Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

o-CREDIT-REPORT-facebookToday’s top story: The secrets of boosting your credit score. Also in the news: A 3-step retirement plan for 20-somethings, where the U.S. ranks on basic money smarts, and money steps to take before your 70th birthday.

A 3-step retirement savings plan for 20-somethings
How to get started on the path to retirement.

The Secrets Of Boosting Your Credit Score
A nudge in the right direction.

How the U.S. Stacks Up on Basic Money Smarts
Room for improvement.

10 Money Steps to Take Before Your 70th Birthday
Managing your accumulated assets.

Can I Be Fired for Bad Credit?
The answer may surprise you.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

homebuyerToday’s top story: Housing costs that could increase. Also in the news: How to get out of debt, what you should know about credit card loyalty programs, and surprising ways bad credit can make your life difficult.

4 Housing Costs That Could Go Up
Time to plan ahead.

The Ultimate Guide To Getting Out Of Debt
How to dig yourself out.

Credit Card Loyalty Programs: 3 Things You Ought to Know
Just how loyal are they?

Surprising ways bad credit can hurt you
You could pay more for utilities.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: How student loan servicers are trying to trick you. Also in the news: When to use your debit card instead of credit, saving for your kids’ college education, and tips on getting and staying out of debt.

6 Ways Student Loan Servicers Are Trying to Trick You
Pay close attention to every correspondence.

7 Times to Use a Debit Card Instead of a Credit Card
Don’t pay the interest unless absolutely necessary.

How Much Do You Plan on Saving for Your Kids’ College Education?
Planning for one of life’s biggest expenses.

10 Ways to Get Out — and Stay Out — of Debt
Good advice.

Does Bad Credit Last Forever?
Waiting it out.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: Another day, another massive online security breach. Also in the news: How to decide between brand name and generic, tips for a successful retirement plan, and protecting yourself from bad credit vultures.

7 steps to stronger, more secure passwords
Yet another massive security breach puts millions at risk of identity theft.

Name Brand or Generic? 10 Items Where It Pays to Pick Right
Saving money may not always be worth the cost.

9 Steps to a Successful Retirement Plan
Time tested methods put you on the road to retirement success.

How to protect yourself from credit-card bullies
Don’t become a victim of bad credit predators.

4 Rules to Live By When Making an Offer on a House
How to successfully negotiate your home purchase.

Q&A: Inheritance vs Reality

Dear Liz: I have really bad credit. I always have because I have never really had any money. So now I am inheriting a lot of property and some cash. Most of the property is rental properties that bring in income. There are no mortgages on them. I may want to sell one or two of them and buy a four- or five-unit apartment building so I can live in one and rent the others out. How do I do that? Unfortunately, it isn’t happening as quickly as it should since one of my siblings thinks it is all hers. So I have to go through litigation first.

Answer: Let’s start with some reality checks.

The kind of litigation you’re talking about can get expensive fast and eat into the estate’s assets. If your sister happens to be the executor, she may be able to have the estate pay for her defense. You’ll need to come up with the money to hire your own attorney to advise you, but often in these cases a settlement makes a lot more sense than a family war.

The next reality check has to do with your bad credit. Yes, it’s harder to pay your bills on a low income, but people do it. In fact, income is not even a factor in credit scoring formulas, since how much money you make doesn’t predict whether you’ll pay your debts. If you have bad credit, it’s because you borrowed money that you didn’t pay back on time, not because you “never really had any money.”

What will change if you get your hands on a substantial amount of money is that your creditors will renew their efforts to get paid. You’ll probably need some more legal advice to deal with those efforts and to avoid getting sued.

What probably won’t change, without some effort, is your poor money management skills. If you don’t improve, you’ll probably blow right through your inheritance. So you should add to your list of advisors a fee-only planner who can help you with budgeting, rebuilding your credit, investing and retirement planning. Seeking good advice and following it are the key to making money last. You can get referrals to fee-only planners from the Garrett Planning Network, Another option is the National Assn. of Personal Financial Advisors at

Friday’s need-to-know money news

bank_fee1Today’s top story: How to escape the big banks and their fees. Also in the news: What not to buy at the big warehouse clubs, getting a credit card with poor credit, and why you should pay yourself first before paying any other bills.

Plot Your Escape From the Big Fees of Big Banks
Why give them more of your money?

What not to buy at warehouse clubs
Put back the three gallon drum of mustard.

Can I Get a Credit Card with Poor Credit?

Are You Paying Yourself First? The Money Habit That Can Boost Wealth
Don’t wait until you’ve paid everything else before taking care of you.

Surprising ways to pay for your dream trip abroad
Turning your dream trip into a reality.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: Consolidating you debt when you have bad credit. Also in the news: Maximizing child tax credits, what to do in your 20’s to protect your financial future, and the importance of verifying personal finance advice.

Can You Consolidate Your Debt With Bad Credit?
You might need a backup plan.

Are You Missing Out On These 11 Kid-Centric Tax Breaks?
Wringing every penny out of your kid at tax time.

5 Things You Must Do in Your 20s to Protect Your Financial Future
Goals, goals, goals.

Trust But Verify Personal Finance Advice (Huffington Post)
Only you can protect your money.

Study Finds Many of Us Still Lack Basic Personal Finance Skills
And that’s a big problem.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Five pieces of personal finance advice from those in the know. Also in the news: Renting with bad credit, how to raise cash in an emergency, and when to admit your finances are out of control. Offering Advice

5 Pieces of Personal Finance Advice From Successful People
Listening to the experts.

How to Rent With Bad Credit
A low credit score doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t rent.

Ways to Raise Cash You Haven’t Thought Of
Tips on how to handle financial emergencies.

7 Warning Signs Your Finances Are Out of Order
When to admit you have a problem.

5 things you’ll pay less for in 2014
Cheaper gas could be on the way.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Fighting back against bad credit. Also in the news: financial horror stories, retiring on one million dollars, and mastering your finances through TED talks.

Haunted By Bad Credit? 5 Ways to Fight Back
Busting the ghosts of bad credit.

Top 5 TED Talks to Master Your Finances
Listening to the experts.

6 Financial Horror Stories That Could Happen to You
Read with the lights on.

Can you retire worry-free on $1 million?

10 people you’re not tipping enough
Tips on tipping.