Identity 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.
There 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.
Money 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.
So you’re ready to buy a new car. That’s always an exciting move, but before you jump in, there are some important considerations to make regarding selling your current vehicle. The easiest solution is simply to trade in your car at the dealer if that’s where you’re making your purchase. However, going that route has unique pros and cons, and you won’t get the most money.
Are 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.
Buying 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.
Whether 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.
When 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
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.
Whether it’s going to the movies or checking out a new restaurant, I’m always looking for an excuse to get out of the house and explore the town. However, if I don’t keep my personal budget in check, my spending can easily spiral out of control, and paying off my credit card bill at the end of the month becomes an unpleasant experience.
Between unemployment and higher gas prices, I can understand why some people might cut entertainment entirely from their spending. But before you swear off fun altogether, consider ways to trim your entertainment budget without sacrificing it.