Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
When buying a home, building a new home, or remodeling an existing home, keep in mind design concepts that make your home welcoming for everyone, regardless of age or ability. You may find that such inclusive concepts, dubbed “universal design,” make sense both socially and for your budget.
Universal design holds that new environments and products, to the greatest extent possible, should be usable by everyone regardless of age, ability, or circumstance. The concept goes beyond making houses handicapped-accessible and transcends “aging in place,” a recently coined phrase that refers to the modifying of homes so older owners can stay in one place longer. Universal design is a more proactive approach to building—incorporating good design that’s usable for the greatest number of people.
Universal design emphasizes open space with more maneuverability, no-step entries, and easy-to-use fixtures—all features that can be appreciated by a broad brushstroke of the population, potentially increasing the value of a home.
For example, including a no-step entry in the building of a house means that Aunt Sadie can come to visit with her wheelchair, a mother can push a stroller into the house, or a teen can roll a suitcase from the living room to the car. Instead of an unsightly ramp taking up the front yard, a builder can create a slightly elevated driveway with a gradually sloped, landscaped walkway to the front door—without any entry steps. It’s design that’s functional as well as stylish.
“Universal design, by definition, is making spaces that are convenient, comfortable, and inviting to people of all ages, regardless of their ability,” says Bill Owens, president and owner of Owens Construction in Powell, Ohio. As a certified aging-in-place specialist (CAPS), Owens develops and teaches universal design and aging-in-place curriculum nationwide through the National Association of Home Builders.
“These spaces benefit people of all ages, sizes, and abilities. Done well, it’s largely transparent. It’s not in your face. It has to be appealing. It has to have a transparent feel to it or mainstream America is not going to invest in it,” Owens says. “We try to insert good design in all that we do so it accommodates to the largest extent possible—that’s probably the key phrase—so you have an area that is convenient, comfortable, and inviting to the greatest extent of folks who might occupy that space.”
Benefits of incorporating universal design
Universal design features make good sense for people of all ages. Varied-height kitchen workspaces, for example, allow great flexibility, says Louis Tenenbaum, CAPS, universal design expert, aging-in-place coach, and independent living strategist.
“Why not have a place where you can sit down and cook and chop things?” he says. “If you have a countertop that is lower, a grandson can use that countertop when visiting, and he can help Grandma cook; you can sit and cut, instead of standing after a long day; a person who can’t stand can use it. It opens possibilities.”
A Chicago-based writer and editor, Eve Becker writes about personal finance, health and other topics. She is a former managing editor of Tribune Media Services.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.