Credit Cards: How Many Is Too Many?

According to Fair Isaac, the company that created the credit score, on average, todays consumer has a total of 13 credit obligations on record at a credit bureau, 9 credit cards and 4 installment loans.

How many cards do you have? Can you name what’s in your wallet? If the answer is no, you have too many cards. You probably don’t need more than two cards, maybe three. Yeah, I know you get some great deals with these cards.

But unless you are a really, really big spender it will take you an eternity to reap any real rewards from so many cards.

Pare down the number of cards you have. Pay them off, stop using them, take them out of your wallet and then consider canceling them. I did say consider canceling them. Your credit score uses a very complicated formula to come up with a simple number that creditors can use to judge your credit worthiness.

Part of that score is the percentage of credit you use each month to the amount of credit you have available. The key is not to be maxed out on your credit cards or late with your payments.

You want to keep the cards you have had the longest. Longevity is a plus on your credit score. Ask for an increase on your limit with these cards. Once this is done cancel a few of the cards. Check your credit score again. Then cancel the rest.

This may be a slow process if you need to keep your credit score intact.

If you have a lousy credit score, pare down to the two cards you have had the longest, cancel the rest and work on building up your score. A good score is between 680 and 740. An excellent credit score is over 740. Scores range from 300 to 850. The higher your credit score the lower your interest rate on a loan or the cost of your insurance.

One more thing: The three major reporting agencies are: Experian, Equifax and Transunion. To purchase your credit score you can go directly to their websites. But listeners have told me they have become confused and have actually purchased more than just their credit score.

I would recommend if you are looking to buy your credit scores that you use My Fico and purchase the FICO Standard which gives you credit scores from Equifax and Transunion plus your credit history. Experian no longer shares its credit scores with FICO. Cost is about $16 each.

Money Conference Alert!!

On October 11th I will be the key note speaker at The Money Conference which is a FREE one-day event presented by The Office of Massachusetts State Treasury. It will be held at UMASS Boston and the first 500 registrants will get a free copy of my newest book, Money, Your Personal Finance Guide.

There will be afternoon classes on everything from budgeting to buying a house. The Financial Planning Association of Boston will have volunteer financial planners there to help answer questions. You can set up a meeting with a Money Mentor when you register. If you have questions about the conference, contact Sheila OLoughlin of the State Treasury at (617) 367-6900 ext 615.

The color of money: The simple way to improve your credit

WASHINGTON — There are no shortcuts to strengthening your credit score.

Say that to yourself three times a day until you stop trying to figure out or waste good money searching for an easy fix to boosting your creditworthiness.

I say this because I was taking calls from radio listeners recently and a young woman asked how to increase her credit score, which was in the high 600s a decent score but not great. She was referring to the range for the FICO score, which goes from 300 (lowest) to 850 (highest).

The first question I always ask people trying to improve their credit score is: Do you pay your bills on time?

The caller hesitated.

That would be a no, I jumped in.

No, no, I pay them on time, she said.

I pressed because people dont seem to want to acknowledge the behavior that can affect their credit.

Really, you pay every single bill, on time?

Then she came clean. She mostly pays them on time. Only occasionally does she slip up, she admitted.

In her case, thats the score slayer.

Dont listen to the television ads promising quick fixes or the many junk emails with subject lines claiming secret ways to improve your credit. Paying your bills on time is the No. 1 way to fix your credit. Every debt. Every month. On time.

But when I say that, I get blank stares of disbelief or heavy breaths. It cant be that easy. Surely there is some trick to the system.

No secret. No trick. Go back and read my opening line there are no shortcuts to strengthening your credit score. Thirty-five percent of your score under FICO is your payment history.

The other effective way to boost your score is to pay down your debt. Thirty percent of your score is derived from how much you owe. So all that credit card debt you carry month to month is also dragging your score down.

If you must carry debt, FICO recommends keeping your credit card debt at 30 percent or less of your available credit. So if you have a credit line of $1,000, you shouldnt have more than $300 outstanding at any one time. Same goes for all your cards collectively. Dont use more than 30 percent of the total available credit you have.

