Private Mortgage Insurance. What you need to know.

Whether you’re a long-time homeowner or you’ve just started shopping for your dream house, you’ve seen stacks of papers full of acronyms. Buried amid the dense undergrowth of legalese are three letters that could be costing you more than you think. Be on the lookout for PMI: Private Mortgage Insurance. PMI in a nutshell Close … Continued

Adjustable Or Fixed-Rate Mortgage – Which Is Right For Me?

If you’re mortgage shopping, you may be overwhelmed by the number of options. Dozens of lenders, each with their own rates, terms, conditions and costs, can make the decision feel that way. But it doesn’t have to be that difficult! The choice of which mortgage to go with starts with a simple question: fixed-rate or … Continued

Trimming Your Credit Cards: How to Decide What To Close And What To Keep

If you’ve reached a point where you know you have too many cards and want to trim them to simplify your life or to get your finances under control, think carefully before you act. Some of your credit cards are better than others, so careful consideration is in order.  1. Decide how many credit cards … Continued

Don’t Sleep On Your Savings: Avoiding Dormant Accounts

One of the best things you can do with a savings account is forget about it. If you don’t think about it, you can’t spend it. It’s there when you need it, and it’s earning dividends the whole time.

What Should I Fund First? My Retirement Accounts Or A College Fund?

With so many demands on a family’s budget, you can’t do it all. Lots of people are forced to choose between fully funding a retirement plan for mom and dad and diverting some or all of the available cash savings to fund college. Which should come first? All things being equal, fund retirement first. Here’s … Continued

Going From New Homeowner To Happy Home: Tips For Recent Homebuyers

Buying your first home is a major milestone. There’s nothing quite like the giddy rush that comes from knowing you could paint a wall fluorescent pink or cover the cabinets in peanut butter and no one could legally stop you. You’ve also got a new and quite big investment you need to maintain. Weighing the … Continued

Credit Cards Or Debit Cards – What’s The Smartest Swipe?

Most people own at least one debit card and at least one credit card. They know they have them, but they may not know about all the differences that exist between using a credit card and a debit card. Believe it or not, there are many. The most basic difference is the fact that each … Continued

How Not To Bust Your Holiday Budget

The holiday shopping season is in full swing. The malls are packed with eager shoppers. Offers and promotions are coming from clothing stores, electronics retailers and other shopping sites. They’re probably flooding your inbox, and your physical mailbox is getting overloaded with catalogs from shops you haven’t bought anything from in years, if ever. If … Continued

Holiday Spending is Getting Smarter, But You Can Be Smarter

The average American will spend nearly $900 on holiday presents this year. If you have two adults in your household, that’s almost $1,800.  The odds are good that you’ve already spent a good chunk of that on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday specials.  In looking at the sales numbers from the weekend, … Continued

Auto Loans: Credit Unions Vs. Banks

Need a car but can’t pay cash? You have three choices: Borrow from the dealer or manufacturer’s financing company, borrow from a bank, or borrow from a credit union (unless Uncle Bob is willing to finance you, but who wants the “strings” that go along with that?). Each method has advantages and disadvantages – but … Continued