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December 2009 Monthly Archive

January 5, 2009 – Rescuing Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae


The Federal Reserve Bank of New York begins purchasing fixed-rate mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae under a program first announced on November 25, 2008.

January 12, 2009 – Allocating TARP Funding

At the request of President-Elect Obama, President Bush submits a request to Congress for the remaining $350 billion in TARP funding for use by the incoming administration.

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Track your real FICO scores with FREE 10-day Score Watch!

It’s sad but true, I used to be a real FICO score junkie (especially during the time where I was trying to make my scores consistently more positive). If there was anything I learned from my binge of credit score tracking was that you should never pay full price for your FICO scores from Fair Isaac. In recent days, there have been a number of myfico promotional code available online which will save you a few pretty pennies. Check the promo codes below if you’re currently interested in purchasing some of the scores and reports from Each link will take you to each product’s page and automatically embed in the discount code for you.  Read on for more description for each of the FICO product offerings, when you should (and shouldn’t) purchase them — after all, being a credit score junkie isn’t easy on the wallet.

myFICO Score Watch

What it is? Score Watch from provides you with daily monitoring of your Equifax Credit Report and weekly monitoring of your FICO score.  It notifies you when you may qualify for better interest rate (such as significant change to your FICO score), delivers alerts when important changes to your score and report are detected, and shows you key factors affecting your FICO score and how lenders view you.

Why do I need it? You may have recently come across financial situations where you need to keep on tabs of your credit score.  Perhaps you’re trying to better understand and control your credit worthiness before applying for a large loan such as a mortgage or an auto loan; or perhaps you’re actively trying to keep track of your credit scores so you can better negotiate with lenders for more favorable interest rates.

How much does it really cost? myFICO’s Score Watch use to have a free trial offering but that is no longer available. Without the discount, the monthly subscription fee is a $9.95, with a 3 months advance payment required, which brings the cost to $29.85.  You can potentially “save” a bit of money by opting for an annual subscription of $99.95, but with the discount, the monthly subscription fee is at $7.96, making the 3 month cost $23.88 and an annual subscription costing you $79.96. The annual FICO score tracking plan can be quite a saving when compare to buying your score individually monthly. The current myFICO promotional code discount definitely makes purchasing the credit score more of a bargain, but again, consider carefully if you need such a subscription before you sign-up.

Having said all that, unlike many other credit subscription services offered on the web, myFICO has no high pressure monthly subscription demands or phone calls to loop through to cancel. You can easily log into your account and hit the “cancel subscription” option. This is from personal experience, so if you don’t like the service, you can end it anytime after the 3-month subscription period.

FICO25: 25% off myFICO Standard

What is it? myFICO Standard consist of a FICO score and a credit report of your choice from either Equifax or TransUnion. If you’re wondering about a FICO score from Experian, unfortunately the agreement between Experian and Fair Isaac fell through, so you can no longer purhcase your Experian FICO score thru (or anywhere else for that matter). A FICO Standard purchase will give include an explanation of the positive and negative factors affecting your score, plus access to the FICO Score Simulator, which shows you how actions like paying off an existing account or opening new accounts may affect your FICO scores.

Why do I need it? This is a no frills purchase, and is a solid choice for people that simply wants to know what their FICO score is based on their Equifax or TransUnion credit history. Maybe you need to know your FICO score before you head to the car dealership to negotiate financing terms or maybe you were just told by a lender that your FICO score ranges were much lower than you expected — in these situations, purchasing a real FICO score from myFICO can give you more knowledge and ammunition before engaging in financial transactions that involves credit history.

How much does it really cost? A FICO Standard purchase cost $15.95 per purchase, and in perspective, this is quite a bit of money to pay just for a set of numbers (of course, you also receive a detailed credit report, but you can always request those for free annually). There is no monthly recurring cost and this is a one-time purchase. With discount, the expensive purchase can be lighten to $11.80. myFICO regularly releases certain promotional code, so you should never pay full price. Either bookmark this page or keep an eye open for new promotions that will give substantial discounts.

