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Low-Risk Ways to Start Investing Your Money

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.

New to Country? How An International Credit Profile Can Help Foreign-Born Consumers

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.

The Holidays are Here and You Have Nothing Saved

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!

What Can You Do If Your Landlord Won’t Return Your Security Deposit?

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.

What to Do When Your Ex Spoils Your Kids During the Holidays

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.

How Student Loan Debt Impacts Your Credit Score

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.

Five Clever Ways to Prepare for the Unexpected

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.

Which Online Shaving Retailer Saves You the Most?

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?

Avoid these Credit Mistakes When You’re About to Buy a House

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.

Is There a Statute of Limitations on Medical Debt?

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?

Holiday Financing Options: Layaway vs. Credit Cards

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.

Community and Nonprofit Resources for a Happy Thanksgiving

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.

Debt Collectors Accused of Inflating Delinquent Balances

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.

Important expenses that slip through your budget

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?

This Holiday Consider #ShopMilitary

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?

ABLE Accounts Can Give People Living with Disabilities More Financial Options

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.

How to Evaluate a Credit Card Offer

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.

What Does FICO’s New Credit Scoring Model Mean 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?

Worst Things to Buy on Credit

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.

9 Personal Finance Experts Share 10 Free Debt Advice Tips

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).

Mistakes to Avoid When Negotiating a Raise

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.

No Cost Halloween Ideas

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.

How to Repay Your Credit Cards with a Debt Management Plan

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.

Nonprofits to Help Support Transitioning Veterans

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.

Avoid these Common Holiday Season Money Mistakes

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.

3 Options if You Don’t Qualify for a Low-Cost Debt Consolidation

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.

How to Locate and Correct Errors on Your Credit Report

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.

How Do i manage debt when i'm retired?

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:

How to talk to your partner about their spending

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.

New credit changes impact student loans, veterans, and more

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.

Save money by joining a co-op

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.

How do I manage debt when I'm unemployed?

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.

Debunking Common FICO Credit Scoring Myths

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:

The Benefits of Using Nonprofit Debt Consolidation

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.

What’s the Difference between Splurging and Wasting Money?

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?

What happens if your lender goes under?

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?

Are you paying too much for mobile data?

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?

Best Debt Consolidation Options for Poor Credit

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.

How Is the Cost of Car Insurance Determined?

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.

How to Fund a Surprise PCS

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.

How Do I Begin Getting Out of Debt?

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.

You Refinanced Your Student Loans and Can't Make a Payment - Now What?

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.

Pros and Cons of Debt Consolidation

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.

Is a Debt Management Plan a Good Idea for Me

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.

How Much Should You Be Spending on Utilities Each Month

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.

The Affordable Fall Bucket List

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.

Best Debt Counseling Services 2018

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.

Eight Tips for Reducing Child Care Costs

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.

What is CCCS and how can it help you?

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.

Tips for buying a car with bad credit

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.

Navigating unemployment when your skills aren’t in demand 

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.

Going back to school without breaking the bank

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.

Getting paid before your payday – Products and services that keep you covered until your paycheck arrives

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?

Five keys to staying positive when you're in between jobs

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.

Six ways to consolidate debt

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.

Dealing with an unexpected vet bill

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.

Three keys to reducing financial stress

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.

Coping with unexpected unemployment just before retirement

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.

How debt consolidation, debt settlement, and a debt management plan could impact your credit

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.

Smart grocery tips for seniors

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.

Common costs of joining an HOA

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.

The case against deferring your student loan payments

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.

Can you save money ordering your groceries online?

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?

Five steps to take if you are sued by a creditor

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.

Three rules of thumb for deal chasers

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.

How to find your credit utilization ratio

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.

Solving the most common financial challenges facing seniors

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.

What does it mean to go into foreclosure?

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.

How to apply for disability benefits

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.

Pros and cons of meal kits

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.

Getting medications when you have no income

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.

How to diet on a tight budget

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.

Living consistently with an inconsistent income

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.

What is credit restoration and is it ever legitimate?

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?

Low risk alternatives to traditional savings accounts

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.

Food and Depression – Eating well when you aren’t feeling well

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.

What is a short sale?

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?

Who decides how much your medications cost?

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?

How to save time and money with meal prepping

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.

Financially supporting students doesn't have to cost anything

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.

How much credit card debt is okay when buying a home?

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?

What debt should you pay off first?

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.

What's a reasonable amount to spend on lunch every day?

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?

Can credit card debt be rolled into my mortgage?

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?

What happens if you close a credit card that still has a balance?

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.

Early warning signs you're carrying too much debt

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.

Everything you need to know about settling your 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.

Should I repay my debt or invest my money?

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.

How does bankruptcy impact your credit score?

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.

Can credit card debt follow me overseas?

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:

How to set-up a debt repayment plan with the IRS

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.

Get a side gig last year? Here's how your taxes could change

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.

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Five best foods to buy frozen

Three ways to stop wasting money in 2018

Can my creditors freeze my bank account?

Ten things you should never buy in December

Seven ways to improve your chances of buying your dream home

Can you get out of debt without paying a dime?

Four steps to a happy Thanksgiving that fits your budget

Three signs a student loan forgiveness program is a scam

This is how credit card debt gets split up in a divorce

How to make debt repayment part of a balanced budget

Does debt consolidation hurt your credit?

How do disaster victims receive their share of all that charitable giving?

Everything you need to know about the Equifax data breach

Seven keys to avoiding post disaster scams

Disaster Recovery Checklist

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