Feb 20

www.HelpYourCreditNow.com

Welcome to HelpYourCreditNow.com

We hope you find the information here helpful and informative. We are currently under construction and working diligently to expand our presence in the community.

 

 

We are Independent Representatives

of

Financial Education Services

Helping you to get the good credit that you deserve!

 

 

May 09

Why do I need a Will anyway?

There are many people these day who don’t think they need a Will. Something that truly frightens me, personally, is talking to military members (even some with children) who don’t think they need a Will because they have so very few monetary possessions. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Anyone with a family, a spouse, a bank account, anyone who has a pulse for that matter, needs a Will to make sure their possessions go to whom they want them to go. Even a homeless person who has something of sentimental value that they would like to leave to someone else, needs a Will to make sure that transfer happens. Without a Will the state will make the determination of what happens to your assets.  Without a Will the state will determine who is best capable of taking care of your children.  Probate is an unfortunate occurrence that happens when someone passes.  In my opinion, I don’t think the state will ever make the right decision about either one of those situations.  I want to make those decisions ahead of time so that if anything should ever happen to me I know that the things I care about will go where I want them to go. (If you don’t think you need a will you should read this article: http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/basics/2009-07-09-debt-assets-will_N.htm)
There is no way to express how important it is to have the right documents in place to protect your assets and your family in the event something happens to you. I have heard so many stories of families breaking apart over the distribution of assets after someone passes. There are too many stories of how little was left of an estate after probate proceedings.  There are even stories of children going in debt because of what was left to them by their parents passing.
There is only one thing that can make the whole process go smoothly: that is with the proper preparation of a Will (or trust). There are other documents that can be used to make the transfer of assets less of a strain (we’ll talk about those later).  Without a Will that instructs how those assets are to be divided, or that directs who should be given custody of your children or pets, they will still be divided as the court sees fit (and they will charge you legal fees to do so).
Having an Estate Planner or Lawyer draft the documents to make sure your belongings go where they should, could cost upwards of $2000.  However, you can draft your own Will, sign it in your own hand and have it witnessed. That will also suffice for the courts. The best option is to have all the documents prepared at the same time; by all the documents I’m talking about a Will, a Trust, a Pour Over Will, a Financial Power of Attorney, and a Health Care Power of Attorney.  All of these documents working in conjunction are the most comprehensive way to make sure everything is taken care of in the event of your passing. Things change constantly, and updating these documents on a regular basis is also important. (To read a little more about Estate Planning and other financial Planning CNN Money has created Money 101 that you should definitely take a look at. The following are the best I have seen as they relate to this article: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/money101/lesson21/index3.htm http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/money101/lesson21/index.htm)
FES(Financial Education Services) provides an incredible package that will allow you to answer questions and complete the blanks for all the important information.  It has sections that allow you to give detailed instructions describing how you want your assets divided.  It will create all the other documents as well and will carry over the information so you aren’t filling out the same information multiple times. Once you’ve finished it will be reviewed by an FES lawyer who will assist in making any changes as needed (put it in legal terms). The great thing about the FES Wills and Trust products is that you can update them whenever, however, and where ever you want because you can access your information online. Also, if used in conjunction with the FES Black Card Membership, your Financial Lockbox will be included with your Will.
If you have any more questions about what we can do for you feel free to contact one of our agents on the Agent Locator page.

To Your Financial Future,

Troy Pickens
www.vrtmg.com/tpickens

Apr 18

What can Debt Zero do for you?

It’s unfortunate that we’re not taught better spending habits as children.  Our society is based on consumerism which means our economy only functions as long as we are spending money.  When we stop spending money our economy suffers, so we’re trained to spend money, but not how to spend money without over extending ourselves.  This cycle of spending money and not earning enough to cover what we spend has led us to the situation we find ourselves in.  Even the media is covering how our country has overspent to the point our deficit is something we’ll having difficulty recovering from if something drastic doesn’t change.   But enough politics.

FES(Financial Education Services) has a product that will help you develop better spending habits and will help you to break out of the spending cycle and actually pay off the debt you’ve accumulated.  FES is committed to helping educate people on financial matters and provides the tools to provide for your own financial well being.  Debt Zero is sort of like having an at home accountant.  You sit down and it asks you questions about where your money is coming from and where it is going.  You tell it what your current income is, and then you tell it what sort of expenses you have.  It will also ask about what debt you currently have as well as the interest rate on those debts.  So if you have $5500 on a Best Buy Credit card at 19% you would put that in, and you would put your car payment at 7 ½%, etc.  It will then break down for you how you should go about paying off those debts.  It will also take into account your bills and expenses (like food and entertainment) and will create a budget.  Once it has gathered all your information it will generate a report that will break down for you how you should go about paying off your debt so you can reduce your debt to zero(hence the name).

