There Is No Shortcut to Credit Restoration

Got a Low Credit Score? Avoid Quick-fix Solutions Claims like “We can improve your bad credit instantly, no questions asked!” “Contact us to make a new credit identity – legally” or “Credit problems? Fix them in a month” are common in TV ads, radio, flyers, emails, and online space. According to the attorneys at the … Continue reading “There Is No Shortcut to Credit Restoration”

Got a Low Credit Score? Avoid Quick-fix Solutions

Claims like “We can improve your bad credit instantly, no questions asked!” “Contact us to make a new credit identity – legally” or “Credit problems? Fix them in a month” are common in TV ads, radio, flyers, emails, and online space. According to the attorneys at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), no legitimate credit restoration company claims credit repair is a quick-fix solution.

There is no shortcut or quick fix to improve your credit. It takes time, conscious effort and following a stringent debt repayment plan. You need to know your rights before hiring a credit restoration services company. Some people say that you don’t need any help to fix your credit and it is advisable to try it yourself. However, that will involve a lot more time and effort on your part.
Your Rights

In any case, you need to be aware of your rights:

– Each of the three nationwide credit bureaus – Equifax, Transunion and Experian are obligated by law to provide a free credit report to all consumers once a year. You can order the three free credit reports at the same time or leave a gap of 3-4 months between each report. The latter is a better idea because it allows you to monitor the progress of your credit status periodically.

– You are entitled to receive a credit report for free if any organization has taken an “adverse” financial action against you. This includes denial of credit, insurance application or employment. You need to ask for the report within 60 days of receiving the notice of an adverse action. People, who are unemployed, are allowed one free credit report if they are planning to find a job within 60 days. People on welfare and whose report is inaccurate due to fraud, such as identity theft are also entitled to a free credit report.

– There is no cost associated with disputing inaccuracies in your credit report. You can raise a dispute both with the credit bureaus and the information source that provided some of your personal financial details.

What to Do When You Need a Real Solution?

If you are wondering, “How can I restore my credit now?” it may be a good idea to delegate this task to seasoned professionals with years of experience in credit restoration. Legitimate and reliable credit restoration companies would first scan through your credit report and leverage their years of experience to find items that can be disputed successfully. They not only detect inaccuracies and errors, but also verify their authenticity with the concerned parties.

Four Ways a Condo Warranty Can Benefit You

We have all had a dishwasher that puttered out or a washing machine that sat idle with clothes floating in a well of water. Fixing creaky old appliances can be costly, and it often seems there is no way of avoiding such expenses. However, many owners and renters have found a solution: purchasing a condo warranty.

Unlike insurance-which covers natural disasters, calamities, and theft-a warranty is a service contract that, among other things, covers major appliances for members of a condominium. These warranties are specifically designed to work within the existing support structure and services provided by your association, so you only pay for the protection you need. Here are four ways a condo warranty can benefit you.

Covers Major Home Appliances and Systems

While the definitions of major systems and appliances may vary from policy to policy, a condo warranty will typically cover HVAC, plumbing, electrical, hot water heaters, garbage disposals, dishwashers, stoves and ovens, washers and dryers, and garage doors. Refrigerators are often covered when they are in the property at the time of purchase. This can be even more beneficial in the event that a retailer or chain goes out of business and/or any coverage you have on the product lapses.

Enhances Market Value

Condo warranties are, in general, cost-saving tools when it comes to maintenance. However, they can also be an enhanced benefit in a competitive seller’s market because they increase a unit’s marketability. According to the National Home Warranty Association, units on the market that covered by warranties tend to sell about 50 percent faster than homes that are not.

Protects from Potential Post-Sale Legal Disputes

Warranties generally protect the condo’s seller from post-sale legal disputes. They allow for the purchaser to invest with confidence, as they are given more security than what is offered by a statute of limitations, which, in most cases, only lasts four years. On the flip side, sellers can avoid legal disputes based on faulty or dysfunctional appliances and systems because they are covered. Of course, reviewing the fine print for specifics is always highly encouraged before purchasing a property.

Provides Peace of Mind

Out of the nine most crucial appliances in the home, at least one is expected to break down at some point in its 13-year average lifespan. A new buyer is assured some peace of mind in knowing that if something goes awry with any of the condo’s major appliances or systems, they will likely be covered by the warranty.

