It is a known fact that HTC's 2015 flagship "One M9" has failed to make an impact across the globe. But the company is now back with an offer, which will make the latest One M9 available under a promotional deal.

After ordering the HTC One M9, buyers will apparently receive a $100 credit in Google Play store. However, potential buyers should note that, the M9 will not qualify for the $100 credit in case a user purchases the device via mobile carriers or from a third-party retailer, Phone Arena reported. Interested, buyers can avail the offer through HTC's official Website. Notably, this deal ends on Oct. 31, and it is specific to the US customers.

The $100 credit can be used to purchase various apps and to rent movies via the Google Play. In addition to the credit, HTC will also be offering the prominent free insurance program dubbed "UH-OH Protection." This phenomenal insurance program will allow the buyer to get a replacement handset free of charge in case the device gets damaged. According to Phone Arena, HTC's UH-OH Protection is the "best smartphone insurance program" among other programs offered by top manufacturers.

The HTC One M9 comes with a 5.0-inch display, 1080p screen resolution, Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 SoC and 3 GB of RAM. In addition, this smartphone comes equipped with 32 GB of built-in storage capacity, support for microSD card slot, 20-megapixel rear-facing camera unit, 4-megapixel front-facing snapper and a non-removable Li-Po 2,840 mAh battery unit. The phone also features the "fast battery charging" capability with the help of the Quick Charge 2.0 technology.



As college students descend on local campuses for the beginning of the semester, many will be bombarded with credit card offers from banks and financial institutions. What cards to look for and how to manage spending will be critical to a healthy financial future.

Building good credit is important and has a longstanding impact on peoples ability to apply for loans, or buy a home or car later in life.

Financial advisers at the University of Nebraska at Omaha said students should consider the following things before getting a credit card:

1) Your spending habits: how often will you use the credit card, and if you will you be able to pay it off at the end of every month. The key to building good credit is paying back what youve purchased that month.

2) The annual percentage rate, or APR, which lets you know your annual fee and how much interest you will pay every year.

3) The credit limit: this is the amount the issuer or bank is letting you borrow on that card every month. For most first-time credit cards, that maximum is not very high, but it will increase depending on how well you manage the limit that you have and by the payments you make monthly.

4) Fees and penalties: are you accruing fees for transactions that youre not aware of? Reading the fine print will make that clear.

5) How much your balance is being charged. That means you should be aware of your average daily balance, and see if there are fees attached to that balance.

6) And incentives: Are there reward programs with this card if you make minimum payments or have a certain balance every month?

So when you are thinking about purchasing items think about can I pay this off now, if not how long is it going to take me to pay it off and how much is that going charge me? How much extra am I going to be paying for this item? If that 15 dollar pizza -- you arent able to pay it off at the end of the month and it becomes a 25, 45, 55, $100 pizza youve got to think things through there, said Jamie Wagner, UNO associate professor of economics.

Building good credit (making regular payments and keeping a low balance) is key in the beginning, and financial advisers said, developing bad credit can have an impact for a long time.

If you continually misuse credit cards its going to really hurt you down the road; obviously high interest costs, its gonna ding your credit score which is going to make things really difficult in the future if you do want to get a loan for a car or a house, said Professor Wagner.

A key to managing spending is creating a budget as well.

We encourage students to really know what their school-related expenses are with tuition and fees and those kinds of things, but also what their living expenses are. If theyre living off campus buying food paying utilities. [We] encourage them to live frugally as much as they can, said Marty Habrock, UNO director of financial support and scholarship.



What is a personal guarantee and what does it mean? And what about your personal credit? Does it affect that, too? As a corporate attorney working with small-business owners all over the world, I've heard a lot of questions, misconceptions and some horror stories, like Jake and Marcia's about how personal guarantees work.

Basically, a personal guarantee allows a lender to try to collect from what you own personally if you default on a loan and your business is unable to repay it. It allows a lender to reach beyond the income and assets of the business to collect if necessary.

