2016 Media Mentions
10 Signs You’re Not Ready to Retire
November 29, 2016 | By Michelle Smith
For a long time, you might have been asking yourself, “When can I retire?” But now, retirement is almost here, and you find yourself wondering, “Am I really ready to retire?” A lot of people underestimate what they need to do financially, mentally and emotionally to prepare for retirement. But that doesn’t have to be your story. Make sure you’re prepared, so you can enjoy your retirement.
The Credit Mistake Holiday Shoppers Will Make
November 18, 2016 | By Mike Cetera
When the holiday spending spree kicks into gear next weekend, many shoppers will make a potentially costly mistake. They will pay for their mall-bought gifts using either cash or a debit card.
Read This Before You Buy Another Gift Card
November 7, 2016 | By Christopher Elliott
Ask Richard Brigleb about gift cards, and he’ll tell you about the $200 worth of plastic for a wine store and local restaurant he just found in his kitchen drawer. “I had totally forgotten about it,” says Brigleb, a retired dentist from Fairfax, Va.
Tackling Troublesome Debt in Your 50s — Debt Management or Bankruptcy?
October 26, 2016
Struggling with debt is challenging at any age, but the closer you get to retirement, the scarier it can be. It’s hard enough to save up for a 30-year retirement, but when you add significant debt to the equation, it’s virtually impossible.
Five tips for balancing student loans and big-ticket purchases
By John Egan | October 31, 2016
You’ve got your eye on a new car, but your eyes are wide open when it comes to your mountain of student loan debt. If you’re stuck in that situation, you’ve got a lot of sympathizers. A recent survey by Experian, one of the three major credit-reporting bureaus, found that 70 percent of Americans saddled with student loan debt say that debt has hindered their ability to save money for big purchases, like a car or a house.
PRO TIPS: Answers From Real Personal Finance Experts
October 31, 2016
Let’s say you have a question about your personal finances. Maybe it’s about how to find a copy of your credit report—is that something you have pay for? Or maybe you want to learn more about building a great monthly budget, like how much room should you leave for unexpected expenses?
3 Ways People With High Credit Scores Are Hurting Their Financial Health
September 29, 2016 | By Vickie An
There are few numbers that can make you feel prouder of your money-management skills than a strong credit score. And for good reason: Lenders use credit scores to determine everything from the interest rate on your mortgage to whether you qualify for the juiciest credit card rewards.
6 Tools Every Retirement Investor Should Know About
By Sheiresa Ngo | September 21, 2016
Retirement planning can be overwhelming at times. That’s why it can be helpful to take advantage of the many retirement tools that are available. Katie Ross, education and development manager for financial education nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling, said retirement tools can take some of the pain out of planning.
Why Your Credit Score Is More Important Than Your Social Security Number
By Laura Woods | September 16, 2016
You already know the importance of keeping your Social Security number under lock and key. But if you’re not guarding your credit score, it’s time to restructure your financial strategy.
Demystifying 5 common credit misconceptions
By Dawn Papandrea | September 12, 2016
Did you know that FICO is a credit score, but a credit score isn't necessarily FICO? Or that there is a difference between a charge card and a credit card, and debt settlement is not the same as debt consolidation?
Get Paid Now: What to Do When Someone Owes You Money
By Megan Elliott | September 09, 2016
It’s your money, at least in theory. But when someone owes you money and fails to pay you back, whether it’s $50 or $5,000, it’s really as good as having nothing. Unpaid debts owed by family, friends, or clients can rankle, and it can be difficult to know what you need to do to get paid.
What You Should Know About Online Lending Services
By Geoff Williams | July 26, 2016
You've seen the commercials. You need money, and these websites can give it to you, often within 24 hours and without a credit check. Should you take the offer? Common sense would suggest no. Everyone knows that there is no free lunch, and the terms of many quick and easy loans mean that a financial company will have you for lunch.
