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Credit Card Charge Offs and Their Impact

If you are of the opinion that paying your bills late won’t have an impact on your credit score, think again. The late payment of bills under any circumstances can tarnish your credit history. Initially (for the first 180 days),the longer the debt goes unpaid, the more it will affect your credit score. In case the unpaid credit card debt reaches a point where the lender thinks that it will be irretrievable, it will be known as a “charge off”.

A charge off enables creditors to write off the debt and claim a tax exemption. Typically, an unpaid amount is recorded as a charge off when you don’t pay the bill for at least six months. However, the tenure varies from lender to lender.

Why Avoid Charge Offs?

A charge off means that you have been delinquent in making payment on the debts that you owe. After a debt is charged off, it is no longer considered as a revolving debt. It becomes a balance that is due to be paid. If possible, it is always advisable to avoid a charge off. This is because when your account is revolving, you still have the chances to pay off the debt and bring your credit score to a good position.

Even if you pay the due amount in full, a charge off will stay on your credit report for the next seven years. This is because your past record for payments is considered as an indicator of your future behavior. In case you settle the charge off by paying an amount that is less than what you owe, both the transactions will reflect on your credit report.

Myths About Charge Offs

A myth that most people may have heard is that charge offs can be removed from your credit report. You may find it surprising to learn that your responsibility to pay off the debt does not end when it has been charged off. When your debt has been transferred to a collection agency, the contract that you signed to repay debt will stay in effect until you settle the account. An important point that you should remember when your debt is charged off, is that you may not be able to settle the payment with the original creditor, but with the company that is responsible for collection.

The Impact on Your Credit Score

Charge offs can hurt your credit score to a great extent. Whether you owe $100 or $1,000, charge offs can pose a big threat to your future investment plans. A charge off can make your credit score plunge dramatically. Like some of the other flaws in your credit report, a charge off can be a major setback in the case that you are making an effort to improve your credit score.

It is advisable to consult a credit repair company that will help you in evaluating your credit score regularly and detect any flaws or inaccuracies that may be present in the credit report. Such a company can also advise you to the various steps that will help you in improving your credit score.

Source by David Allsup

Travel Insurance Doesn’t Always Mean

It’s that time of year again where the sun smiles upon us, school is out and the wide, wide world of travel is just a flight away.

So you do some research on vacation options. You book a flight. You reserve a hotel room. And last but certainly not least, you call an insurance agent for an appropriate travel policy.

“Ah,” you think to yourself. “I’m covered from all angles.”

Not so fast, sir or ma’am!

While others like yourself may view the insurance they purchased as a ticket to peace of mind, it’s not always so.

Not every loss scenario that you can envision occurring will be covered.

This articles deals with issues that may arise as a result of not planning ahead or educating yourself properly about insurance issues.

Some Instances when Travel Insurance does not Cover Losses

1. If you think you are smart by buying travel insurance when you hear the radio tell you about a future storm, think again. A travel policy will not cover the cancellation of your trip following publicized storm information.

2. If you imagine that travel insurance will provide compensation for ordinary problems, stop dreaming. Your insurance will not compensate you for common inconveniences or lack of enjoyment.

3. Do not plan on getting covered for losses you cannot prove. You will need to show a sales receipt so that your loss can be substantiated.

4. Be aware that your insurance policy will likely not provide coverage for incidents that occurred while you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

5. Get your doctor involved before you go on your trip or you may not receive medical coverage under your travel insurance. If you cannot prove you were in good health prior to getting on the plan, you may run into coverage problems if you need medical care while on vacation.

6. Do not assume every activity you participate in is covered under your travel plan. If you get hurt while engaging in something that the insurance company considers dangerous you may not see reimbursement. Review your policy to ascertain which activities your insurance provider includes and which are viewed as perilous.

As in any form of indemnity, travel insurance has limits and deductibles, as well as exclusions. You owe it to yourself and your vacation to do the proper research ahead of the game. Speaking to an experienced independent agent will help you decide what policy is best for you and how to avoid getting denied for a related claim.

Source by M Wyzanski

4 Things You Didn’t Know About Economy

Are you one of those people who love to explore different countries, get to know their culture or just want to visit distinct places? Traveling could be one lavish thing to do, but with the experience, new learning and new people that it brings to your life, it worth every dime.

For travel security, this is where travel insurances enter into the picture. One of the best policy that you could get is the economy insurance. Having cheap insurance and economy insurance will not just make your every trip more valuable. It also made your every tour or experiences more worthwhile and convenient with a maximum piece of mind.

What Are The Things You Didn’t Know About Economy Travel Insurance?

  1. The Economy Travel Insurance Encompass Emergency Medical Costs That Will Be Up To Five Million Euros.

This is a great deal travel policy with superb medical travel assurance. Also, it covers the cost of repatriation to the country that lies inside Europe. Furthermore, if you missed your departure, you will be covered up to five hundred euros. Aside from that, if there’s a time that you will have a personal liability, the policy will also save and help you with it.

  1. The Economy Travel Policy Can Only Cover Some Specific Country Trips

Having cheap and economy travel insurance is a good thing. But does this policy covers all your trips to entire international countries? The answer is no. The policy only covers trips or travels made within EU and countries worldwide except the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, USA, and Japan. Other than that, one important thing to remember is that this doesn’t cover the loss of your baggage or damage to it.

  1. Travel Insurance and Economy Travel Insurance Has Several Benefits

What are the benefits of this kind of insurance? One beneficial thing about his policy is that it provides a low level of excess expenses and there will be no hidden expenses or cost. There are other policies that will surprise you with the additional cost that you’re not aware of. So it is better if you relied on a policy that gives your clear set of expenses. Other importance of this economy insurance are as follows:

  • You Can Get Access to a Several Remarkable 24-Hours Medical Assistance

Going to other countries and being exposed to some potential diseases can be scary. Threats of health hazards can just be anywhere and if you suddenly get sick or something while you are on your long trip, the economy insurance will help you and respond quickly to your emergency health needs. This is one best thing about this cheap and economy insurance.