I was rejoicing recently when a survey found that young adults were largely shunning the use of credit. Turns out that 63 percent of consumers 18 to 29 say they do not have a credit card, according to a Bankrate.com study. They instead preferred debit cards.

But when I tweeted my joy that millennials werent embracing the credit culture, some people thought that wasnt a good thing. They were concerned they wouldnt be able to buy a home.

Heres what many people dont seem to get about the credit scoring models. They are fluid, not static. As you pay your bills on time and pay off debt, you are contributing to the upward mobility of your credit as often as your creditors report what youre doing to the credit bureaus. Besides, more than half of millennials say they carry over balances from month to month. Not good.

Like weight loss, slow and steady wins the race, says Anthony A. Sprauve, FICOs director of public relations. The average consumer should start to see their FICO score improving three to six months after they begin positive behaviors such as paying down their credit card debts and paying all of their bills on time every time.

The same is true in building up credit. It doesnt take as long as some people think to establish good credit. And you should keep in mind that your credit score is just one factor in the home loan approval process. My niece and her husband, both in their mid-20s, just bought a single family home without having a history of regular credit card use. Her husband had student loans that he paid on time.

Again, if you have loans a car loan, student loans that you are paying on time, that also helps build up your credit score.

As you repair your credit history, dont beat yourself up for past mistakes. Adverse information such as late payments can stay in your file for seven years. But time heals this wound.

As negative things fade into the distance of your credit history rearview mirror, they have less impact on the FICO score, Sprauve said.

So repeat after me: There are no shortcuts to strengthening your credit score.

Michelle Singletary can be reached c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St., NW, Washington, DC 20071 or at michelle.singletary@washpost.com.

Penny Stocks Alert-GIVAUDAN SA ADR (OTCMKTS:GVDNY),NORDEA BANK …

Las Vegas, NV – August 12, 2014 (Tech Sonian) -US stocks gained yesterday.

The 10-year yield had risen to 2.44% earlier in the session. Buyers stepped into the haven bond market after an earlier round of selling, signaling that bond investors remain cautious over the geopolitical risks in Ukraine and Middle East.

GIVAUDAN SA ADR (OTCMKTS:GVDNY) together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells fragrance and flavor products to the food, beverage, consumer goods, and fragrance companies. The company operates in two divisions, Flavours and Fragrances. The Flavours division offers a range of flavors for use in beverages, savory, snacks, sweet goods, dairy products, food service, and health and wellness products.

GIVAUDAN SA ADR (OTCMKTS:GVDNY) opened the session at $32.27, trading in a range of $32.13- $32.27, and closed at $32.26. The stock showed a positive performance of 0.62% in the last trading session. The stock traded on a volume of 9,132 shares and the average volume of the stock remained 11,202 shares.

For How Long GVDNY will Fight for Profitability? Read This Trend Analysis report

NORDEA BANK AB ADR (OTCMKTS:NRBAY)provides retail and wholesale banking, and wealth management services banking products and services to individuals, corporate customers, institutions, and public companies. The company offers deposits, cards, lending, and net banking services; cash management services; trade and project finance services; and asset based financing through leasing, hire purchase, and factoring, as well as provides finance products to partners, such as vendors, dealers, and retailers.

NORDEA BANK AB ADR (OTCMKTS:NRBAY) traded 17,878 shares in the last business day while the average volume of the stock remained 31,264 shares. The stock showed a positive movement of 1.27% to end at $13.14. The 52 week range of the stock remained $11.65 $15.02.

For How Long NRBAY Gloss will Attract Investors? Find out via this report

View Systems Inc (OTCBB:VSYM) has been chosen by a respected therapy and dispensary center in Wheatridge, Colorado to install the ViewScan Weapons Detection System. This will be the first installation of its kind in the State of Colorado. The ViewScan unit will also include an integrated Identification System.

View Systems Inc (OTCBB:VSYM) reported 257,667 shares were exchanged during the last trade, while the average volume is about 1.16 million shares. The stock increased0.72% and finished the day at $0.0140. The beta of the stock is recorded at 3.12.

