Credit & Debt Smart Military Money

  • Should It Stay or Should It Go? What Financial Records You Need to Keep

    Should It Stay or Should It Go? What Financial Records You Need to Keep

    With the sheer amount of paperwork needed to maintain a household, many of us struggle with what to keep and what to throw away. Bills, bank statements, insurance policies and credit card information often blend together into one unintelligible pile. How do we know what is safe to pitch? Developing a solid financial records management system can help you and your loved ones navigate your personal and financial documents in case of a major life event. What to Keep There's a temptation to err…

  • 3 Ways to Know You’re Not Ready For a Credit Card

    3 Ways to Know You’re Not Ready For a Credit Card

    Obtaining one may be as simple as signing your name on the dotted line of a preapproval form, but a credit card is no small responsibility. Complete with fine print and plenty of penalties, they can be both risky and rewarding, especially in terms of your financial future. Fortunately, the decision doesn't have to be daunting. Here are a few ways to gauge if you're ready. Do you budget? A well-maintaine…

  • Don't Dash Your Credit By Keeping Up With Your Neighbors

    Don’t Dash Your Credit By Keeping Up With Your Neighbors

    A recent nationwide credit analysis revealed there's more to a consumer's financial behavior than just the way he or she lives. Experian's 2012 State of Credit report concluded where the consumer lives might also be a factor, aside from their spending habits. As bizarre as it may sound, your neighborhood could have an impact on your spending habits, financial behavior and, ultimately, your credit. Has this ha…

  • Maximize Your Money Through Minimalism

    Maximize Your Money Through Minimalism

    In the military, you're issued exactly what you need to accomplish any given mission. Every piece of equipment is well-maintained, organized and serves a specific function. From deployments to training exercises, I always enjoyed beautiful simplicity of living each day with only what was needed. It may have been these experiences that attracted me to minimalism. About a year ago, I gave away, sold or donated most of my possessions and moved to a new city out of the back of my car. My original…

  • New Bully on the Block: Identity Thieves Are Targeting Your Kids

    New Bully on the Block: Identity Thieves Are Targeting Your Kids

    Identity theft is on a frightening rise, and the most vulnerable group of victims might surprise you: children ages 6 to 11. It's a "startling and disturbing" finding from Child Identity Theft, a recent Carnegie Mellon University study that claims children are targeted as much as 51 times more often than adults. "Wouldn’t you want to know your child was in foreclosure on a home in another state? Wouldn’t…

  • Not Just Debt: 4 Ways Building Credit Can Help You Save

    Some people just prefer to pay for everything with cash, so they don't think having credit is important. But what do you do when you want to purchase something large, like a car or a house? Chances are, you're going to need a loan. And for a loan, you'll need credit. You have to determine for yourself if building credit, which is mostly done through credit cards and loans, is a good move for you. Having a credi…

  • Bankrupt and Scared? There’s Hope for VA Borrowers

    Bankruptcy is one of the most foreboding words in the world of loans and mortgages.  This problem is a headache that causes apprehension and financial uncertainty for borrowers.  Luckily, bankruptcy isn't financial doom. Declaring bankruptcy doesn't mean you'll be unable to purchase another home, but it takes hard work to build back credit.  The first step to bouncing back from being bankrupt is understanding o…

  • 3 Myths About Credit Cards and Credit Scores

    3 Myths About Credit Cards and Credit Scores

    "I use my credit card and pay it off in full every month. Shouldn't that help my score?" As one of the questions loan consultants receive most frequently, there tend to be some common misconceptions concerning credit cards and credit scores. Ranging from credit limit to time limit, here are the answers to three of the most misunderstood myths. Open it up For those who have yet to establish credit, a comm…

  • The Hidden Danger of Payday Loans

    The Hidden Danger of Payday Loans

    Few things are more detrimental to your finances than payday loans. As a tool to effectively get paid before an individual receives a paycheck, a payday loan can lead to serious debt. These loans require repayment of the principal and a fee measured as a fixed dollar amount per $100 borrowed. Military personnel are no less susceptible to these loans than civilian consumers. In 2010, the Financial Industry Regulat…

  • Your 3-Step Plan to Finding Errors in Your Credit Report

    Your 3-Step Plan to Finding Errors in Your Credit Report

    You might be surprised to know that errors in a credit report can and do happen. In fact, a recent study suggested that as many as 1 in 4 people found a discrepancy in their own file, and it isn't just spelling errors that might be causing damage. Certain kinds of omitted information can be harmful as well, triggering a drop in your credit score and a limited access to future credit. How can you determine if you…