How to Use Rent Payments to Improve Your Credit

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Using rent payments to improve your credit is now easier than ever. We cover the websites that can help you report your rent to credit bureaus.

Rent Payments to Improve Your Credit

If you’re among the 36.6% of US households that rent, you’re probably missing out on the single biggest credit reference: Your rent payment!

Traditionally, the only way that your rent payments affect your credit score is if unpaid rent goes into collection. Your many years of making rent payments on time aren’t even recognized. Fortunately, that situation is changing. You may be able to help your own cause by learning how to report rent payments to credit bureaus.

Here are several services that can help you do just that.

Experian RentBureau

Experian has been moving forward in reporting rent histories through its Experian RentBureau. The service started in December, 2010, when Experian became the first credit reporting agency to include on-time rent payment data on its credit reports.

RentBureau will show your rental arrangement as a trade line, and includes your payments for the past 25 months. The data in the trade line will also show the date you started renting and your monthly payment amount.

There’s some really good news here, too. Experian will only include positive rental history. The reason is that negative rental information will usually show up as a collection account, which is already reported by the collection agencies.

Of course, there is a bit of a catch in the way this works. Your landlord won’t likely automatically report your rental history. That may be true even if you live in a very large apartment complex.

If you rent and you want your rent history included in your credit report, you’ll have to ask your landlord or property manager if they report to Experian RentBureau. If they do, you’re all set. But if they don’t, you’ll have to encourage them to do so. They may not want to. But there’s a workaround on how to report rent payments to credit bureaus.

How to Report Rent Payments to Credit Bureaus

To do that, you’ll have to have the landlord or property manager contact Experian RentBureau to set up the reference. Since there are fees (and extra work) involved, your landlord may have little interest in participating. If that’s the case, you can sign up for a rental payment service that works with Experian RentBureau.

When you do, you’ll actually make your rent payments through the rental payment service. The service will forward the rent to your landlord and then report the payment to Experian.

The downside to using a rental payment service is that you will usually have to pay a fee. Some services have a setup fee that could be as high as $50. But almost all have a per-payment fee as well. That fee can be a few dollars for each check payment or a percentage of either a debit card or credit card payment.

For example, if a service charges a 2.75% fee for a credit card payment and your rent is $1,000 per month, you will pay $27.50 per payment.

That’s obviously a bit steep. But if you’re looking to build a credit rating, it could be an expense worth paying.

Rental payment service providers that cooperate with Experian RentBureau include:

  • PayLease – Must sign up to determine fees.
  • PayYourRent – ACH fee (undisclosed) or 2.75% credit card fee.
  • RENTTRACK – ACH $6.95, debit card 2.75%, credit card 2.95%. ***Also reports to Equifax and TransUnion.***
  • ClearNow – Fees paid by landlord who might charge them back to you.
  • eRentPayment – ACH/eCheck $3 per transaction. ***Also reports to Equifax and TransUnion.***
  • rentler – $1.95 for bank transactions, 1.9% for debit cards, 2.9% for credit cards.

With services where the fee is paid by the landlord, it’s almost certain that the landlord will pass those fees on to you.

Rental Kharma

Rental Kharma is a service that reports your rent payment history to TransUnion. They do this after verifying your lease and your monthly payments with your landlord. After that, each payment that you make will be verified. You could also add your last 24 months of rent payments to fast-forward the process of building your credit score.

Rental Kharma isn’t a rental payment service. Instead, they contact your landlord once you’ve made your payment and verify that you made it on time. That means that though you will subscribe to the service for credit purposes, you will still make your rent payment directly to your landlord.

Rental Kharma also has what could be a big advantage for certain tenants. Rent payments are only considered late if they are more than 30 days past the due date. So if your rent is due on November 1, it will not be reported late to the credit bureau as long as it’s paid by November 30. But they do recommend that if you sometimes go beyond 30 days, you may not want to subscribe to the service. That is, rent payments more than 30 days late will count against you.

In order to join the service, you have to pay a one-time validation fee of $25. After that, you pay a monthly subscription fee of $6.95 for ongoing reporting. If you want to add your previous rent history, the fee is $5 for each month verified, up to a maximum of 24 months.

Your landlord must be willing to participate in the service, since they will need to verify your rent payments. But Rental Kharma is an easier sell to a landlord because the landlord isn’t required to pay any fees.

TransUnion RentReporters

You can also get TransUnion involved directly in rent reporting through their RentReporters service. Like Rental Kharma, they verify your rent payments with your landlord and then include the history on your TransUnion credit report.

Their website advertises that “The average credit score can increase 35 to 50 points in 15 days” as a result of adding your rent history to your credit report.

RentReporters has a one-time enrollment fee of $45.95. That fee includes both the landlord verification process and reporting up to two years of previous rental payments. To continue reporting future payments, there is a monthly subscription fee of $9.95.

If you have had different landlords in the past two years, RentReporters can verify your rent payment history for an additional fee of $50 for each landlord.

So that’s how to report rent payments to credit bureaus. All you need is a few extra dollars and a willing landlord, and you can have your rent payment history added to your credit report. If that history has been a good one, you could see an almost immediate increase in your credit score.

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3 Quicken Alternatives Now that Quicken Online is Dead

go look at transfs web site for way more details on money 

Quicken online is gone. But there are plenty of great options. Here are the three best Quicken alternatives (and #1 is totally free).

quicken alternatives

Not all that long ago, Quicken was the leading giant in the personal financial planning market. It did everything you could want in a software. Then, Quicken one-upped itself by launching Quicken Online. Not all that long after, though, Quicken Online became obsolete. Here, we’ll talk about the history of Quicken Online, and talk about today’s best Quicken alternatives.

What Was Quicken Online?

Quicken software was created way back when people still used MS-DOS. (To the under-thirty crowd, you don’t even want to know!) It was built on a database structure. This make it a good option for managing complicated financial systems. But it also made cross-platform compatibility difficult. So Intuit, Quicken’s creating company, had to keep coming up with new models.

And, in fact, they still do. Quicken software is still a great option if you want a robust way to manage your personal or business finances. But it wasn’t doing what millennials wanted it to do.

