TD Bank Second Chance Checking Account Alternatives

In the last few years many people have made poor financial decisions which have led to the closing of a bank or checking account.  Unfortunately, after this happens, it can be difficult to open a new checking account.  Some of those living in the Northeast may seek TD Bank second chance checking account alternatives.  It is important to note that at the present time TD Bank does not offer a second chance checking account.  If you have bad credit or have made poor financial decisions you will have to look elsewhere when it comes to a new checking account.

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What is a Second Chance Checking Account?

For anyone who has had a checking account for their entire adult career it is sometimes difficult to think how hard life can be without one.  If individuals have made bad financial decisions they could lose the luxuries of a checking account.  One of the quickest ways to do this is to overdraw an account repeatedly.  If you are constantly fighting a losing battle of taking out more funds than that in your bank account there is a possibility that you could lose this account.  Unfortunately, some of these individuals may have a very low income.  With the low income and a high amount of bills it is hard to pay all of these obligations.

Rather than assuming that there were no opportunities available it is always hard to do research.  When looking for second chance checking accounts remember that there are many available in each and every state.  In fact, there are usually several credit unions locally that can help with a second chance checking account.  When seeking alternatives to TD Bank make sure to keep an open mind.  Do not assume banks like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan Chase or Citigroup are the only options.

When looking to open a new checking account most financial institutions will use the ChexSystem.  Basically, this system checks to make certain that an individual will stay current with their checking account.  There are many more aspects of the system but I will not go into detail.  Just know that you want to pass this system to take out a new checking account.  If you fail to pass the ChexSystems you will likely need to seek a second chance checking account from a financial institution.

TD Bank Second Chance Checking Account Alternatives

At the present time TD Bank does not offer second chance checking accounts.  This is very important to remember when looking for a bank of choice.  Even though TD Bank does not offer these opportunities it does not mean they’re not out there.  I would strongly suggest doing plenty of research online to see what opportunities are available in your area.  TD Bank has a very strong presence in the Northeast. TD Bank has locations in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. If you’re in any of these states there are alternatives available.

Below is a list of some of the financial institutions that may be able to help when it comes to getting a second chance checking account:

  • Dollar Bank
  • FinTrust Bank
  • Philadelphia Federal Credit Union
  • National City Bank
  • PNC Bank

How Much Does a Second Chance Checking Account Cost?

Before assuming that a second chance checking account will be completely free it is important to do homework.  Most financial institutions charge for a second chance checking account.  With this in mind look for institutions or banks that have free second chance checking.  If you have been into WalMart location in the last several years of likely seen banks that offer second chance check.  In some parts of the country these are WoodForest National Bank locations. Do research on the WalMart banks in your area.

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Also note that some of the bank names you know maybe willing to offer bad credit products.  If you have made very poor financial decisions with bill payments in the last several years you may need to look for second chance checking account options.  This is very unfortunate as it will cost money down the road but at least you will be able to direct deposit paycheck.  It almost seems like second nature to most people to direct deposit paycheck so I can be very difficult when this option is not allowed.

It is also difficult to think about not being able to pay bills through a checking account.  Most people in the United States have some type of automatic withdrawal.  This is not available for individuals who have lost the ability to have a bank account.  Rather than going through a very stressful financial life it never hurts to address these problems quickly.  One way to address these problems is to pay all debts.

Paying off Bad Credit Personal Loans

One of the biggest issues when it comes to paying off debts is the interest rate that is applied.  There is often a very high interest rate applied to bad credit loans which makes it harder to pay off these debt obligations.  If you are currently paying on a credit card or loan with an interest rate about 20% it makes it very hard decrease the balance.  It never hurts to use a financial calculator to better understand ways to pay down debts.

If you have a bad credit loan from TD Bank, Wells Fargo, Citi or any other financial institution it never hurts to pay off a significant amount of the balance.  Rather than worrying about low credit interest rates it might be best to take advantage of budgeting and paying off high interest rate debts.  This has been proven to help those who want to get out of debt. Unfortunately, some Americans continue to worry about taking out more money to make purchases.

If you go out to eat multiple times a week you are likely spending too much money.  Simply writing down each and every dollar that is spent will help you better understand where your money is going.  Most people do not want to do this as it’s a hard pill to swallow.  Most smart phones have some type of app that will allow you to take notes.  Use these notetaking apps to document where money is going.  If you have an iPhone or an Android phone there are plenty of opportunities available.

In fact, Google Keep was recently released and it is very helpful to those looking to take notes easily.  Even if you go into a convenience store or gas station to make a chewing gum purchase it should be documented.  Although this is only a few dollars here and there they can add up very quickly.  When writing this number down you’ll recognize that sometimes you don’t need that $4 coffee.  There are likely many other opportunities in which you can get cheaper coffee.

Checking Accounts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

As I mentioned earlier TD Bank has a large presence in the Northeast.  If you are currently looking for a second chance checking account or a conventional checking account in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania there are a few options.  Take the time to use Google Maps or the FDIC search tool to find banks.  By finding multiple options most individuals will find that their financial life is much easier.

It never hurts to have multiple options when it comes to finances.  There are many American adults who have several checking accounts.  I would never suggest creating a half-dozen checking accounts but more than one is not a bad decision.  Below are some of the local towns and cities near Philadelphia Pennsylvania:

  • Camden, NJ
  • Gloucester City, NJ
  • Yeadon, PA
  • Collingswood, NJ
  • Darby, PA
  • Pennsauken, NJ
  • Lansdowne, PA
  • Audubon, NJ
  • Drexel Hill, PA
  • Bellmawr, NJ
  • Cherry Hill, NJ
  • Ardmore, PA
  • Haddonfield, NJ
  • Woodbury, NJ
  • Springfield, PA

If you live in one of these areas there is a good chance that you’ll be able to find a TD Bank location or another financial institution that offers checking accounts.  If you’re having trouble finding a financial institution that offers a checking account please feel free to comment below and I will help you find a bank.  You may also want to comment on my Google plus profile as I often check this social medium multiple times a day.

