You may have heard the expression, “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” These words of advice are definitely applicable when it comes to credit cards — just because an account’s upper limit is higher than its current balance doesn’t mean it’s wise for the cardholder to keep spending until they max it out.
Why? Because utilizing more than 30 percent of your available balance on any individual card — or across all of your cards — makes you appear riskier to lenders. It gives the impression you may be depending on credit cards to get by. This measure is called your credit utilization rate and having a high percentage of credit in play can start to drag down your credit score.
Here are five tips for getting your credit utilization rate in check if it starts to creep northward of 30 percent or so.
Make Payments More Than Once Per Month
Adjusting your credit card payment schedule from once per month to every two weeks can help. This simple action helps bring your balance down more quickly, and lower balances tend to lower utilization rates. As Experian notes, utilization rate is actually the second biggest factor lenders consider when calculating credit rating.
If you’re used to paying $300 once at the end of the month, try instead paying $175 or $200 twice per month. This may require jostling around your budget to come up with the extra funds, but this slight increase will slash your debt faster and help pull your utilization back into the safe zone, too.
Ask for a Credit Line Increase
Another way to go about optimizing your utilization rate is to ask for an increase on one or more credit lines. First, check to see whether your lender has already approved you for a higher limit. If no automatic increase has been granted to your account, you’ll have to put in a request. You’ll have a better chance of hearing a “yes” from lenders if you’ve made timely payments in the past.
It’s important to keep in mind this strategy only works if you avoid running up your balance, even with a higher limit in place.
Pay More Than the Minimum Due
Paying more than the minimum amount due is another way to chip away at balances more quickly, especially if most of your minimum payments are going toward interest fees rather than tackling the core balance.
However, as many Freedom Debt Relief reviews note, many cardholders are unable to pay more than the minimum — or may even fall behind on minimum payments — following financial hardship like divorce, medical bills or layoffs. If your credit utilization is high because you’re unable to keep up on credit card payments, it’s time to revisit your budget and speak with a credit counselor qualified to offer advice on how you can get back on track.
Avoid Closing Old Credit Accounts
While closing old credit accounts you haven’t used in a while may feel like cleaning house, it can adversely affect your credit utilization — and thus your score. Shrinking your available pool of credit means your utilization percentage will rise, even if your balances remain the same.
As long as there’s no annual fee on old accounts, it usually doesn’t hurt to keep them open. In fact, it’ll help your credit in terms of lengthening your history, too.
Open a New Credit Card
Last, but perhaps riskiest, is opening a new credit account. However, it’s only prudent to do so if you can keep spending very low on this card. This can do more harm than good if you’re tempted by the allure of an available balance.
It’s worth looking into what you can do to lower your credit utilization rate. Keeping it below 30 percent will help your credit score; while exceeding this cap can start to negatively affect it.
Job Searching Tips for Recent College Graduates
Breaking into any field isn’t easy, especially now when so many companies have taken a hit from COVID and are in the process of changing their operations. New graduates are likely going to face intense competition in a job market filled with recently unemployed people, many of whom have serious credentials and work experience that makes them viable candidates. Downsizing on a more practical front includes reducing the number of entry-level employees, which could make a college graduate with no experience feel like they’ll never get hired.
Although you do have a six-month grace period to start paying your student loans, it’s natural to worry what you’ll do if you don’t find a good paying job by then. In the event you are still unable to lock down a stable income, you may consider refinancing your student loans to save money. Refinancing can modify the interest rate and terms of your loan to make them more manageable, especially if you’re not earning enough to even be financially secure. Before you worry about loans, though, here are three things to keep in mind while you’re applying to jobs.
Focus on Skills, Not Job Descriptions
If you don’t have any relevant work experience, focus on what you know how to do, instead. The goal of a resume isn’t to show employers what you’ve done but rather what you can do for them. While prior experience is always great, you shouldn’t let it deter you from really selling yourself as a talented, eager candidate. In the event your experience was not in a related field, try to draw out any details from your responsibilities that carry over. Align your resume to each job’s specific needs, which will drastically improve your chances of getting a callback. Avoid turning in the same resume to different employers; even if you only change the wording on a few lines, it shows you care enough to read what an employer wants.
Don’t Say No to Internships
You may think interning is for undergrads, but it actually might be your ticket to a full-time position. Interning isn’t for everyone, and if the gig is unpaid, it certainly won’t work for a lot of people. But most internships function more like temporary jobs, which means you are paid hourly or given a fixed amount for working a set amount of time.For recent college graduates, internships can provide the experience, skills and connections they need to qualify for positions in the field of choice. You may also find a mentor in one of the company’s employees who can give you insider knowledge and teach you things that you’d never have found out on your own. Many jobs also promote interns into employees if they perform well enough. So, it may not be your first choice, but if you’re looking for work and considering a part-time job anyway, it’s worth considering.
