Friday’s need-to-know money news

budgetToday’s top story: Mapping your financial journey. Also in the news: What Wells Fargo’s settlement might mean for you, six unusual ways to get out of debt, and surprising Social Security benefits for divorced spouses.

Mapping Your Financial Journey
Building a roadmap to success.

What Wells Fargo’s $185 Million Settlement May Mean for You
The Wells Fargo wagon has rolled into some big trouble.

6 Unusual Ways to Get Out of Debt
You don’t have to deliver pizzas.

2 surprising Social Security benefits some divorced spouses can get
All is not lost.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

crop380w_istock_000009258023xsmall-dbet-ball-and-chainToday’s top story: Mortgage application forms will look different next year. Also in the news: 5 times you shouldn’t use a credit card, why you should say no to 72-84 month auto loans, and why you need to stop being delusional about debt.

It’s Coming: The First Change to Mortgage Application Forms in 20 Years
An easier to understand application is on the way.

5 Times You Shouldn’t Use a Credit Card
High interest rates could leave you in a debt spiral.

5 Reasons to Say No to 72- and 84-Month Auto Loans
Long term loans set you up for years of negative equity.

Don’t be debt delusional: Quit buying stuff you can’t afford!
Time for a reality check.

Q&A: Divorced, and in debt

Dear Liz: I recently got divorced and found myself in about $50,000 of credit card debt. While I’m struggling to slowly pay off this debt, I do have some money saved in a tax-sheltered annuity as well as a small Roth IRA. Should I use those, take a personal loan or file for bankruptcy?

Answer: A good rule of thumb is to leave retirement money alone for retirement. Early withdrawals can trigger taxes and penalties that eat up one quarter to one half of what you take out. You can always withdraw your contributions tax free from a Roth, but any earnings can trigger taxes and penalties. The biggest cost, though, is the loss of future tax-deferred compounding that can equal 10 times or more of what you take out.

If your credit is good, low-rate balance transfer offers could help you lower the interest rate on your debt so you can pay it off faster. A personal loan from a credit union, your bank or an online lender could work if it offers a low, fixed rate and a repayment term of five years or less.

If you can’t pay this debt off within five years, then you should talk to both a credit counselor (visit the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at www.nfcc.org) and a bankruptcy attorney (referrals from the National Assn. of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys at www.nacba.org).

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

money-vacation-saveToday’s top story: Overcoming the obstacles between you and retirement. Also in the news: What the President wants to tell college students, what happens when your debt goes to collections, and how to pay less for staying cool this summer.

5 Obstacles Between You and Retirement (and How to Overcome Them)
Clearing the pathway to a solid retirement.

5 Things the President Wants to Tell College Students
Messages for students and student loan borrowers.

What Happens When Your Debt Goes to a Collector?
Not every debt collection process is the same.

Stay cool, but pay less for electricity this summer
Your wallet’s hot enough.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

types-of-scholarshipsToday’s top story: Most families don’t plan ahead for college costs. Also in the news: The Brexit effect on mortgages begins to fade, the pros and cons of partial payments, and common money mindsets that are holding you back.

Most Families Don’t Plan Ahead for College Costs, Study Finds
High school graduation is just around the corner.

Brexit Effect Fades; Loan Applications Fall
The Brexit effect on mortgages begins to fade.

Does Making Partial Payments Help?
Is paying someting better than paying nothing?

Common Money Mindsets That Hold You Back
Breaking out of old misconceptions.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

o-BOOMERANG-KIDS-facebookToday’s top story: Why not all debt is bad. Also in the news: An explanation of benefits from your health coverage, why your boomerang kid may be sabotaging your retirement, and why it’s time to have the talk about estate planning.

Not All Debt Is Bad
Debt is getting a bad rap.

Check Your Health Coverage With an Explanation of Benefits
Understanding what you’re entitled to.

Everybody Dies. It’s Time to Have the Talk
Avoiding financial disaster.

Your boomerang kid may be sabotaging your retirement
The Bank of Mom and Dad.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

18ixgvpiu0s24jpgToday’s top story: How to save on your cellphone bill when moving. Also in the news: how to survive a job loss, why millennials aren’t in a rush to buy a home, and why you shouldn’t wait to tackle your debt.

Moving? One Simple Change Could Save You Money on Your Cell Phone Bill in a New State
Taxes and fees vary from state to state.

How to Survive a Job Loss
Getting through a financially difficult time.

Are Millennials the Renter Generation?
Not rushing to buy a home.

Don’t Wait Until Your Debt Starts Hurting to Begin Tackling It
The sooner the better.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

help-parents-manage-moneyToday’s top story: The problem with how whole life insurance is sold. Also in the news: How to save money on your commute, debt snowball vs debt avalanche, and how to stop senior citizen financial scams.

This Is What’s Wrong With How Whole Life Insurance Is Sold
Don’t get talked into pricey policies.

Save Money on Your Commute With This Often Overlooked Employee Tax Benefit
Turning your commute expenses into work expenses.

Debt Snowball Or Debt Avalanche: How To Eliminate Credit Card Debt
Which method is best for you?

5 Ways to Stop Senior Citizen Scams
Protecting your loved ones.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

1436536219414Today’s top story: Time to give your financial goals a midyear checkup. Also in the news: The statute of limitations on debt, how to save on child care, and financial concepts to teach your teen.

Give Your Financial Goals a Midyear Checkup
Checking your progress.

The Difference Between a Debt’s “Statute of Limitations” and Your Credit History
The debts that will not die.

7 Ways to Save on Child Care
Saving where you can.

5 Financial Concepts To Teach Your Teen Before High School Graduation
Get them on the right path before they leave for college.

Using debt strategically: Join us!

I’m hosting NerdWallet’s first Facebook Live video, “Using Debt Strategically,” on Thursday starting at 7 p.m. Eastern/4 p.m. Pacific. I’ll be discussing ways to prioritize your debt and pay it off faster while building your overall wealth. Whether you’re struggling with debt or just trying to be smarter with it, I can help answer your questions. Like NerdWallet on Facebook for updates and alerts on this event: nerd.me/facebook.