2 Of 5 Students Get Credit Cards Without Credit Card Education


As a college student, you’ve learned a lot of things in the last few years – most of which you can actually discuss with your parents. However, a new U.S. News survey suggests you might be missing a basic part of your education that could affect your financial future.

According to the survey, students are acquiring credit cards without sufficient knowledge to use them responsibly.

Forty percent of students with credit cards said they were never taught about any important aspect of credit usage, either from parents or teachers. Over 37% of respondents were never taught how to use a credit card responsibly and 26.2% were never taught how to create a budget.

That’s a recipe for overspending – and, as expected, 29% of respondents carried balances at least six out of the past twelve months. Half of respondents said they needed credit cards for basic necessities…

Courts Recognize Importance Of High Credit Scores – Do You?


How important is your credit score? It doesn’t generally affect your daily life but ignoring your credit score can cause serious financial problems.

Are you unconvinced? Consider the case of Cameron v. Cameron.

The New Jersey case concerns a divorce settlement where the wife would keep the home. The home had an outstanding mortgage in both names, so the husband made arrangements to transfer his interest in the home to the wife, once the wife refinanced in her name only – removing the husband from responsibility. The wife had nine months from the date of the settlement to comply.

The wife didn’t follow through on her refinancing obligation, and the husband didn’t bother to enforce it. However, the husband didn’t realize that his credit was affected by still being listed as a co-owner on the home.

Two years later, the husband applied for a mortgage loan on a new home and discovered that he couldn’t get a favorable interest rate because of his re…

Stop The Onslaught Of Credit Card Offers


The signs of the holidays are all around us. The weather has changed, pumpkin spice has been added to everything imaginable, and your mailbox is bending under the weight of catalogs – and unsolicited credit card offers.

Credit card solicitations certainly aren’t limited to the holidays, but the intensity of offers tends to pick up during this time because your spending tends to pick up. The National Association of Retailers (NAR) predicts that holiday retail sales will approach $720 billion, excluding typical purchases like dining out and filling your gas tank. What retailer or card issuer wouldn’t want a piece of that spending pie?

Most credit card solicitations are pre-approved or pre-screened offers, where the card issuer has done a cursory check of your credit already – without your request or knowledge – and considers you low risk. (These are different from pre-qualified offers, where you have agreed to provide credit information to lenders in order to shop …

Interest Rates On The Rise This Holiday Season


America has been enjoying historically low interest rates for years – but those days are coming to an end. Since 2015, the Federal Reserve has been slowly raising baseline interest rates from the near zero levels necessary to bring America out of the Great Recession. As of October 2018, the Fed’s prime rate was at 2.19% – the highest it’s been in over a decade.

Why should you care? Because the Fed’s interest rate increases are generally passed on to credit card interest rates, forcing you to pay more in interest charges on any balances you carry.

According to CreditCards.com, the average annual percentage rate (APR) on all credit cards is 17.14% – the highest average rate since CreditCards.com began tracking them in 2007. The Federal Reserve may raise interest rates again in their December meeting, just in time for rates to increase on balances from your holiday shopping.

How much does interest cost over time? Consider the simple example of $1,000 balan…

Homeowner’s Tappable Equity Lower For First Time Since Housing Crisis


The Pool Is Shrinking

A home equity loan or line of credit (HELOC) can be a useful financial management tool – but only if you have the available equity to take advantage of it. Do you know how much you could borrow against your home if you had to?

Black Knight’s October 2018 Mortgage Monitor reports America’s total mortgage equity is at $9.8 trillion, with $5.9 trillion of that “tappable” – available for homeowners to use as borrowing collateral.

While $5.9 trillion is a large pool, it’s $140 billion less than it was in the previous quarter – the first quarterly decline since the housing crisis. Tappable equity fell in 60% of the 100 largest housing markets and twelve of the top fifteen. The average homeowner with tappable equity had $136,000 available for borrowing, a decrease of $2,300 from last quarter.

Is your tappable equity falling along with the average, or rising, as it should with your payments? The answer lies in your local ho…

Credit Repair Services 101


By Steven Millstein, Credit Repair Consultant at CreditRepairExpert.org

Credit repair companies may all offer similar services, but they are not all created equally. The outcome of your credit counseling efforts depends on a combination of factors, including your willingness to cooperate and become more financially savvy. Regardless of your intentions, however, even the best credit repair agents are limited to what they can achieve. Every credit repair company in business is subject to strict market regulations that are set forth by the Federal government and the state in which that company operates.

Usually, the process of repairing your credit requires little to no effort on the client’s part. Most of the time, a consumer’s credit rating will increase significantly within several months. Still, the condition of the client’s credit upon enteri…

7 Ways To Holiday Savings Using Credit Cards


Do credit cards and the holidays spell trouble for you? Credit cards and holiday spending can be a dangerous combination – but it doesn’t have to be. Look at your credit cards as financial tools that can help you save money as well as spend it.

Here are seven ways to use credit cards to increase your holiday savings.

1. Lay Out Your Holiday Credit Budget – A budget is the key to prevent overspending – and it’s also the way to avoid approaching your credit card limit. Maxing out a card will not only harm your credit score, it also increases the chances you’ll carry a balance. Save on interest charges by keeping balances low – or eliminating them entirely. You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes by

5 Steps To Be Your Own Mogul – Part 2


Our prior article, 5 Steps To Be Your Own Mogul – Part 1, covers the first three steps to manage your finances like a business. Below we present the final two steps.

4. Forecasting

If you have performed the budget exercise and broken your expenses out into categories, you can start to highlight areas where you can improve. The idea here is to shift the negative spending into a comfortable routine that focuses more on building savings and trimming expenses for the long haul. You can do it quite easily without weekly envelopes of rationed money or other personal finance gimmicks that rarely work in the long term.Here are some suggestions for improving your financial forecast in painless and satisfying ways:

  • Calculate…

5 Steps To Be Your Own Mogul – Part 1


Why not take some financial pointers from the business world and apply them to your personal finances? Whether you are a party of one or a family of four, it pays to be fiscally agile. Some of the longest financial plays in the business world today are small businesses that perennially stay afloat and drive their successes through careful planning and conservative financial forecasting. Why can’t these principles be applied to your personal financial life too?

1. Determine who your trusted advisors are

Major corporations rely on the skills and experience of a board of directors and you may be asking yourself, “Well, where am I going to round up 10 people to form my own personal board of directors”? Don’t worry – you don’t have to. It doesn’t matter if you are managing the budget of one or a much larger family unit. The real value in making an appraisal like the services rendered by a corporate board of directors is to shed light on where you …