Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 surprising factors that can inflate your car insurance rate. Also in the news: The best banks and credit unions for 2018, 3 housing trends to pay attention to, and documents you need if your kid is 18.

5 Surprising Factors That Inflate Your Car Insurance Rate
Not just accidents.

The Best Banks and Credit Unions for 2018
Where to do your banking.

3 Months, 3 Housing Trends: Buyer Prep, Loan Rates, Taxes
Planning to buy or sell? You’ll want to pay attention to these trends.

If Your Kid Is 18, You Need These Documents
Crucial papers to have handy.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Down payment strategies for first-time buyers. Also in the news: How businesses succeed serving the “bottom of the pyramid,” 3 simple ways to save on Father’s Day, and how easy it is to switch to a credit union.

Down Payment Strategies for First-Time Home Buyers
Taking a big step.

How Businesses Succeed Serving ‘Bottom of the Pyramid’
Serving a need.

3 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Save on Father’s Day
Good things for Dad.

Here’s How Easy It Is to Switch to a Credit Union
Simple.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: When to consider a student loan lawyer. Also in the news: Why gutting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will impact your wallet, how much you should expect to pay when applying to college, and why you should try a credit union if you’re looking for free checking.

When to Consider a Student Loan Lawyer
Making a big decision.

Your Wallet Will Suffer If This Agency Is Gutted
It’s on the chopping block.

Applying to College? Expect to Pay at Least This Much
Get ready.

If You Want Free Checking, Try a Credit Union
Avoiding monthly maintenance fees.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: NerdWallet’s best bank accounts and credit unions of 2017. Also in the news: Tips for investing in your 30s, using apps to save money without thinking, and the five biggest tax breaks for the self-employed.

NerdWallet’s Best Bank Accounts and Credit Unions of 2017
Where you should do business.

5 Tips for Investing in Your 30s
Taking the long view.

Want to Save Money Without Thinking? Try These Apps
You won’t even notice.

5 biggest tax breaks for the self-employed
How to keep more of your money.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

iStock_000087400741_SmallToday’s top story: Why to avoid financial planning over the holidays. Also in the news: What President Trump will mean for mortgage rates, things banks and credit unions do that you don’t know about, and how waiting for Black Friday deals can really pay off.

Why to Avoid Financial Planning Over the Holidays
Don’t add stress on top of stress.

What the Trump Effect Means for Mortgage Rates Next Year and 5 Years From Now
What will happen to your mortgage under President Trump.

4 Things Banks and Credit Unions Do You Might Not Know About
Be informed.

Turns Out, You Really Can Save Big on Black Friday
Some deals are worth waiting for.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: The benefits to joining a credit union. Also in the news:Image9 When to sign up for a financial advisor, apps that will make next year’s taxes easier, and how to build your credit from the ground up.

6 Perks You Can Get at a Credit Union
Free checking!

When To Sign Up A Financial Advisor
Knowing when it’s time.

10 Apps to Use Now to Make Taxes Easier Next Year
Help is just an app away.

6 Ways to Build Your Credit From the Ground Up
Needing credit to get credit.

6 Ways You’re Cheating on Your Budget
Removing your hand from the cookie jar.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Making sense of your credit report. Also in the news: Protecting your credit cards from data theft, four bills you may be able to eliminate in 2014, and the benefits of joining a credit union.The hacker

The 5 Most Confusing Things on Your Credit Report
Unlocking the mysteries of your credit report.

How to Protect Your Credit Card from a Data Breach
Don’t let your credit become a target.

You May Be Able to Eliminate these 4 Bills
Not everything needs to be insured.

The Benefits of Joining a Credit Union
Lower fees and higher interest rates.

How To Profit From Gift Cards, Pay It Forward With Frequent Flier Miles
Don’t let unwanted gift cards collect dust.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailGetting your finances together in the name of love, how to save on homeowners insurance, and how Twitter could save you a bundle on back-to-school shopping.

Study: Pinching Pennies Is Good for Your Dating Life
Tired of spending your nights alone? Getting your financial act together could be the key to romance.

An Easy Way to Save on Homeowners Insurance
How increasing your deductible could reduce your premiums.

5 Credit Union Freebies Worth Scooping Up
Credit unions can provide a wide range of perks.

The Best Back-to-School Deals? Check Twitter
Saving money on back-to-school shopping in 140 characters or less.

Best Places For Affordable Homes
The cities and towns that give you the best bang for your buck.

Low car loan rate could have been lower

Dear Liz: I recently bought a new car, and the dealer, after running a credit check, told me my Experian score was 783. I have had only credit cards and no loans. This is my first auto loan. They gave me a 3.5% interest rate and I took it reluctantly. I do not like the rate and the need to pay huge interest over time, and am considering paying off the loan as soon as possible as there are no pre-payment penalties. If I am able to pay off my loan in a couple of months (instead of the original five-year loan term), will this improve or adversely affect my credit score? How will this look in the eyes of future lenders?

Answer: Paying off debt is a good thing, both for your credit scores and your wallet. The leading FICO credit scoring formula likes to see a big gap between your available credit and the amount you’re using. This is particularly true with revolving accounts, such as credit cards, but your scores also get a boost from paying down installment debt, such as auto loans and mortgages.

By the way, a 3.5% rate isn’t bad and wouldn’t cause you to pay “huge” interest. But you probably would have gotten a better rate had you arranged your financing in advance, say with a local credit union. If the dealership then offered you a better deal, you could cancel your application with the credit union. As it was, you left yourself at the mercy of the dealer — not a good idea.

Once you get this loan paid off, consider making the same-sized payments to a savings account so you can pay cash for your next car. If you do decide to finance again, try to keep your loan term to three or four years. That will help ensure you don’t buy more car than you can afford and could prevent you from being “upside down” (owing more than the car is worth) for much of the loan term, as is often the case with longer loans.

How to set up savings “buckets”

Dear Liz: You’ve written about how helpful it can be to have “savings buckets” or separate savings accounts earmarked for different goals such as vacations, property tax payments and so on. I have been trying to do this myself, but every bank I find charges so much in fees that it would cost more money than I would save. Either that, or they tie the savings accounts to a “free” checking account that has a high minimum balance. Can you please pass along any information about free savings accounts that have no minimum balance? I cannot use Internet banks because I cannot deposit cash when I have $5 or $10 in my pocket that I would take to the bank.

Answer: Actually, you can. Internet banks can be linked to your checking account at a brick-and-mortar bank. You can take your money to the bank, then transfer it to one of your savings accounts at the Internet bank. Unlike traditional banks, Internet banks such as ING Direct, Ally and FNBO don’t have balance minimums or monthly fees. You can set up several savings accounts without paying extra fees.

You still need a low-cost checking account, of course. You should be able to find one at a local credit union.