Credit Squeeze On Credit Cards

Banks and other credit card providers are starting to review thousands of customers' credit limits and increasing the number of new applications that they turn down, as the fallout from the US lending crisis continues. By taking this action, lenders hope that they will cut the expensive costs of pursuing late payers and defaulters.

Major credit card provider Barclaycard, like most UK credit cards companies, has reduced the credit limits of half a million customers as it continues to review the spending patterns and behaviors of its customers. By taking such action, the company hopes to identify those most likely to be unable to repay their debt should the credit squeeze bite even further. In a two-pronged attack on the new credit problem, over half of the new applications to Barclaycard will absolutely be returned, and at the same time existing customers are being closely monitored to ensure that they are not slipping into difficulties.

Barclaycard, however, insists that this is not a panic measure but an extension of policies introduced in 2006. A spokesman for Barclays said: "We have been carrying out an intensive review since 2006 and as a result have lowered the limits on credit cards for over 500,000 cardholders where we believe those customers have become overextended or where they have exceeded their agreed limit. "

Even though the bank argues that their actions are merely good business practice, observers link it to falling profits; a 17% drop in the first half of their financial year. This is just the start of potential problems for Barclays as it's also seeking to off-load its consumer loan business First Plus for considerationably less than the loan book worth of £ 4.5 billion, amidst growing concerns of rising bad debts. The bad news for the retail trade as Christmas approaches is that Barclays are not alone in taking this action. Most high street banks, credit card companies and other lenders are following suit.

From the consumer's point of view this is a definite change. The era in which credit card deals were abundant and easily available looks to be coming to an end. It will be even more vital to compare credit cards, the benefits that they offer and the rates they charge before switching or even thinking of applying for a new card. Anyone thinking of applying for a new card that has a less than perfect credit record should think carefully, because if they are turned down for any new credit cards that application will leave an imprint on their credit record making it even more difficult for them to get credit in the future.

Using Twitter to Promote Your Silent Auction

If you are running a charity and haven’t started using the power of Social Media then it is time to get started. There are so many advantages to having a presence in Social Media that it would fill a book, but we are going to talk about that here, we focusing on just trying to promote your silent auction through using just Twitter, not even your Facebook Fan Page.

First thing to do is try to start the buzz for your silent auction event way before it is ever happening. Start with sending out updates to when the auction will be taking place. But the goal here is to try to keep it vague. You want to have a reason for your twitter followers to want to click on your link leading to your website. It isn’t enough to just put up that you have made a new blog post. It has be intriguing and make people almost not feel complete without clicking on the link in your tweet. For example you could do something of the following:

(Your Charity) gets involved with Elves, Turkeys & Lots of Wine, What is Going ON? (put the link here)

Now from this tweet it is hard to not be curious to what exactly you are talking about. It sounds so ludicrous, that to just let that tweet go on by is not going to be easy. Anybody would want to see what is going on with this. When the person lands on the weblink you included with the tweet you will want to take them to a page that is a blog post about your upcoming Christmas gala, where of course you will probably have Christmas decor, some turkey to eat and then of course a bar. Once they get to the page there is a sense of relief to finding out it is a silent auction. However it is a great idea to have people be placed on your charities mailing list to see about further information coming out soon.

Once people start to join your mailing list you can see if they can help you with getting items donated or getting them involved one way or another. The goal here is to develop the relationship through twitter and then move them to your mailing list, where they can keep up with all of the things you will be doing at your charity event.

Another way to use Twitter once you start getting items in for your silent auction is to tweet about the items that will be on display. This might encourage people to want to attend just so they can bid on that item. While at the same time it is giving your charity more exposure for the event, while still sending out interesting tweets and not just boring everyday news.

There are many other ways to really get your charity exposure on twitter for the upcoming silent auction but you will just have to get creative. One that seems to work really well is using the power of tweetpic and doing a kind of picture diary of the setting up of the event all the way to the end of the event and breaking it down. Doing updates every day or so, people will tend to wait for your tweets if this is the case, and pictures and videos have a lot better chance of being retweeted than say regular text will ever have.

Ten Must Own Games for Playstation 2

Hundreds of games were released for PlayStation 2 during the console's lifetime. There are so many, that it can be hard to choose which you want to buy for your collection. Below is a list of the ten must own games for the PS2 and why they should be in your collection.

10. Final Fantasy X – The first Final Fantasy game on PlayStation 2 successfully evolves the best selling RPG franchise. FFX has a very deep battle system with even more complex stat upgrades. Your characters can literally take on hundreds of combinations of skills and abilities.

9. Guitar Hero – Live your rock and roll dreams in Guitar Hero. Use a real guitar controller to play all your favorite rock ballads and guitar solos. Hours of songs to play, multiple difficulty levels for even master players, and a song list with tons of classics. This game is great for casual players because it is so easy to pick up, but will keep you coming back with the steady increase in difficulty.

