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Bad Credit & Mobile Contracts

Consumers like to pretend otherwise, but mobile phone contracts are a financial contract. Moreover, just like any financial contract, the companies that offer them use credit scoring to ensure that all potential customers are viable investments.

In the UK, Equifax, Experian and Callcredit are the credit ratings agencies. These companies collect and compile all financial information regarding you. Every financial decision you make goes onto your credit file.

Bad financial decisions like paying rent late, using payday lenders or exceeding your credit limits appears on your credit file as evidence of serious financial mismanagement. Unfortunately, this tells phone companies that you’re a poor investment.

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Companies, particularly those that are giving you an expensive technological piece of kit with an antenna—your mobile phone—and expecting you to look after it, need to assess you for your risk. A company can’t afford to give phones out, if there’s no chance they’re going to get the money for it back. Therefore they use credit files to work out the risk of each and every customer.

Hence, if you have a bad credit rating, then you’re a risk and a mobile phone network provider isn’t going to trust you. You might not pay for the phone because you run out of money, if you have a bad credit score. You might not pay for the calls, the data, and the texts you use each month because you’ve defaulted on your debts, if you have a bad credit score. These examples are how mobile phone network companies read into your credit file.

Unfortunately therefore, if you find yourself with a bad credit file, it’s very unlikely that you are going to be able to obtain an excellent, all-inclusive, cheap contract that comes with the iPhone 401, or whatever number we’re on these days. However, there are alternatives open for you to consider:

  • A bad or no credit mobile phone contract service
  • Guarantor mobile phone contracts
  • Prepaid packages
  • Sim-only deals

You can’t escape bad credit; you can only improve it over time. However you can adjust to cope with it and get a mobile phone contract in spite of it.

 

 

Keep ‘Appy

2014 has been a bumper year for us Apple fans. With the release of the iPhone 6, iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite comes a new age of app utility.

These are this year’s top-five useful iOS apps:

Bonus: Vivino Wine Scanner

                        Vivino Wine Scanner is amazing, but I cannot justify it as a productivity app. I am completely loath to leave it out and so our bonus useful app has to be the Vivino Wine Scanner. Any wine connoisseur out there with an iPhone in hand needs Wine Scanner. It’s a simple tool, you merely take a photo in app of the label of the bottle of wine that you’re drinking and it finds the relevant information. It collates reviews, average retail prices, it can tell you the grape, the press and it will even use the data collected from all the wines that you have snapped to create a taste profile. The taste profile demonstrates the type of wine palette you have, and the app will help make recommendations based on these. With 3 million different bottles of wine in its database, this free app can’t go wrong.

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    5. Pennies

Pennies is a personal finance app that allows you to easily tot up your spending and deduct it from your income. The simple, easy to use, interface uses a high degree of colour coding (green, blue and red) to ensure you always know what’s going on with your finances. The app is excellent at showing you data in a simple understandable way, for example your monthly budget simply shows you how much money you have left, and how many days you have until your next pay day. It’s simple, clear and helpful. The app requires you to set budgets for lots of different things: holiday savings, Christmas savings, groceries, DIY projects etc., and once you have created a variety of budgets it will provide you with a daily breakdown spend—that’s how much per day you have to spend on whatever it says you can spend it on. It’s always in your pocket and it’s so easy to use that you’re not likely to find yourself struggling to get through the month with Pennies, pun intended. The only downside is that the app currently only displays currency in USD, we’re expecting that GBP functionality will eventually follow. But for a cheeky £1.49, you can’t go wrong with Pennies.

4. Sickweather

Sickweather is the perfect app for the sufferers of allergies—and it’s even good for colds and flu too. Sickweather is the first doppler radar for sickness. It uses social media and other users of the app to plot 24 illnesses in your local area. Unfortunately full functionality has yet to come to the UK, so at the moment we can only use the app to locate recent illness reports. However in the US, the app includes a five-day map that shows you colour coded weather-style local maps of recent outbreaks. Expect this functionality to come over the pond soon, and even if it doesn’t, nothing beats a free app.

3. Swype

With the introduction of iOS 8 to Apple’s gadgets, came increased functionality and personalizability. One thing that Apple has finally given us is the ability to download third-party keyboards. Swype is one such keyboard that adds the ingenious design of the Android’s swiping keyboard into your iOS device. You can type by simply dragging your finger from letter to letter, and the keyboard detects which letters you want. For those who can’t be bothered to lift a finger, 69p is a bargain for Swype.

