When Credit Card Debt Is Tax-Deductible


Wouldn’t it be nice if you could deduct your credit card debt from your taxes? For most Americans, that’s just a dream that will never come true. However, some circumstances allow you to deduct some credit card debt – all related to using your card for business purposes.

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act raised the standard deduction and eliminated or reduced certain itemized deductions as part of a tax simplification effort. It’s critical for those who still itemize to take advantage of all possible deductions. Self-employed taxpayers and small business owners who rely heavily on credit cards may be able to save by taking advantage of credit-related deductions.

Credit card debt on personal purchases is not tax-deductible, thanks to the 1986 Tax Reform Act. However, three varieties of business-related credit card debt may be deductible.

Interest on credit ca…

Video: 5 Tips For Protecting Your Data From Identity Thieves


With new cybersecurity threats cropping up daily and millions of identity thieves devising creative ways to trick you into divulging your personal information, you need to protect yourself from identity theft. Watch MoneyTips Consumer Advocate Kristin Malia share five simple things you should do to prevent your identity from being stolen.

For even more protection and peace of mind, let MoneyTips protect your credit and your identity with a free trial.

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What’s The Best Time To Sell Your Home?


New Data Shows When To List Your Home

Ah, springtime. Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping – and homes are selling. Are you planning to sell your home, too?

According to new research by Zillow, you should list your home during the first two weeks of May to get the most out of your home sale. On average, homes across the nation that listed between May 1 and May 15 sold six days faster than the typical home and yielded approximately 0.7% more money at sale. At Zillow’s current average home value of $226,300, that’s an increase of nearly $1,600.

When’s the worst time to sell? The winter holidays appear to depress the average sale price. Homes listed during the last two weeks of December sold for $2,500 less (around 1.1%) than the typical home.

Even the day of the week can matter. Homes listed on Saturdays had the largest number of views on Zillow within the first week – 20% more views than homes that listed on Tuesday, the worst day to…

Credit Monitoring Vs. Identity Theft Protection


You know you need to protect your accounts and personal information – but what is the best method? Should you use a credit monitoring service or subscribe to identity theft protection instead? What’s the difference between the two methods?

Credit monitoring services do exactly what they say they do – monitor activity on your accounts with the major credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax). Creditors report all activities related to borrowing money, including your payment history, to credit reporting agencies. Monitoring services may monitor your history with all three agencies or be exclusive to a certain agency.

With credit monitoring, you’re alerted to various changes in your credit report – for example, when a potential creditor asks for your credit history or when new credit card accounts or loans are opened in your name. Any activity that is reported to the credit reporting agency is monitored.

However, identity theft can invol…

Survey: Nearly 2 In 3 Have Lost Or Had Stolen Their Wallet


Have you ever experienced that sinking feeling when you reach in your pants or purse for your wallet, and it’s gone? You’re not alone. According to an exclusive MoneyTips survey, 62% of respondents have had their wallets lost or stolen. More than 1 in 3 had suffered both from wallet loss and theft, while 36% of those admitting misplacing their wallet did so repeatedly!

“These numbers remind me to limit the credit cards and cash I carry, and to make sure I know how to contact every credit card issuer in my wallet,” says Greg Scott, an IT professional and identity theft victim. “I should probably also keep a copy of my driver’s license, insurance cards, and other ‘wallet stuff’ somewhere safe. Just in case.”

In an exclusive MoneyTips Survey conducted in November of 2018, we asked:

Of the 509 respondents, 316 (62%) admitted losing their money holder (we’ll use ‘wallet…

Proposed Law Stops Auto Insurers Using Credit Scores To Set Rates


Another Use for Your Credit Score

You probably know that your credit score affects the interest rates you’ll pay for credit cards and loans. Did you know that your credit score could also affect your auto insurance rates?

It can in all but three states (California, Massachusetts, and Hawaii). Those three states have banned credit-based insurance scoring – the use of credit scores in determining auto insurance premiums. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) would like to make that ban nationwide.

Rep. Tlaib is introducing a bill that would prohibit auto insurance companies from using a client’s credit history to set rates for premiums. She claims that the practice discriminates against low-income Americans and compounds ethnic and racial discrimination.

We Use It Because It Works

Insurers use credit-based scoring for one basic reason – it accurately assesses risk. Separate studies from the University of Texas and the Federal Trade Commissio…

What Americans Would Do To Protect Our Identities


With the massive Equifax hack of 2017, the credit bureaus have shown that they can’t protect your identity. It’s up to you. How far would you go to protect it yourself? Would you stop using public WiFi? Stop using social media? Move to North Korea?

We asked your fellow Americans how far they’re willing to go, and you’ll be amazed by their answers.

In a 2018 Google survey, we asked:

Using weighted averages, more than 1 in 5 (21.8%) asserted that they would “Stop using public WiFi”. Surprisingly, nearly 1 in 6 (15.5%) said that they would “Stop using social media”. Even more shocking, nearly 1 in 16 (6.4%) said that they would be willing to “Move to North Korea”! That’s even bigger than the 4.6% who would “Switch to a non-smartphone”. Over half (51.6%) wouldn’t take any of these steps to protect their identity.

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Achieve Financial Literacy!


April is National Financial Literacy Month. Why do we dedicate this calendar page to highlighting financial skills and education? The tax deadline? Sound financial decisions are important all year long, but most Americans never learned how to manage money or save for goals, so financial security is a bigger challenge than it needs to be.

Even if you can handle the math involved — and calculators can help if you can’t — things get complicated when making large (often emotional) financial decisions. Some of the most common pitfalls are described below. If you recognize any of them, you’re not alone. The good news is that you have an opportunity to improve your finances and save more money.

Emergency Preparedness

An emergency fund is essential because you need to absorb life’s surprises without making things worse. Without a stash of cash, you’ll have to take…

13 Ways To Prevent Credit Card Fraud


You’ve taken steps to avoid identity theft, and maybe even applied a credit freeze to your credit report. You can sit back and relax, right?Wrong. You may have prevented identity thieves from opening new accounts in your name, but have you kept your existing credit accounts secure?

As opposed to identity theft where your information is used to create unauthorized accounts in your name, credit card fraud refers to a single existing account. A thief has stolen your card or has the necessary card information to make unauthorized purchases on that account.

How do you prevent credit card fraud? Here, we offer thirteen possible precautions:

1. Avoid Ph…