How to Maintain Your Credit Rating During Tough Times.

by Wade Barnes 18. December 2008

Good Credit vs. Bad Credit

Credit ratings are complied by the three credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. They all have slightly different methods and they are ever evolving but basically, credit scores are a compilation of the following:

Payment History
Outstanding Debt
Length of Time on Established Accounts
Number of Inquiries
Types of Credit

The list is in order of most important to least important with regards of impact on your credit rating. It is important to remember to always pay your bills on time. If you are unable to make a payment, talk to your lender. Most lenders will work with customers who need help.
Be sure not to max out credit cards and other credit lines. As outstanding balances reach credit limits, this has a negative impact on your credit rating. Be sure to keep old accounts open, this helps establish a positive history. Keep the number of inquires to a minimum and diversify your borrowing methods (don't have all credit card debt).

Although times may be tough, the most important factor is to make payments. If you struggle making payments talk to your lender. I can't emphasize that enough.

If you are working to rebuild your credit, remember the factors that impact your rating. Every little bit will help get you back on the road to an improved credit rating.

A great step in evaluating your position is to get a free copy of your credit report. Although the credit bureaus charge for your credit score, each bureau is obligated to provide you with one free copy of your report every year. You can obtain your free copy by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.

Feel free to be in touch with comments, suggestions, or questions.

Wade Barnes wbarnes@1stmarinerbank.com

Rebate company files for Chapter 11

by Admin 21. November 2008

Recently, one of the nation’s largest rebate processing firms filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. So, how will you be affected? If you happen to mail-in a rebate form with a company that CPG or RebateStatus.com works with, your check may be in limbo.Currently, no one can predict how this will be handled, however, there are a few things you can do to manage your risk. Dealnews recommended that anyone who has a rebate check or expecting one not cash it due to the possibility of it bouncing and resulting in an NSF fee. Instead, they recommend hanging on to it until more details are available.If you are not sure if one of your rebates is even involved, below is a partial list of affected companies or you can go to rebatestatus.com and check. There should be a formal statement from the company within the next few days.

  • Acronis Software
  • ACTIVSION
  • Advance Auto Parts
  • Antec
  • AVG
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • BIC Corporations US - Shaver Division
  • BFG
  • Bridgevine
  • Canon
  • Citibank
  • costco
  • Fujitsu
  • Home Depot
  • Logitech
  • Motorola (Surfboard cable modems)
  • Natures Earth Products
  • Nero
  • Panda Distribution
  • Pandigital
  • PC Tools
  • PriceGrabber
  • Rosewill (Newegg house brand)
  • Samsung
  • Smith Micro Software
  • Tabletops Unlimited
  • TrendNET
  • Westinghouse
  • XFX
  • ZeroTherm
  • Zyxel

Steve Kruskamp Jr.'s Facebook profile

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Gmail adds themes to update look

by Admin 20. November 2008

Finally, Google has decided to enable themed customization to their Gmail application. Currently, there is a small amount of customization available in the Labs feature but if you wanted a custom look you were stuck with using a third-party design like the Gmail Redesigned Skin in Better Gmail. Now you have the option of 30 new themes to keep your inbox spicy.

Unfortunately, thanks to Google’s slow roll out policy, I still don’t see the themes tab in my settings. If you are experiencing the same thing just give it a couple of days before you see the option. Having seen some screen shots, I think these new themes are great or at least a lot nicer than the ones available in iGoogle.

Check them out at the official Gmail blog. Which one do you like best?

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