Vital Financial Updates Credit – Is it good or bad?

A year of savings: A 12-month plan to improve your personal finances

WASHINGTON — If you’re like me, it’s hard to keep your New Year’s resolutions. You may start off strong and have good intentions, but the demands of everyday life get in the way, or the goals become overwhelming.

I find it’s easier to set and complete smaller goals. With that in mind, I’ve laid out the following 12-month calendar to help you get your financial house in order. Follow this guide and come Dec. 31, 2015, you’ll have achieved big things.

January: Commit to a savings goal

Whether it’s contributing to your 401k, starting a fund to cover your living expenses in an emergency or reallocating some of your splurge spending to savings, decide on an amount to save every month.

Similar to losing weight, you’ll be more successful and stick to the plan if you have a goal amount and make it automatic. Have a certain percentage deducted from your paycheck to invest in your retirement plan at work, or set up an automatic savings plan at your bank.

February: Get your tax information in order

Start early so you aren’t rushing around at the last minute collecting the information you need to file your taxes. You’ll need to do this whether you work with an accountant or file yourself. TurboTax has a comprehensive Tax Preparation Checklist that you can download for handy reference.

March: Protect your online personal financial information

Sony, Target, JP Morgan, Home Depot, ebay: Every week we’re hearing about the latest online security breach. This “Information is Beautiful” infographic is a powerful depiction of the world’s biggest data breaches. While you can’t prevent someone from getting your information when companies that have it are hacked, there are things you can do to protect yourself from these predators.

Sign up for online credit protection from Identity Guard or LifeLock. Use 2-Step Verification for your email accounts. This helpful video explains what it is and how to set it up. Stop using the same password for all of your online accounts. Instead, try one the password managers like 1Password that will help you to generate strong passwords or LastPass that will generate new passwords and securely store them.

April: Plan for your retirement

Review your 401k and account statements to know what you have saved so far. Then use one of the many online calculators like this one from Schwab or Bankrate.com to determine how much you’ll need in retirement. Don’t forget to add your estimated Social Security benefit. Just sign up at the Social Security website to retrieve your information online.

May: Review your will

If it’s been more than a few years since you dusted off your will, or you have had any changes in your life such as marriage, divorce or children, then it’s time for a review. Give it a good read to make sure that the choice you made about who gets what are still relevant. Don’t have a will? Read my WTOP article: Estate planning basics: Three things you need besides a will —  and why you need a will too to learn more.

June: Read a good personal finance book

Summer is a great time to learn something new especially if it improves your knowledge of money. So here’s a short list of my all-time favorite books that I give to my clients:

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

Since 1920, this book has been teaching the wisdom for financial success through parable-like short stories set in ancient Babylon. The stories are so engaging that you’ll forget that you’re learning about personal finance.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

This book tells the tale of what Robert learned from two very different dads. His own dad was highly educated, but made poor decisions when it came to money, and the dad of a close friend who dropped out of school in eighth grade, but went on to become a multi-millionaire. Learning from the failures and successes of these two dads, Robert was able to retire at 47.

The Truth About Money by Rick Edelman.

This is THE book about everything personal finance. But it’s not just numbers and calculations. It’s a roadmap with reasons to help you gain a better understanding of your money. The book starts with a quiz to show you how much you already know or don’t know about personal finance. This makes is easy to skip the chapters where ‘you got that’, and focus your attention where you need the most help.

July: Review your insurance

Insurance gets a bad rap. It’s something we know we should have, but hate to pay for. Perhaps if we thought about insurance as income protection, we would appreciate its value more.

In a previous WTOP article, The best practices for a healthy financial life, part 3: Sharing your risk, I review three types of insurance you need to consider – life, long-term care and disability insurance.  The article has links to insurance calculators, handy online services and other tips to keep you and your income protected.

August: Track your spending

You’ve heard me say this before – you need to know where your money is going if you want to achieve your financial goals. Online tools such as Quicken.com or Mint.com make it so much easier now. The websites of these “giants of budgeting” have a wealth of easy-to-use tips to help you set and reach your goals.

