Invalid Credit Card

So if you don’t sign your credit card its invalid? Well does that mean the purchases are invalid? Does it mean you are breaking the law if you do not sign the card yet go on to buy something? Read this blog post and see what you think.

Sign Your Credit CardIt’s a little known fact that your credit card is actually invalid until it’s signed. Really. Look at the fine print of the agreement that comes along with the card in the mail; it’s also printed on the back of the card. However, most merchants will allow you, or anyone, to use an unsigned card.Signing your card actually helps protect you from fraud since it’s much more difficult to copy your signature than for a thief to simply sign your unsigned card. You can even go one step further and sign the card, and then write “Check ID” next to your signature to request that the merchant also verify the ID of the person using the card.

Sign Your Credit Card

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Visa Master Card to pay 336 million

Master Card credit cards. Visa and MasterCard agreed to pay a total of 336 million dollars to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging the credit card firms shortchanged US consumers in foreign currency transactions, a regulatory filing showed.(AFP/File/Mike Clarke)

NEW YORK (AFP) – Visa and MasterCard agreed to pay a total of 336 million dollars to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging the credit card firms shortchanged US consumers in foreign currency transactions, a regulatory filing showed.

Visa, MasterCard to pay 336 million dollars in currency suit – Yahoo! News

Look like they were adding surcharges to credit and debit transactions with out disclosure!

Well gald to hear the little guy one on this one.

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Legal Helpers

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) July 17, 2006 — Legal Helpers today released its first article in a series on debt repair. The article, which can be found at, serves as an introduction to the issues involving erroneous credit reports. The series is intended to create awareness of a growing issue that concerns every consumer regardless of the current state of their credit. A single error on a credit report could result in an increased point or two of additional interest which could result in hundreds if not thousands of dollars that the consumer should not have had to pay. Legal Helpers will continue the series each week.

Legal Helpers Publishes First Article in Lecture Series on Credit Repair – Yahoo! News

Found this on Yahoo news. It gives a great illistration on the cost of poor credit.

Here is an example of how Credit can effect how much you pay for a car loan:

$20,000 car paid over 5 years
Perfect 10% $424.94 $0.00
Mildly Damaged 14% $465.37 $4,722.54
Damaged 20% $529.88 $8,593.30

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Yahoo Finance update

I try and use every resource available to learn about Credit, Debt, personal finance and building wealth. I really enjoy Yahoo Finance so I was glad to hear they were giving it an update. Head on over and see what’s new…

Yahoo Finance was set to get a face-lift on Monday with new interactive stock charts, improved message boards and business-related video clips from content partners.In addition, Yahoo is offering Internet publishers the ability to easily add a stock chart, quotes and news headlines to their Web site.The new Yahoo Finance beta site features a full-screen application that lets people add events–such as whether a company has had stock splits or dividends–with one click, see competitor charts, click and drag to customize a chart’s time range, and type in specific dates.

Yahoo Finance gets a face-lift | CNET

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Zombie debt collectors

What the heck is Zombie debt?

I found this nice article on MSN money. A friend of mine came over the other day and asked me about a letter they had received about a debt that was over 7 years old. The letter said the company would give a visa card to my friend for the amount of the debt owed over 7 years ago. If my friend paid it off then they would clear up her credit. Sounded a lot like what Liz Pulliam is talking about.

There’s money in old debt decade ago, most people who reneged on debts could rest easy after several years passed, since few creditors tried to collect on old bills, particularly for small amounts.Today, however, collecting on old debts is a rapidly expanding industry. Aggressive companies can buy charged-off credit card accounts from the original lenders for pennies on the dollar. Then, they use credit scoring and other new technologies to identify which debtors are most likely to pay. The players in this “junk debt” market range from fly-by-night outfits to well-established companies funded by Wall Street investors.

Zombie debt collectors dig up your old mistakes – MSN Money

Last year, more than $75 billion in old debts were sold. So I think we may be seeing the start of a new industry which is not rooted in law, so be very careful.

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Repair Credit History

Be very careful when looking at Credit Repair Companies

“For a fee, they promise to clean up your credit report so you can obtain a car loan, a home mortgage or even get a job. Unfortunately, many of these companies can’t deliver. After paying these companies hundreds or even thousands of dollars in upfront fees, these companies do nothing to improve your credit report; many simply vanish with your money…”

The only thing that really will change your credit report is time and acurate disputing of inaccurate negative marks on your report.

The truth is, no one can legally remove accurate
and timely negative information from a credit report. But the law does
allow you to request a reinvestigation of information in your file that
you dispute as inaccurate or incomplete. There is no charge for this.
Everything a credit repair clinic can do for you legally, you can do
for yourself at little or no cost.

Advise you to dispute all information in your
credit report or take any action that seems illegal, such as creating a
new credit identity by obtaining a federal employer identification
number to use instead of a Social Security number. If you follow
illegal advice and commit fraud, you may be subject to prosecution.It’s
a federal crime to make false statements on a loan or credit
application, to misrepresent your Social Security number or to obtain
an employer identification number from the Internal Revenue Service
under false pretenses.”

The Daily Advertiser – – Lafayette, LA

You can always get a free copy of your credit report from www.annualcreditreport. com and please be very careful of any company asking you to do anything illegal. Breaking Federal Law is not worth it.

