Credit repair companies fined millions for charging illegal fees – Another familiar story

Since its conception, the credit repair industry has been marred by controversy, most of which has stemmed from the numerous cases of fraud and illegal activity. Although some genuine “credit fixers” do exist, their reputation is tainted by the majority whose policies are misrepresentations or even lies, as to what can or cannot be done. With thousands of people falling victim to credit-related scams every year, it has become increasingly difficult for legitimate credit repair merchants to operate.

The latest case of credit repair fraud

Credit-fixing scams may not be news for many, but occasionally, a case involving a sizeable amount of money will get people talking.

Last month, three major credit repair agencies and a law firm hit the airwaves after they reportedly agreed to pay $2 million in penalties for charging their clients millions in illegal advance fees.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Commercial Credit Consultants, IMC Capital an Prime Credit agreed to pay $1.5 million for falsely claiming they could fix credit reports and charging illegal fees.

The law firm in question, Park View Law, also consented to pay $500, 000 to the Treasury Department. Prime Credit sold its credit repair services using Park View Law’s name.

The CFPB alleged that the credit repair companies charged clients an initial consultation fee to facilitate a credit review, setup fees totaling hundreds of dollars, and exorbitant monthly fees. The companies apparently offered a money-back guarantee for some services but did not disclose that customers had to pay for at least six months in advance to sign up.

Some executives from the three firms received a five-year ban from working in the credit business, but the companies themselves are seemingly still in operation.

Repairing the credit-repair industry

Despite the negative perception of the business, credit fixing is still a much-needed service. Many customers have reported having their credit scores turned around, thanks to knowledgeable and honest merchants.

If you’re thinking of starting a credit repair business, the tips below will help you become part of the solution, rather than the problem.

  1. Offer affordable plans

The last thing that people with bad credit want is to put even more pressure on their finances. When formulating your policies, consider setting different price points for your clients, based on factors like income levels or the cost of similar services that are already available. This way, your customers will see the value in your service, and not think you’re only taking advantage of their misfortunes.

  1. Focus on providing exceptional service

Credit repair, like any high-risk service, relies heavily on referrals. The happier your customers are, the more likely they are to refer friends, family, and colleagues to you. One of the best practices for exceptional service is to communicate openly with your clients and involve them in the process.

  1. Use the right payment software

Your credit repair business will likely involve monthly payments from your customers. Automating the collection process is therefore essential so that you can offer recurring billing without the hassle of chasing down clients at the end of every month.

A company like eMerchantBroker can set you up with ACH and credit card billing solutions so that you can concentrate more on how best to serve your clients and less in managing payments.

Semalt: All You Need To Know About A Proper Meta Description Tag

Meta descriptions are an essential way of showcasing everything you wish your audience to see. It is the highest level of your page on search results. You cannot do without a good meta data description as it plays a role in determining the CTR rate. In fact, if you write it in a compelling way then your traffic will get a big boost.

To succeed, you should follow the guidelines provided by Max Bell, the Customer Success Manager of Semalt.

Step 1: start with a good action verb

Did you know that by using a powerful action verb you can inspire the audience to do something? All it takes is a simple trick – the action verb – like “Discover”, ” Become”, “Identify” or “Learn”. You’d be surprised by how this gets people out there moving to your groove.

Step 2: give the audience an idea of what your content will be like

If your audience can be lead to understand how the content is outlined plus of course how they stand to benefit by clicking on your content, then your click through rate will definitely shoot up. Rather than focus of key word stuffing, try to make your meta description as persuasive as possible. Don’t get mixed up though. While it’s important to make the meta description a persuasive one, do not forget to sprinkle in some keywords. The idea here is this – find a balance between persuasion and keyword optimization.

Step 3: ensure that the meta description is less than 155-characters long

If they’d let you, you can rant on and on about who you are as a brand, products/ services and so on. However, you cannot and should not go beyond the 155 characters. What happens when you write a lengthy meta description talking about yourself as the best one. Some people can argue that this isn’t the worst thing that can happen, but come to think of it, there is need to put head or tail of meta descriptions, right?

Step 4: do not forget to include the keyword in the meta description

Do you remember we mentioned something about keyword stuffing? Well, now we get at it. Your primary keyword must be included in the meta description. Just ensure that it reads smoothly. Don’t bother about repeating it many times, Google will display it in bold as long as you insert it (the keyword) tastefully. Follow the guidelines, and everything naturally falls in place.

