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Why You Should Get Preapproved for a Car Loan

When shopping for a new car, many people overlook one important step: getting preapproved for an auto loan. It's a simple process that can make car-buying go more smoothly and save you money. Preapproval is a quick assessment of your ability to pay off a loan based on your credit history and current financial state. [...]

What’s a Good Use for a HELOC?

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. The downside? If you [...]

What Immigrants Earn in Each State and How Much They Send Abroad

Immigrants across the U.S. went on a one-day strike last month to highlight their importance to the nation’s economy. As a group, immigrants contribute to the economy here and also in their native countries, with many sending part of their paychecks as remittances to relatives there. To take a closer look at immigrants’ earning power, [...]

Tips for Avoiding Credit Card Fraud

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. It can take many forms, including: Scammers who try to sucker you into giving up credit card info over the phone. E-mail phishing. [...]

Needs vs. Wants: How to Distinguish and Budget for Both

Do you need that new jacket, or do you just want it really badly? Sure, you could say outerwear is essential for keeping warm in cold climates, but it’s much harder to argue that it needs to be a luxurious leather coat. Some things you need, and some you just want. But just because you [...]

Introducing Mom and Dad to Mobile Banking

If you’ve had to introduce Mom and Dad to one of your surlier significant others — you know, the one who just couldn’t drop politics at the door — then introducing them to mobile banking should be painless, right? Not necessarily. People who don’t use mobile banking have their reasons: They don’t see the need for [...]

How to Improve Your Credit Score

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 [...]

4 Sane Ways To Pay Down Student Debt

If you’ve read any of the student-debt success stories circulated in the media lately, you might think the only way to pay down your debt is to give up coffee, your social life and your apartment. “It seems like borrowers are told that they have to live on beans in a shantytown and pay off [...]

How to Tell You’re Ready to Buy a House

Making the decision to become a homeowner is emotionally and financially complex. Here are some key things to ask yourself if you're considering whether buying is right for you. Do you have a good reason to buy? Sometimes switching from renting to buying is a no-brainer.  Maybe you live in a modern one-bedroom apartment in [...]

5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Rewards Credit Card

5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Rewards Credit Card One of the best things about choosing to use a rewards credit card for your day-to-day spending is the points, miles or cash back you can earn every time you swipe. But it can be tricky. To make sure you're getting the most [...]