Archive for Financial Recovery

5 Reasons That You Should Understand How Your Credit Works. (Or what you don’t know WILL hurt you!)

By · September 9, 2015 · Filed in Financial Recovery · No Comments »
Ignorance is not bliss, it’s actually very expensive.
Imagine a big warehouse full of all kinds of information about you. Now imagine three of them. (Just so you know, these “warehouses” are data storage facilities – and are updated constantly.)
Now whenever you wish to make a major purchase, strangers run your information through a mysterious mathematical equation. Based on the results, more strangers make decisions that can negatively affect your family.
This happens every day to you and folks everywhere. To not understand how this works – and what to do about it – invites trouble.
Here are five reasons you should understand and take action:
Reason #1: Your access to credit could be limited and very expensive.
Reason #2: You could likely pay higher insurance premiums than your neighbors (because your insurance company has convinced regulators that people with lower credit scores file more claims.)
Reason #3: There are some jobs you won’t be able to get with bad credit.
Reason #4: Landlords, utilities and cell phone companies will require substantial cash deposits because they think you are a higher risk not to pay.
Reason #5: Most importantly, your children and grandchildren (who “never listen”) definitely WATCH what you do! Why not show them how to live a better quality of life by improving your’s? That is your true legacy to them
.
The good news is that you can be in control – and improve your situation.
Stay tuned to this space.

“ID theft emerges as crime of the century”

By · March 24, 2015 · Filed in Financial Recovery · No Comments »

Read this article from BankingExchange.com (link below):

ID theft emerges as crime of the century

Some excerpts:

“FTC receives 1,000 complaints daily.”
“Americans…more concerned about ID theft than violent crime, natural disasters, or terrorism.”
“Sixty-nine percent of Americans said they were very concerned about the safety of their credit cards.”
This is a problem that will not go away. Sooner or later, your account information WILL be compromised – whether by a company data breach, an unscrupulous hotel clerk or even a family member (yes, it happens)!

So what can you do?

How about a “Personal Financial Firewall”?

A what?

Your own virtual bank account that:

You can easily lock when you’re not making a purchase (but unlock it when you do!)
Notifies you immediately if someone else tries to use it.

Safely connects with your existing accounts or cards.

Imagine using a single, secure account for all financial transactions and purchases – while safeguarding your other account & card information behind your own “personal financial firewall”!

We have this solution.

“Stay tuned” to your inbox on how to get it.

Innovation? Or More of the Same?

By · October 24, 2014 · Filed in Financial Recovery · No Comments »

Apple Pay – more of the same?

While I applaud Apple for promoting mobile payments, I am not convinced it really solves most of the problems for consumers – or for the merchants accepting these payments.

Apple Pay is simply an integrated NFC chip capability that is now a part of the iPhone.  As such, it allows iPhone users to insert their card information into a special application (“passport”) and in-so-doing enable the user to eliminate having to pull out a card from his/her physical wallet and swipe or have it swiped.  Instead, the iPhone user simply launches the application on his/her phone, selects the card to process and then places his/her phone near the POS Terminal instead of swiping.

Rather it creates a novel – and potentially more convenient – method at the point-of-sale (‘POS’) to settle a transaction. Sort of like the Square – introducing a new technology to an old process, while not necessarily improving said process for all of its stakeholders.

A few examples:

Security – because of NFC, the consumer does not have to produce a physical card at the POS – which reduces the likelihood of a lost card or potential capture of its information for illicit purposes. True – assuming there is no way to intercept NFC information. But this is not true! Instead of stealing information from the POS swiping mechanism, fraudsters will move to near field interception.  NFC fraud is still prevalent in other countries that are using this technology.

Also, since many data security breaches occur somewhere else in the network than POS, Apple Pay users do not avoid that particular risk.

Costs – the Apple Pay transactions are still settled via conventional bank card processes, so the merchant still experiences cash flow delays on settlement as well as hefty interchange and related expenses – all while needing to invest in new point-of-sale technology.

Underserved – while Apple Pay helps folks with bank cards and accounts (not to mention smartphones), this service does not promote access for all of the folks. If you believe universal access is important, look other places.

In summary, Apple Pay will definitely raise the profile of “contactless commerce” but are still a plethora of challenges.

Credit “Invisibility” – and what it does to people

By · July 9, 2014 · Filed in Financial Recovery · No Comments »

I offer for your review (click below) a re-post of an article on “The Root” website by Edward Wyckoff Williams:

“Credit Invisibility Means Less Economic Opportunity in Black America”

This article outlines the challenges of those who are financially under-served – extending to the “credit conversation.”

