Our Blog Posts
By Jackie Lam | 4/17/2019
Apps and online money platforms make it easier than ever to transfer money to friends and family. All you need to do is link an account to the app and you can transfer money to instantly split that bar tab or Netflix bill. Whether it’s a more formal transaction or reimbursing a friend back for a meal, what’s the best money-transfer app for you?
By Jesse Campbell | 4/14/2019
A reverse mortgage is a lending product that allows borrowers aged 62 and older to borrow against the equity in their home without having to make payments until the borrower and any non-borrowing spouse has left the house. But exactly how much equity do you have to have in your home in order to qualify ? Here’s what you need to know.
By Amy Lins | 4/11/2019
Most organizations try to prioritize employee wellness and understand that holistic employee benefits are important to prevent turnover. But unfortunately, most of us are missing a crucial ingredient: financial wellness. When it’s done correctly, organizational financial wellness options benefit both the employer and individual employees. Here’s why it’s important for your organization to prioritize employees’ financial wellbeing.
By Jackie Lam | 4/10/2019
If Uncle Sam is cutting you a tax refund check this year, what’s the best use of that small windfall? If you’re feeling paralyzed by the dizzying bounty of choices, here is a simple set of guidelines to help you decide how to make the absolute most of refund:
By Jackie Lam | 4/8/2019
On average, a car accident can spike your annual insurance premiums by nearly $450. On a tight budget that kind of increase can be devastating. If your insurance rates have risen following an accident, try these steps to bring your costs back to normal.
By Louis DeNicola | 4/4/2019
If you’ve fallen behind on bill payments, your employer might start taking money directly out of your paycheck and sending it off to repay your creditors or collection agencies. This process is called wage garnishment or wage attachment. You have rights and may be able to find a way to lessen or stop the garnishment. Here's how.
By Jim Triggs | 3/29/2019
According to the IRS, refunds are about 9% lower this year compared to refunds in 2018. Whether you owe money to the IRS this year or received a smaller refund than you expected, it’s okay to panic, but you don’t need to despair. Here’s why it’s okay if your tax refund is lower than expected.
By Jackie Lam | 3/27/2019
Beyond one’s actual retirement savings, what financial considerations do seniors need to think about as they’re about to transition into retirement? For those preparing for their golden years, here’s what to prepare for - including some items you may never have considered before:
By Jesse Campbell | 3/25/2019
Your state's statutes of limitations on debt protect you against legal action for unpaid debts after a certain number of years, but unscrupulous debt collectors can still try to trick you into paying on those old debts. Here's what to watch out for and how to protect yourself.
By Louis DeNicola | 3/19/2019
Up to 85 percent of your Social Security benefits may be taxable, depending on your total income. Knowing the income limits and rules can help you decide when to start taking Social Security benefits, predict the impact of taking on extra work, and help you estimate your income taxes for the year.
By Jackie Lam | 3/18/2019
Whether you’re haggling for some dinnerware at a swap meet or asking for a more competitive job offer, the art of bargaining is a nuanced one. But buying a house is a lot more complicated, and you can never be too prepared. Here are some tactics on negotiating for your dream house.
By Emilie Burke | 3/13/2019
Weddings are a great way to start your newly married life in debt. Luckily there are a ton of clever ways to save cash and still have the wedding of your dreams. Let these top wedding planners show you how it's done.
By Jackie Lam | 3/11/2019
If you still owe a lot of money on a major asset, such as a house or car, and it gets destroyed from a major natural disaster, will your insurance company pay for it? The short answer is that it depends on the type of natural disaster, and how much coverage you purchased.
By Jackie Lam | 3/6/2019
You may already be in store for an even smaller refund this year, so if you haven't already been using online tax preparation software, now may be the time to start. But which option to choose? We've got you covered - here are our favorite tax prep programs, what they cost, and what they do for you.
