Credit

Here you will find the buzz about what’s going on with credit today. We will look at credit trends, how to get a good credit deal, how to maintain a good credit score and how to use credit cards to your advantage.

Learn how to earn cash back without using a credit card
Cash Back Debit Cards: You Don’t Need Credit Cards for Cash Back Rewards
You don't need a credit card to earn cash back rewards! Learn how to get cash back without using a credit card by taking advantage of the same offers on your debit card.
74% of Americans are Getting Married with Debt

A survey of 1,000 couples set to get married in the next 12 months found 3 out of 4 couples will go into debt to tie the knot. And most, 61 percent, say they will use credit cards to pay. But is starting married life saddled with debt a good idea? Here’s what the wedding experts at the Knot say and what Consolidated Credit’s financial expert says. Here are some tips on what you can do to cut cost if you’re getting hitched.

Don’t Loan Credit Cards!
If you thought lending money to family was a bad idea, consider that 36 million Americans admit they’ve run into trouble when they decided to loan credit cards to friends and family. Learn why it’s a bad idea and what you can do instead to help someone out.
Always consider cost before opening credit cards with annual fees
Are Credit Cards with Annual Fees Worth It?
Credit cards with annual fees can offer some valuable incentives, but you have to assess the cost of using the card and the credit card rewards you earn carefully.
Do You Have More Credit Knowledge than These Millennials?
LendEDU finds that Millennials have some interesting (and wrong) thoughts about how credit scores work. Is this lack of credit knowledge a recipe for debt?
Credit Report Cleaning Instructions Infographic
A pristine credit report is very important in order to qualify for credit at the best interest rates on the market. Here are some tips to clean yours.
4 Simple Ways to Jumpstart Your Finances
If you want to jumpstart your finances, author of 6 Week Money Challenge Steve Repak, offers 4 simple ways to achieve your financial goals.
Infographic: Hispanic Perspectives on Credit Card Debt

Credit card usage is not as prevalent in Latin American countries as it is in the U.S. How do Hispanics in the U.S. feel about credit cards and revolving debt? Consolidated Credit wanted to know so they asked. What they found is encouraging. This infographic illustrates the results.

Good credit scores help you achieve your dreams
Does Your Credit Score Make You Smile?
Hispanics see improving their credit scores as a vehicle to achieving financial goals in 2016, and it may just be the true key to happiness.
Infographic: Credit Unions vs. Banks

As consumers, we all want the best bang for our buck. When it comes to banking that translates to getting the best interest rates on savings, credit cards and loans. So which financial institution has your best interest at heart? Consolidated Credit’s Credit Unions vs. Banks Infographic helps you weigh the options.

When Retail Therapy Turns into Financial Distress
Using credit cards for retail therapy may make you feel better in the moment, but the stress of the high-interest debt that follows usually isn't worth it.
Wedding Cost Infographic
Given total wedding cost these days, if you don't budget carefully you're likely to start the marriage in debt with money fights that stress relationships.
Real estate recovery
Hallelujah for the Real Estate Revival
The real estate collapse may have left you wary about getting back into the market, but a HUD expert says the real estate revival may restore your faith.
Saving Money is Not a Sacrifice. It’s an Investment in Your Future.

By Jeffrey Strain One of the issues many people have trouble overcoming when trying to get their finances in order is that it requires a commitment to a lifestyle change. If your finances aren’t in order, it’s because you have been doing things that have lead to them not being in order. If you continue […]

10 worst credit card mistakes

By Kay Bell and Karen Haywood Queen Whether you’re in a financial crunch, dream of an island vacation or want to earn more rewards, credit card offers may appear to be the solution. Not so fast, says Joanne Kerstetter, spokeswoman for Money Management International. “Just because you’re getting credit card offers doesn’t mean the credit […]

Your Thirties Can Kill Your Finances

By Jennifer Derrick When it comes to living dangerously with your finances, it seems as though your thirties are the most dangerous decade. Obviously you have to be mindful of your money habits throughout your life because it’s possible to screw up with you’re very young and very old, but special care should be given […]

Secure, or not? Assess the risk before sending credit card info

By Cynthia Drake Before you send your credit card information online, over the phone or by mail, it helps to think like a hacker. The next time you’re about to share your credit card number, put on a robber’s raccoon mask and think about it: Where are the potential breach spots along the path your […]

Is Credit Sesame a Scam or Legit?