  • It worth the investment

Some of you may just be too excited to see new things and gain new experiences abroad. Your excitement often burry some travel necessities such as considering travel insurances. Traveling into varied foreign or unknown countries without any assurances is a big no for travelers.

  1. You Are Given Several Payment Methods.

You will have no problems in paying since the economy travel insurance offers a wide range of payment methods including MasterCard, Visa Purchasing, Visa, Visa Delta, Solo, PayPal, Switch, JCB and Maestro.

Source by Neil Clymer

Finding Time – Have You Ever Used a

Do you do your weekly food shopping on the weekend?

And is it a chore that you dread? How often do you get home, unpack your bags, and realize that you’ve forgotten something?

It’s a frustrating experience, AND it’s one that you can avoid with this one tip: Create a Shopping Template for yourself — and USE it!

Templates are Great Time-Savers

Templates help you find time whenever you are tackling tasks that you need to do more than once. And grocery shopping is an excellent example. This is a chore that you can truly transform for yourself by using a template.

Think about it. About 80% of your shopping list is probably made up of items that you always want to have on hand. So, why not create a template for those items? Ready to get started?

Here are two suggestions:

  • Your template will work best if you set it up so that it matches the layout of the store where you usually shop. So, if you come to the produce section first when you enter the store, put fruits and vegetables first on your template.
  • Leave plenty of space for extra items that you need infrequently, or for a special recipe.

Imagine the time you’ll save. You can use your template to review what you have, check off what you need, and then use it at the store to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Try making yourself a shopping template this week. Set it up on your computer so you can tweak it as your food shopping needs evolve.

You’ll be amazed at the time that you’ll save – the time that you’ll find!

Let’s explore time together…

Source by Paula Eder

Is It Worth Trying to Win Your Holiday in

A few years ago, my dad went up to our local pub to support a charity auction. He came back with a night’s limo hire (don’t ask) and a holiday to the South of France. I can’t remember how much he paid for his holiday, but I do remember thinking that it was a bargain. His flights were not included, I booked those separately for him through a budget airline. I did the same with the car hire. What he did win in the auction was two weeks in a fantastic villa in a remote part of the South of France. It had a swimming pool, it was close to the beach and it was wonderfully well looked after because it was somebody’s holiday home.

Fast forward a few years and holiday auctions are becoming more common. I haven’t since seen one in a charity auction (and believe me, I’ve searched high and low!), but there are quite a few websites online where people auction a stay in their holiday home or timeshare. As with my dad’s bargain, these sorts of auctions don’t tend to include your flights. That said though, with budget airlines springing up all over the place, flights don’t tend to set you back too much. It is also worth hiring a car if you are going to be staying in somebody’s privately owned apartment. They are often slightly away from the main tourist areas.

Other websites allow you to bid for a stay in a hotel. Again, flights are often not included. You need to make sure you read the small print if you are going to bid on these kinds of auctions. You often have to pay to bid, and the highest bid over a certain (undisclosed) amount will win. Before you bid, you need to either be absolutely sure that you want to win the auction or make sure that you are not under an obligation to pay if your bid wins. The more reputable sites will never force you to pay if you later decide that you don’t want the holiday.

More recently, it has become possible to win a holiday through a lowest unique bid auction. These are similar to normal auctions, but instead of the highest bid, the lowest bid that only one person has placed will win the auction. Reputable lowest unique bid companies will pay for your travel as well as your accommodation. Again, a fee is charged to enter these auctions. The fee can vary from £1 right up to £10 and more. Make sure you set yourself a budget if you are going to try to win your holiday in a lowest unique bid auction. Winning becomes easier the more bids you place, because you will be told the status of each bid so you can work out what the lowest unique bid is likely to be. However, if you go for a company that charges £10 per bid, the cost of entering can soon mount up.

If you are thinking of going on holiday, it is certainly worth shopping around and considering some of these more unusual ways of buying (or winning) your holiday.

Source by Natalie Ray

Android Phones Today

Android is a mobile phone operating system developed by the search provider Google. Used on a wide variety of smart phones, Android is currently the best selling mobile operating system in the world. Android is an open source OS, letting anyone develop their own software (such as applications or games) to be run on Android platforms. The Android OS is also used in tablet computers, with the latest version being Android 3.0. While the Android OS has been in use since 2008, regular updates and support for Google keeps Android the leading-edge system it is today.

Mobile phones running the Android operating system all have a similar set of features provided by the OS. The Android OS is made to be run on smart phones, phones which can run a variety of Java based applications that give the phone added functionality. In addition to basic phone and text/media messaging service, Android phones have a variety of web based services and applications. Android phones are connected with the owner’s Google account, allowing access to Gmail and Google Calendar as well as a variety of other applications. In addition to wireless internet and Bluetooth connectivity, Android phones allow for wireless tethering – using the phone as a modem to connect a laptop computer to the internet. All android phones allow for streaming video, with the latest models able to connect to the 4G network and video conferencing using Google Talk. The most well known aspect of the Android platform is access to the Android Market. Similar to the Apple App Store, the Android Market allows users to download applications and games for their phone, many of which are free.

The first Android phone to be released was the G1, developed by HTC and released in 2008. Running Android 1.0, this phone had many of the features currently found in Android phones, including synchronization with the user’s Google account and the Android Market for downloading phone apps. Since then, there have been many updates to the Android operating system – major updates are given the name of a dessert. The newest version of Android for mobile phones is Android 2.3.4, Gingerbread. Designed for use on 4G phones with increased performance and speed, Gingerbread provides better video playback and support for front facing cameras for video conferencing.

