Financial Services

Bank Overdraft’s Effect On Your Credit Score

By Everett Maclachlan

It is an all-too-common experience these days to login to your online bank account to check that day’s banking activities, only to face the unpleasant surprise that your account has experienced one or more overdrafts that day – resulting in $35, $70, $105 or more in accompanying overdraft fees in the process.

An overdraft, of course, is the situation whereby one or more transactions (e.g., checks written, debit card charges made) that you have initiated represents a dollar amount that exceeded the remaining balance in your checking account. Even for people who consider themselves to be very responsible with their personal banking practices and who run a pretty tight financial ship, overdrafts can be a regular occurrence.

Part of the reason for even the most responsible of us to have frequent overdrafts has to do with the way banks process transactions. For example, looking at the online bank statements in the case of most major banks, it is not always the case that the account owner can easily understand the account’s current status (in terms of outstanding transactions vs. current balance) by giving it just a quick glance. Rather, in many cases you have to get out your calculator and manually check for items that are not immediately obvious but that could affect your near-term balance. Examples of such items include un-cashed checks that already show as having been processed but that are not yet reflected in your current balance, or the often-irregular timing by which the bank processes any outstanding transactions in a given day.

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In short, it can require some serious manual calculations just for you to figure out where things stand with the balance for a given account. This takes time that many of us do not have, and we all pay the price in overdrawn accounts and heavy overdraft fee payments to our banks.

One thing that banking customers wonder is whether having a bank overdraft has an effect on a credit score.

The short answer is: no, the overdraft does not have an effect on your traditional credit, or FICO, score. The FICO score is calculated according to a certain formula that takes into account information pertaining to amount of outstanding debt, timeliness of payments, and related items. However, the determination of your FICO score does not reflect any elements of your overdraft history with banks.

That said, frequent overdrafts could end up getting your name reported to something called Chex Systems, which can result in your application for a checking account being rejected. Chex Systems is a financial reporting system that banks refer to when considering a new checking account application. You can get reported to Chex Systems if eFunds, the company that invented and maintains Chex Systems, believes that you have abused your bank account or bank-related instruments in the past. This could potentially include overdrafts, especially if your bank covered your overdraft but you never paid them back for the amount they covered on your behalf.

If you are concerned about overdrafts and their effects, it is a good idea to consider opening a bank account that does not charge overdraft fees. These banks work by charging you a low monthly checking account fee and in return promise to never, ever charge you an overdraft fee. These banks are few and far between, but their ranks are growing and there are some reputable, national banks that offer no overdraft fee checking.

About the Author: Here is a non-Chex Systems bank that will never charge you overdraft fees – ever. Check out:



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Saturday, January 14th, 2017 Financial Services Comments Off on Bank Overdraft’s Effect On Your Credit Score

Do You Need Financial Help To Help With Monthly Bills?

By Ken Black

Debt consolidation can offer you relief from the day-to-day struggles faced by many people who have more debt than their income can support. If you are facing financial ruin, or have creditors calling you to make your payments, you need to look into other ways to get your debts in order and find more manageable monthly repayments.

You may have heard others talking about debt consolidation and you may even be considering it yourself. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that a debt consolidation loan has to offer and how this can help you, the consumer.

What Is Debt Consolidation?

When you have multiple debts from different institutions, lending companies and so on, you will no doubt be paying huge amounts of interest on these. Coupled with large monthly repayments, it is nearly impossible for you to pay off your debts, no matter how much of your hard earned money you are pouring into them.

In order to pay your debts, you need to level the playing field by lowering your monthly spending on these. The problem is that, at the current interest rates that you are likely to be paying, it is impossible to lower your repayments and still pay off the principal.

Debt consolidation basically takes all of your debts, such as unsecured loans, student debts, your mortgage, your car repayments, credit or store cards, or basically any money that you owe, pays them off and leaves you with one loan and one set of monthly repayments. With only one set of repayments to make each month, you have much more control over your finances.

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But the great thing about it is that, often, you can obtain a much lower interest rate on these debts. This means that you pay less money, as well as pay off more of the principal of your loan each month, giving you more breathing space.

Often, you are able to get a much lower interest rate from a debt consolidation company if you have some sort of collateral, such as your home or a car. By changing your debts to a secured loan, the bank sees you as a safer risk and will reward you for it with lower interest rates. Just make sure that you understand that once you secure a loan, because you are giving the lending institution the right to foreclose on your collateral if you stop making payments.

There are also non-secured consolidation loans available, and although they may have a lower amount of interest that you are already paying, they will still be higher than if you had collateral to secure your consolidation debt loan with.

What Are The Benefits Of Debt Consolidation?

-Lower the amount of interest being paid every month. If you shop around and find a good lending institution willing to provide you with the money to pay off your debts, they will often offer you a much lower interest rate than what you are paying on your already existing debts, especially ones with much higher interest rates.

-Only one payment means more savings. Since there is only one set of monthly repayments to make with a consolidation loan, you can take the loan over a number of years to make your repayments smaller and more manageable. This can give you some extra money each week in your pocket, rather than it going in on high interest repayments.

-Stop harassing phone calls from debtors. No more harassing calls from creditors screaming for you to make your repayments when you don’t have the money is one of the most enticing benefits of taking out a debt consolidation loan. Once you pay off your creditors, you will only be dealing with one company. Your repayments will be more affordable, making you more likely to keep up to date with your repayments.

