How long do negative items stay on a report?

Negative credit report items are automatically removed from your report. When? It depends.

When it comes to your credit health, thinking positively can go a long way. But to truly understand how your credit report affects your credit health, it’s also important to focus on the negatives. That’s because the fewer negative items on your credit report, the healthier it may appear to those evaluating it.

The first thing you should know is the national credit bureau (TransUnion, Experian or Equifax) producing a given report must remove negative items after they’ve been on your report for a certain amount of time. The questions are these: what kinds of negative items and when? The answers are not as straightforward as you may think.

Late Payments

If your report shows a late payment, that payment must be removed 7 years from the day you missed the payment.

Collections / Charged-Off Accounts

If you have an account that has been sent to collections or charged off, it will drop off of your credit report 7 years from the day you missed your first payment, not 7 years from the day the account was sent to collections or charged off.

Bankruptcies

For bankruptcies, the mention of the bankruptcy will generally remain in your credit report for up to 10 years from the date you filed. A completed or dismissed Chapter 13 bankruptcy remains on your file for up to 7 years from the date filed.

Regardless of which type of bankruptcy you file, the actual accounts included in a bankruptcy remain on your file for up to 7 years from the date of closing / last activity.

Inquiries

Though inquiries generally don’t have too much of a negative impact on your credit health, they can be seen as a drag on your creditworthiness if your report lists too many of them in too short of a time frame. Inquiries usually fall off your credit report 2 years after the date they were made.

Public Records, Generally

Civil judgments, foreclosures, forcible detainers, garnishments and attachments generally remain on your report 7 years from the date those actions are filed in a legal proceeding.

Public Records: Tax Liens

Tax liens are a little trickier. Paid tax liens will stay on your report for up to 7 years from the date it’s paid off. Unpaid tax liens, on the other hand, remain on file for as long as they remain unpaid.

To sum up, most negative items remain on your report for up to 7 years. Bankruptcies can remain on your report for up to 10 years and inquiries drop off your report after 2 years. Though the best course of action is to avoid having negative items on your report by paying your bills on time and avoiding too many credit applications, it’s a good idea to know what the rules are. That way, if you have some negative credit report items, you’ll know what to expect and what you can do to work toward healthier credit.

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10 Top Tips For Finding The Perfect Computer For Your Business

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When it comes to buying a computer for your business it can be hard to make the right decision. From choosing the right model to finding something that is within your price range, you need to be sure you’re choosing the best possible options for you and your business. Whilst it may seem difficult at first, there are lots of tips and tricks you can try to help ensure you’re buying the right computer for you. With that in mind, here are 5 ways to protect your office building: 

– Consider Your Budget Well In Advance

One of the best things you can do when it comes to finding the perfect computer for your business is to set yourself an overall budget. Although you may have an idea of how much you want to spend in your mind, you need to think about all of the extras that come with it. From accessories to insurance, buying a computer for your business is not cheap. For guidance when it comes to the average cost of a computer, you can visit this site here. 

– Make Sure You’re Doing Your Research

Another important thing to consider when it comes to buying the perfect computer for your business is whether or not you’re doing enough research beforehand. Whether this means researching the most affordable options or researching the best places to buy your accessories, you need to be sure you’re as prepared as you can be when it comes to making your purchase. If you’re unsure, you might find speaking to a technically-minded professional will help. 

– Consider What You’re Going To Be Using It For

When finding the perfect computer for you and your business, you need to be sure you’re thinking about what your computer is going to be used for. Whether you’re using it to complete your day-to-day errands or you’re using it to create high-quality videos or photos, you need to be sure you’re thinking about its functionality above everything else. Although you may be tempted to buy something because it’s affordable, you need to be sure it’s going to do everything you want it to do. 

– Prioritise The Features You Need

When thinking about the features of your new computer, you need to ensure you’re prioritising the ones you need most. 

Although there are computers that are all singing and all dancing, you may find that it’s just a few key features you’re looking for instead. If you’re unsure about what features you need in order to carry out your role in the business, a store assistant will definitely be able to advise you. All they need is a short description of the reasons why you use your computer. For a guide to common features of a computer, you can visit this site here. 