The Android operating system allows phones to be produced by many manufacturers. With the current generation of 4G phones, the leading producers are Motorola and Samsung. Motorola is the creator of the Droid line of phones – a series that were made popular by their availability with Verizon service in the United States. The Droid X2, the latest model in the Droid series, includes a multi-touch interface, 8 GB of memory along with an 8 GB micro SD card for storage, and an 8 megapixel camera with built in video recorder. Samsung is the other major producer of Android phones and have collaborated with Google on the Nexus S. The Nexus was the first phone to use the new Gingerbread operating system and included a powerful processor and 512 MB of RAM. The Nexus S has 16 GB of internal storage and can access the 4G network using a Sprint service plan. Other companies such as HTC produce Android phones as well, giving the consumer a wide variety of choices when trying to choose the best Android phone for their needs.

Source by Jeff Lander

Tips to Help You Get the Best Deal on

It’s not easy to spend a vacation without spending a good deal of money. Therefore, most people rarely travel. The reason is that the hotels are too expensive. However, we have a few tips that can help you get the best deal on hotel rooms. These tips can help you save a lot of money, and you can spend that money to do other things you love. Read on to find out more.

Check out Hotel Booking Sites

Nowadays, the Internet has made things easier for us. You can use the Internet to compare prices from the comfort of your home. All you need to do is check out the website of each hotel to make a comparison. can also help you with this.

This is a great approach if you want to know about what different hotels charge, which can help you make a budget-friendly choice.

Contact the Hotel Directly

Although finding great deals is easy with comparison websites, contacting the desired hotel directly is the best way. You can send them an email or you can make them a call if you have the time.

By calling the hotel, you can find out about their deals, special packages or discounts, for instance. You can negotiate the prices with them until you are satisfied with the offer.

Consider Unpopular Hotels

Typically, hotels that have websites that rank high on search engines are good enough. But if a hotel doesn’t have a first page rank on a major search engine doesn’t mean it’s worth a look.

As a matter of fact, some unpopular hotels also offer great deals and lots of amenities. And the best thing is that these hotels are a lot cheaper than the popular ones.

Look for Coupons

If you want to save money, don’t forget to check out coupon websites. You may want to look for a coupon that you can use. Here, it’s important to keep in mind that reading the fine print is really important if you want to avoid any surprises down the road.

Check out Websites like Airbnb

Checking out websites, such as Airbnb can also help. These sites provide listings of locals who offer their apartments for travelers at fair rates. So, if you want to stay somewhere during your vacation, this is a good option.

Although this option is cheaper, know that it won’t allow you to enjoy the amenities offered by a good hotel. Moreover, you will have to follow the policies of the apartment owners.

Travel in the Off-Season

During the off-season, hotels tend to charge less as there are not a lot of customers. So, if possible, you may want to travel in the off-season. As a matter of fact, everything is cheap in the off-season including flight tickets, hotel rooms, and other stuff.

So, if you are looking for a cheap hotel room during your vacation, make sure you follow the tips given in this article. Hope this will help you save tons of money on your stay.

Source by Shalini M

5 Advantages of Using Credit Card Machines

Today, cash doesn’t rule the economy anymore. Instead, people use credit cards to make and receive payments. Nowadays, people use their credit cards to pay for a cup of coffee at a restaurant or coffee shop. So, you may lose a lot of customers if you are still receiving payments in cash only. In this article, we are going to talk a look at some advantages of using credit card machines for small businesses. Read on to find out more.

Basically, small businesses can enjoy a lot of advantages if they allow their customers and clients to pay using their bank cards instead of hard cash.

1. Legitimizing Your Business

If you accept credit cards, you can legitimize your business. All you need to do is display logos of different cards on the outside wall of your shop or service center. This will allow grab the attention of your customers.

Apart from this, if they sign up for a certain card brand accept by your business, it will help you develop trust with your customers.

2. Fast and Easy processing of payments

These machines can help you boost your sales as your customers will have a lot more payment options. So, if you allow more payment methods, you can attract a lot more customers.

Today, many people don’t like to carry cash with them anymore. Therefore, they will buy from you if you allow them to pay through some means other than cash.

3. Competitive Edge

It’s important to keep in mind that businesses face stiff competition today. If you accept major credit cards, you will have an edge over your competitors who offer only cash-based transactions.

So, what you need to do is have these machines at your payment counters. Your customers will thank you for this facility.

4. Impulse Buying

Impulse buying has its own importance. If you receive payments through hard cash only, you may lose a big customer base. Flexibility is important. After all, people don’t like to look for an ATM to make payment for something they like at a local store.

5. Improved Cash Flow

Credit cards can be processed in a few seconds. On the other hand, carrying and counting cash takes more time. Similarly, checks require a lot more time to be cashed and cleared. Apart from this, card payments have the least chance of error unlike cash transactions.

In short, investing in credit cards machine is a small but lucrative investment. Therefore, if you manage a small business, we suggest that you buy some card machines for your outlets. This will help you grow your customer base and enjoy an edge over your competitors.

Source by Shalini M

Frugal Travel Tips For San Francisco

San Francisco is my favorite city hugging the west coast. It is also one of the most expensive especially for hotels. Lucky for the frugal traveler, many of the sights are free.

Note: When I first went to San Francisco (driving up from L.A.), I was very surprised by the decrease in temperature. Check the weather before arriving.

Fisherman’s Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39 and Ghirardelli Square cover about 6 blocks along the waterfront. This tourist destination offers great views of the famous Alcatraz, souvenir shopping, seafood vendor and street performers. Some of the local “residents” include pelicans and sea lions. The souvenir to take back for chocolate loving Moms? Ghirardelli chocolate. This is where it all started.

Cable Cars

While at Ghirardelli Square, grab a few photos at the Cable Car Turnaround (the end of one of the lines). The cable cars, calling San Francisco’s living monument, are a good break for the weary.