Step 5: try to finish your meta description with a call-to-action

“Discover More On”, ” Get Started” or “Learn More” will create a push for the audience to get glued to your content. Unleash your creativity by tinkering with other call-to-action verbs.

As we wrap up on the do’s and dont’s of meta descriptions, note that you should find a team to come up with fresh ideas. If need be, share what you’ve learned from the Semalt expert’s tips. This way you can make your meta descriptions work to your advantage. Forget what you thought of making it to the first page of a search result – it starts with your meta description.

Tips for Preparing Your Home for Vacation Rental

Is your home located near a beach, the mountains or in a desirable resort area? It’s become increasingly popular for homeowners to rent their properties to vacationing families and earn a little extra money for vacations of their own!  Follow these suggestions from the vacation rental experts to ensure you have a successful experience renting your home to vacationing families.

Research the available properties in your area using several reputable websites. Take note of the condition, amenities and price to gauge the best way to position your property. Location, condition and price are the key factors prospective renters are considering. Tale a hard look at the interior and exterior of your home. Update your landscaping and attend to any differed maintenance issues on the exterior. A fresh coat of paint on the front door and shutters as well as a planter of seasonal flowers on the porch will go a long way in ramping up the curb appeal.  On the interior, every room and surface should be immaculate. Hire professional cleaners if necessary. Limit accessories to give the rooms an open, uncluttered feel. Flooring should be steam cleaned and carpets replaced as needed. Address any issues on upholstery and ensure mattresses are in excellent condition. Invest in a set of hotel quality bedding for each of the bedrooms.

Prior to listing the property, take multiple photos of each room as well as the exterior. Prepare content which highlights room configuration, amenities as well as area attractions. Direct prospective renters to take advantage of the awesome deals offered by Groupon coupons and flight options available through  CheapOAir.com. They’ll appreciate the extra effort!

Finally, select several websites on which to list the property. Ensure that the rent is competitive with other similar properties on the market in your area. Be prepared to respond to inquiries from prospective renters in a timely fashion. Keep the online calendar up to date. Contact your insurance agent to determine if additional coverage is necessary to cover any unexpected accidents caused by renters. Best of luck to you!

Reasons to Start a Home-Based Business

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Are you working a 9-5 job? Perhaps you are stuck under the rule of a tyrannical boss, who pays you peanuts and you feel under-appreciated. Well, even the more reason to consider starting a home-based business. Starting your own business can solve some of the issues that come with working at your current job. Here are three reasons to start a home-based business: job selection, freedom, and better quality of life.

In the current state our economy is in, creating a home-based business is more profitable than ever. The first reason to start a home-based business is job selection. Our country is full of people desperately searching for jobs, just so they can provide for their family. Now both husbands and wives are out working every day, with less time to spend with family, friends, and each other. When you start your business from home you will be able to pick and choose what jobs you want to do. You will want to pick a market that has a demand for your product of course, but still you can choose any job you want!

One of the most attractive reasons to start your own home-based business is the freedom that comes with it. You will no longer have to commute back and forth to work. No more rush-hour traffic jams, being late for supper, missing out on outings with the family due to deadlines at your current job, and you can wear your pajamas to work too! You can choose what hours to work, where you want to work, and you make all the decisions.

Another reason to start a home-based business is to have a better quality of life. You will get more time to spend with your family and friends. You’ll have the time to pursue your other hobbies or interests. Also, you will be your own boss, and that means you can create your own time schedule. One last point: if you decide to create your business online, there will be no limit to how much money you can make! Although, you are not one hundred percent guaranteed to make income, but the sky is the limit when it comes to how much income you can make online.

In summary, the home-based business industry on the internet is really becoming popular these days due to the state of our economy. Consider the reasons to start a home-based business which are: job selection, freedom, and a better quality of life. Write down your own list of reasons why you’d like to start working from home and compare them to this list. Perhaps then you will realize that starting a home-based business could be beneficial to you and your family.

Reasons to Start a Home-Based Business

Are you working a 9-5 job? Perhaps you are stuck under the rule of a tyrannical boss, who pays you peanuts and you feel under-appreciated. Well, even the more reason to consider starting a home-based business. Starting your own business can solve some of the issues that come with working at your current job. Here are three reasons to start a home-based business: job selection, freedom, and better quality of life.

