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Financial Literacy


  • How to Stop a Debt CollectorFinancial Literacy, Consumer Protection, Personal Finance

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    If you get a call from out of the blue from a collection agency, be careful. It could be a scam. I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal credit minute. Consumers across the country are getting calls from debt collectors – sometimes for debts they don’t even owe. The collector may know alot about you – where you work, your bank account info or social security number. Don’t let that fool you. […]

  • How to Protect Your Credit When You Close a Credit CardFinancial Literacy, Personal Finance

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    Even if you have a perfectly valid reason, believe it or not, simply closing a credit card could hurt your credit score. I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal credit minute. If you do decide to close a credit card account, here are three ways to minimize that damage and speed your credit score’s recovery. First, close the right card. Avoid closing the cards you’ve had the longest, with the highest credit […]

  • The worst credit mistake you could makeFinancial Literacy, Personal Finance

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    Some credit mistakes aren’t so obvious. What’s worse, the biggest credit mistake — the one most people don’t even know they’re making — actually happens when people are trying to turn their credit score around. I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal credit minute. Closing a credit card account may seem like the best way to celebrate paying off a big, old debt, but consider this: Every credit card represents a component […]

  • Why You Must Pay Your Bills On TimeFinancial Literacy, Personal Finance, Money

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    The due date on your credit card is a deadline, not a guideline. I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal credit minute. The first rule of credit is to always make timely payments, since this is the biggest factor affecting your credit scores. Here’s what happens when you pay late: If you fail to pay your bill within 30 days, you will be reported as late to one or more credit bureaus. […]

  • Why Maxing Out a Credit Card Hurts Your Credit ScoreFinancial Literacy, Personal Finance, Money

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    While there may be certain life crises that require you to charge a large amount — like a medical emergency or an unexpected auto repair — you must always keep an eye on your credit card balance and avoid hitting the limit. I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal credit minute. If you’re forced to put an unexpected expense on your credit card, try to pay down the balance as quickly as […]

  • Is It OK to Pay Just the Minimum Payment on My Credit Card?Financial Literacy, Personal Finance

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    If you can only make the minimum payment on your credit card now and again, it’s not a big deal but don’t make a habit of it. I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal credit minute. When money gets tight, many people decide to cut back by making only the minimum payment on their credit card. Unfortunately failing to pay more can increase the life and sum of your debt considerably. Under […]

  • What is a credit score?Financial Literacy, Personal Finance, Money

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    You’ve heard of credit scores. Maybe you’ve even checked yours. But do you really understand what they are and how they work? I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal credit minute. Credit scores are like a crystal ball for lenders. By looking at how people have handled credit in the past they try to predict how they’re likely to handle it in the future. The five main factors they look at are […]

  • What is a credit report?Financial Literacy, Personal Finance, Money

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    You’ve heard of credit reports but do you really know what they are – or where they come from? I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal credit minute. Your credit report is a record of your financial behavior that’s kept by credit reporting agencies which provide that information to businesses when they’re considering potential borrowers. There are 3 national credit bureaus that maintain credit reports on consumers – TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. […]

  • 3 Really Bad Ways to Use Your Credit CardFinancial Literacy, Personal Finance, Money

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    Your credit card can be a wonderful enabler or a weapon of financial destruction. I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal Credit Minute. Of all the things you can charge with a credit card, here are three really bad ideas: Taxes. Many people find credit cards a tempting way to pay taxes if they discover they’re faced with a larger bill than expected. But beware: processors collect an average fee of 2% […]

  • Why You Need To Know Your Credit Before A Job SearchFinancial Literacy, Personal Finance

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    If you’re looking for work, you need to know what’s on your credit reports. Why? Because there’s a decent chance your future employer will be looking too. I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal Credit Minute. While some states limit which type of employers can check your credit, the practice is fairly common. Here are four things you need to know: 1. Employers must get your written permission to pull your credit […]

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