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July 2011

Founded in 1951, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling is the largest serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. Find various topics in this blog, including personal finance, credit counseling, housing, budgeting and student loan help. Click here to speak with an NFCC-certified Consumer Credit Counselor.

It’s Friday! Looking for Some Inexpensive Summer Fun?

Visit the local library. Most local libraries provide regular storytelling programs that provide an air-conditioned break that keeps even the youngest and oldest reader’s learning skills sharp. It’s also an inexpensive way to check out books or books on tape with your child. Bedtime stories can take on fresh meaning as children explore “new” books with their parents. Each visit can have a different theme of interest to your child. …Read More

Stretching The Dollar While Back-To-School Shopping

Before you know it, it will be time for students to start getting ready to go back to school. Back-to-school time can be bittersweet for parents and kids alike. For kids it means an end to the care-free days of summer. And for parents it means an expensive annual tradition. But back-to school shopping doesn’t have to break the bank. By planning ahead, there are plenty of ways to be a …Read More

Credit Scoring: What You Need To Know Now

Source: Kim McGrigg, Community Manager, Money Management International I just finished reading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau report on credit scores.  This report was published on July 19, 2011 to meet a requirement of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  The Dodd-Frank Act also made amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act related to credit scoring that became effective on July 21, 2011.  While there is a lot of information to digest in …Read More

The Risk Of Identity Theft Grows In Today’s High-Tech World

Even though computers and the Internet have changed our world, consumers need to be reminded that not everyone they come in contact with online is trustworthy. The growth of social networking sites is undeniable. Facebook has reached more than 750 million active users worldwide. Forty percent of Facebook users are people under the age of 25. There are many benefits to signing up for sites like Facebook. Social media sites …Read More

Teaching Your Children The Value Of Money

The NFCC’s 2011 Financial Literacy Survey found that 42% of adults garnered most of their personal finance knowledge from their parents. Only about 1 in 10 adults learned about this subject at school or from a financial professional.  It is now more important than ever to make sure your children understand the basic concepts of financial awareness. The following steps can help arm children with smart financial skills that can …Read More

Create Your Own Stimulus Plan

Although the federal government and many household budgets have one thing in common, both are in the red, there is one critical difference: consumers cannot raise their debt ceiling in order to continue borrowing. Further, they cannot operate in the negative year after year, or financial doom is a certainty. “Many consumers have been renting their lifestyle by living off of credit, and it’s time they took ownership,” said Gail …Read More

Finding Financial Compatibility Before Tying The Knot

In all the planning and preparation that goes into a wedding, there is one important item that the couple should add to their “to-do’s” before the “I do’s,” and that’s an assessment of their financial compatibility. The fact of the matter is that people bring financial baggage into a relationship, and often don’t deal with it until problems arise. Perhaps that baggage comes in the form of a poor credit …Read More

Making Summer Vacations Affordable

Summer can be one of the most expensive times of the year to travel – especially if you are on a tight budget. With high gas prices and many destinations only offering peak season pricing, many families are struggling with the task of planning a fun vacation without putting a serious financial strain on their bank accounts. With a little advance planning, creativity, and research, families can enjoy vacations that …Read More

EHLP Application Deadline Is Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the last day to qualify for up to $50,000 in mortgage assistance! If you are at least 90 days late on your mortgage payment you could qualify for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s  Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program (EHLP). You could receive a zero interest, forgivable bridge loan. Eligible homeowners must have experienced a drop in income of at least 15% directly resulting from unemployment …Read More

To Lend Or Not To Lend

Shakespeare was apparently on to something when he wrote that lending money to friends often resulted in the loss of both the friend and the money. Money is an emotionally charged issue that has torn apart many a relationship. “Blood may be thicker than water, but money can be the great divider, even in a family,” said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC. “One NFCC Member Agency reported a situation …Read More