2. Normal: Battery Analytics

Although this function was added to iOS 8 by Apple, the Battery Analytics that are built-in fall far short of the functionality of this app. Whilst your device can already tell you how much battery apps are currently using, Normal’s app will divide your apps into Active and Inactive hogs—moreover it shows you underneath how much time you can save by not running, or deleting, that app. It doesn’t just stop there though, if you select an app, Normal: Batter Analytics will have analysed the app and its history on your device to give you a short summary of its effect on your phone. It can tell you, using its database of other users, whether or not the app is normally a battery hog, or if it is simply due to an error in your configurations of the app. It will breakdown how much batter you can save by showing you how much time you’ll save if you close the app, versus how much time you can save by avoiding it, and finally it will show you how often it’s active on your device in relation to other’s. (So my Internet browser is active 93% of the time, and avoiding it could save me 3h 12m 22s!)

This little app will save you dashing into Starbucks to use the plug, and all for only 69p.

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1. Notifyr

It is undeniable that the new feature, Continuity, introduced in iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite is a breakthrough in home integration. It’s the perfect symbiosis between phone and computer that we’ve been waiting for. Unfortunately, Apple only included functionality for home apps such as Messages, Phone Calls and Reminders. Notifyr however adds the functionality to third-party apps like WhatsApp, Instagram and Twitter. Unfortunately, Notifyr requires pairing via Bluetooth and the constant presence of a Bluetooth connection between computer and phone, which is a real battery drainer and buzz kill on the otherwise perfect addition to Continuity. We expect that Notifyr will become Wi-Fi enabled soon but for the grand price of zero pounds and zero pence, we’re not that bothered.

 

 

Mythbusting: Samsung and the $1bn Fine

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Back in 2012, a court adjudicated that Samsung had to pay Apple a USD 1 billion fine because of a mutual patent infringement, which is legal jargon for they forgot to pay for something they were using—or at least it’s round about that.

Samsung had been using patented features of Apple’s iPhone and iPad in several of its products without paying adequate compensation, which a jury originally ordered would cost Samsung a whopping USD 1 billion.

There was a rumour though, after the fine was ordered to be paid, that Samsung paid Apple the USD 1 billion fine, which is numerically written as USD 1,000,000,000, in nickels.

A nickel is the American equivalent of the 5 pence piece. Supposedly therefore holds the rumour. So that’s 20,000,000,000 nickels in USD 1 billion, or 20 billion nickels.

It’s quite simply an absurd amount, yet during the time everyone on social media was sharing stories about Samsung paying their fine in nickels.

Here’s why it’s simply impossible:

  1. Samsung contested the fine with an appeal. Thereby preventing the need for it to pay the fine, it was later revised down when a judge declared that USD 400 million was miscalculated and the complaint by Apple was sent back to the courts. No fine of USD 1 billion was paid.
  2. Even had the fine have stood, 20 billion nickels do not exist. It is estimated that Samsung would have had to collect every single nickel minted in the seventy years before the court case, just to have had enough. Around 1 billion nickels were minted in 2011, which sounds like a huge amount. Yet it is estimated that a similar amount fell from circulation over time. It is estimated that Samsung would simply need every nickel ever to be able to accomplish this feat.
  3. There’s a logistical problem, even if one can deny the first and second problem with this rumour. Every nickel weighs 5 grams, which means that somewhere both Samsung and Apple would need to be able to store 80 billion grams of nickels.
  4. Besides the logistical improbability of a single business being able to store 80 billion grams of coinage in its vaults, there is the slight problem of transportation. In order for Samsung to have delivered these nickels to Apple, it would need to order 2,755 eighteen-wheeler trucks that could each carry 29038112.5 grams, that’s 29.03 metric ton. The astronomical cost of this is incredibly improbable, Samsung probably just paid with a bank transfer.

So there you have it, above are the 4 reasons why it’s completely improbable (and impossible) that Samsung would ever have paid Apple its USD 1 billion fine in nickels.

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Keep Your Number

It’s an exciting time when you get a new contract; it’s a new deal, better coverage, maybe a new phone. Unfortunately thought it comes with a brand new SIM.

At first it seems like that’s a good thing. Until you remember that new SIM cards come with new numbers, and a new number means a lot of hassle. You have to text all your contacts, put a Facebook status up to alert your friends, and memorize a new set of 11 digits in a seemingly random order.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way.

All you need to do is ring your previous provider before your contract ends. You follow the menu as if you’re cancelling your contract and when you finally land on a human being you simply ask for your PAC code.

