Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc



Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 2/9/2014

If you have credit trouble it can be difficult to get back on the right track. Poor credit impacts your ability to secure a loan, credit cards, and even a job. Credit ratings are also used by insurers, employers and leasing agencies. So where should you turn for help to repair your credit? There are many credit repair companies and while some are reputable some are not legitimate. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers these signs to tell if the company is legit or not:

  • The company asks for money up front. The Credit Repair Organizations Act forbids repair companies from requiring you to pay fees before they have completed the promised services.
  • The company doesn’t want you to contact the three national credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) yourself.
  • The company encourages you to dispute all the negative information in your credit report, regardless of its accuracy.
  • The company recommends attempting to create a new credit identity and history by applying for an Employer Identification Number to use instead of your Social Security Number.
While a credit repair company may be helpful there are some things you can do yourself to repair your credit.
  • Once every 12 months, check your credit report.  Credit reports are available at www.annualcreditreport.com.
  • If you find errors, dispute incorrect information in your report.
  • Negotiate the removal of outstanding debt. Even without a credit counseling agency, you can contact the collectors of your outstanding debt to negotiate a pay-off settlement.
 





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 1/26/2014

Who doesn't love a bargain? You can negotiate a deal for just about anything. Here is how to try your hand at bargain hunting at flea markets, yard sales, junk stores, antique malls, and thrift stores. Some helpful tips on how to haggle: Dress the part. If you are looking for a deal don't flaunt your designer handbag and shoes. You want the seller to believe you when you say you’re only willing or able to pay less. Be friendly. A smile and kind hello can go a long way when asking for a discount. Ask for the discount. You can't get what you don't ask for. Make a fair offer. If you offer too little you can insult the seller and they will be less willing to offer you a deal. Start your offer at a little more than half the asking price and expect to meet somewhere in the middle. Inspect the merchandise. If the item has a flaw nicely point it out to the seller. Make a group offer. Gather a group of items and offer one price for all of them together. This benefits the seller and they are typically more willing to make a deal. Pay in cash. Always buy in cash, sellers love cash (who doesn't). You may even want to take the money out of your wallet to show the seller you are serious.  




Categories: Money Saving Tips  


Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 1/12/2014

With the tax deadline come and gone it is important to know that not paying your taxes can have significant repercussions. Tax laws and even worse the fallout from not paying your taxes can be a complicated mess. You could get stuck with a tax lien, if this happens to you here are tips on what can you do to remove a tax lien? First, what is a tax lien? It is a legal way for the IRS to get an individual to pay tax debt. Liens can be placed on personal or real property when you fail to pay taxes within a given period of time. The lien is usually filed at a local County Clerk’s office and is a public document. It can also be filed with the Secretary of State. Through the lien the IRS gains legal claim on property until the lienor can pay the tax that is owed. Tax liens are not only inconvenient but they can also affect your credit rating. The sale of any personal property will also be difficult or even impossible. Your top priority should be to remove a tax lien as soon as possible. Here is what you need to know: 1. You have 30 days to respond to a tax lien after receiving a “Final Notice of Intent to Levy”. 2. Tax liens can expire but this may not be the best option. For tax liens more recent than November 6, 1990, the tax lien becomes unenforceable after 10 years. For all liens prior to November 6, 1990, the tax lien becomes unenforceable after six years. 3. A tax lien can show on your credit report forever. Even if it expires the lien will remain on your credit report, whether the IRS acts upon it or not. 4. Pay the tax that is owed. If you choose this option, your tax lien should be removed within 30 days. It can be removed from your credit report as well. 5. Prove a financial hardship. If you can prove to the IRS that levying money in your bank account will cause more harm than good and that it may cause you to never be able to pay them what you owe them. 6. Your best option is to consult with a tax professional to help you create a realistic tax payback plan or correspondence with the IRS.




Categories: Money Saving Tips  


Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 12/1/2013

Did you know your credit score can change every day? Your credit score or FICO score is a three-digit number used by lenders to help them decide whether or not to lend you money and at what interest rate. Knowing what lenders see as risky can help you avoid mistakes that can damage your credit score for years. Here are some of the factors lenders look at: Payment track record How much debt owed Credit history Established credit New credit inquiries Types of credit accounts If you want to have the best credit score possible there are a few basic things that, if done on a regular basis, should improve a credit score: Pay all of your bills on time, every time. Keep your credit card balances low. Only open new credit when necessary.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 11/24/2013

In today's economic climate protecting your financial health is more important than ever. From health insurance to your plans for retirement, there’s a lot to consider. Here are some tips from Family Wealth Management Group, LLC to help protect your assets and financial future. It is never too early to plan In order to plan, you need to know what you have. Review your pension plan, 401 (k), IRAs, Social Security benefits and other savings plans to assess whether they meet your long-term retirement goals and will generate an income stream to meet your projected expenses. Curb spending Time to take an inventory on how much you spend. Keep a log on trips to the market, afternoon lattes, dry cleaning and all of your miscellaneous spending. Try to eliminate a portion of these expenses. Once you track them you will realize you are spending more than you thought. Re-define your financial goals Ask yourself where you see yourself in five, 10 or 15 years. See if it is possible to redefine your goals. You may be able to retire earlier or pay for college. Set goals to achieve the things you want. Get help Professional advice about investment losses, financial products, insurance coverage and other important issues will help you make the right choices for your current financial situation.




Categories: Money Saving Tips