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Tag Archives: Credit Counseling

The Ultimate Guide to A Budget Vacation

Budget Travel Hacks to Stretch your Vacation Dollar Staycation is an Option That might not sound exciting but it’s often the cheapest option because there are no travel or flight costs and no accommodation costs. But don’t just sit at home. The trick is to do activities that you wouldn’t normally do. For example, most people haven’t been to their own town’s tourist attractions since they were on grade school …Read More

Ask An Expert: What are the credit bureaus?

The credit bureaus are agencies that collect, keep, and maintain consumer’s financial information. They also share and distribute this information in the form of credit reports. There are several credit bureaus or consumer reporting agencies in the U.S., but the most well-known are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These agencies collect and receive information from credit card companies, lenders, collection agencies, and other businesses who have pre-arranged business relations with them. …Read More

3 Ways a New Credit Card Can Help Rebuild Your Credit

For those with a tarnished credit history, applying for a new credit card might seem questionable. After all, that card you opened and maxed out in college is what caused your credit score to start going south in the first place. However, it’s not so cut and dry. What if I told you that opening a new credit card might actually improve your credit score? The difference between now and …Read More

Ask An Expert: How do I remove negative remarks on my credit report?

A: Dear reader, removing negative information from your credit report could be a good strategy to boost your score and improve your credit history. Negative data can reflect past financial mistakes you’ve made (like paying your credit cards consistently late) or they can be errors made by the credit bureaus or the creditors reporting to the bureaus. These errors might include having other people’s account reported on your file or …Read More

Financial Goal Setting for Military Families

It’s hard to make a plan for your finances when you don’t know where you’re going. That is why it’s important to set financial goals. It’s even more important when you’re in the military because with military life comes lots of transition. When you’re in the constant state of transition, it makes it difficult to plan for anything let alone your money. Taking the time to set your financial goals …Read More

Ask An Expert: I’m struggling to make payments on my student loan. I have all federal and Perkins loans. Should I consolidate them to get lower interest?

A: Dear reader, consolidating your federal student loans could be an option to help you manage your payments and potentially avoid default. However, combining your loans may help you for other reasons that do not necessarily include lowering your interest rates. If you are thinking about consolidation, you can start by looking into Direct Consolidation Loans. This type of loan offers a consolidation option at no cost to you through …Read More

What Military Families Need to Know about the Changes to Military Retirement

by Shannon Razadin By now military families have heard about the impending changes to the military retirement system. Shannon Razsadin, executive director of the Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN), is here to break down what it means and explain who will be affected — and when. Why the change in military retirement? The DoD carefully considered the future of the force. The reality is, since the start of the all-volunteer …Read More

Ask An Expert: When is it a good idea to seek a personal loan or balance transfer to take pay off a substantial balance on a credit card?

A: Dear reader, it’s very common for people to seek personal loans or balance transfers to pay off their credit cards when they feel overwhelmed with their debt or when it becomes difficult to make the monthly payments. Whenever you feel like that, it’s a good idea to look for debt repayment strategies immediately. If you are finding yourself in a similar situation, I recommend that before you move your …Read More

First-Time Home Buyer Tips

So you and you’ve finally decided to take that next step. You’ve got a steady job, saved up some money and are ready to start a family. You’re ready to buy a home. You’ve picked out the city you want to live in and are ready to finally make that purchase. But before you do, take these first-time home buyer tips into consideration before you sign the dotted line. Is …Read More

Ask An Expert: Should I Withdraw Money From My 401(k) to Pay Off Debt?

Dear reader, Paying off your debts with your 401(k) is not as practical and beneficial as it sounds, especially when you may have other avenues available to manage and eliminate your debt. If you are younger than 59 ½ when you withdraw money from your 401(k), you will be hit with a 10 % upfront early withdrawal fee and you will have to pay income tax on the amount you …Read More