Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Scholarships on offer for students wanting to study in Japan

Do you wish to study in Japan at some of its top technology colleges, professional training colleges or universities on scholarship? If yes then there is some good news for you as Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology is offering scholarships to international students intending to study in Japan.

As per the press release Consulate General of Japan is offering three, four and five year scholarships beginning April 2010.

At the Professional Training College three year scholarships are being offered in the following courses:

Civil Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Hotel Management
Infant Education
Secretarial Studies

Scholarships are available for four years at the College of Technology:

Civil Engineering
Information Communication
Mechanical Engineering
Networking Engineering

Undergraduates are eligible for five year scholarship in the following courses:

Agricultural Engineering
Animal Sciences
Business Administration
Civil Engineering and Architecture
Electrical Engineering
Japanese Language
Social Sciences and Humanities
Information Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Naval Architecture
Chemical Engineering
Textile Engineering
Maritime Engineering
Veterinary Medicine
Food Sciences
Medicine and Dentistry

In order to be eligible for this scholarship applicant must have been born between 2 April 1988 and 1 April 1993 and should have completed 12 year regular course of education. The applicant will have to undergo one-year intensive course in the Japanese language. A written examination will be conducted in July 2009 at the premises of the Consulate followed by an interview. Results will be conducted in February 2010.

If you are interested you can obtain prescribed application form along with the guidelines from:

Consulate-General of Japan (Culture and Information)
12/1, Cenotaph Road,

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How to raise your credit score

A good credit score ranges anywhere between 300 and 850 and everybody wants to reach the magic figure of 850.

A good credit report is really important these days as a higher credit score means lower rate of interest for you. It’s important not only while you are buying a house or a car but also if you intend to rent an apartment.

Here are some simple tips on how you can raise your credit score:

Avoid delinquency of accounts at all cost
Late payments will lower your credit score
Don’t maintain too many accounts
Delete your old accounts
Above all always keep a watch on your accounts

These simple steps will really help in pushing up your credit score.

Friday, May 15, 2009

How to bypass high interest rates on your credit card

As per U.S. Senate Banking Committee around one-third credit card holders in US pay interest rates of over 20%.

Here are some simple steps on how you can thwart higher interest rates on your credit card:

Keep a watch on your monthly statements

You may feel this is something which should be ignored but I must tell you that you should keep reviewing your credit card statement. As per law credit card companies are required to have a written notification of pending rate hikes and in case you get to know about a hike in interest rate get in touch with your credit card company.

Hit back at your credit card company

In case your credit card company says that it is going for an interest hike on your credit card tell them that in case they intend to go ahead with it you won’t be interested in their services.

If they don’t budge get hold of another credit card with 0% balance transfers and no annual fee and then approach your existing card company and tell them about your current deal, in most of the cases the companies are willing to negotiate.

As canceling your credit card could impact your score therefore think twice before leaving your current card.

Opt for the temporary closure route

Rather than opting for closure of credit card account which could hurt your credit score you could ask your credit company to suspend your account at the current rate which implies although you can’t use your card but its still open and safe from any kind of credit score damage. Later on you could activate your card at lower interest rate.

I hope these simple yet important steps help you to avoid high interest rate on your credit card.

Monday, May 11, 2009

$315,000 worth home auctioned off for $20,000!!

Ever thought in your wildest dreams that a credit card debt of only $8000 would make you lose your dear home which would cost over $315,000? This is what a Brisbane couple had to experience for non payment of their credit card dues and to rub salt to their wounds the home was sold off for $20,000 at a bailiff's auction.

And the biggest shock was when the new owner of the house who had to pay the $220,000 mortgage of the couple phoned to them and asked them to get out of the house. So what this married couple got at the end of the day was $5000 since the rest of the $15000 was adjusted towards the costs. Imagine $5000 for a home which costs $315,000 in the current scenario!!!

In another case a debt collection company tried to sell a home for just $850.

There have been several such cases happening and will continue to happen around the globe for non payment of credit card debts.

