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John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

10 Ways to Boost Creditworthiness

November 9, 2015 2:48 am

Using credit responsibly is an integral part of personal financial health. Not only is credit a key factor in securing loans for a home, vehicle or other major purchases, landlords often look at credit before approving new renters, as well.

"Improving and maintaining a positive credit history is important for people of all backgrounds, ages and life phases," says Mike Sullivan, director of education for Take Charge America, a national nonprofit credit counseling and debt management agency. “A few credit missteps can set back your financial goals significantly, even years in some cases.”

To do just that, Sullivan recommends the following tips.

1. Limit the Number of Cards
People are bombarded with dazzling credit card offers, but applying for too many can negatively impact credit while also increasing the risk of deep debt.

2. Avoid Fees
Credit card companies charge fees for late payments—even when it’s just a day or two—and for exceeding card limits, even if it’s only a few dollars. Worse, exceeding limits or making late payments may trigger a higher interest rate and show up on your credit report.

3. Pay Off Balances Every Month
Many people fall into the trap of making just the minimum payment, but paying off balances ensures consumers aren’t wasting money on interest.

4. Never Get a Cash Advance
The prospect of quick cash is tempting, but advances almost always come with hefty fees and high interest.

5. Don’t Close Old Accounts…
While this may seem counterintuitive, closing a card may negatively impact your credit because it reduces credit-to-debt ratio and credit history, both major factors credit bureaus use to calculate scores.

6. …Unless There Is a Steep Annual Fee
In this case, the benefits of closing the account may outweigh the potential effect on credit.

7. Review Statements Each Month
It’s important to check your account statements monthly to ensure they are accurate and that you understand the terms.

8. Opt-Out of Prescreening
Minimize the temptation to open new cards by opting out of pre-screened offers at optoutprescreen.com.

9. Use the Perks
Credit cards offer perks beyond travel rewards and cash back, but many don’t know about them. Agreements spell out all of the benefits, from buyer protection and car rental discounts to extended warranties and free airport lounge access.

10. Use Cards Online
With identity theft on the rise, use credit when making purchases online. If your number is stolen, you will not be out any money while the card company investigates. With debit cards, the money may be inaccessible while the situation is being resolved.

Source: Take Charge America

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Survey Takes a Suitcase Snapshot of Traveler Packing Habits

November 6, 2015 2:42 am

Fold or roll? Procrastinate or plan ahead? Carry-on or check? A recent Cheapflights.com survey unpacked the packing practices of American travelers, finding that across the board, most American travelers are organized.

"When you people-watch at the airport, you see an amazing cross-section of travelers passing through with luggage of every shape and style," says Amanda Festa, editor at Cheapflights.com. "From heaping baggage carts and bulging backpacks to sleek rollerboards and kids atop ride-on suitcases, luggage is proof there's a story behind every journey, and it starts with getting packed and organized for a trip. We wanted to know more about how Americans pack and what, if any, common practices we share. It turns out there are a lot!"

According to the results of the survey, just over 56 percent of travelers make packing lists and 77 percent plan or lay out outfits. Forty-two percent start packing two to three days before leaving on a trip, and an additional 30 percent start packing a week ahead of a trip.

The survey also found that getting by with only carry-on luggage is the goal for more than half of Americans travelers. Thirty-nine percent of survey respondents admit to regularly pushing the limits on the size and quantity of the luggage they try to carry on. On the checked bag front, 31 percent say they've pushed the limits on size and weight, and 42 percent try to minimize this issue by weighing their luggage before going to the airport.

As for the fold versus roll debate? Seventy percent of survey respondents report folding their clothes; just 30 percent report rolling them. Suitcase cracked!

Source: Cheapflights.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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