Thursday, February 4, 2010

Book Blog Tour of Living Well With Bad Credit by Chris Balish and Geoff Williams

Welcome to the TLC Book Blog Tour of Living Well with Bad Credit: Buy a House, Start a Business, and Even Take a Vacation No Matter How Low Your Credit Score by Chris Balish and Geoff Williams.

Living Well with Bad Credit: Buy a House, Start a Business, and Even Take a Vacation-No Matter How Low Your Credit Score

The blurb:
If bad credit has happened to you, there is something you can do about it.

Feeling broke and battered? We know the feeling - heck, everyone knows it. According to the Wall Street Journal, 110 million Americans have had credit - almost 50% of the adult population. But we don't have to be depressed or discouraged about it. There is life after bad credit. In fact, there's even life during bad credit.

Living Well with Bad Credit is the right help at the right time. If you're bravely soldiering on despite your finances going south, this informative book is for you. It puts the emphasis on living well with bad credit - and living well. Veteran journalist Geoff Williams (AOL's personal finance blog,, and media powerhouse Chris Balish, an Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist and author (How to Live Well Without Owning a Car), have teamed up to bring you:
  • Usable tips on how to embrace, and even benefit from, a low credit score
  • Invaluable advice for dealing with "lifestyle events such as how to buy a car or qualify for a credit card with bad credit
  • Interviews with dozens of experts and successful professionals who share ideas on how to live with the negative effects of bad credit
  • Practical discussion on topics that go beyond finance, such as healing self-esteem and building relationships in spite of bad credit.
While bad credit can be a setback, it doesn't have to be a roadblock. This expert guide is just the ticket to a better life once again.

Chris Balish and Geoff Williams have come up with a sympathetic, clear, and helpful guide to navigating everyday and large financial decisions. The book is geared towards people with low credit scores, but it also offers information helpful to all of us. The main causes of the disruption/destruction of solid credit history are "divorce, disaster, a serious medical condition, or getting laid off from a job."

We know that the cost of bad credit is expensive, so Living Well With Bad Credit is especially helpful with its solid suggestions of ways to both save money and to be able to get hired, find decent housing, rent a car, start a business, go on a vacation (not a posh one!), and repair credit history.

The book is divided into these ten parts:
  • Welcome to the Land of Bad Credit
  • Banking with Bad Credit
  • Getting a Good Job with Bad Credit
  • Good Housing with Bad Credit
  • Driving: Bad Credit in the Passenger Seat
  • Starting a Business with Bad Credit
  • Living with Bad Credit
  • Avoiding Bad Credit Scams
  • Bad Credit: Psychology 101
Each of the chapters are straightforward and helpful. Balish and Williams flag what to look out for in each of the categories and offer specific ways to manage with a low credit score.

In Banking with Bad Credit, the book briefly explains ChexSystems which computes and tracks everyone's credit scores. Since 80% of banks in the country subscribe to ChexSystem and a low credit score or disastrous credit history can make it difficult to open a checking account with a major bank, Balish and Williams suggest looking into the bank's Second Chance program which may be a way to open a bank account again. Balish and Williams describe the "unbanked" and the costs that are incurred through payday lenders, pawnshops, and check-cashing outlets. Balish and Williams also evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using Probity Financial Services,, and credit unions for their financial services.

In Housing with Bad Credit, Balish and Williams offer ways to find decent housing through unusual housing arrangements, selecting the landlords that might be more open to a tenant with bad credit, and different ways that someone with bad credit can negotiate a lease with a landlord. Balish and Williams also cover different ways to obtain a mortgage or purchase a home from finding lenders and credit unions that are sympathetic to lenders with a bad credit history to seller financing to "rent-to-own", lease-purchase and lease-option ways to acquire a home.

Beyond the specific tips offered in the book, Balish and Williams share their own experiences to good effect. Williams explains how he found himself having to declare bankruptcy. As Williams describes the steps that he took as he drew deeper into debt, the mistakes that he made, and what he went through and how he started over, Living Well with Bad Credit becomes more than the usual personal finance book.

ISBN-10: 0757313582 - Paperback $12.95
Publisher: Publisher: HCI (January 4, 2010), 192 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher and TLC Book Tours.

About the Authors, courtesy of the publisher:
Chris Balish is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist with more than ten years of experience on live television and radio. He is also the author of How to Live Well Without Owning a Car. Balish has appeared on Today, MSNBC, and CNN. Learn more about Chris at

Geoff Williams has worked as a newspaper and magazine journalist for more than fifteen years, writing for publications as diverse as Consumer Reports, Entertainment Weekly, and Entrepreneur. He also writes for AOL's personal finance blog,, as well as HGTV's real estate website, where he is a columnist.

Thank you so much to Chris Balish, Geoff Williams, Lisa and TLC Book Tours for this review opportunity!


  1. I have an award for you at:

  2. I was just going to order this book online. But I just wanna know, should I buy this book or should I look for some Credit Repair company?