As with any major financial decision is always a good idea to sleep on the decision before this made.  Unfortunately, some people jump into the first offer and they miss out on opportunities to get better checking account.  Document the fees and costs that will come along with a second chance checking account before signing on the dotted line.  This will make one’s money decisions a little bit easier in the future.…

Your Online Environment Affects Your Voice and Vocabulary

Fifteen years ago you could not say that your online environment had much affect on your life. At the time Google was just getting started and most people didn’t even have an online profile. EMail was the form of communication and message boards were very clunky. With online profiles available for hundreds of websites it is almost impossible to say that your online environment does not affect the way you act and think today. This is especially true when it comes to your voice and vocabulary.

How the Internet Has Changed Our Vocabulary

In the last five years many “Internet” terms and phrases have become common. Think about some of these words and phrases that are used in everyday life:

  • Hashtag
  • Wiki It
  • Search it on Craigslist
  • Facebook Me
  • Plus Me In
  • Pin It
  • Reddit
  • Virality
  • YouTube It

This is a very short list that took me about two minutes to create. There are hundreds of new words and phrases that are used that were never part of a vocabulary two decades ago. Last night I had the opportunity to sit down with Pepper Oldziey and one of my statements went something like this:

Google is crawling, indexing and ranking all Google+ posts. This is not being done with Twitter Tweets and Facebook Pages. All those people on Facebook are getting likes on their Instagram pictures and Facebook posts yet it is not helping them rank in organic search. By organic search I mean logged out of Google+ and Gmail search. This is a huge opportunity when it comes to Internet Marketing and reaching a broad audience of online individuals that are seeking a service or better Internet experience.

If I had a time machine and I could go back to 1990 and use this exact verbiage what do you think the reaction would be? Well, in all reality, I used this verbiage today and I still get a “what” reaction. All of this is fine and dandy but not everyone has developed this type of voice or vocabulary. I can assure you there are many Beliebers that claim to be social media mavens on Twitter that have no idea what it means to get crawled, indexed and ranked by Google. On the flip side of that, I have no idea what a Belieber is.

Your Online Environment Greatly Affects Your Voice and Vocabulary

Prior to Google+ my online vocabulary was very limited. I did not know what incognito search was. I was not sure what term was used when you saw an author picture in Google Search. I sure as heck had no idea what Agent or Author Rank was. These are all terms that have been used by those that I am exposed to. I hand selected the brightest of the bright on Google+ to follow. In fact, I completely cleaned out my circles in November of 2012 just so I could get more quality information in my stream from the best Google users.

My vocabulary and voice has changed completely. Most of my readers see it with each and every blog post. I need to go back and read some of my stuff pre Google+ and see just how terrible my writing style was due to the fact that I had a poor vocabulary. I am a firm believer (not Belieber) that reading enhances one’s vocabulary. I do plenty of that but I also know that birds of a feather flock together. If you are mingling with the brightest minds on Google+ I can assure you that you will see things in a different light.

While eating lunch or dinner with many new Google+ users I see that “aha” moment as it happens. I explain how I followed names like Mark Traphagen, Eli Fennell, Ronnie Bincer and Vic Gundotra from the very beginning. Just seeing their posts and reading some of their thoughts has made me a much more creative thinker. In fact, my following influences me so much that it helps me create about 75% of the content for Wojdylo Finance.

When thinking about your online environment please recognize that it affects many aspects of your life. If you are on Twitter and you follow individuals who use the phrase, “C U 4 Lunch at Da Hill” you are going to start doing the same thing. It is human nature. Anyone that is a personal friend of mine knows it is a pet peeve when people cannot spell an entire word. I guess this is the reason I love Google+ as it allows me to use my true voice and vocabulary. Build an online environment that is conducive to learning how to be the best you.…

Union Bank Bad Credit Personal Installment Loans

Union Bank is one of the largest financial institutions in the state of California and it offers many opportunities when it comes to borrowing cash. This bank used to be named Union Bank of California before changing in recent years. When looking for bad credit personal installment loans or unsecured personal loans it is always a wise decision to check your credit score and make certain that there are no major issues. When seeking Union Bank bad credit personal installment loans remember to do extensive research before making any final decisions.

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Bad Credit Personal Installment Loan Interest Rates

If you are looking to borrow $500, $750 or $1000 you may consider small personal loans or installment loans. Make a mental note that anyone with bad credit will find it extremely difficult to get low interest rates on these types of loans. This is very unfortunate as it can cause major financial problems down the road. In fact, some people have seen their credit score drastically decline by taking out bad credit unsecured personal loans.

With this in mind it may be a wise choice to come up with a strong weekly or monthly budget to determine just how much money can be spent. If you have a very low income and you are struggling to understand what opportunities are available please contact a financial advisor or someone who better understands how to manage money. Having low income and high amounts of debt can be a huge problem for individuals looking to get ahead.

This is something that has become very common over the last several years. In fact, there are some people that have had to file bankruptcy due to the fact that they continue to take out bad credit personal installment loans. When looking for unsecured personal loans recognize that the interest rate is very high and it could cause financial problems. Note that Union Bank offers many personal loan products but do not feel as if they will give someone with a credit score under 600 a significant amount of money.

Union Bank Bad Credit Personal Installment Loans

As mentioned earlier, there are several opportunities to borrow money with Union Bank. That said, please do not feel as if bad credit borrowers can walk in and take out $5000 or $10,000 in cash. Below are some of the available resources explaining what opportunities are available at Union Bank:

You Have a Dream — Let Us Help You Finance It

Union Bank’s Personal Line of Credit provides you with cash when you need it. Use the credit line as you see fit, when you see fit — and you don’t have to own a home or property to qualify. 1

A personal line of credit is a financial cushion that may provide you with a better rate than most major credit cards. You’ll have convenient access to cash when you need it and won’t be charged when you don’t use it.

Fixed- and variable-rate options: Benefit from changes in the market by choosing when to fix your rate or stay with the variable rate.

Instant cash: Write checks for as little as $500 — or for as much as your available credit limit of $5,000 to $250,000.

Revolving credit: Have access to your line again and again as you pay back the money you borrow.

Discounts: Discounts available on fixed-rate options when you choose automatic payments from your Union Bank checking or savings account.