By Louis DeNicola | 3/3/2019
The new tax bill that into effect for the 2018 tax year made significant changes to the tax code. As a result, some Americans are getting a smaller tax refund than in previous years, and others are owing money when they expected to get money back. If you’d like to change your refund for next year, you'll want to update your Form W-4s with your employers.
By Emilie Burke | 2/27/2019
Scams are everywhere, and unfortunately, one of the groups that is most often targeted by scammers is military families. Here's what you need to know about some of the most popular scams directed at military families and how to prevent them.
By Jackie Lam | 2/25/2019
A recent study offers some valuable insight into the unique ways that Hispanic households interact with money - both the good and the bad. Learn about the top trends and what changes Hispanic families may want to make in order to better maximize their finances.
By Jackie Lam | 2/20/2019
Getting your head around exactly how credit works can be intimidating. Not to worry. We got you covered. In this post, we’ll give a rundown of what goes on a credit report, how long each piece of information stays there, and how it might impact you:
By Louis DeNicola | 2/18/2019
You may have already seen the headlines or heard from friends — some people are getting smaller refunds this year. It could be too late to change your tax situation. But, you may be able to avoid spending extra money to prepare and file your return.
By Jackie Lam | 2/12/2019
In our booming age of financial technology, there’s no shortage of apps to help you with your money. If you're looking for a fun and simple way to use technology to help build your savings, we've got you covered. These are our favorite low-cost apps for saving money.
By Emilie Burke | 2/11/2019
If you’re working in the United States and sending some of your pay back home to your family in another country, it can be a challenge. If you're looking for a way to send cash abroad, here are some of your best options.
By Emilie Burke | 2/5/2019
Being able to retire early is a dream come true. But if you’re not careful, you might find yourself running out of money as time goes on, when you really need it and are unable to go back to work.
By Jackie Lam | 2/4/2019
Military life can come with certain sacrifices. It also comes with a lot of perks and bonuses. If you’re in the service, the key is making the most of those perks in order to boost your finances.
By Jackie Lam | 1/31/2019
Investing is a powerful way to grow your money, but it can certainly be intimidating. There’s so much to learn, not to mention you’ll need to free up some funds. And that’s certainly a tall order when you’re already feeling squeezed. Thankfully there are a few great apps out there to help you get started.
By Louis DeNicola | 1/29/2019
If you feel like you’re drowning in debt, the idea of settling for less money than you owe can be appealing. You could hire a debt settlement company that will work on your behalf to negotiate settlements with your creditors, or you could just do it yourself. If you're thinking about DIY debt settlement here's what you need to know.
By Emilie Burke | 1/23/2019
There can be a number of reasons why a debt collector may come after you for a debt that isn’t yours. Whatever the reason, however, there are several things you need to do when you’re told you owe a debt that isn’t yours.
By Jackie Lam | 1/21/2019
We’re living longer, but we don’t have enough saved for retirement. A longer life means you’ll have to factor in higher costs for long-term care and medical expenses. Need an infusion of cash to hit your savings goals? Here are a handful of tactics to boost your income if you’re 50 and over.
By Jesse Campbell | 1/16/2019
If you are impacted by a significant work stoppage, there are things you can do to keep the damage to a minimum, while focusing on the things that matter most to you and your family. Here are a few expert tips to help you through a potentially trying time.
By Emilie Burke | 1/13/2019
Digging yourself out from debt can be overwhelming, but if you’re a military servicemember, there’s help in the form of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which provides a number of valuable protections for you and your finances. Here are some of the most important ways the SCRA can be used to help military families.
By Emilie Burke | 1/8/2019
If you’re dealing with unpaid credit card debt, you might be getting phone calls from collection agencies. And those debt collectors may be using aggressive tactics to scare you into paying, including threatening jail time. But can you really go to jail over credit card debt?
By Jackie Lam | 1/6/2019
Paying off debt is hard enough, but it only gets harder when you’ve got an income that fluctuates up and down. No need to despair. Debt repayment is entirely possible, even if you’re living on inconsistent income. You’ll just need to get creative and go a different route.
