All throughout April, we’re posting educational financial literacy content in honor of national Financial Literacy Month. One of the key financial literacy topics that people don’t readily grasp is calculating interest. Many of us are fine with basic math, but when it comes to estimating gains or costs associated with interest rates, we struggle. A…read more
Big changes are underway with regard to credit reporting, and those changes will impact how credit scores are calculated. These changes appear across the board to be good for consumers. The reform is a voluntary effort by the 3 major credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion—and it’s called the “National Consumer Assistance Plan”. This idea has…read more
We frequently see married credit counseling clients who come to us by themselves and do not want their spouses to find out about their debts.
Either one partner has secretly been using credit cards without his/her spouse’s knowledge and has gotten in too deep, or one person in the relationship is responsible for managing all of the family’s finances and, having failed to keep debt under control, doesn’t want anyone to find out.read more
Over the past few years there’s a trend online of financial experts recommending college students get credit cards. Is this really a good idea? This strain of advice usually includes some of the following arguments: Having credit helps establish a good credit history. Using credit early is educational and can teach the user how to…read more
The new car you bought 3 years ago for $30,000 is worth just over $15,000 today, and you’re thinking it might be time to trade it in before its value vanishes completely. While getting rid of that used vehicle might seem like the smartest move, you shouldn’t use the last couple of years of depreciation…read more
In short, your credit utilization is the percentage of total credit used in comparison with the total credit available. Calculate your utilization by dividing your balance by your limit. For a simple example, let’s say you have one credit card, and it has a 10,000 dollar limit. If you owe $2,500 on that account, your…read more
Do you want to close a credit card account but are unsure how it will affect your credit score? There are many reasons why we may want to close a credit card, such as avoiding annual fees, too many fees, high interest rates, or unsatisfactory customer service. Whatever the reason, please review the following to determine what is best for you:
The Fair Isaac Corporation FICO™ states “They would never recommend closing a credit card for the sole purpose of raising the score.”read more
Consumer credit reports can vary in the way they look and the order information is listed depending on which of the three major national credit-reporting bureaus provided the report. Consumers can obtain their free credit reports once every 12 months at www.annualcreditreport.com. If you believe that there is inaccurate information on your credit report, it’s…read more
Bullet Journaling is a popular way to organize your life on paper. People with a lot of to-do lists and day planners have found that keeping a bullet journal is a great way to focus on their goals and track accomplishments. The core of a bullet journal is to start with organization–this is not a…read more
In honor of Women’s History Month, we recently wrote about natural advantages women have that can help them manage personal finances. Today we’re talking about the other side of the coin—disadvantages that women need to be aware of when dealing with money matters. Like we wrote before, we don’t want to stereotype anyone, and every…read more
If you’re paid bi-weekly on Fridays, then this month might be a 3-paycheck month for you. It happens roughly twice per year for those workers who are paid every other week, and for many of us, it’s like winning a small lottery jackpot.
But rather than squander that occasional 3rd paycheck in a month, use those funds to help bring your personal finances into balance. Here are 5 suggestions for getting the most out of that extra paycheck:read more
Many student loan borrowers feel helpless in the face of tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt. There is popular support among them for student loan forgiveness, but there are misconceptions about these programs that need to be cleared up. A recent report from LendEDU found that nearly half of all college students…read more