By Lori Kelley Your credit score is important for a variety of reasons. This score can have a huge impact on how much you’ll end up paying in interest on loans, sometimes with a difference of tens of thousands of dollar, depending on how good your FICO score is. For that reason, people who are […]

Too late for a refund? Return assistance programs may help

By Lisa Bertagnoli An extra blanket at the foot of the bed or a second application of sunscreen — that’s how credit card companies want consumers to think of return assistance programs. Not the first line of defense, but extra protection should a cardholder want to get a refund on a purchase after the retailer’s […]

‘Jamming’ cleans your credit — temporarily

Guest Post by  Kelly Dilworth A long-running scam by illegitimate credit repair operations is throwing a wrench into the already-beleaguered credit report dispute process, making it harder for the big three credit bureaus to keep up with legitimate disputes. Credit reporting agencies complain they are inundated with dispute letters bulk mailed by fraudulent credit repair clinics, […]

Complain and Win: 4 Tips for Calling Credit Card Customer Service

By Karen Haywood Queen A sense of dread fills many of us when we think about calling to report a credit card problem. The countless minutes spent listening to soul-destroying hold music — only to wind up with an unhelpful customer service agent who drops your call — are enough to make even the most […]

Credit is getting easier to find, Fed says

By Tim Mullaney (USA Today) The nation’s banks are slowly loosening the reins on credit, a survey of bank lending executives by the Federal Reserve said Monday. The clearest changes in the last three months came in commercial lending and in personal loans other than mortgages, the central bank said in a quarterly report released […]

Scam Alert: Watch Out for $9.84 Charges on Your Credit Card Statement

By April Lewis-Parks Do you check your credit card statements regularly? If not, you are the type of victim that these credit card scammers are looking for. Scammers are banking on the fact that most consumers don’t check their credit card statements regularly or that carefully. This new con places unexplainable charges of $9.84 on […]

How Bad Moves on Social Media Could Damage Your Credit Score

By Erin Lowry Dramatically quitting your job via viral video might seem appealing after your boss starts screaming at you — again– but for the sake of your credit score, it’s probably not a good idea. According to a recent report from the Wall Street Journal, lending companies and Fair Isaac (FICO) might soon start […]

How Bad Are Credit Card Cash Advances

By April Lewis-Parks Did you know that when you withdraw money from an ATM using your credit card or use one of those checks that come in your monthly credit card statement, you can add an average of 24 percent to your annual interest? Unlike using a credit card to make multiple purchases with an […]

Hidden Credit Card Perks That Consumers May Be Unaware of

By Jessica Williams When it comes to credit cards, we as consumers have been told time and time again to read the fine print. Of course this was created to insure that the credit card lender is protected at all times, however credit card terms and agreements are not always out to get you. A […]

Steps to Creating a Personal Budget

By April Lewis-Parks It takes 21 days to build and keep a habit. This is a great thing to remember when starting and maintaining a good financial personal budget. How and what you choose to spend your money on will dictate the outcome of how minor or major your budgeting process will have to be. […]

How to do a credit card balance transfer
Helpful Hints For Completing A Balance Transfer on Your Credit Card
A credit card balance transfer can be a great way to consolidate debt, but only in the right circumstances. Here's what you need to know about transfers.
Four Myths About Credit Scores

Credit scores are essential for financial success, as lenders will use this figure to determine what terms and rate to offer on all loans – mortgages, personal lines of credit, auto loans. That being said, it is important to have a vast knowledge about this number, so people don’t do anything to damage their rating. […]

Four Tips For Quickly Boosting Your Credit Score

By Jessica Williams

What You Need To Do When Canceling A Credit Card

After paying down credit card debt that has been a nuisance for quite some time, it may be tempting to cancel the card, so you don’t find yourself in trouble again. However, completing this process the wrong way can lead to your credit score falling, so be sure you know what you are doing. Only […]

Avoiding Credit Card Late Fees

By Jessica Williams

Building A Credit Score Without Using Plastic

By Jessica Williams Many consumers find themselves with a damaged credit score after accumulating a pile of debt on their plastic, which leads them to shy away from these credit cards after they have been paid off. Fortunately, there are numerous ways people can build their credit rating without using their credit cards, such as: […]

