Last year, Shauna depleted her meager liquid savings during the first month of a four-month layoff from work. Like millions of Americans with insufficient cash reserves, she then turned to credit cards to make ends meet. In three months, she racked up $8,500 in charges across four credit cards. Shauna is back at work now,…
You’ve decided on a legitimate reason to get a personal loan and determined that you’re probably eligible to apply. You’re now ready to begin the next phase of the loan application process: researching lenders. Naturally, you’ll want to look for lenders offering competitive terms and favorable interest rates to borrowers like you. This can be done with…
You’ve settled on one of the many valid reasons to get a personal loan and determined that you meet basic personal loan eligibility criteria. Now it’s time for the next step: applying for your secured or unsecured personal loan. First, you’ll need to lay the groundwork for your application. Here’s how to do that, and what to…
Back in the day, getting a personal loan meant schlepping to your local bank branch (or multiple banks, if you wanted to shop around), meeting with a loan officer, and – assuming they didn’t reject your request outright – consenting to an opaque, invasive, weeks-long process that temporarily lowered your credit score and offered no guarantee of success.…
Medical expenses push many thousands of ailing or injured Americans and their families into serious debt each year. According to TransUnion, 68% of patients with medical bills totaling $500 or less failed to pay off the balance in full in 2017. That figure could rise as high as 95% by 2020, TransUnion forecasted. Short of…
At first glance, credit cards’ payment flexibility seems like a great deal. Unlike installment debt, such as home loans or personal loans, credit cards don’t have fixed monthly payments. If you choose to carry a balance on your card, you can pay as much or as little as you like each statement cycle, provided you…
Filing for bankruptcy can be a long and stressful process, but it doesn’t have to be. Typically, the most stressful part is trying to manage the financial difficulties that lead you to consider bankruptcy and finally deciding to file. Once you decide that bankruptcy is the right course of action for your financial situation, you’ll work with…
When it comes to retirement savings, there’s good news, bad news, and more bad news. The good news is that most Americans today have access to a workplace retirement plan, such as a 401(k). A 2017 Pew analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data found that 53% of all workers over age 22 have a defined-contribution plan available,…
I graduated with an MFA in 2008 and about $37,000 in debt from my master’s and undergrad programs combined. For the next few years, my student loans were a constant source of stress. I felt like I wasn’t making any progress on them. I was on an income-based repayment plan and not even paying the full…
When you shop for a new car, what do you do first? If you’re like most people, you start by looking for the car itself. You compare models, go on test drives, and decide exactly what model and options you want. I like to start with Edmunds.com to do as much research as possible on…