Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Victim of ‘Divorce Season’? Protect Your Finances. Also in the news: Mixing up these student loan terms could cost you, why deductions aren’t the only way to save on real estate taxes, and why you still need to cut up your canceled credit cards.

Victim of ‘Divorce Season’? Protect Your Finances
March and August are bad months for marriage.

Mixing Up These Student Loan Terms Could Cost You
Know your student loan vocabulary.

Deductions Aren’t the Only Way to Save on Real Estate Taxes
Alternative tax incentives.

Do You Still Need to Cut Up Your Canceled Credit Cards?
Get the scissors.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Disputing credit card purchases. Also in the news: Accepting money from parents, 3 investing lessons from the First Lady of Wall Street, and why the IRS wants a piece of your March Madness winnings.

You Can Dispute Credit Card Purchases, But Should You?
Use, don’t abuse.

Ask Brianna: Should I Accept Money From My Parents?
The pitfalls of being an adult.

3 Investing Lessons From the First Lady of Wall Street
Meet Muriel “Mickie” Siebert.

You won your March Madness office pool! Congratulations! now pay your taxes
One shining moment for both you and the IRS.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 4 ways to ride the rising interest rates wave. Also in the news: Why you should set your own credit card limits, reasons why credit isn’t as boring as it sounds, and more than 1 million student loan borrowers are in default.

Fed Rate Hike: 4 Ways to Ride Rising Interest Rate Wave
Only the third increase since the 2008 financial crisis.

Set Your Own Credit Card Limits and Improve Your Life
Knowing your limits.

3 Reasons Credit Isn’t as Boring as It Sounds
It’s about more than just cards.

More than 1 million borrowers defaulted on their student loans last year
The amount owed by borrowers has increased 17%.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: The No-Drama approach to personal finance. Also in the news: Hiking your savings rate, how to find the right credit card the right way, and why you should beware of mortgage companies offering to double your down payment.

The No-Drama Approach to Personal Finance
There’s no crying in personal finance.

If the Fed Can, So Can You: Hike Your Savings Rate
Finding a high-yield account.

Sean Talks Money: Find the Right Credit Card the Right Way
Be selective.

This company will double your down payment. What’s the catch?
It’s a big one.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Credit report with score on a desk

Today’s top story: Finding which tax credits you qualify for. Also in the news: New rules could mean lower life insurance rates, why you shouldn’t fear your mobile wallet, and all the credit card companies that offer free access to your credit score.

What Tax Credits Can I Qualify For?
Saving the most money possible.

New Rules Could Mean Lower Life Insurance Rates
New state laws could lower your rate.

Don’t Fear Your Mobile Wallet
It could be the safest way to pay.

All the Credit Card Companies That Offer Free Access to Your Credit Score
Checking your score is absolutely essential.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: NerdWallet’s best credit card tips for March. Also in the news: Sane ways to pay down student debt, how to avoid a credit check scam while looking to rent, and how to save when you don’t have any extra cash.

NerdWallet’s Best Credit Card Tips for March 2017
Finding the best cards.

4 Sane Ways to Pay Down Student Debt
Paying your loans without losing your mind.

Looking to Rent? Avoid a Credit Check Scam
Watch out.

7 Ways to Save When You Don’t Have Any Extra Cash
Every penny counts.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Consumers have a powerful tool in credit card chargebacks. Also in the news: Credit card trends for 2017, how to stay on budget and still have a social life, and deducting your student loan interest.

Consumers Have Powerful Tool in Credit Card Chargebacks
When to dispute a charge.

4 Credit Card Trends for 2017 and What They Mean for You
Going back to basics.

Ask Brianna: How Can I Stay on Budget and Still Hang Out?
You don’t have to give up your social life.

PSA: Don’t Forget to Deduct Your Student Loan Interest
Deducting every penny possible.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Creating a budget isn’t as scary as it sounds. Also in the news: How filing separately could give some couples a lower tax bill, the history of the credit card, and how to protect your family business during a divorce.

Creating a Budget Isn’t as Scary as It Sounds
Taking the first step.

Filing Separately Could Give Some Couples a Lower Tax Bill
When it makes sense to file separately.

The History of the Credit Card
The origins of our favorite plastic.

How to protect your family business during a divorce
Protecting a legacy.

Q&A: Will closing high-interest cards hurt your credit score?

Dear Liz: I have a few credit cards with very high interest rates — in the mid-teens. My FICO has improved (805 to 830) and I carry little or no balance on the credit cards. I have contacted the issuers asking for lower interest rates but they won’t budge. I have other credit cards with single-digit interest rates. I would like to close the credit cards with the higher interest rates and understand that I may see a drop in my FICO score. How long will take to get my credit score back in the 800s? Is this a wise move?

Answer: Sites that offer credit scores often also have simulators that estimate what might happen if you take certain actions, such as closing cards. You’ll note, though, that these simulators come with plenty of caveats that add up to: Your mileage may vary. A lot.

The reality is that it’s often tough to predict exactly how account closures will affect your scores or precisely how long those scores will take to recover. That doesn’t mean you can never close a card. For example, if you’re not using the card and you’re tired of paying an annual fee, then closing it can make sense if your scores are good and you’re not going to be in the market for a major loan, such as a mortgage. (You don’t want to close or open other accounts while you’re in the process of getting a loan.) If your scores drop a bit, it won’t be a crisis.

Closing a bunch of accounts at once, however, is generally not a good idea — particularly if you’re just doing it to “show them who’s boss.” If you’re not paying interest on these cards, their rates are irrelevant.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: NerdWallet’s best credit card tips for February. Also in the news: How to cope with delayed tax refunds, brick and mortar stalwarts close as e-commerce thrives, and free online classes to improve your financial literacy.

NerdWallet’s Best Credit Card Tips for February 2017
What cards will serve you best?

IRS Delays Some Tax Refunds: How to Cope
Security measures to slow things down.

As E-Commerce Thrives, Macy’s, Sears Stores Close
Brick-and-mortar stores turned to dust.

5 free online classes to improve your financial literacy
No excuses!