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Archive for March 2009

March 2009 - Net Worth Update and Personal Finance Status

Published 3/31/09  (Modified 3/9/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

March 2009 has turned out to be a pretty routine month for me. As I'm currently traveling overseas for an extended period of time and won't be returning home to the U.S. for several months, I haven't had much time to really closely follow the progression of my financial portfolio. However, even while away, I still find time to occasionally glance at my net worth balances periodically to make sure everything is okay. So far, all basic metrics, bank balances, and credit reports indicate that I'm maintaining a pretty stable and healthy financial position - well positioned to keeping growing for the foreseeable future and weather any significant or further downturn in the economy.

While I've had to put my part time ambulance chasing legal practice on hold while traveling overseas for family health reasons, my portfolio of online and real world small businesses have continued to churn out a fairly steady income stream while I've been away, much of it passively generated without substantial attention on my part. Much of the hard work, mind numbing stress, and financial sacrifices that I made in the past few years in creating semi-self run businesses have finally paid off, allowing me to generate income and make money even when I'm not actively sitting at my home office desk in Maryland working on the computer or making phone calls.

In terms of my profession, I'm very thankful that I've been able to successfully make the transition from traditional 9-5 day job worker into a self employed entrepreneur and sole

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How To Get A Free Experian FICO Credit Score

Published 3/29/09  (Modified 3/22/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

Updated Review Of Ways To Get Your Experian FICO Credit Score Now

For credit report and FICO credit score junkies like myself, I was completed stunned and floored when I heard the official announcement that the Experian credit reporting agency would no longer be making its Experian FICO credit score available to consumers from hereon, effective February 14, 2009 (Valentine's Day no less). However, in an odd marketing twist, the Experian FICO scores would continue to be made available to lenders and businesses - just not to the hapless consumers who are actually concerned about their own personal finances.

For those who work hard at monitoring their credit reports and credit scores, and take diligent steps to ensure the maintenance of perpetually high FICO's, this news release exploded into our midst like a cruel bomb shell. So am I overreacting or is this move by Experian as significant as I'm seemingly making it out to be?

Lack Of Access To Experian FICO Credit Scores Ultimately Favors Lenders and Hurts Consumers

At a time when banks have grown extra stingy when it comes to lending money and it's becoming even more important for consumers like you and I to monitor our credit reports and credit scores regularly, we are now losing yet another option of doing so. Experian is one of the three major credit reporting agencies that maintain massive historical databases of how individuals and businesses handle credit usage responsibilities. Fair Isaac Corporation is the company that developed the popular and widely used FICO credit score,

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How to get your free FICO score and avoid getting ripped off

Published 3/22/09  (Modified 12/18/13)

By Joe Taylor Jr.

That pirate band from the seafood restaurant has changed its tune. For years, singer-songwriter Eric Violette portrayed the harried lead singer of a musical group forced into a series of dead end jobs and sticky situations because they didn't keep close enough watch over their credit reports. When new federal rules prohibited credit bureaus from marketing "free credit reports" in conjunction with subscription services came out these commercials disappeared from the airways.

Since nearly everything today from getting a mortgage, applying for a credit card, and even getting a job depends on your credit score, where can you get free information about your credit?

Not from the government

Free FICO scores aren't included in the government mandated credit reports offered by AnnualCreditReport.com. That's because the contents of your free credit report are facts, while any credit score results from passing those facts through proprietary risk equations. Although lawmakers like to debate over rules that would make credit scores free to consumers, it still costs money to see the same three-digit numbers that banks use to determine creditworthiness.

Even though most free credit score websites don't offer access to "real" FICO scores, the credit models they use closely resemble the scores that lenders would see when reviewing your credit profile.

So where are good places to look to get your credit score?

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Lending Club Review - Social Network Peer Loans and Borrowing

Published 3/10/09  (Modified 3/22/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

Borrow Money Or Invest In Interest Earning P2P Loans With Lending Club

With the lowering of interest rates by the Federal Reserve in response to the current economic climate to the lowest levels we have seen in years, the interest rates offered by high yield savings accounts and high interest certificate of deposits are now simply not as attractive as they once were, only a few years ago. With the stock market still suffering from unstable price swings and massive volatility across all sectors, it makes present day sense to look towards alternative investment ideas to make some money.

While I have been a quiet Lending Club member for a few years now since the online company opens its doors to loan investors, I haven't felt the need to review the program until now. Until recently, the top high yield savings account and best CD rates at most banking institutions offered a reliably consistent rate of return on deposits. But with market turmoil ever present and the specter of worsening bank failures looming, I've begun to turn my attention to other investment possibilities in an attempt to diversify my portfolio risk and seek a higher rate of return. The ability to earn a reasonably competitive interest income with the added ability to diversify risk via peer to peer lending networks like Lending Club and Prosper is becoming more and more attractive. At the very least, P2P lending programs offer potential profit seeking investors like myself the ability to play the role of the

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