National Business

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MoneyTips

You've set up a lame date for the upcoming weekend but you're hoping a better offer comes along. If one does, you're ready to accept it and cancel your earlier date. You're hedging your bets, so you won't be sitting home alone on Saturday night.

That logic applies to real estate transactions as well. Perhaps you've received an offer for your home that's disappointing, but you expect a better offer to come along. Maybe you want to make an offer on a home but you need to sell your existing home to make the deal work financially.

In the real estate world, you can address these issues with a bump clause.

A bump clause in a real estate transaction adds a contingency that one party must meet before the sale can be finalized. Bump clauses get their name because the clauses give the seller the right to accept another offer and "bump" the original offer if the buye...

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MoneyTips

Hackers are like any other type of thief. They look for easy targets and take advantage of them. Are you an easy target in the eyes of identity thieves?

Let's assume that you've taken basic prevention steps, like using anti-virus software and securing your router to prevent hackers from getting directly into your system. Have you considered these other five ways to keep personal and account information safe?

1. Use Strong Passwords – Surely, you've moved past "password" or "12345678." The best passwords contain upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols – but how do you remember them?

Try inserting characters in regular patterns into names you'll remember. For example, if your dog's name is Rex, try "R!e@x#1$". See the pattern? Check your computer keyboard.

To make it easier, use the same basic pattern but add an identifier in front ...

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MoneyTips

Black Friday arrives on Friday, November 23. Do you plan to join the frenzied early sales with hundreds of your fellow consumers, scour the Internet for online bargains as soon as you've digested your Thanksgiving turkey, or wait until the first shopping wave dies down and take your chances a little later in the day?

Whatever your strategy, a battle plan is important – and battle planning requires reconnaissance. Here are a few Black Friday predictions to consider as you formulate your plans.

Spending Increases – Here's an easy prediction – people will spend more over the period from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday than they did last year. BestBlackFriday.com predicts an average spending of $340.33 per consumer, up almost $5 from last year.

The online spending component is exploding. Last year marked the first time that Black Friday online shopping topped $5 billion. BestBlackFriday.com predicts $5.8 billion, an increase of mo...

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MoneyTips

What happened to your credit score? It's dropped considerably since the last time you checked, and you have no idea why.

Maybe one or more of these events is behind the decrease.

1. Missing Payments – On-time payments is one of the biggest factors that make up your credit score.

Make all credit card and loan payments by the due date to avoid a credit score hit. Verify that automatic payments are working, and if a change is made, verify with your creditor that you won't miss a payment during the transition.

2. Using Too Much Of Your Credit – Your credit limit is just that – a limit, not a target. When you get close to your credit limits, creditors see increased risk. Are you racking up more charges than you can pay off given your regular expenses?

Keep your total credit in use at any one time (your

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MoneyTips

Veterans Affairs (VA) loans are invaluable for homebuyers. Their advantages include little or no money down, qualifying with a lower credit score, competitive interest rates, potentially lower closing and auxiliary costs, and no private mortgage insurance requirements.

VA loans are administered through approved lending institutions and backed through an entitlement of up to $36,000. This entitlement can guarantee a home loan of up to 484,350 without a down payment and possibly higher in some high-cost counties.

You may qualify for a VA loan if you're an active duty service member, a veteran in good standing, a current or discharged National Guard or Selected Reserve member, a spouse of a service member who died on active duty, or a spouse of a veteran who died as a result of military service. Your lender will require a Certificate of Eligibility, which requires different evi...

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MoneyTips


By Andrea Woroch

The upcoming holiday season may have you feeling joyous and anxious at the same time thanks to all the seasonal expenses, gift purchases and travel costs you will take on in several short weeks. Those who don't prepare ahead may find themselves relying heavily on credit cards and, ultimately, be in debt come January. In fact, a survey shows Americans racked up an average of $1,230 of debt over the holidays in 2018, which they expected to takeat least three months to pay off. Some consumers only planned to make minimum payments, which means they'd be paying off that holiday debt for years to come. Given today's high interest rates, taking on credit card debt over the holidays can become increasingly hard to manage and add up in fees.

Luckily, you still have time to prepare ahead and line up your finances in time for the holiday. Just follow these seven money moves to avoid debt this jolly season.

1. Book travel now.

Typic...

10 Tips For Dealing With Holiday Debt, Part 1

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MoneyTips

Did you know that your credit history could affect your ability to get a job? Prospective employers are unlikely to turn you down solely for having bad credit, but items in your credit report can make the difference between you and another equally qualified candidate. "Your credit score matters, even if you’re not in the market for credit in the near future, because increasingly prospective employers…will often take your credit rating into consideration when they’re looking at you as a potential employee," cautions Bankrate.com Chief Financial Analyst Greg McBride.

What are employers looking for in your credit report? A credit score alone doesn't help, because that's a single ranking reflecting the overall risk of lending you money. They're hunting for insight into aspects of your personality and behavior, and how those traits will fit into th...

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Video: Can You Be Fired From Your Job If You Have A Low Credit Score?

Bad Credit Can Affect Being Hired

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