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There are so many apps available today that it can become confusing. Here are the best couponing apps for 2019.

The Best Couponing Apps for 2019

By | Uncategorized

Thanks to the exploding popularity of couponing apps, saving money while you shop has become a much easier, faster, and visually appealing exercise. The days of painstakingly scouring newspapers for paper coupons are becoming a thing of the past — replaced with apps that claim to do the work of finding the coupons, redeeming the offers, and rewarding you with coveted deals. Although you’ll still have to scout the applicable deals and save your receipts, the best couponing apps for 2019 aim to make the process painless and accessible to all, even the newbie couponers among us. To help you in your budget shopping, we rounded up a list of the best couponing apps for 2019.


Ibotta ranks as one of the best couponing apps for 2019, with good reason. Ibotta’s premise is simple and user-friendly. You’ll see a list of the stores in your area offering cashback rebates. You then select the items you wish to purchase, which adds them to your account. Later, once you’ve made the purchase, upload a receipt. You’ll receive cashback in your account within 24 to 48 hours, which you can withdraw to your PayPal account or redeem for gift cards once you hit $20.


For longtime couponing enthusiasts, SnipSnap delivers a platform for you to continue doing what you love — just with a little dose of tech-friendly efficiency. Use the app to snap photos of print coupons, and SnipSnap will convert them into mobile-friendly, scannable offers. All you’ll have to do is pull up the app at the cashier, who will be able to scan the offer right off your screen. SnipSnap also offers a database of searchable coupon offers and featured offers. aims to be a one-stop-shop for your couponing deals. You can link your store loyalty cards to your account and select the deals that apply to you. If your store doesn’t offer a loyalty program, you can still choose from hundreds of deals and receive cash back once you’ve submitted a receipt. There’s also a good mix of printable and digital coupons to appeal to both traditional couponers and the newly converted.


If you’re tired of searching for coupon codes — or even tend to forget that coupon codes might be available —  Honey is for you. When you shop at your favorite stores from within Honey, the app will automatically enter any valid discount codes at checkout. If you prefer to shop on a desktop or laptop, Honey also offers a browser add-on that will provide the same code-sleuthing capabilities as the app.

Coupon Sherpa

You can find a wide range of deals from this standby couponing app. Browse through the plentiful listing of big box stores, department stores, and restaurants to zero in on what you need. You can then print the coupons to use on your own. However, you can also use Coupon Sherpa to hunt mobile deals and coupon codes to use online.


Checkout51 offers a twist on traditional couponing. Similar to Ibotta, you can browse through weekly featured deals and, once you have purchased the item, snap a picture of your receipt. Many of the offers aren’t brand-specific, so for example, one featured deal might be $0.50 back on a bunch of bananas. The app then scans the receipt for qualifying items and deposits cash back rewards in your account. If you don’t already use coupons, this can be a great starter app — since you won’t have to worry about rummaging for coupons next time you’re at the register.

Store-Specific Apps

If your chosen store offers a coupon app of its own, it’s worth downloading to track down even more exceptional deals. Target’s Cartwheel app, for example, offers hundreds of daily offers (the only catch is you need to “activate” the deal before you check out to qualify). Your local grocery store might also have an app of its own that’ll tie in with your loyalty card.

Just One Piece of the Puzzle

Remember that couponing apps are best used to support your financial goals — to save money on items that you would already buy regularly. Building or improving your credit is just another part of a healthy financial lifestyle. To learn more about the services we can offer you at Ovation Credit, reach out for a free consultation here.

How do you budget for a baby? You start budgeting before you have one!

8 Tips for Preparing for Baby on a Budget

By | Uncategorized

Parenthood is undoubtedly the most exciting, exhausting, and exhilarating adventure of your lifetime. But it can also be one of the most expensive. Take a stroll through the baby section of any local department store and you could easily spend thousands in baby supplies that are all deemed “necessities.” Becoming a parent is just the start of another financial responsibility, but with some research and careful planning, you can successfully manage your baby-related spending. While you await the arrival of your new addition, check out our top tips for how to budget for a baby.

1. Buy Secondhand

Since most baby items are used for a very short window of time, many parents end up unloading baby items that are still in excellent or gently used condition. Visit your local thrift store and hit up yard sales during the weekend. You can find gently used baby clothes, strollers, high chairs, play gyms, bouncers, toys, and other necessities on the cheap. (Generally, the only items that should be brand-new are cribs and car seats, due to safety regulations.) Children’s consignment sales, which usually happen in either the spring or fall, are an excellent source of low-priced, hardly used items for children of all ages.

