Watch Out for Charity Scams in Wake of the Orlando Shooting

By Steven Shaw on 6/15/2016



In the wake of the Orlando shooting, many want to help victims and their families by giving donations. Unfortunately, scammers may try to take advantage of their kindness.

identity theft

Does Everything on My Credit Report Affect My Credit Scores?

By Steven Shaw on 5/27/2016



Credit reports, as you’ve no doubt heard, are tremendously important. After all, the information on them dictates your credit scores, which, in turn, dictate whether you’re able to readily score things like a mortgage, auto loan, credit card and even affordable insurance or cellphone plans.

But not every piece of information on that crucial report carries weight.

credit 101
credit report
credit score

Help! I Think Someone Opened a Credit Card in My Name

By Steven Shaw on 5/18/2016

Maybe it’s a sudden influx of subprime credit card offers in your mailbox. Or a bill from an issuer you don’t recognize. Or, even, a debt collection notice regarding a charged-off account you never opened.

Whatever telltale sign emerges, you now have reason to believe a credit card has been taken out in your name. While it can be hard to quell your panic, there are some steps you can take to remedy the situation and prevent further identity theft from taking place.

Here’s how to address a fraudulent credit card account.

Credit Card
identity fraud
identity protection
identity theft

Google Bans Ads for Payday Loans

By Steven Shaw on 5/12/2016

Effective July 13, Google is banning ads for payday loans and related products, the company said Wednesday in a statement. With this, Google will not display ads for loans that require payment within 60 days of the date of issue. In the U.S., ads for loans with an APR of 36% or higher will also not be shown.

payday lender
Payday Loan
Payday Loan Complaints
Payday loans

How Much Student Loan Debt Is Too Much? Here’s a Formula to Figure it Out

By Steven Shaw on 5/6/2016


Much has been made of the student loan problem. While you’d be hard pressed to find disagreement that it’s an issue, there is plenty of disagreement about how bad things really are. On the one hand, it’s easy to find stories chronicling massive default rates (12%), oppressive $800-a-month loan payments and the big one: total outstanding student loan debt now dwarfs total credit card debt.

college students
college tuition
student debt
Student Loan
Student loan debt
student loans

What to Do If You Can’t Pay a Bill

By Steven Shaw on 4/28/2016



It can be stressful to realize you can’t cover all your bills. Regardless of how it happened — unforeseen circumstances like a job loss or emergency, or a mistake like forgetting about a payment — the bills have to be paid. You can’t escape it.

The best thing to do when you find yourself in this troubling situation is to work through things one at a time to find a solution that fits your budget and minimizes any damage to your credit or finances.

Bill Pay

5 Credit Cards You Can Get While You’re Still in College

By Steven Shaw on 4/25/2016

 Money 101: How to Get Your Credit Ready for College


Credit card use in college can be both risky and full of opportunities. As young adults with limited experience managing their own personal finances, college students risk incurring debt that can take years to pay off, while potentially incurring costly late fees and penalty interest rates if they miss a payment. But credit cards also offer benefits students can’t get with other payment methods, like security and convenience, and provide the opportunity to build a strong credit history that will serve them after graduation when they apply for a car loan or a mortgage.

college students
credit score

7 Signs You’re Ready for an Annual Fee Credit Card

By Steven Shaw on 4/20/2016
debit cards build credit


Some people simply prefer credit cards with no annual fee. Perhaps they don’t feel the additional value they would receive justifies paying an annual fee, or perhaps they just don’t want to pay to use a credit card on principle. Whether you’re one of these people or you’re simply taking an interest in a new kind of credit card, getting a credit card with an annual fee is a big decision.

Here are seven signs that it might be time for you to make the leap.

credit cards
no annual fee

Beware: April Fools’ Scams Are No Joke

By Steven Shaw on 3/31/2016


Every year, we see the great jokes businesses play on consumers for April Fools’ Day. While some companies make up faux products, like Starbucks did with the Plenta and Micra cups in 2010, some companies go all out on digital pranks.

identity theft