Monday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: Every day things that can help improve your credit. Also in the news: Borrowing money for things that won’t last, how lifestyle inflation is hurting your finances, and times when paying more just isn’t worth it.

5 Things You Do Every Day That Can Improve Your Credit
Effortless ways to improve your credit.

Don’t Borrow Money For Longer Than The Thing You’re Buying Will Last
You could be paying off a purchase long after you’ve stopped using it.

7 Ways Lifestyle Inflation Is Harming Your Finances
The high cost of a “better” standard of living.

7 times when paying more isn’t worth it
When going the cheap route makes more sense.

How to save money: 27 great personal finance tips
Every penny counts.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

imagesToday’s top story: How paying off your student loans could actually be a bad thing for your credit. Also in the news: Common tax filing mistakes to avoid, the best new money apps, and how to earn money during your retirement.

Why Paying Off Your Student Loans Could Actually Hurt Your Credit
Yes, you read that correctly.

Tax Hacks 2015: Avoid These 10 Common Filing Mistakes
Filing mistakes can significantly delay your refund.

The Best New Savings Apps for Your Phone
New year, new apps.

5 ways to earn money in retirement
Retirement doesn’t have to be the end of earning.

Cash-strapped? The dos and (mostly) don’ts of 401(k) loans
The cons outweigh the pros.

Q&A: Can installment loans help repair bad credit?

Dear Liz: I am working on paying my bad debt from the past to rebuild my scores. I have one credit card that I pay in full every month, but no installment loan. I recently was given the opportunity to take a car loan with monthly payments I could easily afford. Here is my confusion: Taking on more debt while trying to eliminate past debt is usually not advisable. But I also know creditors like to see both revolving and installment credit. Am I OK taking the car loan to give the “well-rounded use” credit, or should I just put that extra money to pay off my past debt?

Answer: Paying off old bad debts typically doesn’t help your credit scores. If these accounts are now in collections, the damage has been done and won’t be erased by your payments.

And if the accounts are in collections, the money you’re paying probably isn’t going to the creditors you originally owed. Those creditors probably sold your debts to collection agencies for pennies on the dollar. If that’s the case, those collectors may be willing to settle for 50% or less of what you owed the original creditor. If you have the cash to make lump sum offers and you decide to take this route, get written assurance from the collector — in advance and in writing — that any remaining debt won’t be resold to another collector. Also, reserve some cash for the tax bill, because forgiven debt is usually considered taxable income.

You also can request a “pay for deletion,” which means the collection agency stops reporting the collection account to the credit bureaus in exchange for your lump sum payment. Getting rid of the collection could help your scores, but many collectors resist this step.

Now, back to your question. Adding an installment loan such as an auto loan, mortgage or student loan to your credit mix can indeed help rehabilitate troubled scores. The scoring formulas like to see people responsibly handling a mix of credit accounts.

If you decide to take out a car loan, shop around for a lender before you commit. Those affordable payments you were shown could disguise a bad loan — one with a sky-high interest rate, a long repayment period or both. It’s wise to make at least a 20% down payment on any car purchase and to limit the loan term to four years or less.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

shutterstock_62636899Today’s top story: Why debt doesn’t have to ruin your holiday season. Also in the news: How time can heal your credit wounds, where you’ll have to pay sales tax on Cyber Monday, and how to protect yourself from charity fraud during the holidays.

Don’t let debt ruin your holiday season
Manage and reduce your debt while still enjoying the holidays.

Time heals all wounds when it comes to credit
Time and responsibility are the best remedies for credit bruises.

On Cyber Monday, Will You Have to Pay Sales Tax?
It all depends on where you live and where you shop.

How to protect yourself against charity fraud during the holidays
Don’t let thieves take advantage of your generosity.

How Information Overload Can Hurt Your Retirement
Take small bites instead of big chunks.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

22856641_SAToday’s top story: The three things you should do before tackling your student loan debt. Also in the news: Three tax changes for 2015, how to protect your finances during a late-in-life divorce, and how changing the order in which you deduct from your paycheck could save you more money.

3 Things to Do Before Tackling Your Student Loan Debt
There’s a lot to do before you start making payments.

3 Tax Changes for 2015 You Need To Know About
Tax time is right around the corner.

Protect finances in later-in-life divorce
Divorce after 50 can come with a special set of financial issues.

Subtract Savings from Your Salary Before Expenses to Save Better
Subtracting your savings first could help keep your expenses in check.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score This Month
Just in time for the holidays.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

crop380w_istock_000009258023xsmall-dbet-ball-and-chainToday’s top story: How high your credit score needs to be in order to refinance. Also in the news: Tips on getting out of debt from people who have paid off thousands, ways to save on monthly housing costs, and how to avoid the scariest credit card fees.

What credit score do I need to refinance?
Reaching the magic number.

How to Get Out of Debt: Lessons From People Who Paid Off $100,000
Learning from the masters.

4 Ways To Save On Monthly Housing Costs
Every little bit helps.

The 5 Scariest Credit Card Fees – And How to Avoid Them
Paying even an hour late could cost you big bucks.

8 Online Banks That Let You Skip the Fees, Enjoy the Interest
Thinking outside the branch.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

life isurance blank bar chart and glasesToday’s top story: Life insurance mistakes you must avoid. Also in the news: The gift tax, how to get better financial advice, and seven credit card strategies that can improve your credit.

Five Life Insurance Mistakes That Can Haunt You
These mistakes can be costly for both you and your loved ones.

Remember, Some Gifts Are Taxed
The gifts that keep on giving (and taking).

A Simple Tool for Getting Better Financial Advice
It’s about more than just your money.

7 Credit Card Strategies to Help Your Credit
Using your cards to give your credit a boost.

4 Great Ideas from Hanging Around with Financial Bloggers
Tips from those in the know.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

22856641_SAToday’s top story: How Americans sabotage their savings. Also in the news: Ways you can make your children’s college dreams come true, the best credit cards for holiday shopping, and the multitude of ways you can get a free copy of your credit score.

5 Ways Americans Sabotage Their Savings
Stop doing them.

The Simple Path to Making Your Children’s College Dreams Come True
Relatively speaking.

3 Best credit cards this holiday season
Maximizing bonuses.

The Many Ways You Can Get a Free Copy of Your Credit Score
You have no excuse not to get one.

Babies born today get free $500 mutual fund investment
One day only!

Friday’s need-to-know money news

imagesToday’s top story: Why couples should consider keeping some of their finances separate. Also in the news: Ten ways to give your credit score a boost, six ways to save $1000 by the end of the year, and what the financial world could look like in 2019.

Why Couples Shouldn’t Merge All Their Finances
The benefits of financial autonomy.

10Best: Ways to improve your credit score
Easy steps that could give your score a boost.

The 2019 Forecast: Way More Millionaires, Way More Inequality
What will the financial world look like five years from now?

6 ways to save $1,000 by the end of the year
It can be done!

How much should you tip housekeeping? A travel tipping guide
Unraveling the mysteries of tipping while traveling.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

download (1)Today’s top story: How to boost your credit score by rearranging your debt. Also in the news: Why borrowing from your 401(k) is a bad idea, how long you need to keep your tax records, and you still have time to cut this year’s tax bill.

Can Rearranging My Debt Boost My Credit Score?
Playing the credit card shuffle.

Borrowing from 401(k) can cost more than you think
Your monthly retirement income could be reduced by hundreds.

How Long Should I Keep My Tax Records?
This time, being a pack rat can pay off.

You may still be able to cut last year’s tax bill
But you better act fast.

What Twenty-Somethings Need To Know About Retirement And Social Security
The sooner you start saving, the better off you’ll be.