Showing posts with label Consumer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Consumer. Show all posts

Find Truly Free Checking and Savings Accounts - Think Credit Unions

Credit unions and certain other financial institutions are ten times better than national banks and credit card companies. Pay fewer, lesser, and no fees.


People often ask,
  • What is the best bank in a given location?
  • What is the best bank for a specific kind of customer?
Rephrasing the question to "What is the best financial institution?" is the way to find what's best.

It is positively amazing how many people put up with all the fees many banks and other financial institutions attach to their savings, checking, and credit card accounts. Those banks and financial institutions will keep on doing this as long as the consumer keeps letting them get away with it. There is no excuse for the consumer to tolerate these kinds of bank fees when there are so many better alternatives available.

Avoid National Banks and National Credit Card Companies

National and local credit unions and local banks are the way to go.

The average consumer should never do business with a national bank or national credit card company. Check out your locally owned banks; even better, check out your local or national credit unions. National debit card companies might be OK: read the fine print.


Customers who have followed the above principles:

  • Have not paid any monthly account fees in decades.
  • Have not paid any check fees in decades.
  • Have not paid any credit or debit card transaction fees in decades.
  • Have always been paid higher interest on their savings.
  • Have always paid lower interest on their loans.
  • Have always experienced the bliss of fewer and lesser fees all-around.

What Exactly Is a Credit Union?

A credit union in the United States is technically a co-op arrangement among members. Those members with money make deposits. Those members who need money take out loans.

The spread between the interest paid to members with savings and the interest collected from members with loans is supposed to be no larger than what will cover the co-op’s expenses.

The covered expenses also enable both savers and borrowers to have free checking accounts, no-annual-fee debit and credit cards, and many other free or lesser fee services. Many countries have these same co-op type institutions; they are just known by different names.

About Credit Union Membership

With banks, you are a customer. With credit unions, you are a member.

It used to be difficult to become a member of a credit union. The usual requirement being you were working for a specific employer. In fact, many times the credit union was actually named after the employer. Many of these credit unions are still in existence today.

Membership requirements these days are much more open. Every credit union has unique criteria.

 Credit unions did not come up with the idea of membership requirements. Federal regulations require members of credit unions to have something in common, usually being the mutual employer scenario.

However, other criteria can now be used; just being a member of a certain profession is a good example.

What opened the floodgates is the now current use of geographical location as to what determines eligibility. In other words, are you and the credit union in the same county? If so, congratulations; you are a member. The credit union website will clearly spell out the eligibility requirements to become a member.

f you do not qualify, it is neither their fault nor yours; federal regulations are federal regulations. The good news is your chances of success are fairly high. Worst case scenario is you merely proceed to your local bank instead.

Internet-based financial institutions are also worth checking out, but be very careful and check their reputations and fee schedules with a fine-toothed comb.

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.


About Your Local Banks and Credit Unions: The Good

Here is the normal fee structure at your good, locally owned banks and credit unions:

  • There are no membership fees. 
  • There are no annual or monthly credit card fees.
  • There are no annual or monthly debit card fees.
  • Savings accounts have no monthly or other fees. A minimum balance requirement of a couple hundred bucks or less is acceptable.
  • Checking accounts have no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements. The requirement you have a savings or similar account with a reasonable minimum balance to qualify for the free checking account is an acceptable option. Using the direct deposit option to qualify for a free checking account is not always a good idea; getting slammed with a bunch of fees when you lose your job is not the way to go. On the other hand, qualifying based on direct deposit of your Social Security retirement check certainly isn't much of a risk.
  • No debit card point-of-sale fees of any kind.
  • No credit card point-of-sale fees of any kind.
  • Very minimal or no ATM fees on debit card transactions.
  • All other fees are less than what you are paying at your current financial institution.

About Your Local Banks: The Bad

It should be noted some local banks can be even more obnoxious than your national banks. Local banks are just like any other locally owned business. Employee attitude will directly reflect the personality and attitude of the owner(s) of the bank.

Fortunately, the bank’s fee structure is very often a clear indication of the bank’s attitude towards the general public. Ridiculous and excessive fees? Go elsewhere.

About Your Local Credit Unions: The Ugly

Credit unions are well-known for being the better deal. As such, there are bankers-to-be who come out of the woodwork to take advantage of the better reputation credit unions have.

The methodology to do this is not difficult. The banker-to-be simply opens his business via and under the credit union regulations and rules. Then, as far as interest rates and fee structuring goes, they run it like a bank. There is a credit union in San Francisco that is positively famous for this. So just because an institution calls itself a credit union doesn't mean you are home free. Do check out their fee schedule and interest rates relative to other institutions.

The Search

Needless to say, your location will vary.


How to Find Your Local Banks and Credit Unions

Finding them is not hard to do. The usual Yellow Pages perusal and/or an internet search will turn them right up. And it should be noted there are excellent national credit unions as well.

As to finding the good ones, you will need to check their website. Find their fee schedule and you will usually know what you need to know. If they do not have a fee schedule online, then that is a possible red flag. If your choices are limited, then you may have to make a personal visit to the financial institution and check out their brochures in the lobby.

Those financial institutions having the "glass cage" setup you must navigate to enter and exit the premises should be avoided like the plague. For some reason, there seems to be a strong correlation between "glass cage" usage and the treatment of customers as peasants in general.

You can also find a local credit union, plus all sorts of other worthy credit union information, at the federally run Nation Credit Union Administration (NCUA) website.

You can find all sorts of interesting information about your local banks at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) website. They even maintain a public list of failed banks.

Next is the opening of an account. A driver’s license, Social Security card, and a pleasant attitude are all that should be required. If the bank or credit union employee, or the procedures in general, are unusually obstructive; then forget it and move on. If they require you have an account with them for at least six months before allowing you to apply for a debit card, then you definitely want nothing to do with them.


Worthy Internet Institutions

There are worthy internet-based institutions out there. Just thoroughly check their fee schedule; particularly as relates to their savings and checking accounts, and their credit and debit cards. Also, plug their name and the word "scam" into your search engine and see what pops up. If there are pages of complaints, it would probably be wise to avoid that particular institution.


Only consider doing business with credit unions authorized to display this logo:

NCUA (has all sorts of worthy information)


Only consider doing business with local banks and internet-based financial institutions authorized to display this logo (or other equivalent government signage)


Comments - If you have an opinion regarding a particular financial institution, feel free to post it here.

How to Finance and the Process of Getting a Car Loan

How to get the best rate for an auto loan, plus a couple important tips and tricks for buying a new or used car.

