You apply for a credit card and the bank sends you one when you’re approved. Whether it’s a Visa, a MasterCard or another type of payment card doesn’t factor into the process. Or does it?
Find out whether you should choose Visa or MasterCard when applying for credit cards and what other information you should know about these companies before selecting a credit card.
The Difference Between Visa and MasterCard
The only real difference that stands between Visa and MasterCard is that your card works on the payment network that the company operates. A Visa card won’t work on MasterCard’s network, and vice versa.
Ultimately, any other differences in cards come from the specific card you have. Not all MasterCard cards are the same, and not all Visa cards are the same.
How Are Visa and MasterCard cards similar?
Visa and MasterCard are both card networks. That means they manage the payment networks on which their cards work, but they don’t actually approve or issueÂ cards to consumers. When you receive a Visa or MasterCard credit card, you get it from a bank such as Chase, WellsFargo or other organizations.
This is in contrast to how cards such as Discover and American Express work. These companies operate payment networks, but they also sometimes issue cards directly.
One benefit of the way Visa and MasterCard work is that they are able to foster much wider acceptance than other credit card companies. Visa’s network is 28 million merchants strong. MasterCard’s network features 30 million merchants. It’s rare that one of the types of cards is not accepted when another is. You’re much more likely to find a merchant that accepts Visa and MasterCard while not accepting Discover or American Express.
Other Similarities Between Visa and MasterCard
Because the specifics of your card depend on what kind of Visa or MasterCard you have, both types of cards offer a variety of options. Here are some of the considerations and options you’ll find whether you choose MasterCard or Visa.
1. Credit scores are required for cards.
The credit card companies don’t decide whether you’re approved for a card or not. It’s the bank sponsoring the card that makes the final call because they’re the one taking the financial risk to extend you credit. Some cards require good to excellent credit scores for approval, while others are approved for individuals with lower credit ratings.
Some banks may even offer credit repair cards for individuals with even lower credit ratings. These tend to have very low credit limits and may come with higher interest rates. Often, cards with the best benefits are approved only for those with good credit ratings.
Find out more about credit scoresÂ and what is typically considered a strong score before you apply for any type of credit card.
2. Rewards cards are an option.
Both MasterCard and Visa work with banks that provide rewards credit cards. These can include:
- Travel rewards, such as points toward discounts on hotel stays, airfare, dining or even Uber rides
- Store-specific rewards, such as points at retailers like Best Buy or Home Depot
- Food and beverage rewards, such as free beverages at Starbucks or discounts at favorite restaurant chains
- Cash back earned on each dollar you spend
The type of rewards you earn with your card depend on the card program, which is offered by the banks, and you can find Visa and MasterCard options for all of the above.
You can find some of the best options for rewards and other credit cardsÂ via the Credit.com search tools. That’s true whether you’re looking for MasterCard cardsÂ or Visa cards.
3. Fees can range for each card.
Fees are typically set by the banks and not by Visa or MasterCard. What you pay in over-limit, balance transfer, late fees or foreign transaction feesÂ depends on the bank, the credit card offer and the agreement you sign. Don’t rely on the name on the card, and instead, make sure you fully review the offer before you agree to it so you know what fees you’re on the hook for.
4. Apple and Google Pay are options.
Most MasterCard and Visa credit cards work with smart wallet options such as Apple Pay or Google Pay. This is good news for credit card holders who are worried about the security risks that come with swiping a card. Instead, you can link your card to the app on your smartphone and pay via your phone at any payment station that accepts these methods.
5. Credit card holder discount programs.
If you use a business credit card, you may be entitled to save money on various purchases. Visa offers its Visa SavingsEdge program which features discounts of up to 15% or more on qualifying merchants that are automatically refunded to cardholders’ statements. Participating merchants include gas stations, hotels and car rental agencies.
MasterCard offers its similar Easy Savings program with discounts for qualifying purchases from gas stations, hotels and car repair chains. In both cases, cardholders must enroll their cards to realize these savings.
Can You Choose Your Own Payment Network?
In cases where banks work with both MasterCard and Visa, you may be able to contact your credit card company to ask for a specific network. This is true even if you were already issued a card on one of the networks already.
Because the bank determines APR, terms and rewards programs, there is often no reason to get into this level of detail when requesting a card. However, Visa and MasterCard both do back some benefits associated with their cards, including rental car insurance, buyer protections, extended warranties and travel insurance. If one of these benefits is extremely important to you, it may be worth it to change to the card network that offers the best option.