Find cash flow with these alternatives to credit cards
Students Have Alternatives To Credit Cards
If you're worried your college student will run up credit card debt, these alternatives to credit cards may help everyone avoid problems with debt.
Nine Steps Towards Cleaning Up Your Credit Score

By Jessica Williams Before you can proactively begin repairing your credit, you need to know where you stand. Pull your credit report from one of the many free online sites, like CreditKarma.com, that offer this service. If you find that your scores are 760 or higher, then you are in good credit standing. If you […]

Simple Ways to Build Good Credit

By April Lewis-Parks Having good credit is one of the cornerstones of maintaining a solid financial profile. Your credit standing will be used in part to determine your eligibility for loans and credit lines, tenancy, employment prospects and depending on the state you live in, auto insurance rates. So whether you’re trying to establish credit […]

Research before applying for that new credit card

Credit counseling services can teach borrowers a lot about credit cards and their intricacies. However, many of these details should be learned well before adding plastic to your arsenal of financial options. According to ABC News, one main area of credit cards many borrowers fail to understand before it’s too late is just how much […]

Things to Consider Before Transferring a Credit Card Balance

  By April Lewis-Parks If your credit card bills are getting out of control and you struggle every month to make your payments, you might be considering transferring your balances to a credit card with a promotional zero percent interest rate. If you are you’re not alone. Balance transfers are a popular option when you […]

4 Things Parents Should Know Before Paying for College

By John McDonough Financial Specialist Shares Ways to Help Your Child While Protecting Your Retirement From $20,000 to $65,000 a year – that’s the tuition cost for one year of college, says John McDonough, a money expert who helps retirees and parents plan for their families’ futures. “For the 2012–2013 academic year, the average cost […]

Top 10 States for Identity Theft: New Website Offers In-Depth Information About Identity Protection

  Identity theft is a national problem, but some states have far more consumer complaints than others, with Florida, Georgia and California topping the list. IdentityProtection.com, a new website powered by Equifax, takes an in-depth look at each of the top 10 states for identity theft, examining state and metro area statistics, examples of widespread […]

How to End a Bad Relationship with Your Credit Card

  By April Lewis-Parks Your credit card may be your best friend when it comes to long shopping trips, booking vacations and your weekly manicure and pedicure sessions, but when the end of the month rolls around and your bill comes due, you may realize that your relationship with credit is more toxic than beneficial. […]

Common Money Blunders that Make it Difficult to Save

By April Lewis-Parks Most people can admit to money or budgeting mistakes that they’ve made once or twice, but for others, certain habits may have developed into a repetitive cycle of bad behavior. A mistake here and there can create a bump in the road when trying to save money, pay down credit card debt […]

New Credit Scoring Model Could Boost Consumers’ Scores

Has your credit been affected by late payments? Or are you trying to rebuild your credit after being unemployed for months? Well, I have good news for you. A new scoring system that could help you boost your credit score is now available. This new credit scoring model doesn’t factor in debts that went into […]

Lowering Your Interest Rate Can Help Reduce Credit Card Debt

By Ines Mato Getting bogged down with credit card debt can be a stressful experience. However, there are ways that you can improve your situation, one being reducing your credit card’s interest rate. While not guaranteed to work, you can achieve this by calling the customer service number on the back of your card and […]

Save money for America Saves Week
4 Easy Ways to Get Involved in America Saves Week and Save Successfully
Not sure where to start to build an effective saving strategy? We offer you four easy ways to get involved in America Saves Week to reach your goals.
Don’t Be a Victim of Credit Report Errors

As you may have heard, a Federal Trade Commission study showed that 5 percent of credit reports have mistakes that could lead consumers to pay more for loans, insurance and other financial products. This fact is not surprising, as we can’t expect millions of credit reports to be perfect. And having an error on your […]

How Do You Handle Your First Credit Card?

