Author: Shannon McNay Insler

Money

16 investing & retirement rules you need to know

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A “rule of thumb” is a mental shortcut. It’s a heuristic. It’s not always true, but it’s usually true. It saves you time and brainpower. Rather than re-inventing the wheel …

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How to consolidate debt & improve your credit at the same time

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Did you know you can accomplish the tasks of making it easier to pay off debt and improving your credit at the same time? It might …

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How a personal loan affects your credit

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Personal loans are having a moment. According to data from credit reporting company Experian, they’re growing faster than any other type of debt, with the second …

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How to read the results of your credit report dispute

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So, you’ve disputed an item on one of your credit reports, and now you’ve gotten your response. Now what? These tips about how to read the …

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How credit repair affects your credit

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How does credit repair affect your credit? One would think the answer should be fairly obvious — the entire point of credit repair is to improve …

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Here’s how credit cards affect your credit

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Credit cards are a financial fact of life for many people, but have you ever stopped to think about how they might affect your credit? Although …

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The importance of your debt-to-income ratio

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It’s funny how our financial realities can seem to take on a whole new meaning when lenders get involved. For example, when you think about your …

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How to remove closed accounts from your credit report

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Since credit reports can be used to determine credit scores, it’s not surprising that people want the best credit reports they can get. After all, credit …

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How an auto loan affects your credit

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We build credit to be able to use credit, but there are times when we’re afraid using it will damage the credit we’re trying so hard …

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What is a frivolous dispute on a credit report?

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So, you filed a dispute on your credit report, and you didn’t agree with the results. Therefore, you filed a dispute again … only this time …

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This is how a mortgage affects your credit

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Sometimes the pursuit of perfect credit leads us to worry about utilizing the very products good credit gives us access to. A healthier way to look …

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The pros & cons of buying a car from a dealership

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So, you’re ready to buy a new car. There are more options than ever these days, but they all pretty much come down to two main …

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The pros & cons of buying a car online

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Have you ever thought of buying a car online before? I certainly haven’t. As much as I love technology and the idea of having just about …

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How to remove derogatory items from your credit report

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Whether you’re surprised to see them or knew they were there, it’s never fun to see derogatory items on your credit reports. From collections accounts to …

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What you need to know about online Installment loans

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Installment loans can be useful financial tools. But is it safe to get an installment loan online? Here’s what you need to know about online installment …

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How to get a credit card if you have bad credit

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Do you need a new credit card, but are afraid your credit history might get in the way? There are credit cards designed to help people …

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Should you work with no-credit-check car dealers?

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Cars can be a stressful purchase. Reliable cars don’t come cheap, they’re necessary for daily life in much of the United States, and you don’t always …

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Make sense of your money with these financial calculators

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Oftentimes financial planning can feel like a lonely, confusing endeavor. However, there are calculators that can help you see how to make the most of your …

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Some of the best personal loan options in Los Angeles

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If you’ve been thinking of taking out a personal loan, you’re not alone. Data from TransUnion shows that outstanding balances on personal loans went up 18 percent …

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The pros & cons of short-term loans

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It’s easier than ever to borrow money by finding short-term loans online, but should you? Although convenient, these products aren’t always a good idea for everyone. …

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4 easy steps to properly managing credit cards

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Out of all the financial products out there, credit cards can inspire some of the strongest opinions. Some people see them as a useful tool for …

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How to work with car dealers that accept bad credit

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It’s always preferable to enter a negotiation with the strongest possible hand, but having bad credit can sometimes make that difficult to do. Does that mean …

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How long does a credit report dispute take?

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Credit reporting errors are not uncommon — but what about credit report disputes? Many consumers might not even realize that there could be errors in their …

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Debt relief: Here’s what you need to know

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When it comes to getting help with debt, much of the “help” can provide more confusion than clarity and more cost than comfort. Case in point: The …

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How to get out of your car lease early

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One of the benefits of leasing a car is that it can be a shorter-term commitment than buying — but what if it still ends up …

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How long does it take to close on a house?