By Jackie Lam | 1/2/2019
If you’re trying to stay on top of your finances, you’ll definitely want to use a money management app. Here are some of our top picks for the best free tools to tend to your moola, and what we love about them.
By Emilie Burke | 1/1/2019
Before you commit your time and money to a gym, check out the options that are free or inexpensive that you can do right from your own home.
By Emilie Burke | 12/27/2018
If you didn’t put money aside for Christmas spending this year, or you overspent your budget, you may be feeling a pinch right now. The holiday season is the time of year when most people spend more than they planned. Here are some things to consider in order to get your finances back on track as you head into 2019:
By Emilie Burke | 12/26/2018
If you’re a post-holiday shopper, this is your favorite shopping time of the year. In fact, many people start shopping for next holiday season! But how do you make sure you get the best deals possible so that you can win your post-holiday shopping? Here's how:
By Emilie Burke | 12/18/2018
Credit card debt can have an affect on your credit rating, but what about your tax return? Will you be able to get your refund if you have an account in collections? What about settling a debt? Will there be any tax consequences? Here's what you need to know.
By Emilie Burke | 12/14/2018
The new retirement contribution limits have been released for 2019 by the IRS and the news is good. Here's what you need to know.
By Emilie Burke | 12/11/2018
Savings accounts can only earn you so much. In order to grow your money, you're eventually going to need to jump into the world of investing. Luckily there are plenty of low-risk options for first-time investors. Here are some of your best bets if you're looking to make that first leap into investment.
By Jackie Lam | 12/10/2018
If you’re new to the U.S., a major hurdle you’re probably facing is establishing credit. That's because you aren’t able to take your credit history with you when you move to another country. Here's how you can fix that by accessing a global credit profile that recognizes all the hard work you've already done.
By Emilie Burke | 12/7/2018
The holidays are the most expensive time of the year. But what do you do if you still have gifts to give, but nothing saved to buy them with? Don’t despair, there are still plenty of options that are either very inexpensive or completely free!
By Louis DeNicola | 12/4/2018
You’re counting on getting your entire security deposit back when you move out of a rental. After all, you cleaned the place thoroughly and were a responsible tenant. But what if you did everything right and the landlord still won’t return your money? Here’s what you need to do.
By Emilie Burke | 12/2/2018
Getting through the holidays as a parent can be tough enough, but it’s even more difficult when your ex is spoiling your kids with extravagant gifts they can afford and you can’t. Here are a few tips for dealing with this very unique kind of holiday stress.
By Emilie Burke | 11/28/2018
A student loan can have both positive and negative effects on your credit score, depending on whether or not you keep up with your payments. And it affects your credit score differently from credit card debt or other loans.
By Louis DeNicola | 11/26/2018
While you certainly shouldn’t give up on building an emergency fund, here are five alternative ideas for creating financial security — or, at least, a small buffer in case things go wrong.
By Emilie Burke | 11/19/2018
For something that you continually throw away and purchase again, razor blades are expensive. Many drugstores even keep them in a locked case.
Shave clubs make it easier, and less expensive, to replenish your supply, but which offers the best service at the best price?
By Emilie Burke | 11/17/2018
Buying a new house can be an exciting time, but if you don’t protect your credit while making this huge financial commitment, you can end up paying more than you should. When it comes to buying a house, here are the credit mistakes you need to avoid.
By Emilie Burke | 11/14/2018
If you’ve ever been uninsured, under-insured, or had a high co-pay that you couldn’t afford, you may be faced with some medical debt. But what happens if you just don’t pay it? Does it ever go away?
By Louis DeNicola | 11/12/2018
You can finance holiday shopping in several ways, but two of the most common are buying gifts with layaway or using a credit card and paying off the bill over time. There are different pros, cons, and costs associated with either option.
By Emilie Burke | 11/10/2018
There are a variety of organizations that provide free help and meals to those in need during the holidays. Here are some of the best resources for finding help with your Thanksgiving meal.
