Should you enlist the help of Credit Repair Company?

People approach me all the time with this question and I get it, sometimes navigating the credit scoring and repair process can be a little confusing, but I am absolutely against paying someone to correct your credit report.

Namely because as Neal Frankle said in his Huffington Post article, “In truth, there is nothing that a credit repair firm can do for you that you can’t do for yourself, and do so in less time and at less cost. But there is nothing that will hurt your credit score more than working with a credit repair firm that is not reputable — and there are plenty of those.”

There are only three ways items can be removed from your credit.

1. They age off after the statute of limitations has passed
2. The creditor agrees to remove or correct an item on your report
3. The debt is removed after a successful dispute.

This is the only thing they can be done and rather than paying a company to do it, how about you take a Saturday morning to sit down and type up the letters and take them to the post office.  That’s what you’d be paying a legitimate company to do and god knows what you’d be paying an illegitimate company to do.

Now do not confuse Debt Counselors with Credit Repair companies. There is a difference although people use the terms interchangeably. Debt Counselors usually work for a non-profit entity and do not charge you for advice. Credit Repairs Companies charge you immediately. If they are asking you to whip out your wallet for result, that is a BIG RED FLAG!

I’m a film believer in not paying others for things I can do myself and its one of the ways I have really kept my overhead low.

Have you enlisted the help of a Credit Repair Company? What was your experience?

Guest Post- 5 Lessons From Your Mom That Can Teach You About Money

After a long weekend, I’m going to show a little love. The following is post that was featured on the blog my new fabulous friend, Tiffany aka The Budgetnista. Aside from being an amazingly inspirational individual, Tiffany is the author of the Best selling book The One Week Budget

Here are  5 favorite lessons from your mom that can teach you about money

Lesson 1) Clean-Up Your Mess:
Who’s mother hasn’t chastised them about cleaning up their room? Many of us with cluttered rooms as kids, are now money-messy adults. We have no budget, no system for saving or paying down debt, and no plan for our credit. Most of us are just winging it, well…. not me (kidding, kinda).  Just like a messy room leads to less productivity, so does a chaotic financial life.
The Solution:
Begin cleaning up by creating a financial file system. Stop groaning… It’s pretty easy. Financial guru, David Bach, details how to do so in his bestseller, the “Finish Rich Workbook”. I used David’s system in my mid-twenties and still use it now that I’m a super, young–looking 30-something.

Lesson 2) A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place:
Candi Sparks, CEO of Sparks Fly, mother of two, financial literacy consultant, trainer and author of the kid, money, book series, “Can I Have Some Money?“, got this lesson from her shero, her own mom. She says, “this lesson reminds me that we create our own financial atmosphere by putting money where it belongs, or in other words, allocating assets. These days, most people live in a financial atmos-fear, but that doesn’t have to be the case.  We can take control of our money by putting it in its proper place.”
The Solution:
Candi suggests that we first put our money into categories: spending, saving, donating and our long-term goals. Take it a step further and separate your money into multiple bank accounts, then re-name each account online, so you and your funds stay organized.

Lesson 3) Finish Your Food
Moms understand the value of not being wasteful, especially when it comes to food. According to United Nations’ data, as much as 40% of food in the United States is wasted. That’s a lot of green, and I don’t mean spinach. Wasted food, equals wasted money.
The Solution:
My friend in college invented a game called, “Clean the Cabinets”. She would refuse to go food shopping until she’d eaten virtually all of the food she had available at home first. Most of us buy stuff we already have and therein lies the waste. Play your own version of “Clean the Cabinets” and watch how much you save on groceries.

Lessons 4) Mind Your Business:
Author Hannah Seligon, in a New York Times article asserts that, “that entrepreneurship can be a viable career path, not a renegade choice. Chike “EntreprenuerCoach” Uzoka, business coach and author of the “Young Man’s Guide to Entrepreneurship“, agrees.  He credits support from him mom for helping him make the leap from Wall Street to owning his own business.
The Solution:
Chike tells his clients to find their passion first. He says this may take awhile and that’s OK.  After identifying what you love, Chike suggests new entrepreneurs begin to think about how your passion can make you profits. This is your business model. Nothing kills a passionate venture faster than lack of revenue.  These first two steps are only the beginning of the journey that is entrepreneurship.