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The home-buying process isn’t for the faint of heart, and the closing process is the final step of a potentially long road. The question is, how long does …

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4 credit solutions you need to know about

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It may seem as though you’re on your own when it comes to figuring out how to build and maintain good credit, but it doesn’t have to …

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Here’s how a virtual credit card can protect your credit

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Typing your credit card number when making an online purchase can be a nerve-wracking experience. What if a hacker is “watching” and is able to obtain …

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Here’s how to take over an auto lease

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If you’re in the market for a new car, a lease can make it easy to try something new without the commitment of a purchase. But …

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These are the most popular cars in every state

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A car can be an expensive purchase (and one that we make hoping for reliability if nothing else). But there are many options out there, and …

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Here’s what you need to know about online payday loans

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Payday loans are notoriously expensive and difficult to pay off, and they’ve become easier to get thanks to their prevalence online. What does that mean for …

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How to buy a car even if you have bad credit

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So, you need a new car, but your credit isn’t in great shape — what can you do? Believe it or not, there are ways to finance …

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12 important things you may not know about credit cards

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I’ll never forget my first credit card. I was in college and walking by a booth on campus where a bank was offering credit card applications. …

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What you need to know about paying off debt with a personal loan

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Debt has a way of making one feel stuck in an endless cycle, but paying it off doesn’t always have to be a slog. Personal loans can be …

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How to be better at credit management

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If you’ve ever felt the rules of credit management to be elusive, you’re not alone. Luckily, credit reporting companies are fairly transparent about what it takes …

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What is a VPN & do you need one?

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One of the most important things you can do for your personal finances is to keep your personal information secure from identity theft. A virtual private …

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Credit 101: What is a charge-off?

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There are many terms in the world of personal finance, some of which might apply to you but you might not have heard of. The more …

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What owner-financed homes are (& how to get one)

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It can be difficult to obtain a mortgage if your credit isn’t in great shape — but a different financing option could come to your rescue. …

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5 ways student loan debt can impact your credit

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Student loan debt can be a stressful enough prospect without getting credit involved. But is your credit and how your student loan debt impacts it something …

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Why it’s important to protect your credit card security code

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Some things in life are just easier to ignore, especially when we feel powerless. Take data breaches, identity theft, and credit card theft, for example. While it may …

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5 dangers of cosigning a loan

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Cosigning on a loan is a generous act. After all, you’re putting your money and your credit on the line to back the borrower — you’re …

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What is the average home price in each state?

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Buying a home is one of the most important milestones someone might make in their adult life – and it can be one of the most expensive. …

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Personal loans vs credit cards: Which is the best way to consolidate your debt?

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Paying off debt can feel like a losing game at times. Between struggling with interest rates and trying to find extra money to pay over the …

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Can getting a new credit card help your credit score?

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There are several factors used to determine your credit scores, including your “credit mix,” or the types of credit accounts you have in your name. But even …

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9 things you need to know about credit in America in 2019

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Every year Experian releases a report called the Annual State of Credit Report, which highlights trends in consumer borrowing and credit. The latest report provides a peek …

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Are these common credit report mistakes hurting your credit?

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You already know you have a credit report. (Well, three, but we can get to that later). You already know that the information on your credit …

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The states with the most & fewest foreclosures

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One in 2,433 homes were in foreclosure in the United States in April, according to the latest data available from real estate site RealtyTrac. Whether you’re thinking …

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Are personal loans cheaper than financing with a credit card?

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When you need help financing a purchase or paying off debt, you might find yourself comparing the options of taking on a personal loan or applying …

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Credit 101: What is an installment account & why should you care?

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Chances are when you’re reviewing your credit reports you’ll see terms you don’t tend to use in daily life. This can make for a confusing time …

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Some of the best credit cards for bad credit

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Credit cards can be a tool to help you build credit, and they’re useful for emergencies or for shopping without putting your debit card at risk of …