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Common Credit Misconceptions

1. A cell phone bill is a great way to build your credit. – The truth is I have been looking at credit reports for the last 5 years and with the amount of people that have cell phones I’ve seen very few people with cell phone bills reported on their bureau. Also it is only reported to trans union not equifax. A cell phone will help to build your credit somewhat but considering the fact that it is not reported to equifax, you will not get much benefit from it.(Don’t listen to those cell salesman in malls.)

2. If you don’t have anything in your name you have good credit... - The truth is if you have had no credit history you are treated almost the same as if you have bad credit simply because lenders/creditors do not know what to expect from you. You will notice that if you fall under this category you will be asked for a co-signer or get a very high interest rate. Cell phone companies and Pay day Loan companies will however offer you an account at this point.. be careful and make sure you can pay back..

3. If I sign or co-sign for someone I am not responsible..- The truth is once you cosign for someone you are both 100% liable for that loan for example if they cant find that person they will find you. when they are making bad report to your history it will state that you were liable and u didn’t pay, this will appear on both of your reports.. My suggestion is don’t do it.. If you have to, make sure the person is stable, make sure you have control, and make sure you are able to pay it incase that person flakes out... You know what just don’t do it not even for a cell phone or an Apartment..

4. If I get taken to court for child support it wont affect my credit..- The truth is that is absolutely one of the worst thing you can have on your credit, it shows up on your report as unpaid family responsibility and most lenders will not give anything to people who wont even pay for their own kids.

By Omari Whyte

Credit Rating in a Nutshell

A. To put simply credit rating is how you are seen in the eyes of potential lenders/creditors i.e a banks, phone companies, car dealerships.

Credit Scores Range from about 400-850 with 400 hundred being the bad end and 850 on the excellent side. In a nutshell at 400 you will most likely be instantly declined or if not you will get a deal that cost an arm and a leg and require proof of everything else like your stated income.... If you are at 850 banks will basically give you whatever you want a listen to whatever you tell them without proof- instant approvals.

What you qualify for will depend on your where your score stands, and a few other things such as income, time in the same job industry, home stability, repayment history, and even how long you've had your credit accounts.

Feel free to ask any questions you choose about any topic.

By Omari Whyte

The Haitian People Needs Our Help.

A magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti Tuesday, January 12, and Haitian Prime Minister Jean Max Bellerive estimates as many as 100,000 people may be dead. The epicenter of the quake was just 10 miles from the capital Port-au-Prince, causing widespread devastation in this island nation. The American Red Cross estimates three million people are affected.

Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas, and the Haitian people desperately need our help now.

The best way for you to help the people of Haiti is to donate to a well-respected charity with experience in medical and disaster relief. Haiti needs immediate assistance, and these organizations already have teams in place to assess the damage and provide the emergency medical care, food, clean water and shelter that people need.

NEW: Click to Help Haiti on Care2 - your free daily click generates donations for earthquake relief through Oxfam. Click today.

The following is an alphabetical list of groups that are working to help Haiti with direct links to their earthquake relief fund donation pages:

Abandoned Children's Fund
Donate directly above or call 1-888-884-0567.

American Red Cross
You can text "Haiti" to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the American Red Cross, call 1-800-REDCROSS or donate directly at the link above.

Donate online above or call 1-800-521-CARE from the U.S. or +1-404-681-2552 from outside the U.S.

Catholic Relief Services
Donate online by clicking the link above, text RELIEF to 30644, or call 1-800-736-3467.

Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF)
The UN's Central Emergency Response Fund. Donate directly above.

Children's Hunger Relief Fund
Donate directly above or call 1-888-781-1585 from the U.S. or +1-707-528-8000 from outside the U.S.

Christian Blind Mission
Donate online above - Canadians can donate online to Christian Blind Mission Canada.

Credit Help 321
Donations here will help to send groups of humanatarian and medical volunteers to help with the magnitude of challenges being faced by the haitian people. Donate Now

Doctors Without Borders / Medecins Sans Frontieres
Visit this link to donate from outside the U.S.

