When it comes to understanding your credit score, it can be tricky to figure out how it all works. Should you use your credit card for purchases and pay it off, should you keep a balance for a little while, should you get a new credit card or cancel old ones you don’t use? It can be confusing. If you don’t currently have any credit card balances, you might be wondering what you can do to maintain or even boost your current credit score a little. Should you consider making a few purchases and charging them to your card and paying it over a few months vs. in full? After all, you don’t want the credit bureaus to forget that you know how to be responsible with credit. But how is carrying a balance really affecting your credit?Continue reading “Carrying a balance on your credit card – how does it affect your credit score?”
“Kiddie Condos” are one of the newest buzz phrases and latest trend for parents of college students who are looking to treat room and board as more of an investment vs. an expense. The concept: Purchase a home, condo or apartment in the town where your college student goes to school, purchase the home with them on the mortgage, and have them live there vs. campus housing or renting off campus. The idea behind the strategy is to put the money a family would generally spend on room and board, required meal plans, and out-of-state tuition into a property.Continue reading ““Kiddie Condos” – The Newest College Housing Trend”
Over the past decade, filing for bankruptcy has become far less taboo – good, bad or indifferent it’s become far more mainstream for both businesses and individuals.
For individuals, there are 2 types of Bankruptcy – Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. With Chapter 7 you must have an insufficient income to allow you to pay at least a portion of your debts. Under Chapter 7, you either pay for or give up your property for secured debts. You surrender any nonexempt property in order to pay off as much of your other debt as possible. You keep all of your other exempt property and are forever released from any obligation to repay the remaining dischargeable debt.Continue reading “Bankruptcy 101 – Pros and Cons”
When it comes to saving money, especially for your future, it can be hard to decide where to put that money to get the best bang for your buck. If you have loans, like a mortgage, you might consider an early pay-off. What feels better than being debt free, right? But building wealth can be tricky.
When it comes to saving money, interest rates rule the world. You want your money to earn more than it would cost you elsewhere. So, if your rate of return on investing is more than you would save in paying down interest, then investing would earn you more money and be a smarter option. However, if your mortgage interest rate is higher than your rate of return on investing, then you would save more money by paying down aggressively on your mortgage instead.Continue reading “Savings and Retirement Tips: Pay off your Mortgage Early or Invest?”
Which should you save for first – your child’s future college tuition or your personal retirement? As a parent, this is a very emotional question – saving for your children’s continuing education to help them incur less debt and get a good education or financially preparing yourself and securing your future.
Many parents have decided that college savings should come first and are not only forgoing putting money in a retirement account, but they are dipping into their retirement savings to cover the costs of tuition. Yes, saving for college is important, but it is actually a luxury. How much you save for your child’s tuition is not a direct correlation to how likely it is that they will graduate. And don’t worry, your child can find other ways to pay for school: scholarships, grants, financial aid, part time jobs, or even finding a more affordable school.Continue reading “College Savings or Retirement – Which Should you Save for First?”
When it comes to planning for retirement, the process seems pretty simple: contribute to your IRA or 401(k), put extra savings aside each month, and reduce your spending as much as possible as you get closer to retirement. Once you are ready to retire, you should be able to rely on a combination of your investments, Social Security, your savings and Medicare to cover your needs.Continue reading “Surprising Expenses You Don’t Expect When Planning for Retirement”
With the invent of email, instant messaging, texting and video chat it’s become the social norm to ASK permission to call someone – especially in business. So why does it seem like our phones are ringing more and more? Well, odds are it’s a telemarketer and their getting sneakier and sneakier – calling from “local” phone numbers to get you to answer. Telemarketing isn’t necessarily illegal, but it’s certainly annoying.
Why is it happening and what can you do about it?Continue reading “Telemarketers: How to spot them and how they get your number”
When you are in your 20’s you experience a lot of exciting changes in your life – graduating from college, starting your first job, buying your first car, getting your first apartment, etc. And of course not everyone moves at the same pace or takes the same path in life, but it is important to plan ahead and set some financial goals.
When you set financial goals, especially at a young age, it can set you up for financial freedom later on in life. It might not seem super important right now to plan 20, 30, or 40 years ahead, but doing so can give you more choices in the future. It is a great feeling knowing you are on track with your money, and now is the perfect time to start working towards financial security.Continue reading “Financial goals to Strive for by the Time You’re 30”
When it comes to buying a home, most people know there are a few different mortgage options to choose from, but many don’t understand that there are actually quite a few options that vary depending on your situation. Once you’ve taken care of the homework – setting a budget, figuring out a down payment, and reviewing your credit, you’ll have a better idea of what loan works best for your needs.Continue reading “What Type of Mortgage is right for you?”
Hackers and scammers have honed their craft to the level that even the savviest become victims. From spoofed email accounts from well-known banks and credit card institutions alerting individuals their account has been compromised to robo-phone dialers with local numbers who appear to know quite a bit about you – the situation with ID theft and social engineering is only going to get worse.Continue reading “Identifying Phishers, Scammers and the “Alleged Debt Collectors””