More Than Finances

Get your finances in order!


The Art of Writing Dispute Credit Letters

Many power users of credit have black marks in their history. When they show up, you need to know how to knock them off your credit report. Therefore, learning how to write a dispute credit letter is essential to repairing your credit.

You need to know exactly who to contact, how to frame your argument and what credit report errors are more important than others. Identity theft is very common and it is vital that you jump into action at the first sign that someone may have stolen your info. With those types of errors on your credit report, you are going to writing plenty of dispute credit letters. That is exactly what this post is for.

Know How Mistakes Happen

Furnisher Error

The banks, loan institutions and collection agencies that are considered “data furnishers” for credit reports are all staffed by human beings. Which is to say, they are not perfect. Errors made by data furnishers, such as attributing a missed payment to your report that was in fact missed by someone else, actually do happen.

Mixed files

Someone with the same name or a similar name may have their credit actions show up on your report. Be on the lookout for those types of screw-ups

Identity Theft

If someone has stolen your Social Security number and opened up a credit card in your name or applied for a loan, that could end up on your report. You need to know how to craft dispute credit letters in order to combat ID theft.

Old Debts Popping Up

Collection notices are supposed to age off of your report seven years and 180 days after first being noted as delinquent. However, sometimes those debts can change hands to third-party agents, which can muck up the start date of collection notices. Keep a sharp eye out for debts that should be off your report by the letter of the law.

Writing Dispute Credit Letters

There are a few hard & fast rules you want to follow:

Be clear and direct. Know exactly what you want to dispute and how you are going to go about it, before you even start writing. Spell out exactly what is inaccurate about the mistake on your credit report, so the credit bureau you are contacting has the right info. Provide a fix for the mistake.

Don’t start spouting off about federal statutes. The credit bureaus know the laws backwards and forwards. Just stating that you want to initiate a dispute is enough.

Be sure to include your return address. You need the bureaus to send their response to the correct place so you can respond in kind.

Send it by certified mail. Dispute credit letters need have documentation that they reached the right place at the right time.

Provide copies of documents that support your claim. Do Not Send Originals! They can get lost easily.

Be Wary of Credit Repair Companies

Especially ones that claim a guaranteed 100-point rise in your credit score. No company can make claims like that happen and such claims are illegal. Most typical errors can be fixed by writing dispute credit letters, filled with the correct information and making your care politely and concisely.

Utilizing a credit repair company may be necessary if there are errors or items on your credit report that require an additional dash of expertise and experience. Large, complicated identity theft cases, perhaps or a messy divorce settlement.

The bottom line is, learning how to write dispute credit letters is important for the health of your credit report and the fullness of your bank account. It is a very important skill to learn.


Retiring In Style

The world is an ever-changing place. In recent years, the economy has fallen and risen like a rogue wave. It cannot be trusted, rather like a playa. One minute it’s there for you, the next it just isn’t around. All your phone calls aren’t going to change that. When you’re working, you don’t need any of that bad karma affecting you later in life. One day you are going to realise that you are just too grey to function right. At this point you’re going to have to kick your heels up and relax. If you don’t get a retirement plan, you’re probably going to end up a dirty hippie. You don’t want that…unless you do. I know I didn’t. Here’s what I did to make sure when I got out I would be balling.

How You Can Make Your Future Safe

If you are one of those people who wants to be able to get out of work someday, buy a yacht and go sailing on the high seas, you need to see this (pun intended). What many people lack is the drive to actually make plans. Like, you could WANT to go parasailing after retirement, but there is huge possibility that you simply won’t start planning for it. If you want to have enough money to live out your golden years in style when you finally retire, you need a retirement plan!

Decide what you want to do. Think long and hard about what you want to do with your life. Also, think about your career right now. Do you see yourself going anywhere in the current line of work? Maybe you’re quite happy just the way you are right now. That’s cool. Just think about how you want to live out your retirement.