September: Max out your 401k

In 2015, you can defer up to $18,000 in an employer-based retirement plan, such as a 401k or 403B. If you’re over 50, you can defer an additional $6,000. Before your next pay period, find out how much you have contributed. There’s still time to increase your contributions over the next several paychecks before year-end.

October: Set up an Individual (k) if you’re self-employed

Many people in Washington have self-employment income.  Even many executives and employees have secondary income for which they receive a 1099.  Be sure you are utilizing all of your deductions and maximizing your retirement contributions.  The self-employed can often set up an Individual (k) that allows for greater contributions than an SEP.  Your CPA just completed the last of the corporate and personal tax returns and is waiting around for the year-end rush.  Schedule a meeting now, and you’ll get his/her undivided attention.

November: Make an impact with your giving

‘Tis the season where you will be asked to donate by many organizations. Give back in a more focused way by deciding in advance how much you will give and which organizations will receive your generosity. Dan Pallotta is one of my favorite philanthropists, and I love the advice he gives in his 2013 TED Talk, The Way WE Think About Charity is Dead Wrong. Charity Navigator and Givewell are great online resources to find a charity that aligns with your values.

December: Maximize tax savings before year-end

The time to think about your 2015 taxes is before 2015 ends. After that, most tax planning opportunities are gone. Make sure you contact your accountant well before year-end especially if you had or will have a significant change in your income from this year to next. You can also go to TurboTax for timely tax-planning tips.

Editor’s Note: Barry Glassman, CFP®, founder and president of Glassman Wealth Services in McLean, Va., is a nationally recognized leader in investment and wealth management. His fee-only firm offers successful professionals, executives and business owners financial guidance and resources to effectively manage their family’s wealth. Follow Barry on Twitter at @BarryGlassman.

Follow @WTOP and @WTOPliving on Twitter.

 2015 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.

Bogeyman of credit crisis needs reform to align risks and responsibilities in …

In 2009, US trucking company YRC Worldwide faced ruin as it struggled to restructure its debt. With tens of thousands of jobs at stake, the Teamsters union, led by James Hoffa, accused some YRC bondholders of sabotaging restructuring negotiations by purchasing credit default swaps (CDS) on their debt.

Much like an insurance policy, these CDS would pay out if YRC filed for bankruptcy and ensure bondholders that bought the protection got 100 cents on the dollar. Unfortunately for YRC, this meant that these lenders had more to gain if YRC went into bankruptcy than if it survived by restructuring, diminishing their interest in coming to the table and reaching a deal.

This confrontation plays out regularly on Main Street, particularly for riskier borrowers. Creditors want to protect themselves from company defaults by using CDS. But when they do, they can lose interest in monitoring the company or in its continuation as a going concern. In the worst case, lenders might be tempted to push viable but distressed companies towards bankruptcy to trigger a payout on the CDS. If this happens, they can expect to receive 100 cents on the dollar rather than face the large write-offs common to most restructurings. Their fellow bondholders and other creditors such as banks and pension funds who don’t have protection, however, may get just pennies on the dollar.

In a credit default swap transaction, a debtholder or “buyer” of protection agrees to pay an ongoing fee to a “seller” in exchange for assuming the risk that a bond or loan might default. If that happens, the seller pays the buyer to ensure the latter gets the face value of the debt.

CDS have been blamed for causing problems in a slew of restructurings, including Six Flags, Harrah’s Entertainment and General Motors, among others. Caesars Entertainment, the struggling gaming company, for example, has been negotiating with its creditors to restructure its US$25.5 billion in debt. Caesars accuses one of them, Elliott Management, of buying “significant” CDS protection with the ulterior motive of pushing the company toward a default and triggering repayment on the CDS.

