debt http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/805/all en-US Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves? http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-499784815.jpg" alt="stop putting off these adult money moves" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You are not a kid anymore. It's time to start acting like an adult, especially with regard to your money. Procrastination won't help you on the path to financial freedom, so it's time to grow up, and examine whether you've been avoiding these adult money moves.</p> <h2>1. Bolstering your emergency fund<strong> </strong></h2> <p>When you are young, you may not need a lot of extra cash on hand. After all, you may feel like your life is simple enough that very few emergencies would result in financial ruin.</p> <p>As you get older, though, there are more costly events that can crop up. You may own a home and face major, unexpected repairs. You may have children with unexpected medical needs. And because your overall expenses are higher, you'll be hurt more if you or a spouse loses their job.</p> <p>While it's important to invest for the long-term, it's also crucial that you keep enough cash on hand to cover emergencies. At least three to six months' worth of income is a good rule of thumb. Without this savings, you may find yourself in debt or tapping into retirement savings to get by. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-new-reasons-you-need-an-emergency-fund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 New Reasons You Need an Emergency Fund</a>)</p> <h2>2. Tracking your money</h2> <p>When you're young and living large, you have no idea where your money is going. You are too busy having fun to worry about it. But now you're an adult, and it's time to actually assess what you are spending your cash on.</p> <p>It's impossible to budget and save if you have no idea where to cut expenses. To begin tracking your money, analyze your bank and credit card statements to view all of the purchases you've made. Enter these into a spreadsheet, or use an account consolidation website such as Mint.com to help you. Once you start tracking, you'll have a good idea of where you've been wasting money and where you can start cutting down on your costs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Build Your First Budget in 5 Easy Steps</a>)</p> <h2>3. Sticking to a budget</h2> <p>Once you get a handle on where your money is going, it's time to develop a system that will allow you to save money. The only way to avoid debt and save for the future is to keep expenses below what you earn. This may mean making tough decisions and reducing nonessential spending.</p> <p>You may have to eat out less. You may need to cancel your cable TV or baseball season tickets. You may need to forgo that trip to the Caribbean. Set a budget for groceries each week, drive less, and clip more coupons. None of this is fun, but it's what adults do if they want to achieve financial freedom.</p> <h2>4. Getting your credit card debt under control</h2> <p>Early on in life, your credit card debt may just seem like a number you can hide from yourself. But at a certain point, it's something that truly impacts your ability to build wealth and obtain financial freedom.</p> <p>When your debt is high, this impacts your credit score, which in turn impacts what you will pay for things like a mortgage and auto loan. In essence, debt can become a downward spiral of pain if you don't nip it in the bud early. Be an adult, and start paying down that credit card debt.</p> <p>Try to go after the debt with the highest interest rates first, then go from there (otherwise known as the avalanche method). Begin using cards more sparingly and rely instead on good old cash as much as possible. Soon, you'll see your credit score rise and your overall financial picture will look much rosier. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fastest Method to Eliminate Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>5. Saving for a home</h2> <p>Homeownership isn't for everyone, but there will likely come a time in your life when it makes sense to build equity in real estate rather than spend money on rent. Owning a home gives you a sense of pride, a sense of stability for your family, and is a good financial move in the long run &mdash; as long as you can manage the monthly payments.</p> <p>To make a sensible home purchase, traditional expertise has advised saving enough money for a down payment of at least 20 percent. So if you are eyeballing a $250,000 home, for example, that means amassing $50,000 &mdash; a sizable amount. While you aren't required to put 20 percent down, doing so can help you avoid having to pay private mortgage insurance, or PMI, until you build up equity in your home. Saving for a down payment is not an easy task, and may take many years, so it's best to start as soon as possible. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-easy-ways-to-start-saving-for-a-down-payment-on-a-home?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Easy Ways to Start Saving for a Down Payment on a Home</a>)</p> <h2>6. Investing toward retirement</h2> <p>The notion of saving for your 60s might seem ridiculous when you're in your 20s. But you can't put off retirement savings forever, and this procrastination can really hurt you down the line. The earlier you start saving, the more money you will have when it's time to leave the workforce.</p> <p>If you're into your 30s or 40s and have little saved for retirement, you need to start socking money away right now. Take advantage of your employer's 401(k) plan and any of your company's matching contributions. You can also open an individual retirement account (IRA). Max out these accounts, if possible. The sooner you start investing, the more time your money has to grow. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retirement-planning-steps-late-starters-must-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Retirement Planning Steps Late Starters Must Make</a>)</p> <h2>7. Saving for your kids' education</h2> <p>It's hard to imagine saving for college when you have no children yet, or your kids haven't even left elementary school. But with college costing tens of thousands of dollars, and getting more expensive every year, you shouldn't put off saving for too long if you plan to help your children with some of the expense.</p> <p>It's possible to begin saving before your child is even born, and there are many investment accounts, including the popular 529 college savings plans, that offer great tax advantages to those that save for education. It's not wise to save for college costs at the expense of your own retirement, but if you have the ability to put aside money for both, do it sooner rather than later. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid's College Savings</a>)</p> <h2>8. Getting properly insured</h2> <p>Proper financial planning isn't just about accumulating wealth, but protecting it. The best way to protect your assets is by insuring them at appropriate levels. Do you own a home? Make sure you have homeowners insurance to protect the structure and everything inside. Do you and your family members have health insurance to protect against illness or injury? And do you have life insurance so that your family will be financially OK if something were to happen to you?</p> <p>Insurance can sometimes seem like a waste of money if you don't use it. But when something bad does happens, you'll be massively grateful you have it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Reasons Why Life Insurance Isn't Just for Old People</a>)</p> <h2>9. Crafting a will</h2> <p>Do you know who gets your assets if you unexpectedly pass away? Do you know who will take care of your children if you are no longer around? Have you given any thought to whether you'd like to be kept on life support if you are the victim of an accident? These are unpleasant things to think about, but they are important considerations.</p> <p>In the absence of a will or other documents that outline your wishes, family members may be left to make challenging decisions. The money and assets you wished to pass on to specific relatives may not be passed on according to your plans. Writing a will may not seem like a crucial thing to do when you are young, but it becomes more important as you get older, expand your family, and accumulate assets. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-writing-a-will?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">What You Need to Know About Writing a Will</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-best-free-financial-learning-tools">9 Best Free Financial Learning Tools</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-outdated-money-advice-endanger-your-money">Don&#039;t Let Outdated Money Advice Endanger Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/millennial-millionaires-how-the-brokest-generation-can-also-become-the-richest">Millennial Millionaires: How the Brokest Generation Can Also Become the Richest</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-retire">12 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Retire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/73-easy-ways-to-save-money-today">73 Easy Ways to Save Money Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance budgeting college costs debt down payments education estate planning investing life insurance money moves retirement saving wills Fri, 18 Aug 2017 08:00:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 2005241 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Money Moves That Will Ruin Your Mortgage Application http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-that-will-ruin-your-mortgage-application <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-moves-that-will-ruin-your-mortgage-application" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/housing_market_risk.jpg" alt="Housing market risk" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When applying for a mortgage, you shouldn't do anything that will cause a bank to question your ability to repay the loan. You don't need perfect finances to get a mortgage, but it's in your best interest to have a basic understanding of loan requirements. The more you know, the less likely you are to make mistakes that can ruin your application. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-5-money-moves-before-applying-for-a-mortgage?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Make These 5 Money Moves Before Applying for a Mortgage</a>)</p> <p>Here are a few missteps to avoid if you're thinking about buying a house.</p> <h2>1. Paying for everything with cash</h2> <p>Using cash for everyday purchases is one way to avoid debt. But just because cash is king in your world doesn't mean you should cast off credit cards.</p> <p>Unless you're fortunate enough to pay cash for a house, you'll need to apply for financing, which requires a credit history. And the only way to build credit is to use credit. Without any type of credit profile, a mortgage underwriter can't assess whether you're capable of responsibly managing a home loan.</p> <p>In the lending world, no credit can be just as damaging as bad credit. So before applying for a home loan, establish credit by getting a credit card or another type of loan. You don't have to drive yourself into debt with it, but you should demonstrate a pattern of timely payments and responsible borrowing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use Credit Cards to Improve Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <h2>2. Carrying too much debt</h2> <p>While it's in your best interest to have a responsible credit profile, if you start spending money on stuff you don't need and get in over your head, you could hurt your chances of a mortgage approval. Maxing out credit cards can raise your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score" target="_blank">credit utilization ratio</a> and lower your credit score. Credit utilization is the percentage of your credit card debt compared to your credit limit.</p> <p>If you go overboard and accumulate too much debt, there's also the risk of falling behind on payments. Late payments are another credit score killer that can destroy any chance of qualifying for a mortgage.</p> <p>To avoid problems with a mortgage approval, get into a habit of paying off credit card balances in full every month. If you carry a balance, keep it small &mdash; ideally below 30 percent of your credit line.</p> <p>If you've already been approved for a mortgage, don't make any major purchases before closing on the home purchase. This includes buying furniture or financing a new car. New debt increases your debt-to-income ratio, which can affect your approval.</p> <p>Since you won't know your actual mortgage costs until a few days before closing, hold off spending money on new furniture or appliances to ensure you have enough cash on hand.</p> <h2>3. Co-signing for someone else</h2> <p>Co-signing a loan for a friend or relative is a noble deed (one that I do not personally recommend), but it's imperative that you're fully aware of the consequences of this decision. Co-signers are not silent partners on loan documents. By signing your name, you become a joint debt holder; as such, a co-signed debt appears on your credit report and counts toward your debt-to-income ratio. This is because you're responsible for the loan if the primary signer stops paying. (And if this happens, you could be in big trouble financially!)</p> <p>Once you are ready to apply for a mortgage, your lender takes a co-signed debt into consideration when calculating your debt-to-income ratio. Unfortunately, with a co-signed debt on your credit file, a lender might say you owe too much to take on additional debt and deny your mortgage application.</p> <h2>4. Not saving enough cash</h2> <p>You need cash for a home purchase &mdash; a <em>lot </em>of cash. Nowadays, many mortgage programs require borrowers to bring cash to the table. This includes a down payment between 3.5 percent to 5 percent or higher, as well as funds for closing (between 2 percent and 5 percent of the sale price). It doesn't matter how much you earn: If you can't show enough assets, you can't get a mortgage. Build up this cushion first before diving into the homebuying process. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-easy-ways-to-start-saving-for-a-down-payment-on-a-home?