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Infactual Articles » 2007 » May


Archive for May, 2007

Why Donate Your Car to Charity?

Posted in Car Donations on May 4th, 2007

Although most charities receive cash donations, the number of car donors has been steadily increasing through the years. Most car donors opt to donate their old cars instead of selling them since the resale value of their cars are way lower than they expect. Also, it can be hard to find buyers. Donating your car does not only give you a feeling of altruism and self-accomplishment (for being able to help others); it also earns you great tax deductions.

Giving your car to charity may generate more value than selling it at a really low price and is far more practical than just not using it. Through the years, people have been increasingly aware of the benefits that they can get from giving to charitable institutions. Donating used cars may solve the problem of getting rid of old cars.

It is common to have your old car appraised for less than its expected market value. Even if it gets a high resale price, chances are that only a handful might consider the possibility of buying it. Donating your car to charity proves to be a better option since it generates more value, especially since it is tax deductible.

When you donate your car, the charity you have chosen is responsible for the tax vouchers needed. It also saves you the hassles of having the car appraised, looking for buyers, or paying for car repair charges that often come with older cars. Also the cost of maintaining a used car may be far greater than just having it stored in your garage or a lowly parking lot. Cars that have seen the light of day, so to speak, usually entail more repair costs than you intend to spend on them. To save you the trouble of constantly paying these costs, it is better to consider donating the car instead.

There also have been cases when stolen cars retrieved by the owners are donated simply because the cars no longer “feel the same.” Donating to charity makes the donors feel more fulfilled since they feel that they have improved the lives of people who are in need. Being able to help and eventually make a difference in their lives may be reason enough for others to donate their cars.

How to Donate Your Automobile to Charity

Posted in Automobile Donation on May 4th, 2007

If you are ready to get rid of an old car, why not donate it to charity? You may help a person in need and even apply for a tax deduction. Most donated automobiles go to non-profit charity organizations and these benefiting groups usually will take care of all the cumbersome paperwork. Usually the automobile is then auctioned off, the proceeds going to the charity. Not only is donating your used car a smart, financial choice, but you can help out the community too.

Here are some tips for donating your vehicle.

First, find a charity that accepts automobile donations and avoid for-profit charities, as their integrity is more questionable than non-profit charities. Even the most reputable agencies often keep up to 50% of the value of your donation for internal needs – some keep as much as 90 to 100%. If you have a favorite charity or if there is an organization you’ve donated to in the past, find out if they have an automobile donation program. Make sure the charity that you donate to is worthy of your donation.

Also, when donating a car, make sure to minimize the costs this may incur on the charity group. Drive the car to the destination yourself – don’t require it to be towed.

Next, if you are using an intermediary agency to process your donation, research the percentage amount that it will scrape off of the funds that will finally end up with the charity. Try to find a “middleman” that only asks for a small percentage. Many non-profit groups are afraid to criticize agencies that process donations because they understandably don’t want to lose money. State attorney generals frequently investigate these agencies for fraud and deception, but you must do your part to make sure they are legitimate.

Lastly, it is time to transfer the automobile to the charity! Some organizations will ask you to leave the ownership title blank, as they don’t wish to re-title it just yet. This is not a good idea – because in this scenario, you can then be liable for any parking violations or crimes that are committed with the car.

Donating an automobile is beneficial to both you and your community but it is a task that must be taken seriously.

How Drug and Alcohol Testing are Carried Out on Drivers

Posted in Drug and Alcohol Testing on May 4th, 2007

Drug and alcohol tests vary – testing is required for most driver’s license applicants and before a driver’s license renewal. Nevertheless, it depends on the state a driver resides in really.

Some states have passed laws that empower the police to randomly test drivers for the presence of cannabis (tetrahydrocannabinol), commonly known as marijuana, and methamphetamines, commonly known as speed ice or crystal meth. Even a driver’s saliva can be tested with an “absorbent collector” – whereby an individual presses their tongue to a “collector” and then chews on it. If a driver tests positive for any of these drugs, their license is immediately cancelled.

