Renting or Owning a Home: What’s Right for You?

Mortgages

Renting or Owning a Home: What’s Right for You?

Renting or Owning a Home: What’s Right for You?

At this time, when housing prices are starting to rebound and interest rates are still very low, a lot of people are saying that you should buy a house in 2013. But is homeownership the right choice for your finances? The answer of course, is “it depends.” However, for many of us there is a... Read More

Credit Cards Still Weapon of Choice for Fraudsters

Identity Theft

Credit Cards Still Weapon of Choice for Fraudsters

Credit Cards Still Weapon of Choice for Fraudsters

Identity theft can hit consumers in a number of ways, but when it comes to cases of reported fraud, it seems that criminals are now relying far more often on payments made with credit cards than other methods. Credit cards were used in nearly 56 percent of all fraudulent transactions conducted in 2011, the most... Read More

5 Ways Your Credit Card Can Ruin Your Credit

Credit Score

5 Ways Your Credit Card Can Ruin Your Credit

5 Ways Your Credit Card Can Ruin Your Credit

A strong credit history is the best indicator of our personal financial health. With excellent credit, we can qualify for the best rates on home and car loans, while bad credit can raise our insurance costs and make it difficult to pass a pre-employment background check. Yet the one thing holding back your credit score... Read More

The Gun Score: An Idea So Crazy It Couldn’t Work

Credit Score

The Gun Score: An Idea So Crazy It Couldn’t Work

The Gun Score: An Idea So Crazy It Couldn’t Work

A sufficiently large minority of the U.S. Senate demonstrated their Orwellian allegiance to the gun lobby last week — or their fear of it — by blocking several commonsense measures that would have expanded background checks for gun buyers while imposing a ban on both assault-style rifles and high-capacity gun magazines. The knee-jerk “no” votes... Read More

4 Ways to Deal with Student Loan Collection Companies

Students

4 Ways to Deal with Student Loan Collection Companies

4 Ways to Deal with Student Loan Collection Companies

At the beginning of March, I authored an opinion piece in which I proposed radical changes to the higher education business model. I also put forth a plan to address the nation’s staggering student loan crisis that would hold those who helped cause the debacle economically accountable for its resolution. I started receiving emails in... Read More

The Widow’s Guide to Social Security Benefits

Personal Finance

The Widow’s Guide to Social Security Benefits

The Widow’s Guide to Social Security Benefits

As a Certified Financial Planner™, I work with a lot of widows trying to navigate the tricky world of Social Security benefits after their spouse passes away. Social Security provides you, as a widow, with a choice between your own Social Security benefit based on your work history, and a survivor’s benefit based on your... Read More

How Getting Out of Debt Can Hurt Your Credit

Managing Debt

How Getting Out of Debt Can Hurt Your Credit

How Getting Out of Debt Can Hurt Your Credit

A common concern you may have when searching for the best debt relief solution is how it will impact your credit score. There are many misconceptions about credit reports and the harm that comes from credit counseling, settling debt for less than what you owe and bankruptcy. Your credit report and credit score will heal... Read More

Lawmakers Clash Over Student Loan Debt Reform

Students

Lawmakers Clash Over Student Loan Debt Reform

Lawmakers Clash Over Student Loan Debt Reform

Federal lawmakers have been mulling ways to address the growing problem of student loan debt and rising instances of delinquency and default on those accounts, but now conflicting views as to how to do so has stymied progress on Capitol Hill. There are only a few months to go for Congress to decide whether it... Read More

CFPB Wants More Data From Financial Institutions

Personal Finance

CFPB Wants More Data From Financial Institutions

CFPB Wants More Data From Financial Institutions

As part of its efforts to better identify and enforce potentially problematic or misleading behavior on the part of financial institutions, the federal watchdog tasked with protecting consumers’ finances is asking for more data from the institutions themselves. However, some of those companies appear to be growing resistant to these ongoing efforts. The Consumer Financial... Read More

The Key to Saving: Track Your Spending

Personal Finance

The Key to Saving: Track Your Spending

The Key to Saving: Track Your Spending

Can something that takes as little as five minutes a day change your financial life? Absolutely, say the proponents of that so-often-recommended piece of financial advice: track your spending. They believe it can be the key to a wealthier life, and research shows it may make you healthier as well. There’s no doubt that tracking... Read More

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