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Oprah Dave Ramsey style

Oprah is running a “Debt Diet” show today and yesterday. Sorry for the late notice. I work during the day but did watch the previews online. She also has a section where you can go and get help fighting your debt, click here for more details.

She breaks the process down into two parts.

Part 1
How much debt do you really have?
Track spending
Stop Spending

Part 2
Make a budget
Grow your Income
Prioritize your debts
Understand spending issues

I hope Dave Ramsey is getting paid because this is his exact step by step plan for dealing with debt.

I am really believe in the Ramsey school of thought so I am glad that Oprah is using her massive public reach to help others learn to crush your debt.

Living with debt is horrible, so any help or motivation to change your situation is welcomed.

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Money does not buy happiness

Yahoo! News reports Money does not buy happiness.

See Yahoo news here

This time old adage is true but not. Let me explain. Simply having money will not make you happy. Look at the super wealthy and you will find they suffer depression, suicide and addiction at the same rate as the rest of the general public. Money can not buy you happiness.

But when you have money you have choices and choices can make you happy. For example, when you have money you can decide which fancy restaurant to take your family to every night, versus making the choice at the grocery store if you can afford to buy meat for your family or will it be pasta again.

The number one cause of divorce is related to money, particularly not having any and bills.  Again when you have money this becomes less of an issue. Your fights will revolve around how many luxury cars you can afford, or how lavish your next vacation will be. When you don’t have money your fights tend to be about which bills won’t get paid.

In the end living a balanced life, filled with friends, family and with limited stress is as close as we can get to a recipe for a happy life.

Happy Fourth of July

Happy fourth of July!!!

Today we are going to fly the American flag at our house. We love our Country and want to show our pride. I saw on they had the do’s and don’ts of flying the flag. Check them out.

Here is the highlights:

“Flag Holidays
Independence Day is a flag holiday–one of 17 days specifically designated in the code on which citizens are encouraged to display the flag, if they’re not in the habit of doing so daily.
Flag holidays are as follows:

1. New Year’s Day – Jan. 1
2. Inauguration Day – Jan. 20
3. Lincoln’s Birthday – Feb. 12
4. Washington’s Birthday – third Monday in February
5. Easter Sunday – (variable)
6. Mother’s Day – second Sunday in May
7. Armed Forces Day – third Saturday in May
8. Memorial Day (half-staff until noon) – last Monday in May
9. Flag Day – June 14
10. Independence Day – July 4
11. Labor Day – first Monday in September
12. Constitution Day – Sept. 17
13. Columbus Day – second Monday in October
14. Navy Day – Oct. 27
15. Veterans Day – Nov. 11
16. Thanksgiving Day – fourth Thursday in November
17. Christmas Day – Dec. 25

The code also urges citizens to display the flag on additional days that are proclaimed by the president of the United States, on days that commemorate the date in which their state was admitted to the union and on specific state holidays.
Manner of Display

• The flag should be hoisted briskly at dawn and lowered ceremoniously at dusk. The flag should be displayed at night only if it is lighted dramatically, as from below. To fly the flag at half-staff, raise it briskly to the top of the pole, keep it there for a moment and then lower it to half-staff. Before taking the flag down for the day, return it briefly to the top of the pole.
• The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all-weather flag is used.
• When the flag is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle, the union (the blue rectangle on which stars are embroidered or fastened) should be at the staff’s peak, unless the flag is being flown at half-staff.
• When displayed horizontally against a wall the union should be to the left of the observer, looking from the street or in the audience. The same holds when a flag is displayed horizontally in a window. When the flag is displayed vertically against a wall, the union is also to the observer’s left. Likewise, when a flag is hung vertically in a window.
• When displayed directly over a street, the flag is hung vertically, and it is centered in the street with the union aligned with the north or east. In a north/south street, this means the flag is hung across the street with the union on the east side of the street. Conversely, on an east/west street, the union is on the north side of the street.
• For visual reference on all of this, visit the American Legion Web site (
• Never use the flag for advertising purposes, as drapery, linens or as clothing, or print it on items soon to be discarded–napkins and paper plates, for example. It should not be used as part of a uniform–athletic or otherwise, unless you are a member of the military, a patriotic organization, police force, fire department or rescue/ambulance squad.
• Never attach a flag directly to a vehicle or drape it over a vehicle. Instead, the flag should be attached to a staff secured to a vehicle’s chassis or to the right front fender. The flag should be displayed on floats in a similar manner. When bunting is used for patriotic display instead of a flag, the colors are arranged from top to bottom: blue, white and red.
• Never display the flag in a manner in which it is easily damaged or with it touching the ground.
• Never display the flag upside down–as this is a distress signal.
In Patriotic Observance
In unabashedly old-fashioned and refreshingly blunt language the code calls on all those present to recognize the flag when it passes as part of a holiday parade:
• Stand.
• Place your right hand over your heart. And in particular, the code says: “Men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart.” Military personnel in uniform should “render the military salute.”

Flowers and Other Patriotic Facts
Suppose you were to give someone flowers, and you wanted to be patriotic about it. Which flower should you choose? The rose is designated as the National Floral Emblem. Although no color is specified in the code, our choice would be a dark red type, such as the hybrid tea rose, Mr. Lincoln.

If you were to utter our national motto, what would you say? It would be, “In God we trust.”
And if the heat weren’t too great, and you were roused to march, what tune should you march to? The National March is “Stars And Stripes Forever,” by John Philip Sousa.”

For more info check out MSN