How To Manage Your Own Credit Score

What do you really know about your credit score? There’s no doubt that your credit score says a lot about you. Your credit score is a number (typically ranging from 350 to 850) used by businesses, utilities, employers, and lending institutions of all types to help them determine the quality of your financial character. When setting up phone service at a new home, the phone company will likely run your credit score to see if you can begin service with or without a deposit. When you apply at a bank or a credit union for a home mortgage, your credit score will be a determining factor in the annual percentage rate (APR) you receive from the institution. And in some cases, your potential employer will look at your credit score to determine if you’ll be a good fit for their organization (they have to abide by the guidelines set forth by the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, by the way).

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Growing Your Money through History and a little Financial Education

Many have heard the old saying “A penny saved is a penny earned.” It’s a familiar adage attributed to Benjamin Franklin, a man known for being one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, as well as an author, printer, politician, inventor, and diplomat. What most people don’t know is that the saying actually dates back several hundred years before the birth of Ben Franklin and has been attributed to a number of forward-thinking businessmen over the centuries. But, that’s no big deal. Right? Here’s the thing: Benjamin Franklin and all the others who steadfastly asserted that a single penny saved equaled an extra penny in your pocket were wrong. That’s right – they were well off the mark. In all actuality, a penny saved is worth an awful lot of money. All it takes is compound interest and a little time in the bank. How much is a penny saved actually worth? You won’t believe the answer, but we’ll take a moment to tell you a bit about how compound interest works before we get to the big reveal.

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Extending the Season of Giving well into 2013


Even though the 2012 holiday season has quickly become little more than a memory (unless you’re one of the thousands who just joined a gym to help work off the holiday fruitcake flab), the spirit of giving lives on throughout the year bringing with it more opportunities to share and contribute to the organizations and the causes that mean so much to us and our communities. Need some examples?

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Run a Home-Based Business? Make Sure You Have the Licenses and Permits You Need!

Whether you’re starting a business from home or looking to move into a home office, it’s important not to overlook the fact that your business is still subject to license and permit laws. Here are some guidelines to help you know what your small business needs.

General Home Business License and Permit Guidelines

1. General Business Licenses – Your city or county government website can help you get one of these. Basically it’s an annual license or permit that legally entitles you to operate a business in that locality.  Typically a small fee is associated with this paperwork.  KCBizCare is the city of Kansas City’s official business customer service website where you can find numerous resources.

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Best Ways to Cut College Costs


Pay for college and get a trip to Hawaii? Six college students and their families share strategies for cutting the cost of higher education.

Shop for cheaper loans

Name: Nicolette Larson
Year: Freshman
College: North Dakota State University

Strategy: After realizing they needed to borrow more than the federal student loan maximum ($5,500 for freshmen), Larson’s family turned to the state-owned Bank of North Dakota.The bank offers college loans to any North Dakota student (there are no income limits; you need only a 575 credit score to be considered) at a fixed rate of 4.96%, vs. an 8.8% annual percentage rate on a federal PLUS loan for parents.

Savings: About $3,000 over the life of the first year’s loan.

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