Entries from September 2011 ↓

How to Choose the Best Student Bank Account in 2011

Here’s one more thing to add to your back-to-school checklist: a student bank account. Whether you are a new-on-campus freshman or a graduate student, student bank accounts can be the best way for you to handle your finances. Student accounts often come with perks like access to financial advisors, as well as important bonuses like free overdraft protection that will help you ease into the world of managing your money. So what should you keep in mind when choosing a student bank account?

–          Do you qualify for a student account at this bank? Some banks require you to be enrolled in a full-time program, while others will grant student accounts to part-time or continuing education students as well. Some will even give young clients access to a similar bank account program even if they are not enrolled as students. Do your research to see where you fit in.

–          What kind of loans will you need? If you are planning on borrowing money to help you get through school, you may need a bank loan in addition to a federal student loan. Find out if your student account will make you eligible for any extended loan programs that will allow you to start paying back after graduation.

–          Does your account come with a line of credit? Even if you’ve never had a credit card before, it’s important to get one now and start building credit. But don’t let that become an excuse for living beyond your means. College can be a time of new opportunities, and without adult supervision, it can be tempting to swipe your new credit card to pay for a flat-screen TV, a brand-new wardrobe, or even a birthday gift for your girlfriend from one of those diamond stores in the mall. Use your credit card sensibly and pay it off often to slowly build a good credit score. In 2011, it’s not a good idea to buy diamonds or high-end electronics unless you can really afford it.

–          Does this bank offer the convenience and access that you need? A small, local bank may offer a tempting deal with perks and bonuses, but keep in mind your own weakness for hitting up ATM’s in your neighborhood instead of trekking out to your bank. Withdrawing from ATM’s belonging to other banks these days can often cost up to $5 per withdrawal—those fees can add up fast. Consider joining a bank with many branches and ATMs in your area to avoid ATM fees.

–          Most college students these days rely on their laptops, tablets, and smartphones to help them do everything from do research and write papers to socialize and date. You can also use your phone to help you manage your money responsibly. Many banks that offer student accounts now also have smartphone applications that can help you check your balance and make transfers on the go. If you download a banking app, be sure to password-protect it with a secure code that you change often.

Life Without Debt

–          Sooner or later, you are going to want to make some major purchases—a better laptop for a video editing course, some furniture for your first real apartment, and a car. Eventually, there will be even bigger purchases—a house, a wedding ring. Get started in good financial habits now by choosing a bank that will teach you how to handle credit responsibly.

–          What does the bank expect you to do after graduation? Find out about the payment plan for any student loans you may have taken out—does the bank expect you to start paying immediately upon graduating, or when you get your first job? Will you be able to keep your current account or will you have to transfer to a regular account that may have checking minimums and fees?

Article written by Whiteflash.

5 Tips for Preventing Identity Theft

Identity theft may not involve someone breaking into your house at night or pointing a gun at you in a bank, but it can be just as scary. That’s because your identity is one thing you have that cannot be replaced and, once someone steals your identity, the process of getting it back can be lengthy and painstaking. There are safety measures you can take to lessen your chances of ever having to recover from this kind of violation. Here are five tips for preventing identity theft:

Use Password Protection

Make sure you choose a secure password to protect your credit account information. Use something other than the default “mother’s maiden name,” as this information can easily be obtained from your credit report and/or public records.

Question Information Requests

In most cases, it is not necessary for you to provide all of the information that is requested of you on government, employer, merchant, school and creditor forms. Before listing critical details like your social security number, ask why it is needed and verify that the reason is valid. Additionally, many identity theft schemes involve obtaining social security numbers and other personal information by way of telephone scams, so you should never give your social security number to a telephone agent unless you made the call or have verified the caller.

Shred Important Documents

Before you throw away mail or other items containing your identifying information, shred it. This includes things like bills, bank statements, personal letters, and credit cards. Identity thieves can find out a lot about people just by going through their garbage, and they often do.

Store Information Wisely

Don’t ever write down account numbers, passwords, pin numbers, or other personal information in a place where it can be found by an identity thief. Storing such information in your purse, wallet, or cell phone puts you at an increase risk of identity theft, as any thief can gain access to those items. Instead, try to memorize all of your important numbers, or keep them in a locked drawer in your office.

