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NFCC Blog: Staying the Course

Planning That Affordable Holiday Trip

By Nat Sillin Some people are planners and others are improvisers. Happily, both types can score real travel bargains during the winter holidays. Saving on travel means striking the right balance between affordability and preference. For example, families with children and a need for specific seating and direct flights may need to plan earlier to secure such reservations. Travelers with more scheduling flexibility can roll the dice on last-minute deals. According …Read More

How to Dispute a Billing Error

By Jesse Campbell It’s the end of another billing cycle for your credit card. You get your latest statement in the mail (or via email if you prefer the paper-free approach). As you do every month, you take out the statement and carefully examine its contents. And you see something that’s not quite right. There’s a charge on there that you don’t recall. You review your receipts. You wrack your brain. …Read More

Beware of These Financial Tricks or Treats

By Drew Kessler Halloween tricks or treats come along only once a year, but the consequences of financial decisions usually last far past the next spooky holiday. Options that seem good on the surface, if not handled properly, can have long-lasting negative consequences.To understand how a seemingly good financial move can work against you, the NFCC encourages consumers to review the following to see if their actions are resulting in …Read More

Save Money on Halloween Décor

By Lauralynn Mangis As Halloween approaches, you may be scrambling to find spooky decor that doesn’t cost a fortune. After all, you’ve still got to buy costumes for the kids and spend a little money on the candy and treats that you’ll present to trick-or-treaters on Halloween night. However, if you plan on having a Halloween party at your home, or you simply want to make your home stylishly scary, …Read More

Money Prep for Prospective Parents

By Nat Sillin Bringing up baby is expensive – an average cost of $245,340 by high school graduation, according to the latest annual estimate from the U.S. Agriculture Department. That figure is just one reason why prospective parents are advised to consider parallel financial planning for child-based expenses and retirement. The key is to start preparing as early as possible. As adults start families later in life, financial needs for …Read More

Student Loans: More May Not Be the PLUS You Think

By Drew Kessler Part of being a parent is wanting to protect your children from things that might harm them, including a heavy student debt burden. This is why many parents turn to the Federal Parent Direct PLUS loan program. These loans put the burden of payment squarely on the parent. PLUS borrowing has grown from a little used option to account for 10% of all federal student loans issued in 2014. …Read More

3 Tips to Negotiate Property Upgrades Before Purchasing a Home

By Tali Wee Whether you’re buying a newly constructed home or an existing home, you’ll inevitably want to change or upgrade some aspect of the home before you close. Below are three tips to achieve this goal without leaving anything to chance.     Know What You’re Looking for in a Home Inspection An existing home will always have some wear and tear. It could be a truly small issue …Read More

10 Smart Money Moves to Make Now, Before 2015 Ends

By Stacy Johnson Yes, the kids have yet to go trick-or-treating, but it’s not too early to start making some year-end financial moves. Doing so will help give you a better picture of your financial health and how much you can spend on holiday gifts. No one of them should take long — you can probably knock them out during the commercial breaks of your favorite TV shows.   Change passwords Make a …Read More

How the Tooth Fairy Can Teach Your Kids About Money

By Nat Sillin When kids lose their first baby teeth around age six, it’s more than a chance to celebrate a milestone. It’s an early opportunity to teach girls and boys good money management. Visa’s latest annual Tooth Fairy survey indicates that the average price of a lost tooth is $3.19 in 2015. This is the fourth consecutive year that young Americans are finding more than $3 under their pillows …Read More

CFPB Calls for Student Loan Servicing Reform

By Drew Kessler The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has published a detailed report based on the results of its public inquiry on student loan servicing practices. The findings highlight troubling customer service practices in the student loan servicing industry and include recommendations for reframing oversight of the student loan servicing marketplace. The recommendations contained in the report are partly based on comments submitted to the CFPB after it launched a …Read More