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End of Year Checklist

End of Year Checklist Just when you thought you had crossed all of the last minute items off your “to-do” list here are a few more to check off before years’ end. You don’t need to get them all done before the end of this year but now is the time to schedule your planning…

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Holiday Shopping Tips

Holiday Shopping Tips While you are making your holiday shopping rounds, do your budget a favor and keep in mind that it is better to give than to receive. When they holidays come around keep this in mind: While 53%  of the average shopper intends to spend for holiday gifts is $800, 30% will spend…

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Check Your Withholdings

Check Your Withholdings Nobody likes writing a check to Uncle Sam in April. This is the result of under-withholding. A healthy refund check is more fun to anticipate! However, receiving a refund check is not necessarily good for you. Whenever you receive a tax refund it means you paid more taxes out of every paycheck…

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Applying for a Mortgage – Part 1

Applying for a Mortgage – Part 1 So you’re thinking about becoming a homeowner. As a smart consumer, you and your household are preparing for this big financial step. If you’ve been considering homeownership for a while you’ve probably already considered the pros and cons of homeownership and whether renting or buying is the best…

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Prime, Subprime, and Predatory Lending

Prime, Subprime, and Predatory Lending Many Americans translate the American Dream as owning their own home. In our country today, owning a home is one of the most basic methods of increasing your wealth. Homeownership also assists in stabilizing and enhancing pride in neighborhoods that might otherwise decline. Because of this, numerous organizations, many of…

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Correcting Credit Report Errors

Correcting Credit Report Errors Understanding your credit report, credit score and the potential for errors in the system, discussed thus far in our credit report series, is basic consumer knowledge to keep you an informed and smart consumer. You know, through our series how important it is for you to review your credit report ever…

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Credit Report Errors

Credit Report Errors Most everyone realizes that some credit reports may contain errors, but did you know that according to some experts, as many as 80% of credit reports could contain errors. Many different types of credit report errors have been found on consumer credit reports.  These errors include personal identifying information, account information, missing…

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Credit Protection Plans

Credit Protection Plans Congratulations on managing your way out of debt. It is a great relief to be debt free but it takes commitment and attention to detail. It’s the attention to detail that will help you decide if protection plans offered by or through credit cards are a good deal. You should review the…

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Spending Vs. Saving

Spending Vs. Saving You’ve heard the facts before: Our nation is currently experiencing a negative savings rate Only one-third of American families are saving enough to be able to maintain their standard of living in retirement More people are afraid of financial problems than are afraid of death More than half of all employees are…

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Personal Budget

Personal Budget WHERE DID ALL MY MONEY GO? How often have you muttered this phrase? Monthly? Weekly? Daily? Do you know where you money is going? We often spend money without thinking. Credit cards have allowed us the luxury of spending without actually paying, until the bill comes, so the spending seems harmless. Fast food…

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Recheck Your Checking Account

Recheck Your Checking Account When was the last time you thought about the cost of your checking account, other than bounced check charges? Do you know if your account is an interest bearing checking account, non-interest account, or (truly) free checking? Not knowing can cost you money. Interest Checking Although interest rates charged for mortgages…

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Rebuilding Credit

Rebuilding Credit Here at Credit Advisors Foundation (CAF) consumers ask the same question at least once a day. “My credit is a mess. How do I go about rebuilding it?” The inquirer often sounds loss or dispirited. Yet, there is hope. It is possible to rebuild your credit. Unfortunately it will not happen overnight. Rebuilding…

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Preparing for Home Ownership

Preparing for Home Ownership Purchasing a house can be a great undertaking, especially if you have had some bruises on your credit history. In recent years, the mortgage industry has loosened the guidelines for qualifying for a loan. People who previously would have been shut out of home ownership due to credit or debt ratio…