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Easy Ways to Start Saving for a Down Payment on a Home</a>)</p> <h2>5. Quitting your day job</h2> <p>Don't quit your day job if you're planning to buy in the near future &mdash; at least, not yet.</p> <p>Qualifying for a mortgage involves demonstrating long-term financial stability. This is why lenders require a borrower's most recent paycheck stubs and the previous year's tax returns. Self-employed people can purchase a home like anyone else, but they have to provide one to two years of profitable business tax returns, where their income either increases from year to year or remains roughly the same.</p> <p>It doesn't matter how much you're making today as a self-employed borrower. If a lender has reason to believe that your income isn't consistent or stable, you might not get a loan. So if you're thinking about buying, stick with your job until closing, and then become your own boss. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/denied-a-mortgage-heres-how-to-fix-it-fast?ref=seeaslo" target="_blank">Denied a Mortgage? Here's How to Fix It Fast</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-that-will-ruin-your-mortgage-application">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-mortgage-details-you-should-know-before-you-sign">5 Mortgage Details You Should Know Before You Sign</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-surprising-things-lenders-check-besides-your-credit-score">4 Surprising Things Lenders Check Besides Your Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-buying-a-home-with-cash-is-bad-for-your-budget">5 Times Buying a Home With Cash Is Bad for Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/watch-out-for-these-5-last-minute-home-buying-costs">Watch Out for These 5 Last Minute Home Buying Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-pay-your-mortgage-off-early">Should You Pay Your Mortgage Off Early?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing cash co-signing credit history credit utilization debt debt to income ratio home buying homeownership money mistakes mortgages quitting Wed, 16 Aug 2017 08:30:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 2003615 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Signs You're Making All the Right Money Moves http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-youre-making-all-the-right-money-moves <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-signs-youre-making-all-the-right-money-moves" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_boy_nerd_saves_money_in_his_piggy_bank.jpg" alt="Young Boy Nerd Saves Money in His Piggy Bank" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've worked hard to build up your savings, pay off your credit card bills, and boost your credit score. But how do you know that this hard work is paying off?</p> <p>There are several ways to tell if you are making the right money moves that will help boost your financial security, secure the lowest interest rates on loans, and give you access to the best credit cards with the most generous rewards programs. Want validation that your money moves are the right ones? Look for these signs.</p> <h2>1. You've built an emergency fund</h2> <p>Emergencies constantly pop up: Your car's transmission might blow. Your home's furnace might conk out in the middle of winter. If you don't have adequate savings, you might have to turn to high-interest rate credit cards to pay for these emergencies. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-decide-if-its-a-fund-worthy-emergency?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Decide if It's a &quot;Fund-Worthy&quot; Emergency</a>)</p> <p>But you won't have to do this if you've built an emergency fund. A fund stocked with plenty of cash is one sure sign that you're making the right money moves.</p> <p>Financial experts recommend that you have at least six months' worth of daily living expenses saved in an emergency fund at all times. If you've met this goal, be proud: You're doing something right financially.</p> <h2>2. You're getting better credit card offers</h2> <p>It's rare for a week to go by without some bank or credit union stuffing your mailbox with an application for a new credit card. But take a closer look at these applications. Has the quality of your credit card offers gone up? If so, that's another sign that you're making smart money moves.</p> <p>If you're saddled with tons of debt, or if you've made late payments or skipped payments entirely, your mailbox will be filled with offers for credit cards that come with high interest rates and no rewards &mdash; if you receive any credit card offers at all.</p> <p>If, however, you've <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt" target="_blank">cut down your credit card debt</a> and pay your bills on time each month, banks will send you applications for credit cards that come with generous rewards programs, enticing sign-up offers, and low interest rates. So watch your mailbox: If banks are trying to lure you to their plastic, you can bet that you're becoming a savvy financial operator.</p> <h2>3. Lenders are happy to give you lower interest rates</h2> <p>Were you surprised when you were approved for an auto loan at the low interest rate your lender quoted? That's another sign that you are making sound financial decisions.</p> <p>Lenders check your credit reports and your FICO credit score before deciding what interest rate to assign to your mortgage, auto, student, and personal loans. If your credit score is high &mdash; 740 or more &mdash; you can expect to qualify for lower interest rates.</p> <p>Your credit score is based on several factors, including your history of paying bills on time and your debt levels. If you have these financials under control, your score will be higher.</p> <p>You can check your credit score &mdash; usually for a price of $15 by ordering it from one of the three national credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax). Your credit card company might also provide your score for free each month. Just make sure it's your actual FICO score and not an alternative version. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fico-or-fako-are-free-credit-scores-from-credit-cards-the-real-thing?ref=seealso" target="_blank">FICO or FAKO: Are Free Credit Scores From Credit Cards the Real Thing?</a>)</p> <h2>4. Your credit card debt has disappeared</h2> <p>Credit card debt is the worst type of debt you can have: The high interest rates that come with it mean that your debt load grows steadily each month that you carry a balance. If you open your credit card bill and you <em>don't </em>have a balance, that's one of the most positive signs that you are becoming financially mature. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-pay-less-interest-on-your-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Pay Less Interest on Your Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>5. The monthly bills don't make you sweat</h2> <p>When you rip open the cable, utility, or gas bill each month, do you immediately wonder if you have enough money in your checking account to pay them on time? If you do, that's a sign that you're living paycheck to paycheck.</p> <p>If, though, the monthly bills don't make you cringe, and you always have enough money in your account to cover them, know that you're doing something right with your finances.</p> <h2>6. Your checking account balance is growing each month</h2> <p>The goal is to make enough money so that you can pay your bills each month and have dollars leftover, money that you can invest or save. If you notice that you have more money in your checking account at the end of every month, be happy: That's another sign that you're making smart money decisions.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-signs-youre-making-all-the-right-money-moves&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Signs%2520Youre%2520Making%2520All%2520the%2520Right%2520Money%2520Moves.jpg&amp;description=6%20Signs%20Youre%20Making%20All%20the%20Right%20Money%20Moves"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Signs%20Youre%20Making%20All%20the%20Right%20Money%20Moves.jpg" alt="6 Signs You're Making All the Right Money Moves" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-youre-making-all-the-right-money-moves">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-bad-credit-isnt-the-end-of-the-world">Your Bad Credit Isn&#039;t the End of the World</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-before-moving-out-on-your-own">5 Money Moves to Make Before Moving Out on Your Own</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-often-your-credit-score-gets-calculated">Here&#039;s How Often Your Credit Score Gets Calculated</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-you-shouldnt-freak-out-if-you-miss-a-payment-due-date">Here&#039;s Why You Shouldn&#039;t Freak Out If You Miss a Payment Due Date</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-excellent-credit">5 Steps to Getting Excellent Credit</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance bills credit history credit score debt emergency funds good signs money moves saving money Wed, 02 Aug 2017 09:00:07 +0000 Dan Rafter 1986886 at http://www.wisebread.com Bad Credit? It Might Cost You Your Marriage http://www.wisebread.com/bad-credit-it-might-cost-you-your-marriage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/bad-credit-it-might-cost-you-your-marriage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wedding_costs.jpg" alt="Wedding costs" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's a lot to think about when choosing a partner: attraction, personality, and commonalities in interests, values, and life goals. Sense of humor is important, along with whether she's allergic to your cat or he's tolerant of your love for stinky cheeses.</p> <p>If you find a good match on all of those factors, are you set? Not entirely. Studies show that there's another factor you should consider: your potential mate's credit score.</p> <h2>The credit score connection</h2> <p>What's a credit score got to do with love? Quite a bit, actually. Well, maybe not love, per se, but credit scores have something to do with the longevity of a relationship. Lower credit scores are linked with higher rates of divorce or &quot;relationship dissolution,&quot; according to a 2015 study done by the Federal Reserve Board.</p> <p>The study looked at data from 12 million consumers to track correlation between credit score and relationship longevity. The results were telling: Researchers found that credit scores play a significant role in how long committed relationships last. If both partners have higher average credit scores at the beginning of the relationship, they are less likely to separate.</p> <p>A drop of 93 points in a partner's average credit score increased the chance that the relationship will end in the second year by a whopping 30 percent.</p> <p>If you thought money didn't matter, think again.</p> <h2>What about love, and stuff?</h2> <p>The big question is <em>why</em>. Why are lower credit scores related to increased chances of a relationship ending? There are several possibilities. More than likely, it's a combination of these factors:</p> <h2>Assumptions of character</h2> <p>The researchers posit that a low credit score may be linked to the lack of key relationship skills, such as trustworthiness. Credit scores, they point out, are used in many cases not just to show that someone is financially solvent, but that they are reliable and will honor their commitments.</p> <p>Of course, there are many complex factors involved in an individual's credit score. It's not fair to assume that because someone has a low credit score, that person is unreliable, lazy, or untrustworthy.</p> <p>But the perception that certain negative traits are present can be enough to close a lot of society's doors for an individual. A low credit score might mean you can't get a lease, can't get a loan, or can't buy a car. Those closed doors lead to the second significant factor: stress.</p> <h2>Ongoing financial stress</h2> <p>A low credit score may be due to unsecured and unpaid debt, often with high interest rates attached. Having debt at a high interest rate is enough, by itself, to cause financial stress. When you add in those closed doors, you get a mountain of financial pain.</p> <p>Imagine someone who has high-interest debt with a fairly high monthly payment. This person gets a great job, but needs reliable transportation to get to it. They can't get a loan to buy a car, and they don't have the cash to purchase one outright, so they have to rely on friends and family for rides. Maybe public transportation is available, but maybe it isn't. This person's ability to get to work depends on the willingness of other people to provide transportation.</p> <h2>It's not the credit score, but it is</h2> <p>Stress is stress, whether it's financial or caused by some other factor. When someone lives under continual financial stress, it affects the functioning of their brain and body. <a href="http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/reports/articles/stress" target="_blank">Chronic stress</a> is linked to higher blood pressure, lowered immune system, weight gain and obesity, depression and anxiety, short-term memory impairment, loss of concentration, and substance abuse.</p> <p>People with low credit scores are often functioning with chronic stress. They're simultaneously trying to overcome the limitations and assumptions caused by their low credit score. The relationship correlations make sense. Stress from any factor will affect a relationship; chronic stress can slowly dismantle the structure of a relationship.</p> <h2>Resentment in the relationship</h2> <p>Resentment and conflict can develop when one partner has to continually take on the brunt of the financial burden. For example, a couple decides to buy a home together; however, one partner's credit score would hurt the mortgage application. Instead of pursuing joint homeownership, the partner with better credit becomes the sole applicant for the home loan and thus, the sole responsible party. This sense of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-couples-fight-over-money-and-what-to-do-about-it" target="_blank">financial inequality</a> can lead to ongoing resentment toward the person with lower credit.