Are Personal Loan Predators Lurking In Your Mailbox?

I’ve been receiving a different type of credit offer in the mail as of late. I’m used to the credit card offers at this point, ripping them in half and throwing them in the trash without thinking about it. Maybe I’ve been getting this type of offer all along, it seems lately I’ve been constantly getting offers for unsecured personal loans in my mailbox. The mailings offer large sums of cash to be used for debt consolidation, home improvement, or whatever I could use funds for. After being flooded with these offers for months, I decided to just a little […] Read more »

Beware Of Credit Card Balance Transfer Offers

Credit card companies are at it again. Maybe it’s been happening all along and I just didn’t notice it. That might actually be the point. Opening a letter I received from a major credit card company I was disgusted at what I read. I have no problem taking advantage of a 0% interest offer if diligent payments are made to ensure NO interest is paid. But what I saw exposed credit card companies for what I know they are, financial predators. What I received was a balance transfer offer letter. It suggested that it would be a great idea to […] Read more »

Amazon Just Upped It’s Game With The Amazon Prime Rewards Signature Card From Chase

Retailers are doing battle in the online space. Mainly it’s traditional retail giants trying to keep up with Amazon. Now Amazon is hitting back. If you have an Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card from Chase, and you’re an Amazon Prime member, you recently received something in the mail that makes shopping at Amazon even more attractive. If you don’t fall into both of those categories, Amazon just gave you another reason to do so. A few months ago I applied for an Amazon Rewards Visa Signature card from Chase because of a $70 incentive that brought down the price of […] Read more »

Why Every Student Should Have A Credit Card

  Students are simply not getting adequate financial education before being expected to handle their own finances as adults. In my kids’ high school there is a single semester personal finance class, but it is an elective. If the goal of an education is to give young people the skills they need to be successful functioning adults, how can this not be a required class? Even then, a single semester seems like a dreadfully inadequate amount of time to cover seemingly infinite financial subjects such as budgeting, tracking spending, insurance, and retirement planning. The responsibility to teach these lessons falls […] Read more »

5 Misguided Beliefs That Actually Hurt Your Credit Score

There was a time when I paid very little attention to my credit score because I thought that it is not important. This was the time when the ‘juiciest’ credit card deals out there were unattainable, when a loan secured against our house came with 7.5% interest rate and when all that came through my post box were bills. I still don’t check my credit score regularly; this time I don’t check it because my credit score is a perfect 999, which I suppose is as high as one could get. Boring, I know; but very handy. Now, offers for […] Read more »

Costco American Express to Citibank Transition: One More Mess

Costco’s transition from American Express to Citibank occurred on June 20th. Not only did Costco stop accepting American Express, but the Costco Amex Rewards cards stopped functioning all together. I personally did not find the transition smooth, as in my opinion Costco did not do a good job of providing timely information to customers regarding what was going to happen to their account and when. But when June 20th came, the transition was was complete, with no more hiccups to deal with. I only wish that was true. I could have missed my first payment to Citibank due to incorrect […] Read more »

Three Reasons To Decline a Credit Limit Increase

The email was from a credit card provider and the subject line said “Congratulations!” I opened the email to find out that I was being offered a $3000 credit line increase. The line of credit in question was one we used for our hotel bill on our trip to Austin, Texas as the card gave a significant percentage cash back for travel expenses. We hadn’t used the card literally in years, and I’m guessing that the use of the card prompted the issuer to sweeten the pot for us to continue to use it. I was about to click on […] Read more »

How to Increase Your Credit Score Without Using Credit Cards

How to Increase Your Credit Score Without Using Credit Cards

If you’ve read any of my articles before, you know I’m not a big fan of having a credit score.  In fact, I believe the best credit score is no score at all.  So why would I write a post about how to increase your credit score? Well, in some cases it’s easier to increase your credit score quickly rather than waiting for it to go to zero while you’re in the transition of getting out of debt (which may take months to years). This might be necessary if you have an immediate need for buying a home or renting […] Read more »

Costco’s Breakup With American Express Is STILL A HUGE MESS

Over the last few months, every time I dig my Costco membership card out of my wallet to show the person standing by the entrance I think about how the calendar is marching closer and closer to April 1st. That is the date the Costco American Express Rewards Card was supposed to cease to be accepted at Costco, and the transition to a Citi Visa was to be compete. The information I had was obtained only because I called both parties involved (Costco and American Express), not because they gave me any information. In their defense, Costco did send a […] Read more »

Costco’s Breakup With American Express Is A HUGE MESS

My wife encountered a surprise while booking a hotel room for a trip to Florida we’re planning for the beginning of April. She gave the hotel our Costco American Express card number to reserve the room, and requested an email confirmation. Everything seemed to go smoothly, until she opened up the email. In red lettering was a warning stating that the credit card given expires before the hotel reservation, and that a valid card will be needed when we check in. Looking at the card, it’s expiration date was not for several months. I was momentarily confused, but then remembered […] Read more »

9 Tips For Creating Discipline With Money

9 Tips For Creating Discipline With Money

I frequently get questions from my readers about how to resolve their various financial problems.  The questions range from not being able to save enough, to tackling huge amounts of debt, to how to stop living paycheck to paycheck. One of the common themes I’ve discovered in the hundreds of emails I’ve received, is that most of those readers tell me the root of their problem is a lack of discipline. Lack of Money is Not the Problem Learning discipline when it comes to money is not always easy, but it’s necessary if you want to get ahead financially.  Many […] Read more »

What Your Credit Score REALLY Means

I’m currently enrolled in a credit monitoring service, getting periodic updates about inquiries into my credit, and small changes up or down in my FICO score.   When we charged something on our American Express, I was notified of a balance change. When we applied for a consolidation loan, I was notified of the inquiry and of a slight decrease in my score. Everything made sense, until I read a notification that landed in my inbox last week. My FICO score had increased by 24 points, and I couldn’t believe the reason why. A few weeks ago, my wife was in […] Read more »

Save Money, and Your Credit Using FICO Score Watch

Please note that a commercial relationship exists between our site and FICO® that could include FICO providing us with product and other forms of payment. The views of the author(s) herein do not necessarily reflect the views of FICO. FICO is not a credit repair organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act, and does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” credit records, credit history or credit ratings. I logged into the myFICO website, and within a few clicks I was staring at my current financial state […] Read more »

How to Get Ahead If You’re Living Paycheck to Paycheck (Part 2)

get ahead living paycheck to paycheck

In the first article in the series, I covered eight things that might cause you to end up trapped in a paycheck to paycheck life. In this second post, I’m going to show you a few things you can do to get your finances under control, stop spending more than you make, and end the paycheck to paycheck cycle for good. If you read the last article, at this point you’ve probably figured out some of the top reasons why you’re struggling financially. Once you understand those reasons, I explained that it was important to get your mindset right and […] Read more »