Can You Have Too Many Credit Cards?

Posted: March 14, 2019 by Rachel Shepard

With some things, it’s easy to tell when you have enough. Once your stomach is full, for example, you know you’ve probably hit the acceptable limit on pizza slices. With other things, however, it’s harder to tell if you have enough — or too many.


For many people, credit cards can fall into that latter category; with literally hundreds of credit cards out there, it can be hard to tell when you’ve hit the cap on how many cards you should have in your wallet. And it can get even harder to know your limit when you keep receiving offers in the mail promising big signup bonuses, low rates, or other tempting perks.


Technically, There Is No Credit Card Cap


Part of what makes it hard to know when you have too many credit cards is that it’s really a personal decision. Technically, there is no legal limit on how many credit card accounts you can have open at once. If you meet the qualifications for a given credit card and can get approved for it, you can have it — regardless of how many other credit cards you’ve already opened.


Each New Card Can Impact Your Credit


Of course, there is a lot of room between “can” and “should,” especially when it comes to your finances. Just because you can open an unlimited number of credit cards doesn’t mean that you should open a new card.


For one thing, opening new credit card accounts can have significant impacts on your credit profile. Each new credit card application you submit — whether you’re approved or not — will result in a hard credit inquiry on your credit, which can ding your credit score through the “new accounts” factor, which is worth up to 10% of your score.


Plus, new credit card accounts will be factored into your average account age, which can be worth up to 15% of your credit score. Each new account will reduce your average account age and potentially decrease your scores.


On the other hand, new credit cards can help improve your utilization rate by increasing your overall available credit — assuming you don’t run up a balance on your new card. Overall, the impact to your credit scores from opening a new card will depend mostly on your credit profile; the older and more diverse your credit is, the less impact you’ll likely see — in either direction — from opening a new card.


Some Issuers Have Card Limits


Although the law doesn’t cap the number of credit cards you have, some credit card issuers will places limits on how many cards you can have from their banks. For example, American Express reportedly limits cardholders to five American Express credit cards at any given time; applications for additional cards are likely to be denied.


Other issuers will set limits on how often you can open new cards. Chase, in particular, is notorious for its 5/24 Rule that means you can’t open a new Chase credit card if you have opened five or more credit card accounts in the past 24 months.


Furthermore, some card issuers will put a cap on how much credit you can be extended. If you already have several cards from a given issuer, for instance, you may not be able to open another card because you’ve reached the limit on how much credit the issuer is willing to offer you.


Only Open Credit Lines You Can Handle Responsibly


At the end of the day, the primary barometer for whether you have too many credit cards will come down to how many credit cards you can handle responsibly at one time. If you have so many credit cards that you can’t keep track of due dates and wind up carrying a balance or making late payments, then you have too many cards.


In general, having at least one credit card account open and in good standing is recommended for good credit. When used responsibly, credit cards can help build a positive payment history, improve your credit mix, and show that you can properly handle a revolving credit line.


That being said, for some folks, the right number of credit cards may actually be zero. If you’re unable to resist the temptation to overspend when you use plastic, then you may be better off avoiding credit cards entirely.


At the other end of the extreme, some cardholders have literally hundreds of credit cards — and they manage to have good credit scores, too. If you can keep track of all your credit card fees, balances, due dates, and other particulars, then the proverbial sky is the limit on how many credit cards is too many.


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When Should You Refinance an Auto Loan?

Posted: February 13, 2019 by Ashley Dull

Although vehicles have gotten smarter and more efficient, their cost has steadily increased to the point that most auto loans extend for more than half a decade. For most folks, however, the cost of buying a vehicle is worth paying, especially when it’s the only reasonable option for getting to and from work.


But, worthwhile or not, that high price tag means you need to be smart about how — and how much — you pay for your vehicle. For example, auto loans are a common method of paying for a new vehicle, but a five-figure loan can get expensive, especially when it’s stretched out over the course of six years or more.


That’s why the interest rate you’re charged for your loan is so important, as it determines the overall cost of your loan. So, if you got a sour deal when you first took out your loan, you may be paying way more for your vehicle than you could be paying if you refinanced your loan. Of course, not every loan is ready or worth refinancing. Here are a few signs it might be time.


When You’ve Improved Your Credit


The very best time to refinance any loan, including an auto loan, is when you’ve seen big credit score improvements — at least a few dozen points. That’s because the interest rates you’re offered for any credit product will be heavily dependent upon your credit profile; the better your credit, the better the interest rates you’re offered.


For example, a credit score of 600 may qualify you for an auto loan with a 9% interest rate. If your credit score rose from a 600 to a 700, however, you’d likely be able to refinance closer to the 4.5% range. On a $20,000 loan over three years, that difference in interest rates could mean almost $1,500 in savings.


There are lots of ways to boost your credit scores, though the quickest is usually to pay down existing debts, particularly if you have any credit cards with high utilization rates. Even something so simple as ensuring you pay all of your debts on time for six months or so can have some large, positive impacts on your credit scores that may result in being offered better interest rates when you refinance.


When You Have More Than a Year Left on the Loan


Very few loans are free, even refinanced ones. In the majority of cases, you’ll wind up paying some sort of loan fee to refinance your vehicle loan, which means you’ll need to make sure you’ll make up any fees with interest savings. If you only have a few months left on your loan, the chances are low you’ll actually see enough savings from a lower rate to justify the loan cost.


The exceptions here are in the math; if you can get a fee-free loan, for instance, then it might be beneficial to refinance. It may also be a good idea to refinance your loan if you can significantly reduce your interest rate (i.e., by more than a couple of points), as the math may then work out in the favor of overall savings.


When You Can’t Afford Your Payments


In some cases, you may need to refinance even if you can’t get an appreciably better rate so that you can avoid falling behind on your loan. Basically, if you are unable to afford your monthly loan payments, you may be able to refinance your loan with a new loan that has a longer repayment term. By extending the amount of time you take to repay the loan, you can reduce the size of the monthly payments.


While this method can be helpful if you are short of options for staying ahead of your loan, it should be considered Plan B — or C, or even Plan D. That’s because every additional month you extend your repayment term will mean another month worth of interest fees, adding more and more to the overall cost of your vehicle.


As an example, consider a $20,000 car loan with a 7% APR. If that loan is repaid over four years, the monthly payment would be about $480, and the total interest paid for the loan would be just under $3,000. That same loan repaid over seven years would have a monthly payment of roughly $300 but a total interest cost of over $5,300 — more than a quarter of the amount borrowed.



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How to Set (& Keep) Savings Goals for the New Year

Posted: January 14, 2019 by Ashley Dull

Setting New Year’s resolutions is a time-honored tradition, a reason to really ponder what you want to accomplish in the coming year. Unfortunately, most of us waste the opportunity of a new year on half-hearted resolutions to give up sweets or buy less junk on Amazon — resolutions we tend to break about five minutes after the ball drops.


A better strategy for ringing in the new (tax) year is to take time to evaluate the state of your finances and set your savings goals for the year to come. Of course, this means more than simply saying, “I’d like to save more money;” you also need to generate a proper plan. Here are some tips for how to set — and keep — savings goals for the new year.


Identify Your Needs & Wants


Of course, the very first step in creating an actionable plan for anything is to determine what you actually want to do. When it comes to setting savings goals, this starts with going through your finances to get a look at the big picture. A few questions you should ask yourself:


  • How much money is coming in, from where, and how frequently?
  • How much debt is owed, to whom, and at what interest rates?
  • How much do you need to cover your regular expenses (bills, housing, food, etc.)?
  • Do you have enough saved for an emergency or job loss?
  • Are you saving enough for retirement?
  • Will you have any major purchases or expenses (home, car, education) within the next few years?


As you list out your answers, be sure to go through all of your financial accounts, including checking, savings, and investment accounts, as well as individual loan and credit card accounts. Also take the time to check all three of your main consumer credit reports to ensure you include all of your current debts.


Once you have a general idea of how much money you have to work with, it’s time to prioritize your funds so you can set reasonable goals. In most cases, paying off your debts — particularly any high-interest debts — should have top priority (high interest rates = expensive debt), though an emergency fund and retirement savings should also be near the top of the list.


Be S.M.A.R.T.


At first, your savings goals will likely be more like ideas than anything actionable. For example, if you have high-interest credit card debt, one of your major goals should be to “Pay off my credit cards.” However, you’re going to need to flesh out your ideas to turn them into real, actionable plans.


A common method for developing focused goals goes by the acronym S.M.A.R.T., a system that describes the five things a good goal should be:


  • Specific: Your goal has a specific target
  • Measurable: Your goal has a measurable progression
  • Achievable: Your goal includes a plan of action
  • Realistic: Your goal is realistically possible
  • Time-Bound: Your goal has a set end-date


For example, say your primary savings goal for the next year is to save up enough to purchase a home. The general goal might be, “I want to buy a house.” However, the S.M.A.R.T. goal would be something like, “I want to save $500 a month so that I will have a total of $6,000 by the end of the year to use as the down payment for a house.”


Use Tools & Automation


We all know that we should build and maintain a budget to keep on track to our financial goals. But, when many people think of the dreaded “b-word,” they conjure images of spreadsheets full of numbers — not everyone’s favorite thing.


These days, however, there’s no need to be afraid of budgeting because there’s an app (or 20) for that. Yes, in a few swipes and taps, you can find dozens of different budgeting and savings apps that can make meeting your savings goals a snap. From basic apps that help you manually track your spending to more complex platforms that connect all of your financial accounts in one spot, there’s a budgeting app out there for nearly any type of saver.


But, that’s not the only tool in the modern saver’s belt. You can also take advantage of the same thing used in dozens of different industries to save time and energy: automation.


For example, many banks will allow you to set up automatic transfers from your checking account to a savings account; set it up so that a transfer is made right after you get paid so you never have to think about it. Or, try a third-party savings app; the Acorns platform, for instance, will automatically round up purchases made with a linked credit or debit card and invest the difference.


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How Long Do Late Payments Stay on Your Credit Report?

Posted: December 10, 2018 by Rachel Shepard

Modern technology has made many facets of life easier and more convenient. We have refrigerators that make grocery lists, robots that automatically vacuum the floors, and thermostats that adjust themselves. Despite all these tools, however, it can often seem as though our lives are busier than ever, and free time can feel like a limited luxury.


Indeed, many of us are left trying to fit everyday life in between the hustle of hurrying from one obligation to the next. In all the chaos, it’s little surprise that some things tend to fall between the cracks as they get bumped further and further down the to-do list.


Unfortunately, while some things can be safely postponed for a better day, other things have set-in-stone due dates that shouldn’t be overlooked — things like credit card bills. Not only do late credit card payments usually mean costly late fees, but delinquent debt payments can have far-reaching effects on your credit profile that last for years.


Not All Late Payments Make it to Your Credit Reports


On the bright side, simply missing your due date by a day or two isn’t the end of the world (at least, not as far as your credit is concerned). That’s because not every late payment automatically makes it all the way to your credit reports; no, you have to be really late for a payment to be reported as delinquent to the credit bureaus.


In actuality, your debt payment needs to be at least 30 days past the due date before a creditor can report the account as delinquent to the credit bureaus. So, technically, you have to actually miss a payment entirely for it to hit your credit reports as delinquent.


That’s not to say you can make late payments with impunity as long as you pay within 30 days of your due date. Your creditor will still probably charge you a late fee for a payment that’s made even one day late, however, and you may lose out on any promotional financing you’re enjoying.


You can also wind up paying interest you wouldn’t otherwise need to pay. Basically, most credit cards won’t charge you interest on purchases if you pay your full balance by your due date. If your payment is late, however, the grace period no longer applies, meaning you’ll be charged interest on your balance even if you pay in full.


The Later the Payment, the More Damage It Does


Once you are more than 30 days late, your account will be reported as delinquent to the credit bureaus. This will cause an immediate decrease in your credit scores, likely by several dozen points, and the higher your credit score started, the more it will decrease due to a delinquent payment.


That’s not the end of the story, however. If you don’t make an immediate payment to bring your account current, the damage will intensify as the account becomes increasingly delinquent. By day 60, not only will the damage to your credit increase but so, too, may your interest rate — permanently.


Many credit cards have what’s known as a penalty rate, which is a higher purchase APR that goes into effect when you miss two or more payments. While some cards allow you to go back to the normal purchase APR after six to 12 months of on-time payments, others will leave the penalty APR in effect for the life of your account.


At this point, each additional 30 days your payment is delinquent, the worse the credit damage becomes. By the time you are 180 days late (150 days for some types of accounts), the creditor can charge off your account and consider you to be in default. Other than bankruptcy, a defaulted account is about the worst possible thing your credit can experience.


Late Payments Can Stick Around for Up to 7 Years


As you can see, the amount of damage caused by a late payment will depend entirely on exactly how late that payment becomes. If you get your account back in good standing within 30 days, the worst thing you’ll likely experience is a late payment or perhaps the end of your promotional financing.


After the 30-day mark, it all goes downhill. The credit bureaus are now likely involved, which means credit score damage that can last years. Up to seven years from the date of delinquency, in fact, as that’s how long most negative items can stay on your credit reports. That means seven years of other creditors seeing your delinquency every time they pull your credit in response to an application.


That being said, the damage to your credit score may not last the full seven years. Credit scoring models are designed to give more weight to your recent credit history, which means a late payment will lose potency as it ages. Provided you get your account in order quickly and maintain a positive payment history, a single delinquent payment will likely lose most of its credit score impact after just a few years.


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How Your Credit Score Impacts Your Loan Terms

Posted: November 14, 2018 by Rachel Shepard

Some people are fortunate enough to have the means to pay for everything they need in cash, without worrying about things like loans and repayment terms. For the rest of us, however, loans are an important part of financing major purchases and getting through expensive emergencies.


So, unless you’re one of the few who can get by without loans, your credit score is going to be a key part of your financial future. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for a few credit mistakes to result in a low credit score, which can impact the quality of the loan terms you are offered — and determine whether you’re offered a loan at all.


A Low Score Means a Lower Chance of Approval


One of the earliest lessons most people learn when they have bad credit is that few lenders are willing to take the risk of lending to someone with a poor credit history. As a result, the first hurdle to getting a loan with decent terms for those with a low credit score is simply getting approved for a loan in the first place.


And this hurdle can be made even higher when you are in need of a large loan. While your income will have an impact on the size of the loan you can get, your credit score will also be a big factor. The lower your credit score, the less likely lenders are to offer you a loan of any significant size.


Most consumers have a few options for finding a loan with bad credit, including subprime lenders who specialize in financing consumers with poor credit. Lenders like these tend to have very flexible credit requirements that mean you won’t be rejected out of hand simply due to having a low credit score.


