Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: The best credit card tips for May. Also in the news: Tips to weather the financial storm of a layoff, what the new FICO score means for you, and carryovers to remember when doing your 2016 tax planning.

NerdWallet’s Best Credit Card Tips for May 2016
Time for some spring credit cleaning.

Laid Off? 3 Tips to Weather the Fiscal Storm
Don’t panic.

How to save $1,000 each month, and what the new FICO score means for you
FICO changes are afoot.

5 carryovers to remember when doing 2016 tax planning
It’s never too early to start planning next year’s taxes.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: Senior checking accounts. Also in the news: The best Earth Day sales and freebies, five reasons why a nearly perfect credit score isn’t enough, and how to file taxes for a deceased love one.

What Is a Senior Checking Account?
The pros and cons.

Best Earth Day Sales, Deals and Freebies
Thank the planet for the discounts.

5 reasons why a nearly perfect credit score’s not enough
The rules are complicated.

How to File Final Taxes for a Deceased Loved One
Death, taxes, and after-death taxes.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

PayRentPiggyBank.157131716_stdToday’s top story: How paying rent can affect your credit. Also in the news: How to protect yourself from cybercrime while banking with your phone, why you shouldn’t consider something “yours” until it’s completely paid off, and financial strategies for creative types without steady incomes.

How Paying Rent Can Affect Your Credit
Rent-reporting services can boost your credit.

4 ways to dodge cybercrime when banking, shopping on mobile phones
Convenience can come with a hefty price.

Avoid Saying You “Own” Something Until It’s Paid Off
It isn’t yours until the last payment is made.

The #1 Reason Artists Struggle With Money, and 3 Simple Strategies to Turn Things Around
Advice for creative types.

Q&A: Fixing a wounded credit score

Dear Liz: My wife and I co-signed on our daughter’s mortgage, then the home went into foreclosure. My wife and I have no debt and a net worth that exceeds $1 million. We purchased our cars with cash and the single credit card we have with a $35,000 limit is paid off in full each month. Since the foreclosure, our FICO score has been in the “fair” range. We have no plans to take out a loan for anything and plan to continue our “cash and carry” lifestyle. However, the low FICO is a little disconcerting. It appears the only cure is time (measured in years). We welcome any additional guidance.

Answer: You can’t fix your wounded FICO scores overnight, but you could speed up your credit score rehabilitation by adding one or two more credit accounts to your mix. At least one of those accounts should be an installment loan, since scoring formulas want evidence you can handle different types of credit. If you don’t want an auto or personal loan, then consider a “credit builder” loan that puts your payments into a certificate of deposit that you claim when all the payments have been made. Credit builder loans are offered by credit unions and some online lenders.

Is it worth the effort, even though you don’t plan to borrow? In most states (although not California), credit scores heavily influence what you pay for auto and homeowners’ insurance. People who don’t have the best scores can pay hundreds of dollars more each year for coverage. Credit scores also may be used to determine deposits for utilities and wireless service. If you need to rent an apartment, your credit scores matter as well.

If none of those are a concern, you can continue to take the slow road to rebuilding your credit, since the foreclosure will fall off your credit reports after seven years. If you want to speed things along, though, another credit account or two should help.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: What adding 100 points to your credit score means for your finances. Also in the news: How to finance your dream home improvement projects, how your boss can help you reduce your student loan repayment timeline, and why you should be treating your income like you do your investments.

What Adding 100 Points to Your Credit Score Could Mean
Is it a game changer?

6 Ways to Finance Your Dream Home Improvement Project
Without turning your home into a money pit.

Here’s how fast you can pay off your student loan with help from your boss
Your repayment timeline could could get shorter.

Are You Diversifying Your Income? You’d Better Start.
Treating your income just like your investments.

Q&A: Taking out a loan to boost credit scores

Dear Liz: I have little to no information — good or bad — in my credit reports. I am considering obtaining a secured loan from my credit union to establish better credit. Does it make any difference to my credit score if the credit union reports the loan as “secured”?

Answer: Credit scores don’t treat installment loans differently based on whether they’re unsecured, with just your promise to repay, or secured, which means backed by an asset such as an amount on deposit with the credit union.

What matters is how you pay off the loan (every payment should be on time) and whether the account will be reported to all three credit bureaus, so that you’re building scores at all three. Call and ask, because not all credit unions report to all three bureaus.

You also might want to consider a secured credit card, because having both types of credit accounts — installment and revolving — can boost your scores. Again, it’s important that you pay on time and that the card is reported to all three bureaus. You should use the card lightly but regularly and pay the balance in full each month for best results.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

o-CREDIT-REPORT-facebookToday’s top story: The best places to find a small-dollar loan. Also in the news: What is considered a bad credit score, things you don’t have to pay taxes on, and how not to lose money on your house by following the five year rule.

Where to Find a Small-Dollar Loan
Without paying astronomical interest.

What Is a Bad Credit Score?
Knowing the numbers.

7 Things You Don’t Have to Pay Taxes On
Some of these may surprise you.

Follow the Five Year Rule to Make Sure You Don’t Lose Money on Your House
Plan on staying put for a while.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: The key tax changes for 2015. Also in the news: Costly mistakes that can destroy your credit, smart estate-planning steps to avoid probate, and why combining your finances in a relationship might be a bad idea.

Key 2015 Tax Changes to Know About
Don’t wait until the last second.

5 Smart Estate-Planning Steps to Avoid Probate
Protecting your assets.

4 Costly Mistakes That Can Destroy Your Credit Score
Small mistakes that can cause major damage.

When Combining Your Finances In a Relationship Might Be a Bad Idea
What to consider before taking that big step.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: Credit cards tips that’ll last a lifetime. Also in the news: Why your credit score matters the most in your twenties, how to wrangle your W-2s from your employer, and millionaire money tips for the rest of us.

8 Credit Card Tips That Will Last a Lifetime
Solid advice.

Why Your Credit Score Matters Most In Your Twenties
The long lasting impact.

How to bug your employer for your W-2 and other timely tax, budget tips
April 15th will be here before you know it.

8 Millionaire Money Tips for the Rest of Us
You don’t have to be a millionaire to manage your money like one.