Banking

What Is FDIC Insurance?

FDIC insurance protects customer bank deposits in the event of a bank failure. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the independent government agency that runs the program, was set up in 1933 to restore faith in the financial system during the Great Depression. After all, when you entrust your life’s savings to a bank, you expect …

Categories: Banking, Insurance

Why Americans Aren’t Ready for an Emergency

Let’s talk about our saving skills for a minute, America. Because it seems that while we’re improving, we have yet to master the skill of setting aside appropriate amounts of money for a rainy day. Instead, we’re consumed with instant gratification and keeping up with the Joneses. We want the latest iPad, spring vacations every …

Categories: Banking, Money, Saving Money

Three Apps for America’s Money Management Woes

Americans, as a whole, are not very good at managing their finances. And it seems the biggest challenge — for those of us not among the country’s wealthiest citizens, anyway — is paying our bills. There’s a number of problems surrounding our bill-paying habits, including not paying the bills on time, incurring late fees, letting some bills …

Categories: Banking, Technology

How to Find the Best Savings Account in 2015

Looking for places to grow your money without much risk is difficult these days, but finding the best savings account might be a good place to start. Although your money will be safe there, the average American is hardly capitalizing getting rich on rates today. According to CNN Money, the average savings account last year had …

Categories: Banking, Saving Money

Joint Finances: Why I Share My Money With My Husband

When I met my husband in 2004, he was sharing an apartment with two roommates and I was a poor student with a low-wage job and not much else. The fact that I almost owned my biggest asset — my car — was balanced out by the fact that my husband (then boyfriend) carried around …

Can Cash-Back Rewards Beat Your Savings Account?

Are you tired of earning less than 1% on your savings? You’re not alone. With interest rates hovering near record lows for the past few years, the average savings account in the U.S. is currently bringing in around 0.17% APY, according to GoBankingRate data. In other words, most people are earning next to nothing on their liquid savings. And you …

How to Find the Best Free Checking Account in 2015

The Internet has equipped banks with the ability to offer a free checking account online to almost anyone who qualifies. Fortunately, the government mandates that a checking account can’t be marketed as “free” if the consumer could potentially be charged a maintenance or activity fee. So what does “free” actually entail? The term “free” is …

Categories: Banking, Saving Money

How ‘Letting Your Money Work for You’ Really Works

Let your money work for you. All of us have heard that saying at some point, but what does it really mean? For some of us, the idea of compound interest makes natural sense. If you put away money for a long time, it’s going to grow slowly at first, but over time it will …

Guide to Student Checking Accounts

If you’re in college, the idea of a checking account could be brand new to you. After all, this may be the first time you’ve been responsible for paying your own cell phone bill, rent, or utilities. Whether you’re just getting started or have been researching your options, here’s what you should know when looking …

Categories: Banking, Education

Cyber Insurance and Personal Data

Imagine if complete strangers could look inside your head and see your every thought and know everything about you. Imagine if they could use that information any way they wanted to. What sort of damage could they do to your life? Strangers can’t get into your head to root around for information to exploit, but …

How to Use Technology to Start Saving More

The numbers on who is saving money in America — or more commonly, who isn’t — may shock you. According to a survey by Bankrate, 76% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. The survey unfortunately reports that 50% of Americans have less than a 3-month cushion in their savings account and 27% have no savings account …

Best Money Market Account for 2015

Money market accounts (MMAs) can be a great low-risk investment for building that emergency fund or storing extra cash. They offer better interest rates than personal savings accounts but are more liquid than certificates of deposit (CDs). Unfortunately, even the best money market accounts haven’t been immune to sinking interest rates. According to Bankrate, the …

Categories: Banking, Money, Saving Money

How to Find the Best Mortgage Rates in 2015

If you’re searching for the best mortgage rates, you aren’t alone by any stretch. Even after the subprime mortgage crisis, homeownership remains a dream for many Americans. You may be wondering how you can make that dream a little bit more affordable with a mortgage rate that will keep your payments as low as possible. …

How to Find the Best CD Rates in 2015

Are you searching for the best CD rates? If you’re frustrated with savings accounts’ low interest rates but are wary of high-risk investment strategies, you’ve probably identified Certificates of Deposit as an ideal middle ground. Your money will be safe and you’ll receive a better return than a savings account would offer, though the best …

The Financially Underserved and Second Chance Banking

On June 4, Spent: Looking for Change premiered on Youtube. It’s a powerful documentary on the financially underserved in the United States – people without credit and without bank accounts – and the ends they have to go to in order to survive. Here, watch the full thing yourself. There are many reasons why people …

Categories: Banking

The Future of Banking and Credit Cards

If you’re a fan of plastic payments, it may be difficult to imagine a world without credit cards. It’s no wonder they are such an ingrained part of society. Credit cards have been around for nearly a century! Credit cards were first introduced in the 1920s by merchants offering customers an alternative payment method at …

Categories: Banking, Credit Cards

Credit Unions vs. Banks: Understanding What Works for You

From a street view, a credit union looks just like a bank: rows of teller windows, convenient drive-through lanes and attractive lobbies. But hidden within those walls are some key differences that clearly separate credit unions from banks. Yet credit unions still remain a mystery to many American consumers. That seems to be changing. Ever …

Categories: Banking

Does a “Savings Club” Account Work?

Carol writes in: My local bank offers an interesting account each year. It starts on the first Saturday in January and the deal is that if you deposit the same amount each week for 49 weeks, they will make the 50th deposit for you and give you the money at the end of the year …

Categories: Banking, Investing

Banks Are Not Your Friends

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. – Thomas Jefferson Thanks to William Grootonk for the image. Yesterday, I was stunned to read a news report about how Freddie Mac denied people the ability to refinance, then made investments that earn them more money if people are unable …

Categories: Banking

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