In a world where your credit score may affect everything from your home loan to car insurance rates, it is no surprise that everyone is looking for that quick fix to bump their score a few points. Although major improvements in credit take several months (and sometimes years) of responsible credit usage and money management, some personal finance blogs recommend raising your credit limit.
Military members often use paycheck allotments to pay off their recurring expenses. Although this is a simple way to budget your payments automatically and ensure you don’t miss one, there are some personal finance rules to follow to make sure allotments don’t cost you on your credit report.
APR is one of those financial terms you might see everywhere. But what precisely does it mean?
When you borrow money from someone, whether it’s a bank, credit union or other establishment, you have to pay interest on what you borrow. It’s how these guys make their money. Your interest rate is calculated by several variables, such as your credit history and debt-to-income ratio.
Your interest is set for the year, and that interest rate is called an annual percentage rate (APR). This can be one of the more confusing concepts when dealing with finance, so let’s back up a little bit.
Car loans have become standard for most Americans. In fact, car loans now last an average of more than five years, according to the credit-rating company Experian. This means the public will most likely make high car payments every month for a good portion of a decade.
Experian found that for new car buyers, these monthly payments average $452, and for used car buyers, the payments average $351, according to an article from Credit.com. Although interest rates remain low, these payments can be daunting.
So are there ways to lower your car payment? And under which circumstances would this be possible?
From your mailbox and the mall to your evening TV time, credit card offers are everywhere.
As annoying as these solicitations are, credit cards are an important part of your debt mix and credit rating – 30 percent of your credit score is determined by the amount you owe weighed against your available credit. As credit cards become more prevalent and easier to use, it’s understandable that so many people are overwhelmed with out-of-control balances. Big balances can lead to excessive interest charges and a decrease in your credit rating.
But avoiding the swipe isn’t always the answer. Without an open credit card, your rating will be artificially low. Still, there’s ways to boost your credit score.
Some form of debt haunts most Americans. But a new study reveals that members of the military accrue debt at alarming rates when compared to civilians. This debt can endanger service members’ financial lives (and their jobs) if left untouched.
Approximately 36,000 active members of the military have security clearances recently requested financial help due to large debt threatening their clearances, according to nonprofit VeteransPlus in an NBC News article.
Back at the end of July, the news broke that Capital One would be paying $12 million to service members and their families to settle serious claims of wrongful foreclosures that violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
The settlement is a reminder to the military community to stay active in checking that protections like the SCRA are enforced at every level.
You just graduated from college. Whether you or your parents handled your finances these past four (or five or six) years, you are probably in need of some financial advice as you start your career and become self-sustaining in your 20s. What should you do with your money now?
Here are nine helpful tips you can use to become financially independent and make the most of your money — whether you’re in the military or not.
Campus debit cards may appear to be an easy, low-cost solution to handling your finances while in college, but students should be aware that many of these cards carry excessive hidden fees. According to a report by the United States Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG), many of the banks behind these cards are taking advantage of students who need them in order to access their financial aid.
There are now almost 900 higher learning institutions that have formed banking partnerships to manage their financial aid programs.
The largest of these is Higher One, a firm with a presence in 520 colleges enrolling 4.3 million students. According to the report, last year Higher One made 80 percent of its total revenue from fees on student aid disbursement cards. These include everything from per-swipe fees, ATM fees, overdraft fees and even inactivity fees if the student does not use the card for more than six months.
If you’ve done research into applying for a VA home loan or car loan, you may be familiar with lenders calculating your debt to income ratio. It’s important to know how to get a general idea of what your debt-to-income ratio is, how it is calculated and why it may affect your future financial decisions. See More