“Drug driving” is the term used for those who operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. There are different consequences for those guilty of “drug driving” that depend on precisely what substances were in their system at the time.

Also, “drugs” has a different connotation to authorities than they would to let’s say, a pharmacist. When a police officer thinks of drugs, he means depressants like cannabis, methadone and heroin, stimulants like speed, cocaine and ecstasy, and hallucinogens such as LSD. Even so, there are some prescription drugs that affect driving, like tranquilizing drugs (rohypnol and oxazepam), which cause drowsiness and render a person unfit to operate a vehicle.

Surveys show that the number of road accidents is directly related to the amount of drivers under the influence of illegal drugs and alcohol on the road. And sadly, a large number of those who are involved in accidents due to “drug driving,” die. Some studies show that because the prevalence of different drugs has increased over the decade, so has the number of car accident casualties.

While it is easy to correlate drug use with motorist deaths, there is not a cause-effect relationship that can be proven as of yet but it is still interesting to note. And clearly, a diver who is free of drugs and alcohol is a safer driver than a driver under the influence. Legislators have the responsibility of carefully designing laws that limit “drug driving” and ultimately, the number of dangerous and fatal car accidents.

A person’s capacity to handle the effects of drugs and alcohol certainly play a role in determining the degree of impairment they will experience while on the road. But this is very difficult to determine, as a person’s tolerance of various substances is based on many different factors, like genes, past exposure, and even their diet that day. Likewise, the specific combination of drugs and alcohol can have unpredictable effects on a person. Essentially, it’s all a precariously inexact science.

Hence, police officers must make general observations in order to determine if a driver is a potential threat on the road. Those abusing depressants tend to have slow reactions and reduced concentration – for example, cannabis users usually have trouble keeping their car in the correct lane and encounter difficulty maneuvering on busy roads and intersections.

Playing Fantasy Football and Choosing Top Picks

Posted in Football Picks on May 4th, 2007

Fantasy football is a huge industry. Every fall, millions of people around the world participate in the games. Some do it for money, some for just fun, and others for the ever-important bragging rights. Playing fantasy football and choosing top picks are the obsession of so many as the NFL season approaches, that taking a look at strategies for making the right picks is appropriate. Here are some strategies you should consider employing when it comes time for you so start playing fantasy football and choosing top picks this season.

First of all, when your fantasy draft rolls around, think depth. Rare is the fantasy season in which all of your players go untouched by the injury bug. Couple that with bye weeks and you will see how important depth is. So how do you draft depth? You have to think about what you are going to look for as the draft progresses. Watch for third year wide outs that may come into their own once they understand their team’s offense. They make great backups because it can take a few weeks for the breakout to happen. Also, look for hot rookies who may surge late to sure up your second and third string.

Secondly, you can’t really over manage your team. Every week that you are playing fantasy football you need to be paying attention to the details of your team. Because you drafted for a deep team, you are going to have decisions to make about your starting lineup every single week of the season. Look at matchups and how your players have done against opponents in the past. Trends can help you a lot if you see them. So use the internet to get information, stats, and to know when an injury can sway things your way or away from you.

Third, throughout your season of playing fantasy football, you should keep a close eye on free agents, the waiver wire, and try to make at least a couple of trades. Even if you had a really good draft, the way the season develops will help you with what changes you need to make to get over the top. Use your deep draft to sure up your starters and tighten your lineup as crunch time approaches.

Finally, make sure you are highly familiar with your league’s scoring system. Different fantasy football leagues emphasize different stats. Make sure you know, as you make trades and sign players, whether you need yards, touchdowns, or some other stat to catch those players ahead of you. It is easy to make assumptions, but sometimes a mediocre player can be great for your team if he can get you that one stat you need.

Playing fantasy football and choosing top picks is a science to many. However, these tips mostly fall under the category of common sense. If you follow them then you will have a fantastic chance of making the playoffs. Once you are in the playoffs, anything can happen; anything, including you winning it all and taking home money or bragging rights.

