Credit Cards are Bad for Your Financial Health: It’s Science

November 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Debt and Credit

I am one of the few credit card haters among personal finance bloggers. Most of my blogging colleagues advocate their use to gain cash back “rewards.” Many bloggers go beyond mere use advocacy – they promote acquisition of new credit cards because they are paid to do so.

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Good Riddance Freddie and Fannie?

February 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Loans and Borrowing

Can it be that the “homeownership for everyone” army of dreamers has finally been defeated? Let’s hope so. Read more

A Satellite Tour of Foreclosure Wastelands

January 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Debt and Credit

If you are a visual learner, you will be impressed or even shocked by a satellite map view of cities where foreclosures are dominating the real estate landscape. Read more

Home Ownership Gets Tougher – That’s a Good Thing

November 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Debt and Credit

Business week reported this week that major banks are imposing tougher standards on FHA loans. Last week NPR ran a similar piece about tightened mortgage underwriting standards in general. In each story, folks (potential buyers, real estate agents, etc.) were complaining how tough it was for folks with less than stellar finances to qualify for a loan.

Stop the whining already! Read more

Your So-Called Rewards Cards Exposed – Again

October 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Debt and Credit

Many personal finance bloggers dedicate a lot of words (and affiliate links) discussing rewards credit cards. According to these writers and their eager-beaver reward-chasing readers, rewards credit cards are a gift to consumers from the benevolent card companies: Visa, MasterCard, and AmEx. In the past and again today, I am calling BS on this entire concept. Read more

Dodging the Credit Card Punishment

August 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Debt and Credit

You may have been reading about record low interest rates on mortgages and thinking “Wow, credit is cheap right now!” You would be wrong, at least as to that ubiquitous source of lifestyle support: credit cards. Read more

Closing the Refinanced Mortgage

August 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Loans and Borrowing

Mrs. ToughMoneyLove and I spent about 30 minutes at a local office of our new bank. Today was closing day on our mortgage refinance. The number of papers that need signing seems to be increasing exponentially. Read more

Feeling Rewarded without Spending

July 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Debt and Credit, Spending

In May we opened our first rewards checking account at a community bank. Since then we have been transitioning our direct deposits and other routine transactions into that account. By the beginning of this month, we had built up the balance in our rewards checking account to the $25k limit for earning 3.80% interest. Read more

Realtors Behind the Scenes of Our Economic Mess

June 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Debt and Credit

I often wonder why Realtors haven’t received much of the blame and scorn for their role in the inflation and collapse of the real estate bubble. As much as the banks are accused of predatory lending to simpleton home buyers, why aren’t Realtors targeted as well? Read more

Asking the Wrong Personal Finance Questions, Repeatedly

April 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Debt and Credit

I scan the headlines of dozens of personal finance blogs each day. Occasionally, I actually read the article behind the headline. There is one headline that I see repeatedly across the personal finance blogosphere: “How to Improve Your Credit Score.” I never read those articles. The reason is that I don’t like the question presented by this “how to” teaser. Read more

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