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TIPS ON MAKING HOTEL RESERVATIONS:

When traveling for business or fun, there’s nothing worse than thinking you have a reservation and learning your hotel reservations been lost, your room has one bed and not two bedrooms, or you thought your check-in time was noon, only to find out it is really 3:00pm. To help avoid these things from happening, there are a few helpful hotel reservation tips seasoned travelers recommend:

Always use a credit card when making a hotel reservation. A credit cards offers the guest some level of protection should the hotel stay go awry. Any disputes a guest may have with the hotel, or with the billing can more easily be rectified through the credit card company. The card company will act as a mediator once their client can show effort to resolve the dispute. Additionally, if a dispute cannot be resolved, the credit card company has the authority to remove the charge from a client’s bill. If cash were paid, a hotel guest would have no recourse. Note: If you don’t use your own credit card to secure a reservation, be aware that the person whose name is on the card will be responsible for showing the card and signing at check in. If the card does not belong to the person staying at the hotel, notify the desk before leaving home (prior to arrival) and ask what their identification procedure is. They may accept a letter from the credit card holder authorizing use, and a copy of both the front and back of the card.

Ask for deals/discounts at each hotel. Many hotels offer corporate, AAA, senior, or even mid-week/off-season discounts. If one is not offered - ask about them. Many hotels now offer ‘rewards’ programs and some hotels reduce rates by $50 or more, for simply signing up for their program. If making reservations online, look for internet-only rates and shop various websites to find the best deals. Travel agents can often secure unadvertised specials or late check-in opportunities which can translate into huge savings.

When making reservations speak clearly and repeat spelling of all names. There have been many reservations lost because of inaccurate spelling and guests have been told they did not have rooms when a hotel or an entire city was booked to capacity. If any special requests are made, verify them and if possible get them in writing. Also make sure to get the name of the employee. Verify everything spell names and verify information/requests etc. Double check reservations prior to leaving for hotel and make sure names of all hotel employees you’ve spoken to are taken.

When reservations are made, changed and cancelled-confirmation numbers are given. Make sure all numbers are kept in a safe place until credit cards are billed and all charges are verified. Cancellation and confirmation numbers are often the difference between being charged for a hotel reservation that was cancelled, the possibility of a free upgrade when the hotel overbooks and you can prove when your reservation was made, and being stranded away from home without a room for the night.
Discuss hotel policies prior to making reservations, and verify them at check-in. Some hotels require credit cards at check in for any hotel charges, such as telephone usage, room service, meals in the hotel, or even take -out arranged through the hotel with area restaurants, etc. If a credit card is not available, a cash/check deposit maybe required for any services/fees that may accrue during the hotel stay. Determine when check-in/check-out times are, when cancellation policies go into affect and verify occupancy limits if staying in a room with multiple occupants.

Remember these hotel reservation tips when scheduling your travel plans. Whether by internet, through a travel agent, or by telephone, it pays to research the hotel and be meticulous when making arrangements. A little pre-planning when making reservations can save major headaches when traveling away from home.


DID YOU KNOW:
FINDING THE BEST HOTEL RATES:
Due to the internet, the manners in which hotel rooms are procured have drastically changed over the last couple of decades. Prior to internet access, guests called hotels directly to book rooms. While some guests continue to book rooms this way, many have learned that calling a hotel directly may not be the most economical choice. However, it is also been found that hotel rates also vary a great deal from website to website, especially discount travel sites.

Hotels are in constant competition with each other for your business. The goal of every hotel is to achieve 100% occupancy. Not only are they competing with each other, they are often competing with themselves. Look at how many hotels have various hotel chain subsidiaries beneath them. They must stay competitive, but still continue to make a profit while keeping their rooms occupied. This said, many hotels offer blocks of rooms to a variety of other entities to sell. Travel agents and online brokers typically compete to sell rooms for hotels, and they receive a percentage of the purchase price. The rate disparity comes into play two ways. First, the hotel is offering rooms at their standard rates or discount club rates. Second, because hotels offer these agents and booking websites various rates, someone who is getting a larger percentage of the sale price, can afford to offer the room at a lower rate than someone who is getting a small percentage from the sale.

