Archive | Credit/Debt

A Credit Score Primer

Checking your credit report may seem about as exciting as flossing your teeth, but it’s important to your financial health. Syndicated personal finance writer Gregory Karp devoted three recent columns to the topic, reminding us of some of the basics and adding some helpful tips. The basics include making sure to order your free credit […]

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Yes, You CAN Get Out of Debt

“Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’” – Matthew 5:37 “Yes” is one of the most powerful words in our vocabulary.  I’m not talking about the easy yes spoken to a waiter offering us dessert.  I’m talking about the yes of commitment.  It’s the yes spoken on an altar – “To have […]

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Cracking the Code on LifeLock

By now you’ve seen the commercial in which Todd Davis gives you his Social Security number. He’s one of the founders of LifeLock, a company that offers to protect you from identity theft for a monthly fee of about $10. A New York Times article noted that while the company has lined up more than […]

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Paid in Full

“You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.” – 1 Corinthians 7:23 On a recent retreat I had the privilege of serving communion.  Over and over, I looked a brother or sister in Christ in the eye and said, “This represents the body and blood of Jesus, broken and shed for […]

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Paying More With Plastic

Do you pay your credit card balances in full every month? Have you been using credit cards for more of your purchases, like groceries, figuring you’re ahead of the game because of the rebates, miles, or other perks? According to researchers quoted in a Washington Post article, you’re overspending. Professors from MIT, Harvard, and Britain’s […]

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ID Theft Protection Hype and Help

With identity theft much in the news, various ID theft protection services have emerged. But a recent Wall Street Journal article said most are not worth the cost. The only pay-to-play service that may be worthwhile is a credit freeze, which prevents access to your credit file. Depending on where you live, it may cost […]

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Getting Ready for Your Rebate

Are you among the 130 million taxpayers who will receive a rebate as part of the government’s economic stimulus plan? (Check eligibility requirements here) If so, with the government poised to begin sending checks in May, now would be a good time to decide what you’ll do with the money. Single tax payers will receive […]

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The Warmth of Winter

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. – Ecclesiastes 3:1 As another Chicago winter stretches on, I’ve been longing for spring.  And isn’t that how it is whenever we go through a wintry financial season?  We can’t wait for a better one to begin. In my mid 20’s, […]

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Motivation for Getting Out of Debt

If you carry a balance on a credit card, you probably know the helpless feeling of dutifully making the minimum payment, only to get your next statement and see how little your balance has budged. A better approach is fixing the amount that you pay each month (instead of paying the minimum amount required by […]

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Giving ID Thieves the Big Chill

We will soon have a new, albeit cumbersome, weapon in the fight against identity theft. According to an article on Bankrate.com, by next month people in all 50 states will be able to freeze their credit file at all three of the major credit bureaus. Everyone already has the right to place a fraud alert […]

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