Stay Connected to Your Fellow Alumni
Your university’s alumni community will allow you to network with other graduates who have found work in your desired field. They can offer you tips, provide some sound advice and possibly even recommend you for positions in their own company. Sometimes, job recruiters even check out alumni groups at universities to find candidates that are available for immediate start. Make that point clear whenever you mention you’re looking for a job.
Nigeria is Surging in Forex Traders
Nigeria is one of those African countries that are driving the frontiers of the foreign exchange market (Forex, FX) trading. It has become widely popular among its citizens and a lot of people are starting to generate income from trading daily. But the surge is visible not only by society but by the statistics as well. Nigerian traders currently hold as much as $1.25 million in their trading positions.
A recent report that has been released by one of the forex research firms has estimated that Nigeria’s forex traders are holding $1.25 million dollars in their trading positions. This is a huge volume to be traded daily considering how other countries are faring in this economic climate. Forex trading is not something people have working hours for. The platforms are open 24 hours 5 and a half days a week. This gives an immense amount of flexibility to everyone interested in this field. People can do trading as their main income, or work full-time and do it in the evenings. There are no opening or closing hours and thus there is no rush anywhere, apart from opening and closing positions because that’s what generates the money for traders. The options are absolutely up to the person. They can be on the bullish side trading aggressively or taking their time and passively work whenever they see fit. Otherwise, it is “choose your own schedule” type of deal. However, it is still considered to be a risky endeavor and one should never trade with what they need to get by during the month.
In terms, the scrutiny that the foreign exchange market is going through on a daily basis due to the fact that the whole point of FX is still considered to be short-term high-risk price speculation. These fears are justified to an extent but this doesn’t mean one shouldn’t try. People who excel at such activities are the ones that make money. Those who are doing, well, to be fair it’s the law of the jungle there. Either you are good at it and you make money or you overestimate your own abilities and knowledge and lose. However, it is not to say that everything can be calculated. However, this is not to say that everyone has their own unique strategy. If you are a new trader start by using fundamental analysis for trading that will decrease risks of losing your investment substantially. Going through such an ordeal with a lighthearted attitude is not going to lead you anywhere.
Trading in general, whether it is forex, cryptocurrency, stocks, commodities, or anything else is still based on luck. Unfortunately, humans do not have the foresight to see into the future and thus every opening and closing of trade is more or less a coin flip. What knowledge of the subject, as well as cunning and intelligence, adds to the trader is the reduction of risks but never elimination as a whole. Trading allows interested parties to gain some revenue from different currency pair trades. This means that people are buying currency pairs and then sell it when the price surge happens to make that small difference that they put their money on at the start of the trade. This may or may not happen. Forex is influenced by loads of factors that make or break things as they go.
A lot of people in these times of crisis are working hard on diversifying their asset classes. The coronavirus pandemic has hit hard and took a huge toll on the financial situations of everyday citizens all across the world. Even people living in developed countries with strong governments and financial policies are struggling to get by due to on-going lockdowns and social distancing laws or rules depending on the country we are talking about. The idea is quite simple. The surge can be largely attributed to the fact that a lot of people have lost their means of income due to the shutdown of the whole industries they were employed in. The coronavirus pandemic made sure that the whole spring and summer of 2020 are lost for tourist companies. International transportation is also being hit hard with airlines reporting incredible losses due to the fact that the airspace is locked down tight for everyone. There are no people traveling which means that there is no need for planes, trains, cars, yachts, or any other means of transportation.
Recently the head of Capital Markets in TRW Stockbrokers Ltd has been interviewed and asked this very same question. Mr. Abdul-Rasheed Oshoma Momoh is a veteran forex trader and extremely successful investor. He broke down some of the most important aspects that have led to such a surge in popularity for forex trading in Nigeria.
In the interview, he outlines the most valuable moves that every trader should be looking out for. He stated that trading FX is one of the most rewarding methods for investors to make revenue. This is why it is extremely important to choose what and when you are going to be trading. Forex offers the highest amount of leverage on trades in comparison to other financial markets. The trading accounts can differ as well from small to large depending on the amount of investment a trader is willing to make. An increase in leverage means that one can trade with higher amounts of money than initially invested. However, the risk is that any move against you may result in significant losses as well. This means that traders need to have proper risk management policies in place. The need for smaller amounts of the initial investment is what draws a lot of Nigerians into this fray. People come from underdeveloped countries with not much on their stake except for whatever they can scrap. Forex allows Nigerians to make such revenue that most of the daily jobs in the country wouldn’t even get close to.
