10 Surprising Things That Can Affect Your Credit Rating

If you think you have a good credit history, but you have never checked it out, you might be in for a nasty surprise. It’s not just keeping up your payments and being responsible with your borrowing that affects your credit score, there are some ways that you damage it that really shock you. Here are ten of those surprising things that could knock down your credit rating by a few points.

1. Having a company credit card

If your employer has given you a company credit card then that could be affecting your own personal credit score. Most corporate cards are now actually in joint names and that means that you are jointly liable for the credit. It also means that if your company pays their bills late, it will impact on your credit rating.

2. Using your debit card to rent a car

If you pay a deposit on a rented car with your debit card, then the car hire company will probably do a credit check on you. Every credit check that is made on you will take a point off your credit rating.

3. Paying a parking ticket late

No one likes getting a parking ticket and we like paying them even less. That’s why so many people leave it until the last minute to pay them. If you leave it too late, the debt will be passed to a debt recovery company and that will dent your credit rating.

4. Taking out “buy now, pay later” credit

The amazing deals that you can get on furniture, where you pay nothing for twelve months and then its interest free for the next three years could also be damaging your credit score. They look like you have a maxed out line of credit against which you are making no repayments at all for a year.

5. Forgetting to take a library book back

Even something as simple as a library book fine might be recorded against your credit history. If you forget to pay a library fine, local authorities are very quick to pass that on to a debt collection company too, and that will knock more points of your credit score.

6. Waiting for the reminder letter on utility bills

Gas and electricity companies are pretty quick off the mark when it comes to late payment. If you slip up and leave paying them for too long, you will get a letter from a debt collection company and that means another knock to your credit score.

7. Paying off a loan early

Even paying off a loan early can look bad on your credit history. When you pay off a debt early, you save some of the interests, but that can look like you didn’t pay back all that you borrowed.

8. Underutilising a credit card

Lenders are looking to see that you use credit wisely and manage your debts responsibly. If you have credit available, but you never use it, it still uses up some of your available credit and there is no history if your ability to manage credit if you never use the credit that you have available. It is better for your credit rating for you to use a credit card and pay back the balance monthly.

9. Enquiring about loans

Making too many enquires about loans, or getting quotations for loans, will also knock some points off your credit score. In fact, any hard credit check that is done on you will lower your credit score for a period of two years and that includes taking out a new mobile phone contracts as well.

10. Disputing an item on your credit card

If you dispute an item on your credit card statement and your lender takes their time looking into then it will remain an unpaid debt against your name and could still damage your credit score.

Let’s Learn More About How to Get Cheap Auto Insurance

Do you have the right car insurance? Well, many people think that it is a must to have the right car insurance. It will be better if you get the best one with cheap auto insurance. While most people know whether they have liability, collision or comprehensive coverage, some people pay much attention to their insurance coverage until after they have been in an accident, the others just do not really care about it.

Shopping for car insurance is an important planning topic that is often overlooked since most teenagers are added to mom and dad’s insurance policy when they first get behind the wheel and then later shop for the least expensive policy when they have to the pay the bill on their own. In this article, we will be discussing car insurance coverage and so you will get some tips to help you get the most for your money.

Cheap auto insurance has two primary benefits. The first one is protecting your assets and the second one is protecting your health. Getting the proper coverage is the first step in the process. These are the basic types of coverage with which most people are familiar:

1. Liability: This coverage pays for third-party personal injury and death-related claims, as well as any damage to another person’s property that occurs as a result of your automobile accident.

2. Collision: This coverage pays to repair your car after an accident. It is required if you have a loan against your vehicle because the car isn’t really yours – it belongs to the bank, which wants to avoid getting stuck with a wrecked car.

3. Comprehensive: This coverage pays for damage incurred as a result of theft, vandalism, fire, water, etc. If you paid cash for your car or paid off your car loan, you may not need collision or comprehensive coverage.

