Category Archive: Establishing Credit


Establishing Credit


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Guest Banker

Rory McGhie, Dime Bank manager for the Carbondale Office, was a recent guest speaker in the financial algebra classes of Nancy Osborne and David Borosky.

The class had just finished a simulation booklet presented by Dime Bank called “How to Do Your Banking.” In this pamplet, the students were introduced to topics like car purchases, investments, budgets, megabyte money, checking accounts, credit ratings and credit and loans and mortgages.

McGhie gave the students lots of real-life information on all of these topics, as well as going into much detail on establishing credit, FICO scores and school loans.

From left: Divine Cintron, Craig Huston, Brad Kerl, Kayla Price, Jeff Arthur, Mackenzie Mancuso, Bob Segeda, Mike Andrews, Steve Wittenbreder, Dan Colachino, Bruce Monestime, Nate McAndrew, Darren Lilly, Paloma Sanchez, Rory, Brianna Whritenhour, Mikayla Lawson, Mackenzie Mang and Alex Wayman.


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New club helps students transition from college to the real world

True Life: Im Graduating is a new, student run organization that was created to help bridge the gap between graduation and the jump into the real world, especially when it comes to financial aspects.

Three students made it their senior impact project to create an organization to help guide students in the right direction after graduation.

Mary Laurel Horan, Carson Pope and Julie Brandenburg are three students in the Next Generation Leadership Program and are the leaders behind this organization.

“Our team grouped together because we saw that there was a need for seniors to learn life skills that are needed after graduation,” said Mary Laurel Horan, senior marketing major.

Horan, Pope and Brandenburg teamed up with Chuck Dunning, director of the senior year experience in the office of student development services with TCU. The three students volunteered with Dunning in the fall of 2014 with his event called Senior (Dis)Orientation, a program that tackled topics that were similar to what the students were creating for their leadership project.

“Once we had gone through Senior (Dis)Orientation and they had experienced what that was like, we started talking about their next project, True Life,” Dunning said. “We started with discussing what the content would be, how to present it and what kind of marketing we would need to do to get students to show up.”

The leaders of the organization say it will focus almost solely on finance and the many branches that stem from that.

The organization’s first information session Tuesday focused on budgeting a salary, learning about insurance and planning retirement. The two speakers were Mauricio Rodriguez, finance department chair, and Philips W. Hearn, divisional vice president of AXA Advisors.

Rodriquez discussed budgeting and Hearn discussed insurance and retirement planning.

Rodriguez spoke about the idea of living within your means and budgeting correctly. He discussed all the areas in which budgeting should be considered: home, health, food, entertainment and many more.

With every area he provided real life scenarios that students could relate to.

“I felt like learning about budgeting and the reality of what that really is was one of the most important topics I took away from tonight,” said Elle Ryan, senior speech-language pathology major. “I feel like budgeting has always been apart of a vague thing Im supposed to do, and I have more of an idea on how to get started.”

Hearn discussed information about insurance and retirement planning and gave his three tips about how to succeed beyond ones peers.

“If you do these top three things I promise you’ll be so far ahead of your peers: don’t keep a balance on a credit card, start small and don’t gut your retirement plan, and when you buy your first home do a 15 year mortgage, not a 30 year,” Hearn said.

Hearn said his number one advice for students graduating is to start doing something for retirement right now. He said that even though it feels far away, it is not.

The next meeting will be on March 24 and will discuss establishing credit and filing taxes. The leaders are hoping to gain feedback from the students through a questionnaire they handed out at the meeting.

“Having a basic understanding of what is to come in the future is definitely something this program presented to us and presented it well,” said Delancy Vaccaro, senior marketing major.

Horan, Pope and Brandenburg said they hope this organization will help to get students to start thinking about their plans after graduation.

We know that this idea of being on our own is on every seniors mind, Pope said. We just want to provide the tools and professionals that can give people some incite on what it is that theyre missing.


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10 Best Banks of 2015

By Christina Lavingia, Editor

This is the fifth installment of GOBankingRates third annual Best Banks series, connecting consumers with the best deposit accounts and banks of 2015. Come back each week of February for our rankings and reviews of this years best institutions and bank products, including online banks, military financial institutions, certificates of deposit, checking accounts and savings accounts.

gt;gt;See the 10 best online-only banks of 2015 here.

