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[ad#Content 300×250]The statistics are rather alarming. Over forty three million Americans are living in poverty on a day to day basis. The middle class is being eradicated and wages are depressed. Millions are unemployed and looking for a way to make ends meet. With over 14% of the population in poverty, Americans need opportunities to make more money. It’s more important than ever that you take control of your financial future. Here are a few…

Your credit is basic to your finances, and understanding it is important for your financial education. One of the myths you hear about when talking about credit is that checking your own score can damage it. This myth grew up because when some people check your credit score, it really does damage your score — even if you don’t end up being approved for your loan. This is because there is a difference between what…

When it comes to financial education, there are concerns that Americans do not know what they should. In order to rectify that situation, the U.S. Treasury has identified 5 “Core Competencies” of financial education. The idea is to put together a plan to help Americans assess whether or not they know what they should about money. Right now, the Treasury is accepting comments on the program, and comments will be open until September 12, 2010.…

It would be nice to think that the most recent recession was an aberration, but the truth is that it is not. Recessions come and go; it is part of the natural economic cycle. You can always expect there to be up cycles and down cycles. This means that once you get through this recession, it is a good idea to be ready for the next one. No, you do not have to stockpile gold…

Since Credit cards are now the most common source of financing for America’s small-business owners. (Source: National Small Business Association survey, 2008) Business owners will have stay alert about which credit card they use on purchases. With the Card Act passing in 2009, the credit card companies are trying to compensate for future low-earning quarters.  They are pushing their “professional/business  credit cards” with more ‘riskier’ terms. By claiming these cards aren’t for consumers, they can get around the…

Right now, interest rates are at record lows. This means that if you are going to borrow money, now is a good time to do it. (It is also a good time to pay down debt, since more of your payment will go to principal.) If you have been looking for a good time to make home improvements, this might be it, depending on your individual situation. Home equity loan rate and HELOC rates are…

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…