Dollars & Sense, Page 9

How to Plan and Finance Home Improvements

January 19th, 2016

Once the thrill of becoming a homeowner wears off, reality sets in. Your home is likely to be the biggest single investment you’ll make in your lifetime. If you want to preserve its value over time, that means doing regular maintenance.


Tips for Avoiding Credit Card Fraud

January 19th, 2016

With nearly 38,000 complaints logged in 2015, credit card fraud ranks as the second most common form of identity theft, trailing only tax- or wage-related fraud, according to the Federal Trade Commission.


How to Improve Your Credit Score

January 19th, 2016

Almost no one is perfect when it comes to credit scores. The average score for Americans has been inching up over the past decade and is now close to 700. Many lenders consider that a good number, but the highest possible score is 850, according to Fair Isaac Corp., or FICO, which developed some of the most widely used models for credit scoring. The lowest possible score is 300.


Building a Credit Score From Scratch

January 19th, 2016

Young adults starting out on their own often bump into a cold fact of financial life: Having no credit history can limit your options just as much as having bad credit does. Lenders, rental offices and insurance companies use your financial track record to judge how likely you are to pay debts and bills — and if you’re a blank slate, you’re generally considered a risk.


What’s a Good Use for a HELOC?

January 19th, 2016

When you take out a second mortgage, a name for a home equity line of credit, you’re offering your house as collateral to secure another loan. The upside: You can gain access to up to 85% of your home’s value, minus your current mortgage balance and adjusted based on your creditworthiness.


Think Hard Before Tapping Your 401(k) Balance

January 12th, 2016

One of the features that make 401(k) plans so attractive is that your money is not completely out of reach should an emergency need arise.


The Best Money Moves for Students in March

February 28th, 2015

In March, you can kiss winter goodbye and say hello to daydreams of spring break and longer days of sunshine. Before you get ahead of yourself, though, do a few things to spruce up your finances.


Risks of Amateur Trustees

February 25th, 2015

More and more affluent families are turning to trust-based solutions for their wealth management and inheritance problems. However, a trust is only as good as its trustee.