Best New & Used Car Buying Services Online

woman buying carIf you want to buy a car, but don’t want to haggle with salespeople or spend weeks reading the classifieds, using a car buying service may be exactly what you need. It could save you time, aggravation, and even get you a better deal.

With that in mind, there are several national services available to help you find both new cars and used cars that fit your needs and budget.

What Is a Car Buying Service?

Click to continue reading...

Beware of the Mortgage Prepayment Penalty

mortgage loan agreementApplying for a mortgage can be tricky. There are many things to consider, including something known as a prepayment penalty. A loan with a prepayment penalty may also come with a lower rate and so can seem more attractive.

However, the prepayment penalty will hurt you if you want to refinance or even sell “early.” For this reason, it’s imperative to understand how much the penalty is as well as when and under what circumstances you’d have to pay it. Only then can you make an informed decision regarding whether or not a mortgage with a prepayment penalty is really worth it.

Click to continue reading...

What Is Comprehensive Coverage Auto Insurance

car break in theftIf you run into a tree or cause an accident of some sort, the cost of repairing your own car is paid for by your collision coverage.

But what if a tree falls on your car, or a deer rams into the side of your vehicle, or a thief smashes in your window to steal the radio?

To cover these repair costs, you’ll need to add comprehensive coverage to your auto insurance policy.

What Is Comprehensive Coverage?

Essentially, comprehensive coverage pays for repairs to your car when it’s damaged outside of an accident. This includes damage as a result of theft, vandalism, acts of nature, animals, and falling objects.

Click to continue reading...

What Is Collision Coverage – Do You Need It in Your Auto Insurance?

car accident frontIf you’re like me, you probably spend more time shopping around for a car than for the insurance you need to protect it. Most states require at least a minimal amount of coverage to protect other drivers from bodily injury or property damage you might cause them while driving. But carrying your state’s minimum insurance requirements may not be enough. After all, it’s primarily designed to protect other drivers and their cars. What about you and your vehicle?

When it comes to car insurance options, there are many. To better protect yourself, you can decrease your deductibles, increase your existing coverage amounts, or add additional coverage, just to name a few.

Click to continue reading...

How Different Types of Debt are Treated in Bankruptcy

wipe away debt chalkboardIf you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, you should know that not all debts are treated equally. For example, certain debts cannot be discharged, or forgiven, and must be repaid in full. Other debts, however, can be completely discharged either immediately or after a few years depending on if you file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Also, some debts can be modified so that you can afford the payments and keep the property the debt is attached to, such as a car or home. How your debt will be treated during a bankruptcy will indicate what you have to gain from filing one.

Click to continue reading...

How Does Bankruptcy Affect Your Credit Score?

bankruptcy jumpThe main issue that discourages most people from filing bankruptcy is the detrimental effect is has on their credit. It’s true that a bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for up to ten years and it seriously hurts your credit score. However, not filing for bankruptcy and allowing your debts to go to collections will also negatively impact your credit.

Depending on the kind of bankruptcy you file, Chapter 7 vs Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your credit score will decrease anywhere from 160 to 220 points. This is enough to take a good credit rating down to a fair or poor one. Since most lenders decide whether or not to extend you credit based on your credit score, a bankruptcy will make it much more difficult to qualify for an auto or home loan or credit cards.

Click to continue reading...

What Is a Credit Report – How to Get a Free Annual Credit Report

credit report magnifying glassYou may have heard that you should check your smoke alarm batteries when you change your clocks to daylight savings time. So in the spirit of preventing a disaster, why not check your credit report as well?

Checking your credit report should be a regular item on your financial to-do list, since it can show you how others view your creditworthiness and alert you to potential credit report errors or identity theft. We’ll talk about why your credit report is important, when you should consider checking it, and how you can get your free credit report through

Click to continue reading...

How to Sell a Used Car on Craigslist Online

woman carWhen you’re selling a car, you’re more likely to get the best price from an individual as opposed to a dealer. When you’re looking for a way to find that individual, remember that Craigslist is a competitive (and still growing) marketplace for car shoppers and sellers.

It’s easy for buyers to search through ads, and you’ll be happy with the free posts to an audience of millions in your area. With pictures and lots of space, you can get more out of the listing than those expensive 20 words you might get in the local paper.

Click to continue reading...

What Is a Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA) – Rules & Limits

books piggy bankGiven the alarming rate at which universities are increasing their tuition, saving for your child’s college education can seem like a daunting task. But believe it or not, it’s almost more important when you start saving as opposed to how much. So don’t delay.

Fortunately, there are specific accounts that give you a means to invest in your child’s education and provide you with tax-advantages as well.

One popular college-saving option is known as the Coverdell Education Savings Account, or ESA.

What Is an ESA?

Click to continue reading...

Zombie Debt: What It Is and How to Deal with Collectors

zombie debtIf you’ve had debt in the past you couldn’t pay, some of those accounts may have been written off as “uncollectable.” In other words, the company may have stopped trying to collect because they were unable to get you to pay or to reach you at all.

However, in recent years, a new breed of debt collector has started to buy these old debts and is attempting to collect on them all over again.

Given their propensity to rise from the grave, these debts are known as “zombie debt.”

What Is Zombie Debt?

Click to continue reading...