Is Paying Down Debt a 2017 Resolution? Tips for Success
Besides winter storms, January tends to bring post-holiday bills. For many people, that also brings New Year's resolutions to pay down the debt they have and do a better job of not getting into debt in the first place. Using the sound financial practices profiled in this report can help you succeed quickly.
Take 5 Steps to Protect Your Privacy and Financial Information
Identity theft and fraud targeting your financial information and well-being continue to increase. In its latest figures, the Federal Trade Commission reported a 47% percent increases in identity theft complaints from 2014 to 2015. A Department of Justice Survey indicated that 17.6 million Americans experienced ID theft in 2014.
Credit Report Errors Can Ding Your Wallet and Life! What to Do
Errors in the information on your credit reports can hurt your financial and personal life. Errors can lower your credit score, resulting in paying higher interest rates on car loans, mortgages, and credit cards or in being turned down for a loan.
Beware of Two Popular Ways to Finance a Home with Poor Credit
Owning a home is the American Dream. In fact, most renters in a recent survey indicated that they'd like to buy a home. But the combination of tightened mortgage requirements after the 2008 housing crisis and the slow post-recession recovery of employment and income for many Americans has meant that many people may not qualify for a conventional mortgage.
What If? Planning Documents You Need to Manage Life's Events
Life happens—and it can be unpredictable. Planning ahead, however, can help you and your family cope with the unexpected and manage the expected. Every adult, from young to older, should make the effort to plan. Having the following documents in order can ensure that your wishes are carried out and help avoid family confusion or conflict.
Working to Pay Down Debt? Avoid Debt Relief Scams and Bad "Services"
Millions of Americans owe thousands of dollars on credit cards, student loans, medical bills and other unsecured loans or bills. Many are struggling every month to make minimum payments on what they owe. Even people who are managing their payments would love to pay less. Such circumstances make consumers with debt easy targets for debt relief and debt consolidation scams and schemes.
Renting a Car on Vacation? What Insurance Do You Need?
Many people enjoy "destination" vacations where they fly to the location then rent a car for local transportation. When you rent a vehicle, it's important to have the right insurance coverage for the rental. Should you take the coverage offered by the rental company? Or will coverage provided by your personal auto insurance policy and the credit card used to rent the car be adequate?
Avoid 8 Summer Scams Targeting Your Wallet
Warmer days bring thoughts of relaxing summer activities and plans for vacations. Summer is also a popular time for doing home maintenance. Warmer days also bring scams that use all these summer activities to steal your hard-earned money. Watch out for these wide-spread cons and take steps to protect yourself.
Saving for Retirement? Comparing Traditional and Roth IRAs
Individual retirement accounts, known as IRAs, are popular tax-advantaged vehicles for saving for retirement. Although there are actually 11 different types of IRAs, the most common are the traditional IRA and the Roth IRA.
Buying a Car When You Have Bad Credit
You need a new vehicle, but your credit is spotty or bad. Can you afford to buy a reliable car or truck? Can you get a loan at reasonable rates? Can you avoid the high interest rates and pressure of subprime lenders? Yes, most people in this situation can find a decent vehicle and a loan that doesn't break the bank, but you'll have to be realistic and do the right homework. This report shows you the steps.
Renting a Car Soon? Read This First
Has this ever happened to you? You reserved a car at a great rate but discovered that the rate didn't include the mandatory charges and fees when you picked the car up. These tips will help you avoid such surprises and pitfalls and help you save on your next car rental.
It's Time to Check Your Social Security Statement Online
Checking your Social Security Statement annually is something all working adults should do, according to the Social Security Administration. An annual check allows you to check the accuracy of your earnings as recorded for the previous year and to correct any mistakes.
Why Do Scams Continue to Work?
Scams have been around for generations. Stealing other people's money has always been their goal. To do that, scams are continually evolving and scammers constantly come up with new ways to "deceive and thieve." Even though each new variety of scam brings results in widely publicized warnings and descriptions, why do people still fall for them?
7 Tips for Getting Better Customer Service
Dealing with customer service for products and services is a fact of life. A recent Consumer Reports survey found that 88% of survey participants had dealt with customer service at least once during the year. Most found it a time-consuming and frustrating process.
It's Time to Consider Health Plan Re-Enrollments & Savings for 2016
The end of the year marks the time to enroll, re-enroll, or make changes to your health-care plans for the coming year. Take time now to consider what you and your family need for 2016. It can help you get the best coverage and benefits while saving money where possible.
When You Give, Stay Alert for Crowdsourcing Scams
In recent years, crowdfunding has become a popular way to raise money for a variety of creative projects, new business ventures, and charitable causes. In crowdfunding, individuals or businesses typically use an online crowdfunding platform to seek small sums of money from a large number of people.
Secure Your Financial and Personal Information — Online and Off
Data breaches. Phishing scams. Identity Theft. Malware. Lost or stolen wallets and credit cards. These are just a few of the ways through which our personal and financial information is being attacked — online and offline. There are steps that you can take to make sure that your information is secure. Here are a few.
Buying a New Car? Prepare for Sales Ploys That Can Cost You
Automotive advertisements hawking 2015 models and new 2016s are crowding TV and radio broadcasts and filling the pages of online and print news media. All of them have a deal for you. And you've got to act quickly to save big!
Thinking of a Reverse Mortgage in Retirement? Facts to Consider
Have you seen or heard an ad for reverse mortgages? Did you find it interesting? In a recent study, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), found that many ads discuss the benefits of reverse mortgages without mentioning the risks.
