Thursday’s need-to-know money news

refinancingToday’s top story: Mortgage refinance options for people with bad credit. Also in the news: The best cell phone deals for July, steps to financial independence, and 10 personal finance headscratchers.

Mortgage Refinance Options for People With Bad Credit
Hope is not lost.

Best Cell Phone Deals in July
Time for an upgrade?

Five Essential Steps to Financial Independence
Step by step.

10 personal-finance headscratchers that show we’re irrational
Not thinking clearly.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

18ixgvpiu0s24jpgToday’s top story: Why you shouldn’t wait for a 401(k) to start saving for retirement. Also in the news: Cell phone options for when you’re traveling overseas, credit problems that can destroy your home-buying dreams, and five crucial retirement years for your money.

Don’t Wait for a 401(k) to Start Saving for Retirement
Don’t wait to start saving period.

Cell Phone Options When You’re Traveling Overseas
Keeping your bill as low as possible.

5 credit problems that can destroy your home dreams
Tackling issues before you buy a home.

5 crucial retirement years for your money
Years to pay attention to.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: How to save money by refinancing your mortgage. Also in the news: How to spice up your retirement recipe, avoiding the financial pitfalls of divorce, and must-know money tips for new graduates.

Tips to Save Money by Refinancing Your Mortgage
What to consider when deciding to refinance.

6 key ingredients to spice up your retirement recipe
Strategies for investors.

Avoiding The Financial Pitfalls Of Divorce
Navigating through tough times.

5 Must-Know Money Tips for New Grads
Now comes the hard part.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

College SavingsToday’s top story: What to buy and what to skip in April. Also in the news: What all those terms and conditions you ignore really mean, how to save for a home when you have student debt, and steps for helping kids become financially savvy.

What to Buy (and Skip) in April
Spending your cash wisely.

What those terms and conditions really say
You could be giving up many consumer protections.

How To Save For A Home When You Have Student Debt
There are ways to manage both.

9 steps to helping kids and teens become financially savvy
A great way to celebrate National Financial Literacy month!

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

interest-rates-300x225Today’s top story: How to find the best mortgage interest rate. Also in the news: How to financially prepare for a spouse’s deployment, the biggest credit card mistakes made by millennials, and where to find the best St. Patrick’s Day deals.

How to Score the Best Mortgage Interest Rate
Finding the best interest rate on a mortgage that suits your needs.

How to Plan Financially for a Spouse’s Absence
Getting your finances in order before a spouse is deployed.

The 4 biggest mistakes millennials make when it comes to credit cards
Mistakes that can have long-term consequences.

The Best St. Patrick’s Day Sales and Deals of 2016
There are deals to be found at the end of the rainbow.

Before Filing Your Taxes With IRS, Consider This
There’s such a thing as too much information.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

r218451_854528Today’s top story: How to keep calm and carry on in a volatile market. Also in the news: Why paying off your debt could hurt your mortgage chances, what the Super Bowl can teach you about money, and how your 2015 IRA contribution can hurt 2016-2017 college aid.

5 Ways to Keep Calm, Carry On in Volatile Market
Don’t panic.

Why Paying Off Debt Could Actually Hurt Your Homebuying Chances
Strategic debt management.

What the Super Bowl Can Teach You About Money
The game off the field.

Your 2015 IRA Contribution Will Hurt Your Kid’s College Aid In 2016-2017
Find out how.

What to Do When You’ve Hit a Plateau With Your Money Goals
How to break through.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

refinancingToday’s top story: What the recent Fed rate hike means for your adjustable-rate mortgage. Also in the news: One state moves to forgive student loans, how to write ironclad financial resolutions, and how to supercharge your retirement savings.

Is It Time to Refinance Your Adjustable-Rate Mortgage?
What the recent Fed increase means for your rate.

If you live in this state, you could have your student loans forgiven
Are you one of the lucky ones?

Your Guide to Writing Ironclad Financial New Year’s Resolutions
Small steps to big goals.

How to supercharge your retirement savings
Learning from the experts.

Q&A: Student loans and mortgages

Dear Liz: I recently completed a master’s degree in counseling and am now paying student loans. I am punctual and consistent in my payments. How does having a $30,000 outstanding student loan look to home lenders? We recently sold our home and moved. We are planning to buy another home and have a large down payment. Does this student loan affect my home purchase potential? My husband and I are retired, and we pay our bills on time.

Answer: Student loans can have a positive effect on your credit scores if they’re paid on time. On the other hand, your payments are factored into the equation of how much mortgage you can afford and will reduce the amount you can borrow.

You should be rethinking the notion of borrowing more in any case. It’s not clear why you spent so much on a degree if you’re not using it. Perhaps a health setback made working impossible or an inheritance made it unnecessary. Generally, though, you should borrow for an education only if you expect it to increase your earning power enough to easily replay the loan. If you’re pursuing an education just for the pleasure of it or for a feeling of accomplishment, you should pay for it out of pocket or with savings.

A mortgage in retirement is tricky as well. Although some wealthy people keep their mortgages so they can invest the money elsewhere, most people are better off without loans once they stop working. Having to pay a mortgage often means having to take more out of your retirement funds and increasing the odds of running short of money. Also, remember that your income will drop when one of you dies because one Social Security check goes away. That could make it harder to pay the bills.

Consider meeting with a fee-only financial planner who can assess your financial situation and offer advice about the best course. It could be that you can well afford student loans and a mortgage. Or you could be headed for disaster. It’s better to find out while there may still be time to put that degree to work to boost your income or take steps to conserve your funds.

Q&A: Divorce and mortgages

Dear Liz: Our daughter was divorced in 2012 from her husband of 20 years. He still lives in the house they shared and she lives elsewhere. He pays the mortgage. When she asks him to remove her name from the mortgage, he says she is harassing him. What are her legal options and steps to accomplish this?

Answer: The couple’s divorce agreement should have addressed this issue. If he agreed to take sole responsibility for the mortgage, she should consult an attorney about holding him to that agreement.

It’s not as simple as requesting that the lender remove her name from the loan, said Emily Doskow, author of “Nolo’s Essential Guide to Divorce.”

“Every once in a while you’ll come across a mortgage lender that is willing to release one of the parties,” Doskow said. “But that’s very, very rare.”

Typically, getting her off the loan would require him to refinance or sell the home. If for some reason the divorce agreement doesn’t address the debt, your daughter still has considerable leverage if her name is on the deed. If she’s still an owner of the home, she can force a sale, Doskow said.

If she’s not on the deed, her options are limited. She may need to ask a court to intervene, Doskow said.

As long as she’s on the mortgage, her credit and ability to buy another home are tied up with her ex. If he stops making the mortgage payments — because he can’t afford them or out of spite — her credit would be trashed, since they are jointly responsible for the debt.

This is why it’s so important to separate all credit accounts and refinance any loans before a divorce is final. Otherwise, the two exes can be tied together financially, if not for life then at least for the life of a loan.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

file_161555_0_tax refundToday’s top story: Year-end tricks to boost your tax refund. Also in the news: Unstacking the deck for student loan borrowers, the most important mortgage documents you’ll sign, and why you shouldn’t raid your retirement savings to pay for the holidays.

5 Year-End Tricks to Boost Your Tax Refund
Now’s the time to reduce your tax liability.

Unstacking the Deck for Student Loan Borrowers
There’s a lot of money at stake.

The 4 Most Important Mortgage Documents You’ll Sign
What you’ll be signing if you purchase a home in the near future.

5 Safety Features That Can Save You Money on Car Insurance
Every penny counts.

Don’t Raid Your Retirement Account to Pay for the Holidays
The high costs of splurging.