In the next few years it will be interesting to see just how many banks start to offer bad credit unsecured personal installment loans. After the credit crisis many of these financial institutions were not willing to offer poor credit types of loans. In fact, Bank of America is one of the largest financial institutions that stopped offering this line of credit. Make a mental note of this when going into any financial institution looking to borrow money with a very low credit score.

Union Bank would be considered one of the more popular banks in the state of California but recognize it is not the only option. I would strongly suggest avoiding payday loans or cash advance loans as these types of loans have very high interest rates that could cause major financial problems down the road. The interest rate on some of these bad credit payday loans exceeds 300%. The payday loan companies explain it as fees but you are getting charged high interest for a 10 day or two week period.

Personal Installment Loans vs Payday Loans

When looking at bad credit payday loans versus personal installment loans it is important to recognize there are some major differences. The biggest difference is the fact that bad credit payday loans will have to be paid back in 10 days or in two weeks. The reason they are called payday loans is because individuals will have to pay the loans off with their next paycheck. This is very unfortunate for someone who has a very low income and really can’t afford these high fees.

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Fees will be applied to the amount of money borrowed through bad credit payday loans. Individuals will likely pay between $10 and $15 for every $100 borrowed. This means that for every $500 borrowed you’ll pay an extra $50 in the form of fees. When looking at the interest rate on this money you can see that it is clearly very high. This is unfortunate as most people do not understand they are paying interest rates in excess of 300%.

A bad credit personal installment loan is much different in that borrowers will likely take out more money than a payday loan and they will pay it back over the course of time. In fact, some borrowers have the opportunity to pay it back over 84 months or 72 months. This will drastically decrease the monthly payment because there is so much time to pay the loan off. That said, there are often high interest rates that are applied to this amount of money. Expect to see interest rates as high as 18% or more on some of these bad credit personal installment loans.

Credit Union and Community Bank Installment Loans

If you are looking to save money on low interest rates you may want to consider credit unions or community banks when it comes to installment loans. Most of these financial institutions have very strict guidelines when it comes to the interest rate that can be applied. This is very useful for individuals that have a high interest rate on the money they are borrowing. In fact, some credit unions will only charge up to 15% on a credit card or personal loan. Do plenty of research and understand what interest rates will be applied to money borrowed from a credit union or small community bank.

Something else that is very beneficial is the fact that community banks will get to know you by name. When taking out a bad credit personal installment loan with Union Bank or Discover Bank or Capital One Bank you will instantly become a number. Rather than becoming a number you will be a person at some of the small local community banks. Make a mental note that some of these local community banks only offer financial products to individuals who have residency in a different county.

If you do not have residency in the county in which the credit union or community bank is headquartered there is a good chance that you will not be able to open up a bank account with this specific financial institution. This is very sad for individuals who want to get the lowest possible interest rates on personal loans. Always do your research before giving up hope. There are some community banks that will allow individuals of neighboring counties to take advantage of the low interest rates on personal loans, home loans and credit cards.

Personal Loans in San Diego and Los Angeles, California

When looking for Union Bank bad credit unsecured personal loans there is a very good chance that individuals will be living in the state of California. Some of these individuals may live in or around San Diego or Los Angeles. Luckily, there a number of great financial institutions that are in these areas. Below are some of the local towns to San Diego:

  • Coronado, CA
  • National City, CA
  • Chula Vista, CA
  • Lemon Grove, CA
  • Bonita, CA
  • La Mesa, CA
  • La Presa, CA
  • Spring Valley, CA
  • Imperial Beach, CA
  • El Cajon, CA
  • Rancho San Diego, CA
  • Santee, CA
  • Bostonia, CA
  • Tijuana, Mexico
  • Lakeside, CA

If you live in one of these areas there are opportunities to borrow money even if you have bad credit. If you have seen your credit score decline drastically over the last several months or years it may be more difficult to take out a loan but there are still lenders. Do research on the FDIC website before assuming there are no options available in April 2020 and beyond. If you live in Los Angeles there are also plenty of opportunities. Here are some of the small towns and around Los Angeles:

  • East Los Angeles, CA
  • Huntington Park, CA
  • Maywood, CA
  • Walnut Park, CA
  • Commerce, CA
  • Bell, CA
  • Glendale, CA
  • South Pasadena, CA
  • Monterey Park, CA
  • South Gate, CA
  • Cudahy, CA
  • West Hollywood, CA
  • Alhambra, CA
  • Bell Gardens, CA
  • Westmont, CA

As stated earlier, just because you do not live in the city limits it does not mean that there will not be loan opportunities. Take advantage of personal installment loans with low interest rates if they are possible. Unfortunately, some people do not do this and they end up missing out on opportunities to borrow up to $25,000 cash. I would strongly suggest anyone with bad credit look for borrowing opportunities even when they don’t really need the money.

All of that being said, make sure to create a strong weekly or monthly budget and understand where money is going. If you have more money going out than coming in it would be a wise choice to either get a second job or consider cutting back. One of the easiest ways to cut back is to eat out less or simply not go to movies as much. You may be surprised to find how much money you spend just by going to the movies once a week or even twice a month.

By looking at this budget and analyzing your financial information there is a very good chance that you will improve your financial history. This will make it much easier to take unsecured personal loans in the very near future. This will also make it much easier to buy a home and pay down the monthly mortgage.…

Facebook is to “Friend” What Apple is to “Genius”

Apple App Store privacy screens about Facebook: extensive, alarming

Article by Nick Eller

It has become ever so apparent to me just how valuable the word “friend” is these days. Like many things in our society, we have used it so many times that it has lost its true meaning. What do I mean by this? Well, I have two “experiments” to back this up.

Anyone who follows Jesse Wojdylo knows about his exodus from Facebook. I will never forget him telling me how he sent messages out to all his “friends” on Facebook and told them he was leaving. He asked that if they wanted to remain in touch to reply back with their number. I believe he got three messages back. I’ll never forget him telling me, “You need to surround yourself with people that want to make the effort to be in your life.” This powerful statement has stuck with me ever since that day. To be honest, when I deactivated, I didn’t bother with sending any messages. Ironically, the three to four people that I consider true friends, those that have been there for me and support me, they were already on Google+.

