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Friday, December 27, 2013

How to Start Strong and Finish What You've Started

Have you or someone you know ever wished that there was more time in a day?  I have!

My good friend, Psychotherapist & Best-Selling Author Jack A. Daniels, shares some great tips on how to Start Strong and Finish What You've Started!  Check it out and share your thoughts below.

How much time have you wasted?

A friend asked me the other day, "How do you find the time to complete everything you have on your plate?"  I chuckled and told him, "The only way I'm able to maintain my sanity is by taking on one thing at a time and not worrying about the next thing until AFTER I get done with the first one!"  

I used to begin my seminars by asking, "If I gave you $86,400 what would you do with it?"  I'd receive a number of different responses ranging from buying cars, jewelry, paying off credit cards to expensive shopping sprees; none of which were the correct answers I was searching for.  

I'd continue to take hands until someone in the room gave me the correct answer.  "I'd invest it all in the stock market," someone sitting quietly in the back of the room would shyly suggest.  "Exactly, INVEST it, I'd say!"  You see the $86,400 dollars was actually a rhetorical metaphor for time.  There are approximately 86,400 seconds in a day and its imperative you spend or "invest" your time wisely.  If you make yourself conscious about the investment amount given to you on a daily, its easier to strategically view how you can maximize your areas of focus and minimize the nonessentials.

Truthfully, we all have interests, thoughts and ideas we hold high, but more often times than not, we fail ourselves by not taking the necessary steps to make them happen.  The fears you have deprive you of the focus you need to make your dreams come true. 

So how can you get ahead? Simple. Stop making excuses. The barricades blocking your blessings typically are not external factors; they're internal.  

For example, have you ever had a burning desire to do something, but didn't do it because you were afraid of what your friends or family would think about you after you done it?  Or have you ever talked yourself out of trying something new simply because you were scared you just might like it and everyone you know would think you were crazy or weird for doing so?  To that I say, 


What does that mean Jack? It means:
  1. Have the Courage to do something different by seeing and seizing what God has destined for you. (In your Career, Health, Finances or Relationship)
  2. Have the Conviction to believe in yourself and not who other people think or SAY you are.
  3. Have the Commitment to finish whatever you start without sabotaging your own success.

So the next time you have a random thought of what you should, would or could do, make sure you remember to stay out of your own way and don't talk yourself out of making it happen!  Make the hard decision to maximize all 86,400 seconds of every day God grants you to be here!  Keep investing wisely! 

Over the next week, apply the 3 steps I gave you to something you really want to do. 

Making Money Matters Manageable

Friday, December 13, 2013

5 Financial Wellness Numbers (What Financial Institutions Don't Tell You) | Podcast

Do you know your Financial Wellness Numbers?  Don't sweat ... most of us don't!
We have all heard that we should know our Wellness Numbers that determine our physical wellness, like our blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, blood sugar or A1C levels, etc. These number tell us how physically healthy we are.

In the same respect, there are Financial Wellness Numbers that tell us how Financially healthy we are as well.
During my BlogTalk Radio Show "HeSaidSheSaid" that I co-host with my BFF, Gerald Robinson, a Financial Institution executive,  we did a Money Matters segment and shared the following first 5 of the Top 10 Financial Wellness Numbers that every consumer should know and how they are calculated.

  1. Credit Score
  2. Debt to Income Ratio
  3. APR (Annual Percentage Rate)
  4. How Much You Can Afford to Pay for a Loan Payment
  5. Fees (NSF, ATM, Late Payment, etc) 
We also shared

  • Easy tips about how to avoid ATM and other Fees, avoid High Loan Rates, and avoid "Un"Affordable Loan Payments,  
  • Insider information from a financial institution perspective, as well as 
  • Some rules of the Financial Game.

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW to hear the "HeSaidSheSaid" Money Matters podcast.
Money Matters: 5 Financial Wellness Numbers 12/11 by Tarra Jackson | Podcasts
After listening, share your thoughts or ask your most pressing personal finance question that you would like us to address on our show or via my YouTube channel.

Making Money Matters Manageable,

Tarra Jackson

PS. Click here for my upcoming training and events!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

How to Keep Your Budget in the BLACK during Black Friday Shopping

Do you (or someone you know) want to avoid going into debt while buying gifts during the holidays?  I DO!

Here are my top 5 Tips to Keep Your Budget in the BLACK during Black Friday Shopping and the Christmas Holiday!