Regardless of whether you choose a Visa or a MasterCard card, apply for a credit card right here on Credit.com. Need to know your credit score before applying? Find out by signing up for a free Credit.comÂ account.
The post Visa v. Mastercard: How These Financial Tools Are Similar & What Makes Them Different appeared first on Credit.com.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the authorâs alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer.
If left unchecked, extensive amounts of credit card debt can cripple your finances. The good news is there are many ways to handle debt, though each requires a dedicated effort on your part. But if you can manage to consolidate credit card debt, you will reduce your burden relatively quickly. In the process, youâll avoid the exorbitant interest rates that accompany most credit cards. Below we take a look at some of the most effective techniques you can use to make this goal a reality.
Find Out Your Credit Score
Before you can work on improving your credit and minimizing your debt, you have to know where you currently stand.
Many credit card issuers allow cardholders to see their FICOÂ® credit score free of charge once a month, so check out if any of your cards include that free credit score. The three major credit bureaus â TransUnion, Experian and Equifax â also give out free annual credit reports. If thatâs not enough, websites like Credit Karmaâ¢ and Credit Sesame provide a free look at your credit score and reports as well.
It is vital to review your credit report with a fine-tooth comb to ensure the accuracy of the information. If you find errors be sure to let the credit bureau in question know so the issue can be eradicated as soon as possible.
Zero Interest Balance Transfer Cards
Although it might seem counterintuitive to apply for another credit card to lessen your debt, a zero interest balance transfer card could really help. These cards typically include an introductory 0% balance transfer Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for six months or more. This ultimately allows you to move debt from one account to another without incurring more interest. However, once the introductory offer concludes, any leftover balances will revert to your base APR.
These offers arenât totally free, though. Most cards also charge a balance transfer fee thatâs usually between 3% and 5% of the transfer. Even with this initial payment, you will almost always still save money over leaving your debt where it stands currently.
If you want to consolidate credit card debt, here are three different balance transfer credit cards you could apply for, with varying introductory interest rates and transfer fees:
Balance Transfer Credit Cards Card Intro Balance Transfer APR Balance Transfer Fee Chase Slate 0% APR for first 15 months; then 16.49% to 25.24% Variable APR, depending on your creditworthiness No fee for first 60 days; then $5 or 5% of each transfer, whichever is greater Citi Double Cash Card 0% introductory APR for 18 months from date of first transfer when transfers are completed within 4 months from date of account opening; then 15.49% to 25.49% Variable APR, depending on your creditworthiness $5 or 3% of each transfer, whichever is greater BankAmericardÂ® credit card 0% APR for first 15 billing cycles; then 14.49% to 24.49% Variable APR, depending on your creditworthiness No fee for first 60 days; then $10 or 3% of each transfer, whichever is greater Take Out a Personal Loan
The thought of taking out another loan probably doesnât sound too appetizing to consolidate credit card debt. But a personal debt consolidation loan is one of the speediest ways to rid yourself of credit card debt. More specifically, you can use it to pay off most or all of your debt in one lump sum. That way, your payments are all merged into a single account with your lender.
The APR and length of the offered loan and the minimum credit score needed for approval are the main factors that should go into your final decision on a lender. By concentrating on these three components of the loan, you can map out what your monthly payments will be. As a result, you can more easily implement them into your financial life.
Applying for a personal consolidation loan can have a detrimental effect on your credit. Unfortunately, most institutions will run a hard credit check on you prior to approval. However, many online lenders donât do this, which might ease your mind depending on the severity of your debt situation.
These loans are available through a wide variety of financial institutions, including banks, online lenders and credit unions. Here are a few examples of some of the most common debt consolidation lenders:
Common Debt Consolidation Lenders Banks Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, Fifth Third Bank Online Lenders Lending Club, Prosper, Best Egg Credit Unions Navy Federal Credit Union, Unify Financial Credit Union, Affinity Federal Credit Union Auto or Home Equity Loan
If you own assets like a home or car, you can take out a lump-sum loan based on the equity you hold in them to consolidate credit card debt. This is a great way to reuse money you paid toward an existing loan to take care of your debt. When paying back your auto or home equity loan, youâll usually pay in fixed amounts at a relatively low interest rate. Even if this rate isnât great, itâs likely much better than any offer youâd receive from a card issuer.
Equity loans are technically a second mortgage or loan, meaning your house or car will become the loanâs collateral. That means you could lose your house or car if you cannot keep up with your equity loan payments.
