The world flipped on its head during the coronavirus pandemic, hitting businesses and individuals hard throughout it. People weren’t prepared for this, which resulted in countless job losses, lack of steady income, not knowing where the next paycheck was coming from, and what would happen to their credit.
Credit is more important now than ever, as a bad credit score can be the be all and end all when it comes to making that purchase you desperately need. Fortunately credit consultant and expert Jose Rodriguez, aka The Credit Dude has the knowledge and expertise to maximise your credit, even during the toughest of times. Here The Credit Dude shares 5 tips to get your credit score in check.
- Always Call Your Creditors
Ignoring phone calls, emails and letters regarding past due accounts is never a good idea. It is the time to take control and find out exactly what is available to you, and if creditors can offer any kind of accommodations. If you decide to ignore your accounts that you’re required to pay and make no mention that you had been affected by COVID-19, then you’ll definitely not be able to take any kind of advantage of courtesy adjustments that may be on offer.
Make a habit of picking up the phone to see what is available for you, and for how long. A 2 or 3 month deferment on your mortgage or car can even allow you to breathe and pay down other accounts – or even build a nest egg for you and your family’s future. Make sure to ask if it is required of you to pay the deferred payments amount in full, or if they’re able to place it on the back end of the loan – once you’ve gotten past the accommodation period.
- Ensure You Apply for a Personal Loan
A personal loan application at your local credit union can prove to be a big advantage. This is because it allows you to pay off your credit cards and make just one monthly payment towards your personal loan. This keeps the credit cards open, however it transfers the debt from revolving to installment – which will cause your credit score to improve.
Don’t apply for a long term, 60-month loan. Keep it short and sweet, around the 24-36 month range. One of the last things you want to do, would be to take out a loan for 4 years, and then proceed to once again max out your credit cards, leaving you in a far worse position than before.
- Don’t Be Afraid To Ask for Credit Limit Increases
The higher your credit limits are, the higher your credit score can be – but only if you have low balances on your credit cards. If you do get approved for a personal loan to pay down your credit cards or if you’re able to pay off your credit cards on your own, ask for an increase in your limit once the balance is under 30% of the credit limit.
This increases your available credit, which ultimately contributes to maximizing your credit score. The amount you owe on your credit cards compared to the available credit, should be 30% of your credit score, or roughly 165 points.
- Use Turo To Rent Your Car
Turo is a business that enables you to rent your car out to people. And get paid for it. This can be a massive help when it comes to covering monthly payments. You can even make more money to cover other expenses and bills you may have. Some people in his network even have 2 or 3 cars on Turo. Not only are their car payments covered, but they can use anything extra they make to go towards their electric, water and cable bills.
Visit their site or download their app to check out reviews and scope out other cars in your area, in order to see how much you’d be able to rent your car out for. If for example, your normal car payment is around $400 a month. Let’s say you can use Toro to rent your car out for $50 a day, imagine what you could make renting out your car for the whole month – that’s an extra $1,500 per month.
- Start Your Own Business
Having a back up plan is more important now than ever. If you are lucky enough to have some kind of talent or a hobby that could make you money – leverage it. There are so many products in demand, and you can make nearly anything and sell it on Etsy or Amazon. “I have seen people go to garage sales and buy something for a few bucks and then sell it on Ebay for a lot more -making a pretty amazing profit. Even if it’s bracelets, facemasks, or even over a service like laundry, haircuts, or even cutting hair, that can help you start a business” Jose says.
You could be generating an extra $500 a month, which could go towards paying off your credit cards or other kinds of debt on your credit report. Every cent is important when it comes to paying off your debt. It helps with not only maximizing your credit score but saves you money interest if you can pay it off sooner.
So, there you go. Jose’s 5 tips will help you to maximize your credit score and get your credit back on track post COVID-19. Make sure to go follow Jose on Instagram at @thecreditdude where he shares daily tips on how to improve your credit and master your finances. You can also visit his website if you’d like to learn more.
What to Consider Before Buying a Compact Tractor for Your Country Property
While some people dream of buying a home in a city or suburb, others dream of purchasing a home on a rural lot with acreage, a drilled well, and fruit trees.
Rural living isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but there are some advantages to packing up and moving to the country. The air is cleaner, wildlife is abundant, and the population density is low. But leaving the conveniences of the cities or suburbs for a rural homestead means you’ll have a lot more on your daily to-do list than you ever thought possible.
One piece of equipment you’ll want is a tractor. A compact or sub-compact tractor will meet the needs of most landowners. Whether for mowing the lawn, tilling the garden, moving logs, or doing other things, a tractor can be a godsend when you relocate to the country.
Consider your use cases for a tractor to get the right one. While budgeting is vital, opt for quality over saving a few bucks. The right equipment will serve you and yours well for many years. Remember to buy from a tractor dealer selling top brands to get the product and service you need.
When looking for the right tractor for your homestead, here are some things to consider.
Horsepower is one of the things to consider before buying a tractor. When you visit a tractor dealership, tell the salesperson your use cases for a tractor. They’ll be able to recommend the horsepower range you need for a suitable compact or sub-compact tractor. Horsepower can go from the 20s to the 50s for a compact tractor or in the mid-20s for a sub-compact tractor. It doesn’t hurt to get more horsepower than you need now to meet potential future needs.
You’ll also want to look at power take-off (PTO) horsepower. PTO horsepower describes the amount of power available to operate the tractor’s implements and attachments, while the engine horsepower describes the power the engine produces. You’ll want enough PTO horsepower to operate a tiller, snowblower, log splitter, or other attachments and implements.
Consider Implements and Attachments
While tractors are helpful, attachments and implements can make them more useful. Box blades, loaders, pellet forks, backhoes, plows, snowblowers, and rototillers are worth considering.
Without the correct implements and attachments, country living can be a chore. Before buying a tractor, ensure it can operate the attachments and implements.
Consider the Size of the Property and Terrain
Consider the size of your property and the landscape conditions before buying a tractor. For instance, if you need to mow 10 acres, get a tractor with enough horsepower to keep up with your mowing needs. Getting the right compact or sub-compact tractor will allow you to use the implements and attachments required on your land.
Consider the Tires
Another consideration is the type of tires you put on your tractor. You’ll want appropriate tires whether you have a hilly, rocky, or flat terrain. The salespeople at whatever tractor dealership you patronize will be able to get you the right tires for your land. If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow in the winter, you might want to invest in multiple sets of tires.
Living in the country is an adventure unto itself. But chances are you won’t look back after taking the leap and leaving the city or the suburb behind. You shouldn’t, however, overlook the importance of getting the right equipment for your homestead. You won’t regret getting a tractor. But you should know what to look for in a tractor to get the right one for your rural property.
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