And as for getting a car loan when you have bad credit, here is probably the most important tip of all...
  • The larger the down payment you are willing to make, the more inclined the bank or other financial institution will be to give you the loan.


Both new and used car sales continue to fluctuate, and so the demand for car loans does the same. As demand fluctuates, so do the shenanigans and other nonsense by dealership finance departments and other lenders. This page will provide you with what you need to know about getting the best possible rate on your auto loan. Failing that, it will at least keep you from getting the worst.

Auto Loan Guide - Things to Do and Not Do


Clean Up Those Credit Reports

First thing you need to do is get copies of your credit reports. You are entitled to one free report a year from each of the three major reporting agencies. The most legitimate website to get them from is www.annualcreditreport.com. They will make you work for it by subjecting you to a bunch of sales pitches for their non-free products, but this is the site most consumer groups and others recommend.

Review your reports. If you find any errors negatively impacting your credit score, you will have to jump through whatever hoops are necessary to get them fixed. Most loan officers don't even seriously bother to look at the reports; they just look at the credit score. Have the wrong credit score and you may not even be able to get an auto loan. Have an unfairly low credit score, and you will be paying hundreds and possibly even thousands more in interest over the course of your car loan, not to mention being subjected to higher monthly payments.

It is imperative your credit score be as high as possible. One doesn't have to be a rocket surgeon to know the higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate on your auto loan will be. In fact, reading this Credit Score Guide for Beginners would probably be a good idea.

Avoid Auto Dealer Financing


Epic Fail!
Don't do this!
Car dealerships and used car lots are the absolutely worst place to get an auto loan.

Seriously, you might as well go to one of those loan shark outfits you see at the mini-malls. The auto dealers will use every trick in the book against you. They make as much or more money on the financing as they do on the car sale, itself. More often than not, whatever interest rate is initially promised invariably runs into a "problem"; and they will insist they can only do the financing at the higher interest rate and higher monthly payments. It's even been reported they will sometimes pull this stunt when the car is already sitting in your driveway.

As a side note, by all means ask about their zero financing they constantly advertise. Problem is, somehow nobody every seems to qualify for it... If you do happen to be one of the lucky few, well and good. But don't count on it.

And while we're at it... When you have decided to visit a particular dealership or used car lot, it wouldn't hurt to first check them out at RipOffReport and the BBB.

Best Way to Get a Car Loan Is from Your Current Financial Institution


Do you feel lucky?
With any luck, your financial institution has already been poking you with a stick;
trying to entice you to get an auto loan with them.

Your first resource should be your existing bank or credit union. Presumably you have been with them for awhile and are considered to be a good customer. What you would really like to accomplish is to get a pre-approved auto loan from them; succeed and your problem is solved.

Do not mention your pre-approved loan to the car dealer prior to closing the deal on your car purchase price. Otherwise they will raise the car price to offset the money they are not going to make from the financing.

If your financial institution seems somewhat reluctant about the pre-approval idea, don't push it. Stay lovable and don't burn that bridge just yet. Ask about and pave the way to apply for an auto loan with them after you have negotiated the price for the car.

Obtaining a Car Loan from Other Than Your Existing Financial Institution


The Shopping Around Process

Did your existing financial institution fail to come through? Fine; once you've got the car situation taken care of, your next project will be to find a better place to do your banking business.

Give www.bankrate.com your regards. Select "auto" from the menu at the top of the screen. Use their search feature to see what the best auto loan rates and conditions are, etc. Don't actually make an application just yet.

Check out your local banks and credit unions. Visit their websites. See what their rates, fees, and conditions are. Again, don't actually apply.

There are also some worthy exclusively-internet entities out there who do car loans. Just be sure to research them first. You do not want to get tangled up with the wrong one.

Network! By all means ask friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. for recommendations as to where to get the best car loan. Applying for an auto loan at a place where you can use an existing good customer as a reference certainly won't hurt.

Also be attuned to what people say about auto loan places to avoid.

How to Apply for the Car Loan
This is all a pain in the neck.
But even a 1% loan rate savings can add up to a significant amount of money over time.

The Application Applying Process

Well, you've cleaned up your credit report and have done your research. Time to apply for the loan.

Pick and rank your best five candidates from your research. Work your way down the list. Make it known you are shopping for the best rate; this accomplishes three purposes:
  • You are implying you have no concerns about being accepted for the loan, your only concerns are as to terms. Appearing confident favorably affects perception.
  • You will not appear desperate or sneaky when it is noted you are making multiply inquiries.
  • Induces competition and a sense of urgency as to interest rate offered and quickness of response.
In some cases you will have the option to apply in person or via their website. Put some thought into what would work best for you in that particular situation.

Do make all your applications within a 30-day time frame. Multiple loan application inquires will reduce your credit score. But if you make all your duplicate applications within a 30-day period, it is supposed to be categorized as only one inquiry by the credit reporting agencies.

Summary

The above information should work equally well as to getting the best motorcycle, truck, boat, or even airplane loan rates. However, if the boat or airplane is over a 100K, then you can probably afford to get a financial adviser involved. Preferably one with lending institution connections.

Yes, getting the best auto, truck, or SUV loan rates can be a lot of work and a pain in general. The more effort you put in to it, the more money you can save. One thing you can do is to make the project an iterative process, i.e., don't try to do it all at once. Just do one or two aspects a day. It will be done before you know it.

Just a Couple Car Buying Quick Tips
Thrown in for Good Measure


New Car Buying Tip

There are reports saying buyers can get a better price through the website than through going to the car lot. There may even be a choice of websites, i.e., manufacturer website vs. dealership website.

Every manufacturer does things their own way. As an example, the manufacturer website may simply refer you to the appropriate dealership website. Or not. Things are always changing.

It should also be noted more and more dealerships are directly owned by the manufacturer.

Used Car Buying Tip

When a dealership takes a car in trade-in, generally one of two things will happen to it.
  • If the dealership thinks it is a good car which will outlast their warranty program, they will give it a tune-up, detail it, and put it in their used car section.
  • If they don't think it's such a good car, they'll sell it off at a wholesalers' auction and it ends up in some used car lot.

What is the significance of this to the used car buyer?
  • The better cared for, more reliable cars are to be found in dealership used car sections.
  • The more tired, riskier cars are generally at places exclusively selling used cars.

How to Stop Being Overcharged on Sales Tax

Have you been overcharged on sales tax? Here is a way on how to mentally calculate sales taxes on the spot and stop being cheated, catch errors, and prevent fraud attempts.


Business or Store Overcharging on Sales Tax?