</p> <p>Resentment can run both ways. The partner with low credit may resent having to be &quot;helped.&quot; And the partner with better credit may use it to justify bad behavior in other areas of the relationship.</p> <h2>What can you do?</h2> <p>A credit score does not define the person you're with. And a credit score is not forever. There are ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tricks-to-consolidating-your-debt-and-saving-money" target="_blank">consolidate debt</a>. You can get <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-organizations-that-really-can-help-you-with-your-debt" target="_blank">free financial counseling</a>. Romantic partners with strong communication skills, and a plan for paying off debt and building financial security can tackle the challenges of low credit together, and win.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fbad-credit-it-might-cost-you-your-marriage&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FBad%2520Credit-%2520It%2520Might%2520Cost%2520You%2520Your%2520Marriage.jpg&amp;description=Bad%20Credit%3F%20It%20Might%20Cost%20You%20Your%20Marriage"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Bad%20Credit-%20It%20Might%20Cost%20You%20Your%20Marriage.jpg" alt="Bad Credit? It Might Cost You Your Marriage" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bad-credit-it-might-cost-you-your-marriage">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation">How to Protect Yourself Financially During a Divorce or Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-myths-about-divorce-and-money-debunked">4 Myths About Divorce and Money, Debunked</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-a-divorce-improve-your-finances">Could a Divorce Improve Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance compatibility credit score debt divorce marriage money troubles relationships stress Thu, 27 Jul 2017 08:30:04 +0000 Annie Mueller 1988259 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Myths About Divorce and Money, Debunked http://www.wisebread.com/4-myths-about-divorce-and-money-debunked <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-myths-about-divorce-and-money-debunked" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/money_trouble.jpg" alt="Money trouble" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Divorce happens. And when it does, it's expensive. Divorce proceedings cost an average $10,000 to $15,000, according to GOBankingRates. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Protect Yourself Financially During a Divorce or Separation</a>)</p> <p>Unfortunately, many who are divorcing hold certain financial misconceptions about the process. Some might believe that spouses who commit adultery will pay more in a divorce. Others might believe that they won't be responsible for the debt on their spouse's credit card accounts.</p> <p>There are plenty of financial myths surrounding divorce. Here are four of the most important ones.</p> <h2>1. My spouse's adultery will help my case</h2> <p>You might think that you're entitled to more money in the divorce because your spouse was unfaithful. The truth is, adultery does not play a role in who gets more money or assets following a divorce.</p> <p>That's because states today offer what is known as a no-fault divorce. As the name suggests, in this type of divorce proceeding, separating spouses do not have to prove that the other party did anything wrong to cause the breakup of the marriage.</p> <p>Divorce isn't about punishing people for bad behavior; it's about finding a way to divide up money and assets between two people. Your spouse's infidelity does not mean you will automatically get the house or you will receive a greater amount of alimony.</p> <p>There is an exception, though: If your spouse blew a significant amount of money to pursue the affair &mdash; renting a secret apartment, spending on lavish trips &mdash; your divorce judge might require them to pay more.</p> <h2>2. I didn't work during my marriage, so I'll get alimony payments for life</h2> <p>If you didn't work during your marriage, you will probably receive alimony payments. But these payments might not be as permanent as you might think.</p> <p>Today, nonworking spouses usually receive their alimony payments, also known as spousal support, for a limited time. The goal is to provide the spouse with some financial support until that person can find a job or pay for an education. Don't expect an unending stream of financial support from your ex-spouse.</p> <h2>3. Money in my own bank account will be mine after the divorce</h2> <p>Don't think that just because you stashed money in a bank account in your name only that you won't lose some of these funds in your divorce.</p> <p>Your former spouse might be entitled to some of the money in this account. Whether that's the case depends on a host of factors, including how that money was earned, whether you inherited it, or whether you live in a community property state.</p> <p>That community property state part is important. There are nine of these states: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Alaska is an opt-in community property state. In these states, all assets acquired during a marriage are considered community property and owned by both spouses equally. In a divorce, all assets are split 50/50.</p> <p>In the rest of the states, assets in a divorce are to be divided equitably, but not always equally. So even if you've stowed money in a private bank account, your divorce judge might decide that you either owe your spouse half of that money or a portion of it, depending on the circumstances of your case.</p> <h2>4. I won't have to worry about the debt my spouse ran up on a credit card</h2> <p>This is a tricky one. Depending on where you live, you usually won't be responsible for the debts that your spouse ran up on a credit card that is in that spouse's name only.</p> <p>But if you live one of the community property states, you will be responsible for half of that debt, even if the credit card account was never in your name. There is an exception, though: You are only responsible for 50 percent of the debt your spouse ran up during your marriage. Any debt your spouse ran up on the credit card before your marriage is not your responsibility.</p> <p>If you don't live in a community property state, you are usually not responsible for the debt your spouse runs up on a credit card. However, there are some exceptions. If the debt your spouse ran up was to pay for your child's dental work, to repair your home's busted water heater, or to replace your residence's furnace &mdash; basically, to cover any essential family expense &mdash; you will then be responsible for half of that debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spouses-and-debt-whos-really-on-the-hook-for-those-bills?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Spouses and Debt: Who's Really on the Hook for Those Bills?</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F4-myths-about-divorce-and-money-debunked&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520Myths%2520About%2520Divorce%2520and%2520Money%252C%2520Debunked.jpg&amp;description=4%20Myths%20About%20Divorce%20and%20Money%2C%20Debunked"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/4%20Myths%20About%20Divorce%20and%20Money%2C%20Debunked.jpg" alt="4 Myths About Divorce and Money, Debunked" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-myths-about-divorce-and-money-debunked">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation">How to Protect Yourself Financially During a Divorce or Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bad-credit-it-might-cost-you-your-marriage">Bad Credit? It Might Cost You Your Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-secrets-you-need-to-tell-your-financial-adviser">11 Secrets You Need to Tell Your Financial Adviser</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-divorce-affect-your-student-loans">Does Divorce Affect Your Student Loans?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance adultery alimony assets common law property debt divorce marriage myths separation support Tue, 11 Jul 2017 09:00:10 +0000 Dan Rafter 1977969 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Smart Reasons to Pay Your Credit Card Bill Before It's Due http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-reasons-to-pay-your-credit-card-bill-before-its-due <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-smart-reasons-to-pay-your-credit-card-bill-before-its-due" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_with_a_credit_card_buying_online.jpg" alt="Girl with a credit card buying online" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know there can be dire consequences if you are late in paying your credit card bill. But is there also a benefit to paying your bill early?</p> <p>It may seem unnecessary to pay your bill any sooner than required, but there are some advantages to sending in your payment earlier.</p> <h2>1. It frees up your credit</h2> <p>Most credit cards have a limit to the amount you can charge. But you can actually charge more if you pay off any spending right away. This is helpful if you plan to use the credit card to make a big-ticket purchase. It also makes sense if you plan to travel, because hotels, airlines, and rental car companies can place holds on your card that may last several days, or even as long as a week.</p> <h2>2. It can improve your credit score</h2> <p>The easiest way to prove to the credit bureaus that you are creditworthy is to pay your bill, and paying it off early can only help. Moreover, credit bureaus base your debt on the total at the end of the statement cycle. So if you can pay off debt before the cycle even ends, it reduces the debt reported. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use Credit Cards to Improve Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <h2>3. You'll do a better job of tracking spending</h2> <p>If you get in the habit of paying off credit card charges as they come in, you will likely check your balance more frequently. By doing this, you will be more aware of how much you are spending, and on what.</p> <h2>4. It reduces the interest you are charged</h2> <p>If you've carried over a credit card balance from the month before, interest is charged each day, so it can accumulate over the course of the month. If you pay part (or all) of your bill early, that means you will have a smaller average daily balance and lower interest payments. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate</a>)</p> <h2>5. You'll chip away at debt faster</h2> <p>Consider this: If you direct money to pay off your credit card bill as soon as you can, that means your money can't be used anywhere else. In essence, you are preventing yourself from spending cash on something that might be wasteful. You are making a commitment to use money to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">pay off debt</a> rather than add to it.</p> <h2>6. You'll be less likely to forget about it</h2> <p>When you pay bills only after you see the final monthly statement, mistakes can happen. Bills can get lost in the mail. You can set it aside but lose it between the couch cushions. But if you are in the habit of checking your credit card balances and making payments frequently, you'll be less likely to have a problem. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-never-make-a-late-credit-card-payment?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Never Make a Late Payment on Your Credit Card Again</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-smart-reasons-to-pay-your-credit-card-bill-before-its-due&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Smart%2520Reasons%2520to%2520Pay%2520Your%2520Credit%2520Card%2520Bill%2520Before%2520Its%2520Due.jpg&amp;description=6%20Smart%20Reasons%20to%20Pay%20Your%20Credit%20Card%20Bill%20Before%20Its%20Due"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Smart%20Reasons%20to%20Pay%20Your%20Credit%20Card%20Bill%20Before%20Its%20Due.jpg" alt="6 Smart Reasons to Pay Your Credit Card Bill Before It's Due" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-reasons-to-pay-your-credit-card-bill-before-its-due">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-expect-when-youre-expecting-a-huge-credit-card-bill">What to Expect When You&#039;re Expecting a Huge Credit Card Bill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-credit-without-using-credit-cards">How to Build Credit Without Using Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-moves-to-make-before-cutting-up-your-credit-card">6 Moves to Make Before Cutting Up Your Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-think-affect-your-credit-score-but-dont">10 Things You Think Affect Your Credit Score — But Don&#039;t</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-happens-when-your-credit-card-debt-is-charged-off">What Happens When Your Credit Card Debt Is Charged Off?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards bills credit balances credit score debt early interest payments revolving debt tracking spending Wed, 05 Jul 2017 09:00:11 +0000 Tim Lemke 1977308 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways You Can Cut Costs Right Before You Retire http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_discussing_home_economics_0.jpg" alt="Couple discussing home economics" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Worried about covering your daily living expenses in retirement? You're far from alone. A study released late last year by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that only a small percentage of U.S. workers are &quot;very confident&quot; about being able to fully retire with a comfortable lifestyle.</p> <p>If you have some doubts about how you're going to fund your retirement years, there are some steps you can take now, in the years leading up to your retirement, to prepare yourself financially for the day in which you leave the workforce. By reducing these expenses before you retire, you'll give yourself the chance to boost your retirement savings in the last few years before you leave the working world.</p> <p>You'll also take an important first step toward setting up a post-retirement lifestyle that might, depending upon how much you've saved, require you to cut back on many of the expenses you take for granted today.