Simple. Honest. Personal finance.

What Percentage of Income Can You Afford for Mortgage Payments?

This question often comes up among first-time home buyers: What percentage of my monthly income can I afford to spend on my mortgage payment? Does that percentage include property taxes? Private mortgage insurance (PMI) or homeowners … [Read more...]

Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card Review

Southwest Airlines is a favorite affordable carrier for millions of Americans. Recently, Southwest and Chase released a new credit card: The Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card. How does it compare to other major airline credit c … [Read more...]

Personal Loans vs. Credit Cards

When life's big expenses crop up, it's always best to pay cash. But what if you can't? If you don't have emergency savings and suddenly face a car repair, tax bill, or some other major expense, you may have to borrow money to pay it. And most of the … [Read more...]

Best Cash Back Credit Cards

If you're one of us few and proud who religiously pay your credit card balance off in full each month, you get to benefit from cash credit card rewards -- the percentage of your purchases that your card will pay you back as points, miles, or even … [Read more...]

Q&A: I Want to Travel Before Starting a Career, But What About my Student Loans?

Q: I am about to start paying off my $30,000 of student loan debt and am wondering how to approach this. Should I go with the most aggressive [repayment plan] or not? I am a waitress, so I never know what my income is going to be. I do have about … [Read more...]

Q&A: How Do I Build Credit Fast?

Q: I’m trying to get my credit score growing again. I’m in school full-time and work full-time, too. I have just one credit card – a Wells Fargo student card -- that greatly helped my credit score when I first got it. However, in the last four months … [Read more...]

When To Refinance: 3 Steps to Deciding Whether to Refinance or Not

Deciding when to refinance your home loan depends on several factors besides whether you can get a better mortgage rate than you already have. And though there are many reasons people refinance their mortgage, some are smarter financial moves than … [Read more...]

New to Credit? Five Ways to Speed up Building a Good Credit Score

Anyone whose tried to get a loan with a weak credit history knows that even an excellent credit score will only get you so far with lenders. That myth your uncle told you about signing up for a credit card, using it once, paying it off and letting … [Read more...]

Using Credit Carefully to Weather Tough Times

There are several disconnects between financial advice and financial reality that annoy me. One such disconnect revolves around the advice to NEVER carry a credit card balance. No credit card debt, no problem. It’s abstinence-only financial e … [Read more...]

Citi Simplicity Credit Card Review: With No Late Fees, a Card for the Innocently Absent-minded

Ideally, we’d never carry a balance on our credit cards. The reality is, when you're  young, broke, and living paycheck-to-paycheck, sometimes you have little choice but to use credit cards as a stopgap. If that's the case, pay attention to our Citi S … [Read more...]