Best money tips, insurance, online banking, credit cards.
Buy The Right Life Insurance For Your Needs
Thinking about buying life insurance? There's a good, easy-to-understand guide to buying life insurance at the Kiplinger.com site. They'll advise you who should buy, when to buy, and how much you need. There's a calculator to help you decide just how much you need, and insurance ratings to help you get "the most bang for your buck."
Claim Long-Lost Property At FoundMoney.com
The Dollar Stretcher site has created a page to help you search for unclaimed property that you may not even be aware of. Each state has a database of unclaimed money and property. You should search each one where you have relatives. Example: New York has more than $8 billion. That works out to about $300 per New Yorker!
Another good place to try is FoundMoney.com. They have a database that covers the entire USA, so your search is likely to be quicker.
To try FoundMoney.com, click: FoundMoney.
Create A Plan For Your Financial Future
The American Express site has a good financial planning tool, recommended by FamilyPC Magazine. It will ask you questions just like a real-life financial planner, then spell out a reasonably good plan of action for your situation.
Download A Free Instant Credit Report
FreeCreditReport.com is offering a free credit report to all visitors to their site. There might be an incorrect blemish on your credit record that you're unaware of, that may force you to pay higher interest rates for loans and credit cards. And if you examine your credit report, you may find an old bank account that you'd forgotten about. With your free credit report, you'll also receive a free 30-day trial membership in the CreditCheck Monitoring Service--a service
that continuously provides you with vital information about your credit. If you decide upgrade to a paid membership ($59.95 annually), you'll have access to unlimited copies of your credit report. You'll also get "Online Monthly Monitoring Alerts" to inform you of important changes to your Experian credit file: any new derogatory information, recent inquiries into your credit, and several indicators of possible credit fraud.
For about $8.00, you can securely retrieve your personal credit report online in a few minutes. At iCredit, you can also get reports from all 3 credit bureaus by mail. They also have options to Monitor Your Credit and Analyze Your Credit for prospective success in getting loans. "Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back." To visit iCreditReport.com, click: iCreditReport
Explore The Bottom Line Web Site
The publishers of the famous Bottom Line newsletters have created a new web site, BottomLineSecrets.com. You can search the site's excellent database of articles, try a subscription to any of their publications, and read secrets from America's best source of inside information. They offer interesting new content every week, and a free weekly email newsletter.
Find A Great Card With A "Credit Card Calculator"
There are some great deals for credit cards on the Internet. "Smart Money" Magazine has an excellent guide to getting credit cards online, from an independent authority on personal finance. They will point you to all the best sources on credit cards. When you find some that you like, you can use their Credit Card Calculator to pick the best one.
Find Out About Your Credit Rating
You can get a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies -- Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax -- to make sure that the information is accurate. Each agency charges a service fee. To find out how,
Find The Nearest ATM Machine
The Visa.com site can find the three closest ATM's to any location. It even gives you a map showing where they are!
NextCard VisaGet A 9.9% Credit Card With 100% Online Security
The NextCard gives you a 100% money-back guarantee on all online purchases made with their credit card, along with your choice of a 2.9% introductory rate or a 9.9% fixed rate. It also gives you "1-Click Shopping" anywhere on the Internet,
instant online approvals and balance transfers, and no annual fee.
Get A College Loan
The Nellie Mae site compares student loan programs and helps you plan for college. The site can also point you to online applications for college loans.
Get An Unsecured Credit Card, Even With No Credit
The Future Card is a Visa card that accepts almost all applicants, yet requires no deposit. If your credit isn't so good, this is a good way to establish or re-establish the credit you deserve. It has a credit limit up to $2500, an APR from 16.9%, and allows ATM access. The main requirements:
- You must not have ever declared bankruptcy,
- You should have no credit delinquencies in the past 6 months that are past due
for 60 days, and
- You need to have one "Good Trade Line" reported (example: mortgage loan payment, installment loan payment, or department store payment) that is at least 6 months old.
Get Free Moneywise Pamphlets From Uncle Sam
The Consumer Information Catalog has the full online text versions of federal consumer publications covering the world of money. Learn about retirement and estate planning, your credit, and smart saving and investing. You can view them for free online, or purchase printed copies that they will mail to you (some of which are free.)
Get Free Personal Finance Stuff At FreeShop
At FreeShop's Personal Finance freebies page, you can find free stuff for investing, insurance and financial education. You can also find the best credit cards and lending rates online.
Learn About "10-10-###" Long Distance
An article at Consumer Reports magazine explains long-distance calling services such as 10-10-321. Only about half the people who dial these numbers report significant savings, a prime culprit being the unexpected hidden charges. Read this article for recommendations on how to get your money's worth.
