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The Best Credit Cards For Your Unique Needs We all want the credit card with the best rewards. But even the most enticing rewards may be linked to a credit card that does not meet our needs. Years ago, I signed up for an airline-rewards credit card hoping the points would earn me a free flight every year. But as the years passed, I only redeemed a ticket or two – hardly enough to justify the annual fee. And booking on points was a drag. Between black-out dates and needing to book way in advance to nab the seats set aside for points travelers, I felt so limited. The truth is, it wasn’t a bad credit card. My friend had the same one and consistently redeemed one free ticket per year. The reason: His spending and travel patterns helped him get the most out of his card. My lifestyle didn’t. I needed a new credit card – one that rewarded my unique spending style. If you also find the plastic in your wallet lacking, there’s good news. Among the vast selection of credit cards, there is probably a card or two tailored just for your needs. Maybe you want to see your rewards in cold, hard cash. Or perhaps you want the simplicity of a card with no annual fee. No matter what kind of plastic you need, this month, Money Magazine and NerdWallet.com have ranked the year’s best credit cards for you. Some offer hefty cash- back rewards for essentials like grocery shopping, gas or cell phone bills. Others offer handsome sign-up bonuses, high mileage rewards and flexibility when redeeming airline miles. The full list can be found at Money Magazine. It includes pertinent details like APR, annual fees, rewards, and the card’s specific advantages and drawbacks. It also explains why it can be helpful to carry a few cards, and which combinations help you reap the biggest rewards. And if you’re currently shopping for a credit card and want to quickly find your best options, try Money Magazine’s Credit Card Matchmaker. Answer a few questions about what you’re looking for, and it will narrow down which options might suit you best. Forbes.com IRS Seizing Bank Accounts of Innocent Americans The Internal Revenue Service has been seizing money from the bank accounts of individuals and businesses with no proof of any crimes nor any charges filed. Now, the IRS claims that it will stop — but will it? Using a law, the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000, that allows the feds to seize money from suspected gangsters, drug dealers and terrorists, the IRS has put innocent people into bankruptcy and massive debt and taken the money a military father saved from his paychecks to put his kids through college, solely by tracking the amounts that people put into their bank accounts. When no criminal activity is charged, The New York Times reports, the IRS often negotiates to return only part of the seized money, leaving impoverished citizens with little option but to either accept the IRS' offer or continue a lengthy and very expensive legal battle to try to get their legitimately earned money back. The problem has been growing. The Institute for Justice estimates that from just 114 seizures in 2005, the IRS made 639 seizures in 2012, and in only 20 percent of the cases were any criminal charges ever pursued. Under the Bank Secrecy Act, banks report transactions larger than $10,000 to federal authorities, but also report a pattern of regular, smaller deposits which appear designed to get around the act. This alone can be enough to trigger a seizure, the Times reports, and banks filed over 700,000 "suspicious" reports last year. One involved a 27-year-old Long Island candy and cigarette distribution company, Bi-County Distributors, which made daily cash deposits, usually under $10,000. When the IRS seized $447,000 from the company, it refused to return it, despite the fact that there was no crime to prosecute, and instead offered a partial settlement. Newsmax.com/

Lower down payments OK for some

mortgages

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are close to allowing consumers to buy a home with as little as a 3 percent down payment and still have the mortgages backed by the two agencies. More details are expected to be announced in coming weeks, but the move from a 5 percent down payment could increase the ability of creditworthy but cash- strapped consumers to become homeowners and help a faltering housing market regain its traction. Both agencies at one point had accepted 3 percent down payments. “Through these revised guidelines, we believe that the enterprises will be able to responsibly serve a targeted segment of creditworthy borrowers with lower down payment mortgages by taking into account compensating factors,” said Mel Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fannie and Freddie’s overseer, during a speech Monday at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual convention in Las Vegas. “It is yet another much-needed piece to the broader access-to-credit puzzle.” Watt also announced other policy initiatives to make lenders more comfortable with the federal government’s mortgage purchase guidelines in the hope it will loosen their purse strings. “It’s a very big deal,” said Dan Gjeldum, a senior vice president at mortgage lender Guaranteed Rate. “It will dramatically reduce the expense for a first-time homebuyer. The easier it is to do business with the agency, the easier it’s going to be for consumers to work with mortgage companies.” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not originate mortgages directly to homebuyers. Instead, lenders sell mortgages that meet certain criteria to the two agencies, which in turn package them into securities and sell them to investors. The investments are guaranteed, which means that investors recoup losses if the homeowner defaults. Fannie and Freddie can force lenders to repurchase bad loans. The upshot of those assurances is a more cautious lending environment that is leaving some would-be buyers on the sidelines. Detroit News Clients Can Find Affordable Auto Insurance By Following 3 Easy Steps Lowcostcarsinsurance.com has released a new blog post explaining how to find affordable auto insurance by following 3 simple steps. When searching for auto insurance clients should always compare quotes before deciding what plan to buy. Having vehicle coverage is mandatory in most states and it is an important policy that provides important financial security. Although most states require liability coverage, clients should purchase additional coverage for their vehicles. If they find the rates too high, comparing online auto insurance quotes is the best method of cutting insurance costs. Clients can compare various quotes simply by entering their ZIP code. There are many agencies and the offer is varied enough to find cheap coverage for any car. Lowcostcarsinsurance.com is an online provider of life, home, health, and auto insurance quotes. This website is unique because it does not simply stick to one kind of insurance provider, but brings the clients the best deals from many different online insurance carriers. In this way, clients have access to offers from multiple carriers all in one place: this website. On this site, customers have access to quotes for insurance plans from various agencies, such as local or nationwide agencies, brand names insurance companies, etc. PRWeb.com
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