</p> <h2>1. Housing</h2> <p>The cost of housing, of course, is the biggest financial burden that most people face. Bringing a mortgage with you into retirement can cause plenty of financial stress each month. But even if you are no longer paying off a mortgage, the cost of maintaining a large single-family home can be high.</p> <p>If you still have a mortgage, it might make sense to pay it off before you leave the working world. If you can't afford to do that, you might consider selling your home. If you have enough equity in your residence, you might be able to use the profits to buy a downsized residence &mdash; maybe a condo unit &mdash; in cash.</p> <p>If you've already paid off your mortgage, you'll have more flexibility. If your home requires too much maintenance, or if your property taxes and homeowners insurance are too high, you can sell and move into a smaller residence that requires less maintenance or a condo building that comes with far lower property taxes.</p> <p>You'll no longer need to worry about living in a higher-taxed area with better public schools, so finding a residence with lower annual property taxes shouldn't be too much of a struggle. And if you purchase a smaller home or condo, your annual homeowners insurance bill won't be as high.</p> <h2>2. Insurance</h2> <p>Now might be a good time to review how much you are spending each year on your insurance.</p> <p>First, if you no longer have any dependents who'd need financial help after you die, you can drop any life insurance coverage you might still have. That can immediately save you a significant sum of money each year.</p> <p>You'll no longer need disability insurance, either, after you leave the workforce. Don't drop disability before you retire, but do figure that the cost of this insurance will disappear once you stop working.</p> <p>You might also look at the deductibles you've set up for your auto and homeowners insurance policies. It makes sense to set your deductibles low when you are working. If you have a deductible of $250 for your auto insurance policy, for instance, you'll have to pay for the first $250 in costs after an accident while your auto insurer will cover anything after that.</p> <p>But lower deductibles increase the amount you pay in insurance premiums. When you raise your deductibles, you'll pay less for your auto and homeowners' insurance policies. By the time you reach your retirement age, you might have enough saved to cover these higher deductibles, and moving to lower payments for your insurance policies might help you cover your daily living expenses.</p> <h2>3. Credit card debt</h2> <p>One of the biggest burdens on your retirement could be credit card debt. This debt comes with high interest rates &mdash; as high as 20 percent or more in some cases &mdash; and can grow quickly. If you carry a balance on your cards from month to month, you'll be stuck paying that minimum required monthly payment every time your credit card bills come due.</p> <p>If you have a lot of credit card debt, it's important to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">pay off as much as possible</a> as you approach retirement. You can do this using one of three tested approaches: the debt snowball, debt avalanche, or debt snowflake method.</p> <p>In the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-secrets-to-mastering-the-debt-snowball?ref=internal" target="_blank">snowball method</a>, you list your credit card debts from smallest to largest. You then take any extra money you have and focus on paying off the smallest bill first. Once you've paid off that bill, you'll move on to your next smallest credit card bill and pay that one off.</p> <p>In the avalanche method, you organize your credit card bills by interest rate, from high to low. You then use any extra money to pay off the card with the highest interest rate as quickly as possible. Once you pay off that card, you then move to the card with the next highest rate.</p> <p>If if you find yourself struggling to come up with large debt payments, the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-out-of-debt-faster-with-the-debt-snowflake?ref=internal" target="_blank">snowflake method</a> may work well for you. In this strategy, you'll look for ways to shave dollars off of everyday expenses, such as groceries or gas. You'll then use those savings to make small but frequent payments on your credit card debt. Every little bit helps.</p> <h2>4. Your cars</h2> <p>Cars are expensive. Not only do you have to pay for their upkeep and gas, but you also need to insure them. Going from two cars to one or downgrading to a less expensive car can help you dramatically reduce your daily living expenses.</p> <p>If you can swing it, going from two cars to one will reduce the amount you pay each year in auto insurance. But maybe you can't do this while you are still working. If not, you can still downgrade from a more expensive car to one with lower monthly payments and lower insurance costs.</p> <p>Consider this carefully, though. If you've paid off your car, it probably makes more sense to live with it for as long as you can. That way, you won't have to worry about monthly car payments. If you are still making payments on it, though, downgrading to a nice but less costly vehicle might be a good way to reduce your daily living expenses even while you're still working.</p> <h2>5. Dining out</h2> <p>The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2015, the average U.S. household spent $3,008 on restaurant meals and take-out food. This should inspire you to look at how much money you spend each month on eating out.</p> <p>It's not that you should never eat out. But if you are worried about covering your daily living expenses once you retire, reducing the number of times you dine out at a restaurant is one monthly expense that you can easily control.</p> <p>Instead of eating out whenever you'd like, try budgeting each month for a certain number of restaurant meals. Then don't break that budget. Doing this before you retire will help build your discipline for the days in which you are no longer working.</p> <h2>6. Entertainment</h2> <p>Going to the movies instead of streaming one at home. Taking several vacations a year. The most expensive cable subscription with the most channels. All that entertainment adds up. You can significantly reduce your expenses before retirement by spending less on entertaining yourself.</p> <p>You might think you're depriving yourself, but streaming a movie can be just as much fun as going to the theater, and it can save you plenty of dollars. You can even rent movies for free from your local library or through the online rental services that many public libraries now feature. Why not take a break from that big expensive trip for the next few years and take smaller weekend jaunts instead? You can then save the money you would have spent so that you have more to spend in your retirement years.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Ways%2520You%2520Can%2520Cut%2520Costs%2520Right%2520Before%2520You%2520Retire.jpg&amp;description=6%20Ways%20You%20Can%20Cut%20Costs%20Right%20Before%20You%20Retire"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Ways%20You%20Can%20Cut%20Costs%20Right%20Before%20You%20Retire.jpg" alt="6 Ways You Can Cut Costs Right Before You Retire" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-come-up-with-1000-in-the-next-30-days">How to Come Up With $1,000 in the Next 30 Days</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-are-people-retiring-in-their-30s">How Are People Retiring in Their 30s?!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-expenses-will-probably-cost-you-a-lot-less-in-retirement">These 5 Expenses Will Probably Cost You a Lot Less in Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youve-been-saving-money-all-wrong-heres-why">You&#039;ve Been Saving Money All Wrong. Here&#039;s Why</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-a-sudden-loss-of-income">How to Handle a Sudden Loss of Income</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Retirement Cars cutting costs debt entertainment expenses food costs housing saving money Tue, 04 Jul 2017 08:00:10 +0000 Dan Rafter 1974324 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Boost Your Credit With a Balance Transfer http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-boost-your-credit-with-a-balance-transfer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-boost-your-credit-with-a-balance-transfer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_calculate_how_much_cost_orspending_have_with_credit_cards_0.jpg" alt="Woman calculate how much cost or spending have with credit cards" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Balance transfers can be a practical and effective way to tackle your credit card debt. Simply, you transfer your high-interest credit card debt to a card with a lower rate. This could be a card with a lower APR, or a card that offers a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">0 percent promotional rate on balance transfers</a> for a limited time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">When to Do a Balance Transfer for Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <p>This can help your credit score, too. A few weeks ago, I was feeling pretty good about the balance transfer offer I used to move some high-interest credit card debt to a card with a great introductory rate. But, then I realized you have to be careful of your balance transfer strategy. In addition to boosting your credit score, there are a few pitfalls to be aware of.</p> <h2>Pitfall: Applying for a balance transfer generates a hard credit inquiry</h2> <p>If you are trying to boost your credit score, be careful when applying for any new credit cards &mdash; including for balance transfers. Each credit application generates a &quot;hard&quot; inquiry on your credit report, which is a negative factor in calculating your credit score. Applying for new credit is considered a risk because it can be a sign of financial distress, especially if you have multiple hard inquiries over a short period of time.</p> <h2>Boost: If used effectively, the balance transfer will eventually raise your score</h2> <p>The drop in score from a hard inquiry is temporary. Unless you are planning on applying for any big loans such as a mortgage, refinance, or car loan, the drop shouldn't affect you too much. Once you start paying off your balance, your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit utilization ratio</a> will drop. Your credit utilization ratio, which is all of your credit card balances divided by the total of your credit card limits, is a big factor in the &quot;amounts owed&quot; category of your FICO credit score, which accounts for 30 percent of your score. Most experts recommend your credit utilization ratio not exceed 30 percent, and keeping it even lower &mdash; under 10 percent &mdash; can help raise your score.</p> <h2>Pitfall: Using balance transfers to grow your debt</h2> <p>Balance transfers should be used to consolidate your debt &mdash; never to &quot;make room&quot; on other credit cards so you can keep on charging past limits. All this does is rack up more debt.</p> <p>This can quickly spiral out of control, too. If your debt grows too much, it can increase your credit utilization ratio, which lowers your credit rating. Eventually, taking on too much debt can reach the point where you can no longer make payments on time, and your credit score will take a huge hit. Lenders also consider your debt-to-income ratio when deciding whether to approve or deny you for financing. If your debt becomes too large relative to your income, you may not be able to get approved for any new loans or credit cards.</p> <h2>Boost: A balance transfer can help pay down your debt faster</h2> <p>If you transfer your high-interest credit card debt to a balance transfer card with a lower rate, more of your payment will go toward paying down the principal. Not only will this save you money from interest, but you'll get rid of your debt faster. Only do a balance transfer if you have a solid debt repayment plan to pay off the balance within the promotion period. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Fastest Way to Pay Off $10K in Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>Pitfall: Maxing out the balance transfer card you are transferring to</h2> <p>If you get a great introductory interest rate for a balance transfer, you may conclude that you should transfer as much of your high-interest credit card debt as possible to the new card. The problem with this strategy is that you can hurt your credit score by having a high utilization of available credit, even if it is only on one credit account.</p> <p>Your credit utilization ratio is a major factor in calculating your credit score. Even if you have lots of credit available overall, pushing your balance transfer account near its credit limit can hurt your credit score. The credit utilization metric that contributes to your credit score not only considers <em>overall </em>credit balances compared to your overall credit limit, but also scores utilization of <em>individual </em>credit cards. If you are trying to maximize your credit score, keep your balance under 30 percent of your credit limit on all of your accounts, even after you complete a balance transfer.</p> <p>Even if the interest rate is great, leave some room on your balance transfer card to avoid getting a lower credit score due to credit utilization.</p> <h2>Boost: Use a personal loan rather than a credit card to refinance debt</h2> <p>Personal loans aren't counted toward your credit utilization ratio, since a personal loan is not a revolving credit account. However, like credit card debt, the amount you owe on installment loans does figure into the &quot;amounts owed&quot; category of your credit score, though it harms your score much less than a high credit utilization ratio does. In fact, having an installment loan can help boost your &quot;credit mix,&quot; which is a different scoring category that comprises 10 percent of your credit score.