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Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

The FTC estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year. This is often done to commit fraud, theft or other crimes. It can destroy a person’s credit and ruin their good name. It can also cost a lot of time and money to fix. Skilled identity thieves may use a variety of methods to get hol...


The High Stakes of High Cost Lending

Check-cashing and title loan companies continue to be a fast-growing area of the financial services industry. These lenders often appeal to individuals and families whose monthly budget comes up short and have low credit ratings, which leaves them few choices when it comes to borrowing cash to make ends meet. Payday Loans ...


Back to School, Back on Budget

Many parents are filled with mixed emotions as "back to school time" comes around each year. They’re excited for their kids to venture outside of the house and hit the books, yet they’re fearful of the costs associated with it. Books, backpacks, supplies, clothes, extracurricular activities, tuition… the list goes on and o...


To Rent or Buy or a Home? 4 Factors You Need to Consider

Posted in: Homeownership

To rent or to buy? It’s a question most consumers ponder at one time or another, yet the correct answer varies as much as individual life circumstances do. While your financial state is a major factor, it’s not the only factor you need to consider. Let’s take a look at the big picture: Financial Readiness Are you prepare...


What to Know Before Closing Your Credit Card

If you're thinking about closing one or more credit cards, there are some things to consider before making the call. The desire to close a card once it's paid off is understandable, but doing so actually has the potential to harm your credit score, rather than help it. Closing a credit account can reduce your credit utilizati...


Tips for Evaluating a Home Warranty Policy

Posted in: Homeownership

When you purchase a home – whether or not it’s brand new – you will likely be offered a home warranty, but what does it cover, and is it a worthwhile expense? What is a home warranty? It’s a form of insurance or loss mitigation that offers discounted repair services or replacement of your home’s appliances and m...


Do You Need Renters Insurance?

For many folks renting housing, renters insurance is simply not on the radar. They assume their landlord will manage any issue with their apartment or rental. It's common to think if the air conditioning goes out, my landlord will fix it. If there's a fire in the building, the landlord will reimburse the cost of my brand new TV ...


How to Save Money on a Wedding

Posted in: Money Management

Numerous reports show the average cost of a wedding for U.S. couples nears $30,000. That’s an incredible amount of cash for just one day. While it’s important to celebrate the union, it’s also important to weigh the financial impact on your future. If the cost of your wedding affects your ability to pay bills, manage li...


Financial Checkups Throughout Marriage

So you’ve had the big "money talk," you’ve tied the knot, and now what? Are you dreaming of a big house, kids or even a luxury vacation? It takes a lot of work to reach those goals, and regular “financial checkups” are essential. What is a “financial checkup”? A financial checkup involves a regular review of yo...