Our Blog Posts
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.
By Emilie Burke | 5/29/2018
The cost of prescription meds is on the rise, making it challenging to get what you need if you have no income. There are ways to get the medications you need though. And at little or no cost to you.
By Emilie Burke | 5/26/2018
Whether you’re doing Whole30, Paleo, Keto, or just trying to eat healthier overall, you can do it all on a tight budget. Here’s how.
By Emilie Burke | 5/23/2018
Is there a way to live consistently with an inconsistent income? Yes. But it does take some planning, budgeting, and saving. Here’s what you need to know.
By Emilie Burke | 5/19/2018
If you’re struggling to improve a low credit score, credit restoration can sound like a great option. But what is it and does it really work?
By Emilie Burke | 5/15/2018
A traditional savings account is a great option if you’re just starting your savings journey, but most don’t provide a good opportunity for earning interest and growing your funds.
By Emilie Burke | 5/14/2018
What you eat can play a big role in your mental health. Unfortunately, the things we tend to eat when we aren't feeling well can actually make things worse. Here are some steps you can take to help improve your mood, even when you're already struggling.
By Emilie Burke | 5/8/2018
If you’re in the market for a new home, or possibly looking for a way out of your current home, you’ve probably heard about the short sale option. But what does it mean, how does it work, and does it make sense for you?
By Emilie Burke | 5/6/2018
Many Americans with serious illnesses like cancer or heart conditions can expect to pay $1,000 a month or more out of pocket every month for necessary. So, who decides how much your medications cost and how do they make that determination?
By Emilie Burke | 4/30/2018
Meal prepping is the art of preparing multiple meals all at once, which you either refrigerate or freeze until you’re ready to eat. It may sound difficult and time consuming, but the reality is that it will save you both time and money.
By Thomas Nitzsche | 4/25/2018
When it comes to poor financial health, we tend to think money is the only solution, but that's simply not true.
By Emilie Burke | 4/24/2018
So, you're thinking of buying a home, but you have some credit card debt. How will that debt affect the mortgage application process?
By Emilie Burke | 4/16/2018
Where should you be focusing your debt repayment efforts? Not all strategies are equal when it comes to debt repayment.
By Emilie Burke | 4/10/2018
Packing your lunch every day can be time consuming, but eating out every day gets expensive. What's your midday meal costing you?
By Emilie Burke | 4/3/2018
How easy is it to use the equity in your home to repay debt, and when should you consider doing it?
By Louis DeNicola | 3/27/2018
You know that even if your credit card is closed, you still need to pay any remaining balance - but there are a few other important repercussions you should be aware of.
By Emilie Burke | 3/21/2018
While many people know when their finances are in significant trouble, you may not recognize the early warning signs that you’re carrying too much debt.
By Emilie Burke | 3/13/2018
If you’re in debt, have fallen behind on your payments, and collection agencies are starting to call, settling your debt may seem like the best option. And it very well could be, but there are some things you should know first.
By Emilie Burke | 3/2/2018
Which is better, paying off debt or investing your money? There’s no quick and easy answer to this question. The decision involves some comparison between what your debt is costing you and what you expect to make in return for your investments. It also involves taking a close look at your financial situation.
By Louis DeNicola | 2/26/2018
Regardless of the type of bankruptcy you declare, it will likely have a considerably negative impact on your credit. How long that damage lasts and how easy it is to recover from depends on a number of factors.
By Emilie Burke | 2/21/2018
If you’re heavily in debt and don’t see a way out, moving to another country may seem like an appealing way to start over. But it’s not as easy as you may think and it comes with a few problems you may not find appealing. If it’s something you’re thinking about, here’s what you need to know:
By Emilie Burke | 2/16/2018
Owing money to the IRS can leave you feeling stressed and buried in debt. But don’t worry, there’s good news. Just like making monthly payments on your credit card, you can make payments to the IRS to take care of your tax debt before they take more aggressive action.
By Louis DeNicola | 2/15/2018
The new tax bill has people riled up. But no matter how you feel about it, take a step back and remember that the taxes you file in 2018 are for your earnings from 2017. The new tax bill won’t affect those. And if you took on additional contract work last year, perhaps driving for a ride-sharing app, freelancing, or selling items online, your tax return might be a little more complicated than it was in the past.