Create a Budget
To build a budget, you first need to figure out your approximate monthly net income. Donât forget to take into account taxes when youâre doing this.
You can then start subtracting your variable and fixed expenses that are expected for the upcoming month. This is where you will likely be able to identify where youâre overspending, whether itâs on food, entertainment or travel. Once youâve completed this, you can begin cutting back where you need to. Then, use your surplus cash to pay off your debt one month at a time.
It shouldnât matter if youâre dealing with substantial credit card debt or not. A monthly spending budget should always be a part of how you manage your finances. While this is likely the slowest way to eliminate debt, itâs also the most financially sound. At its core, it attempts to fix the problem without taking funding from an outside source. This should leave very little financial strife in the aftermath of paying off your debt.
Professional Debt Counseling
Perhaps since youâve found yourself in serious debt, you feel like you want professional help getting out of it. Well the National Foundation for Credit CounselingÂ® (NFCCÂ®) is available for just that reason. The NFCCÂ® has member offices all around the U.S. that are certified in helping you consolidate credit card debt.
These counselors wonât only address your current financial issues and debt. Theyâll also work to create a plan that will help you avoid this situation again in the future.
Agencies that are accredited by the NFCCÂ® will have it clearly displayed on their website or at their offices. If youâre not sure where to look, the foundation created an agency locator thatâll help you find a counselor nearby.
Borrow From Your Retirement
Taking money early from your employer-sponsored retirement account obviously isnât ideal. Thatâs means borrowing from your retirement is a last-ditch alternative. But if your credit card debt has become such a handicap that itâs affecting all other facets of your life, it is a viable option to consolidate credit card debt.
Because you are technically loaning money to yourself, this will not show up on your credit report. Major tax and penalty charges await anyone who has trouble making payments on these loans though. To make matters worse, if you quit your job or are fired, youâre typically only given 60 days to finish paying it off to avoid incurring a penalty.
Tips To Consolidate Credit Card Debt
- If you take the time to come up with a budget, donât let it go to waste. While you might find it tough to stick to, especially if youâre trying to cut back, it is the best way to manage your money correctly. Even if a budget becomes habit, stay vigilant with where your money is being spent.
- Although a financial advisor will cost money, he or she might be able to help you keep your finances in check while ultimately helping you plan for the future as well. However, if this isnât an option for you financially, stay on track with your NFCCÂ® debt counselorâs plan.
- There are so many ways to gain access to your credit score that thereâs virtually no excuse for not knowing it. It doesnât matter if you do it through one of the top three credit bureaus, FICOÂ® or one of your card issuers. Just remember to pay attention to those ever-important three digits as often as possible.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the authorâs alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer.
Photo credit: Â©iStock.com/Liderina, Â©iStock.com/ferrantraite, Â©iStock.com/cnythzl
The post Tips to Consolidate Credit Card Debt appeared first on SmartAsset Blog.
The following is a guest post by Lisa Bigelow, a content writer for Bold.
When it comes to paying for college, the anxiety about how to leave college debt-free starts early. And for thousands of grads who are buckling under the weight of monthly student loan payments that can cost as much as a mortgage, that worry can last for as long as 25 years.
According to EducationData.org and The College Board, the cost of a private school undergraduate education can exceed $200,000 over four years. Think you can avoid a $100k+ price tag by staying in-state? Think againâmany public flagships can cost over $100,000 for residents seeking an undergraduate degree, including room and board. And with financial aid calculators returning eye-poppingly low awards, youâd better not get a second topping on your pizza.
In fact, youâd better hope that you can graduate on time.
The good news is that you can maintain financial health and get a great education at the same time. You wonât have to enroll as a full-time student and work 40 hours a week, eitherâeach of the methods suggested are attainable for anyone who makes it a priority to leave college debt-free.
Here are four practical ways you can leave college debt-free (and still get that second pizza topping).
1. Cut the upfront sticker price
Donât visit schools until you are certain you can afford them. Instead, prioritize the cost of attendance and how much you can afford to pay. Staying in-state is one easy way to do this. But if you have wanderlust and want to explore colleges outside state lines, an often-overlooked method of cutting the upfront cost is the regional tuition discount. Many US states participate in some form of tuition reciprocity or exchange programs. You can explore the full list of options at the National Association for Student Financial Aid Administrators website.
Letâs explore how this works. As a resident of a New England state, for example, you can study at another New England stateâs public university at a greatly reduced cost if your home stateâs public schools donât offer the degree you want. So, for example, if you live in Maine but want to go to film school, you can attend the University of Rhode Island and major in film using the regional tuition discount.