Another potential option for finding a lender when you have bad credit is your local credit union. While you’ll need to become a member of the credit union to take advantage of its services, it can be a great alternative to big banks with stricter lending requirements.


Your Loan’s APR Will Be Based on Your Credit Risk


Even if your low credit score doesn’t stop you from getting approved, it will directly impact other aspects of your loan offer, starting with your interest rate.


In essence, your APR will be based on your credit risk, which lenders determine by checking your credit reports and scores. If you have great credit, you are a low risk to the lender. In other words, the lender knows you have a good chance of paying back your entire loan because you have a proven history of paying back your debts.


If you have a low credit score, on the other hand, you represent a high credit risk. That’s because something in your credit history indicates you may be less likely to repay your loan. The typical big bank has a low risk tolerance, which is why the major banks tend to have fairly strict credit requirements; they don’t want to risk you defaulting on the loan.


Subprime lenders are generally banks with a higher risk tolerance; these lenders are willing to risk that you default on your loan because they can potentially reap big benefits through the higher interest rates they charge. Basically, every subprime borrower pays higher interest rates to make up for the large portion of other subprime borrowers who will default on their loans.


Bad-Credit Applicants May Be Charged Higher Fees & Deposits


A higher interest rate isn’t the only way loans get more expensive when you have a low credit score. Many subprime lenders will also likely charge higher loan fees, such as the origination fee, than regular big-bank prime lenders tend to charge. As with interest fees, these higher loan fees help make up for the higher risk presented by bad-credit applicants.


Additionally, the amount of money it takes to secure a loan will also typically be higher for borrowers with low credit scores. Traditionally secured loans, like auto loans, will often require a larger down payment or more valuable trade-in vehicle to help offset the increased risk to the lender.


If your credit is particularly poor, you may even be asked to provide a down payment or another form of collateral for a loan that is usually unsecured. Some personal loan lenders, for instance, may require that you use your vehicle or property as collateral to secure the loan before you can be approved.


A Qualified Cosigner Can Help Offset the Impacts of a Low Score


While having a low credit score can definitely make your loan more expensive, there is a way to potentially reduce the interest rates and fees you are charged for a loan: a cosigner.


Typically a friend or family member, a cosigner is someone with good credit who agrees to share financial responsibility for the loan. Basically, a cosigner agrees to repay the debt if the primary borrower can’t (or won’t) do so. This reduces the risk for the lender, and it may result in receiving better terms like a lower interest rate or reduced deposit requirement.

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Can Credit Cards Save You Money?

Posted: November 6, 2018 by Rachel Shepard

Although it can be easy to forget as we’re swiping away, credit cards are a form of debt; the balance you build on your credit card is debt you owe to the issuing bank.


Given that they are debt and, by nature, debt is a negative, it may seem counterintuitive to consider that credit cards may actually help you save money — but they can. Everything from earning rewards to easy access to reusable financing can help you save money simply by using the right credit card.


Of course, it takes smart credit card use and responsible financial behaviors to make the most of your credit cards’ money-saving potential. No matter how strategic your plan, irresponsible use of credit cards will likely cost you more than you can save.


Purchase Rewards Can Be Very Valuable


The most obvious way your credit cards can save you money is through purchase rewards. The majority of prime credit cards — and even several subprime cards — now offer rewards programs that provide cash back, points, or miles on all of your net new purchases.


Most rewards credit cards have a flat unlimited rewards rate (1% to 2% is standard) that applies to every purchase. However, many rewards cards these days also have set bonus categories that provide higher rewards rates for category purchases. For example, a travel rewards credit card might offer triple points for travel-related purchases like airfare or hotel stays.


The best way to maximize your credit card rewards is to choose a credit card that offers bonus rewards for the purchases you make most often. If most of your budget goes toward groceries, for instance, choose a card with a high bonus rewards rate for grocery store purchases.


Although most credit card rewards are paid for by the interchange fees that issuers charge merchants for each transaction, many high-rate rewards cards will also charge high annual fees. Subprime rewards cards can also charge a variety of fees, so pick a credit card with no or low fees, like the ones on this list.


You’ll also want to be sure to pay off your purchases well before you start accruing interest fees to ensure your earnings stay in your pocket, rather than going right back to the bank. Even the most lucrative rewards credit card won’t provide enough in rewards to make paying big interest fees a good idea.


Issuer Portals Can Unlock Exclusive Discounts


In addition to purchase rewards, your credit card may also give you access to the credit card issuer’s online shopping portal. Offered by most major banks, issuer shopping and discount portals can contain exclusive coupons and discounts for tons of popular brands, as well as special offers for extra bonus rewards on partner purchases.


How the shopping portal works will vary by issuer. Some portals provide coupon codes to be entered at the time of sale, some portals use trackable cookies to automatically credit your account, while other portals will simply attach the discount to your card account for online or in-store use.


Save On Interest Fees with Credit Card Grace Periods


While many occasions call for a long-term installment loan that you can repay over months or years, sometimes you simply need a small loan to get you through the next two weeks. Rather than turn to expensive payday or cash advance loans, you may be able to use your credit card as a means of short-term financing.


Given that many payday loans can have APRs in the three digits, using a credit card — even a subprime card with a 30%-plus APR — is already a better deal. But, that deal gets exponentially better when you only need a few weeks to repay your balance. That’s because most credit cards offer a grace period on new purchases to pay off your balance before you start accruing interest fees.


Although some cards don’t offer a grace period (most commonly the case with subprime credit cards), cards that do offer one will provide a grace period of at least 21 days, though the full period is generally from the time the transaction posts until the day the bill for that billing cycle is due.


One important thing to remember is that the grace period for interest only applies to new purchases. Other transaction types, such as a balance transfer or cash advances, won’t qualify for the grace period. The interest fees for ineligible transactions will start to accrue as soon as the transaction posts to your account.

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The Fastest Ways to Boost Your Credit Score

Posted: September 4, 2018 by Rachel Shepard

So many aspects of our culture rely on having a good credit score — buying that new car that will turn heads on the highway, finally moving out of that small apartment and purchasing your first home, or even opening a decent checking or savings account.


Unfortunately, it can be easy to lose our footing on the path of good credit. A 700+ score can drop below 600 in what seems like the blink of an eye due to any number of circumstances. You missed some payments during a few lean months. You were out of work for a period and relied on your credit cards until you got back on firm financial ground. An emergency arose, and you had to charge a few thousand dollars on a credit card that you had not budgeted for.


These are just a few common and easy ways our credit scores can take a dive.


While many have searched for some secret, sage advice on how to magically raise scores to the coveted “excellent” classification, the truth is there is no book of credit-boosting spells hidden away somewhere.


Boosting your score takes some effort — but fortunately, there are a few things you can do that can help you see some upward movement in your scores in a short amount of time.


Improve Your Credit Utilization Ratio


Whether you have a credit limit of $2,000 or $20,000, if you max out your available credit, it’s seen as a sign of financial trouble and your credit score will take a hit.


One of the quickest ways to potentially see an improvement in your credit score is to reduce your debt-to-credit ratio. While this could mean paying down your highest balances, this isn’t always the case, as your utilization depends on your available credit as much as on your current debt.


With that in mind, a little bit of strategy can go a long way.


Pay down the credit cards that have the highest usage rates first. If you have debt spread across several cards, prioritize paying down the one that is closest to being maxed out. The new, lower balance will often be reported to the bureaus at the close of your next statement, so your score could see a boost within 30 days or so.


Additionally, if you put a lot of your monthly expenses on credit cards to earn rewards, even if you pay off the balance each month, the credit reporting agencies might only see that you frequently have a high balance on your cards. To help with this issue, it’s a good idea to go ahead and pay down your credit card balances a couple of times a month.


Increase Your Available Credit


Now, if making large payments to bring down a hefty credit card balance isn’t a realistic option for you at this time, you can seek to improve your debt-to-credit ratio in a couple of different ways.


First, you can request an increased credit limit from one of your current credit card companies. If the company agrees to raise your limit, you’ve just improved your debt-to-credit ratio and you may see some movement in your credit score. Just be sure not to actually use your newly acquired credit because it would defeat the purpose of raising it to begin with.


Additionally, you can apply for new credit cards through other issuers. Again, if you are approved for a new card, you will not want to use your new credit — this is simply a means to helping get your credit score back in good standing. Save your new line of credit for when you’re back on your feet.


Check Your Credit Report for Errors


Mistakes happen — even among credit reporting agencies and credit card companies. Unfortunately, an error on your credit report can cause some serious damage to your score. Perhaps a system error from the credit card company reported a late payment when you in fact paid on time. Or you requested a forbearance on your student loans, but someone failed to communicate this to the credit agencies, and it looks like you’ve fallen behind on payments.


It is important to check your credit reports at least once a year to look for — and correct — these kinds of mistakes. If you see anything amiss on your report, you can file a dispute with the credit reporting agency to have the error corrected. If the error was negatively affecting your score, you should see an improvement in your credit score once the mistake is removed from your report.


It Takes Work


While the methods listed here aren’t as quick or easy as one might hope, these are a few solid ideas to get started on improving your credit score. Credit scores will never improve immediately — credit card companies generally report to the credit reporting agencies once a month, so even if these methods give your score a boost, don’t expect to see anything in under 30 days.

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How Does Maxing Out a Credit Card Impact Your Credit Score?

Posted: August 15, 2018 by Brittney Mayer

While an increasing number of consumers are aware of their credit scores, a good deal of confusion still exists about what does — and doesn’t — impact your score. For example, there is a popular myth that carrying a balance from month to month will somehow help your credit.


This is not true, however. While you do need to occasionally use your card to build up payment history — you can’t have a payment history if you don’t, you know, make payments — which is an important part of your credit score, you don’t need to carry that balance beyond your due date to reap the benefits.


And, more importantly, you shouldn’t carry a balance beyond your due date because that’s when interest fees will start to come into play. Interest fees compound daily, which can get expensive even if you have a card with a relatively low APR.


However, there are other reasons to avoid carrying a balance or, worse, maxing out your credit cards beyond the inevitable interest fees. The most important of which is the potential impact on your credit score.


The Direct Impact is to Your Utilization Rate


Each month, usually around the time your statement period ends, your credit card issuer reports your card balance to the credit bureaus to be updated on your credit reports. This balance is used by credit scoring agencies and lenders to determine your utilization rate or ratio, which is the ratio of how much debt you have to your total available credit.


For example, if you have a balance of $500 and a total credit limit of $2,000, then your utilization rate is 25%. A high utilization rate is seen as risky by models and creditors because it means you may be struggling to pay off your debts.


So much so, in fact, that your utilization rate — both overall across all cards as well as per individual card — is worth up to 30% of your FICO credit score. As a result, having one or more credit cards with an extremely high utilization rate, such as cards that are maxed-out or near their maximum limit, can cause your credit score to drop by dozens of points.


On the bright side, that damage isn’t permanent. Paying down your balances to reduce your utilization rates can help your score rebound in a month or two when the new, lower balances are reported to the credit bureaus. However, there could be more lasting repercussions.


Watch Out for Secondary Consequences

One of the most common consequences of maxing out a credit card is that the issuer may see the high utilization rate as a sign of financial trouble — which means you suddenly seem like a high-risk investment. Some issuers may respond by reducing your credit limit to the current balance on your card (or lower) to avoid the potential of your debt level rising, which can cause your utilization rate to increase even more.


In extreme cases, issuers may decide to cut their losses and cancel your card entirely, leaving you with a limited window to pay off your balance. Issuers can close your account at any time, and they’re under no obligation to provide notice if they choose to close your account.


Additionally, maxed out credit cards can negatively contribute to your debt-to-income ratio, which is an evaluation of the total amount you owe on your debts each month versus your monthly income. A high debt-to-income ratio is a red flag for lenders and credit card issuers, one that can cause you to be denied for new credit if creditors don’t believe you can repay your debts.


Dealing with Maxed-Out Credit Cards


The most obvious solution to maxed out credit cards is also the most basic tenant of responsible credit card use: Only charge what you can afford to repay that month and pay your bill in full. If you need to make purchases that will put your balance close to your limit, consider making multiple payments during the month to avoid having a high balance reported to the bureaus.


Another way to avoid maxing out any specific card is to spread out your purchases when possible. A low to moderate amount of debt spread out across multiple cards will tend to be better for your credit score than the same amount of debt on a single card.


Alternatively, credit card consolidation with a personal installment loan can shift debt from a maxed out credit card to a loan, thus reducing your credit utilization rate. Even better, if you can get a loan with a low APR, you could save on interest fees, as well. Keep in mind that consolidation may not help with your debt-to-income ratio, however, and that opening a new account may have its own credit repercussions.

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The Pros and Cons of Rewards Credit Cards

Posted: July 16, 2018 by Ashley Dull

If you’ve done even a little research into credit cards, then you’ve likely run across a number of blogs and forums with stories about people using credit card rewards to earn big bucks and fund lavish vacations.


But what’s the real story? Are credit card rewards really all they’re cracked up to be? The answer is: maybe. As with most things in life, rewards cards have both pros and cons, all of which should be considered before you decide to fill out an application.


Pro: You Can Save on Nearly Every Purchase


For the rewards card novice, cash back credit cards are the most straightforward and user-friendly place to start. And the most obvious pro to cash back rewards is the ability to save on just about everything.


With most cash back cards, you’ll earn cash back with each purchase that can later be redeemed for a statement credit. Cash back rewards are like a rebate good for any credit card purchase.


The amount you can earn will vary based on the card you choose and how you spend, with some cards offering big bonus rewards for purchases in popular categories like gas and groceries. And some issuers even have options for credit-builders to earn cash back rewards, so a bad credit score doesn’t have to get in the way of saving on every purchase.


Con: Some Cards Have Annual Fees


The first major con you’ll encounter with some rewards credit cards is the annual fee. The more rewards, perks, and benefits a card offers, the higher its annual fee is likely to be — but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, depending on the card, you can often come out ahead of even the highest annual fees.


For example, a credit card with a $100 annual fee might seem steep, but if that card offers a high rewards rate in a category you use frequently — say dining or groceries — then you could easily earn more rewards in one year than you spend on the annual fee.


Of course, if you won’t get more out of the card than the annual fee is worth, it’s easy enough to avoid; just select a card without an annual fee. Dozens of great rewards cards are available sans annual fee, so you don’t need to pay to earn rewards.


Pro: You Can Fly or Stay for Free


Another prominent pro of rewards credit cards is the same one you often read about: free travel. If you’ve mastered cash back rewards and want to up your rewards game (and you like to travel) then a points or miles rewards credit card can provide significant value.


That’s because points and miles often have variable value based on how you redeem them, with travel redemptions almost always providing the best rate. In most cases, the very best redemption value will come from transferring your credit card points to an airline or hotel loyalty program, which allows you to redeem for free flights and hotel stays with your favorite brands.


