5 Credit Cards for Boosting Your Credit in Chicago

by Shelton on May 15th, 2014

filed under Secured Credit

Your credit score is more than just a three-digit number, its an indicator of credit health that helps you qualify for loans and get the best interest rates.

Credit is crucial to financial stability; but unfortunately, some consumers downplay the importance of maintaining a high score. Experians 2013 State of Credit report ranks the worst and best credit scores among the largest US metro areas. And, based on the latest report, the average credit score in Chicago is 687.

Its not the most impressive credit score, given that credit scores range from 300 to 850. However, its certainly high enough to qualify for a mortgage and other types of loans.

Of course, this score is only an average; and while some residents have already taken steps to achieve a stellar credit rating, others need help.

Fortunately, help is available. If you need to revive your credit score, here are the five best credit cards for rebuilding credit in Chicago.

1. MB Financial Banks Secured MasterCard

This credit card is an excellent tool for rebuilding or establishing credit; however, its more than just a credit-building card.

As a rewards card, youll earn one point for every $1 you spend with your MB Secured MasterCard, plus 5,000 bonus points if you make a purchase within 60 days of opening an account. Points are redeemable for cash back, gift cards, travel and merchandise. Youll enjoy a credit line between $500 and $3,000 based on the size of your security deposit. The purchase APR is 17.90%.

2. US Banks Secured Visa

Apply for the US Bank secured Visa card and take control of your credit history. With a minimum security deposit of $300, youll receive a credit line of equal value plus the chance to demonstrate your creditworthiness.

This credit card offers a variety of cardholder perks, such as zero-fraud liability, auto-rental insurance, free online banking and bill pay, as well as FlexControl to help you avoid late fees. This card comes with an APR 20.99% for purchases and a $35 annual fee.

3. The BankAmericard Secured Credit Card

Between security deposits, start-up fees and activation fees, secured credit cards can be expensive. Its a different story with Bank of Americas secured credit card. Apply today and rebuild your credit with no activation or application fees.

The bank offers a generous credit line of up to $4,900 based on your security deposit and income. After 12 months of responsible card use, you might qualify to have your security deposit returned. The standard APR for purchases and balance transfers is 20.24%, and theres a $39 annual fee.

4. Capital Ones Secured MasterCard

Not only does this credit card feature a fair 22.90% APR and a low $29 annual fee, you can apply with no processing or application fees.

Enjoy a credit line up to $3,000; and as a cardholder, there are a variety of tools to help you monitor and manage your score and history with this credit card.

5. First Progress Platinum Elite Secured MasterCard

Whether you have no credit history or a low credit score, the First Progress Platinum Elite secured card can get your credit life on track. Use your card for any purpose, such as renting a car, grocery shopping or reserving a hotel with a credit line between $300 and $2,000.

And, since the bank updates credit reports monthly, paying your bills on time and maintaining a low balance can build or rebuild your credit history sooner. The credit card features an annual purchase APR of 19.99% and charges a $29 annual fee.

Photo credit: MoneyBlogNewz

11 Ways To Raise Your Credit Score, Fast

by Shelton on May 15th, 2014

filed under Secured Credit

A recent survey from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling indicates that more people would be embarrassed to admit their credit scores (30%) than their weight (12%).

While crash diets don’t usually work and can be unhealthy, it is possible to change your credit score fairly quickly. But just as with weight loss, “quickly” is a relative term. Seeing any improvement could take 30 to 60 days, according to Liz Weston, personal finance columnist and author of Your Credit Score, Your Money amp; What’s At Stake.

But nothing will change at all if you just sit there on the couch, eating Cheetos and charging items on the Home Shopping Network. So get moving!

The first thing to do is get a copy of your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com. The three major credit reporting bureaus must give you one free copy per year, so plan to order one every four months.

Then use one or more of the following tips to boost that three-digit number that has increasing power over our everyday lives.

1. Dispute errors. Mistakes happen. You can dispute errors online through Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. After you’ve fixed any foul-ups, you might try to…

2. Negotiate. You can’t deny that you stopped paying a credit card bill when you were unemployed last year. But you can ask creditors to “erase” that debt or any account that went to collection. Write a letter offering to pay the remaining balance if the creditor will then report the account as “paid as agreed” or maybe even remove it altogether. (Note: Get the creditor to agree in writing before you make the payment.)

You might also be able to ask for a “good-will adjustment.” Suppose you were a pretty good Visa Visa customer until that period of unemployment, when you made a late payment or two – which now show up on your credit report. Write a letter to Visa emphasizing your previous good history and ask that the oopsies be removed from the credit report. It could happen. And as long as you’re reading the report, you need to…

3. Check your limits. Make sure your reported credit limits are current vs. lower than they actually are. You don’t want it to look as though you’re maxing out the plastic each month. If the card issuer forgot to mention your newly bumped-up credit limit, request that this be done.

4. Get a credit card. Having one or two pieces of plastic will do good things to your score – if you don’t charge too much and if you pay your bills on time. In other words, be a responsible user of credit.

Can’t get a traditional card? Try for a secured credit card, taking care to choose one that reports to all three major credit bureaus. And if you can’t get a secured card, you might ask to…

5. Become an authorized user. This means convincing a relative or friend to be added to his or her existing credit card account. If you’ve had a checkered financial history, don’t be surprised if you hear the word “no” a lot. But you might luck out, especially if you’re a young person who has no history of poor credit use.

