Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Why good credit matters even if you don’t plan to borrow. Also in the news: An expert weighs in on how to travel safely, 4 options if you’re undecided about college this fall, and how to amend a tax return online.

Why Good Credit Matters — Even if You Don’t Plan to Borrow
Good credit provides a safety net in a crisis, and it can reduce bills and make you look better on applications.

Ask an Expert: Is Any Travel Safe?
Can we safely beat our cabin fever?

Still Undecided About College This Fall? Know These 4 Options
Things will look a bit different.

How to Amend a Tax Return Online
You no longer need to mail in corrections.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Find free, solid money advice in uncertain times. Also in the news: 9 budget-friendly ideas for a staycation, how unpaid debt is handled when a person dies, and what to do if you get a letter about unemployment benefits you never requested.

Find Free, Solid Money Advice in Uncertain Times
Many organizations are offering free virtual consultations to help stressed consumers navigate financial decisions.

9 Budget-Friendly Ideas for a Memorable Staycation
Travel plans are changing.

Here’s how unpaid debt is handled when a person dies
Who’s responsible?

What to Do if You Get a Letter About Unemployment Benefits You Never Requested
Don’t throw it out.

Find free, solid money advice in uncertain times

If you have money questions — and who among us doesn’t right now? — there are plenty of people willing to offer advice: friends, relatives and random strangers on the internet.

Finding someone who knows what they’re talking about, and who isn’t trying to take advantage of you, can be tougher. Fortunately, several groups of credentialed, trustworthy financial advisers are stepping up to offer free help.

In my latest for the Associated Press, how to find the solid advice you need.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Credit score drop? How to diagnose why and what to do next. Also in the news: A new episode of the SmartMoney podcast on the safety of Bitcoin, what to do if you’re struggling with IRS delays, and what to do about your FSA contributions if your child care is closed.

Credit Score Drop? How to Diagnose Why, and What to Do Next
Time to check your credit report.

SmartMoney Podcast: ‘Is Bitcoin Safe?’
A look at the popular cryptocurrency.

Try these workarounds if you’re struggling with IRS delays
Tips on how to get help.

What to Do About Your FSA Contributions if Your Child Care Is Closed
The IRS has made some changes.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Credit score drop? How to diagnose why and what to do next. Also in the news: Put off debt payments to start saving now, going contactless as a way to pay safer, and many unemployed people aren’t aware of all the relief they may qualify for during the pandemic.

Credit Score Drop? How to Diagnose Why, and What to Do Next
If you got a payment modification and saw a score drop, it’s tempting to think they’re related. They may not be.

Put Off Debt Payments to Start Saving Now
In uncertain times, it makes sense to prioritize building a cash reserve over paying down debt balances.

Looking for Safer Ways to Pay? Go Contactless
Contactless payments like mobile wallets, P2P apps and tap-to-pay cards are easy to use and help lessen risk of contagion.

Many unemployed people aren’t aware of all the relief they may qualify for during the pandemic
Take a look at what’s available.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 0% intro APR credit cards can help in a crisis, but mind the details. Also in the news: A look at metro home affordability for first time buyers, how to find the right credit card for your side hustles, and how to stretch your money while you’re unemployed.

0% Intro APR Credit Cards Help in a Crisis, but Mind the Details
That 0% can be more complicated than you’d think.

First-Time Home Buyer Metro Affordability Report – Q1 2020
What the market was like before the pandemic.

Side Hustle Much? You Might Have the Wrong Credit Card
Finding the right card for the gig economy.

Ways to Stretch Your Unemployment Benefits
Making your benefits last.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Side hustle much? You might have the wrong credit card. Also in the news: Make a financial recovery kit to rally faster after disaster, 7 finance tips for 2020 grads entering an economy with few jobs, and that debit card your were mailed is actually your coronavirus relief payment.

Side hustle much? You might have the wrong credit card.
You could qualify for a business credit card.

Make a Financial Recovery Kit to Rally Faster After Disaster
Use your free time wisely.

7 finance tips for 2020 grads entering an economy with few jobs
Finding the help you need.

That Debit Card You Were Mailed Is Actually Your Coronavirus Relief Payment
Don’t throw it out.

Should seniors consider a reverse mortgage now?

Reverse mortgages allow older homeowners to turn part of their home equity into tax-free cash, using a loan that doesn’t have to be paid back until they die, sell or move out.

That sounds good to a lot of seniors navigating financial fallout during the coronavirus pandemic. Stay-at-home orders may have taken away jobs needed to make ends meet, while low interest rates and a volatile stock market have endangered income from retirement savings.

A reverse mortgage could be exactly the right tool at the right time. Or it could be an expensive mistake. In my latest for the Associated Press, learn exactly how these loans work and alternatives to explore before you commit.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 6 tips for handling credit card bills if you’ve lost income. Also in the news: How to slash your cell phone bill, how to work around delays in major IRS functions, and how credit card rewards will change after the pandemic.

6 tips for handling credit card bills if you’ve lost income
Protecting yourself from penalties.

How to slash your cell phone bill
Ways to reduce your monthly costs.

How to Work Around Delays in Major IRS Functions
Exploring your options.

How Credit Card Rewards Will Change After the Pandemic
The new normal for rewards.