Note: There are no transfers with cable cars. Each ride requires a new ticket.


The Chinatown in San Francisco is second in size in the U.S. only to New York City. It is great place to get cheap supplies and an inexpensive meal.

Lombard Street

Known as the crookedest street, Lombard is another one of those photo opps tourists love. Walking down is free.

The Golden Gate Bridge

Another famous and picturesque walk is across The Golden Gate Bridge. On a clear day, the views are fantastic (and will work off all that great Chinese food you’ll be eating). This suspension bridge is a little less than 9,000 feet long so plan your round trip accordingly.

Cable Car Museum

Love the cable cars? Then visit the Cable Car Museum on Mason Street. Admission is free and the museum deck overlooks the huge engines and winding wheels that pull the cables. Great photos can be taken in the vintage cable cars.

A city of different cultures, bordered by the sea, San Francisco has a perfect mixture of historic attractions and modern sights. Many of them free.

Source by Kimber Chin

Commercial Liability Insurance: An

Small business owners tend to be optimistic, and therefore often underestimate the amount of insurance they need. Accidents happen. There is always the possibility that someone could become injured due to negligence on your part or one of your employee’s part. Even if you do take measures to keep your physical property safe, you never know when something unexpected might happen. This is why you always need some type of commercial liability insurance policy so that your business will be financially prepared.

GL insurance (general liability) is coverage that will protect you and your organization from a variety of claims such as physical injury, property damage, medical payments, products completed operations, and just about any other reason someone might try and file a lawsuit against your company.

This kind of insurance only covers damages and injuries for third parties only. It doesn’t really cover anything that could happen to you or one of your employees. GL insurance cover the basic risks that affect nearly all businesses, regardless of the industry. Even if your business is done primarily online, your house insurance provider will probably want to know if you are conducting business from your home and might want you to get some additional coverage because of it.

Many businesses opt for additional coverage than what commercial liability insurance provides. Different industries have specific needs. Heavy outdoor work such as construction will require protection and worker’s compensation for employees who could easily become injured. Indoor advertising and marketing agencies will require protection against copyright infringement accusations. Web designers and programmers could be accused of stealing code. Freelance journalists could be accused of slander.

Commercial Liability Insurance for Property Damage

Property damage can come in many forms, and not just the physical premise on which your business is located. What about the facility where your electronic data is stored? What if one of your computers gets a virus? Electronic data protection is worth looking into.

What you need to do is check with commercial insurance providers to see if they offer tailored packages for the type of industry you are involved in. There is no one-size-fits-all, so the best thing you can do is to apply for insurance that fits as many as your industry and business-specific needs as possible.

The cost of general liability coverage itself varies based on the state, industry, size of business, and the amount of coverage you need. The insurance companies give out calculators and free estimates on their websites. Just enter your profession and state to receive an overview of the kinds of coverage available to you.

Hiscox Business Insurance is a good place that is often recommended as a starting point for businesses seeking commercial liability insurance. Get a free estimate and look over all of the industry-specific insurance packages.

Source by George Botwin

What Are The Greatest Changes In Shopping

What are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime? So asked my 9 year old grandson.

As I thought of the question the local Green Grocer came to mind. Because that is what the greatest change in shopping in my lifetime is.

That was the first place to start with the question of what are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime.

Our local green grocer was the most important change in shopping in my lifetime. Beside him was our butcher, a hairdresser and a chemist.

Looking back, we were well catered for as we had quite a few in our suburb. And yes, the greatest changes in shopping in my lifetime were with the small family owned businesses.

Entertainment While Shopping Has Changed

Buying butter was an entertainment in itself.

My sister and I often had to go to a favourite family grocer close by. We were always polite as we asked for a pound or two of butter and other small items.

Out came a big block of wet butter wrapped in grease-proof paper. Brought from the back of the shop, placed on a huge counter top and included two grooved pates.

That was a big change in our shopping in my lifetime… you don’t come across butter bashing nowadays.

Our old friendly Mr. Mahon with the moustache, would cut a square of butter. Lift it to another piece of greaseproof paper with his pates. On it went to the weighing scales, a bit sliced off or added here and there.

Our old grocer would then bash it with gusto, turning it over and over. Upside down and sideways it went, so that it had grooves from the pates, splashes going everywhere, including our faces.

My sister and I thought this was great fun and it always cracked us up. We loved it, as we loved Mahon’s, on the corner, our very favourite grocery shop.

Grocery Shopping

Further afield, we often had to go to another of my mother’s favourite, not so local, green grocer’s. Mr. McKessie, ( spelt phonetically) would take our list, gather the groceries and put them all in a big cardboard box.

And because we were good customers he always delivered them to our house free of charge. But he wasn’t nearly as much fun as old Mr. Mahon. Even so, he was a nice man.

All Things Fresh

So there were very many common services such as home deliveries like:

• Farm eggs

• Fresh vegetables

• Cow’s milk

• Freshly baked bread

• Coal for our open fires

Delivery Services

A man used to come to our house a couple of times a week with farm fresh eggs.

Another used to come every day with fresh vegetables, although my father loved growing his own.

Our milk, topped with beautiful cream, was delivered to our doorstep every single morning.

Unbelievably, come think of it now, our bread came to us in a huge van driven by our “bread-man” named Jerry who became a family friend.

My parents always invited Jerry and his wife to their parties, and there were many during the summer months. Kids and adults all thoroughly enjoyed these times. Alcohol was never included, my parents were teetotallers. Lemonade was a treat, with home made sandwiches and cakes.

The coal-man was another who delivered bags of coal for our open fires. I can still see his sooty face under his tweed cap but I can’t remember his name. We knew them all by name but most of them escape me now.

Mr. Higgins, a service man from the Hoover Company always came to our house to replace our old vacuum cleaner with an updated model.

