Here is the key to your Financial Toolbox

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Know Your Financial Standing

If you do not know your financial standing you are living in the dark. One of the first things on your mind should be knowing what your credit rating is and how you can improve it or protect it. This all starts with credit monitoring. How can you miss all the commercials on television about credit reporting and how you can get a free credit report? I know what most people say, yes you get a free credit report then you have to pay a charge every month for credit monitoring. Credit monitoring is around fifteen dollars a month and it is a small price to pay to detect any problems or potential problems with you credit rating. Over the past seven years I do not only have one, I have two credit monitoring programs going and I have avoided on several occasions potential harm to my credit report by inaccurate entries or mistakes to my credit report. Computers and individuals make mistakes and it is your job to protect yourself. No one will automatically do it for you.

My wife shares her name with many other Scott's. If you have a common name like Lisa Brown or William Jones you have a real good chance you may have cross entries on your credit report caused by human error. And, sometimes these are not easy to get one of these disputes to get off your credit report if you do not respond swiftly. I have even heard a case where a parent’s teenage daughter rented a movie from Block Buster on the parent’s membership card and did not return the movie and a year or so later the parent went to apply for a loan, and was turned down for the loan because that movie was neither returned nor paid for. I am sure there are more horror storied like this one out there. The longer little stupid errors like these stay on your credit report the harder they are to get off so address them quickly.

Good credit monitoring services help you understand your credit and what to do if there is a problem with your credit report. Also if you have been under financial duress you are a potential candidate for many mistakes that can affect your financial recovery. While you are in your recovery period you want to make sure constantly, there are no mistakes being made through collection agencies and unsettled claims about you and your accounts. With credit monitoring anything in the future that is derogatory against your credit report will be either mailed or e-mailed to you to give you a chance to respond as swiftly as you feel you need to.
I want to remind everyone we do have video on collection agencies below the blog posts in the Video Section that you may want to pay special attention too.

What You Need To Do If You Discover Problems

There are two ways you can go when fixing problems with your credit report. You can do it yourself or you can go with an Agency that will advise you of potential problems and then help you fix them. Many people once you understand credit reporting and how to recognize problems can go about the task yourself. This can be time consuming but can be rewarding when you get everything in line as it should be. If you have many potential problems you may want to hire a service or an agency. All the services I recommend are on the side bar. If you want to do more research My Shopping Genie I highly suggest to help organize and speed up your searches remember the download is free. This is a personal decision I know the Attorney from Find Law said you can do this yourself. However instead of taking days away from work it may pay to look into these services. One of these services could at least tell you where you need to start or handle potential problems for you.
Some of you that have a good credit history and may want to protect it in a different way. Fraud detection companies, services or websites may make you feel a little more comfortable. If you make many online transactions you may want to go in this direction. But, by monitoring your credit card statements or any statements you can monitor yourself online with regular credit monitoring you should be able to detect and stop any threats quickly. Your financial well being takes constant monitoring from you it is up to you and only you can protect yourself. You have to plan some time each week for strategy and defense. It can be a real battle ground out there and we have the tools to help you do battle when a problem comes up.
If you decide to fix these problems yourself we also have some other ways we can help. On the sidebar there is Just Ask. If you want a second opinion on anything or you just need to know something Just Ask has professionals in medical care, law, and technical help. We also have sources where you can find a lawyer or get any legal documents you may need saving you the expense of hiring a lawyer or the original consultation fees. Where all the other financial experts give you direction, we give you resources to stay on course to financial freedom.

Here is more information from Forbes Magazine on how your Credit Rating effects you.

The New Credit Score Rules

 by Justine Rivero

Monday, August 29, 2011
The average credit score nationwide is 666, according to That's not only an ominous number, but can be a costly one.

 Based on's data, the trend amongst lenders shows that a 660 credit score is the threshold to be approved for a mortgage, auto loan and unsecured credit card. Digging deeper into consumers' credit health, nearly 40% of consumers have a credit score below 660. That means 4 out of 10 Americans would likely be denied for a mortgage and auto loan, charged sky-high interest rates, and only qualify for a secured credit card.
With credit scores controlling consumers' access to credit and the prices they pay for lending products, Americans must take control of their credit health.

