Graduation cap on stack of money

Should You Use Annuity Cash to Pay Off Student Loans?

Student loan debt won't disappear on its own. Loan servicers with a court order can actually take money from your paycheck if you don’t make payments or fail to ask for hardship consideration. Garnished wages could start eating into your budget and you ...

Credit report score

Breaking Down Your FICO Score

You may know your credit score, but understanding how you are graded can be a tool to help you raise your score in the future, and avoid repeating the mistakes you made in the past. A FICO credit score is named after the Fair Isaac Corporation, which ...

Lost wallet

Lost Debit Card Leaves Me Stranded

"Can you hold please?" the banking representative asks me over the phone. "Yes," I say. Deep breaths. Count to 10. This is the second time I've called my bank to replace my lost debit card. Three weeks without plastic is unbearable. Paying for ...

Josh Brooks at work

Didn’t Pay Back Your Student Loans? Tax Return Is Fair Game

Josh Brooks' annual tax return is between $500 and $700. It's a good chunk of money he could use toward paying off his credit cards, motorcycle and living expenses. Instead, his creditors have swooped in and snatched his tax return for the last three years ...

Disputing a credit card charge

How Do You Dispute a Credit Card Charge?

A credit card issuer shocked an Orlando woman recently when it called asking about unusual activity on her account — several hundred dollars’ worth of groceries and home improvement items recently purchased at multiple local businesses. While she ...

Declaration of Independence and flag

Timeline of U.S. Federal Debt Since Independence Day 1776

As we get closer to marking our 237th year of independence, we felt it was a good time to reflect on how debt is woven into our country's fabric. As our Founding Fathers developed the original Thirteen Colonies into the independent United States of America ...

Flooded homes after Hurricane Sandy in 2012

Protecting Your Personal Finances Before a Disaster Strikes

As the 2013 Atlantic hurricane seasons kicks off, it’s time to think about financially preparing for a natural disaster. When Superstorm Sandy tore through the Northeast in 2012, millions of residents were left without their most precious possession — ...

Women, mothers are becoming breadwinners

Women Rise as Primary Breadwinners, Some Still Face Challenges

College-educated women are catching up with men in the workforce, but many other women, especially single mothers, are facing great financial challenges, a new report shows. The Pew Research Center this week issued a report, titled “Breadwinner Moms,” ...

Unpaid internships are sparking lawsuits

When Unpaid Internships Go Wrong

As you begin building your career path, the unpaid internship is a traditional starting point — but beware of its hidden dangers. Yes, your internship can build experience and connections, but what if the duties assigned to you are the same as those of ...

HIdden cellphone costs add up

Hidden Cellphone Costs Can Pull You into a Financial Black Hole

Cell phones are necessary tools for school, work and play, but hidden wireless carrier fees, designer accessories and other sneaky costs can turn the devices into financial black holes. My plunge into the financial cell phone abyss started with text ...

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