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Financial Literacy

  • 4 Important Things You Need to Know About Social SecurityFinancial Literacy, Personal Finance


    Retirement sounds exciting, but it can actually be a difficult landscape to understand and navigate. A retirement calculator can help guide your savings goals, both with a total target you are trying to hit and a monthly amount to include in your budget. But figuring out how much you can expect to get in Social Security benefits can be a little more difficult. (You can get a personalized estimate from the Social Security Administration here.) For […]

  • The State Compendium of Unclaimed Property PracticesFinancial Literacy, Personal Finance


    You may already know that every state has an unclaimed funds website that aims to reunite unclaimed property with the rightful owners. However, in the endeavor to provide consumers with as much information as possible, that information is also often easily viewable by potential identity thieves. The State Compendium of Unclaimed Property Practices ranks every state (and D.C.) according to how much specific information about a person is provided online without user verification. The standard […]

  • Debt Collector Left Consumers Hanging on Medical Bill Disputes, Says CFPBFinancial Literacy, health care


    A debt collector with ties to one of the nation’s largest private hospital chains spent yearsviolating basic provisions of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act, federal regulators say. Consumers who dispute a debt are entitled to a response within 30 days, according to federal law. Medical debt collector Syndicated Office Systems took, on average, more than 90 days to respond to disputes, and in some cases, took more than […]

  • Homeowners

    How Important Is Your Down Payment on a Home?Financial Literacy


    When buying a home, most people take on a mortgage. There are many things to consider when taking on a mortgage loan, including interest rate, closing costs and the down payment. Once you calculate how much house you can realistically afford, you can start looking at properties and considering how you will afford the house. There are several ways to fund what will likely be the biggest purchase of your life. Before you start signing […]

  • Cloud-based backups can leave taxes, other private data exposedFinancial Literacy, Data Security


    It’s great that more folks are backing up their files using cloud-based services like Dropbox. While hackers and virus writers get all the headlines, I think hardware failure is really the biggest risk most consumers face. Cloud services have become such a part of the way we live, however, that we’ve gotten a little too casual about it.  That’s how tax returns end up lying around in public places for all to see. You’ve set […]

  • Empty pocket

    7 Things You Need to Know About the Statutes of Limitation for DebtFinancial Literacy


    If you have old unpaid debts, it can be helpful to know the statute of limitation that applies to those debts. If the statute of limitation (SOL) has expired, a debt is said to be “time-barred,” and a creditor or debt collector is not supposed to sue you to collect. Here are the seven most common questions we’ve received from readers about this topic. 1. How long is the statute of limitation for my debt? The […]

  • 5 Myths About Women & MoneyFinancial Literacy


    With only 23% of Certified Financial Planners being women, you might think the fairer sex isn’t all that interested in money matters. You’d be wrong. The idea that women either aren’t interested in or capable of managing money is a myth that seems to bubble under the surface of our consciousness. The politically correct don’t want to say it out loud, but it’s there. It’s a bit like when Barbie blurted out that math class is tough! […]

  • Do Genetics Influence Your Credit Score?Financial Literacy, credit


    There is the standard list of factors that influence your credit score: payment history, outstanding balances, the types of credit that you use and so on. But what you probably don’t realize is that your genes may also play an important role. Yes, your biological wiring might make you more likely to be more risk-seeking and take on more debt, which could lead to a lower FICO score. I came across this intriguing discovery while […]

  • Personal Loan

    6 Signs it May Be Time to Switch BanksFinancial Literacy, Personal Finance


    With the new year under way, many of us have been trying to break bad habits and instill new ones in our lives for 2015. Perhaps you’re looking to increase positive relationships and influences while eliminating negative ones. While you’re assessing these positive moves, it’s a good idea to include your bank. That’s right, this can be a good time to look at how your bank is treating you. Check out the following signs it may be […]

  • The JP Morgan Data Breach Leads to Phishing Attacks on ConsumersPress, Financial Literacy, Identity Theft


    Adam Levin spoke with Alex Witt from MSNBC’s NewsNation on the JP Morgan data breach, where a staggering number of 76 million customer credit and debit accounts were compromised and 7 million small businesses were affected, which dwarfed in size in comparison to its earlier report. JP Morgan, the largest bank in the US, had been touted as the financial institution with ironclad security, but as with many of the recent breaches, hackers found a […]