In the current state our economy is in, creating a home-based business is more profitable than ever. The first reason to start a home-based business is job selection. Our country is full of people desperately searching for jobs, just so they can provide for their family. Now both husbands and wives are out working every day, with less time to spend with family, friends, and each other. When you start your business from home you will be able to pick and choose what jobs you want to do. You will want to pick a market that has a demand for your product of course, but still you can choose any job you want!

One of the most attractive reasons to start your own home-based business is the freedom that comes with it. You will no longer have to commute back and forth to work. No more rush-hour traffic jams, being late for supper, missing out on outings with the family due to deadlines at your current job, and you can wear your pajamas to work too! You can choose what hours to work, where you want to work, and you make all the decisions.

Another reason to start a home-based business is to have a better quality of life. You will get more time to spend with your family and friends. You’ll have the time to pursue your other hobbies or interests. Also, you will be your own boss, and that means you can create your own time schedule. One last point: if you decide to create your business online, there will be no limit to how much money you can make! Although, you are not one hundred percent guaranteed to make income, but the sky is the limit when it comes to how much income you can make online.

In summary, the home-based business industry on the internet is really becoming popular these days due to the state of our economy. Consider the reasons to start a home-based business which are: job selection, freedom, and a better quality of life. Write down your own list of reasons why you’d like to start working from home and compare them to this list. Perhaps then you will realize that starting a home-based business could be beneficial to you and your family.

Could Starting A Home Based Business

In a time where the economy is chaotic and security in a 9-5 job is something from the past, a lot of people go on the internet to find ways to earn money. It is a fact that people are losing their jobs without having any backup plan, to assist them and their loved ones. And let’s be honest, wouldn’t it be cool if you could build a business from your home in your spare time, while still having your normal job. You then have an extra income if that is what you prefer. I personally believe that starting a home based business is going to be more and more popular over the next few years as it has been for several years. What is fascinating is that in the future, the home based business industry such as Network Marketing will be responsible for generating the most millionaires world wide. This is truly an amazing foresight because it gives the average person the opportunity become financial independent without first having to, go to school for 3-7 years in order to learn the skills required for the chosen vocation. One of the unique and splendid things about starting a home based business is that in the process you can earn while you learn.

So, Could starting a home based business turn out to be a profitable investment of time and money..?The fact is that too many people don’t make a respectable seize of money in this industry which result in them leaving the industry. But this doesn’t mean that people are doomed before they even enter the industry. It just emphasizes that you need to make a clear decision and commitment to become successful no matter what it takes and how many struggles you have to over come.

See, some of the differences between starting a home based business and getting a normal job is that you receive the exact amount of money equal to what you provide of energy and value to the market, in a home based business. In the majority of jobs you wouldn’t be motivated to work harder than you already do, because you know that you will get them exact same salary as last month.

Knowing that this kind of business challenges the way you used to think and that you suddenly have carry all the responsibility yourself, will turn a lot of people off. These kind of people are looking for a safe and secure job but as mentioned before that era is over and if these people don’t make a choice to take full responsibility for their financial future they could sadly wind up losing everything they own.

To make it profitable in this industry, you first want to start on a journey of constant and never ending improvement of yourself. By that I mean reading books on self improvement, goal setting, success, sales, prospecting and human psychology. Reading this stuff will give you more awareness of yourself and your surroundings. You will also experience more discipline and clarity as you indulge yourself with this type of knowledge. Second you want to find out what exactly it is that you want or how much money you want to earn and then get to work, right away.. Learn everything that you can get your hands on in the industry, committing yourself to becoming excellent in your particular niche and you are well on your way to make serious profits when starting a home based business.

Starting A Home Based Business

In the current hard economic times, the number of people around the world who are looking for jobs and other sources of income is very large and continues to increase every day as the jobs themselves continue to grow scarce. Even the people who are already employed are on the lookout for opportunities to make an additional income to supplement their regular incomes and help grapple with the ever increasing costs of living. In case you fall into either of the above categories, starting a home based business is probably the best idea that you can implement to achieve your goals and make a good income.