When it comes to sales taxes, fraud is not that rare of an occurrence. Many times, smaller stores do deliberately overcharge sales tax. In fact, I’ve seen news stories that even the larger, national chain stores have been caught overcharging sales taxes. And employees in all stores have also been known to make price and thus sales tax mistakes as well.

Mentally calculating sales tax to prevent being overcharged is easy. It all has to do with rounding, no degree in rocket surgery required. You are simply doing a quick approximation to prevent yourself from being a victim of sales tax fraud or simply to prevent being mistakenly overcharged.

[Be forewarned, this page is US-centric. Canada and most European countries have sales or a value added tax (VAT) far exceeding 10%. However, if the VAT tax is close to another round number, one can still make this method work.]

Here are the four main premises of this page:
  • Most sales taxes never exceed 10 percent, but most sales taxes are reasonably close to 10 percent.
  • Most thieves are greedy and will thus exceed the 10 percent amount.
  • Even my dog can mentally calculate 10% of something.
  • Even my dog can mentally add 10% of something to something.

You do not need any of these...

How to Mentally Calculate Sales Tax – Some Examples

The best way for this tutorial to demonstrate mentally calculating sales taxes is by giving lots of examples. In reality, you already know how to do this. You just don't know you know yet. So let's begin. You walk up to the counter and engage in a purchase which sells for...

$49.99
  1. You round the price to $50.
  2. You calculate the 10% as $5.
  3. You add the $50 plus $5 to get $55.
  4. If the counter person wants more than $55, welcome to the world of sales tax fraud and overcharges.

Other Examples...


$29.99
  1. You round it to $30.
  2. 10% is $3.
  3. Total is $33.
  4. If the final price is over $33, welcome to the world of sales tax fraud and overcharges. 
$5.99
  1. Round to $6. 
  2. 10% is $.60. 
  3. Total is $6.60. 
  4. Anything over $6.60, welcome to the world of sales tax fraud and overcharges. 
$79.98
  1. $80.
  2. $8. 
  3. $88. 
  4. Over $88, cheated.
It should be noted that honest mistakes do happen. You will find out soon enough if the overcharge was deliberate or accidental.

Is It Sales Tax Fraud?


What to Do When the Person at the Counter is Overcharging You on the Sales Tax

This depends on your mood, time constraints, the amount of money involved, the store and neighborhood, etc. Below are some typical scenarios and what one can do in each situation; followed by what you can also do after the fact.

You Don't Care About the Amount Involved

  1. Say nothing.
  2. Pay it. 
  3. Say nothing. Or say the routine "Thanks."
  4. [Optional] Locate and take one of the business cards offered on the counter.
  5. Leave. 
  6. Once outside, note the date and time.
  7. Never go back.
  8. Maybe tell everyone you know.

You Do Care About the Amount Involved (Option One)

  1. Don't pay it.
  2. Say nothing.
  3. [Optional] Locate and take one of the business cards offered on the counter.
  4. Leave. Be advised, however, the counterperson (probably the owner) will immediately know that you know he was trying to cheat you. And you took one of his cards... And sales tax fraud is a very serious offense...
  5. Once outside, note the date and time.
  6. Never go back.
  7. Maybe tell everyone you know.

You Do Care About the Amount Involved (Option Two)

  • Politely point out the total is incorrect and explain why you think so.

  • If the counterperson reviews and corrects the error...
  1. Pay it.
  2. Call it a day.
  3. Maybe or maybe not give the place another chance in the future.

  • If the counterperson denies, disputes, or otherwise argues with your statement...
  1. [Optional] Locate and take one of the business cards offered on the counter.
  2. Leave.
  3. Once outside, note the date and time.
  4. Never go back.
  5. Tell everyone you know.

Reward for Reporting Sales Tax Fraud?


How to Report Stores and Other Businesses Who Overcharge Sales Taxes

Not only are you doing a good deed for society, you might even make some money in the process.
  1. Find your state's website dealing with all things sales tax.
  2. Find where to report what you experienced. As an example, in California the California State Board of Equalization would be where to go. California does not pay a reward the last time I checked. However, reporting the fraud is still a good idea; wouldn't you like the thief (employee or owner) removed, so you can have an honest, local place to shop? Reports can be made anonymously and will still be investigated.
  3. For other states, determine if you might get a reward. Tell them your experience in detail, including date and time. Give them all the information on the business card. If you don't have the store's business card, that is ok; just be sure the store name and address you are reporting is correct. And don't worry; they're not going to just take your word for it. They will probably send the equivalent of a few "mystery shoppers" to the store to confirm. When they have absolutely verified and proven it is not an isolated incident; only then will the hammer fall on the deserving thief.
More than likely the store location is leased. With any luck, the thieving employee or owner will soon be gone; hopefully replaced with a new, honest employee or business.

Help with Medical Bills Federal and State Websites

These websites will actually help you when a medical entity victimizes you with inflated or outright fraudulent medical bills and/or denied insurance claims.

This includes hospitals, general doctors, specialists, X-ray places, CT scan or PET scan centers, blood test places, and pretty much any other medical facility or entity that engages in illegal or unethical conduct. Emphasis is on illegal, unethical contracts and on illegal, unethical billing practices. Also includes resources regarding insurance company misconduct or for when a Medicare, Medicaid, or Medi-Cal case worker makes a mistake or acts in bad faith. Sooner or later, you will need the information on this page.

Medical Federal and California (and other) State Government Websites That Will Help You When an Insurance Company or Service Provider Victimizes You – Also Some Worthwhile Additional Information


Patients Rights Help and Support Resource List

A list of resources regarding the rights patients are legally supposed to have. Many provide complaint forms and will actually help you. All listed websites are government or other well-known, reputable resources. All links go directly to the website's patients rights page and/or patients help page.
  • MedlinePlus, from the U.S. Library of National Medicine.
  • HealthCare.gov, your rights under the Affordable Care Act.
  • Medicare.gov, your Medicare rights.
  • The Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman. , a resource for filing complaints, grievances, appeals, etc.; in other words, a place to rat out medical service providers. The page also promises to provide information, help, assistance, and other services. The page is apparently also the starting point for when you need to deal with Medicare's own shenanigans.
  • CMS.gov, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The particular link I provided has to do with Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight. The page may not especially look it, but these guys are your friend. Sometimes, out of the blue and without any action on your part, they will send you notices a particular medical bill from a medical service provider or insurance entity is not valid and that you don't have to pay it. This website is definitely worth prowling around when you have the time.
  • California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the go-to page for filing medical complaints in California.
  • Office of the Patient Advocate (OPA), another go-to page for filing medical complaints in California.
  • CDSS is another California site that my be able to help you, especially as applies to local office Medi-Cal screw-ups.
  • Google. For folks not in California, simply do a search for:
    "YourStateNameHere patients rights site:.gov" (without the quotes and be sure to include the exact "site:.gov" syntax).
If a link suddenly stops working, it means the website moved that particular page. Let me know in the comments section and I'll find and post the new location.

