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September 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.

Social Security Statements Now Available Online

By Jason Alderman Up until last year, Social Security would send taxpayers an annual personalized statement showing a complete record of their taxable earnings as well as estimated retirement, disability and survivor benefits based on those earnings. Unfortunately, budget constraints brought on by the recession put an end to those yearly mailings. But there’s good news: Social Security has resumed mailing paper statements to workers 60 and older who aren’t …Read More

Credit Counseling Agencies Gather
In North Carolina

By Gail Cunningham With the unemployment rate remaining stubbornly high, foreclosure still knocking on the door of struggling homeowners, and a less than impressive consumer savings rate, the NFCC membership will gather in Charlotte, NC October 1 – 3, eager to address the many pressing issues confronting Americans.  “It can be argued that there has never been a more critical time to focus on the economic hardships facing consumers and develop …Read More

When You Should File an Amended Tax Return

By Jason Alderman Not every interaction with the IRS must necessarily induce flop sweat. Case in point: A few years ago a friend of mine decided his income taxes had become sufficiently complicated to merit hiring an accountant. After examining a few previous tax returns, the accountant discovered my friend had claimed the standard deduction for two years when he should have itemized expenses. He filed a couple of amended …Read More

Planning Ahead for the Holidays

By Jana Castanon No, it can’t be! Are there really only 14 Fridays left before the holiday season? How many paydays is that for you? That’s right folks. Pretty soon you will be seeing the holiday displays going up in the retail stores, and will be lamenting that it is too soon. But it is not too soon to be thinking about how you are going to handle the upcoming expenses associated with …Read More

What Healthcare Reform Means to You

By Jason Alderman Much was made of the size and complexity of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act when President Obama signed it into law in 2010. But now that the Supreme Court has upheld much of the act’s constitutionality, it’s a good time to review key provisions that have already gone live, and to plot out what’s expected to happen in the next two years. Changes already in …Read More

Online Bankruptcy Education

By Lauralynn Schueckler Online Bankruptcy Education is a pre-discharge bankruptcy counseling session that is required for all consumers who have filed for bankruptcy, and who have received a bankruptcy case number. You must complete either a face-to-face session, telephone session, or online session within 45 days of your “341 Meeting of Creditors” (hearing). The counseling session will help the individual understand: Budget Development, Money Management, Wise Use of Credit, Consumer …Read More

Is the IRS’ ‘Marriage Penalty’ Real?

By Jason Alderman If your spouse-to-be is considering postponing the wedding because of fears about the so-called “marriage penalty,” you two probably have bigger issues than whether you’ll have to pay higher taxes as a married couple than when you were single. Having said that, marriage does indeed have many financial ramifications – both good and bad – and several involve the dilemma over whether to file income taxes together …Read More

Financial Tip of the Day:
Warning Signs of Credit Trouble

By Drew Kessler If obtaining and using credit has been a problem for you the last thing you want to do now is slide back into financial trouble by using credit foolishly. To help you stay on track you will need to spot warning signs of improper credit use.  Be sure you don’t make the same bad decisions again.   Here are some signs that you may be falling into credit trouble: • …Read More