Avoid Phishing Scams

Email phishing scams involve sending an official-looking email, asking the recipient to verify personal information. These emails may appear to be from government entities, banks, charities, or sweepstakes agencies. Once the scammers get what they want, they can use that information to steal your identity.

Identity thieves are looking for new ways to access your personal information every single day. Don’t give them the chance. Protect yourself from identity theft by following these simple tips.

About the Author: Deborah Blair is a writer and blogger with a passion for personal finance and money saving tips. She writes about identity theft, credit repair, bad credit loans, and anything related to bettering one’s financial situation.

5 Ways to Save Money Every Day

Life Without Debt

Budgeting and saving money is the only way to achieve financial success and reach your personal financial goals. While working out the basics of your budget will save some money, it is possible to save more if you follow a few simple keys to make those every day purchases more affordable.

Buy in Bulk

While buying items in bulk might seem more expensive when you make the purchase, it ultimately saves money. For example, if you buy two tubes of toothpaste in a pack for six dollars, but one tube of toothpaste is four dollars when purchased separately, you end up saving two dollars when you next need toothpaste. Though two dollars might not seem like much, when you buy most items in bulk the savings add up by the end of the month.

Make Coffee at Home

Buying coffee while you are out of the house is usually an expensive venture. In fact, buying coffee beans and making it at home will give you several cups of coffee for the same price as that one or two cups purchased in the café. Instead of buying a cup of coffee at the café, make some at home and take a travel mug to take it with you. The savings will add up by the end of the year.

Bagged Lunch

Getting up in the morning and going to work is often hectic. Making your lunch and taking it to work might seem like more effort than it is worth, but it can result in saving as much as $80 to $100 a month in the end. Buying a lunch for four to five dollars a day adds up quickly and making a lunch only costs the amount of the supplies, which are typically much less than the purchased lunch.

Grocery List

Going to the grocery store often adds up if you do not create a list before shopping. The reason it adds up without a list is due to the fact that you are more likely to impulse buy rather than buying only what you need. For the best results in cutting back on your grocery expense, go to the store after you’ve eaten and when you only have about an hour. Having a time limit and not feeling hungry will further cut the impulse spending.

Buy Generic Items

Buying generic means purchasing the store brands rather than buying the name brands when you select purchases. In general, a generic brand is much less expensive. This is particularly true of over the counter medicines, which are equally effective against the illness. In the case of foods, you’ll want to try out a few items before determining which have the same taste and which you do not like the taste before switching.

Saving money does not mean you need to make major sacrifices. Instead, shopping smarter and limiting those extra luxuries to an occasional status will give you more money in the bank.

David Spader writes about the best saving accounts over at SavingsAccount.org. His recent review looked at the best CD rates.

What are Personal Loans Without a Bank Account

We have heard about all types of loans. There are loans to be taken out when you want to buy a home, a car and even to finance your college education. Personal loans are some of the most popular. You can get it if you need to do home renovations, car repair or even when you want to get that vacation you have always wanted to relax yourself from the stress of work. A different type of personal loan which most people do not know about are personal loans without a bank account.

Having no bank account makes it quite hard for lenders to approve your loan application. So, if you have no bank account yet, you should make it a point to open a checking account. However, there are just some people who cannot get their checking account application rejected. Most of the time this is because of chexsystems. You should know, however, that it is not the absence of good credit which hinders you from getting a checking account but it is being on the chexsystems.

There are three reputable banks in the United States which can help you open a checking account so that you can get that personal bad credit loan you want and need. These banks are the Bank of America (you can apply online), Etrade Bank and the US Bank. How to get 2000 dollars fast? Apply for that checking account so you can get the loan.

Apply for a checking account early, at least a month before you apply for a bad credit loan. It is important that you have all things ready and in order when you apply for the loan. This way you will get better chances of having that loan application approved. Get working now and get that money you badly need.

Are You Really Saving Money Online?

Life Without Debt

While traditional retailers seem to be struggling right now, many online businesses are booming. It seems that many of us, as consumers, are happy to spend money online.

We may do so for convenience and also because we believe that we’ll be getting a better deal. But is this always the case?

In theory, we might expect online businesses to have lower prices because they have lower costs involved when it comes to running the business. They are not, for instance, having to spend money on the costs associated with maintaining a prominent network of physical stores.

With this background in mind, it makes sense to think that we should be able to get better deals as a result.

