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Don Knotts Has Passed Away

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I don’t know about you, but I grew up with Don Knotts. From watching him in “The Andy Griffith Show” to seeing him in “Three’s Company.” He was a joy to watch and he could always make you laugh. I also enjoyed seeing him in “Pleasantville.”

My deepest condolences go out to his family and friends. May he rest in peace.

Technorati Tags: don+knotts, andy+griffith+show, threes+company, pleasantville

Do You Know Where Your Credit Cards Are?

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A good rule of thumb is to never let your credit cards leave your sight.

One of the things that make me cringe is paying at restaurants. Most of the time, a waitress will come to the table and mention that she can take your card and process your payment. I don’t let her do that. I politely mention that I will take my card up to the register when I am ready to pay.

Often, I do get a funny look. And I don’t mean to insult the staff. I just think it is a good habit to have because you never know when your card could end up in the wrong hands.

Technorati Tags: credit, credit+cards, processing+payment

Free Annual Credit Report

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You are entitled to get a free copy of your credit report every year. Free is a great price, and something to take advantage of. All you need to do is go to the following site:

https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp

After you receive your report, look through it carefully for anything that looks suspicious. If something does look fishy, get on the phone and find out more information. You may find out that it was just something you have forgotten about, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Technorati Tags: annual+credit+report, free+credit+report

Consolidating Student Loan Debt

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You see advertisements all over the place where you can get really low student loan consolidation rates. Just be careful and do your research!!

My student loans have been consolidated together. At the time, the interest rate wasn’t that low, but what it did was lump the debt together and I only had to make one loan payment a month. I really enjoyed that feature. My husband’s loans are also consolidated.

Now, why did we consolidate our loans together to have just one huge loan?? There are a few big reasons why we haven’t done that. Please note that this might not hold true for all consolidation vendors, but it did for the company our loans are through. The minute we put those two loans together, they cannot ever be separated. Now, I hope to be married for life, but things can happen. It’s not too hard to divide the checking account balance. It would be very difficult to try to split up student loan payments. So that is one reason. Another big reason is that both of our names would be tied to the large consolidated amount. If something happened to one of us, the other would be responsible for the full amount. As I understand it right now, if something happened to me tomorrow, my loan would be forgiven and my husband would not have to pay it back. That would not be the case if we combined our loans together.

Don’t take my word for everything here, because this has just been my experience. Things could be different for a company that you are consolidating your student loan debt through. Just be cautious and read the fine print.

Technorati Tags: debt, student+loan+consolidation, student+loan, consolidate+debt

Calling Your Credit Card Companies

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You may have heard that something to try with your credit cards is to call and see if they will lower your rate. This tactic can work even better if you can threaten to move your balance to another credit card.

I have tried that with credit card #1, the big kahoona. They did lower my interest rate from 9.99% to 7.99%. I was pretty happy with myself and pretty proud that I was able to negotiate a lower interest rate.

Not even two months later, I get a change in terms of agreement from my card. They were raising my rate to 10.99%!! I started to wonder if that was my punishment for negotiating a lower credit card rate. Since then, it has grown and grown to it’s present rate of 16.9%. Have I been late with a payment – no. Have I done anything different – no. They just decided they needed more money from me.

I want to call again so badly, but I am not a fibber. They will see right through me when I say I can transfer my balance (it’s almost $24,000 remember) to another credit card. I have a feeling they will just laugh at me. Times like these I wish I was more agressive. Or at least I’d get a very nice card offer in the mail 🙂

Technorati Tags: credit, credit+card, negotiating+credit+card+rates, lower+interest+rate

Less Late Fees = More Money to Pay Debt

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I don’t know about everyone else, but I do not like late fees. I don’t mean to return something late, but it seems as though with everything going on my life, making sure a video is returned is the last thing on my mind. Or making sure that credit card is paid on time…. Or making sure your bills are paid by the due date…

The list goes on and on.

Late fees are all over, and I actually keep track of the late fees I pay within my Quicken file. I want to see how they add up and then take a good look at them. I started doing that a few years ago, and I have been doing so much better with avoiding late fees.

Technorati Tags: late+fees, avoiding+late+fees, credit+card+late+fees

Smarter Auto Loan Debt

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When you are thinking about buying your next vehicle, think twice before purchasing a brand new car. The minute you drive that car off the lot the value of the car declines by thousands of dollars. Unless you are putting down a good amount of money for a down payment – your car loan will quickly surpass your car’s value.

To prevent this, try to find a nice gently used vehicle. The price is often more affordable and you will not suffer the huge loss in value that you encounter with a new vehicle. In a nutshell, you will get more car for your buck, financially speaking.

Unfortunately, mechanically speaking, that is a whole different story. Any car you purchase is worth trying to negotiate a warrenty.

Technorati Tags: auto+loan, car+loan, down+payment, car+value