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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Getting Your Credit Score From OK to Great

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…


ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources


Stuck in the Middle: Getting Your Credit Score From OK to Great

The middle class may be shrinking in most parts of American life, but it’s thriving in the credit score space…

Over 60% of Americans have a credit score between 550 and 800 — which roughly corresponds to an average-to-excellent rating.

In truth, you really need a credit score above 580 to start getting any benefits. And most loans and credit cards reserve their best rates and deals for those with a 780 and up.

But that’s just minutiae. My point is — if you’re like most Americans — you’ve got a credit score that’s somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. And you want to get it up into the top tier.

(If you have a score lower than 550, go here to find out the best way to escape the lowest class of credit.)

No problem — we’re here to help. Since you’ve already got an acceptable score, you’re probably doing most things right. And if you are willing to wait a few years (and be responsible that whole time), you’ll eventually and naturally break through to a score in the 800s.

But we want to hurry that along. After all, the sooner you bump up your credit score, the sooner you can turn your credit into cash.

So let’s take a look at four things you can do to move your credit score from the middle class to the upper crust.

Credit Builder #1: Pay Down Your Credit Cards First

You might have lots of types of debt. The general rule is you should pay off the debt with the highest interest rate attached.

That certainly makes sense. However, if you’re more concerned with goosing your credit score — as opposed to worrying about the size of your monthly payments — you should attack any credit card debt first.

Luckily, credit card debt also usually carries high interest rates. Even if it doesn’t, you need to get rid of your credit card debt if you want to supercharge your credit scores.

You see, credit card utilization — the percent of your potential credit limit you are actually using — makes up 30% of your credit score. If you’re using 10% of your credit availability — for example $1,000 owed out of $10,000 in total credit limits — that’s better than using 15%. But much worse than using 5% or less.

Every single point makes a difference. If you’re above 30% credit card utilization, that’s a flashing red danger sign. Get that credit card debt down immediately!

Obviously, the best possible option is to pay off all your credit cards every month. But if you can’t quite swing that, pay as much as you can afford.

The less of this interest-heavy debt you carry, the better — in every possible way.

Credit Builder #2: Pay Early

Take a look at your credit cards and note when every billing cycle ends — probably on the same day every month, like the 20th.

Most people wait until that date comes, see how much they owe and then pay it off at the eleventh hour, just before the cycle ends again.

That’s a fine way to do it. In fact, it makes fiscal sense — if you buy something at the very start of a cycle and pay it off at the very end of the next cycle, that’s like getting an interest-free two-month loan.

However, if you want to improve your credit score, you ought to pay off your credit cards before the cycle even ends.

The reason is simple: Credit card debt counts against your credit card utilization, regardless of whether it’s a long-term balance or something you’ll pay off immediately.

But the credit card companies only report what you owe once a month — when the billing cycle ends.

If you pay off your credit card bill just before the cycle ends, your credit card will report that you don’t owe any money (or owe a minimal amount if purchases processed between your payoff and the end of the billing cycle).

This is an incredibly effective way to crush it with your credit card utilization, driving it down to 1–3% without changing your spending habits in any way. In fact, it might be the most effective method for zooming your credit score up in the shortest amount of time possible.

Just don’t forget to check back in after the cycle ends and pay off any remainder as well. If you have a $10 charge that came out of “pending” and you let it sit there past the due date — there goes your on-time record.

And since on-time payments make up 35% of your credit score, letting a small credit charge trigger a late payment alert is shooting yourself in the foot.

Credit Builder #3: You’re Never Late

Obviously, you never want to make any late payments.

But if you do — fight it.

It used to be that most credit cards had something of a gentleman’s agreement with clients — if you were only late on one payment and you called up to ask that to be expunged from the record, they’d happily comply.

Almost like accident forgiveness, but for your credit score.

But those days are gone. There’s no guarantee that credit cards will excuse a late payment just for asking.

Still, it doesn’t hurt to try.
Sometimes, you can just say something like, “I don’t think that’s fair,” and they’ll get rid of it for you.

