Here you'll find my latest podcasts and new articles. And, as always, I am happy to answer your credit questions!
Free for a limited time! You can get a free copy of this award winning book (U.S. only) through a special promotion with Nav, the only source for free
Financing options for start ups are often limited. If you don't have friends or family with funds, or money parked in savings, you may feel stuck. That's where credit cards often come in, and they can be a better option than you may realize. Here's why:
Retiring overseas can offer immense advantages, including lower living expenses, great healthcare and the opportunity to see the world. Don't have a
Small business owners, on average, spend 26 hours researching and applying for financing. And 22% have given up because they're discouraged.
There is a better way to find and apply for financing. It's called MatchFactor, and it's available exclusively from Nav.
Balance transfers can be a great way to save money and get out of debt faster. I've used them successfully myself, but I've also run into traps with these offers. I don't want you to wind up regretting a balance transfer! Here are some great tips--and credit cards--that offer the best deals.
Many young people are avoiding credit cards out of fear they will run up debt. The fact that they are cautious about debt is good. What's not so good is that they are missing the opportunity to build credit, which can help them down the road if they want to get a mortgage or finance a car.
In this article by Bloomberg's Suzanne Woolley, I share strategies for helping young people build credit.
Has your credit been damaged by a tax lien? Fortunately the damage doesn’t last forever. There are ways to remove tax liens from your credit reports. Even better, it may be possible to get them removed even before you’ve paid your tax bill in full. My latest story for AllBusiness.com explains how.
New Year’s resolutions can be difficult to keep, as anyone who has tried to spend January losing weight, saving money or doing some other type of self improvement knows. Too often, the resolution is thrown to the side by February, and that includes financial resolutions.
With a late start being better than no start at all, I’m starting February with three financial resolutions that I hope to keep on track. These go beyond my resolution to lose weight, which I started in October 2015 after getting the idea that an early resolution might help motivate me. So far, not much, but I’m working on it.
After losing weight and getting organized, spending less and saving more was the third most popular resolution in 2015, according to the Statistic Brain Research Institute. Forty-six percent got past six months, which gives me some hope.
In the budget the Obama administration has just sent to Congress there are some benefits for students who will face massive tax bills when their student loans might be forgiven under income based programs.
As it stands now, students are enrolling in income driven repayment programs to reduce their current monthly payments to a level based on their income. After 20-25 years, depending on the program, the remaining balance would be forgiven. As it stands now, that forgiven amount would be taxable up to the level the student becomes insolvent.
To make the problem even worse for the income driven plans, the balances are going up while they qualify for lower payments. So the balances due once they reach the forgiveness point in a couple of decades will be massive.
1. Check your motivation against the five principles of happier spending — if your “spend” doesn’t match up, think about saving your money instead.
2. Use money to create connections with others — whether through spending on a shared meal or giving someone a gift — can lead to greater happiness than money alone.
As you plan the year ahead, think about how you will be spending your money in 2016. Ok, got a few things in mind? Now let’s think about whether those big spends will make you happy.
At Earnest, we wanted to take a step back and look at what psychology research says about spending money and how it relates to happiness.
My Dumb Embarrassing Expense: Paper ClutterIt's not my biggest expense by far, but I consider it one of my more embarrassing ones. Every month, I pay to
Anyone can make a mistake. They're part of everyday life. Financial mistakes, however, can lead to problems for years to come if not corrected soon.
After talking to financial experts and others who have either experienced or seen other people make the worst financial mistakes of their lives, we compiled the following list of 25 of them. Many are common after graduating from college and starting a financial life on your own, but they can still happen to anyone at any age.
Previously, in our series about how children develop the skills and habits that support financial well-being in adulthood, we shared a few stories from parents. We illustrated how childhood is the time to acquire skills like self-control and planning ahead, and the preteen years are about getting familiar with the financial world around us. In this last part in the series, we’re going to explore how teenagers practice the financial skills that drive their choices in adulthood.
Teenagers can learn about personal finance through classroom courses and through real-world experiences. According to research we commissioned, well-designed classes or programs support the financial decisions teens face in their lives: how to identify facts they need, decide what information sources are reliable, and compare alternatives. Additionally, lessons can have staying power when the teenagers already use the products they’re learning about—like bank accounts.
This article by Laura Schlachtmeyer was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.
Steve and Jennie Silha ended up in debt the way a lot of young couples do: They had children.
Steve, 44, is a realist, and says the problem was pretty simple.
“It really came down to the fact that we decided that my wife would be a stay-at-home mom, but we spent like we had two incomes,” he said.
And after 15 years of raising two children, the Chicago-area couple found themselves with $47,000 of unsecured debt – most of it credit card debt — last year. That’s when they made a commitment to make a change.
“I’ll say that it came down to irresponsibility on the surface. We just made very poor decisions over the past 10 years,” Steve said. “We have decided to ‘grow up’ and take the debt on.”
This article originally appeared on Credit.com.
This article by Bob Sullivan was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.
A couple I’ll call Jake and Marcia purchased a coffee shop. The business was really Marcia’s dream, not his, but she was persistent and he reluctantly agreed to try to help out. Things went badly from the start and within less than 18 months they were forced to shut it down. But that wasn’t the worst of it. Because they had obtained a loan that required a personal guarantee to purchase the business, they were facing the possibility of losing the home where they raised their children. Needless to say, their relationship was also quickly going south, with Jake accusing his wife of putting their entire future at risk.
What is a personal guarantee and what does it mean? And what about your personal credit? Does it affect that, too? As a corporate attorney working with small-business owners all over the world, I’ve heard a lot of questions, misconceptions — and some horror stories, like Jake and Marcia’s — about how personal guarantees work.
This article originally appeared on Credit.com.
This article by Garrett Sutton was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.