How Do I Build My Credit?

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Some people are probably going to find this post to be offensive. No, I’m not going to go on a profane rant or anything. Today I want to talk about building your credit.

Credit is a Four-Letter Word

I am a strong believer that people do not understand the value of having access to credit. You will find a seemingly endless stream of personal finance bloggers who will cram the notion that you don’t need credit down your throat…and they are right in many cases. Most people do not use credit properly anyway, so it’s not shocking that people will dispense advice telling you to avoid using credit at all costs.

That might work for some people, but not all people…and certainly not people who are trying to build long-term passive wealth.

Let’s look at it this way: if you want to buy a rental property, odds are you are going to need good credit.

What is credit?

Simply put, credit is buying power. It’s money that is given on good faith that you will return it (with interest, of course).

Most people use credit incorrectly. They buy things that they don’t need. Sometimes people use it to help get them from one paycheck to the next, which makes it really hard to catch up (or at least it feels that way). I’m guilty of both of these things, as most of us are.

Bad credit really, really sucks.

So why would anyone want credit? Because it’s easy, convenient, and if used correctly it can make you more money. More money is good, right?

Here’s how to build a good credit score.

First, you are going to want to check your credit score. I would use the free annual report for starters – it will at least let you know where you stand at no cost. Second, you’re going to want to monitor your credit. This is actually become far easier because of sites like Credit Sesame, which is a free site that helps you keep track of your credit health.

If you don’t have open credit lines, you’re going to need to open some. Usually the easiest way to start a credit history is to get a credit card. There are tons of offers out there, but you MUST pay attention to the terms of the card.

My rules are this: there must be NO annual fee, and a reasonable interest rate. That’s it. But for me, not having an annual fee is the big one. 

Make your payments on time. 

Not late. Not two days late. On time or early. NO EXCEPTIONS. Even if you can’t afford to pay off the balance of your card, make sure you get the payment to the lender on time. I cannot emphasize this enough. If you can pay off your balance every month, then do so, but do it on time.

Don’t overextend yourself.

If you can’t afford the monthly payment, you shouldn’t even bother with building credit. Instead, you should build your income. If you can negotiate a pay raise at your job, then you can try to do that. Another easy way to get the extra money to afford to start building credit would be to pick up some kind of side hustle that brings in some extra income. Most credit cards with smaller limits have pretty easy to manage monthly payments, so if you can find a way to make an extra $100 per month then you should be okay.

Once you have established your credit, you can use it to invest in things that will generate additional monthly income. It might take a long time to get to this level, but if you don’t overextend yourself and keep your payments on time and your balances low, then you will build your credit to the point that you can do amazing things such as investing in real estate through rental property (which pays for itself if you do it correctly).

Don’t be afraid of credit. 

I can’t emphasize this enough: most people are just afraid of credit because of all of the horror stories about debt. That’s fair to a point, because if you don’t know how to properly use it, then you shouldn’t even attempt to try. But if you apply some basic math and common sense, then you should have no reason to fear using credit to reach your goals.

Posted in Money, Personal Finance | 2 Comments

Marketing Ethics: Using Pictures of Other People to Promote Your Product

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Affiliate marketers are no strangers to thinking outside the box. Some of us are not opposed to using black hat marketing tactics to earn some extra money. While I personally don’t have a problem with some gray-area tactics, I do have a problem with people doing things that are blatantly crappy. Today, I would like to give you an example of a campaign that is currently running as of this post that I feel violates some ethical boundaries.

I was on Facebook this morning and I saw this ad:

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What’s this? John Chow is giving free access to My Top Tier Business? For free? Sign me the hell up!

So I went through the signup, got to my account page, and then saw this:

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Wait…who is this John Ye guy? I mean, really?

I couldn’t find much with a quick Google search about this guy. But I’m pretty sure that John Chow would be pretty ticked off about someone using his pic to promote one of the same opportunities that he promotes.

The moral: it’s probably best NOT to use someone else’s face to market your stuff. Personal branding is very important.

Posted in affiliate marketing, Business | Leave a comment

These Two Tips Will Make Your Blog Suck Less

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Every website has a story. The real question is, does your website tell yours? One of the most common design downfalls is the complexity of their web design, leaving readers bored and confused. Every blog owner really has to consider how user-friendly their site is, because if the website is too complex, there is a high probability that the audience will not be able to relate to the message the site is trying to convey…which makes it more difficult to make money online with your site.

Web Design: Keep it Simple

Simplicity is beauty in the eyes of your viewers. Keeping it simple is one rule that has always been a major part of the commandments of web design however a lot of web designers do not know the difference between simple and just plain boring.  Remember, when you design your web page, make sure it’s designed with the user in mind. If you have made the site too complicated to use, people will leave the site because they do not understand how to use it. Even if you have great content, if you fail at being accessible and convenient to use, then your chances of attracting visitors will definitely drop.

Don’t Write Boring Content

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People do not like reading long, boring articles. If you think your content is not grabbing the attention of your readers, you should address this as soon as you can. Also, content alone does tend to be more boring, so it’s good to use visual elements when you can. Using animations and graphics that convey the message you want to impart to the online audience is a powerful tool for grabbing their attention. Also, think of a great way to tell your stories in the most exciting and compelling way possible so that viewers will come back to your site to read more. Make them thrilled. Engage the reader’s imagination and you’ll be on your way to the top.

 

 About the author: Patrick Del Rosario is a blogger at Sitepoint. You can read another great post by Patrick by clicking here.

Posted in Blogging | 2 Comments

HostGator Cinco de Mayo Sale – Get hosting for $2.73 per month!

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Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone!

How are you celebrating this holiday? I know that many of my friends will spend the evening getting hammered and blowing money at the local bars. That’s not really my style. I’d much rather celebrate by helping you get your blog started!

Get HostGator web hosting for $2.73 per month! Click here!

HostGator has a reputation for being an awesome web host with great uptime, and they are very WordPress friendly. Their customer service, in my experience, has been fast, friendly, and extremely helpful. And today, you can get their hosting packages for 45% off!

Cheap web hosting is great! And now, let’s make it better…

If you use one of the links in this post to purchase your hosting package, I WILL SET UP YOUR WORDPRESS BLOG FOR FREE! After you get your hosting package info, you can contact me via email at wwstewart@gmail.com and I will do the work for you, including installing WordPress on your host, getting you set up with a basic theme, and installing some plugins that will help you get a quick start with your blog!

Get HostGator web hosting for $2.73 per month! Click here!

Be sure to use the coupon code CINCO to get your new web hosting and save 45% on your initial setup.

Posted in Blogging | Leave a comment

Amazon Launches Prime Pantry

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Amazon has just launched a new service called Prime Pantry, which is available to Amazon Prime members.

The way that Amazon Prime Pantry works is that you pay a $6 monthly fee (in addition to your Amazon Prime membership) and then you use the site to fill up a 45 lb. box with stuff like detergent, chips, coffee, or some of their other options (which are pretty awesome) and get it shipped directly to your house.

I hate going to the grocery store, personally. I think I’m going to check into this.

For me, the biggest benefit of this is that it’s really convenient to automate shopping, which means that I don’t have to drive to the store, fight for parking, spend time derping around looking for things, or have to hassle with other shoppers.

If you are an Amazon Prime member already, you can use this service.

If you aren’t an Amazon Prime member, you can still look and see what is available to decide if this service is right for you. Here’s a hint: it’s probably worth it.

Click here check out Amazon Prime Pantry

Posted in Internet | Leave a comment

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