Should You or Shouldn't You?

The newer your business, the more likely it is you will be required to provide a personal guarantee. It provides additional protection for the lender, and if your business doesn't have a strong track record, it's no surprise the lender will insist on one.

Entrepreneurs are often optimistic and willing to do whatever it takes to get the funding they need. But if you are going to sign a PG, make sure you fully understand the risks. If you have a spouse or partner, they need to be on board as well. (Sometimes they may be required to sign the loan documents, too, especially in community property states or where equity in jointly held property serves as collateral.)

If all goes well, and you pay the loan back, then there's no problem. But if you run into financial difficulties, you need to understand that the lender may try to get repaid through your personal bank accounts or other assets (to the extent allowed by law).

Keep in mind that what types of property are available to creditors who get a judgment depends on state law. A few states prohibit wage garnishment for most types of debts, and others have strong homestead laws that may protect equity in a home (Texas and Florida are two examples).

Track Changes To Your Credit ReportSign up for a free Credit.com account and see how these changes affect your credit score from month to month. Well also provide you with expert advice on how to achieve your best credit standing. Get Started Now Is Your Credit at Risk?

Signing a personal guarantee doesn't automatically impact your personal credit. With the exception of some business credit cards, most loans made to a business are not typically reported on the owner's personal credit reports unless he or she doesn't pay the loan back and it goes to collections. A personal guarantee doesn't usually change that. But if you sign a personal guarantee and you don't repay the loan, it's likely it will wind up on your credit as a collection account, or even a judgment, and will hurt your credit scores.

This is one of many good reasons to regularly check your credit reports and credit scores. You can get a free annual credit report from each of the major credit reporting agencies once a year through AnnualCreditReport.com. You can also get your credit scores for free from many sources, including Credit.com, to watch for important changes.

One way to avoid personal guarantees is to build strong business credit ratings, which I explain in my new book, Finance Your Own Business, and to demonstrate to the lender that your business can support the loan through sales and revenue. These guarantees may be negotiable. If you're not there yet, tread carefully and borrow as little as possible. The less you borrow, the less is at risk if things don't work out.

More on Credit Reports amp; Credit Scores:
  • How to Get Your Free Annual Credit Report
  • How Do I Dispute an Error on My Credit Report?
  • What's a Bad Credit Score?

Image: iStock



HOUSTON -- Claudette Johnson and her family fled New Orleans in advance of the arrival of Hurricane Katrina 10 years ago assuming theyd be gone just a few days as theyd done dozens of times and dozens of storms before.

We left our homes thinking we would be back three days, max a week, Johnson said. They never went back to live in New Orleans again. On the 10-year anniversary of Katrina they credit much of their ability to survive in Houston to the New Orleans congregation they effectively brought with them.

The family, including Claudettes sister, Christal Hammond, their children and their mom, Claudia Pickett, first arrived at a hotel in Texarkana.

And I just sat there and watched TV for hours, Pickett said of the sudden realization television news gave them that their homes were gone.

Theres no home to go to, Johnson said. All of my 40 years of life has been washed away.

My home is gone. Im alone. Where am I going? What am I going to do? Pickett said.

What they and tens of thousands of others had to do was start over, but where? A relative called and invited them to stay with him in Houston. Thats how the decision to become Houston transplants was made.

Its all your perspective of life, Johnson said. Everything is not what you want it to be at the moment, but you dont give up. You keep fighting. You keep trying.

They kept trying. They kept fighting. There would be new jobs, new homes and a new life in Houston. But they needed something else. What they needed was the spiritual grounding that their church, historic Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, gave them in New Orleans. But if they couldnt go home to church, why not have the church come to them?

They were among the first in the pews to attend Houstons Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, a congregation started initially by Katrina evacuees who came to call Houston home.

Were here. Your New Orleans family is here, said pastor Shannon Verrett of the congregation that currently shares a sanctuary in north Houston with Park Temple Baptist Church. The congregation, now 175 strong, hopes to continue to grow enough to eventually have a sanctuary of their own.

