Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Why you should have a credit card even if you don’t carry a balance. Also in the news: Credit card debt is down in early 2017, how to take advantage of cooling car sales this summer, and how to avoid being a victim at the car repair garage.

Why Have a Credit Card if You Don’t Carry a Balance?
The importance of maintaining credit.

Credit Card Debt Shrank in Early 2017
Paying off debt.

How to Take Advantage of Cooling Car Sales This Summer
Prices are dropping.

How to avoid being a victim at the car repair garage
Don’t get taken for a ride.
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Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What to know before sharing credit accounts with a parent. Also in the news: Required minimum distributions, tax-smart ways to withdraw from a 529 college plan, and high bank overdraft fees prompt a call for plain-English disclosure forms.

What to Know Before Sharing Credit Accounts With a Parent
A generous idea that could backfire.

What Are Required Minimum Distributions?
A taste of your retirement

Tax-Smart Ways to Withdraw Funds From a 529 College Plan
Don’t get hit by a large tax bill.

High bank overdraft fees prompt call for plain-English disclosure forms
No more trickery.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How students can avoid common bank and credit card fees. Also in the news: What to do if you can’t get a student credit card, how to lessen the financial pains of moving, and how to photograph your house for Airbnb.

How Students Can Avoid Common Bank and Credit Card Fees
Don’t pay the bank to access your money.

What to Do If You Can’t Get a Student Credit Card
A look at the alternatives.

Ask Brianna: How Can I Lessen the Financial Pain of Moving?
Painless ways to cut costs.

How to Photograph Your House for Airbnb
Attracting more renters.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: NerdWallet’s best credit card tips for July. Also in the news: How to set up your 401(k), tips to evade gas pump skimmers, and how painting your bathroom this color could boost your home’s selling price.

NerdWallet’s Best Credit Card Tips for July 2017
What to look for in July.

How to Set Up Your 401(k)
A big step towards retirement.

Guard Your Card: 5 Tips to Evade Gas Pump Skimmers
Don’t get fleeced at the pump.

Paint your bathroom this color and boost your home’s selling price by $5,400
All about the blues.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What to buy (and skip) in July. Also in the news: Conquering the fear of credit cards, 25 tips for first-time home buyers, and why Millennials can’t have nice things (or save any money.)

What to Buy (and Skip) in July
Timing is everything.

Conquer Fear of Credit Cards Now, Reap Benefits Later
Use them wisely.

25 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers
What to watch out for.

This is why millennials can’t have nice things (or save any money)
Curb the spending.

Q&A: Too many cards?

Dear Liz: My husband and I have opened accounts to take advantage of 0% interest financing for special purchases. These accounts are paid in full prior to the end of the promotional period and we don’t use them again. I’ve read to not ever close any accounts, but am nervous about having so many accounts open with such high limits. Is there potential for issuers to stop granting us credit because we have so much available? Are we at greater risk for identity theft with all of these open accounts?

Answer: People used to believe that closing accounts could somehow help their credit scores. Credit scoring companies and experts have done their best to combat that myth, but in doing so have left some people thinking that they can’t ever close unneeded accounts. That’s not true either.

Your credit scores won’t be hurt by having “too many” accounts with high limits. That’s generally a good thing, since multiple lenders have deemed you creditworthy. You get the most credit scoring benefit, though, from accounts you’re actively using.

Leaving unused accounts open can leave you more vulnerable to fraudulent account takeover. At the very least, it adds to the hassles in your life, since you have to keep an eye on all your accounts. And conceivably a lender could balk at seeing a lot of unused credit lines, even if it didn’t hurt your scores.

You don’t want to close accounts if you’re trying to improve your scores or in the market for a major loan, such as a mortgage or auto loan. Otherwise, though, you shouldn’t worry about closing an account now and then if you’re not using it.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 times your credit card issuer can raise your interest rates. Also in the news: 3 DIY options for making a will online, how to split insurance in a divorce, and how much you can make in the freelance economy.

5 Times Your Credit Card Issuer Can Raise Your Interest Rate
How to avoid the bump.

Making a Will Online: 3 DIY Options
Doing it yourself.

How to Split Insurance in a Divorce
Deciding who gets what.

How Much Money Can You Make in the Freelance Economy?
Setting your own schedule.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 4 keys to successful debt consolidation. Also in the news: Credit card startups want to get in your wallet, financial must-do’s for newlyweds, and the best ways to get a big credit card bonus without going into debt.

4 Keys to Successful Debt Consolidation
Put those cards away.

Credit Card Startups Race for Space in Your Wallet
One card to rule them all.

Ask Brianna: What Are My Financial Must-Do’s as a Newlywed?
Starting off on the right financial foot.

The best ways to get a fat credit card bonus without going into debt
Timing is everything.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Fed point fingers as ‘Debt Relief’ companies prey on student loan borrowers. Also in the news: Distressed borrowers say student debt help was anything but, why investors care about rate hikes, and why your credit cards shouldn’t retire when you do.

Feds Point Fingers as ‘Debt Relief’ Companies Prey on Student Loan Borrowers
Looking for easy targets.

Distressed Borrowers Say Student Debt Help Was Anything But
Compounding a problem.

Why Investors Care About the Fed (and Rate Hikes)
The impact on investments.

Credit hit: Why your credit cards shouldn’t retire when you do
Building credit is still important.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How credit card bonuses got so big and hard to grab. Also in the news: VA Loan eligibility and requirements for 2017, how to detect scams that could ruin your retirement, and 10 numbers that may make or break your retirement.

How Credit Card Bonuses Got So Big and Hard to Grab
And you thought blackout dates were bad.

VA Loan Eligibility and Requirements for 2017
What you need to know.

How to Detect Scams That Could Ruin Your Retirement
Don’t put your savings at risk.

10 numbers that can make or break your retirement
Focus on the important ones.