This is why by back in 2007, Intuit launched Quicken Online. The tool was meant to help “young and responsible” individuals manage cash flow. At the time, the data seemed to say that the most pressing question for younger earners was whether or not they could actually pay the bills. So Quicken Online didn’t begin by tracking investments and other long-term goals. Instead, it focused on tracking checking, savings, and credit card transactions.

Intuit could have made a major misstep here by simply moving their old-school database-style software online. But that’s not what they did.

One of Quicken Online’s major differences was the fact that it did not track investments, which Quicken software users had come to expect. But it also made tracking everyday spending much easier.

At the time, financial software that actually synced with your bank accounts was a new concept. So Quicken Online jumped on that bandwagon early. You could connect your checking account directly to Quicken Online, and it would automatically import your transactions.

That’s not something unusual today, of course. But in 2007, it was still a pretty new concept.

What about the problem of uncashed checks? Today, that’s not as much of an issue. I, for one, use checks for only two or three monthly bills. But in 2007, I was still writing checks pretty often. So Quicken Online allowed users to manually enter written but unposted checks. Then, it calculated your actual account balance based on these numbers.

This was a great solution for those up-and-coming professionals struggling with day-to-day cash flow!

Quicken Online also helped people become more aware of their overall financial situation. For instance, new users would get a list of recurring bills suggested from their previous 90 days’ worth of transactions in each connected account. Then, users could set up bill reminders.

Quicken Online’s interface was sleek and user-friendly for the time, though today it would feel clunky and out of date. But it still gave users a quick way to get insight into their spending, saving, and other financial patterns.

Quicken Online screenshot

Quicken Online also acted in an app-like way for iPhone users, specifically. These users could log into their account to view their updated balances and five latest transactions in each account. With transactions downloaded nightly, the feature is a far cry from the to-the-minute financial insight today’s apps offer. But it was still pretty high-tech for a decade ago!

Finally, Quicken Online eventually rolled out an online bill paying option. This was meant to help users manage short-term cash flow and to make their online bill paying easier. And Intuit, of course, tied Quicken Online into its TurboTaxOnline products, as well.

So What Happened to Quicken Online?

In short, it seems that other platforms were quicker to innovate than Intuit. They offered consumers better options than Quicken Online, and for cheaper. So in 2009, Intuit announced its $170 million acquisition of the still-popular financial management platform Mint.com.

Quicken then moved its Quicken Online users over to Mint.com, which was already a well-functioning platform for the most part. It did not go well. Quicken customers weren’t happy to lose their data, and the change was a frustrating one.

With that said, Mint.com still consistently ranks in the top ten lists for personal financial management software options. It’s in my personal top three!

In more recent history, Intuit has been trying hard to preserve Quicken, which was overshadowed by its more popular products, QuickBooks and TurboTax. But many consumers still benefit from using Mint.com on a regular basis.

What Other Options Are There?

If you are looking for a review for Quicken Online, you may be a bit disappointed. It just doesn’t exist anymore. But don’t despair! There are many excellent money management tools online these days. Here are the top three to consider:

Personal Capital

Want a tool that accounts for everyday spending but has a heavier focus on long-term financial planning? Personal Capital may be exactly what you’re looking for. Like Mint, it features a user-friendly, image-driven interface. And like Mint, it syncs with your existing accounts to bring in data automatically.

Unlike Mint, though, Personal Capital has always had a heavy focus on investments. It helps you keep track of your net worth, and it also offers a variety of advising tools. For instance, you can use the investment checkup tool to find out your current asset allocation compared with Personal Capital’s suggested allocation. You can read our full review of this tool here.

Mint.com

It’s no surprise that Mint.com took over the Quicken Online space pretty quickly. And it’s evolved quite a lot since I started using it back in 2010. Back then, the syncing of transactions was sometimes sketchy, and users had now way to track financial goals or investments. These days, things are different.

Mint isn’t just for tracking your cash flow. You can also use it to set up financial goals for the near and long term. And you can automatically import your investment information to keep an eye on that piece of your finances. In short, it’s a comprehensive, visually-driven financial management tool that’s an excellent replacement for the older Quicken tool. Check out our full review here.

You Need a Budget (YNAB)

Of these three tools, YNAB is the weakest when it comes to the visual interface. With that said, it’s still very user-friendly. It is based on a different type of financial management. One that focuses on using last month’s cash for this month’s spending. This is an excellent way to build more financial stability into your life.

YNAB imports transactions when you tell it to, but it does so fairly cleanly. It lets you categorize transactions and set goals. One of its unique features is that it tells you how old your money is. The longer your money sits in your checking account, the older it is. And that’s a good thing!

Not sure which of these options will work best for you? Get our breakdown of the best budget tools here.

Family Fireworks in Reigate

Are you looking for a fabulous family friendly fireworks display (that isn’t easy to say is it!) … then look no further than Reigate Parish Church Primary School! We love sponsoring and getting involved in events at the  Reigate Parish school – and this event is a real treat,  perfect for all ages.

Gates open at 5pm, as you go into the playground there is lots of fun going on.. dancing, glow toys on sale and a yummy cake stall.  You will be able to pre-order your ‘Robert & Edwards’ banger in an ‘Oven Fresh’ bun as well as a vegetarian banger.  Prosecco, mulled wine, beer, fine ales and soft drinks will all be available to purchase on the evening. For little ones (and big ones) that prefer things to be a little less noisy there is a quiet room with activities!

The spectacular fireworks display start promptly at 6.30pm – if you haven’t been before you will love this highlight of the evening.

We hope to see you on the evening, please remember that tickets can ONLY BE PURCHASED IN ADVANCE.

Please download the order ticket order form HERE.

Looking forward to seeing you!

Thinking of selling or letting your home? Our team would love to help; call Louise on 01737 888220.

source http://www.moverevolution.com/blog/family-fireworks-reigate/

3 Quicken Alternatives Now that Quicken Online is Dead

stop by transfs.com site for way more advice on financial resources 

Quicken online is gone. But there are plenty of great options. Here are the three best Quicken alternatives (and #1 is totally free).

quicken alternatives

Not all that long ago, Quicken was the leading giant in the personal financial planning market. It did everything you could want in a software. Then, Quicken one-upped itself by launching Quicken Online. Not all that long after, though, Quicken Online became obsolete. Here, we’ll talk about the history of Quicken Online, and talk about today’s best Quicken alternatives.

