Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How credit use affects credit scores. Also in the news: Starting a business if you have student debt, how one couple crushed their debt, and how budgeting doesn’t have to suck if you make it a habit.

Virtual People, Real Lessons: How Card Use Affects Credit Score
Meet Cora Condo and Rebuilding Robert.

Ask Brianna: Can I Start a Business if I Have Student Debt?
Can you be your own boss?

This Couple Crushed Their Debt
How you can do it, too.

Budgeting Doesn’t Have to Suck If You Think of It As a Habit Rather Than a Task
Getting into a groove.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: NerdWallet’s best credit card tips for April 2017. Also in the news: How one man dug out from $30K in debt, seniors are facing rising credit card debt, and should colleges require a financial literacy class?

NerdWallet’s Best Credit Card Tips for April 2017
The best cards for spring.

How One Man Dug Out From $30,000 in Debt
You can do it, too.

For Seniors, Rising Credit Card Debt Squeezes Tight
Medical debt is pushing seniors to the limit.

Should colleges require a financial literacy class?
Two experts weigh in.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

teen-creditToday’s top story: What it takes to succeed on a debt management plan. Also in the news: How to stash cash and still eat well in college, using price matching to save, and how to prepare your finances for a layoff.

What It Takes to Succeed on a Debt Management Plan
Staying on track.

5 Ways to Stash Cash and Still Eat Well in College
You don’t have to live on ramen.

Use Price Matching to Avoid Leaving Money on the Table
Getting the lowest price available.

Prepare Your Finances for a Layoff
Preparing for life without a paycheck.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

2Today’s top story: How to decide if credit counseling is right for you. Also in the news: Robots and your bank account, why insurers and banks want to know your job title, and three ways to help your kid pick the right college.

When Credit Counseling Is (and Isn’t) a Good Idea
How to decide the right approach.

This Robot Wants to Have a Word About Your Bank Account
Meet the bank tellers of the future.

Why insurers and banks want to know your job title
Your job title could determine your interest rate.

Three ways to help your kid pick the right college
Talk about finances right away.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Amazon launches a car comparison site. Also in the news: HARP loans get extended through September of 2017, 4 finance apps every college student needs, and what to do if you can’t afford your kids’ school supplies.

Amazon Launches Car Comparison Site
The online giant gets in the car game.

HARP Loan Extended Through September 2017
Struggling homeowners have more time to refinance.

4 Finance Apps Every College Student Needs
Sticking to a budget while on campus.

What if You Can’t Afford Your Kids’ School Supplies?
Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

155403-425x282-Mortgage-LateToday’s top story: Bouncing back after foreclosure. Also in the news: How to piece together the perfect bank, handling the financial consequences of millennials living at home, and a parents guide to insurance for college students.

How to Bounce Back After Foreclosure
Getting through a trying time.

How to Piece Together the Perfect Bank
Ticking all the boxes.

How to Handle the Financial Consequences of Millennials Living at Home
Don’t sacrifice your retirement.

A parents guide to insurance for college students
Evaluating your insurance needs as your child goes to college.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

money-vacation-saveToday’s top story: Overcoming the obstacles between you and retirement. Also in the news: What the President wants to tell college students, what happens when your debt goes to collections, and how to pay less for staying cool this summer.

5 Obstacles Between You and Retirement (and How to Overcome Them)
Clearing the pathway to a solid retirement.

5 Things the President Wants to Tell College Students
Messages for students and student loan borrowers.

What Happens When Your Debt Goes to a Collector?
Not every debt collection process is the same.

Stay cool, but pay less for electricity this summer
Your wallet’s hot enough.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

types-of-scholarshipsToday’s top story: Most families don’t plan ahead for college costs. Also in the news: The Brexit effect on mortgages begins to fade, the pros and cons of partial payments, and common money mindsets that are holding you back.

Most Families Don’t Plan Ahead for College Costs, Study Finds
High school graduation is just around the corner.

Brexit Effect Fades; Loan Applications Fall
The Brexit effect on mortgages begins to fade.

Does Making Partial Payments Help?
Is paying someting better than paying nothing?

Common Money Mindsets That Hold You Back
Breaking out of old misconceptions.

Is Debt-Free College Really Possible?

A reader in her 70s once asked me why kids today don’t do what she did: Work for a year after high school and save up enough to pay for a bachelor’s degree.

If you just busted out laughing, then you’re familiar with how high today’s college costs are compared with five or six decades ago. Even with substantial financial aid and one heck of a work ethic, it’s hard to imagine a high school graduate earning enough in a year to pay for four (or usually five or even six) years of college. The average annual sticker price for a public university is close to $20,000, while private schools average over $40,000.

In my latest for NerdWallet, a debt-free college reality check.

College scholarships aren’t free money

types-of-scholarshipsIt is National Scholarship Month, which means high school seniors are being exhorted to scoop up free money for college.

What they are often not told is that scholarships won from corporations, non-profits and other “outside” sources can reduce — dollar for dollar — the grants and cost-reducing financial aid they might get from colleges.

In my latest for Reuters, why college scholarships can put students who need financial aid at a disadvantage.

In my latest for Bankrate, how women can reduce the odds of ending up old and broke.