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Investing 101

The basic principles of finance include managing debt, planning, budgeting, and saving. Investing is one of the principle of finance that can be used to meet both short and long-term financial goals. However, for the average person, the idea of investing money can seem complex and complicated. Different investments and investment terms such as equity, liquidity, or real rate of return can be somewhat confusing to novice investors. In most cases, understanding the terminology and conducting research is the best way to begin investing. 
 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Dealing with Debt Collectors

It can be a real challenge when trying to settle out of control debts to come up with a settlement or repayment plan that is affordable. However, once you've finally put together a financial recovery plan you can live with, how do you actually go about making payments? Not all payment methods are equally safe and effective. While there is no method that is best under all circumstances, here are some things to consider before you decide what method of dealing with debt collectors works best for you.

FICO vs FAKO: Are You Getting the Right Credit Score?

Anyone who has ever applied for a loan, regardless of the type, has probably been told that the lending institution will have to “run their credit.” The latter is a phrase that refers to obtaining the applicant's credit score in order to determine whether or not the individual is a good credit risk. This is often referred to as the person's FICO–Fair Isaac Company–score. This score is what virtually all lenders use to determine how likely it is that a specific borrower will default on a loan or other financial obligation, as well as whether or not the person will make timely payments on loans or other lines of credit.

What’s the Best Way to Pay Your Bills?

Technology has now made bill paying much quicker than the payment methods of the past that relied on bank slips and paper checks. Online banking has gone mobile, allowing consumers to submit and automate payments with smartphone applications that have all the functionality of a desktop-based banking website. With more bill-paying choices, many individuals wonder about the best way to pay bills while safeguarding their personal information and avoiding late payments. The answer often depends on whether convenience or control are higher priorities. 
 

Is Paying the Minimum on Your Credit Card Statement Keeping You In Debt?

The 2009 Credit Card Act made it necessary for lenders to give their customers more detailed information pertaining to their bills. As a result, credit card statements now include information pertaining to minimum payments, overall balances, due dates and the amount of time that it will take to pay the full balance on an account when making minimum payments. This information has been available to consumers since 2010, although it has long been possible for people to make these calculations themselves. 

Should You Manage Your Own Money?

Whether you have an education in finance and understanding how credit works or if you are simply interested in getting smarter with your finances altogether, determining whether or not you should manage your own money greatly depends on your future goals, your own ambitions as well as your ability to stay focused and organized on your own. Knowing how to manage your finances or when to turn to a professional can ensure you are capable of avoiding debt at all times, regardless of any monetary-related situation you may find yourself in.
 

Saving on Summer Travel

Summer break is getting close, and that means sunny skies and long, beautiful days. For many people, this is the perfect time to travel. But with high gas prices and expensive costs, a lot of consumers end up spending an arm and a leg on their summer travels. This doesn’t have to be you though. For those of you thinking about taking a trip this summer, there are easy ways to save, while still having an epic vacation.
 
So what should you do to save?
 

Credit Unions vs. Banks: Where Should You Put Your Money?

Credit unions have increased in popularity ever since the financial crisis. With the Occupy Wall Street movement and Bank Transfer Day, many people have become more skeptical of large banks and their profit-making measures. As a result, a lot of consumers have turned towards credit unions as a safer way to store their money. But don’t just automatically switch to a credit union because everyone else is doing it. There are pros and cons to both credit unions and banks. Check out the following before deciding what’s best for you. 
 

Should You Use Your Retirement Account to Pay Off Debt?

Using retirement funds to pay off high-interest credit cards, or outstanding financial obligations, is a common, yet less advised method of managing expenses. Liquidation of a retirement fund often does allow you to fully pay off your accounts owed. However, before making the decision to tap into your retirement savings, or transfer your assets to cash, review the terms and conditions for early withdrawal from a 401(k) or long-term investment.

Protecting Yourself From Credit Repair Scams

In an economy where more and more people are struggling than ever to survive personal financial disasters, advertisements for repairing credit can be very tempting. No matter where you look – TV, the Internet, or radio, there’s always an offer that claims they can miraculously pull you out of your credit slump. The truth is, if there were a quick easy fix that cured credit woes, wouldn’t everyone be doing it? Then again, there are a few credible credit counseling agencies out there that can indeed assist you in clearing up your financial issues.

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