debt

When to Use Savings to Pay Off Debt

One of the most common questions over on the Wise Bread forum is some variation on, "I have $X in savings but $Y in credit card debt. Should I use the savings to pay down the debt?

5 Strategies To Wipe Out Your Credit Card Balance

I try hard not to carry a credit card balance, but I know a few people who ignore the fact that their balance is building up to unmanageable levels. I personally feel that it's har

Another path to recovery: higher incomes

Preventing a collapse of the financial system is part of preventing a depression. However, the shorthand term for this--getting the banks able and willing to lend--is misleading.

Can't Get A Bank Loan? 8 Other Ways To Finance Your Business

Starting a business can easily become a money pit. So for those of you thinking about launching a new venture, what financing options do you have? Well, there's the possibility

Best of Personal Finance: Credit Where Credit Is Due Edition

Credit cards are fun for the whole family, until the bills start rolling in and you are expected to hand over your hard-earned money for the stuff you bought on plastic. In this we

A champion of savings over spending

We're subjected to constant barrage of unhelpful advice to the effect that what the economy needs is more spending. (The stimulus program is one piece of this.) It's kind of unde

The Economic Stimulus Bill: Will The Heavy Debt Be Worth It?

The economic stimulus bill has been hotly debated, not just in Congress but also on Main Street. Now that we know what will be getting funding from this package, many are wondering

What can you do with $13 extra a week?

On Friday both the House and the Senate passed a new $789 billion stimulus package as a continuation of the efforts by the United States Government to jumpstart the economy. A sig

Watch out for new credit card "policies" - CHASE card holders already hit with fees

The other day as I was going through my monthly process of paying bills, I noticed one of my credit cards suddenly had an increase in the minimum payment by double. Additionally,

Recession Journal Part I: 'Fast' Money in the '09

Forget about the fact that it's a recession. What you do now determines where you will be when the graph trends up again. What if you stopped dropping duckets like you dropped weig

Do we really need help with getting more debt?

Today a new rescue program called the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) was announced by the Treasury and Federal Reserve to support owners of securities backed by

Funding your 401(k) when you're in debt

If there are two pieces of financial advice that get hammered more often than any others, they're "Get out of debt" and "Put enough in your 401(k) to get any corporate match." Wi

What's the big deal about banks refusing to lend?

Anybody--but especially frugal people--can be excused for thinking that the whole credit crisis thing is being overblown. After all, we get along without debt. In fact, we str

Peak Debt

Is there a limit to how much Americans can spend? Clearly there is: All they earn, minus savings and service on their existing debt, plus new borrowing. Since the Bureau of Econ

How does the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailout affect you?

Yesterday Henry Paulson decided to use the power given to him by the housing bailout bill to officially take over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This is a decision that has a huge im

We Are Our Own Worst Enemy

Today my friend sent me an article titled "We Have Met the Enemy" by Knight Kiplinger, the Editor in Chief of Kiplinger publications. It is a blunt article pointing out that Americ

Knowing Your Triggers Can Prevent Emotional Spending

They don't call it "retail therapy" for nothing. Uncontrolled, emotional spending has a lot in common with other addicitons and eating disorders. One of these shared traits is the

Your Interest Rates Are About to Go Up

Have good credit? A low APR on your credit cards? Always pay your bills on time? That's not going to stop your credit card company from jacking up your rate whenever they feel like

Friends Don't Let Friends...

In the past few decades the Ad Council has been running an ad with the tag line "Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk". This ad campaign has been instrumental in decreasing drunk

Self-sufficiency, self-reliance, and freedom

Self-sufficiency is producing the actual stuff you use--your own food, your own clothes, etc. It's not a common lifestyle. Most people chose instead to follow the path of self-re