– Think About Where You’re Going To Be Purchasing It From

Another important thing to consider when it comes to finding the perfect computer for your business is where you’re going to be purchasing it from. Although there are plenty of great options online, you may find it more beneficial to go into a store and speak to a professional. Not only will they be able to offer you advice when it comes to choosing the right computer but they will also be able to ensure you’re getting the best deal. 

– Choose Whether Or Not You Want To Buy It Outright Or On Finance

If you’re purchasing a computer that is considerably high in price, you might want to consider buying it on finance rather than purchasing it outright. Although it will ultimately come down to the affordability of your business, you need to be sure you’re doing what is best for you. 

– Don’t Forget To Purchase Insurance 

When it comes to buying a computer for your business you need to ensure you’re also investing in insurance. Although the chance of something happening to your computer is low, the small cost of insurance will be much better than the cost of replacing your computer should something happen to it. If you’re worried about finding the right insurance for your computer, you can visit this guide here. 

– Think About Any Accessories You May Need

If you’re buying a computer for your business, chances are you’re going to need accessories. Whether it’s a high-quality webcam for conference calls or software that allows you to do your job, you need to ensure you’re factoring it into the overall cost of your purchase. If possible, you might find it is more beneficial to buy everything from the same place. Not only will it allow you to put it all under the same insurance policy with ease but it will also give you the opportunity to make your purchase as simple as it can possibly be. 

– Consider How Often You’re Going To Need To Upgrade

Although you’re not going to be upgrading your computer every year, you need to think about how often you’re going to have to upgrade in order to carry out your job efficiently. Whether it means upgrading the amount of space or RAID capacity you have or increasing the graphic capability, you need to ensure you can do absolutely everything your job requires with ease. For more information when it comes to space or for a free RAID calculators, you can visit this site here. 

– Ask Around For Opinions And Recommendations 

Finally, you might want to consider asking those around you for opinions and recommendations. Although they may not be able to suggest the perfect computer for you to purchase, they may be able to offer you advice when it comes to making the best possible decision.  If you’re still unsure about what to do, you may benefit from taking a colleague with you to make your final purchase. 

Are you looking for a new computer for your business? What do you need to consider to ensure you’re choosing the best possible option?  Let me know your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below. 

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7 Tips For Buying A Reliable Car

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Fed of buying unreliable cars? Finding a car that runs smoothly could save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run. Here are a few tips that can help you to guarantee a reliable car.

Consider buying brand new

The best way to guarantee reliability is to buy a car brand new. That isn’t to say that brand new cars don’t still have their faults – however you won’t have to deal with any wear and tear problems. The downside of buying a brand new car is the cost and many people may simply not be able to afford this option.

Use a trusted dealer

When it comes to used cars, the credibility of the dealer is important to take into account. A good dealership will only sell cars that are in acceptable working condition. You can find these dealers by asking for recommendations off of family and friends, as well as reading reviews online.

Choose a reliable brand

Certain brands have a good track record when it comes to producing reliable vehicles. For instance, Mazda is usually regarded as a pretty reliable brand. Try looking for dealers that specialise in such brands such as Renton Mazda. Avoid brand and models that have a bad reputation when it comes to faults.

Check the mileage

The more miles a car has done, the more wear and tear there’s likely to be. This means a greater chance of faults. Modern cars tend to have a ‘life expectancy’ of 200,000 miles – at this stage, most of the parts will likely need replacing. For more chance of reliability, you should usually aim for under 100,000 miles. Sites like Cenex offer for information on mileage.

Look into the vehicle history

It’s worth also considering the vehicle’s history. If there’s a long history of faults and repairs – and if the vehicle has switched hands lots of times – it could be a bad sign. You may also want to be wary of vehicle that’s been sitting idle on someone’s drive for years – a car that hasn’t run for a while could be as much of a problem as a car that’s got too many miles on the clock.  

Bring a mechanic/knowledgeable friend with you to view the car

Bringing a mechanic or knowledgeable friend along with you could be beneficial. They may be able to take a look under the bonnet and spot any problems that may not be obvious. They may also know certain questions to ask the seller.

