How Costly is Bad Credit? Many Don’t Know, Survey Shows

It's 2017: Do you know what your credit score is? Good credit is important for many reasons beyond qualifying for the best loan rates. And the very first step in building it is knowing your starting point. But a NerdWallet survey finds that while more than a quarter of Americans (26%) check their credit scores [...]

Budgeting for New Parents: From Day Care to College

At some point between the pregnancy test and due date, you realize: Life will never be the same. Becoming a parent should bring mostly excitement and joy, but a little bit of panic is normal, particularly when you think about the family budget. Having a child can upend your household finances. Here is some of [...]

3 Sneaky Ways Debt Can Change How You Think

For some people, debt leads to sleepless nights and anxiety about incessant collections calls. But for others, it causes quieter changes that still leave them drowning in bills without a clear way out. Understanding the ways in which your debt can affect the way you feel, think and act may give you perspective that’ll help [...]

7 Bad Financial Habits You Need to Break Right Now

Human beings are habit-creating machines, craving any mental or physical shortcut that lets us focus on higher-level thoughts, such as what’s for lunch or developing theories about Netflix dramas. Bad money habits are more difficult to steer out of than other automated behaviors like driving a car. Why? Financial peace of mind is a much more [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]