2. Tighten Your Current Budget

To figure out how to budget for a baby, sit down with your partner and take a hard look at your monthly bills and expenses. Do you really need cable, or could you switch to Internet streaming services? How much of your grocery bill could you afford to cut? How can you avoid nonessential purchases, such as takeout? Although these areas may not have anything to do with the baby, tightening your finances in all areas will lighten your financial burden when you have an additional member of the household in tow.

3. Go Natural

Relying on natural options for feeding your baby will save you thousands in the first year. Regardless of your personal stance toward breastfeeding, it is the most cost-effective way to feed your baby within the first six months of his or her life. Once your little one can test out actual foods, consider mixing up your own baby food using a blender and fresh vegetables, fruits, and protein you have on hand in your house. You’ll be able to save a bundle when you skip the pricey baby food pouches.

4. Make Your Needs Known

If family and friends happen to ask what you need, make sure to mention some of the more essential items on the pricier side — for example, a crib, dresser, and car seat. If you have created a registry for a baby shower, limit your list to these must-have items and avoid getting distracted by the retailer’s suggestions of what you “really need.” Request items like diapers and wipes or gift cards to local grocery stores to help you stock up your supply.

5. Clip Coupons

Items like diapers and wipes can quickly add up to a considerable expense — one that will stick around for the first few years. You can trim some of the costs by visiting websites for companies like Huggies and Pampers, which regularly send samples and coupons if you sign up on the website. You may also consider testing out the generic store brand diapers and stalking the coupons section for upcoming deals in your local pharmacies and grocery stores.

6. Start a Baby Fund

Having an emergency fund is even more essential when you welcome a new member of the family. Make it a point to start transferring a certain amount of cash to your baby fund either weekly or monthly. Once you have a fund started, you can worry less about a situation arising that might strain your finances — such as your spouse or you have to stay home from work due to a child’s illness. To limit your access to the cash, try to set up the savings account in the bank you don’t normally use.

7. Seek Out Items with Multiple Uses

Children’s items have a limited shelf life, so it helps to find things that can be used for various stages of their lives. For example, some cribs can convert to a toddler bed and even a standard-sized bed. Many convertible car seats can be used from infancy through your child’s preschool years. Save yourself the hassle of continually having to replace items by strategically purchasing items that convert as your child grows.

8. Make Credit a Priority

As an expectant parent, your credit plays an important role in how to budget for a baby. Take this opportunity to check in with the pros at Ovation Credit for a thorough review of your credit report. Contact us for a free consultation today.

Having trouble with a car loan delinquency? Let us help you figure out the steps you will need to take in order to move forward.

Car Loan Delinquency Hits an All-Time High: Here’s Help

By | Credit Cards

Even when money is tight, you likely prioritize certain bills over others — your car loan bill among them. After all, you need your car to get to work and transport the kids to and from school and activities. For some Americans, though, paying car loans is becoming too much of a financial burden. According to a recent report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, over 7 million Americans are more than 90 days past due on their auto loan bills. When you can’t pay your auto loan bill, your credit score will drop significantly. If you find yourself among that group of financially squeezed consumers, here’s help for car loan delinquency.

Call Your Lender

The best place to start is to call your lender and explain the situation — ideally before you miss a payment. Sometimes lenders will work with customers who have a proven track record but may have run into some financial difficulties. The lender might offer you a forbearance option, which allows you sometime before you need to make payments again. Or they could lower your payment or let you skip a payment or two. Come up with a number you can comfortably pay each month if your lender asks. Remember that lenders would rather work with borrowers on a payment plan than resort to the last-ditch repossession move. This option is best used if your money troubles are temporary — such as if you’re between jobs — and you anticipate paying your car payment in full within the next couple of months.


Help your car loan delinquency issues by contacting an outside lender to find out if you can refinance your existing loan. Refinancing may lower your interest rate or extended loan term, either of which will result in a lower monthly payment. You’ll likely have to shop around for the best rates — and keep in mind that your credit might take a hit if you’re submitting multiple credit inquiries. Best bet: Check with your local bank or credit union, which tend to offer the cheapest rates for refinancing auto loans. If you go with this option, remember that you should still be in a position where you can pay off the refinanced loan. Otherwise, refinancing might just exacerbate your money woes.

Trade-in or Sell

If you have been struggling for several months to make the car payments and see no end in sight, unloading the vehicle might be the smartest move. You might choose to trade in the car. However, you’ll likely receive less in a trade-in offer than you would simply by selling on your own. Try to sell the car for enough to pay off your existing loan. Otherwise, you’ll be responsible for coming up with the difference — which you can either pay off through your own savings, a personal loan, or a combination of both.