Offer to put an agreement in writing stating how much you can spend and how you will get your share of the bill to the cardholder. Then “do your part and use the card responsibly,” says Beverly Harzog, author of Confessions of a Credit Junkie. In other words, don’t buy more than you can afford and don’t leave your co-signer hanging when the bill is due. The point is to learn to use credit responsibly.

6. Under-use your cards. Yes, we did just tell you to get credit by any means possible. But don’t whip out the plastic to pay for everything. The “credit utilization ratio” should be no more than 30% and ideally even less. Harzog says that a 10% credit utilization ratio will “maximize this part of your FICO score.”

For example, suppose your Mastercard has a $1,500 limit and you routinely charge a grand a month. It doesn’t matter if you pay it all off before it’s due. What matters is the credit bureaus think “Curtis is using two-thirds of his credit! What a spendthrift!” And if you’re a cash-free kind of guy? Then try to…

7. Raise your credit limit. Ask your creditors to increase your limit, ie making that Mastercard good for up to $3,000. Be careful with this one, though: It works only if you can trust yourself not to increase your spending habits accordingly. Otherwise you’ll be right back to using 66% of your credit each month and how will that look?

Have Debt Consolidation Loans Questions? Debt Legal Are Here To Help!

by Shelton on May 15th, 2014

filed under Debt Consolidation

Consolidating your debt could be the beginning of your financial freedom. It is one step up from needing to declare bankruptcy, though it is a long process and yes it doesnt always yield the fast results you deserve. There are several things you should know about this process prior to getting started and newly created website, Debt Legal is here to assist you.

Quarterly Earnings Release Schedules and Secured Credit Agreements …

by Shelton on May 15th, 2014

filed under Secured Credit

NEW YORK, April 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ —

Today, Analysts Review released its analysts notes regarding Graco Inc. (NYSE: GGG), Polypore International Inc. (NYSE: PPO), Crane Co. (NYSE: CR), TriMas Corporation (NYSE: TRS) and Mueller Water Products, Inc. (NYSE: MWA). Private wealth members receive these notes ahead of publication. To reserve complementary membership, limited openings are available at: http://www.AnalystsReview.com/register

Graco Inc. Analyst Notes

On April 2, 2014, Graco Inc. (Graco) announced plans to release its Q1 2014 earnings after the New York Stock Exchange closes on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. Graco informed that its management will host a conference call with analysts and institutional investors to review the results the following day at 11:00 am ET (10:00 am CT). The call, and the slides, will be accessible on the Companys website. The full analyst notes on Graco Inc. are available to download free of charge at:


Polypore International Inc. Analyst Notes

On April 8, 2014, Polypore International Inc. (Polypore) announced that it has entered into a new $650 million senior secured credit agreement led by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo Securities LLC, as joint lead arrangers and joint book managers. Polypore informed that the agreement consists of a $500 million amortizing term loan facility and $150 million revolving credit facility which mature on April 8, 2019. Polypore aims to utilize borrowings via the new term loan and revolving credit facility in conjunction with cash on hand to settle all outstanding obligations via the existing senior secured credit agreement and for redemption of its $365 million callable 7.5% senior notes, resulting in a lower overall level of debt and interest expenses. The full analyst notes on Polypore International Inc. are available to download free of charge at:


Crane Co. Analyst Notes

On April 4, 2014, Crane Co. (Crane) announced that it will release its Q1 2014 earnings on April 28, 2014, after market closing. The Company will also hold a conference call the following day at 10:00 am ET, with Max H. Mitchell, CEO, and Richard A. Maue, VP Finance amp; CFO, as hosts. Crane informed that the webcast will be accessible via a listen-only mode through the Companys website, together with the accompanying slide presentation. The full analyst notes on Crane Co. are available to download free of charge at:


TriMas Corporation Analyst Notes

On April 11, 2014, TriMas Corporation (TriMas) announced that it will host its Q1 2014 earnings conference call on Tuesday, April 29, 2014. The conference call is slated to start at 10:00 am ET and will follow the Companys release of Q1 2014 earnings results at 8:00 am ET on the same day. The call will also be simultaneously webcast via TriMas website under the Investors section, along with an accompanying slide presentation. TriMas will also archive the replay of the conference call, starting April 29, 2014 at 3:00 pm ET, until May 6, 2014 at 3:00 pm ET. The full analyst notes on TriMas Corporation are available to download free of charge at:


Mueller Water Products, Inc. Analyst Notes

On April 7, 2014, Mueller Water Products, Inc. (Mueller Water Products) announced that it plans to release its financial results for Q2 FY 2014 (period ended March 31, 2014) on Tuesday, April 29, 2014, after the market closing. Gregory E. Hyland, Chairman, President and CEO of Mueller Water Products, together with other members of the Companys leadership team will review the financial results via a conference call on Wednesday, April 30, 2014, at 9:00 am ET. The conference call will be accessible through a live webcast on Mueller Water Products website, where it will be archived for around 90 days. The full analyst notes on Mueller Water Products, Inc. are available to download free of charge at:


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