At the end of the day, you want to trust where you bank. Interest rates are near historic lows nearly anywhere you can deposit your funds or obtain a loan, making the difference between big banks, credit unions, local banks and online institutions relatively minimal in terms of dollars and cents on your account statements.

Whether because they have larger marketing budgets or a high volume of branches and ATMs, big banks still hold a huge portion of the market share for deposits and loans. In fact, their assets are growing. According to Fortune Magazine, assets for the six largest US banks in September 2013 were 37 percent greater than they were five years earlier. It seems that, despite the Great Recession, big banks are still an attractive option for depositors and companies.

Fortune also reported that one-third of all business loans were made by Bank of America in 2013, while Wells Fargo financed almost a quarter of all mortgages. JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley owned 67 percent of US financial assets.

Traditional banks do have their appeal: They offer convenience, access to funds and a wide variety of banking products, all of which are backed by the FDIC, meaning deposits up to $250,000 are insured against any losses.

Additionally, big banks serve an important function in the US economy. GOBankingRates found that the 51 largest banks employ nearly one percent of the US workforce (1.23 million people). These banks pay a few hundred million to a few billion dollars in corporate income taxes to their headquarter states each year and give away millions to charities and nonprofits.

For those who prefer to bank with an institution that has an outpost in nearly every city (and even, in some cases, internationally) GOBankingRates ranked the best banks of 2015. This study excluded online banks and military institutions, which were evaluated in separate rankings.


  • 10 Best Checking Accounts of 2015
  • 10 Best Savings Accounts of 2015
  • 10 Best CD Accounts of 2015

Review: 10 Best Banks of 2015

To determine the below rankings, GOBankingRates looked at the top 100 banks by assets, according to the FDIC, and evaluated each on the following criteria:

  • BauerFinancial Star Ratings for overall financial strength
  • Yields, fees or other terms on checking, savings and one-year CD accounts
  • Whether the bank offers auto loans, mortgages, credit cards, investment services and/or insurance services
  • Branch number and availability

Deposit rates are accurate as of Dec. 23 for checking and savings and Dec. 29 for CDs.1. Wells Fargo

Why: The most notable reason why Wells Fargo ranked No. 1 for brick-and-mortar banks was its branch availability: Wells Fargo offers the most branches of the 100 banks surveyed, at 6,353.

Review: Wells Fargo offers all five products GOBankingRates surveyed: auto loans, mortgages, credit cards, investment services and insurance, making it ideal for consumers looking to simplify their finances and bank all in one place. Wells Fargo boasts a BauerFinancial Star Rating of 4 out of 5, and is home to $1.7 trillion in assets, making it the fourth largest bank by asset size in the US

In terms of social and economic impact, as an added bonus, Wells Fargo employs the most people of any big bank, at 265,000, and paid $1.9 billion in California state taxes in 2013. Additionally, in that year, Wells Fargo gave $275.5 million to 18,500 nonprofits.

How to join: Wells Fargos pervasive branch accessibility makes it easy to open an account in person, as well as online. With dozens of accounts to choose from, opening any one of them takes no more than 10 minutes.

2. BBVA Compass Bank

Why: BBVA Compass Bank offers depositors higher interest rates than Wells Fargo and has a higher BauerFinancial Star Rating. However, BBVA Compass Bank has just a tenth of Wells Fargos branch locations.

Review: The banks more limited accessibility put it in the No. 2 spot. Like Wells Fargo, BBVA Compass Bank offered all five of the other products we surveyed, but has a higher BauerFinancial Star Rating of 5. BBVA Compass Bank offers its customers a high one-year CD rate of 0.45% APY. Additionally, its checking account comes with no fee and its savings yield beats the national average at brick-and-mortar banks, as well, at 0.15% APY.

Customers have access to four different credit cards with BBVA Compass Bank, as well as ample mortgage options, covering everything from a first home to a second refinance, renovations, new construction and equity.

How to join: You can become a customer of BBVA Compass Bank from the comfort of your home. Simply visit its website, peruse its many bank products and services, and apply for whichever accounts you want online.

3. Bank of America

Why: Bank of Americas interest rates are on par with Wells Fargo, but it offers the same products, along with a BauerFinancial Star Rating of 4 and 5,101 branch locations.