CPPSAVINGS: 25% off FICO Quarterly Monitoring

What is it? FICO Quarterly monitoring provides you with quarterly update of your TransUnion FICO credit score and credit report.  In short, you get 4 TransUnion FICO score per year, and in a sense this is a variant of the Score Watch service, but pulls your TransUnion credit history instead of your Equifax credit history.  The FICO Quarterly Monitoring service also use 400 other data sources for signs of identity theft, providing you alerts whenever there are new information added to your TransUnion credit report.  Lastly, you’ll also receive a $25,000, no-deductible identity theft insurance policy from St. Paul Travelers as part of your subscription.

Why do I need it? This is a product that’s pitched for those that may have reasons to suspect their identity have (or will be) stolen.  With FICO Quarterly Monitoring, you can have a somewhat peace of mind as you set specific alerts so you can be notified whenever additional information are tied into your credit history (such as name, phone number, residential address, etc.).  If you’ve recently lost your wallet that contains many of your personal and sensitive financial information, FICO Quarterly Monitoring may be a good service to consider (as it provides you with weekly monitoring).  If you suspect that you may be a victim (or potential victim) of identity theft, whether from strangers or family members (sadly this happens frequently), FICO Quarterly Monitoring can be an additional tool to ensure your credit profile isn’t being fiddled with.  Take note however that this service will only monitor your TransUnion credit profile.  If you’re absolutely certain you’re a victim of identity theft, you may want to consider a credit freeze.

How much does it really cost? The service will cost $4.95 monthly or with an annual subscription rate of $49.95.  With the discount promotional code above, you will save 30% off your monthly subscription fee or your annual rate, bringing the cost to $3.46 per month or $34.96.  You’ll also receive an additional 20% discount whenever you opt to purchase other myFICO services whenever you’re subscribed to FICO Quarterly Monitoring (for example if you want to complement the service with an additional subscription of Score Watch).  In some sense, this is one of the cheaper service, especially if you’re ever in a situation where you need to purchase more than two TransUnion FICO scores or report.

It’s been awhile since I’ve highlighted worthwhile customer service stories. Here’s a decent customer service done-right story straight from today’s Reddit front page:

Trader Joe’s did something awesome!

My mom is very worried about my grandfather, age 89. He’s a retired engineer and a navy officer of WWII who lives on his own in an apartment complex. He hardly keeps enough food for himself because he feels as though he can drive out whenever he’s hungry (and live off of cereal and prune juice). The problem is that he got snowed in today. He told my mom that one day without food couldn’t hurt, but my mom would not accept that. She ended up calling a bunch of places trying to find one that would deliver to him. She eventually ended up asking if Trader Joe’s did delivery and they told her they could in this instance. She read out a big order and then proceeded to ask them how she should pay. They told there was no need to pay and said, “Merry Christmas!” Trader Joe’s doesn’t do delivery, nor give food out for free normally. I’m glad to see people out in the world care about strangers and help out.

Follow-up: They delivered the food within 30 minutes and further clarification from my mom reveals that when she was ordering food, they kept suggesting other items for him (he’s on a low sodium diet). He ended up getting a few days worth of food from them. In case people are wondering, it’s the Trader Joe’s in Wayne PA. The funniest part is now my grandpa is trying to leave his apartment in the snow to thank them, but I think we’ve stopped him.

Via []

Kudos to Trader Joe’s and whoever handles their social media marketing for keeping on top of things and responding to the story (the Narwhal is a nice touch too).  I hardly ever shop there since I’m kind of a cheap ass (though from reading the comments I may be making too much of an assumption about its prices), but businesses that are pro-customer should always get a shout-out.

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This is a guest post from Peyton Farving, who is a deal hunter and contributing writer with the shopping community led by a little robot —  If you like staying on top of all the latest can’t-miss deals, consider checking Dealzon out.

As I’m scouring the web for great deals on computers, HDTVs, video games, etc. (I’m usually looking for stuff at least $20 less than the next best price on comparison sites like PriceGrabber but I sometimes find up to $100 off or more) I also run across some pretty ridiculous products and “deals” that I wouldn’t encourage Dealzon’s friends to buy. But they’re good for a few laughs and an always welcome reminder to “stop buying crap.” Here are five funny deals I saw last week.

Boxing Gloves for Nintendo Wii

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