Widespread welfare costs

Such strategies can create widespread welfare costs. Lenders play an essential role in ensuring that borrowers use credit productively to grow themselves and the economy. When lenders lose interest in performing this role, borrowers can become reckless in how they manage money. Worse, when lenders push viable companies towards bankruptcy, potentially profitable enterprises can disappear, destroying jobs and the communities they nourish in the process.

These strategies also tarnish the perception of the instruments, already greatly harmed by their role in the 2008 financial crisis. CDS serve an important function of helping lenders hedge their risks, lowering credit costs for Main Street companies. With attention on the negative effects of CDS, it becomes easy to overlook the considerable benefits they bring to the efficient allocation of credit in the economy.

A solution to this problem, however, lies within the CDS market itself. Enter CDS protection sellers. Just as lenders eliminate risk by using CDS, so credit protection sellers assume it. The protection seller pays out on CDS when a borrower defaults. Protection sellers have real skin in the game and, with this, the incentive to monitor borrowers and prevent them from going bust needlessly.

So why don’t they? In short, they do not have the lender’s host of legal rights to monitor a borrower and to participate in a restructuring. While lenders hold these rights toward the borrower but do not bear the corresponding economic risk when they buy protection, it is the other way around for sellers, with all the risk but none of the rights.

Of rights and risks

These rights – common to loan contracts – have real value to those bearing the economic risk of a debt. Monitoring a borrower allows a bank or other lender to keep tabs on its financial solvency and changes in its risk profile, promoting discipline in terms of who gets credit and how it is priced. And the right to participate in a restructuring safeguards economic value, salvaging investments and ensuring that companies that can survive are able to do so.

These legal rights go to waste when lenders lose interest in using them. In the Caesars example, the sellers of CDS protection – who the risk of paying out if the company defaults – are not allowed to participate in negotiations, though they have the most to lose.

This needs to change. Just as credit default swaps allow lenders and protection sellers to trade over who will bear the economic risk of a debt, we need a regulated, transparent market that allows protection sellers to bargain for and trade the basic legal rights that regulate that exposure, so-called creditor control rights.

By gaining the ability to exercise these rights, protection sellers can scrutinize how lenders are monitoring borrowers and intervene if they fail to do so. A market for creditor control rights would help counter the tendency towards lender misbehavior and disinterest that CDS can create.

Incentives to cooperate

This market may appear counter-intuitive. The interests of lenders and protection sellers seem to be in conflict: the former wants the payout, the latter does not want to provide it. But this is not true. Lenders and protection sellers have many incentives to cooperate. First, not all CDS-protected lenders want to see their borrowers fail. Strong borrowers represent a lucrative source of future business. Misbehaving lenders can also see their reputations damaged by accusations of opportunism towards borrowers.

In YRC’s case, Hoffa’s campaign against bondholders prompted calls for protests outside offices of hedge funds and letters to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The creditors soon relented, and YRC’s restructuring moved forward.

Secondly, a reputational bruising can be costly in other ways. Lenders that behave badly may be charged more for CDS protection in the future, reducing the gains of forcing payouts.

Cooperation makes sense. Protection sellers assume some of the burdens of monitoring and researching underlying borrowers, saving lenders time and money. Protection sellers may also offer credit protection to lenders at lower cost, where payouts occur only when default is inevitable. With stronger legal rights, protection sellers can manage their own risks better and participate meaningfully in overseeing credit.

A market for creditor control rights is not a perfect solution. After all, protection sellers might misbehave, making regulation and transparency necessary to prevent abuses towards Main Street borrowers. Still, a solution is needed. CDS are not going away anytime soon. This proposal, however, tackles a major problem in today’s credit markets: the disconnect between those who hold the economic risk of debt and those best motivated to manage it.

Repco Home Finance Ltd is recruiting

Repco Home Finance Limited has released notification for the recruitment of Branch Manager. Eligible candidates can apply in the prescribed application format on or before 14-01-2015. Other details like age limit, educational qualification, selection process, how to apply are given below-

Vacancy Details:
Name of the Post: Branch Manager

Age Limit:
Candidates age should not be exceeding 32 years as on 01-01-2015. Age relaxation is applicable as per rules.

