*Originally published on the Instamotor Blog.
We ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia by the credit strength of its residents considering: average credit score and credit card, auto and mortgage delinquencies.
We ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia by the credit strength of their residents considering the following criteria: average credit score, credit card delinquencies, auto loan delinquencies and mortgage delinquencies. We analyzed all of these credit factors to give each state a score for “Credit Strength” from 0 to 100.
|35||District of Columbia||47|
Eighteen states have average credit scores lower than the national average of 669 (Transunion Vantagescore). The state with the lowest credit score average is Mississipi (642) and the state with the highest is Minnesota (707).
These states are fairly representative of their region. Southern states generally have lower credit scores while states in the Midwest tend to have the highest scores. While factors like job opportunities, cost of living and other local influences definitely affect credit-score averages, credit scores can flourish anywhere.
In case you’re wondering, and you probably are, blue states have a higher average credit score (676) than red states (667).
|Rank||State||Average Credit Score|
|37||District of Columbia||665|
In evaluating the rate of credit card delinquency (percent of credit card debt balances 90+ days past due), the state with the lowest rate is North Dakota (4.22%) and the highest is Nevada (9.88%). Thirteen states have delinquency rates higher than the national average of 7.23%.
However, credit card delinquency is very different from credit card debt balances (the total amount owed). The states with the lowest and highest average credit card debt balances are Mississippi (lowest) and Alaska (highest) respectively.
|Rank||State||Credit Card Delinquency Rate|
|6||District of Columbia||5.22%|
While auto loan delinquency is generally lower than credit card delinquency, it varies a few points from state to state. The percent of delinquent (90+days past due) auto loans is lowest in Minnesota (1.72%) and highest in Washington, DC (5.97%).
Surprisingly, while D.C. has the highest rate of auto loan delinquency, they have the lowest average auto debt balance at $2,930. That’s more than $1000 less than the national average of $4,340.
|Rank||State||Auto Loan Delinquency Rate|
|51||District of Columbia||5.97%|
Mortgage delinquency rates are nearly back down to pre-recession rates, when the state with the highest rate of delinquency, Florida, had a rate of more than 20% in 2009 and 2010. During which time, North Dakota was the only state to have a rate less than 2%.
As of 2016, the state with the highest rate of mortgage delinquency is New Jersey (3.45%) and the lowest is North Dakota (0.59%).
|Rank||State||Mortgage Delinquency Rate|
|30||District of Columbia||1.49%|
We analyzed data for all 50 States (and the District of Columbia) on the following four criteria, each 25% of total “Credit Strength” score:
*originally published on the Instamotor Blog
Utilities, internet, credit cards—we all have bills.
Sign-up for online bill pay. If you’re not already paying your bills online, you should be. Paying online allows you to pay your bills easily, quickly and safely. No payments delayed or lost in the mail. No waiting on hold to make payments by phone. In fact, companies actually prefer that you pay online due to increased speed and security. It also helps to remind you when bills are due.
Enroll in automatic payments. If you really have a hard time remembering to pay bills or maybe you simply don’t want to be bothered, you should enroll in automatic payments. Auto-pay allows for you to schedule for payments to automatically be withdrawn from your account. You can even sometimes schedule payments to coordinate with your pay schedule. Enrolling in auto-pay is a good way to ensure you never miss a bill again, just be sure to monitor your accounts to make sure payments are actually being withdrawn as scheduled.
Pay your bills when you get paid. A good way to make sure that bills get paid on-time and that you have enough money for all your bills is to pay them when you get paid. There’s no need to wait for the due date to pay your bill, pay it early. If you get paid bi-weekly, split your bills into two pay schedules depending on their due date and pay a set of bills with each check. This eliminates the need to keep track of every due date throughout the month.
Consider using an online tool to create a budget. There are many, many online tools available to help you create a budget without having to do a ton of the math yourself. Companies like Mint not only help you create a budget that meets your needs by incorporating your goals and expenses, but they also help you stick to it by sending you alerts when you are overspending and reminding you when bills are due. Other great online tools include: Wally, You Need a Budget and Accorns.