10 Amazing Reasons To Eat Insects

1. Nutrition & Health

One of the most convincing arguments why you should consider eating insects, is from a health point of view. Insects generally are very high in protein, beneficial fats, vitamins, minerals and all essential amino acids.

Vitamin B12 for example is not available from plant sources, and many vegetarians and vegans are deficient in this. Insects are a great source of Vitamin B12. Nuts and pulses, though very healthy in other nutrients, lack this essential vitamin.

The combination of un- saturated omega- 3 and omega- 6 fatty acids is also high and comparable to that found in fish, which is higher than in pork and cattle.

As most insects are eaten whole, unlike conventional meat, the entire exoskeleton, muscle tissues and vital organs are consumed. This is part of the reason for the high micro- nutritional value of insects.

2. Less land requirements

Farming insects requires less land than farming traditional livestock. In fact, insects even like to be confined to small spaces, which can be seen in the way the cluster into certain patterns. Furthermore they can be stacked vertically unlike bigger animals.

If you compare the weight of protein produced with other livestock, insects require 2 to 10 times less space. Traditional livestock is presently occupying two thirds of the worlds’ land masses, and are the cause of some of our biggest environmental challenges. Climate change, over- fishing, pollution caused by fertilizing as well as pesticide use, are all reasons why the environment is being maxed out and something needs to change.

3. Less CO2 and ammonia emissions

Insects produce significantly less CO2 and ammonia emissions than cattle, pork and chicken. The reason for this is the much shorter lifespan of insects, which means less resources are required. In the case of crickets, they are fully grown at about 8 weeks. Compare that with cows, which are considered adults at about 2 years of age.

4. Quicker protein conversion

Insects are furthermore cold- blooded, meaning increased efficiency at converting food into protein. To produce the same amount of protein, crickets need 12 times less food than cattle, and only half the amount than pork and chicken.

5. Less feed and water requirements

Insects require less feed than other livestock, and about 80% of a cricket is digestible. This is most likely due to the fact that insects are cold- blooded and therefore don’t need food to stay warm. Insects also require significantly less water compared to cattle, pork and chicken.

6. Insects can live off organic waste products

Because insects are easy to please gastronomically, they can live off organic side streams like manure and compost. This in turn decreases environmental impact and adds value to waste products.

Insects could be fed biowaste, and in turn processed and fed to larger animals, which again could be sold to the consumer. Insects such as the black soldier fly, the common housefly and the yellow mealworm, are extremely efficient at converting organic waste, and estimations say that they could convert 1.3 billion tonnes of biowaste per year. Unfortunately this process is not yet allowed due to present and outdated food & feed legislation.

7. Ethical considerations

Insects are further down the food chain than other livestock, and don’t have many animal welfare issues associated with them. This could potentially be an argument for vegans and vegetarians to consume them, especially as they are high in Vitamin B12, which is not obtainable from plants.

8. Small risk of zoonotic infections

Diseases like foot and mouth disease, H5N1, avian influenza and bovine spongiform are less likely to be transmitted from insects to humans, because insects taxonomically are much more different than bigger animals. In recent years we have seen a rapid increase in these infections, likely caused by climate change as well as the intensification of animal production. However, more research is needed in this area.

9. Rearing insects is easy and cost- efficient

Farming insects is easy to learn and doesn’t require a lot of training or resources. Because the life- span of an insect is much shorter than traditional livestock, coupled with the fact that insects reproduce extremely quickly, this also results in quicker economical benefits.

10. No use of antibiotics, pesticides, GMO or hormones

Insects do not require antibiotics, the use of which especially in the poultry industry has led to a lot of debate. Excessive use of antibiotics can lead to bacteria, which become resistant, and in turn become a worrying danger to humans.

The use of pesticides is also not necessary, which logically is better for the environment and human health, as well as being more economical.

The same can be said for GMO and artificial hormones, all of which become superfluous when farming insects.

How Pizza Began

Who does not love pizza? We all do. But before you take a bite out of your favorite slice, we would like to ask you something. Do you know the rich history of pizza?

Humble Pizza Beginnings

Before pizza came into existence, there was focaccia – a Roman dish that consists of flatbread with added toppings. But historical records show that even before there was focaccia, there were already several versions of flatbread that was famous among individuals during the Neolithic age. In fact, bread goes back as far as 7,000 years ago, among the ancient Sardinians who used leaven to bake bread. Ancient Greeks too, have their version of flatbread that they call plakous. Plakous often had onion, garlic, and herbs for toppings.