</p> <p>The downside is that you will typically pay higher interest for a personal loan than you would with a balance transfer introductory rate at or near 0 percent. Still, if your credit score is low, or you are trying to boost your credit score to secure the best interest rate you can get on a mortgage, you may want to consider using a personal loan instead of a balance transfer card to refinance your credit card debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-personal-loans-may-be-better-than-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Times a Personal Loan May Be Better Than Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>Check with your bank about a personal loan as an alternative to transferring credit card debt to another credit card if you are trying to improve your credit score.</p> <h2>How much will you really save?</h2> <p>In addition to pitfalls that can lower your credit score, you also need to watch out for pitfalls that can reduce how much money you can save through a balance transfer.</p> <p>When doing a balance transfer, you'll typically have to pay a fee between 3 and 5 percent of the transfer amount. The balance transfer fee is charged all at once at the time the transaction is processed, and is often added to your balance on the transfer account. Avoid being dazzled by a great interest rate that distracts you from noticing a higher fee compared with other balance transfer offers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-no-balance-transfer-fees?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards With No Balance Transfer Fees</a>)</p> <p>The low introductory interest rate that is offered on balance transfers usually expires after 12 to 18 months and is replaced by an interest rate that can be much higher &mdash; over 20 percent in some cases. If you can pay off the balance transfer balance before the end of the introductory offer, you don't need to worry about the higher rate later on. But if you don't pay off the balance transfer during the introductory offer, you may end up paying higher interest rates than you had on your original credit card.</p> <p>Balance transfers can be a useful tool to lower your interest rate and help you pay down debt, if you avoid the pitfalls and choose a balance transfer card that makes sense for you.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-boost-your-credit-with-a-balance-transfer&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Boost%2520Your%2520Credit%2520With%2520a%2520Balance%2520Transfer.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Boost%20Your%20Credit%20With%20a%20Balance%20Transfer"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Boost%20Your%20Credit%20With%20a%20Balance%20Transfer.jpg" alt="How to Boost Your Credit With a Balance Transfer" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-boost-your-credit-with-a-balance-transfer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-common-mistakes-while-rebuilding-your-credit">Avoid These 5 Common Mistakes While Rebuilding Your Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score">This One Ratio Is the Key to a Good Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-important-things-you-should-know-about-balance-transfer-cards">7 Important Things You Should Know About Balance Transfer Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-expect-when-youre-expecting-a-huge-credit-card-bill">What to Expect When You&#039;re Expecting a Huge Credit Card Bill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-moves-to-make-before-cutting-up-your-credit-card">6 Moves to Make Before Cutting Up Your Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards 0% balance transfers credit history credit score credit utilization ratio debt fees introductory rates Tue, 27 Jun 2017 08:00:11 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1970388 at http://www.wisebread.com Are Your Emotions Costing You Money? Take This Quiz http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-emotions-costing-you-money-take-this-quiz <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-your-emotions-costing-you-money-take-this-quiz" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/pensive_young_woman_holding_empty_wallet_after_shopping.jpg" alt="Pensive young woman holding empty wallet after shopping" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Building a strong financial foundation for you and your family requires discipline. It requires patience. It requires a steady mindset. But even the best of us have found ourselves spending and making financial decisions based on emotions, whether that's retail therapy, or holding off on investing due to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-over-these-5-scary-things-about-investing?ref=internal" target="_blank">fear of the markets</a>. We've made decisions based on joy or comfort in the short term instead of satisfaction in the long run.</p> <p>Are you letting your emotions control your finances? Answer these questions to find out.</p> <h2>Do you spend money when you feel sad, happy, or stressed?</h2> <p>You had a bad day at work, so you go on a shopping spree for new shoes. You got a promotion, so you celebrate by taking friends out to eat at a fancy restaurant. You spend money as a reaction or antidote to whatever feelings you have at a given moment, and this makes it hard to save money at a healthy rate. You don't need to treat yourself to a costly reward every time you're happy or sad. This is an easy way to fall into a dangerous emotional spending cycle. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-the-treat-yourself-mindset?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The High Cost of the &quot;Treat Yourself&quot; Mindset</a>)</p> <h2>Have you held off on investing because you are afraid?</h2> <p>Fear is one of the most powerful emotions we have, and many people have never gotten started with retirement planning and investing because they are intimidated. They may find the whole process of investing to be overwhelming, or they may have a fear of asking a dumb question. Additionally, they may fear that their investments will lose money. In reality, it's best to channel fear into investing more, because not having enough money saved for retirement is a truly scary thought. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-steps-to-getting-started-in-the-stock-market-with-index-funds?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Steps to Getting Started in the Stock Market With Index Funds</a>)</p> <h2>Have you sold investments when you realized they lost value?</h2> <p>We've probably all found ourselves frustrated with certain investments that have tanked, and sold them at a loss. Of course, then we've kicked ourselves when we've seen those same investments rebound in short order. It's not a good practice to be emotional when investing; the most successful investors practice discipline, patience, and steadfastness over the course of many years.</p> <h2>Have you ever bought something out of jealousy?</h2> <p>One of your closest friends just bought a big house in a nice neighborhood. Another just bought a fancy car. It can seem like other people are making out better than you, but this is no excuse to spend irresponsibly. Keeping up with the joneses is a path to financial hardship if you spend simply because you feel left out or jealous.</p> <h2>Do you get excited about getting a tax return?</h2> <p>It's an often ignored fact that if you are getting a tax refund, you've been lending money to the government interest-free all year. Remember: This was your money that you should have had all along. And yet, most people get a rush of excitement from getting a tax return. What's worse, people often treat their tax return like an unexpected windfall, and spend it frivolously. The sound, unemotional approach to taxes is to adjust your withholding so that you don't get a return at all. In fact, even owing a small amount to the IRS is OK as long as you don't pay a penalty. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-im-spending-my-tax-refund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Smart Ways I'm Spending My Tax Refund</a>)</p> <h2>Have you ever sought a refund anticipation loan or payday loan?</h2> <p>The same psychology that governs the love of tax returns also applies to those who seek money before it's due to them. If you are seeking cash early, you may end up paying exorbitant fees or interest rates. A typical payday loan might have an annual interest rate of 400 percent, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-horrible-financial-products-you-should-avoid?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Six Horrible Financial Products You Should Avoid</a>)</p> <h2>Are you a habitual gambler?</h2> <p>Let's face it: Gambling can be exciting. It's a rush when you place a bet on some ponies and see your horse cross the finish line first. It's a thrill to see your ball land on your number. But gambling is ultimately an emotion-driven experience, and the excitement of winning can be addicting. Betting on a few hands of blackjack or the occasional football game won't kill you, but it's important to not let your emotions guide your betting habits. There's a long list of fine people who have ruined their financial lives through gambling.</p> <h2>Do you give a lot of money to children and other family members?</h2> <p>There's nothing wrong with being generous to those people who you care about most. But it's important to not let people take advantage of that generosity. Often, the decision to support a family member or friend is done not out of basic selflessness, but a feeling of obligation or guilt. It's important to not let your feeling of obligation to others outweigh your obligation to yourself.</p> <h2>Have you lost a job due to your temper?</h2> <p>Jobs can be frustrating. But if you've ever flown off the handle at work, you may be threatening your income and job security. While it's true that hiring managers look for workers with specific skill sets, they also want to make sure employees are able to get along with their colleagues. Workers who don't interact well with their peers, or respond poorly to criticism, often don't last long.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-emotions-costing-you-money-take-this-quiz">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-biggest-lies-we-tell-ourselves-about-money">The 10 Biggest Lies We Tell Ourselves About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/73-easy-ways-to-save-money-today">73 Easy Ways to Save Money Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-financial-differences-between-millennials-and-the-next-generation">7 Financial Differences Between Millennials and the Next Generation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meditation-can-make-you-a-money-master">6 Ways Meditation Can Make You a Money Master</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance debt emotional spending fear of markets gambling giving money impulse shopping indulging investing overspending saving spending Wed, 21 Jun 2017 08:00:16 +0000 Tim Lemke 1966173 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Valuable Rights You Might Lose When You Refinance Student Loans http://www.wisebread.com/8-valuable-rights-you-might-lose-when-you-refinance-student-loans <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-valuable-rights-you-might-lose-when-you-refinance-student-loans" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/house_on_money_stack.jpg" alt="House on money stack" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Fannie Mae, the nation's largest buyer and guarantor of mortgage loans, made news recently when it announced it would sweeten the deal for folks who want to refinance their mortgage to pay off student loan debt. Fannie Mae works with 1,800 lenders nationwide, so their rule change affects many homeowners. At the same time, newer financial companies that target millennials have been pushing student loan refinances as a way to save money and simplify life.</p> <p>Fannie Mae's change will make it more affordable for graduates &mdash; or parents &mdash; to use home equity to pay off student loans by waiving the usual extra charge for taking out cash when you refinance a home. With mortgage interest rates still at historic lows, this could indeed be an opportunity for young adults with high-rate student loans to reduce their monthly payments. But proceed with caution.</p> <p>If you have a private student loan, you probably have nothing to lose by converting it into a mortgage, personal loan, or other consolidation loan. But if you have a federal loan, you should be more cautious about making changes. You may not realize you'd be losing these protections and options when you give up your federal student loan.</p> <h2>1. Deferment</h2> <p>If you lose your job or are unable to find a job after graduation, you may qualify for a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-deferring-student-loans" target="_blank">deferment</a>, which halts your loan payments until you're in a better position to pay. With certain federal loans, the government will even pay the interest during deferment.</p> <h2>2. Forbearance</h2> <p>Similar to deferment, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-student-loan-forbearance-anyway" target="_blank">forbearance</a> stops your payment obligation during a period of hardship. But unlike deferment, interest continues to accumulate.</p> <h2>3. Income-driven repayment plans</h2> <p>The government has rolled out a whole range of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-student-loan-repayment-plan-saves-you-the-most" target="_blank">flexible payment options</a> in recent years to help federal loan borrowers handle payments. These plans cap your monthly payment at a certain percentage of income (10 percent for the program known as Pay As You Earn and 15 percent for the Income-Contingent Repayment Plan). Another benefit of income-driven repayment plans that you would lose if you refinance: an end date. With PAYE, any balance you still owe after 20 years is forgiven; with ICE, loans are forgiven after 25 years. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-definitive-guide-to-pay-as-you-earn-a-great-student-loan-repayment-plan?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Definitive Guide to Pay As You Earn</a>)</p> <h2>4. A second chance if you default</h2> <p>The Federal Loan Rehabilitation Program is a one-time opportunity to get a default removed from your credit report by making a series of on-time payments. This can save you from wrecking your credit and being unable to buy a home later.