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The www.FedPrimeRate.com Personal Finance Blog and Magazine

Thursday, April 27, 2006

FICO Score Retreats to 697: Am I Worried--NO!

I recently checked my FICO credit score to find that my score has dipped from 709 to 697. No surprise, really, as I was expecting a slight decline in my score this month, because I've been moving some debt around in order to avoid interest charges wherever I can.

Am I worried about the dip in my score? Nah.

Some folks out there are warning that a dip in your credit score can result in the interest rate on your credit cards going up. While this is true if, for example, you hit a major financial bump in the road and can't make the minimum payment due on any of your credit cards, this is certainly not the case if you have been paying all of your bills on time. The bottom line is, the credit card companies don't want to do anything to scare off or otherwise punish responsible consumers, and raising your interest rate because of a slight dip in your credit score would be unprofessional and unreasonable--even draconian, in my opinion.

Now, if I decided to max out all my credit cards all at once, I'm certain that my credit score would dip to a level that might cause the interest rate on my cards to up. But this should be expected, because my maxed out status would logically make me an increased credit risk in the eyes of my creditors, which makes sense.

I won't need to move my debt around for a while, so by next month I'm betting that my credit score will be back up in 700 territory. I'll be paying at least 3 times my minimum amount due--as usual--on all my credit cards this month, and I've also just paid down one of my accounts to $0, so I may end up with score in the 715-720 range as a result. Wish me luck!

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

New Home Insurance Video Clip Is Short, but Informative

The folks @ Allstate Insurance released a new video clip that features some good advice related to home insurance. A short clip, but every little bit of information counts.

The clip can be found here:


And here's a snippet from the corresponding press release:

"Owning a home is a major milestone -- and making sure such a huge investment is protected is necessary for peace of mind. Home insurance can prepare you for recovery from the unexpected.

See video at: http://media.medialink.com/WebNR.aspx?story=31903

Insurance protection can help you rebuild your home in case the worst happens -- like a fire or other natural disaster. Homeowners insurance covers many of your personal possessions -- like your television, stereo or DVDs -- if they are stolen or destroyed. Other items -- like collectibles, jewelry or computer equipment -- may need extra coverage.

You also don't have to worry in case you have company over. If a guest is injured in your home, insurance can protect you if you are sued -- allowing you to enjoy your home without the worries that usually come with it."

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

New Home Insurance Website with A Mission To Educate

A new home insurance website has debuted @ Home-Insurance-Owner-Quote.com, a site that aims to help homeowners get a real understanding about how home insurance works. The site is filled with lots of useful and hard-to-find tips and information, like a list of the endorsements or riders that you can add to a standard policy's wording.

Further details can be found below in the snippet from today's press release:

"Arranging and understanding Homeowner Insurance can be time consuming and confusing if like most of us you find the subject of Home owner insurance to be complicated, why not visit http://www.home-insurance-owner-quote.com? Their site will provide you with information about the various type of Homeowner policy available in the United States and then provide you with a Free quotation from multiple insurance carriers.

Probably the most difficult part of arranging this type of insurance contract is the ability to work out what comes as standard and what is an addition and will cost you extra. It’s fairly involved especially if you are arranging your cover for the first time. Speaking to an agent can help but sometimes you really just want to locate the information yourself online when it’s convenient for you.

The site starts by explaining the 6 usual sections of a Homeowners policy, the levels of protection available and the various types of policy form H01 H02 etc.

If you are unsure what you can add to your standard policy wording, the site provides a list of typical 'Endorsements' or 'Floaters' that you can add on to your policy. This is quite useful as the additions to a standard policy are quite extensive.

Of course when it comes actually buying insurance, what you purchase depends very much on what you can afford, but it is well worth analyzing your exposure to a loss. Is the chance of a flood higher where you live, what about earthquakes? Do you run a business from home and need additional liability cover. These are all items that are not usually covered by the standard home policy, you may possibly be able to purchase them as optional extras.

As well as information, Home-insurance-owner-quote.com provides a link to a quote engine that will enable you to obtain quotations from multiple insurance carriers online without any pressure from a salesman, it’s quick and secure and could help you to save money as well. The service is Free of charge and that’s always a plus point.

Additional pages provide guidance on Home security, what you can actually do to help prevent a loss and some worthwhile tips on how to obtain a cheaper premiums. It all seems like common sense but it is always worthwhile to be reminded of these tips."

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Where The Heck Are My Student Loans?

When I decided to consolidate my student loans, I had to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out who exactly was holding my student loans (I wasn't very good at keeping records back then.)

So I am happy to report about a nifty utility I recently discovered at the National Student Clearinghouse website called the "LoanLocator"; simply enter your Social Security number and your date of birth on the secure page and the system may be able to retrieve your student loan information for you (participation in the LoanLocator service by your lender is necessary for a successful retrieval.) To give the LoanLocator system a try, point your web browser to:


And feel free to post a comment here to let us know if the LoanLocator it worked for you. Thanks!

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