How Do I Establish Credit?

How do I best position or establish myself to be able to obtain financing? Whether it is for a car or a home, the beginning is the same. It has been my experience that most car financing companies are looking for a minimum of credit that has already been established and proven for a minimum amount of time. What do I mean by this? As a Business Manager at car dealerships for over 10 years I have found these companies are looking for at least 3 trade lines (3 types of credit) usually credit card, installment loan, and perhaps a line of credit with at least one of them being for a minimum amount of $2500 dollars. This is how I recommend you start to establish credit. Once you do this you are well on your way to a 700 plus credit score.

This is only one way to accomplish this. Take $2,500 from savings and open a secured line of credit. For those who do not have $2,500 start with $500 and follow the same steps. I am available to help anyone with an individual plan. Now, this can be done usually at a local credit union as they have different rules then your traditional banking institutions. For those who are not familiar with the secured concept you will deposit the money in the bank and agree to leave it there while the bank opens an account in the amount you deposited. Make your first transaction in your line of credit a deposit of $1,000 dollars and open a secured installment loan. This can actually be done at the same institution on the same day and then take the check they give you and deposit that check into an account to open a secured credit card. This will give you 3 different type of credit accounts with one of them being at least $2,500!

Having made these transactions you will have a total of $4,500 dollars in credit extended to you. Now all you need to do is make your payments on time for the next 6 to 9 months and you will have created a very good credit score with all the qualifiers the financing companies are looking for. This is not always as easily done as said. There are other considerations you want to keep in mind. You will need to utilize these accounts and keep track of what you spend in these accounts. To achieve the best credit score I suggest you keep your charges at no more than 40% of the accounts available credit and keep your monthly balance at or below 30% of your credit limit. This will show the credit companies that you use the credit responsibly and give you the best scores you can achieve with the credit scoring models. This has been my experience over the course of my financing career. While I don’t claim to know the actual formula this is what has produced the best scores with my clients in the past.

By the time you have done this and made these payments on time you will have the credit necessary to purchase your first financed car. Now you will need to have the financial means (income) for most folks that is a job but the type of income is of less importance then the amount of income as these companies use a table of ratios to qualify you. Provided you meet their criteria you will get a car loan approved in your name.

Let us assume that you have qualified for a car loan. We have no reason to think you have not given up on the plan and have gone ahead and made your car payments for the following year. You will have made all your payments on time for over 2 years. On over 4 different types of credit now you should be able to qualify or least be credit worthy of qualifying and applying for a mortgage. You will have made all your payments for 2 years straight and established yourself as a good credit risk. You have raised the levels of your credit to a point well above the $4500 level when you bought your car. Now you need only have the income and savings qualifiers to get approved for a home loan. When you apply to buy a home you will be subject to qualifying based on a table of ratios; bills to income, payment to income both before and after the house payment is taken into consideration. By following the rules and steps laid out in this article you should be credit worthy to buy a home that is within your means. You will have established your credit and achieved a good credit score.

Best And Worst Times To Trade In The Forex Market

Did you know that you need to trade at specific times of the day in order to make a good profit? Here are some of the best and worst times to trade Forex:

Best Times To Trade

European-North American Overlap: this is the time when both the New York and London trading centers are open. During this time, you are able to trade using all the European currencies. The best time to trade is between 8:00 AM and 11:00 AM in New York and between 8:00 Am and 20:00 AM in Frankfurt.

The best currencies to trade during this time are: USD/CHF, GBP/USD, EUR/USD. It’s also wise to go for any other currency pair involving the United States and an European nation.

Asian-European overlap: Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong overlap Frankfurt and London trading centers creating a great trading time. The best currencies to trade during this time are Japanese Yen and European Yen crosses.

Australian-Asian overlap: here the Australian and New Zealand markets overlap the Asian markets of Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. The best currencies to trade during this time are Australian and New Zealand dollars. You should also trade the crosses of these currencies. Great pairs that you should go for are: AUD/USD, EUR/AUD, AUD/JPY, NZD/USD, NZD/JPY and AUD/NZD.

