woman with creditcard calling on phone and using the internet

What Can An 800 Credit Score Get You?

It can seem as unattainable as Mount Everest, but other people have climbed to the top of the credit score mountain and achieved that 800 score. You can do it, too.

It’s not easy to get an 800 on your credit score, but it’s possible. More importantly, it’s worth it. Here are just a few of the perks that an 800+ credit score could get you:

Better Cell Phone Plans

It may seem like a small perk, but the savings will definitely add up. Instead of having to settle for one of those crappy pay-as-you-go plans, cell phone providers will jump to offer you a good contract.

The benefits of signing a contract with your cell service provider could mean hundred-dollar discounts on the fanciest new phones. With an 800 credit score you can also forego having to pay a security deposit.

You can finally ditch that embarrassing flip-phone, and save a pretty penny.

Better Insurance Rates

Auto insurance and renter’s insurance are just two of the common insurers that will check your credit score and treat you accordingly. Having a lower credit score means having a higher premium.

Insurance providers regard consumers with a higher credit score as being more responsible with managing their other bills, payments, and overall finances… therefore less risk to them. Bad credit scores = more trouble paying for things… a potential risk for the insurers. A good credit score is always good news.

With an 800+ credit score to your name, you’ll pay significantly less for your insurance than those poor saps with poor credit. Your premiums will be much cheaper.

Better Credit Cards

If you have a bad credit score, a credit card may have been a strong factor in putting you in that financial no-no zone in the first place. But for consumers with a superior credit score of 800, credit cards are simply cheaper and better.

For credit card providers, they want to see how you’ve managed your expenses in the past. So they’ll check your credit score. If you have a great credit score, they often offer you…

  • A higher limit
  • More perks and rewards
  • Lower monthly payments
  • Lowered interest and APR

With an 800 credit score, you’ll have your pick of the best credit cards on the market. You’ll get upscale rewards programs, discounts at places like stores, hotels, or with airlines. They’ll also entrust you with a larger line of credit and a higher limit, so you can borrow more money and they’ll trust you to pay it back on time.

Better Rentals

Whether you’re just renting a car for the weekend, or you’re renting your dream apartment… they’ll want to check your credit score. A higher credit score means you’re more likely to lock down that prime location.

If your bad credit score features a report with a previous eviction or outstanding rental balance, no landlord is going to want you as a tenant. Even if you have a good rental history, they’ll be hesitant for you to sign anything with a bad credit score to your name.

But if you have an 800 credit score you’re always automatically in. They might even waive fees or security deposits on that rental car.

Better Jobs

Oh, yes. It’s a bit messed up, but your bad credit score could be getting in the way of you landing that new job. Potential employers frequently check the credit score of their interviewees as a gauge for how fiscally responsible you’ve been.

An 800 credit score will be a green light for anyone looking to hire you. They want to know that you’re a good investment, and a credit report is one of the ways they interpret that level of risk.

A superior credit score rating might be all you need to finally get that dream job you’ve been waiting for.

Better Loans

Just like credit cards, you’re always more likely to get approved on the spot with an 800+ credit score. Again- it comes down to risk.

Lenders want to know for sure that you’re good about paying off what you owe on time. If you haven’t managed to do that in the past (earning you a poor credit score) they’ll think twice before approving you for a loan.

They’ll still look at your income and if you have any debts. But a fantastic credit score could be what tips the scales in your favor.

Not only are you more likely to get approved when you have a good credit score, you’ll also probably pay a lower interest rate than borrowers with bad credit. If you have an 800 credit score or higher, you could even qualify for 0% financing.

Better Savings

The world is a kinder place to people with near-perfect credit scores. It’s a sad fact. It might seem unfair, but you just save more money when you have an 800 or higher credit score.

So how can you attain that all-powerful 800 credit score? It takes time, planning, and work; but it’s possible. Less than 20% of consumers have that high of a credit score, but you can absolutely join the credit score elite and save more money. Make it your financial Mount Everest, and get to the top of the credit score heap.

people in bokeh, street of London

5 Things Millennials Won’t Spend Their Money On

Growing up and job-hunting in the midst of a recession – the Great Recession, for that matter – was anything but easy for the Millennial generation. Many Millennials graduated from college or grad school right in the thick of what turned out to be a market offering them little more than high unemployment rates, low-paying jobs, and completely unpaid internships. So it’s no small wonder that Millennials, more than their parents and other generational predecessors, have a hard time shelling out cash for, well, anything that isn’t necessary for survival. Though studies show the buying power of the Millennial generation will outweigh that of any other demographic by 2017, with heavy student loan debt among other financial obligations, there are a few things you won’t catch most people in their 20’s spending their cash on.

