Category Archives: Financial

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$58 Billion Unclaimed: Is Some of it Yours? – Yahoo! Finance

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$58 Billion Unclaimed: Is Some of it Yours? - Yahoo! Finance.

Millions of Americans are missing out on billions in forgotten cash.

Currently, states, federal agencies and other organizations collectively hold more than $58 billion in unclaimed cash and benefits. That's roughly $186 for every U.S. resident. The unclaimed property comes from a variety of sources, including abandoned bank accounts and stock holdings, unclaimed life insurance payouts and forgotten pension benefits.

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President Obama on Stabilizing

The President announces that his Auto Task Force has completed its evaluation of General Motors and Chrysler, and gives his response.


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Free Money Monday

DALLAS - There is $1.6 billion in unclaimed money for Texans statewide. Are you owed some of it?

Unclaimed funds have to be turned over to the state. Once there, the money sits and collects interest. Yup -- it’s nobody’s job to reunite you and your cash.

That's where Free Money Monday comes in. Each Monday in May, FOX 4 will be profiling people who are owed money and telling you how to find out if your name is on the list.

At least once each half hour during each of our Monday newscasts, we will be broadcast the names of unclaimed money recipients. We'll also remind you how to search for your name.

And right here on myfoxdfw.com, we'll also be posting important phone numbers and Web site addresses that will help you find out if cash is coming your way.

To claim money or to see if you are on the list:

Call 800-654-FIND (3463)
Log on: www.window.state.tx.us/up
Or, you can quick-search the list to find those who live in Dallas, Tarrant or Collin counties and are owed more than $1,000.


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Credit Checks that Could Hurt You


(ARA) - With the economy taking a roller coaster ride and investors making detailed credit and background checks for loan requests, it's important to check your own credit before a lender does. When a lender checks your credit, the inquiry stays on your credit history. Too many requests in a short period of time could hurt your score. But did you know that checking your own credit won't hurt your score?

Credit Checks that Could Hurt You

Checking your own credit is something that you should do a few times a year, or at least a few months before you apply for a major loan:

1. Check your credit score to see where you stand. To raise your credit score, try to pay bills on time, maintain a low amount of overall debt and check your credit at least once a year to see your progress.

2. Review your credit report for credit errors and unauthorized credit checks. Remove the errors that are dragging down your score.

To see exactly what lenders see, plus of the factors that affect your personal credit score, you should check your credit report through a free service from GoFreeCredit.com. GoFreeCredit.com instantly gives you a free detailed, personalized analysis of your credit report with advice on how to improve it. Checking your own credit report at GoFreeCredit.com will not hurt your score.

Your report from GoFreeCredit.com will show you details like accounts with past late payments, the various types of credit you've used, current balances and recent requests for credit. You also have the opportunity to fight negative or wrong information on your file. GoFreeCredit.com can refer you to a reputable credit repair service if you need it.

Be prepared for when you need a loan in this tough economy. Visit GoFreeCredit.com to check your credit report and see your updated credit score today.


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Electricity Bills: Yet Another Reason to Maintain Good Credit

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It's an unfortunate reality that once you find yourself in financial difficulty the effects of bad credit can snowball your financial hardship. Poor credit doesn't just keep you from getting a loan. It often means you will pay more for everyday necessities such as insurance and utilities.

Texas is a deregulated electricity market which means that in most parts of the state consumers can choose from multiple retail electric providers. When electricity deregulation came to Texas existing monopolies were split up creating a system where separate entities became responsible for various aspects of the production, distribution, and sale of electricity. The key players are the electricity producers, the lines companies that maintain the infrastructure, and the retail electric providers who deal directly with the end consumer.

The retail electric provider must pay for the electricity it receives from the electricity producer regardless of whether the end consumer pays their electricity bill. In this way they are not much different than traditional retailers like department stores. They buy electricity at wholesale rates and resale it at retail rates. Generally their margins are fairly small and too many unpaid bills by their customers can have a real impact on their bottom line.

People who have good credit can usually find an electric plan with a good rate without having to put down a deposit. People with no credit or poor credit histories, however, will often be rejected by electric providers or asked to provide a deposit. No deposit electricity plans are available from some companies. Such plans usually feature higher rates but they have the benefit of requiring no credit check as part of the signup process.

Why electric companies often demand a deposit

There are two primary risks the retail electric providers must manage; rate risk and default risk. Wholesale electric rates in Texas are not fixed. They can fluctuate substantially hour by hour depending on the current demand for electricity and the current supply of available power in the grid. It's important to note that although wholesale rates or not fixed there is a cap.

Retail electric providers sell fixed rate plans to consumers with terms of anywhere from six months to up to as much as 36 months. If wholesale rates go up in the short term they can't immediately pass the extra cost along to their consumers. To protect themselves from that risk they must factor in adequate margins when they price their fixed rate plans to consumers. They must also adequately hedge their exposure to the wholesale electricity market.

The second major risk electric companies deal with is the risk of customers not paying their electricity bills. When this happens the electric company takes a loss on the electricity that they purchased from the producer to provide to the end consumer. This is why many providers focus on so heavily on credit scores. In general, the assumption is that lower credit scores mean higher risk of nonpayment on electricity bills. Some companies are able to offer no credit check electricity plans by charging a higher rate to account for the added risk.


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