Learn About Personal Finance At Quicken.com
Quicken.com is an excellent financial center. It will help you with investments, mortgages, small business, insurance, loans, banking, retirement, taxes, financial news and more.
Learn From The Financial Wizards
FinanCenter has three sections. The ClickCalcs section contains free interactive calculators that help you deal with all kinds of financial situations. The ClickDeals section gives you online access to free advice from financial professionals, and links to sites offering inexpensive financial deals. The ClickFacts section is a library of well-written guides that can provide you with a good financial education for a variety of topics.
Learn How To Guard Against Natural Disasters
This article at The Dollar Stretcher gives advice on how to protect against natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and fire. If you're unlucky enough to have already been hit by disaster, it also advises how to recover from them afterwards. Here's some of the subjects it covers, with special emphasis on how to guard against the financial setbacks caused by natural disasters:
- Tax breaks: The IRS cuts some slack to individuals affected by disasters.
- What to grab in an emergency: which important personal papers to take?
- How homeowners can rebuild: lenders, government and insurance agencies are there to help.
- Disaster victims won't lose homes: Fannie Mae and the FEMA will help with mortgage payments.
- An ounce of prevention: How to use low-cost loans to protect your home and wallet from disaster.
- Mother Nature's wrath: Prepared yourself with disaster insurance.
- Small Business: How to disaster-proof your finances.
Learn How To Reverse A Financial Slide
The National Foundation For Consumer Credit asks, "Are you always late with bill payments? If you lost your job, would you be able to pay for your basic living expenses? Do you put off medical or dental visits because you can't afford them? If so, it's time to evaluate your spending habits and financial status." They can help with credit counseling and restoring your good credit.
Learn Smart Home-Finance Managing At Kiplinger.com
The Kiplinger.com personal finance site has some great articles about home finance: how to buy or sell, finding good mortgages, and reducing property taxes. There's also a forecast of home prices for 100 cities, home-finance calculators, and links to some of the best home finance sites on the Internet.
Learn The Basics Of Personal Finance Planning
The Financial Players Center teaches you the basic knowledge you need to achieve financial success. Achieve an early retirement, save college funds for your children, or even buy a vacation home.
Learn The Right Way To Write A Will
Writing a will may seem simple, but there's really a lot of "ins and outs" to the process, and many pitfalls to avoid. Without a will, your loved ones will be subjected to the vagaries of state law when determining who receives what. The Quicken Retirement Center has an article on this subject, pointing out that about 70% of Americans have yet to make up a will. This article explains the pitfalls and how to avoid
Another article at The Dollar Stretcher shows how you can get a paralegal to make out a will for about $25, much less than what a lawyer would charge.
For paralegal advice, click: Dollar Stretcher Article
Learn To Evaluate/Improve Your Financial Health
Quicken.com has two services that will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses in your financial situation. To evaluate how healthy your finances are, answer their quick 10-question quiz. and "find out if you're in great shape, or if those financial goals need a little workout!"
Quicken.com's Financial Health Checkup is a full-fledged personal financial planner. It takes about 20 minutes to answer questions covering your investments, debt management, retirement planning, and so on. You'll then get a detailed financial plan that gives you the advice you need to meet your financial objectives. Before you begin, it may be helpful to have your financial records handy.
Learn To Plan Your Financial Future
At financial sites such as Wells Fargo, there are at least 4 easy-to-use financial planning tools to help you plan your financial future.
- Tax Help Center: Wells Fargo and WebTurboTax can save you money and time.
- Debt Reduction Planner: Build a plan to rid yourself of debt.
- Retirement Planner: Find out if you're saving enough to retire when you want to.
- Savings Planner: Find out how long it will take you to reach your goals.
Learn What Higher Interest Rates Mean To You
BankRate.com, a leading site for information on loans and interest rates, has published an article that tells what higher interest rates mean to the average consumer. They also list the best moves to make in financial areas such as Fixed-rate mortgages, Adjustable-rate mortgages, Credit cards, Car loans, Home equity loans, Home equity lines of credit, CDs and Savings accounts. There's also a chart that compares
interest rates over the past 4 years. The author believes that interest rates are likely to stay high for some time, writing in August of 1999.
Plan A Debt-Reduction Schedule At Quicken.com
Quicken.com has an excellent tool to help you make a debt reduction plan:
In about 20-30 minutes, this planning tool will create a step-by-step plan of action to get you out of debt.
Plan For College At Quicken.com
Quicken.com has an excellent tool to help you plan for college:
A college education can be shockingly expensive, from $7,000 to $2,0000 per year. This planner will quickly show you where you stand, and how much money you'll need to meet your children's educational goals.
