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San Francisco is home to nearly 810,000 residents, and the outlying greater “Bay Area” is home to millions. In San Francisco home equity loans (HELOC) depend on two primary aspects; amount of the loan and your credit score. To understand the sample rates below, it assumes that the “Maximum Loan to the Value (Maximum Percentage of the Home’s Value that can be lent)”  is 80%. Sample Home Equity Loan Rates: Bank of America can offer a…

I was reading an article on Bankrate  about the advantages of having multiple credit cards. The author asserted that having multiple cards was a good thing because it boosts your credit score, gives a sense of security, and allows users to obtain extra rewards and discounts. All of these are valid points. However, I think that having multiple credit cards is never justified no matter your financial situation. It can be a lot more trouble…

There has been a great deal of talk about the changes that many have made in response to the recent recession. Many have made financial changes, paying down credit card debt and building savings. A little more conscious spending is taking place. As a result, many people are now creating a better financial foundation, rather than overspending into a precarious situation. But will it last? It’s easy to make financial changes when you know that…

One of the subtle influences on your credit score is the type of credit account you have. For instance, while it doesn’t count that much, it makes a small difference whether you have a department store credit card or a major bank credit card. Normally, I fall firmly into the camp of not having a department store credit card. It seems pointless: The interest rates are often higher and there are rarely rewards programs. But…

Earlier this week, Federal Reserve rules requiring banks to get your permission for debit card overdrafts went into effect. This might not be much of a surprise to you, since your bank has probably been sending you information, and encouraging you to opt in. If you do not opt in, any debit card transactions for amounts you do not have in your checking account will be denied. The End of Automatic Debit Overdraft Protection Prior…

Back to school shopping season is upon us. Parents are dragging their kids to malls and department stores across the country to shop for backpacks, books, school supplies, and clothing. College students are shopping too for new clothes, textbooks, and door room decorations. Everyone is looking to score the best deals on their buys. The way to do this is by preparing yourself for your shopping excursion. Here are a few ways to save money…

Saving money is a sacrifice. You have to give up one thing in order to get another. Anyone can save money if they are willing to sacrifice to meet their goals. One of the easiest ways to save is by lowering your recurring expenses. Recurring expenses are those monthly bills that show up month after month. These bills may be aggravating but there is a way to lower them. Follow these 4 steps and you…

[ad#Content 300×250] One of the issues you have to contend with when it comes to retirement is inflation. Inflation, at its most basic, is viewed as rising prices. Inflation erodes your buying power, creating a situation in which your dollar does not go as far as it used to. If you consider that inflation has an annual rate, you can see why it would be a problem. If the rate of inflation is 3% annually,…

With the Federal Reserve trying to bolster the United States economy, interest rates are close to an all time low. Banks are able to borrow money from the Fed at just 0.25%. Since rates are so low, banks have dropped interest rates on all deposit and investment products. A standard savings account is yielding just 0.10%. Low interest rates are not just terrible for savings accounts. They hurt certificates of deposits, bonds, and other investments…

A cash-in refinance is the polar opposite of what we saw consumers doing during the prior decade when they were using their houses like piggy-banks while the mortgage bubble inflated.  At that time, each time a homeowner executed a refinance, they could take cash out of their house (positive equity), and just keep upping their loan amount and paying it down at the new lower rate.  We know how that turned out.  However, more recently,…

Everyone is down on real estates. Construction companies, analysts, and home sellers are all pessimistic about the outlook for the housing sector. They have good reason to be negative based on all of the information that keeps coming in. Many homeowners are still upside down, prices are dropping, and foreclosures are so. How can you invest based on these trends? It’s time to be a contrarian and start buying real estate. That’s right! This is…

In these economic times, many are looking for ways to save a little money. One of the ways to do this is to haggle for a lower price. Whether you are looking for a better price on a car, to get a discount on travel, or you want to save a little extra on a pair of pants, you can haggle the price down — even at a department store. Here are four tips that…

I was recently reading a CNN Money article on the financial outlook of men versus women. The author found that women tend to be more optimistic than men about their financial future. It got me thinking as to what other differences exist between men and women when it comes to there finances. Here are a few examples of when it would pay for men to think more like women. Women are better planners. Women get…

The recent “Great Recession” (which some are still feeling the effects of) has shown us that nothing is as certain as we would like. New skills are needed if you want to survive the coming career climate. Over the past decade, we have been seeing a shift to a more fluid career climate, and the future is only going to see movement across industries — and the creation of new industries and job descriptions. He…

There’s an interesting new phenomena brewing where people enticed by low rates and home prices well off their recent highs are “doubling down” on housing, essentially betting the house if you will, on more house.  This new group of people was profiled in the WSJ.com recently where some intriguing examples were culled out. “Some intrepid homeowners are intentionally taking a loss on their current house—and writing a big check to retire their old mortgage—in order…

Setting out for college is an adventure. However, as with so many other things in life, we tend to think that we “need” certain things as we head out of the house. The truth, though, is that many of the things that college students think are needed really aren’t. Here are 5 things that you can easily do without in college: 1. Expensive Housing Forget about the fancy apartment somewhere. A basic room is all…

Who says that you have to spend a bunch of dough to have a good time? Lots of people wreck their budgets by overspending on entertainment. You can have a great time with your family and friends without blowing your budget. All it takes is a little planning and an open mind to trim your entertainment expenses. Here are 5 easy ways to save money on entertainment. 1. Check out the local attractions. Look for…

One of the most frustrating things about personal finance is feeling as though you cannot save any money. You know how important it is to save for such milestones as retirement, and that it is vital that you build up an emergency fund. But finding the money to do so can be difficult. If you are looking for ways to save more, you might want to try spending a little less. You might be surprised…

In order to make back the money lost by the Credit Card Act of 2009, credit card companies are trying new tricks to raise money. At a time when consumers are trying everything possible to get out of debt, credit card companies are doing everything possible to keep them in debt. In order to protect yourself from these shady practices, you have to know your rights under the law. Here are 3 new ways that…