8. Katamari Damacy – A very strange promise, but very fun game. Roll a ball around a level. Smaller objects get stuck to the ball making it bigger, then you can roll over bigger objects. You have to grow your ball to a certain size to clear every level. Tons of replayability, random and funny cut-scenes, and solid game play make this a very unique but great game for the PlayStation 2.

7. Ico – The game did not sell very well, but has a great story, good puzzle design, and environments that make you forget you are playing a game sometimes. You play as a boy who is destined to be sacrificed to appease the Gods. He must make his way way through the world and solve puzzles or face his grim fate.

6. Kingdom Hearts – Square Enix combines the Final Fantasy and Disney characters into one role playing adventure. You play as Sora but fight along side Donald and Goofy and meet Ariel, Aladdin, and other great Disney characters along the way. Kingdom Hearts is great for RPG fans and fun for Disney fans too. You will love all the cameos from the Disney movies and cartoons.

5. Metal Gear Solid 2 – The sequel to Metal Gear Solid for the original Playstation. Play as Solid Snake as attempts to stop a resistance group from gaining control of a high-tech weapon. Unlike other action games, you have to use stealth and planning to get through the game. You can just kill everything. In-depth story and great cinematics help solidify its place in the top ten.

4. Grand Theft Auto III – The smash hit that went on to create it's own genre. In GTA 3, you can do almost anything you want. Want to follow the story, go ahead. Just want to steal cars and get into police chases, you can do that too. It led to multiple sequels and countless copycat games and helped spark the massive success of the PlayStation 2 during its first year.

3. Resident Evil 4 – Originally released as a Gamecube game, Resident Evil 4 for PlayStation 2 has all the same features plus more levels. Its an action packed, heart pounding horror game as Leon tries to save the President's daughter. With a 95% review score from gamerankings.com it is the best reviewed PS2 game of all time.

2. Gran Turismo 3 – Hands down the best racing simulator. Gran Turismo 3 is a realistic racing game with real cars, real tracks, and real life attributes for all of them. Racing a VW Bug will feel different than racing a Corvette. Different acceleration, speed, and handling for each car and track. And I did not even mention the impressive graphics yet. If you love cars, this is the best racing game you can get.

1. God of War – Great graphics, epic story, near perfect controls. This is the best game on PlayStation 2 and one of the better games released the past generation. Play as Kratos as he makes his way through ancient Greece fighting mythological creatures and using his fallen foes powers to vanquish future enemies. A best seller, highly reviewed, and all around great game.

If any of these games are not in your PlayStation 2 collection you should buy them. All ten games of these games are great gaming experiences that every gamer should experience.

Copyright (c) 2007 JJ Hendricks

Top Fashion Tips For Size Sixteen Plus Women

Size 16 plus women – Black is not slimming

For those of you carrying a bit too much weight please don’t make the mistake of hiding yourself in black.

Black defines and outlines the shape of your body. So for example, great legs look fabulous in sheer black tights, however if the shape of your legs isn’t so great then a neutral natural color will be much more flattering. This rule works with the rest of your body too.

Dark colors draw attention to your curvy bits

Blocks of dark colors not only can look very drab but actually may be drawing attention to your, shall we say, your more “curvy bits”, instead of disguising them, if that’s what you are trying to do. Instead, find a print that’s not too small and twee. The print will break up the outline of your body. Look at colors that suit your face and help make you look and feel well. Be brave in beautiful color because you know if you are over weight you may as well look luscious and beautiful.

A black ensemble isn’t going to make a size 20 woman suddenly have Kate Moss proportions. A curvy, size 20, red haired woman could look stunning in a violet print dress.

Keep your fabrics mat particularly for the places on your body where you are full. Large bosoms in silk shirts – I would think not. Please stay away from shiny fabrics because the light bounces off it. Your worst bits will be hi-lighted. Imagine a shiny satin jacket and now think about the top of your arms. Unless your arms are your slim bit, the shine will magnify them and you will not look great. A chubby thigh, in shiny satin jeans isn’t a great look either.

The myth about stripes

Another myth is stripes. Evenly spaced horizontal stripes on say a top or sweater can actually be extremely flattering. The stripes literally stretch you out giving the optical illusion of making your torso look longer and therefore slimmer. Vertical stripes stretch you from side to side making you look wider. I know this is the opposite of what so many popular fashion magazines tell you. However, after dressing several thousand women, I know I am absolutely right on this point…so you will have to go our and try it.

A “no-no” for double breasted jackets

Large breasted women (and in fact really anyone carrying too much weight) should not wear double breasted jackets!