It was not until about 997 AD that the name ‘pizza’ first surfaced among the residents in Gaeta, Italy. Back then, pizza was not for the wealthy. The pizza was food for the poor and sold on open street stalls. The first pizza flavor was Marinara, which consists of a topping of garlic, oregano, tomato, and extra virgin olive oil. The flavor owes its name to the seamen’s wives, who traditionally prepared this dish for their seafaring husbands when they return from their fishing trip in Naples. Another classic pizza flavor is Margherita, which consists of a topping of mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, and fresh basil. The history of Pizza Margherita goes back to 1889 AD when a certain Raffaele Esposito baked this pizza in honor of King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy. Of the three pizza flavors that the baker prepared, the pizza with the colors of the Italian flag-white, red and green, was her favorite, so the people named the pizza Margherita.

Pizza Today

Pizza has surely come so far from its humble beginnings as a dish for the poor. Now, pizza has become a favorite in almost every part of the world, particularly among the Americans. Although a lot of changes and innovations have become popular over the years, some pizza stores still retain the old methods of baking pizza. In fact, 1984 saw the formation of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana or True Neapolitan Pizza Association, which established guidelines on how to make pizza. Among the many guidelines that the association set is the method of cooking hand-kneaded pizza using a wood-fired domed oven and that its diameter should not be greater than 35 centimeters. The association even prescribed a particular measurement for the thickness of the pizza crust-a third of a centimeter!

How Healthy is Pizza?

You may wonder, though, is pizza healthy? We are sure that you do not think so because of the thousands of calories that they contain. But admit it, even when you have already promised yourself that you would not eat more calories than you should, you find yourself craving for a pizza slice. Just a small portion of that pizza, you would say, and then you eat and feel guilty afterward.

As much as we would like to reassure you that pizza is good for those who are on a diet, we cannot. We all know that pizza is on top of the list of foods that those who want to lose weight should not eat.

Those who are merely on a gluten-free diet but not on a weight loss regimen, however, would be triumphal to know that you can eat pizza! Hurrah! Just make sure that you buy yourself a pizza with a gluten-free pizza crust to avoid eating gluten.

10 Steps To Reduce Your Debt: Do-It-Yourself Debt Reduction

Getting into debt is easy and worrying about it won’t do much in relieving you from your debt. The best you can do when you have already run into debt is to start working towards reducing or clearing the debt and staying out of debt in every possible way. You can find your own strategy to deal with the debt, but there are several DIY debt reduction strategies and tips you can use to get over your financial woes.

1. Evaluate the debts. Start by collecting all financial documents and printing credit reports so you know exactly where you are with the debts. Most times people get scared just thinking of how hefty the debts are but you will never know until you take the courage to evaluate the debt so you can start somewhere with the recovery. Include all personal loans, auto loans, credit cards and payday loans in this evaluation.

2. Check your current earnings and budget. With the clear debt information, you then must start working towards debt reduction. Calculate the monthly income you get after taxes and basics like mortgage or rent, groceries, utilities and insurance. This way, you will get to find out how much you can spare for paying off the debt.

3. Find ways to increase pay off amounts. Sometimes when you subtract all basics from your income, you might find that you have very little amount left you can use on the debts. If the amount is too small, try and come up with ways through which you can reduce spending. Carpooling is one of the temporary methods you can use to cutback the expenses.

4. Create a plan. Now that you have some money to use on the debts, create a plan of how you are going to handle the debts and pay off. Will you start with one debt or pay a little every month for every debt you have? You might find it helpful to start with debts with highest interest rates or highest balance.

5. Negotiate repayment with your lenders and creditors. Agreeing to negotiate terms will be a plus to your credibility and your lenders or creditors will be more than willing to strike a deal with you.

6. Keep up with the debt reduction plan. Commitment is your only ticket out of debt so keep up with the plan.

7. As you continue with the repayment plan, avoid adding any more debts on top of what you already have.

8. Find better ways to deal with your financial issues besides getting loans. You can for instance, avoid making purchases for those that are not urgent.

9. Leave your credit card at home when going out unless you are going shopping. It will keep impulse buying at bay. In case you are going to shop, make a list of everything you need and stick by it no matter how tempting things in the store appear.

10. In case you take up a loan again, be consistent with your repayment and avoid piling loans. Try and have one loan at a time.