Some universities offer different types of regional discounts and scholarships that appear somewhat arbitrary. The University of Louisville (in Kentucky) includes Connecticut in its regional scholars program. And at the University of Nebraska, out-of-state admitted applicants are eligible for several thousand dollars in renewable scholarship money if they meet modest academic standards.
If you already have your heart set on an expensive school and youâre not likely to qualify for reciprocity, financial help, or merit aid, live at home and complete your first two years at your local community college.
Hereâs another fun fact: in some places, graduating from community college with a minimum GPA gives you automatic acceptance to the state flagship university.
2. Leverage dual enrollment and âtesting outâ
When you enroll in a four-year college itâs pretty likely that youâll spend the first two years completing general education requirements and taking electives. Why not further reduce the cost of your education by completing some of those credits at your local community college, or by testing out?
Community college per-credit tuition is usually much cheaper than at four-year colleges, so take advantage of the lower rate in high school and over the summer after youâre enrolled in your four-year college.
But beware: youâll probably need at least a C to transfer the credits, so read your institutionâs rules first. Also, plan to take general education and low-level elective classes, because youâll want to take courses in your major at your four-year school.
If youâve been given the opportunity to take Advanced Placement courses, study hard for your year-end exams. Many colleges will accept a score of 3 or higher for credit, although some require at least a 4 (and others none at all). Take four or five AP classes in high school, score well on the exams, and guess what? Youâve just saved yourself a semester of tuition.
3. Take advantage of financial aid opportunities
After taking steps one and two, you probably have a good idea of what the leftover expense will be if you want to leave college debt-free. Your next job is to figure out how to cut that total even more by using financial aid. There are four types to consider.
The first is called need-based aid. This is what youâll apply for when you complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Known as the FAFSA, this is where youâll enter detailed financial information, and youâll need at least an hour the first time you complete this form. Hint: apply for aid as soon as the form opens in the fall. It is not a bottomless pot of money.
There is also medical-based financial aid. If you have a condition that could make employment difficult after graduating from college, you may be eligible, and qualifying is separate and apart from financial need and academic considerations.
The third type of aid relates to merit and is offered directly by colleges. Some schools automatically consider all accepted applicants for merit scholarships, which could relate to academics or community service or, in the case of recruited athletes, athletics. At other universities, youâll need to submit a separate scholarship application after youâve been admitted. Some merit awards are renewable for four years and others are only for one year.
If you didnât get need-based or merit-based aid then you still may qualify for a private scholarship. Some require essays, some donât, and some are offered by local community organizations such as rotary clubs, womenâs organizations, and the like. Donât turn your nose up at small-dollar awards, either, because they add up quickly and can cover budget-busting expenses such as travel and books.
4. Find easy money
Small-dollar awards really add up when you make finding easy money a priority. Consider using the following resources to help leave college debt-free:
- Returns from micro-investing apps like Acorns
- Tax return refunds
- Browser add-ons that give you cashback for shopping online
- Rewards credit cards (apply for a travel rewards credit card if youâre studying out of state)
- Asking for money at the holidays and on your birthday
- Working part-time by capitalizing on a special talent, such as tutoring, photography, or freelance writing
Leave College Debt-Free
Finally, if you have to take out a student loan, you may be able to have it forgiven if you agree to serve your community after graduation. The Peace Corps is one such way to serve, but if you have a specialized degree such as nursing, you can work in an underserved community and reap the rewards of loan forgiveness.
Lisa Bigelow writes for Bold and is an award-winning content creator, personal finance expert, and mom of three fantastic almost-adults. In addition to Credit.com, Lisa has contributed to The Tokenist, OnEntrepreneur, College Money Tips, Finovate, Finance Buzz, Life and Money by Citi, MagnifyMoney, Well + Good, Smarter With Gartner, and Popular Science. She lives with her family in Connecticut.
The post 4 Practical Ways to Leave College Debt-Free appeared first on Credit.com.
