How a Community College Transfer Could Save You $12K

We found a way to shave more than $12,000 off your college bill. And it’s as easy as 2+2. That’s the name of the strategy in which a student spends their first two years earning an...

How to Find The Best Option

You’ve decided you need to take out a personal loan. Maybe you’re consolidating credit card debt, investing in home renovations or starting a small business. But you’re still not sure how to go about finding...

Learn How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck in 9 Steps

The paycheck-to-paycheck cycle is an easy one to fall into — and a hard one to break. One of the best ways to tackle it to the cold, hard ground is to take it...

These 8 Strategies Will Help You Pay Down Credit Card Debt When You Retire

Ah, retirement. Lazy days in the hammock, bucket list trips to Europe, leisurely drives in your sports car. Wait, you’ve spent more time jettisoning ideas than planning jet-setting excursions? Despite your best savings efforts — and...

What You Should Know If You’re Considering Credit Counseling

When you’re struggling with debt, it can be hard to determine the best method for getting rid of it. Snowball? Avalanche? Consolidation? Should you freeze your credit card in a block of ice, or...

Overwhelmed by Debt? Here’s What Happens If You Seek Credit Counseling

When you’re struggling with debt, it can be hard to determine the best method for getting rid of it. Snowball? Avalanche? Consolidation? Should you freeze your credit card in a block of ice, or...

Did Paying Off Car Loan Early Hurt My Credit Score?

oleh slobodeniuk/Getty Images Dear Penny, I paid off my car loan a few payments early, and then my credit score went down 79 points. Why did this happen? How long will it take to recover?...

FDCPA Updates Could Mean Texts and Emails From Debt Collectors

Tired of debt collectors’ harassing calls? Their newest tactics could involve pestering you through texts and emails — maybe even on Facebook. If a recently proposed update to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)...

Here’s How a Debt Validation Letter Can Help Save You From a Scam

Don’t fear the ring. Debt collector calls can be scary and intimidating — the callers are trained to convince you to pay off your debt as quickly as possible. But what if you’re unsure of...

How a Debt Verification Letter Protects You From Errors and Scams

Debt might be scary, but debt collectors can be downright terrifying. Those aggressive phone calls, the letters suggesting that you could go to jail — it’s the stuff of nightmares. But wait, what if the debt...

Dear Penny: Should I Pay Off My Credit Card if That Means Saving Less?

Dear J., A new depressing stat seems to surface every day about how we’re all one check-engine light or root canal away from financial implosion. And with the scary numbers, the message is always the...

60% of People Who Try This Raise Their Credit Score Within 6 Months

Your credit score is important. The better your score, the better deal you’ll get on a mortgage, car loan or credit card. We’re talking big money here. Even if you’re not buying a house anytime...

This Simple Step Could Be a Lifesaver If You Have Credit Card Debt ·...

Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder. Credit card debt can snowball quickly. Once you fall behind, you may find yourself getting crushed by interest rates north of 20%. You’ll never catch up that way. You’re spending so...

These 6 Strategies Will Help You Stay Out of Debt

You’ve been looking forward to this day for months, years or maybe even decades: It’s the day you make the final payment that pulls you out of debt. As much as you want to...

How to Raise Your Credit Score Fast: Follow this Dad’s Example

This California couple is running out of room for their growing family. Matsimela McMorris and his wife, Stacey Reid, just welcomed their fifth child into the world — a baby daughter. That’s making their two-bedroom...

I Used a Loan to Pay Off Credit Card Debt. Now What?

PeopleImages/Getty Images Dear Penny, Dear Penny, I recently got a loan to pay off my credit card debt. When I paid off the credit card, my credit score went up considerably — about 60 points. Now...

How to Improve Your Credit Score in 30 Days

Love it or hate it, your credit score affects some of your biggest life decisions: buying a car, owning a home or, really, making any big purchase. Heck, it can even affect what you...

Financial Literacy is Lacking in the U.S. Here’s How to Raise Your Grade

Almost one quarter of Americans have no savings and nearly half — 40% — don’t keep a budget. One driving factor: a lack of financial literacy in the U.S., according to a new survey...

I Can’t Afford More Than My Student Loan Interest

Dear Penny, I recently graduated with an associate’s degree in criminal justice. I just switched jobs, and I’m starting to pay back my student loans, but I am unable to pay the full amount. The...

How to Pay Off Student Loans Fast, No Matter What Your Income

Whether you’re a recent college grad or you attended college years ago, there’s a good chance student loans have impacted you. The current American student loan debt burden is $1.46 trillion — and over $166...

Is It Dumb to Pay Debt With Emergency Savings?

wojciech_gajda/Getty Images Dear Penny, My husband, our 1-year-old and I are currently living with my parents so we can pay off our student loans and start saving to purchase a home more quickly. Our only...

5 Credit Factors That Affect Your Score (and 5 That Don’t)

It’s impossible to overstate the impact your credit score has on your life. It determines everything from whether you can buy a home or rent an apartment to your credit card interest rates and how...

How to Get out of Debt as Cheaply as Possible

If we paid more attention to math, few of us would get into mountains of debt. But the fact is, many of us don’t. And once we finally plug the numbers into a calculator and...

How Credit Mix Affects Your Credit Score

Credit lending can be a strange and mystical industry. Somewhere, it seems, loans are brought before a scientist and, after bubbling through glass balls, tubes and spirals, they’re distilled into a three-digit number that...

Should You Pay Off Debt or Invest in an IRA? We Do the Math

The age-old question: Should you prioritize paying off debt or investing? Or, if you’re ambitiously trying to do both: To what extent should you prioritize each? The answer isn’t the same for everyone. It’s easy...

How a Debt Snowball Can Help You Get Rid of Credit Card Debt

Two major methods dominate the debt repayment sphere: the debt snowball and the debt avalanche. One says you should pay off debts with the highest interest rate first. That’s the debt avalanche method. The other says...

How to Buy a House With Bad Credit: 5 Strategies to Try

Sometimes, it can feel like the deck is stacked against you. You’ve been told you have “bad credit” and that means you’re having trouble getting a traditional mortgage loan. But wouldn’t getting off the...

What Credit Score Is Needed to Buy a House? We Explain

Whether you’re eyeballs-deep in mortgage paperwork or you’re just beginning to consider (figuratively) kissing your landlord goodbye and buying a home, one question is probably weighing heavily on your mind: What credit score is...

I’m Living Paycheck to Paycheck. How Do I Save?

Dear Penny, I would like to retire someday, but it’s not going to be any time soon. What is your advice for someone who already cut back spending, but whose outgoing monthly debt payments are...

Should You Refinance Student Loans? This Woman Saved Thousands

When she started college, Sarah Ann Stanley didn’t know much about student loans. She was the first person in her family to get one. “You need the money,” she recalls, “so you take the loan.” It...

How New Credit Impacts Your Credit Score

Your credit score determines your eligibility for loans, credit cards and even renting a house. Credit reports are determined by a company called FICO, which assigns a three-digit score showing lenders whether giving you...

There’s a Gender Credit Score Gap. Here’s How to Close It

We talk about the gender wage gap, but what about the gender credit-score gap? The median credit score for men is 22 points higher than for women, according to a Federal Reserve analysis. In an ideal...

Only 1% of Americans Have a Perfect Credit Score. Here’s How to Join Them

Slava Olshevskaya/Getty Images It’s the mountaintop. It’s a badge of honor. It’s a totem of success. It’s like finding a four-leaf clover. It’s the tippy-top — the cream of the crop. It’s a perfect credit...
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