Lesson 5) Be Nice to Your Brother (or Sister):
Most moms would agree, giving is receiving. Aren’t they always reminding us to be nice to our “brothers and sisters”? In this age of perceived lack, the best way to activate abundance is through genuine, generosity. Helping other people is essentially helping yourself. It’s good for the soul and good for the wallet too.
The Solution:
Pick a charity, organization, religious group or individual that you can commit to helping for the next 6 months. Define what that help looks like. Will you give your time, resources, funds or expertise? Each year my company, The Budgetnista, donates 10% of its gross profits to a new nonprofit in my community. It’s awesome to see first-hand how my gifts make a difference.

– Tiffany Aliche

MEandMom

Me (Tonya) and My beautiful mother taking a break from walking down the Eiffel Tower.

What are some of the lessons you learned form your mother that you can apply to your finances?

Beauty & Health on a Budget- Lemon Water

As of the past month, well sporadically throughout my adult life, I have been on a health kick. I have been exercising or practicing Yoga at least 5 times a week. My boyfriend and I have eliminated all refined sugars, are cutting down on processed foods, drastically reduced our fried food intake and have incorporated more greens and vegetables into ALL of our meals. So in our research we came across the benefits of adding lemon to your water. This information was supported by my personal trainer who swears by drinking a glass of Lemon Cayenne water to kick start his mornings and prior to every meal. Lemons are cheap as hell and I drink water by the gallon anyway so what did I have to lose by trying it out?

I have a lovely infographic created by PostiveMed.com to share, but I just want to share my personal experience.

My body has responded remarkably to lemon water. As someone who has suffered with digestion issues and adult acne, its has improved these conditions by at least 85% in a period of 2 weeks. During the first week I used the bathroom a lot more, but it was very apparent toxins were being removed from my system. For the first time since college I have gone 2 weeks without a pimple. My boyfriend has commented repeatedly how clear my skin is. That in itself is amazing considering I spent so much money and time on skin care regimes in attempt to calm my temperamental skin.I also am not as bloated as I was and I definitely have more energy despite an rather unforgiving schedule.

I seriously recommend trying it for two weeks. Be careful though when ordering lemon water at restaurants. Reports are surfacing that restaurant lemons can carry bacteria due to improper handling and failure to discard unused lemons in a timely fashion.

Is this part of your regimen? I would love to hear how your body responds to this super cheap addition to your diet.

LemonWater

And our Sweepstakes Winner is…….

Courtney B. From Georgia!

rihannnagif

Courtney Congratulations on winning My Fab Fico’s First ever giveaway! We hope that the book helps you grow as a professional woman and that you buy something really fabulous with your gift card.

Thanks yo all whom participated and be on the lookout for another giveaway in the fall 🙂

Happy Monday!

We’re giving away $25 and one of our Favorite Books!

Happy Monday!

What better way to start the week off than with a giveaway? This week we are giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a copy of one of our favorite books Nice Girls Don’t Get The Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Career. While some people think career is highly overrated, I happen to think it plays a vital role in economic success. Reading isn’t your thing? BAMN! I also happen to LOVE Amazon, which is where the gift card comes in. So there’s the reasoning, as if you needed any. Think of it as My Fab Fico’s Favorite Things 🙂

For your chance to win just enter below. Winners will be announced next Wednesday!

Register HERE!

Good Luck!!!

Having difficulty figuring out a side hustle?

Over the past few months I have realized that if I really want to get aggressive with paying off debt and saving, I need to find a side hustle. That’s somewhat difficult when on average I work 10 hours a day lemonade-Standat my non-profit job before running off to class in the evening. (For those of you considering Graduate school let me warn you, most programs are pretty demanding) Anyway, throw MyFabFico in there and it makes for one busy gal. I have read of others like Michelle over at MakingSenseofCents.com who is blowing this out of the water. She made $10,000 in extra income last month.