Will VSYM Continue To Move Higher? Find Out Here

Kasikornbank Public Co Ltd (OTCMKTS:KPCPY) provides commercial banking products and services in Thailand and internationally. The company offers various personal banking products and services, including bank accounts, such as savings accounts, e-savings accounts, fixed accounts, current deposits, and foreign currency deposits; credit and debit cards; loans, such as housing loans, home equity loans, express cash loans, personal loans for education, and personal loans for provident fund members, as well as for welfare; and life, annuity, retirement, accident, asset protection, home protection, health, and auto insurance products.

Kasikornbank Public Co Ltd (OTCMKTS:KPCPY) the stockincreased 0.32% and finished the session at $27.89.Traded with volume of 8,550 shares in the prior session and the average volume of the stock remained 16,682 shares.

Why Should Investors Buy KPCPY After The Recent Gain? Just Go Here and Find Out

Are You Financially Ready to Buy a House?

One way to gauge if you are financially ready to buy a home is to ask yourself the following four questions:

1. Is My Credit in Good Shape?

Before lenders approve a home loan, they will analyze your ability to repay it. To make this determination, lenders will obtain your credit report from one or more credit reporting agencies. The credit report shows how much you owe, to whom, if you make payments on time and how much credit you have applied for.

In addition, lenders will look at your credit score, which is a number that is calculated based on the information in your credit reports. Think of the number as a snapshot of your credit risk at that point in time.

What Credit Scores Mean

If you have poor credit and a low credit score, lenders may evaluate you as a higher risk for not repaying the loan. As a result, they may charge you a higher interest rate or possibly turn down your loan application altogether.

You can avoid surprises by getting a copy of your credit report from the three main credit reporting agencies before you apply for a home loan. If there are mistakes on the reports, get them corrected immediately. The three agencies are:

  1. Equifax, 800.685.1111
  2. Experian, 888.397.3742
  3. TransUnion, 800.916.8800

You can also obtain your credit reports for free from AnnualCreditReport.com. By law, consumers are entitled to one free credit report from each agency every 12 months. Its also helpful to check your credit scores at this time. There are resources that allow you to check your credit scores for free, including Credit.com.

If you have less than perfect credit, be prepared to explain to the lender why. If you have no credit accounts, show the lender your cancelled checks and other documents to prove that you pay your rent, phone bills or utility bills on time. You also might decide to delay buying a house until youve improved your credit or established a credit history. The following steps can help you improve your credit over time:

  1. Pay your bills on time.
  2. Reduce your debt by paying off your credit cards.
  3. Only apply for the credit you really need.

See Latest Mortgage RatesFind out the current mortgage rates in your city. Compare rates for fixed adjustable rate mortgages.
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2. Do I Have a Steady Job History?

A steady job gives lenders more confidence that you can repay a home loan. If you have been working continuously for two years or more, even if not in the same job, you are considered to have steady employment. Be prepared to explain to the lender if there are reasons why you have not been employed continuously, such as an illness or just finishing school or military service.

3. Can I Afford to Make Monthly Mortgage Payments?

The answer to this question depends on how much you earn and how much other debt you have. As a general rule of thumb, a lender will want your monthly mortgage payment to total no more than 29% of your monthly gross income (thats your monthly income before taxes and other paycheck deductions are taken out). Add other long-term debt, such as car and student loans, and most experts say that the total should take no more than 36 to 41% of your monthly gross income. Freddie Mac has a free calculator for determining how much you can afford to borrow.

4. Have I Saved Enough for a Down Payment?

In the past, down payments that equaled 20% of the purchase price were typical. Today, however, qualified borrowers who have good credit, but limited savings, can purchase homes with five, three, or even zero percent down but the less you put down, the higher your mortgage payment.

You also will need money for closing costs to cover items like appraisals, loan origination fees, processing fees and so on. In addition, in return for an interest rate below prevailing rates, you may be charged points by the lender. One point equals 1% of your loan, and that amount is due at the time of closing. Online calculators can help you estimate your closing costs. Also know that you may be able to negotiate with the seller to pay certain closing costs.