Most points and miles credit cards offer the ability to maximize your earnings with the right combination of bonus categories, allowing you to rack up rewards at a remarkable rate all year long for your big summer vacation. Plus, the majority of travel rewards credit cards come with large signup bonuses, many of which are valuable enough for free travel right off the bat.


Con: Carried Balances Accrue Interest Fees


Another caution of rewards credit cards is also true of any credit card: the interest fees. When you use a credit card, you are essentially borrowing money from the card issuer to make a purchase. Interest fees are the cost of borrowing that money. Since credit card interest rates can be high, especially if you have a low credit score, carrying a balance on your credit card can get expensive quickly.


However, you can easily avoid being charged interest simply by ensuring you never charge more than you can repay in a single billing cycle. The majority of credit cards operate with an interest fee grace period on new purchases. This means you won’t be charged interest on your balance so long as you pay it in full before your due date.


Pro: You Can Get Extra Perks & Benefits


As if savings and free travel weren’t enough, rewards credit cards have another big pro: extra perks and benefits. To start, all the major networks — Amex, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa — offer cardholder benefits for most of their rewards credit cards that can include perks like primary or secondary rental car insurance and concierge services.


Additionally, rewards credit card issuers also provide many money-saving cardholder benefits and useful perks, including things like cellphone protection and exclusive discounts. Travel rewards credit cards, in particular, are much-lauded for their extensive cardholder benefits that can include elite hotel or airline status, annual statement credits, and airport lounge access.



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Ways to Minimize Summer Vacation Debt

Posted: June 15, 2018 by Rachel Shepard

For most families, summer is the ideal time for a vacation; schools are out, the weather is warm, and most venues are open for business. But when we spend the whole year eagerly waiting for summer vacation to come ‘round, it can be all too easy to get swept up in making the most of it — leaving our budgets behind.


But you don’t have to break the bank to have an awesome summer vacation, and there are a number of simple ways to minimize (or even eliminate) summer vacation debt.


Save Money — & Credit Card Rewards — All Year Long


The easiest way to ensure you aren’t dealing with summer vacation debt long after your suntan has faded is to start saving for your trip as early as possible. After all, if you have the money to pay for your trip outright, you won’t need to take on any debt to do so.


For some people, this may mean making a little room in the budget for monthly contributions to a separate vacation fund. You can also set aside extra money, such as bonuses and tax refunds, to go toward your vacation instead of making splurge purchases like upgrading your entertainment system.


Another simple way to save for summer throughout the rest of the year is to use a rewards credit card. For example, there are a ton of options for travel rewards credit cards that earn points or miles on everyday purchases, with many offering bonus rewards for purchases in popular categories like fuel and dining.


By the time summer rolls around, you could have enough rewards saved up from your everyday purchases to pay for flights, hotels, and a whole host of other vacation-related travel expenses. And save up your cash back rewards year-round to build a stockpile of statement credit that can cover everything else, from meals to souvenirs.


Be Flexible About the When & Where


One method for keeping your summer vacation costs at an affordable level is to be flexible about your travel plans, including both where and when you’re willing to travel. Taking a summer vacation to a destination that’s more sought-after during the winter, for instance, can score you fantastic off-peak deals and ensure you’re not fighting crowds your whole trip.


You may even want to consider some off-the-beaten-path destinations instead of planning a trip to one of the more popular tourist hotspots. For example, there are plenty of smaller beachside towns that offer the same white sand and blue water as their big-time competition, but they often do it at a fraction of the cost.


And you’ll also want to avoid planning a trip during the more popular travel times, such as Memorial Day weekend or the week around the Fourth of July. Airlines and hotels know they’ll have few vacancies during these peak travel times and tend to price their products accordingly.


Book Your Flights Early — Or Really Late


If you don’t have a lot of flexibility in your travel timetable, often your best bet for finding savings on your flights and hotels is to book early. Many hotels, for instance, will offer early-bird booking specials that can potentially save you hundreds over the course of a multi-day stay.


Don’t forget to keep an eye on your itineraries, however, as prices can fluctuate on a weekly basis, potentially offering the opportunity to snag an even lower rate down the line. Most airlines and hotels will allow you to make changes to your reservation up to seven days before your trip, but make sure you’re aware of any fees for changing your reservations.


At the other end of the spectrum, you can also typically score a deal if you have the flexibility — and constitution — to wait until the (nearly) last minute to book your travel. Airlines and hotels hate having empty seats and rooms, so they will frequently drop their prices on last-minute vacancies to ensure a full booking.


Obviously, this method is hardly without risk, as there’s certainly no guarantee you’ll find cheaper rates at the last minute — or any availabilities at all. If you’re going to try this method, you may want to have a backup vacation plan… just in case.


Skip the Travel for a Staycation


While traveling is all well and good, there’s no actual rule that says you must go somewhere to have an awesome summer vacation. Instead, you can enjoy the warm summer weather and time as a family at home having a fun, affordable staycation.


Of course, that doesn’t have to mean you’re stuck in the house all summer long. Most cities and towns offer a variety of free or inexpensive activities and events, particularly in the sociable summer months, giving an adventurous family plenty to keep them busy from May well into September.

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Paying for Car Repairs with Poor Credit

Posted: May 1, 2018 by Ashley Dull

While few people are overjoyed about the three- to four-figure sums that typically accompany auto repairs, the cost of getting back on the road can be downright terrifying for those without enough emergency savings.


Auto repairs can be particularly troublesome for poor-credit consumers who may have a hard time finding the financing they need to cover the costs. But a few options out there can help make repairs possible, some of which won’t require a deposit.


Use a Personal Installment Loan for Large Repairs


Given that the average auto repair comes in at more than $500, the bill your mechanic hands over can easily reach into the thousands. When you need to finance a sizeable chunk of money, a personal installment loan is almost always your best bet because they can be repaid through monthly payments over time.


Installment loans can be obtained in larger amounts than most other types of financing, typically ranging from $500 up to $35,000.  Repayment terms for most personal installment loans will range from six months up to six years. Most personal loans won’t require a deposit or collateral and can often be dispersed as soon as one business day.


While most mainstream lenders will prefer at least good credit for a personal loan, online lending networks can help you find lenders with flexible credit requirements.’s expert-rated list of personal loan providers have large network of lenders to help you find a loan that can meet your individual needs and credit profile.


Use a Credit Card for Small Repairs


Depending on the size of your repair bill, it may be feasible to use a credit card to cover the cost. This is especially true in cases where you just need financing for a few weeks, as nearly all credit cards will offer a grace period of one billing cycle to pay off your balance before you’re charged interest.


At the same time, credit cards aren’t recommended for long-term financing, as they tend to have high interest rates, particularly subprime credit cards that often have APRs over 25%. Of course, even the high APRs charged by credit cards will be significantly less than that charged by a short-term or cash advance loan, which can have APRs of three digits or more.
When to Replace Instead of Repair


Depending on the extent of the repairs — and the state of your credit — you may be better off replacing your vehicle than putting thousands into a bottomless pit of mechanical misery. If you can get poor-credit auto financing and find an affordable car that is newer and in better condition than your current vehicle, it may be a better investment to upgrade rather than repair.


That being said, buying another car is a bad idea if you still owe money on your current vehicle (unless you can reasonably sell it — make sure to disclose the needed repairs in your ad). Some dealers may accept a less-than-pristine car as a trade-in, but others will likely balk at one in need of certain high-cost repairs.


You should also consider any additional insurance costs that you may incur from obtaining a newer car. If possible, look for vehicles that still have an active manufacturer’s warranty for the most purchase security.


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When it’s Time to Cancel a Credit Card

Posted: March 19, 2018 by Ashley Dull

From the time we start building credit in our late teens or early 20s, many of us start collecting credit cards. Those credit cards inevitably begin to pile up, quickly overtaking even the most robust wallet.


By the time you can hardly sit for the bulk of your billfold, the idea of canceling a card or two starts to look pretty good. Even if your card collection has maintained a manageable size, you may need to consider whether it’s time for an upgrade; as your credit grows and financial needs change over time, your old cards may not be the best fit anymore.


For the most part, an unused credit card does little more harm than take up a slot in your wallet, and it may actually be helping your credit. That being said, there are two important reasons you may want to consider canceling a credit card: high fees or high interest rates.


To Stop Paying Unnecessary Annual Fees


The most pressing reason to close a credit card that isn’t pulling its weight is if it charges an annual fee. For example, while instant-approval credit cards can help build credit, they aren’t cards you want to hold on to forever due to the high annual and monthly fees they typically charge. If you’ve used the card responsibly, your credit score should increase enough to qualify for a better, fee-free card so you can leave the costly credit-builder behind.


At the other end of the spectrum, many elite rewards credit cards will charge high annual fees, with $400 to $500 fees not uncommon. While these cards often come with rewards and benefits that can make them worth the annual fee to some users, those who fail to make the most of the extra benefits may not be getting their money’s worth out of the annual fee. If you can’t justify the fee, cancel the card before your next fee is charged and look for a better fit.


To Avoid Paying High Interest Fees


The other main reason you may consider closing a credit card is if it charges a high interest rate. Although a card’s interest rate won’t typically matter if you never carry a balance, the temptation to use a credit card is always there so long as you have the card. If you have credit cards with interest rates above 20%, you may want to consider canceling the card and replacing it with one that offers a lower ongoing APR.


Credit Impacts to Consider Before You Cancel


While there are several good reasons to cancel an unused credit card, there is one solid reason to consider leaving it open: your credit score. Yes, closing a credit card account can potentially lower your credit score.


The impact of closing a credit card may be seen in several facets of your credit score, with the primary impact being to your utilization rate. FICO considers both your individual utilization rates as well as your overall utilization rate when calculating your score. Reducing your total available credit by canceling a credit card can increase your utilization rate if you currently have other credit card debt.


Other important FICO score factors can also be impacted by canceling a credit card, albeit to lesser degrees. Your average account age and overall credit history length (jointly worth 15% of your FICO score) can be reduced by canceling a card, particularly one that you’ve had for many years. While positive credit accounts will remain on your credit report for up to 10 years after they’re closed, closing very old accounts can have negative score impacts.


Lastly, creditors like to see a mix of several credit accounts and different types of accounts, as it shows you can handle a variety of credit products. As such, your overall credit mix, worth 10% of your credit score, can also be hurt by canceling a credit card, especially if you do not have very many other credit accounts.

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How to Best Use Your Tax Refund to Pay Down Debt

Posted: February 27, 2018 by Ashley Dull

Despite the fact that it starts out as our money in the first place, it’s all too easy to think of your tax refund as “bonus” money. Once you know that check or direct deposit is on its way, you may be tempted to start daydreaming of a new big screen or that oft-postponed family vacation. Before you start shopping or packing, however, you should consider the positive impact that refund can have on your bottom line, particularly if you have outstanding debt.


Once you’ve made the (wise, smart, excellent) decision to use your refund to tackle your current debt, you’ll need to determine the best way to distribute the funds. When it comes to prioritizing debts for repayment, there are two main methods that experts recommend, each with a fun winter-themed name: the avalanche method and the snowball method. While both debt prioritization methods can give you the desired results (i.e., no more debt) the methods may vary in the amount of time it takes to reach debt freedom, as well as the total cost to get there.


The Avalanche Method


In general, the avalanche method is most commonly recommended because it will save you the most money during the repayment process. That’s because you’ll essentially be paying off your debts in the order of expense, with the most expensive debt being addressed first.


To follow the avalanche method, you’ll need to list your debts in order of the interest they charge, starting with the debt with the highest interest rate, then the next-highest rate, and so on. For example, any cash advance or short-term loans or high-interest credit cards will likely be at the top of the list, and lower-interest installment loans or introductory 0% APR credit cards will be at the bottom of the list.


While you’ll need to make your minimum required payment for all your debts, you’ll focus any extra money — in this case, your tax refund — on the debt with the highest APR. If your tax refund is enough to pay off your highest-interest debt, apply the remainder to the debt with the next-highest APR.


As you pay off each debt and cross it off the list, use the money you were putting toward that debt to pay off the next debt on the list. By the time you reach your final debt, which will be the one with the lowest interest rate, you’ll have freed up funds from your previous debts and should be able to pay it off fairly quickly.


The Snowball Method


Although the snowball method isn’t the most cost effective of the two prioritization plans, research has shown that it may be the more successful method for many consumers. This is thanks to the motivational boost you get from paying off a debt and crossing it off your list.


To follow the snowball method, you’ll need to list your debts in order of how much you owe for each debt, starting with the smallest debt, then the next-smallest debt, and so on. So, if you had three debts with amounts of $5,000, $1,300, and $2,700, you’d pay them off starting with the $1,300 debt, then the $2,700, then the $5,000.


As with the avalanche method, you’ll need to make your minimum required payments for all of your debts, but you’ll focus any extra funds — including your income tax refund — on the smallest debt first. If your tax refund is enough to pay off this debt entirely, apply the remaining refund to the next debt on the list (and so on).


By focusing on your smallest debt first, you’ll be able to pay it off very quickly, giving you a feeling of progress and an important boost in motivation, which can help you stay on track and keep to your debt repayment plan. As you pay off debts, roll the money you were spending on each finished debt into the next debt. By the time you reach your last and largest debt, you’ll likely be applying a significant amount of money to that debt, making paying it down a realistic idea (rather than a simply overwhelming one).


Your Best Method Will Depend on You


While the avalanche and snowball methods can both be effective ways to prioritize your debt and start paying it off, every consumer’s financial situation is unique. The best way to use your tax refund to pay down debt may involve a combination of the two methods, or may not be according to either method. So long as you are actively working to pay down your debt — and are making at least your minimum payments to avoid credit damage — the specific method you choose is less important than the fact you are working toward debt freedom.

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When to Consolidate Credit Card Debt

Posted: January 12, 2018 by Ashley Dull

In the early days of the internet, getting an email was an event. The friendly little voice informed you that, “You’ve got mail!” and we hurried to click the icon and explore our digital deliveries. These days, the novelty of electronic mail has long since worn off, and checking your email tends to be about as exciting as opening the mailbox to a stack of bills — mostly because those bills have wormed their way into our email inboxes.

Indeed, depending on your situation, that digital stack of bills can be just as overwhelming as their paper-printed ancestors. And when you have a series of debts that bring in a few too many bills — or just a single, larger bill with a few too many digits — your inbox can be a daily reminder that something needs to be done.

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How to Determine the Cost of a Loan

Posted: November 30, 2017 by Ashley Dull

In a perfect world, everyone would have the cash necessary to self-finance important purchases, and debt would be a thing of the past. Unfortunately, we live in the real world, where borrowing is often a necessary part of everyday financial life.