Some Tips for When Dealing with the Medical Bureaucracy

  • The Medicare 1-800-633-4227 number is open 24/7. They have always been friendly, professional, and helpful.
  • Referring doctors make paperwork mistakes all the time. Whenever possible make sure the medical treatment specifications match what the Medicare white book says. This is mostly applicable to preventive services. Not kidding here, make sure the doctor's instructions exactly match what the white book specifies. I've personally saved myself one financial disaster already by doing this.
  • Never walk into a medical service provider's diagnostic center without the proper Medicare COPD 5-digit code included on the referral paperwork. 
  • Referring doctors make paperwork mistakes all the time (did I mention that already?). Always call the Medicare number first and verify the accuracy of the Medicare code on the paperwork before going to the specialist's or medical service provider's office. Confirm with Medicare that the Medicare code number is valid for your circumstances and procedure(s) and that Medicare will approve and pay for the procedure.
  • When referred to a specialist, sometimes a COPD code isn't provided; the specialist adds the code after the fact. Your only defense against this is having diagnostic information showing the necessity of the visit to the specialist, e.g., CAT scan shows potential malignancies in lungs, thus being referred to a pulmonologist makes medical sense. If the specialists uses the wrong code(s) after the fact and the claim is denied, don't just give up. Work with Medicare and the specialist to get the mistake straightened out and resubmit the claim.
  • The referring doctor does not not always know if the referred specialist or medical service provider takes Medicare, Medicaid, Medi-Cal, etc. When you walk into that referred specialist's office or medical service center for the first time and have identified yourself, always ask first:
  1. Does Medicare accept you and do you accept Medicare as full payment, secondary insurance covering remaining balance?
  2. Does Medicaid//Medi-Cal/Etc. accept you and do you accept Medicaid, Medi-Cal, etc. or whatever other supporting insurance applicable in your situation as full payment?
If any part of their answer is no, leave immediately. As a Medicare beneficiary, you have the right to go to any Medicare specialist or service provider center you wish. Tell your primary, referring doctor what happened and they'll take care of it.

An important note. If a medical entity financially victimizes you or is trying to victimize you happens to be a referral from your doctor, first check with Medicare via their website and/or phone calls and find out exactly what is going on. If that doesn't clarify or fix the situation, then tell your doctor's office all about it. They might be able to fix the problem with just one phone call to the offending medical entity; not so surprisingly, your doctor's office will often be quite successful at this.

A personal note. That medical contract you are always forced to sign is basically a blank check allowing the medical entity to do whatever they want. You've given them the right to do anything and everything their hearts desire and then to bill you for whatever insurance doesn't cover. For that reason, I always print directly above my signature the following in caps:

"ONLY PROVIDE INSURANCE COVERED SERVICES ONLY"

If the medical service provider then refuses you as a patient, immediately inform your primary physician that referred you. If that doesn't solve the problem, i.e., your doctor being able to find a different service provider in the area; I'd personally let Medicare, Medicaid/Medi-Cal, and any other involved insurance/government entity know all about it. I would think they would all want to know about a medical service provider that turns away patients simply because that patient only wants those services that are covered by insurance. Who knows? They might even be able to help you.

An update (Medical Hack(?)). Someone sent me this. I do not know if it is true or not. It sure would be interesting to find out:


I'm continuing to look for other government medical websites that help patients when it comes to money issues. If you happen to know of one, please mention it in comments. I'll be happy to include it on the list. Federal sites are preferred, but sites specific to your state are also welcome.

MasterCool Evaporative Cooler Customer Review - Negative

Here is an unfortunately negative product reliability customer review of MasterCool evaporative coolers, plus water cooler pump installation and replacement instructions.

It should be noted that water cooler pumps are the least of MasterCool's poor quality control and reliability problems.

The primary purpose of this page is a review of the MasterCool and same-company other brands of evaporative coolers. The detailed How-to-Replace-Water-Cooler-Pump segment was included simply because it is such a frequent problem. The pump failure is a side issue, it is the other poor quality standards and reliability issues of MasterCool evaporative coolers that resulted in the publishing of this negative review. These issues are addressed immediately following the water cooler pump segment.

MasterCool window evaporative cooler.

My personal experience and what this review specifically is referring to is the the MasterCool MCP44E Evaporative Cooler. However, the same company that makes MasterCool also makes the Champion and Essick brands of evaporative coolers. If a company makes a poorly manufactured one brand or model, it's a pretty good bet their other brands are of equally poor quality. That's a decision only you can make. At minimum, you definitely want to at least avoid MasterCool.

The first problem was the failed water pump, it lasted a little more than a year. If you are only here for the review, you will find the first paragraph immediately below the cooler pump picture informative; then might as well skip past the numbered list to the next section where things really get interesting.There are also pictures after the review showing what the inside of the MasterCool window evaporative cooler looks like.

About and a Detailed How to Replace or Install the MCP44 Series MasterCool Evaporative Water Cooler Pump (instructions will probably work equally well with many other brands and models)


Model ESK5500 Cooler Pump.
There is additional information and pictures of the MasterCool evaporative cooler with the back panel removed following the review.

I acquired the new MasterCool MCP series evaporative cooler unit a little less than four years ago. The water pump lasted a little longer than a year. If you think getting the back panel off the evaporative cooler unit is a major project, just wait until it's time to correctly put the thing back on. There sat the water pump; "Made in China" it duly informed me. Water pumps are the known weak link when it comes to evaporative coolers, the manufacturers know this and so try to make the component fairly easy to replace. Here is the procedure, don't forget to check out the additional pictures and warnings following the main review.