Review: Bank of America is committed to empowering its customers — and the public — with the financial literacy needed to grow wealth. In partnership with Khan Academy, Bank of America produced a number of videos and tutorials through its Better Money Habits series to help people reach goals of tackling debt, saving, budgeting and establishing credit.

How to join: As one of the largest banks in the United States, Bank of America is accessible to most depositors. Requirements to open an account include a Social Security number, a current residential address, bank account number or debit card to fund your account, co-applicant information if applicable, and a valid email address.

4. BankUnited

Why: For checking and savings accounts, BankUnited offers higher yields than the three banks ranked above it, and boasts the highest BauerFinancial Star Rating available of 5. However, the bank offers far fewer branches to its customers — just 106.

Review: For a major bank, BankUnited pays its customers yields that rival credit unions and community banks. Depositors earn above-average yields on savings and one-year CDs at BankUnited, at 0.25% APY and 0.55% APY, respectively. Despite offering its customers fewer branches for in-person banking, BankUnited has the same product offerings as the banks ranked above it.

With four checking account options alone to select from: Relationship Checking, Bonus Interest Checking, Signature Interest Checking and 50+ Signature Interest Checking, BankUnited provides a wide variety of bank products to meet varying needs.

How to join: Those who wish to join BankUnited can do so by opening an account, visiting a branch or calling 1-877-799-BANK.

5. First National Bank of Omaha

Why: First National Bank of Omahas product offerings are broad and it boasts a BauerFinancial Star Rating of 5; however, the banks more limited branch access places it in the fifth spot.

Review: First National Bank of Omaha offers all the same product offerings as the above banks, but with just 127 branches. Customers with a checking account from this bank enjoy paying no maintenance fees.

No matter your credit card preference, First National Bank of Omaha offers American Express, Discover, MasterCard and three Visa options to choose from. Wealth management services, from 529 savings plans for your toddler to tributary funds, are available as well.

How to join: This bank serves those residing in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Texas, with multiple branches in each state. Potential customers can apply online at the banks website.

6. Zions Bank

Why: Zions Bank charges no maintenance fee on its checking account and offers high savings yields. However, the bank has under 150 branches for its customers.

Review: Zions Banks savings account earns the highest yield of any bank on this list at 0.45% APY. Although Zions Bank offers auto and mortgage loans, credit cards, and investment services, it doesnt offer insurance. The bank boasts a BauerFinancial Star Rating of 5, but only offers 145 branches to its customers.

Zions offers rewards credit cards, along with an entire suite of bank products geared toward children and young adults, including student checking and savings, kid savings, and the Zions Bank Pays for As program.

How to join: Zion Bank has locations in many Western states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington. Customers can apply online for credit cards and accounts with Zions Bank.

7. BBamp;T

Why: With a BauerFinancial Star Rating of 5 and ample branch locations, BBamp;T ranked No. 7 among the best banks of 2015.

Review: Those who deposit their funds with BBamp;T get standard yields on their accounts when compared to other brick-and-mortar banks. BBamp;T offers all loan, credit, insurance and investment services GOBankingRates surveyed, and its customers have access to 1,852 branches to conduct their banking in person.

BBamp;T offers its customers ample resources on its website to tackle any financial issue you could imagine, from paying for college and managing life events to planning for retirement and investing.

How to join: Those looking to join BBamp;T can do so online, by visiting one of its financial centers or by phone at 888-BANK-BBT, where they can find answers to their banking questions and determine which products best meet their current needs.

8. Chase Bank

Why: Due to its relatively lower rates, Chase Bank fell to the No. 8 spot. However, branch access is a high selling point for banking here, with 5,710 branches available to Chase Bank customers.

Review: In terms of products, customers have access to auto loans, mortgage loans, credit cards and investment services with Chase Bank; however, insurance products are not available. The bank has a strong BauerFinancial Star Rating of 4 out of 5.

Chase Bank is one of the most recognizable names in banking, and youll have ample access to your funds, both in-person and online. Services like Chase Quickpay make banking even more convenient on the go. When it comes to checking accounts alone, Chase Bank gives its customers plenty of options, with five products to choose from.

How to join: Joining Chase Bank is as simple as entering one of its nearly 6,000 branch locations across the US Potential customers can also open an account online.