So when I came across this post on OneSmartDollar I found it extremely helpful and wanted to share it with MFF readers.

 

(This is a post written by Scott Sery for  OneSmartDollar I loved it so much I decided to share it on MyFabFico. Check out OneSmartDollar for mote great articles like the one below)

Over the next several weeks I want to talk to you more about how to make money on the side.  I run into countless people that complain that they just do not have enough money to meet their desires, yet they watch hours of TV per night (or engage in some other time draining activity).  When I try to coach them on cutting expenses and earning more, I get the same excuses each time.  Here are some of the more common hurdles to overcome, and how to work around them.

No Idea

The biggest problem I run into is people claiming that they have no idea.  They do not have a good business idea and therefore they shut down and do not even try.  These people try to claim that they are not good at anything, and when I point out hobbies that they have, they claim nobody will pay them to do it.  There are millions of ideas out there.  And every one of them can be profitable if you just market it properly.  Unfortunately, too many people think they need to have some unique idea or else it will never work.  But how many mechanics do you know?  How many carpenters?  You do not need to be the only one; you just need to specify your niche.  So how do you pick the idea that is right for you?

Self Reflection

The first part of choosing what to do for your side hustle is to know yourself.  Before you go any further, get out a pen and paper and make 3 columns.  In the first column think about the things you like to do.  Everyone has hobbies and interests, so list them all out.  Do you like to read?  Write?  Garden?  Build furniture?  The possibilities are endless, and everyone spends their free time doing something.

In the next column over develop a list of the things you are good at, even if they are not your favorite activities.  For instance, is your house spotlessly clean?  Is your kitchen impeccably organized?  Maybe you make your own clothes?  Do you have a knack for fashion, music, or art?  Alongside your hobbies and interests list, make a list of everything you are skilled at.

Now your third list is a list of all the things you do not like doing.  This is the list of things that you are willing to pay to have someone else do.  Do you hate washing your car?  Mowing your lawn?  Cleaning?  Fixing your computer?

Now take a look at your lists.  Your likes and don’t minds should far outweigh your dislikes.  But those dislikes are opportunities that someone else has seen, and jumped on.  They know you don’t like it (and there are millions of other people just like you), and they have made money doing the job you won’t.

Picking an idea

You should now have a plethora of ideas.  Take the ones that interest you the most, and start to work out a business plan.  It doesn’t have to be huge, and it doesn’t have to be intricate.  Just weigh the pros and cons, and take a look at those who have made money doing it before you.  Basically you need to look into this idea, and see if it is viable (which is something we will talk about more in the next few weeks).

Many people say they don’t have an idea of how to make money on the side.  To that I call BS.  Everyone has hobbies and everyone has skills.  Sitting down and making a list of them all is the best way to get a visual of what you can do.  After looking at that list you should start to realize that someone out there does not like doing, or cannot do, the things you have on your list.  You can capitalize on their lack of desire.

Scott Sery is a native to Billings, Montana. Within an hour in nearly any direction he can be found fishing, hunting, backpacking, caving, and rock or ice climbing. With an extensive knowledge of the finance and insurance world, Scott loves to write personal finance articles. When not talking money, he enjoys passing on his knowledge of the back country, or how to live sustainably.

If you have a side hustle please share it in the comments section, perhaps you can help another figure out an additional way to bring in income.

Tonya’s favorite sites & apps for monitoring Progress & Financial Vitals

6Favoritesites

This post is long overdue. Perhaps I encountered difficulty com
Let’s start with the basicspiling this list because every week, new favorites are being added to the list. So think of this as an ongoing conversation.

