Strategies For Managing Student Loan Debt

If college were a party, then student loans are the hangover. Unfortunately, the “hair of the dog” won't cure this headache, but here are some ideas for managing your student loan debt. The programs listed are not intended as tax or legal advice. They may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The programs are for informational [...]


The Lowdown On Those Free Credit Scores

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of 2003 provided individuals with valuable rights to the credit information that companies keep on them, but did you know the credit score provided to you may be different from the one provided to lenders? The first thing you should know is that you have a right to see your credit report once annually without cost. To receive your free credit report you can visit This report will contain [...]


Weighing The Benefits Of Prepaid Debit Cards

Today more than half of all Americans use prepaid debit cards for personal use, compared to just 19% in 2008.¹ A prepaid debit card is established when an individual provides cash to a financial institution in exchange for a card that can be used like any debit card or credit card, except it is limited to purchases in an amount not to exceed the card’s cash balance. When the balance runs low, or is exhausted, [...]


Countering Counterfeit Currency

It is estimated by the U.S. Secret Service that, prior to the founding of that agency in 1865, up to one-half of the currency in circulation was counterfeit.¹ Today, while 90% of all known counterfeit currency is seized before it reaches circulation, combating counterfeiting remains core to preserving the integrity of the nation’s money.² Money Matters Ongoing advances in high-tech printers and inks continually raise the bar on what the federal government must do to limit counterfeiting, which has led to a range [...]


A Penny Saved Is Two Pennies Earned

This modern twist on the Ben Franklin maxim reflects the multiplicity of taxes to which earnings are subject in today’s world.¹ Finding ways to manage expenses is one of the cornerstones of a sound financial strategy. Here are some simple and inexpensive energy-saving tips that may help you save money. Audit First… To better understand where opportunities may exist for improving energy efficiency, consider an energy audit. Perform one yourself by purchasing a home energy [...]


Password Protection Strategies

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn—they’ve all fallen prey to hackers who exposed passwords and other personal information for hundreds of thousands of their users. If you haven’t yet had your password stolen, chances are, it may be only a matter of time. Hearing the word “hacker” may conjure up the image of a teenaged wiz-kid up all night systematically trying to guess at passwords. But hacking has become a much more complex, sophisticated, and lucrative operation. Breached [...]


What To Look For In Personal Finance Apps

Since Apple launched its iPhone App Store in July 2008, the mobile applications market has exploded. In 2016, Statista reported that Apple customers had downloaded 130 billion apps. On the other side of the smart phone universe, Android users have downloaded 65 billion apps since the Google Play launch in 2010.1 To put those numbers in perspective, that’s over 26 apps downloaded for every person on the planet.2 While many of these apps are games and social media programs, [...]


Budget Check Up: Tax Time Is The Right Time

Every year, about 140 million households file their federal tax returns.¹ For many, the process involves digging through shoe boxes or manila folders full of receipts; gathering mortgage, retirement, and investment account statements; and relying on computer software to take advantage of every tax break the code permits. It seems a shame not to make the most of all that effort. Tax preparation may be the only time of year many households gather all their [...]