What Was Quicken Online?

Quicken software was created way back when people still used MS-DOS. (To the under-thirty crowd, you don’t even want to know!) It was built on a database structure. This make it a good option for managing complicated financial systems. But it also made cross-platform compatibility difficult. So Intuit, Quicken’s creating company, had to keep coming up with new models.

And, in fact, they still do. Quicken software is still a great option if you want a robust way to manage your personal or business finances. But it wasn’t doing what millennials wanted it to do.

This is why by back in 2007, Intuit launched Quicken Online. The tool was meant to help “young and responsible” individuals manage cash flow. At the time, the data seemed to say that the most pressing question for younger earners was whether or not they could actually pay the bills. So Quicken Online didn’t begin by tracking investments and other long-term goals. Instead, it focused on tracking checking, savings, and credit card transactions.

Intuit could have made a major misstep here by simply moving their old-school database-style software online. But that’s not what they did.

One of Quicken Online’s major differences was the fact that it did not track investments, which Quicken software users had come to expect. But it also made tracking everyday spending much easier.

At the time, financial software that actually synced with your bank accounts was a new concept. So Quicken Online jumped on that bandwagon early. You could connect your checking account directly to Quicken Online, and it would automatically import your transactions.

That’s not something unusual today, of course. But in 2007, it was still a pretty new concept.

What about the problem of uncashed checks? Today, that’s not as much of an issue. I, for one, use checks for only two or three monthly bills. But in 2007, I was still writing checks pretty often. So Quicken Online allowed users to manually enter written but unposted checks. Then, it calculated your actual account balance based on these numbers.

This was a great solution for those up-and-coming professionals struggling with day-to-day cash flow!

Quicken Online also helped people become more aware of their overall financial situation. For instance, new users would get a list of recurring bills suggested from their previous 90 days’ worth of transactions in each connected account. Then, users could set up bill reminders.

Quicken Online’s interface was sleek and user-friendly for the time, though today it would feel clunky and out of date. But it still gave users a quick way to get insight into their spending, saving, and other financial patterns.

Quicken Online screenshot

Quicken Online also acted in an app-like way for iPhone users, specifically. These users could log into their account to view their updated balances and five latest transactions in each account. With transactions downloaded nightly, the feature is a far cry from the to-the-minute financial insight today’s apps offer. But it was still pretty high-tech for a decade ago!

Finally, Quicken Online eventually rolled out an online bill paying option. This was meant to help users manage short-term cash flow and to make their online bill paying easier. And Intuit, of course, tied Quicken Online into its TurboTaxOnline products, as well.

So What Happened to Quicken Online?

In short, it seems that other platforms were quicker to innovate than Intuit. They offered consumers better options than Quicken Online, and for cheaper. So in 2009, Intuit announced its $170 million acquisition of the still-popular financial management platform Mint.com.

Quicken then moved its Quicken Online users over to Mint.com, which was already a well-functioning platform for the most part. It did not go well. Quicken customers weren’t happy to lose their data, and the change was a frustrating one.

With that said, Mint.com still consistently ranks in the top ten lists for personal financial management software options. It’s in my personal top three!

In more recent history, Intuit has been trying hard to preserve Quicken, which was overshadowed by its more popular products, QuickBooks and TurboTax. But many consumers still benefit from using Mint.com on a regular basis.

What Other Options Are There?

If you are looking for a review for Quicken Online, you may be a bit disappointed. It just doesn’t exist anymore. But don’t despair! There are many excellent money management tools online these days. Here are the top three to consider:

Personal Capital

Want a tool that accounts for everyday spending but has a heavier focus on long-term financial planning? Personal Capital may be exactly what you’re looking for. Like Mint, it features a user-friendly, image-driven interface. And like Mint, it syncs with your existing accounts to bring in data automatically.

Unlike Mint, though, Personal Capital has always had a heavy focus on investments. It helps you keep track of your net worth, and it also offers a variety of advising tools. For instance, you can use the investment checkup tool to find out your current asset allocation compared with Personal Capital’s suggested allocation. You can read our full review of this tool here.

Mint.com

It’s no surprise that Mint.com took over the Quicken Online space pretty quickly. And it’s evolved quite a lot since I started using it back in 2010. Back then, the syncing of transactions was sometimes sketchy, and users had now way to track financial goals or investments. These days, things are different.

Mint isn’t just for tracking your cash flow. You can also use it to set up financial goals for the near and long term. And you can automatically import your investment information to keep an eye on that piece of your finances. In short, it’s a comprehensive, visually-driven financial management tool that’s an excellent replacement for the older Quicken tool. Check out our full review here.

You Need a Budget (YNAB)

Of these three tools, YNAB is the weakest when it comes to the visual interface. With that said, it’s still very user-friendly. It is based on a different type of financial management. One that focuses on using last month’s cash for this month’s spending. This is an excellent way to build more financial stability into your life.

YNAB imports transactions when you tell it to, but it does so fairly cleanly. It lets you categorize transactions and set goals. One of its unique features is that it tells you how old your money is. The longer your money sits in your checking account, the older it is. And that’s a good thing!

Not sure which of these options will work best for you? Get our breakdown of the best budget tools here.

The 4 Best Meal Plan Services (and cheapest, too)

go look at transfs web-site for far more tips on finances 

The best meal plan services don’t have to be expensive. Here are the best and cheapest meal plan delivery services.

best meal plan services

We’re all busy these days. And that sometimes translates into too much eating out. Or maybe for you it means meal-planning burnout. In an effort to save mental energy, you just make the save handful of meals week in and week out.

Trust me, I’ve been there.

Luckily, the internet abounds with meal planning options. I’m not talking about the actual delivery services here. These are services that give you a menu each week and the grocery list you need to complete that menu.

These services are a good balance for busy people who still want to live on a budget. Even the cheapest meal delivery services average around $10 per person per meal. In my book, that’s actually a lot to spend on dinner!

Using a meal planning service, instead, you can save by shopping for the groceries yourself. But you can get away from the same old dinner routine, as well.