Grading Your Answers

If you cant answer yes to each of these four questions, dont get discouraged. Simply give yourself a little more time to get ready financially to buy your home. In addition, check into federal and local home buying programs that specialize in working with people with limited financial resources.

This post was provided by Credit.com partner The Financial Planning Association.

More on Mortgages and Homebuying:

  • Why You Should Check Your Credit Before Buying a Home
  • How to Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
  • How to Search for Your Next Home

Image: Devonyu

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Consumers: Rents To Rise 2x Faster Than Home Prices In 2015

Consumers Expect Rents To Rise 2x Faster Than Home Prices In 2015

  • Mortgage Market Headlines

The US economy is improving and, with it, rents are rising nationwide. In many US markets, on a monthly basis, its more expensive to rent a home than to own one.

Thankfully, the expanding economy has softened mortgage eligibility requirements. Credit score minimums are dropping and banks have become more common sense with many portfolio home loan approvals. Plus, current mortgage rates are at a 15-month best.

Looking to buy a home between now and 2015? The market may be ready to help you get approved.

Click to compare todays live mortgage rates.

Rents Predicted To Rise 2x Faster Than Home Values

Each month, Fannie Mae polls 1,000 US households for its National Housing Survey. The survey gathers consumer observations on the US economy; and polls for future expectations.

In addition to broad economic themes, the survey covers housing topics including home prices, mortgage rates, and rent.

The most recent survey shows consumers mixed about the future of US housing. Despite rising home prices and falling mortgage rates, confidence in housing is waning from its early-spring peak.

Just 45% of those surveyed expect home values to rise in the next 12 months, a three-tick drop from March. Close to ten percent expect home prices to drop. On average, consumers expect home values to increase 2.1% annually, marking a six-tenths drop from six months ago.

Meanwhile, over the same 12-month period, Fannie Mae survey respondents expect US rents to rise 4.1% percent.

When rents rise faster than home values, it can change the Rent vs Buy equation — especially with mortgage rates near historical lows. 

Since 1971, when records were first kept, 30-year mortgage rates have averaged near 8.50 percent. Todays mortgage rates, by contrast, average 4.10%. Many lenders now quote rates in the three-percent range.

For renters considering homeownership, low mortgage rates help to make homes affordable for the long-term. This is different from rent which often increases from year-to-year.

Click to get todays live mortgage rates.

Common Mortgages For First-Time Buyers

For todays renter, the path to homeownership is simpler and faster than its been in more than seven years. There is an abundance of loan programs required little or nothing down, and mortgage credit is available with credit scores as low as 580.

Conventional Mortgage

With a 5% downpayment, home buyers get financed via Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Loans meeting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines are known as conventional loans.

In general, conventional loans are best for home buyers with credit scores of 740 or better, who are buying single-family residences including detached homes and town homes. Loans for homes with 2-4 units; or for buyers with credit scores below 740 are subject to interest rate adjustments which can render a conventional loan expensive relative to other loan types.

Mortgage rates for conventional mortgages are typically higher than a comparable FHA loan, but the mortgage insurance required for a conventional loan is often must less.

For homeowners making a 15% downpayment, 20% downpayment, or more, conventional loans are typically best.

FHA Loan

FHA loans are backed by the Federal Housing Administration and require a downpayment of just 3.5 percent, except for certain FHA approved condos which may require up to ten percent due at closing.

FHA mortgages require two type of mortgage insurance premiums (MIP). One type is paid annually, in twelve monthly installments. This type of mortgage insurance is known as FHA MIP. The other MIP type is called Upfront MIP. Its not paid in cash — its added to your loan size.

Buyers with credit scores between 580 and 640 will typically find FHA rates to be the lowest among all available options. Buyers with credit scores between 640 and 740 should comparison shop FHA mortgage rates against conventional ones and, when eligible, VA and USDA loans, too.

VA Loan

VA loans are backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and available to members of the US military and veterans of the armed services. VA loans are offered as part of the VA Loan Guaranty program and allow for 100% financing with no mortgage insurance required.

VA mortgages offer flexible underwriting and credit access for borrowers FICO scores 620 or higher. VA mortgages can also be used to finance home improvements and energy-efficiency upgrades to a property.