Trading on the foreign exchange market is not complicated, mechanically speaking. The idea is that the systems at hand can be learned by anyone anywhere without the need for in-depth knowledge of computers. The fact that trades can be done with one click of a mouse is something a lot of people get behind. Therefore, an ability to buy and sell at anytime that is convenient is a huge draw for individuals in Nigeria. If someone is a bullish trader they can quite easily go for a long time selling Nigerian Naira and buying United States Dollar. In comparison to this, the equities market has set boundaries where you are allowed to short-sell during the uptick.
It goes without saying that transactions are completed using the over-the-counter methodology. Traders are directly dealing with market makers and participants like banks, hedge funds, and other financial institutions.
Due to this, there are no extra fees that are piling upon every transaction the trader wants to make. This is something that sets forex apart from stocks, ETFs, or even bonds. More than usually market makers do not charge any fees for currency trades that are made on their trading platforms.
What sets FX trading in Nigeria apart from most of the other developed parts of the world is the absence of regulations. Forex trading is still unregulated in Nigeria and a lot of people are utilizing this to make as much revenue as possible. This means that they are not taxed for this income. In comparison to this Nigerian stock market is regulated where local stocks cannot move either way up nor down beyond 10% of its present value.
Smart tips for Dealing with Debt Effectively
Whether big or little, you have to deal with your debt to make sure it doesn’t get out of control. Living with denial as a money borrower will not only increase your money woes but anxiety as well. Getting out of debt is one of the vital steps to reach your personal or business-related financial goals. You are not alone if you are in debt but paying it off as soon as possible is the only way to save money for a happy living. Everyone who gets rid of the debt often combines different strategies and tactics for dealing with debt.
In this article, there are some smart tips for businesses and individuals deal with debt.
How Much You Owe
In order to pay all your debts off, you need to know the exact owed amount. Make a list of all your debts with essential details like the name of the creditor, interest rate, amount of the debt, due date, and monthly payments to be made, etc. in an organized manner. It will allow you to see the bigger and clear picture of your debts. Whether you want to get rid of existing debts for better credit scores or further in need of a loan to manage financial needs, getting all the debt details at a place lets you create a debt repayment plan accordingly.
Pay Your Bills on Time
Late payments or forgetting to pay bills can make it harder to pay your debts off. Missing two or more payments in a sequence increases the finance charges and interest rate as well. That is the reason, be careful about monthly bill payments and always be on time to pay. For this purpose, you can schedule monthly payments by using a money management app or any other fintech solution. Setting reminders and alarms is another best way to stay on top of all monthly payments. In this way, you are not only able to make monthly payments on time but your credit scores increase also.
Pay more than the Minimum
Making payments more than the minimum is one of the smart tips for dealing with debt. If you are using a debt repayment plan and have monthly payment figures on hand, you should try to pay more than the figures you have. It will not only help you save many bucks on the lower interest rate but will also boost the debt repayment process incredibly. However, be sure to check with the creditor to ensure that they don’t charge any prepayments.
Give a Try to Debt Snowball
If you cannot pay more than the minimum towards monthly payments, then you can opt for a debt snowball method to speed up the debt repayment. It requires you to list the debts from a smaller amount to bigger. Then, throw your money towards the smallest amounts first and move towards the bigger one. Over time, small payments will disappear soon one by one and will help you move towards the bigger amounts to get rid of all your debts in a short span of time.
Sell Unnecessary Things
When you are struggling with debts and want some extra money to pay them off quickly, selling the unnecessary things around can gather a handsome amount of bucks that you can use to pay the debt off. Take a look around and find out the things that are useless for you and you can live without. Visit the market and sell these things to collect money that can go towards loan repayment. There are so many online places where you can sell used items on good rates. You can also hold a yard sale on Facebook to find good customers for things around.
Identify Spending Habits and Make Changes
According to experts, retail therapy is one of the best ways to deal with debt stress and to get rid of debts quickly. When we are overwhelmed, we are more likely to spend on things to feel better but these can relieve stress in the short term and can end up with financial pitfalls. It is the place where we need to identify spending habits and prevent mindless spending to save money for debt payment. Think about the things that you can live without and stop spending on those. Also, find the financial areas where you can cut down to build funds for quick debt repayment. If you are comfortable with a standard car, then sale out your luxury car and send the extra money towards loan repayment.
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