The best time to trade is from 9:00 PM until Midnight as this is the time when Tokyo, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, and New Zealand markets are all open at the same time.

Worst Times To Trade

Just like there are the best times to trade, there are equally the worst times to trade. The worst times to trade include:

Thin markets: the New York market is the most active market and runs from 9:00 AM to 5 PM. When it closes, there are other markets in Australia and New Zealand that you can trade; however, they are very thin. The price spreads in these markets might widen a lot thus putting you at a higher risk of losing money.

After news breaks: political and economic news tend to create a whiplash effect in the Forex market thus making it impossible to tell the direction that the market will take. To avoid losing money, you should avoid trading immediately after news breaks. This is to enable you to first understand the direction of the market.

Conclusion

These are some of the best and worst times to trade in the Forex market. If you didn’t know, now you know, right?

Home Buyers: Don’t Overlook These Budget Drainers

You can probably list all of your major expenses and the amount paid for each one every month off the top of your head. However, that total is likely significantly less than your net income. So where is all that extra money going? Maybe you have stopped eating out (and going out) in an effort to save money to buy a house. Or perhaps you are simply trying to figure out how much you can comfortably afford to spend every month on a mortgage payment. To do this, you are going to need to thoroughly evaluate where all your money goes so you can then determine where you can cut back and save.

Insurance – If you are trying to figure out how much house you can afford, don’t forget to factor health, automobile, life, and homeowner’s insurance premiums into the equation.

Transportation – Gas, public transportation, and parking need to be considered. If you drive to work every day consider carpooling or taking advantage of public transportation to save money.

Recreational Activities – Gym, CrossFit, or yoga packages can be quite costly. If you like to go camping, biking, etc., don’t forget about the gear necessary for these activities.

Vacation – You don’t necessarily want to say goodbye to vacations indefinitely after you buy a house. Factor in a set amount every month to contribute to a “vacation fund.” Consider skipping the more expensive vacations and replacing with a camping trip or kayaking tour.

Health – Do you generally spend money on supplements, essential oils, fair trade teas, and cold pressed juice cleanses? Health-related products are items you really want to try to keep in your budget, but that does not mean you can’t reduce your allocated budget for. Ordering in bulk online will generally save you money while investing in a juicer will eliminate that $200 three-day cleanse you do every month.

Kids – Everyone tells you kids are expensive, but you don’t fully understand this until you have one. Every time you turn around they need money for school lunches, class outings, extracurricular activities, school supplies, etc. You don’t want to deprive them of these things, but you can keep an eye on how much you are spending on name brand clothes and electronic gadgets.

The easiest way to accurately evaluate where your money goes every month is to write down every penny you spend. This can seem like a daunting task, but committing to it for even just one month will help you determine where money is being spent and where you may be able to cut back.

Safe Money Investing in a Turbulent Stock Market

There are a few things you need to know to make sure you are investing your money safely. The first thing is the stock market is not a very safe place to put all your eggs in one basket. You really need to diversify your portfolio in order to make sure you are keeping pace with inflation.

Have you heard of institutions or advisors that invest your money and they have control of your finances like Bernie Madoff or The Stanford Financial Group. Many people just opened accounts and let these type of financial organizations invest all of their money. The problem is that whether these guys made money or lost money they still were paid high commissions on your money. They also had full control of your money so these institutions or individuals ran illegal Ponzi schemes using your money and as long as they continued to get new money from investors it seemed like they were investing your money the right way. They guaranteed rates of return of 10% and higher.

The problem I have with not having control of your own finances is that you never know whats going on with your money. The investors became creditors of these institutions and many never recouped the money they invested.

As an investment advisor, I always make sure that my clients can log in and manage their own money and check to see how their investments are performing.

The stock market is very unpredictable and is taking large declines, as of this writing, and my focus is to not have any losses when you invest your money and to be as tax efficient as possible. I have invested millions of dollars and I make sure that losses are not part of my philosophy. You still need to invest in a 401k plan if it is offered at your work but diversify your investments in your 401k plan and make sure to allocate some in the money market sector to limit exposure.