Read the entire list and and check out the additional pictures and information a few times before beginning the actual step-by-step pump replacement process. You will then have a pretty good idea of the overall procedure and there will be fewer surprises. In other words, now that you know the hazard points, things will go a lot quicker and easier. In fact, once that back panel is off, the whole procedure will pretty much be intuitive. All the information and pictures makes it sound a lot more complicated than it really is. "Check list" might be a better description than "step-by-step".
  1. Check the electrical info on the replacement water pump and plug into a wall socket for a couple seconds to be sure the new pump works. Note if the new pump already has a protective screen wrapped around the bottom of it.
  2. Unplug the entire evaporative unit from the wall socket and turn off the water feed. 
  3. Read the manual. Among other things, it tells you how to remove the back panel and about the water hose you need to disconnect at the top and inside of the unit before you can completely remove the back panel. The additional pictures further down this page have more info.
  4. Drain/siphon water from tray.
  5. Very carefully retrieve the water-protected water pump electrical power cord from the enclosure. Definitely peruse the additional pictures and information further down the page before attempting this, otherwise you might accidentally unplug the cord while it is still in the protected enclosure. If that happens, retrieval of the inside cord could be a major problem. Once the plugin part is reached and extracted, do NOT unplug yet.
  6. Unbolt and/or unscrew the clamps/brackets/etc. that are holding the pump in place.
  7. Pull off the water hose from the pump. There may or may not be a clamp you have to undo first.
  8. Remove the still plugged in old pump and set aside elsewhere on the tray. If no new screen was provided with the new pump, retrieve and clean the filter screen wrapped around the bottom of the old pump.
  9. More than likely, the entire bottom of the evaporative unit is filled with peeled paint and other debris. Now is a good time to clean up and get rid of all that. You'll have to move the old pump around while doing this, maybe place it on top of the bracket. Do not unplug it.
  10. Bring out the new pump. It will also be made in China, apparently no other options are  available for this unit. If needed, wrap old screen around new pump as it was on the old pump.
  11. Place the new pump where the old pump originally was.
  12. Make sure the water hose, electrical cord, and bracket(s) are all completely untangled from each other. Review pictures.
  13. Unplug the old pump. Do not let go of the cord coming from inside of the evaporative cooler, otherwise it might slip back inside the housing; you do not want that to happen. Plug in the new pump. Reinsert electrical cord back into the water-protected location. Don't reattach plastic cap yet.
  14. Reconnect the water hose.
  15. Position everything as you want it to be and attach pump to all the previous bracket and other connection points.
  16. Check tray. Remove all tools, parts, rags, the old pump if it is still laying there, and everything else that doesn't belong.
  17. Turn the water feed back on and confirm the water level rises to the level you wish it to be, give it at least 15 minutes. The higher, the better; but not above the overflow drain height. Adjust float if necessary.
  18. Time for the test. Unhook/Pull away the water hose from the plastic holders on the evaporative cooler and make sure the hose is pointed at the ground and well away from the pump and tray. The absolute last thing you want to do is spray either of those pumps with water. Plug the evaporative cooler back in the wall socket; turn the pump on for several seconds to check that everything works. Give the fan a couple seconds as well. Turn everything off and re-unplug the cooler.
  19. Push the water hose back into the plastic holders on the swamp cooler. Review pictures and accompanying information. Reattach plastic cap. Give everything one last, good look over.
  20. Time to reinstall the back panel. Brute strength and ingenuity will be required to get that thing setting back on top of the tray. Reconnect the hose at the top. You should be able to get your hand in there; grab the rubber hose; and force it back to the top of the tube. Twist and turn the hose as needed to remove any kinks.
  21. Time for more brute strength, ingenuity, and persistence. You will need to lift the panel about an inch or two above the tray; line it up with the sliders on the sides of the cooler; then shove panel flat against the cooler and pull down, hooking the panel back onto the sliders. Multiple attempts will probably be required. When there are no gaps on the sides and between the tray and panel, it probably means you succeeded. I didn't bother putting the two screws back in, that panel wasn't going anywhere. Recheck the water feed valve is still on.
  22. Plug the unit back in the wall socket; ponder that switch panel for a moment before reaching for it... Check the back panel that all the pads are getting wet. If they are, then it looks like you were successful in reinstalling the back panel correctly. Good luck.
If the water cooler pump had been the only incident, I would not have written this negative review. It is what happened next that pretty much made this review mandatory.

The Day the MasterCool Died...

Everything worked fine for another year or two. Then came that fateful morning...

It was going to be a hot one, temps in the 90's were on the way. I turned the water pump on to soak the pads as usual for five minutes before turning on the fan. The little, green light benignly glowed and the pump happily whirred.

I then went back and turned on the fan. The fan started up. Then the whole unit suddenly shut down. The fan. The pump. The switch lights. Everything.

I tried again. Everything shut down again. I tried different combinations of turning on the various switches. Self-shutdown every time. I tried using the remote instead. Same results.

I somehow sensed and knew I was already doomed. But I went through the motions and checked the house circuitry and fuse/switch box six ways from Sunday. There were no problems, that cooler was getting uninterrupted power.

I tried messing with the switches again, same results. Then the symptoms changed. At first, the pump and the fan worked fine when each was turned on alone. But whenever I turned the second one on, that's when the whole system would shut down.

Suddenly though, now with each attempt, the switch lights would flicker on and off at random for a few seconds before shutdown occurred. In other words, the lights would start doing a strange, little dance; water pump and blower fan sometimes automatically responding accordingly, sometimes not.

As for checking for loose wire connections, chip creep, or anything else a non-expert might be able to fix; forget it. The switch panel circuit board location was completely inaccessible.

I'm standing there looking at the thing after it had done its little dance and shutting itself off for the 30th time or whatever. Then MasterCool decided it was time to perform the coup de grĂ¢ce to any remaining hopes of repair. It turned itself on. That's right. The unit started itself, all the lights happily flickering back and forth for several seconds with the fan and pump sometimes joining in, and then once again shutting itself down . That control circuit board was not only toast, it was unsafe.

"And that truly is indeed that," thought I. I unplugged the unit for the last time.

I'm sitting at my desk, pondering my next move, when I happened to glance down and notice the back page of the owner's manual (printed in China by the way). It proudly informed me the Essick, Champion, MasterCool family of evaporative coolers are designed, assembled, and serviced in the USA. What they don't mention is all the components were made in China or elsewhere.

As far as I'm concerned, lying by omission is still lying. I put the odds at 99.9% that circuit board switch panel was made in China. Even if it wasn't; it was still a low quality, poorly manufactured component no matter where it was made. And you can bet Champion, Essick, MasterCool brands all use the same supplier. That's when I decided to write this review.

Bottom, back page of MasterCool manual.

This page is just my opinion. However, evaporative coolers are an expensive proposition. Please really do your homework and research before making that final decision. Suddenly having your cooling system malfunction during a hot, summer day is not a pleasant experience.

Side note. Here's a video review (opens in new tab or window) from a new buyer of the MasterCool MCP44 series brand. He has both positive and negative things to say about it. He also mentions one very serious flaw. Basically, every insect in the neighborhood will end up inside your home; he'll tell you all about that. I'd wondered where all those moths and gnats were coming from, I even had an indoor mosquito. Now I know.