Cable Television

With so many ways to access a single television show, TV is no longer the only game in town when it comes to consuming media. Smartphones and tablets that are as speedy as any computer, and there are many inexpensive (or free) ways to tune into popular programs, so there’s no longer a need to shell out over $100/moth for premium packages with hundreds of channels but only three or four shows a Millennial viewer may want to watch.

The Stock Market and Other Investments

Since giant banks and financial firms were a huge part of the reason many Millennials had to move back in with mom and dad and work at Starbucks, it’s no surprise they have a hard time trusting these very same institutions with their own, hard-earned money after finally being able to score a job with a living wage. Indeed, describing Millennials’ attitudes towards these types of investments as “wary” would be putting it kindly. Many Gen Y-ers would rather stuff their extra cash under a mattress then put it into the hands of the very people who stunted their ability to grow financially straight out of college.

McBeers

With the Millennial crowd, it’s all about the indie brews, the unique drafts, and the unheard-of IPAs. Like music, the Millennials prefer unique beer from smaller breweries rather than mass-produced beers like Budweiser, Miller, or Coors. In the minds of Millennials, craft brews just taste better than widely-produced beers, and noticeable enough to shell out a few extra dollars for something local, though their parents might disagree.

Vehicles

The number of teens and young adults acquiring drivers licenses is slowly creeping down, as is the pride in car culture among Millennials. With many young adults flocking to urban areas to get their careers started, public transportation is often a viable alternative to driving. Not only that, but cars are expensive, and for a generation that will be bogged down with student debt for a good long while, why spend money on a big-ticket item that requires insurance, registration fees, and repairs when it isn’t absolutely necessary?

Homes

In the same vein as vehicles, it’s easy to understand why Millennials would feel a little bit cagey about buying homes when they likely witnessed their parents, friends, or neighbors get foreclosed upon within the last decade. For a generation that has heard the phrase “the housing bubble popped” more than Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.,” it’s no surprise they’re not putting their hard-earned eggs into what has been a historically unstable basket. Additionally, with little extra disposable income to throw around (thanks again to student debts and other obligations), 9 in 10 Millennials who want to purchase homes simply cannot afford them.

7-google-logo-style

Into the Future of Google’s Newest Technologies

It’s hard to believe that wide use of the internet has only been around for about 20 years (how did the world operate without it?). Long gone are the days of dial-up and there has even been an evolution in social media in the short time the internet has been around. But one thing has been with us throughout: Google.
Google, founded in 1998, is a lot more than just a search engine or a great way to get a bird’s eye view of someone’s house. This multi-billion dollar business knows the way to keep itself growing is by venturing in to all sorts of areas, including developing new technologies that will continue to change our world.
No, we aren’t talking about flying cars or time-travel just yet, but some of Google’s freshest developments could bring big changes into the way we cope with age, drive, and even practice the art of war.

Project Tango

This project takes Google Maps to a whole new level by allowing your Android device to “see” the world as you see it: in 3D, with depth-sensing capabilities, and an ability to remember if it’s been to an area before. This allows for greater accuracy for motion tracking apps, such as Map My Walk or various map apps. Of course, some people worry about privacy—if a cell phone or tablet can track so well, where is this going to lead to next?

Calico

Delving further into the space-time continuum, we have Calico—Google’s attempt to dive into human DNA to find out how to slow down the aging process, or ultimately, “cure death.” Google has already invested over $1.5 billion dollars into the building of a Calico research center which will not only look for that cure, but also aim to produce better treatments for cancer and Alzheimer’s. Adding more intrigue to an already mysterious project, Google has tapped competitor Apple’s chairman, Arthur Levinson, as CEO.

Internet for All—Project Loon

Though it seems like the entire world must have internet access, the truth is only 40% of the world does, meaning 4.2 billion people do not. Google aims to have internet access for everyone on earth by launching thousands of solar-powered, high altitude balloons into the earth’s stratosphere, 20 miles up. These balloons will include Wi-Fi capability, essentially cloaking the planet in a transparent cape of internet access.
Google is now able to mass produce these balloons, which can stay in the air as long as 6 months. While they aren’t ready yet to service the world, they do believe they are getting very, very close and could achieve their goal in the next few years.

