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NFCC Blog: Staying the Course

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

Educating Consumers: How To Spot a Student Loan Debt Relief Scam

By Bruce McClary The growing burden of student loan debt has drawn much attention from those who wish to address consumer needs, but not all of that attention is positive. Student loan debt relief is a term that is in danger of becoming synonymous with “scam” or “rip-off”. Some of the same players that were abusing consumer trust under the banner of for-profit debt settlement or foreclosure rescue are now …Read More

Pinching Your Pennies at the Gas Pump

By Mark Foster Gasoline prices are inching their way back up again. Any time fuel costs increase, it takes a bigger bite out of a family’s vacation plans or their overall budget. The reality of increasing gasoline prices is that it can wreck a family’s budget. People who may particularly struggle more with increased costs are those on a fixed or limited income, those who drive a gas-guzzling vehicle, or …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

What College Graduates Should Know About Student Loan Repayment

By Bruce McClary If the results of the recent NFCC financial literacy online poll are any indicator, many college graduates will soon experience sleepless nights, as more than half of the respondents (53%) suggested that student loan debt repayment was causing them the most stress. The best way to feel more confident about keeping your student debt under control is to have a specific plan. Part of the planning process involves …Read More

5 Reasonably Affordable Big Cities to Rent

By Tali Wee  Buying a home is not in the cards for all, especially in markets where home values recovered, wages aren’t increasing and rents are rising. Some homeowners lost their properties during the Great Recession, forcing them into the rental market, but many others rent because they simply cannot afford to buy. Nationally, rents are currently rising faster than home values and cost renters about 30 percent of their …Read More

5 Reasons to Check Your Credit Report Today

By Lindsay Konsko Between paying bills, monitoring investments, and watching over the monthly budget it’s normal to feel overwhelmed by money-related responsibilities. This leads many of us to push off until tomorrow certain financial tasks we should be doing today. For example, a lot of folks don’t feel any urgency to check their credit reports. But there are some situations where it just can’t wait. Here are five signs you should …Read More

Affording Fido: A Cost Checklist for a New Pet

By Jason Alderman Most of us have friends and family who treat their pets like humans. They’ll scrutinize pet food nutrition labels, hire the best obedience instructors, and buy an overwhelming amount of toys and treats. When their pet falls ill, many won’t think twice about paying for advanced veterinary care that can cost thousands of dollars for a single surgery or course of treatment. It’s not unusual to see …Read More

Why Rent-to-Own is the Wrong Choice for You

By Jesse Campbell There are a lot of times when renting makes sense. When you fly into a new city and you have a lot of traveling to do, rent a car. When you’re on vacation and want to explore that beautiful little seaside town, rent a bike. When you’re throwing a big party and have a lot of guests coming, rent a tent. Renting makes sense in those instances …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