Educational Qualification:
Candidates should possess any Graduation (10+2+3 format) from a UGC recognized university.

Selection Process:
Candidates will be selected based on further selection process subsequently.

How to Apply:
Eligible candidates can send their bio-data format, NOC (if applicable) by post to General Manager (HR), Repco Home Finance Limited, 3rd Floor, Alexander Square, New No. 2/Old No. 34 amp; 34, Sardar Patel Road, Guindy Chennai-600032 on or before 14-01-2015. Superscribe the envelope as Application for BM-CHE-DEC2014.

Important Date:
Last Date for Submission of Application: 14-01-2015.

BBB: Beware of quick credit repair offers

Better Business Bureau of Acadiana, which serves St. Landry Parish, is warning consumers to beware of companies that falsely promise quick credit repair, often for high fees.

Local and national companies are claiming to be able to erase bad credit for upfront fees of $250 or more. Some even charge monthly fees after the first fee. The BBB has great concerns about companies in the credit repair industry that make promises they cant keep, said Sharane Gott with the agency.

She said nobody can erase bad credit.

Consumers can have credit reporting errors corrected, but if it is a valid debt, it is reportable. No one can make bad credit scores simply disappear, Gott said.

She said numerous companies claim they can clean up your credit report so you can obtain a car loan, a home mortgage or even get a job.

Based on BBB experiences, these companies cant deliver, Gott said. The truth is, no one can legally remove accurate and timely negative information from a credit report.

Not only are these companies making promises they cant deliver, she said they are charging a great deal of money for a free service you can do yourself.

The law does allow you to request a reinvestigation of information in your file that you dispute as inaccurate or incomplete. There is no charge for this. Everything a credit repair clinic can do for you legally, you can do for yourself at little or no cost, Gott said.

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report if youve been denied credit within the last 30 days. You can also dispute mistakes or outdated items for free, Gott said.

She advised people to:

oAvoid any company that wants you to pay for credit repair services before they provide any services. It is against the law.

oAvoid any credit repair company that will not tell you your legal rights and what you can do yourself for free.

oAvoid any credit repair company that tells you not to directly contact a credit reporting company.

oAvoid any credit repair company that advises you to dispute all of the information in your credit report.

oAvoid any company that tells you it can get rid of most or all the negative credit information in your credit report, even if that information is accurate and current.

oAvoid any company that suggests creating a new credit identity or applying for an Employer Identification Number to use instead of your Social Security number. This is illegal, and it leaves consumers open to prosecution for fraud.

You can improve your credit report, but it takes time, a conscious effort and sticking to a personal debt repayment plan, Gott said.

To rebuild your credit, she advises starting by establishing credit.

A good credit history is essential. If you dont have any credit cards, you might consider opening an account, using it sparingly and paying it off at the end of the month. Someone with no credit cards tends to be regarded as higher risk than someone who has managed credit cards responsibly, Gott said.

Consumers are entitled to one free report from each of the three companies, from annualcreditreport.com. It is vital to check these reports for inaccuracies and dispute any errors, Gott said. Checking your credit reports does not affect your score.

People should also pay off their debt rather than move it around, she said. Shuffling debt around from one line of credit to a new one can be a problem.

To pay off your debt, she advises paying off the highest balances first. Though you may be tempted to pay off smaller balances first, paying down a large balance on a particular line of credit may raise your score, because it represents the freeing-up of a larger portion of your available credit, Gott said.

And finally, dont hide. If you are over your head in debt, contact your creditors. If you can start managing your credit and paying on time, your score should increase over time. Seeking assistance from a credit counseling service will not hurt your credit score, Gott said.

Health concerns get people to cut energy use more than saving money, UCLA …

What gets people to cut their electricity use more: saving money or breathing cleaner air? A group of researchers at UCLA figured out that concerns about the health effects of air pollution better motivate people to cut back their energy use than do worries about saving money.

The finding is part of a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday.