If you can provide an explanation — a computer that crashed and had to go into the shop for two weeks, for instance — your odds are improved.

If you legitimately were late, there’s only so much you can do. Especially if it’s not your first time.

But if there’s a reason behind it — or if the credit card company got it wrong — never stop fighting. A single late payment can knock your credit score down 100 points.

And getting one expunged can jump you up that same 100.

Credit Builder #4: Credit Builder Loans

Credit builder loans are accounts designed entirely to get your credit score up.

Here’s how they work:
  1. A bank — usually a smaller local union — will offer you a loan, anywhere from $300–5,000.
  2. They put that money into a savings account, which is frozen.
  3. You pay the loan off in monthly installments.
  4. When you’ve completely paid off the loan, you get access to cash.

In many cases, when you successfully pay off the loan, you get a refund or rebate for some portion of the interest you paid. One Texas credit union charges a 12% interest on credit builder loans — but returns half of it when the term is up.

Lots of people recommend credit builder loans for folks with poor credit, as you usually don’t need a good credit score.

That’s fine — except many people with poor credit have poor credit for a reason. They can’t pay back their loans on time, for whatever reason. And if you take one of these loans and start making late payments, you’ll be worse off than where you started.

That’s why I prefer to use credit builder loans once you’re in good enough shape you don’t have to worry much about missing payments.

Another benefit of this type of account is the diversity it provides. You see, a small but significant part of your credit score is showing you can successfully pay off all kinds of loans.

Having eight credit cards will only get you so far… It would be better to have two credit cards, one auto loan and one mortgage.

Credit builder loans give you exposure to a rather rare type of bank loan. And that diversity can really pay off. Not to mention, in this case, most of your monthly payment is coming back to you.

Of course, it’s better to keep all the money and not have to pay any interest… But that interest payment can be worth it if you use it to jump up your credit score — and force yourself to save up cash you wouldn’t normally have.

Again, this strategy isn’t for everyone. But if you can afford the monthly payment — and don’t trust yourself to put that amount into a savings account without the threat of default — then a credit builder loan could be perfect.

A few months of using these tricks and you’ll have a credit score you can brag about. And that’s when the fun really begins — when you can start turning your credit score into investible cash.

Unconventionally yours,
Ryan Cole 

P.S. It goes without saying, if you don’t have enough credit cards, it’s incredibly tough to build up your credit score. Here are some of our favorite credit cards — which come with a plethora of perks beyond the immediate credit help

These 5 People Added up to 284 Points to Their Credit Scores by Making the Same Move





I Carry This Every Single Day To Easily Protect Myself From Hackers 


Fake Phones. There has been a rise in sales of low-cost fake smartphones from China. 
These phones typically cost about $50 and come preloaded with malware and other viruses for no extra charge.
The fake iPhone is incredibly well made for a phony and it runs a modified version of Android that is very hard to differentiate from the real iOS. 
It even has a carefully made fake compass app along with other standard iPhone apps.
In other words, next time you are in the market for a new phone I would recommend buying a phone from a major cell phone service provider and never purchase one from websites such as Amazon or eBay.
Stop relying on GPS. GPS is convenient and it gets you where you need to go without you having to keep a map in your car at all times. 
The problem is, these days, GPS are easily spoofed and that’s dangerous if you rely on GPS every time you get in your car.
During Black Hat, hackers were able to alter navigation signals by hacking into the computers inside cars. 
These types of hacks could potentially lead to your GPS leading you down a very hazardous path.
For this reason, I would always keep a paper map in your vehicle and just don’t blindly follow your GPS.
Russia is using the internet as a weapon. It’s no secret that Russia is using the internet in their attempts to interfere with politics. 
Russia is also highly focused on weaponizing the internet and the nation has a plethora of intelligence agencies that are jostling for position to be the best hackers in the world.
At Black Hat, researchers examined how new Russian laws are making it harder to police internet activity within the country. 
Whether you’re a prepper or not, learn these urban survival skills now and increase your odds of survival, today or in the future!


