When Life is Like an Angry Monkey...

ie_remarsreport_aprilYou're cruising along just fine when it strikes; that Barnum & Bailey semi in front of you hits a bump, the trailer door breaks and out bounces a crate of circus monkeys.  And they're angry...

Now that you're on the edge of your seat, what's this have to do with anything? Nothing, other than lately my life has had difficulties I equate to the likeness of angry monkeys.  Life sometimes hurls unexpected circumstances at you; sometimes you can duck and avoid the bad stuff, but sometimes you can't.

My ducking skills have been better... I've faced the loss of my job and several other family, health and "old house" repair problems. Some of which I probably should have seen coming, other I could not. Am I looking for sympathy by telling you this? On the contrary, I want to tell you how I am coping with life.

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What Do You Need to Know About the New Vantage Score 3.0?

First created in 2006 by the big three credit bureaus - Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion - the Vantage Score has been redesigned with a new credit scoring model.

This new model has the potential to help people with no recent or little recent credit history. For these persons, the credit model will look at rent, utility, and cell phone payments, if they have been reported.

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Do You Have Good Savings Habits?

According to the sixth annual national survey assessing household saving, only about 50% of Americans have good savings habits. The survey results, released during America Saves Week, provides a look at savings habits and how they compare over the last several years.

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Got Savings? Why Not?

cfa_america_savesEver been stressed over an unexpected expense? Ever been out of money? Tired of being broke?

Right Now, "America Saves" gives you an easy plan to start saving money and stop stressing.

Why Now? America Saves week is February 25-March 1. Can you think of a better week to start?

Do This: Check out the "America Saves" website. Make a pledge to yourself, set a savings goal, and start saving now. You've been meaning to do that, right?

Head to: Pledge to Save

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Have You Checked Your Credit Report Lately?

If not, you should. A new FTC report finds that 1 in 5 consumers may have an error on at least one of their 3 credit reports that could affect your credit score. Consumers typically have a credit report at each of the big credit reporting agencies (CRAs): Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You should check each one at least once a year. You can receive a free report from each CRA once a year through AnnualCreditReport.com. By staggering each of your free reports throughout the year, you can check your report every four months for errors or possible fraudulent activity.

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Will You See a Credit Card Surcharge at the Checkout?

As of January 27, 2013, merchants, online and off, can add a surcharge to every purchase made with a Visa or MasterCard credit card. They can't add the surcharge on debit card purchases. Note that state laws in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, and Texas prohibit or restrict credit card surcharges.

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