Depending on the time period in which you were raised, many young children and adolescents had differing opinions (and ideals) about what credit was and how it should or shouldnât be utilized. While some were privileged enough to understand the complexities and importance of credit, others had to learn at the expense of their own mistakes along the way. No matter where you were or where you are currently, luckily there are always actionable steps that can be taken to clean up, improve, and get smart about your credit â letâs explore.Â
Become familiar with what can impact your creditÂ
There are five key components that are factored into your credit score.Â
Your ability to make timely payments plays a huge role in your credit score. Lenders want to have the confidence that you as the borrower are capable of paying back any debts on time. If there is ever a situation that can impact your payment history, itâs best to notify your lender as soon as possible to avoid any negative remarks on your credit report.Â Â
In order to determine your credit utilization rate, divide the amount of credit currently in use by the amount of credit you have available. For the best possible scores, keep this percentage under 30%. This shows creditors you have the ability to manage debt wisely. To optimize and improve your score, make it a goal to utilize less than 10% if possible.Â Â Â
Length of credit historyÂ Â
Lenders will take an account of all creditors and the length of time each account has been open. In order to improve this average, try your best not to close any accounts as this can have the potential to decrease your overall credit score.Â Â
Credit mixÂ Â
Car, student loan debt, mortgage, and credit cards are all varying types of revolving and installment loans. Lenders view this as favorable when youâre able to manage different types of credit. A good rule of thumb for using a credit card is charging a small amount each month and paying it off in full to avoid any interest payments. Not only does this impact your score positively, but it also creates good habits that donât require you to solely rely on credit cards for purchases. Â
Any time you apply for credit, youâre giving lenders the right to obtain copies of your credit report from a credit bureau. Soft inquiries do not have an impact on your score, such as pulling your own credit report or a potential employer pulling your report as a part of the screening process. Applying for a new credit card, requesting a credit limit increase, financing a car, or purchasing a home are all examples of hard inquiries. For processes such as auto purchases, student loans, or mortgages these are typically treated as a single inquiry if done within a short scope of time such as thirty days. Be mindful of the number of inquiries outside of these scenarios â this mainly relates to retail store credit cards. Inquiries have a greater impact if you have a short credit history or a limited amount of active credit accounts.Â Â Â
Review your credit reports and dispute errors if necessaryÂ
Carve out some time to obtain a free credit report from one of the three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion or Equifax) to review. Familiarize yourself with everything that is listed. In the instance something doesnât appear correct, follow the proper protocols to dispute errors. Completing this exercise at least once a year after initially cleaning up any errors can help correct any mistakes, but also ensures accuracy. The credit reporting agency and the lender must be contacted in order to jumpstart the process of resolution. Even in the instance, there are no issues found, youâll have peace of mind knowing the due diligence has been done.Â Â
Communicate and be honest with all creditorsÂ
If you are experiencing any type of financial hardships due to unforeseen circumstances, make it a priority to communicate upfront with all creditors. Explaining your personal situation while proposing reasonable solutions may work in your favor. Refrain from avoiding creditors due to emotional reasons or negative thoughts; your pride cannot overshadow your personal needs. When discussing finances, most of us donât want to disclose any personal information â however, if this can result in bettering your personal finance journey and credit score simultaneously; thereâs no way to lose. Make your requests known and be proactive so the best solutions can be provided.Â Â
Create a plan and remain completely committedÂ
Commit to at least three goals that relate to improving your credit. This could simply start with paying all of your bills on time and regularly checking in with creditors to ensure good standing. If credit card spending is a challenge for you, commit to limiting your credit card usage while paying more than the minimum balance. Rally the assistance of your family and friends to serve as your accountability partners to make sure you achieve your goals. No matter the personal goals you decide to set, commit to staying the course. Often times our personal lack of patience leads us to believe that the hard work thatâs being put forth is in vain. If nothing else, commit to improving your credit for you and your familiesâ wellbeing.Â Â
Protect your hard work (and your credit)Â
Once your new credit score emerges and is here to stay, the first order of business is to celebrate â congratulations! Your hard work and dedication have indeed paid off. In order to make sure your credit score stays in tip-top shape, donât be too quick to take your foot off of the gas just yet! Be sure to stay informed about any tactics or strategies to keep your credit score in the best shape possible. Weâre all on our phones throughout the day, so make it a regular occurrence to do a quick internet search on ways to improve your credit score. Continually staying educated about various credit improvement opportunitiesÂ Â
The post National Get Smart About Credit Day appeared first on MintLife Blog.
Though the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in widespread fitness center closures, many Americans still want to stay as healthy as possible. Depending on the level of services and equipment required, staying active can affect peopleâs budgets in a variety of ways. For now, virtual exercise classes and home gyms are the route most people are taking. Eventually, though, gyms will reopen at full capacity, and everyone will be able to reestablish his or her normal workout routine. When that happens, some places will be more conducive to jumping into a full-on fitness frenzy, and SmartAsset crunched the numbers to find where they are.