In addition to the coverage listed above, other optional coverage types include the following:

a. Full Tort/Limited Tort: Your insurance will be reduced by a few dollars if you give up the right to sue when you get an accident. However, giving up your rights is rarely a smart financial move.

b. Medical Payments/Personal Injury Protection: Personal injury protection pays the cost of medical bills for the policyholder and passengers. If you have good health insurance coverage, this may not be necessary.

c. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: This type provides for medical and property damage coverage if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist.

d. Towing: Towing coverage pays for a tow if your vehicle cannot be driven after an accident. If you are a member of an automobile service, or if your vehicle comes with roadside assistance provided by the manufacturer, this coverage is unnecessary.

e. Glass Breakage: Some companies do not cover broken glass under their collision or comprehensive policies. In general, this coverage is not worth the long-term cost.

f. Rental: This insurance option covers the cost of a rental car, but rental cars are so inexpensive that it may not be worth paying for this coverage.

g. Gap: If you demolish that $35,000 sport-utility vehicle 10 minutes after you drive it off the lot, the amount the insurance company pays is likely to leave you with no vehicle and a big bill. The same thing applies if your new set of wheels gets stolen. Gap insurance pays the difference between the blue book value of a vehicle and the amount of money still owed on the car. If you are leasing a vehicle or purchasing a vehicle with a low, or no, down payment, gap insurance is a great idea.

Mobile Oil Change Business in the Bay Area – Does it Make Any Sense?

Due to the economy recovering or at least it appears that it might be, many are now considering it’s time to pull the trigger and start their own company. Many folks have been laid off long enough now that they’ve depleted their savings and resources. So, they’ll need to start a business that doesn’t cost a lot to get into. This is where a mobile service business can come in.

The entrepreneur can get a loan for a vehicle from a car dealership, buy some equipment on a lease, and get busy marketing to get customers. Not long ago, I was discussing this topic with an individual considering on starting a mobile oil change business and he stated;

“I’ve been thinking on and off for years about doing this [a mobile oil change company] and now I feel the need to seriously revisit this opportunity. I live in California, the San Francisco Bay Area and have been searching many companies, systems, and ideas.”

Specifically, he wants to know if this business will work good in the San Francisco area, and if he should go for it, what type of business equipment he will need, and any other important considerations. We discussed various potential vendors and business opportunities out there such as:

Lube N’ Go

Oil Butler

On Site oil and Lube

Sage Oil Vak.

Pit Stop Mobile Oil Change

Yes, those are all decent options, and should be studied with proper due diligence, and there is another option of course. What other option you ask? Well, I suppose you could build your own and do it that way. It’s important to carefully study all the options, which will get your mind thinking and make the questions you ask more targeted and thus, lower your learning curve quite a bit.

Now then, if you are really going to start a mobile oil change business then you should probably read some of my online articles on the topic. You can email me if you are interested and I will point you to the links. I have written 75 articles on the topic. Indeed, I think once you read them and create your business plan, then you can formulate what you need to start your business.

Okay so, when it comes to operating such a business in San Francisco, you should be servicing oil changes for fleets in South San Francisco too, or mostly cars in the city for the high-end market. Because the fleet side of the business is the best, of course you will have Chinese run companies on the fleet side and it can get rather competitive. But around SFO is also a ton of business too, and in Oakland etc. 50 mile radius is preferable for fleets.

Indeed, I sure hope this information assists you in building up your company and starting your own business. Please consider all this.

The Importance of Having a Good Credit Score in 2016

An impressive credit history can benefit you in ways you have never imagined. Consider being able to access the following:

1. Higher credit card limits

Who wouldn’t want to have an increased borrowing capacity? Upon proving to creditors that you are a responsible holder of a credit card, your credit card limits will rise automatically. Even if the company doesn’t raise your credit limit, you have the option to make a request for the same. It is impossible for your credit company not to honor your application. It is, however, imperative to keep in mind that the ratio of your available credit to what you have used plays a significant role in the determination of your credit score. Besides, earning higher credit limits will add a few more points to your high score.

2. Landlords’ approvals

Nowadays, property owners use your credit score to determine if they will rent out their houses or apartments to you. The better your score, the more confidence they will have in letting you rent. This is mainly because; they tend to believe that you are more likely to pay on time. With good credit, getting the approval of landlords becomes much easier.

3. Reduced interest rates

Interest rates have witnessed a dramatic rise in recent years. This can largely be blamed on the harsh economic times being experienced by the whole world. However, with a high credit score, you have the opportunity to have your interest rates lowered whenever you take a car loan, a house loan or any other type of loan. With a history of timely payment of loans, lenders will consider you a safe bet to repay the loan. This is an excellent way of saving money. How? One may ask. Even a 1% decrease in interest for a 25-year mortgage can translate to tens of thousands of savings – over the lifetime of the loan.