 In the fine line between approval and denial in lending, consumers deserve to know more so they can do more about their credit health. While recent federal regulations have nudged open the door on consumers' access to credit, it's not enough. Consumers must be empowered to actively manage their credit, not just when they are transacting but also in their daily financial life.
As legislation and economic changes evolve the credit industry, consumers' access to credit scores must be broadened. Here's what you need to know about credit now.

 1. It's your consumer right to get a free credit score! Thanks to a recent federal regulation, consumers who are denied on a credit application or receive higher interests due to their credit profile are entitled to see their credit score for free. This only applies to declined consumers, so it begs the question: why aren't all consumers getting their credit score for free? With such significant impact on accessing and pricing of financial products, free credit score access should be a right of all consumers. We may see government efforts to provide free credit score access on the horizon. Once a mysterious and proprietary secret of the credit industry, credit scores are becoming a powerful tool in the hands of consumers.
2. Standards for accessing credit are always in motion. Once upon a time, the general "good" credit score standard was 660. During the recession's credit crunch, the standard jumped to 720. It appears some credit card issuers are again expanding their credit standards and approving lower credit tiers. Some mortgage lenders say a 720 credit score is needed to get the best mortgage rate, while others say 750 is the new standard. Additionally, lenders are increasingly focusing on other credit details aside from your three digit score. For example, a consumer can have a 780 credit score, considered in the excellent range, and be denied on a credit card application because their credit history is simply not long enough. It'll take time and economic stability till lenders comfortably agree on credit score standards; hopefully that keeps you on your toes and improving credit health everyday.

 3. It's not enough to check your credit score. One drawback of the federal regulation is its limitations. Giving consumers access to their credit after being denied is too little, too late. Credit scores can fluctuate suddenly, so a single snapshot isn't enough. What's necessary is for consumers to monitor their credit. Whether you have a 550 or an 800, tracking trends in your credit use and credit score helps identify areas to improve, habits to avoid, and most importantly, makes you conscious of how day-to-day financial decisions impacts your credit health. You might need several months' cushion to polish up your score, so begin monitoring your credit as soon as you plan to buy a home or car, or apply for a loan or credit card. If you aren't applying for credit but currently have a credit card, it's still imperative to stay on top of your credit health. Issuers periodically do an account review, and if any new credit blemishes appear, it could affect your card terms. Proactively use credit score monitoring services so you, and not lenders, are the first to know about recent changes on your credit.
4. Expect credit score differences. The federal regulation also shined light on the fact that there are dozens of credit score models in use. While many consumers consider FICO to be the "real" score and everything else to be a "FAKO", the truth is that every lender chooses differently: there are the credit bureau-specific models, the VantageScore, the FICO score, scores specific to lender type like mortgage, auto and credit card issuers, and even models particular to certain banks. If your TransUnion score and VantageScore have a 40 point difference, there isn't a "more accurate" score. It's similar to weighing yourself at home versus the gym or the doctor's office; the scales show different numbers because they're calibrated differently, but ultimately, they all measure your weight. Rather than obsessing over the three-digit score, focus on the risk factors involved such as your debt, number of accounts, and credit use. Just like diet and exercise will reflect in your weight across all scales, taking action to holistically improve your credit health will reflect across the broad spectrum of credit score models.

 While the recent federal regulation is a positive move for consumers, lenders have already found loopholes, reports SmartMoney. For example, if the lender uses its own scoring model, they aren't required to disclose that credit score to consumers. Also, insurance companies, which also use a credit score model to evaluate customers and price premiums, are excluded from this regulation and aren't required to disclose credit scores to consumers who are charged a higher premium.
As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau stretches its reach and more financial reform finds its legs, consumers must keep challenging Uncle Sam to keep the heat on the financial industry when it comes to credit score access. Consumers must also keep putting in the legwork to build healthy credit and keep an eye on their credit score.

 We're headed in the right direction when it comes to consumers' access to their credit score. But don't walk away from this topic just yet; we barely have our foot in the door.