I would avoid MasterCool evaporative coolers at all costs. And since Essick and Champion are made by the same company with the same poor quality standards, I would seriously try to avoid those as well. Unfortunately, there seems to be some sort of monopoly situation in play. Other brands are hard to find. If anyone can recommend another brand, there are probably a whole lot of people who would very seriously appreciate it.

An Update. A contractor recently told me how to get the front panel off to access the circuit board(s). Basically, you scrape off the plastic at certain points and the screws are underneath. We will see how that goes.

[End of Review. Pictures follow.]

Here Are Some Pictures of What You Will Find When You Remove the Back Panel of the MCP44 Series Evaporative Cooler


There are two more screw holes at the base. Both were covered with silicon dry gel.
When I removed the gel, no screws were present. Your results may vary.

Once the screws are removed, slide the back panel up off the side slots (remember about those side slots, they'll be your nemesis when reinstalling the panel) and pull panel away from the cooler just a little bit. Do not try to remove the panel yet, the water hose is still attached. Using a flat edge screwdriver will help pry/pull the thing off. Won't be that difficult.

Success. The panel can now be removed. Brute strength and ingenuity will be required.

Welcome to the inside of the MasterCool evaporative cooler.
Note the water hose running along the length of the left side, it is easily detachable and re-attachable to the three plastic holders you see. You'll be doing that when you do your quick test at the end.
The two pumps you see in the tray are the water pump and the purge pump. Note the two electrical wires running from the pumps to the square, black hole at the bottom, left of the fan housing.
At lower, right, on the outside, is the water feed.

Where the pump wires go. That black, square aperture in the previous picture was originally covered with the white, square, plastic cover you see. You will need to remove the two screws and plastic cover. These three items are prime candidates for getting lost, so I put them in my empty, front pants pocket.

Now comes the risky business part. You need to fish those wires out of that hole. Do it slowly, carefully, and gently jiggle the wires whenever feeling any resistance. Pulling the wires too hard will unplug them while they are still inside the housing. You do not want that.

You will eventually end up with the two plugs on the outside. Keeping in mind the warning in the first set of instructions, pull out the old cooler pump plug and plug in the new one at the appropriate time and as described.
Reinsert the wires back into the housing; and adjust everything the way you want it to be. Then finally put the plastic cover and two screws back on the electrical access aperture.


Everything re-attached and ready to go. Time to do the test as described in the first segment.


After the test, refasten the hose back into the plastic holders. Check entire length for kinks.

A side note picture of the floater, controlling the water level in the tray. Slightly bending the floater rod up or down will change the water level accordingly.


A side note, example picture close up of how the water feed and valve might be connected to the water supply. Configurations vary.
© On this particular article, images are also copyrighted by websitewithnoname.com.

Body Donation Process and Free Cremation

Here is what happens when you donate a body to medicine, science, industry, research.
Rule Number One for Caregiver: Have Choices Made and Everything Done Before Occurrence.
This page is not for everyone. It serves up the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And it is not gentle about it. Here is what happens and how to donate a body to get a free cremation.


How to Get a Free Cremation by Making a Whole Body Donation

There is a fairly new industry now in existence. It is the business of whole body donations. This is an information article for anyone who is considering making a whole body donation of either themselves or of a loved one. It is the industry standard a whole body donation entitles the donor to free cremation, free transportation, and generally free everything else relating to the cremation.

Overview of the Body Donation Industry

It is illegal for you to sell your body or that of a loved one. However, if you make a whole body donation; the company will pay all transportation costs, the cremation fee, the cost of the urn, and all other incidental costs. This is the industry standard, but each company may be different; so it is imperative to read the contract to be sure.

The company will work with one or more local funeral homes. The funeral home will pick up and transport the body. The company will make all the arrangements. Once the body is at the funeral home, the company will make a final determination as to whether to accept it. If they decide to accept it, the body will then be transported to the company's facilities; often this will be in another state. After one to two months, the remains will be cremated and per your instructions, returned to you or scattered at sea.

If the company rejects the body at time of death, the body stays at whatever funeral home the company happened to have selected. You are then liable for whatever the funeral home wishes to charge you for the transportation costs, cremation costs, etc. This seldom happens; each whole-body-donation company has their own rules; so be sure to read the contract.

Not Just Organ Donation: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

The company will inform you the donation of your body or that of a loved one will contribute to the causes of science, education and research. In actuality this means the body or its various parts can and will be used for practically anything. You are not allowed to restrict how the body of you or your loved one may be used.

Once your body or the body of your loved one is at the company's main facility, the sales frenzy begins. Although it is illegal to sell a body or any of its parts, the whole-body-donation companies have found a way around this. As an example, suppose the company gets an order from a customer for a liver; the company will donate the liver, but will charge fees for everything related to it; such as extraction, preparation, and transportation.

First and foremost is the use of dead body parts to cure and heal the living. This is not the usual harvesting of organs immediately after death. Cadaver materials such as skin and bones can be processed into products and materials which are sold to hospitals to treat patients.

The next best scenario is when the cadaver's organs and tissues are harvested and sent to various institutions for medical research. This is the image most of us picture and is indeed many times the case.

However, the company has many different customers and many different types of sales orders.
  • Medical teaching facilities, especially colleges and universities, are steady customers of whole-body-donation companies. Your body or that of your loved one may very well end up at one of these institutions. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Contributing to the education of future doctors and researchers is always a worthy cause. It is possible, however, you or your loved one may end up as the guest of honor at a frat party. Another less pleasant scenario is when the body is chosen as a semester-long project. This is where the body lays on a table for a few months and is gradually cut and picked apart piece by piece; usually rock music will be playing in the background as the students crack jokes.
  • The United States Military is an avid customer of whole-body-donation companies. The military likes to use the bodies for researching and testing their new protective gear. You or your loved one may also be used to test the destructive attributes of new ammunition or explosives. No doubt other government agencies are also customers. One can only speculate as to which agencies and what the bodies or their various parts are used for.
  • Many non-medical biotechnology and other companies are also regular customers of the whole-body-donation industry.
  • Believe it or not, most of the above scenarios do not cause people to reject the idea of whole body donation. However this last scenario does seem to be a deal-breaker for many people. It has to do with the following sentence you will find in the Donor Consent Form Contract: “I am consenting the body to potential segmentation and disarticulation”. In other words, the company rips the body apart; piece by piece and day after day. Here is a typical scenario: Minnesota orders an arm; it is removed and sent. Next day Nevada orders a leg; it is done. Sooner or later the inevitable order for a head floats in; off it goes. Soon all that remains is the torso (probably minus the organs). This is not the image of a loved one many people want to carry around for the rest of their lives.