A team led by environmental economist Magali Delmas wired up UCLA student apartments so that their residents could see real-time information about how much energy they use and get feedback about it.

What we wanted to do was provide people with real time appliance level information about their electricity usage, Delmas said, in a video about the study. So they would know which appliances were using more electricity than others.

The researchers told some renters that saving energy was a good way to save money. Other residents got the message that saving energy would cut down on pollution that causes asthma and cancer.

In a survey distributed at the beginning of the study, apartment dwellers predicted that cost savings would motivate them to change their energy use.

Over 8 months, the UCLA team found that telling people about pollutions health and environmental impacts caused them to use 8 percent less energy. Households with children saved even more, about 19 percent.

Money saving messages didnt work as well. Its sort of an interesting disconnect, between what people think motivates them and what actually does, said Stephanie Vezich, a PhD student in psychology at UCLA.

One possible explanation, researchers say, is that an average apartments savings was small, just about $6 a month. Thats enough to get you one combo meal at a fast food joint, or a couple of gallons of milk.

The team hopes their research can be useful for shaping how utilities talk to consumers about cutting energy demand.

http://youtu.be/9sTrMAApewU

Home and Garden Show offers energy, money saving tips

The 6th annual show starts Friday from 2 pm to 7 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm at the Berglund Special Events Center on Williamson Road in Roanoke.

The show will have two exhibit halls packed with ideas for saving money and inspiration for home improvement. It features everything from outdoor decorating, the latest kitchens trends and even bathroom remodeling.

Youll find garden displays, landscaping, water features, pools, spas, windows, doors and sunrooms.

For those avid gardeners, the Roanoke Master Gardeners will host seminars. Foodies are invited to food tastings, cooking demonstrations and wine tastings from Fincastle Vineyard.

There is even an interactive KidsZone and workshops by The Home Depot.

Angels of Assisi will have the Pet Zone, where visitors can adopt a new furry friend.

Admission is $8.50 for adults and $6.50 for seniors 65 and older and retired military. Kids under 16 and active duty military with ID are free. Parking is also free.

Jason Cameron, host of DIY Network shows Sledgehammer, Man Caves and Desperate Landscapes, will make an appearance.

Fortegra Financial Unifies Existing Divisions into a Single Marketing Brand

NewsRx

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Marketing Weekly News — Fortegra, a Tiptree Financial Inc. company (NASDAQ:TIPT), announces the merger of its eight underwriting divisions into one, unified insurance services brand. The move is designed to maximize customer benefits and experiences by providing multi-faceted, comprehensive insurance coverage through one customer-facing organization. This is the first step in Fortegra building a single brand with a consistent sales and marketing customer experience.

Todays consumer requires a multitude of insurance services, which is why weve combined the very best of current warranty and specialty insurance providers to form the new, unified Fortegra, said

Rick Kahlbaugh, CEO, Fortegra. By realigning our existing brand and unifying the organization, we can better address customer needs, allowing our partners and consumers alike to worry less while experiencing more.

Fortegras new product portfolio is divided into four segments including automotive, credit protection, warranty, and specialty program underwriting. Within these product categories Fortegra offers a range of services including auto clubs, vehicle protection products, credit insurance and warranty coverage for appliances, furniture, electronics, and mobile devices.

As a result of the organizational realignment, the following eight underwriting groups now operate under the Fortegra marketing brand: Life of the South, Pacific Benefits Group, South Bay Acceptance Corporation, ProtectCELL, 4Warranty, Auto Knight Motor Club, Continental Car Club, and United Motor Club of America.

Also as part of the move, Fortegra has launched an updated company website, overhauled marketing efforts, and strengthened company positioning. With an updated logo, tagline and corporate voice, Fortegra is now a more accessible brand with a consistent brand promise, voice and tone.

