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The Last Blockbuster Standing + How to Treat Your Credit Card Offers like Netflix Did Blockbuster

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So effective immediately, the U.S. will have only one Blockbuster video store left. The last two Alaska-based Blockbusters in Fairbanks and Anchorage closed on Sunday, leaving only the Blockbuster of Bend, Ore., the last one open for business. Over the past five years, 13 Blockbusters have closed in Alaska, which was considered the last holdout for the famed video chain. At its peak in 2004, Blockbuster had 9,000 stores across the country, but competition with video-on-demand services led to bankruptcy in 2010. In fact, Blockbuster once was offered by Netflix a piece of its business, but Blockbuster couldn’t see the future, so it declined and wind up being devoured by the now streaming giant.

As you start to focus on credit, you will realize that credit cards are a great way to build your score, but if you are not careful, you will get devoured by the credit card companies trying to get the most money out of you in the form of interest rates. You will get many credit card offers but how do you know which one is the best offer?

The truth of the matter is that there is no such thing as the best offer… a better question to ask would be “which credit card offer is the best for me?” Spending habits differ from person to person; living styles vary so their needs will vary as well. So for deciding on which credit card offer is best for you, you need to evaluate your needs vs. your lifestyle and your spending habits (and not go just by the recommendation of someone). For example, if you frequently travel by air, a co-branded airline credit card might be more suited to you than the general purpose one. These airline credit cards offer discounts, rebates and other kind of rewards when the credit card is used for making payments (the rewards are even higher when these credit cards are used for paying for the airline tickets or other airline products). Similarly, if you have a favorite retail store where you do a lot of your shopping, it would be beneficial to check if the retailer is a credit card supplier too and if there is a credit card offer that suits you. A lot of big retail chains do offer co-branded credit cards to their customers, and these credit cards offer rebates/discounts, etc. when they are used for making payments at the retail store. As such, you get reward points for making payments at any place, but the rewards are higher on the payments made at the retail store. On similar lines, we have credit cards for gas stations and grocery stores too, which you can opt for if you have a favorite gas station or a favorite grocery store where you shop a lot.

So, if you look around, you will find a lot of lucrative credit card offers. However, this doesn’t mean that you enroll for all the credit card offers. You need to first evaluate your needs and rank them. Then you need to evaluate what credit card offers suit your needs. And finally, you can make your choice and go for a credit card offer that covers most of your needs and gives maximum benefits.

Some key points to keep in mind are:

1- Don’t use your credit card on things you don’t need or can’t afford

2- Only spend up to 30% of your limit

3- Pay your bill on time

If you follow this you will be on your way to growing into a credit giant with a 800+ score instead of being a baankrupt Blockbuster who had potential.

Ash Exantus aka Ash Cash is a speaker, bestselling author, personal finance expert, and business consultant. Ash has established himself as a thought leader and trusted voice with Corporate America, Colleges, Churches, and Community based organizations. He is the Head of Financial Education at BankMobile and Editor-in-Chief at Paradigm Money.

The Daily Digm (News)

Connecting Aretha Franklin Tribute to Madonna + How to Connect Your Credit to Your Future

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R&B singer Aretha Franklin, passed away on August 16, 2018 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Yesterday during the MTV Video Music Awards, Madonna was attempting to give the Queen of Soul a tribute but instead gave us a story about her life and tried to connect it to Aretha.  Madonna opened the segment by saying Aretha had “changed the course” of her life and told a story of when she was an up and coming singer and dancer she sang Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” acapella during an audition that didn’t go too well.

Most of the tribute was Madonna talking about her early life and career. She talks about her rough upbringing in Detroit, where she said she was often mistaken for a “prostitute.” She did eventually get back on track to say that “Long live the queen.”

“So, you are probably all wondering why I am telling you this story. There is a connection,” she said.

“Because none of this would have happened, could have happened, without our lady of soul. She led me to where I am today,” she continued.

“And I know she influenced so many people in this house tonight, in this room tonight. And I want to thank you, Aretha, for empowering all of us. R-e-s-p-e-c-t. Long live the queen.”

Since then she has been getting a lot of flack about her self-centered tribute, but in trying to defend her self, she went on social media to say, “I was asked to present the video of the year by MTV! And then they asked me to share any anecdotes I had in my career connected to Aretha Franklin,” Madonna wrote on Instagram.

“I shared a part of my journey and thanked Aretha for inspiring me along the way. I did not intend to do a tribute to her! That would be impossible in 2 minutes with all the noise and tinsel of an award show. I could never do her justice in this context or environment.”

If you look deep into her story, it is easy to see the connection, but I can understand how people wanted an Aretha Franklin tribute to be more about Aretha Franklin. Madonna concluded her Instagram post by saying that most people “have short attention spans, and are so quick to judge.” Similar to your credit score, credit report, credit reporting agencies, and creditors, they are definitely quick to judge as well. One false move and they will turn on you for the worst. So how can connect your credit to your future so that you stay in the good graces of those who matter?

