Monthly Archives: December 2015

A Credit Card for Two?

Sharing a credit card is a bigger commitment than dividing household bills or co-signing a lease or an auto loan. So it’s best to weigh advantages and disadvantages thoughtfully before applying for a joint card.   On the plus side, a person with a lower credit ranking may have access to better offers and be able to raise their score easier. Having a card in common instead of separate accounts reduces bills and offers built-in… Read More »

What the Rate Hike Means to You

With the Federal Reserve raising interest rates for the first time in almost a decade, it’s natural to ask how it will affect you. The 0.25 percent increase the Fed announced last Wednesday is so modest it shouldn’t impact most individuals significantly. On the sunny side, the hike is a show of confidence that the economy is strengthening, thanks to a falling jobless rate. But the economic outlook is still guarded, with little inflation, the… Read More »

FAFSA Tips and Changes

If you have a child or grandchild heading to college next fall, make sure they submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), even if you don’t think they will qualify. Upper middle income families may qualify, depending on circumstances like parents’ age, health care costs and number of children attending college. What’s more, many merit-based scholarship programs require applicants to file a FAFSA. This year’s form should be completed as soon as possible… Read More »

Deductible Charitable Donations

Many gifts given in December were never on a shopping list. According to a recent NBC story, it is the top month for charitable giving, accounting for 18 percent of annual donations. You may not need a shopping list for these benevolent gifts, but there are things to remember if you hope to receive tax deductions for them. First of all, you can only claim charitable contributions if you itemize your tax return. Secondly, there… Read More »