Our insurance company even sent a man to collect the weekly premium.

People then only paid for their shopping with cash. This in itself has been a huge change in shopping in my lifetime.

In some department stores there was a system whereby the money from the cash registers was transported in a small cylinder on a moving wire track to the central office.

Some Of The Bigger Changes

Some of the bigger changes in shopping were the opening of supermarkets.

• Supermarkets replaced many individual smaller grocery shops. Cash and bank cheques have given way to credit and key cards.

• Internet shopping… the latest trend, but in many minds, doing more harm, to book shops.

• Not many written shopping lists, because mobile phones have taken over.

On a more optimistic note, I hear that book shops are popular again after a decline.

Personal Service Has Most Definitely Changed

So, no one really has to leave home, to purchase almost anything, technology makes it so easy to do online.

And we have a much bigger range of products now, to choose from, and credit cards have given us the greatest ease of payment.

We have longer shopping hours, and weekend shopping. But we have lost the personal service that we oldies had taken for granted and also appreciated.

Because of their frenetic lifestyles, I have heard people say they find shopping very stressful, that is grocery shopping. I’m sure it is when you have to dash home and cook dinner after a days work. I often think there has to be a better, less stressful way.

My mother had the best of both worlds, in the services she had at her disposal. With a full time job looking after 9 people, 7 children plus her and my dad, she was very lucky. Lucky too that she did not have 2 jobs.

We were not rich but we were happy kids and so grateful with any little treats that came our way.

And even now, not only do we love each other, we like each other too. Although scattered around the world, we’re always in touch.

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Source by Kay Collier

3 Reasons No Contract Cell Phones Are

Having a cell phone in place is certainly a necessity of life. However it is no longer necessary to sign-up to the expensive and long-term contracts offered by the different mobile carriers. A common choice for new customers is to look at the availability of pay-as-you-go plans since they offer a variety of benefits. Here are several of the advantages of using the cell phone with no contract –

Less expensive

Pre-paid or pay-as-you-go plans are certain to benefit those hoping to take control of the monthly budget. For the light user who isn’t likely to use the phone excessively for making calls or text messages, a pay-as-you-go plan is certain to offer the most cost-effective option. But, if you do prefer to include a data package with the pre-paid phone, it is possible to get this type of coverage at quite affordable prices. A data package is likely to benefit those likely that see text messages as the most viable form of communication and are expected to send quite a few on a daily basis. A further group that sees a high percentage of users with the pre-paid plans includes the older generation and senior citizens.

Phone models

It wasn’t that long ago that the phones offered with the pre-paid plans included those models at the lower end of the market. But, it is now possible to select many of the latest and feature-packed models with no contract in place. Pre-paid smart phones with QWERTY keyboards and touch screen control are widely available in the market to make sure the latest models are available for those not wishing to sign-up to the long-term contracts.


A further reason for the popularity of the pay-as-you-go phones is the ease in accessing and availability. A cell phone of this type is widely available at kiosks and stores operated by the pre-paid companies, while many manufacturers will have some sort of presence inside some of the major retailers. Many of these stores trade in cheap cell phones with no contracts which are available for immediate purchase and activation.

Even though the pay-as-you-go plan might seem an attractive choice, they might not offer a suitable choice for everyone. A significant issue might relate to having to cover the up-front cost of purchasing the cell phone, which could be quite expensive if looking for the most up-to-date models. Also, these phones aren’t likely to match the needs of those planning on using a high volume of minutes each month or require access to nationwide coverage.

Source by Sam J Loeb

Finding Last Minute Hotel Deals Is Easier

Last minute hotel deals are the stuff of legend, aren’t they? You watch television, listen to the radio, and even deal with those insufferable friends who can’t help but keep reminding you about how they got the greatest deal on a hotel room when they really shouldn’t have. There are testimonials all over the internet about singles, couples, and entire families (multiple generations) that were able to score these ridiculous hotel bookings, and all you can think is, “How?”

As it turns out, finding hotel deals when you’re up against the clock isn’t as hard as it used to be. At one time, you really had to get yourself ready to book a hotel room far in advance if only to avoid the chance that you’d have a ‘no vacancies’ sign staring back at you. Once people started getting word that there were more empty hotel rooms than could be imagined, they figured they had the upper hand on booking. After all, travel experts often note that if a hotel has empty rooms, then it means the hotel is missing out on revenue. Even if they book a room at a lower price, it still means they fill a room. This is where the last minute hotel deal kicks.

So, how exactly do you find these deals? Here are a few tips:

Use the Internet To Your Advantage – Perhaps the greatest tool at your disposal when finding great deals on hotel rooms is the internet. When the travel website boom kicked into high-gear about a decade or so ago, people were given a tremendous advantage at finding a great price for a hotel. There are even websites that pull prices from multiple sites into one convenient location, so no more hours of searching.

Email Notifications – Since you check it so often, why not make your email work for you? Websites will now contact you when a deal of your liking is available, so there is less of a need to lose time & energy pouring over multiple websites at one time.

“There’s An App for That” – Travel apps are the new things today. Apps are better able to get input from you about what you’re looking for in a hotel and (in real time) get you results that match. You’ve always heard that your phone is like a computer in your pocket; this is why this is so true.

Off-Peak Traveling – Traveling during slower times of the year mean that more hotel rooms are empty. This, in turn, usually means that hotels are much more open to give discounted prices on rooms.

Weekday vs Weekend Travel – In the same vein of off-peak travel, weekends tend to be the busiest time for hotels. Moreover, if a hotel caters to more leisure travel, weekends are packed. You might find that deals can be had during the week.

Last minute hotel deals aren’t hard to find, but they aren’t just going to come to you. Even if you’re using the best technology to get the best deals, you have to actively engage in said technology so that it can work for you. You may not be a regular traveler, but knowing how best to find sweet deals on hotel accommodations might just be the best reason to start getting away every once in a while.

