If only you were rich and didnt have to secure that extra credit card in college. Sigh. Girl, weve been there. Bad credit will literally ruin your for life, but it doesnt have to.
With over 100,000 followers on Instagram, @LuxuriousCredit is a trust source for financial improvement. Get their tips on how to improve your credit below:
Financial stability and security is something most adults desire. The unfortunate reality for many of us, however, is that by the time we reach true adulthood, weve made some costly decisions that impact our credit and our financial future for years to come. If youve had trouble managing your debt as a result of poor choices or unfavorable circumstances it can be difficult to know exactly where to begin in order to make a change. Whether youre struggling to pay back your student loan debt, looking for a way to repair damaged credit, or even searching for ways to maintain the healthy credit score you have already begun to build, these ten tips will get you moving in the right direction.
Tip 1- Don't Ignore Your Debt
"Out of sight...Out of mind" are not words to live by when it comes to debt. Ignoring your debt will not make it go away. In fact, neglecting to address your financial and credit issues only makes matters worse. A better approach is to list all of your debts so that you have a clear and realistic picture of your financial situation.
Tip 2- Obtain Your Credit Report
In order to repair your credit, you must know exactly what is in need of repair. The best way to find out is to request a copy of your credit report directly from the credit bureau. According to the FACT Act, all US citizens are entitled to one free copy of their credit report each year. This report will list your debts and payment history. This one simple step is the perfect place to start to repair some of the damage done during those young, wild, and free college years.
Tip 3- Study Your Own Credit History
There are three major credit reporting agencies that can provide your free annual credit report: TransUnion, Experian, and Equfax. Take the time to carefully review your credit report. Look for information that may be inaccurate or flat-out false. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, LuxuriousCREDIT.com can help simplify the process. You have the right to challenge and request to have any erroneous or unverifiable information removed. This may seem intimidating initially, but you CAN do it!
Tip 4- Speak The Language
When managing your credit, credit report, lenders, agencies, financial institutions and the like learn to speak the language of credit. Spend time with individuals who work in the credit and finance industry. Get a second opinion when necessary or reasonable.
Tip 5- Plan To Pay
Next, determine how much you can afford to repay each month until you have paid off all that you owe. By developing a repayment strategy you put yourself in control. Stick to your plan and pay your bills on time! Late payments are harmful to your credit.
Tip 6- Develop A Budget
Many people face financial hardship and even crisis at some point. Your situation doesn't have to go from bad to worse. Take control of your finances by getting real with yourself about your spending. Make a true assessment of how much money you have coming in and going out every month. List your income from all sources. List your "fixed" expenses such as rent or mortgage, food, transportation. List your variable expenses such as clothing, entertainment, and recreation. Analyze your spending habits, prioritize your spending, and create some financial goals.
Tip 7- The Will To Win
Before you attempt to effectively execute your new budget, take some time to record your current spending habits and trends. After a week or two, take a step back and look at where your money is being spent. Ask yourself, Is my spending truly aligned with my beliefs and priorities? Sticking to a budget requires a strong will. Once you determine your priorities, be disciplined so that your spending reflects what you truly value.
Tip 8- Credit Cards
The stereotypical starving college student barely has money for food, let alone the means to keep up with the latest fashion, tech, and pop-culture trends. Some do without. Others have just "gotta have it!" A department store card here, a credit card there and before you know it you're up to your neck in credit card debt. Think of credit cards as a type of high interest loan. Although you dont feel it when you swipe, it is NOT free money. Credit card debt will eventually have to be repaid, typically with sizable interest. Use credit cards responsibly.
Tip 9- Student Loan Debt
Being a college student requires a great deal of hard work, discipline, commitment, and money! There are countless benefits to a college education, but lets be honest, its not cheap. Most college students can reasonably expect to graduate with thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. If not managed properly, this debt can have a devastating impact on your credit and your future. A smart move, if you have both credit cards and student loan debt, is to go after the credit card debt first.
Tip 10- Pay Smarter, Not Harder
The best way to tackle debt is to simply dive in, head on, and begin to pay. However, as mentioned above, every smart consumer has a plan before attempting to maintain or repair credit through repayment. Dedicate the bulk of your available funds to your high interest debt first. The interest rate on your credit cards, for example, are likely much higher than the rates on your student loans. If this is true for you, tackle the credit card debt, and protect your credit from the nasty effects of high balances and missed or late payments, by paying off the most expensive debt first. What this means is, work to pay off the balance on the debt with the highest interest rates first while maintaining the minimum monthly payments on the others. Then tackle the next highest interest rate, and so on until your debt is wiped out! It's that simple.
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CLEVELAND, Ohio - Two Cleveland-area banks are among a handful nationwide that are offering Android Pay -- the new payment method that can protect your credit and debit cards from data breaches.
PNC and US Bank are rolling this out to customers who have Android phones. This comes a year after Apply Pay was launched. Now, people with Android phones can use this new technology.
Customers have been anxious to know when it was going to become available, said Tom Trebilcock, vice president of digital, leading mobile amp; emerging payments at PNC.
In time, Android Pay will be widely available among all major banks. Heres what you need to know now:
What is Android Pay?
Its a free new service from Google that allows you to use your Android phone to pay for purchases at the point of sale, using encrypted information on your phone to pay with your credit or debit card. It works very similarly to Apple Pay, which rolled out for newer iPhones and other new Apple products a year ago. By the end of the year, Google is expected to provide Android Pay to all devices that run Android 4.4 or higher.
You could have a device thats three years old and it will work with Android Pay, said Trebilcock.
How does it work?