By Ines Mato Whether you are going away to college and opening a credit card for emergencies, or getting your first card for another reason, it will be a new experience. With a credit card comes financial responsibility, and you need to know how to appropriately handle your first card. Make sure you understand the […]

Achieve a perfect credit score
Steps to Achieving a Perfect Credit Score
It may seem impossible, but you can take steps to clean up your reports and build credit to achieve a perfect credit score with a little work.
How to Pay Off Excessive Credit Card Debt

By April Lewis-Parks Relying too much on credit to get by has left many people in a position where they are now struggling to catch up. Credit card debts pile up and minimum payments increase. This can cause problems when your payments start to exceed what you can afford to pay in any given month. […]

8 Ways to Make the Most of Your Holiday Bonus

By Andrea Woroch No matter where you work, there’s always a glimmer of hope you’ll find something extra in your paycheck around the holidays. In the event such dreams actually do come true, a windfall of cash can make us do some strange things. Suddenly, even the most frugal shopper is looking for any excuse […]

Poor credit may hurt your job search
Don’t Let Poor Credit Prevent You From Getting a Job
A bad credit profile can do more than making borrowing difficult, your poor credit could keep you from landing your dream job if you're not careful.
Those 3 Not So Little Numbers…Does Your Credit Score Need an Adjustment?

By April Lewis-Parks No one likes to think about financial planning when the holidays are here, but the end of the year is one of the prime periods to start preparing for next year’s financial goals. While saving more money and paying off your credit card balances are typically on the “to-do” list, bumping up […]

How To Get a Passing Grade When You’re Unschooled in Student Credit Cards

Student Credit Card Tips – How Students Can Prevent Credit Card Debt. If you sauntered through the middle of a college campus a decade ago, you might have been inundated by the art of tabling—clever marketing ploys where credit card issuers would set up booths and lure students with free swag in exchange for filling […]

The Barclaycard MasterCard: Equality in Your Plastic Relationship

By Credit Card Select Successful relationships hinge on the interplay of give and take. A partner who is too headstrong, controlling, and demanding can plant toxic seeds into unions, and given time, will fester into disaster. The same goes for the relationship you have with your plastic. All too often, consumers can find themselves feeling […]

Frightening Fact –Over 9 Million People Have Had Their Identity Stolen

Credit fraud and identity theft is a rampant problem, so much so that this week has been dubbed Protect Your Identity Week. In honor of this necessary awareness campaign I wanted to take a look at credit monitoring services and lend some tips for safeguarding your credit, finances, and identity. You can read about credit […]

Are Retail Reward Cards Really Helping you Save?

by April Lewis-Parks Nearly every financial professional will list coupons, discounts and perks as smart strategies for cutting down costs. After all, you wouldn’t pay full-price for a new dress if you could find the same one for half price. The problem is that this line of thinking doesn’t always apply when it comes to […]

What’s in Your Credit Report?

Want to buy that house for your kids to grow up in? Or even just rent that car for a weekend getaway? You had better make sure your credit report and credit score will hold up to scrutiny. Payment history, number of accounts and age of oldest account are all huge factors in lenders and […]

How Do Credit Card Penalties Work?

by April Lewis-Parks Credit card penalties can be scary and confusing. Asking your bank to explain the different penalties to you doesn’t help much, as they will tell you to read your statements and contracts. But with all the fine print and legal terminology, how are you supposed to know what you will end up […]

Let the (Budgeted) Fall Shopping Season Begin!

by April Lewis-Parks Temperatures are getting lower and soon the leaves will start changing, which can only mean one thing: Fall is nearly here! For most people, the fall season brings pumpkins, cozy sweaters and cool nights to mind. For others, it signals the time to put away their summer wardrobe and prepare for sweater […]

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Swiping Your Credit Card

Millions of Americans are managing credit card debt that was incurred due to circumstances beyond their control. This may include job losses, medical bills, divorce and rising living costs, but some people may be battling the same scenario due to overspending or mismanaging their income. I read today that retail credit cards have reached 175 […]

America Earns a C+ in Credit Scores, What’s Your Grade?

Credit scores can be a symbol of financial success for many, but for others they represent a barrier to achieving their goals. With an average credit score of 680, many Americans have trouble purchasing a home or obtaining new lines of credit. This score is comparable to a C+ in school. At the state level […]

Conflict over joint accounts can end relationships
Can joint accounts damage your personal finances?
Opening joint accounts after marriage can make it easy to manage your money as a couple, but you have to get on the same financial page.
In College, Make Sure You Get the Credit You Deserve!

