Wednesday, October 30, 2013

MOST Trendy Diaper Bags for Celebrity Moms 2015 [Community Resources]


For those new moms, things change when they find themselves carrying diaper bags than what they used to carry. Read Sex and Love Secrets Believe me or not, having a trendy diaper bag can make a big difference for those moms who used to carry trendy purses. Understand that there are many fashionable diaper bags out there but some stand out. I will concentrate on my favorite fashionable trendy diaper bags.

Timi and Leslie Dawn Convertible Diaper Bag
The Timi and Leslie dawn convertible tote diaper bag is one of my favorite trendy diaper bags so far. This diaper bag can convert from a shoulder bag to a cross-body bag, which many diaper bags don't do. Trendy moms can match with their wardrobe since this diaper bag comes in several colors. My other favorite thing about this diaper bag is that it comes with more accessories. Foe example, it comes with changing pad with mesh pockets, insulated bottle tote, matching wristlet with interior credit card pockets, detachable shoulder strap matching stroller straps and zippered pouch duster bag.

The Timi and Leslie dawn convertible tote diaper bag retails for about $105. It can be ordered online or Google to find a store near you. You can buy it from www.zzappos.com but note that other stores and websites sell this bag.

OiOi Organic Diaper Bag Red Ikat Tapestry Slouch Pompeian Tote Yes, celebrities love this trendy diaper bag. Me too love it. I love the OiOi Organic diaper bag because it is trimmed with leather with an antique white lining inside. I also love it because it has multiple interior and exterior pockets. I would use the extra space in this diaper bag to carry other things. OiOi diaper bag also come with accessories such as micro-fiber changing pad, an insulated bottle holder, fixed stroller straps and hard wipes case.

OiOi diaper bags retails for about $160. OiOi diaper bags can be ordered online or Google to find a store near you. You can buy it from www.amazon.com also; note that many stores and websites sell this bag.

Stevie baby bag by Kate Spade New York
Stevie baby bag is my most favorite diaper bag. It is very fashionable and I believe every new mom would love it. Stevie baby bag come with accessories like a clip-on pacifier pouch, easy-stow changing pad and plenty of pockets for every baby need. Also, Stevie baby bag has stroller straps, top zip closure interior drawstring pockets among others.


This diaper bag retails for about $420. If you live in New York, you can find it in any Manhattan store that sells trendy diaper bags. Also, it can be bought online or Google to find a store near you.

Hampton Holdall Diaper Bag by Petunia Pickle Bottom If you are a new mom and have some change to spend on classy diaper bag, Hampton Holdall diaper bag is for you. It has a turn-lock closure, exterior front patch pocket, back magazine pocket with wipes-case sleeve and removable changing pad, back zip pocket and two side bottle pockets.

However, the bag is a little expensive to me. It retails for about $760 depending on where you buy it. It can be bought online or Google to find a store near you. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

How to Winterize Your Home for Winter


Coupled with holidays such as Christmas and New Year's Eve, winter is a season that requires planning. Homeowners need to plan for their homes before winter season. Homeowners need to know some basic strategies to ready their homes for winter. I will explore some steps that must be taken to ready your home or house for winter.

No.1 You must check your house furnace. For those homeowners who don't know what a house furnace is, it is an enclosure where energy in a non-thermal form is converted to heat. In other words, it is where heat is generated by the combustion of oil in many homes.

Steps that must be taken to check your home or house furnace ; turn your home furnace on to check if it's working. If the furnace is not working, I recommend that you call a professional before winter hits at the door. Also be ready to spend money if your home furnace isn't working. Costs may range from $250-$500 plus taxes depending on the area you live in.

No.2 You must clean your house gutters . Depending on where you live, you must have noticed trees shedding off leaves. When trees shed off leaves, leaves fall in the gutters. To prepare you home for winter, remove those leaves from the gutters or hire a company that specializes in cleaning gutters. For example, in New York especially in long Island, Arrow Exterminating Company has been in business of cleaning gutters for more than 50 years. According to the Better Business Bureau, it is rated as the best company in New York. You can hire any company or do it yourself.

