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Debt

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

The Debt-To-Income Ratio Explained

What is the Debt-to-Income Ratio and how does it affect my mortgage application? by Kim Cole Dear Kim, I am considering buying my first home. I have been doing some research and keep hearing about debt to income ratio. What exactly is the debt-to-income ratio? Thank you, Ed Dear Ed, The debt- to- income ratio, or DTI, is a ratio that lenders use to determine how much of your monthly …Read More

3 Tips for Budgeting as a Couple

 By Lauren Lovett, Certified Credit Counselor and Grant Writer for Navicore Solutions  Finances play a vital role in relationships.  When it comes to managing a household together, it is important to work as a team. These three tips can help! I. Be honest and open about all sources of income, expenses, debts and assets. You have selected one another to be partners in life, and therefore, partners in managing finances. …Read More

5 Tips for Improving Your Financial Literacy

By Jessica Kane Americans are struggling with financial literacy. The FINRA Investor Education Foundation, which completes national studies on financial capability, reports that current financial education is not enough to make us money smart. According to their reports, Millennials and young adults were the groups with the most to learn about financial matters. Lack of financial literacy can spell trouble, often resulting in bad money decisions, lack of savings, and …Read More

CFPB Announcement that will Ease the Minds of Consumers

By Tara Carter We’re all familiar with the headache that can come along with the consistent nagging of debt collectors, however the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has just proposed new regulations that will give us a break from persistent debt collectors. Here are highlights of the proposed changes: To protect consumers from being contacted for debts that may be incorrect, debt collectors now have to confirm that they have …Read More

5 Ways to Keep Bank Accounts Cool During Hot Summer Months

 By Tara Carter Temperatures are heating up this summer, but that doesn’t mean you’re spending has to increase with these hot temperatures. Here are 5 ways to help keep spending under control, and bank accounts cool this summer:   1) Set a Budget  Pay attention to spending habits so you don’t end up spending more than you earn. Over spending is a quick way to lead yourself into poor financial health and …Read More

Will Your Kids Inherit Your Debt?

By Jason Alderman Many people finally get around to writing a will in order to safeguard their assets for their heirs. But what if you’ve got the opposite problem: Your nest egg was decimated by the recession, bad investments, or simply living longer than expected and now you’ve got a mountain of bills you can’t pay off. Will your kids inherit your debts after you die? The short answer is, …Read More

Tips to Settle Credit Card Debt

By Melinda Opperman Settling debts is not easy. Many individuals ask us for tips to settle credit card debt. Settling your debts may be possible when a verifiable hardship exists, such as medical problems, unemployment, underemployment, divorce, or death of a family member. Recent credit card debt is more difficult to settle than other kinds of debt (medical debts in particular are generally a good candidate for settlement). The customer …Read More

How to Get Out of Debt

By Lauralynn Schueckler The recent recession affected the financial lives of people all over the country. The recession led to much higher rates of unemployment and underemployment. Because of this, many people needed to rely on credit cards to meet all of their financial obligations and pay for emergencies that arose. While this may have been a good short-term solution, many now find that they have an insurmountable amount of personal …Read More

The Value of Credit Counseling in Everyday Life

By Lauralynn Schueckler Credit counseling is often an overlooked free financial tool in our busy everyday lives. We need good credit for everything these days as we transition to less and less cash in our lives. The truth is good credit is not only for financing, but it’s also essential in setting up utilities, getting a cellular phone, or even landing a job. Unfortunately, most people only really think about …Read More