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Credit Simple

How to milk those rewards points

We Kiwis are suckers for rewards points. We’ll go out of our way to get a few extra points. But you’ve got to be careful to get the most out of the rewards points in the best way. It’s not just rewards points credit cards to be careful with. We have wallets full of little plastic and cardboard cards for everything from coffee to Fly Buys. But customer loyalty doesn’t always add up. Here’s the rub: rewards points do work is…

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Lotto balls in tubes
Idiot tax: Eight ways to waste your money

We all throw money down the gurgler. But some Kiwis have far higher chances of getting a Darwin Award for stupidity by paying too much idiot tax than others. Technically ‘idiot tax’ is spending on Lotto. Your odds of winning Powerball in New Zealand are 1 in 38 million per line. Yet the same money invested in a KiwiSaver growth fund from the age of 25 to 65 would add up to $128,000 after tax. Stop wasting your hard-earned money…

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New Zealand Notes and Coins
Complete cheapskate: How to conjure up money from nothing

Do you want to conjure money up from nowhere? It can be done. Cheapskates spend almost NOTHING. They pop to the toilet when it’s their round to buy the drinks and trawl local free sites for unwanted pet bunnies to eat. Well perhaps not bunnies, even though it’s been done. But here are some cheapskate ideas to ratchet down your spending big time before your debts affect your credit score: Become a Freegan. It’s amazing how much free food you…

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Man working out outdoors
Boost your savings with the Three Ts (track, trim, and target)

Saving is the worst. I cannot save money. I just can’t. I look at my payslip each month and take out the rent, the food, the car, the power, the water, the gas and there’s barely enough left to pay for the odd drink after work let alone save up for a deposit on a house or anything stupid like that. I know I was supposed to pay myself first but somehow that just never worked out. By the time…

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Couple unpacking boxes in home
The pros and cons of going guarantor

‘Going guarantor’ are two dangerous little words. “Nan, will you go guarantor on my car? You don’t have to pay any money.” Stop right there. Going guarantor can be a great way to help others out. But it’s way more risky than most people think. Read this article before you say yes or no. The worst-case scenario is that the lender comes after you for the money. Parents have lost their homes from going guarantor and families have been torn…

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Colourful cards on pale backdrop
What you need to know about balance transfer credit cards

A friend called me the other day in a panic because he suddenly realised he owed more than $2,000 on his credit card and had no way of paying it off in a reasonable fashion. “You work in finance,” he said, “what am I supposed to do now?” First I made him do the calculations to see how much interest he would pay on that $2,000. He’d blown it on dinners, drinks, and a new smartphone he didn’t need, and…

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What affects your credit score (and why it matters)

Your illion credit score via Credit Simple is a number between 1 and 1,000 that indicates how financially healthy and responsible you are, and how likely you are to pay your debts. Understanding how this score is calculated is crucial to improving your score, so you can get better deals from your bank, telco, insurance company and more. Here’s what affects your credit score: Defaulting on a payment, even if you eventually pay it. Even if it’s a day late,…

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So you think you don’t have a credit history …

An acquaintance said to me – rather smugly – the other day, “I don’t need to check my credit score, because I don’t have a credit history.” “Oh, you don’t?” I said. “Have you checked it in the past and discovered you didn’t have a profile in the system?” “No,” he said. “But I’ve never had any hire purchases or a car loan, so they won’t have anything on me.” Many people think that a credit history is built solely…

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It’s in the stars: Credit Simple’s financial horoscopes (October)

Aries As Saturn reaches its closest point to Earth this month, the wise Aries will be thinking about kindness to others, avoiding foods starting with P, and paying off that pesky credit card debt before Christmas kicks in. Lucky number: any single-digit interest rate. Taurus An ascendant Shatner’s Bassoon, coupled with some instability in the Euro, could mean great things for the canny Taurus. Invest wisely now and you’re sure to reap the benefits in the New Year. Or just…

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Dog digging in the sand
Help! I want to delete my credit history

We got an email the other day from a guy who wanted his account deleted. He’d registered for Credit Simple, discovered his credit score was in the 200s, and decided the best thing was to just wipe it all off the history of the world, immediately and forever. Great idea in theory. And many people point to other parts of the world where there’s such a thing as “the right to be forgotten”, where you can apply to have things…

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