How can you clean your home gutters ? You can use a scraper and a water hose to rinse the gutters. Why? Clean gutters; help melting snow and rain to drain very well. Remember that clogged gutters can lead snow to form ice dams, which can lead water to seep into your home and you don't want that to happen.

No.3 You must face on windows of your home. Sorry, summer is gone. To get ready for winter, you must take down the window screens and put up storm windows. Storm windows can act as an extra layer of protection. They can also provide extra warmth for the home. As a rule of thumb, if you don't have storm windows on your home, I recommend that it's high time you update to more home efficient windows. For those homeowners on budget, the other way to go about this situation is to replace one window at a time and be ready to use window insulators.

Friday, October 25, 2013

$50,000 in DEBT, What Should I DO


$50,000 in DEBT, What Should I DO

A friend asked me to do a little research before she makes a very important decision. A 42 years old man who owns no property other than a car worth $10,000 However, he owes credit card companies approximately $50,000. His credit was in great standing previously. Although he tried to keep up with payments, he eventually gave up. Now he must either file for bankruptcy or get a debt negotiation company to help settle his debt. My question is, which one would be the lesser evil as far as his credit report is concerned? He'd like to get back on his feet as soon as possible after dealing with this mess."

Neither bankruptcy nor a debt negotiation company seems appropriate. The former is a very long-term stain, and the latter is something he can do himself without incurring additional fees. That said, your friend should keep in mind a few things:
  1. How is the $50,000 apportioned? How many accounts? What's the maximum owed on a single account? The reason I ask is because it's unlikely that a major credit card company will take him to court regarding a debt under $7500. Moreover, some companies don't bother with amounts under $15,000. These aren't hard and fast rules, and certainly companies have litigated for far less. But as a matter of heuristics, it's safe to say this: If he owes one single debt for $50,000, he will end up in court. If he owes that same total amount on 20 accounts (each for $4000), he will probably never see a judge's face unless he initiates the case.

  1. How many of the debts have been reassigned to third-party collection agencies? Once that occurs, he is afforded several additional rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), including the right to demand formal validation of any alleged debt. Collectors often perceive validation demands as a nuisance, and if the amount of a debt is lower than the cost of litigation the collector may not even attempt to validate. In that best-case scenario, continued collection efforts (including credit bureau reporting) must terminate.

  1. If your friend's phone is ringing off the hook, she has the right to send a formal "Cease and Desist" letter in accordance with FDCPA, and demand that all collection activity be facilitated only through written correspondence. If telephone harassment continues after that, he can keep careful records (tape recordings are nice too) as he builds a nice small claims case. FDCPA violations will cost violating creditors $1000 per infraction by statute. ("By statute" means that if the law was indeed violated, the victim is automatically entitled to a set amount, in this case $1000 for each incident.)
  2. Older debts are easier to negotiate than newer ones. If these debts have just now been charged off, then he's less likely to strike a good deal. If they're old and cold, then he will certainly enjoy better footing. Believe it or not, if your friend wants to negotiate a relatively new debt, then I would advise that he waits a few more months before beginning that action. (Note also that debt negotiation companies will also "age" newer debts for a few months before initiating contact with creditors.) Then he should telephone the creditors, one by one, and let them know that he wants to settle for 40% plus positive credit reports. He should let them know that his only other alternative is a bankruptcy filing, an outcome that would result in their collecting far less. Then he may want to accept counteroffers up to 70%. Also, your friend should refuse to pay anything until the creditors first memorialize the agreement in writing.