Whole Body Donations and Free Cremations

The Hopeful Future

The Future Is Now...?

The purchasing company can do anything they want with the body, but as the industry matures it is hoped someday you will have the right to specify the fate of yourself or your loved one. Hopefully, the time could be soon. In fact, since the industry has been around for awhile; it could literally happen any day now. Be sure to ask what options are available and if there are any restrictions you can impose. Do not take anyone's word for anything. Ask for the contract. Inform the salesperson you will read it and get back to them. If they try to make excuses or otherwise object, then probably do not consider that company as one of your possible choices.

Rule Number One for Caregiver: Have Choices Made and Everything Done Before Occurrence.*

*This is the voice of experience talking. Then when the time comes and depending on circumstances, you will then only be faced with having to make that phone call; everything else will then be automatically taken care of.

And as a hospice worker told me the following day: when your body wants to cry, let it. And she was not just talking about that day, but future days and weeks as well. When your body wants to cry, let it. Don't fight it, just let it. And do not care if other people happen to be around at the time. The less you fight it, the sooner you will heal.

Google Privacy Issues and You - What It Is and Always Will Be

2018, the untold story... Warning, some humor may be present; as well as the political aspect. But also lots of informational items and resources. In truth, Google does seem to be one of the more benign corporations out there. And they certainly have answered every question I've ever thrown at their search engine.

I Love Google. Well, Maybe "Fond" Is a Better Word.

Google. All Seeing. All Knowing. All Powerful.


If you really are concerned about privacy invasion, be sure to read the last section of this page. What you are concerned about has been going on long before the internet and Google arrived on the scene. In other words, on the private-sector side, George Orwell's 1984 scenario showed up a long time ago. As for the public-sector side, more about that later.)

Wherever I Go, There Is Google...

No matter which website I visit, there's the Google API's scattered across my screen. Google knows I've been there.

Whenever I search for something, Google knows and Google saves. And then Google follows me around, telling me all about it for the next month (they really do).

Google knows where I've been. Google knows where I am. Google knows where I want to go. But wait, there's more...
  • Google knows my name.
  • Google knows my gender.
  • Google knows my age.
  • Google knows my ethnicity.
  • Google knows my education level.
  • Google knows what I do for a living.
  • Google knows what I do for fun.
  • Google knows what I buy.
  • Google knows the companies I love.
  • Google knows the companies I hate.
  • Google knows what financial institution I use.
  • Google knows where I live.
  • Google knows the YouTube song I listened to six times a a row.

We Are Being Watched...

Not only does Google want to know, and does know, everything about me; they want to watch me.

So much so, they even send driverless cars with cameras that follow me around wherever I go. Sure, they say it is for their Google Maps; but I know better.

And if the cars weren't bad enough, now Google is launching satellites to watch over me. I mean seriously, satellites!?! They claim it's for their Google Earth, but then they took a picture of me in front of my house. [Yes, they really did. The technology is that good. No, I'm not posting the link; I'm already paranoid enough as it is.]

And then, of course, there's the whole GPS thing...

Google Headquarters

But Wait! There's Even More.

Google isn't happy just knowing everything about us and where we are at any given moment.

Google is gradually buying up the entire planet. If you doubt this, check out acquisitions and partnerships. Not only is Google buying up everything in sight, they have even partnered with the NASA Ames Research Center.

The NSA certainly loved Google and what they do. So much so, they were busily stealing all of Google's information about us from the Google data centers; leastwise until Google wised-up and encrypted it.

The CIA certainly loved Google. Apparently, they've been stealing everyone's user data from Google's Chrome browser. Fortunately, Google announced in March 2017 that they've finally been able to put a stop to most of it.

Do you use web-based email? Someone is probably thumbing through your letters as we speak.

Do you use Google Docs? Best not to put anything there that some law enforcement agency or your spouse's divorce lawyer might be interested in...

It Gets Worse... Google Has a Sense of Humor and Can Strike at Any Time...

...and without warning.

Depending on which browser you use:
This is only the tip of the iceberg. You can find more at Google Hoaxes and Easter Eggs.

Where Will Google Be in a 100 Years? They'll Still Be Around.


Other companies that have survived over 100 years include ExxonMobil, IBM, General Electric, Chevron, McKesson, and many others.

IBM is the most notable of these. Even though they are in the cutthroat technology industry, and even though they have seriously messed up at times, they are still around. And even prospering.

Will Google still be around in a 100 years? Probably. As long as Google continues to keep hiring the smartest people on the planet; and as long as Google continues its company charter policy of "Do no evil", and thus avoiding perturbing the general population; the odds of Google's continuing prosperity are good.

When some new company does come along with a threatening new technology, Google will no doubt do the corporate usual; buy them or stomp on them. Capitalism is capitalism...

One of Google's Data Centers

Though this page is sometimes humorous of intent, it somehow also kind of turned into an informational article and a review of Google and of internet life in general. I'm fine with that. All in all, I am fond of Google. One really does have to admire what Google has accomplished since its inception. And as far as corporations go, Google really does seem to be less evil than most.

The Privacy Controversy


There has been a lot of media coverage concerning privacy issues. The thing is, all the other corporations and companies out there have been doing the exact, same thing. And not just tech companies; any company that has any interaction with the public is busily snooping into your private life in every way they can. Admittedly, Google is probably better at it than most.

It gets worse. This has been going on long before the internet came along. Try decades and decades and decades; probably somewhere between 50 to a 100 years or even longer.

If you really want an eye-opener as to privacy invasion, try checking out the Credit Report Guide for Beginners page; this has likewise been going on for decades and decades and decades.

As previously mentioned, the private-sector side of privacy invasion arrived a long time ago. As for the public-sector side of things, both George Orwell's 1984 and Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 officially arrived the day after September 11, 2001.

A Credit Report Score Guide for Beginners – Includes List of Things Affecting Your Score

A Credit Score Guide for Beginners

Basically, it is not a pretty picture. Unfortunately, credit reports and scores don't just affect interest rates on loans and credit lines; not to mention being outright refused for credit altogether.
  • Insurance companies also use your credit score as one of the factors in determining the premium amounts for your life, home, and auto policies.
  • Landlords use your credit report to decide whether to rent to you or not.
  • Cell phone and cable companies use it to decide whether to accept you as a customer or not.
  •  Other utility companies use it to decide if an advance security deposit is required.
  • Many companies (sometimes illegally) will refuse to hire you, if you have a low credit score.
It's as if the whole system was designed to mimic nature's law of the jungle, i.e.; once you are down, it "conspires" to keep you that way or outright "kill" you altogether.