With that being the case, it’s important to understand as much about the borrowing process as possible, not only to avoid the inevitable credit damage from bad financial decisions, but to also avoid paying far more for financial products than you really should. This is especially important for borrowers with poor credit who are already looking at higher-than-average financing costs.

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What to Look For in a Loan

Posted: October 12, 2017 by Ashley Dull

If there’s one thing to be said about the modern world of consumer credit, it’s that the product options are abundant. While this is great for consumers looking for the best deal, sometimes there is such a thing as too many options (a dilemma quite familiar to anyone who has had the pleasure of waiting 15 minutes for the person ahead of them in line to order coffee).

Even something as seemingly simple as taking out a loan can turn into a series of decisions that require not only a bit of thought, but a bit of knowledge, as well. For instance, each type of loan, be it a mortgage, auto, student, or personal loan, has its own variations. Do you want a conventional mortgage or an FHA-backed loan? Should you get federally financed student loans, or private ones?

Beyond the peculiarities inherent in each type of loan, the majority of installment loans operate in the same general fashion, and each will be influenced by the same basic factors. Namely, your loan terms will primarily consist of your principal (how much you’re borrowing), the interest rate, often given as an annual percentage rate (APR), the loan length — how many months you’ll make payments — and the resulting monthly payment.

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What Lenders Look for on Your Credit Report

Posted: August 25, 2017 by Ashley Dull

At the point in history when lending occurred primarily within families and small communities, many borrowers likely knew their lender — and his or her spouse and children — by name. In those days, your personal creditworthiness likely depended as much on your reputation among your neighbors as it did on your actual financial status.

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Feb01 An Advocate for Poor Credit Loan Applicants with a Large Network of Lenders

Posted: February 1, 2017 by Sean Garrity

Since 1998, Bad Credit Loans has been connecting people with poor credit to the funds they need when they need them the most. Though not a lender itself, Bad Credit Loans acts as an advocate for consumers and connects them with a web of lenders willing to provide no-obligation offers. The site’s comprehensive news section alerting consumers to the latest scams, best practices on rebuilding and taking out lines of credit, and a host of other offerings make Bad Credit Loans a valuable resource for those seeking funds in times of need.

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Some Credit Cards Don’t Fall Under the CARD Act of 2009Not Every Card Is Covered by Landmark Federal Law

Some Credit Cards Don’t Fall Under the CARD Act of 2009

Posted: October 22, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

In 2009, Congress passed the CARD Act (officially known as the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009) to protect consumers against excessive interest rates, fees and miscellaneous charges. The act prohibits credit card issuers from initiating fee traps, excessive interest rate hikes on existing balances that create consumer default or retroactive late fees. It also mandates that issuers provides a written account of all rates, fees and charges in plain, simple language that is visible to consumers, as well as guards against excessive marketing of credit cards to young people and students.

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Don’t Get Scammed by a Bad Credit LoanLearn How to Distinguish Financial Predators From Legit Lenders and Loan Companies

Don’t Get Scammed by a Bad Credit Loan

Posted: October 11, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

Like many people these days, you may be trying hard to do the right thing and pay your bills, but find that you are struggling and your debt load keeps growing. You know that one missed payment will bring your house of cards crashing down and you don’t want that. In conjunction with this, perhaps you have noticed various offers for bad credit loans out there and thought to yourself, this could be a way out.

Be careful, though. In these economic times, financial predators are lurking around every corner and they want your hard-earned cash. The trick is learning how to distinguish scam operators from legitimate bad credit loan companies and lenders.

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5 Things That Can Prevent You From Owning a HomeYour Dreams Can Be Dashed by These Obstacles

5 Things That Can Prevent You From Owning a Home

Posted: September 30, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

If you’re in the market to buy a home, you’ve probably already started looking around, and you may have even found the home that you believe is the one you’re meant to buy. But what if some unforeseen surprises spring up, surprises that stop your home purchase deal in its tracks? What can possibly go wrong when trying to purchase a home? The following are five things that can possibly keep you from realizing your dream of home ownership:

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Negotiating With Creditors: Do It EffectivelyFollow Some Simple Tips to Achieve Top Results

Negotiating With Creditors: Do It Effectively

Posted: September 17, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

Negotiating your debt on your own is possible, but there are some basic rules you should follow for best results and to minimize the chances of your getting disorganized or even confused and frustrated during the process. If you are ready to contact your creditors or any collection agencies currently holding accounts of yours, take a look at a few helpful tips first.

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Credit Card Scams and Gimmicks to AvoidBeware of Too-Good-to-Be-True Offers

Credit Card Scams and Gimmicks to Avoid

Posted: September 6, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

With credit card issuers loosening their requirements for cardholders once again, consumers now have a number of choices available to them. At the same time, these issuers are offering a variety of gimmicky cards to attract people to their products. The problem is that many of these offers end up being scams, since with them you end up paying much more than you had envisioned. Before signing up for one of these special offers, make sure that you are aware of what it will cost you.

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Secrets to Saving MoneyThere Are Many Easy, Effective Ways for You to Cut Costs

Secrets to Saving Money

Posted: August 26, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

If you are looking for ways to make your money go further, you are not alone. No matter how much money you make, it is always a good idea to do things as inexpensively as possible, as you never know what can happen in the future. Many successful people were completely caught off guard when the recent financial collapse occurred and want to avoid losing everything again. Thankfully, there are a number of easy and effective ways you can save money every month, and as long as you are committed to maintaining a budget, you can use these methods to build up a nice bit of security for yourself.

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Scam Alert: Scams of the Month for August 2013A Sampling of the Many Current Fraudulent Schemes to Watch Out for

Scam Alert: Scams of the Month for August 2013

Posted: August 23, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

Many consumers take care to avoid any information concerning scams because it makes them uneasy. This isn’t wise, though, because the more you know, the safer you’ll be when scammers try to pull one over on you. Find here some basic details on the latest scams for August 2013 — and there are many — and use this information to protect yourself.

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5 Easy Ways to Rebuild Your Credit After BankruptcyRestoring Your Financial Health Is Possible

5 Easy Ways to Rebuild Your Credit After Bankruptcy

Posted: August 13, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

After filing bankruptcy, one of your main concerns should be repairing your credit. For some consumers, a bankruptcy filing can lead to a sense of hopelessness that can be difficult to escape. Once you come up with a firm credit repair plan, however, you can confidently begin the road back towards financial health. And with this type of plan, you do not have to wait too long to begin applying for credit again provided you take the necessary steps.

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5 Ways to Protect Yourself From Online ScamsAvoid the Treacherous Traps Set by Internet Fraudsters

5 Ways to Protect Yourself From Online Scams

Posted: August 2, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

The Internet has brought the global marketplace right to our fingertips, making it easier than ever to purchase goods and services, do our personal banking, and donate money. Along with this technological convenience, however, also comes the dangers of getting scammed online. Providing unsecured websites with your personal information can put you at risk of being taken advantage of and having your money and even your identity stolen quickly and easily.

Before you provide your personal information online, you need to be very aware of the dangers of online scams and make sure that whatever site you are doing business with is reputable and can be verified. The following are five ways to protect yourself from online scams:

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Tips for Paying a Bad Credit Loan Off — on TimeOn-Schedule Repayment Is Critical for the Sake of Your Credit

Tips for Paying a Bad Credit Loan Off — on Time

Posted: July 22, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

In the current economic climate more and more people are being affected by growing debts. Many of these individuals are experiencing difficulty paying off these debts, and this unfortunately is making a bad situation worse, with penalties and fees only adding to the amount owed and consumers seeing their credit rating, which often is already somewhat low, take a hard hit.

For some people, a bad credit loan is among the debts they see piling up, and this is problematic. It is important to remember that the point of a bad credit loan ultimately is not only to provide you with much-needed money when you have poor credit and few other financial options, but also to help you improve your credit. Therefore, if you have taken out this type of loan, it is critical that you pay it off on time for your credit’s sake, as well to avoid any extra charges that may come with late payment. Thankfully, there are a few simple tips for paying a bad credit loan off in a timely fashion.

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Scam Alert: Jamaican Phone ScamBeware of Unexpected Calls From the Caribbean

Scam Alert: Jamaican Phone Scam

Posted: July 11, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

With so many scammers around the world, it can be difficult to keep track of them all in an effort to avoid becoming their victim. Luckily, organizations such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) are hard at work to provide everyone up-to-date information on the latest scams out there. As evidence of this, recently the BBB reported that the notorious, long-running Jamaican Phone Scam has changed a bit. Consumers need to know what to look for with this particular fraudulent scheme so they won’t end up falling prey to it.

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5 Ways to Save on Your MortgageHold Onto More of Your Money Over the Long Term

5 Ways to Save on Your Mortgage

Posted: July 9, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

Buying real estate has always been one of the best ways to invest your money and build wealth and equity. However, along with home ownership frequently comes hefty mortgage payments that need to be made each and every month. A mortgage is often the biggest debt that a consumer will have in their lifetime. The good news is that there are ways to actually save money over the term of your mortgage. Here are five ways you can do just that:

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Identity Theft: How to Fix This, QuicklyYou Need to Act Fast If Your Personal Information Is Compromised

Identity Theft: How to Fix This, Quickly

Posted: June 28, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

Identity theft can be emotionally and financially devastating, and it can take quite a bit of time to sort through everything once you are a victim of this crime. To prevent as much damage from happening as you can, there are steps you need to take immediately if you feel that your identity has been compromised. If you follow these steps as soon as you learn about what has occurred, this will make it easier to correct the situation and deal with your bank.

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How Much Will a Bad Credit Score Cost You?With Poor Credit, You Could End Up Paying for Your Past Mistakes

How Much Will a Bad Credit Score Cost You?

Posted: June 17, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

If you have bad credit, you have probably already noticed how difficult it makes it to acquire a loan from your average lender. Many lenders do not want anything to do with you unless your credit score reaches a certain level, and even then, you could end up paying high loan interest rates. The truth of the matter is that having bad credit can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional interest payments over the course of your life, which makes the effort it takes to improve your credit rating well worth it.

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Credit Inquiries: The Difference Between Hard and Soft InquiriesNot All Credit Checks Are Created Equal

Credit Inquiries: The Difference Between Hard and Soft Inquiries

Posted: June 4, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

Many consumers understand that if multiple inquiries about their credit are made to the major credit reporting bureaus, that can have a negative impact on their credit rating. What many people are not aware of, however, is the fact that there are different types of credit inquiries. One type is not likely to produce an ill effect in terms of lowering an individual’s credit score, while frequent inquiries of a different type could trigger a temporary decline in the credit rating.

Because of the potential impact that a credit inquiry can have on you, before you apply for any type of credit account, it pays for you to know whether the account issuer will initiate a hard or a soft credit inquiry.

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When Is the Right Time to Get a Mortgage Loan?There Are Many Things to Consider Before You Borrow

When Is the Right Time to Get a Mortgage Loan?

Posted: April 30, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

Applying for a mortgage loan is an important decision in a person’s life and is not something that should be taken lightly. Before you apply for a mortgage, make sure that you can afford the monthly payments. While your lender will look at your financial situation to help them decide whether or not they believe that you can afford a mortgage, only you know about your spending habits and the stability of your current job. Unless you are in a stable financial situation, you should wait before applying for a mortgage loan to avoid possible complications.

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Scam Alert: Bogus Medical Alert SystemsCon Artists Target the Elderly

Scam Alert: Bogus Medical Alert Systems

Posted: April 22, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

They say that there is no honor among thieves, and a new scam making the rounds perfectly demonstrates this. It involves con artists utilizing deception, threats and intimidation tactics to persuade elderly individuals to purchase medical alert systems that they neither have requested nor want, all in an effort to bilk them out of untold amounts of money.

Recently, the Federal Trade Commission, with the help of a U.S district court, was able to shut down one specific criminal operation called Instant Response Systems that was practicing this scam, but other similar operations are undoubtedly still active.

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5 Things That Maintain a Good Credit ScorePreserving Your Credit Is Easier Than You Think

5 Things That Maintain a Good Credit Score

Posted: April 19, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

There are many things a consumer can do to help them maintain a good credit score. Here are five simple steps to keeping your credit in tip-top shape:

1. Know what a credit score entails.

Knowing how a credit score is calculated is key. Your credit score is calculated based on five different things: your loan and credit card payment history; your level of debt; your credit age, or how long you’ve had credit; the types of credit you have, which should be a mix of credit cards and loans; and recent credit. Knowing where you stand with regards to all five of those areas will help you understand how good or bad your credit score is.

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Why It’s Easier to Get a Car Loan With Bad CreditThere Are Lenders Who Will Help You Purchase Your Dream Automobile

Why It’s Easier to Get a Car Loan With Bad Credit

Posted: April 8, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

Contrary to popular belief, getting a car loan is easy, and in some cases can be especially easy for people with bad credit. This type of loan allows consumers to pay their vehicle off in monthly installments instead of having to completely pay for it up front. For most people, a car loan is extremely welcome since paying cash to buy a new car is not a possibility.

With a car loan, the financing company or bank gives you the money to purchase a vehicle for personal use. The loan is secured against your new automobile. Car loans are also referred to as consumer loans or secured car loans.

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Steps to Getting a Home LoanObtain the Money You Need to Buy the House You Want

Steps to Getting a Home Loan

Posted: March 26, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

Buying a house is a major investment, and with the high cost of homes around the country, it usually represents a major outlay of money for a consumer. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that, according to recent statistics, nine out of 10 homebuyers finance their purchase with a mortgage loan.

If you are a prospective homebuyer and are considering applying for a mortgage loan, there are a number of things you need to know before you begin the application process. You can learn about them here.

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Phishing Scam Alert: Twitter Direct MessagesA New Method of Hijacking Your Personal Information

Phishing Scam Alert: Twitter Direct Messages

Posted: March 22, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

Social media website Twitter is everywhere these days and used by millions of people around the world. Now, in an effort to take advantage of this situation, online criminals have rolled out a new scam, which originates from what is designed to look like a legitimate Twitter account.

With this scam, consumers are generally contacted by email from a bogus Twitter account. The email subject line will say something like “Have you seen this picture of you?” The recipients are invited to click on a link to the image, and once they do that, they are usually taken to a website to “verify the authenticity of the picture.” That’s when the pain starts.

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Credit Bureaus: Understand How They Affect YouThese Agencies Can Profoundly Impact Your Financial Standing

Credit Bureaus: Understand How They Affect You

Posted: March 15, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

Credit bureaus are agencies that research and collect consumers’ credit information. In the United States there are three primary credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Utilizing standard computations, these agencies collect information and tabulate it in a numerical equation that results in an individual’s credit score. It is important for you to understand not only what credit bureaus collect but also how these reporting agencies can personally impact you.