  1. Next, he should remember a couple of happy thoughts. First, credit card debt is unsecured. That means that burly repo men are barred from entering his property, taking his car, removing stuff he bought with the cards, etc. Of course, if he is ultimately sued and loses (an unlikely event for most people in his situation, especially if the debts are relatively small), then a court can award a judgment replete with an associated lien. Barring that, however, nobody's going to physically harass him. Second, he should stop worrying about his credit rating, because the rating's already trashed. Anyway, he's got enough to worry about already. On the other hand, bankruptcy should be avoided if possible because that will only prolong his financial trouble. Bankruptcy provides short-term relief and long-term heartache. The good news is that many, many people have successfully confronted situations as bad as his, avoided bankruptcy, and emerged with excellent credit just two or three years later.
Finally, I would encourage your friend to seek professional consultation from a local attorney if he feels lost among the various consumer protection statutes. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Guide to CREDIT SCORE- Credit SCORING is a terrible practice


CREDIT SCORING is a terrible practice.

First, credit scores are not the objective beacons they pretend to be, and consumers pay mightily as a result. To help fully understand why, Lexington Law should bring in an applied social scientist. Oops, right here! I'll say more about the statistical fallacies surrounding credit scoring shortly.
Second, some lawyers contend that the practice of providing credit scores to potential creditors, insurers, and employers may well violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a interesting civic issue with profound implications for the entire industry.

Third, certain government-overseen housing programs like FreddieMac rely upon the predominant credit scoring system whose underlying mathematics are still kept secret by a single for-profit corporate monopoly. Such secrecy (untested and unaccountable secrecy at that) is quite the conundrum in a country where citizens demand to know how tax dollars are spent.

Finally, and perhaps most outrageously, consumers are offered precious little information, which might help them to optimize their credit scores. Sure, there are plenty of web sites which detail the basic outlines of what comprises a score, and we'll review that the entire here too. Unfortunately, though, such dazzlingly hypnotic and overly general information doesn't really help real-life consumers with street questions like, "What will help my credit score most today: Paying off a charged-off account from five years ago, or closing two or three of my fifteen credit card accounts? Paying off a student loan or paying off a credit card? Paying down one account entirely, or paying down all my accounts a little bit?".

So as a result of the rampant unfairness, institutional secrecy, rotten science, and a virtual dearth of truly helpful information, Americans are roundly and routinely victimized.
Nobody ever sat down and decided to make things worse for consumers. In fact, the intention was quite the opposite. Credit scoring was an attempt to remove issues like RACE, GENDER, SOCIO-ECONOMIC CLASS, and INCOME from an overall assessment of every consumer's credit report.
Back in the Good Old Days before 1970, a credit report would very often include such things as whether you were black or white, whether you embraced a particular religion or were atheist, rich or middle-class, whether somebody thought you were an alcoholic, courtroom quotes from ex-spouses, and whatever else they could find. Likewise, bankers once withheld credit to those whose appearance just didn't fit their idea of what defined a good human being. You could even be denied because the loan officer simply thought you looked strange. Sadly, sometimes the actual reasons were based upon racial preconceptions or similar prejudices.

Strange as all of that may sound today, the FCRA still draws a distinction between "investigative consumer reports" (like subjective statements by ex-spouses regarding moral character), an activity, which was practically legislated away, and the kinds of consumer disclosures we now accept as the norm. The basic idea, then, for credit scores was a good one. It was an attempt to inject science into the process.

What happened was that a wacky group of Minnesota statisticians at Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) in the late 1950s decided to have a look at how historical variables (what a consumer did in the past) correlated with future behavior (what happened later). Not surprisingly, these brainiacs quickly found that the best way to predict whether a consumer is going to become seriously delinquent is to look at how he previously handled his accounts. So the "FICO score" was born.