Give your family and friends the Gift that keeps on giving and share this video with them.  ;-)

Happy Holidays!

Making Money Matters Manageable,

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The CREDIT GAME Rule #1: Know the Players so You don't get Played

Have you ever wondered what a FICO Score is and/or what Credit Bureaus are and how they are used by financial institutions?  

Here is a great illustration to help you learn first rule of The Credit Game so that you don't get "played" .... "Understand The Players!"

Was this helpful?  Let me know by commenting below.

Making Money Matters Manageable,

Tarra Jackson
Madam Money

 Click here for savings!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Why You Need a "Plan B" Income Stream?

What would happen if you were furloughed, terminated or if your job shut down? Do you have a back up income stream?  

In this video I share why it is important to have a Plan B Income Stream and a viable option.

Making Money Matters Manageable,

Tarra Jackson

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Madam Money's Q & A: Will Rent Reference Help Mortgage Application

Have you (or someone you know) ever wondered if a reference letter from a landlord would help with showing payment history for a mortgage application? 

Great Question!  Here the answer ... 

Do you have a personal finance or credit questions?  

Ask me and get answers! 

Just email your question to

Making Money Matters Manageable, 

Tarra Jackson

Friday, September 6, 2013

Madam Money's Q & A: Is Race Considered in the Credit Score?

Have you (or someone you know) ever wondered if a person's race for financial situation affects or is considered in the calculation of their Credit Score?

Great Question!  Here the answer ...

Do you have a personal finance or credit questions?  Ask me and get answers!

Just email your question to

Making Money Matters Manageable,

Thursday, August 15, 2013

5 Quick Tips to Divorce Finances Through A Divorce

Do you (or someone you know) know someone who is going through a divorce that needs a few financial preservation tips?  I do!

Even though I have never had the unfortunate experience of a divorce, I have helped several of my clients through the financial transition from joint to individual finances.  When couples go through a divorce, they are not only divorcing each other; they are also divorcing their finances as well.  Financial Divorce can be just as, if not more, emotionally draining and frustrating.  Depending on how amicable the separation is, may determine the ease or complexity of the separation of finances.

Regardless of where a person is in the separation, here are 5 quick tips about How to Divorce Finances through a Divorce.
Get Organized!
Gather as many financial documents as possible. Financial statements and documents will be requested and may be required during the separation process.  Here is a Divorce Financial Checklist of documents that may need to be gathered. Consult with a divorce attorney for all of the documents that will be asked for and required to remit to the court.
Separate Bank Accounts
Make sure to open separate individual savings and checking accounts.  Don’t just open an account in desperation … rather; make sure to open up an account at a financial institution that is conducive to the financial needs and usage. Open an account with great customer service because they may be needed for assistance through the financial transition.  Avoid accounts or financial institutions with excessive fees.
Update Direct Deposit
Don’t forget to update direct deposit or payroll deductions through the employer from the joint account to the new individual bank account(s) established.  If the joint account is responsible for paying bills that may affect the credit reports, continue to make deposits just enough to pay those bills OR stop the bill payment or payroll deduction from that joint account and set it up in the individual account to maintain a positive credit history.
Do a “Clean Break” with Loans
Having joint debt is like having a child together.  Regardless of the status of the relationship, both borrowers are equally responsible to pay the debt until it is paid in full despite what the judge or divorce decree says.  So, first things first … get copies of all three credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union from  The best way to preserve credit history during a divorce is to do a “Clean Break.” Identify all credit accounts, and then try to negotiate who will take on what debt. Once that is agreed upon, each should try to get an individual loan to pay of the joint loan.  If either person does not qualify for an individual loan to do a “Clean Break,” try to agree that the other person will make timely payments on the joint loan. This is important because if the one person pays late or not at all, it will negatively affect the other person’s credit and ability to obtain the credit that may be needed after the divorce.  This is especially critical with credit cards.  Make sure to block the credit card lost/stolen and request a new card number to avoid future usage from the other part.
Update Beneficiaries
Don’t forget to update all financial documents! Update the beneficiary on your retirement savings account, insurance policies, bank accounts, etc.  Also, don’t forget to update the W-4 once the separation is final. During the divorce, many people forget to update this important information.
The best way to get through this tough situation is to try to think of the financial side as a business matter.  However, if the separation is not amicable, it may be best to have the divorce attorneys to discuss and negotiate these and other matters.

