MoneyRates.com Archives

Debt Statutes of Limitations for Every State

Gina Pogol

Every state has a statute of limitation under which debts become uncollectible. When a specified amount of time passes, the creditor must suspend collection efforts. The map below shows how many years it takes for a debt to become uncollectible in your state.

Note that some debts like government-backed student loans do not fall under these statutes.

Sample Pay for Delete Letter for Collection Agency Accounts

Gina Pogol

The only way to improve your credit score when paying a collection (for most credit scoring models) is to convince the agency to delete your account in exchange for payment. Credit experts call this "pay for delete." You can use this sample letter to create your own note to collection agencies.

Holiday Headaches: Stay Safe While Shopping Online

Erik Martin

Online shopping makes it easy to hunt for gifts during the holiday season. But that convenience comes with risks. These include the possibility that you may be swindled by a bad actor or have your identity stolen. That's why it's important to practice safe holiday shopping online.

How to Graduate College Debt-Free (Or Nearly So)

Peter Andrew

The class of 2018 graduated with an average college debt of $29,200 each, according to The Institute for College Access and Success. And things are getting worse. Because the previous year's figure had been $28,650. So is it possible to leave debt-free? Certainly. And even if you can't quite manage that happy state, you should be able to keep your loans well below average. So read on to discover how you can dramatically reduce your educational costs.

Identity Theft Warning Signs

Erik Martin

Don't think identity theft can happen to you? Think again. It's one of the fastest-growing crimes in America. And it can be hard to know if you're a victim. That's why it's important to pay attention to identity theft signs.

How to Prepare for a Recession

Richard Barrington

Concerned about a recession? This recession-prep checklist has eight steps you can take to be more prepared and less worried.

Best Rates for Savings; Deposits in the U.S. - 3rd Quarter, 2019

Richard Barrington

Concerned about falling interest rates? A new survey shows bank rates on the decline, but see how you could improve your rate, even in a falling-rate environment.

The Latest MoneyRates.com Update on Bank Fees

Richard Barrington

Are you paying too much for your checking account? Here's the latest data on fees and some simple tips for cutting hundreds off your checking account fees each year.

Best Rates for Savings & Deposits in the U.S. - 2nd Quarter, 2019

Richard Barrington

Could your money work harder for you? In most cases, the answer is yes - especially if it's in one of the best 1 year CDs. Our latest study shows where to find the best 1 year CD rates, best 5 year CD rates, as well as the top savings and money market accounts, which are all well above average rates.

Best Cities for Young Entrepreneurs 2019

Richard Barrington

Are you young and ready to start a business? The best cities for startups have certain characteristics which can support new businesses in a number of ways. If you're trying to get a business off the ground, consider the top eleven cities ranked as the best places for millennials to start a business in 2019.

When is Tax on a CD Due?

Richard Barrington

Are you prepared for the tax consequences of your CD? You may have to pay taxes on your CD interest before you even receive that interest. Here's how you can be ready to pay the taxes on your CD interest when it comes due.

Should I Move My CDs into an IRA?

Richard Barrington

Thinking of setting up an IRA? Learn how to choose between a Roth IRA and a traditional IRA and how to invest for long-term retirement savings.

How Much Retirement Savings Should an 83-Year-Old Have?

Richard Barrington

How do you know you have enough money for the remainder of your retirement? A comparison of net expenses with retirement savings and other resources can help you find the answer.

How Long can I Keep Money in a Traditional IRA?

Richard Barrington

How long can you keep money in a traditional IRA? While you are required to start taking out some of your remaining balance each year beginning at age 70.5, you are never required to take out all of your remaining balance.

Can I Contribute RMDs to a Roth IRA?

Richard Barrington

Looking to limit your taxes once you start taking retirement plan RMDs? The strategy of contributing some of that money to a Roth IRA has significant limits, but it does also have some benefit.

6 financial moves to prevent sleepless nights

Richard Barrington

Financial worries are a common source of nighttime anxiety, but these problems are best addressed in the light of day.

9 questions to ask before taking on debt

Richard Barrington

Getting into debt can be too easy at times, but asking some challenging questions can help you avoid taking on debt that isn't worthwhile.

Avoid 4 debt consolidation risks

Richard Barrington

Debt consolidation can be either a useful tool or a costly mistake. It helps to understand your goals and how to best pursue them.

Using zero percent credit cards to pay off student loans

Richard Barrington

Transferring student loan balances to zero percent credit cards is not as straightforward as it may look; see what you should know before trying this strategy.

How to responsibly handle easier access to credit cards

Richard Barrington

Easing credit standards mean consumers have to take responsibility for not overusing access to credit.

2019 Outlook - 6 factors affecting savings & money market rates

Richard Barrington

Do you have money in a savings or money market account? These six trends could impact your money in 2019, but here's how you can protect your assets and profit during this changing environment.

Batter up! 9 'players' for your investment line-up

Richard Barrington

Want a portfolio that will perform from its opening day? Then consider incorporating these key elements.

