Monday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: Why many Americans are afraid of going broke when they retire. Also in the news: The expensive cost of payday, pawn shop and car title loans, tips on how to increase your credit score, and what you can do to fix your credit report.

Many Americans fear going broke in retirement
How prepared are you for retirement?

The Ugly Truth About Payday, Pawn Shop and Car Title Loans
That immediate solution to financial problems could come with a triple digit interest rate.

How to Increase a Credit Score: 5 Tips
Closing your accounts doesn’t always help.

Should You Pay Someone to Help Fix Your Credit Problems
Find out what you can do on your own first.

Q&A: How long do unpaid accounts and judgments remain on credit reports?

Dear Liz: My credit reports don’t show any of my old unpaid collection accounts. I also have one judgment that is not showing from 2005. My wife (who has perfect credit) and I are looking to apply for a mortgage. What will the lender find? I recently applied for a credit card to start rebuilding my credit. The issuer approved me for a card with a $1,000 limit and told me my score was in the high 700s. I am so confused.

Answer: If your collection accounts are older than seven years, your lender shouldn’t see them when it reviews your credit reports. Most negative marks have to be dropped from reports seven years and six months after the date the account first went delinquent. Civil judgments also have to be dropped after seven years unless your state has a longer statute of limitations; in that case, the judgment can be reported until the statute expires. California’s statute of limitations for judgments is 10 years.

If none of those negative marks shows on your reports and you’ve handled credit responsibly since then, your credit scores (you have more than one) may well be excellent.

Since you’ll be in the market for a major loan, you and your wife should get your FICO scores from MyFico.com. Mortgage lenders will look at all six scores (one from each of the three credit bureaus for you and your wife), basing your rate and terms on the lower of the two middle scores. If that score is 740 or above, you should get the best rate and terms the lender offers.

Your FICO scores will cost $20 each, which is a bit of an investment. You can get free scores from various online sites, but those aren’t the FICO scores that mortgage lenders use and are of limited help in understanding what rate and terms you’re likely to get.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: How to pay off your student loan in four years or less. Also in the news: Affordable ways to help someone having a bad time, how healthy living could save you money, and an easy way to tell if you have good credit.

5 Tips For Paying Off Your Student Loans in 4 Years or Less
Shortening the lifespan of the student loan albatross.

6 Affordable Ways to Help Someone Who’s Hurting
It truly is the thought that counts.

How good health will pay off during retirement

Healthy living right now could pay off in the future.

A Super Simple Way to Figure Out If You Have Good Credit
It’s all about the credit report.

Are Reverse Mortgages a Good Idea for Retirees?
A look at the controversial mortgage program.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

medical concept -  stethoscope over the dollar billsToday’s top story: How many accounts are too many on your credit report? Also in the news: What your car is really costing you, how to manage your money in your 30’s, and it’s time to spring clean your finances.

Do I Have Too Many Accounts on My Credit Report?
The answer may surprise you.

What your car really costs you
Has your car turned into a money pit?

How to Manage Money in Your 30s
This decade could be pivotal to your financial future.

5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Finances
Winter is finally over!

3 Health Myths that Cost You Money
Not taking care of yourself could be costing you money.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: Seven things that won’t hurt your credit score. Also in the news: Discovering unclaimed property, seven ways to spring clean your finances, and how to get the best deal on buying a house.

Seven Things That Won’t Hurt Your Credit Score
Some of these may surprise you.

10 States Sitting on Billions of Dollars That Could Be Yours
A simple search can reveal if you have unclaimed property.

7 Ways to Spring Clean Your Finances
Time to get your financial house in order.

How to get the best deal buying a new house
The sooner you buy, the better.

Your 401(k) Plan: 3 Ways to Tell If It’s Any Good
How to find out if your compmany’s 401(k) is worth joining.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

IRS 1040 Tax Form Being Filled OutToday’s top story: How to choose between increasing your savings or paying down debt. Also in the news: What financial risks Boomers need to consider, how to file your taxes for free, and what recourse you have if a credit report error has hurt your score.

Should You Increase Savings First Or Pay Down Debt?
Making the smart decision.

Financial Risks Boomers Should Consider in Retirement
How to avoid retirement landmines.

Here’s How to File Your Taxes for Free
Save your filing fees.

Can I Sue If a Credit Report Error Hurt My Score?
Examining your options.

Can I Take Advantage of the Student Loan Interest Tax Deduction?
How your loan payments could actually save you money.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

IRS 1040 Tax Form Being Filled OutToday’s top story: Choosing between the standard or itemized tax deduction. Also in the news: Taking steps to a better financial future, money mistakes to avoid during your 20s, and the four letter word that can ruin your credit.

Should You Take the Standard or Itemized Tax Deduction?
While one might be easier, the other could save you more money.

7 Steps To A Better Financial Future
Begin with the end in mind.

Money Mistakes to Avoid in Your 20s
Don’t makes mistakes in your 20s that you’ll be paying for in your 40s and 50s.

The 4-Letter Word That Can Ruin Your Credit
Take a guess.

3 Ill-Advised Reasons Not to Buy Life Insurance
You’re not getting any younger.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s big story: What you can get removed from your credit report. Also in the news: How to tell if your partner is a sound financial match, which Olympic medal would your savings plan win, and why online dating can be hazardous to your wallet.

What Can I Get Removed From My Credit Reports?
Patience is key.

Want To Know If Your Partner Is A Financial Match? Take These 8 Steps
Financial compatibility is crucial in a relationship.

Which Olympic Medal Would Your Savings Habits Win?
Go for the gold!

The Financial Risks of Online Dating
That dreamboat on the screen could actually be a nightmare.

How I went from $50,000 in debt to $50,000 in savings
It can be done!

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What to do with those savings bonds you received as a kid. Also in the news: Teaching your kids about personal finance, tips on becoming debt free in 2014, and when you can finally say goodbye to the old debt lingering on your credit report. Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

What to Do With a Childhood Savings Bond
Is it time to cash in every child’s least favorite gift?

Kids and Money: New online sites help manage personal finances
Teaching kids about personal finance doesn’t have to be a chore.

5 Tips for Becoming Debt Free in 2014
Make this the year you vanquish your debt.

When does old debt fall off credit report?
Saying goodbye to that old credit card from seven years ago.

Don’t Be a Victim of Fraud: 9 Simple Ways to Protect Your Financial Data
Keeping your data safe from exploitation.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: A simple way to help your credit. Also in the news: Financial fasting, the best financial resolutions for the New Year, and why you’re not being paid what you’re worth.

What’s the Simplest Thing I Can Do to Help My Credit?
This one thing could make a huge difference.

Should You Go on a Financial Fast?
It’s like a diet for your wallet.

The Most Successful Financial New Year’s Resolutions
Which resolutions work and which ones don’t.

5 Reasons You’re Making Less Money than You Should
Stop undervaluing your worth.

ObamaCare and early retirement
How Obamacare could help you retire early.