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Financial Planning

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.

5 Ways to Keep Bank Accounts Cool During Hot Summer Months

 By Tara Carter Temperatures are heating up this summer, but that doesn’t mean you’re spending has to increase with these hot temperatures. Here are 5 ways to help keep spending under control, and bank accounts cool this summer:   1) Set a Budget  Pay attention to spending habits so you don’t end up spending more than you earn. Over spending is a quick way to lead yourself into poor financial health and …Read More

An Introduction to 3% Down Conventional Home Mortgages

 By Henry Ochoa For the past few months, private banks have been introducing 3% down conventional mortgage packages. These 3% down mortgages are a way to get first-time homebuyers into a home with a low down payment, as opposed to having to pay the typical 5-20% conventional down payment. Low down payment mortgages are an attractive option for people who live in cities where rent is high and it’s tougher …Read More

4 Things Small Business Owners Should Do Before Fiscal Year End

By Odysseas Papadimitriou, CEO of WalletHub It might seem like the year’s just getting started, but it’s time to start thinking about the end, fiscally speaking, if you’re a small business owner. Most companies follow the general calendar and use December 31 to mark the end of a fiscal year. But many small businesses – plus nearly 25% of the S&P 500, according to company disclosures – stray from this norm, …Read More

Starting Roth IRAs for Your Grandkids

By Jason Alderman Grandparents are notorious for spoiling their grandkids, but sometimes a more strategic approach to giving money can provide grandchildren a much better financial start. A 2012 MetLife Mature Market Institute study reported that 62 percent of grandparents provided financial support or monetary gifts for their grandchildren. In light of the recent economic downturn, some have indicated increased pressure to help out, says the study. If you’re seeking …Read More

6 Steps to Your Personal Independence Day

By Stacy Johnson Independent: (adjective /ËŒindəˈpendÉ™nt/) Free from outside control; not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence. Our nation’s independence is a source of pride for every American, because it marks the day when our nation became the master of its own destiny – free from outside control. Imagine the day when the definition of “independent” will apply to you – the day you’ll stop “depending on another for livelihood or subsistence.” …Read More

Choosing a Financial Advisor – Part 2

 By Gary Silverman Investment advisor, financial planner, financial advisor, stockbroker, registered investment advisor, insurance agent, retirement planning specialist, personal financial specialist…what the heck do all these mean and what do they all do? Heck if I know. You see, some of the designations above require specific licenses, some infer a certain level of expertise, and some don’t have any requirements to them at all. Instead of going through a very …Read More

Choosing a Financial Advisor: Part One

By Gary Silverman People regularly ask me how to choose a financial advisor. After my stock answer of “choose me,” I begin by asking them why they want one. Financial advice means different things to different people. One such person told me that he had some stocks that he wanted to buy and wanted me to buy them for him. Well, that’s not giving financial advice. He did his own …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

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