VA mortgage rates are typically lowest among all common first-time buyer loan types.

USDA Loan

The USDA loan is backed by the US Department of Agriculture and is available to buyers in areas with medium-to-low population density. This include most rural areas nationwide, and many US suburbs. The program offers no-money-down financing to buyers meeting USDA income limits.

USDA loans require homeowners to pay mortgage insurance, but premiums are much lower than for a comparable FHA or conventional home loan.

USDA mortgages require credit scores of 620 or better, and are available as 30-year fixed-rate mortgages only.

Get Todays Mortgage Rates Now

Rising home prices, an improving economy, and the highest mortgage rates in six months — its no wonder todays home buyers think its a good time to buy a home.

If youre among the nations first-time buyers, existing home owners, or real estate investors planning to buy a home in 2013, consider keeping a tight time frame. Momentum is carrying the housing market forward and the costs of homeownership are expected to rise into 2014 and beyond.

See how much home you can afford at todays mortgage rates. Get started with a quote.

Click here to check your mortgage eligibility.

Working 4 you: Why millennials should focus on their credit

SPOKANE, Wash. –

Two recent surveys show that millennials have some room to grow when it comes to building strong financial futures. 

An analysis of retirement savings by Fidelity found one in four workers overall left money on the table by leaving a job before the were vested. 37 percent of millennials forfeited employer contributions to their 401(k) on their way out the door, compared to 11 percent of baby boomers.

Thats mostly because younger workers tend to job-hop. And thats a move that could cost thousands in funds for retirement. 

Another survey from bankrate.com found more than six out of ten millennials dont have a credit card. Some are taking advantage of debit cards, while others are simply worried about debt they already have. 

This is a generation that grew up in an economy that wasnt doing so hot, they were looking for a job in not the best job market, and they have tons of student loan debt and theyre just reluctant to take on any further debts that could contribute to their financial woes later on, said Jeanine Skowronski, a credit card analyst for bankrate.com.

Even though avoiding debt now is a responsible financial move, avoiding credit could hurt later. 

Analysts say millennials could be making it harder on themselves to get financing in the future. They say to get credit, you have to build credit and credit cards are a good, fast way to do that. 

A solid credit history can help when its time to apply for a car loan, a mortgage, even insurance policies. 

Hospitality drives up spending on credit and debit cards in August

New Zealanders increased their spending on credit and debit cards in August, with a pick-up in the hospitality sector driving core retail expenditure in the month.

The value of core retail sales on electronic cards, which strips out spending on fuel and vehicle related items, rose 0.6% to a seasonally adjusted $3.78 billion in August, adding to the 0.6% increase a month earlier, Statistics New Zealand said. Including fuel and vehicle spending, total retail spending rose 0.5% to $4.69 billion.

Credit and debit card spending on hospitality rose 1.3% to $743 million in the month, while spending on consumable goods such as food and liquor rose 0.6% to $1.63 billion. Spending on durable items edged up 0.1% to $1.11 billion, while apparel spending fell 0.4% to $289 million.

Last month government figures showed retail sales for the June quarter rose 1.2%, beating estimates, as both values and volumes rose at the fastest pace in two years. An upbeat economic outlook has bolstered household confidence, though increased activity hasnt yet led to rising consumer prices, with the pace of inflation tamer than the Reserve Banks expectations.

Todays figures showed unadjusted core retail sales were up 4.5% at $3.62 billion from August 2013, with hospitality showing the biggest gain, up 11% at $734 million from a year earlier.

Spending on consumable goods was up 4.9% at $1.62 billion from a year earlier. Total retail sales rose 4.1% to $4.5 billion, while all spending, including services and non-retail industries, was up 3.2% at $6 billion.

The number of core retail transactions rose 5.9% to 87 million in August from the same month a year earlier, and was up 5.1% across all industries at 119 million. The average value per transaction was $50 in the month.

The simple way to improve your credit

WASHINGTON

There are no shortcuts to strengthening your credit score.

Say that to yourself three times a day until you stop trying to figure out or waste good money searching for an easy fix to boosting your creditworthiness.