Here are my ideas for new bill [s] to improve government


>Since term limits never seems to gain any traction perhaps we should entertain the idea of zero pay for elected officials after their third term in office…give them their office, expenses, health insurance while in office and a living allowance only=much like our Founding Fathers and see how many decide to remain in office.


>Perhaps we need to resurrect a new version of ‘war’ bonds, perhaps calling them “government bailout bonds” to help pay off our national debt and/or to help pay for our massive deficits and proposed new spending projects since fewer foreign nations are buying our debt!

>An idea I've suggested before:  Eliminate ALL city/state & Federal taxes on the 1st $25K of income for all people. 41% of citizens pay no Federal tax, many city/state taxes are killers for many. Tax laws that encourage more US manufacturing/jobs & elimination of red tape would help too.

More Updates:

Handwell [Backup] Well Pumps

We manufacture a series of easy-to-install "Narrow-Profile" deep-well pumps, engineered to install in the well alongside your existing electric water well pump system. All of our manual well water pumps can be permanently installed for daily use, or stored and ready for loss of power


You know that home-grown vegetables taste great. You also like the fact that with a home garden, you can save money and avoid harmful pesticides. Perhaps you’ve even experienced the satisfaction that comes with growing your own food.

 But what if you’ve never had much of a green thumb? If you lack gardening experience, starting your own vegetable garden can seem pretty overwhelming. Here’s the good news – many vegetables are surprisingly easy to grow.

Before you begin your garden plan, be sure to check this USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to find out when it is best to plant vegetables in your area. The map divides North America into 11 growing zones that are based on climate. Then check the hardiness zone on your plant container or seed packet to make the best purchasing and planting decisions...



When you read about what to stockpile for an emergency, you tend to see the same recommendations. Water tops every list, and rightly so since water is essential for survival.

 In terms of food, however, rice, beans, pasta, and canned vegetables show up frequently as staples to have on hand. Then, you usually see powdered milk, granola bars, and other long-lasting foods. These are good options, but many other choices are often overlooked as survival foods.

 Here is a list of energy-rich foods that offer a long shelf life as well as nutrition that you will need in an emergency scenario...


Free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom!


Contributors and subscribers enable the Poor Man Survivor to post 150+ free essays annually. It is for this reason they are Heroes and Heroines of New Media. Without your financial support, the free content would disappear for the simple reason that I cannot keep body and soul together on my meager book sales & ecommerce alone.

You Can’t Buy Life Insurance After You’re Dead

Not Prepared?


That's Bad News...


Grab an emergency power cell or solar/battery radio weather radio!

Having a Solar Power Cell on-hand for emergencies keeps your essential electronics up and running in case you need to call for help. Lower price, higher output!

Now in stock!

RTIC Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Food Container Stainless Steel, 25oz Cold/Hot

We have a few RTIC brand cooling food canisters in stock. These canisters are just as good as Yetis…Limited quantity [also available in 17 0z. size]




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A Smoking Frog Feature, Shallow Planet Production

Monday, August 19, 2019

Rise In ‘Doomsday Prepping’ Due To Mainstream American ‘Culture Of Fear’

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…

ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources


Study Finds Rise In ‘Doomsday Prepping’ Due To Mainstream American ‘Culture Of Fear’

“Doomsday prepping” or stockpiling food, medicine, weapons and other supplies in case of an apocalyptic scenario has long been considered peculiar behavior only exhibited by conspiracy theorists and other extremists in the United States. However, such prepping has actually been steadily on the rise in the U.S. over the past decade. So, what’s causing this surge in stockpiled rice packets and underground bunkers? One group of researchers say it is an ever growing sense of impending doom in American culture.

Many have speculated that this surge in doomsday preppers over the last 10 years was linked to an extreme political reaction among many conservatives to Barack Obama’s initial election in 2008, but a new study out of the United Kingdom finds that neither the Obama presidency nor extreme right-wing conspiracy theories in general are the main cause of this growing phenomenon.