Sweep excess funds into a savings account. There’s probably no need to convince you that having a savings account is a good idea. But how do you fund it? Fund it with whatever extra money you have at the end of the month (or pay period). I know it’s tempting to spend that extra cash, but whether it’s $10 or $100, it adds up. There are also several savings accounts that will round-up your transactions and stash the change in a savings account. Make saving money a priority.
We surveyed 1,200 Americans (who identified themselves as managers of their household finances) via the survey platform Pollfish about their methods and feeling towards their bill management. The survey was conducted on November 28, 2017.
*Originally published on the Instamotor Blog.
We surveyed millennials across the country to find out what expenses are still being covered by their parents and how much their parents actually know about their financial life.
We surveyed 800 millennials, employed full-time, about their financial life as it relates to their parents support and we found:
Nearly a quarter (24%) of millennials who work full-time say their parents pay at least one of their bills. Additionally, nearly 4 in 5 (79.7%) millennials with parents footing bills do not live at home.
The most common expense paid by millennial’s parents? Cell phone bills (53%), followed by car insurance (30.7%), car payments and utilities (29.7%).
More than 4 in 5 (84%) millennials say their parents would help them if they had a financial emergency like car trouble or medical expenses, and more than 3 in 5 (62.4%) say their parents have or would help them pay for their wedding.
While parents may be paying the way, they may not know everything about their child’s financial life. More than 1 in 3 (36.6%) millennials say their parents don’t know how much money they makeand nearly just as many (32.1%) say their parents don’t know the cost of all their bills and expenses. More than 1 in 5 (22%) say their parents don’t know anything at all about their spending habits.
Perhaps the reason millennial parents are relatively hands-off in millennials day-to-day finances is because they’ve prepared their millennials well to make financial decisions for themselves.
More than half (56.8%) of millennials feel their parents prepared them well to make good financial decisions. Nearly 4 in 5 (78.5%) say their parents have given them financial advice.
The most common topic discussed is the importance of saving (71.5%), followed by budgeting (59.3%) and debt such are credit cards and loans (49.6%).
The topic least discussed by millennials with their parents? Investing. Only 1 in 3 (34.8%) millennials who have received financial advice from their parents has discussed investing such as stocks, bonds and 401k accounts.
If you’re anything like the parents of the millennials we surveyed, you’ve probably already given your adult children at least some financial advice. However, maybe you aren’t sure if they heard you or are actually heeding your advice. No worries, here are some tips for talking to your children about finances in a way that will make them most receptive to your advice.
Be thoughtful about what topics you need to discuss. If you’ve been feeling more like a bank than a parent lately, maybe this is a good sign that budgeting and bill managements are topics that you should discuss your child. If it’s been a while since they’ve asked you for money, it may be safe to assume that they have basic budgeting and bill management down pat. Now might be a good time to talk to them about saving and investing for the future.
Let it be a discussion, not a lecture. Remember to talk with them and not at them. The last thing your adult child wants is to be told what they should and should not do with their hard earned money. Discussions about money will go over much better if you talk to them like a fellow adult, or even a peer.
Be brief and accurate. Again, it’s not a lecture. In fact, this doesn’t even have to be a long winded, sit down conversation. “Does your company offer a 401k? You should start contributing. It’s best to start contributing sooner than later. I’ll send you an article about it.” Making brief and accurate suggestions are the best way to get through to your adult child. Even better, arm them with information to make a decisions for themselves, like sending an article.
Call for backup. Maybe the fact is that your son or daughter just doesn’t want to hear it from you. That’s when it’s time to call for backup. Recruit the help of someone else in their life that they would take financial advice from. Maybe that’s a favorite aunt or uncle, older sibling or family friend. It’s more important that they get the information and advice that they need to be successful, not who they get the information from.
We surveyed 800 millennials who are employed full-time (at least 35 hrs/week) in the U.S. about their financial life in relation to their parents via the survey platform Pollfish. The survey was conducted Jan. 12, 2017.
We all know that networking is a major key to success, and conferences are an amazing place to do it. All the important industry players from all over the world are there—in one city, in one building. You would be a fool not to take advantage of the opportunity to meet as many of these people as possible. Of course you can buy a conference pass, make laps around the networking happy hours—shaking hands and giving your elevator pitch on repeat. But there is a better way. What if I told you that you could introduce yourself to everyone there at once? You can, by becoming a speaker.