Get a retirement fund. This is pretty basic thinking. If you need money for retirement, you need an account that saves you money for it. This is usually called an Individual retirement Account or IRA for short. You can open one of these at almost any bank. Before you do though:

Think about security. The security of your IRA is very important. What if the market should go tits-up, as the expression goes? You’d be up a creek without a paddle. The only problem? You’d also be too wrinkly to dive out and swim for safety. What you need to do is secure your IRA money with physical assets. You could open a gold IRA. This would mean converting your IRA money into real gold! That’s pretty cool, right?

Have an IRA? No problem-o. You can simply do a gold IRA rollover. This means moving out all your retirement money from your current IRA into your new IRA, which can then be converted into gold. This is perfectly legitimate and is done by a lot of people.

Once you have a retirement account sorted out, (and with the gold feature no less) all you have to do is finalize just what percentage of your salary is credited to it every month. You can decide this based on what you want to do! Good luck, and stay golden.


3 Ways the U.S. Banking System Can Collapse

The banking system of the United States is one of largest and most active in the world, and it is often (arguably) described by Treasury and Federal Reserve Bank officials as one of the most financially solid. This does not mean, however, that it is impervious to collapse. The magnitude of the U.S. banking system can only guarantee that a potential collapse would be more spectacular and damaging than in other nations, and history has already proven this fact multiple times. Recent examples of such collapse include the Great Depression of the 1930s and later during the Great Recession and Global Financial Crisis of 2008.

Most people remember the major bank failures of 2008: Citi, Wachovia, and Washington Mutual. Those were just the largest retail banks; it is important to remember failed investment banks such as Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch as well as specialty banking institutions such as Countrywide and the government-sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. From 2008 to late 2012, more than 460 banks in the U.S. failed; this required government takeover of financial institutions, and this situation was exacerbated by the massive bailout provided by the U.S. Treasury to banks such as JPMorgan Chase ($256 billion), Wells Fargo ($25 billion), Bank of America ($15 billion), and many others.

Many banking analysts are concerned that the U.S. system could once again collapse. The lessons learned from the bursting of the housing bubble mostly apply to home lending standards and securitization of mortgage debt; it is unlikely that the next collapse will happen due to that same reason. Nonetheless, there are three current situations that could bring about the next downfall of the American banking system:

Major Banks Losing Clients’ Trust

Banks are not very popular right now for more than one reason. Less than 10 years after being bailed out by the U.S. Treasury, JPMorgan Chase and Citi plead guilty to criminal charges of participating in a global conspiracy to manipulate foreign currency exchange prices along with Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland. The collective penalties assessed by the U.S. Department of Justice were set at more than $5 billion; despite the criminal charges, no prison sentences were imposed.

The “too big to jail” preferential treatment given to bankers is only helping to undermine the trust that the American public is losing in the banking system. Although these scandals have not resulted in immediate bank runs, they have planted a seed of mistrust that could lead customers to consider alternative options such as bitcoin, gold, and peer-to-peer (p2p) lending.
Risky Profit-Seeking Methods

There is no question that banks have gotten way too large over the last few years. Stanford economics Professor Anat Admati recently pointed out that the average size of banks has risen to $1.36 trillion. Normally, this should not be a concern; however, the amount of money that banks invest in risky financial products such as derivatives is definitely a reason to worry.

Derivatives are financial instruments that can be very lucrative; nonetheless, they are so risky that even some day traders choose to avoid them. There is little transparency in the derivatives market, and the instruments that banks trade in this market are essentially bets on whether certain investments will fail. In essence, derivatives are complex casino plays that are not in character with the nature and purpose of banks to safeguard the deposits of their account holders.

The Potential Weakening of the U.S. Dollar

The sheer strength of the U.S. dollar in the global currency exchange is a major reason the American banking system is so massive and well capitalized. That strength owes more to the political power of the U.S. in the global stage than to the health of its economy. Now that the American economic empire has been tested, geopolitical analysts believe that rival powers such as Russia and China could curtail their respective Central Bank holdings in dollars just to make a political point. This situation could really test the strength of the U.S. banking system, and many analysts believe that it may not be able to withstand such a drastic geopolitical change.


