What Are Your (Financial) Resolutions?

Okay,'s New Year's resolution time! Do you have a financial resolution for 2009? Plan to pay off a credit card, save up for a vacation, boost your emergency fund, or buy a home? What is it, and how will you get there? Let me know in a … [Read more...]

Beware Loan Modification Scams

Loan modification companies are sprouting up left and right to take advantage of embattled home owners at risk of foreclosure. If this includes you; watch out. Some loan modification companies are nothing but down and dirty scams. … [Read more...]

How to Buy a House or Condo Immediately After College

Readers, can you help with this question? Another reader wants to know if he'll be able to buy a home or condo right after graduating from college this year. He'll be armed with a degree in accounting, already has a job lined up, and will have $30k … [Read more...]

Ponzi Schemes: How to Recognize and Avoid Investment Scams

Ponzi schemes—like the $50 scam allegedly run by Bernard Madoff—have been around for decades and, unfortunately, will likely continue to exist for years to come. Here’s how to recognize a potential Ponzi scheme and avoid getting burned. … [Read more...]

Good Credit Means a FICO Score of 750 to 770

In the post-2009 world, it takes a better credit score to get approved for credit cards and loans. Credit experts estimate it now takes a credit score of between 750 and 770 to qualify for most loans—even auto loans! Just a year or two ago, b … [Read more...]

Does Your Debit Card Have a Daily Spending Limit?

Does your debit card have a daily spending limit? Most likely, yes. A debit card spending maximum is set by the individual bank or credit union that issues the debit card. Some debit cards have spending capped at $1,000, $2,000, or $3,000 … [Read more...]

How Much Lifetime Income Have You Earned So Far?

The reason I ask is how much money you have earned so far in your lifetime is not to focus in on "how much" income each of us has made or hasn't made. I ask because most of us don't know off the top of our heads, and because taking five minutes to … [Read more...]

Five Second Summaries of Five Top Personal Finance Books

Check the personal finance section of your local bookstore, and you’ll find it’s brimming with hundreds of titles guaranteeing to help you get out of debt, get rich on your current salary, or beat the stock market. Truth is, most are regurgitating the … [Read more...]

It’s Time to Buy a House (or a Car), If You Can

There is a bright side to all of this economic doom and gloom going around. If you’re poised to buy a home—or even a car—in the next few months, you’re going to get quite a deal. … [Read more...]

Mortgage Rates Briefly Explained

Rather than explain mortgage rates every time I write about home financing, let me briefly explain the differences between fixed and adjustable rate mortgages, and mortgage points here. Good, clear mortgage information can be hard to come by, but I … [Read more...]