Credit Card

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Some people feel loyal to certain credit card companies, it’s only natural when you’ve had them for so long, but why not see if they can offer you a better card?

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I remember the lecture my mother gave me a few weeks before my first day of college. She sat me down and said, “I have something important to tell you.” Right about then is when I rolled my eyes and braced for the, “Young men are the devil’s spawn and should not be trusted,” and the, “You are going to a place where there will be great temptations,” speech. What I got was not really a lecture, but a talk about how it was time to start building my credit.

I really never gave that topic much thought. I always thought that getting a credit card was for grown ups, and Lord knows I didn’t quite feel like a grown up at the time. She told me I should start thinking about applying for a credit card. She also warned me if I did so, she would NOT bail me out if I started charging up the world. That alone scared me. I had a full time job, but what if I couldn’t handle the payments? What if I went temporarily insane, and decided to charge everything I could. It was too much for me, and I told her, I didn’t want to hear any more nonsense about me getting a credit card.

She of course persisted for the next two weeks, and I finally told her that I would look into it. I then asked the million dollar question, “How do I find the one that is best for me?” She blank stared me. Then she blink. Then she shrugged her shoulders and said, “I don’t know, that’s your problem.” Cue the crickets.

So there I was, eighteen in 1992, trying to get a credit card, but not knowing where to start. Luckily on the fist day of classes, I was in the school book store and found an ad for a student credit card. Without giving it much thought, I applied and to this day I still have a card from that company. Was that the best way of going about it? Probably not. I suppose if I did the research I could have found a card with a better interest rate, or a better limit.

Now days, the internet has changed the way people research topics. I’ve found the best way to find a good product is to find a site that helps you compare similar products side by side. Are you interested in credit cards that offer airline rewards? How about credit cards that offer hotel and travel rewards? Maybe you are just looking for the credit card that would be right for your business, or one with low interest rates. There are even credit cards for poor credit.

Some people feel loyal to certain credit card companies, it’s only natural when you’ve had them for so long, but why not see if they can offer you a better card? Your time is precious and getting the best credit card for you is important to your lifestyle.