Entries by Guest Blogger

Infographic: Do-It-Yourself Car Care Tips to Keep Costs Down

Cars can be a necessity, particularly if you don’t live near convenient public transportation. Getting the oil changed regularly as well as taking care of other scheduled maintenance items will go a long way toward maximizing your car’s life and reducing the number of repair bills. By investing in a few inexpensive and easy-to-use tools and… Continue Reading Infographic: Do-It-Yourself Car Care Tips to Keep Costs Down

Why Millions of Americans Don’t Use Banks

If you’ve decided to steer clear of banks, you’re not alone. Endless fees, unclear policies and high minimum balance requirements have led millions of Americans to avoid banks. The percentage of banks that offer free checking keeps shrinking. Fee amounts keep growing.  The rules keep getting more complicated. And what happens if you need to… Continue Reading Why Millions of Americans Don’t Use Banks

Affordable Spring Break Child Care Options for Working Parents

Does the mention of spring break send you into a child care meltdown? Between overtaxed budgets and overloaded work schedules, it’s not always possible to whisk the whole family away for a week of fun in the sun. Some working parents are faced with the headache of finding alternate child care arrangements while school is closed. If… Continue Reading Affordable Spring Break Child Care Options for Working Parents

Family Fun on a Budget: 3 Spring Break Ideas

Spring break is looming. Warm-weather beaches and theme parks will be packed – and expensive. If you want a low-stress family fling without spending a bundle, there are alternatives. We’ve rounded up three family-friendly ideas. Splash it Up – Indoors Indoor water parks and resorts can be found in just about every part of the U.S.… Continue Reading Family Fun on a Budget: 3 Spring Break Ideas

Kids & Finance: 3 Activities to Reinforce Smart Financial Choices

Three activities that can help reinforce good spending, saving, and security decisions with children. Kids learn financial behavior at a very early age. In fact, by age seven, most children have cemented their money habits for the rest of their lives – or so says the report, “Habit Formation and Learning in Young Children” from… Continue Reading Kids & Finance: 3 Activities to Reinforce Smart Financial Choices

Kids & Finance: Starting the Money Conversation

Four educational financial activities for children younger than age five. Kids are smart! And the lessons they learn at a young age stay with them into adulthood. Experts believe that the sooner children begin to understand essential financial concepts, the more financially responsible they’ll be later in life. According to the Money as You Grow… Continue Reading Kids & Finance: Starting the Money Conversation

Saving for Beginners, Part 1: How Do I Start Saving?

The basics: Why saving is important and how to start. Saving is a self-taught habit. It takes time and practice to master a new spending pattern and to become accustomed to monitoring your finances. Training yourself to save might seem like a hassle, but it’s an invaluable skill that will serve you well throughout your… Continue Reading Saving for Beginners, Part 1: How Do I Start Saving?

Saving for Beginners, Part 2: How Saving Accounts Work

Saving accounts 101: compounding interest, types of savings vehicles Now that you’ve started on your savings path, you might be wondering how far this road will lead. In fact, that decision is entirely up to you. You have a number of different options when it comes to savings accounts that can help you generate cash… Continue Reading Saving for Beginners, Part 2: How Saving Accounts Work

Studies Find that Payday Loans Do More Good than Harm

Economists agree that payday loans are a helpful financial tool. There are a lot of well-intentioned individuals and organizations that seek to protect consumers from shady businesses. A frequent target of these watchdogs is payday lenders. Criticism of the industry runs the gamut from simple awareness all the way to comparing payday lenders to being… Continue Reading Studies Find that Payday Loans Do More Good than Harm

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Taking out a Payday Loan

Payday loans can be a useful tool in a money emergency. Find out when it makes sense – and when it might not. Just about everyone has been strapped for cash at one time or another. A family emergency or some other out-of-the-blue expense leaves you short, with no idea of how you’re going to… Continue Reading 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Taking out a Payday Loan

How to Calculate Your Debt-to-Income Ratio

Knowing your debt-to-income ratio is important to understand how it can affect your credit score and credit approvals. Your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is more than just a number. As a key indicator of your overall financial health, it could mean the difference between getting approved or turned down for a mortgage loan on your dream… Continue Reading How to Calculate Your Debt-to-Income Ratio

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Customer Notice: Payday Loans are typically for two-to four-week terms. Some borrowers, however, use Payday Loans for several months, which can be expensive. Payday Loans (also referred to as Payday Advances, Cash Advances, Deferred Deposit Transactions/Loans) and high-interest loans should be used for short-term financial needs only and not as a long-term financial solution. Customers with credit difficulties should seek credit counseling before entering into any loan transaction. See State Center for specific information and requirements.

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