 Justine Rivero is the Credit Advisor for

 Copyrighted, All rights reserved.f you only read one article about credit scores this year, read this one.
To See the original article on Yahoo Click Here!

This Weeks Rant
My intent with any entry in this blog is help you start your research the rest is up to you. I could have given up many times myself but thanks to the knowledge and support of others I am accomplishing my goals in becoming financially free. This can be an angering, frustrating, or frightening process that can make you feel hopeless at times but, I want you to find some comfort here and get yourself on the right path to happiness and financial freedom.

Contact me with any questions @ or by phone @ (484) 868-2588.

You can also come back to us by remembering!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Changing How You Feel About Life, Career, and Finances

I do not want you to get the impression that I am going to tell you are doing everything wrong and take a big assessment of your life. What I am going to discuss in this post is what you can do about feeling better about yourself so you can start changing the direction of your life. We all hit roadblocks and when we hit a roadblock what are we going to do to readjust? This is the difference between making decisions to start getting ahead and the decisions that keep holding us back. When it comes to services that will help you get on track let’s leave that work to the professionals which gives us a chance to do some creative thinking to do on our own. You have a whole host of professionals who can help you in different ways and categories on the sidebar and if you can’t find anything there My Shopping Genie will be more than glad to help you by enhancing your search engine experience also now on the sidebar. We want to help you change your thinking on the value of you and your family over just the dollar. You and your family increase in value where the dollar declines in value.

In the last couple of entries we refer you to some influential reading. The Millionaire Next Door book is basically is about getting into the mindset of what a truly wealthy person does to secure his future. Sometimes thinking wealthy is instinct and sometimes we have to change our values or ourselves to think wealthy. I, like Robert Kiyosaki had a Rich Dad and two Poor Dads in my life and I admire all the outlooks and have each one has been influential in how I think. The two books the Millionaire Next Door and Rich Dad Poor Dad are conflicting in a way but, they both answer some real questions on how to become secure in a way that is comfortable or comfortably exciting for you and me. All I ask of you is to keep on reading and become comfortable in who you are and in your life. If you had read the Millionaire Next Door and if you are still reading it after two weeks or so, I can understand it took me a while.

Just thinking ahead a little bit and you will have a chance to compare both books I want to give you an example of my family. My Step Father and my father–in-law are PAWs (Positively Achieving Wealth) who diligently saved and when they died they had a little something left for the family after liquidating and distributing all their assets. My step father was a self-employed landscaper that had gotten his GED and went on to take courses at Penn State in Landscape Design and did real well in his field. My step father only enlisted part-time help when he needed help. Yea! It was mainly me who helped him. And, when he nailed the last nail in his house it was paid for in full, Real Estate and all. My father-in-law on the other-hand, worked for Bell of Pennsylvania and Retired from AT&T as a PBX installer. He was one of the last service people who serviced and installed mechanical networks in the phone industry of the 1970s to late 1980s which replaced switchboards before being replaced now by the computer driven systems being used today. He was one of an elite few that knew how to work on those systems and raised great money, with great health benefits and savings while raising a wonderful family of six children.

On the other hand my father was a successful Insurance Executive while starting his company by  doing health insurance sales calls himself then drafting a few others to help sell insurance. Then he went on to starting an agency, to buying the company, until finally the time it went public on the Philadelphia Stock Exchange. My wife still works for an agency that was connected to my father’s business. Anyway, my father was a UAW (Under Achieving Wealth) and he still lives his life that way. He carries allot of credit card debt which takes away from his Net Worth. He still has a good income to work with even though he only has a few investments left in his portfolio. At eighty four he has slowed down the pace of his spending a little but he is still a UAW just the same.

This is Robert Kiyosaki’s theory on life. However his wealth is in business investments or portfolio. You can’t take it with you so earn it, invest it and spend it, leaving the business aspect to the family to keep it successful after he passes.