With all that said, here are the four cheapest meal plan services I’ve found. In this list, I looked at both the cost of the actual service, as well as the cost of the planned meals.

$5 Meal Plan

Created by the blogger who started the blog Five Dollar Dinners, this meal plan sends you super-cheap menus each week. Each meal plan comes with the recipes for five dinner entrees with sides, plus one lunch and one breakfast idea. There’s also a random goodie each week. This could include a dessert, a beverage, or a snack.

Each meal is marked with one or more icons. These stand for 20-minute meal, freezer-friendly, slow cooker meal, one-dish dinner, chop ahead, or make ahead. The symbols make it easy for you to rearrange your dinners according to what you have going on during the week. Every menu includes at least one slow cooker meal, one 20-minute meal, and one freezer-friendly meal.

Another option with your membership is to use the drag-and-drop meal planner. This planner features cheap recipes from the blog, but lets you customize your own meal plan. As with the pre-made meal plan, the meal planner will build your shopping list for you, too.

  • Cost: $5/month
  • Cost of Meals: $2/serving or less
  • Best Parts: The best part of this meal plan is just how cheap it is! You can potentially serve your entire family a meal that costs less than $5.
  • Drawbacks: Unlike some of the other plans featured here, this one doesn’t allow for a lot of customization. They now offer limited specialized meal plans, including paleo and vegetarian. But these are six-week meal plans and aren’t guaranteed to be as cheap as the standard meal plan.

eMeals

This service is similar to $5 Meal Plan, with a few key differences. For one thing, it offers a much larger variety of plan options, but most aren’t focused solely on being cheap. It’s also a more expensive option. But on the other hand, it has two meal size options. The smaller one serves two to three adults, and the larger one serves four to six adults.

eMeals has a number of great meal plan options, including Clean Eating, Paleo, Quick and Healthy, Low Carb, Low Calorie, Portion Control, Slow Cooker, Classic, Budget Friendly, Gluten Free, and Diabetic. If you’re on a specific type of diet, this is probably the meal-planning service for you. You can only access one meal plan at a time, but you can switch between plans whenever you’d like.

My family has been using the two to three person Paleo meal plan while my husband and I do a Whole30. It’s enough to serve the two of us and our 6-year-old and 1-year-old. Sometimes we have leftovers if the side is super filling. We aren’t saving a ton of money on groceries, but we also haven’t significantly increased our frugal-ish $150 per week, even while on the Whole30. Since the Whole30 is notorious for busting grocery budgets, I’m going to call that a win.

  • Cost: $29.99/three months or $59.99/year
  • Cost of Meals: Varies with meal plan, but budget options are available
  • Best Parts: The huge variety of meal plans makes this one a winner in my book. You can also add in additional meal plans if certain family members have specific needs or preferences.
  • Drawbacks: It’s slightly more expensive unless you pay annually, and it provides seven meals per week. For my family, this means actually weeding out items on the provided grocery list, since we don’t cook full meals at home every single night of the week.

Relish

This site is unique in that it lets you build your own weekly menu out of categories of meals that revolve each Thursday. When you log in on a Thursday, you can choose recipes from several categories, including Simple Gourmet, Quick, Kid-Friendly, Vegetarian, and Gluten-Free. You can customize individual recipes to suit 2, 4, 6, or 8 eaters, and choose your sides separately. Once you set your menu, Relish will generate your shopping list.

I can see this level of customization being really helpful if, for instance, your kids aren’t with you every night of the week. Choose kid-friendly meals for four when they’re with you, and gourmet meals for two when they aren’t.

It could also be helpful for those who host frequently. We typically have friends over for dinner at least once a week. That’s been one of my frustrations with eMeals. It’s hard to automatically scale up our amounts for just those nights when we’re hosting.

  • Cost: $8/month, $21.70/3 months, $78/year (there is also a free plan with fewer features)
  • Cost of Meals: Depends on plan, but puts you largely in control each week
  • Best Parts: I love how customizable this one is. That’ll make it worth the extra few bucks a month if the group around your dining room table is constantly changing!
  • Drawbacks: This is a slightly more expensive option, too, and it doesn’t seem to have a menu on hand that’s specifically low-budget.

Plan to Eat

What if you already have a decent bank of recipes your family likes, but you just hate pulling them together into a weekly menu? Then Plan to Eat may be the best option for you. It lets you create a virtual recipe book of recipes from anywhere on the web. Each week or month, you can drag and drop the recipes onto your calendar-based planner. Then, Plan to Eat will make your grocery list for you.

I love this idea because it means you can use the recipes you already know that you like. You can also see your grocery list on your phone, which would be helpful for my family’s grocery shopping routine. The calendar-based planning is helpful, too, so that you can easily plan around certain events or rhythms.

  • Cost: $4.95/month
  • Cost of Meals: Depends on what meals you use
  • Best Parts: If you have picky eaters or already know what meals your family loves, this is a great app to try. It’ll help you build in some variety without veering away from the food you know your family will eat. It’s also the cheapest option in our roundup.
  • Drawbacks: This service isn’t automated enough for me. Plus, it looks like you’ll be stuck with the serving sizes of the meals in your menu, which could be limiting.

How to Order Your Free Chex System Report

go and visit transfs.com webpage for way more information and facts on financing 

Your ChexSystems Report is a record of how you’ve managed checking and other bank accounts. Here we cover everything you need to know about ChexSystems.

Have you ever wondered about your relationship with your bank? Strange question, right? What about your relationships with your ex-banks? That’s a bit bizarre to think about. But once a year, it should be something you examine using ChexSystems.

What is ChexSystems?

Great question! ChexSystems is a consumer reporting agency that gives information to banks and credit unions when they’re deciding how risky a potential customer could be. Think about your current and any former banks you have held accounts with. Did you have any history of bounced checks or outstanding overdraft fees? Or maybe you simply stopped using the account due to a zero balance but never officially closed the account? Those are examples of negative behaviors that banks would report to ChexSystems. An unfavorable report on ChexSystems may prevent you from opening a new bank account or savings account, thus delaying your journey to financial stability.

What should I do now?