9. KeyBank

Why: With over 1,000 branch locations and no checking account maintenance fees, theres good reason to choose KeyBank for your deposit and loan needs.

Review: KeyBanks Hassle-Free account was ranked highest among the top 10 banks. Additionally, it offers all of the other banking products surveyed and boasts the highest BauerFinancial Star Rating possible of 5. There are 1,030 KeyBank branches to serve its customers needs.

KeyBank also offers its customers a unique Financial Wellness Center, budgeting and debt consolidation calculators, as well as education planning and mutual fund options.

How to join: Those interested in joining KeyBank can do so by opening an account online or contacting the bank via telephone 800-KEY2YOU. The bank operates its branch locations in 14 different states.

10. US Bank

Why: US Bank boasts ample branch locations and comprehensive product offerings, though its slightly lower rates knocked in down in the rankings.

Review: US Bank customers get to take advantage of a slew of services and products, from loans and credit cards to investment and insurance options. With 3,239 branches and a BauerFinancial Star Rating of 4, customers of US Bank enjoy ease of access and peace of mind.

GOBankingRates has previously recognized US Bank as the best bank for getting your first bank account. Its Student Checking account has a low threshold to open — just $25 — and is one of two accounts from the bank geared toward minors (those 17 and under can obtain a Star Savers Club Account as well).

How to join: US Bank offers its applicants instant decision within two to three minutes when they apply for a checking account or credit card from the bank. Applications can be submitted online or at any bank branch.


Institution selection: In order to determine its Best Brick-and-Mortar Bank rankings, GOBankingRates examined the top 100 banks by asset size according to the FDIC, excluding non-active institutions, those with less than $1 billion in assets, investment banks and any institutions that require customers to use investment services to access commercial bank accounts.

Criteria for rankings: Banks were scored from most to least favorable in the following categories: (1) BauerFinancial Star Ratings for overall financial strength, and the rankings previously assigned through our survey of (2) checking accounts, (3) savings accounts, and (4) one-year certificates of deposit. Each criterion was individually scored from most to least favorable in comparison to the category average (weighted equally). Banks were then scored according to whether they offered each of the following services, all of which contributed to a single weighting: (5) auto loans, (6) mortgage loans, (7) credit cards, (8) investment services and (9) insurance services. The final criteria was the (10) number of bank branches, as reported by the FDIC. Banks were then ranked according to overall score. Data was compiled via the GOBankingRates interest rate database and verified against the individual institutions websites.

GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website owned by ConsumerTrack, Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions and other financial services organizations. Some banks mentioned in this ranking are clients of ConsumerTrack, Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings are 100 percent objective and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement.


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College finances 101: How to be an adult

Finance professor Dr. James Simmerman agreed with Taylor on the idea of creating a budget.

“As soon as you get out of Drury, there will be a lot of temptations with that first big check. But make sure you live within your means,” said Simmerman. “You are not the clothes you wear or the other material things you have, so avoid those temptations and pay yourself first. Put retirement and other savings away and then budget.”

For those who are graduating debt-free, preparations can be taken to ensure financial security as well. “If you are graduating without debt, know what your entry level salary will be, and organize your priorities accordingly,” said Taylor.

Taylor also suggested that college graduates’ first priority should be establishing themselves. For the first few years of living on their own, students should try to save their money any way they can. There is nothing wrong with living in an apartment, buying groceries where they are affordable, going to the used car lot, or streaming Netflix instead of buying the expensive cable package.

Another issue students may have with their finances is not establishing credit by the time they graduate. There is a simple fix to this problem: get a credit card.

Credit cards can help or hurt your credit in a monumental way. Not paying your bill on time could result in multiple late fees, increased interest, and a bad mark on your credit score. However, this just requires the cardholder to make responsible decisions. There are easy ways to get started with a credit card without potentially damaging your credit.

“Only purchase things with the card you have to buy anyway,” said Taylor. “It’s not good to have defaults, but it’s also bad to not have any credit at all.”

Simmerman agreed with Taylor that credit cards are important to build up credit. He suggested simply buying gas on the card and paying it off at the end of the month.

“Never put something on the credit card you can’t afford because it will end up costing way more than it’s worth,” Simmerman said.

