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June 2012

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.

Financial Tip of the Day:
Limit the Number of Credit Cards You Carry

By Drew Kessler Use just one card if you can.  If you need one for business, work with two—one for personal use and one for business use.  Even three cards may be fine, especially if each one has a specific purpose.  But the fewer you have, the easier it is to remember your balance and keep track of total purchases.  The more cards you have, the more likely the cumulative …Read More

How to Avoid Being a Bad Roommate

By Jason Alderman For many people, having roommates is a natural transition between leaving their parent’s house and buying their own home. It can be a great way to trim expenses and save for the future. But if you’re not careful, cohabitating can also devolve into constant bickering over finances and dirty dishes. Roommate tensions are not limited to strangers. When cash-strapped young adults return to the nest, or older …Read More

How to Save Money for a Rainy Day

By Lauralynn Schueckler Saving money for a rainy day may seem impossible at times. Everything around us seems to be increasing in price, yet pay remains stagnant. Everyone should attempt to put away money for an emergency, even if it is only a little at a time. Some easy ways to save money for a rainy day that will not require major changes to your budget include: • Throwing all …Read More

Women Are Smarter Than Men

By Gary Silverman We have been brainwashed to think that men and women are essentially (except for some fun equipment) the same. There is now proof that men and women are different from each other: Women are smarter than men. Sure we may have had our doubts. I blame Lucille Ball. Lucy acted dumb on television and in movies compared to her hard-working entrepreneur husband, Ricky. Whether it was Lucy’s …Read More

Our Dependency on Technology Often Results in Financial Budget-Busting

By Morgan Gee, Certified Credit Counselor Note: Prior to reading this article it may be important for the reader to know that my cell phone doesn’t take pictures, I do not text and I am seriously considering cancelling my cable satellite because of a $2 a month tax increase. For what some people consider a routine cell phone bill I consider a decent car payment. I recently counseled a single …Read More

Make Your Vacation Security Checklist

By Jason Alderman With the summer vacation season upon us you’re probably busy planning itineraries, shopping for new bathing suits, and finishing work projects so you can truly relax during your break. But before you completely check out, take a few minutes to review a few financial safeguards that could save you a ton of grief and money – and protect your identity.  Credit and debit cards. If you’re planning to …Read More

Why You Need Two Savings Accounts

By: Matt Bell You probably have a checking account, but do you also have a savings account? I recommend that you use two savings accounts. The first savings account is your emergency fund.  It’s for all of life’s ifs—if you lose your job or incur significant medical or house repair expenses that you weren’t planning for in your budget and that are not covered by insurance.  I used to believe …Read More

How to Handle Student Loan Debt Collectors

By Lauralynn Schueckler When you default on a student loan, the government will usually hire debt collection agencies to collect on these loans. It’s not quite as straightforward as you might like to think, to try and get this loan to just disappear. The collection agencies are sometimes known to twist their words around to get what they want, while leaving you confused and hanging. Everyone needs to be aware …Read More

When an Emergency Fund Isn’t

I was reading Money magazine the other day and saw the results of a CNNMoney.com poll. It asked participants, “How much is in your emergency fund?” That 22% had less than three months of reserves and another 22% had none wasn’t the most disturbing part of the poll. What bothered me were the participant quotes. One, a nurse from Houston, said that while she had 6-months of living expenses saved …Read More

Poll Indicates Majority of Consumers Eager
for Answers to Everyday Financial Questions

By Gail Cunningham The recent Financial Literacy Survey commissioned by the NFCC and the Network of Branded Prepaid Card Association (NBPCA) revealed that 80 percent of consumers admitted they would benefit from answers to everyday financial questions from a professional.  This number reflects a four percent increase from 2011.  In the same survey, 44 percent of respondents gave themselves a grade of C, D or F in their knowledge of …Read More