Visit ChexSystems.com to familiarize yourself with the tools available to you. One of those is the option to request a free consumer report. Every twelve months, you may request the free report from ChexSystems by clicking on the Free FACTA Report link on the ChexSystems homepage. FACTA, which also gives consumers the right to one free credit report each year, refers to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act. While you are visiting the website, you may find it helpful to view the short videos available under the Education tab on the home page menu bar. There you will find video tutorials on the following subjects:

If you decide to request your ChexSystems report online, follow the steps below:

  1. Agree to the terms and conditions listed on the site.
  2. Indicate if you have been declined an account by a financial institution within the last 60 days and if ChexSystems was a factor in that decision.
  3. Verify you are 18 years or older. In that step, you will also see further instructions on how to request a ChexSystems report on behalf of a minor and how to request a report on behalf of another individual that is not a minor.
  4. Fill out the required personal information, including your name, date of birth, Social Security Number, current address, and previous addresses you have lived at in the last five years.
  5. Enter the security code provided, and click “Submit.”

It is important to note your ChexSystems report will not be available right away, even if you order the report online. ChexSystems will mail your report within five days of your submitting your request.

You may also request your ChexSystems report the following ways:

Chex Systems, Inc.

Attn: Consumer Relations

7805 Hudson Road, Suite 100

Woodbury, MN 55125

What you should know

ChexSystems’s practice is to keep information on file for five years from the report date. It is important to review your ChexSystems consumer report each year, as you do have the right to dispute any information you believe is not accurate or that should be removed. Reporting a dispute to ChexSystems will launch an investigation by ChexSystems that usually takes 30 days to resolve. For residents of Maine, disputes will be completed within 21 days.

Any information or documents provided by you to support your dispute may require an additional 15 days of investigation so ChexSystems can properly review the information. Upon completion of the investigation, you will receive the results of the investigation by mail. If the results of the dispute are not in your favor, you may choose to submit a consumer statement explaining your dispute. The statement will then be sent, along with your consumer report, to financial institutions requesting your ChexSystems information.

How to maintain a healthy relationship with ChexSystems

  • Before closing a bank account, be sure to stop any automatic payments/withdrawals well in advance. Keep in mind, some companies may take up to two weeks to process this payment change.
  • Always contact the bank to officially close an account. Letting an account balance drop to zero could result in fees or overdraft charges.
  • When depositing checks into your account, allow three to five days for the check to clear before using those funds.
  • Beware of co-signing an account for someone. Any misuse by the other person could reflect on you as well.
  • Guard your PIN, and never give that information to another individual. Otherwise you risk your account being unknowingly accessed and possibly depleted.
  • Beware of post-dating checks. If the other party cashes the check early, the bank may take funds from your account regardless of the date, causing an overdraft.
  • Check your bank statements monthly. Be sure your address is up to date with your bank and that you are receiving and reviewing your monthly statements.
  • You should promptly address any bank errors you spot in your monthly statements or bank receipts. Do not hesitate to contact your bank with questions or concerns.
  • Be sure to report lost or stolen checks to your bank immediately in order to stop payment.

If you only have a limited amount of time to review the ChexSystems website, you may want to start with watching their video tutorials. Each one is brief, about two to three minutes in length. If you have at least five minutes to spare, start with the Requesting Your Consumer Disclosure Report and the Reviewing Your Consumer Disclosure Report tutorials. They’ll give you a quick walkthrough of what to expect with your ChexSystems report.

Remember, your relationships with financial institutions affect your overall financial wellness. These relationships are worth investigating and investing your time into!

Horley: Invest in our award winning lettings team!

We are very proud to share some fabulous apartments with you in Horley. Built to an exacting standard, they are the perfect option for a shrewd investment.

From one and two bedroom apartments on Lumley Road, and Victoria Road to some yet to come two bedroom apartments in Albert Road, we have plenty to offer, all of which will present an excellent return on investment at around 5.5%.

Horley Properties

Expected rental values are as follows:

1 bedrooms around £925.00

2 bedrooms around £1100.00

3 bedrooms around £1300.00

 

In 2016 our Lettings Manager, Hannah Gunn, came 3rd out of 60,000 agents for customer service in the Rater Agent awards. We were presented with our award and it now sits alongside our office awards. This year we’re hoping for gold!

 

Our award winning lettings team continue to impress the landlords they’re working with, as you can see from these reviews:

“Hannah was great from the start and dealt with the rental of our property quickly and efficiently. She was always available and was giving frequent updates. We alway knew what was going on and had complete confidence in her and she did exceptionally well on the speed of rental and the rent achieved. I will definitely use her again.”

“Hannah assisted me in renting a property whilst I am still living overseas.. A situation that could have been incredibly complex and fraught with problems was managed with extreme professionalism and the whole process became worry free and really quite easy.”


“I’ve rented many properties throughout my life, in various countries, the service provided by Hannah was without doubt one of the best I have experienced. Excellent communication, the paperwork and processing were handled promptly and without fuss.”

“Hannah has been a great agent to work with. Our situation was slightly different to the usual service needed but Hannah was able to adapt and provide exactly the right information and the procedure was extremely efficient. I am most grateful and i would recommend her to anyone considering letting their property.”

“We are extremely pleased with our service from Move Revolution, especially with Hannah Gunn. She is extremely professional and guided us through every step of the process whilst renting out our property. She found us Tenants within a week of appointing the rental, which was fantastic and a huge weight off our minds. The communication was excellent between Hannah and ourselves and we are very satisfied with the overall experience. After using an unprofessional company previously we have gained much more confidence in using Move Revolution for our rental management company. We will definitely continue to use Move Revolution in the future and especially Hannah who we have total confidence in dealing with our rental. Carry on the good work Hannah you’re a star!”

Our rental services

At Move Revolution we offer an unbeatable tenant finding service with transparent fees. We also offer an optional fully managed service, giving you the confidence that your property is being cared for, alongside out tenant find service and rent collection.

Our Exceptional in house lettings team are on hand to assist and guide you regardless of what service you use. Alongside our in house property management team we ensure that your property is properly cared for, inspected and find you the right tenants for your property.

As a standard across all of services we provide:

-We will visit your property and provide a free of charge valuation with no obligation. 

