It can be funny checking your credit report

Checking Your Credit Report

Several years ago, one of my employers did a routine background check that included pulling my credit report from one of the three bureaus. They were confirming that the details on my resume matched the details on my credit report, which is common for companies in that industry. They discovered that in addition to living in Pittsburgh, PA for college, I spent some time living in rural... Continue reading

Finances 101: 5 Ways to Avoid Credit Card Debt

Create a Workable Budget The first step in managing your finances is knowing how much money you have coming in and how much is going out. A workable budget is about as close to a monetary crystal ball as you're likely to find. Your budget shows you how much money you have available, when you expect to have more, what bills have to be paid and when they are due; it also tells you how much money... Continue reading

Avoid Getting Fired Before You Get Hired

As if the nation’s 14.5 million jobless didn’t have it bad enough already, The New York Times now reports that employers are turning to credit checks to screen hires. The implication? Keep your credit squeaky clean, or suffer the consequences. It has never been more important to be proactive when it comes to personal finances. Talk about scary. According to the Kansas City Star, roughly 5... Continue reading

Personal Finances 101: Tips for Establishing Good Credit

Paying off your credit card each month goes a long way toward building good credit.  If you want to take advantage of the low interest rates on home and car loans, or the special perks for the best credit cards, you usually need to have a very good credit score. Good credit can also help you when you're applying for an apartment or a job, as employers can check your credit report as part of the... Continue reading

How Money Management Software Makes Your Life Easier

Dealing with money matters can get complicated. Throw in a shortage of funds to handle the monthly bills and everyday expenses, and you might find yourself in a time-draining financial tangle. Assuming you're not an accountant, you could use some help -- and money-management software provides it. Making a Budget Money management software typically comes in a stand-alone version -- to be... Continue reading

Real Estate & Personal Finance: How Does a Mortgage Loan Modification Affect Your Credit Score?

Credit Score Basics Your credit score is a number that a credit reporting agency assigns to you that summarizes how likely you are to repay credit and loans. Three major agencies dominate the credit reporting industry, and all use a scoring system called FICO, created by a company called Fair Isaac. The score ranges from 300 to 850. Whenever you apply for a loan or credit, you can expect the... Continue reading

Mistakes Millennials Make with Their First Credit Cards

Getting your first credit card offer in the mail is often a thrill. Many new cardholders, particularly younger ones, may throw caution to the wind in the excitement of the moment, and immediately begin running up balances. Millennials — those who are roughly 20 to 35 years old, an age when it's common to get credit cards for the first time — can run into problems if they abuse their new financial... Continue reading

How Credit Unions Are Different From Banks

Date: September 9, 2016 Credit unions and banks offer many of the same financial services, but banks are often large corporations while credit unions usually offer a more personal touch and typically have smaller customer bases and networks. Many people mistakenly believe that bank deposits are protected, but credit union accounts aren't. This isn't the case. Although the Federal Deposit... Continue reading

What is Credit Card Churning?

What is Credit Card Churning? Credit cards have come a long way from simple convenience cards issued by banks. Many come with extra benefits and rewards these days, such as airline miles, hotel points or cash back. To maximize the benefits offered, so-called "credit card churners" try to open as many of these accounts as possible while incurring the least amount of damage to their credit scores... Continue reading

Personal Loans vs. Credit Cards: Which is Better for Borrowing?

When you need to borrow money, two quick options include personal loans and credit cards. Although using a card helps with the instant gratification of making a purchase, the dangers of minimum payments and high interest rates are real. Personal loans may provide lower interest, but fixed payments that are due monthly might take a big chunk out of your budget. Understanding the strengths and... Continue reading