I utilize annuities and insurance as a way to invest large sums of money and still get great returns ranging from 7% and up with no risk of losing any principal even in a down market. If you invest strictly in a fixed annuity you will not keep pace with inflation. If you invest in a variable annuity you will be subject to stock market risk which could have large losses. I am an expert in indexed annuities and I have sold millions of dollars of them and they keep growing because of the safety of principal and also having the ability to keep pace with inflation and the tax deferral of the gains is important.

When you invest large amounts in indexed annuities you also have low management fees unlike variable annuities, which like the stock market needs a person to manage the funds which adds to the fees. Indexed products are compared to a benchmark, such as the S&P 500 or other index and thus lower fees to operate. The purchase of an indexed annuity comes with serious compliance to make sure this type of investment is right for you. First, I need to make sure that since your money is locked in for a certain period that this is investment is right for the investor. The company will also make sure this investment is right for the purchaser and then the investor has a free look period to make sure the investment fits. Most of the time an annuity is not right for a person who is in the late 70’s or 80’s but compliance will determine this depending on the situation. If a client is closer to 80 years old we then look at indexed life insurance policies to see if we can solve a problem for them. I do a good job of due diligence to make sure my clients fit the product that solves their money issues.

My take on the investing is invest safely and make sure you have a person who takes a fiduciary duty in your well being. The stock market has made a lot of rich individuals but also made a lot of individuals lose lots of hard earned money. Why not take advantage of a well established product that is safe and has no losses? If the stock market goes down by 50% you don’t worry about any losses and that gives you peace of mind and confidence that you can retire wealthy when the time comes. When you take the worry out of your investments and you have control because you can log into your own website and check the performance you know that your money is safe. Your safe money author has experience and years of providing excellent service to all of my clients.

How to Choose a Credit Union That Fits Your Needs

More and more people these days are switching from a big bank to a credit union, and for good reason. With instances of fraud on the rise and with reasonable interest rates harder to come by, the appeal of a member-owned, not-for-profit organization speaks for itself. If you’re thinking of choosing a credit union, it’s important to consider a few key elements to determine which one is best for you.

Personal Affiliations and Memberships

Most of these institutions are associated with specific organizations, and you often have to be a member to join. However, this is not always as restrictive as it sounds. While some require that their members be a part of a specific religious group or professional organization, qualifications for others are as simple as maintaining a residence in a specific area. Many members consider this an advantage, as the benefits and services offered by these organizations generally cater to members’ interests and concerns. For example, a religiously affiliated credit union might provide tuition assistance for members whose children attend faith-based schools. It’s important to explore what’s available in your area to see what fits you and make sure that you meet their criteria.

Loans and Credit Cards

One of the more well-known benefits of using a credit union is that they often offer more competitive interest rates on credit cards and loans, as well as a wider range of borrowing options. Some of the types of loans that are offered include: vehicle, home, personal, student, and specialty loans (based on the organization). In addition to providing reasonable rates, unions also provide dividends to their members in the event of an income surplus.

Convenience

While almost every lending institution is current with modern technology these days, it’s important to make sure that the one you’re considering offers the amenities you expect. If online banking, bill pay, and mobile banking are must-haves for you, check to ensure the organization provides those services. Additionally, take a look at the location or locations and see how many are in your area. Inquire as to whether the locations include a lobby, drive-up, ATM, or a combination of the three, and ask about the surcharge for using ATMs at other facilities. It’s become common now for smaller institutions to offer surcharge-free use of ATMs that bear specific logos in order to make accessing your accounts easier, so make sure to ask if the one you’re thinking of joining offers such a program.

With a growing level of distrust for corporate, for-profit organizations, especially those that deal with personal finances, it’s no surprise that credit union memberships are steadily growing. As non-profit organizations owned by their members, they each offer their own brand of services and features, from specialty loans to scholarship programs, and boast competitive interest rates on loans and credit cards. As the trend toward making the switch continues, most offer all of the amenities you’d rely on from a big bank, only without the concerns, which makes handling your finances convenient, safe, and satisfying.