-We will provide photographs of the property by our in-house professional photographer for the marketing of the property.

-We will provide advice on the legislation surrounding the letting of your property. 

-We will market your properties to our extensive applicant list, via our website, on all the main property portals including Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location.

-We always carry out accompanied viewings at times that are suitable for prospective tenants and yourself, including weekends and evenings. 

-We use BLINC tenant referencing, a market leader in tenant background checks to make sure we have secured the right tenant for your property. 

-We will produce an assured short-hold tenancy agreement and include any special terms that you wish to add. 

-We will collect a deposit and the initial rent and forward the funds to you immediately. We can transfer the deposit to our holding company or transfer to yourself if you have your own. 

-We can also assist with the setup of rent payments for the duration of the tenancy. 

-Finally we will check-in the tenant and handover the keys, making the process as hassle free for you as possible.

Should you be a first time landlord or just don’t want the responsibility for the property we can also handle the rent collection and management of the property. we will carry out regular inspections, collect rents and chase any that are overdue, arrange contractors for any property management issues that arise and ensure that your tenants are looking after the property as you would expect.

As an additional service we offer a rent guarantee service so should you wish to have the extra protection.

With the location of Horley and the amenities available, alongside being close to Gatwick, motorways, London and the trainline into London it makes a great location for investors with plenty of applicants currently searching!

We’d urge you to get in touch soon, the interest in these apartments is high! Call Hannah on 01737 888220, she’d love to help.

 

source http://www.moverevolution.com/blog/horley-invest-award-winning-lettings-team/

In praise of Horley!

We are very proud to share some fabulous apartments with you in Horley. Built to an exacting standard, they are the perfect option for a first time purchase or a shrewd investment.

We’ve just launched some exceptional new one and two bedroom apartments in the heart of Horley town centre. Dartel House is on Lumley Road and the apartments have sleek modern kitchens, high spec bathrooms, video phone entry systems and an option to acquire off-street parking.

We also have a selection of affordable one and two bedroom apartments on Victoria Road.  All apartments come fitted with video phone entry systems, have use of the lift and have the additional option of acquiring off-street parking space.

Finally, we have Beulah Court on Albert Road. With phase one complete and sold, there are six spacious 2 double bedroom apartments coming soon.

Horley provides brilliant shopping for local residents and offers a range of shops to cater for everyday needs alongside an eclectic mix of specialist shops and boutiques offering individual service. Two supermarkets, Waitrose and Lidl, are in the town too, both with free parking. The locally renowned department store Collingwood Batchellor and the popular Original Factory Shop are both perfect for home furnishings.

There’s a great variety of town centre cafes and restaurants that are great for a bite to eat. 51 degrees north and Il Sorriso are two of our favourites. We also love afternoon tea at Langshott Manor, and the food at the Six Bells is delicious too.

 

There are a number of local beauty salons (a favourite of ours is Beauté), and in 2011 the council invested £9,000,000 in a new leisure centre providing residents with a modern sports complex, 25-metre indoor pool, gym and sports hall. The Archway Theatre located, as its name suggests, under the railway arches, is a local theatre company who put on a range of productions throughout the year from plays to pantomime and names local actress Judi Dench as a patron. We always enjoy our visits to Bluebell Studio, a great place to relax and enjoy your creative side. Brilliant for childen’s parties too!

We love unleashing our inner racing driver at “Let’s Race” or perfecting our golf swing at the virtual golf simulator and with the soon to open soft play “Let’s Explore” on the same site, there is about to be a very strong offering for all members of the family.

As you can tell we have a soft spot for Horley; the market is buoyant and always great value, hopefully we’ve persuaded you to take a look! If you’re interested to find out more, please give Louise and Damian a call on 01737 888220.

source http://www.moverevolution.com/blog/in-praise-of-horley/

Best Online Brokers of 2017

check into transFS web-site for a great deal more advice on money 

Let’s get this out of the way. There is no one best online discount broker for everybody. What will be the best choice for you will depend on many factors. And what works for you may not be the ideal option for somebody else.

best online brokers

We’ve used a number of brokers, including Scottrade, Ally Invest, OptionsHouse, Motif, Vanguard, and several robo advisors. We’ve compiled this list of the best online brokers based on personal experience.

Best Discount Brokers

Let’s start with our top picks by category. Then we’ll look at each option in more detail.

Discount Broker Stock Trading Cost Sign-Up Link

0.25%

Betterment Review

$4.95

Ally Invest Review

$4.95

E*Trade Review

$4.95

Fidelity Review

$5.00

TradeStation Review

$6.95

TD Ameritrade Review

$6.95

Cap One Investing Review

Betterment – Betterment is not your typical discount broker.  They’re a robo advisor that advertises a simple free structure to your investments.  The fee to invest with Betterment is 0.25% annually of your money up to the first $100,000.  Beyond that, the fee is 0.40% annually.  For example, if you invest $200,000 with them, you’ll be charged $250 for the first $100,000 and $400 for the next $100,000.  That means a $650 annual fee; which is substantial for high dollar accounts.

However, there are no trading fees or other fees associated with your account.  Experts choose the investments and Betterment is confident in average annual returns much greater than the fees they charge.  As a bonus, Betterment is offering new account holders some time without fees. The length of time depends on the dollar amounts invested

  • one month free for $10,000 deposited
  • two months free for $25,000 deposited
  • three months free for $50,000 deposited
  • six months free for $100,000 deposited
  • nine months free for $250,000 deposited
  • One full year free for $500,000 deposited

Ally Invest – Ally recognized that TradeKing was one of the greatest online discount brokers and decided to gobble them up.  Not only can you trade with Ally, but you can also open up an online savings, check and CD accounts with the big bank.  Stock trades cost a very low $4.95 per trade and contracts will run you $0.65.  Ally Invest also offers a robo-advisor service for those who aren’t looking to invest themselves.

Unfortunately, Ally Invest does not currently offer any sign-up incentives.  They also do not offer a fee free ETF’s. So while this is a terrific option for low cost trades and robo investing, it lacks a few of the finer details you can find elsewhere on this list.