To locate the most fitness-friendly places for 2021, we compared 301 metropolitan areas across the following metrics: percentage of residents who walk or bike to work, fitness professionals per 10,000 workers, fitness establishments per 10,000 establishments, the percentage of restaurants that are fast-food establishments and the average wage of personal trainers. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, check out the Data and Methodology section below.
This is SmartAssetâs seventh annual study on the most fitness-friendly places in the U.S. Read the previous version here.
- Western and Midwestern metro areas populate the top. For the second straight year, cities in the Midwest and West dominate the top 10 of this list. Six metro areas are in the West and three are in the Midwest. Western metro areas do well in terms of fitness establishments per 10,000 establishments â all rank within the top 8% of study for this metric â and they also rank within the top 14% of the study for the percentage of residents who walk or bike to work. Only one metro area in the top 10 is not in either of these regions â Ithaca, New York.
- Fitness-friendly cities are light on the drive-thrus. On average, across the 301 metro areas in our study, fast-food establishments represent 45% of all restaurants. Though fast food is popular, convenient and inexpensive, it tends to be relatively high in calories and low in nutritional value â making it tougher to be healthy if you eat a lot of it, regardless of your exercise levels. In the top 10 of this study, all but three metro areas have fewer than 40% of their restaurants serving fast food, so there is less temptation to go for an easy-but-unhealthy meal that can ruin all your hard work. The metro area with the lowest percentage of restaurants that are fast food is Wenatchee, Washington, where it is just 27%.
1. Missoula, MT
The Missoula, Montana metro area is the most fitness-friendly place in the U.S. for 2021. There are 131 fitness establishments â including places like gyms and sporting goods stores â per 10,000 total establishments in Missoula, the third-highest rate for this metric in the study. There are also plenty of fitness professionals living in Missoula, 59 per 10,000 workers, placing it sixth-best for this metric. Residents in Missoula also get plenty of exercise simply by walking or biking to work: 7.1% of residents choose to do so, the 17th-highest rate for this metric across the 301 areas we studied.
2. La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN
The La Crosse, Wisconsin metro area, which also includes parts of Minnesota, has 130 fitness establishments for every 10,000 total establishments, the fourth-highest rate for this metric. The metro area finishes in the top quartile for three other metrics as well, ranking 28th for fitness professionals per 10,000 workers (with 42), 33rd for the percentage of residents who walk or bike to work (at 5.2%) and 64th for the percentage of restaurants that are fast-food establishments (around 39%).
3. Bend, OR
The Bend, Oregon metro area cracks the top 10 for two of our metrics. It places fourth in terms of fitness professionals per 10,000 workers with 61, and seventh for fitness establishments per 10,0000 total establishments, at 116. Bend can be a bit pricey of a place to stay in shape, though. The average hourly wage of personal trainers is $18.72, placing Bend at 176th out of 301 for this metric.
4. Ann Arbor, MI
There are 67 fitness professionals per 10,000 workers in the Ann Arbor, Michigan metro area, the second-highest rate for this metric of the 301 metro areas we analyzed. For their commutes, 7.4% of residents walk or bike to work, the 15th-highest percentage in this study. There are also plenty of fitness establishments in the metro area if you prefer to work out in a dedicated space: At 112 per 10,000 residents, this is the 10th-highest rate of the 301 places we analyzed.
5. Bloomington, IN
Folks in the Bloomington, Indiana metro area might have more of an opportunity to get a workout in during their commute, with 8.0% of residents walking or biking to work, the eighth-highest rate in the study for this metric. Bloomington has two other metrics for which it finishes in the top fifth of the 301 metro areas of the study â fitness establishments per 10,000 total establishments (ranking 48th-highest, with 93) and average wage of personal trainers (ranking 49th-lowest, which makes it cheaper for the consumer, at $14.53).
6. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA
The metro area around Santa Cruz, California finishes ninth overall for its relatively low percentage of restaurants that specialize in fast food, at 33%. Santa Cruz also comes in 12th for the percentage of residents who walk or bike to work, at 7.5%. If youâre looking for help getting in shape, though, itâll cost you. The average wage of a personal trainer in the area is a steep $20.59, ranking in the bottom third of this study.
7. Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, Arizona has the third highest percentage of residents who walk or bike to work we saw in this study, at 11.5%. There are also 109 fitness establishments per 10,000 total establishments, the 14th-highest rate we observed. Flagstaff is hurt, though, by its price: The average wage of a personal trainer in this metro area is $22.27, in the bottom sixth of this study.