By Jesse Campbell | 11/7/2018
A recent case filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the New York Attorney General has shed light on a predatory debt collection practice consumers should keep an eye out for.
By Emilie Burke | 11/5/2018
You’ve worked hard to create a budget you can live with. One that includes all of your monthly living expenses as well as money for savings and going out. So why do you fall short of your budget every few months?
By Emilie Burke | 11/2/2018
With the holidays rapidly approaching, you may be feeling pressure to think about gift-giving. Budgeting for the holidays is best started early. How you spend your money this holiday season matters; why not spend it in a way that makes a difference?
By Louis DeNicola | 10/30/2018
While a temporary or permanent disability can lead to physical and financial challenges, a tax-advantaged ABLE account could give you, or a loved one, more options when it comes to managing money.
By Jackie Lam | 10/29/18
We all can relate to how receiving a pre-approved credit card offer is ever-so-tempting. But instead of signing up right away, you might want to hit the pause button and make sure it’s the right one for you.
By Jesse Campbell | 10/24/18
The Fair Isaac Co. (FICO) recently announced a new scoring model – the UltraFICO score – will roll out in 2019, and will drastically change how consumer creditworthiness is determined. So what is UltraFICO and what changes does it promise?
By Emilie Burke | 10/23/2018
Credit cards can be good for several kinds of purchases. Using them for travel expenses helps you earn points or cash back incentives, for example. But there are certain things you shouldn’t use credit cards for.
By Louis DeNicola | 10/16/2018
Paying off debt can be a tedious and painful process. But it is possible, and there are ways to speed things up and sometimes make it a little fun (really).
By Emilie Burke | 10/15/2018
Asking for a raise can be a touchy subject with employers and if you don’t approach it the right way, you can kiss your bigger paycheck goodbye.
By Emilie Burke | 10/12/2018
Between costumes, decorations, and candy, Halloween can be expensive. But it doesn’t have to be. There are some great ways to decorate and create costumes out of items you have lying around the house.
By Taylor Milam | 10/11/2018
Credit card debt can be particularly stressful thanks to high interest rate and late fees, and it may feel like you’re not making any real progress on your credit card debt. But here’s the deal—a debt management plan might be the solution you’ve been searching for.
By Emilie Burke | 10/10/2018
Trying to navigate post-military life on your own can be confusing and frustrating to say the least. But don’t worry, there are plenty of helpful nonprofit organizations that can successfully help you transition into your new world.
By Emilie Burke | 10/5/2018
The holiday season is one of the most stressful and challenging times of the year when it comes to money. With gifts and decorations to buy, large meals to plan, travel, and events there always seems to be something to spend money on. This year, avoid debt by avoiding these common holiday season money mistakes.
By Louis DeNicola | 10/4/2018
Consolidating your debts—taking out a new loan or credit line to pay off multiple debts—can offer several potential benefits. However, if you have a poor credit score or modest income, it can be difficult to get a balance transfer credit card or a low-rate loan.
By Taylor Milam | 10/1/2018
If you notice an error on your credit report, it’s a good idea to take action and report it. If they are are not reported, errors on your credit report can have long-term effects on your credit.
By Emilie Burke | 9/29/2018
Dealing with debt in retirement lowers your chance of being able to pay it off and can also put a strain on your limited income. Here are a few ways to manage debt when you’re retired:
By Emilie Burke | 9/28/2018
If you’re a saver and your partner is a spender, you’ve probably had a few arguments about money. Everything from spending habits to financial goals can cause conflict if you’re not on the same page.
By Louis DeNicola | 9/24/2018
A few important, consumer-friendly changes are coming to the world of credit. Here's a quick overview of the changes, why they're important, and how they could impact you.
By Emilie Burke | 9/23/2018
Joining a co-op is a great way to cut expenses and save money. There are a variety of co-ops you can join, or start one yourself. Here are a few ways you can reduce your expenses by joining a co-op.