Our goal is to elevate Fortegras core values of simplifying lives, lessening risks, and granting consumers more freedom, said

Scott McLaren, CMO, Fortegra. This unified brand identity represents our evolution as a forward-thinking, single source insurance solution. It will allow us to rally behind a single brand promise and drive a consistent client and customer experience. One that will allow us to provide superior support to our partners which will elevate us above the commoditized vendor approach. It will allow us to really engage with our partners in ways which will maximize their bottom line and deepen their relationships with their customers.

To learn more about Fortegra and its products, please visit fortegra.com. About Fortegra Fortegra, a Tiptree Financial Inc. company (NASDAQ:TIPT), is a single source insurance company that, through a network of preferred partners, offers a range of specialty program underwriting, credit protection, and warranty solutions. Delivering multi-faceted coverage with an unmatched service experience for both resellers and their end customers, Fortegra solves immediate, everyday needs, empowering consumers to worry less and experience more.

7 Ways to Save More Money This Year

It might be hard to believe, but a new year is upon us.
Whether you believe in establishing New
Year’s Resolutions or not, many people see the turn of the calendar as a
perfect opportunity to start on things that fell by the wayside the year prior.

According to Statistic Brain, 34 percent of Americans had a
money-related resolution in 2014. In many cases that resolution has to do with
saving more money. If that fits your case, hopefully this list of actionable
tips will help you save
more money in 2015.

Change Cell Phone
Providers

Smartphones have become commonplace in today’s society.
While that brings a number of benefits, it also brings one major problem – the
cell phone bill. According to a recent study at CouponCabin.com, 46 percent of
Americans have a cell phone bill of at least $100 per month with another 13
percent over $200. The major culprit behind this is the cell phone contract.
Many people believe that if you’re under a contract, you’re obligated to pay
that amount. However, a simple call to your provider to review your needs can
often result in saving money by reducing the plan. If you’re not in a contract,
or are coming up for renewal, consider one of the many reputable non-contract
offerings out there such as Republic Wireless, Straight Talk Wireless or Ting
as you can often get coverage for less than $50 per month.

Change Your Grocery
Shopping

The average grocery bill for a family of four can be as high
as almost $300 a week. The good news is that there are ways to significantly
cut that amount this year. Some of those might be painful changes, but can save
you real money. Look at how often you go to the store. Can you extend the time
between trips? Can
you coupon as well? Another idea is to have a freezer or pantry week once a
month or quarter. This forces you to use everything in your kitchen, reduce
food waste and save money.

Reduce Entertainment
Costs

It’s no surprise that cable bills can be expensive. The
obvious alternative to save money is to cut the cord. If that’s not an option
for you and your family, then analyze the channels you are watching as you can
often reduce your cable package and save yourself some money each month. Even
if you have ditched cable, look at what alternatives you’re using. You may find
that you only need two plans to get your shows and not three. Cut the third one
and put some of that money
back in your pocket.

Cut Insurance Bills

Insurance, in many cases, is a necessary evil. In the case
of auto insurance you obviously need it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save
money on it. Like with cable and your cell phone, analyze your insurance needs.
If you drive an older car do you really need full coverage? Are you driving
fewer miles? Can you afford to increase your deductible? Those are all
justifiable ways to save money on your auto insurance, not to mention comparing
other companies.

Kill the Interest
Rates

Many Americans carry debt, and debt, of course, carries
interest responsibilities with it. Depending on the type of debt you will
likely have options to find lower interest rates. If you’re dealing with credit
card debt, you can try and do a balance transfer to a lower rate card. If
you’re hacking away at student loan debt you can look into consolidating for a
lower rate. Better yet, pay off the debt altogether if you’re able.

Don’t Call in the
Pros

If you’re a homeowner then you know how often it seems that
something breaks or needs replaced. The temptation is to call in a professional
to fix the issue, but that can cost a pretty penny. Instead of calling in a
pro, try doing it yourself. It may feel daunting, but many jobs require only
simple tools to take care of them. If you don’t know how to do a certain task,
the Internet is a great resource for free tools and videos that can teach you
how to do something. That can result in a huge money savings, not to mention the
satisfaction of learning something new.

