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.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to work around delays in major IRS functions. Also in the news: A path to getting your getting your camp deposit back, student loan interest rate dropping to historic lows, how to choose your next credit card.

How to Work Around Delays in Major IRS Functions
Services have been dialed back.

Camp’s Closed: A Path to Getting Your Deposit Back
It’s going to be a very different summer.

Student Loan Interest Rate Dropping to Historic Low
The impact of new rates.

How to Choose Your Next Credit Card
Finding the card that meets your needs.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Should you leave your kids an equal inheritance? Also in the news: The Points Nerd on who we can trust about travel safety, a student loan expert takes her own advice, and how to apply for a credit card when you don’t have a credit score.

Should You Leave Your Kids an Equal Inheritance?
Consider family dynamics.

Ask a Points Nerd: Whom Can We Trust About Travel Safety?
Err on the side of caution.

A student loan expert takes her own advice
Making the system work.

How to Apply for a Credit Card When You Don’t Have a Credit Score
Build up your credit worthiness.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Your 401(k) match may be in jeopardy. Here’s what you should do. Also in the news: What happens to your travel rewards if your airline goes bankrupt, how to upgrade your old car with new tech, and why your student loan Coronavirus forbearance is messing up your credit report.

Your 401(k) match may be in jeopardy. Here’s what you should do
Steps to take right now.

Airlines are on the brink of bankruptcy — what happens to your voucher, travel miles and airline credit card if they go belly up?
No guarantee of a refund,

Upgrade Your Old Car With New-Car Tech
You can get rid of those 8-track tapes.

Why Your Student Loan Coronavirus Forbearance Is Messing Up Your Credit Report
Scores are dropping as much as 50 points.

Should you give your kids an equal inheritance?

Your estate plan may be your last words to those you leave behind. If you’re a parent, you should think carefully about the message you’ll be sending.

Parents who leave their children unequal inheritances risk fueling family feuds. But strictly equal bequests also can cause resentment if the heirs don’t see the distribution as fair.

“Money can cause family discord, and you want to make sure that you are thinking through this and keeping sibling relationships intact,” says Colleen Carcone, co-author of “Principles of Estate Planning” and a wealth planning specialist at TIAA.

In my latest for the Associated Press, learn how to define “fair” when it comes to your kids’ inheritance.