Smart Credit for Smart People

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Don’t Be Fooled

Plastic is dumb. Your credit doesn’t have to be. How many credit cards do you have? Do you really read through the policy notices and small print disclaimers attached to the pages of your credit applications? Are you aware of the rules that govern how often and when the credit card company can change your annual percentage rate? Did you know that bad credit card debt can hinder job prospects, rental and loan applications, and hurt your chances at getting life and auto insurance?

Get smart about your credit history and score. Financial Education Service can help you navigate the harsh terrain that is your credit history. The company offers one service in particular, included in your basic enrollment, called Smart Credit.

Why SmartCredit?
  • View your Smart Credit Report and all your Scores.
  • Get alerts when there are critical changes to your credit and money with Live ID Alerts.
  • See and manage your financial accounts and transactions, including a credit summary listing your outstanding debt.
  • Correct credit reporting inaccuracies or settle debt with our Action buttons.

All of these services are provided as part of your FES Protection Plan. Isn’t it time you got smart about your credit? Contact your local FES agent to learn more.

 

Investing in The Future Means Investing Now

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Time is Money

When I was young…when I was younger, I use to say that I would wait until I was old and made allot of money to start investing. I thought investing was something rich older people did because they were bored and just needed something to do with their money. It didn’t dawn on me that older rich people got to be rich because they started early in life with saving and investing their money. Rich older people understood the power of compounding interest.

Compound interest is the addition of interest to the principal sum of a loan or deposit, or in other words, interest on interest. It is the result of reinvesting interest, rather than paying it out, so that interest in the next period is then earned on the principal sum plus previously-accumulated interest. Try this calculator and test the idea for yourself. The more you compound interest over a longer period of time, the greater you multiple wealth! But this strategy requires a disciplined mindset and most of us haven’t been trained to think this way. Instant gratification is the order of the day for many of us.

Financial education is a must if you want to learn how to change the way you think about money. We have to unlearn the bad practices we may have grew up with and replace them with solid principles of fiscal responsibility. Financial Education Service can help you re-calibrate your thinking and plot a new course towards financial freedom and prosperity. Contact a FES agent to learn more about the Financial Protection Plan offered by FES.

Financial Education Service is here to serve you. Don’t put off today for a future that isn’t promised to any of us. Invest in your future today. Join the team and build a road of progress and promise with the Financial Education Service. We guarantee your satisfaction.

What’s Really Holding You Back?

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The Chains Are Real

Debt is a modern day slave master. Debt makes bondservants of us all. Debt hinders our economic freedom and casts a shadow on our future. Debt’s reach is far and wide and deep, touching generations with scars of anguish and loathing. Debt is also a self-fulfilling prophesy. The more you seek to obtain things, the more you close your eyes to wisdom, the more you settle for the lies of materialism that equate the acquisition of “things” with happiness and purpose. So people borrow and borrow and borrow some more, and bank on the future to bail them out of the bad decisions they’ve made.

The problem is the future is not promised and tomorrow rarely brings gifts called “do-overs”. Debt crushes and keeps crushing until there is nothing but dust to mark the life you hoped for. Debt kills dreams. So why does debt prevail in so many of our lives? Why do we tolerate this insensitive master that ignores our pains and tears? Because we bought the bridge of lies that demands we feed it our obedience and servitude with every swipe of the plastic in our wallets and purses. This mindset is a prison. Financial Education Service is the key to new freedom.

Get a new outlook on life and regain control of your life. A Financial Education Service agent can help you break out of the prison of debt. FES has several products that can help you re-prioritize your debt, your spending, and get you started on a financial healing path. The FES Protection Plan is just one of many services offered by the Financial Education Service. You don’t have to live in bondage anymore. Change your mindset and dream again. Contact a local FES agent to learn more.

It’s In You

Saving Money

The Ability to Save Money is in You

Perhaps you weren’t raised with a savings mindset. Maybe you were given everything and never really had to work to achieve your goals. Or, maybe you just were not taught the value of a dollar. Regardless of how you were trained, you can be re-trained, you can gain a new perspective based on your present reality, and the ability to save money is definitely in you. Here’s why.

Self preservation is defined as the protection of oneself from harm or death, especially regarded as a basic instinct in human beings and animals. It is basic human instinct to want to survive. We are not lemmings. We don’t just blindly walk off cliffs and plunge ourselves into situations that result in our demise…most of the time. By and large, we seek to stay alive and to do so with a measure of pleasure and happiness. Having money and saving money are pretty essential in today’s society; therefore, our basic survival instincts can help us save money if we will allow ourselves to think differently about wealth. Financial Education Service can help you do just that.

Getting control of our credit scores is often one of the most important things we can do in turning our financial picture around. When we are young, we make dozens of ill-conceived, unplanned, and foolish decisions. We often ignore the advice and counsel of our elders and we move full steam ahead into a slavery of debt! It happens but those poor choices tend to stick around and haunt or future lives. Financial Education Service can help you regain control.