4. Personal matters

Apparently, your luck for love goes up when you have an impressive credit score. It doesn’t come as a surprise that people are looking into FICO scores when vetting their potential love interests. The world population is becoming more independent and liberated. People aren’t jumping into relationships just for the sake of it. They are willing to stay single rather than invest in non-constructive relationships. They want to get married to partners with whom they can buy a home, cover travel expenses and even invest among many other things.

Poor credit scores are interpreted as a sign of irresponsibility and bad financial management skills. Working towards a high score puts you more at ease when discussing concrete future plans with your love interest. Nothing will make you feel more confident than knowing that you have a top-notch credit score.

Hawaii Small Claims Court Basics – How It Works and Make It Work for You

Having mediated hundreds of cases in Hawaii Small Claims court, I have seen many people who come to court unprepared, not knowing what to expect. Therefore, here are a few things to keep in mind to make the best of Hawaii Small Claims Court and make it work for you.

Which kind of cases can be settled in Hawaii small claims court

All kinds — property damage, breach of contract, security deposit, personal loan, car repair, defective product, personal injury and so on – as long as the monetary value of your case does not exceed $5,000. Be aware that in Hawaii Small Claims Court there is usually no allowance for lost wages, pain and suffering, and travel expenses (unless you had to fly from a neighbor island).

Pros of going through Hawaii small claims court

Settling a case in Hawaii small claims court is quick and inexpensive because you don’t have to hire an attorney. In addition, you have two options to settle your dispute with the other party: You can work out a mutually acceptable agreement with the assistance of a neutral mediator of the Mediation Center of the Pacific, or you can have your day in court and let the judge decide

Cons of Hawaii small claims court

First, in Hawaii small claims court there is no right to appeal. If the judge decides how your dispute should be settled, you must accept that decision — whether you like it or not. Second, keep in mind that winning in court and getting your money are two different things. If you win, the judge is not going to cut you a check. The burden to collect is still yours.

How Hawaii small claims court works

When you file a claim in Hawaii small claims court, the clerk will set a date for your trial. From that point on, you are the plaintiff, and the person you are suing is the defendant. Next, you have to serve the court papers on the defendant — in person, by mail, through the sheriff or a civil process server. One way or another, you have to notify the defendant both about your claim and the day of the trial.

If you have served the defendant properly and he or she shows up in court on the day of the trial, the Judge will ask him/her a simple question: “Do you admit or deny that you owe X dollars to the plaintiff?” If the defendant answers, “I admit,” there is automatically a judgment against him or her for the amount claimed, plus court and service costs. If the defendant says, “I deny — I do not owe the plaintiff anything” or “I owe the plaintiff something, but not the entire amount of the claim,” the judge will send both of you to mediation.

What recourse you have if the defendant refuses to pay

If the defendant is ordered to pay but does not, the plaintiff can take several steps. Typically, he or she could garnish the defendant’s wages or try to find some other assets, like bank accounts. In Hawaii, as in other states, there are specific laws stating what the plaintiff can and cannot do to collect money from the defendant.

What mediation in Hawaii small claims court entails

The purpose of mediation is to give you and the defendant the opportunity, (a) to present your perspective, (b) to listen to the other party’s perspective, and (c) to identify all issues that need to be resolved. Once you have that information, you can decide whether it is in your best interest to work out an agreement that both of you think is fair, or let the judge decide.

The beauty of mediation is that you and the defendant have total control over your settlement. Not only can you decide how much money should change hands and within how many days, weeks or months; you can also resolve any misunderstanding or miscommunication issues — for example, with a verbal or written apology. If you are able to reach a mediated agreement, the mediator will write down its terms, and the judge will check with you that everything you have agreed on is crystal clear.

The benefits of mediation

You (the plaintiff) are more likely to receive all agreed-upon payments. The defendant avoids having a judgment entered against him or her, which could affect his/her credit rating for years to come. And both of you have an opportunity to preserve your relationship. Also, mediation takes place right there in small claims court on the same day of the trial.