E*Trade – One of the few online discount brokers that offer volume based pricing, E*Trade was the very first online broker I used back in 2005.  If you’re a high volume trader, trading 30 or more times per quarter, a stock trade is $4.95.  Low volume traders will pay the rate of $6.95 per trade. Options contracts also offer volume pricing, with contracts costing $0.75 a piece at the low volume threshold and $0.50 a piece at the high volume threshold (again, 30 trades per quarter).

There is a $500 minimum to open your E*Trade online discount brokerage account and for a limited time, new accounts can trade commission free for 60 days on a deposit of $10,000 or more.  For those wondering why OptionsHouse didn’t make our list; that platform was sold to E*Trade last year.  The conversion is now complete, so anyone who owned an OptionsHouse account is now a proud member of E*Trade.

Fidelity Investments – If you can make at least 36 trades per rolling 12 month period, Fidelity Investments offers my favorite trading platform -Active Trader Pro.  It has the most advanced trading features for both mobile and desktop users.  You’ll also have access to dedicated trading specialists.  The minimum to open a Fidelity Investments account is $2,500 which is a bit high compared to the $500 minimum most others require.  Their costs are simple: $4.95 per stock trade and $0.65 per option contract.

Fidelity Investments kicks off new account holders with the promise of free trades.

  • Deposit $50,000 and earn 300 free trades for the first TWO years
  • Deposit $100,000 and earn 500 free trades for the first TWO years

Fidelity also offers a wide variety of other accounts, including deposits, credit cards and bill pay.

TradeStation – Straight forward, discount pricing is what you can expect with TradeStation.  All stock trades are $5 and all options contracts cost $0.50.  There are no software fees, no additional trading fees to speak of.  TradeStation includes a top notch trading platform, mobile app and Radar Scanner.  With Radar Scanner, you’ll have the ability to look through a thousand ticker symbols at once, real-time to find patterns and trading opportunities.

One feature that stands out is that for customers who open an account with $500,000 or more, TradeStation will pay a 0.40% APY on the balance of your account.  Most every other discount brokers offers little to no APY on your deposited funds (I could find none greater than 0.01%).  This interest-sharing program is set to expire on December 31st, 2017.

Beyond this feature, there is currently no up-front incentive to open a TradeStation account.

TD Ameritrade – TD Ameritrade offers it’s clientele stock trades for $6.95 a piece.  Options trades will cost $0.75 and if you’re in need of a broker, assisted trades run the rate of $44.99.  Perhaps the greatest feature of owning a TD Ameritrade account is use of their Trade Architect technology.  You’ll have access to streaming news, trading specialists and level two quotes using this platform.

TD Ameritrade offers a great up front bonus for new account holders.  Depending on the amount of your initial deposit, you’ll be rewarded with:

  • Free trades for 60 days on a deposit of $3,000
  • $100 + free trades for 60 days on a deposit of $25,000
  • $200 + free trades for 60 days on a deposit of $100,000
  • $300 + free trades for 60 days on a deposit of $250,000

Capital One Investing – What used to be known as ShareBuilder is now Capital One Investing.  After their purchase of ING, Cap One has launched itself into the online discount broker space with a terrific sign-up bonus. Depending on how much you’re willing to open your account with, you stand to earn between a $50 and $600 cash bonus.  The breakdown of the bonuses (with promo code GET600M17) earned are as follows:

  • $5,000 deposit earns a $50 bonus
  • $15,000 deposit earns a $100 bonus
  • $50,000 deposit earns a $200 bonus
  • $100,000 deposit earns a $300 bonus
  • $200,000 deposit earns a $600 bonus

If however you cannot meet any of those initial deposit amounts, fear not.  Capital One is also offering a free $50 for new account holders after they make their first trade.  When signing up, use promo code M50FT17.

There is no minimum to open a Capital One Investing account and the cost per trade is a play $6.95.  Options contracts will run you $0.75 per contract plus the base commission and if you dare, they’ll offer you a margin rate of 7.75%.  Capital One Investing trading account has no account fees or annual fees.

How to Pick A Discount Broker

Here are the seven key factors to consider:

  1. Cost: The cost of trades is crucial for active traders. Here you want to find the lowest cost broker for the types of trades you make. For those who trade infrequently, like me, the cost is less important.
  2. Trading Frequency: This relates to cost, but it also relates to ease of use. Frequent traders spend a lot of time on their broker’s website. It should be easy to use.
  3. Tools: For technical traders, tools are critical. This is where it’s important to understand the type of investor you are. So you can be sure to get the tools that are most useful to you.
  4. Simplicity: This is the most important feature in my view. You want an online broker that’s easy to use.
  5. Types of Investments: Here it’s important to understand the types of investments you’ll be making. Do you want to invest in mutual funds and ETFs? Or will you be doing a lot of options trading? The answer to questions like these will often dictate which broker is best for you.
  6. Control: Simplicity and control are often mutually exclusive. A robo advisor gives you limited control, but wonderful simplicity. Interactive Brokers, in contrast, gives you wonderful control but far more complexity. There is no “right” answer here. It again depends on the type of trader you are.
  7. Account Type: Most brokers offer all of the basic account types, including various retirement accounts. If you are a small business, be sure to make sure they offer the account type you need. Examples include SEP IRAs and Solo 401ks.

Since I am not an active trader, I don’t actively seek out new discount brokerages. If you have experiences you’d like to share, please leave comments below.

How to Switch Banks the Easy Way

look over transFS website for a great deal more information and facts on personal finances 

Switching banks doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Here’s how to change banks the easy way (and we’ve included a downloadable checklist)

how to change banks

With some banks changing their policies to be less consumer-oriented, I’ve received several questions about the logistics of switching banks. In previous decades, closing your account at one bank and opening an account at another was a simple process. All that was required was to walk into one branch and ask to close your account. Then take your cash or cashier’s check to a different location and open a new account with your deposit.

Today it’s not so simple. Banks now offer direct deposits, pre-authorized electronic withdrawals, and online bill payments. While these are great services, they tie you to your financial institution.

There is a financial risk involved too. If you neglect to change your banking information with a creditor, your payment could bounce. This, in turn, could result in late fees, insufficient fund fees, and perhaps even cancellation of your services.