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Why It’s Important for Your Credit to Pay Back Your LoanRepaying What You Borrow Is Critical to Maintaining Your Credit Rating

Why It’s Important for Your Credit to Pay Back Your Loan

Posted: March 4, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

Many reasons to apply for a loan exist, with the main one probably being that having this additional money simply allows you to make major purchases without saving up beforehand. Of course, loans eventually need to be paid back, and they generally come with predetermined repayment terms to which you must adhere. Failure to repay this money within the agreed-upon timeframe could lead to financial problems for you in the future. Therefore, it is vital that you work hard to stick to these repayment terms the next time that you take out a loan.

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Government-Job ScamsHow to Spot Schemes Offering to Help You Obtain Federal Positions

Government-Job Scams

Posted: February 22, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

As a species, scammers are a nefarious lot. They prey on the unsuspecting and they deviously separate money from those in need. One of the latest schemes that scammers are engaging in involves them offering to assist job searchers in obtaining positions with federal government agencies such as the U.S. Postal Service.

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Why Bad Credit Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Get a LoanThere Are Options Out There for You

Why Bad Credit Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Get a Loan

Posted: February 20, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

Although having bad credit is never seen as a positive thing, it does not mean that you will be denied every loan for which you apply. There are plenty of options for those with bad credit, as long as you know where to look. Before you get discouraged about the state of your credit rating, research these loan options and find out which types of lenders are more likely to grant you the money that you need.

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Consolidating Your Student LoansYou Can Lighten Your Debt Load After Graduation

Consolidating Your Student Loans

Posted: February 8, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

Student loans are considered the next “bubble” the American economy will have to grapple with. As tuition costs continue to climb, the amount of debt that graduating postsecondary students carry is also booming. Recent graduates are emerging with an average loan debt of $27,000. With a difficult job market and heavy average debt load, it makes sense for graduates to consider student loan consolidation as an option. Consolidating student loans is not as simple as it seems, however, as there are rules governing the behavior of these loans.

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Five Ways to Show Your Valentine You Love Them — on a BudgetYou Don’t Have to Break the Bank to Have a Memorable Holiday

Five Ways to Show Your Valentine You Love Them — on a Budget

Posted: January 28, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

Valentine’s Day is a wonderful opportunity for you to express some heartfelt sentiment to that special someone. And fortunately, despite what some people may think, showing your Valentine love does not require you to bust your budget. Furthermore, not only is it possible to successfully celebrate the holiday without wreaking havoc on your finances, but the truly amazing memories that you can create without spending a lot of money can last a lifetime.

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Beyond Banks: Other Places Your Credit MattersA Good Credit Score Can Be the Key to Your Success in Many Arenas

Beyond Banks: Other Places Your Credit Matters

Posted: January 15, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

Your credit score is a seemingly ethereal number that you likely only think of when you are considering acquiring a credit card or loan. Consumers rarely give much thought to their credit score beyond this sort of scenario. What many people do not understand, however, is how vital maintaining a good credit score is for overall financial health and who considers credit scores beyond financial companies. The fact is, there are many different entities that may look at your credit score, and having a good score can potentially save you quite a bit of money all around.

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How to Get a Personal Loan Despite Bad CreditPast Mistakes Don't Have to Keep You From Getting Cash Today

How to Get a Personal Loan Despite Bad Credit

Posted: January 4, 2013 by Rachel Shepard

If you have any awareness of pirate movies then you know that being marked with the black spot is akin to a death sentence or, at the very least, leads to a really lonely time on a deserted island. Bad credit can work much like the aforementioned black mark when lenders and financial institutions, government agencies, and even mobile phone companies and landlords review and evaluate your credit.

If your credit is bleak at best and you find yourself in a dire situation where you absolutely have to have a personal loan, however, don’t worry. Hope is not completely lost and you have a few options.

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Winter Expenses: Getting a Quick Loan for the SeasonHelp Is Available for the Holidays

Winter Expenses: Getting a Quick Loan for the Season

Posted: December 26, 2012 by Rachel Shepard

The holiday season can be extremely expensive, especially if you have a large family for which to buy presents. As a result, the holidays can be overwhelming for some people as they attempt to come up with enough money to pay for everything that they need. If you find yourself lacking the money needed to come through for your family, a loan to help you out with winter expenses might be your best option. Before applying for a loan, however, you should look at the various types of loans available to select the one that provides you with the most benefits.

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How Your Credit Score Is CalculatedKnowing the Process Can Help You Boost Your Credit Rating

How Your Credit Score Is Calculated

Posted: December 14, 2012 by Rachel Shepard

These days, having a good credit score is key to gaining access to all kinds of things. Because of this, of course, it behooves you to do whatever you can to get your score up as high as possible. And learning exactly how a credit score is calculated is important if you want to know what you have to do to boost your score and open all sorts of new doors for you as a consumer.

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Dec11 Supports The Kansas Council For Economic, a leading installment loans website, is supporting the KCEE as a 2013 sponsor to help make financial literacy a priority in schools.

Posted: December 11, 2012 by Ashley Dull

SEATTLE, WA (December 11, 2012) –, a leading installment loans website, announced today they would support the Kansas Council For Economic Education (KCEE) as a 2013 sponsor to help make financial literacy a priority in schools. The KCEE equips teachers to educate Kansas’ students in grades K-12 in economics and personal finance.

“We are pleased to sponsor the Kansas Council for Economic Education,” a spokesperson said. “Understanding how to use money wisely is extremely important. We hope our support helps the KCEE to empower students by providing the resources and education they need to be fiscally responsible.”

The KCEE strives to reach as many students as possible by training their teachers and providing all of the standards-based curriculum materials and lesson plans that are needed to teach personal finance and economics. They train teachers directly through workshops and webinars, as well as provide tuition assistance to enable certified Kansas teachers to take courses for graduate credit through their affiliated Centers for Economic Education. The KCEE is affiliated with all of Kansas’ six state universities and is hosted by the W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University.

The KCEE helps school districts in designing dedicated courses and incorporating economics and personal finance into the curricula starting in kindergarten by including the concepts in math, business, social studies, family and consumer sciences, and other subjects. Their vision is that, through economic and financial literacy, Kansas’ students will become more knowledgeable consumers, wiser savers and investors, more responsible citizens, and better employees. For more information, visit

For media inquiries on please contact Kelsey McBride at or 310-765-7500.


About Bad Credit Loans

Bad Credit Loans has been in the business of helping people since 1998. The website makes it easy for consumers to get the funds they are looking for from the convenience of their desktop computer or mobile device. Bad Credit Loans can connect you to a lender in our network no matter what type of loan you may need and regardless of your credit history. Many types of loans are available including personal, business, mortgage, home, student, and auto loans. For more information, visit


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Credit Diversity: How Much Does It Really Matter?Mixing It Up Can Have a Major Effect on Your Credit Rating

Credit Diversity: How Much Does It Really Matter?

Posted: December 3, 2012 by Rachel Shepard

Credit diversity. What is it? Does it really matter? I know, you’re probably thinking, “Credit is credit … right?” The truth, however, is a little more complicated than that. There are actually many different types of credit, and in order to have a higher credit score and get lower interest rates on loans, you need to have a variety of forms of credit in your portfolio.

You hear some people warn against having too many lines of credit. While it’s true that being in this situation can be bad if you aren’t paying your various credit lines off or if you are making late payments (or not making payments at all), the fact is, having a few different types of credit can really help out your credit score in the long run, especially when you’re ready to purchase big-ticket items such as a new vehicle or a home.

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Small Budget Changes to Help You Organize Your FinancesThe Time Is Now to Take Control of Your Money!

Small Budget Changes to Help You Organize Your Finances

Posted: November 26, 2012 by Rachel Shepard

It stands to reason that small changes in your lifestyle can lead to greater rewards. Think about the impact of a small gesture. Saying hello politely to someone can open the door to a healthier, happier day. Now, say hello to your finances in the same way and see what kind of happiness you can lovingly squeeze from your dollars!

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Nov14 Sponsors Charity Golf Tournament To Benefit The Crisis Center Food participates as a Platinum Sponsor of the I-Envision Entrepreneurship 9th Annual Charity Golf Tournament benefitting The Crisis Center of Johnson County.

Posted: November 14, 2012 by

SEATTLE, WA (November 14, 2012) –, a leading installment loans website, announced today that they would participate as a Platinum Sponsor of the I-Envision Entrepreneurship 9th Annual Charity Golf Tournament. This year all donations and tournament proceeds will be used to support the efforts of The Crisis Center of Johnson County.

The Crisis Center, located in Iowa City, is a community-based organization that provides immediate support to individuals going through a crisis situation, such as problems with family or friends, lack of food, financial emergency, divorce, serious illness, roommate trouble, school-related stress, substance abuse struggles, or suicidal feelings. The Crisis Center provides support with services including a 24-hour crisis phone line, crisis chat online, food bank, emergency assistance, community programs, and disaster recovery. Proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Food Bank. Residents of Johnson County can receive grocery assistance once a week from The Crisis Center Food Bank, with no limit on the number of weekly visits per year. The Food Bank provides non-perishable items as well as produce, bakery, deli, dairy, and health and hygiene items as they are available through donations. To learn more, visit

I-Envision Entrepreneurship will hold the tournament on Friday, April 26th 2013 at the Brown Deer Golf Club in Coralville, Iowa.

I-Envision Entrepreneurship provides a forum to facilitate the development of entrepreneurial innovation and creativity through the exchange of ideas, experiences and knowledge across all academic disciplines at The University of Iowa. Through networking, guest speakers, and workshops I-Envision works to promote entrepreneurship learning and activity.

Registration is $70 for University of Iowa students, $75 for faculty and staff, or $80 for general public, and includes a cart and meal. There will also be a silent auction and prizes. For more information, visit

“The Crisis Center has done great work in Johnson County over the years,” says Matt Becker, spokesperson. “We hope our donation will help in providing meals to people in need throughout the area.” has made significant charitable contributions over the past year. For those unfamiliar with, they are one of the nations leading websites helping people who need emergency loans for unanticipated expenses. As name implies, the company specializes in providing loans to people with poor credit or even no credit at all. Many types of loans are available including personal, business, mortgage, home, student, and auto loans. Despite economically difficult times, strongly believes in supporting the efforts of organizations that are making a difference in the world and helping others. For more information about this company visit

For media inquiries on please contact Kelsey McBride at or 206-486-0496.


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Oct09 Sponsors Get Your Rear in Gear Seattle 5K Run/WalkSeattle-based sponsors Get Your Rear In Gear, a 5K on November 4, 2012 to generate greater awareness of colon cancer and provide screenings to those who might otherwise be unable to afford them.

Posted: October 9, 2012 by Ashley Dull

SEATTLE, WA (October 9, 2012) –, a leading installment loans website, announced today they would sponsor the Colon Cancer Coalition’s Get Your Rear in Gear – Seattle, a 5K run/walk on November 4, 2012, to generate greater awareness of colon cancer and provide screenings to those who might otherwise be unable to afford them.

“Our hope is that this support will increase awareness of colon cancer in the local community, encourage individuals of all ages to get screened, and inspire others to support their local cancer prevention organization,” says spokesperson Matt Becker.

Colon and rectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States and the leading cause of cancer deaths among non-smokers.

“There are numerous ways individuals can get involved to make a difference in the fight against cancer. Whether it’s volunteering to give a cancer patient a ride to chemotherapy, making a donation, or getting involved with local events in your community,” added Matt Becker.

With nearly 40 nationwide races, the Colon Cancer Coalition has become a leading source for colon cancer education and awareness. They are working together with health care providers, corporations and the media, to encourage people to “Get Your Rear in Gear” and talk about colon cancer with their doctor, their loved ones and everyone they know.

Get Your Rear in Gear is bigger then just a message for colon cancer; it is a message for all of us to take action, lead longer healthier lives, go to the doctor regularly, to listen to our bodies when something isn’t right and to get the right answers, regardless of age.

The race takes place in Marymoor Park. For more information, visit

“Giving back to the local community has always been a big part of our companies mission,” says Matt Becker. “We make a conscious effort to consistently support charitable causes and nonprofit organizations.” Recently, also sponsored Lungevity’s Breathe Deep Seattle, One World Roller Derby, and Ginger’s Pet Rescue. To learn more, visit

For media inquiries please contact Kelsey McBride at or 206-486-0496.



About Bad Credit Loans

Bad Credit Loans has been in the business of helping people since 1998. The website makes it easy for consumers to get the funds they are looking for from the convenience of their desktop computer or mobile device. Bad Credit Loans can connect you to a lender in our network no matter what type of loan you may need and regardless of your credit history. For more information, visit


About the Colon Cancer Coalition / Get Your Rear in Gear

Get Your Rear in Gear events are presented nationally by the Colon Cancer Coalition, a non-profit organization based in Minneapolis. The events are 100% volunteer-driven in communities throughout the United States. To date the Colon Cancer Coalition has distributed nearly $1.5 million from the Get Your Rear in Gear events back into local communities for colon cancer education, prevention, and screening. By making the words colon, colorectal and colonoscopy a part of the everyday language, we believe we can overcome the fear and decrease deaths from this largely preventable cancer.  A history of the organization, upcoming events, and a list of programs receiving funding from the Colon Cancer Coalition can be found at

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Bad Credit Loans Proudly Supports Seattle CommunityIn an effort to support local organizations in Seattle, Bad Credit Loans helps with more than just loans.

Posted: October 2, 2012 by Ashley Dull

Seattle-based, one of the leading companies in providing loans to consumers with poor credit, is actively involved in helping meet the needs of organizations in Seattle. Bad Credit Loans helps consumers obtain many different types of loans, including personal loans, auto loans and home loans, but the company is becoming well known for supporting charitable causes.

Bad Credit Loans has supported LUNGevity’s Breathe Deep Seattle, a 5k to raise funds for lung cancer research, and Ginger’s Pet Rescue, a nonprofit operation that specializes in saving dogs from being euthanized and finding new homes for them around western Washington. In addition, Bad Credit Loans made a donation to OneWorld Roller Derby and sponsored skater Susie Wu, also known as Wu’s Your Momma, on the Seattle Tsunami team. Most recently, Bad Credit Loans is sponsoring the Colon Cancer Coalition’s Get Your Rear In Gear, a 5k in Seattle to generate greater awareness of colon cancer and provide screenings to those who might otherwise be unable to afford them.

Bad Credit Loans helps people who are struggling in these tough economic times with loans for unanticipated urgent expenses by connecting them to a lender in our network so they can get the cash they need and get back on track quickly and responsibly.