“Live for today because your money will be worth less tomorrow. Your business and good investments will follow the rate of inflation not money!”
Robert Kiyosaki

I picked Robert Kiyosaki over Donald Trump as a success image of this blog because I believe he better represents the image of us as a people instead of the stereotypical wealthy person. I like Donald Trump but in some ways he is too Hollywood to grab the role of the Influential person I would like to refer people to in this blog. Robert Kiyosaki to me represents everyone and the goal here is to inspire everyone to become financially free.

There is no right or wrong answer here! The only answer to the question is which role do you want to play in becoming finically free?

 Is there any right way to become financially free? The key here is to find positive influential people and make them a part of you routine and be a follower and a leader by being influential and positive to those around you. You find that this positive feeling starts to rub off on others. Your positive outlook helps others as well as your own self-esteem. If others do not agree with you slowly push them to the back of the line by staying positive to others around you. Start by setting small goals and achieve them first. Get yourself on a positive note then raise the bar on achieving your goals by setting and achieving bigger goals. Live your life in a positive way and those roadblocks will not feel so much like road blocks anymore!

 This Week’s Rant
It takes all kinds of people to make up this world. But, I do not have to accept negative people in my world! In fact I don’t! Yes, I still have some people in my life that are negative people but they have little or no influence in my world. The world can be challenging enough without negative people influencing my world. No matter what happens in my world I only accept positive influences in it. The people in my life now are the ones that offer me positive belief in them and myself. I have gone through some tough times but they were only learning experiences as stepping stones to a better future.

“My wish for you is to feel the same way!”
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Bob Parsons by Clicking Here!

Contact me with any questions @ or by phone @ (484) 868-2588.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Don’t Give Up Your Day Job

I know with this Post I am breaking the blogging rules but I do this with most of my posts on this blog anyway. There always seems so much to cover. This is why you see different topics in each post however I try to get back to each topic each week I post. Anyway I want to take the time to update everyone on jobs. The headlines everyday reminds me how many of us are still looking for a job. This week’s headline Don’t Give Up On Your Day Job is merely a head line not intended to upset or redirect anyone. I titled it just to get your attention but we will reference that topic a little later in this post.

I did see something on the news the other morning about people who have given up the job search. When people get out of the routine of working that routine of not working can be toxic to their job hunting initiative. If you are out of work you should at least try to work part time to re-stimulate a working routine. This will also help you in getting a new permanent job because a potential employer gets the impression that you want to do something to help yourself and they see that you are motivated by at the least having a part-time job. People who are just staying home give off the persona that they are willing to except anything where the motived person is willing to do what it takes to get ahead. Sometimes a step backward in your career can help you you take a step forward this expert had said. He proven it by saying when he got laid off as an economist he had taken a part-time job in retailing until he got a job as an economic analyst and commentator.

In other words do not Give Up Looking For A Day Job!

You will prevail! Many individuals have done it you can too, even in this bad economy. Those who want to work are working. Those who want a job are looking for one and will get one. Any less than that, well we all know the answer is to that statement.

For the job seekers we have added more websites where you can post post your Resume’ for free. Just go down the sidebar and look into those websites. Click on the banners and read the terms and conditions to see if the website is what you want to use. We offer more than one website per category to make it easy for you to find out what suits you. If you are comfortable post your resume’ on all those websites if they have a category with your job description. It can’t hurt you to get your name out to every resource you can. We also refer you to My Shopping Genie so you can continue your research using search engines if you cannot find something adequate for yourself in this blog or want to do more in finding a job. Everything in this blog is dedicated to helping you improve your life. My Shopping Genie will help with local searches listing local websites first. We also try to find quality sites and companies for you to work with and many of the websites have listed in this blog have high ratings with the Better Business Bureau.  

I know you are going to ask me why am I writing this blog and I am going to tell you why!

