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NFCC Blog

Ask an Expert: What’s the Difference Between Disposable and Discretionary Income?

What is the difference between disposable and discretionary income? Dear Reader, This is a very good question. Although you only have one income, there are many ways of describing it based on the amounts withheld or deducted. For instance, your disposable income is the amount of money you have left over after you’ve paid all of your federal, state and local taxes. On the other hand, your discretionary income is …Read More

Eight Ways to Get Your Teen Prepared for a Summer Job

For teenagers, that first summer job is a major gateway to adulthood – and the eye-opening realities that come with every paycheck. Unlike chores and the occasional babysitting or lawn mowing job around the neighborhood, salaried employment gives young people their first real taste of the workplace, and what earning a living may be like. Building money responsibility and financial independence is part of that picture. Parents can help prepare …Read More

Ask an Expert: What is a Judgment?

Q. What is a judgment?   Dear Reader, Dealing with a judgment can be a terrifying ordeal. As it relates to credit, it means that a creditor or debt collector has taken you to court to collect your unpaid debt and they have won the lawsuit.   Like any legal matter, a judgment is a process. It’s the debt collector’s last recourse to legally collect the debt after all other …Read More

Retirement Planning for Small Business Owners

Small business owners are in a unique position when it comes to planning for retirement because, as their own boss, they will not have a 401(k) or pension option from an employer planning retirement on their behalf. With a number of different plan options (the SEP IRA, the Self-Employed 401(k), Simple IRA, the Simple 401(k), and the Roth IRA, to name a few), deciding on one takes patience and sometimes, …Read More

5 Steps to Prepare for Getting a Small Business Loan

Step 1: Review Credit Pull and review your credit report from all three credit reporting agencies (Transunion, Experian, and Equifax). It’s free at AnnualCreditReport.com, but in order to get your FICO score you’ll have to pay a small fee. First, determine if there are any errors and get them fixed promptly. It’s important to take care of any bad debt, like collection debt, immediately. If you paid the debt, but it’s still …Read More

Ask an Expert: What are the Consequences of Bankruptcy?

Q. What are the consequences of bankruptcy?   Dear Reader, Bankruptcy is a legal process that can eliminate many of your debts and even help you keep some of your property. It is the fresh start some people need to rebuild their finances, yet it has long-term negative consequences.   For instance, a bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for 7–10 years, depending on the type you file, even …Read More

A New Employee’s Guide to Retirement Plans

After college, starting your first entry-level job can be overwhelming. You have to learn your company’s office norms, understand policies and procedures, and fill out a heap of paperwork. When you get your packet on retirement plans, going through all of the information can feel like learning a new language. However, it’s important to understand your retirement options so you can start saving as soon as possible. The earlier you …Read More

Ask an Expert: How can I qualify for student loan forgiveness?

Q. How can I qualify for student loan forgiveness? Dear Reader, Dealing with your student debt can seem overwhelming and the possibility of having this debt forgiven sounds too good to be true. However, it doesn’t have to be. Qualifying for loan forgiveness takes time, and it requires you to be very proactive during the application process.   So how do you qualify for a loan forgiveness program? A good …Read More

Top Hidden Costs of Running a Business

Owning a business comes with an endless stream of expenses such as inventory and office rent. But operating a company may also include items you never considered as potential or necessary costs. Although 80 percent of small business owners in TD Bank’s 2017 Small Business Month Survey expressed confidence in managing their businesses’ finances, these hidden costs can add up and put a dent in income if not properly managed. …Read More

Credit Card Rewards Cannot Offset Rising Interest Rates

The financial crisis that started in 2007 caused interest rates to plummet as the Federal Reserve lowered its federal funds rate to encourage more borrowing. Banks use this rate to base all short-term interest rates and the prime rate—every product involving interest is based on the  Fed funds rate. Credit cards are one of those products, and while interest rates have been low since 2008, they’re now on the rise. …Read More