Category Archives: Personal Finance

5 Ways You Could Be Hurting Your Credit Score Even If You Are Paying Your Bills In A Timely Manner

News To Watch Credit Score Breakdown

If you pay make regular credit card payments that are well above the minimum, and no one is hassling you about outstanding bills you might assume that your credit score is getting healthier or at least maintaining its current level. But there are some mistakes that consumers don’t even realize they’re making that could be hurting their FICO numbers.

Here are some ways you can help your credit:

1. Not Paying Attention To Credit Balances

You don’t have to be in deep debt to creditors to harm your credit score, especially if you don’t have a substantial line of credit to begin with.

Your “amount of debt” is the second-biggest chunk of your FICO score (after your payment history), accounting for about one-third of the calculation, and your debt-to-credit ratio has a big impact on this figure.

If the balance owed on any revolving account is higher than 40% “or 30% with one bureau” of its available credit, it’s negatively impacting your score. So someone with $1,000 in debt and $10,000 in credit isn’t hurting themselves, but if that same person only has $3,000 in credit with $1,000 in debt, their credit score is worse for it.

This is why you should be cautious when closing out credit card accounts even if they don’t carry a balance. The loss of that available credit pushes your debt-to-credit ratio higher.

2. Co-Signing Loans

We’ve told you horror stories in the past of family members left on the hook for loved ones’ loans after the borrower died or became unable to pay, but if that borrower misses a payment or comes up short on payments your credit score may start sinking without you even realizing why.

3. Applying For Too Many Lines Of Credit

It can be so tempting to take advantage of promotions like 0% financing or cards with huge rewards bonuses for new members. Even if you have no problem paying off the purchases made with these new lines of credit, merely applying for these accounts results in “hard pull” inquiries of your credit report, which accounts for 5-10% of your score.

4. Paying Cards Off Monthly

Maintain at least a small balance on a credit card or two monthly.  Paying your credit off every month doesn’t allow for the credit bureaus to view your payment history and its possible to have no score if you never show payments being made on your accounts because you are paying them off and the bureaus always see $0 balance.

5. Close Card Accounts If You Have Too many Unused Accounts

If you keep credit cards that are unused, it may increase your score by closing some of the unused accounts.

Why You Should Do an Annual Life Insurance Review

Like many types of insurance, a life insurance policy is something that you should update regularly. Signing up for coverage is a great start, but as life changes, so should your policy. There are many factors that could impact how well you’re insured. Reviewing your policy annually will help you determine if any changes need to be made. Without a check-up, you could easily be left underinsured and susceptible to a lack of coverage. Make an annual life insurance review part of your yearly financial planning. It might be worth more than you think. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the reasons for updating your life insurance policy regularly.

Major life events such as getting married, divorced or starting a family can have a major impact on your life insurance needs. If you’ve added another member to the family, you may need to increase the amount of your coverage so your family will be further protected in your absence. If you’ve recently divorced, you may want to start a new policy all together or adjust your current beneficiaries.

Conversely, events that happen toward the end of your life may make your policy that much more affordable. If you’ve retired in the last year, you may want to limit your death benefit. You and your partner may have enough money to live out the remainder of your life without the help a hefty life insurance policy. If your children have grown, moved away or gone off to college, you may want to lower the amount of your policy now that your children are no longer financially dependent. If you’ve paid off your mortgage, your living expenses might be that much cheaper. Thus, your beneficiaries might need that much less to live on in the event of your absence.

As you update your life insurance policy annually, it’s also important to compare policies and prices across different companies. As the years go by, another insurance provider may be able to offer you and your family a better policy. Keep your life insurance up-to-date. It makes all the difference.

If you’re evaluating your current life insurance and would like a life insurance quote, or to compare life insurance rates online, click here.


In my 20+ years as an independent life and disability insurance broker, I have personally assisted thousands of clients with their life and disability insurance needs. As a national broker, I am licensed to write life and disability insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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The Top Reasons People Put Off Buying Life Insurance

Many families put off buying life insurance for various reasons. The excuses that come up are usually the same. Signing up for life insurance may not seem like a high priority at the moment, but life (and death) happens unexpectedly. When you put off getting life insurance, your family members are the ones who are really being put at risk. Don’t wait! Sign up for a life insurance policy today so you and your family can rest easily knowing that they’ll be covered in the event of an accident. Let’s touch on some of the reasons people delay getting life insurance and why those reasons should be dismissed.

  1. “I Know That I’m Healthy; Life Insurance Can Wait

It’s a common misconception that if you’re young and healthy, you don’t need life insurance. But you’re not insuring yourself and your family against the improbable and the unforeseeable. Being in good health does not make you immune to life’s many accidents and tragedies. The truth is that if you’re under 40 with a clean health record, this is the best time to sign up for a life insurance policy. By buying now, you’ll have a lower monthly rate and get access to more life insurance plan options.


  1. “I Can’t Afford Life Insurance Because I Have a Pre-Existing Condition”

Yes, having a pre-existing condition can alter your life insurance policy and you’ll probably pay a higher rate. However, the price of your policy will also be determined by how you treat your condition. If you’ve been diagnosed with a disorder or a disease, a proper lifestyle and preventative healthy habits can lower your monthly payment.  Additionally, if your health is deteriorating, you don’t want to put your family in any more jeopardy. Signing up for life insurance should become an even higher priority.


  1. “I Don’t Want to Go Through a Medical Exam”

The medical exam used in applying for life insurance is just like a routine physical. It usually involves a blood and a urine sample and monitoring things like you’re your heart rate, weight, and height. There’s nothing scary about it. Plus, if there are any issues with your health, you’ll want to know sooner rather than later.


  1. “I’m Not Ready to Face Death”

A fear of death can make people act superstitiously and illogically. Applying for life insurance does not make death any more probable. In fact, a life insurance policy may help you face your fears and help to prolong the inevitable. Death is a natural part of life. Don’t let your fear of it get in the way of protecting your loved ones.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Crossing life insurance off of your to-do list comes as a huge relief and will be deeply satisfying for you and your loved ones. Good health or bad health, sign up for life insurance today so your family will be protected under any circumstances. You’ll be glad you did!


In my 20+ years as an independent life and disability insurance broker, I have personally assisted thousands of clients with their life and disability insurance needs. As a national broker, I am licensed to write life and disability insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

    Find more about me on:

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