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Posts Tagged ‘Saving & Spending’

7 Credit Myths Even Smart People Believe

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 28, 2012

Ryan McVay / Getty Images

RYAN MCVAY / GETTY IMAGES

Everybody knows how important it is to maintain good credit, but a lot of people don’t know how. Some think it’s necessary to revolve a credit card balance to get a higher score or don’t know the impact of checking their own credit. Even people who consider themselves financially savvy or who do a fine job managing their own household budgets can be misinformed.

A recent survey revealed some sizable gaps in America’s knowledge when it comes to our credit, and we talked to some credit counseling professionals who shared the most common myths they have to debunk.

Checking your credit information hurts your score. More than a third of Americans think checking their credit report has a negative impact on their score, according to a new survey conducted by credit card comparison site CreditDonkey.com. In fact, the reverse is true: While an inquiry from a lender will drop your score by a few points, checking your own report can only help you — it doesn’t ding your score and you might even find a mistake that’s been dragging your score down.

(MORE: 5 States With the Worst Credit Scores)

Getting turned down for a credit card hurts your score. “Although the inquiry will show on your credit report, the decision the issuer makes will not,” says Gail Cunningham, spokeswoman for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. The inquiry itself is likely to drop your score by a few points, but the lender’s decision doesn’t matter. If you are approved, your score will probably rise, especially if the card has a high credit limit. This is because the availability of untapped credit will improve your credit utilization ratio, which is a significant factor in your credit score. Read the rest of this entry »

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Another Green Shoot: Millionaire Households Rising

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 22, 2012

Millionaire households in the U.S. are rising again, largely because the mass affluent stayed the course with their stocks during the downturn and are reaping the benefits of the market’s recovery. But frugality also played a big role.
Getty Images

GETTY IMAGES

Plenty of questions linger about the economic recovery. But along with a mildly improving housing market and jobs picture, add this to the list of economic green shoots signaling better times: the U.S. is minting millionaires again.

The number of millionaire households rose for the third consecutive year in 2011, according to a report from Spectrem Group. The U.S. now has 8.6 million households with a net worth of at least $1 million above and beyond any equity in a primary residence. That’s up from 6.7 million in 2008 but still shy of the 9.2 million millionaire households in 2007.

(MORE: Buying is Now Cheaper Than Renting 98% of the Time)

The wealth of the affluent is coming back at every threshold. According to Spectrem: Read the rest of this entry »

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