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Borrowing Money

Before you approach your lending institution for a loan, it is a good idea to understand the factors the lending institution will use to evaluate you when they consider making you a loan.

Some of the key points your banker will review is your credit history. The first thing a bank will determine when a person/business requests a loan is whether their personal and business credit is good. Therefore before you go to the bank, or even start the process of preparing a loan request, you want to make sure your credit is good. [Read More]

Debt Management

There are different ways of dealing with debt. There are steps you can take to regain control when finances get out of hand.

The first task you should perform is to develop a budget: You should start by doing a realistic assessment of how much money comes in and how much goes out. List the income sources, fixed expenses such as mortgage payments, rent, auto, insurance and expenses that vary entertainment, clothing, phone, utilities etc. Don't leave anything out, no matter how small it seems. [Read More]

Paying for College

The challenge of who should pay for college tends to bring out extremes of opinion. At one end of the spectrum are the parents who declare their jobs are done when their child turns 18. They say, "If they want to go to college, they can pay for it themselves." At the other end, are the parents willing to bankrupt themselves so their child can attend their dream college? They're the ones who ask their financial consultants if they should take out a massive home equity loan, or withdraw the money from their retirement accounts, to pay the large education bills. [Read More]

College Grants & Aid Money

The largest sources of "free" college money these days are federal and state grants. While scholarships make up less than 2% of student aid, grants make up about 40%, with loans filling in the rest. Grants are a much better deal than loans, of course, because you don't have to pay the money back. Grant money, however, is usually based largely on need and is often parceled out on a first-come, first-served basis. As college costs skyrocket, it's important to apply early for financial aid and be aware of any available grants that might help lower your college costs. [Read More]

The Seven Deadly Credit Card Sins

Carrying the plastic means you're susceptible to a host of temptations and mistakes that can bring regrets later. Savvy cardholders know to resist them. Credit cards can be a great asset or a great liability, depending on how a cardholder uses them. While you probably won't go to hell for committing any of these sins, the financial situation you will find yourself in afterward can certainly cause some pain to your pocketbook and damage your credit score. Read on to find out the seven deadly credit mistakes you should avoid at all costs. [Read More]
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