Getting Discounts From Your Auto Insurance Company

Posted in Auto Insurance on May 4th, 2007

Let’s face it an auto insurance company is a business that is created to make a profit and if we are not careful we might end up paying super high premium rates when we could have paid much lower premiums if we only did some research.

Here is a list that I hope will help car owners in lowering their premium rates:

• Safety devices against car thieves

Who would ever think that theft devices are valuable not only in guarding your car against thieves, but also in lowering your premium? Theft devices come in various types. Some are automatic while some need to be manually operated. All these theft devices provide extra premium discounts. In some states window sketching may also be a source of additional premium discounts.

• Multiple car discount

Let us say that you have two cars (for the sake of the illustration) that you want to insure with an auto insurance company. Usually you have to pay separate premiums but did you know that you could actually save a great deal on the premium that you will be paying for your second car? How? Consult your insurance agent to help you.

• Choose Yearly Renewable Auto Insurance Policies

Purchasing a yearly auto insurance policy will provide you with greater savings since the premium rate is fixed for one year compared to buying a six-month policy which changes rates every six months. If you purchase a six-month policy the premium you paid on your first semi-annual premium will not be the same as your second annual premium payment. So instead of saving, you tend to pay more for the same amount of benefits.

• Comprehensive storage coverage

The comprehensive storage coverage is ideal if you are thinking of storing your car for a period of time. It is a great savings idea to keep only the comprehensive coverage during the time you store your car since other coverage will not be required. A car in the garage is unlikely to get into a collision thus it will not require liability coverage.

• Mileage

The mileage that your car travels everyday has a significant effect on the premium rate that you are to pay since the mileage will determine the particular class in which your car belongs. Each class has a different premium rate.

• Organization affiliation

There are many auto insurance companies that offer a discount for being affiliated with certain organizations. These organizations may range from credit unions, college sororities and fraternities, or just having a certain credit card may also earn you a considerable discount on your premium. To be sure, call your service center and ask them for a list of the organization affiliations that they accredit, the same goes with the credit cards.

• Defensive driving course

Some auto insurance companies provide considerable discounts simply by attending defensive driving courses. For more details just check with your state insurance commissioner or you insurance company to see if you qualify and also to inquire on their accredited driving centers.

Most common Kits Used in Drug Testing

Posted in Drug Testing on May 4th, 2007

If you’re thinking of employing a drug test, you should be aware of the different kits out there. Here are some pros and cons of various testing kits, which will enable you to choose the most suitable kind.

• Urine drug tests and testing kits

These are the most commonly used tests. Results show the presence or absence of specific drugs in urine. If a urine test returns positive, it does not mean the donor was under the influence of drugs at the time but that he or she used them recently. Up to ten drugs at a time can be tested with urine samples.

There are three forms of urine drug tests, namely dip form, cassette form and cup form. With dip form, the test is dipped into a urine sample. With cassette form, a urine sample is placed in a cup and is then transferred to the testing device via a pipette. A cup form test allows for the urine to collect and be tested simultaneously.

• Saliva drug tests and testing kits

A saliva drug test kit detects traces of drugs found in the fluids of a person’s mouth. This kind of test simply cannot be contaminated because it is performed under strict supervision. However, the downside is a saliva drug test can only determine current use of drugs – not previous. Saliva tests are often preferable because they are non-invasive and easy to conduct. At least six types of drugs can be tested this way.

• Hair drug tests and testing kits

Hair drug testing is one of the most reliable forms of testing available, because hair stores traces of drugs for long periods of time. Through this form of testing, one can gain a more complete knowledge of a subject’s drug use history – reaching as far back as ninety days. However, current impairment is beyond this test’s detection.

• Spray drug testing kits

Spray drug tests are especially easy and simple to conduct. They are also very reliable and difficult to manipulate or contaminate. However, the types of drugs a spray drug test can detect are limited.

