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Friday, September 27, 1996

By Mac McKinnon

U.S. prevalent for

personal finances

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Personal finances seem to be a problem for many people. That's true
throughout the world but it seems to be especially prevalent in this
country as nowhere else is credit so easily available.

And there are more ways than anyone can imagine to spend money. We've
obviously become a materialistic society. And that trend seems to be
getting worse as more and more merchandise becomes available.

Let me quickly say that I'm not an expert in this area but because I've
been in business so many years, it seems that a number of people come to
me for financial advice.

I've certainly made my share of mistakes in dealing with money and
credit but I want to urge everyone to take their credit rating
seriously. That was one thing my parents always stressed to me. If you
owe someone money, be sure you pay it back and make the payments on time
or early.

I've been very fortunate in my life not to have had any setbacks that
were so serious that it affected my finances to the point where I
couldn't pay bills. People ask me what to do in that event and my answer
is real simple. Be honest and direct. Explain to those to whom you owe
money your circumstances and try to work out a payment plan.

One of the most important things a person should not do is try to avoid
creditors. That leads to distrust.

Another important aspect of credit rating is to never, ever file for
bankruptcy unless the situation is so bad that nothing else can solve
the problem. Not only does it hurt - actually destroys - your credit
rating but it has bad affect on other people who might need to borrow
money as the money you owed will never be repaid. Thus someone else out
there who needs to borrow money won't have access to funds.

Bankruptcy is something that hangs over a person's head for a long
time, up to seven years, I've been told. And it can have even longer
lasting reprucisions for some people with various merchants, those who
have been stung once won't go back for another dose of bankruptcy from
the same person.

Also be careful who you sign for to get a loan. If that person defaults
or declares bankruptcy, their problem can become your problem and ruin
your credit rating or at least your bank account.

Your name and credit rating, I've been taught, are among the most
important things that belong to you and you alone here on earth. Protect
both and your life will be a lot easier.

Mac McKinnon is editor and publisher of the Pecos Enterprise. His
column appears on every.
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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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