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 that ratio goes higher than 40%, 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, 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.

Can you be too old for life insurance?

They say that age is nothing but a number, but for those looking to purchase life insurance, age can become a determining factor in their decision to obtain coverage. Premiums become higher as we age, however is there an age where you are essentially too old for life insurance?
The answer depends on whether or not life insurance is a valid investment for you and your loved ones, and whether or not you will be leaving people behind who are dependent on your income.

When determining whether or not life insurance is appropriate for you and your family as you move into your twilight years keep these factors in mind, as they will help you determine whether or not you are too old for life insurance:

Do you have dependents?
One of the biggest influences on your decision to buy life insurance at any age should be directly related to how many people depend on you financially. If you are working and your spouse or other members of your family depend on your income, then it might make sense to buy a policy even at a later age. With families having children later in life, adults are now finding themselves financially responsible for dependents well into their 60’s and beyond.

Do you own your assets outright?
If you own your home, car, and other investments outright and don’t have a large number of dependents, then life insurance might not be a smart investment for you later in life. Many times ones equity and savings can be enough to cover the costs of funerals, and provide financial security for your spouse or partner. If you don’t own your home, however, and have large car payments or other debt, a life insurance policy can help assure that your loved ones aren’t burdened by large payments in the future.

Can you cover your funeral expenses?
One of the main reasons that individuals over 60 purchase life insurance is due to funeral and memorial expenses. Many seniors don’t want to leave a burden on their loved ones, and taking out a small life insurance policy to help cover funeral and memorial services can be a safety net to assure your family isn’t paying out of pocket for the associated expenses.

Are you able to purchase term life insurance?
There are two types of life insurance policies to choose from: term, which covers you for a specific amount of time with lower premiums, and permanent life insurance, which has higher premium but covers you for life, as long as you pay your premiums. Age will be a determining factor in which insurance is available to you as many companies don’t offer term insurance to those over age 75.

While age does factor into premiums and the types of coverage available to you, the questions become less about whether or not you’re too old for life insurance, but whether or not purchasing life insurance makes sense in regard to your financial obligations.

We hope this guide helps give you some clarity when it comes to choosing whether or not life insurance would be beneficial to you as a senior. For any further questions please contact us. You can also use our convenient tool to get a term life insurance quote online.


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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Surprising Factors That Can Affect Life Insurance Premiums

Life insurance is important when it comes to protecting your family, and making sure they are secure in the wake of your death. However, sometimes budgeting in the costs of life insurance can be tough, especially if one of these surprising factors is boosting your premiums.

We have compiled a list of five surprising factors that might be affecting your life insurance premiums:

Where you travel

If you are an adrenaline junkie who loves traveling the globe looking for enticing adventures in dangerous locales, it could definitely have an impact on your premiums. Whether you love skydiving over The Moab or surfing exotic waves in Bali, adventure travel is a red flag for many insurance companies.  Even without the extra activities, insurance companies follow the U.S. State Department’s travel warnings, so travel to one or more of the countries on the list might lead to higher premiums and, potentially, a declination of coverage.

Co-Workers Health

If your company offers group premiums they may be higher if the average age and overall health of your coworkers is a red flag. If you work in a younger and healthier company, the costs of your premiums will reflect that. If your company has an exercise program and incentives this can be a huge benefit, as not only does it promote health, but it can also lower life insurance premiums

Bad Credit

Bad credit can have a negative impact on more than just your car and home loan payments or eligibility. Bankruptcy can also leave you with a high life insurance premium, as bad credit makes you a high risk individual.

Driving Record

If you like to drag race or have a history of drunk driving, your life insurance premiums are going to be much higher. Luckily your driving record is something you can actively work on., Driving safely is always a better option as it will not only decrease your auto insurance, but also your health and life insurance – it’s the trifecta.

Being a Man

According to the World Health Organization, American women live 4.6 years longer than American men, on average. However there are many other factors including men’s likelihood of having a more dangerous occupations, more dangerous hobbies, and societal risk including the fact that men have a higher exposure to homicide and suicide. All of these are reasons why life insurance policies are more expensive for men than women.

While some of the factors that affect life insurance premiums can be controlled, others are out of your hands. That’s why it is best to compare rates and be sure that you are getting the very best policy for your money.


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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