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NFCC Blog: Staying the Course

Libraries and NFCC members work together to help those who serve our country

By Bruce McClary Members of the U.S. armed forces, Coast Guard, veterans, and their families face financial challenges often not adequately addressed by resources designed for the general public. Recent preliminary data from the Sharpen Your Financial Focus® (Sharpen) program reveals military families face unique challenges. For example, military Sharpen participants had higher unsecured debt balances ($400-$500 more) than the average Sharpen participant. Fewer tangible assets and higher debt-related expenses …Read More

Where Can You Afford to Live Based on Your Occupation?

By Jennifer Riner of Zillow Finding careers that are both financially profitable and emotionally gratifying can be difficult. Some people choose to undergo years of higher education to land high-paying careers early on and ensure substantial financially success later in life – yet their efforts may not necessarily be based on personal passions. Others might choose median-income level professions they are avid about, making work feel more like a hobby …Read More

Winning the Mini-Powerball (a.k.a. Getting a tax refund)

By Mark Foster Did you know that last year the average tax refund was $3,034? Oftentimes when people get a large tax refund, it’s treated like a little lottery winning. We have seen people get a large refund of $3,000, $4,000 or more but spend it all within a few months and not improve their financial situation much, if at all. It’s okay to have some fun with your money – …Read More

Where Can Millennials Afford to Buy Homes?

By Jennifer Riner of Zillow With rent prices across the nation higher than ever, millennials are dipping into their savings and taking the plunge into real estate investing, maybe a little sooner than they had expected for themselves. But why not now? Mortgage rates are at an all-time low, and homeownership has its perks – like customizable interior upgrades and one of the largest return-on-investment opportunities one can make in …Read More

Some gifts come with a hefty price tag for their new owners

By Bruce McClary Consumers are expected to spend over $630 billion on holiday shopping this season, in the malls and online. Once the gifts are unwrapped and put to use by their new owners, some of the recipients may be in for serious sticker shock when the cost of maintaining their new possessions begins to add up. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) has identified some popular gifts that are …Read More

Planning That Affordable Holiday Trip

By Nat Sillin Some people are planners and others are improvisers. Happily, both types can score real travel bargains during the winter holidays. Saving on travel means striking the right balance between affordability and preference. For example, families with children and a need for specific seating and direct flights may need to plan earlier to secure such reservations. Travelers with more scheduling flexibility can roll the dice on last-minute deals. According …Read More

How to Dispute a Billing Error

By Jesse Campbell It’s the end of another billing cycle for your credit card. You get your latest statement in the mail (or via email if you prefer the paper-free approach). As you do every month, you take out the statement and carefully examine its contents. And you see something that’s not quite right. There’s a charge on there that you don’t recall. You review your receipts. You wrack your brain. …Read More

Beware of These Financial Tricks or Treats

By Drew Kessler Halloween tricks or treats come along only once a year, but the consequences of financial decisions usually last far past the next spooky holiday. Options that seem good on the surface, if not handled properly, can have long-lasting negative consequences.To understand how a seemingly good financial move can work against you, the NFCC encourages consumers to review the following to see if their actions are resulting in …Read More

Save Money on Halloween Décor

By Lauralynn Mangis As Halloween approaches, you may be scrambling to find spooky decor that doesn’t cost a fortune. After all, you’ve still got to buy costumes for the kids and spend a little money on the candy and treats that you’ll present to trick-or-treaters on Halloween night. However, if you plan on having a Halloween party at your home, or you simply want to make your home stylishly scary, …Read More