Freedom From Hunger
Donate online above or call 1-530-758-6200 x1042

Friends of the Orphans
Donate online above or call 1-888-201-8880

International Medical Corps

International Rescue Committee
Donate directly above or call 1-877-REFUGEE

Mercy Corps
Donate directly above or call 1-888-256-1900

If you are outside of the U.S., you can find the direct link to donate through your Oxfam affiliate here.

Partners in Health
Donate online through the link above, or donate by mail by sending a check with "Haiti Earthquake Relief" in the memo line to:
Partners In Health
P.O. Box 845578
Boston, MA 02284-5578

Save the Children
Donate directly above or make checks out to "Save the Children" and send to:
Save the Children Income Processing Department
54 Wilton Road
Westport, CT 06880

Salesian MissionsHelping children in Haiti since 1936. Donations urgently needed for food, water, medicine and tents. Currently housing 3,500 refugees. 500 students buried in the ruins of the Salesian schools.
Donate directly above or call 1-800-4UNICEF. Canadians can donate directly to UNICEF Canada.

World Emergency Relief
Donate directly above or call 1-888-484-4543 from the U.S. or +1-760-930-8001 from outside the U.S.

Yele Haiti
You can text "Yele" to 501501 to make a $5 donation to Wyclef Jean's organization in Haiti, or donate directly here.

Understanding Interest Rates

1. What is Interest?- Interest is the amount the lender charges to give you the loan.. Interest maybe accompanied by additional administration fees.

2. Ranges?- Interest rates typically ranges between prime(the set minimum rate controlled by federal government) - 32% (legally interest rate can go up to 65% in most areas.)

3. Interest Rates don’t matter.- The truth is they do for example if you have a high rate of lets say 29.9% on a $10,000 loan the fact is you will pay approximately double that or more on a car loan vs someone at 8% interest they will pay about $2000 extra on their $10,000 loan while you pay $10,000 on top of the $10000.00 you borrowed. Now can you see why bad credit people are always broke..

4. Can my rate be changed?- Yes it can be changed and in some cases significantly lowered.. Please contact me for details on these options.

By Omari Whyte

How do I build my Credit?

The only way to build your credit is to obtain credit account/s and show that you are a responsible individual and are able to repay and stay below your allowable limits.

This means making at least the minimum payment on your accounts every single months, if you are in a tight spot one way to do this is instead of paying a bill cash you can pay the credit card and then use the card to pay the bill, doing it that way you would have effectively satisfied the credit company as well as your bill.

Many people don’t really understand what effect being over limit on their credit accounts have on their score but it is simply too high of a price to pay... for example if a bank give you a credit card with a 500 limit and you have a balance of $501 at the end of the billing cycle, you will lose about ten points off your score just for that.-- stupid eh.. but that’s how it works.. so pay them $2 the dollars get it under limit it wont kill you.

To get started building your credit from scratch on your own without a cosigner in canada join TD bank or CIBC or RBC, In the US join Bank of America these banks are pretty good at giving a 1st shot once they see a steady paycheck being cashed and some money being left over... If you need a kick start and cant wait for those banks to be happy with you there is Capitol One (both Canada and USA) they will give you a secured Credit Card matching the amount of money you put up...TD(in Canada) does the same as well.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew..

By: Omari Whyte

Types of Credit Available

There are 2 main types of credit accounts available the 1st one is revolving this is the type of account enable you to borrow repay it then use it again this group covers , credit cards, store credit cards, and line of credits.

2nd is installment this type is classified by fixed payments- monthly, bi-weekly or weekly. This group covers things like car loans, personal loans etc...

There are other types of credit such as private company account limits and payday loans.

Types of Companies that contributes to Bad Credit.

Even though there has not been and will not be research to back this up I can confidently base the following on my own personal experience. > Most young people fall in the bad credit trap due to mismanagement (???) of their accounts with following types of companies.
1. Check Cashing Places
2. Pay Day Loan Companies
2. Cell phone and phone companies
3. Property management companies

therefore I believe learning how to manage accounts, or avoid accounts with these companies is part of the solution.

