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What You Didn’t Learn About Money in School

[Saturday, February 18th, 2017]

You might be surprised to learn that most people don’t learn anything about money in school. With all the history, math, and science students are required to study, one thing that gets left out is basic financial literacy.

For example, did you know that it’s not a good idea to pay just the minimum amount due on your credit card each month? If so, count yourself lucky. Many people actually don’t know that. Maybe this is your first time hearing it, as well. If so, don’t be embarrassed. You aren’t alone.

Here are just a few things that no one teaches you before college graduation…

An APR is an interest rate. The term “APR” is thrown around so much that it’s easy to assume everyone knows what it means. But in fact, many people don’t. It stands for Annual Percentage Rate, and if you have a credit card, it will have an APR. This dictates how much interest you’ll be charged if you don’t pay off your balance in full each month. So the lower, the better. You can usually get a lower APR on your credit card if you have a good credit score, so it pays to have a clean credit report.

Getting cash from a credit card is a bad idea. Speaking of APR’s, many people don’t know that when you use your credit card to get cash out at an ATM, you’ll be charged a very high one. Even if you have a low APR credit card, that low APR will usually only be for purchases, and maybe balance transfers. The cash advance APR (that’s what getting money from an ATM is, a cash advance) is always much higher. So if you have any other way to get cash, use it. Avoid using your credit card to get cash out, at all costs.

Never pay just the minimum due on your credit card. Depending on how much you owe, and on your APR, you could end up paying twice what you spent, or even more. It could take you 30 years to pay off your debt – or you might even never pay it off. Check your credit card statement for the little box that shows how long it’ll take to pay off your balance if you pay the minimum, versus if you pay a little more. That will show you how much it will cost to only pay the minimum.

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[April 13th, 2017]

If you’ve ever been turned down for a credit card or offered a sky-high rate on a mortgage, your credit score might need some help.

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The 5 Things You Need To Do For a Great Credit Score
[December 19th, 2016]

Do you know what your credit score is?
Having good credit is essential for more reasons than you may think. If you want to get the lowest APR on credit cards, not to mention be approved for the very best credit cards, including elite cards, you’ll need to have the very best credit score possible. But you also need good credit in order to be approved for a mortgage or an apartment lease, and maybe even to get a job.

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Here’s the Best Way to Establish a Credit History if You Don’t Have One
[October 28th, 2016]

You need a credit history to do so many things in this world: buy a house, get a small business loan, be approved to rent an apartment or lease a car, maybe even get a job. The problem is, you also need a credit history to be approved for a credit card – and the way to establish a credit history is by using a credit card.

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