Hal M. Bundrick is a Certified Financial Planner® and former financial consultant and senior investment specialist for Wall Street firms. He has advised individual investors, trusts and non-profits, as well as 401(k) plan sponsors and participants. A Louisiana native, he enjoys "spicy Cajun food, aimless travel and air conditioning." His goal is to serve up practical financial insight minus the jargon. Read more of Hal's writing at his blog, The Money Pivot.

Hal's Articles

  • Credit Counseling: A Consumer Guide to Debt Management

    You may feel like giving up. Suffocating under a mountain of debt can make you feel helpless. Perhaps you’ve even been considering bankruptcy.  The jury is out on whether bankruptcy should be an absolute last resort, or one that should be considered seriously in order to deal with exorbitant, unpayable debt. Still, most people do …

  • Credit Card Processing Explained and Mobile Readers Reviewed

    Jim McKelvey was a glass artist, creating exquisite hand-blown glass bowls and spiraling faucets. About five years ago, a visitor to Jim’s St. Louis studio was so impressed with his work that he wanted to make a $2,000 purchase on the spot. Without the cash on hand, the customer offered to pay with a credit …

  • Stoozing Made Simple: A Guide to Earning Extra Cash

    You first started stoozing at work. Then your boss caught you. You thought you were going to be fired, until he said he wanted to watch. Late one night you were stoozing at home. You thought your wife was in bed, asleep – but she wasn’t. She caught you, too. At first you thought she …

  • How Do I Raise My Credit Score?

    It may seem difficult, but let’s face it: raising your credit score is easier than lowering your cholesterol. We’re talking about money here, not fried chicken – so, anything is possible. Maybe you went through a rough patch and have come out the other side, a bit battered but ready to right the ship. Here …

  • How to Deal with Debt Collectors: Your Consumer Rights

    Money has been tight, there’s no doubt about it. The Great Recession has taken its toll. But even before a financial crisis shocked the economy, American wages were stalled. According to the Social Science Research Council, the typical American earned $2,200 less in 2010 than in 2000. And while we all want to pay our …

  • How to Travel for Free: The Ultimate Guide to Air Miles Rewards

    There’s just no better feeling than slipping into that airline seat, heading out on a wonderful vacation and knowing all the while that you’re flying free. As expensive as airfare has become, the smart use of credit card air miles can be one of the best ways to boost your vacation budget. Credit card rewards …

  • What You Need to Know About Your Credit Score

    By now, it’s clear that our modern lives are being monitored. What we do, say and buy, and where we live – it’s all out there. Our financial lives are of particular interest to Big Data, especially credit scores. It’s a number that invisibly follows you everywhere, impacting your life in more ways than you …

  • 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 …

  • Don’t Panic: How You Can Protect Yourself Against Credit Card Fraud

    Using a credit card has become second-nature for most Americans. Who carries cash, anymore? But thanks to the popularity of plastic, fraud has flourished. Ten percent of all U.S. citizens have been a victim of credit card fraud, according to the Department of Justice. Worldwide, it’s a crime valued at more than $5.5 billion. With …

  • Credit Card Myths and Misunderstandings That Need Clearing Up

    Credit cards account for 20% of grievances (second only to mortgages) filed with The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the federal agency committed to consumer financial protection. Billing disputes, interest rate charges, and credit reporting top the list of issues consumers submit to the CFPB on a regular basis. Credit cards seem simple enough: buy now, …