For many young adults college is a time for studying, trying new experiences, and finding out what kind of career they would like to pursue. It is also a good time for them to start their financial and credit profile. Few college students will think about their credit scores while they are in school, however, […]

Blowing Up Your Budget: Three Top Reasons Your Budget Is Faltering

By April Lewis-Parks Today, I decided to write about what I have been hearing from many of our readers… they set a budget, but it just keeps getting blown… You finally decided to take control of your finances to save more money and kick your debt to the curb. You’ve done everything right. You created […]

3 Steps to Take After a Credit Score Killer

Millions of Americans struggle with bad credit scores – and it seems like there’s nothing they can do. Unforeseen circumstances like a medical emergency or the loss of a job can lead to huge financial hardships. From credit collection accounts to foreclosures and short sales, a consumer’s credit score can be lowered drastically. This will […]

Are You Relying Too Much on Credit Cards?

By April Lewis-Parks Credit cards have several benefits that can help you better yourself. If used responsibly, they allow you to build a solid credit score, get out of a tight financial jam and enjoy spending perks, such as rewards and discounts. But if you fail to abide by the rule of moderation, you could […]

Are your finances on autopilot?

by April Lewis-Parks Most people operate under the mindset, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” This can be a great way to set a routine that works for you and keep to a schedule that helps you avoid forgetting about responsibilities, but when you apply this mindset to your finances, you may be missing […]

Protect Your Credit Report

 By Courtney Hall Do you regularly monitor your credit report? I strongly advise you to start doing so if you’re not already. There is no worse feeling then seeing a debt that isn’t yours show up on your credit report. And why in the world would you want to be stuck carrying the weight of […]

Set Smart Money Goals During Financial Literacy Month

Spring cleaning isn’t just for your house. You can also spend some time spring cleaning your finances. April is Financial Literacy Month, a great chance for you to evaluate your current financial situation and set some new financial goals. Maybe you want to finally pay off your credit card debt, or start saving for your […]

Tax Preparation Infographic

Filing taxes is a big part of your financial picture. Filling on time and correctly can avoid the stress and hassle of an IRS audit while ensuring that you receive any refund due to you! Get helpful information on preparing your 2011 tax return and fun U.S. tax facts. Click here to view the infographic. […]

Owe Uncle Sam Some Money? Don’t Pay With a Credit Card!

by April Lewis-Parks If you owe the IRS money this tax season and don’t have it available, avoid using your credit card or opening a credit card account for this purpose. It’s not a good financial and can lead to a substantial amount of debt. Credit card issuers and even the IRS tout the convenience […]

Take Control of Your Credit

Those little numbers on your credit score reveal big things about you and the state of your finances. People commonly confuse credit scores and credit reports, thinking they’re interchangeable – admittedly I was one of them! I am going to break it down for you, credit scores use the data found on your credit report […]

Celebrate National Consumer Protection Week

 By Courtney Hall March 4th through 10th is National Consumer Protection Week in the United States.  As a nationwide campaign, federal, state, and local governments come together to encourage consumers to get informed about protecting their finances. Whether its identity theft or financial fraud, the impact scams can have on the safety and security of […]

Do you spend a $1,000 a year on a cup of morning Joe?

 By Courtney Hall Being shouldered with credit card debt or finding it difficult to make ends meet every month can be a stressful situation, but many people may not be aware of the small changes they can make to their spending and the large results these simple alterations can have on their overall financial condition. […]

Tying rewards to Facebook accounts
Citi Allows Cardholders to Tie Rewards to Facebook Accounts
Citi cardholders have a new way of using their credit card rewards. Tying rewards to Facebook accounts opens up a wide range of possibilities.
7 Sagaciousness Super Bowl Saving Tips

By Courtney Hall An estimated 111 million people will watch the New England Patriots and New York Giants go head-to-head Sunday for the 46th Super Bowl.  Millions of people are planning their Super Bowl parties and on average they will spend between $50 and $100. Let’s face it, feeding a room full of hungry football […]

2011 Debit Fees Were Shut Down, But What Other Charges Are to Come in 2012? Tips to Prevent Your Bank from Taking Advantage of You

Remember the bad publicity that Bank of America and several other major banking institutions inflicted on themselves in late 2011 when they announced a new $5.00 monthly checking/debit card fee?  Well, after several nationwide protests from angry customers, BOA caved and retracted their monthly debit fee agenda. The reason financial institutions are looking for new […]

What a waste of cash
4 Services that are a Total Waste of Cash
Some financial resources you can't live without, but these four services are a waste of cash that you can lose and do it yourself to save some serious cash.
Economic growth improves, but don’t rush to the mall yet

By Ines Mato As the U.S. economy shows signs of recovery, you might feel it’s time to swipe your credit cards again in all your favorite stores, but not so fast… Even though the economy has grown, permanent hiring remains stagnate and the housing market has not improved. The Federal Reserve reports that consumer borrowing […]

Are You Paying Too Much For Auto Insurance?