Researchers interviewed preppers from 18 U.S. states and asked about their motivations for stockpiling food and supplies. The results indicated that, although most did seem to be conservative and fear liberal policies, the main reason behind their motivations was the overall sense of fear currently dominating U.S. culture across a variety of media channels. Most Americans can’t seem to log online or turn on the television without being hit by a grim view of the future being reported or speculated on.

Potential occurrences commonly worried about by preppers include possible economic depressions, terrorist attacks, cyber-attacks, pandemics, or environmental disasters.

Furthermore, researchers say that frequent recommendations from the U.S. government on how to prepare for potential disasters, such as when residents of certain communities are advised to stockpile water in preparation for a hurricane or blackout, have also contributed to the rising number of doomsday preppers in the United States.

The study’s authors say their findings paint a more nuanced picture of doomsday preppers and their motivations, especially since up until now most were simply considered crazy or delusional. According to their results, most preppers don’t believe the world will end tomorrow or a giant meteor will hit the earth at any moment, they simply want to be prepared for anything “just in case” something terrible happens.


Researchers note that while extreme right-wing ideologies don’t seem to be the main cause of these fears and preparations, the general idea among many conservatives that if a Democrat regains control of the White House it will inevitably lead to chaos remains very much connected to the phenomenon of doomsday preppers. At the end of the day, though, that is just another possible event for conservative preppers to fear, and not themain cause.

“Fear is now deeply entrenched in modern American culture and is the principal reason that so many citizens are engaging in ‘prepping’,” explains lead author Dr. Michael Mills in a release.

According to Mills, these preppers believe that if the worse were to happen, the government’s response simply wouldn’t be adequate and many people would be left to fend for themselves.

“Rather than seeing prepping as an exception within America’s right-wing political culture, we ought to see it as being reflective of increasingly established and popular outlooks,” Mills comments.

The study is published in the Journal of American Studies.
>>>I prep because it simply makes good sense!

Yours for better living,

Bruce ‘the PoorMan’


News of Note


If the horrific weather and endless flooding wasn’t enough, about a week ago the Chinese government announced that they would be ending all “purchases of U.S. agricultural products”, and that was a devastating blow for farmers all over the nation.
In particular, soybean farmers are going to see demand for their crops absolutely collapse. In recent years, China has purchased approximately 60 percent of all U.S. soybean exports.


The Electrical Reliability Council of Texas, which manages about 90% of the electrical flow in the state, released a report earlier this month stating that—during the first half of 2019—wind power generated 22% of the state’s electrical usage while coal only generated 21%.


“When added to cow feed at less than 2% of the dry matter, this particular seaweed completely knocks out methane production. It contains chemicals that reduce the microbes in the cows’ stomachs that cause them to burp when they eat grass.”



There are certain items that can be incredibly useful in a survival scenario, yet they don't usually make it onto people's survival shopping lists. A great example is aluminum foil. It can be used to grow plants, catch fish, start a fire, cook food, collect rainwater, signal for help, and many other things.

 It makes you wonder: What are some other useful prepping items I've overlooked? No matter how long you've been a prepper, there are bound to be at least a couple of them. That is the topic of this video by Rogue Preparedness. In it, she talks about 12 items she believes are very underrated in the prepper community.
 Here is her list...
 12 Underrated Prepping Items

How to start a neighborhood barter club

It takes more than just preparing for the basic survival food kit, water, and shelter. Having an advanced knowledge to sustain life through whatever is available in your surroundings is critical! Not just for you but for your family and the people around you. Here are a few disaster survival skills you might find useful in the event of a man-made or natural catastrophe.

A Final Note…

Contributors and subscribers enable the Poor Man Survivor to post 150+ free essays annually. It is for this reason they are Heroes and Heroines of New Media. Without your financial support, the free content would disappear for the simple reason that I cannot keep body and soul together on my meager book sales & ecommerce alone.

Useful Resources from our storefront-See new items!

You Can’t Buy Life Insurance After You’re Dead-Prepare NOW for Emergencies…

Finally, grab an emergency power cell or solar/battery radio weather radio!

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Support our efforts by shopping my storefront…


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