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NFCC Blog: Staying the Course

Credit Counselor Hefferon: Smiles Are Her Reward

By Cliff Goldstein When Sunshine Hefferon answers the phone at work, she doesn’t know what the caller’s mood, motivation, or state of mind will be. “I might get someone who’s crying because they’re at wits’ end. I might get someone who’s angry, and I have to remember it’s not about me. You have to meet each person where they are. I try my best to listen, to validate them.” Hefferon …Read More

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NFCC Poll Reveals How Taxpayers Plan to Use Their Tax Refunds

By Bruce McClary NFCC’s February online poll revealed that most taxpayers (68%) would prefer to pay down their debt with a tax refund this year instead of growing their personal savings. These poll results indicate that debt is still getting in the way of personal savings for many Americans. While there are a number of good reasons to become less dependent on tax refunds, it is wise to have a …Read More

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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

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How to Improve Your Credit Score

By Mark Foster I am often asked how someone can improve his or her credit. Credit can impact many things, including: Employment, down payments, interest rates, utility deposits, and even car insurance. Improving your credit can help you get that job or house you wanted, not to mention possibly saving you thousands of dollars in interest on loans. There’s a lot of information floating around out there and not all …Read More

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What is Wrong With My Industry? Part Two

By Gary Silverman In my last posting I began a series designed to show you how to spot the bad folks in the investment world (my business). I’ve rounded up the usual suspects into 3 categories: People who lie, cheat, and steal; People who act recklessly; and People whose judgment is clouded by conflicts of interest. Last week we covered the liars, cheaters, and stealers. This week, let’s look at …Read More

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Credit Counselor Nitzsche: Once Helped, Now He Helps

By Cliff Goldstein Like a lot of young adults, Thomas Nitzsche was able to get approved for several credits cards with high spending limits when he was in his early 20s. And like a lot of people, Nitzsche soon found himself buried under a mountain of debt. “I always maintained good credit, but I was facing about $10,000 in combined debt,” Nitzsche says of that stressful period a decade ago. …Read More

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NFCC Encourages Consumers to Know Their Rights

By Bruce McClary National Consumer Protection Week is being observed from March 1-7, and the NFCC is participating by connecting consumers to resources that can improve their level of financial protection. Consumers who are informed about their rights have an advantage over those who don’t. The following tips can help people learn more about managing their personal finances while protecting themselves from scams and abusive practices: Know the consumer rights …Read More

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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

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Tips for Renting a Home When Your Credit is Poor

By Stacy Johnson If you’ve ever found yourself in search of a new place to live and your credit is less than perfect, you probably know it’s not easy. It may be especially difficult right now, because in many U.S. cities, rental properties are in short supply, and demand is high. A tight market generally means the qualification criteria will be more stringent to weed out applicants. But there are ways to persuade landlords …Read More

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Most Americans Can’t Survive One Month On Savings Alone

By Mark Foster The majority of Americans would not be able to survive for just one month on readily available savings if they lost their paycheck, according to a new report. A recent study from Pew Charitable Trusts shows a bleak picture of Americans struggling with financial stress. Although the national economy has recovered to some extent, American families are still greatly struggling. The study determined that 70 percent of …Read More

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