8. Fort Collins, CO
Fort Collins is the first of two metro areas in Colorado to rank in the top 10 of this study, and it gets there on the strength of having 113 fitness establishments per 10,000 total establishments, ranking ninth of 301 metro areas for this metric. It also scores in the top 15% of the study for the percentage of residents who walk or bike to work (5.2%) and fitness professionals per 10,000 workers (46).
9. Boulder, CO
Boulder is the second Colorado metro area in the top 10, and it has two metrics for which it finishes in the top 15 out of 301 in the study overall. It comes in 11th for fitness professionals per 10,000 workers, at 53, and 12th for the percentage of residents who walk or bike to work, at 7.5%. Its final ranking is dragged down a bit due to its bottom-10 finish for the average hourly wage for personal trainers, at a pricey $27.25. However, it still ranks in the top 20 of the study for fitness establishments per 10,000 establishments, at 105.
10. Ithaca, NY
A whopping 14.5% of residents of Ithaca, New York walk or bike to work, the second-highest percentage in this study for this metric. Ithaca finishes eighth in terms of fitness establishments per 10,000 total establishments with 114. It is very expensive to get help with fitness in Ithaca, though. The average hourly wage for a personal trainer is $29.30, finishing third-worst out of 301 metro areas in this study for its high cost.
Data and Methodology
To find the most fitness-friendly places in the country for 2021, we examined data for 301 metro areas across the following five metrics:
- Percentage of residents who walk or bike to work. Data comes from the Census Bureauâs 2019 1-year American Community Survey.
- Concentration of fitness professionals. This is the number of fitness professionals per 10,000 workers. Our list of fitness professionals includes dietitians and nutritionists, recreational therapists, athletic trainers as well as fitness trainers and aerobics instructors. Data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Employment Statistics and is for May 2019.
- Concentration of fitness establishments. This is the number of fitness establishments per 10,000 establishments. Our list of fitness establishments includes sporting goods stores and fitness and recreational sports centers. Data comes from the Census Bureauâs 2018 Metro Area Business Patterns Survey.
- Concentration of fast-food restaurants. This is the percentage of restaurants that are limited-service establishments. Data comes from the Census Bureauâs 2018 Metro Area Business Patterns Survey.
- Average hourly wage of personal trainers. Given the limited availability of direct data about the cost to consumers for personal training services, this metric acts as a proxy to indicate the relative affordability of hiring a personal trainer in a given metro area. Data comes from the BLS and is for May 2019.
First, we ranked each metro area in each metric. Then we found each placeâs average ranking, giving all metrics a full weight except for concentration of fast-food restaurants and average hourly wage of personal trainers, each of which received a half weight. Using this average ranking, we created our final score. The metro area with the highest average ranking received a score of 100, and the metro area with the lowest average ranking received a score of 0.
Tips for a Fit and Financially Secure Life
- Find the right financial fit. No matter what your fitness goals are, financially you want to make sure you are secure, and a financial advisor can help. Finding the right financial advisor doesnât have to be hard. SmartAssetâs free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in five minutes. If youâre ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
- Consider the health of your budget. If you live somewhere where fitness is expensive, make a budget so that you can work the price into your monthly spending.
- Making bigger money moves? If youâre considering moving to one of the places we listed above, use SmartAssetâs tool to find out how much house you can afford before you make the big move.
Questions about our study? Contact email@example.com.
Photo credit: Â©iStock.com/PeopleImages
The post Most Fitness-Friendly Places for 2021 appeared first on SmartAsset Blog.
Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images
Itâs in the stars. The home of the late astrologer and psychic Walter Mercado in San Juan, PR, is now on the market for $395,000. The legendary Spanish-language television personality, who died in 2019 at the age of 87, delivered his daily horoscopes with panache, often wearing a cape, and was known for wishing his huge audiences âMucho, mucho amor.â
Mercado broadcast to 120 million devoted viewers daily for decades, according to a 2019 museum exhibit that explores his influence. Although he last aired his show from Miami, he kept a home in Puerto Rico.
The property initially landed on the market in September 2020 for $495,000. But with no buyer forthcoming, the price was dropped to $430,000 in December, and subsequently to its current asking price.
We predict that a buyer will be quite pleased with the place.
The listing describes the property as âuniqueâ and located in an âexclusive areaâ of San Juan. It also offers a flexible floor plan, with two separate living accommodations on separate floors.