Because credit can be a curse when you don’t understand it, it is essential that you plan for your future set some boundaries for yourself for a better, more solid financial future. Preparing for your future can look like a lot of things and should involve many different aspects, like living within your means, coming up with a list of financial objectives that you want to accomplish, knowing  what you want to use credit for in the future, learning how to build and maintain your credit and how you will set guidelines for yourself to avoid making common credit and financial mistakes. Learning these things will allow the credit bureaus to put some R-E-S-P-E-C-T on your name and give you the right connection needed for your credit history.

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Your Credit Score May Be on the Rise + Why This May Be Good News for Your Insurance Premiums

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Effective immediately many Americans… Well, actually millions of Americans have begun to see their credit scores bump up after the credit reporting agencies began stripping out some non-loan collections accounts and other negative credit information from people’s credit reports. This is because of settlements made with state attorneys general dating back to 2015. The negative credit information removed is mainly medical-debt collections that have been paid by an insurance company, inaccurate information or accounts that failed to reflect repayment efforts. It is said that one collection account is worth 11 points once removed.

So how will this jump affect your Insurance premium? When dealing with insurance, there are a lot of factors that determine just how much your premiums are. Anything from your gender and age, to your driving record or criminal record. But there is your credit score is another factor that a lot of people might not know about. Your credit score can play a huge role in determining just how much you have to pay for insurance.

Insurance Rates based on your credit is not a very well known fact, but it has become one of the norms in recent years. Insurance companies will now look at your credit history, and if you have bad credit, you can expect to pay much higher premiums.

Many people will argue that your credit score has nothing to do with whether or not you will file a claim on your insurance policy but the insurance companies beg to differ. Regardless of how you feel, the policy is here to stay. That means you should be aware of your credit score when attempting to get insurance. If you have a bad credit score, you should make plans for paying higher premiums.

Keep in mind that insurance companies will look at various things, such as pending bills, loans, bankruptcy and more when determining your premium. But here’s the bright side to this. A lot of people who are sick of having to pay high premiums are taking better care of their finances in an attempt to raise their credit score so that they do not have to pay as much. So in some twisted way, it can be a bit beneficial since it gives more incentive to be more careful with your money.

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A Global Attack on ATM’s Seems Imminent + How to Protect Yourself From a Credit Card Fraud Attack

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BREAKING NEWS: According to a cybersecurity expert, The U.S. government has told banks that cybercriminals are preparing to carry out a global attack on ATMs. The FBI issued this warning of an “ATM cash-out” hack that would allow the criminals to withdraw large sums of money using stolen information. Something similar happened to a Virginia bank over eight months in 2016 and 2017 where hackers stole a reported $2.4 million.

Technology has become the gift, and the curse and when it comes to your debit card people are always trying to figure out how to defraud you. Credit card fraud has become a major problem in modern society as well. It continues to get worst, so it’s important we protect ourselves. The following are precautions you can take to prevent fraud:

Keep Your Actual Card In a Safe Place

In order to thwart credit card thieves, you should have your credit cards always with you in your possession or locked up in a safe place where no one has access. Some people like to keep credit cards in their car for emergency reasons, but that is a bad idea unless its put in an inconspicuous place or enclosed in something that doesn’t make it obvious. Keep in mind that not every card involved in credit card fraud is physically snatched. Some thieves will use only the credit card number and leave the card behind.

Stay Focused

Make sure you are alert with each credit transaction you make and get your card back immediately after it is finished. You do not want anyone to have access to your card without your knowledge where they take a picture of it or writing down the numbers.

Take Caution When Buying Online

Cyberspace has become a breeding ground for credit card fraud. You need to be cautious about the online companies and website that you supply your credit card number with. Make sure you only shop at trusted and reputable brands.

Don’t Fall for E-mail Scams

Do not enter your credit card information into websites that you are linked to through emails. The best thing to do is to avoid giving out your credit card number online at all costs. But if you have to make an online payment, there are several reputable services that will allow you to pay without supplying your credit card information to a third party.

Invest in a Shredder

Some thieves will sink to any level to get access to your credit card information. Many will go through your garbage cans searching for credit card receipts or bill stubs with the complete account numbers on them. These numbers are then used to purchase things over the internet or to create a new credit card using your number and credit information. Any document containing your credit card account number should never be left lying around, and although it seems a bit extreme, you should never throw away sensitive items unless they are completely destroyed.

Check Your Statements and Credit Reports

Lastly, you should check your credit report periodically and add a feature where they will alert you to any unusual activity happening with your credit cards,  like increased balances or new accounts. Also check your statement regularly to make sure you catch unauthorized payments early. If you do find that unauthorized charges have been made to one or more of your credit cards, there are choices to be made and steps to be taken.

First off, you should call your credit card company and let them know that your credit card or credit card number may have been stolen and you want the card canceled. Now, the person who has taken your card cannot make any further purchases. Calling immediately will lessen your chances of having to pay for the charges made to your card and limit the amount of harm that has already been inflicted to your credit.

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