Sci-Fi War Robots

Google’s purchase of the company Boston Dynamics has raised red flags for some. Not because of shady business deals but because Boston Dynamics produces military robots—robots that run more than 30 mph. What Google has in mind with robots like this is anyone’s guess, but has tended to lean more to the side of something insidious. In 2014, however, Google, which claims to never come under any military contract in the future, ended its relationship with DARPA’s annual robotics competition—presumably because winning would mean indirectly taking money from the Pentagon.

If the future is anything like the recent past, we can expect to see our lives changed forever by just a handful of powerful companies—Google included. As to how those changes will be incorporated into our daily living is anyone’s guess, but it does keep us looking to see what’s coming next from the search engine giant.

The words Moving Day and a date circled on a calendar with a red marker to illustrate a reminder of an important time for relocation to a new home or place of business

Six Extraordinarily Expensive Places To Live

New York, San Francisco, Boston – all cities that have received a lot of attention for their high rent prices and highly competitive retail markets. But even with its stories of people paying near a thousand dollars for under a hundred square feet of apartment, New York is far from the only extraordinarily expensive town in the world. In fact, looking at data from the Mercer Cost of Living Survey, which accounts for over 200 items, along with information from Expatistan, New York doesn’t even break the top 10. If you want to know where people are really paying, take a look at these six cities.

Luanda, Angola

Luanda isn’t expensive for everyone. In fact, it’s shocking growth rate suggests that more and more people see the Angolan capital as a viable option for making a living. In a country that’s still reeling from civil war, though, safety in an urban setting comes at cost, which is why Luanda ranks as the world’s most expensive city for expatriate workers.

Thanks to land grabbed by foreign developers, a two-bedroom apartment in a secure area runs around $6,600 a month, and high import tariffs mean that any non-local good comes at a premium, with almost a $6 average for staple products like a dozen eggs. The good news is that gas goes for around $0.61 a gallon in the oil rich nation, so getting around won’t cost much.

Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong comes in at about the same overall cost of living as New York thanks in large part to is affordable transportation and low cost options for things to do around town, but there’s one area in which Hong Kong costs beat out just about everyone – housing.

The numbers will tell you that an apartment in Hong Kong will run around $3,000 a month in rent, or cost about $550,000 (HK$4.2 million) to buy. That doesn’t seem so bad until you consider that the average size of residence in Hong Kong is between 500 and 600 square feet. In fact, on average Hong Kong residents pay more per square foot than any other residents in the world.

Couple that with the fact that the median salary in Hong Kong comes in at around HK$270,000 annually, which means that residents would need to save over 15 years without consumption to afford a home.

Zurich, Switzerland

It’s no secret that Europe comes at a high price, but Zurich, Switzerland’s hub for everything from tourist to transportation activity has taken that cost to new heights. It’s lifestyle that will drain your wallet there, with clothing, personal care, and entertainment all coming at a premium.

Europe’s wealthiest city also has one of the highest quality of life in the world, though, so if you’re willing to shell out $140 for a pair of jeans and $16 for a container of laundry detergent, it might be worth a look.

Sydney, Australia

Unlike the other cities on this list, it isn’t the housing that makes Sydney so expensive. What puts this city on the list is that everything else is so expensive. One of the reasons is that everything is so expensive is because of the infrastructure of the country. Austrailia’s lack of density means that goods need to be shipped farther to get to their destination. The shipping costs ratchet up the prices of just about everything.

That means that Sydney residents are paying big bucks for small ticket items thanks to the cost of importing and transportation. Gas, clothing, and anything that comes in from anywhere else costs in Sydney, with filling up your tank coming in at just under $5 a gallon, and a smoking habit hitting you at around $17 a pack. High gas prices means higher public transportation costs. Even those trying to scale back by taking public transportation will find the city prohibitively expensive.

Oslo, Norway

With the likes of Stockholm and Copenhagen, Scandinavia has a long held reputation for expensive living, but Oslo, with its relatively new found oil money and the backing of the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, has eclipsed them both. It’s even surpassed the notoriously expensive Paris as a costly place to live.

A pair of Levi’s will set you back around $118, and good grooming comes at the rate of around $59 for a standard men’s haircut. With gas at almost $8 a gallon and a five mile taxi trip coming in at about $26, getting around isn’t cheap. As long as money keeps flowing into Norway, Oslo is going to keep getting pricier.