“We’ll help you access funds to pay off past-due bills, fix the car, or take care of whatever is holding you back—today,” says Matt Becker, a company spokesperson. “At Bad Credit Loans we help customers with their financial needs, but we also strive to make a difference for the people in our community by giving back.”

About Bad Credit Loans

Bad Credit Loans connects consumers to a lender in our network regardless of credit history. Many types of loans are available including personal, business, mortgage, home, student, and auto loans. The application process is quick and convenient. Prospective borrowers can complete a brief application online and will generally be approved within minutes. At that point, they will be presented with a number of competitive loan offers from various local lenders who are part of the extensive network. There is no fee to use the service and no obligation to take a loan. For more information, visit

For media inquiries please contact Kelsey McBride at or 805.807.9027.


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Bad Credit Loans Announces Launch of New ArticleReaders Can Now Learn About Fair Lending Practices Easily

Posted: October 1, 2012 by Ashley Dull

In an effort to help consumers troubled by financial difficulties, Bad Credit Loans is introducing a new educational feature called “Policy on Responsible Lending” to its website. This feature explains in detail the governmental regulations and fair lending laws in place to protect would-be borrowers against predatory lenders, discussing laws such as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, the Truth in Lending Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

“An educated consumer is a smart consumer,” says company spokesperson Rachel Lambert. “When borrowers learn what to expect from lenders, they are better equipped to review the contracts and offers received and make the best possible choice. We want consumers to feel secure about their decision to borrow money from our affiliated lenders, and keeping them informed is the best way for us to make sure that’s the case.”

Although Bad Credit Loans helps consumers acquire many different types of loans, including business loans, auto loans and home loans, the company perhaps is best known for connecting people with personal loans. These small, loans are easy to apply for because potential borrowers only need to meet a few eligibility requirements and don’t have to offer any collateral or present a credit score, and the application process can be completed without ever leaving home.

Applications are processed almost immediately upon receipt and consumers can be approved for a loan in just minutes. Bad Credit Loans’ website is 100 percent secure and any personal information that individuals submit during the application process remains private and protected at all times.

Once a consumer has been approved by Bad Credit Loans, they are then normally presented with a number of offers from different lenders and given the opportunity to compare rates and terms. The federal Truth in Lending Act requires that lenders provide all information about their rates and terms upfront. This means consumers never have to worry about unexpected charges later on. Even late fees are specified in advance, in case of loan default.

Consumers who agree to the terms can then sign the contract electronically and expect loan funds to be directly deposited into their bank account within no more than one business day. The lenders who work with Bad Credit Loans offer loans in amounts ranging from $100 to $1,000. Neither the company nor the lenders ever ask what borrowers are going to use their funds for, although most borrowers generally use the money to cover an emergency expense or pay off a late bill.


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Military Ban on Payday Lending Can’t Stop Payday Website From Sponsoring 9/11 MemorialNew York Observer

Posted: September 11, 2012 by

Payday lending might be off-limits for military personnel, but it’s fine for New York City firefighters—at least, that’s the message a website that facilitates payday loans appeared to be sending when it sponsored a cobblestone at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in downtown Manhattan.

Congress effectively outlawed payday lending to military personnel in 2007—capping interest rates that can be charged to active service members at 36 percent, and prohibiting loans to military borrowers secured with checks, electronic access to bank accounts, vehicle titles or allotment of military pay—after the Department of Defense reported that “predatory lending undermines military readiness, harms the morale of troops and their families, and adds to the cost of fielding an all volunteer fighting force.”

Nevertheless,, an online service that connects borrowers with payday lenders, sent out a press release yesterday touting its sponsorship of the museum with its purchase of a cobblestone honoring firefighter Pat Lyons of Squad 252, who lost his life while trying to rescue others during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. “ sponsored a cobblestone to honor our fallen heroes and their families,” the company said in the release. “No one will ever forget the events of that tragic day.”

According to the website, prospective borrowers complete an online form and, assuming they meet qualifications such as monthly income of at least $1,000 a month, receive loan offers from the website’s lender network. After a borrower provides an e-signature on a loan form, the loan amount is deposited directly into his checking account. On the date of the borrower’s next payday, the lender automatically withdraws principal, interest and fees.

“Any kind of payday lender is a bad payday lender,” Kathleen Day, a spokeswoman for the Center for Responsible Lending, told The Observer, noting that the high-interest loans often plunge borrowers into a vicious cycle, in which they take one payday loan to pay the last. “If it’s not a good product for active military and their families, why is it good for anybody else?”

Online payday lending can be particularly pernicious, according to the website of the Consumer Federation of America, because of higher costs, security concerns and the ease with which an onerous loan can be accepted.

“ does not market or provide loans to military personnel,” Kelsey McBride, a spokeswoman for, said in an email to The Observer, adding that borrowers in many states can expect to pay annual percentage rates of between 391 to 521 percent on short-term loans. “However, we believe that it is unfortunate that congress [sic] has placed limits on short-term loans to military personnel. They deserve the right to decide what financial options best suit their needs.”

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum directed us to web pages containing information on the cobblestone sponsorship program, but declined to comment further. sponsored the cobblestone in the name of company owner Matt Becker, according to the museum’s website.

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Sep10 Sponsors Cobblestone At 9/11 MemorialSeattle-based announced they would sponsor a cobblestone at the World Trade Center memorial in honor of the victims of 9/11 and their families. Sponsors Cobblestone At 9/11 Memorial

Posted: September 10, 2012 by, a leading installment loans website, announced today they would sponsor a cobblestone at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in honor of the victims of 9/11 and their families.

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum, located at the World Trade Center site, commemorates the September 11 attacks of 2001 and the World Trade Center bombing of 1993. The cobblestone will be placed on the Memorial plaza.

With the donation, honored Pat Lyons. Pat Lyons, a member of squad 252, was one of the brave NYC Firefighters that lost their lives while saving others on September 11, 2001.

“ sponsored a cobblestone to honor our fallen heroes and their families,” a company spokesperson said. “It’s been eleven years since the September 11 attacks. No one will ever forget the events of that tragic day.”

The sponsorship not only pays tribute to the victims of 9/11, but also helps to develop and sustain the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.  The Memorial mission it to ‘recognize the endurance of those who survived, the courage of those who risked their lives to save others, and the compassion of all who supported us in our darkest hours.’ For more information, visit helps people who need emergency loans for unanticipated expenses. As name implies, the company specializes in providing loans to people with poor credit or even no credit at all. Many types of loans are available including personal, business, mortgage, home, student, and auto loans. For more information, visit

For media inquiries please contact Kelsey McBride at or 206-486-0496.



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Sep06 Announces Launch of New and Improved has been busily redesigning and building its website in a continuing effort to provide consumers with the best user experience possible.

Posted: September 6, 2012 by

Seattle-based, a leading installment loans website, announced today that their new and improved website has officially launched after months of busily redesigning and building it in a continuing effort to provide consumers with the best user experience possible.

“We are happy to say that the updated site has now launched with some exciting new changes,” says Herbert Smith, spokesperson for Bad Credit Loans. “We have added a number of new features and plan to incorporate additional items in the upcoming months. Check out the site at and come back often, as we will constantly keep it updated with new and improved features. We want Bad Credit Loans to keep getting better and better!”

The latest improvements nicely supplement some major alterations that were made to the site just two months ago.

Bad Credit Loans has added an exceedingly useful new multipurpose feature called the Account Center. This feature is specifically for individuals who have already applied for a loan, and it allows them to take advantage of several unique benefits, including access to special customer offers and personalized messages, the ability to easily review and edit their personal data on file, and access to quick, helpful answers to the most common loan-related questions. The premier benefit of the Account Center, however, is that, whenever they need to, customers can reapply for another loan with the greatest of ease via the special abbreviated “QuickLoan” process. QuickLoan can enter all your saved personal information into your application for you. If your info hasn’t changed since your last loan, you can complete the form in seconds. has also redesigned the homepage. Basically, they have added a few new pieces of helpful content, removed “a little around the edges” and made some minor aesthetic adjustments. They have created a maximally optimized homepage that represents a more attractive, streamlined and user-friendly introduction to their service.

Lastly, they have updated the “How It Works” informational article. This piece breaks down the information that is most important for prospective loan borrowers to know, such as how exactly the loan process works, and is structured in a way designed to make the material as quickly digestible as possible. Knowing that a well-placed graphic can always aid in the learning process, they have added in a nice, clean diagram of the loan process from application to disbursement of funds. This helps to make some already easy-to-understand information even clearer., founded in 1998, has gained a reputation for being one of the leading companies in providing previously underserved consumers across the country with access to fast, personal loans. For more information, visit

For media inquiries please contact Kelsey McBride at or 206-486-0496.


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Aug31 Sponsors OneWorld Roller Derby And Skater Susie WuSeattle-based, a leading installment loans website, sponsors OneWorld Roller Derby and skater Susie Wu on the Seattle Tsunami team.

Posted: August 31, 2012 by Ashley Dull

Seattle, WA (August 30, 2012) – Seattle-based, a leading installment loans website that connects consumers to a lender in our network regardless of credit history, has just made a monetary donation to OneWorld Roller Derby and sponsored skater Susie Wu, also known as Wu’s Your Momma, on the Seattle Tsunami team.

OneWorld Roller Derby is part of the Old School Derby Association amateur division. They have four teams in Seattle – Bellevue Brawl, Bellevue Wretched Excess, Seattle Sonic Boom, and Seattle Tsunami.

OneWorld Roller Derby’s mission is to contribute to personal health and wellness for all participants by creating a safe environment to learn, increase self-confidence, realize potential, make social connections and experience overall growth through the sport of Roller Derby with an emphasis on sportsmanship, positive attitudes and athleticism.

“We are happy to be a supporter of OneWorld Roller Derby,” says Herbert Smith, spokesperson for Bad Credit Loans.  “At Bad Credit Loans we strongly believe in giving back and supporting the local community.”

Bad Credit Loans also recently sponsored Breathe Deep Seattle, a 5k to raise funds for lung cancer research, and Ginger’s Pet Rescue, a nonprofit operation that specializes in saving dogs from being euthanized and finding new homes for them around western Washington.

Bad Credit Loans helps people who are struggling in these tough economic times with loans for unanticipated urgent expenses. As their name implies, the company specializes in providing loans to people with poor credit or even no credit at all. Many types of loans are available including personal, business, mortgage, home, student, and auto loans.

“In today’s world, it’s become all too easy to get trapped by finances,” says Herbert Smith. “Our company is committed to helping consumers weather a financial emergency by connecting them to a lender in our network so they can get the cash they need and get back on track quickly and responsibly. We’ll help you access funds to pay off past-due bills, fix the car, or take care of whatever is holding you back—today.”

On the Bad Credit Loans website borrowers complete a brief online application that requires them to simply input a few basic pieces of personal information and financial details. Generally, they will be approved just a few minutes after that, and will be presented with a number of competitive loan offers from various local lenders. Once they decide on a particular offer, and an approval has been received, they can get their loan funds directly deposited into their bank account — within no more than one business day. For more information, visit

For media inquiries please contact Kelsey McBride at or 805.807.9027.


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Mortgage Loan Relief ScamsDon't Let Your Dream of Owning a Home Turn Into a Financial Nightmare

Mortgage Loan Relief Scams

Posted: August 30, 2012 by

For many people, owning a home represents the ultimate achievement of the American Dream. And more often than not, this achievement is made possible with the help of a mortgage loan. This type of loan allows an individual to be able to purchase a home when they don’t have the cash on hand to cover the full price of the property.

As with any type of loan, however, with mortgages sometimes borrowers can get a bit in over their heads, and it’s when this happens that people start looking for mortgage relief. Businesses purveying this service generally offer to negotiate with mortgage lenders to modify loans and make them more affordable for borrowers, or take other steps to help people facing difficulties that could ultimately lead to them losing their home.

Although there are certainly legitimate mortgage relief providers out there, unfortunately there are also many mortgage relief scammers lurking about. These operators prey on desperate homeowners struggling to make mortgage payments or facing foreclosure, and they utilize a variety of tricky tactics to make them part with their money while delivering little or no relief in return.

One common and fairly straightforward scam involves the scammer acting as a phony counselor, telling you that if you pay them an upfront fee, they’ll work out a deal with your mortgage lender to reduce your payments or save your home. Once you’ve paid them, they stop returning your phone calls and take off with your money.

The “bait-and-switch” mortgage relief scam is also well established. Here, the scam artist will give you documents they say you need to sign to get another loan to make your mortgage current. Buried in the stack, however, is a document that effectively surrenders the title to your home to the scammer in exchange for a “rescue” loan.

To avoid fraudsters when you are seeking mortgage relief, there are a number of red flags to watch out for. Avoid any business that does any of the following:

  • Guarantees that it will get you a loan modification or stop the foreclosure process — no matter what your circumstances are
  • Tells you not to contact your lender, lawyer or housing counselor
  • Asks for an upfront fee before providing you with any services (unless it’s a lawyer you’ve thoroughly checked out)
  • Tells you to make your mortgage payments directly to it, rather than your lender

Even though valid mortgage relief services exist, to help limit the possibility of falling into a fraudster’s trap, the first thing you should actually do if you’re experiencing mortgage-related difficulties is simply contact your lender right away. You may be able to negotiate a new repayment schedule with them, or perhaps get a loan reinstatement or forbearance.

If you have already attempted to get help from a mortgage relief provider and believe you’ve been the victim of fraud, contact the Federal Trade Commission at or the Better Business Bureau at

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Building a Better SiteIntroducing the New and Improved Bad Credit Loans!

Posted: August 23, 2012 by

In our continuing effort to provide consumers with the best user experience possible, we here at Bad Credit Loans have recently been very busy building some exciting new changes into our website, and they’ve finally just been rolled out.

These latest improvements nicely supplement some major alterations we made to the site just two months ago, and truth be told, they may not be the last. The fact is, we want Bad Credit Loans to keep getting better and better!

Account Center

First of all, we’ve added an exceedingly useful new multipurpose feature called the Account Center. This feature is specifically for individuals who have already applied for a loan, and it allows them to take advantage of several unique benefits, including these:

  • Access to special customer offers and personalized messages
  • The ability to easily review and edit their personal data on file
  • Access to quick, helpful answers to the most common loan-related questions

BadCreditLoans Account Center
The premier benefit of the Account Center, however, is that, whenever they need to, customers can reapply for another loan with the greatest of ease via the special abbreviated “QuickLoan” process.

QuickLoan can enter all your saved personal information into your application for you. If your info hasn’t changed since your last loan, you can complete the form in seconds!


The next change to point out will be the most obvious one to you if you’ve visited our site in the recent past, which is that we’ve redesigned our homepage. Basically, we’ve done the following:

  • Added a few new pieces of helpful content
  • Removed “a little around the edges”
  • Made some minor aesthetic adjustments

In general, we’ve tried to create a maximally optimized homepage that represents a more attractive, streamlined and user-friendly introduction to our service.