The good news is, you can improve your credit score. You can pay off debt on an accelerated schedule, and you can safe guard your identity using one service portal from Financial Education Service. Contact an agent to today and learn more.

Why Let Others Dictate Your Future Dreams

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Now or in the future, which of the following do you hope to purchase?

  1. An automobile
  2. A home
  3. A post-secondary education
  4. All of the above
  5. None of the above

If you answered 1, 2, 3 or 4, chances are you will one day (if not already) request the use of credit to assist in purchasing one of these expensive items. If you answered with e, well then, um, let’s just hope you didn’t answer with 5…If you did, maybe its time to talk to a Financial Education Service Agent.

When credit is requested from a lender (to purchase any of the above items and more), credit history is used to decide whether or not to grant that person credit. As we discussed earlier, the lender may look at either a credit report and/or a credit score to determine this. If a person has a negative credit history, or no credit history, they may not be able to obtain credit. Why? Well, let’s use the recurring example of your irresponsible friend that always asks to borrow cash. If you knew that he/she wouldn’t pay it back on time, would you continue to let him/her borrow it? Probably not. Or, if you were unsure that they would pay it back (meaning they don’t have credit history) would you let them borrow it? You might let them borrow $20, but you certainly wouldn’t let them purchase a house from you. Make sense?

In addition, a person’s credit history helps a lender determine the terms of credit granted, which could include the interest rate paid and length of the loan. Over a lifetime, a person will pay more for credit (in higher interest rates and fees) if they have a lower credit score. At Financial Education Service, we can help you unravel the mystery of your credit score.

A person’s credit history affects their ability to obtain credit and the terms of credit granted, but would you believe that credit history can also affect parts of your life that are not related to receiving credit? The truth is, more than potential lenders check a person’s credit history.

  • Insurance companies may use the information to decide whether you can get insurance and to set the rates you will pay
  • Employers may use your credit report, if you give them permission to do so, to decide whether to hire you
  • Telephone and utility companies may use information in your credit report to decide whether to provide services to you
  • Landlords may use the information to determine whether to rent an apartment to you

Basically, your credit history is important because lenders, insurers, employers, and others may use it to assess how you manage financial responsibilities. Wait, so we’re telling you that if you have a negative credit history, you could be without insurance or utilities, unemployed and HOMELESS? Now do you understand how important it is to have a positive credit history? Since it is so important, please remember the following about the importance of credit history:

  • Your credit history determines your ability to obtain credit.
  • Your credit history determines the terms of credit granted, such as the interest rate you will pay.
  • Your credit history affects much more than your ability to receive credit. Credit history can affect your ability to obtain a job, rent a place to live, and obtain utility services.

Contact a Financial Education Service Agent to learn more.

Good Credit Matters

Credit Matters

5 Reasons Why Good Credit Matters

From The Balance

Society is becoming increasingly dependent on using credit to make purchases and decisions. These days, good credit is used for more than just getting a credit card or a loan. More and more businesses are making the case that you must have good credit before they extend products or services to you.

Financial Education Service

It Affects Where You Live and How Much You Pay

Before you can buy a house, mortgage lenders want to know that you won’t default on your mortgage.

If you don’t have good credit, the lender will consider it risky to give you a mortgage loan. If you’re approved for a mortgage, your credit affects your interest rate which directly impacts your monthly mortgage payment. Bad credit could mean a higher mortgage payment. Worse than that, your mortgage application could be turned down because of your bad credit.

Don’t think that because you’re not looking to buy a house right now that your credit isn’t important. Landlords also use your credit to decide whether to rent to you. Landlords consider your lease as a loan. You’re being loaned a place to live and the landlord wants to know you’ll pay back this loan. If you don’t have good credit, you can get denied for an apartment.

It Affects What You Drive and Your Car Payment

Unless you have the cash to purchase a car, you’ll have to get a loan. Your credit not only affects whether or not you qualify for a loan, but also the amount and interest rate of the loan.

 Generally, loan applicants with good credit qualify for larger loan amounts with lower interest rates.

Bad credit limits your options. Fewer lenders will work with you if you have bad credit and those that do will charge a much higher interest rate on your auto loan. A higher interest rate means a higher car note to pay each month.

It Can Affect Your Job Search

Many employers conduct credit checks as a part of the hiring process. (Note that employers check credit reports not credit scores.) If you haven’t demonstrated financial responsibility, a prospective employer might be hesitant to hire you. For example, the employer might believe your level of debt is too high for the salary offered.

Some employers also check credit scores before giving a promotion or raise, especially for financial-related or executive positions.

It Affects Your Ability to Start a Business

Many people have dreams of starting their own business. Most business startups require a sizable amount of cash that you might not have available. In that case, you’ll need to obtain a small business loan. Among other things, you need to have good credit to qualify for the business loan.