Source by Morris Raymond

How to Pre-Qualify for a VA Loan

The VA Guaranteed Home Loan Program has helped acquire home loans for veterans for over 70 years. The program has maintained its popularity, because it offers a number of benefits for military veterans and active duty service people. The process of applying for a VA home loan is slightly different than that of a conventional mortgage, but applicants can expedite the process by pre-qualifying for a loan amount.

What Is Pre-Qualification?

Pre-qualification is a process in which your loan qualification information is taken in advance of the purchase of a home, in order to determine if you meet initial requirements for the lender and how much you can afford. Although it does not guarantee that you will get a home loan from a lender, it means that you are qualified and are highly likely to be approved for the mortgage.

Benefits of Pre-Qualification

Being pre-qualified for a home loan offers prospective buyers a number of benefits, such as:

  • The price range you can afford is determined – This feature can save time by allowing you to only look at homes within your price range.
  • Being pre-qualified makes you a more desirable buyer – Sellers who have multiple offers often accept the offers of buyers they know have already been approved.
  • Removes uncertainty for buyers – Knowing you are pre-qualified for a loan can ease the stress of finding and buying a home.
  • Pre-qualification allows you to negotiate better terms – The certainty of having approval for a loan can allow you to negotiate small issues with confidence.
  • Pre-qualification can help to streamline the closing process – It reduces the likelihood of “surprises” that can delay the closing on the sale.

How To Get Pre-Qualified for A VA Loan

Applicants for a home loan through the VA program will be asked to provide a number of documents for pre-qualification:

  • Provide information about your military service – A Certificate of Eligibility is required to apply for a VA guaranteed home loan. This document can be acquired by filling out the appropriate form. However, you can start the process of pre-qualification before you receive the Certificate. In many cases, the lender will help you to file for the required document.
  • Credit information – The lending institution may ask permission to look at your credit score. If there any problems with your credit record, they may suggest that you resolve past debts or correct information, in order to receive pre-approval.
  • Employment information – The lender will ask to see proof of your current employment and previous employment. Generally, lenders prefer to see two years of consistent employment. However, gaps in your employment record do not necessarily disqualify you for a loan.
  • Bank statements or investment statements – The lender will also want to know about your financial health in regard to how much money you have saved and any investments you may hold. This information would also include any real estate on which you hold the deed.
  • Divorce and spouse/child support documents – Lenders generally also want information on divorce decrees and any support payments you are required to pay that could affect your ability to repay the loan.

Pre-qualification for a VA home loan can be an advantage that can help homebuyers get the best house for their needs at a price that is affordable. Consider getting pre-qualified when you begin to hunt for your new home.

Source by Genie Fletcher

Can You Get Your Credit Card Interest Rate

Interestingly, yes you can. In America for instance, people are encouraged to negotiate with their Credit Card Company and the reason is very simple. The people who own these cards love money. Especially if they have loaned it via a Credit Card and now they see there is no way they are going to get it back unless they play ball to some extent with potential bankrupts. If you go declare bankruptcy then there is a big chance they will never see any of that money again.

In their anger, they may decide to slam you with a black mark which will limit you severely in what types of cards you may be able to apply for later on, when you get out of the bankruptcy. The time that black mark will exist may range from a few years to never being able to get a credit card from anywhere again. Scarey stuff, right? And unfortunately it is not just the current manager who can keep the ban going. Once you are in the system, you are stuck there.

So it makes a lot of sense to try to come to an arrangement with the Credit Card Company you have your card with. If nothing else, which is rare indeed, it will at least take some stress of you for a moment or two. These people are human, the same as you. And may also have had the same problems as you. It is wise to remember this. The nerves settle immediately. Just don’t take the tone that you know they have been in your boat.

Check the back of your credit card. There you should find the information you need to contact the company. But before you do that, have some bargaining power with you. If you have a lot of credit cards, you probably have offers from those companies for interest rates. Find the ones that are lower than the one you are bargaining with and have them ready to quote. Then phone the company and get ready to talk.

When you get through, ask for the supervisor of the credit card division. You’ll probably be fobbed off onto a million call buttons, but stick to your guns. Press all these buttons if you have to, but eventually you should end up with the supervisor. This is not just being a large pain in the neck. The supervisor can do a lot more for you than a customer service rep is allowed to do. They are much further up the food chain usually, so these are the people you really need to speak to.

Explain your problem and tell them what you are looking for, which is a decrease in the interest rate on your card. If they are quite happy to discuss it, keep your other offers hidden unless you really need to produce them. If the rate you are offered is not very close to, or is, zero rate, then make it plain you have these offers for zero interest elsewhere and you will be quite prepared to shift your balances elsewhere if it is not possible to match these offers. But make it gentle at first.

Of course, their generosity will be matched against your credit card debt and your credit card repayment history. If you have a lousy repayment history, you may not be able to get the level of interest down to zero. But anything is going to be better than nothing and at least the company will believe you are going to play fair with them, so they will see they are going to get some of their money back.

Source by Cheryl Elizabeth Taylor

How to Write Travel Articles – Going

Welcome to the wonderful world of travel writing! The beginning of this article has certainly been a challenge for me because I didn’t really know where to start – but as it begin to unfold, the clearer my thoughts became! Thank God for cut and delete on my computer!

In this new age of laptops, digital cameras and no telling what other gizmos are on the market today, travel writing is still what it is! It’s a real to life and vivid documentary of the things you saw, heard and did while on vacation or while just traveling through some town or spot in the woods! It is your view or your reaction to the surroundings around you. When putting it all together for a travel article, it’s up to you to bring your readers into the picture and let them feel your reaction as if they were right there beside you. That’s why it is so important to go beyond simply documenting your travels. Live them, feel them, and let your readers feel your reaction through your words.