I am no stranger to financial problems. One financial problem I had was caused by a business that had to be liquidated because of my disability. The other was caused by my source of disability funding was cut off after ten years of receiving that income by an investigator’s error. Not only did I not have my disability benefits for fourteen months, a large portion of the benefits were taken to pay my lawyer’s fees to get me reinstated and receive my benefits again. None the less a large portion of my wife’s retirement was lost because of fines and penalties that were paid to the IRS from using those funds to survive during that time period. And finally I had to pay more income taxes this year because I was forced into a higher income bracket because I was paid two years of benefits in one tax year. This was not to mention using debt to pay debt to keep my wife’s retirement somewhat intact. So if you want to ask me if am sympathetic to those of you in need and it does not have to be anywhere related to what I went through, I still understand. I also understand your situation could be worse than mine. My wife and I have spent the last year cleaning up the aftermath of what happened to us two and a half years ago. It was two and a half years before we had gotten everything straightened out from when I was dropped from disability. This blog is a part result of the research I did and some other ideas I could use to help those of us in financial distress.

In this blog you will find many great ways / tools we can help you with. As I go on I will find more reading material and resources to coaching to help you. I do recommend you review Getting Set With A Budget our June 12, 2011 Post to see what we recommended. There is a lot of good information to help you if you are new to this blog and have not read that Post. Also take the time to understand What True Wealth Is our in last Post July 22, 2011. The Millionaire Next Door is a terrific read and the knowledge in that book will help you for years to come in your attitude toward financial planning and spending habits.

This Weeks Rant!

It is amazing how the incompetence of others impacts our lives. It seems we always have to stay aware and be diligent when it comes to all aspects of our lives. We all work hard to set up borders to guard ourselves but because either someone competitive wants to excel at the expense of our wellbeing or just the plain incompetence of others can so drastically impact our lives.  It only takes one person to misunderstand the information or the wrong press of a computer key. Never the less I want you to know as this blog goes on there will be the hope and understanding you are looking for in your research to a better financial future.

This Week’s Money Making Tip

This is where Don’t Give Up Your Day Job really takes meaning. I see so many people have high expectations of a direct marketing opportunity. When they end up disappointed they give direct marketing a bad name because the opportunity was not quite for them, they quit their regular job too soon, or they just plain quit before they got out of the gate. Most of what I am doing right now is direct marketing and I will not leave it a secret. If you look at direct marketing as a part-time job where you will eventually get ahead, you may be giving yourself the opportunity to become fully self-employed someday. This is the only way to look at a direct marketing opportunity. Get started, set goals, achieve them and go from there. You have to be determined if you are going to succeed.

For those of you who are unemployed this may be worth trying but from my experience it does take some time to develop a direct marketing business so I would only look at this opportunity as a part-time job. Try it out then go with your own feelings about increasing your income. You could have success but do not ruin it for yourself by raising the bar to high. Financially you may have allot on your plate already.

This also could be a great opportunity for a stay at home spouse or parent looking to develop something for yourself and do more to help out your household financially. This opportunity could be for someone like me who is disabled and wants to develop a new financial path in life. None the less in the last Post I introduced you to Customer Advantage. Customer Advantage is free to sign up for and get started with. I have sat in on their webinars and this could be a great place to start as a direct marketer and you can look in your city or town for prospects to advertise in customer advantage. It also is a great place to learn how to start a direct marketing business for free no matter what niche or path you decide to go. We will get into that with the next post.

Customer Advantage is still in the prelaunch stage and it will be easy for you to get started in your city or town and all you have to do is be willing to refer people and businesses to Customer Advantage. It is free to sign up with Customer Advantage, there are no hosting fees, and everyone you refer gets the same thing whether they want to make money with the referral program or not. For Free you can be one of the top distributors in your home town just by putting in some effort.

For this week sign up with Customer Advantage and save your e-mails to get into your back office. If you are familiar with a back office go ahead and explore the benefits and there is a page were you can listen to webinars done in the past get started and learn. It’s Free!!!

Before signing up take the time to choose a good or catchy name for your website. Your user name will be your web address name. Mine is FindingFinancialFreedom. My web-address for that site is you may want something shorter or just use your own name to identify yourself as being a Customer Advantage Representative.

Here is some advice from the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad Robert Kiyosaki.

Take a look at the Customer Advantage by Clicking Here!

Please Contact me with any questions by e-mail @ or phone (484) 868-2588.

Please Note the Change in our e-mail address.

You will also be able to come to this blog with this address making it a little easier to remember.