Always go for a test drive

A test drive can be a great way to see how a car feels. It may allow you to spot problems such as sticky gears or steering issues that you wouldn’t have otherwise known about. A trustworthy seller will always offer a test drive – if they refuse, it’s probably because they’re hiding something. 

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How Do I Build Credit When I Don’t Have Credit?

Generally, you need a decent enough credit history to get credit. But how do you start?

It’s the riddle many credit applicants face, especially if they’re young and just starting out on their own financially: to get credit you need to have had credit. But then how do you get it in the first place? Here are some good ways you can get started with credit, even if you don’t have any credit history.

Get a student credit card.

Credit card companies know young people may not have much of a credit history (if any!) to look at. That’s why many offer student credit cards. These generally have lower credit limits, which helps creditors manage the risk of lending to an unknown creditor.

Get a secured credit card.

Secured credit cards work much like other credit cards do: you use them to pay for things, then get billed for what you charged the following month. The major difference is that secured cards require you to put down a cash deposit before you’re able to use the card. That way, if you struggle making payments, the creditor can use the cash you deposited to foot the bill.

Ask your parents to include you as an authorized user.

Only do this if your parents’ accounts are in good standing. The credit activity associated with the primary account holders (your parents) will also be reported for any authorized users. This can be a good way to build a credit file to demonstrate you can handle credit on your own.

Most importantly: practice good credit habits.

Regardless of which method you use to get access to credit, make sure to practice good credit habits. That means this: always pay your bills on time and don’t max out your cards. In fact, you should keep your usage low and show you can pay off the balances month after month. Also, be careful applying for too many cards in a short period of time. Bottom line? When it comes to credit health, slow and steady wins the race.

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Be OK Financially: Living Well After Divorce

Originally posted by Sandra Hughes on silvernest.com Apr 13, 2017 8:58:10 AM

Going through divorce is challenging on so many levels: mentally, emotionally and financially. Having a plan and support systems in place is critical in getting through each of these challenges. When you are dealing specifically with the financial realities of divorce, you may be wondering, “Will I be ok financially? Will I be able to live well after the divorce?” The answer to both of those questions can be yes—with thoughtful planning on your part.

The reality of divorce is that at least one of the parties will have a standard of living less than the marital standard of living, or what you were used to. From a completely practical standpoint, you may have never been involved in the financial planning, tax or estate planning aspects of your marriage. It will be useful to have sound advice to guide you through these conversations, as you get used to dealing with even more “new” things.

Divorce has a decidedly “business perspective” that may feel like foreign territory. And thinking about it just that way can take some of the emotion out of the break-up and focus you on the details of the next stage of your life. Following are three key suggestions to give you the support and comfort you need:

1) Put the right “business” team in place.

Ideally the team would consist of your divorce attorney, financial adviser, accountant, and estate planning attorney. If you can’t have all of these, a good attorney or mediator and a financial adviser is a good starting point. The best way to find all of these people is by referral. Talk to people that you know who have been through a divorce. Find out who they used and whether they would recommend that person, then interview the person before you start working with him/her to see if you get along well. It is very important for you to respect your adviser as well as having him/her respect you. A financial adviser will make sure you are clear about what you have now, and also that you budget and plan wisely for the income and assets you’ll have when the divorce is finalized. Finally, a good estate planning attorney is critical because there are all sorts of the issues surrounding your estate and beneficiaries once you are no longer partnered.

2) Create a budget immediately.

In order to get a sense of what you have and what you will need, do a current budget, as well as a projected post-divorce budget. If you have the ability to work with a certified financial planner or even a certified divorce financial planner, that is really beneficial. In any event, understanding what you have to work with and creating a current budget, highlighting your income and expenses, and also listing your assets and debts is a great starting point. Projecting your post-divorce budget is key as well. Figure out what financial information you have and what you need to find. Most important, you need to think about what you will need to live on, where you are going to live, and what you need to keep in mind regarding children, if you have them. Do a preliminary inventory of your assets so you have an idea what you will have when you and your spouse eventually divide them up.

3) Formulate your plan.