Please leave a comment if you have any specific questions about dealing with these types companies.

What is the best way to Rebuild or Repair bad Credit?

Ok if you already have bad credit you will first want to know the total amount owed to all the lenders/creditors put together, this will help you determine whether its a better decision to repay or simply file for bankruptcy ( I know what some of you are thinking "no bankruptcy" I am suggesting that you also read the post titled “when is the right time to go bankrupt”).

If you have determined that your total debt is manageable and decide to pay back the companies the best thing you can do is to contact each of you lenders and explain your situation and arrange a payment plan that they are ok with, and more importantly that you will be able to afford . (doing this will stop the negative monthly reports to your credit bureau.)After that the trick is not to acquire any more debt and continue to pay what you agree to pay until the debt is gone. Please note that if your debts are with collection agencies, when your are done paying back it is a good idea to contact Equifax and Trans Union and obtain a copy of your credit report to ensure that the collection item is mark PAID or Removed from your credit bureau.

Lets move on and assume that you have followed what you just read and your debt are now paid down or paid off.. at this point one of 2 things should happen:

1. If the majority of your debt was in third party collections most likely you would not have gain much rebuilding benefit while you were paying back the agencies. Therefore you will now need to kick start the building by obtaining a low limit secure credit card from a company like Capital One. Use it properly, try not to spend more than you can easily payoff within that month, if things get tight please please don’t miss any of the minimum payment not even by 1 day. (1 day late in the loan world is usually considered 30 days late and will report on your credit that way). Continue using that Card for about six months and you may notice an increase or an offer to increase your limit, accept it but continue to use the same principles don’t spend more just because they gave you more.. Continue that for another 6months then go to Citi Financial or Wells Fargo (in Canada in the USA it is usually better to try smaller companies such Credit Unions) and apply for a small loan of $500-$1000 you should be approved as long as your income can support the loan.. Keep that loan for 6 months, the easiest way on a $500 loan is to pay back $400 by the end of the 1st month (don’t even use it just take it out and put it aside), then continue to pay about $20 per month for the next 6months then pay it all off.

It should now be almost 2yrs on your rebuilding journey, don’t apply for anything else that you don’t have to. (not even a cell phone). Continue using the credit card as mentioned earlier until you pass the 2yr mark.


p.s. WHEN YOU GET THE OFFERS DONT BE STUPID AND GET BACK IN SAME SITUATION- please read the topic about maintaining your good credit.

by Omari Whyte

What is the best way to reduce the amount of credit I have?

Ok assuming you have decent to Good Credit and the problem is just reducing the debt, there are two situations I can think of:

1st is you have a lot of credit but you are not using it> This is not necessarily a bad thing it only hurts you if you need to acquire new credit for example a car loan.. The new lender will look at you as if everything you have is maxed out, and will base their decision on whether or not you will be able to afford the monthly payments for all your loans should you max them out..

2nd is you have a lot of credit that is already used up> In this situation you will have to do some work, here are some tips:

A. Identify the accounts with the highest interest , see if you can transfer that balance to a lower rate account.

B. Stop or Reduce spending on your revolving/reusable accounts. (Such as Lines of Credit, Store cards and Credit Cards).

C. Contact your Credit Card Companies ask for a low rate option added to your card. (most companies have this option for a small annual fee for example in Canada TD Visa is usually 18-19.9% but if you pay $25 yearly fee you can get a 10-12.5% interest rate. Bank of America also offers a similar option the United States.

D. Try to Increase the monthly payments if possible.

E. If you are interested in Closing out your accounts and making one monthly payment you can speak to your bank about consolidation Loans.

P.S> Stay away from those debt management companies you see on TV they will put you in what is called a CONSUMER PROPOSAL which will ruin your credit for at least 6 years and you will still have to pay the lenders back.

by Omari Whyte

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