debt reduction

As a quick followup to my earlier post about the Discover it card offering free access to your FICO credit score, I also wanted to point out that this same card is currently offering 0% on balance transfers for up to 18 months. That long promo period makes the Discover […]

Read the full article >>>

A former employee recently asked me about mortgage gift letters. She had just accepted a new job and would thus be buying a new house in a different area. “My father-in-law is giving us some money to help with the down payment. Our realtor mentioned that the bank will probably […]

Read the full article >>>

Remember what happened last time we bumped up against the debt ceiling and it looked like we might willingly default? That’s right, a major rating agency downgraded our credit rating. Indeed, back in August 2011, Standard & Poor’s dropped our rating from Aaa to Aa+. In doing so, they laid […]

Read the full article >>>

A few years ago, I opened a Lending Club account. I was intrigued by the idea of peer lending, sorting through the loans was kind of fun, and I actually did reasonably well investment-wise. I wound up averaging something like 6-7%, but it ultimately became a bit of a time […]

Read the full article >>>

Living Off Life Insurance

by Michael on Jul 8, 2013 · 3 comments

In response to my post about handling a windfall, a reader named Eliza asked: What do you do when the windfall is accompanied by tragedy? My darling husband of 27 years lost his battle with leukemia, leaving me a widow at 50. Yuck! Now I am not only dealing with […]

Read the full article >>>

Spend Less Than You Earn

by Michael on Jun 17, 2013 · 2 comments

Perhaps the best known bit of financial advice out there is that you should “spend less than you earn.” You’ve probably heard it over and over (and over!). And for good reason. This is a bulletproof solution to whatever financial woes you might face. And yet… So many people seem […]

Read the full article >>>

How to Handle a Windfall

by Michael on Jun 3, 2013 · 12 comments

A couple of weeks ago, someone won a nearly $600M jackpot — though it was “only” $380M if they took the lump sum cash option. And then, a few days later, the news broke that Yahoo! was buying Tumblr for cool $1.1B, making their founder fantastically wealthy. Time and again, […]

Read the full article >>>

0% Balance Transfers and Debt Reduction

by Michael on Apr 5, 2013

A reader named Chris wrote in a few days ago to ask about credit cards with good 0% balance transfer offers for paying down debt. Before the financial crisis, you could hardly turn around without bumping into a no-fee, long-term 0% balance transfer offer. But then the landscape changed. At […]

Read the full article >>>