</p> <h2>5. A central source for tracking loans</h2> <p>If all your student loans are federal, you'll be able to check up on all of them online through the National Student Loan Data System. If you refinance some but not all of your loans, you may end up having to keep track of them using multiple resources.</p> <h2>6. An unsecured loan</h2> <p>If you default on your student loan, you can lose your good credit, but not much else. If you default on your mortgage, you can lose your house. Let that reality sink in before you jump to refinance a home loan to pay off student loan debt.</p> <h2>7. A fixed interest rate</h2> <p>Of course, you could use a fixed-interest mortgage or a fixed-rate personal loan to pay off your federal student loan. But make sure that's what you're getting. If you use a variable rate loan to consolidate your debt, you could get hit with a big payment increase when rates inevitably go up. Federal loans, on the other hand, are guaranteed to be fixed rate.</p> <h2>8. Prepayment penalties</h2> <p>Federal loans don't charge a fee if you pay more than you owe on any given month, but some private lenders do &mdash; check on that before you commit to a refinance.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-valuable-rights-you-might-lose-when-you-refinance-student-loans">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-now-easier-to-get-a-home-loan-even-if-you-have-student-loan-debt-should-you">It&#039;s Now Easier to Get a Home Loan Even If You Have Student Loan Debt — Should You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-make-the-most-of-your-student-loan-grace-period">4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Student Loan Grace Period</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-student-loan-debt-can-affect-your-mortgage-application">3 Ways Student Loan Debt Can Affect Your Mortgage Application</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-deferring-student-loans">4 Things You Need to Know About Deferring Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-student-loan-forbearance-anyway">What Is Student Loan Forbearance, Anyway?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training Real Estate and Housing debt default deferment fannie mae federal loans forbearance interest rates mortgages refinancing repayment plans student loans Thu, 15 Jun 2017 08:30:16 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1963763 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Reasons Average People Should Consider a Prenup http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-average-people-should-consider-a-prenup <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-reasons-average-people-should-consider-a-prenup" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/giving_them_a_happy_send_off.jpg" alt="Giving them a happy send off" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Prenuptial agreements are pretty standard when the rich and famous get married. Considering the amount of wealth these high-profile couples have, it makes perfect sense why prenups are as common as their giant engagement rings.</p> <p>But what about us common folk? Are prenups a good idea for people without millions of dollars to protect?</p> <p>Depending on your finances and relationship, a prenup might be a good idea for you and your sweetheart. Here are six reasons why people without multimillion-dollar net worths might choose to sign a prenup before saying &quot;I do.&quot;</p> <h2>1. If either of you have children from a previous relationship</h2> <p>As of 2013, <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/11/14/four-in-ten-couples-are-saying-i-do-again/" target="_blank">40 percent of new marriages</a> include at least one spouse who has previously been married. Couples who have been down the aisle before are more likely to bring children into their new marriage, which adds a level of financial complication to their union. These parents often want to make sure children from their previous relationships will be financially taken care of in case of either death or divorce.</p> <p>A prenup can help parents protect assets for their children, especially in terms of estate planning. For instance, state laws generally consider marital property to belong solely to a surviving spouse after one partner dies. A prenup could ensure that a portion of that property, or assets that the parent brought into the marriage, would go to the child of a previous marriage or relationship rather than the surviving spouse.</p> <p>While wills can cover this same ground, having just a will that leaves your spouse less than an elective share of your estate (between one-third and one half) does not necessarily preserve assets for your children, since your spouse can make a claim against your estate for the elective share. Having a prenup that spells out what assets go to children of a previous relationship, along with a will that cements the terms of the prenup, will be a much more solid method of protecting your children.</p> <h2>2. If either of you has a great deal of debt</h2> <p>We tend to think of prenups as being a way of protecting our wealth, but they can also protect you from your partner's debts (or vice versa). If you are entering into a marriage with a great deal of individual debt, a prenup can delineate who has responsibility for the debt payments during the marriage, as well as how the debts will be handled in the event of a divorce.</p> <h2>3. If either of you is an entrepreneur</h2> <p>Figuring out the specific valuation of assets, such as closely-held business interests or stock options, can be tricky. These things can cause a messy delay in the event of a divorce. If either spouse is an entrepreneur or small business owner, drafting a prenup that spells out exactly how these kinds of assets will be valued will save you a great deal of heartache, time, and lawyer's fees if you ever need to split them up in a divorce.</p> <h2>4. If either of you plans to get an advanced degree while the other works</h2> <p>It's common for one spouse to financially support the family while the other gets an advanced degree or other higher education. The problem with this division is if the marriage does not survive.</p> <p>The fallout can happen in a few ways. Maybe, for example, the degree-seeking spouse ends up much better off financially because their new education helps advance their career. Meanwhile, the supporting spouse may be stuck toiling away for a lower paycheck. Or, in another example, maybe the supporting spouse makes good money, but the degree-seeking spouse is unable to find a job or is crippled by student loans post-divorce.</p> <p>A couple who knows that one partner will work to support the family while the other goes to school may want to draw up a prenup that will make sure both of them will be financially OK if the marriage does not last.</p> <h2>5. If either of you plans to be a stay-at-home parent</h2> <p>A spouse who stays home with the children may not be bringing in a salary, but he or she is certainly saving the family money. According to a 2016 Salary.com estimate, stay-at-home parents are saving their families <a href="http://www.salary.com/2016-mothers-day-infographics/" target="_blank">over $143,000 per year</a> by doing all of the work that would otherwise have to be contracted out.</p> <p>Unfortunately, there is no real way to quantify those cost savings if a marriage dissolves, which can leave the non-paycheck-earning parent at a distinct disadvantage. A prenup can do a great deal to protect both of the spouses.</p> <h2>6. If you live in a community property state</h2> <p>In the nine community property states, which include Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin, everything purchased during the marriage is split 50/50 in the event of a divorce, no matter who made the purchase.</p> <p>For most couples in these states, there is no problem with the community property laws. However, suppose one spouse purchases property on her own during the marriage? For instance, a real estate developer marrying someone outside of the real estate business might use her own funds to purchase properties as part of her business, even after they are married. If the developer wants to make sure those properties remain under her control should the marriage dissolve, then a prenup would be a good idea to protect that property.</p> <h2>Making sure your prenup is mutually beneficial</h2> <p>There is a stigma to prenups, which is part of the reason why they are often seen as just being for the uber-wealthy. We tend to think of them as proof that spouses are not committed to their relationship.</p> <p>However, a prenup should be mutually beneficial, and it can be a way for you and your beloved to show your commitment to each other. You should both be satisfied that you will each be taken care of in case life doesn't turn out the way you planned.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-average-people-should-consider-a-prenup">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-ruining-your-retirement-by-spoiling-your-kids">Are You Ruining Your Retirement by Spoiling Your Kids?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/millennial-millionaires-how-the-brokest-generation-can-also-become-the-richest">Millennial Millionaires: How the Brokest Generation Can Also Become the Richest</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family business owners children debt education entrepreneurs marriage prenup prenuptial agreement protecting spouses Tue, 13 Jun 2017 08:30:17 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1959137 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Biggest Ways Procrastination Hurts Your Finances http://www.wisebread.com/7-biggest-ways-procrastination-hurts-your-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-biggest-ways-procrastination-hurts-your-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-621987808.jpg" alt="Woman learning biggest ways procrastination hurts her finances" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Remember those days in college when you'd put off studying until the night before a big exam? You'd stay up all night, desperately trying to cram everything in at the last minute. If only you'd taken the time earlier, you'd have walked into your test rested, calm, and most importantly, prepared.</p> <p>Those bad habits can cost you a lot more in real life if you carry them into the way you handle money. Here are seven situations when procrastination really hurts your bottom line.</p> <h2>1. Investing: Your money has less time to grow</h2> <p>It's one of the basic rules of smart investing: Invest as early as you can and for as long as you can. Some of the most successful investors are those who had relatively modest incomes, but started investing young and stayed in the markets for decades. Compounding interest worked in their favor, and they enjoyed a sizable nest egg later in life. Even a delay of five to 10 years can make a significant difference in how much money you have by retirement. Quite simply, the more you procrastinate, the less money you'll have.</p> <h2>2. Saving: You continue to spend more than you earn</h2> <p>You're aware that you're spending more money than you're bringing in, but you tell yourself that you'll start cutting back after the holidays. The holidays come and go, so then you tell yourself you'll start saving after your big spring break trip. After spring break, you promise you'll start after your cousin's wedding in July. There's always some reason to put off saving, but the best time to start tightening your belt is right away. Devising an arbitrary future start date for financial prudence only means you're spending money you shouldn't in the interim.</p> <h2>3. Debt payoff: Your balances balloon</h2> <p>That credit card bill keeps getting bigger, and it comes on top of your student loans and car payments. You're getting crushed by debt, but it's so overwhelming you can't bring yourself to come up with a plan to tackle it. Every moment you wait to address your debt problem is a moment that allows that debt to grow. Devise a repayment strategy now, before your debt ruins you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-high-interest-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Pay Off High Interest Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>4. Taxes: You might make a costly mistake</h2> <p>Tax Day seems so far away, but before you know it, it's the middle of April and you haven't even gotten started. You may think your taxes are simple, but rushing through the process increases your chances of forgetting income, missing out on deductions, or making a silly error.</p> <p>No one says you have to file your taxes immediately at the beginning of the year, but at least give yourself a few weeks to file your return carefully. A rush job could mean you pay too much, or you may end up with penalties due to mistakes.</p> <h2>5. Bills: You miss payment deadlines</h2> <p>There are consequences to paying bills late, usually in the form of fees and interest charges. If you're the type of person who doesn't even open a bill until it's nearly due, you're putting yourself at risk of extra expenses.</p> <p>Late fees and interest aren't merely one-time charges. Miss your payments by enough days and it can hurt your credit score, impacting your ability to borrow. It's best to pay bills right away when you get them &mdash; or put them on autopay &mdash; so they don't threaten your finances further. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-never-make-a-late-credit-card-payment?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Simple Ways to Never Make a Late Credit Card Payment</a>)</p> <h2>6. Job applications: You don't get that better-paying position</h2> <p>You found a job that you think you'll like, and it pays considerably more than your current one. But instead of applying right away, you wait. And wait. And wait. Before you know it, the position is filled. This is a total wasted opportunity.</p> <p>Yes, applying for a job, reworking your resume, writing cover letters, and going through interviews are all tedious and time-consuming. But when you're stuck sitting at your current gig, underpaid and unhappy, you'll really be kicking yourself for not putting in the work to get yourself unstuck.