The first level, entered from a foyer, features three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a living room, dining room, and kitchen. The layout includes an office space with a small kitchen and half bathroom. The interiors are painted bright and cheery reds and yellows. The stairs are covered with decorative tiles. Other details of the 1970 abode include wrought-iron railings, arched doorways, and fanciful light fixtures.
Upstairs, the separate living space includes two large bedrooms, two bathrooms, a small kitchen, two terraces, a living room, dining room, family room, and balcony.
Outside, the grounds include a terrace, pool, gazebo, and patio. The covered carport has room for at least four cars. An electric gate secures the entrance to the property. Other amenities include an electric generator that powers the entire house, as well as security doors and windows.Â
Born Walter Mercado Salinas, the flamboyant entertainer grew up in Puerto Rico, and began delivering his predictions in elaborate costumes on a weekly show on Telemundo back in the 1970s.
Mercadoâs reach expanded in the 1990s, when his show moved to Univision, where he delivered his soulful brand of astrology until 2010. After that, he maintained a public presence through a website and other appearances. He also wrote a horoscope column in El Nuevo Herald, the Spanish-language sister of the Miami Herald.
He is the subject of a 2020 documentary, âMucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado,â available on Netflix.
Gretchen Garcia with Real Estate Opportunities holds the listing.
The post Puerto Rico Home of the Late Astrologer Walter Mercado Available for $395K appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.comÂ®.
Reality TV star Ty Pennington, known for changing peopleâs lives with his energetic personality onÂ the original version of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, is now looking to cash in on his own home makeover. Pennington has just listed his house — a beautiful and bright 1927 Craftsman in Venice, Calif. — for $2,795,000.
Pennington put his home design expertise to good use and carefully restored the property earlier this year with the help of his trusted interior designer, Patrick Delanty. Delanty, also known to be Halle Berry’s designer, has long been working alongside Ty Pennington, serving as his design director for Extreme Makeover and running his on-air design segments, most notably his presence on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Rachel Ray Show, NBCâs Nightline and Good Morning America.
Just like its reality TV star owner, the home is bright, cheerful and quirky, with colorful interiors exuding creativity and style. The property is listed by Patrice Meepos of Compass.
Tucked away on a one-way street near the beach, Venice Boardwalk, canals and Abbot Kinney’s hot spots, the original 1927 dwelling has 3 beds, 3 baths, and a sizable living room with decorative fireplace, along with a sunken family room with large windows overlooking a newly landscaped, private back yard with koi pond.
The ground level hosts the kitchen, laundry room, and bedroom with direct backyard access, as well as a full bath. On the upper level, there’s a master retreat and a second bedroom.
Ty Pennington added quite a few special touches to the 2,102-square-foot home, including bamboo flooring, baths adorned in vintage-inspired ceramic tile, a master bath sporting a standalone shower and an antique cast-iron freestanding tub, kitchen with concrete countertops and a wraparound, porcelain-tiled porch. There’s also a beautiful backyard that looks like a great place to entertain guests.
While Ty Pennington did not return to host HGTV’s 2020 version of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (which is hosted by Modern Family‘s Jesse Tyler Ferguson), you can catch the two time Emmy award winner in his other home improvement series, Trading Spaces — which recently restarted airing after a 10-year hiatus.
You can also get more tips from the home design expert from his latest book, Good Design Can Change Your Life, which is an intimate look at Tyâs design inspirations and is full of dÃ©cor advice and tips. While we haven’t yet had the chance to pick up the book ourselves, according to his website the book is part reference, and part behind-the-scenes from Tyâs own home remodeling, which means the Venice home is already a bookshelf hit.
More beautiful celebrity homes
Morgan Brown Re-Lists Stunning West Hollywood Home Amid Split from Actor Gerard Butler
Wayne Gretzky is Selling his $22.9M California Home Designed by âThe Megamansion Kingâ
Chrissy Teigen & John Legend Buy $17.5M Beverly Hills Mansion After Cashing Big on Previous Home
5 Fabulous Homes of Your Favorite Formula 1 Drivers
The post Extreme Makeover’s Ty Pennington Lists Bright and Beautiful Venice Beach Home appeared first on Fancy Pants Homes.
A star-studded home in the heart of Hollywood Hills has hit the market for $30 million this week. Formerly owned by Prince, Elizabeth Taylor, Russ Weiner, and Carlos Booze, this home has a ton of character and charm.
The post Princeâs Former Los Angeles Mansion Lists for $30 Million appeared first on Homes.com.