Color of Money: How I lost my perfect 850 credit score -- and, how I got it back

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- There is such a love-hate relationship with credit scores.

If you've got a high score, you feel pretty good about yourself. It's seen as a sign that you're an excellent money manager.

But if you're credit-challenged, you likely hate the score, which lenders use to help measure the riskiness of borrowers.

There are a number of ...Read more

Color of Money: Yes, you need to fill out the FAFSA form. Debunking 5 myths about college financial aid.

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- With three children in college, I'm very familiar with the financial-aid process. I'd rather get a root canal.

My husband and I saved just enough for them all to attend college without any debt for tuition, fees and room and board. Any extra money they've received in scholarships or grants helps stretch what we've saved to cover ...Read more

Color of Money: Here's what I won't do for a discount

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- I am a lifelong penny pincher, and yet there are many things I won't do to save money.

We've become a nation of discount hunters. Sale signs have become like a drug. We can't resist the high from snagging a sale item.

But in our bargain hunting, we can lose more than we gain.

I was thinking about this as I read news accounts ...Read more

Color of Money: 7 credit myths that can cost you a lot of money

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- What you don't know about credit can cost you -- perhaps thousands of dollars.

And, if you're low-income, having bad or no credit can make you even more financially unstable, according to new research by the Urban Institute.

Let's look at a person taking out an auto loan who has a subprime credit score below 600 (on a scale of ...Read more

Color of Money: Here's what you can learn from the last financial crisis that will help you with the next.

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- Ten years ago, a lot of people panicked.

Lehman Bros. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sept. 15, 2008. It was an epic end to a stalwart Wall Street company.

And in the aftermath of Lehman's collapse, many investors wanted out. They understandably decided to sell their individual stocks or get out of stock funds, ...Read more

Color of Money: How much was lost? Lessons learned 10 years after the financial crisis

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- The bankruptcy filing of Lehman Bros. 10 years ago this month shot off a flare that signaled that an already weak economy was in deep trouble.

Caught in the storm that led to the financial crisis were homeowners who found themselves underwater on their mortgages, meaning they owed more than their homes were worth. The stock market...Read more

Color of Money: Help your loved ones by getting your financial house in order before you die

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- When you've helped with as many funerals as I have, you understand how important it is for folks to organize their financial paperwork before it's too late.

Maybe my story will help motivate you to gather your important documents to help your loved ones after you are gone.

My mother was injured in a home fire in 2014. As my ...Read more

Color of Money: Could you use some cash? Here are five places to look for unclaimed money.

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- I was changing purses one day and found money I had forgotten I tucked away for an emergency. You would have thought I hit the lottery.

During a recent online discussion, a reader reminded me of a database where people can find unclaimed funds.

"There are lots of hucksters out there claiming they will find your lost property for ...Read more

Color of Money: John McCain wanted to keep Trump away from his funeral. Here are the documents you need to bulletproof your wishes after you die.

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- Whenever there's a discussion about preparing a will, the focus is usually on what's left to give -- money, a car and family heirlooms.

But you need an overall estate plan that covers more than your possessions.

Should you become incapacitated, a "living will" can dictate what life-prolonging procedures you prefer, if any. And, ...Read more

Color of Money: I wasn't surprised that Aretha Franklin didn't have a will. You probably don't have one either.

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- All you can do is learn from other people's mistakes.

I, like so many others, adored Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul's songs dominate several of my iTunes playlists. When someone makes me mad, I play her version of "Respect."

But I lost a little respect for her financial acumen when a recent court filing in Michigan by her ...Read more

Color of Money: Are you 'Insecure' about your financial situation?

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- I'm not the target demographic for HBO's "Insecure" series, but I watch to stay up on millennial trials and tribulations.

The comedy/drama has been a hit with young adults for its spot-on depictions of their struggles to succeed in relationships and careers. The most recent episode tackled how to deal with being broke.

The lead ...Read more

Color of Money: No, you don't have to be crazy rich to send your children to college debt-free. Here's how we did it.

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- My husband and I have been sneaking high fives because, come this fall, all three of our children will be in college.

And, here's the sweetest part: They're all going to school with no debt.

We don't come from money. We didn't inherit cash because a relative died. There were no lottery winnings or strike-it-rich stock picks.

My ...Read more


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