RE/MAX 440
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

Get Smart about Credit Card Debt

May 19, 2015 12:50 am

Credit card debt is the third largest source of household debt, behind only mortgages and student loans. According to Equifax, the average credit card balance is about $1,224 per card.

“Credit cards are a significant source of debt for millions of Americans, and that’s why it’s so important to develop the knowledge and skills to manage them effectively,” says Steve Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC). “In today’s fast-paced world, consumers need to be more credit card smart than ever before.”

Get smart when it comes to using credit with these tips from the ACCC.

1. Understand your credit card and any fees associated with it. It’s important to do your research to find the best deals and interest rates. Understand your annual percentage rate (APR) and how it is calculated by your provider. It can make a difference in how much you pay each month. In addition, be aware of any fees associated with your card, as these hidden costs can add up.

2. Pay on time. Problems can escalate quickly for your wallet if you miss a payment. Missing payments can lead to late fees and higher interest rates and can even cause a drop in your credit score. It’s worth contacting your credit card company and requesting that the late fee be waived if you have a good reason for missing the payment.

3. Don’t get hooked on minimum payments. If you only pay the minimum on your bill, it can take a long time and a lot of extra money to pay off your debt. For example, if you owe $5,000 on an account with an 18 percent APR and pay a minimum of 2 percent of the balance, it will take more than 7.5 years to pay it off. Just as bad, you will have paid $4,311.25 in interest. Paying even a little more each month can substantially reduce the time it takes to pay off the debt and decrease interest.

4. Avoid special services, programs and goods that credit card lenders offer with their cards. Most of these are extras – items such as fraud protection plans, credit record protection, travel clubs and life insurance. More often than not, much better deals on these services can be found elsewhere.

5. Never max out your card. You will be hit with over-limit fees. Keep in mind that it’s best to use only 30 percent of your maximum credit allowed. Using more than that can cause a drop in your credit score. In addition, be aware of unsolicited increases to your credit limit.

Source: ACCC

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Are the Characteristics of Your Home in Sync with You?

May 19, 2015 12:50 am

I would always encourage homeowners to step back and consider how other people might describe your home. Are the characteristics in sync?

For a house to truly become a home, our friend Linda Gottlieb, a Connecticut DecorDesigner with Decor&You says it must have a soul that mirrors the authenticity and individuality of the homeowner.

Typically Gottlieb sees people choosing their interior design based on current trends or affordability. But in order to truly create a fulfilling home, she says it's essential to make sure the space embodies its own, original self.

So here are some of her tips and ideas to help create a home that truly reflects your personality:

Choose Your Hues: Choose interior colors and hues that correspond with your personality. For instance, a very calm and tranquil person may consider using watery colors; an energetic person may want to play with bright tones; while a dramatic, yet sophisticated person can opt for rich, deep shades such as an Eggplant purple or maroon. After you decide on the color schemes, it's key to take a moment and envision yourself living within the realms of those colors.

Celebrate Your Prized Possessions:
From family heirlooms to trophies, everyone has belongings with priceless personal value. To help reflect your history and achievements, utilize these items as focal points in the home. These pieces can set the foundation for a room's color schemes, furniture, and overall style.

Echo Your Lifestyle:
Comfortable seating, ottomans, dim lighting, and matching blankets help to ensure a relaxed attitude. For an extravagant and inviting room, go bold with intricate details. Statement pieces, like an elegant chandelier, make the room lively and stimulating. Slipcovers with varying patterns are also a great way to keep guests 'wowed' and allow you to alter a room to fit all occasions.

Signature Scents: Scents have the potential to serve as a powerful memory trigger, so choose smells corresponding with enjoyable times. With so many different options available, the perfect scent could be the final step in embodying yourself within your home.

Source: Decor&You

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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