5 Things You Should Never Keep in Your Wallet – Prevent Identity Theft

walletIdentity theft is the fastest growing crime in America, and it affects roughly 19 people every minute, according to TransUnion. This type of crime occurs when someone steals your personal information, usually for financial gain. Thieves can apply for credit cards or loans in your name, and make fraudulent charges on your existing credit card accounts. However, there are multiple methods thieves use to effectively steal your identity: There’s the old-fashioned method of dumpster-diving for bank statements and credit card statements, as well as phishing techniques that use the Internet to steal personal information.

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Cosigning a Loan – Understanding the Reasons & Risks

loan application cosignThere are no denying the benefits of having a high credit score. It allows you to be eligible for credit cards, auto loans, mortgage loans, and other types of loans with little hassle, providing you have adequate income. Good credit also justifies a low interest rate, which means lower monthly payments.

While loan officers fight for your business, they aren’t the only ones who take notice of your solid credit. If you’re the financially responsible one among your family or circle of friends, there’s a chance that someone will ask you to cosign a loan.

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How to Protect & Improve Your Credit Score While Married

happy coupleMoney is a touchy subject, and our attitudes about it and our relationships with it harken back to things we learned as children. As such, far too many soon-to-be-married couples avoid specifically discussing it. Maybe they’re embarrassed by their lack of personal savings or their amount of consumer debt, or perhaps they grew up in a house where money matters weren’t out on the table. And then the lovers wed, only to discover that one or both spouses is saddled with massive debt, collections, or even a bankruptcy. This can delay plans to buy a house or start a family and create a damaging rift between the couple.

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How to Trade In a Car – Pros & Cons, How It Works

trading in a vehicleAre you looking to get rid of your current vehicle? You’ve got several options: You could put a “for sale” sign in the window of the vehicle and hope an interested passerby spots it. You could list the car in the automotive classifieds or on Craigslist and field calls and emails from potential buyers who will likely haggle over price. Or, you can simply trade in your auto to a dealer and purchase a new one.

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How to Get a Seller to Pay Closing Costs When Buying a Home

closing costsBuying a house isn’t cheap, and cash flow and income problems can result in a missed opportunity to buy your own place. Plus, getting a mortgage loan has become more expensive in recent years, as the majority of lenders now require a down payment of approximately 5% of the sale price. But this isn’t the only big expense associated with ownership – buying a house also involves closing costs, which can equal 3% to 6% of the mortgage balance.

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8 Things to Know & Do Before Renting an Apartment

apartment for rentWhether you’re a young adult searching for your first apartment, or a seasoned renter in need of a new place, looking for a new apartment can be an exciting process. You may already know what you want in an apartment, and you probably have your heart set on a specific area or neighborhood.

However, some aspects of finding an apartment and renting are not exactly enjoyable. And while renting an apartment is often cheaper and quicker than buying a home, getting approved for a rental isn’t always easy. However, there are a number of things you must keep in mind, as well as steps you must take, to help make the process simpler.

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7 Common Mistakes Made by First-Time Home Buyers

couple house shoppingWhen I bought my first house a few years ago, I quickly discovered that there’s nothing cheap about the process. With closing costs, the down payment, the home inspection, and the home appraisal, you can wipe out your savings before you even receive the keys to your new home.

These expenses can be particularly difficult to control for first-time home buyers, who may be naive to the process. However, by educating yourself, you can avoid common mistakes and potentially save yourself a great deal of money.

First-Time Home Buying Mistakes

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What Is an FHA Mortgage Loan – Requirements, Limits & Qualifications

fha mortgageWhen applying for a home mortgage loan, some buyers focus all their attention on conventional mortgages. However, these are not the only products on the market. The FHA mortgage loan is one alternative that may help you save money on your down payment and possibly qualify for a larger mortgage.

FHA is not a new product, as they have been available for years. However, talk of FHA loans has recently increased due to their attractive features and easier requirements. FHA mortgage loans are a government product insured by the Federal Housing Administration. However, it’s important to note that the Federal Housing Administration does not issue the home loan – this is done by your mortgage lender. However, if you default or stop making your mortgage payments, your home loan lender receives financial recourse from the FHA.

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Should I Pay Off Debt or Save Money First?

will you save your money or pay off your debt?Living paycheck-to-paycheck greatly impacts your financial choices. You may face high credit card balances but have no way to pay down the debt, or you may wish to save for college or retirement but barely be able meet your monthly bills. However, if you land a new job that pays well or obtain an additional income source, the extra money could provide enough disposable income to pay off your debt or start saving. But which do you do first?

Opinions among financial experts vary, and there are benefits to both approaches. Consider the various reasons for both methods to figure out which would work best for you.

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