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Author Archives: Guest Post

What Does A “Charge-Off” Notation Mean On My Credit Report?

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Q. What does a “charge-off” notation mean on my credit report? A. A common theme in my credit card debt relief law practice is to know what you owe and have a plan to pay off your credit card debt. The best way to get a true picture of your debts is to run your credit reports from the three ... Read More »

    44K Cars Were Stolen Last Year Because People Left Keys in Them

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    Having your car stolen would be a terrible thing to experience, but apparently thousands of Americans aren’t thinking about that because they leave their keys in their vehicles — and then the cars get stolen. Sure, it may seem like a no-brainer to not leave your keys in an unattended vehicle, but people are increasingly making this mistake, according to an ... Read More »

      A Guide to Getting a Mortgage After You’ve Had a Loan Modification

      Loan Modification Green Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.

      If you had a mortgage just a few years ago, fell on hard economic times or were offered a mortgage loan modification by your loan servicer and you’re looking to apply for a new mortgage loan, you’ll need to meet certain credit requirements to get a green light on a new loan. Here’s what you need to know. What Is ... Read More »

        5 Expensive College Financial Aid Gotchas

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        It’s crunch time for high school seniors: May 1 is College Decision Day, the day most college-bound students will let universities and colleges know whether they will be enrolling. For students agonizing over multiple offers, a big factor in choices will (or should be) financial aid. After all, the less you borrow as a student, the less student loan debt you’ll ... Read More »

          5 Steps to Getting a VA Loan

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          Millions of veterans and active military members are eligible for what’s arguably the most powerful mortgage option on the market. VA loans feature $ 0 down payment, no mortgage insurance and more flexible and forgiving requirements. To be sure, VA loans aren’t the answer for every veteran. But they continue to make a huge difference, especially for those who might ... Read More »

            Should I Apply for More Than One Credit Card at the Same Time?

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            There are so many credit cards out there — what’s to stop you from trying to get a bunch of them in your wallet? Potentially, nothing. If you have excellent credit, you may qualify for most of those great offers. Even if your credit isn’t stellar, you can still get your hands on credit card applications. Anyone can get credit ... Read More »

              3 Renter Gotchas

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              It’s already hard enough to find an affordable home or apartment to rent (especially if you live in one of these cities). Rental prices are rising fast around the country, even in unexpected places like Kansas City and Portland. But as more people turn to online help to find a decent home, there are more scams and gotchas to worry ... Read More »

                The Dollar Store Experiment: 10 Products Put to the Test

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                CHICAGO — As I write this story, I’m stuffing my face with delicious, inexpensive popcorn I purchased from a dollar store. I don’t usually shop at such stores (in fact, I can’t remember the last time I was in one prior to my trip last week), but as a generally frugal person, I found myself curious about the sort of ... Read More »

                  5 Lessons I Learned from Working Low-Wage Jobs

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                  It’s been a while since I worked in a job that would be considered “low-wage,” but that doesn’t mean I don’t remember what the low-wage lifestyle was like. Quite the contrary, really. I actually remember exactly what it felt like to be broke until payday, struggling to come up with money for anything extra – like birthdays, clothes, and even ... Read More »

                    5 Common Money Fights Couples Can Avoid

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                    Relationships almost always come with their fair share of disputes, but fighting about money can be another animal entirely. Managing joint finances is rarely easy, but keeping the lines of communication open can go a long way. Take a look at the most common money fights couples have and consider which strategies can help you avoid repeating the same arguments. ... Read More »

                      Could I Owe Taxes on College Scholarships?

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                      Paying for college isn’t getting any cheaper, so in order to avoid going into unaffordable education debt, families and students either need to save more money, go to less expensive schools or find someone else to pay for it. There are hundreds of thousands — maybe even millions — of scholarship opportunities out there, but receiving monetary awards can do ... Read More »

                        The Pros & Cons of Rent-to-Own Home Deals

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                        That age-old question when choosing a place to live of rent versus buy actually raises a series of questions. What can you afford? What makes sense for your situation? Can’t I just live with my parents forever? No matter which aspect plagues you most, it seems there is actually a middle ground. Once you know how much house you can afford ... Read More »

                          Could Social Media Be Causing You to Overspend?

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                          Social media has exploded. It is a multi-million dollar industry with ordinary people becoming overnight sensations and companies cashing in on people’s apparently insatiable need to constantly be connected. It is a vital connection to loved ones serving overseas and to keep in touch with family and friends. The many different platforms have enhanced our lives by making us feel ... Read More »

                            How You Can Get a Mortgage With a 550 FICO Score

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                            Mortgage credit remains extremely tight, even as the economy continues to recover from the recent housing crisis and recession. About 90% of mortgages originated in 2013 went to borrowers with FICO credit scores of 660 or higher — about 60% of all mortgage borrowers had a credit score greater than 720, according to a recent report from the Urban Institute. ... Read More »

                              4 Emotions That Can Cost You Money

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                              We all get emotional – it’s human nature. The trouble sometimes comes when our emotional side overrules our rational side for money matters. Check out some of the common ways emotions can hurt your finances, discover if you are an emotional spender and how to combat the problem. 1. Jealousy It is easy to become bitter when we see other ... Read More »

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