Finding the best room rate:
If contacting the hotel directly, ask if they have any current specials. If your travel plans are flexible, inquire about any future specials, and the specific parameters of those specials.

If you’re a ‘select’, ‘rewards’ or hotel ‘member’, mention this, and ask if they have any special discounts available for members of their programs. Additionally, if you are affiliated with a corporate account, or a roadside assistance plan which offers travel benefits, mention that too. Sometimes guests are eligible for more than one discount and can pick and choose the one that provides the greatest savings.

When placing reservations online through a hotel booking service, first find the service that offers the best deal. The best deal may not be the one which provides the lowest price, but the service with the best room guarantee, who is willing to price match. If you’ve found the room for a lower rate elsewhere, tell your preferred vendor and ask them to match the price. Several websites will even provide a 30-day guarantee against lower prices - so even after booking your reservation, stay vigilant.

Hotel rates vary so much because there are numerous entities vying to secure your business by competing with each other. With a little investigative prowess, you can secure the best rates possible for your hotel stay, despite the varying rates.
WHY LOAN CONSOLIDATION
MIGHT BE FOR YOU:

Consolidation is a good option if you are having trouble paying your loans. You can “consolidate” just one loan, or several loans. You can consolidate loans even if you’re already in default. In fact, consolidation is one good way to get out of default.

A consolidation loan allows you to combine your federal student loans into a single loan with one monthly payment. This may be a good option if any of the following are true:
• You can’t afford the monthly payments on your federal student loans under any of the options described in “Repayment Plans,” above, and don’t qualify for a postponement or for loan cancellation.
• You qualify for some of the payment plans described in “Repayment Plans,” above, but you are so deep in debt that you still can’t afford your monthly payments.
• You can afford your monthly payments and intend to pay off your loans under a standard plan, but you want to refinance at a lower interest rate.
• You are in default on one or more of your student loans and want to get out of default.

The vast majority of federal loans are eligible for consolidation, including subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans (GSLs), Direct loans, Supplemental Loans for Students (SLSs), Perkins loans, FISLs, and (except in an IBR Plan Consolidation Loan) PLUS Loans. All borrowers with these loans are eligible to consolidate after they graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment. And, until July 1, 2011, in some cases you can get a consolidation loan even before you leave school. However, because consolidation loans have no grace period while you are in school or for the six months afterwards (unlike nonconsolidation loans, which usually do have a grace period during this time), getting a such a loan may not be a good idea.

However, there are some restrictions. Private student loans cannot be included in a federal consolidation loan. In addition, spouses cannot consolidate their loans into a single consolidation loan. And, borrowers who are in default must meet certain requirements before they can consolidate. Consider both the advantages and disadvantages of consolidation before obtaining a consolidation loan. Potential disadvantages include the possibility that, if you have old loans, consolidation will cause your interest rate to go up. Moreover, consolidation will extend the repayment period, which means that you will pay more interest over the life of your loan. Consolidation will not completely clean up your credit report, either. If you were in default, your report will reflect that your previous loans were in default but are now paid in full through the new loan.

Loan consolidation offers some potential advantages, too. If you are in default on any of your government loans, consolidation may offer the opportunity to get out of default and make affordable monthly payments. When interest rates are low, consolidation gives you the advantage of locking in a low rate on your student loans.

Direct Consolidation Loan Program As with the Direct Loan Program, the federal government provides Direct Consolidation Loans. Direct Consolidation Loans come with flexible repayment options, including a standard plan, a graduated plan, and an extended plan, and in most circumstances an Income Contingent Repayment Plan (ICRP) or an Income Based Repayment Plan (IBR) (see “Repayment Plans,” above). If you are in default, a Direct Consolidation Loan is a good way to get out of default and obtain a repayment plan that you can afford. In order to get out of default through a Direct Consolidation Loan, you must make three affordable monthly payments to the loan holder first (which can be as low as $5) or agree to an ICRP or IBR on the consolidated loan. Borrowers are also eligible for deferments in certain circumstances. Each loan consolidated under the program keeps its interest subsidy benefit. This can be important if you return to school. To qualify for a Direct Consolidation Loan, you must have at least one Direct loan or FFEL. So, if you have only a Perkins loan, for example, you don’t qualify. If you have at least one FFEL, but no Direct loans, then you must certify you are unable to obtain a FFEL with an Income Sensitive Repayment Plan “acceptable” to you and are eligible for an Income Contingent Repayment Plan. As of 2010, there are no more FFEL Consolidation loans available, so the requirement that you cannot get one may be moot.

