Women Have Most Student Loan Debt


According to Federal Reserve Data, student loan debt reached $1.52 trillion in March of 2018. Women hold approximately $900 billion of that total.

Why do women hold more in student loan balances? A recently updated report from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) suggests that several reasons combine to shift the student loan burden toward women.

The most obvious reason – more women are attending college than men. AAUW notes that as of the fall 2016 semester, 56% of college enrollees were female, and the National Student Clearinghouse shows 57.3% female enrollment for 2017 – continuing the recent trend.

Women are also more likely to take on debt, according to AAUW’s analysis of government statistics. Using data from the 2015-2016 academic year, AAUW found that 41% of female undergraduates took on new student loan debt while only 35% of male undergraduates did so. The difference generally held over degree types, institution types, and degr…

What Are You Worth On The Dark Web?


“Consumers for sale! Get your consumer information here! Plump ripe consumers, ready for the taking! Only $1,170 for a full consumer package! À la carte information for as little as a few dollars! Get them while they’re fresh.”

Granted, there aren’t peddlers roaming around your local business district selling your stolen information – but the above patter could apply in hidden and unregulated areas of the Internet (aka the “Dark Web”). According to the Dark Web Market Price Index released by the independent VPN review site Top10VPN in February 2018, a thief could purchase your entire online identity for approximately $1,170 if enough of your relevant information were there.

The full $1,170 package would include basic proof of identity, credit and debit accounts, online banking information, and logins for everything from your PayPa…

Can This New Reverse Mortgage Alternative Help You?


Reverse mortgages can be a useful tool for seniors attempting to convert the equity in their home into cash for living expenses or other retirement purposes. The loan is usually paid out over time instead of as a lump sum.

There are no repayments as long as the senior taking out the loan continues to live in the home, properly maintains it, and pays all the necessary property taxes and other property-related fees. Once the primary borrower passes away, moves away, or sells the property, the loan must be repaid.

The reverse mortgage loan, along with accrued interest, is repaid with the proceeds of the sale of the home. If any equity remains in the home, the proceeds go to the seller.

In essence, with a reverse mortgage, you are selling the equity in your home back to a lender in increments.

The majority of reverse mortgages are Federal Housing Administratio…

1 Out Of 7 Are Afraid To See Their Credit Report


Have you checked your credit report lately? If not, what’s keeping you from doing so? A recent survey by WalletHub found several reasons, ranging from complexity to fear.

Your credit report is a history of all your loans and credit transactions as reported to the credit bureaus. The information in your credit report is used to determine your credit score. Both are evaluated by lenders when they are deciding whether to lend you money, and how much to charge you for the privilege.

Errors on your credit report or fraudulent accounts opened in your name can cost you dearly. If you don’t check your reports regularly, you may not know of any problems until your credit is ruined and bill collectors try to collect unauthorized debts in your name.

Why wouldn’t you check your report? It’s free at

Video: The Top 5 Credit Mistakes Millennials Are Still Making


Many millennials struggle to build up a credit history and get the credit score they need to get a loan or buy a car or home. Watch MoneyTips Consumer Advocate Kristin Malia explain how to overcome five common credit pitfalls in our video above.

You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes by joining MoneyTips and using our Credit Manager tool.

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How Credit Utilization Impacts Your Credit Score


By Sandra Parsons

Credit utilization is a fancy name for how much of your available credit you’ve used. It’s one criterion used by the three major credit bureaus to calculate your credit score. Why do they care? Because your credit utilization is an indicator of the extent to which you rely on credit.

How credit utilization affects your credit score

The main thing you need to know is that high credit utilization negatively impacts your credit score. If you want to improve your score or make sure it stays high, you need to keep your credit utilization down.

Certified Financial Planner Joe Hogan, Director of Financial Planning at Mariaca Wealth Management, explains:

“From the lender’s perspective, someone who is taking out a high percentage of the credit offered to them is a higher risk than someone who uses lower amounts.High credit utilization can be …

Credit Scores Up, Negative Info Down


Cleaning Up Credit Reports

In April, we reported on the upcoming rise in credit scores thanks to the National Consumer Assistance Plan (NCAP). The NCAP was created by the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) as part of a settlement with state attorneys general. The NCAP objectives and other actions by the bureaus to clean up credit reporting errors was expected to raise some Americans’ credit scores by 15 to 30 points on the FICO scoring scale.

A recent report from the New York Federal Reserve confirms these estimates. According to the Fed’s analysis of anonymized Equifax credit reports, eight million Americans had at least one collections account removed from their credit report – resulting in an average 11-point increase in their credit scores between June 2017 and June 2018. Overall collection account balance…

Increase Your Credit Score… By Renting


On-time payments are a solid way to build your credit score. Your payment history constitutes 35% of your credit score – the largest contributor among the five factors used in calculating your score.

Payments on most debts are reported to the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) for inclusion in your credit report, and credit-scoring systems use that information to calculate your credit score. However, one regular payment for many Americans is reported to credit bureaus in a purely negative fashion. When renters are late on payments or evicted, that information is typically reported to credit bureaus – but regular, on-time payments are not.

That’s particularly difficult for lower-income households. They are more likely to be renters than homeowners and are also more likely to need a good credit score to access credit at reasonable interest rates.

7 Steps To Beat The Summer Debt Bulge


By Andrea Woroch

Have you spent too much on vacations, dining out, or entertainment this summer? Follow these seven simple steps to get your finances back on track and pay down your debt faster.

If you’re scared to look at your credit card bill and bank statements, there’s a good chance you went overboard over the summer. However, the “out of sight, out of mind” way of thinking has serious financial implications. If you’re only making minimum payments on any debt you’ve accrued during this time, the faster you face reality, the faster you can make a plan to get back on track.

Set a goal based on how much debt you need to pay off or how much cash you need to add back to your savings fund, and use a debt repayment app like Debt Free or a finance tracking app like Mint to help you stay motivated.

A thirty-day, no-spend challenge is a great way to de…