If students are still unsure with what to do with their finances after graduation, there is a course called Personal Finance Management. It is open to all majors and discusses how to establish credit, pay off debt, and make smart choices regarding other personal finance topics. However, if you don’t have time to take the course, the Financial Management Association will be providing a presentation over personal finance during the Breech Business week here at Drury. The presentation will take place in the Breech lounge on Wednesday, April 22 at 4 pm
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No Single Solution to Affordable Housing

The final affordable-housing lever is expanded access to finance, especially for low-income households, which often face the highest borrowing costs – if they can gain access to finance at all. For the worlds many unbanked, who cannot accumulate savings or establish a credit record, the only option is to pay steep risk premiums for high loan-to-value mortgages.

To expand access to finance, countries can improve underwriting by establishing credit bureaus, which are uncommon in developing economies, and training and certifying property appraisers. In some countries, collective-savings programs – that is, provident funds and building societies – have helped low-income households to accumulate down payments, with the pooled savings also providing capital for low-interest mortgages.

At the same time, to reduce financing costs for developers, municipal bodies can de-risk projects by committing to purchase affordable units or guaranteeing qualified tenants. Cities can also streamline approval processes to accelerate completion.

These four levers, if used systematically, can reduce the costs of housing for those who need it the most, while creating a better-functioning market that provides more choices for households across income levels. Indeed, while municipal and national governments will have to take additional measures to address the needs of their poorest citizens, cities have powerful tools at their disposal for closing their affordable-housing gaps.

Though no single solution will work everywhere, initiatives that integrate land policy and more accessible finance with efforts to modernize housing construction and management can lead to progress everywhere


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What those in their 20s should know about credit

If I could relive my 20s again, there are a few things I would do differently. First, I would have called my mom before getting that tattoo. Second, I would have driven right past the animal shelter. And third, I would have paid a lot more attention to my credit. Lucky for you, I learned those lessons the hard way so you don’t have to.

So, after you get off the phone with your mom and finish searching for dog-friendly apartments, read this list of 20 things every 20-something should know about credit.

1. Credit scores range anywhere from 300 to 850.

Your credit score is an indicator of how much of a credit risk you are to issuers. The higher the credit score, the better.

2. You have three credit scores.

There are three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Each one maintains a separate FICO score for each consumer in its database. As a result, you have three separate scores and three separate credit reports, which leads me to the next fact:

3. Credit reports are not the same things as credit scores.

Your credit score, also called a FICO score, is calculated off the information on your credit report. Your report shows your history of using credit, including every open and closed account you have, your payment history, credit limits and balance owed.

4. Having good credit isn’t just about getting credit cards and loans.

A healthy credit history can help you secure financing and save you thousands on interest rates, but it can also lower your insurance premiums, help you rent a place to live or waive certain deposit requirements.

5. You are entitled to a free credit report from each bureau once a year.

Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, you can get a free copy of your credit report once each year from each of the three major credit bureaus at However, these reports will not contain your FICO scores. You will have to sign up for services or pay a fee to access those.

6. Bad credit doesn’t have to haunt you forever.

Your credit score is just a snapshot of your current situation; it will change as your history improves or worsens.

7. There are five factors that affect your credit scores.

FICO breaks down your credit history into five categories. The five elements are: payment history (35 percent of the total score), credit utilization (30 percent), length of credit history (15 percent), new credit (10 percent) and credit mix (10 percent).

8. There is no single trick to raising your credit score.

The best thing to do is request your credit scores and look at the “score factors.” Those will tell you the top four reasons your scores aren’t higher.

9. You do not need to have debt to have a credit score.

The scoring systems actually penalize you for having debt. You can pay your balance in full each month to grow your credit score without taking on any debt.

10. Your credit score will not drop if you pull your own reports or scores.

Checking your own credit reports and scores has no effect on your credit.

11. Making minimum payments is the worst way to pay off credit card debt.

For example, if you make minimum payments (say, 2.5 percent) on a card with a $2,500 balance and 18 percent APR, it could take you 204 months to pay off the debt and cost you $3,173 in interest. Yikes!

12. Making a payment that is less than the minimum doesn’t count.

Paying less than the minimum counts as a missed payment, which will bring down your credit score, trigger a late fee and possibly raise your interest rate. If you can’t make your minimum payments, call your credit card issuer ASAP.

