Free FICO Credit Scores: What You Should Know

by Shelton on February 11th, 2015

filed under Credit Scores

By Bob Sullivan, Next Avenue Contributor

(This article previously appeared on

Great news! Soon, the majority of Americans will have free access to their credit score. This is a major victory for consumers, a decade or more in the making.

Check that.Soon, the majority of Americans will have free access to a credit score. This is a very good thing. You should take advantage of the offer as soon as it’s available to you. But it’s hardly time to declare victory.

News From Citi and the White House

Most recently, Citi announced that millions of consumers with Citi-branded credit cards can now get a free peek at their Equifax-based FICO credit score by logging on to its new website.

(MORE: 6 Credit Score Myths Debunked)

This comes just a week after the White House announced that a slew of banks would start offering free credit scores to consumers later this year.

Smart city plan: Criteria agreed for choice, ranking

by Shelton on February 11th, 2015

filed under Personal Funding

New Delhi: The federal governments initiative for creating one hundred sensible cities achieved a serious milestone Saturday as the varied stakeholders got here out with the standards for the choice and ranking of cities and in addition broadly agreed on progressive financing fashions and concrete governance reforms to be carried out as a part of the undertaking.

The best way ahead emerged after intense discussions at a two -day Session Workshop of States and Stakeholders on Smart Cities, which concluded right here immediately.

Among the many primary eligibility circumstances steered by the states and different stakeholders for participation within the Smart City Problem have been the necessity for a imaginative and prescient and city improvement technique, progress beneath Swachh Bharat Mission, well timed cost of salaries to municipal employees, info and grievance redressal mechanism and e-publication.

The essential stakeholder consultations have been organised by the City Improvement Ministry upon the path of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take the states on board earlier than continuing additional with a the launch of the sensible city initiative.

As per an official launch, the ultimate suggestions of states and different stakeholders have been introduced on the concluding plenary session chaired by the Minister of State for City Improvement, Babul Supriyo.

Principal secretaries and municipal commissioners from about 25 states took half within the deliberations together with business representatives and concrete specialists.

For the additional ranking of cities for last choice, the states have instructed the parameters and respective weightages that embrace self-financing capacity (25 % weightage), institutional methods and capacities (25 %), present service ranges and dedicated plan of motion for three years (25 %), previous monitor document in implementing reforms (15 %) and high quality of imaginative and prescient doc (10 %).

On the reforms entrance, the states have advised two units of reforms individually for small and metropolitan cities, land monetisation, elevated FAR norms with clear insurance policies, fast progress in the direction of e-governance and on-line service supply.

Built-in GIS-based mostly Grasp Plans, together with for sanitation, mobility, land use, digital connectivity, catastrophe danger administration and local weather change, coverage reforms, fastened tenures for mayors and municipal officers, enhancing revenues by way of one hundred per cent assortment of taxes and consumer expenses and credit standing of city native our bodies have been recommended as a part of the reforms in city governance.

As regards financing, the states steered that along with the PPP mannequin, they need to be given the choice of EPC (Engineering Procurement Contract), consumer-charge based mostly concessions to advertise personal sector participation, imposing impression payment on organisations that profit from improved infrastructure and making cluster-based mostly tasks to enhance viability of tasks for personal funding.

Authorities help for making tasks viable for personal buyers, unbundling of providers to make tasks funding worthy, creation of a low-value pooled fund with the help of Asian Improvement Financial institution, World Financial institution, Pension Funds, Sovereign Funds and credit standing of cities have additionally been sought by the states.

Apart from, the states advocated coverage modifications to make city tasks viable, reminiscent of help to sale of compost ready from strong waste, corporatisation of providers, and so forth.