Credit History: More is less and Less is more!

More payments, less (spending on) credit cards and more time, less interest. Does this sound confusing? Not if you look at it against the background of improving your credit history… Building up a good credit history takes time, and if it’s been tarnished for whatever reason, improving it will also take time. While you wait, it’s all about doing the right things right, paying off more rather than less to avoid attracting and spending less to over the medium to long term gain big in terms of your credit history or profile.

Your credit history is all about your credit payment pattern over time, it focuses on recent information; mortgage repayments, vehicle finance, retail accounts, etc. If your life has taken an unexpected turn, you find yourself in financial difficulty as a result and as a consequence your credit history has taken a beating, all is not lost. However, you will have to apply strict financial discipline for a period of time before you will see the changes. If the reason for your bad credit history is more serious than just you having defaulted on a repayment or two or made a late payment, you are likely to wait a number of years before your credit record or profile will be restored to its former glory.

So, what are the quick wins – things that you can do immediately to improve your bad credit history? First, access your credit profile. Most, if not all, credit bureaux afford consumers one free credit profile a year. Get yours, study it and then draft a payment plan on how you will go about improving your credit history.

Pay those accounts – on time, every time

This is one of the most important factors influencing your credit profile. For a good credit profile, pay your accounts on time. You can even pay twice a month, should it be required, once before the date the statement is due, and then again on or just before the date the payment is due. The first payment will have a positive impact on your visible payment profile, while the second payment will ensure that you don’t attract interest charged on late payments.

Apply for new credit only if and when you need it

A ‘versatile credit portfolio’ with some car finance, a few retail store cards and a personal loan might look good, but not if you can’t keep up with the repayments. Rather keep your credit portfolio small with only one or two well-managed elements and apply for other or more credit only if and when you really need it.

Don’t overcommit or overextend yourself!

The saying “cut your coat according to your cloth” is equally true of credit. Do not borrow (or spend) more than you afford to repay. This applies to credit cards as well as other credit, such as personal loans and retail store cards. “Maxing out” a credit card and using up all your credit on a retail store card immediately is easy, but keeping to the repayments, especially when compound interest adds to your account (and financial woes) is a challenge if you have other debt that you are repaying monthly, such as a mortgage bond.

The temptation to spend money on something you don’t need to impress people you don’t know is always there. Resist the temptation to fall for the retail industry’s marketing tactics to convince you to part with your hard-earned money. Be responsible and first repay your creditors.

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Free Things That Will Take Your Jamaican Vacation To The Next Level

Let’s talk about Jamaica, shall we? It is one of the most beautiful places on the planet, and has the culture to boot. I’m ashamed to say that for someone who loves warm weather,  this year was the first time that I had the pleasure of visiting the country.  And let’s just say that there is a lot more to the country than Bob Marley- although he is pretty fantastic.

The Caribbean is the only part of the world that I suggest all-inclusive trips for.  Not only are you pretty much taken care of the entire time that you’re there, but it allows you to relax, and enjoy the little piece of paradise without having to worry about pesky things like money. Also, when considering the cost of food, flight, and hotel, and accommodations, you really can’t beat the all inclusive prices.

That said, if you find yourself in Jamaica, like I did, and want to explore the world outside your resort, and get to know the country a bit better without spending money I would suggest the following activities.




This is organized and run by the Rockhouse Hotel Negril, and  was by far the most rewarding part of my trip to Jamaica. The Rockhouse Foundation has made it really easy for you to get involved in the community. I had the pleasure of reading to a class at a school. Not only did it totally remind of my days as a Sunday School teacher, but it allowed me to get acquainted with the education system and standards. Don’t worry if teaching isn’t your thing, there are tons of activities that you can partake in.

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Marketing Solutions that Are Worth the Investment

The Internet is full of marketing products that supposedly help businesses attract customers. The problems with many of these products is their design. Most target general marketing, but many do not address the unique strengths of each business. What you buy is a box, but does that box fit your business? Many of these marketing products offer so many options, pricing tiers, and formulas that they become too complex for many small-business owners. How do you find the marketing products that are worth your investment? Follow your marketing strategy.

Start with What is Available to You

The big three choices are Internet marketing, print marketing and radio advertising. Print marketing and radio advertising work on the same marketing principle. A business pays for an ad spot that airs or circulates to all listeners or readers. Notice that the word all is used. So whatever that ad cost, it plays to all users.

Internet marketing, however, is an interest-targeted marketing platform. Rather than use the word “all” as a description for all of the Internet or all the people in California, it uses the word all to describe all the people interested in cats. If your business sells cat toys then targeting your cat toy ad to cat lovers makes dollars and sense. Sense, because who is more likely to buy cat toys? Cat lovers or the soccer mom stuck in traffic when your radio ad aired?

Why Internet Marketing Works for You

Internet marketing is “the” big deal because it works for all sizes of businesses. So how do you tell which program or product is the best investment for your business? It is as simple as following your market strategy. Providing that your business has a marketing strategy that matches to your business goals.

Internet marketing works because it offers a sophisticated way for you to offer interested Internet users enticing offers. In fact, some platforms allow customers an online tracking feature so that you see where those people are in the sales process. Recognizing that Internet marketing allows fine-tuning of the marketing process.

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Real Estate: The Smartest and Hardest to Afford Investment There Is

There is no doubt that real estate is one of the smartest investments a person can make. It is also true that the sooner you start buying property, the better off you will be. Of course, knowing that you need to start buying property is completely different than actually being able to afford buying that property and–inheritances and trust funds notwithstanding–the younger you are the more true this is.

True, yes, but not impossible. It is absolutely possible to buy real estate without resorting to condemned and falling apart properties.

There’s More to Life Than Houses

When you think of property purchases, what do you think of? Most of us think of houses. Houses are just one type of real estate you can buy. If you are interested in the live-in type of property, condos offer and much cheaper form of home ownership. If you’ve already got your housing squared away (or don’t want to get into the highly volatile residential real estate market), commercial properties are a great investment. Small shop spaces, storefronts, warehouses, etc–they’re all worthy choices.

What is Your Goal

We’ve already talked about condos being a great alternative for people who want to live inside of their investments. If you’re hoping to turn a profit off of your investment, however, commercial property is your best bet. A lot of people buy up commercial spaces–like those shop fronts, warehouses, office spaces, etc and then rent them out at a markup so that they get to bank a little cash in addition to covering the mortgage payments on the space.

The reason more young people don’t jump into commercial real estate is because there are more hoops through which you have to jump before a lender will approve your application for a commercial mortgage loan. Most of the time you’ll have to actually have a plan for what you want to do with the space. As someone under 30, your best bet is getting a home loan.

Stop hyperventilating! It’s not impossible.

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