Fall In Love With a Budget

While not necessarily a task that will allow you to save
money, starting a budget will indeed allow you to save more money. Don’t let
the feeling that budgeting is restrictive hold you back as it can actually be
quite freeing. There are many ways to budget and many free resources available
to help get started. Find what works best for you and modify it to your life.
This will allow you to see what spending fat can be trimmed which will help you
control your money and not the other way around.

It may feel like it’s impossible to save money in most
cases. However, with a little work and research you can often find many areas
in which you can save
money.

SavingsAngel: Saving money and losing weight with "The Coupon Diet"

Josh Elledge is chief executive Angel of SavingsAngel.com, a website that teaches consumers how to save money through a free money savings video eCourse and podcast. SavingsAngel also provides hundreds of 50 percent off or better deals each week to members by matching local grocery and drug store sales with its free database of over 5,000 accessible coupons.

Its a common misconception that you cant save money on healthy products with coupons. Somehow, people are convinced that coupons are only for unhealthy, overly processed junk food.

Shortly after starting SavingsAngel.com eight years ago, I took advantage of the absolute best deals getting frozen pies for 80 percent off, for example. My waistline suffered. Combined with an inactive lifestyle, I had hit a level of obesity I was very uncomfortable with.

While its true that if you do want to buy high sugar, high (unhealthy) fat brand-named products, youll usually have no problem finding coupons for these foods. (I proved that fact.) Its also true that more and more coupons are offered for healthier options than ever before.

Prefer organic foods? No problem. Theres a coupon for that. According to our free coupon database at SavingsAngel.com, over 100 different coupons, in fact. Vegan? Gluten-free? Low-carb? Theyre all very well represented.

After hitting 230 pounds, I started on the coupon diet. This meant that my dear wife and I became very choosy about the deals we took advantage of focusing primarily on those foods that would be best for our long-term health. Additionally, we were extremely diligent in saving money in other areas of the grocery and drug stores. Coupon deals are plentiful for paper products, cleaning products, health and beauty products, and pet products. Its fairly easy to save $100 monthly across these product categories alone.

What would happen if you had an extra $200 to invest each month at the grocery store? Would you buy better quality foods? Would you spend more money in the produce section? Thats exactly what my dear wife and I did thanks to our savings. As a result, we started getting healthier. We each started losing weight… a lot of weight, in fact.

Combined with getting more active, our coupon diet allowed us to lose more than 100 pounds between the both of us. I frequently talk about this subject on my podcast at SavingsAngel.com/podcast and would love to personally inspire you to lose weight and save more money in 2015.

If youd like to live a healthier lifestyle and enjoy the best foods, use more coupons (and eat at home more often). Your savings will empower you to make better food choices and invest in your long-term wellness though what you put in your cart and onto your dinner plate.

Moody’s assigns ratings of (P)Aaa to Kubota Credit Owner Trust 2015-1

Approximately $500 million of asset-backed securities rated

New York, January 15, 2015 — Moodys Investors Service has assigned provisional ratings to the notes
to be issued by the Kubota Credit Owner Trust 2015-1 (KCOT 2015-1),
a securitization of US retail installment contracts secured by mid-ticket
agricultural and construction equipment used for both consumer and commercial
purposes. Kubota Credit Corporation, USA.
(KCC), the sponsor and servicer for the transaction, originated
all of the contracts. The pool in this transaction will be of similar
credit quality as that in KCCs debut term asset-backed securitization,
which closed in April 2014.

KCC is a 90% owned subsidiary of Kubota USA.
Inc., which is wholly owned by the Kubota Corporation (KBT).
Kubota Tractor Corporation (KTC), an indirect wholly owned subsidiary
of KBT was established in California in 1972 to distribute its agricultural
and construction equipment to the North American market; KCC is KTCs
captive finance company. KBT is a Japanese corporation established
in 1890 that manufactures and sells machinery and equipment.

