fix credit score

First impressions are important, but never more so than when you are trying to sell your home. As soon as a potential buyer pulls up outside, they are starting to form an opinion about how they feel about your house, and question whether they can see themselves living there. Something quite small, such as the smell, or the crowded feel of a room, could make all the difference as to whether or not they decide to put in an offer.

Presenting your home when you want to sell

Personal clutter, belongings and ornaments can be off-putting, embarrassing, detract from the size and versatility of the rooms, make a room feel crowded or small, and make a potential buyer want to get out as quickly as possible. Store personal possessions away and try to make every room as neutral as possible. Neutral colors can be warm tans, coffees, honey, soft blue-greens, and so on. Painting rooms in the same color as one another, and as the drapery, gives a larger, more seamless appearance. A potential buyer should be able to walk into your home and picture in their mind where they will put their furniture and personal items if they live there.

Do what you can to make rooms feel light and airy. Clean the windows inside and out to maximize the light coming in, open shades and curtains, and turn on lamps to create even more light. Remember that dark carpets, furniture and pet smells can be off-putting.

For maximum effect when displaying accessories, place them in threes in a triangle shape using a mixture of heights and widths with the largest item at the back. If you have a room that is multi-purpose, make the decision to give it a specific function. For example you could turn that dining room/office hybrid into a reading room, an office or a yoga studio, or maybe even add a futon to suggest an area where guests can stay over. Whatever sofa ideas you have, making them a seamless part of the room – rather than something that looks like it’s in an uneasy alliance with what’s around it – will really help sell your living space.

Bathrooms and bedrooms

Bathrooms sell houses, so take some extra time and effort to clean and smarten up toilets, baths and shower enclosures. Aim for a bright, clutter-free bathroom that smells great. Consider painting dated tiles with specialist tile paint, or installing a pedestal sink to maximize floor space.

A bed needs to look inviting, with throws, luxurious linens and rows of cushions and pillows. Think how inviting a hotel room looks, with soft rolled-up towels, bolster pillows on the bed, crisp Egyptian cotton sheets and opulent runners. Accent a neutral room with a few items to complement it, so that it doesn’t appear too bland.

The kitchen and front of your house

Consider staining dated kitchen cabinets; apply a stainless-steel stick-on covering to old appliances to create a modern look in the kitchen. Add fresh flowers, magnolia clippings, and foliage in large vases, not forgetting the hall, porch or area around the front door. Curb appeal is vital, so tidy up the front of the house, cut back trees and plant some seasonal flowers to make your home warm and inviting.

You don’t have to spend a fortune or give your home a complete overhaul to make it more appealing to a potential buyer. Create as neutral a canvas as possible so anyone can imagine living there, no matter what their taste, and clear out all unnecessary clutter. Update the most tired aspects of your home, and the next person that steps inside could be the buyer you are aiming to impress.


fix credit scoreAs the struggle to make ends meet becomes more challenging for households around the US, everyone is looking for ways to cut back. From switching insurance providers to cutting back on entertainment expenses, every penny saved is a penny that can be contributed to other expenses. While there are plenty of methods you can use to save money, one that is often overlooked is improving your credit score.

Most would assume that you improve your credit score so that you can borrow money or qualify for certain services, but what is not clearly understood is that a good credit score equals instant savings. Here’s how:

Good Credit = Lower Interest Rates

Whether you’re applying for a credit card, car loan, home loan, or even a personal loan, your credit score and history will be taken into consideration when it comes to determining the level of risk you present to the service provider.

For example, two applicants apply for a $500 personal loan from a local bank. One applicant has a credit score of 600 while the other has a score of 750. While they might both be approved for the personal loan, the applicant with the lower score is a higher risk and might get approved with a 10% interest rate while the applicant with the higher score gets approved for a 3% interest rate. Essentially, the applicant with the lower score will pay $550 while the person with the better score will pay $515 for a $35 savings in cash.

This may not seem like a lot, however, this example was on a small personal loan. Imagine the savings on a mortgage or car loan?

Good Credit = Better Financing Offers

When companies are trying to attract the attention of consumers, they will advertise very competitive rates and financing options for their products. For example, furniture stores might advertise that you can finance through them with no down payment and no interest for the first year. While this will attract the attention of many consumers, only a select few will actually get a chance to take advantage of such an offer. Why? Well, because these offers are for consumers that present little risks to the vendor.

The person with the higher credit score will begin paying towards their principal balance right away, while the person with the lower credit score will be paying both interest and the principal balance each month. Over the course of a year (no interest for 12 months), this could add up to a reasonable amount savings.

Good Credit = Lower Insurance Premiums

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, many insurance companies review your credit score to determine premium costs. Information such as your payment history, outstanding debt, credit history length, new credit accounts, and the types of credit are all considered when determining the level of risk you present to a potential insurer. As such, a poor credit history would result in higher premiums.

Good Credit = Waived Deposits

When trying to apply for certain services your credit history is a huge factor. Whether it’s a cell phone service, cable subscription, or electrical services in your new home, if you pose a risk to the service providers, they’re going to require you to provide them with a deposit. The higher risk you are to them, the more they will require as a deposit before services can be turned on. However, when you have decent credit, you’re not much of a risk and can often have deposits lowered or waived altogether.

Improving Your Score = Savings

Now that you know some areas in which you might be shelling out a lot more cash, it’s time to make a plan of action. If you have a horrible credit history or low score, you should consider the following steps to getting on the right path.

·Review your credit report – Many people concern themselves with their credit score, but never really take the time to review their score. It is ideal to review your credit score on the annual basis. This allows you to ensure that information on your report is accurate, and also helps to minimize the potential for identity theft.

·  Pay Down Your Debt – If you have a significant amount of debt you’ll need to begin paying it down to try and clean up your history and improve your score. If you’re having difficulties in paying the amount owed, you may consider talking with the creditors to try and make up arrangements. Many times they are willing to work with you in getting the balance resolved.

·  Dispute Inaccuracies – If you have inaccuracies on your credit report, you should work to have them removed. This will often help to improve your credit score. If you’re not sure of how to dispute the accounts yourself, there is always the option to work with a credit repair company. However, when looking for a credit repair service, be sure that you do your due diligence and check out online reviews. You want to make sure that you’re entrusting your personal information to someone who will handle it with care.

By following the above advice you should start to see a significant change in your credit score over the course of a few months. Once the score improves, you can try reapplying for certain services. Whether you refinance a home or auto loan, switch car insurance or cell phone providers, or even splurge on a new furniture set, you’ll find that the savings you’ll receive is a lot greater. You can then use those savings to start an emergency fund, go on a much needed vacation, or to invest in your financial future.


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December 11, 2014 Self-Reliance

Shopping for a new home is always exciting. There are so many aspects to consider and requirements to be met. However, other than the size of the kitchen or the number of bedrooms, you should also pay attention to the building’s energy efficiency rating. If you are not careful a poorly constructed or designed house […]

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