Fast forward a few weeks ahead, my wife was noticing a difference in my attitude. Like any good wife that sees a change, she started to snoop around and find the reason. She noticed me using g+ on my phone and started asking questions. I had to share the news that I was introduced to a site that had thought provoking conversation that I felt made me a better person. I found somewhere I could grow and I was talking about my frustration from all the whining and nonsense on Facebook. Now, it was time for her to make a switch.

After a long hangout with Jesse showing all the advantages of Google+ she really wanted to make the switch. But, there were reservations, as with many people. Facebook has become the norm. At first, it was her way of communicating with her family. However, she convinced herself it was ok to call them and go see them just as much as she messaged with them on that site. Next, it was the pictures, a common reason for many people to stay on there. I so wanted for her to experience the change that I had, we made a little run to Best Buy. It is amazing the power of a 1 Terabyte hard-drive. Seeing as photography is one of her hobbies, this process took a little longer than anticipated. She worked for almost an hour a night for a week to transfer those photos over, but she got it done. Finally, it was time to start the leaving process. Much like Jesse did, she sent out a message to her friends saying she was leaving and going to g+. So did she get replies back or phone numbers?

ONE!!! One person took time out of their busy life to send her a reply with their contact info. Now, for the real kicker in all this, the person lives in JAPAN where her husband is stationed in the Marines. Seriously? Not one person in the continental 48 states bothered to take the time to reply back to someone who basically said, “I’m going away, if you want to stay in contact please give me your info.” This apathy that was displayed to the woman I love leads me to the reason for this installment’s title.

Go into any Apple Store and look at an employee, which Apple so cleverly calls a “genius.” You will most likely find a person younger than you, looking like they just rolled out of bed, with the ever so professional t-shirt and something similar to pants way too tight around the calves and ankles. While I do not have the capacity of these folks to spout out anything related to an ipad, iphone, or macbook, I seriously doubt the “genius” qualifications apply here. Same goes for Facebook. Want to find out what a true friend is? A true friend is one that you can call at any time. They will listen to you when you’re having family problems.

A true friend will push you to better yourself. A Facebook “friend” will gladly like a status, regardless if it is good or bad. They’ll console you, because it is faster and easier to type out a comment than to call and have a conversation about it. We have both agreed that we’re going to make the investments in people that are willing to do the same for us. I will take the handful of true friends I have over the hundreds of “friends” that I had.…

First Merchants Bank Indiana Secured Credit Card

Many people living in and around the Indianapolis, Indiana area have multiple options when it comes to banks and lenders.  Some may seek out a First Merchants Bank Indiana secured credit card as this is one of the more popular financial institutions in the area.  Whether borrowers live in Carmel, Lawrence, Greenwood, Fishers, Mooresville, Franklin, Greenfield, Noblesville or Lebanon there are First Merchants Bank options in the area.  Bad credit borrowers may also look online for different types of secured credit cards.

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First Merchants Bank Credit Card Offers

When looking to re-establish or build credit it never hurts to look for secured credit card options.  Even those with little to no credit will have an opportunity to borrow money with these types of credit cards.  Below is the information on the First Merchants Bank secured credit card from the bank’s website:

24 Hour Customer Service

Zero Fraud Liability: Cardmember is not liable for fraudulent purchases when card is lost or stolen.**

Verified by Visa

Car Rental Discounts with Avis, National and Hertz

Travel Accident Insurance

Extended Warranty Insurance

Payments Made Easy – Auto Pay, Telephone Payment, Internet “You Pay,” Mail, CSR-Assisted Phone Pay

Easy Banking – Online Account Access, 24/7 Customer Service, Full-Service Telephone Banking

There are three other types of credit cards that are currently offered by First Merchants Bank Indiana.  These credit cards are as follows

  • Visa Bonus Rewards Card
  • Visa Platinum Card
  • College Rewards Visa

Take the time to look over these options but it often takes a credit score above 650 to qualify for these types of opportunities.  If students are looking for a credit card it would be a good decision to apply for the College Rewards Visa before looking at any secured credit card options in 2013.  Before hitting the submit button on any application all borrowers should recognize that this could hurt a credit score.  If individuals have built up a huge amount of debt and they are looking to gain access to more cash applying for a new credit card is probably not the best opportunity.

What To Do When You Run Out of Money

Rather than applying for a First Merchants Bank Indiana secured credit card when money is low it is a smart decision to create a very strong weekly or money budget.  This is not difficult to do as all it takes is a sheet of paper and a pen or pencil.  For a full week write down every single penny that is spent.  This includes the cup of coffee going to work.  This includes the pack of chewing gum at the local gas station.  This includes the tub of popcorn when watching the latest movie at the cinema.

After one full week look at all of the expenses.  There is a good chance that some of this stuff is not needed.  Instead of paying $60 for a haircut and shampoo it is quite possible that a haircut under $30 is available.  Instead of paying for floor tickets to the musical it might be worth it to sit in the upper deck for once.  Cutting back on some expenses will make a financial life much easier.  Although this sounds easy it can sometimes be difficult.  If someone has lived an affluent lifestyle for several years or even decades it can be hard to cut back.

This is why it is imperative that every single penny spent is written down.  To make the process easier, try to not use any secured credit cards or rewards credit cards.  Go to the local First Merchants Bank and take out $20 cash every day.  Most people should be able to reduce daily expenses to $20 or less.  If this is difficult then work needs to be done.  Spending strictly cash will also help as borrowers won’t be charged any interest on the money they spend.

After this week or two week process is complete it is time to decide how much money needs to be earned to live a certain lifestyle.  If more money is going out than coming in there is a huge problem.  Either a second or third job needs to come about or expenses should be cut back.  Once again, this can be difficult but it is possible.  Something that can be very positive about a second or third job is the fact that taking up the majority of the day working means there is much less time to think about spending money.  In fact, there will be much fewer opportunities to spend money because the jobs are taking up so much time.

These are just some suggestions when it comes to saving money.  If this is not a huge issue then a First Merchants Bank secured credit card might be an option to build credit.  When building credit, all borrowers should recognize that there is interest charged on money that is not paid off every single month.  This is something that is very difficult to understand for new borrowers.

