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5 Things Every New American Should Know About Personal Finance

As the nation celebrates Independence Day, many Americans think about what it was like for the early settlers arriving on our shores for the first time. Those early pioneers faced much uncertainty when it came to basic survival and the ability to provide a secure future for themselves and their families. Today’s immigrants may not face such extreme conditions, but they do have some significant hurdles to clear when it …Read More

What Does Your Credit Card Statement Say About You?

By Lindsay Konsko That credit card statement you get every month may contain some surprises, but not the kind you might expect. While you’re looking for unauthorized charges or mulling over whether that outfit you bought was really a necessity, take a few minutes to look at the big picture of how you spend. Assessing what type of credit card spender you are could be the key to unlocking a treasure trove …Read More

Your Credit Score: Updates You Should Know

By Jason Alderman With a new version of the leading FICO credit score working its way through the lending industry, borrowers who have wrestled with medical debt and others who have only a limited credit history might find their scores have improved when they apply for future credit cards or auto loans. FICO Score 9 was rolled out last fall by the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and …Read More

Pros & Cons to Paying Off Credit Card Debt

By Melinda Opperman It might seem strange to weight the pros and cons of paying off credit card debt. Intuitively, there are no negative consequences to paying off debt, and no positive consequences when debt is left unpaid. But this applies only to debts that are current or very recent. When it comes to old debts, there are definitely pros and cons to paying off old credit cards. If a …Read More

Americans Not Paying Bills on Time — and Why That’s Bad

By Erin El Issa Paying your bills on time can save you money. You’ll avoid late payment fees and penalty interest rates, and also maintain or build good credit, which can help you get approved for favorable loan terms. Yet, many Americans — especially those in their 20s and early 30s — struggle to get their bills paid on time, according to a recent study by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Here’s …Read More

Life Without A Credit Card

By Kimberly Rotter Life without a credit card is certainly possible but can be inconvenient, to say the least. Consumers who choose to forego credit will be at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to reaching certain pivotal financial goals. Credit Card Required Some transactions are difficult or impossible to make. Car rental agencies are a great example. Although it’s possible to rent a car using a debit card, doing …Read More

When to Add an Authorized User to Your Credit Card Account

By Kimberly Rotter Two paths are available to share a credit card account with another person: authorized user or joint account holder. Authorized users’ and joint account holders’ credit scores are both affected by the financial behavior demonstrated on the account. Liability, however, differs considerably. Authorized users thumb a ride on the credit of a friend or family member. Users in this category are entitled to use the credit extended …Read More

6 Credit Traps That Await Divorcing Couples

By Kimberly Rotter The divorce itself doesn’t affect your credit score, but watch out for these common scenarios that most definitely do. Just as your credit scores don’t merge when you get married, they don’t experience any automatic hit or boost when you divorce. The divorce itself is not factored into your credit score whatsoever. However, the process of untangling financially from your ex could leave a mark on your …Read More

Why Did I Receive a 1099-C From My Credit Card Issuer?

By John Ulzheimer By now you’ve probably started receiving your tax-related forms. Most of you will receive form W2, which is sent by your employer and memorializes your income earned for tax year 2014. Some of you, like me, will receive one (or several) 1099s. A 1099 is sent to people who do contract work as a non-employee. And some of you will unfortunately receive form 1099-C.   What is …Read More

One in Five Could Not Maintain Lifestyle Without Credit Cards

By Gail Cunningham The ability to put away the plastic and successfully live on a cash basis is an indicator of financial stability, as it proves a person’s lifestyle is in line with their income. However, the recent NFCC online poll revealed that one in five people could not make ends meet without the use of credit. Another twenty-two percent of respondents said that if asked to live on a …Read More