One other point to consider before you apply for a consolidation loan: Your right to assert a school-related claim against the lender of the consolidation loan is not clear. That right might be important, for example, if you got a loan to attend a for-profit school because it lied about the likelihood of you getting a job after graduation. If you think you have a claim against the school, it is better to consult an attorney experienced in bringing these kinds of cases before you consolidate your loan.

                                                                       
FOXNEWS FACTS:

One of the most interesting things about Foxnews is that more people in the United States watch Fox News and trust it more as a reliable source of news.

Despite being labled as a right wing Republican favored news station by liberals and left wing democrats, Foxnews continues to be the number one news source for most Americans. CNN and MSNBC has seen a dramatic loss of viewers since Foxnews has taken the number one spot.

FOX News has 7 studios in NYC and 1 in DC used by FOX News Channel and FOX Business Network.
Studio B, NY FOX Business Network shows.
Studio G, NY FOX Business Network shows and FNC show Justice with Judge Jeanine.
Studio D, NY is the only studio with an area for a studio audience. It is used by The Five and Huckabee.
Studio E, NY used fox Fox & Friends, Your World with Neil Cavuto, Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld and America's News HQ.
Studio H, NY used for Fox & Friends First, Happening Now, Studio B and The Fox Report.
Studio J, NY used for America's Newsroom, America Live with Megyn Kelly, Hannity and FBNs Money with Melissa Francis.
DC Studio used for Special Report with Bret Baier, On the Record and America’s News HQ.
Web Studio, NY used for FOX News Live internet shows.

Producing a variety of programming, FNC has a number of program hosts, news anchors, correspondents and contributors who appear daily on the channel. Hosts include Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Greta Van Susteren, Mike Huckabee, Shepard Smith and Neil Cavuto, all of whom host programs on the top-ten list of the most-watched programs on cable news. In January 2009, former CNN commentator Glenn Beck was added to Fox's weekday lineup; his last FNC show was June 30, 2011. Beck was replaced on Fox News by The Five on July 11, 2011.

LIST OF MOST POPULAR FOXNEWS SHOWS:

11:00am
Happening Now
Hosts Jon Scott and Jenna Lee will take YOU to the news when and where it happens.
1:00pm
America Live
Smart, tough & trusted - Megyn Kelly delivers fair & balanced coverage of today's top issues
3:00pm
Studio B w/ Shepard Smith
The news begins anew as host Shepard Smith brings you the biggest stories of the day, including interviews with today's top newsmakers.
4:00pm
Your World w/ Neil Cavuto
From Main Street to Wall Street - All the day's headlines and all the market's moves
5:00pm
The Five
The hot topics that have everyone talking, from five voices that will have everyone listening!
6:00pm
Special Report w/ Bret Baier
Join host Bret Baier and Fox's Team Washington to find out what's happening inside the Beltway and on the world stage
7:00pm
FOX Report w/ Shepard Smith
No pundits, no discussion; just the news. "FOX Report" rips through the day's top stories at the "speed of live"
8:00pm
11:00pm
The O'Reilly Factor
Hard-hitting, and in your face! Bill breaks down the day's big stories in the "No Spin Zone!"
9:00pm
12:00am
Hannity
Candid, controversial and completely unleashed - it's a show that's pure Sean.
10:00pm
On the Record w/ Greta
Greta and her expert team take you inside Washington and the stories making headlines!
11:00pm
The O'Reilly Factor
Hard-hitting, and in your face! Bill breaks down the day's big stories in the "No Spin Zone!"