Happy President’s Day and happy Christian Finance Blog Inauguration Day! This day is finally upon us! This marks a new beginning for the blog! It’s a brand new theme, a brand new url (www.christianfinanceblog.com) and a whole new feed!
Christian Finance Blog is now on a dedicated host and not on WordPress.com. And what perfect timing! Christian Finance Blog turned two on February 11th. It’s hard to believe that the blog is already starting its third year in existence! I never knew I would be blogging this long when I first started back in 2007. But I’m glad I did and I want to focus more time to it going forward!
Get ready for a Presidential Giveaway tomorrow! Subscribe to the Christian Finance Blog feed so you don’t miss out on any of the great prizes that I’m going to give away! There’s going to be a lot at stake! Here’s a hint: get ready for taxes by going Turbo and “live like no one else, so you can live like no one else.”
The transition from WordPress.com to my dedicated host was a success for the most part. Some comments were lost during the switch. I’m hoping to be able to transfer them, but I’ve been having some problems with it.
Also, the email subscriptions on the top right are not working right now. The feeds are also not the correct ones. Please use this feed instead and you’ll always be up to date on the blog. I’m working on fixing these problems.
I’ve also added Polls on the right sidebar. Make sure you check it out and vote on the latest poll if you haven’t already!
And remember, CFB Inauguration Day is coming February 16th!
Did you know that the world’s richest man’s credit score is only 718? How can a billionaire like Warren Buffet have an average credit score? Even my credit score is higher than his! He really doesn’t need to even borrow money since his net worth is “only” about $62 billion. He can just pay with cash! But what’s the explanation for his average credit score?
Well, the FICO (Fair Issac Corporation) score doesn’t take into account wealth or assets. What the FICO credit score (which is the score that most lenders use) takes into account is your payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, new credit, and types of credit used (in order of importance). It measures how much of a risk you are to a lender and has a range between 300 and 850.
The FICO credit score is important because it’s not only used by lenders (which affects interest rates on loans). Potential employers can check your credit and you may be passed up for a job because of poor credit. Landlords can also check your credit and might not rent to you. Most insurance companies are also now basing your insurance policy on your credit score. Utilities companies and cell phone companies can even use your score.
So what can you do to improve your score (or establish a score if you don’t have one?) The best thing you can do is to pay your bills on time. This includes utility bills, rent, cell phone bills, and any installment loan payments (car loans, mortgages, student loans, etc.). Pay your credit cards on time every month, or better yet, pay them off every single month. Keep your debt-to-credit limit ratio (the amount owed versus the total credit limit) low.
If you don’t have a credit score (common among younger people), you can take some steps to establish your credit. Consider taking out a credit card with a low credit limit and use it to buy things that you would buy anyway (like gas) and pay it off every month. If you’re in school, you could also consider taking out a small student loan. The longer your credit history, the better, so as your credit ages, your score will improve. I’m not saying that you should go take out lots of loans and credit cards just so you can establish your credit. Don’t borrow if you don’t have to. But you can take some steps now to establish or improve your credit. Knowing is the first step!
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On February 17, 2009, television will only be broadcast in digital rather than analog signals. What does this mean for you? You will need to buy a converter box only if you currently use an antenna to receive your television signal.
If you currently use cable, satellite, or have a built-in digital TV tuner, you do not need a converter box or need to do anything else. If you still need a converter box, you can apply for two free $40 coupons per household to offset the cost of converter boxes from now until February 17, 2009 or until they run out.
You don’t need to buy a new TV like many people were saying. All you need is a converter box so don’t use this as an excuse to buy something that you might not need.
The IRS will begin to send approximately 130 million tax rebate payments to boost the economy starting on May 2. Most people will receive their rebates by July 11 if tax returns are filed by the April 15th deadline. The IRS takes about two weeks to process a return. Here’s a full schedule for the special rebate payments:
You can use the IRS’s own online calculator to figure out exactly how much of a rebate you’ll get and whether or not you’re eligible.
I’ve written about this special stimulus rebate here and here.
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