How to Access Your Credit Reports for Free

I’m sure you’ve heard time and time again how important it is to check your credit report regularly. Doing so can enable you to request that errors be corrected in a timely manner and can provide you with an early indication if you have become a victim of identity theft. It can also make it easy to see areas in which your financial wellness can use some adjusting. Do not wait until you are applying for a mortgage or for credit to find out that your credit report isn't presenting you in a positive light. Straightening out errors and rectifying past-due debts can take months and may cost you the opportunity to buy a home or make a large purchase. It is best to be prepared so that everything is as it should be when you need it to be. Best of all, accessing your credit report once a year won’t cost you a thing. Are Credit Reports Really Free? In 1970, the U.S. Congress passed the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) as an amendment to the Consumer Credit Protection Act of 1968. The FCRA states that you're entitled to receive a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three nationally recognized reporting companies. These companies are Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion®.
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March Madness Parties: Are You Covered Against Liability?

March Madness is here! Time to fill out your brackets and start cheering on the games with friends and family. In addition to providing hours of college basketball entertainment, the NCAA Tournament is one of the largest gambling events of the year. The Fiscal Times estimates that Americans will bet a total of $9 billion on the outcomes of these games this year. You may remember that in 2014 Warren Buffet offered $1 billion to anyone who could accurately predict the outcomes of all NCAA brackets. It was a pretty safe bet as the odds of completing a perfect bracket are close to impossible. But the difficulty in guessing how the games will play out is part of the fun that surrounds this tournament.
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Posted in News

6 Must-Do Tips for Improving Your Credit Score

Your FICO credit score is one of the most important numbers you should be aware of. Your score influences how lenders, creditors and yes, even insurance companies, view you. If your score is low or if you are just beginning to build your credit, there are things you can do to improve it. Just remember, credit scores don’t go from bad to good overnight. Building good credit takes time, responsibility and a bit of know how. Over the years, I have helped many people improve their credit. People who thought that aspirations such as new-car loans and mortgages were unattainable found they could turn their lives, and credit histories, around and become property owners. If you are trying to raise your credit score, I have a few tips that may help.
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The New Snowmobile Laws You Need to Know

It's common knowledge to renew your driver's license every couple years. But, what if your favorite mode of transportation is a snowmobile? In a December 2014 Google Consumer Survey of snowmobile enthusiasts, 39.3 percent of respondents didn't realize snowmobile regulations are updated annually. A close 37.2 percent admit to reading the revisions while 23.5 percent had no idea regulations were updated. A total of 57 people participated in the survey.
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Posted in News , Snowmobiles , and Snowmobile Bundle

GPS: Why Every Snowmobile Owner Needs It

There's fresh powder begging to be explored. But, if you choose to take your snowmobile off the beaten path, will you be able to find your way home? Thank goodness for GPS, or global positioning systems. They're not just for cars you know!
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Posted in News , Snowmobiles , and Snowmobile Bundle

Holiday Travel: Arrive Happy and Healthy

As millions of Americans hit the airports, holiday joy can turn into a bad time really quickly. From long lines and cranky infants to turbulence and cramped quarters, holiday travel can definitely test your limits. Trusted Choice has put together a list of pro-tips to make your holiday travel as easy and simple as possible.
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Posted in News and Farming

The Best-Kept Secret in Savannah for RVers

Savannah, Georgia is arguably at the top of our list of places we’d recommend as full-time RVers, having traveled all over the southeastern section of our country. The historic district of Savannah is home to cobblestoned streets and Spanish moss that hangs from majestic trees that provide veils of beauty everywhere you turn. Plazas and fountains, festivals and music, food and architecture, rich with history and infused with innovation, the city is captivating. If you are in this part of the country, Savannah is a must-see city. But finding an affordable RV spot is never the easiest in places that are as majestic as Savannah.
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The Reluctant Shopper's Guide to Black Friday

Black Friday, aptly named for people like me because the idea of shopping amid masses of hungry, deal-seekers that are ready to take your head off for a half price cappucino machine, makes me want to stacurl up with Netflix and wait for morning. However, like many of you, I wouldn't mind getting a deal or two to help with my Christmas budget this year, so I've developed, what I like to call: "The Reluctant Shopper's Guide to Black Friday."
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Posted in News and Parents