13. You must use your credit card to build credit history.

Using your credit card should not be confused with keeping a running balance. A smart strategy is to use the card each month and pay the balance off in full.

14. Be wary of retail cards.

Retail credit cards are usually very easy to get, have low credit limits and very high interest rates. Sure, discounts at your favorite store can be tempting, but are you really saving money if you are more tempted to shop or you can’t pay your bill in full?

15. Maxing out your credit cards damages your credit score.

Even if you don’t exceed your credit limit, running up your bill to the maximum allowed will have a huge negative impact on your credit score. Some experts recommend keeping your balance under 30 percent utilization, but the safest thing to do is just pay your bill in full each month.

16. You can negotiate with your credit card issuer.

It is possible to negotiate the terms, interest rates and payments on credit balances. If you are faced with a large bill you can’t pay, you can sometimes negotiate the total balance of the credit card debt owed. If you settle credit card debt, you will be required to pay the new total in full and you should expect your card to be closed and your credit reports to take a hit. Negotiating your credit card debt should be done only in an emergency.

17. There is a difference between good debt and bad debt.

Borrowing money at a low rate to purchase a home or car isn’t bad debt; you need a home to live in and you probably need a car to get to work or school. Bad debt is expensive debt, including high interest credit card debt or student loans, especially if your post-graduation payments will push you close to the poverty line.

18. Employers can pull your credit reports.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows employers to pull your credit reports as part of employment screening. Also, once you have been hired, employers maintain the right to pull your reports at any time during your employment. While credit reports do nothing to determine your ability to perform job duties, they can shed light on personality traits, like responsibility.

19. Prepaid or secured credit cards won’t fix your bad credit.

A secured credit card allows the user to make a deposit, or prepayment, equal to the credit limit. These cards are reported to the three major credit bureaus, but they do very little to help you build credit. These cards are best for people who are establishing credit for the very first time.

20. Having bad credit doesn’t make you a bad person.

The good thing about making credit mistakes in your 20s is that you have plenty of time to fix them.


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TAG Announces New Hire Sharon Barboza as NetSuite Consultant

La Jolla, CA, August 30, 2014 –(– TAG, Southern Californias premier NetSuite Solutions Provider and enterprise software consultancy firm announces a new strategic hire within the NetSuite division. With five years of experience as a NetSuite user within Finance, Barboza has worked in all aspects of NetSuite accounting including Fixed Assets, Inventory Cost, Accounts Payable, and Accounts Receivable.

Barboza is a Certified Public Accountant with over 17 years of experience in public accounting and private industry. She has extensive knowledge of accounting principles, financial reporting, taxation policies and hands-on accounting experience with primarily small to mid-sized companies and senior level management positions.

We are fortunate to have Sharon join our NetSuite division at TAG, said Adam Baruh, Director of NetSuite Professional Services. She brings industry experience to our team and is dedicated to optimizing NetSuite for TAG clients and streamlining the implementation process.

Prior to joining TAG, Barboza was the Corporate Accounting amp; Financial Reporting Manager at Memjet Technology and took a leadership role during their global NetSuite ERP implementation and spearheaded the process across four countries. In the role, she coordinated with supply-chain to set up purchasing and procurement systems, designed the fixed assets management and inventory management systems, while establishing credit policies and revenue analysis.

Barboza is a Chartered Global Management Accountant and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting at the University of Phoenix. She is an active member of CalCPA, AICPA, California Society of CPAs and the Treasurer of High Tech High North County PA.

About TAG:
TAG is an authorized NetSuite Solution Provider and offers valued financial and business resources and counsel for companies and individuals on the move. With over 400 clients in the Southern California region, TAGs partnership with NetSuite provides a revolutionary solution for companies in any stage of growth. TAG is located at 1227 Prospect Street, Suite 200, La Jolla, CA 92037, with additional offices in Rancho Santa Fe, CA and Newport Beach, CA.


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Govt to Mobilise U.S. $250 Million for Farmers

Minister Chinamasa said government had also engaged the banking sector to increase its lending to farmers.

Government acknowledges the role of the banking sector in supporting A2 and other farmers in view of its limited financing capacity. In this regard, the Reserve Bank has engaged the financial services sector in establishing credit facilities under direct bank credit extension to the farmer.

