Do You Check Your "Specialty" Consumer Reports Annually?

Most consumers know that they should check each of their credit reports from the big three credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion once a year. But did you know that you should check your other consumer reports each year too?

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Donating to the Nepal Relief Effort? Watch out for Scams.

The pictures from the devastating earthquake in Nepal and the Katmandu Valley have many people wanting to help. Charities and relief organizations are asking for donations. Unfortunately, fake charities and other scams take advantage of the disaster.

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Have Student Loan Debt? Six Tips to Pay It Off Faster

Debt from student loans for higher education is now the largest category of debt in the U.S. As of December 2014, over 43 million borrowers owed a cumulative total debt of over 1.2 trillion dollars in federal and private student loans, according to a recent study by the Federal Reserve Board of New York. The average individual debt is $26,700.

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What is Renters Insurance and Should I Get It?

Well, let's start with an example of how insurance works:

Life is filled with risks. You might fall off your skateboard and break an arm. Or, maybe you crash your car into a wall and it is no longer drivable. The idea of insurance (and/or insurance policies) is to lower, or take away, the risk of financial loss.

In this scenario, your health insurance would help pay for the cost of the hospital bill from the skateboarding mishap, while your auto insurance would cover the damage to your car.

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Traveling? Think Twice Before Using Your Hotel's Wi-Fi

When traveling do you use the hotel's Wi-Fi? If so, you should think carefully before you use it on your next trip. Hackers are using security vulnerabilities in hotel Wi-Fi to steal passwords and other personal information. They do this by getting to you download a software update when you try to get online using the hotel Wi-Fi. The downloaded software is designed to steal your information or damage your computer.

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Arm Yourself Against Fraud Directed at Seniors

Some of today's most popular financial frauds tend to target older adults. Why? Like the old bank robber said, because that's where the money is. Most older adults have accumulated more assets than younger adults. They also tend to have good credit. Although many of the following scams can trick and trap people of any age, if you or a family member is over 55, you should be aware of these fraudulent schemes and how to avoid being taken in by them.

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IRS Calling? No! It's a Scam. Here's What to Do.

Near the top of the IRS's annual "Dirty Dozen" list of tax scams are phone calls from criminals impersonating IRS agents. In these calls, the scam artists claim that you owe money on your taxes and demand immediate payment and may threaten police arrest, deportation, license revocation and other things. Often they demand that payment be made by prepaid debit card. In a similar type of call, the scam artists may say that you have a refund and try to get you to disclose your personal information such as social security and bank account numbers.

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Living Paycheck to Paycheck? 7 Tips for Saving More Now

Are you or your family living right up to your income? Or perhaps you are going a bit beyond your income to make ends meet—running up credit card debt or dipping into savings. If so, you are not alone. At least 47% of U.S. households spend all of their income (or go beyond) according to a new report based on national data and prepared by the Pew Charitable Trust.

If you find yourself in this situation—or close to it—it’s time to pause and look for new ways to cut spending and enhance saving. Having even a small emergency fund can put you and your family on a more secure financial footing. Here are some tips to help. Some steps you can take today, others require a little more planning.

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What Do You Need to Know About Health Care Data Breaches?

Data breaches involving health care providers (labs, doctor offices, hospitals, clinics) and health insurance companies have been on the increase. For example, earlier this year, Anthem announced that they had been hacked and as many as 80 million customers had their account information stolen. Anthem, the nation’s second-largest health insurance company, announced customers of Amerigroup, Anthem and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, Caremore and Unicare may be affected as well as other independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in any of the areas that Anthem serves. AnthemFacts.com has more information.

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Spotting Money-Flipping Scams on Social Networks!

As if the lack of privacy on social networks isn't bad enough, there is something else that may be worse. You could lose a lot of money if you are caught in a "money-flipping" scam.

How, you ask? And what is a money-flipping scam?

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The Ring

The bling... The universally approved signal that he "liked it " so he "put a ring on it".

The most frequently asked question after announcing my engagement was, "Let me see the ring".

Wait, that's not even a question, it's a request, and a rather rude one at that. It's almost like the person is saying, "C'mon, let me see how much your significant other thinks you are worth." Because that is what the ring has become, right? Perhaps even more symbolic than the union itself, expensive rings and elaborate weddings have become the norms and accepted indicators of love.

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Should Gas Prices Influence Your Next Vehicle Purchase?

Over the last few months, falling gas prices have made drivers a little giddy. Just the other day, a friend who drives a compact noted cheerfully that she had filled the tank for just a little over $20, something that hadn’t happened in years. Since gas prices peaked in mid-2014, sales have increased about 8% for large pickups and SUVs while they’ve decreased about 1.5% for small cars (Edmunds.com). Lower gas prices are probably just one contributing factor to this trend, but as an easy-to-see and ongoing cost of driving a car, lower gas prices may tempt you to put that 20 mpg SUV or 18 mpg pickup at the top of your choices as you shop for a new vehicle. Before you sign for that bigger set of wheels, however, think about—and compare—several other costs of owning a car. You could save hundreds at the pump in the short term and spend thousands more long-term.

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Three 2015 Resolutions To Enhance Your Financial Well-Being

Have you made any resolutions for 2015? Typical January goals include ways to enhance your physical well-being, such as losing weight, getting in shape, or eating a more healthful diet. I’d like to recommend setting three goals for the new year that can enhance your financial well-being.

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What Will You Do With The Old Devices You Replace?

Whenever you get a new electronic device such as a TV, smartphone, game console, computer, or tablet, what do you do with the old one? Throwing it away usually isn't a good option and in some places is illegal. Electronic equipment contains toxic materials such as cadmium, lead, arsenic and needs to be disposed of carefully. Consider the following options instead.

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    • Financial Well-being


      Want to improve your credit score? Want to cut your tax bills?  Like to tear up hundred dollar bills? (You're probably doing that). How about this:  want to wake up retired and without money?  Your Financial Well-being rules your life.  We put you in charge of the rules.

       

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    • Privacy Rights

      Every worry about identity theft?  Worry about young people and the dangers of the web? Mind if I read your private emails?  Or browse through your medical records? This section takes you into the scary world of privacy, fraud and identity theft.  FoolProof gives you the information you need when it comes to identity theft and privacy issues.   

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