Table of Contents

  1. How Your Credit Score Is Calculated
  2. Things That Affect Your Credit Score and How to Protect and Raise Your Credit Rating
  3. About Credit Score Numbers and What Each Range Means
  4. Consumer Credit Bill of Rights and Other Federal Information Resources

How Your FICO Credit Score Is Calculated

FICO is the most commonly used credit reporting system used by lenders, insurance companies, landlords, employers, utility companies, etc.

Percentages and Components of the FICO  (formerly known as Fair Isaac) Credit Reporting System
  • 35% Payment History
  • 30% Amounts Owed
  • 15% Length of Credit History
  • 10% Types of Credit Used
  • 10% New Credit
These are the components and numbers Fair Isaac have publicly claimed. However, it is reasonable to suspect there are proprietary, additional factors behind the scenes; debt ratios, unused credit, employment history being primary examples.

List of What Affects Your Credit Report and Score and How to Protect and Improve Your Credit Rating

  • Pay your bills on time, this one is an absolute necessity. To do otherwise signifies financial problems or irresponsibility, both of which are major red flags.
  • Keep your debt as low as possible, relative to your credit-lines. Maxed-out credit-lines are death.
  • Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. Having an excessively large, unused credit-line available will lower your score. Excessively large credit-lines tend to eventually be used and potential creditors are leery of that.
  • Don't suddenly close most of your credit lines and/or card accounts. This will mess up your debt-to-limit ratio and lower your score significantly.
  • Moderately used, active credit lines and accounts seem to be what lenders like to see.
  • Apply for credit as seldom as possible and avoid department store credit cards.
  • Co-signing loans is a very bad idea,"Top 10 reasons not to co-sign on a loan" from Bankrate.
  • Student loan debt can hurt your credit score.
  • The IRS reports delinquent taxes, unknown if that includes those under dispute.
  • Cities and counties report unpaid parking tickets and unpaid library fines. And it is a pretty good bet that includes any that are disputed.
  • Cities and counties also report what you owe when you are unable to retrieve your car from impound.
  • Reconcile your credit card statements every month. Inaccuracies, invalid charges, overlooked-no-longer-needed monthly charges, and outright ID theft happen much more often than you might think.
  • Check your credit report at least once a year. Fatal inaccuracies occur often in these reports. In fact, credit reporting agencies are famous for it. You are legally entitled to one free credit report a year from each of the credit reporting agencies.
  • Pretty much all of the reputable consumer-related-advice websites recommend annualcreditreport.com as the place to get your free credit reports. The site will subject you to a lot of advertising pitches along the way, but eventually you'll get the free reports unscathed. 
  • Credit card companies and banks generally rob their customers blind when it comes to cash advance fees; so don't do that. There is also the possibility that your willingness to pay those high fees might be interpreted as a sign of desperation by the lending institution.
  • Likewise, avoid those loan places you see in the mini-malls like the plague. Having one of those places showing up on your credit report would be 10 times more destructive than any mentions of department store credit cards could ever be.
  • An Update. Credit bureaus now report to prospective mortgage lenders as to whether an applicant pays their credit card bill(s) in full each month or only makes the minimum payment(s), etc.

About Credit Score Numbers and What Each Range Means

Depending on which credit bureau is dong the rating, credit scores range approximately from 300 to 850.

The credit score sub-ranges listed below are likewise approximations, but they will give you a good idea as to where you stand. There is a small overlap in the ranges. This has to do with the fact that some loan officers will look beyond just the number and actually read the report; but unfortunately, there are many lending institutions who don't.

Some aspects of this segment are of a "humorous" nature, but there is seriousness behind the "humor".

Credit Scores at 300 Something, or in the 400 Range, or at 500

If your credit score is at or below 500, you are basically dead in the water. If you are in this category, then as far as society is concerned, you are not worthy to live. Not only does society classify you as unworthy/poor/destitute; it will do everything in its power to keep you that way.

Want a job? Forget it. Employers don't hire people with credit scores at and under 500. As far as society is concerned, you have no right to be employed. [Update: Some states have changed their laws in order to fight this practice. In California, for example, it is now supposedly illegal for a prospective employer to use your credit score as a factor in their hiring decision.]

Want to rent an apartment? Forget it. Apartments aren't rented to people with credit scores at and under 500. As far as society is concerned, you deserve and should be homeless.

Want to buy a car, get a checking account, or get a debit or credit card? Forget it. Forget it. And forget it.

Do you think there just might be something wrong with this system? Many people will agree with you.

Credit Score Range Between 500 to 600 and up to 620 Inclusive

Attempting any kind of credit related or other business transaction when your credit score is in the 500 to low 600 range is extremely difficult. If you are able to get a credit related account or successfully initiate any other sort of business transaction, you will be subjected to the worst possible interest rates, fees, and security deposit amounts.

Credit Scores Ranging Between 600 to 700 and up to 719 or 720 Inclusive

In this range society doesn't consider you a credit risk, but entities you attempt to do business with will pretend they think you are. Negotiation is possible here. Sometimes, just say no. It might work. It might not. You have the option to walk away and try somewhere else.

Here is the classic story when someone is in the 600 to low 700 credit range and they attempt to buy a car...

You: “I love this car and think you are giving me a good deal. I'll take it.”

The Car Dealer: “With your credit rating, we will have to charge you 50% more than the usual interest rate.”

You: “Why?”

The Car Dealer: “Because we consider you a credit risk.”

You: “So you think I can handle the higher monthly payment, but that I can't handle the lower one?”

The Car Dealer: “Exactly.”

- end of story -

Although told in  a "humorous" light and different words would be used in the actual situation, the description of the results is dead on accurate. And on an even more serious note, one should never get an auto loan from a car dealership or used car lot anyway. If/When you are in the market for your next car, this How to Get a Car Loan article will save you much grief and money.

Credit Scores at and Above 720 - And in The Land of 850

When your credit score is in the 720 to 799 range, better interest rates on loans and credit lines start becoming available to you. Getting a house or car loan at favorable rates is usually a routine matter.

And if your credit score is actually in the 800 range,you are a Living God and can do no wrong. Creditors follow you around, scattering flower petals in front of you wherever you go. Little angels hover around and protect and nurture you. Rainbows are visible at every corner.

A Bookmarks Reference List of Consumers Credit Bill of Rights Resources

Here's a list of resources as to the rights consumers are legally supposed to have when dealing with credit and credit scores. All listed websites are government or other well-known, reputable sources. All links go directly to the website's consumer credit rights page. This list is just starting out and may be added to from time to time.