It is also a good idea to work with a financial professional or counselor for guidance during the financial divorce. Best wishes and contact us for further assistance.
Making Money Matters Manageable,

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Top 10 Things You Need to Know about Healthcare Reform

Are you (or someone you know) worried about how the upcoming Healthcare Reform will affect you?  I am!
Many people, especially entrepreneurs and those are that currently uninsured, are concerned about the upcoming Healthcare Reform. So to simplify the new requirements, Sherri Kindlmann of Inshpere Insurance Solutions gives 10 quick Tips about what you need to know about Healthcare Reform.
Tip 1:  Children may remain on their parent’s insurance policy up to age 26.
Tip 2:  2014 health plans cannot impose pre-existing condition exclusions.  
Tip 3:  Annual limits on essential health benefits are prohibited.
Tip 4:  Premiums cannot be based on health status, claims experience, or gender.
Tip 5:  Insurers must accept everyone who applies for coverage during the 2014 ACA enrollment period.
Tip 6:  All private health insurance plans offered in the Marketplace will offer the same set of essential health benefits which include  emergency services, maternity and newborn care, mental health; prescription drugs, laboratory services, preventive and wellness services, Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices, and pediatric services.
Tip 7:  Individuals must have health insurance coverage in 2014 or may have to pay a penalty.
Tip 8:  Private health insurance can be purchased on state-based insurance exchanges administered by a governmental agency or non-profit organization.
Tip 9:  Open enrollment begins on the Health Insurance Marketplace in October 2013 for coverage beginning January 1, 2014.  The initial open enrollment period ends in March 2014.
Tip 10:  Middle-income people under age 65, who are not eligible for coverage through their employer, Medicaid, or Medicare, can apply for tax credit subsidies available through state-based exchanges. 
For more information about the Healthcare Reform, contact your local insurance agent or go to


Contributing author, Sherri Kindlmann, is a licensed insurance agent in the state of Georgia, representing Insphere Insurance Solutions.  For questions and complimentary health insurance consultation, contact Sherri at or 678-226-9266. IIS001391

