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


    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


    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% […]

  • The Laziest Ways to Improve Your Credit ScoreFinancial Literacy, Lifehacking, Money


    You can be pretty lazy and still help your credit. I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal Credit Minute. Credit can be confusing, overwhelming, and sometimes, downright depressing. Many people with credit problems never get help because they don’t know where to start, or they think it’s all just too difficult and they figure, why bother. But the reality is that there are some pretty simple rules you can live by to […]

  • Credit Score

    What is a Good Credit Score?Financial Literacy, Personal Finance, Money


    The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate. So a good credit score means you pay less for the money you borrow. But “good” or “good enough” can mean different things to different lenders I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal Credit Minute. Most credit scores – including the FICO score and the latest version of VantageScore – are on a scale of 301 to 850. Within that range there […]

  • 7 Tips to Get Your New Year’s Money Resolution Started Off RightFinancial Literacy, Blog, Personal Finance, Money


    So 2014 is the year of the great financial leap forward, eh? You are finally going to get your finances on track. Bravo, you Fiscal Warrior! But like many a New Year’s resolution about diets, exercise or de-cluttering, the seeming enormity of the task always becomes one of the big reasons that we end up breaking our promise by February. It doesn’t have to be that way. Many of us spend more time watching TV shows […]

  • Student loan

    Politicians, Ignore the Millennial Student Loan Crisis at Your Own RiskGovernment, Blog, Personal Finance, Money


    Though politicians fall all over themselves when it comes to voters in my age bracket and even older (that’s almost impossible to comprehend), a new survey by Harvard’s Institute of Politics shows a growing class of discontented, registered voters who agree that there is one major issue among them regardless of party affiliation: that class is millennials, and that issue is student loan debt. Despite being ignored by many politicians (unless it’s for a photo […]

  • Financial info

    4 Simple Things to Do Every Year to Save MoneyFinancial Literacy, Blog, Personal Finance, Money


    For many people, managing finances feels like an overwhelming task. Our lives are incredibly busy as it is, and folks in my line of work tend to throw around acronyms and jargon until too many people just throw their hands up in despair. It all can seem so overwhelming and some of us simply never get started. Fear not. It really doesn’t have to be that way. There are four simple things you can do […]

  • Empty pocket

    3 Ways Regular Americans Will Be Hurt by a Debt Ceiling DefaultPersonal Finance, Money


    Many Americans this week may be asking themselves: Why should I care about the debt ceiling, or the — barring Congressional action — coming default? You’ve heard about it in the news but, much like the sequester or the shutdown, you’re not quite sure how it’ll affect your daily life. Put simply, unlike corporate tax cuts, a debt ceiling default will have a trickle-down effect that will affect your wallet in one way or another. […]

  • 7 Steps to Deal With HR Looking at Your Credit ReportBlog, Personal Finance, Privacy, Money


    Employers don’t like surprises. They want to know everything there is to know about you, which is why you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that many look at prospective employees’ credit reports as part of their application process. One 2010 study from the Society of Human Resource Management estimates that 60 percent of companies checked some (or all) job applicants’ credit reports. This is a practice that many people understandably find objectionable – some find […]

  • How to Prepare for Any DisasterFinancial Literacy, Retirement, Lifehacking, Blog, Personal Finance, Money


    Disasters disrupt life in unimaginable ways, making those affected much more vulnerable to secondary disasters — the kind caused by criminals. I’ve been through a number of earthquakes and lost a home to Hurricane Sandy. I know how all-consuming the aftermath can be. Wildfires, tornadoes and other natural disasters seem to be happening more and more these days. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warns that the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season will be “above normal […]