How to Fix Your Credit Report

Posted in Credit Report on May 3rd, 2007

Living with bad credit is stressful but if you want to fix your credit report, there are several steps you can take. First, think positively about the solutions to your money problems – do not dwell on past failures and current debt. Then take the necessary actions to achieve a healthy credit report.

Here are some tips on how to fix your credit report. First, request a copy of your report from a credit bureau (it’s free) and promptly correct any errors you find in it. You wouldn’t want to be denied that job promotion or that loan application because of a simple inaccuracy in your report! When you discover a mistake, write to the bureau and ask them to fix it. You should examine your report at least once a year.

If there are bad marks on your credit report, due to outstanding debts, then repay those debts immediately. The debts with the highest interest should be your first concern. If you find your money troubles to be too great, then turn to a non-profit credit-counseling organization. A counselor can help you develop a debt-consolidation plan and even be a liaison between you and your creditors, negotiating debt reduction. You may be able to reduce monthly payments by as much as 40%.

Also, limit the number of credit card accounts you have. Only maintain the ones that are absolutely necessary. If you eventually develop a healthy credit history, you can take on more accounts if you wish, but even those with a high income will find that multiple accounts are a financial burden and end up trapping them in a nightmare of debt. It’s also important to preserve your total accessible credit on these accounts and to be aware of how much credit you have used so far.

On that same note, do not open multiple accounts at the same time – that will just set you up for an irresistible cycle of debt. The rule of thumb is: don’t open up credit accounts that are unnecessary. Usually, they will end up costing more than you would’ve originally spent if you’d never requested the credit in the first place. Furthermore, don’t think that closing an account will fix your problems. This will not fix your credit report. Taking the above steps to repair your credit score is the best coarse of action and you can do it.

Tips on Buying a Comforter Set For Your Child

Posted in Comforter Set on May 3rd, 2007

A simple and effective way to start decorating your child’s room is by purchasing a comforter set. These sets come with all of the necessities for putting together a child’s bed (comforter, sheets, bedskirt, and pillow cases), and will also serve as the focal point for your child’s room. However, there are some things to consider before deciding on which comforter set to buy. In this article, we’ll provide you with some simple tips on buying a comforter set for your child.

The first tip on buying a comforter set for your child involves money. More to the point - the price you will pay for your child’s comforter set. By their very nature, comforter sets are designed to save you money while creating a look that stands out. When buying a comforter set, it is important that you don’t go overboard and spend an excess amount of money. Remember that kids will be kids, and the possibility of an accident happening in a child’s room is high. By keeping your comforter purchase a cheap one, it will offset any effect that a food or drink spill may have on your pocketbook.

The second tip to keep in mind when buying a comforter set is to be aware of any allergies your child may have. Many children may be allergic to natural down, so be sure to know this information before making a decision. There are several high quality comforters on the market that are filled with polyester or synthetic down. This will guarantee your child stays safe and warm with the comforter you select.

Now, the next step in buying a comforter for your child involves the colors and patterns you select. First, determine if you want to get your child involved in selecting their comforter set. There are several options available for both boys and girls, and it may be fun to have them help you pick out the design. At the very least, it will guarantee that your child approves of the comforter you end up selecting. So, what are some of the designs available for both boys and girls? Let’s take a quick look.

If looking for a comforter in a solid color for a boy’s bedroom, the most popular colors tend to be green, blue, and red. On the other hand, girls usually prefer pastel colors such as pink, yellow, and light blue. If looking for a themed comforter, boys usually like cars and trucks, as well as sports and super heroes. For the girls, the more popular comforter choices include flowers, ballerinas, and of course, Barbie.

These tips on buying a comforter set for your child should help you make the perfect bedding decision. The right comforter will provide your child with years of enjoyment, giving their room just the right look while making it a comfortable place to be. And the best part of all? Comforter sets are designed to provide this effect at a very reasonable price, helping to keep everyone in the family warm and cozy all year round.

