It’s the most wonderful (and expensive) time of the year. Though the holidays can bring joy and laughter with family and friends, it can also cause a lot of stress especially when it comes to your finances. According to a Healthline survey, finances was the top cause of stress (47%) during the holidays. Though the holidays can bust any budget and hurt your wallet, you may not realize that it can also affect your credit. Here’s how:   1. Spending more than you earn Have you ever gone to the store thinking that you want to buy “just one thing” and
What if I told you that the same thing that can make you wealthy and financially secure is the same thing that could keep you deep in the trenches of debt? You see, interest can either be a powerful force of good or a source of evil. Interest can help you build wealth or it can cost you a lot of money. It all depends on which side of the coin you are on.   What is interest? In lending terms, interest is a percentage of money that a lender charges the borrower for the convenience of accessing money. So
Credit can set the foundation for your personal finances, but what is credit and how does it work? In school you might learn about basic arithmetic and grammar, but learning about credit? Not so much. Unfortunately, not knowing how credit works may hurt you in the long run. In this beginner’s guide to credit, learn more about credit and how it affects you. Credit is Borrowed Money First, let’s get back to basics. You may wonder, “What is credit?”. Credit is money you borrow from a lender that you agree to pay back. For example, you might get credit in
Money is tight and you’ve been hit with an unexpected expense. You’re scrambling to figure out a way to pay for it and are considering using your credit card. While a credit card can be used as a short-term loan option when you don’t have liquid cash available, should you really be using it as an emergency fund? Read on to learn more. What is an emergency fund? Life is full of the unexpected. At any moment, you could lose your job or be struck down by an illness. You might find yourself in a car accident or have to
When you think of saving money, you might automatically think of things like cutting out coupons, hunting down elusive codes, or scoping out the latest deals. But did you know that you could save money with your credit card? If you’re a deal-savvy consumer, choosing the best credit card for you could mean saving money in a variety of ways. Here are four ways credit cards can save you money:   1. Cash back savings There are certain rewards credit cards that offer cash back on all purchases. For example, the Chase Freedom card offers one percent cash back and the
What’s a Credit Score? Your credit score is an assessment of your credit worthiness. It shows potential lenders, like banks and credit card issuers, how you’ve handled credit in the past. It also projects how they think you would handle additional credit in the future. Your credit score impacts the decision of approving or denying an application for credit. It also impacts the interest rate you’ll be charged on credit cards and loans. Improve your credit score and your (financial) life improves! We’ve talked previously about how your credit score is calculated in-depth. Today, let’s focus on how to improve your credit
There are tons of credit card choices out there offered by various financial institutions and let’s face it, it can be a little overwhelming. How do you know which one is the right one for you, amongst a sea of choices? When it comes to actually choosing a credit card, the choice might not be so easy. Don’t fret. If you’re in the market for your first credit card or ready to add another one to your portfolio, here are three simple questions to ask so you can choose the best credit card for you.   What is your goal?
Credit cards have their good qualities, like convenience, ease of use and their ability to establish your credit history. Credit cards also have their bad qualities, like how easy unwise use can lead to serious financial problems. Clearly, one of their best features is the many credit card benefits issuers provide to get you to select and use their card. Credit card issuers offer some common benefits that are widely available. Some benefits, however, are unique to a specific credit card which may make it a great choice for you. Below are some common and not-so-common benefits. Check the details
Credit provides you the capacity to borrow money and pay it back at a later date. It allows you to make purchases today (anything from groceries to a house) and pay it back in the future and, if necessary, over the course of months or years. When you use credit, most of the time, you will be paying interest on the amount you spend. Credit used to be hard to obtain. You’d need to save the entire purchase price in advance or save up a large proportion of the purchase price and, then, borrow the rest from friends or family.
There are lots of different credit cards, with lots of different features and benefits. How do you start to compare them? Credit cards usually are either targeted at specific kinds of people (like students) or those seeking a specific benefit (like airline miles or cash back). If you understand the various credit card types, you’re on your way to finding a card that benefits you most.   Before we dive in, let’s clear up one thing – are credit cards and charge cards the same thing? People tend to use the phrases interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference. Credit
Credit cards allow you to make a purchase today and pay for it sometime in the future. You want to purchase something today and, instead of paying with cash to complete the transaction, you hand over a credit card. When you use a credit card, it’s typically the credit card issuer (for example, a bank) that is actually paying for your purchase. Someone pays for my stuff? I want one of those! Unfortunately, while the credit issuer will “front you the money”, you will be paying them back! So, let’s make sure you understand the credit card basics.   How