</p> <h2>7. Raises and promotions: You miss out for another year</h2> <p>It's hard to know the precise time to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-you-should-demand-a-raise" target="_blank">ask for a promotion or a raise</a>. Often, we wait until annual review season, but by then, personnel decisions may already have been made. The best thing is to approach the subject sooner rather than later. Your boss may not be in a position to respond right away, but you've planted the seed so they know your wishes.</p> <p>Besides, simply asking for a raise or promotion may force your employer to look more closely at your work, and hopefully recognize what you bring to the table each day. If you wait too long to ask, you may have to wait for an entire budget cycle to get another shot.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-biggest-ways-procrastination-hurts-your-finances">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-biggest-lies-we-tell-ourselves-about-money">The 10 Biggest Lies We Tell Ourselves About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-emotions-costing-you-money-take-this-quiz">Are Your Emotions Costing You Money? Take This Quiz</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/optimize-your-ira-and-401k">Optimize Your IRA and 401(k)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance asking for raise bills debt investing jobs last minute procrastination promotions saving taxes Tue, 23 May 2017 08:00:09 +0000 Tim Lemke 1949205 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Let Outdated Money Advice Endanger Your Money http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-outdated-money-advice-endanger-your-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-let-outdated-money-advice-endanger-your-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-503170570.jpg" alt="Woman ignoring outdated money advice" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We've all received unsolicited financial advice, often from well-meaning relatives and friends. In many cases, this advice is useful. But a lot of &quot;classic&quot; personal finance advice simply hasn't aged well, and is now viewed as flawed. It's just not applicable anymore in today's world.</p> <p>Before you blindly accept any money advice you receive, be sure to do some additional research to find out if the advice is outdated. Here are nine examples of financial tips that may no longer apply.</p> <h2>&quot;Find a good employer and stay forever&quot;</h2> <p>Many of us know an older relative that began working at a company as a teenager and then retired from that same firm four decades later. Often, they walked away with a sizable pension and even health benefits for life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-youre-lucky-enough-to-receive-a-pension-here-are-6-things-you-need-to-do?ref=seealso" target="_blank">If You're Lucky Enough to Receive a Pension, Here Are 6 Things You Need to Do</a>)</p> <p>This doesn't happen much anymore. Job security is not what it once was. A decline in labor unions means that guaranteed annual pay increases are a thing of the past. And a pension? Forget it.</p> <p>There's a lot of evidence now that switching jobs periodically will result in higher pay increases. And with the introduction of 401(k) plans, retirement savings are portable when your employer changes.</p> <h2>&quot;Pay off all of your debt as soon as you can&quot;</h2> <p>This is not so much &quot;bad&quot; advice, it's just less than ideal. Yes, it's a fine goal to remain as close to debt-free as possible, but in the current environment, carrying <em>some </em>kinds of low-interest debt may be more beneficial for you in the long run.</p> <p>Let's say you have a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and were fortunate enough to lock in a low 3.5 percent interest rate. Let's also say stock market returns are averaging 7 percent per year. Over time, you're going to be better off using any extra money you have to invest in stocks rather than pay off your loan early. Generally speaking, if your investment returns outpace current interest rates, there's not much incentive to pay off debt early.</p> <h2>&quot;Technology is a fad&quot;</h2> <p>There was a time when some of the most savvy investors dismissed many tech stocks because they didn't understand them. The bubble collapse of advertising-dependent dot-com companies in the late 1990s didn't help the image of this sector. But there's no denying the fact that investing in technology companies with solid business models has been a clear path to wealth in recent years.</p> <p>All you need to do is look at the incredible returns for companies like Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Facebook, and others. A full 15 percent of companies in the S&amp;P 500 are technology companies, and they comprise most of the companies traded on the NASDAQ.</p> <p>Tech stocks are still notoriously volatile, but if you ignore the sector completely, you're ignoring some big potential returns.</p> <h2>&quot;Max out your 401(k)&quot;</h2> <p>While there's still little question that you should take advantage of your employer's 401(k) plan, people aren't quite as eager anymore to recommend that you contribute the maximum amount allowed. That's because over time, we've learned that the investment options and fees in many plans are rather lousy.</p> <p>Now, the best advice is to contribute to your 401(k) up to the amount that is matched by your employer. After that, begin contributing as much as you can into a Roth IRA, which offers tax-free growth and a wide array of investment choices.</p> <h2>&quot;Education debt is good debt&quot;</h2> <p>Attending college isn't a bad thing, but don't be cavalier about the impact that student loan debt will have on your financial wellbeing. College costs are increasing, along with stories of students and new grads being weighed down by tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-pay-back-student-loans-faster?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Ways to Pay Back Student Loans Faster</a>)</p> <p>Carrying this debt can create a ripple effect that impacts your ability to save, purchase a home, or invest. And student loan debt can't be discharged in bankruptcy. Nowadays, any thought of borrowing for school should not be taken lightly.</p> <h2>&quot;Diversify your portfolio with a mix of stocks and bonds&quot;</h2> <p>Financial advisers have always emphasized diversification, but over time there's evidence that younger investors don't need to devote as much of their portfolio to fixed-income investments. Investing in bonds is useful for people who are nearing retirement age. But if you've got a long way to go before you stop working, you'll be best off with mostly stocks, which will offer much better returns and greater potential to meet your retirement goals.</p> <p>There is more risk and volatility associated with buying stocks, but a long time horizon will give you plenty of time to recoup any losses and then some (especially since people are living longer than ever). If you're not sure what stocks to invest in, pick a simple, low-cost index fund that mirrors the performance of the overall stock market.</p> <h2>&quot;Try to become a millionaire&quot;</h2> <p>There is an enormous amount of mystique surrounding the $1 million mark, and there's no question that saving that amount is something to be proud of. But a million dollars won't carry you as far as it once did. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-being-a-millionaire-is-overrated?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Reasons Being a Millionaire Is Overrated</a>)</p> <p>If you plan to retire at age 60, keep in mind that you need your nest egg to last for 30 years or more. Will $1 million allow you to maintain your lifestyle and pay for things like long-term care? It's certainly possible to retire with $1 million, but you may still have to live conservatively to make the money last.</p> <h2>&quot;Always buy instead of rent&quot;</h2> <p>Homeownership is a powerful thing. It allows you to build equity and get some possible tax breaks while also offering you a place to live. But we've learned in recent years that it's not for everyone.</p> <p>Home prices are sky high in many areas of the country, and having a mortgage payment that's too expensive can make it hard to save for the future or even live comfortably. Remember that just because you qualify for a loan of a certain size doesn't mean that's a sensible loan size for you.</p> <p>The best advice now is to purchase a home if you believe you can make a large down payment and then comfortably make monthly payments while still saving for other future needs. If you're not quite there yet, don't fret. Renting is OK as long as you're still saving, investing, and building your net worth in other ways.</p> <h2>&quot;Buy Coca-Cola stock&quot;</h2> <p>For decades, you'd often hear investors gloat about the consistent, predictably great returns from Coke. Heck, the great <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pieces-of-financial-wisdom-from-warren-buffett" target="_blank">Warren Buffett</a> owns a ton of shares and drinks several Cokes a day.</p> <p>It's still a good company, but anyone who bought Coca-Cola shares in recent years will have seen below-average market returns. Shares have risen just 18 percent in the last five years compared to nearly 70 percent for the S&amp;P 500. Quite simply, the company has had to work very hard to maintain profits in an age when people are increasingly concerned about the health impact of sugary drinks and snacks.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-outdated-money-advice-endanger-your-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/millennial-millionaires-how-the-brokest-generation-can-also-become-the-richest">Millennial Millionaires: How the Brokest Generation Can Also Become the Richest</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-increase-your-net-worth-this-year">10 Ways to Increase Your Net Worth This Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-financial-basics-every-new-grad-should-know">The Financial Basics Every New Grad Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rich-people-spend-350k-to-park-their-cars-heres-how-wed-spend-it-instead">Rich People Spend $350K+ to Park Their Cars — Here&#039;s How We&#039;d Spend it Instead</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance 401(k) bad advice debt education investing pensions retirement saving money stocks student loans Fri, 19 May 2017 09:00:09 +0000 Tim Lemke 1948480 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How Often Your Credit Score Gets Calculated http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-often-your-credit-score-gets-calculated <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-often-your-credit-score-gets-calculated" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-629305628.jpg" alt="Woman learning how often her credit score gets calculated" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Achieving and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-a-good-credit-score-range?ref=internal" target="_blank">maintaining an excellent credit score</a> may help you qualify for the best interest rates when you borrow money, potentially saving you thousands of dollars over the life of your loans. That's why it's especially important to check your credit when you begin to consider borrowing for a large purchase such as a home or car.</p> <p>It helps to first understand how your credit score is calculated, what you can do to change it, and how long those changes take to impact your score.</p> <h2>Factors determining credit scores</h2> <p>Credit scores derive from credit reports, which consist of information about your credit history and activity with various lenders and creditors. Credit reports are maintained by the major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.</p> <p>FICO is the credit score provider most commonly used by lenders The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-things-with-the-biggest-impact-on-your-credit-score?ref=internal" target="_blank">five factors that go into your FICO score</a>, broken down by how much they contribute to your score, are:</p> <ul> <li>Payment history (35 percent): How timely have you been with payments on credit card balances, student loans, mortgages, etc.?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Amount you owe (30 percent): What are your credit balances and credit <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score?ref=internal" target="_blank">utilization ratio</a> (your current balances compared to your credit limits)?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Credit history length (15 percent): How many months or years have you had credit and maintained relationships with creditors?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>New credit (10 percent): How many new credit cards, loans, and credit-related accounts do you have? Too much new credit could make you appear desperate to lenders.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Types of accounts or credit mix (10 percent): how many different types of accounts do you have (mortgage debt, car loans, credit cards, etc.)? The more types you have, the better it is for your score.</li> </ul> <p>Making timely payments, judiciously using available credit, maintaining long-standing account relationships, avoiding new credit, and holding diverse types of credit may influence your credit score positively.</p> <h2>How frequently credit scores get calculated</h2> <p>If you're working to improve your credit score, you may wonder how frequently your score is calculated and adjusted. Theoretically, knowing this frequency could enable you to monitor your credit score's movement, up or down, in response to your actions.</p> <p>According to Experian's Director of Public Education Rod Griffin, credit scores aren't ever truly adjusted. Instead, each and every credit score that's calculated is unique. It's a snapshot reflecting your creditworthiness at a particular moment in time. Your score is based on your credit report when a score is requested and the proprietary formulas created by lenders or credit score providers, such as FICO and VantageScore. In addition, these providers each have different scoring models for different lending purposes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fico-vs-fakes-are-you-getting-the-wrong-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What Do All the Different Credit Scores Mean?</a>)</p> <p>For example, if you're getting ready to borrow money to purchase a new home, your mortgage lender may use a FICO score that's indicative of your credit risk for mortgage borrowing.