By Courtney Hall People are constantly overpaying for car insurance without even realizing it. Even more surprising is that many people truly believe they are getting the best rates available. Others think that finding low priced auto insurance would take too much time and effort and this is why people keep paying outrageous premiums. Most […]

What Would Your Social Media Score Be?

By: Courtney Hall Are you careful about what you’re putting out on social networking sites? If not, you may want to reconsider as insurance companies have begun snooping on social media sites for the inside scoop on their customers. Even more unnerving is the fact that the information they find about your personal life could […]

Three tips to accomplish your New Year’s financial resolutions in 2012

By April Lewis-Parks New Year’s resolutions that center around your finances are a time-honored tradition in the U.S., and the prospects of accomplishing new goals and enjoying new experiences can make you feel optimistic and positive. But once the holiday high wears off, the hard part kicks in: sticking to your goals. This can be […]

Five Frightening Financial Pitfalls You Want to Avoid

By Courtney Hall With the spooky holiday right around the corner, what better time to go over some financial frights you want to avoid at all costs! We constantly read about what we SHOULD be doing to better secure our financial future. But no one ever mentions those scary financial pitfalls that could really bring […]

Is the Groupon credit card worth your time?
Groupon Credit Card….Good Idea?
Not all credit cards are worth the rewards they promise. We take a look at the new proposed Groupon Credit Card to see if it's worthy of your interest.
Students are a high risk for excessive credit card use
Experts Warn College Kids Against Excessive Credit Card Use
If your kids are on your tab while attending school, be careful that they take steps to avoid excessive credit card use that can lead to debt for you.
What’s Your Revenue Score?

By Courtney Hall It probably comes as no surprise that credit card companies evaluate your income when determining whether to risk offering you a line of credit, but did you know about the often un-heard of “revenue score?” Calculated by banks, this number weighs in their decision to give you credit.  You might think a […]

Debt Collectors Can Help During Identity Theft Crisis – Important Steps to Take For Identity Fraud Victims

By Sijun Li Thieves are finding more and more ways to steal people’s identities. From the recently surfaced conversation-recording Smartphone virus to the traditional ATM skimmers (devices used to capture debit card numbers), people are falling into serious financial troubles. Many who fall victim to identity theft aren’t immediately aware of their situation. Nearly 41 […]

ATMs — The New Lie Detector?

No this is not a hoax. Gone are the days when ATMs simply dispense cash. New ATM machines in Russia are making customers pay for lying. Sberbank, the state-run bank of Russia, plans to install voice-monitoring polygraphs into ATM machines to determine whether customers are lying when applying for loans or credit cards. When customers […]

Alarming Study Shows that Some Banks Don’t Do Enough to Safeguard Your Information

By April Lewis-Parks In the wake of a hacking attack that exposed some of the personal and financial information for hundreds of thousands of customers at the one of the largest lenders in the U.S., a new study shows that many institutions don’t do enough to protect borrowers from fraudulent credit card debt. The study, […]

The Five Critical Needs of Children

By Jon Noble, Guest Blogger Yes, debt can be daunting.  When most families find themselves struggling with debt or working to resolve their issues, often when both parents are working and the day to day just seems to be a grind, it’s important to take a step back every once in a while and truly […]

Don’t be Fooled by Credit Repair Scams

By April Lewis-Parks When a person is in debt they tend to get desperate because so much is on the line – they could lose their home, car, family and destroy their credit score. They lose sleep over it, don’t perform properly at their job and can become moody, which impacts their private life. They […]

What’s Holding You Back from Negotiating with Your Creditors?