Now, all of that may sound fine, or even ingenious, but there are several serious problems afoot, and the first is scientific in nature. In statistics, results are measured by what us eggheads call the "R-value" -- whether a particular result just occurred because of dumb luck or whether it was real life stuff ("beyond chance" to use the parlance). The kicker is that you can get a VERY significant "R" when just a minority in your studied population tests positive. So, with credit scoring, if say 15% of people with scores in the 650-700 range are later found to be seriously late with their bills, then Fair Isaac will scream "Eureka!" and proclaim wild success with amazingly significant "R" but only at the expense of the other EIGHT-FIVE PERCENT of the consumers in that group who would never even think of paying their bills late. Even worse, using this same example, if only a fifth of the delinquent 15% subset of this group actually defaults and never pays back the borrowed money (and the actual number is probably far less), then guess who in this 650-700 range gets blamed for that? Yep, the other 97%.
Next, consider what happens to the rest of the innocents in the 650-700 ranges. They simply bleed higher interest payments for mortgages and car loans and credit cards. They provide a terrific excuse for Citibank and JP Morgan Chase and Capital One to advertise wonderful interest rates but then actually offer much less favorable (and much more profitable) terms later on. Such consumers literally pay and pay and pay, all because of a cockamamie number that can predict statistical trends for large groups but tragically fails at the level of the individual person.

Another issue is strictly psychological. Numbers are seductive, and people love to be seduced. They want to know their height, their weight, their IQ, how high they can jump measured in centimeters, how many paint-balls can be hurled at an opponent, you-name-it. If a single number can provide the "right" answer, then we clamor for it. And of course, when it comes to considering applications for credit cards, just imagine how much easier it is now to simply use FICO scores! Human beings are no longer required to read through credit reports to forge intelligent decisions. Instead, computers can electronically procure the FICO scores and render instant judgments. Sadly, the problem of false positives (all those innocent folks in the 650-700 range mentioned above who are automatically judged by the worst behavior of their group's bad apples) is ignored.

Basically, with credit scoring, our society has traded the human problem of rampant subjectivity, where anything is ripe for discussion, for the mechanistic problem of impersonal automation, where nothing about a consumer's individual situation is considered. Clearly the first problem needed addressing, but couldn't smart people devise a better solution than this?

Making things even worse is just how FICO® scores are constructed. Here's practically everything Fair Isaac reveals about the scores, a bit of happy pap you've no doubt seen repeated on dozens of web sites: 35% of your score is influenced by account history (how timely you've paid), 30% to current account usage (how much of your credit is being used, with greater amounts being negative), 15% to length of credit history (the longer the better), 10% to new credit inquiries and accounts (with fewer being better), and 10% to the "credit mix" or variety of credit types present. Scores range from 350 to 850, with the mean value score being right at 725. In real life, favorable credit rates are typically extended to those with scores of 720 or above.

Now here's what they don't tell you:
Your credit score isn't just about you. If it was, providing it along with the rest of your credit report might not violate federal law, which stipulates that your consumer file must only (and obviously) be about you. Rather, it's about you and others. More specifically, Fair Isaac makes use of what they call "Score Cards," which groups consumers according to whatever criteria they choose. Then, they run what we statisticians call Pearson correlations between credit report items and subsequent late-pays for each consumer grouping. Through that continuous process, Fair Isaac stays on top of the variables du jour, which may diagnose bad future news. The final step happens when your credit report is pulled and is analyzed through the use of those comparative algorithms, and a credit score is then reported which purports to predict the possibility that you are the type of person who may one day become seriously delinquent.

So does this sound kosher? Are prediction and speculation and comparisons with other consumer’s fair items to include in a credit report alongside the stuff that otherwise really are about a single consumer? Undoubtedly, the judiciary will eventually decide. Suffice to say, if I had a diagnostic FICO-like score for corporate performance, I'd have to give Fair Isaac a 640, because I predict that the courts will one day kick their collective butts and force serious changes in the way consumers are manhandled.
Needless to say, the underlying arithmetic upon which FICO® scores are based is kept top secret by the Fair Isaac Corporation. Put simply, if they gave away their for-profit secret sauce, somebody's business plan would likely be threatened.