Know what you have to work with now helps you formulate a realistic plan for what you want to have at the end of the divorce negotiations. Once you have a sense of that, then the next step is figuring out what you will need to do to achieve that end. Setting realistic goals, and having your team in place goes a long way to creating a focused plan.

Having a structure, a plan and support will alleviate some of the stress and worry that is center of a divorce. That is what I want for each of you – the peace of mind that comes with knowing you will be financially ok, and the knowledge that you can live well after your divorce.

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Should You Outsource The IT Needs Of Your Small Business?

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At the center of any small business is the idea that drives it. This concept will be the reason that you started your company in the first place, and it will be the thing that hopefully generates you all of your profits. 

But very often when it comes to running a small business, you end up spinning lots of different plates. You’ll be worrying about keeping your company website up-and-running, managing your social media accounts, trying to get your website more exposure, making sure your antivirus is up-to-date, and worrying about your firewall, and router. 

Unless you are in the business of IT, these are probably not your fields of expertise. But, hiring a professional with the relevant skills and experience can be costly. And then you’ll also have to worry about managing them, and maybe even finding space for them in your organization. This may not be a viable option for you. 

Consider Outsourcing Your IT Requirements

Whatever your business needs in terms of IT support, there are plenty of great companies who are very well positioned to give you excellent service. Click here for an example of one such company. 

By outsourcing IT requirements, you will be freeing up your time in order to focus on the things that really matter to your business. You’ll be able to expand and grow in new ways, and you will have more energy for progress. 

Getting The Experience That Your Company Needs

Someone with the right experience levels and skill set could easily do a much better job of managing your tech support than you. You will be supported by a team who will have the relevant qualifications and will have no doubt handle multiple clients in a similar situation to yourself. They will understand the needs of your business and be able to react to this immediately. 

Access To Industry Standard Software

Your IT consultants will be able to set you up with some of the most useful pieces of software for your business. You’ll get updates as required, and whenever there are developments in areas of technology that may benefit you, you can access this quickly. This will allow you to position yourself ahead of others in the industry, whose in-house IT support may not have the knowledge or infrastructure to get on board with changes quickly enough. 

Security And Data Protection

Your customer’s data is extremely valuable. Not just to you, but to hackers who may try and benefit from it. With cybersecurity representing such a significant threat to business, you need to make sure that this is managed effectively. 

Having a managed IT solution will allow you to protect your data effectively. By keeping your network secure, and carrying out regular data compliance audits, your IT support company will help you rest easy, safe in the knowledge that your data is safe. In completing these audits, you can be sure that you will also meet any official regulatory requirements. 

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How to Dispute Something on Your TransUnion Credit Report

Filing a credit report dispute with TransUnion is easy. Here’s how to do it.

One of the most important things you should check throughout your credit report is that the information listed in it is accurate. Sometimes, creditors report information that is inaccurate or outdated. Fortunately, if you spot something that doesn’t look right in your TransUnion report, it’s easy to file a dispute. Here’s how it works.

Why Dispute?

If you’re reviewing your report and notice something that’s not accurate, the inaccuracy could have a negative effect on your credit scores and perceived creditworthiness. If you file a dispute, the bureau producing the report (in this case, TransUnion), will investigate the credit report item in dispute. If it’s found to be inaccurate, the bureau will change it so that it’s accurate, which could mean removing it or altering it in some other way.

How to Dispute

Each bureau has its own way of receiving and processing disputes to its credit reports. At TransUnion, it’s easiest and fastest to dispute online: simply create your account or log in at dispute.transunion.com to get started. You can also call TransUnion or mail in a dispute.

What to Expect

The outcome of your dispute depends on what the investigation reveals. If it is found that you did have inaccurately listed information in your report, it will be changed to be listed accurately. Regardless of the outcome, you’ll be updated at key moments throughout the dispute process and can log in anytime to check the progress. Investigations typically take 30 days to complete, but 30-45 days is a good estimate. It’s in the best interest of the bureaus to make sure their credit reports are as accurate as possible, so you can trust your dispute will be investigated fairly.

Take the next step: protect your credit and start saving money.

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