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Tips, advice, and the latest news from the savings world.

Lowering Debt Can Raise Your Credit Score

Debt Credit History Credit Score
Written by Katie Bryan · 17 August 2011

Credit scores affect everything from the interest rates you pay when you borrow money to whether you can rent an apartment or get a job. Obviously then, it is important to know how credit scores work and how high-interest debt can affect your credit score. However, a recent survey by Consumer Federation of America and VantageScore Solutions found that most Americans do not know what a strong score is and do not understand the financial cost of a poor score.

Credit Score Basics

Your credit score is a number lenders use to help them decide how likely it is that they will be repaid on time if they give you a loan or a credit card. This credit score is built on your credit history. The score is based on several factors, including your total debt, the types of accounts you have, the number of late payments you have made, and the age of your accounts.

Having a lower credit score means you will end up paying higher interest rates on all your consumer and mortgage loans. For example, on a $20,000, 60-month auto loan, you can pay up to $5,000 more in interest with a bad score than a good one. A low credit score can also make it harder to rent an apartment, get utility services, and even get a job.

Save on Heating and Cooling Your Home

Written by Guest Blogger · 16 August 2011

This article was written by Ashley at Money Talks. It's her mission in life to help you get the most out of your money. You can subscribe to her blog, or follow her on twitter and facebook.

House Money

A lot of energy-saving tips annoy me. When I hear that CFL's save $35 over the life of the bulb it doesn't make me want to do a dance. They say that a CFL bulb lasts 10 years, so we are only talking about $3.50 per year! Whoop-de-do-da. Not exactly something that makes me run out and stock up on expensive light bulbs. But there certainly are things you can do to make a significant impact on your electric bill.

The Hardest Part About Getting Out of Debt

Written by Super User · 15 August 2011

The following saver story comes from the American Saver Summer 2011 edition:

Tonya

In 2004, Tonya Shelton was facing financial ruin. Barely making more than minimum wage and having lost her home to an unexpected family crisis, Shelton and her family were forced to live in a rundown hotel. Their future seemed bleak. However, armed with a burning desire to make life better for her family, help from Purdue Extension’s Making Your Money Work financial literacy program, the assistance of a Iocal America Saves campaign Indy Saves, and a savings plan, she began her journey to becoming a good steward over the money she did have.

With the help of Indy Saves, Shelton set a goal – to save $10 a week towards an emergency fund. It was money she felt she did not have at the time, but Indy Saves and Making Your Money Work helped her to commit to a budget in order to start saving. She sealed the deal by enrolling in a direct deposit program. “Having a savings account helped me to understand the value of having a banking relationship,” said Shelton.

Your Weekly Motivation to Save More

Written by Katie Bryan · 11 August 2011

Kick Start Your Savings

I often hear that the hardest part about saving is getting started. That’s why we are going to post ways to Kick Start Your Savings each week on the America Saves Blog. Anyone can take action and start to save today.

The following resources will help you take positive steps towards saving more now:

Inspiration from the Experts

9 ways to save on back to school – From MSN Money

  1. Take inventory
  2. Get the school's list
  3. Go through the ads
  4. Check prices online
  5. Buy in bulk and bundles
  6. Take advantage of tax holidays
  7. Look off the beaten path
  8. Make the kids work for extras
  9. Shop throughout the year

Got Debt? It’s Time for a Reality Check – From AARP.org

  • Challenge yourself to start paying off your bills now and work towards being debt-free.

Make Saving Automatic

Written by Katie Bryan · 10 August 2011

Piggy Bank and Laptop

It can be hard to put aside money for savings. But there is an easy way to save money without ever missing it. Make your savings automatic. You can start small and save $20 a week or month or you can try and save more.

How to save automatically

  • Many employers allow you to divide your paycheck into different accounts. Take advantage by putting part of your pay into a savings account.
  • If you get paid in cash, take a small amount to the bank to deposit into a savings account. Many banks make this easy by allowing you to deposit cash directly at an ATM. Tip: do this the day you get paid. That way you will be less tempted to spend the money.

Take the Pledge

Savers who make a plan are twice as likely to save successfully. 

Take the America Saves Pledge

Tip of the Day

  • Written by Katie Bryan | December 18, 2013

    Spend Less and Save More this Holiday Season: Make a Budget and a List. http://ow.ly/pXJka

Saver Tips and Stories View all »

Taking Back Control Over Finances

Written by Virginia Saves | August 5, 2015

After becoming a Virginia Saver and getting help from BankOn classes and coaching, