Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.

Juggling Your Credit Cards

So, you have a wallet full of credit cards. How do you choose the one you’re going to use every time you pay for something? Is it the card with the best rewards? Is it the card with the 0% introductory rate? Is it the only card you have that’s not maxed out? The more credit cards you have, the more complicated it can be to figure out which one is the best choice for every...
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Beware of Credit Repair Scams

“We can erase bad credit!” “Create a new credit identity!” “Remove bankruptcies, judgments, liens, bad loans from your credit file forever!” We all want to improve our credit. Whether we have excellent credit or shaky credit, getting a better credit rating will get us better loan and credit card terms than we already have available to us. We can take steps to legally improve our credit, but scam artists will attempt to mislead us and take...
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Bankruptcy Basics

Bankruptcy is a federal court process designed to help consumers repay their debts under the protection of the bankruptcy court, or possibly eliminate the debts altogether, depending on which type of bankruptcy is filed for. The court-ordered protection given by bankruptcy can give you a chance to start over financially. The calls from your creditors will stop - they are prohibited from attempting to collect debts once you file for bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy should only...
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Are You Considering Bankruptcy?

You have a lot of debt. There may be high medical bills, loss of a job, divorce, or other unforeseen circumstances, which caused your bills to get the best of you. Your mortgage and car payment are a few months behind, and you’re lucky to be able to afford the minimum payments on your credit cards. You don’t answer your phone, because you know your creditors are calling you to remind you that your payments have...
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10 Steps to Improving Your Credit Score

Your credit score is the three digit number lenders look at to determine whether they will grant you credit, and at what price. This number tells lenders how well you’ve handled your past and current debts, and how well you’re likely to handle them in the future. Several credit-scoring systems are in use in America today, but your FICO score is the most commonly used, especially by mortgage lenders. Fair, Isaac, & Co, who developed the...
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Using Credit Cards Wisely

Credit can make life so much easier - it allows us to enjoy things now while we pay for them later. Many of us would never become a homeowner or have a nice car if we had to save up the money to pay for them in cash. Every little emergency would be a major issue if it weren’t for the convenience of a credit card. Credit can help us get through tough times and allow...
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Intro to Debt Consolidation

Buying things on credit is the American way. Many consumers don’t even carry cash; it’s safer and more convenient to swipe a card than to pull out cash and wait for change. If you lose your card, just call the bank and have the card reissued with a new number, no worries about losing cash and it being gone for good. You might want something now and payday’s not for another week; pull out your credit...
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Home Equity Loans; The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Your home is a valuable asset. It can be a “forced savings” even if you haven’t made any other investments. This investment can be a safety net if you come across a need for money. It takes many years to pay down your mortgage and build up equity, but over time it can amount to much more than you would ever be able to put away otherwise. Home equity is the amount of the value of...
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Rebuiling Bad Credit

Life is unpredictable. We might get into situations we hadn't planned for. Job loss, medical emergencies, divorce, or just living beyond our means can get us into financial trouble. No matter what causes our bad credit, it can prevent us from getting that mortgage or auto loan that we really need. It takes time, money, and discipline, but bad credit can be repaired. First, you need to know what is on your credit report. There are...
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Establishing Credit

Credit = convenience We live in a consumer-driven society. We enjoy nice things like cars with more options and big houses. If we all had to work and save until we could pay cash for something, many of us would never be able to have those things. Being able to buy and use something now and then pay for it later opens many doors. This can greatly improve our quality of life. Establishing credit and proving...
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