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.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

imagesToday’s top story: Choosing the best student loan refinancing offer. Also in the news: Taking 15 minutes a month for your financial health, using your 1040 for a retirement savings check-up, and how couples can financially prepare for the inevitable.

How to Choose the Best Student Loan Refinancing Offer for You
Sorting through the options.

15 Minutes a Month to Maintain Financial Health
Easy steps that can build longterm success.

Use Your 1040 For A Retirement Savings And Investment Tax Check-Up
The perfect time to take stock of your finances.

Widow/widower financial preparedness 101: 5 things to do right now
Making a difficult time less complicated.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Student-LoansToday’s top story: How to decide if you should refinance your student loans. Also in the news: Credit card scams to watch out for, money-saving tips for the holidays, and hidden perks in your credit cards.

This Infographic Helps You Decide If You Should Refinance Student Loans
Refinancing could give you some breathing room.

3 Credit Card Scams You Need to Watch Out For
Protect yourself.

5 smart money-saving tips for the holidays
Especially if you’re still paying off last year’s holiday shopping.

8 Perks That Might Be Hiding in Your Credit Cards
What you could be missing out on.

7 simple steps to wise charitable giving
Donating strategically.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: There’s a new proposal in Congress to raise Social Security benefits. Also in the news: Money moves to make before the end of the year, why Millennial credit scores are on the low side, and the complete guide to refinancing your student loans.

Congress Considers New Proposal To Raise Social Security Benefits
What could this mean for you?

20 Money Moves to Make Before the End of the Year
How to meet all of your financial obligations.

What’s Wrong With Millennial Credit Scores?
Why are they on the low side?

The complete guide to refinancing your student loans.
Get ready to crunch the numbers.

Is It Actually More Difficult to Get a Mortgage This Year?
What has and hasn’t changed since last year.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Life InsuranceToday’s top story: How to refinance your home without piles of paperwork. Also in the news: Why you should skip credit card advances, understanding your life insurance policy, and 10 ways you could be throwing money away.

Can You Refinance Your Home Without a Mountain of Paperwork?
Finding a loan that doesn’t require a million documents.

Skip Credit Card Cash Advances: Convenience Costs Too Much
Quick cash can come with a heavy price tag.

Managing Your Life Insurance Policy: Understanding Key Terms
Knowledge is power.

10 Ways That Too Many People Throw Money Away
Stop doing that!

Monday’s need-to-know money news

refinancingToday’s top story: What you need to know before refinancing your mortgage. Also in the news: Signs you’re about to make a bad financial decision, how to detect a less than stellar 401(k) program, and how to limit your risk of tax identity theft.

4 Big Refinancing Questions Answered
What you need to know before refinancing.

5 Signs You’re About to Make a Bad Financial Decision
Pay attention to the warning signs.

7 Clues That Your 401(k) Plan Sucks
How to detect a less than stellar plan.

Protect yourself from tax identity theft
How to limit your risk.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

late-payments-depression-400x400Today’s top story: The most depressing number in personal finance. Also in the news: The secret language of finance, the changes coming to IRAs and 401(k)s in 2015, and the money moves you should make by the end of the year.

This Is the Most Depressing Number in Personal Finance
Take a guess.

Translate This! How To Decode The Secret Language Of Finance
Like Rosetta Stone for banks!

IRA and 401(k) Changes Coming in 2015
You’ll be able to contribute more next year.

9 Money Moves to Make Before the End of the Year
Tick tock…

When Refinancing Your Student Loans Can Backfire
Thorough research is essential.

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

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: How to avoid the 10 most common student loan mistakes. Also in the news: Finding the essential facts on your social security statement, using targeted savings to achieve your financial goals, and how to save money on utilities as the hot weather approaches.

The 10 Most Common Student Loan Mistakes
Learning how to avoid them.

5 Essential Facts on Your Social Security Statement
Where to find these important pieces of information.

How to Use Targeted Savings to Achieve Goals
Using subaccounts to save for specific things.

5 Ways You Can Save Money on Your Utility Bills
Preparing for air conditioning season.

Refinance Wisdom: Should You or Shouldn’t You?
With interest rates expected to creep up, is now the time to refinance?

Q&A: Helping retired parents refinance

Dear Liz: I am trying to help my retired parents refinance their home. Currently they are paying over 8% interest. (This loan should be illegal.) The problem is their credit score, which is around 536. They had a tax lien in 2004 (it has been paid off for over four years) and some minor credit card issues. The total card debt is less than $1,000. I see several bad footnotes on these cards. Some of the cards have a balance of less than $100. What is the best and fastest way to help them get the mortgage they deserve?

Answer: Your parents don’t have a single credit score. They each have their own scores. Mortgage lenders typically get FICO scores for each borrower from all three credit bureaus, for a total of six scores. Lenders look at the middle score for each person and typically base rates and terms on the lower of those two middle scores.

If that number is indeed 536, your parents have serious, recent credit problems. You may not think an unpaid credit card is a big deal, but it is to credit scoring formulas, which are designed to help lenders gauge a borrower’s risk of default. People with unpaid bills are far more likely to default on a new loan than people who pay their bills on time, and their respective credit scores reflect that reality. What people “deserve” isn’t a factor. How they handle their credit accounts is.

What you’re calling “bad footnotes” are likely records of late payments and perhaps charge-offs and collections activity. Those typically can’t be erased, but your parents can stop the ongoing damage to their credit by paying their bills on time and paying off any overdue bills to their credit card companies.

If the accounts have been sold to collectors, the process gets trickier. Paying off collections typically won’t help credit scores, but lenders usually want these accounts paid off before they will make a new loan. Your parents can try negotiating to have the collection accounts deleted in return for payment, but they won’t be able to erase the late payments and other negative marks reported by the original creditor.

Once they start handling their credit accounts responsibly, their credit scores will start to improve. The improvements will happen slowly, though, and they may well miss the opportunity to refinance at today’s low levels.