Today’s top story: How driving could affect your credit. Also in the news: The five C’s of credit, what you shouldn’t do this Christmas, and what we can learn about personal finance from three holiday classics.
How Does Driving Affect Your Credit?
Unpaid tickets could wreck your credit score.
The 4 Judgments Every Lender Makes Based on Your Credit
Introducing the five C’s of credit.
Essential Personal Finance Lessons From Three Holiday Classics
Kevin McAllister, coupon king.
Ten financial don’ts this Christmas
Advice from the experts on what you shouldn’t do this Christmas.
Everything I’ve Learned About Personal Finance in 10 Sentences
Short and sweet advice.
Donna Freedman was kind enough to include a couple of my books in her recent post, “The gift of personal finance,” which made me realize that there was an unusually good crop of money tomes that appeared this year.
I’m delighted to recommend the following for anyone who’s interested in making the most of his or her money:
Today’s top story: Mythbusting your FICO score. Also in the news: Steps retiring entrepreneurs should take, tax moves Boomers should make right away, and how retailers trick you into spending money.
5 Myths About Late Payments & Your FICO Scores
Mythbusting, FICO style.
10 Steps for Retiring Entrepreneurs
Using your company as a cash cow for retirement.
Tax Moves Boomers Should Make Now
Especially those on fixed incomes.
10 Retail Tricks That Make You Spend More
Reminder: Retailers are not your friend.
Ginormous Hack Targets 2 Million Accounts Spread 93,000 Websites Worldwide
Keep an eye on your email and social media accounts.
Today’s top story: Should real estate be a part of your retirement plan? Also in the news: How to avoid resetting the mortgage clock, finding the right financial advisor, and how to manage erratic prescription drug costs.
How Real Estate Fits Into Your Retirement
The risks and rewards of including real estate in your retirement plan.
How to Refinance Without Resetting the Mortgage Clock
Don’t turn the clock back 30 years.
5 Questions to Ask a Potential Financial Advisor
Making sure you find the right person to serve your financial interests.
The Zig-Zag Pricing of Prescription Drugs
What to do with erratic prescription costs.
Are credit cards more expensive now?
How did the CARD Act affect what’s in your wallet?
Dear Liz: We took a home equity loan against our house to open a business in 2006. We also ran up credit card debt for the business. The business went under, and we’re struggling to pay off the loan, which is $150,000 (a $1,150 payment every month), and the credit card debt, which we got down to about $20,000 from $37,000. Is there any way to get relief from the loan since it was a legitimate business (a franchise we bought from another franchisee)? We don’t know what to do and have been taking money out of our savings to pay the debt.
Answer: Your home equity lender doesn’t care whether you spent the money on a “legitimate business” or an around-the-world cruise. The lender expects to get paid, and chances are it will, since you secured the loan with your house. Failing to pay a home equity loan can trigger a foreclosure.
If you have equity in your home, you may be able to do a cash-out refinance of your current mortgage to pay off the loan. You’d wind up with a bigger primary mortgage, but a longer payback period and a lower interest rate should reduce your total debt payments. Another option is to sell your home to pay off the debt so you can start over.
What you shouldn’t do is dip into your savings without a real strategy for resolving this debt. A session with a fee-only financial planner could help you understand your options. The planner also may suggest a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney.
Today’s top story: Compiling your year-end tax list. Also in the news: What high schoolers need to know about personal finance, smart money moves for uncertain times, and what hip hop can teach us about finance.
Your Year-End Tax To-Do List
It’s not too late to add deductions.
What Do High Schoolers Need to Know About Personal Finance?
More than you’d think.
4 Smart Personal-Finance Moves for Treacherous Times
Preparing for possible impending doom.
10 Personal Finance Tips From Hip-Hop Lyrics
No, you’re not hallucinating.
5 Steps to Consider if You Can’t Afford to Retire
Whatever you do, don’t panic.
Today’s top story: Mistakes to avoid while holiday shopping. Also in the news: Maximizing your retirement goals, conversations to avoid during the holidays, and five store credit cards that are worth applying for.
5 Holiday Money Mistakes
Don’t let your purchases be driven by guilt.
Three must-dos to maximize retirement goals
Getting the most from your retirement planning.
5 Money Conversations You Should Never Have During the Holidays
AKA How to avoid a food fight.
5 Store Credit Cards That Are Worth It
Finding the cards with the most benefits.
Roth or Regular: Which IRA Should You Choose
Solving the IRA puzzle.
Today’s top story: Avoiding panic on Black Friday. Also in the news: Shopping strategies for Black Friday, how to earn the most credit card rewards during holiday shopping, and what to consider before applying for a medical credit card.
How to Avoid Panic Buying on Black Friday
Keep Calm and Shop On.
How to Win Black Friday: Shopping Strategies
Getting your gameplan on.
5 Black Friday tricks to avoid
How not to fall for retail tricks.
Earn The Most Credit Card Rewards During Your Holiday Shopping 2013
Stocking up rewards as stuff the stockings.
What to Consider Before Applying for a Medical Credit Card
Pay close attention to interest rates and hidden fees.