-Stop late fees and over the limit fees. There is nothing worse than trying to make payments on your outstanding debts only to find that all of the money that you have paid has gone on late fees and over the limit fees, leaving you in the same boat that you were in before making a payment. When this happens, it seems as though you are wasting your time.

With debt consolidation, you start off with a clean slate, which means no more late or over limit fees, giving you the opportunity to start paying the principal of what you owe again, rather than fees designed to rob you.

-Raise your credit score or start repairing it. You credit score is vital to getting anywhere in life. Without a good score you are unlikely to get loans, credit cards, or financing when you need it. When you do get a loan with a bad credit score, you are often given the highest interest rates allowable, making it nearly impossible to ever pay back. By consolidating your debts and being responsible with your repayments, you can begin repairing any damage done to your credit score, bringing you back to a credit-worthy customer.

You may find it helpful to speak to a debt counselor who can help you make a budget and educate you on how to use money wisely. There are many credit counselors available and many of them offer their services at a very cheap rate, or for no cost at all.

Don’t forget that if you are securing your loan with collateral, such as the family home or vehicle, make sure that you budget carefully and can afford to make your monthly repayments on time.

Consolidating your debts, in particular, credit card debt consolidation, is well worth looking into if you are in need of changing your financial situation for the better. Just make sure that when you are looking for a debt consolidation loan, you are serious about repaying your debts and vow to stay away from the lure of getting into even more debt.

About the Author: Ken Black is the owner of Debt Relief Today, a website all about

Debt Relief

for those in need of financial help.


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Sunday, November 20th, 2016 Financial Services Comments Off on Do You Need Financial Help To Help With Monthly Bills?

Book Review Of ‘sinus Relief Now’ By Dr. Jordan Josephson Part 1

By Walter Ballenberger

When I first started seeing an ENT specialist years ago for my sinus problems, I purchased a couple of books on the subject of sinusitis. When I mentioned this to my doctor and asked a couple of questions that showed a bit more knowledge of the subject than most people had, he frowned and had a worried look on his face. He then commented that having only ‘a little bit of knowledge was dangerous’. I therefore appreciated the comments by Dr. Josephson in his new book entitled ‘Sinus Relief Now- The Groundbreaking 5 Step Program for Sinus, Allergy, and Asthma Sufferers’. He stated: ‘If your physician responds negatively to your newfound knowledge or is obviously uncomfortable working with a patient who is well educated about his or her disease, it’s another clear signal that it’s time to move on’ (and find another doctor). I wish I had had this advice at that time, as the doctor eventually performed my first sinus surgery, caused me immense pain, and he didn’t improve my situation at all.

It should be mentioned at this point that Dr. Josephson is a well known and highly regarded ENT specialist and surgeon. He has several times been on New York magazine’s ‘Best Doctors’ list. He has been an expert commentator on many local and national television programs, and he is the Director of the New York Nasal and Sinus Center. I personally believe this book should be part of the home library of anyone who suffers from what Dr. Josephson calls CAID, or Chronic Airway-Digestive Inflammatory Disease.

In the U.S. alone this includes about 70 million people who suffer from sinus disease, asthma, allergies, reflux diseases GERD and LRPD, as well as sleep problems like snoring and sleep apnea. Dr. Josephson believes that all these problems can be related for the simple reason that they all are associated with parts of the body which are directly connected together in the upper and lower respiratory and digestive systems. This is an interesting concept and is explained clearly and thoroughly in the early chapters of the book. Dr. Josephson discusses the symptoms of all these maladies and then offers a CAID test, which helps the reader understand which branch of CAID is causing his problems. He explains symptoms and possible treatment options in great detail for the various ‘limbs’ of CAID, sinus disease, allergies, asthma, GERD and LPRD, and sleep disorders such as snoring and sleep apnea.

One point is made clear throughout the book: like high blood pressure, sinus disease cannot be ‘cured’ in the sense that it is gone once and for all, but it can only be controlled. But with this awareness and being knowledgeable about one’s problem, it is possible to control these health issues, and one can improve his or her life and not be forced to ‘just live with it’.

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There are a number of things I was pleased to see in ‘Sinus Relief Now’:

1. Dr. Josephson is a sinus sufferer himself. He has undergone sinus surgery, uses the therapies he recommends, and ‘knows the feeling’. I got the feeling when reading the book that this person has gone through some of the same pain I have experienced.

2. Dr. Josephson strongly emphasizes the use of nasal irrigation. He uses a sinus irrigation device every day, as do I. He also talks about using a neti pot for sinus irrigation, but I’ve used both and find the irrigator much more effective. I personally would not even recommend the neti pot method.

3. Dr. Josephson is a surgeon, and he pushes for a very conservative approach regarding turbinates. In the past many surgeons routinely cut out parts or even most of the turbinates in people. In recent years it is becoming apparent that this can have disastrous effects on patients over time, and there are many horror stories to read at the forum of the ENS Association web site. ENS stands for Empty Nose Syndrome, which is the term coined for this condition.

4. Dr. Josephson says that smokers with CAID problems simply must quit. He has some appreciation of the difficulty of quitting, however, and offers some guidelines for that as well.

About the Author: Walt Ballenberger is founder of

a resource web site for sinusitis sufferers like himself. For a free report entitled ‘Sinus Treatment Success Stories’, visit

and click on the Free Report link


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Monday, March 30th, 2015 Financial Services Comments Off on Book Review Of ‘sinus Relief Now’ By Dr. Jordan Josephson Part 1