6 ATV Safety Tips Big Game Hunters Should Know

All terrain vehicles have become so popular with hunters over the last 20 years that many of the latest four-wheel drive models are specially designed to meet the rugged demands of big game hunters. Quieter engines, beefed up suspension systems, tougher tires, camouflage wraps, and hunting accessory packages are the new game in the outdoorsman ATV market. But along with the increased accessibility to steep, rocky terrain afforded by these powerful machines, comes a greater risk of accident and personal injury.
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Posted in News , ATV Page Bundle , and Safety

An Autism Service Dog Graduation Speech

When your child receives a diagnosis, your world spins. Your mind tries desperately to manage emotions so intense you wonder if you’ll ever make it through. And then, then you find someone else just barely able to stay afloat and you look at them, secretly at first. How do they do it? Do they feel the guilt, shame, fear? Do they feel a love so fiercely protective that they can hardly breathe? Are they like you? And then you realize they are like you. You open up a little, and then a little more. You talk, you laugh, and you share. You bond because there are few like you and your friendship will be rare. This week many of these rare bonds were formed, and for that we are grateful.
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Posted in Homeowner Bundle - All , News , and Pets

Should You Insure Your Snowmobile Year-Round?

Millions of Americans enjoy the of excitement dusting off their snowmobiles at the first sign of snowfall. Though insurance coverage for these sleds is not required in all states, it is often mandatory when riding on certain public and private trails. Whether or not it is mandated, insurance coverage is a good idea because it can protect you from financial losses associated with accidents, injuries and properly damage. But what about during the warmer months when your snowmobile is stowed away? Is coverage at this time worthwhile or a waste of money?
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Posted in News , Snowmobile Bundle , and Safety

Winter Is Coming: A Parent's Guide to Winterizing the Car

For most of us - except for you lucky folks in the deep south, the desert southwest, parts of Southern California, and Hawaii - the cold weather is starting to settle in. The house thermostat has been changed from “cool” to “heat” and all of our summer clothes have been moved out of our normal closets and into spare (we all have one right?) closets. Swimsuits are traded in for gloves and boots replace flip flops.
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Posted in News and Cars

How an Independent Agent Can Save You Tons of Money

Reducing debt and building savings are a great way to start yourself on the path to financial security. Protecting the investments that you have made in your future is also important. While some people may feel that they can save money by skimping on insurance policies or avoiding them altogether, this is actually a very risky way to move through life. Having a contingency plan for the hazards or disasters that life may bring your way is the key to avoiding undue financial setbacks.
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6 Easy Ways to Save Money After a Divorce

The effects of divorce can be devastating. My divorce had a huge impact on my performance at work and turned my personal life upside down. Relocating, no longer living with my children, and just trying to move on were difficult ordeals to endure.
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Posted in Parents and News

Reverse Mortgages 101: What You Need to Know

Reverse mortgages are advertised a lot these days. You may see them featured in TV commercials, touted in radio ads and mentioned online. Usually, these ads depict happy older couples vacationing on cruises or traveling the world with their reverse mortgage funds. However, this is not the intended use of this type of loan. They are designed more to be used as a lifeline for retired people who have a lot of equity built in their homes and need to supplement their incomes.
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The 2014 Halloween Survival Guide for Parents

It’s that time of year again. Little ghouls and goblins will be running around the streets soon enough and you’ll follow behind diligently watching to make sure that they stay safe. It’s usually considered a chore, but this year you can take advantage of a few ideas that will make trick or treating just as much fun for you.
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Posted in News , Parents , and Students

2 Simple Steps to Finding Your Perfect RV Site Every Time

When we started our full-time RV journey having never RVd before, we didn’t have a clue how to go about finding an RV site that was right for us. Like everyone else, we were overwhelmed by suggestions from friends, ads from websites, forums, apps and every other imaginable source under the sun. Some of these suggestions were better than others, and some were downright awful! Through trial and error, we’ve narrowed down the process of finding a perfect RV site every time.
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Posted in News , RV Insurance Bundle , and Cars

Boys vs. Girls: Which Are Better Drivers?

