June 2006 Monthly Archive
Posted by Cap in Credit Related
on June 29, 2006 | 3 Comments
- Number of accounts opened: 7
- Inquiries: 3
- Total revolving balances: $10,000
- Total available credit: $53,000
A little bit early for an update, but a quick snapshot before the FICO score goes up will be handy for future references.
The July or August score should be back up above 700, as the last 0% balance transfer is paid off. The June score, although not posted yet, should be the same 679.
It’s really simple, most of the score fluctuations through the past two years are mainly due to credit utilization, which accounts for 30% of the FICO scoring, according to the folks at Fair Issac.
Updated past tracking posts and added in the bulleted info above. This way you’ll have a better idea of how score relates to available balances.
Posted by Cap in Online Banking
on June 29, 2006 | 2 Comments
It looks like Google Checkout is alive and kicking.
Direct competition to PayPal or not, it’s another alternative to simple online payment processing. Yehaw.
Here are some cool tidbits that I found as I snoop around:
- If you sign up with a Citi credit card, you’ll get $5 or 1000 ThankYou points for the first time you use Google checkout. Expires 9/15/06.
- A not-too-shabby price of 2% + $0.20 per transaction.
- Currently no additional fees.
- Earn free transaction processing if you’re an AdWords advertiser. For every $1 you spend with AdWords, you can process up to $10 of sale for free.
- More info at the Seller section.
Posted by Cap in Personal Finance
on June 28, 2006 | 6 Comments
So John wants you to cosign a loan with him. Well, you better think twice—because it’s generally a very bad idea. In fact, the same goes for cosigning loans with your relatives.
It’s one thing for a parent to cosign an auto loan with their child, it’s another for you to cosign a loan with your friend, cousin, or nephew. I’m often surprise that people don’t fully realize the possible consequences when they cosign a loan. How many stories have you heard, where friendship gets ruined due to a cosign loan?
Look, who doesn’t want to help their friends when they’re in need? But before you decide to help your pal out by cosigning a loan, there are a few things you need to consider.
First, why does your pal need a cosigner?
I’d hate to say this, but your pal got into credit doo-doo for a reason. There are situations where it really isn’t their fault: no credit, fraud, identity theft, or past cosigning fubars. But then there’s the usual reason why a person needs a cosigner: they pay late, they miss payments, and they simply don’t care. It’s important to know the real reason.
Second, can you afford to pay the loan?
Because in all seriousness, you might end up paying it—or at least, quite a bit of it. You need to realize that you’re legally obligated to the loan as a cosigner. As evident, your pal has bad credit. So bad that the lender doesn’t think he’ll ever pay back the loan. That’s where you come in. That’s why they need your name on the dotted line, so you can pay them back when your pal fails to pay.
Third, is the friendship worth it?
Because again, in all seriousness, it may be in jeopardy if you decide to cosign a loan with your pal. It’s almost like lending a large sum of money to your pal (No-Nos #138). Suddenly you’re no longer John and Jim, you’re the Lender and he’s the Borrower. You’ll ask him if he made this month’s payment. You’ll get mad if he misses a payment. You’ll get upset when you see him spend money recklessly. He’ll get annoy at you for not trusting him, you’ll hate yourself for trusting him. Not cool, not fun.
This isn’t the way to help.
If your pal has bad credit, as mention, there’s a reason for it. If it’s because he’s untrustworthy in terms of credit, then he needs to shape up his financial handling and fix his credit. Yes, you’ll want to help your friend, but this isn’t the way to do it. Cosigning a loan to an irresponsible person will only worsen the problem. What will make this loan any different than the past loans that he defaulted on? What’s change that his credit doesn’t reflect?
Yeah, credit history and credit score are by no means definitive, nor are they the true measurement of a person—but they’re pretty dang close in terms of credit worthiness.
Sure, there are ways to potentially prevent damages before you cosign a loan, e.g., negotiating specific terms with lenders, request lenders to notify you upon missed payments, etc. But the easiest way to prevent the possible legal, financial, and emotional headache is to just avoid the problem in the first place and not cosign the loan with your friend.
