phishing scams

Just because your tax return has been filed and any refund may have already been spent or tucked away in savings, that doesn’t mean thieves are done trying to get their hands on your data or your cash. This is the time of year when identity thieves are on the prowl, playing up your fears or insecurities in order to take advantage of you. [continue reading…]

A reader of wrote me because she felt that her student loans were holding her back, and had become a big financial problem.


As it turns out, her real money problem isn’t the higher education debt she has – it’s the chronic unemployment situation she’s endured.


Economists say you are technically among the ranks of the “chronically unemployed” when you’ve been out of a job for a year or longer. Unfortunately, that label applies to more than 10 million Americans.


In this video, I share some job-hunting advice and specific ideas on landing a job for anyone who’s looking for a new job or trying to advance in his or her career. [continue reading…]

car loan application

I recently wrote about the pros and cons of taking on 72-month or 84-month car loans. If you read my previous article, you no doubt noticed that there were a lot more “cons” than “pros.”


With all of these cons, it’s no wonder that some financial pros, like Clark Howard, say that you should just say no to long-term auto loans. In fact, Howard recommends that you limit car loans to 42 months, or 3 ½ years. The experts at Consumer Reports suggest that you stick to a 48-month car loan.


But what if you really need a new set of wheels, and the numbers won’t work for you on a three or four-year loan?


You do have options.


Here are four smart alternatives to 72 month car loans (as well as car loans lasting 7 or even 8 years). [continue reading…]

pros and cons of 72 month car loan

If you’re in the market for a new car, chances are you want to keep your payments as low as possible, preferably under $500 a month.


Car dealers know this, which is why 72-month car loans are more popular than ever. Even 84-month car loans – yes, some auto lenders are offering financing for 7 years – are quickly making inroads with consumers.


According to Experian Automotive’s latest State of the Automotive Finance Market report, the average car loan in the U.S. now lasts 66 months, the longest term on record since Experian started tracking this data in 2006.


What’s more, loans lasting from 73 to 84 months made up 25% of all new car loans issued during the first quarter of 2014. That’s up about 28% from year-ago levels.


So in today’s marketplace, how should you evaluate your car-buying options and what should you take into consideration when planning to get a new vehicle?


Here are the financial pros and cons of taking on a 72-month car loan or an 84-month car note. [continue reading…]