The age-old debate continues: Who is better behind the wheel, men or women? If you have both a son and daughter you know just how often this argument erupts around the dinner table. Thankfully, a professor and doctoral student in the civil engineering department at Kansas State University decided to take a closer look and give parents a few real answers when it comes to teen drivers.
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Fight Distracted Teen Driving with New Interactive Simulator

Next time your teen groans at the thought of a weekend driving lesson, flash a smile. Tell the young driver it won't be with you. Let them try a distracted driving simulator, a video-game like experience that creatively inspires teens to keep their eyes on the road.
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The Newlywed Years: A Guide to Making Decisions as a Couple

Americans are waiting longer to get married, after taking time to attend college, build their savings and advance their careers. According to a recent report published by The National Marriage Project, the average age of marriage is now 27 for women and 29 for men. For those set in their careers and living on their own, shifting into the couple mindset may take some time. To help smooth the transition from single to married life, partners should spend time talking and listening to each other, and express their support and willingness to work together toward common goals. Here are a few important decisions newlyweds should make together.
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Posted in News and Health

Just Married: Now What? Financial Fitness for Newlyweds

Planning a wedding is a time-consuming yet amazing adventure. Some spend the better part of a year (or more!) preparing and planning for their big day and the subsequent honeymoon. As the wedding day inches closer on the calendar, couples are inundated with tasks concerning the guest list, table settings, floral arrangements, and even a Plan B in the event of a last-minute venue change or uncooperative weather. But once the dust settles after the whirlwind of a wedding and honeymoon, newlyweds sometimes find settling into the everyday routine of married life overwhelming. Once the wedding is done, it is time to embark on new tasks, including making big decisions on financial matters. To help prepare for life after the wedding and anticipate important post-wedding to-dos, consider the following.
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Posted in News and Health

After the Wedding: What You Need to Know to Navigate Your First Year of Marriage

Your engagement period is filled with fun wedding planning activities. Picking out a dress, and reception location and planning the menu are just a few decisions involved in creating a memorable wedding celebration. Even so, once the wedding is over and you're back from the honeymoon, you and your spouse may be ready to take a break from planning. But your first year as a married couple will entail still more planning, particularly if you're thinking about purchasing a home or starting a family. Here are a few tips on planning your future together, after the wedding.
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Posted in News and Health

Till Death Do Us Part: Is Life Insurance Really Necessary?

After the whirlwind of a wedding and honeymoon, couples face a number of tasks to complete and decisions to make. From determining how finances are divided up to who tackles certain household chores, there is a lot for newlyweds to iron out after getting hitched.
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Posted in News and Health

Why Your Infographics Aren't Getting Results

In an era of social media shares and visual marketing, infographics have become a “must- have” for every business with a digital marketing strategy. The compact format of infographics makes them ideal for today’s time-crunched consumers, putting all the information they need on one attractive, easy-to-read and easy-to-share page.
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Posted in News and Business Owners

Save Big Money on Back-to-School

Going back to school can mean more than pencils and books and parents doing the happy dance as the bus pulls away from the driveway--it can cost a small fortune for many of us. Throw new gym shoes and the cost of a planner into the already rising cost of school supplies and you’re going to feel this month's squeeze in your pocket book. If you have more than one child returning to school, you’re likely feeling a little overwhelmed at the prospect of buying everything they need for success this year. Gone are the days when pencils and books were enough. In order to prepare your children without emptying your wallet, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind when you are doing your back-to-school shopping.
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Posted in News , Parents , and Students

Foolproof Tips for Road-Tripping with Pets

Is it normal to take pets on vacation? If you are anything like me, the answer is a resounding "Yes!" Years ago, I realized I missed my animals so much while traveling that on our next vacation we decided we’d take at least one with us (we have five cats, two guinea pigs, and a bearded dragon.) Thus a family tradition of traveling with pets was born.
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Posted in News , Pets , and Safety

Add This Great American RV Road Trip To Your Bucket List

Imagine a journey on a highway so scenic that you marvel at every turn. Now imagine there are no neon signs, billboards, motels, restaurants, or any other commercial enterprises on this highway--nothing but the sheer natural beauty of our great nation. Could such a highway exist? If it did, wouldn’t you want to add this great American RV road trip to your bucket list? Well, it does exist. It’s 444 miles long and right in the heartland of America.
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California Fires Call for Multiple Evacuations

Blazing California fires near San Diego and the surrounding communities threatened the homes of scores of locals last week. One of the largest fires, near California State University, San Marcos is suspected to have been started by arson. High winds and low humidity along with blistering temperatures helped fuel these fires. On Friday, May 16, CNN reported that six major fires were threatening the San Diego area, including the cities of San Marcos and Escondido along with the military base at Camp Pendleton.
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Posted in News and Catastrophe

It's Wildfire Season: Are You at Risk?

