Archive for May, 2013

6 Things to Know About Credit Scores   FICO isn’t the only number in town. The score that counts is the one your lender uses.   By Jessica L. Anderson, August 2012

1. There is no single number.The compilers of the widely accepted FICO credit score allow lenders to customize their system, so different lenders produce different scores. Plus, each of the credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax and TransUnion—has a proprietary scoring model. As if that weren’t enough, the credit bureaus together invented VantageScore a few years ago to compete with FICO.   2. Different scales, different scores. FICO scores range from 300 to 850. You’ll need about 760 or better for the best mortgage rates, but a score of 720 should be sufficient to get you the best deal on an auto loan. About 10% of lenders now use VantageScore, which ranges from 501 to 990 and has corresponding letter grades from A to F. The best rates go to borrowers with scores in the A range (above 900). If you are denied a loan or given less than the best rate, a lender must tell you the score it used, along with the corresponding range and factors that adversely affected your score.   3. Do a credit checkup. You can monitor your credit yourself by requesting a free report once a year from each of the credit bureaus through www.annualcreditreport.com. But the free report won’t include your credit score; you’ll pay about $8 to get the credit bureau’s proprietary number. The majority of lenders (especially mortgage lenders) use FICO scores, however, so if you’re in the market for a loan, that is the one you want. At www.myfico.com, you can get your credit report and a FICO score from Equifax or TransUnion (but not Experian) for $20.

4. Free doesn’t always mean free. If you are just looking for a ballpark estimate of how you’re doing, go to www.credit.com. You’ll get free estimates of your FICO score and VantageScore along with Experian’s own PLUS score. Sites such as www.freecreditscore.com and www.creditreport.com, however, will give you a free PLUS score, but only if you sign up for a free trial subscription to a credit-monitoring service; if you don’t cancel in seven days, the service costs $15 to $20 a month. Likewise, at MyFICO.com, you can get your FICO score free, but only if you accept a trial subscription to the com­pany’s Score Watch system.   5. Maintain credit health. All of the scores measure the same factors from the information in your credit file, and they all indicate the same thing: creditworthiness. Try to keep your credit-utilization ratio low—that is, be aware of the amount of debt you have compared with the amount of available credit you have. A history of paying your bills on time helps. Having a variety of loans—for example, a revolving line of credit (such as a credit card), a car payment and a mortgage—will boost your score, too.

6. It’s a moving target. The information in your credit files at the bureaus is continually changing—and so will your score. If you’re about to apply for a loan, check your reports for mistakes that could impact your score. Pay down balances as much as possible. And if you’re not applying for a credit card or making a big-ticket purchase anytime soon, says Jason Alderman, a senior director at Visa, “it doesn’t matter what your score is tomorrow.”

Read more at http://www.kiplinger.com/article/credit/T017-C000-S002-6-things-to-know-about-credit-scores.html#bMBmLxhkAMGvDZEe.99

What’s The Key To Getting Results In Your Business?
By Peter Hobler

Here’s a question everyone wants to know the answer to! Another way to ask it would be “I feel like I’m doing everything, why aren’t I getting results?”, or “Why aren’t I getting the same results so and so is?”

Why do some individuals get great results and make a lot of money while most just keep on spinning their wheels and going nowhere?

Is it the marketing? Is it the training? Is it because there’s not a system to follow? Could it be a lack of desire or commitment?

The answer to each of these could be “Maybe.”

The more realistic response boils down to the basic fact that the majority of people do not have a clue about how to be efficient as far as utilizing their time, to manage themselves and be extremely productive in order to get the results they simply dream about.

There are a lot of different theories on how to be efficient and productive. Most of them seem to be focused on “Time Management”. It has to be challenging attempting to manage something that’s so limited and therefore so valuable.

Time cannot increase. Time will not change. Time is a constant and it’s always on the go. There’s never enough time to do all the things we think we have to do.

The bottom line? It’s how we manage ourselves in the time we have. Let me repeat this. It’s how efficiently and effectively we manage ourselves that directly determines what kind of results we get.

In reading a great piece by Andrew Cass today called “Extreme Productivity Secrets”, it became evidently clear how we can make changes so we can get the results we want.

In order to recondition ourselves and develop new patterns, we have to figure out what we want and then erase the old patterns we have allowed to linger for way too long. You know, the ones that have so many people stuck in the comfort rut in which they get so mired down with all the muck of their unaware mindset.

The process starts with knowing what you want. Next comes finding a vehicle having the methodology and potential to take us to our destination and get us what we want and to where we want to be (and maybe even who we want to be).

Structure, organization, focus and discipline are core components that will align us and keep us heading in the right direction.

Mindset and patience are virtues that will keep us energized and keep us from quitting. Quitters never get results. (Though there may be times when tweaking what you are doing can really be beneficial).

Choose a particular time of day when you can laser focus in on the vital revenue producing activities that will get you the results you desire. Think about them in detail. Set them as your daily goals the night before.

Make sure there are NO distractions of any kind. Period. Set up your focus time blocks. Commit to them and make sure you get them done each and every day in line with your productivity plan, preferably first thing in the day

This means making a commitment to yourself. This is not being selfish, which is when someone doesn’t care about anyone but themselves.

It is be self-centered, which is the ability to focus on yourself first in order to grow and transform, to make yourself strong. Now you can be strong for others in your life.

It’s really important to realize that during your productivity time periods you schedule each day, to put on record to let anyone and everyone know that no matter what there are no distractions allowed. Have the awareness to avoid multi-tasking at all costs. This is poison for productivity.

Design a personal productivity plan and a self-management plan. Figure out what you want, what you need to do and schedule your time blocks or time batches when you will do your most important productive actions, activities that will get you closer to your goals.

Don’t give overwhelm an ounce of energy or it will distract you and sap you. Be your own boss and be accountable!

As Andrew Cass says, “Extreme Productivity = Maximum Profits.” Commit. Focus. Take daily action. No more procrastination!

Put your productivity plan and self-management plan into action and replace the terrible feeling you get when overwhelm and procrastination are in control, with the feeling of tremendous results so you can be the successful entrepreneur you envision!


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