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Overall the Chase Platinum Visa is a good credit card and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a new card. The grace period is very generous and helpful if I am a little late paying the bill. The customer service has been helpful with some minor issues. The cash advance rate is pretty good for small advances if you forget to bring your ATM card.
The Capital One Venture Card is a must for the avid traveler. The miles add up very quickly at 2 miles for every dollar spent. Once every year I redeem my miles to pay for my annual trip to see my family in Ireland. While there is an annual fee, it is still far less than the cost of the tickets that I obtain every year.
Affinity Credit Union in Middletown, New Jersey is far better than any chain bank. Setting up my account over the phone was so easy, I was able to complete most of it while reading the morning paper. The customer service is great because you are more than just a number there. The tellers in the branch I go to are super pleasant and helpful. Affinity Credit Union promises no fees and no minimum balances and they deliver on this promise. Loans are offered at more competitive rates than any brick and mortar bank.
I chose the Discover IT card five years ago. I primarily did this for the cashback benefits and low interest rates. I use the 5% cash back for my Christmas gifts each year. It winds up savings me quite a bit of money in the long run. However I really like their fraud prevention and customer service too. I like that I can get a friendly representative at nearly any hour of the day.
TransUnion is a decent credit reporting site. It is well organized and relatively up to date. They were slightly slow in responding to a problem with my report, so I cannot give their customer service very high marks.
I feel that Equifax is a quality service. They were helpful in correcting an error on my credit report. This led to an increase in my credit score. The date that they provided is easy to understand and comprehensive.
Credit Sesame is a very good free credit score site. It actually is free unlike some other sites. I get monthly updates of any changes in my score through email alerts. Their customer service was very helpful with a disputed debt issue. It was cleared up fairly quickly, without much difficulty.
Overall FreeCreditScore is a good free credit score site. I had a problem that was resolved in a fairly easy and quick manner. The credit scores are up to date and clearly understandable. I had no problems with this site
The Citi Thank You Premier Card has become the first choice among my credit cards. Its most attractive feature is the bonus points program. After you spend $2500 in the first three months of membership, Citi offers $500 in bonus gift cards. For every $1 spent on purchases for Airfare, hotels and travel agencies, Citi offers two Thankyou points. In addition to this bonus, the Citi Thank You Premier Credit Card offers is one point two points per dollar spent at gas stations, supermarkets, drug stores, and commuter transportation and parking merchants and 1 point per dollar spent on everything else. Finally you can gain three points for every dollar spent on purchases for Dining at restaurants and select Entertainment merchants while using the card. I do a lot of travelling and get at least 3500 bonus points just from my gas expenditures. Bonus points can be redeemed for gift cards and travel rewards. You can get free airline tickets once you accrue enough bonus points. Thankyou points never expire so long, as you are still a cardmember and can be redeemed on-line. You can shop at on-line retailers through the Citi Thankyou site. This past Christmas I did a lot of shopping using my Thankyou points on Amazon.com. It definitely took a bit of the sting out of the holidays. Bonus points can be used for on-line bill payment through the Citi Thankyou site. On-line bill pay is another good option. You can use your points to pay any of the bills that you normally pay by credit card. You can also pay your credit card bill using these points which seems a lot like recycling to me. There are many travel benefits associated with the Citi Thank You Premier Card. The card provides coverage of up to $3,000 per person, per trip if items are lost, stolen or damaged on a trip you paid for with your Citi card. If certain unforeseen events get in the way of your trip, there is travel insurance for non-refundable trip expenses, like change fees, for up to $5,000 per year provided you paid for the trip with your card. There is Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance providing up to $500,000 in compensation. There is also travel and emergency assistance for last minute travel arrangements, travel issues, medical aid and legal issues. Luckily I have never needed to use any of these services, but it is nice knowing that they are there if I need them. My interest rate is a manageable 13.99% and I pay $125 per year for the card. The yearly fee does not apply to the first year and by the second year I had received benefits many times greater than the fee. Membership also includes twenty four hour concierge service and private pass service which gives you access to tickets for special events and concerts. I have used private pass on a few occasions and was able to get tickets to some sold-out musical events. This alone, made this card worthwhile for me.
I love my local Wells Fargo bank and my savings account. You can avoid the monthly charge easily by maintaining a $300 monthly balance and you even get a small bit of interest. I do almost all my banking with Wells. The customer service is professional, helpful and friendly. The on-line banking website is great. I do almost all my bill paying and bank transfers there. It has always proven an accurate and efficient means of meeting my banking needs.
I love my local Wells Fargo Bank and this checking account. This account is free if you have direct deposits over $500 a month. The website is great and I do almost all my banking business there. Wells Fargo's customer service has always been professional, helpful and friendly.
Plymouth Rock is the best insurance company I have ever dealt with. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, I had some minor damage. I called up to inform them and mentioned it was not a rush. They immediately asked me if I lost food and I had a check for $400 within a week. Then about a month after the storm, they called and made an initial offer that made me whole again. Accepting this check did not cancel any rights for further damages claims, if repairs were more complicated than the initial estimates. I was made whole within 5 weeks after the storm through 3 phone calls lasting maybe 45 minutes total.
A federal loan originator is a fancy title for an individual employed by a federally insured or chartered business, like a bank or a credit union, who negotiates residential loans or completes loan applications. This is in contrast to people who work at state-licensed institutions who must hold a state license to conduct business within an individual state. The federal requirements for loan originators include a background check conducted by the FBI, at least twenty hours of mortgage loan education in topics like ethics and finance, a credit check and the passage of a licensing examination. These individuals must be registered with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry (NMLS).
Federal loan originators must meet all the requirements of the federal registration process and can conduct business throughout the country, not merely a handful of states. An active status indicates that the originator currently meets all the federal requirements, while an inactive status indicates that all those requirements are not currently met. State licensed individuals must adhere to controlling state rules and regulations while federal loan originators are bound by federal compliance regulations. In particular, federal loan originators must adhere to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's regulations and the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (SAFE Act).
This is an interesting issue to examine. Either Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help temporarily or even permanently avoid foreclosure. However there are advantages and disadvantages to either route that must be thoroughly considered prior to filing.
When one files a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, the Bankruptcy Court automatically issues an order for relief that includes an "automatic stay." The automatic stay directs creditors to immediately cease collection activities. The sale of any foreclosed home will be legally postponed, usually at least three months, while the bankruptcy is pending. You can stay in your home until the stay is lifted and/or a settlement is reached. The lender too can ask for the motion to be lifted by the court, but even then you would typically have a two month delay in the foreclosure proceedings.
If you have some regular income, Chapter 13 can be a tool for keeping your home. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to create a Court approved repayment program, typically five years, for the missed payments. Homeowners can spread out unpaid payments over the length of the repayment plan which makes this more affordable to debtors. Chapter 13 bankruptcy can also lead to the elimination of second and third mortgages if the primary mortgage is secured by the entire market value of the home. These unsecured mortgages would become unsecured debt which moves the debt holders to the back of the line.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is less helpful to homeowners. It relieves the debtor of personal liability but does not relieve the lien on the house or the foreclosure proceedings. Therefore the bank will have the right to take your home in order to cover their losses on the loan. However it would still allow you some more time to live in your home for free and possibly work out a payment plan with the lender. It will also serve to cancel any second mortgages or home equity loans on the property.