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Financial Education Articles

This section provides useful tips and information on a variety of financial education topics. Please note that this is not professional advice; contact a professional financial advisor to guide you.

Simple Tips to Help You be a Smarter Online Shopper

Shopping online can be quick, convenient and give you access to better selection and money saving deals. Do you know how to get the most out of your online shopping? There are simple tips that can not only help you get the best deals, but also make your virtual shopping trips safer. (November 2014)

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"You've Been Pre-Selected!" But What Does that Mean?

You probably get at least one a week in your mailbox. The envelope says, "You've been pre-selected!" Inside you find an offer for a credit card or loan. But what does "pre-selected" mean? Are you guaranteed to get the card or loan? The answer is not as simple as you might think. (October 2014)

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The Basics of Building Credit

Having good credit is important for all of us, but how do you build (or rebuild) your credit? There are several simple steps you can take to build the credit you need to reach your financial goals and establish yourself as creditworthy. (September 2014)

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How to Strategically Manage Your Debt

Most articles you read about debt focus on the downside of owing too much money and what you can do to get out of debt. But, when managed carefully, some types of debt can have a positive effect on your financial picture. (August 2014)

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The Simple Basics That Will Make You a Smarter Money Manager

You might be surprised to learn there are several basic personal finance topics many adults don't understand or have never heard about. Understanding these topics can make you a better money manager and help you achieve your financial goals, so take the time and learn these smart money basics. (July 2014)

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Big Vacation Fun for a Smaller Price Tag

Vacations can be the highlight of the year, but they can also be pretty expensive. But there are many different strategies that can help you spend less and still have a great time. From the super-inexpensive staycation to an all-inclusive vacation, you can find an option that fits your budget. (June 2014)

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Online Resources Can Help You Manage Your Money Better

Budgeting and tracking your finances is now easier than ever thanks to a growing number of online tools and websites. You can manage your finances on your computer, your tablet, or your smartphone. Find out how these online tools can help you get a better handle on your money. (May 2014)

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Little Changes Can Put More Money in Your Pocket

There's nothing better than saving money and it's easier than you may think. By simply making some small changes in a few areas of your life, you could save hundreds of dollars or maybe even more. That's money you can use to boost your savings, save for a home or pay off bills. (April 2014)

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What's the Difference Between a Secured and Unsecured Loan?

If you're considering borrowing money, it's important to understand the difference between a secured loan and an unsecured loan. What are the advantages of secured and unsecured loans? By learning more about these two types of loans, you'll be better prepared to choose the loan that fits your needs. (March 2014)

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You've Come into Some Money. Now What?

You've come into some unexpected money. Congratulations! What should you do with your windfall? There are several things you should think about before you buy that new flat screen or book that dream vacation. By making the right money moves with this unexpected cash, you can strengthen your financial future. (February 2014)

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Simple Tips to Help You Get Off on the Right Financial Foot This Year

It's a new year and time for a fresh start. This year, add one more resolution to your list-to get your financial house in order. There are a number of steps you can take that can help you get and stay on the right track, from setting financial goals to updating your insurance, bank accounts, and will. (January 2014)

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Planning to Buy a Car? Take These Five Steps First.

Maybe you've been saving up for a new car or maybe those end of the year model clearance ads have caught your attention. There's more to making a smart car or truck purchase than trying to get the best price. Learn what steps you should take before you visit the showroom or check the classifieds. (December 2013)

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Smart Financial Moves to Make Now

The end of the year is coming up fast. Whether you're working to get out of debt or saving for a home, now's the time to make some smart moves and make sure you're on track financially this year and well prepared for the New Year. (November 2013)

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Refinancing: An Option for More Types of Loans Than You Think

Most everyone is familiar with the idea of refinancing a mortgage to get a better rate, cash out some equity or change the length of the loan. What you may not know is that you can refinance several other different types of loans, which could help you save money on interest or pay off your debt more quickly. (October 2013)

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Five Common Credit Report Mistakes and How You Can Fix Them

You're doing all the right things to build and protect your good credit. But when you review your credit report, you find mistakes that could keep you from getting the credit you deserve at the best rate. What errors should you check for and how can you correct these potentially costly mistakes? (September 2013)

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Cosigning on a Loan? What You Should Know First.

For people without established credit or those with credit problems, it can be difficult to get a loan or other types of credit. In some cases, having a cosigner can help them get the credit they're seeking. But what are the risks and responsibilities of being a cosigner and how can it affect your credit? (August 2013)

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Getting Your Finances Ready for Baby

If you're thinking about becoming a parent, there are a number of financial moves you should make well before your little one arrives to help make sure you'll be able to manage the additional expenses that come with a new family member. (July 2013)

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Are You a Smart Online Banker?

Most of us use our bank's online banking services to check balances, pay bills, and transfer money between accounts. There's no doubt online banking is convenient, but it can also present risks. That's why it's important to learn the basics of safe online banking. (June 2013)

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Starting Off on the Right Financial Foot

If you're in a serious relationship, you've probably talked about vacation plans, moving in together and maybe even marriage. There's one important item that a lot of couples forget to put on that list, though. Have an open, frank talk about your individual finances and your financial future together. (May 2013)

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Avoid Vacation Debt This Summer

Can't wait for summer vacation? You've probably started thinking about where to go and what to do. But have you thought about what your vacation will cost and how you'll pay for it? If you're thinking about using your credit cards and worrying about paying the bill later, there's a better way. (April 2013)

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How to Avoid Surprises on Your Tax Bill

You've probably started gathering your W-2 forms and other information you'll need to file your taxes. You know that you have to pay income taxes on the money you make working or through investments, but there are a number of other taxable types of income you might not be aware of which could increase your tax bill. (March 2013)

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An Emergency Fund can be a Financial Lifesaver

What would happen to your finances if you were hit with a big medical bill, your roof needed to be replaced, or you were laid off? One important way to guard against financial disaster is to build and maintain an emergency fund. Find out why it's essential and how you can get started. (February 2013)

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Is It Smart to Pay Bills with Your Credit Card?

You can use your credit cards to pay for almost anything these days, from a $1 soda to a $1,200 car repair. A growing number of people are also using their credit cards to pay a range of monthly bills like cell phone and utility bills. It's quick and easy, but does it always make good financial sense? (January 2013)

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