Get Your First Gig
It doesn’t happen overnight. No one is going to ask you to speak at their conference, especially if you’re still new in the industry. Much like being an actor, you have to build a portfolio.
The most important thing is getting that first break. If you’re not active on social media, now is the time to boost your social media presence. If the organizers haven’t heard of you, the first thing they are going to do is look for you on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. They are going to check not only the number of followers you have, but the quality of your content and the amount of engagement you receive.
Aim for a smaller conference that you’ve attended in the past that is most relevant to your experience or industry and reach out to the organizers. Avoid the sponsorship people. If they have “sales”, “partnerships”, or basically anything that implies some sort of transaction in their title, don’t engage. Most likely they will ask you for money to speak at their event. Try to get in touch with event organizers with editorial titles. Look for titles that include “engagement” “events” and “creative”. These people are focused on content and putting together a great event, they usually aren’t concerned with money at all.
When you get in contact with the right person, pitch yourself like you’ve never pitched yourself before. This is not the time to be humble, not even fake humble, boast about all your experience and accomplishments, name drop, whatever you have to do to make yourself sound awesome. You’re trying to convey to them just how relevant you are for their conference and how what you can share can make it extraordinary.
Maybe you won’t be able to get in as a keynote speaker for your first gig, if that’s the case, panels are a good way to get your feet wet. Jump on panels with people you know in your industry that already have a spot. Organizers are usually pretty willing to add people to panels, even at the last minute, especially if you know someone else on the panel.
Once you get that first speaking opportunity, the most important thing is that you don’t drop the ball. You have to be better than good, you have to be amazing. Think about everything that annoys you about guest speakers and avoid it.
Get psyched. You have to be high energy, there’s nothing worse than a monotonous and unenthused speaker. Remember, you are there to inspire and engage. Show your audience passion for your industry, it’s contagious.
Be sure not to let your passion get away from you. Don’t ramble—remember to pause and breathe. I always try to speak in bite-sized chunks, not only is it easier for the audience to follow but it also makes you extremely quotable. Think tweetable. After I started breaking my speeches in to tweetable chunks, sure enough, people started tweeting my talks. That’s the ultimate audience engagement and you should strive for it. If you’re on a panel, that’s even better. You have time to formulate your thoughts while others are speaking and come up with a really thoughtful and interesting response.
Lastly, make sure you have thoughtful creative assets. Gone are the days of PowerPoint slides with pictures and bullet points. Think about including GIFs, videos, Memes—make it fun! You’re equal parts educator and entertainer, it’s the small details that will make you memorable.
One Opportunity Will Lead to Another
Every single time you get on stage there will be an opportunity for another speaking engagement. Someone in your audience will likely be an organizer at another conference and can and will recommend you—if you’re good. After your first few speaking gigs you will see a snowball effect. Every speaking engagement can be used to boost your resume for your next. Being able to name conferences you’ve spoken at previously, especially if it’s on video, will immediately bring you to the top of the stack of speaking proposal for top conferences.
At some point, most likely after your first really big spot, organizers will start reaching out to you. The gig that really put me on the map was a keynote spot at SxSW Interactive. Anyone that is anyone goes to SxSW, so I was able to speak in front of tremendous influencers and got tons of requests to speak after that. Also, it was easy to get gigs being able to say that I spoke at SxSW.
If you want to take your career to the next level and boost your networking results at conferences, you have to stop being an attendee and start being a speaker. Focus on getting your first gig, building your portfolio, being a memorable and engaging speaker and using opportunities to open doors to new opportunities. Being an awesome conference speaker guarantees that you will get yourself and your story in front of people that are going to be beneficial for your career development and your business.
*Originally published on LinkedIn, ghost written for well-known tech CEO*
A new year always brings fresh opportunity for change, both in your personal and professional life. If this year you want to take your company to the next level by being a better boss and leader here are four cheats to help you do that.
