Spending Less over the Holidays

No one ever wants to spend more money than less money.  It just isn’t smart.  And after you’ve spent the money that you barely have or don’t have at all, you feel that void in your pocket and guilt in your stomach.

With the holidays coming, you might think that overspending is inevitable.  With buying presents, decorations, new clothes for holiday parties, and everything else that the festive season calls for, you can easily blow your budget away and overspend drastically.

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Credit scores affect your car insurance rates. What else does?

Many of you already know this, but in case you did not, your credit score is used by many insurance companies as a criterion in setting your car insurance rates.  The lower your credit score (the worse your credit is), the higher your car insurance premium.
This almost doesn’t seem fair does it?  No, but, it’s not inconsistent with other ways that insurance companies use to determine the rate you pay for car insurance.  Insurance companies conduct research into many aspects of human behavior and how these potentially impact a person’s driving record.

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A Few of the Most Interesting Uses for a Payday Loan

Payday Loans don’t necessarily have to be for something negative.

Payday Loans don’t necessarily have to be for something negative.

Payday Loans can be a savior for everyone in those situations in life where you need a small amount of cash as soon as possible and just happen to have spent your last paycheck or maxed out your credit card that week. Payday loans are wonderful when you need a small amount of money rapidly. These loans are rapidly approved by many institutions without even a credit check and most people will only loan you as much as $1000. So, if you’re looking for a larger loan, payday loans may not be for you, but for those small cash emergencies, they are perfect. Also, Payday loans are meant to be paid off quickly, so be prepared to take the money out of your next paycheck to pay off this loan. Given these facts, Payday Loans are extremely useful and they can be very helpful when you don’t want to go through a long and tedious loan application with a bank that takes several weeks to approve.

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For Ladies’ Eyes Only

It used to be that men handled the finances (primarily) and women handled well, pretty much everything else. Circumstances change and it’s important for people to change along with them. In this case, we want to share the highlights of an article by Kimberly Palmer for USNews.com, in which she divulges five things women should know about money.

From a simple mathematical standpoint, women are four times more likely to become widows, than men are to become widowers. It’s true at age 40 and still true at age 80. That’s why it’s important for women to learn about financing independently of their significant others. The odds are that they will have to deal with them at some point in their lives.

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How to Build Credit the Healthy Way

In the United States, the importance of having credit cannot be underestimated.  Not only is credit worth quite a bit when doing things like applying for a loan or signing a lease for an apartment, it also has many  benefits.

Ultimately, the better credit you have, the less money you pay.  Good credit means that you are capable of repaying a loan or paying for an apartment on time.  You are less of a risk to lending institutions, so they don’t need to protect themselves as much by giving you a high interest rate.  Instead, people with good credit get approved for smaller interest rates.

So how do you get this so sought after “good credit?”

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How to Choose a Credit Card

There are hundreds of different credit cards out there all with different benefits and drawbacks.  Because of all of these options, choosing the right credit card for your specific needs becomes extremely difficult, especially if you don’t know what you want or need out of a credit.

But we are here to help you make this crucial decision.

Credit cards differ in many ways, so you will have to look at each of the possible factors before you can make your decision.

Annual Rate

An annual rate is how much you pay for the credit card every year.  This charge is completely separate from any charges that you get from making purchases.  This annual rate is simply for having (not even using) the credit card. Continue reading

Low Credit Scores hurt more than you think

If you are struggling with a low credit score, you already know that it results in high credit card rates and real challenges in obtaining other kinds of credit.  But the problem goes beyond this.  People with low credit scores pay higher interest rates on almost every type of loan.  The reason given by lending institutions is that the cost of lending to people with low credit scores is higher than the cost of lending to people with high credit scores.

A recent article from SmartMoney.com reported on some of the problems faced by people with less than perfect credit.  A perfect credit score is 850.  Almost half of all consumers have a score below 700, with 1/3 in the 550 to 699 range.  Many of these people will have problem getting credit; and if they do, it will more than likely result in a percentage rate that is higher than if your score is 725 for instance. Continue reading

4 Personal Finance Principles

4 Personal Finance Principles

4 Personal Finance Principles

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So what has the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) done for you lately?

The federal agency, CFPB, released its annual report in July 2012 to address that issue.

The CFPB was created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in the wake of the near financial meltdown of 2007.  On its website it defines its role in the following manner: “the central mission of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans — whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards, or using any number of other consumer financial products.”  Consumer protection, not business advocacy, is the number one goal.

The agency’s start has not been a smooth one.  The head of the bureau was appointed by President Obama during a congressional recess, thereby avoiding an approval vote, which Republicans said they would block.  In short, Democrats created the agency and are in favor of it, and Republicans are attempting to dismantle the agency.  For now, it exists. Continue reading

How to Create a Budget

How to Create a Budget

Sometimes it’s just hard to save money and keep track of your spending.  Sure, online banking helps you to see exactly what you have been spending money on, but it won’t stop you from spending money and it won’t tell you when you’ve gone past your self-imposed limit.

The best way to prevent overspending and to promote saving is to make a budget for yourself and your family and stick to it.  That way, you will have saved money for a rainy day and have built up some good habits when it comes to saving money. Continue reading