If you’ve taken a modern approach to banking, with automated and electronic payments, you’ll need to start planning in advance. Here are the priorities, if you’ve already chosen your new bank. To compare banks, read through the reviews available here on Consumerism Commentary.

Do You Need to Change Banks?

Before addressing how to change banks, the first question is whether you should. If the primary concern is a bank’s low interest rates, you may have another option.

Many people today keep their brick and mortar bank, even with it’s low rates. They then open an online savings account for the higher rates. An added benefit is that the money saved is at a separate financial institution. That makes it a little bit harder to spend (if your goal is to save money).

You’ll find our list of the best savings accounts here, and our best overall bank rates here.

How to Switch Banks in 6 Easy Steps

Download the Consumerism Commentary Bank Switch Kit to help you organize the information you’ll need. The link is at the bottom of this article.

Step 1. Open the new account with appropriate minimums

Before you can change the account information stored with creditors, you’ll need to have your new bank’s routing (ABA) number and your new account number. For a short period of time, both your old bank account and your new bank account will be active. This ensures that all your payments go through and all your deposits are received during the transition period. Determine which types of accounts you need at your new bank. You’ll also need the minimum required to open the accounts ready to deposit.

If you had debit cards, ATM cards, check cards, deposit slips, or paper checks with your old account, don’t forget to order the same when you open your new account.

Download the Bank Switch Kit for a convenient way to keep track of your new banking information.

Step 2. Change your direct deposit information

It could take as many as two pay periods for your new direct deposit instructions to take effect. It could take two to four weeks after requesting the change to your direct deposit before you receive a paycheck at your new bank.

Most employers have their own forms for submitting changes to direct deposit, but I’ve included a generic form in the Bank Switch Kit that most human resources should be able to accept. Many employers have the ability to accept direct deposit instructions online, so check with your employer as soon as possible.

This is the slowest aspect of moving from one bank to another, so start as soon as you’ve opened your new accounts.

Step 3. Adjust your automated bill payments

You’ve likely configured many of your monthly financial obligations to withdraw money from your bank accounts. You’ll need to change this banking information one vendor at a time without missing any possible automated withdrawals. Review your past three or four banking statements to help your recollection of all the bills that are paid automatically.

Here’s a list of some of the most common bills that allow automated payments from your bank accounts.

  • rent or mortgage.
  • power bills (electricity or gas).
  • telephone bills (land line and mobile phone).
  • water and sewer bills.
  • property taxes.
  • income taxes, if you have enrolled in the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) or your state’s electronic payment system.
  • car, home, and life insurance.
  • other insurance payments.
  • credit card bills.
  • payments to student loans.
  • payments to car loans.

The downloadable bank switch kit has a checklist where you can indicate the date you called to have your banking information changed. When you call, email, or complete this change online, make sure you know when the changes will take effect. Most of the time, the change is immediate, but if you have a payment already pending using your old bank account’s information, it might not be until the following month that the vendor applies the new banking information.

If you’ve opened your new bank account with just the minimum required to avoid fees, keep in mind that you may need to transfer more money from your to cover your bills.

Step 4. Update any linked bank accounts or investments

The ability to begin investing using automated bank transfers has helped many people begin to save for retirement — or the future in general — without having a large sum to devote to the investment immediately. It’s easy to forget about these investments and transfers. I have had a weekly $15 transfer from my primary checking account to another bank’s savings account for years, and it would be easy to forget this without reviewing my transactions each month. Updating information regarding your linked accounts serves two purposes:

  • to ensure your accounts don’t try to send money to or withdraw money from the account you intend to close, and
  • to ensure you don’t miss any saving or investment opportunities as you rearrange your bank accounts.

First, as mentioned above, link the new bank account to your old bank account to ensure you can transfer money to your new account at will. This will ensure you have enough funds in the account to cover all the bills you’ve transitioned in the previous step. Keep in mind that savings accounts are limited to six on-demand withdrawals per month. If you exceed that number, the bank may charge you fees or close your account before you’re ready.

Pay attention to your automated investments to your IRA, transfers to your high-yield savings accounts, and investments to your kids’ education funds. Download the Bank Switch Kit for a complete list of possible linked accounts.

Step 5. Wait and close your old bank account

First take the time to ensure that your old bank account has been inactive. You don’t want any new deposits or withdrawals showing up after you close the account. Then follow your bank’s process for closing your account.

In most cases, you can walk into any branch with proper identification for closing your account. In some cases, banks require you call a telephone number. If that is the case, they might want you to talk to a “retention specialist” who will do his or her best to keep you from closing your account. They may offer you a better deal than you may be receiving. It’s best to ignore these offers and stick to your resolution.

If you are required to close your account by phone or by mail, the only way you may be able to receive your deposited money is through a check sent to the address your bank has on file for your account. This is an imperfect process; it would be much better to walk into a branch and walk out with your money. It would frighten me if I had to close a bank account with a significant sum of money and wait for a check for the amount to arrive in the mail.

Once you’ve received the check, make sure the bank has provided the full balance. Your balance at the end of the statement or online should be zero. Ensure you’ve received any accrued interest your account would have earned. In some cases, you may need to time the closing of your bank account to ensure you don’t miss on any substantial interest that might be due to you if your bank does not accrue interest on a daily basis.

The Consumerism Commentary Bank Switch Kit available for download includes a generic letter you may send to your bank in order to close your account.

Step 6. Destroy old forms

Shred any debit cards and deposit slips associated with your old account once you receive confirmation that your old bank has closed your account. Get rid of your paper checks and any endorsement stamps that you may have that include your bank number.

With this step, you can celebrate the moment you are now free from a relationship you are better off without. Don’t forget to monitor your new account and your bills closely over the next few months to ensure you haven’t missed anything. If you find a problem quickly, you may be able to resolve it without needing to pay any penalties (or have penalties reversed if they are charged automatically).

Download the Bank Switch Kit and Checklist

Bank Switch Kit and ChecklistDownload the Consumerism Commentary Bank Switch Kit (Version 1.0α). Adobe Reader or another program that displays and prints Portable Document Format (PDF) files is required.

This is a work in progress. Please feel free to share your feedback. I’ll continue to revise the Kit for more consumers who wish to leave one bank in favor of another.