The great thing about the product is that not only will it help you create a budget and tell you how you should pay off your debt, it will also show you how much in interest you will save by paying off your debts in the way it shows you.  You want to pay off your highest interest rate debts first because these are costing you the most money.  The quicker you get your debts paid off the more money you save in the long run.

If you have any more questions about how this product works or what it can do for you, or if you’re interested in getting signed up so you can start using the product feel free to contact any of our agents on the Agent Locator tab.

To Your Financial Future,

Troy Pickens
www.vrtmg.com/tpickens

Apr 09

What is Credit anyway?

I thought I would write the first article for this blog as sort of an introduction to who I am and what we do here.  I am by no means an expert, but I do know a lot more than the average person when it comes to credit and finances.  I have spent the last few years of my life learning everything I could about how to become financially free.  Financial freedom means different things to different people, but to me it means being able to do what I want when I want, traveling where I want whenever I feel like it, and taking whoever I choose with me.  For others financial freedom could be as simple as being able to pay their bills without having to work for it.  One of the things I learned along the way is the difference between good and bad debt, as well as good and bad credit.  What is credit?  What things make your score go up, and what things make your score drop?  What can I do to bring it up when it’s down and what should I do to keep it up?  Answering all those questions brought me to where I am today, and to writing this article.  I want to share what I’ve learned with other people, and I want to help other people fix the mistakes they’ve made in the past so they can reach whatever it means to them to be Financially Free.

So let’s start this off by explaining what credit is.  Credit and your credit score are interrelated, but different things.  Credit has many different meaning when it comes to the dictionary definition, but the most relevant to what we are discussing here usually is:  trustworthiness; credibility: a witness of credit; or, confidence in a purchaser’s ability and intention to pay, displayed by entrusting the buyer with goods or services without immediate payment. In other words it is the lenders trust in the borrower’s ability to pay back the loan for goods and services.  Today your credit score is a number that the credit reporting agencies have come up with as a way to represent that level of trust.  It is based on a number of factors that are used to calculate that score, such as prior payment history, debt to equity ratio, etc.  All these things are used to evaluate your ability and trustworthiness to pay back debt.

Everyone is different, and everyone has dealt with different things in their life so even people within the same family or group of friends could have vastly different scores.  Young adults, recent graduates of high-school for example, start out with about the same score because generally they have not established any sort of credit history because up to that point their parents have paid for almost everything.  Once you establish some credit (school loans, your first credit card, a car loan, etc.) your score will go up or down depending on how well you do with paying off that debt in a timely fashion.

The best score on the scale is 850, and goes all the way to zero, but in general the lowest you should expect to see is around 350 (unless you’ve been really trying not to ever pay bills).  To get some perspective 620 is about the lowest score you could have and expect to get any sort of high value loan (i.e. a mortgage).  The other thing you need to know about your credit score is that the lower your score the higher your interest rate.  Higher interest rate means it will cost you more money over the term of the loan to pay back the debt.  For example two people go purchase the same vehicle for $25,000; One has a credit score of 725 and the other has a credit score of 635.  When the financing company looks at the two buyers they’ll charge them a different interest rate based on that credit score and give the person with the 725 credit score of 5.25% and the person with the 635 score a rate of 10.5% on the same vehicle.  Over the course of the loan that difference in interest rate costs the person with the lower credit score almost $5000 more.  This is done to ensure the lender doesn’t lose money when the borrower misses payments as they expect will happen based on their credit score.

Sorry for the long explanation, but I hope it makes it a bit clearer for those who didn’t understand the whole concept.  I also hope it makes it pretty clear that having a good credit score will save you money in the long run.

What we do here at HelpYourCreditNow.com is to help people fix their credit scores, and put other protection systems in place to ensure once they have improved their credit they will be able to keep it at that higher rate.  We also help to educate people in what to do in order to change the past behavior that led to the bad credit.

If you are looking for help in fixing your credit situation, or even if you already have good credit but are interested in helping to keep your good credit, I recommend you reach out to one of the agents on the Agent Locator page for assistance.  We can also help with setting up a will and trust to protect your assets.

I’m looking forward to updating this blog regularly with helpful information on how to improve your credit situation.

To Your Financial Future,

Troy Pickens
www.vrtmg.com/tpickens