Imagine losing everything you own, including all of the contents of your home, to a fire. In addition to the tens of thousands of dollars in damage (or more), survivors of catastrophic fires lose more than just property; they lose difficult-to-replace keepsakes such as family heirlooms or photo albums. For many states, especially in the southwestern and western United States, the chances of catastrophic loss by fire are increased due to wildfires. In fact, a wildfire broke out on May 5th in Oklahoma near the town of Guthrie and evacuations were ordered for 1,000 locals. Other areas of Oklahoma have suffered wildfires in the past week with one fire raging across Harper and Woodward counties.
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Posted in News and Catastrophe

Don't Give a Burglar Easy Access to Your Home

Despite new advances in home security, such as cameras, viewable smart devices and self-installed motion detectors, burglars are still finding easy ways to break in. Recent reports of burglars stealing garage door openers from unlocked cars and returning later to gain keyless entry into a home has individuals becoming more vigilant about concealing or locking up the small devices. Other tactics used by burglars include using a coat hanger to jimmy a garage door's release string and breaking into back doors hidden from neighbors.
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Posted in News and Safety

Severe Weather Alert: Are You Ready for Tornadoes, Floods?

From the recent tornadoes in Arkansas and Oklahoma, to the flood warnings issued for the New England states to Florida this weekend, Severe Weather Awareness Week kickstarted some of Mother Nature's most damaging acts. This week's storm system left the South ravaged, citizens killed and several others injured on Monday. Tornadoes and high winds leveled homes and damaged everything vehicles to schools. The system moved to the East coast on Wednesday saturating the area with 11-inches of rain near Pensacola, Florida and Mobile, Alabama causing flash floods.
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Tornado Outbreak in Southern States Drives Home the Importance of Emergency Preparedness

A chain of deadly thunderstorms that spawned dozens of tornadoes across the southern United States has devastated communities throughout Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. This outbreak of catastrophic weather began last weekend in central Arkansas and continues to concern many as the tornadoes head northeast. At the height of tornado season, these storms demolished numerous homes and businesses and serve as a reminder of the importance of emergency preparedness. Emergency workers and volunteers are working tirelessly to find survivors and missing persons.
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Posted in News and Catastrophe

Home Owners Wary About Sprinkler Systems

Recently, the television program Shark Tank featured a new tool invented by a fire fighter after he observed the water damage resulting from fire sprinkler systems. As a greater number of townships and municipalities require builders to install fire sprinklers in new residential properties, homeowners are still wary of the water damage that may result from their activation. Yet, sprinklers have proven to be an effective away to save lives and limit property damage stemming from a fire.
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Malaysian Flight 370 Search Party Encounters Roadblocks

The search for missing Malaysian Flight 370 continues, despite several roadblocks. A small oil slick, not from aircraft hydraulic fluid or oil according to a report from USA Today, makes maneuvering the area difficult. The United States Navy's robotic search submarine, dubbed Bluefin-21, has performed several searches in the suspected area where the Boeing 777 went missing. Last week, Bluefin-21 completed its first full 16-hour mission. Previous searches were called off early due to hazards related to the depth of the search. However, the submarine is now attempting searches reaching 3 miles below the water surface, despite the possible safety risks involved.
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Posted in News

Higher Tornado Risks for South, Midwest and Plains States

Most of us have heard the old adage "April showers bring May flowers." While this is true for many people throughout the United States, spring and early summer is also known as Tornado Season because there is a heightened risk for tornado activity throughout the south, Midwest, and plains states. According to Paul Martin, CPCU, "tornadoes are the most feared and most fascinating of weather events. They attack so unpredictably and with such speed and ferocity, that many are caught gawking, completely exposed or unprepared." In recent years, tornadoes have inflicted billions of dollars in property damage and injured thousands of people in Joplin, Missouri and Moore, Oklahoma.
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One Popular Childhood Prank Burns a Home to the Ground

If you’ve got teens in your life, it could happen to you. You wake up early in the morning and shuffle out to the porch, only to find your yard, trees, hedges, and rooftop covered in snowy white toilet paper. That’s what happened to the Crausewell’s, in Dora, Alabama. The mother and her teenaged son spent the entire morning picking 2-ply tissue off the grass, trees, and house. Everything was cleaning up nicely, except for the big magnolia in the front yard. So the Crausewell’s decided to try burning a square of the tissue with a lighter. The paper caught fire instantly, but instead of burning up the roll and into the tree, it broke away and landed on the grass. Fires started popping up and spreading all over the lawn, then the trees, then the propane tank in the back yard, and finally, the house
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Posted in News