It Affects Other Monthly Bills

It might be somewhat shocking to learn that your credit is needed to establish utility service. Your electric company contends that you’re borrowing one month of electric service. So, before turning on your electricity, the company will check to see if you have good credit. This applies to most utility services including cable, telephone, water, and even cell phone.

Since your credit is defined by how you’ve paid (or not paid) your bills in the past, many businesses — landlords, mortgage lenders, utility providers, and even employers — use your credit to predict your future financial responsibility. Anytime you need to borrow money, or even services, your credit is called into question. This is why maintaining good credit is so important.

Now is the time to take charge. Get your credit fixed, raise your score, and regain control over your future. Contact a Financial Education Service Agent to find out how you can improve your credit and protect your identity.

Financial Education is Too Important to Ignore

Financial Education for Everyone

The Importance of Financial Education

Financial education is increasingly important, and not just for investors. It is becoming essential for the average family trying to decide how to balance its budget, buy a home, fund the children’s education (or manage your credit report) and ensure an income when the parents retire.

Of course people have always been responsible for managing their own finances on a day to day basis – spend on a holiday or save for new furniture; how much to put aside for a child’s education or to set them up in life – but recent developments have made financial education and awareness increasingly important for financial well-being.

For one thing, the growing sophistication of financial markets means consumers are not just choosing between interest rates on two different bank loans or savings plans, but are rather being offered a variety of complex financial instruments for borrowing and saving, with a large range of options. At the same time, the responsibility and risk for financial decisions that will have a major impact on an individual’s future life, notably pensions, are being shifted increasingly to workers and away from government and employers. As life expectancy is increasing, the pension question is particularly important as individuals will be enjoying longer periods of retirement.

Individuals will not be able to choose the right savings or investments for themselves, and may be at risk of fraud, if they are not financially literate. But if individuals do become financially educated, they will be more likely to save and to challenge financial service providers to develop products that truly respond to their needs, and that should have positive effects on both investment levels and economic growth.

This Policy Brief looks at the importance of financial education, and how the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) is helping governments achieve it. One key challenge is convincing people that they are not as financially literate as they think they are.

Become a better consumer and take charge of your budget and your credit score, reach out to your Financial Education Service Agent to learn more.

Budgeting 101

Budgeting

Helpful Tips on Budgeting

Here are ten pointers for your first budget, courtesy of Dave Ramsey’s blog:

1. Budget to zero before the month begins. That means every dollar gets a name before you spend a dime of it.

2. If you’re married, you and your spouse need to do the budget together. Period. The preacher said ” . . . and you are one.” If you’re single, find someone who can act as your accountability partner.

3. Every month is different (think birthdays, vacations, car insurance, back-to-school supplies), so be sure to adjust your budget monthly.

4. As you’re budgeting, start with your most important categories first, like giving, housing, food, clothing, insurance and bills. Then, fill in the rest of your budget with your leftover cash.

5. If you’re in debt, paying that off should be a top priority. Use the debt snowball and the Baby Steps to focus your money where it has the most impact.

6. Don’t be afraid to make budget cuts. If your budget is tight, save money by canceling cable, eating out less, and shopping at a discount grocery store. You can always rearrange things next month.

7. If pen and paper (or spreadsheets) aren’t your thing, try our free online budget tool, EveryDollar. You can make your budget and track your spending from the comfort of your smartphone! Plus, you can sync up your budget with your spouse.

8. Use the cash envelope system for as many budget categories as it makes sense. For example, keep paying for gasoline with your debit card, but get cash out for your fun money and clothing cash. Once your envelope is empty, stop spending! It’s the ultimate accountability partner.

9. Give yourself lots of grace. It usually takes three to four months to get this whole budgeting thing down pat. It won’t be perfect the first time, or the second. But you’ll get there!

10. Be content. You have much more than you realize. Don’t compare your situation to anyone else’s. Keep moving forward and doing what’s right for your family.

To learn more about getting your finances and credit in shape, contact your Financial Education Service Agent.

Budgeting Essentials Begins with Financial Education

Why Budget

Although four out of five Americans use a budget to plan their spending, 20 percent of them keep only a mental budget. Putting your budget on paper or in a basic spreadsheet is essential if you want a healthy financial future. Creating a detailed budget is key to managing your finances. An accurate monthly budget can help you reach your financial goals, whether you’re saving for a car, buying a home or paying off student loans. By sticking to a budget, you can save thousands of dollars each year and avoid overspending.

Budgeting may sound complicated, but it can actually be a very basic personal finance skill. Whether you decide to make your budget bare bones or detailed to the last dollar, the most important part of budgeting is to put it into practice. Tracking your spending is essential to managing your budget. Financial education is important. Contact your Financial Education Service Agent to learn more.