Articles

  • Have a Merry (and Debt-Free) Christmas
    If history tells us anything, the average American will rack up over $1,000 in additional credit card debt this holiday season.  For those folks who already live paycheck-to-paycheck and are nearing their credit card limits, this could be the holiday to end it all (financially speaking, of course). I’m sure ... read more
  • Student Loans: Debt for Life (Or Not?)
    College students are graduating with an average of $38,000 in student loan debt after attending 4-year college.  That’s an astronomical amount of debt for someone in their early 20s especially when the average starting salary for a recent college grad is only $50,000. That means the average college graduate begins their life ... read more
  • Bob Ross Corrects His Mistakes. Be More Like Bob.
    Let’s face it.  We all make mistakes.  Whether you’re talking about a minor faux pas or a massive screw-up that will haunt you for years to come, it’s simply impossible to get through life without an occasional error here and there.  But if I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s the ... read more
  • Minimum Payments are the Devil’s Only Friend
    For most people, minimum payments on credit cards debt might mean  7-12 years of payments.  You read that correctly!  SEVEN to TWELVE YEARS. I’ve learned from my clients that the average consumer doesn’t understand how credit card payments really work or why their balance never seems to decrease.  So here’s ... read more
  • Brokedom Got You Down? You Need the Financial Trifecta
    If you’re the king or queen of Brokedom, search no further, your exile is waiting.  Three simple things can take you from your paycheck-to-paycheck existence to financial security and freedom from debt. #1  BUDGETING Most people never learned how to budget and don’t even know why it’s so useful and ... read more
  • Debt Free in 4 Months? It Sounds Too Good To Be True… But It Isn’t
    If you live in America in these modern-day times, you’re probably so busy making money that you don’t have time to take care of the little things. So what do you do? Like most of us, you spend on luxuries and conveniences to make life a little easier and perhaps ... read more
  • This is Why You’re Broke (Hint: It’s Not Your Fault)
    Statistics show that somewhere around 75% of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck despite being employed full-time.   So it’s no surprise that 7 out of 10 people have only $1,000 or less in their savings accounts.  In the case of an unexpected event, the ‘average’ American has nowhere to turn for financial assistance…. ... read more
  • The Mystery of the Never-Ending Credit Card Payment 
    If you’re like most U.S. consumers, you have at least three (3) credit cards with an average interest rate of 15.9% and a combined total balance that exceeds $10,000.  And unless you’re different than most people, you probably make only minimum payments most months. Do you ever wonder why your ... read more
  • Bankruptcy FAQs
    If you’re considering bankruptcy but aren’t sure what it’s all about, read on… If you’re not considering bankruptcy but you’re struggling to pay your debts, read on… If you’re not struggling to pay your debts but you recently experienced a major life event such as unemployment, illness/disability, divorce or death ... read more
  • Dodging the repo man? Here’s what you need to know if you’ve missed a car payment.
    When you buy a car from a dealer, unless you paid for the car in full, you likely signed a Finance Agreement or what is sometimes called a Retail Installment Contract. In addition to providing disclosures as required by law, this document is important for you to understand because it ... read more
  • From Caviar to Ramen: A Financial Diet Revisited (Part I: Avoid the Target Trap)
    Last week I wrote about the benefits of having an emergency savings fund.  For most people, the biggest obstacle to saving is having money left at the end of the month to put into their savings account.  This is why I devote such a large part of my practice to ... read more
  • Savings: Private Funding
    Saving is one, crucial way that you can stay out of debt and it’s easier than you think.  Although you might be saving to reach a specific goal (to buy a new car, a home or take a vacation) everyone can benefit from having an emergency savings fund, too. What ... read more
  • Are you headed for a financial crisis? Review these common warning signs to find out if you should seek help now. Answer YES or NO: Are you making only minimum payments on your credit cards? Are you uncertain about how much you owe? Are you skipping some bills to pay ... read more
  • Bankruptcy Myth # 4
    “Only deadbeats file for bankruptcy.” FALSE. Although the bankruptcy reform act of 2005 revamped the rules to prevent bankruptcy abuse, statistics would likely demonstrate that most debtors file bankruptcy after a major life event that had devastated their financial wellness such as illness, divorce or job loss.  Particularly in this ... read more
  • U.S. Extends Temporary Protected Status for Haitians until 2013
    Haitian Nationals who previously qualified and registered for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)  may now extend TPS  through January 22, 2013.  Through TPS, eligible undocumented and unlawful immigrants that register with the Department of Homeland Security are protected from deportation and confinement; TPS individuals may also receive employment authorization to accept ... read more