Your Guide to the Different Types of Mortgages

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Home buying is at once an extremely exciting and highly daunting process. One of the most important decisions you’ll need to make right at the start is choosing what type of mortgage to apply for. The first thing you’ll want to do is get familiar with the different types of mortgages so that you can apply for the one that’s right for you.   Common Rate Types   There are two mortgage rate types offered by financial institutions: Fixed-rate and adjustable-rate. Both have their pros and cons, and which type makes the most sense for you is dependent on your unique situation.   Fixed-rate mortgage   A fixed-rate mortgage allows you to choose the term of the mortgage (how long you want the mortgage to last), which is typically 15, 20 or 30 years. As … [Read more...]

5 Totally Painless Ways To Save Money

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  It’s one of those things that sounds easy in theory. Just don’t spend so much on groceries – easy peasy! Next thing you know you’re in a Whole Foods on an empty stomach and nothing sounds better than organic, fair-trade chocolate infused with espresso and shipped directly from Brazil. 15 impulse buys later and you’re walking away with a one-night smorgasbord and 100 less dollars to your name.   Turns out, saving money is hard. It’s like your mother always told you, if it was easy everybody would be doing it. And just to be clear: A lot of you aren’t saving money. According to a study conducted by Bankrate.com1, over a quarter of Americans have no savings at all. Of those that do have savings, 67% don’t have enough to cover 6 months of expenses. If this sounds like you, … [Read more...]

3 Commonly Broken Financial New Year’s Resolutions (And How You Can Keep Them)

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According to Fidelity’ annual New Year’s Financial Resolutions Study, 51% of Americans who made financial New Year’s resolutions in 2014 said they were better off financially today. That means financial New Year’s resolutions might actually work!   Of course, that also leaves the 49% who either stuck to their resolutions and found themselves no better off than they were last year or (more likely) suffered a rare form of acute amnesia affecting the memory centers of the brain responsible for remembering New Year’s resolutions.   A year is a long time. Sticking to your financial resolutions is hard, but it’s even harder if you set impossible-to-reach goals and give up on them altogether. So if you’re determined to improve your financial health next year, resolve to take … [Read more...]

Holiday Gift Guide For Your
Money-Conscious Friend

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They’re known by a variety of names (some more flattering than others): money-savvy, thrifty, cheap. They inspire you to make a budget, they frustrate you by never picking up the check, and they puzzle you when it comes holiday gifting. What do you buy for the person who hates spending? We can help.       1. I Will Teach You To Be Rich Ramit Sethi provides a no-frill approach to financial fitness. The book includes a 6-week plan for getting your finances in shape including sections on banking, saving, budgeting and investing. It’s the perfect gift for someone who’s just starting his/her financial journey and is looking to do a full overhaul.   2. Envelope system wallet To the extreme budgeter in your life, the envelope system is a sacred ritual. … [Read more...]

Black Friday Shopping the Smart Way

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Another Black Friday is upon us. This year some retailers are electing to open their doors to the inaugural waves of holiday season shoppers as early as 6:00 am Thanksgiving morning. Don’t be surprised if in the near future the sheer gravitational force of Black Friday pulls the entire Gregorian calendar a full day ahead.   While every year the holiday shopping season seems to be getting an incremental head start on the holiday season itself, one thing always remains the same: if you want to make it to the new year with your financial health (and sanity) intact, you’ll have to be smart about how you shop.   Here’s your guide to smartly and safely navigating this year’s Black Friday landscape.   Shopping online? Shop safe. Good news! Getting the best … [Read more...]

Word on the web: Prepare to shop!

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  Holiday shopping season is here! Unfortunately, this is also the season of broken budgets, dwindled savings accounts, data breaches and identity theft. We should be enjoying the festivities instead of wallowing in anxiety over the best way to cross off every item on your shopping list. To help you shop smart this season, we’ve rounded up some of the best blogs on the web about data breaches, holiday shopping and more.   5 Ways to Protect Yourself from Credit Card Data Breaches Hackers steal and use all types of identity information including email addresses, passwords, Social Security numbers and more.  But the easiest piece of information for hackers to leverage immediately is credit card numbers. Learn how to protect your accounts with these 5 steps from Wise … [Read more...]

Your holiday shopping credit card guide

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The end of Halloween can only mean one thing: It’s time to start thinking about holiday shopping. Sure, all the merriment and festivities are fun. But let’s be honest, the holidays also have a tendency to strain your budget, rack up credit and cause financial stress.     This year, try to do things differently. Plan ahead and optimize your spending. Having the right credit card for your shopping goals is a good place to start. Here are a few questions to ask yourself.     Do you already have credit card debt? Consolidate and pay cash. If you already have credit card debt that you’re struggling to pay off, then don’t even consider adding to the problem. It’s not worth it. Your goal this holiday season is to spend responsibly and stay in budget. Find … [Read more...]

How Credit Impacts Your Insurance

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There are a lot of misconceptions out there about how credit scores are used and in what scenarios they are used. Employment? Nope. College admission? Nope. Insurance? Actually, yes. Well, sort of.   When determining what rates to offer you, your auto and home insurance provider may pull a “credit-based insurance score” that is based on or considers a person’s credit history and may use that score along with other factors that are of interest to an insurance company when evaluating your request for an insurance policy. These scores are different than the FICO Scores you know and love because they are generated to predict insurance risk instead of credit risk. Because of this, the algorithm behind FICO credit-based insurance scores considers credit information factors … [Read more...]

4 Tips for a budget-friendly work week

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Saving a healthy budget is a lot different than actually sticking to a healthy budget. It’s a lot like dieting in that way. I know I shouldn’t eat that cookie, but it looks SO GOOD.  If you really want to stick to that 300-line spreadsheet you spent hours perfecting (or maybe you simply opted to spend 10 minutes in a budgeting app… still counts!), you’ve got to break unhealthy habits, make changes and start disciplining yourself. The cushy savings account you accumulate will be worth the hard work. I promise.     Although a challenging work week can often distract your from overspending, the stress can backfire and result in splurge decisions and breaking budget.  Don’t cave in. Take these three tips to make sure you stick to your budget—at least from Monday to … [Read more...]

Revolving vs. installment credit: Which type of credit is best for you?

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  With the economy recovering, consumers are slowly starting to gain more confidence. Many people are beginning to think about expenditures they have been holding off on as they felt less confident about the economy.  You know … getting that roof repaired that has been on the “fix it” list for a while, trading in that 10-year-old car or finally taking a “real” vacation instead of the “stay-cations” you’ve had over the past several years.     While some people will leverage their savings to fund these expenditures, others may want access to new credit.  If you are in this position and plan on applying for credit, now is the time to think through options and determine which is the best fit for your profile and needs. Here’s a few things you should do … [Read more...]

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