Home-field advantage: 7 reasons to favor US stocks

Richard Barrington

International investing can be a good thing, but there are also valid reasons for maintaining a heavier weighting toward U.S.-based stocks.

7 straightforward rules for asset allocation

Richard Barrington

Asset allocation is a tricky decision and one you can't avoid, so it's wise to be well-informed on the topic.

Shareholder rights: Are you a shark, lion or sheep?

Richard Barrington

Passive investors should take a cue from Wall Street's sharks and lions in recognizing the impact corporate governance can have on share value.

What is a Savings Account: Why You Need it

William Cowie

Savings accounts are common, but not nearly as common as checking accounts. This post asks the question: What's the difference? But then it answers the more important question: Why do you need one? (Because you do.)

No Holiday Savings Yet? Here's How to Build Your Funds Fast

Rebecca Lake

If you don't have holiday savings in place yet, it's not too late. Learn what steps you can take to fund the holidays even if you're a little behind on saving.

Can You Get a Debit Card on a Savings Account?

William Cowie

Debit cards are a common feature on checking accounts but not on savings accounts. Can you get a debit card on a savings account? Learn about debit and ATM cards - but the bigger question is: Should you want one?

What's Better for Your Savings, Interest Compounded Daily or Monthly?

William Cowie

What's the difference between monthly compounding and daily compounding for your savings accounts - and does it matter? How can you decipher what banks offer on their savings products?

Flip the Script: Raise Your Savings Account Rates As Most Rates Fall

Richard Barrington

Do fed-rate cuts mean your savings will earn less interest? While rates generally may be falling, chances are you could take this opportunity to raise your rates.

Brokered CDs: How They Work

Richard Barrington

Want a better deal on your CDs? Brokered CDs are a potential way you could get better CD terms, as long as you understand the potential risks along with the potential benefits.

Old Line Bank No-Penalty CD Review

Rebecca Lake

Old Line Bank offers savings products, including no-penalty CDs. Learn how these CDs work if you're considering opening an account.

Marcus No-Penalty CD Review: Is It Right for You?

Rebecca Lake

Marcus offers CDs for savers with no penalty for early withdrawal. Learn how the no-penalty CD from Marcus works to decide whether to open an account.

Best IRA CD Rates

Richard Barrington

Looking for a CD for your IRA? Certificates of deposit can play different roles in your IRA. Learn how to use CDs and how to find the best IRA CD rates.

No Penalty CD: How does it work

Richard Barrington

Would you like the yield of a CD without the commitment? Find out how no-penalty CDs can give you the yield benefit of owning a CD without having to lock your money up for the full term of the CD.

7 Big Financial Changes that Call for Adjusting Your Mortgage

Richard Barrington

Refinancing is not just about capturing falling interest rates. It can also be a way of optimizing your mortgage loan to fit a change in circumstances.

9 must-know things about your mortgage loan

Richard Barrington

The benefit or burden of any mortgage is largely dependent on these 9 details.

Buying a home: 7 tips for making your biggest investment decision

Richard Barrington

Lack of experience is an inherent problem for first-time home buyers, but some sound investment thinking can help you overcome that problem.

Amid historically low rates, is real estate a good investment?

Richard Barrington

Recent declines in mortgage rates may generate enthusiasm for real estate investments, but there are reasons to be skeptical of this.

When it makes sense to bet the house

Richard Barrington

Shifting your debt burden into a mortgage can save you money, but it can also put your home at risk. Learn when this approach makes sense.

Checking vs. Savings Accounts: What's the Difference?

What's the difference between checking and savings accounts? Find out how each impacts the accessibility, security and earning power of your bank account, and how to find the right fit for your needs.

The Cost of Sloppy Banking Habits

Richard Barrington

Are sloppy banking habits draining money from your bank accounts? A new MoneyRates study calculates that sloppy banking habits can cost a bank customer $830.64 per year. Find out how you can keep this money for yourself rather than handing it over to your bank.

Better ways to find the best checking account

Richard Barrington

Changes in banking habits have made location less of an issue since the 1990s, while rising fees have made cost more significant. Isn't it time to change what you look for in a checking account?

Best checking accounts for 2018

We ranked the best checking accounts for 2018 on the basis of monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, and low minimum opening deposit. Here are the top ten free checking accounts to be found in 2018.

Finding a second-chance checking account

Having to work outside the banking system can be expensive and inconvenient. Unfortunately, this can easily happen to people whose accounts are closed by their banks because of chronic misuse of the account.

If this has happened to you, the good news is that there is a way to get back into the banking system. It's called second-chance checking, and finding the right second-chance checking account can be the first step toward re-establishing your access to the full range of bank services.

Facing the enemy: 5 ways to prepare for tax season

Richard Barrington

They started arriving in your mailbox last month. No, not early Valentine's cards, but the little reminders of the grim task ahead: tax preparation.