You Have Access to A Free Credit Report

You Have Access to A Free Credit Report…So, Now What?

It sounds simple enough: go to www.annualcreditreport.com and request a free copy of your credit report.

Then you try to do it and it’s another story.

Where Do I Get a Free Credit Report?

The above website offers a free, no strings attached credit report.

Most other advertised offers require you to sign up for a credit monitoring service or another service in exchange for a free report. A credit monitoring service starts with a free 30-day trial and then charges an ongoing monthly fee in exchange for instant access to your report without impacting your credit score. They also monitor activity on your report and send you notifications. Some services block your credit file requiring you to lift the block if you want to apply for credit or authorize someone to view the report. These security measures help identify fraudulent activity quickly if it occurs. Read more

What Everyone Should Know About Debt and Taxes

What Everyone Should Know About Debt and Taxes

Filing taxes can be tricky. The tax code is complicated, laws change every year, and loopholes seem to be closing rapidly. You want to get the most you can in a refund, or at least, owe the lowest amount possible. No one likes to write a check in April, but fear of an audit may discourage you from taking all the deductions you are entitled to. Scouring the IRS.gov website, studying the complicated language of the tax code that may relate to your taxes, is not your idea of a fun activity and can be overwhelming.

We have saved you time by covering key deductions involving debt that you need to know. Read more

The 10 Best Ways to Use Your Tax Refund

The 10 Best Ways to Use Your Tax Refund

It’s tax season and you are looking forward to the tax refund being deposited into your account. Whether it was higher or lower than expected, it still ‘feels’ like free money. When you get a windfall of cash, it is easy to splurge on things you may regret a few days down the road.

Instead of seeing a refund as a windfall, consider looking at your refund for what it really is…an overpayment of your own hard earned money the government is returning to you. A refund is the result of your employer taking too much out of your paycheck each week, leaving you with an overpayment. Adjusting your W-4 can lower your refund next year, leaving you with more money in your pocket each paycheck. In the meantime, you now have the interest free loan you gave the IRS, being paid back. Read more

The Beginners Guide to Essential Tax Terms

The Beginners Guide to Essential Tax Terms

It’s bad enough that the tax code is so complicated. It can seem overwhelming to understand. Changes are made at the last minute, sometimes as late as December 31rst, leaving you unsure of what you can actually count on when it comes time to filing. Then, there is the process of filing taxes which can be daunting especially if you do not understand the language of taxes. Just like every industry, there is an internal language that only those ‘in the know’ truly understand.

Here is a compiled list of essential tax terms that will help you navigate the tax filing season. Read more

Taking The Mystery Out of Taxes: 10 things You Must Know Now

Taking The Mystery Out of Taxes: 10 things You Must Know Now

Lack of knowledge regarding complicated matters in life creates a sense of mystery which often leads to avoidance, because the thought of tackling the task is overwhelming. Taxes do not need to be mysterious or even confusing. Gaining an understanding of the basic principles and rules will remove the uncertainty and give you confidence to tackle taxes as they come around each year.

Here are basic tax rules that are commonly misunderstood. Read more

2015 Tax Changes That Impact Your Return in 2016

2015 Tax Changes That Impact Your Return in 2016

Congress adjusts the tax laws each year by bills presented throughout the year. Often they wait until the final December budget bill to make significant changes to the tax code and then make them retroactive to the first of the year, giving you the benefit or not, when taxes are filed in April the following year.

These adjustments may also address increases in the cost of living, tax implications for new laws that have been passed, close loopholes they feel are being abused, and new taxes based on income they need to raise. The changes and updates made in 2015 were not significant in terms of new taxes, rather they are adjustments based on the cost of living and tax implications due to new laws.

Here are the tax changes that impact the majority of filers. Read more

12 Tax Deductions That Are Most Often Missed

12 Tax Deductions That Are Most Often Missed

We all want to pay the least amount of taxes and to get the highest refunds possible. With a complicated tax code that is difficult for even experts to keep up with, it is easy to miss savings along the way. So, we have listed the deductions that are most frequently missed with the average tax filer so you can pay the least amount this year.

We have broken them down into four sections. Income, adjustments to income commonly referred to as above the line deductions, itemized deductions which can be taken in place of the standard deduction, and tax credits which reduce tax liability. Read more

Who Is Responsible for Cosigned Debt?

Who Is Responsible for Cosigned Debt?

Your son or daughter graduated from high school and is heading off to college. They are in need of a car, and you feel this is an opportunity for them to establish credit in their name. The bank however, will only approve the loan if you agree to be a cosigner. Should you do it?

When asked to cosign a loan understanding liability and potential consequences is essential. It is difficult to say no to family members in need, but risking ruined credit or liability for a large bill should have you carefully considering this decision and if this is a wise financial move. Read more