1. Know The Superpowers of Your Employees
If you’ve read my book or heard me speak, you know that I always stress the importance of knowing your own superpower and cultivating it. But when you’re the boss, you also need to know the superpowers of the people on your team. This can be tricky. You can ask your employees, but they may not know what their superpowers are. The key is to observe your team closely and take note. Listen more than you speak. What projects make people light up when they talk about them? Who seems bored with certain tasks? What unique qualities does each person bring to the team? Once you get a feel for what everyone’s superpower is, use this to influence the delegation of tasks and choose your leaders accordingly. I try to never have anyone working on a project they aren’t passionate about.
2. Open Lines of Communication (Give Your Cell Phone Number)
As the CEO of a growing company of nearly 100 employees, I make myself accessible to every single person, from our interns to our executive team. I share my direct cell number and make it know that they are free to call or text me whenever they need to. I also make my calendar public so that people can schedule meetings with me to talk about any concerns or ideas they have. Doing this could lead to me getting calls day and night, but my employees respect my time as I respect theirs. You need to know what how they’re feeling and what they think in order to lead them well and anticipate future road bumps.
3. Create Your Core Values and Use Them for Every Decision
Every company should have core values. If your company doesn’t, create them! At Kiip, I wanted every single employee involved in creating our core values so we surveyed the entire company to get a feel for what they believe in, what they think are the most important aspects of our business, and what they love about coming to work every day. We used all of these responses to create a set of values that we unanimously voted to adopt.
Your company’s core values should drive the daily decisions you make and the ones your employees make without you. They’re a good way to constantly evaluate priorities, set goals, make hiring decisions and give your company direction. This empowers your team to not only make decisions in your absence, but to thrive.
4. Set Your Team Up for Success, Then Let Them Succeed
Make sure your team has everything they need to be successful. Foster development and help them with goal setting and prioritization. Give them all the tools they need, then let them go, set them free. Micromanaging is extremely bad for growth. There’s no way you can oversee EVERYTHING, even if you tried. Studies show that employees work better with more freedom. That’s why flexible hours and work from home options actually boost productivity. It’s not about how much time people spend working, but the quality of the work they produce.
Regardless of what people say, you don’t have to be a born leader. For most of us, it takes time and practice to develop a leadership style. It’s a skill that is constantly evolving. By incorporating these four cheats, I’ve been able to see amazing results in my company and I hope the same for you. Cheers to 2017 -the chance to be a better boss and leader!
Imagine you’re playing your favorite puzzle game. You know you’re close to completing the level, but right now…you’re stuck. You can get a hint for watching a 30 second sponsored video, do you take it? Yes.
Across the Kiip network, mobile users engage 2x more with rewards paired with video than rewards with static images. U.S. adults spend about 5.5 hours of their time per day viewing video. Time is money. So why aren’t we rewarding users for their time spent viewing video with something they value?
Introducing Kiip Rewarded Video
Brand sponsored videos become the gateway to in-app value, like hints or virtual currency. This vested interest inspires users to engage with the video and view it to completion ensuring brand’s message is well received while simultaneously driving revenue for developers.
WHY THIS WORKS:
1. Users want to see the video.
It’s non-intrusive and opt-in only. The user chooses to watch the brand sponsored video, which ensures the brand message is invited and welcomed.
2. Video is viewed in fullscreen and to completion.
Fullscreen provides the best viewing experience for users and ensures the branded content is given 100% SOV during the view time. Once the user chooses to watch the video, the video is played to completion and user cannot navigate away until the video is complete. Completed views mean revenue for developers. Color Switch, a popular 2016 game, claimed to see 40% increase in revenue by implementing rewarded video.
3. User’s time is valued
Time is money, and with rewarded video it is —kind of. It may not be cash, but users are rewarded in a currency they value for their time and attention. In fact, in an Gamasutrainterview, Rovio executive vice president Wilhelm Taht recounts how players reacted to the removal of rewarded ads from its free-to-play game Angry Birds Transformers: “There was backlash from that community saying ‘give us back our reward videos.”
“A user opt-in placement like rewarded video allows developers to integrate ads into their app in a way that’s additive to the experience. This format fits very well with Kiip’s philosophy of rewarding users for engaging with ads and we’re now able to bring this innovative and scalable opportunity to brand advertisers and app developers alike.” —Kabir Mather, Head of Business Development at Kiip.