Friday, July 5, 2013

6 Strategies to Pay for College Without Going Broke

Are you (or someone you know) looking or ways to pay for College for you or your child without going broke? I am!!!  
Tameka Williamson, Your Own College Coach, shares 6 Strategies for Paying for College Without Going Broke!
We have watched the news and the trends of how student loan debt continues to surpass consumer debt, cost of tuition continues to rise, scholarship funding is more competitive and state incentive aid such as HOPE scholarships are no longer options that yield hope.  So, what is a parent to do?  This information is to help you think outside of the normal paradigm and look at strategies that can bring about viable college options.  We encourage you to have an open mind about your options and focus on making smart decisions not costly decisions.  It’s all about the end goal, and that is a competitive college education at the lowest cost possible.
The goal is to equip you with tools that will keep you from making the same mistakes many parents make. This is the only way we can change the landscape for our future generation. So, I hope you are ready to learn and take action based on what you’ve learned. Our mission is for you to obtain the maximum amount of money possible for child applies.
Strategy #1: Send Your Child To A Community College For His/Her First Two Years Of School. If your child works hard and gets good grades, they can usually transfer to a top private university. This way, they can get a diploma from a prestigious school for half the cost!
Strategy #2: Pick Colleges focused on Minimizing Student Loan Debt. The Project on Student Debt is an initiative of the Institute for College Access & Success, a nonprofit independent research and policy organization dedicated to making college more available and affordable to people of all backgrounds.  As a result, the colleges on their approved list have developed financial aid policies that limit or eliminate student loans from financial aid packages, reducing costs for students and families.
You also have National Association of System Heads (NASH) Access to Success Initiative project with The Education Trust. A2S works with 22 public higher education systems that have pledged to cut the college-going and graduation gaps for low-income and minority students in half by 2015. Together, these institutions serve more than 3.5 million students. They Meet 100 percent of their admitted full-time undergraduate students’ financial need for fall 2010. That means the average gaps between a school’s total cost of attendance—tuition, fees, room and board, books, travel, and other expenses—and every student’s EFC – Expected Financial Contribution was filled with some combination of aid.
Getting accepted into any of the schools on this list will almost guarantee your child will graduate with little to no student loan debt.  But please know that your child must be competitive and yet again, produce good grades and high test scores.
Strategy #3: Understand and Maximize the FAFSA Form.  By understanding the formula, you will start to see how different factors will affect your eligibility for financial aid. For example, “Should you move the assets out of your child’s name?” or “Should Mom or Dad take two courses at a local community college to qualify as a part-time student?” By knowing the formula in advance of applying, you can legally set up your personal and financial situation to maximize your eligibility for financial aid. Your bottom line goal is to minimize your EFC – this is what the government feel you can afford to contribute.
File Your Financial Aid Forms Accurately And On Time. Remember, financial aid is awarded on a first come, first served basis. 66% of the forms submitted have an error on it. If you submit your forms with errors or omissions, it will probably “bump” the financial aid forms, and you will have to resubmit them at a later time. If this happens, you will probably lose aid since they award money on a first come, first served basis. Most schools have different deadlines, and if you miss their deadline, you will almost definitely get less funding.
Strategy #4: Pick Colleges That Have The Best Histories Of Giving Good Financial Aid Packages. Many schools publish statistics on how much “need” they meet and how much FREE money and loans they give out. Know these numbers before you apply, so you don’t waste time and money applying to schools you’ll never be able to afford. If they offer loans, determine how many subsidized vs. unsubsidized loans are awarded. When loans become part of the equation, do your best to qualify for federally subsidized loans, which are interest-free and principal free until your child graduates.
If you still need to borrow more money, try borrowing from your 401k plan or a pension plan. Many plans will allow you to borrow up to 50% of the value of the plan or up to $50,000 interest-free. You can also think about refinancing your current mortgage (not a home equity loan) because long-term rates are typically low during these times, much lower than student loan rates and, under most circumstances, tax deductible (but consult your tax advisor, of course.)
Strategy #5: Don’t Be Afraid To Negotiate For A Better Financial Aid Package. Always Apply To, At Least, Two Or Three Schools That Are Rated Equally. This way, if your child gets accepted to all of them, you may be able to play one against the other when negotiating to get a better financial aid package.
A school’s financial aid package is NOT fixed in stone. Just because they offer you a certain package, doesn’t mean you have to accept it. If you know how to calculate your “expected family contribution” and you find out what the school’s history of giving out financial aid is, you can usually get a pretty accurate idea of what you should have received. If the school’s offer is way off – write a letter to negotiate. I have seen many cases where schools gave $2,000… $3,000… even $6,000 more than they originally offered just because the family asked. The moral is – Don’t Be Afraid To Negotiate!
Strategy #6: Have Your Child Enroll In Advanced Placement Classes And College Level Courses While Still In High School. Every college level course they place out of is money you won’t have to pay when they go to college. Considering college credits can cost as much as $300 each, having your child place out of these courses can save you a lot of money. This happens when AP classes are successfully completed and the subject tests passed when taken in May. By taking foundational core classes at a local college/university while in high school, will decrease the amount of classes a student take once enrolled on a full-time basis, could be covered through a high school – university collaborative and it proves to admission representatives your child is college ready.
There are many more strategies for you to implement. Hopefully, these 6 strategies will motivate you to get started and take action in looking at how to create a plan of action that will facilitate your child’s dream and future so they can achieve college success.


Tameka Williamson is a Six Sigma Blackbelt in Lean and Process Improvement that analyzes and creates systems for change.  Being a certified speaker and coach for the John Maxwell Team, Tameka developed her signature programs around the 6 WILLs that help students Get Noticed, Get Admitted, Get Funded and Get Hired so they WIN in life, bringing about positive and sustainable change.  Winning Intentionally at Leading Life (WILL) is modeled around Standing out, Reliving your dreams and Removing the limits. Having successfully overcome several life changing events and a successful corporate career of driving change for over 15 years in Fortune 100 Companies, Tameka is maximizing her experiences to equip others with the tools to either avoid the same mistakes or bounce back quicker and stronger on their journey to fulfill their purpose. For more information about Tameka Williamson, Your Own College Coach, go to

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Get It Together! 5 Steps to Organizing Your Financial Life