The next time you are going out on an assignment or just going for a weekend getaway, don’t forget the digital camera, an ample supply of rechargeable batteries, extra memory cards for picture taking and a purse full of ink pens and purse-size spiral notebooks for note-taking.

When you’re actually where you want to be, and start taking photos, write down everything – write down your reaction to the old lady in the window who looked like a witch and kept staring at you as you walked toward the restaurant. Who was she? Why did she look at you as if she had seen a ghost? Why did she look startled when your eyes met hers?

Be observant of your surroundings – and the people you encounter. Write down anything that might be of importance to your upcoming story – don’t trust anything to memory. Too much information is way better than not having enough.

Visit local tourist centers and request brochures and travel guides. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the locals. Find out if there is any history in the area that is noteworthy for a destination travel article. Suppose Jesse James stayed at the historic hotel across the street and they had a room full of memorabilia – his boots, gun and gun belt – other things he may have left behind. There’s one angle for your travel story – but dig deeper – what if that hotel is said to be haunted by someone other than Jesse James? Jesse James isn’t really enough to get people to travel this far in no where country to a small run down hotel simply to see a small room half full of Jesse James memorabilia. You have to dig deeper and find something your readers can get excited about.

Request a room – stay there – hear the creaks and things that go bump in the night – listen for the ghost that haunts the hallway late into the night – did you see anything? Did the hair stand up on your neck when the cold draft of wind from nowhere hurled by you as you were standing in the hall?

Write down the things you saw and heard. How did you feel? Let your readers feel the fear you felt as you were alone on the upper floor of that haunted hotel. Where was everyone else? Why were you all alone? Was it really haunted? Or was it just your imagination from the stories you had heard? Write it and let your readers help you decide whether the haunting was real or not. Did anyone else hear the noises you heard? Who’s shadow was it that crept by your doorway just before you shut the door? Who was crying in the hallway after you went in and locked the door? When you opened the door the sound stopped – there was no one there.

What about that blurred image that kept showing up in some of the photos you took? What was it? Who was it? You didn’t see anyone when you were shooting. Creepy, huh?

Write them an article that will entice them to come to that particular place – an old run down hotel with a creepy past ninety miles from nowhere – let them feel your excitement and fear as you crawled back into bed – don’t only tell them about the noises you heard coming from the hall late in the night – let them hear the fear as you write especially when you heard the woman scream out in the room next door and you were too afraid to climb out of bed to go see.

It may scare the ‘hec’ out of some people and they may never want to visit the haunted hotel, but chances are that your story will draw quite a lot of people to that little hotel located in no where country just to see for themselves if it were haunted or not. That’s what your travel article must do – go beyond documenting the things you learned, the things you saw or heard – your readers must feel the same excitement you do about a place or all the documenting in the world will never lure them to this place – especially if it’s ninety miles from nowhere!

In essence, you must present a travel story that goes beyond documentation – it must have real feelings that awe the reader and make them want to visit the place of interest. Leave the dull documentation to the travel brochures and the like.

Bring out the realness and the life of a place and people will be drawn to visit time and time again.

Source by Marcella Simmons

Life Insurance for Diabetics: A Few Facts

Individuals with serious medical problems, for example, diabetes (both type 1 and type 2), regularly find that they are turned down for life insurance in view of their condition of their physical well being. There are two sorts of diabetes which individuals create. There is childhood diabetes and Type 2 diabetes, otherwise called adult onset diabetes.

Not every diabetic person will be denied coverage or pay high life insurance premiums. Much the same as some other medical problem, acquiring life insurance on the off chance that you are a diabetic includes various factors that contingent upon how genuine your condition is and how well you’re overseeing it.

A few elements that are considered while applying for life coverage as a diabetic:

• Are you dependent on insulin?

Numerous individuals can control their blood glucose levels through a blend of watchful meal planning and exercise. Diabetics who are not dependent on insulin may pay less in premiums contrasted with the individuals who are.

• Is your blood sugar under control?

You get insurance coverage easily if you can demonstrate that your blood sugar is under control. As a major aspect of your life insurance medical test, lab testing will be performed on your blood test that commonly incorporates glucose estimation. These outcomes alongside your medical records will be considered to decide the control level of your diabetes. It is one of the important things to remember.

• How long have you had diabetes?

Trust it or not, somebody who has had diabetes for quite a long while might be viewed as to a lesser degree a risk factor compared to somebody who has been recently analyzed. On the off chance that you have lived with diabetes for quite a long time, it can exhibit that you have figured out how to oversee and control your disease.

• Do you smoke?

Being a smoker isn’t useful for your health and usually implies you’ll pay significantly more for life coverage. In any case, the value you’ll pay for life insurance will probably be significantly more in case you’re a smoker and a diabetic, basically on the grounds that you are at a more serious risk for a huge number of genuine medical problems.

There are various types of life insurance available due to the fact that everybody has distinctive necessities. In case you’re a diabetic, having a couple of life insurance options is something to be thankful for!

Source by Aman Tumukur Khanna

Shopping for a New Water Heater

If your water heater is getting older, it’s a good idea to shop for a replacement before you run out of hot water, or worse… wake up ankle-deep in it!

Take note of the energy sources available to you, and the amount of hot water you expect to use. Not every form of energy will work with every kind of heating appliance and some work slower than others. Tanks work with solar, electricity, oil and gas (natural or propane) but tankless units work with only electricity and gas sources. Heat pumps use only electricity.

Estimate how much hot water your household uses during peak hours and look for a heater with a first hour rating (FHR) that meets your demand. A licensed plumber is the best person to make this calculation and help you choose the right size.

Hot water can add up to 25% of your energy bill, so be sure to choose an energy efficient heating appliance.

