Money talks.

Our blog is written by experts — who also happen to be real people who have experienced the same financial concerns you have. Read on for real talk about real finances.

Wondering how to pay off debt? Here’s a handy guide to get you started.

For many people, debt can inch upward slowly, especially if there are multiple types of accounts involved, like lines of credit, loans, and credit cards. For others, a major event – such as a health emergency or unexpected home repair – can throw a careful financial plan out of whack. No matter where you are with loans, getting a handle on your accounts is a great first step toward learning... Continue Reading »

Average credit card debt. (And why you should aim for below average.)

According to the Federal Reserve, the average U.S. household credit card debt is around $7,000 ­– and as a country, we owe over $850 billion in total credit card debt. However, those statistics don’t mean that every adult in the country owes at least a few thousand to credit cards. The stat simply considers the total amount of credit card debt owed and divides that number by the number ... Continue Reading »

Need help getting out of debt? Start here.

Debt can quickly begin to feel like a challenging burden, especially when those balances keep creeping upward. It’s smart to look for help getting out of debt before it spirals out of control. Even if you’re not facing much debt now, or just starting on your credit path, it’s important to understand the impact that debt can have so you can make better financial decisions now and in the futur... Continue Reading »

Reach for the gold with family financial goals

With the Olympics just around the corner, we can’t help but think about the similarities between preparing for a big sporting event and preparing for financial success. Athletes don’t achieve Olympic-level skills overnight, and neither do savers. It’s never too early to teach kids the value of money by including them in the process of setting and achieving your family’s financial goals. He... Continue Reading »

Don’t be a victim of tax identity theft: 7 steps to take right now

You’ve learned you’re entitled to a tax refund. Could there be more joyous tax news? Unfortunately, if tax identity thieves have their way, you may never see that refund. In fact, Time magazine reports it’s estimated that more than 1 million U.S. taxpayers have their refunds stolen each year. Time further reports that National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson told Congress tax-related i... Continue Reading »

Mythbuster: Your paycheck is what affects credit scores

Of all the myths about what affects credit scores, one of the most persistent seems to be that a higher income level leads to a higher credit score. After all, if you make more money, it’s likely that you can secure more credit, and that would make your score go up, right? In actuality, that’s not how credit scores are calculated. Instead of looking at income, credit scores rely most heavi... Continue Reading »

Mythbuster: Should you close a credit card account to improve your credit score?

Seeing a zero balance on a credit card statement is a great feeling, especially if you’ve worked hard to pay off that debt. At that point, you may feel like getting rid of that card completely, and you might be asking yourself, “Should I close my credit card account? Would that improve my credit score?” The answer to both questions is no. Although closing an account would give you les... Continue Reading »

Mythbuster: Once I pay off a delinquent account, does it get wiped from my credit report?

When you’re balancing a hectic job and a busy household, it’s easier than you think to let a payment slip through the cracks. Many people believe that delinquency is wiped from a credit report once the delinquent account has been paid off, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. The effects of a delinquent account When you pay late or find yourself on the receiving end of debt collecti... Continue Reading »

Mythbuster: Is my credit score the only thing lenders look at?

Your credit score is just as much a part of your financial health as your blood pressure is of your overall wellness. But just as your blood pressure isn’t the only measure of healthiness, your FICO score isn’t the only thing lenders consider to determine your creditworthiness. “Your FICO score does play a major part in the decision,” says Julie Bruning, Vice President of Consumer Lendi... Continue Reading »

Ready for a rainy day: Create an emergency fund for unexpected expenses

Car repairs, a change in job status, or even a larger-than-usual grocery bill: No matter how carefully you budget, unexpected expenses tend to come up sooner or later. For those situations, it’s important to give yourself a cushion by creating an emergency fund. Read on for some pointers to help you get started. Top tips for building an emergency fund Based on your current budget, figu... Continue Reading »