I say this because I was taking calls from some radio listeners recently and a young woman asked how to increase her credit score, which was in the high 600s a decent score but not great. She was referring to the range for the FICO score, which goes from 300 (lowest) to 850 (highest). The first question I always ask people trying to improve their credit score is: Do you pay your bills on time?

The caller hesitated.

That would be a no, I jumped in.

No, no, I pay them on time, she said.

I pressed because Ive been answering the question for years. And people dont seem to want to acknowledge the behavior that can affect their credit.

Really, you pay every single bill, on time?

Then she came clean. She mostly pays them on time. Only occasionally does she slip up, she admitted.

In her case, thats the score slayer.

Dont listen to the television ads promising quick fixes or the many junk emails with subject lines claiming secret ways to improve your credit. Paying your bills on time is the No. 1 way to fix your credit. Every debt. Every month. On time.

But when I say that, I get blank stares of disbelief or heavy breaths. It cant be that easy. Surely there is some trick to the system.

No secret. No trick. Go back and read my opening line: there are no shortcuts to strengthening your credit score. Thirty-five percent of your score under FICO is your payment history.

The other effective way to boost your score is to pay down your debt. Thirty percent of your score is derived from how much you owe. So all that credit card debt you carry month to month is also dragging your score down. If you must carry debt, FICO recommends keeping your credit card debt at 30 percent or less of your available credit. So if you have a credit line of $1,000, you shouldnt have more than $300 outstanding at any one time. Same goes for all your cards collectively. Dont use more than 30 percent of the total available credit you have.

I was rejoicing recently when a survey found that young adults were largely shunning the use of credit. Turns out that 63 percent of consumers 18 to 29 say they do not have a credit card, according to a Bankrate.com study. They instead preferred debit cards.

But when I tweeted my joy that millennials werent embracing the credit culture, some people thought that wasnt a good thing. They were concerned they wouldnt be able to buy a home.

Heres what many people dont seem to get about the credit scoring models. They are fluid, not static. As you pay your bills on time and pay off debt, you are contributing to the upward mobility of your credit as often as your creditors report what youre doing to the credit bureaus. Besides, more than half of millennials say they carry over balances from month to month. Not good.

Like weight loss, slow and steady wins the race, says Anthony A. Sprauve, FICOs director of public relations. The average consumer should start to see their FICO score improving three to six months after they begin positive behaviors such as paying down their credit card debts and paying all of their bills on time every time.

The same is true in building up credit. It doesnt take as long as some people think to establish good credit. And you should keep in mind that your credit score is just one factor in the home loan approval process. My niece and her husband, both in their mid-20s, just bought a single family home without having a history of regular credit card use. Her husband had student loans that he paid on time.

Again, if you have loans a car loan, student loans that you are paying on time, that also helps build up your credit score.

As you repair your credit history, dont beat yourself up for past mistakes. Adverse information such as late payments can stay in your file for seven years. But time heals this wound.

As negative things fade into the distance of your credit history rearview mirror, they have less impact on the FICO score, Sprauve said.

So repeat after me: There are no shortcuts to strengthening your credit score.

Readers can write to Michelle Singletary c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St., NW, Washington, DC 20071. Her email address is michelle.singletary@washpost.com. Follow her on Twitter (@SingletaryM) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/MichelleSingletary). Comments and questions are welcome, but due to the volume of mail, personal responses may not be possible. Please also note comments or questions may be used in a future column, with the writers name, unless a specific request to do otherwise is indicated.

Attraction and Credit: The Power of Focus

While listening to the radio the other day I happened to hear a talk on the law of attraction, a subject that interests me a great deal. It got me thinking about how the law of attraction can help with building healthy credit and personal finances. Im blessed to know an expert in the law of attraction, Business Coach Lynne Goldberg, of New York, NY. Ive asked her to chime in on this post and share her wisdom on how we can better attract peace and prosperity into our credit and personal financial lives. Ive created the three steps below for you to take right away to begin attracting healthy credit to your financial life.

