Smart Money Page 11

  • Veterans Learn TSP Accounts Hacked a Year Late

    Veterans Learn TSP Accounts Hacked a Year Late

    More than 123,000 Thrift Savings Plan accounts were hacked for personal information last summer, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board announced last month. Although it seems like several companies have been experiencing security breaches recently, this one is unique in a few key ways. First, this is one of the first major breaches of a non-private entity. Second, the cyber attack apparently began las…

  • A Word of Warning About Campus Debit Cards

    A Word of Warning About Campus Debit Cards

    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 …

  • Maximize Savings with a Summer Road Trip

    Maximize Savings with a Summer Road Trip

    Don’t think that sticking to a budget means the only trips your family can take this summer are to the ice cream shop and pool. Two things you rarely hear together is vacation and saving money, but there are ways to make sure you get a break, spend time as a family and avoid breaking the bank. If you’re not looking to spend hours on the Internet scouring discount vacation sites, you might want to consider …

  • Understanding Debt to Income Ratio

    Understanding Debt to Income Ratio

    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. What is a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio? Debt-to-income ratios are exactly what they sound like -- a compari…

  • New Law for Military Homeowners Allows More Options to Refinance

    New Law for Military Homeowners Allows More Options to Refinance

    On May 18, new legislation passed the House as part of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would grant military homeowners the ability to refinance their mortgages even if they do not live in the residence at the time. Thousands of military members have experienced the headache of being forced to PCS or deploy without being able to sell their home. The Fairness for Military Homeowners Ac…

  • 4 Credit Raising Tips Expensive Counselors Don’t Want You to Know

    4 Credit Raising Tips Expensive Counselors Don’t Want You to Know

    It used to be said that money makes the world go round. Today the better phrase may be “credit makes the world go round.” Your credit score is a factor in everything from buying a house to applying for a job, and a low score may seem impossible to fix. Because of the mystery behind credit reporting, many people turn to expensive credit counselors to fix their low score. According to a recent survey by the …

  • Newlyweds Can Avoid Owing Next Tax Season

    Newlyweds Can Avoid Owing Next Tax Season

    Taxes are an unpleasant and potentially confusing part of life. If you’re like the majority of Americans, you want to fill out your tax forms, get things paid and then forget about them for another year. Getting married can have both positive and negative impacts on your tax situation. Newlyweds may want to update their W-2 forms to help ensure they don't get hit with a big tax bill the following year. If…

  • Sequestration Could Have Serious Consequences for Military Members

    Sequestration Could Have Serious Consequences for Military Members

    Politicians on both sides of the aisle agree that deep cuts are essential to bring the federal budget under control. But they are still having trouble agreeing on how to implement the necessary reductions before next year. The Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011 requires the federal government to reduce spending by more than $1 trillion by 2021. This amounts to cutting about $109 billion from the budget each year…

  • Congress Considers Automatic COLA Increases

    Congress Considers Automatic COLA Increases

    Every year veterans play a waiting game to see if they'll receive a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). Congress has never failed to pass legislation to grant these increases. But keeping the adjustment in legislative limbo each year continues to rile veterans groups and some elected officials. "Congress has routinely provided this increase, but it is an added step that confuses and leaves veterans feeling un…

  • 9 Financial Topics To Discuss Before Marriage

    9 Financial Topics To Discuss Before Marriage

    If you’re one of the many couples preparing to tie the knot this summer or in the near future, be sure to sit down and have a serious conversation about finances before the wedding. Discuss the following nine financial topics as well as any others you find relevant to your situation so you understand where you stand individually and where you will be as a couple. Share Bank Statements A good icebreaker f…