Furthermore, contract farming arrangements will also be available to finance crops such as tobacco, cotton, soya beans, barley among others, he said.

Minister Chinamasa said realising the importance of input suppliers in the agricultural chain, government had made efforts to capacitate suppliers ahead of the forthcoming farming season.

Already obligations related to outstanding debts to input suppliers have been extinguished through a combination of both cash payments and Treasury Bill issuance to the tune of $27,4 million, with a further $30 million in TBs being issued in consultation with CBZ, he said.

Zimbabwes agricultural sector, which had declined over the past decade mainly due to limited funding and poor rainfall patterns, is on the recovery path with output of crops such as maize and tobacco exceeding targets.

Maize output last year reached 1,46 million tonnes from the original target of 1,3 million tonnes while tobacco output surpassed the initial target of 171 million kilogrammes to reach 215,2 million kilogrammes.


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All about the Apple products, Getting your free credit reports, Tool for you …

Cheat Sheet Qamp;A – From credit scores to credit report:

Todays entry:

Just wanted to share something that Im surprised you didnt mention in your report this morning. There is oneplace to get a free credit report from all three agencies for free, by law. You can get one once per year. The site is The other sites may be useful to your listeners, but I go here every year and study the resulting reports carefully. And theyre free!

Bottom Line: Thanks for listening and youre exactly right with report to I do want to point a couple of things out with regard to your credit reports and credit scores thoughhellip;

Last week I discussed the best places and most secure ways to obtain your credit score(s). Because I was addressing credit scores I deliberately did not get into credit reports. As you stated youre entitled to free credit reports every year and should access them to ensure that you dont have an activity thats not consistent with your activities. makes it super easy to do. What checking your credit report obviously doesnt do is provide you with insight into your credit worthiness via credit score.

I did used to combine the two topics in stories but found that many would misinterpret what their credit report represents. For example Ive heard from at least dozens of people over the years expressing that they check their credit report and perfect credit. Truth is next to no one has perfect credit which equates to a credit score of 850 (for context there are more Americans who earn $3 million per year than have perfect credit scores). What I found is that is that many people, especially younger adults will check their credit reports see that its correct/clean and know that they havent missed any payments and then assume they have perfect credit. That can be an extremely costly assumption to make. Often these people who are confused with regard to the relevance of credit reports vs. credit scores have very limited credit experience and for that reason may have very low credit scores and/or history that will enable them to engage products and services that are impacted and/or have minimum credit score requirements. Its great that many Americans, especially younger adults are far more debt adverse these days but not establishing credit and having high scores can be a costly mistake. Just yesterday I shared the research demonstrating that 63% of Millienials dont have even one credit card. Its great that these young adults arent taking on credit card debt but its not a good thing for establishing credit history and maintaining high credit scores. So we all need to make sure that our credit reports are accurate but we also need to know and understand our credit scores to fully understand where we stand.

Audio Report:

All about Apple – the key takeaways amp; dates:

Bottom Line: All right here are the biggies coming out of yesterdays Apple product launch:

iPhone 6 amp; 6 Plus: The 6 has a 4.7 inch screen size amp; the plus a 5.5 inch. The base model (16GB) for each will start at $199 with a two year contract for the 6 amp; $299 for the plus. They will be available for preorder this Friday with delivery on the 19th.

Apple Pay: Apples mobile payment system hit with a bang as expected. Using NFC (point of sale) technology, youll be able to pay for items in stores using your mobile device at more than 22,000 businesses in the US. Simply put you put your American Express, Master Card amp; Visa card info into the Apple Pay system. When you want to pay a unique code that is used one time is shared between your device the businesses payment processor. With one touch of your device you pay! Better still the business never has your credit or debit card number so you could never become a victim of all of these malware scams a la Target, Home Depot, etc.! Thats a big win

Apple Watch: The disappointment with the Apple Watch is that it wont be released until sometime early next year and preordering is TBD. As for the features it does appear to easily be best in class. Unlike the Galaxy Gear products the Apple Watch wont require a smart phone to interface with to be fully functional. It will feature the new Apple Pay system and the complete new health platform by Apple. Its price will be $349 and Ill get further in-depth when we get closer to the launch.

iOS 8: Apples new mobile OS will be available for a free download next Wednesday (17th) for the following devices: iPhone 4S or newer amp; iPad 2 or newer

And if you have an iTunes account you can download U2s new album for free right nowhellip;

Audio Report:

Will you buy any of the new Apple Products? Flash polling results look impressive:

Bottom Line: CNBC took the best flash polling on the new Apple products of any company immediately after the Apple event. While its not scientific more than 16,000 people responded to the following questions. Based on the responses it seems like the market reaction is very positive:

All told 58% of those responding said they would buy either the iPhone 6 or 6 plus (with majority of those responding saying the want the larger, plus, model).