Consider a Cheaper Car

If your car payment is simply too much for you to afford, think about downsizing to a cheaper car. A used car can be a decent option that will snag you a lower payment and help with your immediate issues. With some diligent online searching, you should be able to find a reliable vehicle for a few thousand dollars. If you’re worried about spending money on a less expensive car that may not last long, remember that this is a temporary solution — designed to help you dig yourself out of debt and build up some savings so you can buy a more dependable car in the future.

Negotiate a Settlement With the Lender

It’s worth asking if you can work out a settlement with the lender. For example, you might propose to pay less than the full amount due on the loan. You’ll probably need to show proof that you’re unable to pay the entire outstanding balance. Negotiating a settlement will result in a hit to your credit score, but the damage will be much less than if you’d just stopped paying the loan.

Turn Things Around

If you’re struggling to make your car payments, chances are your credit might be feeling the heat. At Ovation Credit, we can help turn things around and offer help for car loan delinquency. Our credit repair specialists are standing by with solutions. Get ahead today and contact us for a free consultation.

Are you looking for a bridge loan? Educate yourself first before moving forward.

9 Facts You Need to Know About Bridge Loans

By | Loan

Suppose you’re on the hunt for your next home and stumble on the perfect place. The catch? You haven’t yet sold your current house. Good news! With the right financial credentials, you might qualify to finance the purchase of that new abode even before you sell your current home. Bridge loans, as they’re called, provide a little breathing room during the transitional period of moving from one house into another. As with any other major loan, a bridge loan comes with plenty of advantages and drawbacks. Here’s what you should know about bridge loans.

1. Bridge Loans May Be Structured in Different Ways

A bridge loan may be structured in different ways, depending on the lender. The more popular structure enables borrowers to pay off their current mortgage and use the remaining amount toward a down payment, plus closing costs and fees, on a new home. Alternatively, you might have a bridge loan that acts as a second mortgage, and you use all of the money toward your new home.

2. Bridge Loans Are Short-Term Loans

By nature, bridge loans are short-term — the payment term is usually no longer than six to 12 months. You’re expected to pay off the loan, plus fees and interest, once your original house sells.

3. Lenders Approve Bridge Loans at 80% of the Current Mortgage

A lender will typically allow you to borrow 80% of the value of your current home. For example, let’s say your current home is worth $225,000 and you still owe $125,000 on the mortgage. The bridge loan would probably be approved at 80% of the home’s value, or $180,000. That would give you enough cash to pay off your current mortgage, with $55,000 still remaining to put toward a down payment and closing costs on your new home.

4. Bridge Loans Are Expensive

If you qualify for a bridge loan, expect the interest rate to be steep. That means it’ll likely be higher than a home equity loan or standard fixed-rate mortgage. Although the lender might allow you a few months before you need to start making payments, you’ll owe interest on the entire loan once the property is sold. You’ll also be responsible for fees for administration, loan origination, appraisal, escrow, and title policy.

5. They Can Be Tough to Qualify For

What you should know about bridge loans is that, generally, you’ll need to be a longtime homeowner to qualify. You’ll have to show at least 20% equity in your current home, as well as a low debt-to-income ratio and a stellar credit record. While the financial requirements vary from lender to lender, generally you should expect to have a solid credit score — at least in the mid-600s.

6. They’re an Alternative to a Contingency Offer

If you’re anxious to make an offer on a home but haven’t yet sold your current home, you might make an offer that’s contingent on first selling your current home and obtaining financing for the new one. Thanks to a bridge loan, you can avoid contingent offers and, instead, put up the cash up front, which sellers tend to appreciate.

7. Bridge Loans Are Available From Various Sources

You can find lenders offering bridge loans at a bank, credit union, or private lender. For the most favorable rates, it’s best to obtain the bridge loan from the same lender that’s handling the long-term financing or mortgage for the house you plan to buy.

8. The Approval Process Is Fast-Tracked

Lenders understand that borrowers seeking bridge loans need the funds quickly in order to close on the new home. That means that the period between the application and the closing of the loan is much shorter than the process for other loans.

9. Risk Is High

As a condition of the bridge loan, you put up your current home as collateral. If the loan term expires and you still haven’t sold your former home, there’s a chance you’ll be able to request an extension from the lender. However, if the extensions run out as well, the lender could foreclose on your old home. Even if that doesn’t happen, you might face the possibility of paying an expensive bridge loan in addition to the mortgage payment on your new home — which could equal a financial disaster.

Less Risk, More Rewards

What you should know about bridge loans: They’re risky, but could pay off in the end in certain situations. Whether you choose to apply for a bridge loan or find alternate funding sources, make sure your credit is in optimal shape so you can qualify for the best possible rates. Learn more when you contact the team at Ovation Credit for a free consultation today.


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