Borrowing

You learned a lot at school. But did your teachers or professors educate you on how to use credit, protect your identity, or maintain a good credit score? Sadly, personal finance education does not rank up there with reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic. According to research from the credit bureau Experian, more than one in three
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Equifax… Uber… Target… Under Armour…. The list of data hacks keeps growing and growing, increasing the odds that someone will steal your identity. Last year, this digital epidemic affected 14.4 million Americans. But the more you know, the better you can protect yourself. We conducted an exclusive MoneyTips Google survey in 2018 to
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Are you dealing with more credit cards than you can handle? You may have several cards for different purposes – perhaps a travel card to maximize travel benefits, a cash-back rewards card, and a low-interest rate card for large purchases that will require you to carry a balance. They were all good ideas at the
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Statewide restrictions are easing, and businesses are slowly reopening across the country, but consumers are still experiencing a lot of financial anxiety about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on their income and budgets. In fact, a survey by LendEDU found that 63% of poll participants were concerned about running out of money and 51%
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For years, you have been dreaming about buying your first home and now you are debating taking action. Are you ready to enter the home buying market? Consider these seven signs before taking the plunge. 1. Having Job Security – Mortgage loan approvals require a steady regular income. Is your employment situation secure enough that
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When it comes to financing your mortgage, trying to navigate the labyrinth of lenders can get confusing. Like any significant financial transaction, there are advantages and disadvantages that come with each type of lender. Get started by asking your realtor for referrals. With a large commission at stake, realtors have the right sort of incentive
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Is your credit card interest rate causing you financial pain? As of April 2020, the average annual percentage rate (APR) across all credit cards is 16.12%. Low-interest rate cards average 12.95% – a huge improvement when you’re struggling with debt. If your card’s APR doesn’t measure up, how do you get a low-interest rate credit
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Can you spot a credit score myth when you see one? Survey after survey, including a 2017 MoneyTips survey, finds that people continually believe the same credit score myths. Have you fallen for these examples? 1. Checking Your Own Credit Report Drops Your Score – This myth confuses the two types of pulls on your
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Selling a home can be a stress-inducing experience, especially if you are counting on the sale of your existing home to fund the purchase of a new home. It can seem like you are coordinating a million things at once. A simple checklist can help you to keep track during the chaos and prevent necessary
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The old phrase “you get what you pay for” really does ring true in some cases. There are some cases where quality is far more important than price. Would you consider discount brain surgery? Probably not… and if you would, we suspect it might be repeat business. Medicine warrants a whole category of areas where
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You’ve set up a lame date for the upcoming weekend but you’re hoping a better offer comes along. If one does, you’re ready to accept it and cancel your earlier date. You’re hedging your bets, so you won’t be sitting home alone on Saturday night. That logic applies to real estate transactions as well. Perhaps
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Certificates of Deposit (CDs) can be a useful part of your investment portfolio – but did you know that opening a CD at some banks and credit unions can drop your credit score? It’s possible, depending on how your bank or credit union assesses risk. When you apply for credit, lenders check your credit report
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A vacation home sounds delightful, doesn’t it? If you can’t afford one, you may be able to at least afford a part of one – by purchasing a timeshare. You’ll have plenty of company if you do. The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) reports that timeshare sales have risen for eight consecutive years, reaching $9.6
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You decide to participate in a government survey regarding your debt and credit card usage. Will you answer the survey questions honestly, or will you shade some of your answers when you’re not proud of the truthful response? Researchers at the Federal Reserve decided to compare credit card data from different sources to answer that
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You have decided that it is time to sell your home. Regardless of the reason why, you want as smooth and as quick of a sale as possible. To keep your sale trouble-free, consider these potential stumbling blocks before you begin your home-selling journey. Overpricing – Set the price using appraisal values and market rates,
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The home appraisal process can be one of the most nerve-wracking parts of a home sale. A single independent party is assessing the fair market value of your home, and the appraiser’s conclusion can sink the deal. Banks will not approve the loan if the appraisal does not give them sufficient collateral. The primary factors
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When you decide to revamp your home, the goal is usually to suit your lifestyle and create an ambiance more to your own taste. In a world of financial uncertainties, however, it is crucial to consider the effect on the resale value of your property. Home improvement projects that enhance sought-after features can make your
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You would love to embark on a home improvement project that will spruce up your property and improve its resale value at the same time, but you only have $1,000 in the budget. What sort of projects can give you the best return on your investment (ROI)? We have five options below for your consideration.
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Are you starting home improvement projects to celebrate spring – or to recover from this year’s wicked heating bill? Are you looking to sell your home soon, and investigating home improvements to improve the sale price? In any case, you want your home upgrades to result in savings and/or increased value. But which improvements are
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Refinancing your home can be a difficult task under any conditions, but with a low appraisal value, it is especially challenging. The recent housing crisis left many homeowners in this position – the overall drop in home values produced loan-to-value (LTV) ratios that were unacceptably high to banks, putting refinancing out of reach. Even without
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According to the Federal Reserve Board, there are three things to consider when determining whether refinancing your home is a good idea: How long you have already been paying your mortgage. How long you plan to remain in your home. Whether or not your current mortgage has a prepayment penalty. When you
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Are you considering refinancing your home? You may want to act before interest rates rise further. The refinancing plan that’s right for you and your family depends on your current financial situation. Is your home underwater (that is, you owe more on your home than it is currently worth) and you need to secure a
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Interested in buying a fixer-upper? There are several different methods of acquiring a renovation loan, but two federally backed renovation mortgage programs will allow you to do a combined purchase and repair mortgage loan – the FHA 203(k) loan and the Fannie Mae Homestyle Renovation mortgage. They are perfect for rehab work on foreclosed properties,
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As the housing market recovers, many homeowners still owe more on their house than it is presently worth. In many cases, people who are “upside down” on their mortgage, as this is known, can negotiate with their lenders to sell their homes for less than what they owe, rather than go through foreclosure. These types
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