The development and expansion of modern communications technology, particularly the increased accessibility of the internet, has led to the growth of a large number of business opportunities for entrepreneurs. Besides the large number of opportunities, there are many additional benefits that an individual is likely to enjoy when starting a home based business. Some of the most significant benefits of doing so include the following:

– Convenience: this is perhaps the main advantage of starting a home based business and the main reason why most people resort to this line of work. With a personal computer and a reliable internet connection, you can start, administer, and run your online business from practically any place in the world. Even the financial transactions, which would otherwise involve very many procedures, can be completed entirely online from the comfort of your home.

– Flexibility: another advantage of a home based business is the kind of flexibility that it provides to the owner. Unlike a regular job or business where the pace of work is dictated by other people or other factors, the owner of a home based business dictates the pace of the work. This means that you can create and adjust your “work schedule” so that it fits into your “life schedule.”

– Freedom: a home based business definitely affords the owner a greater amount of freedom than they could ever hope to achieve in a regular, more conventional job. As the owner of the business, you are free to do as you please with the business without having to make any extensive consultations. Everything from the hours you work to the places from which you work is controlled by you!

– Low capital: starting a home based business requires very little financial output. In fact, you can conceivably start your home business with the costs of a computer, an internet connection, and a website!

The above are just a few of the benefits associated with home based businesses. The list is hardly conclusive, and there are many more benefits. The time for fretting over limited income is over, and you should start thinking about starting a home based business!

Considerations When Starting A Home Based

Before starting a home based business there are several vital elements that you should take the time to consider. The time you take to plan on the front end will save you quite a few hours of back tracking once you have gotten started. The healthiest enterprises are built on solid, well prepared fundamentals.

What Are Your Reasons For Starting A Home Based Business?

This may well be the most vital of all of the considerations you may have to consider, in advance of ever beginning a home based business. Without a significantly deep purpose under-girding your labour, it gets to be way too simple to give up and abandon the effort when things are proceeding very slowly. A lot of people would at first respond to this question with responses such as: “To make more money” or “To have more time.” Regrettably, these responses just do not go far enough. The important question to be answered is “why” you desire to have more money or more time. Your intent behind? starting a home business should be sufficient enough that you are unable to walk away from it. If it is anything less, it’s going to be too easy to give up before you arrive at your primary goal.

Looking at Your Options For Starting A Home Based Business

So you’ve decided to start your business, but what sort of business are you going to start. Will you start from scratch and produce your own products and services? Will you be selling your goods and services using the web or offline? Are you wanting to pursue a network marketing business where the product and marketing tools have been provided? These are all questions that need to be looked into. If you’ve decided on the MLM route, you will need to do your research to discover the Network marketing businesses that best fit your needs and interests.

Beyond those basic decisions come other decisions such as the form of business structure you are going to utilize. Will you operate as a sole proprietor or are you partnering with someone else? Will you form a legal entity such as a corporation or limited liability company under which you conduct business? These are important issues as they not only determine your professional liability exposure, but they also determine your tax obligation on business income.

While there are various decisions that need to be considered when starting a home based business, it is crucial that you keep them in perspective. Don’t let these early decisions intimidate you from launching out as an entrepreneur. You will discover in due time that the results far exceeded the effort of laying a proper foundation.

Learn How To Start A Home

If you’re anything like me, my biggest accomplishment in life was to be able to support my family with a lifestyle that suited our needs, but also be able to do so from the comfort of my home. As a single Mom it was already a challenge to work a corporate job, full-time and still be available to my children when they needed me the most. My desire to have that work-life balance is what let me to start my own home-based business.

In 2007 I made the decision to leave my corporate job and start a business on my own, I started a Maid Service business, in a recession, and have since gross profits in the high six figures. All while balancing my daughter’s busy schedule.

I am only one of the millions of women and men who have started a home-based business, while the trend seems to be that more women have home-based businesses then men, still the numbers are high for both genders. The high cost in child care has made most families feel like they are working just to pay for child care. Plus with the advancement of technology you can work virtually anywhere. I work at the gym, at the pool, on the beach and while I’m shopping. Smart phones and Ipad’s have made it possible to work anytime, anywhere.

Running a home-based business can have its challenges, however, home-based business have the important element of flexibility not usually found in a traditional 9-5 job. Most entrepreneurs who have a home-based business will tell you they are most likely not ever going to work for anyone again, once they settle into a nice routine, and see that they have so much flexibility, it’s difficult to go back into a schedule that requires you to be someplace else for 9 hours a day.