USAA Online Banking & My Banking App: Almost everyone is signed up for this with their bank, img_online_banking_lgpretty much every bank offers it. I check this if not twice, once a day. I honestly used to go days without checking my account because I was nervous to find a balance lower than what I expected. Browsing through your actual spending helps put things in perspective.  I also pay bills with my banking App. I can honestly say, this is the bank i have been the most happiest with

My Credit Monitoring Service: Signing up for a good credit-monitoring service is helpful in a variety of ways. It allows you to check and review your credit report as needed and also allows you to track changes including new accounts, whether creditors are responding to your request to remove items and monitoring overall credit health. Some services are better than others. I know that a few banks, including mine offer this option to their users for a reduced cost. So check with your bank before going with a service.

Credit Karma: This is an absolutely free and pretty useful resource.  They also have an iphone app. They will provide you with information that is on your credit reports. A score is also provided but it not a real Fico score and not accurate, so it does not substitute your actual report. My Credit Karma score is about 20 points lower than my actual credit score. But it is a helpful and instant way to keep an eye on things such as my utilization, new accounts, inquires, and estimate impact of new actions.

MyFico.com:  Name sound familiar? This was one of the first site I visited when I began cleaning up my credit. The forums are invaluable and filled with people sharing everything from their success calling backdoor numbers (the number you call to ask for a reconsideration if you were denied for a line of credit or an increase) to experience with Goodwill letters and other matters. I even search this site to see what people are saying about certain credit cards such as “How easy is it to redeem the rewards points for XYZ”.

Who Gave Me Credit- Not a very fancy site but before I apply for any new accounts I check Whogavemecredit.com. This site allows you to see what scores are being approved, the amount of credit they were approved for and the interest rate they received by different finance companies. For instance I checked this site out before applying for my Citibank credit card. I am considering buying a car at the end of the year, so I have been looking at what scores are being approved by who, and what the rates were. This also helps prevent you from applying for accounts you most likely wont get approved for.

Learnvest: While this has a few kinks and only works wen you use it, Learnvest is a great way to build1745_learnvest a budget that goes with you. Thinking of going out for dinner and wondering how you are doing on your budget? Learnvest is great for that. They offer several free articles and options as well as paid programs.. I’d say stay away from spending money on the products. See if you can handle the basics like budgeting yourself. I am looking into their Financial planning options.

 

 

 

 

I’m sure as I move along this journey there will be other apps and sites that are useful. Whenever I make updates to this list I will post a notice on my social media networks. If you do not follow all or any of them, now is your chance.

I’d love to hear your input whether or not you find these options helpful and others that I might have left off the list.

Travel on a Budget- Paris & London

Image

As many of you know, for my birthday present this year, I took a much needed vacation to Paris & London. I have been planning it since March and this was my first time traveling to Europe since living in Germany as a child, so I was extremely excited. Let me just start out by saying this , traveling to Europe is not cheap.Read More

Beauty on a Budget

Girly moment alert!

I am a make-up wearing feminist. While I don a more natural look for everyday occasions, you will rarely catch me out in public for an extended period of time without some form of make-up on. Blame it on my 6 years of working for Estee Lauder during undergrad and then briefly after college.

My skincare regimen and regularly used cosmetics are two things I tend to splurge on as I have rather acne prone, extremely oily, and pretty temperamental skin. So you can imagine I cut costs wherever I can. While I absolutely refuse to part with my Spiked brow pencil from MAC, traditionally I’m less loyal when it comes to liners and mascara’s. That is until three weeks ago when I found a drug store eye liner that has trumped any liner I have ever used.

If you are looking to cut your make-up budget one product I recommend without hesitation is Covergirl’s Perfect Point Plus liner. It goes on smooth, isn’t chalky, and is pretty long wearing yet easy to remove if you screw up application.

CGPerfect PLus

It’s only $5.75 on sites like soap.com who also currently has a buy one get one free special on them.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m learning that being financially fab isn’t so much about deprivation, its about making well thought out, financially responsible decisions.

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Created by nationally recognized millennial money expert Tonya Rapley, My Fab Finance is a leading financial education and lifestyle blog for millennials who want to become financially free and do more of what they love.
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