First Merchants Bank Secured Credit Card Interest Scenario

If a credit card has a 10% interest rate or APR that means that every $100 spent that is not paid off will earn $10 interest over the course of a year.  This interest compounds every month so it will likely be more if borrowers keep building up a balance on their credit card.  Also note that late payments and other expenses can add up when it comes to borrowing money through a credit card.  No matter what, avoid credit card check advances at all costs.

For those who may not understand this process here is a brief overview.  Credit card companies will often mail blank checks to borrowers stating that they can write an amount on the check and go cash it at the local bank.  Unfortunately, this is not free money.  If you write a check for $2000 you will have to pay the $2000 back with interest.  Once again, interest becomes a huge issue for anyone who does not understand the basic idea behind compounding interest.  Doing some research on compounding interest should be required for anyone that plans on applying for a First Merchants Bank Indiana secured credit card in the near future.

If applicants are 100% certain they are going to pay their credit card off every single month the First Merchants Bank secured credit card would be a good choice.  Unfortunately, most people go into the borrowing process with this in mind but something happens.  They may have tire issues with their car or an unexpected accident happens that requires $500.  Instead of using cash many people will simply swipe the credit card and forget about it for a few months.  This seems to be all too common during the holiday shopping season.

Let’s go back to the practice of writing down every single expense.  Something else that borrowers may want to do is write down every dollar they earn versus every dollar they spend.  If an individual makes $500 a week they will make $100 a day Monday through Friday but they will make $0 on the weekends.  This means they will need to make certain they save up enough to get through those days when no money is coming in.

There are plenty of great spreadsheet software options online and I would strongly suggest Google Docs.  Google users with a gmail address can access these documents anywhere they can check their gmail.  Creating two separate columns for money coming in versus money going out is not difficult at all.  With spreadsheet software you can also set it up where it adds up the columns for you.  This could be a tool that is used over the course of your life so you don’t have to think about applying for secured credit cards when money gets low.

Cashiers Check or Money Order with Secured Card Application

This is something that is very important for anyone who will be applying for a First Merchants Bank Indiana secured credit card.  This is quoted directly from the First Merchants Bank website:

How does the Secured Card work?

To establish a secured savings account, simply send a cashier’s check or money order along with your application. The minimum deposit amount is $300 and the maximum amount is $5,000. Your credit line will equal the amount of your security deposit. You still must make payments to your Secured Card account like you would with any other credit card.”

That means that an applicant must have at least $300 to go along with the credit card application.  This is one of the reasons it is a good decision to improve a credit history.  Applying for a regular rewards credit card will not require a deposit.  Unfortunately, most of those who will be applying for some type of secured credit card do not have the credit score or credit history to qualify for some of the better credit cards that are currently available.  The amount of the cashiers check or money order will be the balance on the credit card until a credit score drastically improves.

Building credit over the course of time with a secured credit card is a good idea but consider many other options.  Instead of having to use cash as collateral consider using a debit card or bank account to make purchases.  This may not improve a credit score as quickly but it will help to get you out of the “credit card mindset.”  Too many people simply pull out a credit card and swipe it for any purchase.  This means that it becomes a habit and some bad credit borrowers may select the wrong credit card when making a purchase.  There is nothing worse than using a high interest rate retail credit card when a debit card could have been used.

Alternatives to First Merchants Bank in Indiana

Although First Merchants Bank Indiana is a fine financial institution that is secured by the FDIC it might be a good idea to look at alternatives when it comes to credit cards or bank accounts.  Remember that Visa and MasterCard are credit card issuers but many times it is the banks that take the applications for the lines of credit.  Here are a few alternative lenders in the Indianapolis area:

  • National Bank of Indianapolis
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • KeyBank
  • PNC Bank
  • Forum Credit Union
  • Old National Bank
  • Teachers Credit Union
  • First Financial Bank
  • Union Savings Bank
  • Harris Bank
  • Family Horizons Credit Union
  • Woodforest National Bank

Note that many of these banks are not exclusive to only Indianapolis or Indiana.  In fact, many banks are starting to branch out to a new area as they are gaining their financial footing after the credit crisis.  Sometimes it is worth it to deal with a local community bank as they will know your name rather than simply your bank account number.  That being said, there are some limitations to a local community bank.  If you travel a lot there is a good chance you will not be able to find bank locations in other states and especially in other countries.  Another issue may be the fact that smaller banks do not offer as many financial products such as ATV loans, farm loans or unsecured credit cards.

There are plusses and minuses to all financial institutions.  Before hitting submit on a First Merchants Bank secured credit card think about a credit union.  Credit unions have very strict guidelines when it comes to credit cards.  They cannot charge an interest rate above a certain level which is very important for those that carry a balance on their secured credit card.  Unfortunately, not everyone will be eligible to apply for a credit union secured credit card.  Do plenty of research on local credit unions to see what application requirements are set.…

How You Define ‘Success’ Determines Your Social Networking Experience

Article by Lauren Sutton

I am going to open with a quote by Mr. Matt Broussard, as it will effectively set the grounds for the rest of this article and what I am hoping to address:

Before I joined Google+ a little over a month ago, I spent the majority of my online time on Facebook and Twitter, like everyone else. I utilized these social networks for a few purposes: 1) to be able to quickly and efficiently get up with friends and family, 2) to stay on top of events and happenings on my campus, and, for the most part, 3) as a means of entertainment and relaxation to give my brain a rest.

I can say today with 100% confidence that I get more out of my online experience through Google+ than I do any other social networking site. I can also say that I see why it will not be for everyone, at least for college-aged users. I know that we are not exactly a Facebook loving crowd here on Google+, so bear with me as I play devil’s advocate throughout the course of this post.

I want you to think about how you would answer this question while you are reading this: How do you define success? What is the lifestyle that you dream about at night and crave when you wake up? How do your passions play into that? And how does it affect how you spend your leisure time, including that which is spent online?

Success is Variable for Everyone

Let me give some background on my personal experiences: I am a pre-med student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the thick of completing my core biology and chemistry courses for my major. These classes require an astounding amount of dedication, work, effort, and time. There are few nights that I am not awake until 2 in the morning doing assignments and even fewer afternoons that aren’t packed with study sessions, volunteer shifts and philanthropy work.