Moreover, there are problems with the secrecy.
First, with so much at stake (mortgages, insurance policies, certain employment categories, car loans, and more), consumers rightfully want to know specifics regarding how to improve their scores. Fair Isaac's pat answers, stuff like “just pay everything on time, and pay down your debt,” just don’t satisfy. In fact, disappointingly, sometimes paying down debt simply has no scoring impact at all. For example, paying off an installment loan almost never helps a score, while paying down revolving credit card debt almost always will. Similarly, paying off a debt that was previously charged-off will also likely have no positive impact. (That said, doing the right thing merits other worthwhile life rewards.) For these reasons, Fair Isaac's summary statements, which masquerade as score-enhancing advice often, accomplish nothing.

Second, with certain government jobs and federally overseen home mortgages riding on the proprietary for-profit FICO product, one would think that Congress would demand more transparency regarding a credit score's actual construction. And, of course, when citizens make enough noise about the matter, which will surely come to pass. Government dependence upon Fair Isaac provides another compelling reason for eventual systemic change.

Toward this end, you need to know where you stand. The Fair Isaac Corporation now sells two of the three scores at their otherwise excellent consumer web site, MyFico.com.
Once purchased, you'll have two of your three credit reports as well as your two of your three FICO® scores in hand. Very generally, here are the steps you need to take to elevate your scores:
  1. Eliminate any negative items. Which you've retained Lexington Law to assist you with. Negative items are score killers.
  2. Pay down any credit card with a balance of more than 50% of its overall line of credit. If you have no cards at 50% utilization, then pay down any outstanding revolving credit balances at all.
  3. If you have a limited payoff budget, don't bother allocating resources to any accounts which have charged-off at this point, unless you can negotiate what credit pros call "payment for removal," where the creditor agrees to mark your credit report positive after receiving the money. It isn't the outstanding balance on a charged-off account that lowers your credit score. Rather, it's simply the fact that the account EVER charged-off which depresses your score. Keep in mind, though, that some action on your part must eventually be taken with these accounts, whether you eventually pay them or challenge them in some way, in order to prevent further collection activity or possible legal consequences.
  4. No matter what some well-meaning friend or relative advises, don't start closing accounts willy-nilly? If you need expert consultation on this or any other point, go get it.
Throughout the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, consumers couldn't even buy their credit scores. By 2001 the State of California had fixed all of that for everybody, ruling that California residents were entitled to know everything the credit bureaus were reporting about them. Very quickly, Fair Isaac and the big three credit bureaus realized that it wouldn't make sense to allow only people who lived in California to view their scores, so they reluctantly opened it up to all of us.
Ironically, Fair Isaac and the bureaus now celebrate their newfound openness, because selling the scores is apparently quite a sizeable revenue source. The last laugh, however, may well belong to the consumer as professional scrutiny like that found in this article begins to undo the monopolistic, secretive, and ultimately consumer-unfriendly practices engaged by the prevailing credit score purveyor. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Few Favorite Free Events in Newport City


Newport city located in Rhode Island is one city full of free activities. These free activities range from outdoor events to free indoor activities. Every summer, tourists from around the world flock Newport city. With beautiful weather most of the year, when I was posted in Newport, I spent most of my tour outside. I simply strolled along the shore, parks, fishing, kayaking and more. For the record, I will mention a few of my favorite free activities I enjoyed in Newport city.

No.1 Fort Adams State Park Located at 90 Fort Adams Drive; Eisenhower Trust Building in Newport before I was posted in Newport city, my friends told me that Fort Adams was the largest fort of its kind. I wanted to see it myself. Fort Adams is a State Park meaning that it is run by the state. There are two options to tour Fort Adams; guided tours and unguided tours. I went on unguided tour, which is free. Fort Adams grounds are always well kept and the location was worth the visit for the views of the harbor, the bay and its mouth. I saw people having picnics at Fort Adams. The state charges a fee for such big events. More information can be found on the website http://www.fortadams.org/Home.aspx

No. 2 Ocean Drive also known as "10 mile drive" is among my favorite free activity I enjoyed in Newport, Rhode Island. Basically, Ocean Drive is a road with spectacular open view of the Atlantic Ocean leading to magnificent mansions. While driving on Ocean Drive in Newport, the road led me to Bellevue Avenue. I was able to see 'The Breakers, off Bellevue down avenue and Rose-cliff Manson. I continued south on Bellevue Avenue passing Gooseberry Beach, where Newport Country Club is located. I remember, I parked my car and walked along a rocky shoreline. All I could see was majestic views of the Atlantic Ocean. It was free to park except that I put gas in my car.

