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.
y

Black marks fall off credit reports in July

Starting July 1, the credit scores of up to 14 million people could begin to rise as credit reports are scrubbed of nearly all civil judgments and many tax liens.

Consumer advocates hail the data’s deletion as a long-overdue victory for people whose scores were unfairly dinged by inaccurate information. Others worry the changes could inflate the scores of risky borrowers and have a catastrophic impact on lenders.

People shouldn’t expect an immediate jump in their scores, however.

In my latest for the Associated Press, how the process will work and when you can expect to see changes.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to assess your credit card needs after divorce. Also in the news: Generation Z is off to a strong start with credit, why your friend has a better credit score than you, and how to ensure your gift cards don’t go to waste.

How to Assess Your Credit Card Needs After Divorce
How to determine what you need.

‘Gen Z’ Off to Strong Start With Credit, Analysis Shows
The fiscally responsible generation?

Why Your Friend Has a Better Credit Score Than You
Sifting through the possibilities.

How to ensure your gift cards don’t go to waste
Don’t toss away free money.

Are you afraid to look at your finances?

Credit counselor Linda Humburg understands why many of her debt-burdened clients don’t want to open their mail. What bothers her, though, is the sheer volume of untouched bills and collection notices that some bring to their first counseling appointments.

“The shoeboxes (full of bills) don’t make my heart drop as much as the grocery bags and garbage bags,” says Humburg, counselor manager for FamilyMeans Financial Solutions in Stillwater, Minnesota.

Not wanting to confront unpaid bills is a perfectly understandable, if unfortunate, reaction to a bad financial situation. And it’s not just people in extreme debt who might be afraid to look. Many people avoid checking their credit scores or using retirement calculators because they’re afraid of what they might find.

The problem is that delaying action usually makes matters worse.

In my latest for the Associated Press, the high cost of living in denial.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Credit report with score on a desk

Today’s top story: How your selfie could affect your life insurance. Also in the news: How to build credit in exactly 250 words, why you need to get to work on building your unemployment fund, and why the credit scoring system is about to get less awful.

How Your Selfie Could Affect Your Life Insurance
That brunch selfie could raise your life insurance rates.

How to Build Credit in (Exactly) 250 Words
Short, sweet, and effective.

Get to Work on Building Your Unemployment Fund
Don’t waste anymore time.

The Credit Scoring System Is About to Get Less Awful
Big changes are coming this fall.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How credit use affects credit scores. Also in the news: Starting a business if you have student debt, how one couple crushed their debt, and how budgeting doesn’t have to suck if you make it a habit.

Virtual People, Real Lessons: How Card Use Affects Credit Score
Meet Cora Condo and Rebuilding Robert.

Ask Brianna: Can I Start a Business if I Have Student Debt?
Can you be your own boss?

This Couple Crushed Their Debt
How you can do it, too.

Budgeting Doesn’t Have to Suck If You Think of It As a Habit Rather Than a Task
Getting into a groove.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 4 ways to ride the rising interest rates wave. Also in the news: Why you should set your own credit card limits, reasons why credit isn’t as boring as it sounds, and more than 1 million student loan borrowers are in default.

Fed Rate Hike: 4 Ways to Ride Rising Interest Rate Wave
Only the third increase since the 2008 financial crisis.

Set Your Own Credit Card Limits and Improve Your Life
Knowing your limits.

3 Reasons Credit Isn’t as Boring as It Sounds
It’s about more than just cards.

More than 1 million borrowers defaulted on their student loans last year
The amount owed by borrowers has increased 17%.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Don’t hit the brakes on uninsured motorist coverage. Also in the news: Giving your child excellent credit, the pros and cons of telemedicine, and how to trim your tax burden.

Don’t Hit the Brakes on Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Protect yourself from the unexpected.

Sean Talks Money: How to Give Your Child Excellent Credit
Making sure they’re on the right track.

Online Medicine: What to Know Before You Sign Up
The pros and cons of telemedicine.

Trim your tax burden by deducting phone, Internet bills
Take advantage of all the deductibles.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

common-retirement-mistakesToday’s top story: How to make the 10 years before retirement count. Also in the news: Tips on reining in holiday spending, which generation has the best credit score, and which insurance most car renters can say no to.

5 Ways to Make the 10 Years Before Retirement Count
Fattening your nest egg.

5 Frugality Pros Help You Rein In Holiday Spending
Avoiding the after-holidays sticker shock.

Average U.S. Credit Score Rises; ‘Silent Generation’ Wins Bragging Rights
The older you are, the better your score likely is.

Which insurance most car renters can just say no to
Deciding which insurance you need.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

babytrollToday’s top story: Why your newborn doesn’t need to be on your credit card account. Also in the news: Why paying more tax today could be your best AMT strategy, common retirement mistakes seen by financial planners, and how credit card minimum payments are meant to keep you in debt forever.

No, Your Newborn Doesn’t Need to Be on Your Credit Card Account
No need to build credit that early.

Paying More Tax Today May Be Your Best AMT Strategy
Understanding how AMT works.

Seven Common Retirement Mistakes Seen by Financial Planners
And how to avoid them.

Credit card minimums: Perfectly calibrated to keep you in debt
A cycle of perpetual debt.