1. Shine a light.

As a child or with your small children, did you ever shine a flashlight into the closet or under the bed to check for monsters? Magically, those monsters always disappeared when hit with a beam of light. The same is true for your credit monsters. Many people I talk to are so afraid of what their credit score might be or are afraid of how awful their credit report may look that they never check it and instead sweep those worries under the rug, grit their teeth and carry on.

The first step to attracting more power and peace over your finances is to shed light in all the dark corners, starting with pulling your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com. Secondly, open all of those old bills that you stuffed in a dark drawer. I can just about guarantee it wont be as bad as your mind has built it up to be.

2. Replace fear and worry with faith.

So often I hear my clients talk about what they worry about or are afraid of regarding their credit. Anytime negative words like fear and worry occupy your mind or mouth they are creating additional or unwanted negativity and darkness. Once you have made the choice to turn around your credit situation, you need to practice rehabilitating your thoughts and your words surrounding your credit and finances. One of the easiest ways to begin is to decide from this day forward to replace the words fear and worry with the word faith. For example, I fear my credit score is going to take forever to improve to a point I could qualify to buy a home, is replaced by I have faith my credit score is going to improve to a point I can qualify to buy a home. In speaking those two sentences you can just feel the different vibes they create.

LG: As often as you can, replace anything you may be saying to yourself that isnt likely to attract what you want, such as Im poor or Im broke! If you keep repeating that how can you create abundance? It defies this concept of law of attraction, which is simply attracting whatever you are focusing on. Whether or not we want or we dont want what we are thinking about, we will attract more according to this ancient law.

3. Focus on steps to improve.

Perhaps one of the most powerful things you can do to improve your credit and financial health is to focus on it; and not every aspect all at once, but just one little goal at a time. I promise you that when you turn your full attention to that one goal, you will achieve it much quicker and with more success than you ever thought possible. I have seen this happen in my life and in the lives of my clients. Some goals my clients have focused on and been insanely successful with have included: paying down credit card debt, improving their credit score, and paying off old debts. Yes, these are all worthy goals but you will increase your effectiveness if you focus on one at a time, then move on to the next one.

Now, armed with how you can harness the power of attraction to improve your credit, you can begin to put together a plan to improve your credit and by making little bits of progress each day you will soon feel the freedom of having healthy credit and be on your way to making all of your financial dreams come true.

LG: Remember, if you focus on what it is you do want to attract financially and take those steps to achieve those goals, just watch what happens.

Dollar drops to six-month low as greenback soars on Fed expectations

The New Zealand dollar fell to the lowest in more than six months after the greenback soared on expectations the Federal Reserve will start hiking interest rates earlier and faster than previously anticipated.

The kiwi fell to 82.54 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 82.77 cents at 8am and 83.16 cents yesterday. The trade-weighted index declined to 78.91 from 79.02 yesterday.

The Dollar Index, a measure of the greenback against a basket of currencies, rose as high as 84.50, the highest since July last year, as optimism about the strength of the worlds biggest economy fuels expectations the Fed will move away from running a zero interest rate policy. The Federal Open Market Committee will review policy next week.

The US dollar is stronger across the board – every market is pre-empting the Fed, said Tim Kelleher, head of institutional FX sales NZ at ASB Institutional in Auckland. Theres a cluster of support at around 81.80/82.40 (US cents) – thats the target.

Traders are also preparing for the Reserve Bank of New Zealands monetary policy statement on Thursday, which may show a slower track for interest rate hikes as inflation comes in tamer than the central bank expected. The prospect of a longer pause in the tightening cycle has put the local currency under pressure.

ASBs Kelleher said the Reserve Bank would have to be pretty dovish to push the kiwi lower.

New Zealand government figures today showed core retail spending on credit and debit cards grew 0.6 percent in August, led by a pick-up in hospitality spending.

The kiwi rose to 89.17 Australian cents from 88.76 cents yesterday after business confidence sagged in August, according to the National Australia Bank survey. The local currency gained to 87.69 yen from 87.38 yen yesterday. It was little changed at 51.35 British pence at 5pm in Wellington from 51.30 pence and slipped to 64.09 euro cents from 64.26 cents.

(BusinessDesk)