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Author Archives: Guest Post

Will Transferring a Credit Card Balance Hurt My Credit?

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If you’re struggling with credit card debt, often the last thing you’re thinking about is how to open a new credit card. But balance transfer credit cards are a tool that are often recommended by experts as a way to get some breathing room from your debt. A reader, Joan, asked us recently whether transferring a balance to a new ... Read More »

    I Have $210K of Student Loans, But Debt Collectors Stopped Calling. Am I Free?


    Almost everyone looks back at something they did when they were younger and thinks, “Yeah, that was stupid.” That can be a particularly painful thought when that something involves taking on student loan debt. Unfortunately, millions of people know that pain, and because of the laws unique to student loans, they may have to live with that pain for a very, ... Read More »

      How I Ditched Satellite Radio & Never Looked Back

      Radio Sets

      Around November of last year, a new Nissan Leaf turned up in our driveway, partly thanks to generous incentives from federal and state governments. And then, thanks to a safety feature we wanted (a front and side camera), the options package included a high-end sound system and a free three-month trial of satellite radio. It was, by far, the best sound ... Read More »

        Most Students Think Debit Cards Build Credit (They’re Wrong)


        Sure, debit cards look almost identical to credit cards, but they’re very different. Among the biggest differences between these products is one of the most important: Debit cards do not have an effect on your credit score. Debit card activity isn’t reported to the credit bureaus. Because of that, they don’t show up on your credit reports, so they’re not helping ... Read More »

          The New Star Wars Credit Card: Apply Should You?


          Star Wars fans have a lot to be excited about: The newest movie is coming out in December, Disney recently announced it will build two Star Wars parks and Chase just unveiled Star Wars credit card perks through its Disney Visa cards. Credit cards may not be as thrilling as light sabers or the ability to use the Force, but ... Read More »

            How to Start Making Money With a Pet Business

            dog running

            It’s a staggering number. The American Pet Products Association estimates that pet owners will spend over $60 billion on their pets in 2015. Owners love their pets and don’t mind spending money on them. If you need extra income, or a new career, you can profit from pet ownership. As the former owner of a pet grooming business, I know ... Read More »

              What a Typical Debt Collector Payment Plan Looks Like


              When a debt collector has contacted you about a past-due debt and you are unable to pay the entire amount, or settle the account for less than the balance in a lump sum payment, you may have another option — a payment plan. A payment plan is not available on every account, but for those accounts that are eligible, a ... Read More »

                What’s Missing from Hillary Clinton’s Student Loan Plan


                Little by little, the mass of humanity that’s running for President of the United States is coming to realize something very important: Not only does the $1.2 trillion worth of higher education-related debt pose significant macroeconomic peril to the country, but solving this problem (or, at least, coming close) has the potential to rally widespread, enthusiastic support across the generational ... Read More »

                  Dvorkin On Debt: Your Credit Card Is Not Your Friend


                  Why do we use credit cards? It seems like such a basic question, but can you guess the answer? If you said, “Obviously for all the rewards, cash back, and airline miles you can rack up,” well…you’re wrong. “The single biggest reason Americans use credit cards is because they are easier and more convenient than paying with cash,” says a recent ... Read More »

                    10 Ways to Cut the Cost of Self Storage

                    illustration of a self storage isolated on white background

                    Americans buy – and keep – a lot of stuff. That’s made self-storage a $24 billion industry, according to its major trade group, the Self Storage Association. According to the SSA, 84 percent of all U.S. counties have at least one self-storage facility. It’s been one of the fastest-growing sectors of the commercial real-estate industry for the past 35 years, ... Read More »

                      The First Steps to Take Before You Start Paying Your Student Loans

                      get out of debt

                      It’s a whole new world once you leave the cocoon of college and head off into the real world to make a living. You’re no doubt overwhelmed with getting a job and finding a place to live. That’s understandable. But if you paid for your college education with student loans, it’s also incredibly important to check your credit reports and ... Read More »

                        Evictions Reach 5-Year Low

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                        Apartment evictions in 2014 were at their lowest level in five years, according to a new report from credit reporting agency TransUnion. The agency recorded 3.4 million evictions last year, down from 3.5 million in 2013. Eviction proceedings vary by state, but generally a landlord needs legal cause for kicking someone out of a rental unit — like failing to ... Read More »

                          Why We Need to Stop Sneering at Millennials


                          I’m the perfect age (um, let’s just say in my 50s) and profession (CPA and credit counselor) to insult Millennials. They’re idealistic. They don’t work hard. They need constant care and feeding to do their jobs. On and on. Except I don’t believe any of that. While my parents were the Greatest Generation, I believe my children will eclipse them. ... Read More »

                            Fake Waitress Allegedly Snags Diner’s Credit Card

                            get out of debt

                            Take a good look at your server the next time you’re dining out, because if someone you don’t recognize comes to take your credit card at the end of your meal, you may not want to hand it over. A man who was eating at a restaurant in Santa Fe, N.M., said a woman he thought to be a waitress ... Read More »

                              5 Ways to Save on Summer Travel

                              get out of debt

                              With the weather warming up and images of travel getaways looking even sweeter than before, you are probably looking forward to (or trying to figure out how to afford) getting some vacation time this summer. Even if your trip seems miles or months away, you can start figuring out how to save for it now. No matter what type of ... Read More »

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