Let's talk about organization. In today's society,the importance of keeping things organized has diminished because it takes time and dedication to make it happen effectively. If you are willing to take the steps, however, you will find that getting your financial house in order isn't quite as bad as it sounds. 
Here are five steps to help you on your path to financial organization, and ultimately, freedom from debt. 
  • Collect all necessary documentation in a single location. 
    • Take a day off each quarter from work, known as a "personal finance day," to gather your account information and place it in organized files. Ideally, there will be files for banking information, credit cards, investments, mortgages, and insurance. 
    • If you are not utilizing your bank's online resources, sign up for an account. Many banks provide an array of tools that can also aid in organizing expenses and income. 
  • Create a written budget, and review it monthly. 
    • Once you have gathered all your account information in a safe, central location, create an accurate budget that includes a savings trigger and properly notates your money needs. Adjust spending in key areas such as food and entertainment, and allocate those funds to debt elimination and savings. 
    • At the beginning of each month, review your budget. Holidays and special events will give your budget a different look than in other months, and your spending plan should reflect those changes to give you the best idea of where your spending should be for that time.
  • Set a schedule for paying bills. 
    • When creating your monthly budget, write down specific dates to pay various bills. As a rule of thumb, it is best to pay bills in bulk on key days of the month. For example, if Sam & Diane's mortgage is due on the 1st, their phone bill on the 5th, and electric bill on the 7th, it would be ideal to pay all three bills on the 1st. This ensures these bills are satisfied, and eliminates any chance of incurring late fees from the creditor, or overdraft fees from their bank. 

  • Write down all one-time expenses for the year
    • One stumbling block many face when embarking on budgeting is the occurrence of one-time expenses that pop up throughout the year. These may include license plate renewals, professional dues, or insurance premiums. Divide these costs by 12, so that you can include them in your monthly budgets. By employing this method, you can save towards those costs as they come, rather than losing large amounts of your monthly income in one fell swoop. 

  • Shred, shred, shred!!
    • If possible, invest in a shredder. In the age of rampant identify theft, it is imperative that you take every available precaution to protect your personal information. Not only will shredding documents keep you safe from possible theft, it also frees your home of tons of unnecessary paper. 

By taking these steps, you are, in a way, deputizing yourself to free yourself from the prison of indebtedness. It all begins with a willingness to say, "Yes, I'll do it." We'll be here to help you along the way. 

With you on the journey, 

Daniel Sims is the newest member of the Madam Money team. He is the creator & host of Financial Rebirth Live!, a personal finance podcast on, and managing partner of RDSF Consulting in Little Rock, Arkansas. We look forward to his insights in the coming months. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

5 Signs You're Ready for Financial Coaching

Have you (or someone you know) ever thought about hiring a Financial Coach to help you create and accomplish your financial goals? Check this out ... 

The sense of frustration has become epidemic with today's economy, challenges are becoming more prevalent with personal financial matters. Building financial stability and wealth can be a confusing and complex huge pill to swallow. So, where is a person supposed to find the time to become a financial expert and learn what is necessary to build the financial stability desired?
Are You Ready for ...
Hiring a financial coach provides a competitive advantage by leveraging the person's time with specialized financial expertise that cuts through the clutter, confusion and contradictory information by teaching them what is relevant - efficiently and with minimal hassle.
Here are 5 Signs that You may be Ready Financial Coaching.

  1. You're tired of procrastinating and ready to start building wealth and living your dreams.
  2. You want to develop your own personalized action plan for building financial security based on principles that are custom designed to fit your specific situation - not a cookie-cutter or generic plan.
  3. You want an accountability partner to help you maintain focus on your financial goals.
  4. You're just "not interested" with traditional financial planning where all they want to do is sell you investment products. Instead, you want straightforward advice without all the sales pitches.
  5. You realize that "true wealth" is not just about more money ... you want to balance your life while working toward financial freedom so that you don't make the mistake of sacrificing your family, health, or a fulfilling life in pursuit of money.
So, if you're ready to start working with a financial coach, feel free to contact me at Prosperity Now Financial Management Services.
Financially True,
Tarra Jackson, Making Money Sexy!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Exit Strategies: How to Leave Financially Abusive Relationships

Have you (or someone you know) ever been caught up in a financially abusive relationship and desperately needed an exit strategy? I have.