Right now only about 1% of Americans using mobile payment systems when paying howeverhellip; 55% of those responding say theyd use the new Apply Pay system

To date only 24-25% of Americans have indicated that theyd be interested in buying a smart watch from any company howeverhellip; 34% of respondents said theyd buy the Apple watch when its comes out.

So Apple appears to have passed market metrics at each turn. Are you interested in buying any of the new products? As for me its a yes to the 4.7 inch iPhone 6, a heck yes to Apple Pay and Im not yet sure about the watch.

Audio Report:

As Americans we dont think were as classy as we used to be amp; a tool to see where you rank:

Bottom Line: So are you as classy as you once thought you were? Whether you identify with Ron Burgundy or not many Americans associate themselves with a lower class than they did prior to the financial crisis.

In the summer of 2008, 72% of Americans considered themselves middle class or upper-middle class. Today just 57% consider themselves middle or upper middle classhellip; Additionally in 2008 25% of Americans viewed themselves as being lower-middle class or low class. Today 40% of Americans associate with being in a lower class. So where do you really stand? If you use income as a barometer (as most do) heres a few tool for you to figure out exactly where you stand compared to the country:

Audio Report:

Quietly Bitcoin is surviving amp; be on the verge of mainstream relevance:

Bottom Line: So the last time I spoke of Bitcoin it was in the wake of two massive strikes against the quasi-currency. First the collapse of several exchanges, most notable Mt. Gox, and the IRS ruling that Bitcoin is property and thus each time you use it youre creating a taxable event that must be accounted for come tax filing time.

Well in the recent months the Bitcoin market has stabilized. Its nowhere near the $1200 or value that it once enjoyed but at $479, as I type this entry, it clearly retains value to many and yesterday it did obtain perhaps the most important win to date.

Braintree is a subsidiary of PayPal which is the largest mobile payment platform (and an EBay company). Braintree announced that they will now accept Bitcoin. Heres what that means going forward. No longer do you have to locate a merchant that will accept Bitcoin to transact. You instead can use any merchant that works with Paypal via Braintree. This dramatically expands the potential market functionality of Bitcoin and can provide electronic records that can be more easily imported for tax reporting. Its a win-win for Bitcoin users.

Audio Report:


Establishing Credit


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Govt to mobilise $250m for farmers

He said government support would be mainly targeted at maize and small grain farmers while other crops including soya beans and cotton would also be supported.

The inputs package for maize and small grain farmers would be valued at $115 per household and would comprise 10kg of seed, 50kg of compound D and 50kg of Ammonium Nitrate.

Minister Chinamasa said government had also engaged the banking sector to increase its lending to farmers.

“Government acknowledges the role of the banking sector in supporting A2 and other farmers in view of its limited financing capacity. In this regard, the Reserve Bank has engaged the financial services sector in establishing credit facilities under direct bank credit extension to the farmer.

“Furthermore, contract farming arrangements will also be available to finance crops such as tobacco, cotton, soya beans, barley among others,” he said.

Minister Chinamasa said realising the importance of input suppliers in the agricultural chain, government had made efforts to capacitate suppliers ahead of the forthcoming farming season.

“Already obligations related to outstanding debts to input suppliers have been extinguished through a combination of both cash payments and Treasury Bill issuance to the tune of $27,4 million, with a further $30 million in TB’s being issued in consultation with CBZ,” he said.
Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector, which had declined over the past decade mainly due to limited funding and poor rainfall patterns, is on the recovery path with output of crops such as maize and tobacco exceeding targets.

Maize output last year reached 1,46 million tonnes from the original target of 1,3 million tonnes while tobacco output surpassed the initial target of 171 million kilogrammes to reach 215,2 million kilogrammes. – New Ziana.