Who pays for mediation in Hawaii small claims court

The Hawaii Judiciary has a contract with different mediation centers on each island — for Oahu it is the Mediation Center of the Pacific — to provide mediation services in small claims court. Thus, the cost of mediation is not paid by either party (plaintiff or defendant). It is paid by the Hawaii Judiciary (i.e., by Hawaii taxpayers).

What happens if you are unable to work out an agreement in mediation

The judge will decide how your dispute should be settled. In that case, nothing you said or offered during mediation can be used against you in court, because mediation is confidential.

What to expect if you have to go to trial

If you are the plaintiff, you have the burden of proof that, A, you suffered a monetary damage and, B, the defendant is liable for it. The way you do that is through your testimony, your evidence (documents, receipts, invoices, pictures) and your witnesses.

To be safe, make sure to print out any pictures, emails or documents you have on your computer or cellular phone. As for your witnesses, they must be present in court so the judge can determine their qualifications and credibility.

And finally, be aware of what the judge will do if your dispute — like many disputes — is not black and white, but there is a gray area because neither you nor the defendant can prove conclusively who said or did what. In this case the judge will apply a little-known legal concept called “preponderance of evidence.” It works like this: If the judge believes you 51 percent and the defendant 49 percent, you win. But if the judge believes the defendant 51 percent and you 49 percent, you lose. Perhaps this is another reason small claims court judges prefer that you and the defendant reach your own settlement agreement in mediation.

A Car Lease Buyout: Welcome Home a Car Full of Memories

You neither have to leave your car nor the memories attached to it.

It is tough to forget things that have touched your heart. Memories that you created while driving your car will remain in your heart forever. But, what if you have to give away the car after the lease period gets over? Do not lose heart because you can consider the option of a car lease buyout and keep your car with you forever.

Is it smart to buy your Leased Car?

Car leasing comes with the option of buying the car at the end of the lease period or before the period gets over. It is called a ‘car lease buyout’. It simply means to buy your leased car – either with cash or loan. Since you know it’s condition very well, there will be no surprises for you in the future. A car lease buyout option is safer than purchasing a different used car because you will be able well-aware of the situation of it.

Multiple Benefits of a Car Lease Buyout

Every individual has a passion. And if you want to become a proud car owner, a car lease buyout can help you with it. You can buy your leased car and never let go of your fond memories. So, why opt for it? The answer lies in its multiple benefits:

· Good Opportunity

The purchase price of a leased car is less than the current market value of it. A car lease buyout option gives you an opportunity to bring home your favorite vehicle. If you can’t buy your leased car with cash, do not worry. There are many auto financing companies that will help you with a loan. A good selection of the loan will provide you with low interest rates.

· Elimination of Surprises

You are aware of the car’s condition. And, as you had planned for returning it at the end of lease period, you have left no stone unturned in taking good care of it. So, when you opt for a car lease buyout option, there will be no surprises or shocks in the near future.

· Top Choice

You already have the car that you like. There is no question of research or test drive. Although you will have to undertake negotiating process with the lessor, it is better than starting the car buying process from scratch.

A Car Lease Buyout: A Choice for Every One

Your happiness is your choice. If you like your leased car, it is the right time to buy it. A car lease buyout provides you with two options. Following are the two options with you:

· Lease End Buyout

It means that you can buy your leased car after the lease contract ends. It requires you to pay the residual value of the car. A residual value is the car’s worth at the end of the lease. It is usually agreed upon at the beginning of the lease period and is mentioned in the contract. So, is it a smart decision to opt for it? Compare the residual value to the current market value of the car. When the residual value is less than or equal to the market value, buying the car is a good deal. Also, you can opt for it if:

– Overall performance of the car is good.

– It doesn’t require repair.

– You are able to get a loan at a good interest rate.

· Early Lease Buyout

It gives you an option to buy your leased car before the end of the lease period. It is better to consider it if:

– The car has exceeded the allowed mileage limit.

– You are unable to keep up with the maintenance cost.

– There is interior or exterior damage to the car.

Early lease buyout option may not be a good deal because of additional depreciation fees. So, it is wise to wait till the lease period ends in order to get the best deal.

Shopping for a car takes a lot of time and energy. But, a car lease buyout will help you. Let your passion have wings with the ownership of your leased car. Buy the known car, which helped you create your memories, to build more memories!