There are many consumers that are in financially abusive relationships with financial institutions that seem to be “not that into” them. They are dealing with ridiculously high loan interest rates, very low deposit rates, too many and extremely high fees, as well as poor customer service.
Being in a financially abusive relationship not only angered ME, but it made me feel weak and hopeless because I didn’t know how or if I could escape.  Then one day … I did!  So, here are a few effective Exit Strategies for getting out of a Financially Abusive Relationship.
Talk About It
There may be an opportunity of improving the situation by talking with the right person at the financial institution. So, before deciding to break up with the financial institution …
Be sure to
  1. Share concerns with a Customer Service Representative,
  2. Speak with a Branch or Department Manager about concerns for resolution, or
  3. Write a letter to the Senior or Executive manager about concerns.
If efforts to resolve the matter are not addressed appropriately or ignored, move to the next strategy.
Start Financial Dating
Begin the process of financially dating other financial institutions to find one (or two) that can meet, at least, most of the required financial needs (deposit accounts, loans, internet banking, etc.). In my book Financial Fornication, I share the 5 phases of Financial Dating to avoid financially abusive relationships. These phases should not be skipped.  It is necessary and worth taking the time to get to know financial institutions to ensure they are right for a particular financial situation.
So, be sure to
  1. Explore financial options (banks vs. credit unions).
  2. Investigate the financial institution(s) selected via the internet or word of mouth (research).
  3. Experience the Introduction by going to the branch(es) or calling customer service to ask questions.
  4. Start slow Courting by using one or two of their financial services (open a savings or checking account), when ready!
  5. After all 4 phases have been executed, Commit to the new primary financial institution (PFI) by using more of their products and services. 
Once a new financial “main squeeze” is found, it will make it easier to leave an existing financially abusive relationship.
Exit Slowly & Deliberately
Whether a new financial “main squeeze” is on standby or not, another Exit Strategy is to slowly stop using the financial institution’s products and services.
Be sure to
  1. Review bank statements carefully to identify all direct deposit or automatic payments coming out of the accounts.
  2. Stop or change automatic payments from the account(s) and update payment information with the new financial account information, if available.
  3. Ensure that all accounts are in good standing or current. This will ensure a clean break. The last thing wanted is a reason for the abusive financial institution to remain in contact.
  4. If possible or necessary, refinance loans to the new financial “main squeeze.” If this is not possible, keep this in mind … having loans with a financial institution is like having a child(ren) with an estranged spouse or mate.  Leaving the relationship does not diminish the responsibility of the child(ren). Therefore, leaving the financial institutions does not diminish the legal responsibility of the credit obligation.  If refinancing is not an option, continue to make loan payments to the financial institution on time until it is paid in full to avoid collection and credit report drama.
  5. Lastly, stop or reduce direct deposit into the account.
Once these steps are executed, a clean break is relatively available.
Even though the financial relationship may seem extremely challenging right now, just know that all financial institutions are not alike. There are lots of really good financial institutions out there that value and appreciate their customers.  Once you find them, some of them even provide an easier method of transiting automatic payments and direct deposits to them through what is called Switch Kits.
So don’t give up. There is hope. And most importantly, you deserve better!
Financially True,
Tarra Jackson, Making Money Sexy!

Monday, June 24, 2013

5 Things Asked on a Loan Application Used by Collectors

Have you (or someone you know) ever wonder why certain information is requested on a loan application that may not have anything to do with making the loan decision? I have.
When applying for credit, the loan application is not only a tool to acquire necessary information for the lender to make a judgmental credit decision. It is also a source of valuable data that is used to help collectors collect money that is owed to the lender if the borrower does not make their payments on time or at all.
Here are 5 Things Asked on a Loan Application Used by Collectors.
The current address is not only used to request the applicant’s credit report, but it is also used to mail payment reminder or collections letters and, when necessary, for Skip Tracing.  Skip Tracing is a process of acquiring as much information about a person to find out where they are. Once the person is located, the collector can proceed with collection efforts or take further legal action.  Some skip tracing tools used are credit reports, white pages, a system called “Accurint,” social media, and especially Google.
The name and address of the applicant’s employer is sometimes used to have the borrower served if the lender chooses to sue the borrower by filing for a default judgment. However, this information is mainly used to file for wage garnishment.
Home, work and cell phone numbers are used by collectors, of course, to call borrowers to discuss missed or past due loan payments and to acquire, what is called a “Promise To Pay.”  A Promise To Pay, is the borrower’s promise to make the agreed upon payment(s) to bring the loan account back to a current status.  Most collection calls may be friendly reminders. However, the more past due the loan becomes, the more “concerned” the collectors may be when calling.
Most collectors are aware that many people may not answer unknown callers or callers that they do not want to speak to. They are also aware that many people may not read or ignore collection notices in the mail. This is why email addresses are very valuable.  In today’s electronic age, most people may respond faster to their emails than letters and voicemail messages.  This also gives the borrowers time to respond in a less intimidating manner.
The names, addresses and phone numbers of the applicant’s family members and friends are usually requested in a loan application as references. This information is also used for Skip Tracing, when necessary.  Collectors may contact those references to obtain more information about the borrower and their whereabouts to continue collection efforts or further legal action.
Most first party collectors, which are usually employees of the lender, may be very open to assist borrowers that are dealing with financial hardships with payment plans. They are usually friendly and willing to assist as best as possible. So, please don’t ignore them.
Just make sure that you are aware of consumer rights regarding normal collection action, especially when dealing with third party collectors. No collector should verbally abuse or threaten you. That is against the law. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act governs third party collectors, collection activity, as well as Consumer Rights.