I have also been in love with reading and writing for as long as I can remember. I have always expressed myself better in words than anything else and a good piece of literature has never failed to be my favorite method of relieving stress and sparking new ideas.

I said from an early age that I was going to be a successful author. I knew that I was going to write books that would capture the hearts of readers and leave that lingering, melancholy feeling that I like so much in their stomachs after they finished it. I also see myself entering healthcare and succeeding at being an empathetic and talented doctor. Both of these dreams are so immense that I’m scared to reach my fingers out towards them – but I do, and that keeps me going from day to day.

But enough about me. Let’s discuss some of my peers, as they’re the ones that I interact with the most. I am friends with many pre-med students like myself. They endure the same workload, exhaustion, and frustrations that I do. We cry together, vent to each other, and ultimately encourage each other on to the finish line.

We have the same glittering dream on the horizon – to become the next generation of scientists and health care providers. We define success as getting into medical school, surviving it, and emerging into the world to do our best work.

Obviously, other people have different definitions of success than we do. So how does this apply to the ways in which we experience social networking?

What You Call “Success” Will Determine What You Want Out Of Social Media

Every day I spend on Google+ challenges me. I am constantly learning new things, such as how to write skillfully and attract an audience. I regularly meet new people that offer different perspectives on subjects that I wouldn’t have previously recognized. I am involved in a community that sets a previously lukewarm passion for reading and writing completely aflame. This is something that I put on the backburner for the first two years of college, simply because I didn’t feel as if I had the time to devote to it.

Jesse Wojdylo has expressed his confusion to me about why Google+ is not more popular with college students before. His source of disbelief is always along these lines: How are we content with spending our time online in a way that isn’t productive? Why are the majority of our online efforts geared towards gaining popularity rather than bettering ourselves? He once told me that he wanted me to explore why college students would rather be “cool” than successful.

Here is where that definition of success becomes relevant. Here is where our passions come into play.

The majority of my time spent on Google+ is used to craft myself into the best writer that I can be. I devour advice articles about blogging, learn from other, more popular online authors, and attempt to learn from each experience. Yes, I still long to obtain that Ph.D. and be able to don a white coat and stethoscope one day. But writing and literature was my first love, and if I can improve myself in those areas, I will consider that a success.

Here’s the thing – there are many, many college students who do not share the same opinions that I do. It is important to keep in mind that we have gone to college for the sole purpose of bettering ourselves and becoming successful. We are also being intellectually stimulated every second of the day. Therefore, it’s understandable that in the small amount of free time that we are given, some students will not be racing to their laptops to sign online and continue challenging their brain.

I enjoy Google+ as it helps me to learn how to write better content. For those students whose skills lie entirely in the sciences, this won’t be a concern. They are focused on gaining as much hands-on experience as possible and learning how to apply that in real life. This is why they use Facebook – it provides a momentary relief where they are simply able to interact with other students without requiring an extensive thought process.

Disclaimer: My Experiences Vary From Others

Again, I know the objections that are forming in your heads. I want to address a few things.

I know that there is a lot more that Google+ has to offer.

I do not mean to say that if you aren’t looking to become a successful author, you will not get anything out of Google+. That is extremely far from the truth. There is a wide variety of people on the plus, and they all have different dreams, passions, and lifestyles. However, I believe that all G+ users have one thing in common – we use this social network to better ourselves. We log on each day with the expectation of getting a richer intellectual experience than Facebook and Twitter can offer. This isn’t to suggest that there aren’t also areas of G+ that aren’t so cerebral, but as an overview, most users (at least the ones that are likely to read this article) expect to experience some form of personal growth.

I know that pre-med students are not the only people that this applies to.

Ask any student at the University of North Carolina if they are challenged from day to day, and they will all answer with a resounding yes. Even beyond the realm of college students, many people face intellectual stimulation regularly in their daily routine. I have used this sub-group of students as they are the ones that I interact with the most – not to mention that I am one.

I have been taught to write what I know, and I know that at this stage in our lives, every college student will define success as surviving a difficult four years and emerging with an education and a degree that can help us reach our dreams. Each class, paper, and homework assignment is used to better ourselves. Therefore, when online, Facebook and Twitter are very attractive options to many students. They are honestly some of the only time-consumers that aren’t serving a direct purpose.

So here’s the take home message: How you define the word ‘success’ will determine your online social network. Google+ serves many purposes – it is great for businesses, writers, and all those who continually long to stretch their brains and learn more. If your definition of success can be attained through those purposes, then Google+ is likely the site for you. If you would prefer to utilize your time online for a shallower, more entertainment based experience, then you will not find it as enjoyable.

And there it is. That one shining truth may seem obvious, but it holds the key to social networking. If you do not gear your time spent online towards your idea of success, then it will never have the potential to do anything more than entertain.

How does your definition of success affect how you spend your time online?…

Why You Should Not Install Google+ Comments for WordPress

If you are interested in Google+, Twitter or social media in general please check out all of my related articles here: Wojdylo Social Media.

Late last night I read an article on Google Plus Daily explaining a plugin that was available to install Google+ comments on WordPress. This is not an official Google+ plugin as it is a hack of the Blogger Google+ comments. I know the guys that run Google Plus Daily and I trust them. So much so that I guest write for their website. If they have a write up on a product it is something I am going to look into. I was very excited about this opportunity as I have said for quite some time that Google+ comments are going to change websites. I highlighted some of the reasons for this in my article this morning. After testing this plugin for several hours it is quite obvious there are some issues that must be resolved.

Notifications and Potential Spam

At this point readers have an opportunity to create a unique comment thread through Google+ comments and the author is not notified of this new comment. As you can imagine, this could be a haven for spammers wanting to post links. If you have a website with over 1000 articles or separate websites this could be a major issue. The only way you will know if there is a unique comment thread is to look at that particular article. I can assure you that no one has time to monitor every single article.

I have been seeing some notifications through my Google+ profile but it is not consistent. This is a little worrisome for high profile websites. There is some debate whether Authorship will help reduce spam but the testing is still being done. If spam comments are a concern for your website you may want to wait this out until the issue is resolved. Understand that only Google+ profiles can comment so this may reduce some spam, but we all know they will go to great lengths and measures.