By Taylor Milam | 9/18/2018
Whether you recently lost your job or have been unemployed for a few months, it’s important to make sure you can pay your bills each month—including your credit card bills and other unsecured loans.
By Jackie Lam | 9/17/2018
There are some pervading misconceptions about FICO credit scores that just won’t die. We’re here to turn that around. Here are some of the most common myths about FICO Scores, debunked:
By Taylor Milam | 9/15/2018
When it comes to debt consolidation, there are a few different options — unsecured loans, balance transfers and mortgage refinances — but nonprofit debt consolidation works a little differently.
By Jesse Campbell | 9/14/2018
The tighter the budget, the more painful our missteps. But when is a misstep really a misstep and when are just being a little too hard on ourselves?
By Louis DeNicola | 9/12/2018
When you take out a loan, you agree to repay the money under the terms of the contract. But imagine you get a notice or see on the news that your lender or loan servicer goes bankrupt. What then?
By Emilie Burke | 9/8/2018
Mobile data can be one of the biggest line items on your cellphone bill each month, but do you need all that you’re paying for?
By Jackie Lam | 9/7/2018
Consolidating your debts can be a helpful way to simplify debt repayment and save money, but many consolidation options may not be available if you have poor credit.
By Emilie Burke | 9/4/2018
Car insurance can be a big budget item, but it doesn’t have to be. Knowing how your premium is calculated can help you make better decisions about what kind of car to buy, how to manage your credit, and even where to live.
By Emilie Burke | 9/3/2018
If you’re surprised by a permanent change of station notice or concerned that you will be soon, there are a few things you can do to prepare financially.
By Emilie Burke | 9/1/2018
If you're starting to feel the pinch of growing debt, it’s time to take action. There are a few things you can do to get ahead of your impending debt crisis to put yourself in a better place financially.
By Louis DeNicola | 8/27/2018
When you refinance your student loans, you’re replacing your current loans with a new private student loan, which don’t offer the lenient repayment plans of federal student loans. As a result, you may have fewer options if you can’t afford your monthly payment. However, there are several steps you could take if you’re having trouble making payments.
By Emilie Burke | 8/26/2018
Consolidating your debt to reduce your payments and interest may seem like a good idea, but there are downsides as well. To determine if debt consolidation is the right choice for you, review the pros and cons before deciding.
By Emilie Burke | 8/24/2018
If you’re struggling with debt, a debt management plan (DMP) is one option that may help you get out. But is it right for you? There are several factors to consider when deciding if it’s right for you.
By Emilie Burke | 8/20/2018
Utilities can add up quickly and, unfortunately, most of the time you don’t know what the cost is until you receive the bill. Here's how you can tell if you're spending more than you should be, and what to do if you are.
By Emilie Burke | 8/19/2018
Fall is just around the corner and that cool crisp air will be encouraging you to get outside. But your wallet might not agree. Good news though . . . there are a variety of fun fall activities that are free or inexpensive, so no need to worry about your budget.
By Jackie Lam | 8/17/2018
Are you looking for nonprofit credit counseling and debt counseling options? We can help. We’ve rounded up the best debt counseling services of 2018. Here are our top picks.
By Louis DeNicola | 8/14/2018
No surprise to parents—child care costs can seriously strain a family’s budgets. To help you keep costs under control, while also ensuring your child has a safe and nurturing place to go, consider the following eight child care cost tips.
By Emilie Burke | 8/13/2018
If you’re in debt and struggling to get out, you may have heard of CCCS. Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS) offer assistance with budgeting, debt management plans, and financial education.
By Haley Kieser | 8/11/2018
Living without a car can be difficult. But having bad credit often stops many buyers from purchasing a new - or even used - car. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to buy a car with bad credit without breaking the bank.
By Emilie Burke | 8/6/2018
Losing a job is always difficult, but if your skills are no longer in demand, it can make your job search even more challenging. When your job skills aren’t in demand anymore, there are a few things you can do to help you get back to work.