Checked Your Credit Report Recently? Four Reasons to Do It Now
The information in your credit report affects many aspects of your financial well-being. It informs your credit score, which affects your ability to borrow money and the interest rates you will pay on every loan from credit cards and auto loans to home mortgages. It can also affect the insurance rates you'll pay or your ability to land a new job or rent a new apartment.
Have Student Loan Debt? Six Tips to Pay It Off Faster
Debt from student loans for higher education is now the largest category of debt in the U.S. As of December 2014, over 43 million borrowers owed a cumulative total debt of over 1.2 trillion dollars in federal and private student loans.
Arm Yourself Against Fraud Directed at Seniors
Some of today's most popular financial frauds tend to target older adults. Why? Like the old bank robber said, because that's where the money is. Most older adults have accumulated more assets than younger adults. They also tend to have good credit.
Living Paycheck to Paycheck? 7 Tips for Saving More Now
If you find yourself in this situation—or close to it—it's time to pause and look for new ways to cut spending and enhance saving. Having even a small emergency fund can put you and your family on a more secure financial footing. Here are some tips to help. Some steps you can take today, others require a little more planning.
Should Gas Prices Influence Your Next Vehicle Purchase?
Before you sign for that bigger set of wheels, however, think about—and compare—several other costs of owning a car. You could save hundreds at the pump in the short term and spend thousands more long-term.
Three 2015 Resolutions To Enhance Your Financial Well-Being
Have you made any resolutions for 2015? Typical resolutions include ways to enhance your physical well-being, such as losing weight, getting in shape, or eating a more healthful diet. I'd like to recommend setting three goals for the new year that can enhance your financial well-being.
About to Tap Your 401K for a Loan? Six Reasons to Think Again
Taking a 401K loan could cost you thousands in retirement savings. This reports shows you six reasons why taking a 401K loan should be a last resort.
It's Time to Review Your Health Insurance Coverage
Taking time to review your health insurance options could help you save hundreds of dollars and possibly thousands.
Is the Time Right to Refinance Your Home Mortgage?
This year, although many economic analysts have been predicting that interest rates will rise more sharply, that has not happened but the potential must be considered. Taking all these factors into account you may be wondering if the time is right to refinance.
Protecting Your Money From 2013's Most Common Consumer Complaints
The best defense against problems and fraud in all consumer transactions is first to educate yourself about the subject or field and then to take your time researching options and making decisions. Information Edge provides many resources on many topics to help you get started.
Where Are You Keeping Your Important Documents and Valuables?
We all have important documents. Many of us have items that we consider irreplaceable. Do you know where they are? Are they protected from water, fire, and other threats? This month's report looks at ways you can keep and protect your important items.
What's the Catch? Five Popular "Offers" to Beware
Enticing offers pop up frequently online, on TV, and in stores for services or goods that you might actually use if they were legitimate. But are they? Is there a catch? If so, what is it? What are your real alternatives? This report looks at five of the most popular advertising come-ons.
Vacation Travel Tips and Traps
Are you planning on taking a vacation this summer or some other time? Whether you plan to vacation as a family, a couple, a group of friends, or singly, these vacation travel tips can help you get the most satisfaction and value for your money and avoid popular travel traps and scams.
Heartbleed Won't Be the Last! Tips for Staying Safe Online
In recent weeks, the Heartbleed security bug has headlined hundreds of news stories. Not only were user names, passwords, and other personal information potentially exposed, but there was little consumers could do because the vulnerability was in the security software that many Website servers used.
How to Pay Less Tax Legally and Boost Your Savings
Everyone who pays income taxes would like to pay as little as legally possible. Most of us would also like to save more. In 2014, why not use some of the tax deductions and credits that you qualify for to help lower your tax bill? Then use the money you've freed up to maximize your savings.
Are You Alert for New Financial Scams Targeting Older Americans?
Do you know who are now the favorite target of financial scams? Older adults in the U.S. In 2012, people 60 and older made up 26% of all fraud complaints tracked by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the highest of any age group. That figure's up from 10% in 2008, when it was the lowest of any adult age group.
Start an Emergency Fund or Pay Down Credit Card Debt
This question is familiar to most consumers. It typically occurs each month when the credit card statements arrive. According to TransUnion the average credit card holder owes just over $5000. And credit cards have relatively high interest rates, currently about 13% to 15.4% APR according to Bankrate.com.
Don't Like Being Tracked Online?
I'm sure you've heard about businesses and advertising networks tracking our online activities. Why do they do it? Primarily, the trackers want to sell you more goods and services they think you might like or they want to sell your name to a third party that will target you with ads and offers.
All You Need To Know About Credit Card Hacks
Want to know a good thing about all the publicity on credit card hacks? You're probably paying more attention to the protection of your personal and financial information! This page gives you a lot of resources for you to use to protect yourself.
How the Credit Card Hacks Impact You
You've heard about the hacks and theft of personal and financial information of millions of Americans, right? Data thefts seem to be happening all the time.
Buying a Car? Rev Up Savings with a Credit Union Loan or Refi
It's the beginning of a new year. If you are thinking about buying a car or truck, new or used, it's smart to shop your financing first. The place to start is your credit union. Here's why..
Where Are Your Charitable Gifts Really Going?
The resources in this report can help you check out a nonprofit organization (NPO) or charitable cause before you give as well as educate yourself more fully as a donor. If you take a little time to check out organizations and causes that interest you, your gift dollars can have the impact you desire.
Buying a New Car? Sell Your Trade-In Yourself for More Money.
Would you prefer to pocket your vehicle resale profits by selling your car to an individual rather than trading it in at a dealership? If your vehicle is older, but nice, reliable and paid for, selling it yourself may make particularly good sense. Many people are looking for very affordable, but reliable transportation.