By Kathryn Katz When you’re struggling to put food on the table and a roof over your head, your credit card payments can get behind. If you’re delinquent more than 60 days, you could suddenly find your interest rate has sky rocketed and your minimum payments are more than what was previously expected. If you’re […]

New Rules on How to Get Your Credit Score

You’ve probably seen the “free credit score” tactic used by a variety of companies on television and on the Internet. The company says if you call or click “here” you will automatically receive a free copy of your credit score. And that comes in handy if you are thinking of taking out a car loan […]

Have we come to terms with the realities of money and credit at last?

By April Lewis-Parks While it is not surprising that a large number of Americans have begun to sort out their personal finances in the wake of the economic downturn, they have also become more cautious about opening new accounts, especially credit card accounts. People’s credit card habits have been altered by the recession, according to […]

Cool, Scary, or Scary Cool? Warning Impulse Shoppers – Do Not Get This App!

By April Lewis-Parks People who want to go shopping at local retailers without the hassle of waiting in long checkout lines now have the option of taking on more credit card debt directly through their Smartphones. Here’s how it works: You take a picture of your credit card using an app by Aisle Buyer, and […]

Use Your Credit Reports to Your Advantage

April is Financial Literacy Month so sit back and catch up on your reading by learning how to get your credit reports and use them to your advantage! Getting a free copy of your credit report is easy. You simply order them annually from the three major credit bureaus–Equifax, Experian and TransUnion by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com […]

Don’t Pay Your Taxes With a Credit Card

By Kathryn Katz If you owe the IRS money this tax season and don’t have it available, avoid using your credit card or opening a credit card account for this purpose. It’s not financially productive and can lead to a substantial amount of further debt. Credit card issuers and even the IRS tout the convenience […]

Valentine's Day gift ideas under $20
Love and Money: What Makes Marriage
All is fair in love and war, but what about love and money? We help you understand financial stress so you can avoid ruining your relationship for debt.
Spring Clean Your Credit Card Debt

By Kathryn Katz Why not use spring as a springboard to clean up your credit card debt. With food and gas prices rising it’s time to wipe out any unnecessary spending and pay down your credit cards so you’ll have money for more important things. Credit card debt acts like an anchor for many people […]

5 Simple Steps to Organize Your Finances

By April Lewis-Parks Spring is near and that means it’s time to clean up the winter clutter, from sprucing up your house and yard to organizing your personal finances so you can better monitor your monetary world. Sloppiness in any part of your life can lead to confusion, which eventually leads to mistakes being made. […]

Having a baby can lower you taxes
Top 8 Ways Children Lower Your Taxes
Kids may be expensive, but they can also give you a significant break in your income taxes. Here are 8 ways your kids can lower your taxes when you file.
10 Easy Ways to Start an Emergency Fund

By April Lewis-Parks The car breaks down, the furnace in your house blows, your child needs braces and you don’t have the disposable money to cover the financial consequences. It happens every day and many people are stuck paying by credit card or financing for months into the future at alarming interest rates, putting themselves […]

Be smart about using your credit cards
7 Expenses You Should Never Put On A Credit Card
Some expenses that fall outside of your regular budget should never be put on a credit card unless you want to wind up with serious high-interest debt.
Personal Stories of Debt; How to Overcome and Thrive

By April Lewis-Parks Each year Consolidated Credit holds a short story contest for their clients. The Miss Money Bee writers would like to congratulate the winners and share their inspirational stories with you! Melissa Cupp and Chris Korb are a married couple from Berryton, KS. who’s story begins: Two summers ago, we hit financial rock bottom. […]

2011 Income Tax Tips

By: Samantha Savory It’s that time of year again where 1099s and W-2s are being delivered from your boss or arriving in the mail, which means it’s time to get serious about those income tax returns. Before you breakout your accounting skills or go to a mobile app to get your taxes done, we’ve done […]

How Much are You Saving?