By Emilie Burke | 8/3/2018
Once you leave school and join the “real world” of jobs and bills, going back to school becomes challenging. If you’re thinking about going back to school and want to do it without breaking the bank, there are a few credible options that will help you be successful.
By Louis DeNicola | 7/30/2018
Managing an unexpected expense might be easy if it happens right after payday, or nearly impossible in the days leading up to payday. But what if you could access some of your funds to hold you over?
By Emilie Burke | 7/27/18
When you’re in between jobs, it can be a daily challenge to stay positive. But staying positive between jobs is necessary; not only to help you find your new position, but to keep your spirits up while you search.
By Emilie Burke | 7/23/18
There are several different ways of consolidating debt, and which one you choose will depend on your situation. There isn’t a “best” option that fits all situations, so you’ll need to decide what works best for you.
By Emilie Burke | 7/20/18
When your pet is sick or hurt, the only thing you can think about is getting them better. But in most cases, their illness or injury is unexpected and care is very expensive. The vet bill can cause you to feel a little ill yourself.
By Emilie Burke | 7/15/18
When you can find ways to reduce your financial stress, you’ll find yourself better able to think of solutions and opportunities will begin to present themselves.
By Jennifer Dial | 7/13/18
Losing a job at any stage of your life is difficult. If you’re approaching retirement and have found yourself unexpectedly out of work, consider the following advice.
By Louis DeNicola | 7/10/2018
If you’re looking for a way to get debt free, you may be considering consolidating your debts, trying to settle with your creditors, or getting on a debt management plan. It can be important to understand and compare your options, because they could affect your finances and credit in different ways.
By Emilie Burke | 7/5/2018
If you’re a senior citizen or you care for someone who is, grocery shopping can be a challenge. Bur fortunately, there are a few ways to make sure there’s plenty of good food, even on a tight budget, and even help in getting around.
By Emilie Burke | 7/1/2018
Thinking of buying a new home? Great! Is that home in a neighborhood with a Homeowner’s Association (HOA)? There are some things you need to think about.
By Louis DeNicola | 6/27/2018
Student loan borrowers may have the option to defer their payments while they’re enrolled at least half-time and during a grace period after leaving school. However, deferring your payments might be a decision that comes back to bite you later.
By Emilie Burke | 6/21/2018
Grocery stores are hoping to make your life easier and encourage you to shop more frequently by offering delivery and curbside pickup services. Everyone’s getting in on it, from the chain grocery stores, to the local stores, to Walmart. But can it save you money?
By Emilie Burke | 6/19/2018
If you receive a letter that you’re being sued by a creditor, it can be terrifying. Before panic truly sets in, take a deep breath and pull yourself together. There are some things you can do to keep this bad situation from getting worse.
By Emilie Burke | 6/16/2018
When is a good deal not a good enough deal? Coupons, sales, and specials can be enticing, but they’re not always the best deal. True deal chasers know when to walk away from what may seem like a good deal and you should too.
By Emilie Burke | 6/13/2018
Trying to determine your credit score, how it’s calculated, and how to improve it can seem overwhelming, but it really comes down to just a few key factors. One of those factors is your credit utilization ratio.
By Jesse Campbell | 6/11/18
Seniors face unique financial challenges. Anyone approaching or in retirement needs to be prepared for the inevitable shifts in income and spending that come with such a major life change.
By Louis DeNicola | 6/10/2018
Facing eviction and losing the time, equity, and love you’ve put into a home can be a sad and scary prospect. But it’s important to remember that even if you’re months behind on your mortgage payments, there may be ways to remedy the foreclosure and keep your home.
By Emilie Burke | 6/5/2018
If you’re in a situation where you need to apply for disability benefits, there are a few things you should know. First and most importantly, it is a long process.
By Emilie Burke | 6/1/2018
You can’t turn on the TV or flip through a magazine anymore without seeing an ad for a meal kit service. But are they worth it? There are some pros and cons of meal kits to consider before ordering your first box.