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Success Online Financial Education Newsletter
Money Management International Improving Lives Through Financial Education
SUCCESS NewsletterAugust 29 2013 newsletter
The seven fastest ways to ruin your credit

man understands fastest ways to ruin credit

By Jesse Campbell, Copywriter

Good credit is a marathon. Bad credit is a sprint.

If you’ve ever done it yourself, you know that lending money requires trust in the borrower. And you probably also know that trust takes a long time to earn, but it can be broken almost instantaneously.

That’s ultimately what your credit score is trying to communicate to creditors – how much they can trust you with their money. You build that trust – and your score – slowly, by using credit responsibly.

Unfortunately, no matter how well you’ve built that trust, it can be destroyed. Quickly. Here are the fastest ways to bring that trust – and your score – crumbling down around you.

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Will his student debt affect my credit?

Couple argues about student loan debt 

My fiancé has a student loan from almost 10 years ago totaling about $13,000. He has never made any payments on the loan but receives letters from the Department of Education all the time asking for payment in full. I don't want my credit to be messed up because of this but we are not sure where to start. They have never threatened to garnish his wages, but they call all the time.

He is under the impression that it is off his credit because it has been over seven years. Also, he thinks that if he starts to make payments then they will report him to the credit bureaus. Can you either dispel or confirm these situations?Pat

Pat, I am glad you wrote today, because your future husband’s assumptions are incorrect...


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About Money Management International

Money Management International (MMI) is a nonprofit, full-service credit counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling, and debt management assistance to consumers since 1958. MMI helps consumers trim their expenses, develop a spending plan, and repay debts. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by telephone and Internet. Services are available in English or Spanish. To learn more, call
866.530.9869 or visit



How to feed your family on a limited budget

Food has become increasingly more expensive so feeding a family on a limited budget is a challenge. Healthy food, especially, can be almost too expensive to afford. With a little extra work, great recipes, and some flexibility, you can find a way to feed your family plenty of healthy food, perhaps even with money to spare.

Before heading to the grocery store, do some preparation in advance. Have a selection of different recipes and meals that your family enjoys, and make sure you know all of the ingredients needed. Cut out coupons in magazines and newspapers for items your family uses, and check the grocery sale papers before you head out to make sure you know exactly what is on sale.

Time your shopping trip to occur right after you eat, so that you aren’t hungry and more prone to impulse buying. If your children are inclined to pull cookies and sugary items off the shelves, try to shop without them.

When shopping, instead of purchasing items related to your menu and recipes for the week, you can also choose plan your menu around what’s on sale. While fresh fruits and vegetables can often be expensive and rarely have coupons, in-season produce is generally cheaper. Purchase what is on sale, as long as it’s something your family will eat. Local farm stands or farmers’ markets are another way to get reasonably priced fresh produce.

Also take advantage of “buy one, get one free” sales and bulk discounts. Having a good storage system in place will make food less likely to go to waste. When freezing meat products, write the date of purchase on the package so you know when you’ll need to eat it by. Cleaning out your freezer frequently can help you know exactly what food you have available. Soups, pastas, and canned goods are great to purchase in large quantities when they are on sale.

Dried items such as beans can be a great, healthy alternative to meat, and are generally reasonably priced. Beans can be added to salads, rice, and soups to add more protein.

Also, consider purchasing canned (with no added salt) or frozen vegetables and fruit, which usually contain the same nutrients as fresh food. Also, if you have a warehouse club near you, compare prices and consider sharing purchases with a nearby friend or relative. Make sure you have willpower though, or else you’ll come out with a basketful of bulky items you didn’t plan to purchase.

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