So what kinds of business are run from home? Well in the past you might have seen the likes of in-home child care, Avon representatives, Mary Kay Consultants etc. Today, any service based business, internet business, e-commerce business; etc can be run from the comfort of your own home.

While it does take a little dedication and tenacity, you can do it and it’s not as difficult as you think! There are several things to consider before quitting your day job, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where will you work? For example will you be going to clients homes, or will they be coming to you. If they are coming to you, then you need to consider having a dedicated office with a separate entrance from your home. Will there be ample parking for your customers?

  • Is it permissible to work from your home, check with your local authorities about having a home- based business?

  • What kind of insurance do you need to have? Will you have employees or customers visiting your home? If so you need to make sure you have adequate coverage. Check with your current insurance broker and find out what the additional cost will be.

Starting A Home Based Business

When considering starting a home based business, there are several preliminary steps you need to take to ensure you start off for the ‘right’ reasons, in the ‘right’ market for yourself, and with the ‘right’ resources. You’ll begin to understand what’s ‘right’ through the following synopsis of what it truly takes to fully develop a successful home business.

You should first be clear as to “Why” you want to start your own home based business (the ‘right’ reason) before you jump right into getting one started. This will be your reasons, your wants, your passions, your dreams. Ask yourself “What is my ‘Why’?”, and keep asking “Why” down to five levels, to get to the real answer. Your initial “Why” will typically be general and superficial and will only satisfy an immediate perceived need. You need to dig deeper and find the long term, life changing reason for starting a home based business. List and define these reasons,and be as specific as you can. It could be that you “want to set your own hours,” “be your own boss,” “have more time with your family,” “write your own paycheck,” maybe you’re “not fulfilled with the current profession you’re in.” These are all superficial, first level “Why’s”. “I want to achieve success in making my own way so I can pass that knowledge and skill down to my children so they, too, can duplicate my success and live the life they want, without all the struggles I had.” This is a more long term and life changing “Why”, perhaps a final fifth level, even.

Whatever your “Why”, being successful at starting a home based business depends on your passion for the type of work you wish to delve into. There is, typically, a lot at stake when starting your own home business, and the amount of time and effort you must put into it could be overwhelming and exhausting. It is imperative that you be passionate about your new business endeavor in order to see it through to success. You must next focus on knowing and acknowledging your strengths. Take some time to recognize your talents and skills, and your passion (the ‘right’ reason). It is essential that you understand which type of business is well suited to you and your interests. Everyone can do something, but not anyone can do everything, and particularly well. So, clearly evaluate your strengths in any market. If the market you seek is one in which you have no or little experience, but simply the desire to work in, then you must be mentally and emotionally prepared to deal with a multitude of start-up issues while just learning the skills to manage in that market.

Once you have established your “Why” and decided on what type of home based business you want to start according to your talents, skills and passion, you will need to develop what is THE most important aspect of your business, and that is the Business Plan. You’ve probably heard the saying ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’. Your business plan is your guide to development and growth. It will list all of the important factors required to start a new business. Among other things, the plan will list your investment costs and options; financial gain you intend to receive from the business; the amount of time you anticipate developing, building and working your business should also be defined in your plan. It will also need to include any licenses and permits required, technical aspects (hardware, software, websites, etc.), and a Marketing Plan.

After your business plan has been developed, the next fundamental requirement to starting a home based business is a plan to profit from it, a business marketing plan. This is your strategy for promoting and selling your product or service.

Your marketing plan should specifically consider and consist of four factors: product, pricing, place and promotion. Once you choose the product or service you plan to sell or provide, you’ll need a solid pricing strategy. Too expensive and people won’t buy it; too cheap and people will think of low quality. Place is all about where you are going to market your products or services… local, global, or online. Promotion consists of advertising your home based business, whether marketing on the internet, or offline in print, in the media, etc.

As you can clearly see, you must be properly prepared in order to be successful as an entrepreneur. Do your research, and do it right. Be sure you are very clear on your “Why” of wanting your own home based business. Fairly evaluate and determine your passion in order to choose the right home business for yourself. Develop a Business Plan and a Marketing Plan. This, with Promotion and Advertising, is what will bring traffic, i.e. customers, to your website. Customers, of course, are the life blood of your business. If you don’t have customers, you don’t have a business.