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Q&A: How Do I Build Credit Fast?

How do you build credit fast?

Building good credit takes time: the longer you use credit well, the higher your credit score will climb. That said, there are some tricks you can use to build credit from scratch or improve your credit rating more quickly.

Q&A: What Rate of Return Should You Use for Retirement Planning?


Q: What rate of return should a 20- or 30-something use when using a retirement planning calculator? (They are often preset to 6 or 8 percent). And does that include inflation? Depending on the assumptions I use, I get drastically different answers. On the low-end, I’m saving too little and on the high-end, I’m saving […]

Q&A: Should I Invest Money I Need in Two Years?

David Weliver

Q: I just started my first full-time job (this Monday!) and found your blog doing a search trying to make sense of my 401(k) options. I have been so inspired reading all over your blog since then and learning more about investing and saving for retirement. I have a specific question about one of my […]

Q&A: I Want To Travel Before Starting A Career, But What About My Student Loans?


Should you travel before getting a “real job” and paying off your student loans? It’s a tough question but it might make sense depending on the person and situation. Make sure you have a financial plan you can live with before starting your adventure.

Q&A: Is it OK to tap my 401(k) to pay off Credit Card Debt?


When I wrote “The Recession Diaries” column at the Chicago Tribune and later for AOL.com, I loved responding to mail because questions raised by one reader often reflect the dilemmas of many.I recently received this letter from one reader, Nick from Michigan: “I have a question regarding credit card debt and I was hoping to […]

Q&A: Can We Get Approved For A Mortgage With $109k In Student Loan Debt?

Should you buy a home even with big student loan debts? It depends on your goals.

Can you buy a house with large student loans? Probably. But the bigger question is whether or not you should. And if you do get a mortgage, how much should you borrow? Here’s a rundown of what the banks will let you do, and what you should actually do.

Q&A: Should I Buy A Second ‘Commuter’ Car With Better MPG For My Long Daily Drive?

Small Car

Q: I just bought a brand-new pickup truck last year when my commute was only about three miles. I chose the truck because I’ve always preferred to drive a truck, but also to tow some toys and do dump runs. I’d really like to [keep] the truck, but now my commute [is] about 30 miles […]

Q&A: Should I Consolidate My Student Loans?

Questions and answers.

Managing lots of student loans can be overwhelming. Consolidating them might seem like the obvious choice, however you want to be careful. Be sure to know the exact terms of your current loans, including interest rates and any perks they may offer. Also know that federal and private loans often can’t be consolidated together.