</p> <p>A few days later, you might decide to apply for a credit card. The card issuer may use a bank card scoring model in calculating this credit score. The number may be different from the mortgage-based score because it's based on a different formula and possibly new information on your credit report.</p> <p>Generally, your credit report is updated whenever new information becomes available, for example, when creditors report payments at the end of their billing cycles.</p> <p>Despite varying formulas and purposes, your credit scores tend to be similar, Griffin says. That's because scores are based on your credit reports, and the information contained in these reports tends to be consistent among reporting agencies.</p> <h2>Credit steps to take before a mortgage or car loan application</h2> <p>Griffin says reviewing your credit reports should be part of your financial routine. He emphasizes the value of keeping reports positive, not simply trying to fix your numbers: &quot;Taking care of your credit reports means taking care of your credit scores.&quot;</p> <p>But if checking your credit reports hasn't been on your to-do list, start paying attention to your information as soon as you think about borrowing for a major purchase and at least three to six months before applying for a loan. This time frame may allow you time to dispute any errors and make moves that could enhance your creditworthiness.</p> <p>Here are steps to consider taking.</p> <h3>1. Review credit reports for accuracy</h3> <p>Access your credit reports from the three major credit reporting agencies through<a href="https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action" target="_blank"> AnnualCreditReport.com</a>. Federal law mandates that you can get one free credit report per year from each agency.</p> <p>Review reports to make sure the information is accurate and up-to-date. For example, check home addresses and employer names. Notice whether outdated information lingers.</p> <p>If something's not right, you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-always-dispute-mistakes-on-your-credit-report?ref=internal" target="_blank">dispute errors on your credit report</a>. Contact the credit reporting agency and information source (such as a former creditor) to describe errors and request corrections. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides useful sample dispute letters for<a href="https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0384-sample-letter-disputing-errors-your-credit-report" target="_blank"> credit reporting agencies</a> and<a href="https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0485-sample-letter-disputing-errors-your-credit-report-information-providers" target="_blank"> information providers</a> that can help you get an idea of what to write.</p> <p>You may be able to use dispute resolution processes offered by credit reporting agencies. For example, <a href="http://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/credit-education/faqs/how-to-dispute-credit-report-information/" target="_blank">Experian's online dispute process</a> allows consumers to file a dispute from its website.</p> <h3>2. Look at your scores</h3> <p>Consider requesting a credit score to determine where you stand when trying to use your number to your advantage. A one-time report and score could be helpful to understand your current status and offer a baseline for monitoring changes in the future.</p> <p>You can get scores using these methods:</p> <ul> <li>Purchase a credit score as an add-on when you access one of your free credit reports.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Buy a one-time report and scores from <a href="http://myfico.7eer.net/c/27771/93942/2185" target="_blank">myFICO</a> or other sources.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Get a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-free-credit-scores?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card that offers a free credit score</a> to its cardholders or try free services like <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-10817209" target="_blank">Credit Karma</a> and <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-12336148" target="_blank">Credit Sesame</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Purchase credit monitoring services that include credit scores. You can get these from myFICO.com, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-monitor-your-credit-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Apps That Monitor Your Credit</a>)</li> </ul> <h3>3. Monitor your scores</h3> <p>As you prepare for a major financial event, such as getting a mortgage or refinancing an existing home loan, consider monitoring your credit reports and scores over time to keep on top of any changes that occur.</p> <p>Credit monitoring is available for a fee from credit reporting agencies and other sources, such as<a href="http://myfico.7eer.net/c/27771/93942/2185" target="_blank"> myFICO</a>. You might also consider tracking your credit scores through free sources. For example, you might just keep note of scores offered by your credit card company every month.</p> <p>This scrutiny can be helpful but alarming. Griffin tells borrowers not to panic if they see changes from month to month, as credit scores move up and down frequently. He says that generally you don't need to be concerned with volatility as long as the scores trend upward over a longer time frame. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-shouldnt-panic-if-your-credit-score-drops" target="_blank">Why You Shouldn't Panic If Your Credit Score Drops</a>)</p> <h3>4. Take actions as appropriate</h3> <p>When you receive your credit score, generally you'll also get a list of factors indicating why your number is less than perfect. These risk factors indicate where to focus your attention. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-increase-your-credit-score-quickly" target="_blank">How to Increase Your Credit Score Quickly</a>)</p> <p>When personal finance educator Kate Horrell's credit score fell from the 800s to 660s just a few months before a mortgage refinance, she realized that the decline reflected two factors: She had taken on new credit using a 0% APR credit card; and she had increased her credit usage to manage about $100,000 in home renovations.</p> <p>Still, Horrell was surprised at the impact on her scores, considering her stellar history. She couldn't do anything about the new account but found ways to pay off the card balance quickly. When she applied for the mortgage refinance a few months later, her score had increased to the mid-to-high 700s, enabling her to snag a 3.125 percent rate.</p> <p>Griffin emphasizes that the risk factors named with your credit score don't always warrant action. In some cases, it's not worth it to address risk factors just to raise your score a few points.</p> <p>For example, my lack of both credit diversity and recent installment loans dings my score, which is still above 800 and considered &quot;exceptional.&quot; However, I don't plan on taking out a new loan just to try to boost my number.</p> <p>While you can't predict the precise impact of specific actions, you can learn what moves reflect positively on your credit report. As your credit report is updated (with new and hopefully, improved, information) your credit scores could trend upward, potentially enabling you to take advantage of your numbers for cost savings.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-often-your-credit-score-gets-calculated">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-monitor-your-credit-for-you">7 Apps That Monitor Your Credit for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-the-new-credit-card-formula-means-for-your-wallet">What the New Credit Card Formula Means for Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/once-bitten-twice-shy-what-is-credit-security-worth-to-you">Once Bitten Twice Shy: What is Credit Security Worth to You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-read-a-credit-report">How to Read a Credit Report</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-bad-credit-isnt-the-end-of-the-world">Your Bad Credit Isn&#039;t the End of the World</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance credit history credit score credit utilization ratios debt Equifax Experian fico TransUnion Tue, 16 May 2017 08:30:14 +0000 Julie Rains 1946266 at http://www.wisebread.com How a Credit Card Cash Advance Costs You More Than a Purchase http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-credit-card-cash-advance-costs-you-more-than-a-purchase <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-a-credit-card-cash-advance-costs-you-more-than-a-purchase" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-625782024.jpg" alt="Learning how a credit card cash advance costs more" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Credit cards are all about convenience. With one swipe, anything we want or need is right at our fingertips; and that includes cash. That convenience comes at a steep price, however &mdash; quite literally.</p> <p>Credit cards call it a &quot;cash advance&quot; when you use them to take cash out at an ATM, or use one of their convenience checks to pay for purchases (for example, when the vendor doesn't take credit cards, but will take a check).</p> <p>Here is what you need to know before even considering a cash advance, and some alternative solutions for when you need funds fast.</p> <h2>What is a credit card cash advance?</h2> <p>Taking a cash advance is done much the same way as making a withdrawal with your debit card. Instead of taking your own money out of your bank account, however, you borrow directly from your credit card. You may also receive checks in the mail from your card issuer that allow you to make credit card purchases via check payments. Again, this is not your money &mdash; the checks will pull funds from your credit card account.</p> <h2>What happens when you take a cash advance</h2> <p>Most credit card issuers impose entirely different terms on cash advance transactions. First, you will be charged a transaction fee, which will either be a flat rate or a percentage of the cash advance you're withdrawing (typically between 2 percent and 5 percent). Additional ATM fees and foreign transaction fees if you're out of the country may apply as well.</p> <p>In addition to fees, you'll likely be hit with a much higher interest rate. In some cases, the APR can be double the percentage for regular purchases. This catches many people off guard, since they're unaware different terms apply for cash advances. The longer it takes you to pay off this amount, the more that hefty interest will pile up.</p> <p>There is no grace period for cash advances, either. Typically, you have a month or so to pay off a credit card purchase in full before accruing any interest charges. This doesn't happen with a cash advance &mdash; you pay interest starting the day you make the transaction.</p> <p>Credit card companies also typically impose a separate limit on the amount of money you can take in a cash advance. This will often be much lower than your actual credit card limit.</p> <h2>How much will this actually cost you?</h2> <p>Let's say you are going out for dinner with friends, and you need to get a quick $40 from an ATM using your credit card. First, you will be hit with the cash advance fee. Next, you will start incurring interest on that withdrawal immediately (possibly around 30%). Furthermore, the operator of the ATM may also impose its own fees, which can be anywhere between $3&ndash;$5 per transaction. You could be looking at anywhere from $10&ndash;$15 in fees for taking out $40 (and that's assuming you pay it off by the next billing cycle). As you can see, that $40 dinner could wind up costing you $15 extra. Now imagine if you were borrowing $1,000 or more!</p> <h2>Alternatives to credit card cash advances</h2> <p>Simply put, you should always use a debit card to access cash instead of a credit card. Most major banks offer debit cards that can be used at in-network ATMs for no additional fees. In addition, many banks and credit unions are part of a larger ATM network that allows transactions for no additional fees.</p> <p>If the issue is that you're simply short on money, or stuck living paycheck-to-paycheck, a cash advance is not the solution. Instead, consider ways you can bring in extra income. Perhaps you can take up a part-time or side gig, sell a few items on eBay, or throw a big garage sale. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-come-up-with-1000-in-the-next-30-days?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Come Up With $1,000 in the Next 30 Days</a>)</p> <h2>When is it Ok to take a cash advance?</h2> <p>A cash advance isn't the best option, but if it's your <em>only</em> option in an emergency, take it. Be sure to understand that there will be fees involved and that you need to repay the money you borrowed as soon as possible.</p> <p>Cash advances should never be used for everyday expenses, &quot;fun&quot; money (shopping or gambling, for example), or even to make ends meet until your next paycheck. It can be all too easy to fall into a cycle of cash advances, which will ultimately lead to credit card debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Fastest Way to Pay Off $10K in Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-credit-card-cash-advance-costs-you-more-than-a-purchase">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-dirty-secrets-of-credit-cards">The Dirty Secrets of Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-a-balance-transfer-offer-a-good-deal">Is a Balance Transfer Offer a Good Deal?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-dont-love-capital-one-how-to-get-a-lower-apr-or-possibly-not">How to Get a Lower APR, or Possibly Not</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-buy-a-car-with-a-credit-card">Should You Buy a Car With a Credit Card?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-boost-your-credit-with-a-balance-transfer">How to Boost Your Credit With a Balance Transfer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards APR borrowing money cash advance debt emergencies fees interest rates limits transactions Fri, 14 Apr 2017 08:30:14 +0000 Jason Steele 1925859 at http://www.wisebread.com