Singapore

No conversation about incredibly expensive places to live in the world would be complete without discussing the city-state of Singapore. The small Asian nation has seen a massive influx of foreigners in recent years that have sent the overall cost of living skyrocketing.

Singapore is the most expensive nation in the world to buy clothing. And its transportation costs are astronomical thanks in part to a vehicle permit system. A standard mid-sized sedan with basic features has a hefty price tag of over $100,000. Gas costs $1.57 liter, around $6 a gallon.

Compared to neighboring Kuala Lumpur in the rising industrial market of Malaysia, Singapore is 116% more expensive, and it’s a full 124% more expensive the Indonesian capital Jakarta, making it not just one of the most expensive cities in the world in which to live, but also one of the most regionally disjointed.

Places like these aren’t particularly unique. Foreign investment in Vancouver, Canada and Buenos Aires, Argentina has caused housing prices to soar while cities like Tokyo have a high premium on daily expenses. Keep places like that in mind when you’re thinking that you pay too much for too little in your cozy hamlet wherever that may be.

Three Trendy New Jobs That are Making Over 250k Per Year

Close up of businessman with money on white background

Are you feeling burned out from punching a time clock while earning an almost-respectable salary? Then you might want to consider reinventing yourself with one of these trendy – and very lucrative – jobs.

We scoured the Internet hoping to find some crazy-fun jobs that would provide an ambitious 250k per year.

1. A Professional Gamer

Losing sleep over the hours you’re spending playing Halo or Starcraft?

Well, believe it or not being a professional gamer is more than just a childhood dream. A recent article on Forbes.com answered the question “How can I become a professional gamer?”

Among the ten steps and words of wisdom offered are…

  • Study by watching the pros
  • Join the community – whether online or at tournaments
  • Maintain balance in your life
  • Be ready to lose

Don’t be fooled, however, while it’s still a game, it’s also very hard work. And the primary piece of advice is practice, practice, practice – like seven or eight hours a day.

However, it is possible to make big money as a gamer. BusinessInsider.com listed the top 100 players and what they earned.

Among those are:

  • Luo Feichi (China) made $200,000 from one tournament alone in 2012
  • Kim “Bisu” Taek Yong (Korea) earned $256,507.13 From 34 tournaments
  • Danylo “Dendi” Ishutin (Ukraine) racked in $275,800.28 in 23 tournaments

As impressive as these numbers are, these pros didn’t get to these levels overnight. It’s a grueling, demanding world and you’ll need focus and nerves of steel to compete.


2. A Professional Wedding Photographer

Being a professional wedding photographer is more than just saying, “Cheese!” There’s a lot of that goes into capturing the images form a couple’s “special day.”

And don’t get fooled by the merriment of the occasion. Wedding photographers not only have the pressure to deliver flawless photos, but also encounter some on the job challenges:

  • Competing with guests taking photos with their phones
  • Emotional family members
  • Uncooperative wedding party (think flower girl/ring bearer)
  • Unpredictable weather

And it takes more than just some camera equipment to get started. Expect to need a college-level education in photography (usually earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts), as well as a very long apprenticeship.

The pay can range from $2500 to $5000 for the one-day shoot. However, that “one day” includes client meetings, the actual time of the wedding, and editing the final images.

Those fees can accumulate to nearly $300k: Figuring you’re working 2 days per week (Friday/Saturday or Sunday) for approximately 40 weeks.


3. Image Consultant

Image Consultants work with individual and corporate clients to work with them in creating an excellent first impression. This is the kind of guidance that can help people get a job, promotion, or to find a mate.

Image consulting is part personal shopper and part life/professional coach.

The shopping end of image consulting may entail bringing thousands of dollars in clothing and accessories to a client’s home or office.

The image-advising role of this career includes consultation on speech and interpersonal communication, as well as behavior.

A strong skill set in these areas include:

  • Fashion retailing and high-end personal shopping
  • Well versed on etiquette and strong people skills
  • Management and communicaton skills

The pay rate for an image consultant is approximately $150/hour for individuals. However, the impressive money comes from working with businesses and these professionals can earn up to $750.

Each of these trendy dream jobs offers money and satisfaction. However, don’t underestimate that even with the right education; natural talent and ambition are also requirements. Until you start to really make your mark, don’t quit your day job.