One of the issues that has received a lot of attention lately is that of employers checking the credit of job applicants. Supposedly, an employer can only look at your credit report — and only a version that is meant for employers to see. Employers are supposed to get your permission before checking your credit report, and they are expected to stay away from your credit score. (There are some anecdotes involving employers who check credit scores, but credit bureaus claim they don’t knowingly give scores out to employers.) Many people are upset that employers are asking to see your credit report, while others contend that it is a necessity for some jobs. What happens if employers start checking credit scores?Continue Reading
Not too long ago, the U.S. reached its debt ceiling. The amount of money the U.S. can borrow from others is determined by law, and Congress has to approve borrowing beyond a certain point. In the past, the debt ceiling has always been raised to accommodate the growing debt in the U.S. Indeed, in the past, both parties have been mostly content to raise the debt ceiling. Now, though, there is a battle brewing as Republicans refuse to vote to raise the debt ceiling. That means that the U.S. won’t be able to borrow money in order to meet its obligations.
Ever since the financial crisis in 2008, and the resultant recession, there has been a renewed interest in canceling credit cards and getting out of debt. Additionally, the upswing in fees from many credit card issuers has prompted some to want to cancel credit cards in order to avoid those fees. Many card issuers are instituting annual fees, leading even the most responsible and conscientious card users to feel the costs of credit card spending.
However, just because it’s tempting to cancel your credit card, doesn’t mean it’s always a good idea. Before you cancel your card, consider the effect that a cancellation could have on your credit score.Continue Reading
There are a number of people lamenting the demise of professionalism, and bemoaning the lack of formality amongst the rising generation. While few hiring managers and employers actually expect a college student to be super formal, many of them would like to see a little more professionalism. If you are about to attempt to enter the workforce with a newly minted degree, here are some tips on improving your image as a professional:Continue Reading
We are at a unique place in business history. The recent recession forced many people to get creative about how they make money, and technology has provided the means for many entrepreneurs to start businesses from home. The good news is that today’s online economy is providing plenty of opportunities for almost anyone to work from home — starting businesses in their homes without worry about a dress code. I know this first hand; my first couple of hours of work take place in my pajamas. The only reason I get dressed as early as I do is because I need to leave the house to take my son to school.
If you are interested in starting a business out of your home, here are a few things you can try, no matter how you dress:
One of the biggest questions many have when it comes to financial planning has to do with how much life insurance they need.
There are some rules of thumb, such as getting seven times or 10 times your yearly salary in coverage, but, really, how much life insurance you need comes down to your personal financial situation, and what you hope your life insurance will accomplish.
Why Are You Getting Life Insurance?
Peer to peer (P2P) lending has been gaining in popularity — especially since the recession began. Part of the reason for this is due to the difficulty associated with getting loans from banks. Another issue is that traditional banks, in some cases, charge higher interest rates. If you are looking for a way to get a loan, in some circumstances it might make sense to turn to P2P lending.
At the end of last year, Congress hurried through a tax package.
One of the credits that was allowed to expire was the Making Work Pay tax credit. However, our representatives replaced the Making Work Pay tax credit with a reduction in the payroll tax paid by employees. This means that you should be seeing a paycheck that is a little bit bigger.
Our leaders, of course, want you to go out and spend that money, pumping it back into the economy. The whole point of tax cuts is to encourage you to spend so that we can keep the economy, which relies a great deal on consumer spending, moving in a direction of positive growth. However tempting it might be to spend that extra money, though, it is a good idea to consider how that money can help you down the road.
Tax Day seems to be suddenly staring you in the face.
You’ve known for a while that it’s been coming, but it still takes you by surprise.
If you can’t seem to track down the documentation that you need, or if you are uncertain that you will be able to file by Tax Day (April 17 in 2012), you may want to file for an extension.
Just about anyone can file for an extension using Form 4868. You can even file this form electronically. It’s convenient, and you get an extra six months to prepare your tax return.
However, it is important to note that it’s not as simple as filing some paperwork.
Here are some things you should know about filing a tax extension:
This year, you have until April 17 to file your tax return.
But those extra few days don’t necessarily mean that you are ready.
You might want a little more time to get things together, or you might need to make changes to an already-filed return. It is important to understand the difference between a tax extension and an amended return.