The nation has crippling credit card debt to the tune of almost $800 billion. This is obviously not a minor problem, but a financial epidemic. Americans are paying so much in fees and penalties each year that we may never dig ourselves out.
Consumers face a "catch-22" situation when it comes to loans. On the one hand, it's important to shop around to get the lowest interest rate you can. On the other hand, there's the perception out there that shopping around for loans too much will hurt your credit.
My dad recently passed away. He had one credit card in his name, with mom as an authorized user. Balance on the card is approx 10K. Is mom responsible for the credit card bill? What should she tell them?
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you'll know that one of the steps I recommend to rebuilding credit is to use credit cards. It's a smart, easy way to wisely develop good credit history -- but emphasis is on "wisely."
Now is the perfect time for graduating students to think about getting their finances in order for summer and beyond. Regardless of their financial situation, each college graduate needs to utilize the same basic tools to set themselves up for long-term financial success.
Responsible credit card use is a recipe for saving money, considering the lucrative rewards, 0 percent rates, and fraud protections that are available. The thing is, of all the words in that sentence, "responsible" is both the most important and the most likely to be ignored.
We want "kids to be kids," so money seems like a grown up topic that we can put off. It's easy to send messages that confuse our kids and harm the family's financial health -- but, you can change that.
If we're looking for an economic rising tide to carry all our boats, I don't see it locally just yet. I see the holes in leaking vessels being plugged, while those onboard are still carrying excess weight.
Credit scores are based on how someone has historically handled credit. So although they won't be a perfect indicator of whether your new partner will be a good partner, a credit score can hint at their ability to manage responsibility, and whether they have habits that can hinder the relationship.
Teaching your kids how to properly utilize a credit card at an early age can not only help them learn about responsible spending and the consequences of extreme consumption, but it will also help them build a solid credit score for when they enter the real world.
Face it, America, we are not being very smart about our credit. We are paying billions in penalty fees. We are spending more money than we make. We don't even know our own interest rates or credit scores. And the country as a whole is almost a trillion dollars in credit card debt.
There are a lot of ideas and myths about good credit and higher credit scores but they aren't all true or helpful. As a result, many people know the importance of high credit scores but they aren't necessarily achieving that goal.
We as parents bring a lot of baggage and emotion into the topic of money, and we can quickly feel guilty or embarrassed by what we did and didn't teach our children. It's important to keep in mind that there often aren't clear-cut right answers.
That bloated sensation you feel isn't just from the excess eggnog and stuffing you ate over the holidays. It's far worse. It's actually the end, not the beginning, of each January that's the most important time of the year.