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PAC codes are mobile phone network’s codes that help them link SIM cards with telephone numbers, and every mobile number will have one. Your network operator is required to provide you with your PAC code within 48 hours of you having requested it in the first instance.

Unfortunately though, some networks can be notoriously difficult to get them. They make the request procedure so difficult that they think that you might as well not bother. For example, Vodafone requires you to fill out a form, sign it, and return it to them. (I scanned it in and email it to them).

At the time you might not be bothered, but remember the long term hassle of a new number, versus a few days of a temporary number and spending half an hour shouting at a man in a call center in India. It’s definitely worth it.

Once you’ve got your PAC codes from your old network, you are free to cancel your contract with them. You then give your PAC code to your new network, along with your temporary number (that they gave you; your two contracts should overlap by a few days), the name of your previous network and the old telephone number you’d like to transfer over.

It’s a lot simpler than I’m making it sound and it saves a lot of trouble in learning a new number. Networks try to keep you, so they don’t make it easy to get hold of your PAC codes, and they never tell you when you’re cancelling, but they’re easy to get hold of if you try!

What Causes a Bad Credit?

Numerous individuals in the UK have a poor credit record. What is the cause? Well, there are numerous causes as to a poor credit record. Many people seek to know how to repair their credit record but fail to first ask what causes a poor credit record. This thus leaves them with little clues as to how they can avoid making their credit record poor again. Here are some of the major causes of a poor credit record. Learning this will help you maintain a good record for a long time.

Credit card debt

Credit card debt is one of the leading causes of poor credit records. High credit card delinquency results in poor credit rating. Many individuals do not know how to maintain their credit cards balances at an acceptable range thus a bad report. Don’t just keep spending when you have no idea how you will make timely payments of the balances.

High cost of living

We are living at a time when the cost of living keeps rising. Failure to factor in this may lead you into taking up debts that may soon become impossible to maintain. There is no need to keep credit cards for luxuries. If your cash cannot allow you to have luxuries, quit using credit for luxuries as it will dig you deeper into the debt world.

Erasing Bad Credit

Late payments

Late payments on credit automatically result in a poor credit rating. You should be timely in paying your debts. Do this by setting your credit recovery date to one when you have received your pay to avoid late payments. Do not also overlook any payment at any date.

Observing credit limits

You should observe your credit limits and never exceed them. Going overboard means that you may not be able to make all the payments in good time thus resulting in a poor credit. Exceeding your limits will also reflect in your credit report thus leading in a poor record. It also leads to your paying higher monthly fees on the credit.

Your credit past

Your past credit record has a reflection on your future credit record. You should consider your past history and always strive to maintain a good history knowing that it will have a bearing on your future credit history.

Getting Yourself the Best Mobile Phone Deal

There are millions of phones available for use today. Millions are already in operation while also many others are being produced for sale. Long are the times when the only phones available in the market were home phones. The mobile phone has taken the world by storm due to the convenience of using them at any place. It is only when you make smart decisions regarding your mobile phone that you can enjoy the best out of it. Consider the case of mobile phone contracts. There are different kinds of contracts which are made available for different users who have unique needs. There is a need to go through the terms of the contracts to identify which is best for you. To select the best mobile deal, you should consider:

Pay as you go mobile deals

Getting the pay as you go mobile deals is the best option to take. This involves getting a mobile contract that you pay for and get to keep your old phone. You do not have to take a new mobile on credit thus increasing the amount you have to pay the credit mobile issuing the contract. No interest rate fees are attracted thus seeing you pay the lowest amount for your contract. When you wish to terminate a mobile contract, it is easier to do so than if you had a mobile contract.

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Do not rush for newly released phones

While newly released phones may be attractive and offer great features, do not forget that they are highly pieced. Running for newly released phones means that you will part with high amounts of money than if you would have chosen to buy the same phone 3 months down the line after its release date. You can also find other great mobile phones in the market that can offer you the same functionality you need that the newly released phone offers. For some, they would not even use many of the new features that the new released phone includes. Why not settle for a phone that offers what you need that costs a fairer price and save the extra amount for later use?

Network with large coverage

Settle for a phone network that serves a wide region. Wider coverage means that you can use your phone and the same SIM card wherever you go as long as it is within the network’s area of coverage. Selecting a network that is limited in coverage means that you will suffer poor network when you are out of the network’s range. It also means that you will often have to use roaming features that will cost you a lot higher than it would if you chose a different network with wider coverage.

