Weekly Tips

Weekly Tips

How Does Identity Theft Protection Work?

As identity theft numbers reach record levels, more people are turning to identity protection services to help safeguard their financial reputation.

on Tue, 2009-05-19 17:00

Build Credit with Secured Credit Cards

For consumers with damaged credit or no credit history at all, secured credit cards are one of the most popular ways to obtain credit and start improving your credit score today. Your chances of getting approved for a secured credit card are high, and most of the major card issuers also report your payment history to all three of the credit bureaus and can thus build your credit score. So, how does a secured card really work? Unlike regular credit cards, a secured credit card requires a security deposit with the card issuer.

on Mon, 2009-05-18 17:00

Is a Prepaid Debit Card Right For You?

Prepaid debit cards have become increasingly popular as credit markets tighten and consumers search for alternative ways to manage their budgets. While prepaid debit cards provide all the flexibility of paying with plastic, there are some major differences you must take into consideration.

Unlike traditional credit cards, prepaid debit cards require a cash deposit into an account, much like a deposit you would make to a regular checking or savings account. And when the money is spent, there's nothing more to spend until you make another cash deposit.

on Sun, 2009-05-10 17:00

ABCs of Credit: What is Credit?

Nothing down, 24 monthly payments! Low, low 2.9% APR! We may not hear those words as much as we did in the past; however, we still live in world where we are constantly urged to buy things using credit.

But what is credit, and how does it really work? Simply stated, credit allows you to buy something now and pay for it later. Rather than paying at the time of purchase, you simply borrow the money from a creditor and pay for it over time.

on Sun, 2009-05-03 17:00

Can Social Security Benefits Be Garnished?

Unless you owe Uncle Sam taxes or are behind on alimony or child support payments, your social security benefits cannot be garnished. So, if you've recently lost your job and are worried about your social security payments falling victim to the debt collectors as well, you can rest assured that won't happen.

on Sun, 2009-05-03 17:00

I Paid My Tax Lien - Why is it Still on My Credit Report?

The IRS has 30 days, according to its own rules, to release a tax lien once you pay or settle the debt. However, in reality this is something that is often overlooked. Unaware consumers may go for years before they notice the pesky tax lien still living on their credit reports as unpaid.

on Sun, 2009-04-26 17:00

Collection Accounts Linger for 7 Years

It's a common misconception among consumers that paying off a collection account will make it disappear from their credit report. However, the truth is a collection remains on your credit report for seven years from the date the account went into serious delinquent status. This date is often pegged as the first 180-day late payment on record.

on Sun, 2009-04-19 17:00

Should I Pay My Taxes With Plastic?

Tax week is here again! And in a last-ditch effort to boost future e-payment numbers, the IRS recently announced that some taxpayers will now be allowed to deduct the convenience fees card companies charge to process electronic tax payments. The IRS has made it easier than ever to pay your tax bill with plastic, and now you might even be able to deduct the fee, so why not go ahead and settle your debt with Uncle Sam by whipping out your favorite credit card? While the ease of paying online is tempting, paying your taxes with plastic is generally a poor decision.

on Sun, 2009-04-12 17:00

Top 5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Credit

Spring is meant to be a time of renewal and rejuvenation. For many people, this might include cleaning out the old attic or scrubbing the entire house from floor to ceiling. There's just something about a warm Spring day that should make us want to declutter life and move forward with a fresh start. But what about the financial clutter that has made it's way into our lives? Shouldn't it receive some attention too?

on Wed, 2009-04-08 17:00

Avoid Credit Card Late Fees: Pay More Often!

The average credit card late fee hovers around $40, which is triple what it was just a decade ago. And it's not just the 40 bucks that will hurt you each time you miss a payment deadline. Punitive increases in interest rates and negative marks on your credit reports can cost you thousands more in various fees and charges down the road.

on Sun, 2009-04-05 17:00