No. 3 Trinity Church located on Queen Anne Square, Newport. Website http://www.trinitynewport.org/ For those who do not know the historical importance of Trinity Church in Newport, Trinity Church in Newport is a church where George Washington once attended. I felt privileged when I visited this church and I remember it was free to attend. This is one thing I would do again if I go back to Newport.

No. 4 Ballard Park located the intersection of Hazard and Wickham Roads in Newport This is one of amazing parks I have ever visited. Ballard Park was full of wildflowers. I remember walking a long several trails and I got lost. I loved it because of true nature. I found it interesting because the moment I was at the park, different sounds from the birds and nature made me wonder. It was beautiful true nature and free. Warning: don't visit if you are allergic to wildflowers.

No 5. International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum located in Newport My friend from Sierra Leon, Alpha Mamadou is a physical Education teacher who teaches tennis in Sierra Leon. When he came to visit United States, I decided to take him to International
Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport. He was so grateful for that. When he returned to Sierra Leon, he sent me an email, telling me how he used pictures he took to inspire tennis students in his country. So tennis lovers, visit Newport.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Quickest Ways To Strengthen Your Credit Score


Quickest Ways To Strengthen Your Credit Score

In United States, a high credit score is a crucial part of staying financially secure. For this reason, determining exactly what has an impact on your credit score is very important.

1. Credit cards have a big impact on your credit score. It can be either positive or negative based on how you use the credit card/s. For the last six years, I have been in United States, I embarked on studying many things among them was how to build your credit score and how to destroy it if you want to ruin your financial stability. So, how can you make your credit card work for you to strengthen your credit score?
In this article I will explain how to use your credit cards to strengthen your credit and avoid some uncommon mistakes that may lower your credit score.

2.You should manage your debt to your credit ratio: Something that everyone should closely monitor on his or her credit card is the balance in relation to his credit limit. This is often called "debt to credit ratio."  Many financial experts have different views about an ideal ratio. However, all financial experts agree that keeping a “debt” below 30 percent of one’s available credit line is major key to keeping a high credit score. One thing I have personally done is checking my credit card statements regularly to make sure that my credit card company does not reduce my credit line.

3.I transferred high balance of my credit card to a low interest rate credit card: I was trying to pay down my balance on my high interest rate credit. What I did was to explore the option of a credit card balance transfer. I transferred my balance to a low rate credit card. This made it easier to for me to pay down my credit card balance. Make sure to check for credit card companies that have no balance transfer fees and those that have zero percent interest during the introductory period.

4.Very Important, make credit card payments on time: From 2008 to 2011, I made all my credit card payments on time. I was able to establish a track record of reliability and this boosted my credit score. What simplified my payments were automatic monthly payments along with text and email alerts from chase bank that always reminded me of my due date.

5. Get a secured credit card: When I came to United States, I had no credit history or credit score. So I could not qualify for unsecured credit card. I had to deposit money down for a secured credit to build credit history. A secured credit card was a great solution for me. The deposit I made was $1000 and chase bank issued me $1000 credit line. Yes, my secured credit card limit was made not to exceed $ 1000. This controlled my spending.

6. I was very privy about opening and closing credit card accounts: For almost three years, I had only one secured credit card and my credit score range was between 680-700. You can see that if I wanted to unsecured credit card, I would qualify but I didn’t rush.

7. I always tried to pay down my credit card balance as much as possible and I did it on time.  Again this go with the fact of debt to credit ration.

Also read:
9 fast fixes for your credit scores
How to repair my credit and improve my FICO credit score
How to quickly boost my credit score