How to Check Your Credit Report

Posted in Credit Report on May 2nd, 2007

When you are applying for a new credit card, or an extension of a credit or loan, your lender will review your credit report before granting you anything. So it is probably best to check up on your credit report as well. This way you can correct any inaccuracies and fix your credit report immediately. Ideally, you should check up on your report monthly, and even weekly, especially if you have made a large credit purchase.

Consistently checking up your report will help you to eliminate errors and mistakes easily. It is important that you are up to the task and fix your credit report when problems arise because otherwise, you may have trouble applying for a credit card or loan.

The way to go about keeping an eye on your report is to first get a summary of all your credit accounts and the total debt you’ve incurred. This includes the available limits and existing balances. Any inaccuracies you can then quickly rectify.

More importantly, by constantly reminding yourself of your credit report, you can budget and plan for the future. If you want to buy a brand new car or house, you need to make sure you’ll be easily granted the loan required for such expensive investments.

If you’re not willing to check your credit report that frequently, at least look over it thoroughly once a year. At the end of the day, it is up to the creditors to evaluate your report, so you only have control over correcting errors really. When a creditor does finally accept your account, they will then determine how much to pay you based on your credit history.

Credit history matters and things like bankruptcy and disclosure will be major factors. The national credit bureaus are responsible for collecting information for your credit history and they will indicate what accounts are overdue or late – they actually sell this information to creditors. Success for applications of car insurance, apartment leases, cell phone services and the like will all depend on their credit history.

Even if you think your credit history is good, you will need a copy of your credit report. You may find overlooked errors and compelling statements written on the report. Don’t be the last to know what’s in your file – get ahead of the game. Major consumer reporting companies can provide a copy of your credit report free of charge, so there is really no disadvantage to taking this step. If you fix your credit report, you may also end up securing a job promotion or loan application that you otherwise may have lost based on a silly error.

Locate and Find Debtors with a Credit Collection Agency

Posted in Credit Collection Agency on May 2nd, 2007

It can be a frustrating experience trying to collect a debt from a customer who just seems unwilling to pay. Letters sent to their address go ignored, and phone calls are answered with empty promises of payment. While this is certainly a bad scenario, what if a customer who owes you money just disappears? It is possible to locate and find debtors with a credit collection agency, and in this article we’ll explain to you the methods behind their tracking.

When you enlist the services of a credit collection agency, you gain several resources that are not available to most business owners. One obvious resource is time. As a small business owner, time is often a precious and limited commodity. If you are spending all of your time tracking down a customer who has vanished, your business is sure to suffer. A quality credit collection agency will have the time, resources, and people available to locate and find your debtor, while you can get back to concentrating on your day-to-day operations. Now, let’s turn our attention towards some of the ways credit collection agencies can successfully track a debtor.

Reputable credit collection agencies employ several different resources in locating debtors. For example, they have access to many different public databases, both national and international. These databases can help track a debtor’s recent activity (credit cards, utilities), which is instrumental in pin-pointing their actual location.

Credit collection agencies also hire a wide variety of professionals who specialize in finding debtors. Investigators and tracing agents are just two examples of people who are instrumental in these efforts. These people are capable of literally “tracing” somebody’s steps, following them from the time your business knew their whereabouts to ultimately tracking them down. The methods they use vary, but can consist of phone inquiries, field visits, and the assistance of the debtor’s friends and family.

Credit collection agencies have helped thousands of businesses locate and find debtors. But what happens if they are unable to find the person who owes your business money? Most credit collection agencies will not charge your business unless they actually find your debtor and receive payment for the debt. This fact makes using a credit collection agency a very sound decision.

As you can see, it is possible for you to locate and find debtors with a credit collection agency. One word of caution: If you are thinking about employing a credit collection agency, it is crucial that you do your homework to ensure that you are getting the best assistance possible. There are unfortunately some poor agencies out there, which will charge your business “nominal” fees, or may even charge without locating your debtor. You can easily find out if the credit collection agency you are considering is legitimate by contacting the Better Business Bureau. They will be able to verify that the agency is competent and professional. After that, the agency you choose will hopefully have success in locating your business’ debtor.