As we move past “access” to financial services – which our company provides (click here) – the next steps include:

–  Savings: A regular habit of accumulating funds for emergencies helps break the habit of using the wrong kind of credit. As well, some of these deposits can also help to start building a positive credit history (more on this later).

–  Credit education and building a positive credit profile: There is NO reason to give up on your credit!!!! Becoming informed and taking action can improve your economic life – regardless of who you are or from where you start. There is no greater form of economic empowerment than understanding credit – it’s a “game” that’s never over, unless you quit on yourself.

 

More to come on this topic.

These Are the Businesses That Actually Create Jobs

By · May 27, 2014 · Filed in Financial Recovery · No Comments »

Check out this LinkedIn post by John Hope Bryant (click below):

These Are the Businesses That Actually Create Jobs

Fascinating.

Have a great week.

Financial capability and the (vanishing) middle class….

By · May 20, 2014 · Filed in Financial Recovery · No Comments »

We have spent a lot of time on the topic of “financial capability” – and how to get there. In focusing on the underserved, we sometimes ignore that this concept applies to everyone. Though a lack of access makes it harder, every American family is challenged to grow its household balance sheet.

A stable and growing “middle class” is important to all of us – especially when consumer spending represents 70% of the U.S. economy. As well, it supports the idea that everyone has an opportunity to participate in the largest economy on the planet – and the ideal of opportunity of upward mobility for everyone.

So what has worked in the past to grow the middle class? And how do we maintain and grow it?

For your consideration, I offer two perspectives:

1)      The first is from George Friedman at Stratfor.com – “The Middle Class and American Power”

2)      This is a link to a book review to the forthcoming book by John Hope Bryant – How the Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding the Path to the Middle Class (for a 6/1/14 release – and I’ve ordered it)

I welcome your opinion on whether these two commentaries – and curious if any “dots have been connected.” Your thoughts?

Des Moines Register Op-Ed: Prepaid cards are beneficial for Iowans who are ‘unbanked’

By · April 29, 2014 · Filed in Financial Recovery · No Comments »

Excerpt: “In fact, it is estimated that the average unbanked payee will save a week’s worth of salary over the course of a year by switching wages from paper checks to direct deposit.”

Full article link: click here

But don’t believe that all programs for the financially underserved are the same.

Have a great week!

Connect the dots…

By · April 1, 2014 · Filed in Financial Recovery · No Comments »

Here are a couple of related articles:

Cashless society = less crime? (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Pre-paid debit cards offer less protection (WLS Chicago)

Have a great week.

Excuses, excuses…

By · March 19, 2014 · Filed in Financial Recovery · No Comments »

When it comes to a lack of financial capability, I hear three common excuses:

1) “If I just made more money, all my financial problems would be solved” – WRONG!  Without clarity and a real plan, a pay raise only leads you into a bigger “money fog.”  More of the same.

2) “I already know where my money goes..” Ahh, the “mental math” excuse – WRONG AGAIN!  I guarantee that what you “think” is happening with your money is NOT accurate.  (If you doubt me, contact me and I’ll prove it to you).

3) Not really an excuse – rather the root cause: Denial.  This is the biggest issue for folks – whether they’re financially under-served or fully participate in the financial mainstream.  Most folks don’t want to know.

Living on in a “money fog” will be tough on you and your family – both now and in the long-run. What you don’t know will hurt you.

Conversely, taking responsibility and seeking financial clarity will change your life and reduce your stress factor immensely.

Good luck – and feel free to reach out to me with questions.

Financial clarity – what now?

By · March 11, 2014 · Filed in Financial Recovery · No Comments »

To continue our progress, it started with clarity – being honest with yourself about your relationship with money. Then you measured your activity and made a plan.

What now?

It’s time to ask the famous Dr. Phil question: “How’s that working for you?”

Background: If you’ve seen any of Michael Gerber’s E-Myth book series for small business owners, he discusses the concept of working “in” your business vs. working “on” your business – i.e., stepping back on a regular basis to see if you are still moving in the right direction. The same concept applies to your personal financial life. The “disconnect” occurs when folks start to feel pressure – and the most common emotional response is to dive “in” instead of stepping back to ask: “how is it working for me?”

To gain true financial capability, you must:

1) Get clear

2) Make a plan supports you and your family’s life end-game

3) Measure actual financial activity

4) Step back on a regular basis- see how it’s working for you.

5) Make adjustments to Step 2 above is needed and continuously repeat Steps 3 and 4.

Financial capability is a process that applies to everyone – not just the “under-served.”

(Next week – Financial capability: All the excuses I get)