Making the Most of the Modern Age for Promoting Your Rock Band

It’s a tough world out there in this over-saturated market for rock bands. Anyone and their baby brother can make a record and put it out into the world. There’s no longer the filtration system of a record label having to approve your sound to be presented to the world. And because of this, so much terrible music is being created and put out into the world. And because of that, we are desensitized to the over-used phrases like ‘a must hear’ and ‘talented singer/songwriter.’ I could pick a homeless person off the street and call them a talented singer/songwriter and no one could tell me I was wrong. So what if you’re in a band and you want to get the word out? You have to think outside the box on how to promote.

1. Broaden Your Inspiration


We’re not talking musical inspiration here. You need to get inspired on promotional tactics from other realms. For example, in the world of trade shows, there are ways of attracting the passers-by to your booth. You have flashy signage, give aways, exciting audio visual interactive displays. Why don’t bands employ this type of marketing at their shows? They could and should. You can get pop up booths from cheap online resellers like and have a merch booth that will blow minds. It will be worth the investment. Instead of the age old annoying question of where to set up the merch, you come to the gig with a booth that catches the eye and brings in the bacon. Be sure to have a super hot merch girl, too, that never hurts.

2. Download Cards Everywhere


What’s the best way to get fans into your music? It’s to have music that’s awesome and then have people listen to it and love it. But they can’t listen to it unless they have access to it. Face it – you’re not going to get on the radio just now. But what you can do is offer you music for free and encourage people to come get it for free and to listen to it. You need to jazz it up, spice it up, and get people to actually download your music and give it a listen. Put download cards for free all over – at coffee shops and at clubs and everywhere you can think of. For every 1000 download cards, you’ll probably get 10 listens, and 5 new fans. But if 1000 download cards costs you a few dollars, you are talking about an easily recoupable expense that is a no brainer.

3. YouTube Covers


Then there’s the cheap easy way out. Don’t think of it like that. If you do a clever cover of a popular song on YouTube, you will definitely generate new fans of that song and even fans that don’t like that song but love what you did with it. Sure, you need to develop some thick skin, because haters will hate, and will say you’re lame. Would you rather have 995 people who like you and 5 haters, or no new fans because you weren’t willing to put it out there? You don’t want to be known as the band who does that funny cover of Gangnam Style, but if you get more viewers and fans, that can’t hurt now can it.


Tips For Purchasing Your First Home

Buying your first home is a huge milestone that can be a very exciting experience in your life. This does not mean that it doesn’t require a lot of hard work and due diligence. Whether you are months out from looking or you are already in the process, it is never too early to start preparing for the big purchase. By following some of the tips below you will be well on your way to purchase the home of your dreams.

Know what you can afford.  The Internet proves to be a great place to start when it comes to pricing out your home and what exactly you can afford. There are several online calculators that are very detailed in the process they take to calculate the amount of house you can afford. Such considerations in these calculations are property taxes, homeowners insurance, escrows, etc. This exercise helps you prepare by allowing you to create a budget which is crucial when you own a house.

Research for a reputable lender or mortgage broker. Being able to work with a mortgage broker on your first mortgage is well worth the legwork that is required to find one. Securing a good lender will hopefully pay you back tenfold in that they usually know of incentives or ways to save time and money in the home buying process. Do not automatically go with the least expensive banker. Make sure that you have done thorough research before committing to working with someone. With the amount of time that you will spend working with this person, you will want to make sure that they are someone you can get along with easily.

Save up on a down payment. Despite the fact that you may not need a large down payment on a home, it is not to say that you should not save for one. The more that you are able to pay down on a house, the better the rates you will be able to secure. Depending on your particular situation you most likely will want to put down at least 20 percent of the purchase price. This not only allows you to pass on paying mortgage insurance, but you will also be able to take advantage of lower interest rates.

By following these simple tips, you are well on your way to owning your first home. The journey is a long and sometimes trying one but in the end your new home will be well worth it.