Storage tank

This is the most common in residential applications, heating and storing hot water until needed. When you open a faucet, the released hot water is replaced by incoming cold water, which is heated and stored again at a temperature controlled by one or more thermostats in the tank.

Storage tanks are simple, maintenance-free and relatively inexpensive to install – but due to constant reheating they use energy 24/7 even if you’re not running any hot water. Electrically heated tanks can be covered with an insulating blanket to help save energy, but not gas or oil-fired tanks.


Tankless water heaters, also known as “on demand” heaters, heat water without a storage tank, using energy only when needed – rather than maintaining a tank of hot water. Sometimes individual units are used in a number of locations throughout a house, but most newer homes have one high-output tankless heater to supply hot water throughout the home.

Due to the storage volume of hot water tanks, and the high-output nature of tankless heaters, both are commonly used for heating a home with in-floor radiant systems or through a radiator coil in a forced-air heating system.

Heat pump (hybrid)

Heat pump water heaters are not directly heated. They use electricity to pump heat from the air or the ground to your water tank, using less energy than traditional water heaters.

You can install a standalone heat pump water heater or combine your water heater with your heating and cooling system, employing an air or ground source heat pump. Although installation costs are higher, heat pump water heaters cost less to run over the longer term.


Solar collectors can be used to harness the sun’s energy and heat your water almost for free! Solar water heaters use a primary tank for storing pre-heated water before it is transferred to a conventional hot water tank, operating on electricity, gas or oil.

Solar collectors can be installed on roofs or on stands at ground level. Shop for a better quality, energy efficient model which will last longer and save money.

Features to Consider

  • Warranty: Typically three to twelve years. Purchase prices are closely tied to warranties, and longer warrantied water heaters tend to be better built and better insulated. In addition to choosing a water heater with a good warranty, check consumer reporting websites and reviews from individual owners.

  • Anti-scale devices: Although scale can shorten the life of a water heater, you don’t need to invest in extra features to get a dependable water heater. Just buy a good quality tank with a good warranty.

  • Brass vs. plastic drain valves: Near the base of the water heater, these valves are used to periodically drain sediment from the bottom of a tank. Brass drain valves are more durable than plastic.

  • Glass-lined tanks: Are designed to minimize corrosion.

  • Digital displays: Easily monitor and control the operation of your tank; set the temperature of the water, set a vacation mode and other functions.

Find more good reads @ All Around The HOUSE

Source by Gil Strachan

Affordable Holiday Packages: What Are Some

Do you want to go to Australia on a nice holiday weekend? Or head to the casinos in Vegas for an exciting time? No matter what time of the year you plan on going, there should be some type of affordable holiday packages available.

What destinations appeal to you? Are you interested in a specific package, such as those tailored around golf, romance, or families? Make a list of what you are hoping to get out of your upcoming holiday trip and see what kind of deals you can find. Depending on the location and the circumstances, you might not find exactly what you’re looking for right away, so either have a backup destination in mind or wait patiently for the right deal to pop up.

Holiday packages at the bare minimum include hotel accommodation and free breakfast. Some may include free dining or even airfare. It’s pretty common these days for travelers to book their airfare and hotel room at the same time as it is often cheaper to do so rather than book them separately. However, this isn’t always the case. First, check and compare the prices to see which strategy would work best for you.

If you’re going to an exotic place you’ve never been before, you might want to consider a tour. Some affordable holiday packages include guided tours, usually by a local. This way, you can ensure that you are truly experiencing everything that should be experienced. When going on a self-guided tour by yourself, there is always the possibility that you will miss out on something important.

Find Affordable Holiday Packages on the Beach

Holiday deals at the beach tend to be very popular. Everybody loves to escape to a tropical beach somewhere for a few days. Destinations in the Caribbean, Hawaiian Islands, South America, California, and Southeast Asia are always worth considering.

Other types of holiday getaways people seem to really love include ski resorts, mountain retreats, spa retreats, Disney World, and cruises. You could always fly to a major city for a couple of nights of cosmopolitan fun. In the US, must-see cities include Vegas, NYC, and New Orleans. A lot of people want to experience the West Coast as well, so San Francisco, Seattle, and Los Angeles are often on the top of many people’s lists. Other cities across the globe you might want to consider include Paris, London, Tokyo, Seoul, Nassau, Hong Kong, Morocco, Sydney, and Toronto.

Keep in mind that the best affordable holiday packages often sell out quickly, so grab one while you have the chance!

If you really want to find some affordable holiday packages but don’t know how to get started, the best place to look is online. You can score a bargain and go on the holiday of your dreams. All it takes is an online coupon or two.

Source by George Botwin

Motorola Cellular Phone

Motorola cellular phone – description.

Motorola has a great selection of phones and by acquiring a Motorola cellular phone you are getting yourself one of the best and technologically advanced cellular phones. An example of Motorola cellular phones would be Motorola T720i Phone with Camera. And this is just an example as there are a lot of other types of phones available.

Motorola cellular phone – features.

The largest part of the phones produced by Motorola has very nice-looking design and small size. They provide access to many valuable features and are straightforward to operate. The call quality as well as signal reception are great. Camera cellular phones are also available. The majority of cellular service providers carry Motorola cell phones.

Motorola cellular phone – Motorola T720i.

Motorola T720i has many excellent features like color screen, WAP, polyphonic ring tones, and camera. This Motorola cellular phone is one of the best camera cell phones that are available on the market. This phone is easy to set up and to use, and it is one of the most stylish cellular phones. And you can take good quality pictures of everything you like any time you want and send these pictures to someone’s email address.

Motorola cellular phone – Motorola C332.

Here is an example of the features of Motorola C332: media center, date book, calculator, games, voice dial, and AIM. This cellular phone is small, stylish, and light. You can also create your own wallpaper or your own ring tone for your phone. There is a built-in calendar, where you can input information about appointments, meeting, etc.

Source by Rolf Rasmusson