Google+ Comments are Not in the Source Code

One of the largest benefits from an SEO standpoint is having more content on your page. Each new comment is more content that will lengthen that page or article. Well, not with Google+ comments. With the WordPress plugin the Google+ comments act as a completely separate page and none of the comments are getting indexed by Google to possibly show up in search. This is something that is quite disturbing. All website owners would hope the comments on our page are getting crawled and indexed.

This must be fixed before the big players will jump on with Google+ comments. Some of the biggest websites get hundreds and even thousands of comments on a particular article. There is no way they are going to allow this content to get away from them. I mentioned Huffington Post in my article this morning. Huffington Posts gets an enormous amount of comments and all of them go towards the content that is produced on their website.

Google+ Comments is Limited to Google+ Users

Although I would love for every single reader of Wojdylo Finance to sign up for Google+ I simply know this is not going to happen. There are some readers that are completely content being on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook. Adding another social network to their plate is just too much at this point. These individuals will not be able to express their opinion with Google+ comments. Until they sign up for Google+ they will be banished. This is not a true sense of community.

In the next half decade I would imagine that this will not be an issue as most Internet users will have some type of Google profile. Right now, Google+ is still at the beginning of it’s life cycle. Opening Google+ comments up to Twitter and Facebook users will help build a true sense of community. I know this is a hard pill to swallow for many but it is the reality of the situation.

Conclusion

Unless you want to test, test and then test some more I would not suggest committing Google+ comments for WordPress quite yet. I would encourage you to test the waters and see how it works. I am going to leave Google+ comments up for a testing period just to see what happens. I would like to see, first hand, if the spam is an issue. I would like to see how my engagement increases or decreases. More than anything, I want to see how this product works so when it rolls out to the masses I will be well ahead of the game. I think most of you know that is how I roll with the majority of these social products. If you want to help me test please comment below and let me know.…

Honda Rebates and Lease Incentives

It is almost hard to believe that May 2013 is here which means Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner. Many retailers and car dealerships are going to have huge sales and deals as we get closer to the final weekend in May which happens to be the kick off of the summer. Some shoppers will enjoy huge savings the entire month. When looking for Honda rebates and lease incentives in May 2013 there are some great deals on the Civic, Crosstour, Odyssey and Accord. Remember to do plenty of research across the board before making a buy or lease decision.

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Honda Rebates and Lease Incentives in May 2013

Before making any final decision to buy a Honda 2012 or 2013 model I would strongly suggest individuals look at competitors like Toyota, Ford or Chevy. All of these auto makers will be offering mark downs during the month of May 2013. If you are willing to wait until the final weekend of the month you will be able to take advantage of Memorial Day Car and Trucks sales. There will be some car dealerships throughout the country that will have month long Memorial Day sales in May 2013.

Current Honda Lease Deals for May 2013

2013 Honda Accord – $219 (monthly payment) – 36 (lease term) – $2,180 (money down) – 12000 (miles)

2013 Honda Civic – $189 – 36 – $1,810 – 12000

2013 Honda Crosstour – $259 – 36 – $2,240 – 12000

2013 Honda CR-V – $229 – 36 – $2,370 – 12000

2013 Honda Fit – $169 – 36 – $2,030 – 12000

2013 Honda Odyssey – $259 – 36 – $2,740 – 12000

2013 Honda Pilot – $350 – 36 – $0 – 12000

Best Cash Deals for May 2013

2012 Honda Civic – $2,000

2012 Honda Crosstour – $3,000

2012 Honda Odyssey – $1,250

2013 Honda Pilot – $800

When deciding on any of the vehicle always do plenty of research. By looking at Consumer Reports, Kelley Blue Book and NADA you will have a better understanding when it comes to the right make and model vehicle for you. Whether you are buying a car, truck, van or SUV it is always smart to look at several different options. Toyota, Ford and Chevy are all offering amazing opportunities in the month of May 2013 so do not pass those opportunities up.

Buying or Leasing a Honda Car in May 2013

There are many people that would benefit from a lease when it comes to a vehicle purchase. If you do not drive a lot of miles and you know you are going to trade your car in after three years anyway a lease might be right. That said, if you put well over 12,000 miles on your vehicle every single year you may end up spending a lot more money by going through the lease process.

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There are a number of great buy vs lease calculators available online. If you are doing research make certain that you use a calculator from a website of authority. Anyone can make one of these calculators and it may not give you 100% accurate numbers when it comes to the total payment or the monthly car payment. The best thing you can do is sit down with someone who was a math major in college and they will explain the APR, the interest rate and the money the car is going to cost you in the long run.

Negotiating Lower Prices on New and Used Honda Cars

Something that I would suggest everyone do is try to negotiate lower prices when it comes to both new and used cars. If you drive onto a dealership have a price in mind. You already know the Honda rebates and lease incentives for May 2013 which are listed above. Come up with a price even lower than this and try to negotiate. If you are willing to walk away there is a good chance that most car salesman will do everything in their power to get you to buy or lease.

Walking away is one of the best tactics in any type of negotiation. If you prove to the seller that you don’t absolutely need that brand new Honda Accord or Honda Civic they know they will have to work with you on a lower price. If you can get a price below invoice you will be doing very good. Do the extra research, find out the invoice price for a specific Honda model and shoot for something below that.

If all else fails look on Craigslist for used cars that are similar. Tell the dealership you can get a 2011 or 2010 model for $5000 cheaper. They will either respect this and let you go or they will do their best to get you an even better deal before you leave the car dealership.…

Why the Pursuit Brings Happiness

In this week’s issue of Time magazine there is a fascinating article on the “Happiness of Pursuit“. The article focuses on the culture in the United States. Why is it so hard for Americans to be happy when it was declared as part of their independence? Part of the problem is that thing inside our skulls. In a research study at Harvard and Boston University an analysis showed that search or pursuit feels better than the seeing the finished product. This is why we enjoy shopping rather than buying. This is why hunting is more fun than bagging the prey. There is a reason politicians have a much better time running for office that holding it. Personally, starting a new project and getting it off the ground is more enjoyable than finishing it off and moving on. Why is this?