Cheapest package

Each mobile network company usually offer different mobile packages. Select one that is excellent for you and at the same time fairly priced. If you talk less but use internet and text more, then select a package that will cost you less for the features that you mainly use. Don’t rush for a package that has a higher talk time yet less data and SMS offers since it will not serve your needs. You need to first analyze your use and need for the phone to identify the package that will serve you best.

How You Can Cut Back on Cost in Relation to Banking and Insurance

When it comes to financial matters, many have no clue as to the right choices to make. Well, not all went for financial training thus the difficulty in making the right choices. With a few tricks here, you can be able to make better financial decisions that will help you cut back on banking and insurance expenses.

  1. You should stay clear off bouncing cheques as well as overdraft fees each month. These usually attract penalty charges that are deducted from your account thus adding up as expenses. Overdrafts usually attract high interest rates and are also items showing that your expenditures exceed your income. Why not has an emergency account instead of taking up overdrafts?
  2. Reduce your credit card debt limits by a quarter or half. This will see to it that the interest rate you will be charged reduce. At the end of the year, you will find that you have saved much more by reducing the interest you pay to the credit card issuer.
  3. Make your credit payments on time. This means that you will avoid being charged late payment fees. This will save you a great amount of money at the end of the year.
  4. When making ATM withdrawals, stick to using those of your bank. The use of ATMs from other banks means that you will be charged an extra amount to make the withdrawal. By the end of the year, making numerous withdrawals will have cost you a large sum of money that you would have used elsewhere.
  5. Shop around from various insurers before settling on a company for your car or home insurance. Compare the prices to the terms of each insurer. Select the one that offers value for money as your choicest insurer.
  6. Assess your needs for things like life insurance before taking it up. If you have adult and independent children and a spouse who is working, you may not really have a need for the insurance thus it acting as a waste of funds. Only take up life insurance when it would make a difference.
  7. Drop any form of credit insurance cover for an installment loan. If you have sufficient assets to protect yourself in case of unemployment, disability, or death, then you have no need for credit insurance. Doing away with credit insurance when it is not needed reduces expenses by a considerable amount thus enabling you to save more just when you need to.

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Get to Know the iPhone 6

Now that the iPhone 6 is in the market and everyone has plenty to say about it. If you have been an interested party in landing your hands on the phone, here are some vital features about the phone that you would like to know.

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  1. The iPhone 6 has an incredible A8 chip which has been built on the second generation 64-bit architecture. With an M8 motion co-processor, this phone’s processes are faster and enhanced making it more efficient. This allows you as a user to do more with the phone than with ordinary phones.
  2. The iPhone 6 uses iOS 8 this is the biggest iOS released and has better capabilities than the other apple phone operating systems in use.
  3. Longer battery life is another feature of this phone through its lithium-ion battery. You do not need a phone that dies off within a short use. The iPhone 6 is energy efficient and with a longer battery life, you can enjoy using your phone for longer without the need to power it often. It can last for up to 16 days on standby mode. It can be charged using USB or power adapter
  4. The iPhone 6 has an 8-megapixels iSight camera. It supports advanced video and camera features letting you get the best out of your phone. You can capture images and events with a better auto focus, face detection, and noise reduction
  5. The iPhone 6 comes in different capacities which attract different price offers. These include the 16GB, 64GB and 128GB. There is also the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus
  6. The iPhone 6 is a 4.7 inch screen phone which has a height of 5.44 inches, width of 2.64 inches thickness of 0.27 inches and has a total weight of 1.29 grams. The screen is a multi-touch display model with IPS technology. It has a resolution of 1334 by 750 pixels at 326ppi. It also has a fingerprint resistant oleophobic coating on the front.
  7. The phones fingerprint identity sensor is built in the home button.
  8. The iPhone 6 has digital compass, Wi-Fi, cellular, iBeacon microlocation, assisted GPS and GLONASS, and it supports video & audio calling
  9. The iPhone 6 has an intelligent assistant. Siri lets you use your voice to send messages, set reminders, and also carry out other functions using your phone.

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Understanding the Credit Report

Credit reports differ from individual to individual. However, it is these reports that creditors use to assess whether an individual is credit worthy or not. While others have a blemished credit rating, others have been able to maintain a good credit record. How is it that a bad credit rating appears?

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It is as a result of bad credit behavior that one gets a poor credit rating. Bad credit behavior may come about intentionally or unintentionally. Failure to pay for your credit as expected leads to poor credit rating. With each late or missed payment, your creditor is forced to report the lapse to the credit bureau agency. A series of late or missed payments eventually lead to a poor record of payment. While others may miss making timely payments intentionally, others are victims of their circumstances. It could be that one fell sick and could not operate their businesses as usual, one may have been terminated from work and has no pay to service the loan, or one may have been declared disabled and unable to earn a living anymore. The credit agencies do not keep a record as to why the loans were not repaid as agreed thus not giving poor credit with exemptions. A poor record remains a poor record regardless of its trigger.

