MoneyRates.com Archives

6 financial emergencies to prepare for

Richard Barrington

Life's financial emergencies can hit you unexpectedly, but you can make plans to help prepare for them.

How investors can identify stock market cycles

Richard Barrington

Some characteristics of market cycles, and why they can be so hard to recognize.

Budgeting tips: 6 mistakes to avoid

Richard Barrington

Here are six common problems that can deal a knockout punch to your finances.

Financial fraud: helping your parent recover

Maryalene LaPonsie

Seniors are a prime target for con artists. Here's how to help if you suspect your mother or father has been taken for a ride.

Is there such a thing as good debt?

Dan Rafter

Not all debt is bad. Some debt presents little financial risk while also helping you build your credit score as you pay it back. Here are five ways to recognize whether debt is good or bad.

Highest money market rates – consumers overlook record rate hike

Richard Barrington

The latest America's Best Rates survey shows how critical your choice of banks is to your ability to make the most of your money.

College Savings Guide

From setting an appropriate savings goal and selecting the best college saving accounts through making withdrawals to pay for eligible education expenses, Money-Rates.com provides expert guidance

States with the best economies 2018

Richard Barrington

Based on recovery from the recession and recent growth trends, this study examines which states are gaining or losing economic ground.

Smart buying: credit cards vs. home equity loan vs. personal loan

Richard Barrington

Before you make a major purchase, in addition to researching product and price, give some thought to your payment method to save money where possible.

Are wedding loans a good way to start a marriage?

Richard Barrington

It can be tempting to put on a lavish wedding, but think through what financial impact personal loans could have on your marriage before borrowing.

Savings accounts for a non-profit?

Richard Barrington

Some formal procedures are helpful when handling money on behalf of a not-for-profit association.

Pay down student loans or save for retirement?

Richard Barrington

Though the urge to pay off student loan debt sooner is understandable, building savings may be a more practical use of extra income. It depends on your student loan rate and potential investment return rate.

How should I prioritize my debt?

Richard Barrington

Prioritizing debt should involve keeping up with all your minimum monthly payments and then targeting your most expensive source of debt.

Can I transfer from an IRA to a CD?

Richard Barrington

You can change investment vehicles within an IRA, but you should be careful to do it in a way that avoids tax consequences.

Can I use my ATM card for shopping online?

Richard Barrington

There are many payment options for handling an online purchase today, but be aware of the risks and benefits of using an ATM card versus a credit card.

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.

2018 Outlook - 6 factors affecting money market rates

See what it means to consumers as savings account rates, money market rates, CD rates and mortgage rates look likely to rise in 2018.

Fearing a Fed rate hike? Make these 5 moves

Richard Barrington

Preparing your finances in advance of any Fed announcements can help you avoid being caught flat-footed when rates finally climb.

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.

Can I retire on a million dollars?

Richard Barrington

Inflation can have a devastating effect on savings over the long run, so be sure to set your retirement savings goals accordingly.

Low fed funds rates cost consumers over $1.3 trillion

Richard Barrington

Federal Reserve interest rate policy may have bailed out the economy after the Great Recession, but savers who don't fight back continue to lose ground against inflation to this day. Here's what you can do to stay ahead.

Interest rates surge despite Fed’s inaction

Richard Barrington

Rates on deposit accounts and mortgages may continue to rise despite the Fed's recent decision to keep its rate target unchanged. Here is what consumers can do to reap the benefits now.

Things to pay for by changing your bank

Richard Barrington

Fed rate increases not helping consumers

Richard Barrington

The Fed continued pursuing a policy of rate normalization -- but, so far, consumers only find better interest rates on mortgages, CDs and savings accounts if they shop.

Variable-rate CD: 4 pitfalls

Richard Barrington

Variable-rate CDs can offer savers some intriguing options, but not always at a favorable price.

How to plan for CD taxes

Richard Barrington

CDs are safe instruments for earning interest, but their tax treatment can create a cash crunch. Here's how to plan ahead so you aren't caught short of money at tax time.

Using CDs for college savings

Richard Barrington

Understand how you can use certificates of deposits to build your college savings.

What inflation is doing to your CD rates

Richard Barrington

You might think of CDs as safe investments that don't require much attention, but lately inflation has been posing a growing threat to them. Here's what to do when inflation is on the rise.

How risky are certificates of deposit?

Richard Barrington

Understanding early withdrawal risk with CDs, FDIC limits, and other risk factors can help you manage risk while investing in CDs.

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.

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.

The cost of sloppy banking habits

Richard Barrington

Sloppy banking habits could easily cost consumers more than $600 per year, but they are easy to fix. Here's how to profit by staying on top of your finances.

6 reasons to rethink where you bank

Richard Barrington

Banking has changed over time, and it's likely your banking needs have too. Here's why you may want to reconsider where you're at today.

Where to look beyond the Fed for signs of life from stagnant bank rates

Richard Barrington

With no action from the Fed on interest rates, consumers should look elsewhere for signs of rising rates.

Fed implies rise in interest rates is inevitable

Richard Barrington

Interest rates will soon be on the rise: some banks to act sooner than others.

Fed sets the stage for rate hike

Richard Barrington

The Fed still isn't ready to raise rates, but this week's meeting statement hints that the time is near.

Fed ups the focus on its June meeting

Richard Barrington

While the Fed announced no rate change in today's meeting, the wording of its statement hints at the possibility of change by midyear.

Latest Fed statement omits important detail

Richard Barrington

The Fed made no change in policy in its latest meeting, but a change in its statement's wording reflects an underlying optimism about the economy.