Don’t ignore these 6 financial red flags before you get married

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It’s summer!  Hooray for warm weather and cookouts and yes—even weddings!  June is one of the most popular wedding choices around and who can blame those of you who save a June date?   The weather in most areas is sublime and tons of brides are anxious to tie the knot and make those December engagements legal and official.  Love is a good thing but it does come with a price tag that is both emotional and financial.   How many times have you heard a divorcee proclaim that if they knew now what they didn’t know then?  I decided to ask a few people to complete this question with their own answers and I was amazed at the sage advice that was shared so openly from both happily married types and from some divorced folks as well.  Take these suggestions as simple guidance.  … [Read more...]

Tips for couples: Preparing to buy a home

preparing to buy a home

Spring has sprung! And so has the peak of home buying season. As the weather gets warmer and the flowers begin to bloom, many of us suffering from cabin fever from a long winter find ourselves experiencing House Fever too.   Are you and your partner considering buying a home this year? If so, you must have some important conversations about your finances and credit health before meeting with your mortgage loan officer.   Your home purchase is likely one of the most important and largest purchases of your life; and for that reason it can be stressful on your relationship. Having healthy credit and being able to get a great interest rate on your mortgage can save you a lot of money on interest costs and make your house payment much easier on your monthly budget. Working … [Read more...]

Are you financially healthy?

are you financially healthy

Would you describe yourself or your family as being financially healthy? What exactly does that mean?   I asked several friends and colleagues how they would define someone as being “financially healthy.” While the responses varied (most notably by age or life-stage), they did have a common theme. Namely, having a steady stream of income to meet monthly expense obligations as well as having enough left over to set aside for savings or investing.   Here are some of the responses I received:   Making a lot of money Having a sizeable nest egg for retirement Having a stable job and my kids college education paid for Owning my own home Paying all my bills and having some money left over to “splurge” on myself and my family Having all my student loans … [Read more...]

Does Getting Married Affect Your Credit?

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Considering tying the knot? Congratulations! But, as any wedding couple knows, with wedding planning comes financial planning. The rings, the venue, the Pinterest-chic individualized party favors with gold flakes on them—with each addition to your perfect day comes a subtraction from your bank account.   All this spending most likely has you thinking about your financial future with your new spouse. I know how busy you are, so I’ve taken it upon myself to address the three most common questions couples ask me:   1. I don’t love my spouse’s spending habits. Should I try to teach my spouse new habits or just manage the finances myself?    One of the most important facts of life to know before you get married is that you can’t expect your spouse to … [Read more...]

Consumer Protection Rights & Your Children

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A blog post for myFICO Kids – Making financial awareness, protection & health a part of the entire family.   National Consumer Protection Week is an annual campaign that creates awareness about consumer information and protection. There’s actually a lot of regulation put into place to protect consumers that many people don’t even know about.   Thanks to the CARD Act, consumers are protected from unfair rate hikes, retroactive rates and late-fee traps, and important terms and conditions must be publicly available. That’s just to name a few. What you may not realize though, is that consumer protection isn’t extended just to adults; children need protection, too. Your child’s personal information, like yours, is protected by law. Sadly, identity theft threatens the … [Read more...]

Credit Card Holiday Tips to Help Protect Your FICO Score

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The holiday shopping season is now in full swing and retailers are aggressively tugging on our emotions implying that true happiness and the ultimate expression of your love can be only be achieved through the purchase of gifts.   I know firsthand how easy it is easy to get caught up in the hubbub of the holidays and potentially over spend or make credit-related decisions that may have longer term negative impacts.  Here are some helpful tips to consider that can help protect your credit rating as you migrate through this hectic time of the year!   Be selective when applying for a store credit card:  Retailers aggressively “hawk” their credit cards and loans products to holiday shoppers often promoting free gifts and/or incremental discounts on that day’s purchases … [Read more...]

Emergency Funds Could Save Your Credit Score

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FICO® Scores can take a hit from any direction, and many times it can be avoided if you think ahead. Performing simple, 5 minute tasks can aid in making sure you don’t miss a payment, such as setting up calendar reminders every month or automating the payments each month to be withdrawn from your bank. Some consumers even ignore payment requests and reminders, naively thinking they will just disappear or won’t affect their score. Two years ago Omar Al Chaar discovered that if you have unpaid parking tickets, your score will drop. Most people don’t know this.   What about those unavoidable expenses that pop up? One of the top reasons low and middle-income households in America see a drop in their credit score is due to emergencies. Here are some supporting facts: 40% of … [Read more...]

New School Year, New Savings

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The new school year is right around the corner. For some, the biggest concern is getting the right type of backpack, while for others it’s getting the right type of loan. Regardless of the new school affecting your life, you will most likely need to go shopping for supplies. Here are a number of helpful tips to let you get the best bang for your buck.   Coupons   For simplicity’s sake, a lot of the nationwide pharmacy chains offer weekly ads. CVS and Walgreens both offer a weekly ad accessible through the mail, in stores, and even online. With these you can find deals on essentials not just for the first day of school, but for projects and supplies all year round. Remember these are more than just pharmacies with school supplies – they sell groceries, seasonal goods, and … [Read more...]

8 Tips for Summer Time Savings

8 tips for summer

School is out, the temperatures are rising, and you just want to save some money away.  Well now is the best time to do it. We're halfway done with the year, so you have plenty of time to save for the holidays, pay off some cards, and unless you like to splurge on fireworks, there aren't any major spending events until the school year starts. You have a few months but you don’t have to open a lemonade stand to make additional cash this summer. Instead, take these steps to save your hard-earned dollars:   Turn off the AC! Now we’re not saying you have to turn your home into a hot box, but when you aren’t there, no reason to run up your electric bill. Last person to leave for work in the morning should set the AC to the upper 70s – like 79. And after a rain or when the … [Read more...]

Father’s Day Financials

Father's Day

This Sunday is the day we celebrate that male influence in our lives: your father. Every dad is different, and likewise every Father’s Day festivity and gifts are different.  There is a chance the celebration entails you not even see him the whole day. Personally my father likes to receive a card, and then be left alone until treated to his favorite Italian or Japanese restaurant. And this works for me and my sister, but it can still be a costly day - the man loves his shellfish. So how do my sister and I split the check?  By knowing we have the savings to do so.   Start Saving Early Sometimes it feels like you just keep getting hit by expensive months – the Holidays in December, Valentine’s in February, Mother’s Day in May, and now Father’s Day in June (it keeps going for me as … [Read more...]

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