Plan Your Retirement At Quicken.com
Quicken.com has an excellent tool to help you plan your retirement:
It takes about 10 minutes to use this planner. The earlier you start to plan for retirement, the easier it will be. Use this planner to predict the income from your pension and Social Security, and figure out how much you will need to save to meet your retirement goals.
Protect Against The Ten Worst Mortgage Mistakes
Mortgage-net.com lists the top 10 mistakes when buying a house, refinancing a house, or getting a home equity loan (so that's actually 30 mistakes.) If you're getting ready to take one of these major financial steps, it might pay to read this article. As the article says, "there is no substitute for taking the time to educate yourself before you buy a house, which typically costs you 25% to 40% of your gross income!"
Read News About Loans And Credit At Bankrate.com
At BankRate.com, you can get reliable information on mortgages, credit cards, new and used auto loans, money market accounts and CDs, checking and ATM fees, home equity lines and loans and online banking fees. Information is gathered from over 2,500 financial institutions in 120 markets in 50 states and Puerto Rico, including credit unions. Read forecasts of future interest rates.
Read Tips From Smart Money Magazine
This magazine's online site has the best list of tips we've ever seen to help you manage your money the smart way. There's over 50 tips, including sections on investing, mutual funds, bonds, taxes, consumers, education, online shopping, travel, communications, work, retirement, auto, home and business.
Read Two Great Personal Finance Magazines
Some financial magazines go beyond investing and big business, to give expert advice to ordinary people. Two of the best are Kiplinger's Personal Finance and Family Money. They'll give you expert, practical and easy-to-understand advice. They cover a broad range of subjects, making sure to hit all the high spots: subjects like taxes and inflation, careers and entrepreneurship, thrift and financial planning, savings and insurance, personal investing and
more. And they're not expensive: Kiplinger's is only $14.97 for 12 issues at Magazine Mall. Or, you can get two free issues of Kiplinger's at FreeShop, if you're not yet sure you want to subscribe. You can find Family Money in many stores, or at ENews. One year (6 issues) costs only $9.97. You can also subscribe for 2 years for only $4 more at the FamilyMoney.com website. Kiplinger's online website is especially excellent!
And/or visit: Kiplinger.com, Family Money, FreeShop.
Save Money By Using Credit Cards Wisely
Three articles at BankRate.com teach you how to save money when using credit cards:
Save Money With A Great Loan Rate
GetSmart.com offers a complete line of loan-comparison services, including home loans, credit cards, debt consolidation loans, student loans and business loans. It's a great way to research the Internet for the best loan rate you can get. GetSmart itself is not a lender, and receives no financial incentive for directing you to a particular lender. It has the largest lender network on the internet with over 15,000 loan offers. You could save thousands of dollars!
Save Money With Debt Consolidation
EDebtConsolidation.com is a non-profit site that has a great way to help people reduce their debt. They'll put you in touch with a trained professional who will negotiate with your creditors to:
They also give you access to a free downloadable do-it-yourself kit, and help you decide whether bankruptcy may be the best alternative for you.
- Consolidate your bills into one low monthly payment. Lower your monthly debt payments by 40-60%.
- Save thousands of dollars in interest and late charges.
- Improve your credit rating and end creditor harassment.
Save Money With Online Insurance
Online insurance sites have databases of hundreds of companies that sell low-load insurance policies, from life to health to auto insurance. You can get instant quotes and even apply for a policy online, or call the insurance company's 1-800 number for more information. The InsureMarket site has an Insurance Planner that can help you get a logical assessment of your insurance needs, along with a Life Events Advisor to learn how your changing life affects your insurance needs.
Also see: QuoteSmith Life Insurance Listing
Save On Bank Charges With A Credit Union
If you're tired of high bank fees, there's a good article at The Dollar Stretcher site that lists some effective tips for finding a better place to put your money. The odds are that you can lower your fees and get better interest rates by joining a good Credit Union or Savings & Loan.
Save Thousands With Mortgage Refinancing
With loan rates so low now, refinancing your mortgage could save you thousands of dollars. Online rates are often the lowest you can get, and BanxQuote will help you shop for the best rates online.
Save Time And Money With Online Banking
Smart Money Magazine has come out with its ratings of online banks. They conclude "now may be the time to open an Internet banking account. You'll get electronic convenience, plus lower costs in most cases." CompuBank was rated the top bank. The benefits they offer include:
You'll avoid long lines at banks, and be able to consult with a financial planner online.
- Free Checking and Free Bill Payment
- Free Domestic Wire Transfers
- Free ATMs + 4 Surcharge Reimbursements Per Month
- 24 Hour Access Anywhere, Anytime
- 24 Hour Support Online Or By Phone
- Bill Payment and Online Transaction Fraud Guarantees
Two other highly-rated online banks: Bank Of America, Wells Fargo.