By Kathryn Katz Believe it or not, by saving just a little bit more and choosing the right savings vehicle, you can end up saving big over a period of time. Right now the average personal savings rate is 5.3%. If you’re the average American that makes $49,777 after taxes, then you’re looking approximately $2,638 […]

Warning on Prepaid Debit Cards

By Kathryn Katz In an effort to reduce their credit card usage and avoid high interest rates, many Americans are turning towards prepaid debit cards. Partially, because they think it will help control their spending, but also because credit card companies are actively pushing consumers with low-income and/or bad credit towards this new, emerging product. […]

Don’t be Afraid to Negotiate with Your Creditor

 By April Lewis-Parks Millions of Americans are becoming anxious because they realize how important it is to reduce their credit card debt.  Some people who are struggling panic and stop making payments because they’re not sure of what else to do – they need to pay their mortgage, car payment or other payments and the […]

Holiday Shopping Blunders to Avoid

 By April Lewis-Parks Did you know that more than 13 million shoppers are still paying off last year’s holiday debts, according to Consumer Reports. If money is tight is year, and really that is the reality for most people, remember that it is fine to cut back on gifts. But if you do plan on […]

Are you a social shopaholic?
Are You a Social Shopaholic?
If you're always on your social media account and you're getting bombarded by offers from retailers you may be at risk of becoming a social shopaholic.
Shopping Pitfalls to Avoid & Tips to Make the Holidays a Breeze

By April Lewis-Parks The start of November whispers “the holiday’s are almost upon us…” while retailers scream “Start Shopping!”  For many stores the holiday season has already begun.  I went into a large chain retailer two weeks before Halloween and they were already decked out for Christmas. Trees were blazing with colored lights, plastic carolers […]

6 Easy Credit Tips For The Holiday Shopping Season

By: Samantha Savory 1. Know Your Credit Limits Don’t get sidetracked by that amazing deal on a 42’ flat screen TV during your holiday shopping.  Why you ask?  When you check out at the register and are declined because you don’t have enough credit left on your card, you may find yourself feeling financially irresponsible […]

Presto chango credit card tricks
Top Five Fightening Credit Card Tricks that Last Beyond Halloween!
Don't let your creditors fool you into frightening debt problems! Avoid these credit card tricks in order to treat yourself to a better credit outlook.
Protect Yourself from Phishing Scams

By April Lewis-Parks Phishing, it sounds harmless but in reality it is a scam operating at a personal level; swindlers send you pop up messages or spam, which seem harmless and trustworthy enough, that ask for personal information – bank account numbers, social security number, passwords and other private information. The messages appear to come […]

AmEx next for Department of Justice suit
Is the Department of Justice Trying to Save You Money?
The Department of Justice is pursuing a suit against American Express for charging the merchant highest interchange fees in the credit card industry.
Want a good score? Well it is no surprise that paying down credit card debt is key.

By April Lewis-Parks A new report shows over the past two years, the amount of Americans with FICO scores at 600 or below, has risen. About 25% of the U.S. adult population has a low credit score and will have to pay high interest rates on any credit that they need; auto loans, mortgages, business […]

Don’t be Afraid to Negotiate with Your Creditor

By April Lewis-Parks Millions of Americans are becoming anxious because they now realize how important it is to reduce their credit card debt. Minimum monthly credit card payments total in the hundreds and consumers just don’t earn enough money to meet those financial requirements. Some people panic and stop making payments because they’re not sure […]

45 Minutes to a Better Credit Score

Improving your credit score is not painful; in fact you can do it in less time than it takes to watch a movie.  With that said, it’s also become a sort of phenomenon, there are whole industries built around it. You see ads on TV, hear it on the radio, and read about it online, […]

More People Falling into Business Credit Card Debt Traps

By April Lewis-Parks This week, Senator Charles Schumer made headlines again after he asked the Federal Reserve to provide more protection for consumers against business card issuers. The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act that went into full effect on August 22 does not affect business card companies. The Associated Press reports that Schumer wrote a […]

10 Things You Should Know About Identity Theft

By Thomas Vastardis, CPA Criminals use many methods to steal personal information from taxpayers. They can use your information to steal your identity and file a tax return in order to receive a refund. Here are ten things the IRS wants you to know about identity theft so you can avoid becoming the victim of […]

Women and Their Financial Identity

By April Lewis-Parks Women need to empower themselves with financial information. They need their own financial identity. Women, more than men, need to make their money go a long way. The median income of women over 65 is a mere $6,300. Roughly 80 percent have no pension eligibility and with a longer life span there […]

It Can Pay To Be Credit Savvy

By Anessa Gross Using credit cards can be tricky, but mastering the skill has its benefits. While credit cards used to be the way to buy now and pay later, companies have been adding more incentives for consumers to choose and use their cards. If, any only if, you can keep a handle on your […]