Good credit behavior is not always a guarantee that you will have a good credit rating. Some may easily reason that just because they never borrowed a loan in their life time, then they have a good credit rating. Well, this is not true. For the fact that you have never borrowed means that your have a non existent credit history. This does not make matters good for you. When you are seeking to find a loan, you will find it difficult to get a loan. Even if you can afford to pay back a big loan amount, the creditor can easily decline the loan offer since you have no borrowing record from before.

If you have borrowed before but are not a frequent borrower, you are also not in a good place either. You may have had one or two debts but they were spaced and you may have taken up small amounts. When you will be in need of a huge loan, the lender will not be ready to risk giving you the huge amounts. Lenders have a graduation curve that they would like to see their clients use. They may not readily let you graduate from a baby loan to a huge long term loan since this may not be an offer that you are prepared for.

If you have a poor credit record, lenders can easily decline your loan. There are online loan offers that give credits to individuals with a bad credit record. However, these are usually costly and may need your use of guarantors who have a good credit rating or collateral for the loan. If you are able to provide the needed, they can provide small loan amounts depending on your financial disposition letting you pay for the loan as you repair your tainted credit history.

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How You Can Cut Back on Your Spending to Save More

UK residents who are credit card holders usually spend huge amounts of money on their day to day life in comparison with the money they earn. This keeps them in huge debts that keep running a higher figure year after year. With a growing population and debts running higher, there is a need for individuals to learn how they can cut back on their spending in order to make higher returns. Instead of holding on to cards that attract high interest rates of up to 17% why not take the easiest option out? Cut back on your spending and learn to save for yourself some money.

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Here are some of the ways through which you can cut back on your expenses:

  1. Clear off any expensive credit cards that you are holding on to. In as much as they offer a more convenient ways of paying for goods, remember that they attract interest. You in event pay more than what you would have paid for the goods you purchased in cash. Learn to save money and use your cash to pay for purchases. If you really need to use cards, then why not acquire a prepaid debit card? It will help you spend within your limits.
  2. Fuels costs are high and they keep rising. You need to cut back on fuel costs. The cost of running two or three family cars at the same time is pretty expensive. Why not learn to share a car as a family. If you are going the same direction, you can drive out as a family with each member in the car dropped off at their convenient place. The less the cars used, the more the funds will be saved on fuel. Use multiple cars only when necessary.
  3. Cut on the home phone bills by selecting the cheapest offers in home phones. While you may need the telephone, television, and internet access in the home. Be keen as to the service provider you select and the package you take up. You do not need a service that will let you pay for more considering the fact that you spend less time active at home but a lot more time active outside the home. Be wise to choose an alternative that will let you pay for what you really need and use.
  4. Make a shopping list for every month expenses. This helps to control impulse buying and lets you know the amount you will need for the month on household items as well as groceries. A monthly shopping list will help you allocate the correct amounts for every family need and set aside some money for savings. A shopping list can help you kick out practices of impulse buying.
  5. Consider visiting the market. You need to get your groceries at a good price. Forget about going to stores that have taken up groceries from the market and hiked the prices. Go to the market yourself and collect what you need for a week and keep it refrigerated.
  6. Do not always run for designer brands. Many love to get designer items in an attempt to emulate celebrities. Do not forget that these people are given the designer items for free but do not go buying them. You end up losing more running for designer items while those you are emulating do not spend a dime to look like they do.
  7. Try the DIY techniques. There are many things that you can do by yourself. Instead of calling for technicians to carry out simple repairs which will cost you more, do the repair by yourself if you are sure on what the problem is. You can always find tips on how to do this by yourself online.
  8.  Learn to put limits and how to say no. Do not be tempted to have all the fun in the world just because you can afford it or you have a credit card with huge maximum limits. Set aside a budget and when you have reached the limits, contain yourself. You don’t always have to go for evening drinking sessions and countless movies just because you will be bored at home. Entertainment has its place and this does not mean going out all the time. You can as well have wholesome self entertainment at home.
  9. Before making a purchase, ask yourself; do I really need this? You may find that you are making numerous purchases that you do not really need in your life. Cutting back on the purchases means that you get to have extra funds left back for saving. If you were to use your credit card, you will have less debt thus lower interests to pay.

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