5 Tips to Stay Out of Debt on Black Friday

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Your No-Debt Black Friday Survival Guide As a veteran, I often get eye rolls from my kids when I use military analogies to describe events. But as a financial coach, I can’t help but see Black Friday as an epic battle. You’re knee-deep in the trenches of holiday shopping goals and you’re experiencing the rapid…

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Allison’s Story: No Such Thing as Over-Prepared

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Meet Allison, a Data Analyst who lives in Winooski, Vermont with her three roommates. What do you do? I am the Manager of Data Analytics for a home health and hospice agency. I’ve been here for a year and a half, and really love my job. I have a lot of autonomy, and I get…

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What is private mortgage insurance?

Scenic picture of the painted ladies in San Francisco as well as the Financial District in the background

If you get a conventional loan and make a down payment of less than 20 percent of the home price, you are required to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI protects the lender (not you) in case you fail to make your mortgage payments. Banks, savings associations, credit unions, and mortgage companies make conventional loans…

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Sylvia’s Story: Home Ownership in the Future

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Meet Sylvia, an HR Manager for the Clark County School District in Nevada. She’s a Las Vegas native who lives with her husband and two adult sons. What did your upbringing teach you about finances? Nothing! That’s why I’m in debt now. I don’t think I was ever taught how to save or how important…

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Michael’s Story: Make Your Money Work For You

Middle-aged white man with his hair slicked back wears a long sleeve t-shirt and smiles for a selfie

Meet Michael, a substance abuse counselor who lives in San Diego, California. What do you do? I’m a substance abuse counselor. I’ve been doing it for about two years now – midlife career change. Unfortunately, it’s one of the fastest growing professions in the US, which doesn’t bode well for us. What did your upbringing…

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Do you recommend credit consolidation?

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Do you recommend credit consolidation to improve scores and decrease debt? Submitted by Natasha P. There are two parts to this question, so let’s dig into them separately. Improving Your Credit Score Whenever a financial institution pulls your credit with the purpose of offering you a loan, your score may be affected. Closing a credit…

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How many credit cards should I have?

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“Hi Saundra! As someone who is getting her credit back in order, I want to be wise about applying for credit cards. I have two and working hard to keep them both under 30% utilization. I’m considering applying for one last card. How many credit cards is too many?” Submitted by Laurin O. There are…

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What Does It Mean to Refinance a Mortgage?

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Let’s start with the basics. Refinancing simply means that you’re replacing your existing loan with a new mortgage. Reasons for Refinancing a Mortgage If you’re considering refinancing, your reasons may include: A lower interest rate Shorter (or longer) term to pay off the loan or cash out equity Changing the type of mortgage (you may…

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