“How It Works”

Finally, our “How It Works” informational article has gotten a little more interesting to look at. This piece breaks down the information that is most important for prospective loan borrowers to know, such as how exactly the loan process works, and is structured in a way designed to make the material as quickly digestible as possible.

Knowing that a well-placed graphic can always aid in the learning process, however, we’ve added in a nice, clean diagram of the loan process from application to disbursement of funds. This should help make some already easy-to-understand information even clearer.

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Aug21 Sponsors 12th Annual Texas Potjie sponsors the Texas Potjie Festival, a celebration of South African culture in Rusk, TX from August 31 - September 3, 2012.

Posted: August 21, 2012 by Ashley Dull, a leading provider of installment loans, today announced its sponsorship of the Texas Potjie Festival, an annual South African potjiekos cooking festival from August 31 through September 3, 2012. This year the Texas Potjie Festival will take place at the KOA Campground in Rusk, TX. connects consumers to a lender in our network regardless of credit history. Many types of loans are available including personal, business, mortgage, home, student, and auto loans.

The entire lending process conducted through, from application to loan disbursement, has been designed to be easy, quick and convenient. After completing a brief online application, prospective borrowers are presented with a number of competitive loan offers from various local lenders who are part of the extensive lender network.

Most people use to get money to deal with unexpected emergency expenses and urgent bills. Some of the most common uses for the funds include medical treatment, auto repairs, home repairs and taking care of outstanding debts.

Loans can be directly deposited into the borrowers bank account within no more than one business day. There is no fee to use the service and there is no obligation to take any loan that is approved. For more information, visit

“We believe in the importance of giving back and are happy to contribute a donation to support the 12th annual Texas Potjie Festival,” says spokesperson Matt Becker.

South Africans from Texas and far beyond get together at the Potjie Festival for a weekend of camping and traditional South African cooking competitions using a potjie, a 3 legged cast-iron pot brought to Texas by South African immigrants, to celebrate South African heritage. The festival features foods such as boerewors, droerwors, biltong, and koeksusters.

On Saturday there are two competitions, the Boerewors competition and the Biltong competition. On Sunday competitions include a bread competition, dessert competition, the main potjie competition, and an open potjie competition. Prepared entries are submitted to a judging panel at a predetermined time for judging. The final competition category, a non-cooking category that also takes place on Sunday, is the cooksite competition. Contestants’ campsites are judged for things like traditional originality, effort, and spirit. A prize-giving for competitions is held on the Sunday evening.

During the weekend there are several other activities, including a “sokkie” (dance), cricket match and Afrikaans church service. For more information, visit

For media inquiries please contact Kelsey McBride at or 206-486-0496.


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Aug15 Proudly Sponsors LUNGevity’s Breathe Deep SeattleSeattle-based is a bronze sponsor of Breathe Deep Seattle, a 5K on August 11, 2012 to raise funds for lung cancer research.

Posted: August 15, 2012 by Ashley Dull

Seattle, WA (August 7, 2012) – Seattle-based, a leading installment loans website that connects consumers to a lender in our network regardless of credit history, has just made a monetary donation to Breathe Deep Seattle, a 5K on August 11, 2012 in Lincoln Park to raise funds for lung cancer research. The donation will contribute to LUNGevity Foundation, the nation’s largest lung cancer-focused nonprofit, to raise awareness and funds for more effective treatments for the nation’s number one cancer killer.

LUNGevity Foundation supports research into the early detection and successful treatment of lung cancer.  LUNGevity also provides information, resources and a supportive community that enhances the quality of life for patients and caregivers.

“We are pleased to provide support for lung cancer research through this contribution to Breathe Deep Seattle,” says spokesperson Matt Becker. “This donation aligns with our overall goal of continually giving back to the local community and helping charitable causes.” helps people who are struggling in these tough economic times with emergency loans. As name implies, the company specializes in providing loans to people with poor credit or even no credit at all. Many types of loans are available including personal, business, mortgage, home, student, and auto loans.

Most payday loan borrowers use the money to deal with unexpected emergency expenses and urgent bills like medical treatment and auto or home repairs. Borrowers have flexibility to use the funds to meet a wide range of debts.

Bad Credit Loans helps borrowers get the funds they need from the convenience of their desktop computer or mobile device, making the process fast and hassle free. There is no fee to use the service and there is no obligation to take any loan that is approved. For more information, visit

1 in 14 Americans is diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime. The mission of LUNGevity Foundation is to improve lung cancer survival rates, ensure a higher quality of life for lung cancer patients, and provide a community for those impacted by lung cancer. For more information on Breathe Deep Seattle, visit

For media inquiries please contact Kelsey McBride at or 206-486-0496.



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Aug14 Donates Dollars to Help DogsContribution Aids Effort to Save Pets in Seattle

Posted: August 14, 2012 by Ashley Dull

Seattle, WA (August 6, 2012) – Seattle-based, which has gained a reputation for being one of the leading companies in providing previously underserved consumers across the country with access to fast loans, has just made a generous monetary donation to Ginger’s Pet Rescue, a nonprofit operation that specializes in saving dogs which are due to be euthanized and finding new homes for them around western Washington. The donation represents just the latest effort by to devote financial resources to helping worthy charitable causes throughout the Seattle area.

“We at have a long history of giving back to the local community,” says spokesperson Mitch Phillips. “We firmly believe in the importance of contributing to organizations that are doing work which benefits society and helps change lives for the better. Ginger’s Pet Rescue is a perfect example of such an organization, and we are very pleased to be able to give it our financial support.”

As a website, has made it its mission to help as many consumers in need as it possibly can with quick cash advances, and as its name implies, it specializes in providing loans to people with poor credit or even no credit at all. Individuals interested in acquiring one of these bad credit loans do not have to present a credit score to the company at any time during the lending process. Additionally, they are not required to put up any collateral to get help, and they only have to meet a few basic requirements in order to be considered eligible for loan funds. Among these requirements are that they must be at least 18 years old, be either a U.S. citizen or legal resident, have a steady income of at least $1,000/month after taxes, and have a checking account in their name.

The entire lending process conducted through, from application to loan disbursement, has been designed to be easy, quick and convenient. To get the process started, prospective borrowers just need to take a few minutes to complete a brief online application that requires them to simply input a few basic pieces of personal information and financial details. Generally, they will be approved just a few minutes after that, and then they will presented with a number of competitive loan offers from various local lenders who are part of the extensive lender network. Once they decide on a particular offer, and an approval has been received, they can get their loan funds directly deposited into their bank account — within no more than one business day.

Although loan borrowers are able to utilize their funds for whatever purpose they choose, most use the money to deal with unexpected emergency expenses and urgent bills. Some of the most common uses for the funds include medical treatment, auto repairs, home repairs and taking care of outstanding debts.

For media inquiries please contact Kelsey McBride at or 206-486-0496.


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Wire Transfer ScamsWhere Are You Sending Your Money?

Wire Transfer Scams

Posted: August 7, 2012 by Rachel Shepard

How nice is it to enjoy a little TV after a delicious dinner and a hard day’s work? Now imagine you receive an unexpected phone call during the commercial break. It’s from a number you don’t recognize, but you answer it anyway. Someone on the other end begins accusing you of reneging on debts, or tells you a sob story about someone in your family needing money immediately, or informs you that they can provide you with just the help you’ve been looking for if you’ll just provide a small processing fee.

Whatever the line may be, the result tends to be the same: You need to send us money right now if you want to be OK.

What would you do? For many unfortunate victims of wire transfer scams, they send the money. It’s difficult to deal with the sudden pressure, and often aggressive manner, of a surprise caller. You end up trying to solve the problem just to get out of trouble…when you should really ask yourself if the phone call itself is what’s wrong.

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Scam Alert: BBB Email ImpostersJust Because an Email Says It Is From a Reputable Source Does Not Make It True

Scam Alert: BBB Email Imposters

Posted: August 3, 2012 by Rachel Shepard

The Better Business Bureau is one of he most trusted consumer groups in the country. When you are in doubt over the reputation of a company anywhere in America, they are one of the easiest places to find out the truth. Unfortunately, that same reputation has led to scam artists actually posing as the BBB.

According to the BBB alert, multiple complaints have been filed over emails sent to a variety of people, including even the BBB itself. These emails have been reported in two forms: one as a follow up to a complaint, the other as a request to update user information using an online form.

In both emails a link appearing to go to a BBB page. However, by hovering the cursor over the hypertext, the actual URL is not the BBB at all, but rather a site containing a virus.

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At Stake in the Show Me State: The Availability of Installment Loans?Proposed Missouri Small-Loan Lending Law Could Impact Individuals’ Access to Needed Assistance

At Stake in the Show Me State: The Availability of Installment Loans?

Posted: August 2, 2012 by

Earlier this week, the Missouri Supreme Court issued a ruling paving the way for Missouri residents to be able to make a decision with their vote this coming November regarding the long-running issue of small consumer loans and the interest that can be charged on them in the state. This ruling came in response to a petition drive by a consumer finance activist group, which collected enough citizen signatures to qualify their initiative to be placed on the ballot for the fall election.

If voters go ahead and approve the initiative a few months from now, the result will be that the limit on the amount of interest that can be charged on small consumer loans such as cash advances and traditional installment loans will be capped at a fairly modest level. While this may not sound like a problem to the average consumer, the fact is, however, that it could lead to some decidedly negative consequences for Missourians looking for fast emergency financial assistance from a time-honored source.

Despite claims to the contrary by its proponents, it seems apparent that the initiative effectively targets all small-loan lenders, including traditional installment lenders. After all, it asks Missouri voters to limit rates on all types of small-dollar loans, making no distinction between the various forms of monetary help that fall under this category. Installment lenders, who have provided safe, affordable and exceedingly accessible loans throughout this country for over a century, would most likely be impacted more adversely than other lenders by the passage of the initiative, and a realistic scenario is that such an event could lead to the disappearance of traditional installment loans from Missouri altogether.

These already highly regulated loans are quite popular in the state — it is estimated that almost 200,000 Missourians regularly access them. Like other types of small-money loans such as cash advances, installment loans are utilized by people mainly to cover unexpected emergency expenses and urgent bills, but they offer their own unique benefit in that consumers can repay them gradually, in parts over a manageable period of time.

In the end, of course, the voters will have the ultimate say on whether or not the lending ballot measure should be given a thumbs-up. Hopefully, their final decision will not end up being a classic case of “throwing out the baby with the bathwater,” which if the election were held today and the initiative in its present form were approved, it would seemingly be, based on the details of the initiative that have been made available.

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Scam Alert: Phone, Loan and Wire Transfer Scam in IowaIowa Woman Nearly Scammed for Hundreds

Posted: July 27, 2012 by Rachel Shepard

On the border of Iowa and Illinois is the town of Muscatine. A woman in town recently reported a frightening experience in which she narrowly avoided being scammed for hundreds of dollars. Here is the story:

One morning in mid-July, April Garcia received a phone call from an unknown caller. The caller informed her that she was eligible to receive a payday loan of $3,300.

Garcia could not recall having ever applied for the loan.

According to the caller, it would be disbursed to her in monthly installments of $330 a month for the following 12 months.

All she needed to do was wire them $330 for “insurance.”

Garcia was strung along enough to actually wire money to the company. However, when she noticed that the money was being sent to an address in India, she realized she was being duped.

Luckily for Garcia, she had not yet informed the scammers that the money had been sent, allowing her to claim fraud on the transfer and have her money refunded.

Garcia’s case is a fortunate one; most people are unable to see the scam for what it is until it is already too late.

There are a few moments when an informed consumer in Garcia’s situation could have halted the scam before they could be victimized.

  1. The unsolicited phone call: If you are ever offered something over the phone without having opted in, you should be somewhat suspicious.
  2. Approval for a loan or offer that was never applied for: This should be an immediate red flag.
  3. Requiring you to wire money: Never wire funds to any party that you may not know.

In the event that you are contacted by a company similar to the one that contacted April Garcia, you should attempt to find out the name of the caller, who they work for, the address of the business, and any other contact information you can get. You can then relay this information to the Better Business Bureau, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and local law enforcement.

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New Report Highlights Popularity of Payday LoansConsumers Nationwide Are Availing Themselves of Fast Financial Help

New Report Highlights Popularity of Payday Loans

Posted: July 26, 2012 by

It’s no mystery that plenty of people around the country use payday loans to help them get through tough times and deal with urgent financial emergencies. But just how many people are we really talking about? Furthermore, what kind of people are they? Are there any characteristics that can be pointed to as being ones they tend to have in common?

A recently released comprehensive report by the Pew Charitable Trusts dealing with payday lending in the U.S. includes results from a survey of over 33,000 payday loan borrowers. The findings of the survey along with other facts noted in the report are interesting to say the least, and they shed some light on who exactly is availing themselves of payday loan assistance.

First of all, the report reveals that a significant number of people throughout the nation are using payday loans. Approximately 12 million Americans use payday loans annually, and the survey found that 5.5 percent of all adults in the U.S. have used one of these loans in the past five years. The report also notes that those who borrow tend to be repeat customers, with individuals taking out an average of eight payday loans a year. And when they borrow money, they get amounts that are sufficient to help them with all sorts of situations, as the average loan amount taken out is $375.

The report also highlights the diversity of the borrower population. A majority of payday loan borrowers are in their prime earning years, between 25 and 44 years old, but people of all ages from 18 on up make use of quick payday loans. Also, individuals of varying incomes utilize the loans, with more high-income earners than some might expect. A sizable percentage of loan borrowers earning $50,000 or more per year particularly choose to take advantage of online loans. Finally, the report makes it clear that people from all educational backgrounds borrow loans, with those possessing a college degree being much more likely to borrow online than those without one.

Ultimately, the Pew document demonstrates that payday loans occupy a firm place in the American financial landscape. Moreover, they represent an attractive form of financial assistance to a wide range of people. And is this really that surprising? After all, almost everyone at some point in their lives finds that they could use a little bit of help to get through the rough spots, and payday loans provide that help quickly, conveniently and without hassle.

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Credit Bureaus Face Increased Governmental ScrutinyHow Will This Affect Your Ability to Acquire Bad Credit Loans?

Credit Bureaus Face Increased Governmental Scrutiny

Posted: July 20, 2012 by

These days, most everyone probably is familiar with credit bureaus and knows about the big three: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. If you’ve ever tried to get a loan from a bank or credit union, ever attempted to acquire a credit card, or even just applied for a job recently, most likely you’ve had to submit to a thorough credit check conducted by one of the major credit reporting companies. These firms, whose job it is to basically collect all the financial details of people’s lives, are increasingly an ever-present part of modern life.

