Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: In the points and miles game, blind loyalty can cost you. Also in the news: The best mortgage lenders with no origination fee, how a personal loan affects your credit score, and how thinking like an optimist could help you save more.

In the Points and Miles Game, Blind Loyalty Can Cost You
You could end up losing the points game.

Best Mortgage Lenders with No Origination Fee of 2019
They’re not easy to find.

How Does a Personal Loan Affect Your Credit Score?
A chance to improve your score.

To Save More, Think Like an Optimist
The saving power of positive thinking.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news


Today’s top story: The one form that could be the root of all your tax woes. Also in the news: Income-driven student loan repayments, 4 credit score horror stories that could happen to anyone, and understanding the difference between a hobby and a side hustle.

This One Form Could Be the Root of All Your Tax Woes
The innocent looking W-4.

Income-Driven Repayment: Is It Right for You?
What to do when you can’t afford your student loan payments.

4 credit score horror stories that could happen to anyone
Tiny mistakes that could trash your credit.

Before You Do Your Taxes, Understand the Difference Between a Hobby and a Side Hustle
When your hobby becomes a job.





Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 things you don’t have to pay a tax preparer to do. Also in the news: AmEx Gold’s inconsistent dining rewards are frustrating foodies, what you need to know about surging savings account rates, and what you need to know about “free” credit scores.

5 Things You Don’t Have to Pay a Tax Preparer to Do
Knock these things off your tax list.

AmEx Gold’s Inconsistent Dining Rewards Are Frustrating Foodies
A bumpy relaunch.

Savings Account Rates Are Surging: Here’s What to Know
Online banks are offering the best rates.

What You Need to Know About ‘Free’ Credit Scores
Free doesn’t always mean without cost.

There’s always a next recession, so be prepared

Recessions are like natural disasters: They’re inevitable, but smart preparation may reduce the impact on you.

The U.S. economy has grown steadily since emerging from the “Great Recession” in June 2009, but expansions can’t continue forever, and this one is already the second-longest on record. Only the expansion from March 1991 to March 2001 lasted longer.

Recessions occur when growth stops and the economy starts to shrink. They vary in severity and length, but often jobs disappear, incomes decline and lenders make it harder to qualify for credit.

Knowing what may be coming can help you fortify your finances to withstand a possible slowdown. In my latest for the Associated Press, some steps to consider.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Furloughed workers face potential damage to their credit scores. Also in the news: A bill could expand the financial literacy of students, 8 budget types for businesses, and 6 practical ways to pay off credit card debt.

A big problem looms for furloughed workers — preventing damage to their credit scores
Another impact of the government shutdown.

Bill Introduced to Expand Financial Literacy of Students
Teaching more than just the basics.

8 Budget Types for Businesses
Different budgets for different needs.

6 practical ways to pay off credit card debt
Climbing your way out of debt.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 9 housing and mortgage trends to watch for in 2019. Also in the news: Your easiest New Year’s resolution, a DNA test sends a family of 5 on a journey of a lifetime, and how often your credit score is updated.

9 Housing and Mortgage Trends to Watch for in 2019
What to expect next year.

Your Easiest New Year’s Resolution: Make Your Savings Grow Faster
This is a resolution you should keep.

DNA Test Sends Family of 5 on Journey Around the World
One family’s journey of a lifetime.

How Often Your Credit Score Is Updated
Timing is everything.

At What Age Can You Ignore Your Credit Score?

At some point, you’ll buy your last car and refinance your last mortgage. Surely then you can stop worrying about your credit scores.

Well, not really, although there are situations when credit scores shouldn’t be anyone’s main concern.

In my latest for the Associated Press, why credit scores still matter, even when you don’t plan to borrow money.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Should you pay off your mortgage before you retire? Also in the news: New UltraFICO score could boost credit access for consumers, a cheapskate’s guide to shopping for credit cards, and 7 year-end tax planning strategies for small business owners.

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Before You Retire?
Or is it better to wait?

New UltraFICO Score Could Boost Credit Access for Consumers
Big changes are coming.

A Cheapskate’s Guide to Shopping for Credit Cards
Finding a card to match your careful spending.

7 year-end tax planning strategies for small business owners
Tax season is right around the corner.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 4 ways to get a sales price when there isn’t a sale. Also in the news: What to buy and skip in September, why your kid’s after-school job may mean tax homework for you, and why your credit card debt is worse than your mortgage debt.

4 Ways to Get a Sale Price When There Isn’t a Sale
It can be as simple as just asking for one.

What to Buy (and Skip) in September
Skip the televisions.

Your Kid’s After-School Job May Mean Tax Homework for You
When to file a return.

Your Credit Card Debt Is Worse Than Your Mortgage Debt
The difference between good and bad debt.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Why traditional credit scores still matter. Also in the news: Staying ahead of travel scams, banks still playing with financial fire, and the benefits to maxing out your retirement contributions early in the year.

Newfangled Data Aside, Credit Scores Still Matter
Those 3 numbers still reign supreme.

Stay a Step Ahead of Travel Scams
Traveling safely.

After ’08 Meltdown, Banks Still Play With Financial Fire
And we’re the ones who get burned.

Should You Max Out Your Retirement Contributions Early in the Year?
A new study shows interesting results.