Moral of the story

Never spend more than you can pay
Pay off your credit card debt on time
If possible use your own cash rather than opting for a credit card

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Housing Slump: First Time Buyers stand to benefit the most

Few months back people were caught between their modest salary and expensive real estate market making them wonder whether ever they would be able to afford a decent housing in their lifetime but situations have changed for better though some may not agree with me.

Real estate prices have nosedived and are as much as 40% lower than the skyrocket prices. Besides price drop, federal tax credits for first time home buyers are a big motivation. The good thing is it might serve as a motivation for 300,000 buyers who had been adopting a wait and watch policy or those who had already given up hope. The high rate of foreclosures have already given them a reason so celebrate as first time buyers get an opportunity to buy their dream home.

So if you are a first time buyer then this is the best time to go for your dream house!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Top Ten Money Management Tips for College Graduates

Youngsters are very careless with their finances and it’s not them to be blamed but the youth as they tend to feel that the whole world is on their feet but the recession has taught the youth of today in a hard manner and how they should equip themselves to deal with it but with a smile.

Check out some of the money management tips which every college graduate should try and follow:

• Get on a budget. Belt-tightening should be your new plan of action. Put pen to paper and closely examine your monthly expenses. See what can be eliminated, like too much dining out, and what can be placed on hold, like the purchase of that new computer. There are web sites that can help such as, and as well as books such as It's All About The $Money, Honey!,
• Plan for the worst. With the unemployment rate continuing to soar, the rule of thumb is to try to save an amount equal to at least six months of living expenses--just in case. This is not 401K money, since there are penalties to withdrawal from 401K funds. This is just a regular savings fund or money market fund that is easily accessible without penalties.
• Cash is king. Playing the credit card game can be a dangerous one. Remember that "cash is king" and when possible, pay for what you need by cash not credit. And better still, eliminate any unnecessary spending.
• Join the 401K plan. Yes, you should join your company's 401K plan even if you contribute only $25.00 a month to start. Remember that most employers match your contribution, so you're earning extra money while at the same time relieving your tax burden.
• Learn to monitor your money. With the creation of 401K plans many people have been placid participants, unsophisticated novices who have not learned the importance of reviewing their portfolios and marking timely adjustments. You should look at your 401K plan as fluid not fixed--review it for diversification and rebalance on a quarterly or bi-annual basis.
• Financial literacy. Since most Americans are woefully financially illiterate, it becomes your responsibility to educate yourself. When you enroll in your first 401K plan you'll be given a laundry list of funds in which to choose to invest your earnings. Take the time to research them before you invest. Web sites such as and offer advice.
• Use debt sparingly. Learn to rely more on your debit card and use your credit card for emergencies. Never borrow more than you can repay. Start out with one credit card and learn to pay it off monthly, instead of incurring huge finance charges. Or consider a secured card from a bank which is paid for in advance.
• Live within your means. Understand that going out with friends several nights a week can be a costly venture and buying designer duds, although they make quite the fashion statement, don't do much to keep your finances in line. Realize that most of those designers have web or brick and mortar outlets where you can usually get what you want for a lot less.
• Don’t lend money to friends. It can complicate friendships and in the end you can not only lose your money, but your friend. It's just not worth it.
• Choose your first job wisely. Remember, in this economy take any job that has anything remotely to do with what you are interested in. The rule of thumb is that it is the second job that is the most important step in your career path. But, with any job, make sure that you have healthcare benefits and a 401K plan.

I hope these intelligent money management tips come to your rescue and impart wisdom to all the youngsters out there!!

Pregnant Women and unfair Health Insurance Policies

I never knew women were being charged higher premiums or limited or even denial of health insurance coverage depending on whether they are pregnant or not until I read this.

As per the National Women’s Law Center a September 2008 report it has been found out that insurance companies can reject applications for reasons affecting women i.e. pregnancy, its hard for women to find out health insurance which takes care of their maternity needs and women have to pay higher premiums as compared to men for identical coverage.