Why the Pursuit Brings Happiness

The grass is always greener on the other side. This is a saying I have heard for as long as I can remember. As a young boy, a teenager and even a college student I could not grasp the true meaning. As a business professional and a man who has been in out of too many relationships to count, I can now say that I understand the underlying meaning that the grass is always greener on the other side. In the last several months I have learned quite a bit from a volunteer experience at a local retirement community. One of the most important things I learned was to appreciate what we have.

You will never have it all. There will always be someone who is stronger, more athletic, smarter, richer, wiser or more successful. No matter how much money you have, there will always be opportunities to earn more. No matter how many followers you have on a social media website, there will be more that sign up every single day. This is a tough pill to swallow for those of us that are “numbers” people. We find a way to assign a number to anything and this causes problems when we are pursuing personal happiness.

The studies by researchers at Harvard and Boston University illustrate that the pursuit is more enjoyable than the final product because serotonin and dopamine are considered feel good neurotransmitters. The more you have of them, the happier you are. “In the case of immigrants the power of the chemicals is that they regulate what researchers straightforwardly call search activity; forward looking behavior that often occurs in the pursuit of a specific goal. Searching activity simply feels good.”

I think we can all agree that searching for something stimulates the brain in a way like nothing else. Once the search is complete we are almost let down. The pursuit brings about the happiness. Unfortunately, once the pursuit is complete we must find something else to stimulate our brains. This makes it quite difficult to cherish what we already have. As an American, we are breed to pursue bigger and better things as this is the only way to be happy. Right?

Enjoy the Pursuit, But Enjoy Life Even More

I am an individual that loves nothing more than challenging myself – both physically and mentally. I admit that the pursuit is amazing. The increased heart rate while just starting that workout is a surreal experience. After the work out is over I expect to feel better but it rarely happens. We have all heard of “runner’s high”. If you have ever felt it you know how extraordinary the experience can be. Once you stop running it disappears immediately.

The same happens when it comes to mental stimulation. When starting that new project there is a special feeling that puts you in a state of bliss. You are willing to work long hours into the night just to get the project off the ground. Once things are up and running there is an urge to find this state of happiness again. Unfortunately, the completed work does not bring about the same happiness. We enjoy seeing our companies thrive but there is always the next best thing just around the corner.

Finding a way to enjoy the pursuit while also stepping back and enjoying life can be a difficult process for Americans. It is not all our fault. We have been breed to figure out the next best thing. Even though this is true, I urge you to step back and enjoy what you have created. Take a moment to realize you just ran a mile under six minutes. Do not think about breaking five minutes and 50 seconds. Step back and look at the successful project you completed. Try not to think about the next one that will be getting started tomorrow. It will help you to achieve true happiness.…

Why the Google Waze $1.3 Billion Purchase Was Smart

If you are interested in Google+, Twitter or social media in general please check out all of my related articles here: Wojdylo Social Media.

When I see Google Waze I cannot help but think of Google Wave which was a complete disaster. Let us hope that Google Waze does not follow in the footsteps of Wave. This morning, June 9th, 2013, I woke up to news that Google was on the brink of closing the books on a $1.3 billion acquisition of Waze. Just two weeks ago rumors were swirling that Facebook and Apple were both interested in this GPS crowd sourcing application. In the end, Google made a very smart decision by outbidding the competition.

Google Owns Maps and Navigation

It is hard to imagine what Tom Tom and Garmin are thinking right now. When I was driving around as a teenager I was so excited to finally get my hands on a GPS system that actually worked. It was one of those Garmin box type devices. In less than a decade the GPS industry has changed completely. With the use of smartphones and tablets most drivers are not willing to fork over $129 for a device that is strictly GPS based. They want a device that can be used to surf the web, play games, run apps and pretty much anything else that a computer can do. in 2013, they have that option.

Apple attempted to create a Google-less phone not too long ago. They encouraged Apple iOS users to use Apple Maps. I think we can all agree that was a failure. As soon as Google Maps came out for the latest iOS update it was the #1 app downloaded. Apple users were craving a GPS application that actually worked. I know, what a novel idea. Google displayed their dominance of maps with this little escapade but there is one area that Google does not dominate with maps and GPS – crowd sourcing.

Waze has been touted as the best crowd sourcing navigation app on the planet. The ability to get instant notifications on traffic issues is invaluable. We have all been driving on the Interstate only to see red lights about half a mile ahead. In that split second we have to decide if we are going to exit and take another route or sit in traffic and hope the accident has been cleaned up. If you are like me, you want to know your options as quickly as possible.

With Waze you would have known about the accident and traffic jam three minutes ago. This would have allowed you to take a detour and get to your destination in a much more timely manner. Waze is a social network for drivers. Crowd sourcing traffic data is extremely important to Google and every other Internet company. What most people do not realize is the data collection that is available through this app.

Waze is a Gold Mine for Google

While all these drivers are out and about avoiding accidents they are running the app which is tracking their location. This gives Waze information on their most commonly traveled routes and roads. Google already has the data as to what businesses are on these roads. The next time you have to take a detour from I-40 Google knows that you will pass three Starbucks locations and two Panera Bread locations. Google also knows that you love to eat sandwichs as you looked up unique sandwich recipes just last week. Ding. Ding. Ding.

Another value of Waze is the online gaming integration. I was part of the Ingress addiction for about two months and I can tell you that people love to drive around playing games if there is an incentive. I saw many adult men and women driving hundreds of miles to play Ingress. In fact, one individual saved up a weekly allowance for gas to drive great distances to play this game. If there is an incentive to drive around, people are going to do it.

Google vs Facebook

I first heard that Facebook wanted to purchase Waze several weeks ago. I chuckled as I wondered how they were going to integrate a mapping app into their ecosystem. After a few days went by I heard about Google being interested in Waze. I completely understood Google being interested as it is a search engine and mapping company. At the time, I knew Google would outbid Facebook because Facebook is running out of money quickly. Facebook has sunk millions into Facebook Home and other silly projects that cannot even get off the ground.

Google prints money with their Internet Advertising as they have over $50 billion in cash sitting around. Google has been very smart to save up this cash for a purchase like Waze. Even though Waze might not be valued at $1.3 billion today, Google will make much more in the long run. Just ask them about that YouTube acquistion.…