AJ Smith Gravatar

AJ Smith

Contributor |  In Personal Finance, Mortgages

AJ Smith is an award-winning journalist with more than a decade of experience in television, radio, newspapers, magazines and online content. She currently serves as the managing editor for SmartAsset. AJ has a passion for meeting new people, sharing stories and helping others. She has degrees from Princeton University and Mississippi State University. AJ and her husband also write and illustrate educational children’s books.

Tax-Loss Harvesting: What the Heck Is That?

Personal Finance

Tax-Loss Harvesting: What the Heck Is That?

Tax-Loss Harvesting: What the Heck Is That?

While investing can help you build wealth, taxes can really take a toll on your earnings. Savvy investors know that the value of securities go up and down after being purchased. Paying diligent attention to your taxes and using losing picks to reduce your tax bill can help keep more money in your pocket. Tax-loss... Read More

4 Tips for Protecting Your Debit Card

Personal Finance

4 Tips for Protecting Your Debit Card

4 Tips for Protecting Your Debit Card

You may think you know all about debit cards, but they can be dangerous and leave you vulnerable to scammers. In fact, they may feel safer than credit cards since you are spending your existing money instead of borrowing. But if someone gets access to your debit card, they can get access to your checking account. And... Read More

How Much Is Too Much to Pay for Your Wedding?

Personal Finance

How Much Is Too Much to Pay for Your Wedding?

How Much Is Too Much to Pay for Your Wedding?

Blowing all your savings on an extravagant one-day event — sounds like something we would never be silly enough to do, right? Well, the average cost of a wedding keeps rising and couples are increasingly paying tens of thousands of dollars, sometimes even taking out personal loans to cover the costs. But a wedding that breaks the... Read More

3 Things a Home Inspection May Not Reveal

Mortgages

3 Things a Home Inspection May Not Reveal

3 Things a Home Inspection May Not Reveal

Before you buy a home, it is important to make sure there are no major defects with the property. A professional home inspection is a great source, but buyers should know that it doesn’t detect every problem. A home inspection is a standard part of the homebuying process that can affect how much you pay... Read More

The Pros & Cons of Consolidating Your Student Loans

Students

The Pros & Cons of Consolidating Your Student Loans

The Pros & Cons of Consolidating Your Student Loans

More than 40 million Americans have student loan debt. On average, 2015 graduates left their campus with more than $35,000 in debt that they are responsible for paying back. More students are taking multiple loans to help cover expenses. If you have the ability to make a lump-sum payment or consolidate these loans, you may... Read More

Who Gets the Retirement Accounts in a Divorce?

Personal Finance

Who Gets the Retirement Accounts in a Divorce?

Who Gets the Retirement Accounts in a Divorce?

Going through a divorce or legal separation can be expensive – emotionally and financially. One of the most contentious and difficult parts of ending a marriage can often be dividing you and your ex-partner’s assets. There is plenty of protocol for splitting your checking and savings account but what about all your retirement savings? It... Read More

How to Buy a Home in the Off-Season

Mortgages

How to Buy a Home in the Off-Season

How to Buy a Home in the Off-Season

While spring generally dominates the housing market and is even known as homebuying season, it isn’t the only time you can find your dream property. In fact, peak selling months can mean more competition and higher prices. Check out our tips to ensure you get the most out of your buying process — no matter what time of... Read More

5 Ways to Save for Retirement Besides a 401K

Personal Finance

5 Ways to Save for Retirement Besides a 401K

5 Ways to Save for Retirement Besides a 401K

Saving for retirement — we all know it’s important, but we may not totally understand how to do it. Investing in your employer’s 401(k) can be a great start, but there are other vehicles to explore to get you to your retirement goal. Check out the other account types you can use to grow your nest... Read More

Should You Take All the Financial Aid You’re Offered?

Students

Should You Take All the Financial Aid You’re Offered?

Should You Take All the Financial Aid You’re Offered?

Many students have no choice but to borrow money to fund their education. But you or your child still have options when it comes to how much you borrow. The tips below can help you calculate the right amount to borrow to pay for college – and it doesn’t always mean taking every dollar you are... Read More

Show Me More by AJ Smith

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on Credit.com News & Advice may also be offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Our Owners

Credit.com is owned by Progrexion Holdings Inc. which is the owner and administrator of a number of business related to credit and credit repair, including CreditRepair.com, and eFolks. In addition, Progrexion also provides services to Lexington Law Firm as a third party provider. Despite being owned by Progrexion, it is not the role of the Credit.com editorial team to advocate the use of the company’s other services. In articles, reporters may mention credit repair as an option, for example, but we’ll also be sure to note the various alternatives to that service. Furthermore, you may see ads for credit repair services on Credit.com, but the editorial team isn’t responsible for the creation or implementation of those ads, anymore than reporters for the New York Times or Washington Post are responsible for the ads on their sites.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team