Articles by Christy Rakoczy:
Canceling credit cards can hurt your credit score. While there are some valid reasons for canceling a card – such as a high annual fee – be careful about closing old accounts because doing so can cause your credit score to drop. Closing cards also won't remove negative information from your credit report, so don't close cards to try to clean up your credit.
You generally have 60 days to dispute charges on your credit card. You can initiate a dispute on your credit card account for many reasons ranging from fraudulent charges to a product or service not living up to your expectations. You should monitor your credit card statement and reach out to your card issuer ASAP to maximize the chances of a successful disputed charge.
You should have personal property insurance coverage for things that you own. It's important to understand what types of perils your property insurance covers and to make sure you have sufficient coverage to replace your possessions. You also need to know the difference between cash value and replacement cost policies so you don't end up without the money you need to repla
One of the most important components of taking out a new life insurance policy is choosing a beneficiary. If you have children, you may consider them as your beneficiaries, but this can complicate the process. It’s important to know how the process works and what you need to consider, depending on your individual circumstances and where you live.
Your total credit limit is the total amount you're allowed to borrow, while your available credit is the amount of your credit limit minus your current balance on your card. It's best to pay off your card in full each month so you will have lots of credit available. Not only does this help your credit score, but it also ensures you can use your card in case of an emergency
A credit card cash advance is a short-term loan obtained when you use your credit card to get cash. You can get a cash advance from a bank or ATM if you have available credit on a card that offers a cash advance—but you'll pay high fees and interest, so you might consider finding a cheaper option unless you really need the money.
Putting a car down payment on a credit card can allow you to earn credit card rewards and can sometimes help you save on interest. But car dealers may limit the amount of a car's purchase price you can charge, and you may end up paying more interest in the long run if you can't pay off the balance before credit card promotional rates expire.
Credit Union Student Choice connects you with 250 nonprofit credit unions so you can compare offers on private student loans or student loan refinancing. Credit unions are owned by members, so they might provide lower interest rates and a better customer experience for borrowers than traditional banks.
Many major insurers offer discounts if you bundle your insurance coverage. While bundling home and auto insurance can usually save you money, there may be times when bundling makes no sense. You shouldn't bundle if you can find cheaper coverage with different insurers or if you can't find the coverage you need when combining home and auto policies.
Variable and universal life insurance are both permanent life insurance policies. They both pay a death benefit but also accrue a cash value and can be used for investing. However, variable policies work differently because you can invest in sub-accounts similar to mutual funds, while a universal policy earns money by accruing interest.