How to make a budget
By Catey Hill | July 19, 2016
Everybody needs a budget. You need a budget to save and spend money, and you really need a budget if you need help getting out of debt. If you don’t have a budget, you’ll always wonder where all your money went and it’ll seem like you never have enough.
Closing the Bank of Mom and Dad
By Ted Halpern | July 18, 2016
The phone rings and you cringe. You feel guilty, but you almost don’t want to answer the call from your own kid. He or she probably isn’t calling just to say hello. Your adult child needs money again. Does your child even realize how much these constant requests upset you emotionally and financially?
The Best Method for Paying Off Each Kind of Loan
By Geoff Williams | July 6, 2016
If you sometimes daydream about being thrown into an old-fashioned debtor's prison, small wonder. According to a recent analysis by the research company Gallup, which based its information on data collected by the Federal Reserve, the average household has $7,828 in revolving credit card debt.
The best credit card for new grads
Kelsey Cruz | June 24, 2016
If you’re reading this article, you’re pretty smart because a) you just graduated college and b) you’re trying to find a credit card that will simultaneously work with and for you. You need credit to get a car or house, and the more attractive your credit score and history, the lower your interest rates will be. But if you don’t have credit—and you may not because you’re young and your parents didn’t want you to charge beer to a credit card for four years—you need to build some.
Can you get a credit card if you have poor credit?
By Mike Cetera | June 16, 2016
You have missed payments on past loans. You have a large, unpaid medical debt. You once went bankrupt. Whatever the reason, your credit score has taken a nose dive. But that doesn't necessarily mean you can't get a credit card. You just might not be able to get the card you want.
The 6 key differences between secured and unsecured personal loans
By Mike Cetera | May 23, 2016
When shopping for a personal loan, you may be able to choose between a secured and an unsecured loan. Before you choose, learn about the many differences between these loans. Here are 6 examples.
Can I get a credit card with poor credit?
By Jeanine Skowronski | May 11, 2016
Q: Dear Credit Card Adviser, I have been applying for secured and unsecured credit cards as a way to rebuild credit. I keep getting denied because of unpaid medical bills. Are there credit cards that someone with poor credit can qualify for?
5 Great Reasons to Boost Your Credit Score
Brian O'Connell | May 1, 2016
Ignore your credit score at your own financial peril. That's the message from American Consumer Credit Counseling, a Newton, Ma.-based consumer financial advocacy group.
7 things you never budget for (but need to)
By Erica Sandberg | March 29, 2016
Developing a budget is easy. List your expenses, subtract the total from your income and you’re ready for anything. Yet somehow something extra always seems to come up, leaving you short and often with no alternative but to pull out your credit card and charge it.
Opting for Smaller Car Loans Can Boost Retirement Funds
By Ellen Chang | March 18, 2016
Consumers who choose smaller loans by purchasing less expensive cars can take advantage of the years where they lack a payment, instead diverting those funds into their retirement portfolio.
5 times it makes sense to call your card's customer service
By Dawn Papandrea | March 17, 2016
We’ve grown accustomed to going online to carry out routine credit card business, whether to pay a bill, check the balance or redeem rewards points. But as convenient as it is to log in to your issuer’s app or website, in some circumstances an older tool is still best: the telephone.
Without Savings, More and More Turning to Personal Loans
By Chris Metinko | Mar 11, 2016
With fewer and fewer Americans having any kind of savings to turn to when times get unpredictable, more are looking to personal loans to cover life’s shortfalls.
10 Tips for Lending (or Borrowing) Money
By Jake Rossen| February 12, 2016
According to a 2013 survey by American Consumer Credit Counseling, 82 percent of Americans polled would let a relative borrow cash if asked (and 66 percent said they'd loan money to a friend).
More Consumers Made Financial Resolutions for 2016
By Natalie Rutledge | January 21, 2016
There has been a substantial increase in the number of Americans making financial resolutions for 2016, according to the latest survey from American Consumer Credit Counseling.