Financially True,

Tarra Jackson, Making Money Sexy

What other application information is used by collectors?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

5 Things I Wish I was taught "How To Be" when I was a Teenager (to be Financially Better Off)!

Do you, or someone you know, have things you wish someone taught you "how to be" when you were a teenager, to be financially better off?  I do!

“If I knew then what I know now.” This has got to be the theme song for most adults, especially when it comes to finances.  There are hundreds of things that I wish I was told, taught or nagged about when I was a teenager.  But, here are my top 5 Things I wish I was taught “how to be” when I was a teenager, to be financially better off.
I wish I was taught how to be …
A Boss!
No, not Bossy, but A Boss of my own business. Instead of being encouraged to go to school so I can get a good job, I wish I was told and taught to go to school to learn how to make jobs. Or to go get a job to learn what it takes to run a business. Seriously, we are told what to do and what not to do when we are children, only to go to school to get a job for other adults to tell us what to do and what not to do when we become adults.  Seems like a set up to me now.  
So teens … go to school and get a job, NOT to just be an employee, but to learn how to become an entrepreneur. Besides, there are not that many jobs out there right now anyway. Create your own business and Be A Boss!
A Giver
The first principle of Prosperity is Giving! In order to reap a harvest, a seed must be sown.  Always remember, there is no room to receive in a closed fist.  Whether your giving is spiritually, morally or emotionally based, give gladly and on good ground. Giving is not always about money. Sometimes your old clothes, knowledge, or time may be just as, if not more, valuable.
So teens … learn the power and pleasure of giving early to a church, non-profit or worthy organization or individual. You’ll be surprised of the blessings you will receive because of your openness to give.
A Saver
Who knew that if I had saved only $100 per month when I got my first job at the age of 14 in a savings account with an interest rate of 0.50% until now (25 years), I would have saved over $32,000? And if I had saved $200 per month, it would be almost $65,000.  The point is, if I really understood the power of saving at a younger age when I could afford it, I would be able to afford almost anything I wanted when I got older.
So teens … Start Saving Sooner!!! The younger you are when you start saving, the more you will have when you really need it when you get older. Trust me on this one.
Financially Proactive
Enjoy today but Live for Tomorrow!  Tomorrow is your future. Live like you are going to be alive for a long time and you want to be financially comfortable for the rest of your life. True story … If I had planned for the things that I wanted “tomorrow” (in the future); I would not have borrowed money to get what I wanted “today” that I would have to be paid back “tomorrow” (in the future). Well, it’s tomorrow for me now and I’m still paying for what I borrowed “yesterday” (in the past).  My point is that using credit to get what you want right now will limit what you can afford tomorrow, when you really need it. It’s no fun not being able to afford to buy a home because you owe too much in credit card debt.  Credit is designed to be a leverage to help you acquire real “assets” (read Robert Kiyosaki’s book, Rich Dad Poor Dad) or to be an anchor and drown you deep in debt.
So teens … use credit wisely and do not use it until you are mature enough to handle its consequences (read my book, Financial Fornication).
Not rich, but Wealthy! Rich is predicated on how much money you have, but Wealth is determined by how much you are able to do with the money you have. I’ve met hundreds of broke “rich” people, but I’ve never met a broke “wealthy” person.  Also, don’t believe the bling you see on TV! Nine times out of 10, the bling is borrowed! #IJS
So teens … follow my Financial Freedom Formula early and be wealthy for the rest of your life!

Those are my top 5 things I wish I was taught, but believe me there are more. Come to think of it, I was probably told to be a few of them, but I just didn't listen. Typical teenager.  ;-)
Best wishes on your journey to Financial Freedom!
Financially True,
Tarra Jackson, Making Money Sexy!