Archive for December, 2012

The Only 5 Ways to Increase Your Credit Score

Written by Sam on . Posted in Personal Finance, Taxes. 24086 views.

the only 5 ways to increase your credit scoreThere are only five ways to increase your credit score.  It may surprise you, but factors like your income, length of employment, home ownership vs renting status, and education are all completely ignored when it comes to calculating your credit score.

Many people have been negatively affected by the downturn in the economy.  The side effects range from occationally missed debt payments to losing one’s house to foreclosure.  These examples encompass both sides of the spectrum of debt avoidance that will adversely affect your credit.  The good news is that so many people have been affected by these “credit blemishes” that creditors are now forced to be a little more lenient and understanding if they hope to have a profitable book of borrowers in the future.  So how do you get back on track and rebuild your credit score?

  1. Pay down your outstanding debt.  Most of us have seen that those who are in debt typically need their credit much more than those who are debt free, however, the more you need credit the harder it is to get.  Why is this?  Lenders are in search of borrowers who don’t need the credit, but when they use it they pay it back quickly.  The best way to become one of these attractive borrowers is to pay down the debt you owe.  Some outstanding debt looks worse than others.  I recommended paying down debt in the following order (pay off completely, then move on to the next):
    Credit Card  >  School Debt  >  Medical  >  Car Payment  >  Mortgage
  2. Establish a clean credit history.  The largest part of your credit score is your ability to pay the debt you’ve accumulated.  In the eye of a lender, a consistent payor is also an attractive potential borrower.  Setting calendar reminders or automatic bill pay are great tips to ensuring that your credit history is never in jeopardy.  Chances are, developing a habit for paying bills is one of the 15 Financial Life Lessons Your Parents Forgot to Teach You.
  3. Avoid frequent sources of new debt.  Looking to save 15% at the Gap or Home Depot by opening their in-store credit card?  While it might save you a few bucks, it’ll also drop your credit score several points.  Lenders view volatile borrowers who are constantly opening and closing sources of credit as less attractive than those who have well established sources.  This brings us to our next point of…

6 Professional Tips on How to Prepare for a Job Interview

Written by Sam on . Posted in Career Advice. 15992 views.

I’ve conducted hundreds of job interviews in my time and have seen my fair share of what works and what doesn’t. While things like eye contact, appearance and personal hygiene are all important, they’ve been talked about before.  We’re going to get into some suggestions for those of us who are looking for a middle to higher level position.

Having reached the interview process your resume is most likely in order and your qualifications are already known.  Now it’s time to spend some time preparing for ways to differentiate yourself from other candidates who may have the same or better qualifications.

Here are 6 ways to increases your chances of getting hired:

  1. Do your homework.  Now that you’ve landed the interview, do your research.  Familiarize yourself with relevant company facts and recent company news. Be prepared to answer questions about the latest press release or the latest product.  Your interviewer will assume you’re familiar with the company – don’t fall into the “un” trap of looking uninterested and uninformed by being unprepared.
  2. Asking questions is the answer.  In doing your homework to prepare for any questions you may be asked, identify questions you’d like to ask yourself.  Who cares if you get your questions answered, simply asking the questions will set you apart as a more motivated candidate.
  3. I’ve never hired someone I didn’t like – be personable.  Chances are your interviewer is a regular person with a family, interests in sports or music.  Don’t be afraid to connect by answering or asking personal questions.  Showing a respectful sense of humor can also further your chances of being liked.  Identify some topics of conversation before hand that you could throw out there to start up a relaxed dialog.