Earlier this week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal consumer watchdog agency established two years ago, announced that it is going to begin overseeing and supervising the largest credit bureaus this coming fall. One of the main reasons for the push to establish federal oversight over what has been a fairly unregulated industry seems to be that a sizable percentage of credit reports — the byproduct of credit checks — contain significant, injurious errors that can dramatically impede consumers’ ability to obtain various sorts of items.

On top of that, these errors, if they are even ever identified by the consumers whose credit reports are marked by them, are often extremely difficult to resolve and get corrected.

Undoubtedly, credit bureaus can serve a beneficial purpose for consumers. Through their activities, they can help individuals acquire important things that they need. That being said, however, the new regulatory stance in Washington, D.C., obviously represents a response to a real problem. The cold, hard truth is that credit bureaus can sometimes end up being more of a hindrance than help.

Which leads us to this point: Here at Bad Credit Loans, our lenders don’t require prospective borrowers to submit their credit scores and don’t look at their credit reports in determining their eligibility for our fast financial assistance. So while the aforementioned new development regarding credit bureaus may end up being a big boon to consumers in general, ultimately it won’t really affect those who are looking to us for quick cash. Doing away with stringent credit requirements is just one of many ways in which we try to make it easy for people to get the help they need, without any unnecessary barriers blocking their way.

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Loan Scam Alert: High-Pressure Phone CallsKeep Your Composure, Keep Your Cash

Loan Scam Alert: High-Pressure Phone Calls

Posted: July 18, 2012 by Rachel Shepard

There have been a spate of reports recently concerning unsolicited phone calls from people claiming to be collecting on a debt. The scammers attempt to scare, pressure, and threaten their victims into making payments on debts they don’t owe or giving away confidential personal information, which can lead to identity theft.

Those contacted by the crooks have been told that they owe some debt that must be paid immediately. The high-pressure situation is made worse when the scammer threatens to “press charges” unless the money is wired quickly; i.e., before the victim can think over the situation.

It is a scary scenario to imagine: After finishing dinner, you ease into your sofa for a bit of television before bed when the phone rings. On the other end is a stranger using obscene language to inform you that you are about to be arrested for not paying back a loan you can’t even remember taking out.

What should you do?

First off: Relax. Getting stressed out and making fast decisions is exactly what scam artists want you to do. Get the contact information of the caller, including whom they work for and the exact details of the amount you are purported to owe. Tell them you will consult your records and call them back.

Next try checking their claims. This means consulting your records to ensure you don’t owe them any money from unpaid loans or whatever they are claiming. Next, do some research on the business they work for. Check to see if there are any complaints about them. If it appears they aren’t a legitimate business or if they are trying to make you pay something you don’t owe, you should contact the Better Business Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission and local law enforcement.

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Debt Collection Scam Alert: Central Asset BureauBe Wary of Calls From This Company

Posted: July 13, 2012 by Rachel Shepard

A debt collection company based in San Antonio, Texas, has been causing trouble with numerous people in the state. Consumers have reported that they have received phone calls from representatives of the company who claim to be collecting on past debts.

In many cases the debt the company says is owed is nonexistent. However, that has not stopped Central Asset Bureau  from phoning numerous family and friends, workplaces, and other contacts of consumers in order to smear their reputation through erroneous claims.

According to complainants, Central Asset Bureau has given fake addresses to its location and even refused to provide written documentation of the outstanding debts. Both of these actions are illegal under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Stay Safe

The behavior of Central Asset Bureau is common in debt collection scams. The actions are all expressly prohibited by the FDCPA. If you are contacted by Central Asset Bureau, or any other debt collector, you should exercise your rights to ensure they are legitimate and legal.

You have a right, as protected by federal law, to:

  • Receive written documentation of the exact debt owed.
  • Receive valid contact information of the party to which your debt is owed

Furthermore, under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors may not:

  • Contact you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. local time
  • Continue to contact you after they receive written notice to stop
  • Harass you through aggressive, abusive, or obscene language and false threats of lawsuits
  • Reveal debt to anyone other than your spouse or attorney

If you feel that a debt collector has done any of these things, you should contact the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Better Business Bureau, and local authorities in order to file a complaint or even press charges.

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A Quick Lesson in How Bad Credit Loans Can Save You MoneyTaking Advantage of Their Versatility Is Easy

A Quick Lesson in How Bad Credit Loans Can Save You Money

Posted: July 12, 2012 by

From time to time, we here at Bad Credit Loans like to remind consumers of the various ways in which the loans offered by our affiliated lenders can be put to use to help people get out of a financial bind and save money at the same time. It’s true, of course, that a bad credit loan can be just what the doctor ordered if you suddenly need a little extra cash in your pocket to pay for an emergency expense, but the possibilities offered by this type of financial assistance really go way beyond that.

For example, say you need to pay an urgent $100 utility bill that, if left unhandled, will result in not only an important service being shut off, but a hefty late penalty and reconnect fee as well. With this kind of bill, the penalties could easily pile up. And you would still have to endure the unpleasantness of going without electricity, gas or whatever the utility in question was.

If you don’t have the money on hand to pay the initial bill and you let it go, you’re in for an ordeal. Instead of waiting for this to happen, however, you can take out a small bad credit loan to cover the costs ahead of time. It will be easy to apply for, easy to get approved for, and quickly disbursed to you. Take out just what you need, pay your bill right away, keep important services in your home on, and save some cash to boot! The one-time lender fee attached to your loan will be a lot less than those painful penalties you’ve been threatened with.

Let’s look at another situation where you may want to get a bad credit loan. Say you buy a cup of coffee one morning with your debit card and unknowingly overdraw your bank account. Since a bank won’t stop you from overdrawing, you keep using the card for small purchases throughout the day: lunch, an afternoon snack, a few gallons of gas, etc. With overdraft fees as high as $35, you can end up $200 in debt before you even realize what’s happening.

Again, rather than dig a ridiculously deep financial hole for yourself, consider what we have to offer. Taking out a bad credit loan instead of risking overdrawing your account will end up costing you much less money. In addition, it will allow you to keep a good relationship going with your bank.

Beyond the aforementioned examples, bad credit loans are also perfect for paying off old, outstanding debts, and thereby helping to prevent your credit rating from ending up completely shot. And really, all this just represents the tip of the iceberg. The main thing to remember is that these loans are versatile and can be used to help you out in just about any type of scenario you can imagine.

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Learn How to Recognize Debt Collection ScamsDon't Let Criminals Trick You

Learn How to Recognize Debt Collection Scams

Posted: July 6, 2012 by Rachel Shepard

Hopefully, you are not one of the thousands of Americans who have been victimized by scam artists posing at debt collectors. These criminals have been known to hound completely innocent people into giving away hundreds, or even thousands, of their hard-earned dollars. With just a few tips, though, you can spot a debt collection scam and protect yourself in the future.

A debt collection scam often occurs when a company, or an individual claiming to represent a company, contacts a person in order to collect on a debt that doesn’t exist. Through scare tactics, aggressive behavior, and confusion, victims are coerced into giving out money.

How would a criminal even find out about your information? Unfortunately, learning a person’s email, phone number, and even bank account or social security number may not be as difficult as you may think. That’s why, even if presented with this information by someone, you should not be willing to trust them.

Here are a few ways to find out if you are being contacted by an authentic debt collector or someone trying to rip you off:

The Federal Debt Collection Practices Act: This is a law meant to protect consumers from debt collection scam artists and legitimate debt collectors using illegal methods to collect on debts. It is because of this law that you will be able to quickly determine of a debt collector is real or not.

If you receive a phone call from someone attempting to collect on a debt:

  1. Require complete identification: Who they are, their company, their phone number and address. Try and contact them there and ask if the person you talked to works for them. Some scams may involve imposters posing as representatives of real companies. Others may say they work for a real-sounding company that doesn’t actually exist. If anyone refuses to give you this information, you can be sure they are not a real, law-abiding debt collector.
  2. Require your debts in writing: This is required by the FDCPA. If anyone refuses, they are not a real debt collector.
  3. Check the business on consumer advocacy sites: Most business can be found on the Better Business Bureau website. Try searching for them to find if there are any alerts currently attached to that business.

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Will Pennsylvania Give the Green Light to Internet Payday Lending Again?Proposed Bill Could Change State’s Online Lending Law

Will Pennsylvania Give the Green Light to Internet Payday Lending Again?

Posted: July 5, 2012 by

We’ve had the pleasure of hearing back from some of our customers who have taken advantage of our loans, and the overarching theme present in their correspondence has been this: We helped these individuals when no one else would. With that in mind, we know how important it is that people have access to the unique form of aid that we provide.

In Pennsylvania, consumers don’t have such access, as Internet payday lending has been disallowed there since 2008. However, legislators there are currently debating whether or not to pass a bill that would allow online lending to take place in the state again. So far, the bill has made it through the state House of Representatives, and its next stop is the Senate.

When something important to consumers is banned, it has been documented in many cases that they will be forced to find what they need in any manner possible, even if this means using illicit forms of doing business.

Pennsylvanians without any way of solving their financial problems may have tried using shady online lenders to get the money they need. These lenders often operate outside of the country, and conducting business with them can lead to numerous unsafe situations for consumers, such as debt collection scams and identity theft. A bill allowing for regulated, reputable lenders would create a much safer marketplace for Pennsylvania consumers.

We’ve had many customers in Pennsylvania in the past, and our loans have been able to fill a real financial need there. This is because, in addition to the fact that the loans are available to all types of customers, taking one of these loans out is infinitely preferable to the alternatives. Whether it’s paying a bank overdraft fee for a bounced check, a late/reconnect fee on an unpaid utility bill, or some other pricey option, the alternatives just aren’t acceptable.

It’s difficult at this point to predict which way the decision in Pennsylvania will go. All we know is that when they are facing a financial crunch, people can always find relief with the helpful loan options that we provide. And when trying to manage their personal financial situations, having a variety of choices available instead of just a few is always a good thing for consumers.

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Donating Dollars to Help a Local CauseBad Credit Loans Gives Back to the Community

Donating Dollars to Help a Local Cause

Posted: June 25, 2012 by

We at Bad Credit Loans have always believed in helping those in need. This not only means individuals who are facing financial emergencies, but also nonprofit organizations that are trying to make the world a better place. We’ve also always believed in the importance of giving back to the local community, which in our case is the greater Seattle area. Combining these two firmly held beliefs together, we make it a practice to monetarily contribute to worthy causes and groups doing good work in our beautiful city from time to time.

Our most recent donation was to a Seattle-based organization dealing with one of our favorite causes: animals. The nonprofit, Ginger’s Pet Rescue, focuses on saving abandoned, abused or lost dogs that are slated to be euthanized, and it does this by finding new homes for the animals — which it refers to as “Death Row Dogs” — throughout the western Washington area. It would be an understatement to say that they’ve had some success, as they’ve actually saved an amazing 5,000-plus pooches over the years! In addition to that, Ginger’s Pet Rescue has brought joy and newfound companionship to countless people.

We absolutely love what the good folks at Ginger’s are doing, and so we are extremely pleased to be able to provide them with our strong support. Of course, there are a multitude of wonderful nonprofit groups out there. Knowing this, Bad Credit Loans will continue whenever possible to assist those who are trying to benefit society through their work.

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Looking for a Summer Job? Be Careful!Job Scams Can Actually End With You Paying Them for Your Work

Posted: June 22, 2012 by Rachel Shepard

With high school and college finished for the year, many students are looking to make an extra buck during vacation. This can be a character, and wallet, building experience, but can also put young workers in a vulnerable position. Situations involving identity theft and the tricking people into paying money are all too common.

Employment scams can occur when jobs, like selling door-to-door for example, ask you for certain payments prior to you starting a job. This can be known as an “advance-fee scam.” While there may some costs for training and other materials, when confronted with this prospect, be sure that the company is reputable first. You can check on their standing with the Better Business Bureau or search the company name online to see if it is associated with any consumer complaints.

Since applying for a job involves divulging your personal information, such as your social security number, contact info, and even bank account numbers, identity theft can be a very real threat. Here are some questions to ask yourself before giving out your personal info that can help you identify illicit employers:

  • Was this job offer unsolicited?
  • Does it not require an application or interview?
  • Is the employer refusing to give you details about their business?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you should probably look elsewhere for a job.

Finally, here are a few more red flags: If you can’t find any references for a company’s reputation, if they want you invest in the business or buy costly equipment, if their contact info doesn’t seem quite right, and finally, if the offer is too good to be true. If the pay seems outlandish for the job offer, you should proceed with extreme caution.

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The Basics of Spotting a ScamKnow Your Rights

The Basics of Spotting a Scam

Posted: June 20, 2012 by

Especially in times of economic recession, scam artists are everywhere, plying their unsavory trade in an effort to take advantage of innocent people who are dealing with dire financial situations or credit issues and looking for quick solutions to their problems. These scammers often run their nefarious schemes over the phone or, increasingly these days, online. With their professional–sounding style, seemingly solid grasp of sophisticated financial terminology, and often-irresistible offers of loans (student loans, credit card loans, etc.) that can fit the bill for what you need at the time, they can be hard to pass up.

Don’t Be Fooled

However, despite the fact that the scammers can appear to be no different than the many perfectly legitimate entities loaning money to individuals these days, the fact is, they are completely criminal. Once they have lured you in and gotten their hands into your pockets, they can wreak absolute financial havoc.

There are a few telltale signs that you are dealing with a con artist:

  • If someone contacts you with the promise of a loan and asks you to pay some type of advance fee before they deliver your funds.
  • If someone contacting you informs you that you are guaranteed a loan without you needing to meet any requirements.
  • If, as part of the lending process, you are asked to pay an individual, or someone who is not a registered lender in your state.

Knowledge Really Is Power

Scammers know how to get ahold of the names of individuals who are likely candidates for certain types of loans, and once they’ve made contact with those people, can be quite skilled at luring them in. Just being aware that scam artists exist can help prevent you from becoming one of their victims. Stay tuned to our regular scam reports to keep yourself informed and protected from these criminals.

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Hello to Our ReadersIt's a New Day!

Hello to Our Readers

Posted: June 19, 2012 by Rachel Shepard

As the inaugural post of our new blog: Welcome! We want to keep all the users of our site updated on the many goings on with our company. From exciting local events in and around our Seattle HQ to the latest on the payday lending industry nationwide, you can always expect to leave our blog a little more informed.

The big news today concerns the brand new redesign of our site. You can find all sorts of great features that have been added to help you get any bad credit loan you need. Our simple online form speeds up the process while our security features and network of lenders keeps you safe online. On top of that, the new design is not only aesthetically more pleasing, but helps make the loan process faster and more intuitive.

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