How to Fix an Error on Your Credit Report in 4 Easy Steps

According to CBS News, approximately 80% of credit reports contain errors. 

Should you be worried about potential errors on your credit report?

YES!

Here’s why – an error on your report could cause you to be denied a loan or credit when you need it. Not as serious, but still costly, errors on your credit report can cause you to be offered higher rates for loans. Imagine the effect of not having the best rate you should get on your mortgage?

Errors can also clue you in to fraudulent activity in your name. Yes, someone out there could have an account open saying they are you. And this can cost you big time!

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), common errors include: wrong information about your identity; accounts opened up through identity theft; incorrect payment information; accounts that don’t belong to you; closed account marked as open; and many more.

You can see that having errors on your credit report can be a serious problem and it’s an issue you need to watch out for.

Continue Reading

Taxes on Investments: Are You Paying Too Much?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of E*TRADE for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

There are three main realities that will erode your real returns on investments: inflation, fees, and taxes. 

There isn’t much you can do about inflation, other than to plan ahead, but you can reduce your fees and taxes. DIY investors have an advantage when it comes to fees, but they might have a bit more trouble when it comes to reducing the taxes they owe on their investments.

With tax season in full swing, now is a great time to review your investing strategy, and consider ways you can reduce your investment tax liability — and keep more of your earnings.

Are You Using the Tax Tools at Your Disposal?

Continue Reading

Five Ways Fantasy Baseball is Like Personal Finance

I had my draft for my fantasy baseball league I’m in last week.

I’ve been in the league with these particular guys now for over ten years. It’s not a money league, but we’re real competitive nonetheless (we’ve been playing against each other for over a decade now).

I gotta say I’m stoked! Real baseball starts soon (go Mets!!) and I love following baseball alongside my fantasy league.

As I was going through all of my work for the draft I realized that fantasy baseball is a lot like personal finance. We could probably learn a thing or two about personal finance from fantasy baseball.

Without further ado here are five ways fantasy baseball is like personal finance:

Continue Reading

How to Spend Your Income Tax Refund – 25 Ideas

Are you getting a big IRS income tax refund?

It’s always nice to get a nice chunk of change coming back to you, isn’t it?

But what will you be doing with your income tax refund?

I’m not always fond of looking forward to a large refund but they do happen and I know some people love getting them.  If you are getting a large income tax refund then at least put some thought into how you are going to use that money.

Having money in the bank is a great thing and when it’s a sizable amount you can really make some differences with your finances.

I came up with some ideas for a large income tax refund. 

I’ve broken it out into different sections to make it easier for you to find something of interest.  Make sure to read through to the end and add your suggestion in the comments!

25 Ideas for Your Income Tax Refund

Continue Reading

Marginal Tax Rate VS Effective Tax Rate – Why You Need to Know the Difference

Pop Quiz – What’s your effective tax rate for 2014? How about your marginal tax rate?

Don’t worry if you’re not sure.

Truth is most of us have no idea what either our marginal or effective income tax rates are.

They only seem to matter at income tax filing time, usually appearing as supplemental numbers in a computer generated income tax return.

One of the reasons we tend not to track these numbers is because they’re calculations, which for the most part, have no immediate relevance to us, but also because of complications in calculating them.

Because we have a progressive income tax system — tax rates rise with income — and because there are multiple taxes, the actual numbers can be difficult to calculate. In addition, each rate can change from one year to the next or from complications in the tax code.

We have two tax rate classifications then, marginal tax rate and effective tax rate.

Keep reading and you’ll learn the difference between the two as well as why it’s important to know the difference between them.

What is the marginal tax rate and the effective tax rate and how and when do they apply?

Continue Reading

6 Alternative Investments Besides Stocks and Bonds to Help You Achieve Financial Freedom

What do you think of when you think of investing?

If you’re like me the thing that comes to mind are stocks. It’s the standard isn’t it? When you watch the news you hear about the Dow and the S&P 500. These are the stock indexes, or the ‘market’ you hear about.

As you know it’s easier than ever to invest in stocks.

It used to be an investment for the wealthy but today you have low-cost online brokerages where you can buy stocks with virtually no minimums. You can even buy fractional shares (yes, you can buy a part of one share of stock.)

But stocks aren’t the only investments out there. You have an ever-growing choice when it comes to investing your money.

Investing is the most democratic it’s ever been. The ultra-wealthy will always have options that ‘every man’ can’t afford to get into but there are services out there that are helping bring the masses to investments that were once reserved for the wealthy.

These days you can be your own bank, be an angel investor, and even put money into a hedge fund.

Your road to financial freedom is bridged with a number of alternate investments.

Read on as I go into six better known alternate investments…

Continue Reading

H&R Block At Home™ Online Tax Prep Software – Review

H&R Block Online Tax Prep Review

With more then 55 years in business, H&R Block is one of the most recognized tax preparation companies. Their do-it-yourself tax preparation with their online software, is one of the easiest ways to get your taxes done fast and accurately.

H&R Block online has a variety of support features and guarantees, making doing your taxes yourself worry free and simple.

Features of H&R Block Online Tax Prep Software:

Continue Reading