But on Sunday morning, Im getting up, getting myself ready, Pickett said, because I want to come together.

Our common experience gives us common ground, said Verrett who also left New Orleans to find work at HISD and in the Houston expansion of the historic New Orleans church. Theres a bond there that will last forever.

Theres a scripture that says whatever state youre in, be content, Pickett said. So I read it over and over til I just convinced myself this is it. So stop worrying about going back home, and be content where you are.

Were not going to give up, said Johnson, who is employed in the Lone Star College system. God didnt bring me to this point to just be lost and give up.

Dont give up. Keep fighting, added her sister Christal Hammond.

Keep faith in God. Keep the faith, Pickett said.

Faith that theyre from New Orleans and that survival runs through their veins, wherever they choose to call home.



Ohio homeowners with lousy credit are paying a steep price for homeowners insurance.

The typical homeowner in Ohio with a poor credit score pays 185 percent more for homeowners insurance than a homeowner with an excellent credit score, according to an insuranceQuotes.com study released on Monday.

That's the third-highest difference in the country, trailing only West Virginia and Washington, DC The national average is 100 percent.

That means an Ohio homeowner with poor credit will pay $2,057 a year for insurance compared with $721 for a homeowner with good credit.

Even having only average credit can hurt. Nationally, homeowners with average credit pay 32 percent more for coverage than those with excellent credit.

People with poor credit scores pay more for insurance because they have more claims, said Laura Adams, insuranceQuotes.com's senior analyst.

"While it may seem to be a stretch to use credit scores for insurance, there is a statistical correlation between consumers with poor credit and those filing claims," she said.

The website collected insurance quotes for its report from six insurers that collectively have at least a 60 percent market share in each state.

The quotes are based on a 45-year-old who owns a 1,800-square-foot, two-story, single-family home, built in 1976, with $140,000 dwelling coverage, $300,000 liability coverage and a $500 deductible. It obtained rates based on a consumer with excellent, average and poor credit scores.

Insurers have created an insurance-scoring system that takes into account some of the elements found in a consumer's credit report such as payment history, amount of outstanding credit, bankruptcies and new credit-card applications, according to the Ohio Insurance Institute.

That data and other factors are used to set rates for home and auto insurance.

Not all insurers assign the same weight to credit-based information.

"They're going to look at it differently," Adams said. "Some look at it as a very heavy factor, and others, it's not so important to them, so it is important to shop around."

Adams wasn't sure why rates in Ohio for those with poor credit are so much higher than the rest of the country.

The Ohio Department of Insurance regulates insurance scoring. State regulations prohibit insurers from using insurance scores as the only criteria for setting rates, and insurers must notify consumers about the use of credit information for setting rates.

Insurance Institute spokeswoman Mary Bonelli said while use of credit scores is an important tool for insurers to set rates, the study has some holes.

Ohio traditionally has been among the states with the lowest homeowners insurance rates in the country, with rates averaging $313 less than the US average.

"Ohio's insurers are extremely desirous to write homeowners insurance given the highly competitive marketplace," she said in an email.

"What insurance scoring provides is another tool to assess risk and provide coverage based on this and other factors. The point that the study makes that keeping your credit on solid ground is very important and something we're in total agreement on. ... We caution consumers to not take these findings as an absolute without looking at the particulars of their own situation and a discussion with their insurance company or agent."

Consumer advocates have challenged the use of credit to set policy rates.

"We're firmly against it," said David Rothstein, director of public affairs for Neighborhood Housing Services. "Even if there is a correlation between credit scores and claims on insurance, there's a lot more going on. It's unlikely to be warranted."

The use of credit to set rates tends to hurt families with low and moderate incomes. They also tend to live in older homes that produce more claims, he said.

"Insurance is not a credit product, it's not a loan," he said. "There's really a question of both sort of the legality and the ethical nature of credit stature to price homeowner insurance.

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