For these very reasons Senator John F. Kerry came up with a bill that would prevent insurers from charging higher premiums from women or deny or limit coverage depending on whether they are pregnant or not.

Women’s Health Insurance Fairness Act has been summarized below for you:

Prevent insurers in the individual market from charging women higher premiums than men;

Prevent insurers in the individual market from denying or limiting coverage based on a current or past pregnancy or past or future method of delivery (such as a Cesarean section);

Require all insurance policies offered on the individual market to provide comprehensive maternity coverage for the full scope of maternity services from preconception through postpartum;

Provide the Secretary of Health and Human Services with the authority to monitor compliance with the requirements of this Act and assess fines of at least $10,000 against any health insurance company that fails to submit the required data; and

Direct the Government Accountability Office to issue a report by December 31, 2010 about problems remaining for women on the individual insurance market in all 50 states and DC following enactment of this Act.

This legislation has got the support of American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Children’s Defense Fund, Consumers Union, Families USA, National Partnership for Women & Families, OWL - The Voice of Midlife and Older Women, and the Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health (PRCH).

Seems women will not be discriminated from now on!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The wisdom words of Warren Buffet at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting

I never ever miss the wise words uttered by Oracle of Omaha or Warren Buffet and I made it a point to attend Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting this Saturday which was attended by around 35,000 shareholders.

Between sipping Cherry Coke and biting peanut brittle he uttered some words of wisdom that could have saved jobs and financial losses if investors had heeded to them.

Check out some of the wisdom words of Warren Buffet:

If you have a 150 I.Q., sell 30 points to someone else. You need to be smart, but not a genius.

If you need to use a computer or a calculator to make the calculation, you shouldn’t buy it

There is so much that’s false and nutty in modern investing practice and modern investment banking. If you just reduced the nonsense, that’s a goal you should reasonably hope for.

Charlie Munger, his business partner added his own insights too:

Some of the worst business decisions I’ve ever seen are those with future projections and discounts back. It seems like the higher mathematics with more false precision should help you, but it doesn’t. They teach that in business schools because, well, they’ve got to do something.

Probably you all could learn from their wisdom words and don’t make a mistake in the future.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Keep your health insurance kicking even if you have lost your job

Even if you have lost your job to recession stay assured that in these difficult times you can still have the coverage of your health insurance. Check out how all this is possible:

In your mailbox keep an eye out for COBRA forms which is a federal law enabling you to maintain healthcare coverage from your earlier employer for up to 18 months even if you go on to lose your job but it has a downside to it.

COBRA can prove out to be expensive in testing times as it can cost $1,000.00 or more per month for family coverage.

Also not everybody would be eligible for COBRA and in case you have been fired rather than laid off then COBRA is not for you. In case you are married and not eligible under COBRA your spouse could be covered under the plan.

You may term COBRA to be expensive but in case of real medical emergency need it will emerge out to be cheaper as compared to shelling out money from your own pocket.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Rising Auto Insurance Frauds, Who is to blame?

Recession has witnessed a spurt in the cases of auto insurance frauds which has cost over $6 billion in terms of auto insurance payments.

Here are some of the startling facts to prove it:

In Hawaii, there was a 61 percent increase in convictions for auto insurance fraud from 2007 to 2008. Car give-ups -- abandoning a car and reporting it stolen -- rose by almost 33 percent in 2008 in New York

In Pennsylvania, law enforcement saw insurance fraud and related crimes jump 30 percent in 2008 over 2007, with car insurance fraud accounting for 46 percent of total fraudulent claims.

According to the state's fraud bureau

These auto insurance frauds are not just denting the insurance companies but even burning hole in the pockets of vehicle owners due to rising costs of premiums. Auto insurance frauds are costing at least $80 billion every year or around $950 per family.

I wonder does this signal the desperation of average Americans who are not able to foresee the demarcation between right and wrong.

Seems in this scenario fewer number of people are bothered about not committing crimes and at the end its ‘we’ who end up facing the music.