The complete rating actions are as follows:

Issuer: Kubota Credit Owner Trust 2015-1

$109,000,000 Class A-1 Notes, Assigned
(P)P-1 (sf)

$178,000,000 Class A-2 Notes, Assigned
(P)Aaa (sf)

$150,000,000 Class A-3 Notes, Assigned
(P)Aaa (sf)

$63,000,000 Class A-4 Notes, Assigned
(P)Aaa (sf)

RATINGS RATIONALE

Moodys based the provisional ratings on the credit quality of the underlying
equipment contracts and their expected performance, the strength
of the transaction structure and the experience and expertise of KCC as
the servicer of the receivables.

Moodys median cumulative net loss expectation for the KCOT 2015-1
collateral pool is 0.50% and total credit enhancement required
to achieve Aaa ratings is 6.50%. Moodys based its
net loss expectation on an analysis of the credit quality of the underlying
collateral, comparable issuer historical performance trends,
the ability of KCC to perform the servicing functions, and the current
expectations for the macroeconomic environment during the life of the
transaction.

Initial hard credit enhancement available to support the Class A notes
will equal 4.00% of the initial aggregate contract value,
consisting of a non-declining reserve account of 0.50%
and overcollateralization of 3.50%. The Class A notes
will also benefit from excess spread

PRINCIPAL METHODOLOGY

The principal methodology used in this rating was Moodys Approach
to Rating ABS Backed by Equipment Leases and Loans published in December
2013. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com
for a copy of this methodology.

Factors that would lead to a downgrade of the rating:

Moodys could downgrade the ratings of the notes if levels of credit protection
are insufficient to protect investors against current expectations of
loss. Moodys then-current expectations of loss may be worse
than its original expectations because of higher frequency of default
by the underlying obligors of the equipment contracts or a deterioration
in the value of the equipment that secure the obligors promise of payment.
As the primary drivers of performance, negative changes in the US
macro economy could also affect Moodys ratings.

Additional research including a pre-sale report for this transaction
is available at www.moodys.com.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For further specification of Moodys key rating assumptions and
sensitivity analysis, see the sections Methodology Assumptions and
Sensitivity to Assumptions of the disclosure form.

Moodys did not receive or take into account a third-party
assessment on the due diligence performed regarding the underlying assets
or financial instruments in this transaction.

Further information on the representations and warranties and enforcement
mechanisms available to investors are available on http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBS_SF393361

The analysis includes an assessment of collateral characteristics and
performance to determine the expected collateral loss or a range of expected
collateral losses or cash flows to the rated instruments. As a
second step, Moodys estimates expected collateral losses or cash
flows using a quantitative tool that takes into account credit enhancement,
loss allocation and other structural features, to derive the expected
loss for each rated instrument.

Moodys quantitative analysis entails an evaluation of scenarios
that stress factors contributing to sensitivity of ratings and take into
account the likelihood of severe collateral losses or impaired cash flows.
Moodys weights the impact on the rated instruments based on its
assumptions of the likelihood of the events in such scenarios occurring.

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt,
this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation
to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series
or category/class of debt or pursuant to a program for which the ratings
are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moodys
rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider,
this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation
to the rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular
rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the
support providers credit rating. For provisional ratings,
this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation
to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive
rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt,
in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed
prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would
have affected the rating. For further information please see the
ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

For any affected securities or rated entities receiving direct credit
support from the primary entity(ies) of this rating action, and
whose ratings may change as a result of this rating action, the
associated regulatory disclosures will be those of the guarantor entity.
Exceptions to this approach exist for the following disclosures,
if applicable to jurisdiction: Ancillary Services, Disclosure
to rated entity, Disclosure from rated entity.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit
rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating
review.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to
the lead rating analyst and to the Moodys legal entity that has issued
the rating.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com
for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Tracy Rice
Vice President – Senior Analyst
Structured Finance Group
Moodys Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
USA.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Barbara A. Lambotte
Associate Managing Director
Structured Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Releasing Office:
Moodys Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
USA.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

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