Using the Android Pay app on your phone, you can register your individual or small-business credit or debit card (or more than one card) to make payments at merchants that accept Android Pay. You dont have to have the card with you to make a payment with it -- as long as the merchant accepts Android Pay. Heres whats stored on your phone: a digital token, which is an encrypted digital representation of your account number.
What banks are offering Android Pay?
For now, only a handful of banks are offering this: American Express, Bank of America, Discover, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, Regions Bank, USAA and US Bank. And its a soft roll-out. That means that not every customer of these banks can use Android Pay today. It depends on Google and your phone. When you see the Android Pay app available on your phone, then you can register your cards issued by a participating bank and use Android Pay.
In the months ahead, all major banks are expected to offer Android Pay, just like they have with Apple Pay. Last year, only a few banks nationwide offered Apple Pay. Today, all major Cleveland-area banks offer Apple Pay, including Key, Huntington, Chase and Fifth Third.
What are the advantages of Android Pay?
Just like with Apple Pay, your account number isnt stored on your phone with Android Pay. And Google doesnt have it either. Your phone simply stores a token.
When you use your phone to pay for something, the merchant doesnt get your account number. Each transaction is authorized with a unique authentication code, so even if payment data is somehow stolen in a data breach, it cant be used for another transaction.
If you lose your phone, a thief cant unlock the payment capability without your phone unlock code. If there were a retail security breach, like those that occurred at Target and Home Depot, the hackers wouldnt have your account number or even your name or any information about you.
Can anyone with an Android phone sign up for it?
Yes, as long as your phone uses Android 4.4 or higher and you have a credit or debit card from a participating bank.
When will other banks offer it?
Additional banks will likely start rolling out Android Pay in the next several months.
Isnt it pretty much like Apple Pay?
Yes, but there are a couple of notable differences. The biggest one: With Apple Pay, you have to unlock your phone with your PIN and must separately authorize your payment with your fingerprint or keypad PIN. Theres no second layer of authentication required with Android Pay -- not by using your fingerprint or by entering yourPIN again. If your phone keypad is unlocked because the phone is in use, it can be used to make a payment. Many people allow their keypads to remain unlocked for five minutes or 15 minutes after the last use.
In addition, with Apple Pay, you can choose which card you want to use for a particular transaction. With Android Pay, you have one default card.
Where is Android Pay accepted?
Its a form of near-field communication payment. It is accepted in more than 1 million stores nationwide. Among the big chains: Macys, Panera, Toys R Us, Staples, Subway and Walgreen. Two major chains, Walmart and Best Buy, do not yet accept NFC payments.
You can tell whether a merchant accepts Android Pay or Apple Pay if you see the pay wave symbol at the payment terminal, Trebilcock said.
Why are Android Pay and Apple Pay safer?
Apple Pay is safer than paying with a traditional magnetic stripe credit or debit card because you dont have to carry the card with you, your account number isnt stored on your phone, Google doesnt have your account number, each transaction is authorized with a unique authentication code, so even if payment data is somehow stolen, it cant be used for another transaction.
Perhaps most important the merchant doesnt get your account number. So if there were a retail security breach, like those that occurred at Target, Home Depot, the hackers wouldnt have your account number or even your name or any information about you.
If you lose your phone, a thief cant unlock the payment capability unless he has your keypad PIN. This is different than what happens if you lose your wallet or a single credit or debit card. It can be used by anyone until you cancel it or until the bank flags it for suspicious purchases.
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Here are my big back-to-school money tricks that made me a money champ.
1. Dont use your line of credit or student loans.
If you dont need to borrow the money, dont. Do everything you can to come out of school without any debt. Work 35 hours and go to school (like I did), apply for every grant and scholarship out there, eat Kraft dinner or noodles every night, do whatever you can do to minimize your debt.
Not only will debt limit what fun-time funds youll have when youre out, itll be a ball and chain for many years after school. The average Canadian student takes 10 years to pay back their student debts! Youll have $300 dollar payments or more right off the bat just to pay back your debt. If that $300 went into an TFSA at age 23, youd have $48,000 at a conservative six per cent! Which would you rather have?
2. Get a job that will help you when you graduate.
Loads of my friends got jobs as beer reps or bartenders when I was in school. They were way cooler than me (then), and I know for sure those jobs got them more social perks (booze and booty). But I can guarantee my part-time job working at Merrill Lynch is still paying perks to me now. Plus, I have the nicest car at school reunions.
Not only did I learn how to invest like the big guys and make way more than a bartender, but I also made connections that got me a job when I graduated. Who needs four years of booty and booze when I have an entire life of money skills!
3. Get a money mentor.
I had a mentor when I was in school who really helped and guided me. Its easy to get absorbed into a student mentality and wake up on pizza boxes every day. All the parties, dating and hooliganism can get you to fall of the wagon. Keeping monthly chats with your mentor will keep you motivated to get good grades, take the correct classes and know that one day youll be at the other end of the tunnel. Plus, they can help you get a job when you graduate in your chosen area.
4. Build your credit early.
Get a credit card as soon as you can and set up an auto charging service like internet or your cell phone. Then, call your credit card company and ask them to take the payment out of your bank account every month when it is due. Then put the credit card in a safe place and dont retrieve it until you are out of school and have a job. This will build your credit without ever paying interest or missing a payment. All you have to do is make sure you always have money in your account like you do for all of your other bills. Having great credit will help you get a cheaper interest rate, rent an apartment, or get credit when you graduate, so build and protect your credit like a champ.
5. Dont take your credit card to the bar.
If you are thinking of doing this, #staaaaap!
Love your time at school and start being a money champ!
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