Yes, there are exceptions. Who cares. This is No-Nos #241, not Go-For-It #32.
Related Post and Links
Posted by Cap in Business Ramblings
on June 27, 2006 | 4 Comments
*But only when pigs fly.
I always wonder why companies bother to spend the time on an advertisement, only to ruin it with an asterisk. Whatever the actual footnote may be, just by having that little asterisk in the ad will make the message less effective.
Take one of the latest Apple commercial for example. The simple 30 second ad tells you that the latest Intel-based Mac can run Windows software. Cool, that’s good to know.
But then they had to go and throw in an asterisk.
And you know, the ad is still true—but then there’s that footnote. There’s that exception.
What we’ve just pitched to you is true—but you will of course need this and that.
They had 19 other reasons why you’ll love a Mac, plenty of them convincing; but they had to go and pick one that needed an asterisk.
Posted by Cap in Even More Ramblings
on June 23, 2006 | 6 Comments
The number, of course, is pulled out of thin air. I can vouch for one person that definitely had a hard time resisting the urge to spend needlessly, but through my short life span, I’ve also seen the very same action done by many others.
I just want to go to the mall and buy something. It’ll make me feel better.
Ever heard something along this line? The tag line would usually be preceded by a negative event, whereby buying something may balance out the crappy day.
It’s simple, you’re just buying a little gift to yourself, something to smooth out the bad day, bad week, etc. No big deal, right?
How often do you say the ‘harmless’ tag line above?
How long does the perceived happiness from the goods and the purchase actually last?
Posted by Cap in Miscellaneous
on June 22, 2006 | 16 Comments
need want a deep fryer.
Something below $100. With a lid, because splashy oil scares me. Easy to clean is a plus.
My theory is, I can eat fast food less, and eat unhealthy food on my own terms. As long as I moderate the use of the fryer, everything will be A-Okay, right?
Posted by Cap in Even More Ramblings
on June 20, 2006 | 12 Comments
Since we’re on the theme lately: Ever met someone that’s totally materialistic and superficial but has absolutely no qualms about showing it? Just now, at six in the flippin’ morning, I had a flashback to one such person I met in high school.
I was in my Spanish class, taking out my wallet to contribute to the upcoming potluck party—because who can resist real authentic Mexican food from my classmates—when suddenly the girl that sat next to me blurted out:
“Wow, is that a credit card? Awesome!”
And I stared at her, because for the past six months she hasn’t bother to say a single word to me—and now she’s talking to me. This may surprise some of you, but back then I was not the charming, witty, and ridiculously good looking guy that I am today.
“Uh.. no, it’s just an ATM card.” I told the girl.
“Ah I see,” she said disappointedly, but then something else caught her eyes, “Hey wait—is that a driver’s license? You have a car!?”
Posted by Cap in Stop Buying Crap!
on June 19, 2006 | 20 Comments
Stop Buying Crap #1 | #2 | #3 | #4 | #5 | #6 | #7 | #8 | #9 | #10 | #11 | #12
Cosmetic Surgery Because You’re Ugly, Lazy & Stupid
Okay. Maybe I’m being a bit too harsh. It’s not like everyone was born lucky like me, with
highly delusional self esteem drop-dead good looks. So I guess it’s understandable that some people will want cosmetic surgery, so they can have a chance to be a wee-bit more aesthetically pleasing—at the risk of looking like a Play-Doh contraption.
Hah. Understandable my butt.
Getting excessively fat? Forget exercise and healthy eating, liposuction to the rescue!
Bony butt at the end of butt jokes? Butt augmentation saves the day!
I have no beef with reconstruction surgery, but I dread the day when cosmetic surgery becomes a social norm. I suppose its getting there. It is getting cheaper.
[Driving on the four-oh-five hating my life, listening to the radio…]
“Are you tired of the way you look and feel?” Says advertisement voice over.
“Well fear not, at the Institution of Superficial A-Holes, we have face lifts starting at $500! Nose jobs at $450, and Tummy Tucks at a competitive price!”
“Just give us a call at 1-800-LOK-GOOD. That’s 1-800, L-O-K, G-O-O-D.”
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