But there are some problems with this theory. One thing that we may note, for example, is that plenty of the leading online stores do actually have a physical presence too. They’ve already invested money in “bricks and mortar” stores – now they’re having to spend more in order to promote their online operations. So are they really able to benefit from lower costs as a result?

How do you know if you’re making savings by shopping in this way? One of the great benefits of online shopping is that it’s incredibly transparent. You can quickly compare the prices that are offered by a wide range of stores. This is incredibly useful, allowing you to identify whether you really are getting a great deal. It should ensure that you’re only ever spending what you need to.

But how many of us regularly use online price comparison websites? Although we may know that they exist, a surprisingly small proportion of Internet users rely on them. This may partially be attributed to the fact that such sites don’t always offer a comprehensive snapshot of what’s available.

There may also be issues in terms of the information that’s presented. Do price comparisons take delivery charges into account? There’s no doubt that things can be a little “hit and miss”, although they do provide a starting point.

From our own experience, we’ve also seen that some consumers aren’t aware that coupons could also allow them to take advantage of discount offers online. Such coupons are often freely available and can be accessed within a matter of seconds.

It’s clear that there are tools out there to help you save online, but the reality is that you won’t actually be making savings unless you’re actively seeking out these tools. Retailers don’t like to remind you that they’re available!

Since shopping via the Internet is so convenient, there’s really no excuse for not shopping around.

But is there a danger that you’ll also end up spending a whole lot more than you really mean to? There’s certainly a chance that your list of purchases may grow. As you browse a particular website, you may end up adding a few extra items to your shopping cart. These impulse buys can often make a significant difference to the amount that you end up spending.

Having the necessary will-power to avoid such purchases is something that you may need to concentrate on developing!

Keith Barrett makes use of Littlewoods discount codes and vouchers offered by other online retailers in order to save money. He writes on a range of finance and consumer issues.

What is Credit ? Why its not easy to get anymore.

Life Without Debt

Credit is something that people in 2011 take almost for granted. That is unless you don’t have any left or you have “maxed out” your credit cards. Yet it was not long ago that our parents and grandparents did not live with such largesse.  There was not such a sense of immediacy – to have it now or that “I must have it now”.  It seemed that not only did previous generations not have access to easy credit – that the morals and the way that you lived your life ,and fulfilled your family’s needs was that you paid cash , and if you did not have the cash or could not afford it that you just did not buy the item or items. It’s certainly a sea change from current mores and practices.  Yet what is credit what are the basic definitions and basics of credit and being offered credit on term,

It seems that the word “credit” itself can be defined in more than one way and manner; one simple definition might be that “Credit is the exchange of goods and services in return for the promise to pay in the coming future”.  Two elements therefore are intrinsic to the word and phrase “credit”. The first of these is “futurity”.  Although the decision to grant credit may be (and usually is) based partly on past history of the potential debtor, the credit itself also embodies the future since the payment is in the future (as opposed to the present tense).  Payment is yet to come or arrive.

The other basic concept and series of concepts of dealing with credit and the issuing of credit terms is the element of “risk”.  True the risk may be exceedingly small, or alternatively it may be inherently very great. Yet regardless of the value of risk in any transaction, risk always exists to some degree – it never is zero.  That is a fact and truism of life. Nothing is 100 %, never can it be said that the issuance of credit is of zero percent risk – even if all parties and their history / personal and business history of records and transactions fully known and elaborated.

True and no doubt the degree of risk is also directly relative  to both the  amount of money or capital involved as well as the time spread between the transaction or transactions themselves  and the coming due date for payment or full repayment in kind.

Lastly in terms of  basic definitions and an essential understanding of credit and what the term “credit”:  and “credit terms” involve  that as both the amount and size of the credit expended or allocated tends to increase so does , in real terms , the actual degree of risk and risks themselves.

You may be loaning money to a good friend, you may be a banker or commercial loans officer or you may an auto dealership or automobile finance operation extending a time payment plan for the purchase of a car, truck or SUV. It can be best said that each and every decision whether or not to extend credit or money directly loaned to a friend or family member fundamentally involves the acceptability to the seller  ( that is the person , business or persons extending credit and credit terms )of the degree of risk itself.


Lindsay B. Bart

Western Auto Credit provides Edmonton & Fort Mc Murray northern Alberta auto buyers with transportation

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