Funding Your Child’s K-12 Education

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We hear a great deal about student loans—there are ample ways for eligible borrowers to secure loans for college tuition. What we hear very little about is how to pay for private school, boarding school, and other educational institutions for students who are still in grades K-12. That is an important financial concern for many parents, especially now with school right around the corner. Many parents want to ensure the best possible K-12 education either because the district school is facing budget cuts or other hardship or in order to prepare a child for college and improve their chances of acceptance into elite universities.   Your Tuition Solution is one viable option. For the past 10 years, Your Tuition Solution has been a provider of education loans with flexible payment … [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...]

Moving and Money: One Year Later

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  When I first started at myFICO over a year ago, it required the largest change in my life— moving 3000 miles by myself to a state where I didn’t know anyone. I had to figure out how to get my first apartment by myself, change banks and a lot of other new financial issues. I recorded most of these in the first part of the series, Moving and Money – Getting Cash, and I hope some of you learned from my trials and were prepared for your own experiences.     Well here I am a year later. I am still in the same apartment, but I’m officially considering moving again. I have a fully furnished apartment, so I would definitely need to sell/donate a lot of items and compare mover expenses. I have a lot to consider, but now I know a bit more. For those of you like me, … [Read more...]

Helping Your Teen Build Credit

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As a parent, there are many different lessons you teach your child as they progress through childhood until they make it to the age of 18. When your child becomes a teen, it’s time to start teaching them about the real world, such as how to make money, properly manage it and build credit.   Your teen should understand that borrowing money is a way of life with a few exceptions. They should also understand that borrowing money and building credit go hand-in-hand almost full-circle; one must have good credit in order to borrow, but they must first borrow in order to build credit. It’s sort of like the concept, “which came first: the chicken or the egg,” huh?   Introducing Your Teen to Plastic   While your child is in high school, it’s a great idea to set them … [Read more...]

Identity theft protection vs. credit monitoring: Which one is best?

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You have one noble goal: don’t become a victim of fraud. But what’s the best way to protect yourself? The most popular forms of protection fall into two categories: credit monitoring and identity theft protection. There’s a lot of debate about which type of service can protect you best. Here’s what you need to know about both.   Credit Monitoring One of your biggest concerns is probably how fraud and identity theft could impact your credit and thus ability to get a good loan. Credit monitoring is a great protection option, as you’ll be able to stay on top of suspicious changes to your credit reports—changes that could signify fraud.   PROS:   Most credit monitoring services scan your credit reports for changes at least weekly (FICO monitoring products … [Read more...]

5 Personal Finance Tips for Millennials

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So people keep calling you a millennial (some say it with a nicer tone than others). Amongst a variety of other defining characteristics, you have the unique (albeit unwelcomed) experience of graduating into a recession. Cons? Lower starting salaries and a lack of options. Pros? You’ve seen what irresponsible money management can do and you don’t want to make the same mistakes.     You’re also a victim of the tuition bubble, burdened with hefty student loan payments and a 30-year payoff plan that might as well be a mortgage. Now before you get out the violin, keep in mind that your generation is also relentlessly optimistic, savvy and smart, making you a force to be reckoned with in the workplace (conceal your ego though, please). If nothing else, we can assume your … [Read more...]

PII at Risk Part 2: Why Your Phone Number is Valuable to Hackers

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Last time we met, I explained why your email account is valuable to hackers—what value it has and how it could be used to gain access to more of your coveted personally identifiable information (PII) than you might think.   But it’s not just your email that hackers want; they want your phone number, too. Cell phone numbers are particularly valuable, as they have become the modern-day equivalent of your wallet. Your mobile device contains valuable information like your contacts list (a great way to get a list of your friends—future identity theft targets), affinity account and reward numbers  (frequent flyer miles have value that thieves can cash in on), web history, and other equally valuable information. Using your phone number, two tactics are then commonly deployed. Let’s see … [Read more...]

Word on the Web: June 2014

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  Ah, June. Home of the summer solstice, last days of school and the beginning of summer fun. It was also a great month for summer savings tips and budget planning. We scoured our favorite personal finance blogs looking for the best blog posts of June. Here’s what we found.       10 Simple all natural bug and mosquito repellents Maybe the worst part of summer is those relentless, blood-sucking bugs. But bug repellents can get expensive, especially if you’re constantly restocking. Plus, putting all those chemicals on your skin is more than a little disconcerting. Luckily, Wisebread has you covered. Check out these 10 natural bug and mosquito repellents for a budget-friendly and pest-free summer. Payment showdown: Race to a $0 balance Managing your … [Read more...]

5 Things to Do Before You Go House Hunting

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Looking for your first home to buy is an exciting time in anybody’s life.  It’s also a very daunting process, after all this is likely to be the biggest purchasing decision you’ll make in your entire life (no pressure). Avoid the most common mistakes made by first-home buyers with these five steps.     1. Get a copy of your credit report from all three credit bureaus and check for errors You can get a free copy of your report from TransUnion, Equifax and Experian once per year for free from the government endorsed site annualcreditreport.com. Before you start looking for houses it's vital you check all three of these reports for any errors. An error on your credit report could affect your chances for being approved for a loan or the rate of interest a … [Read more...]

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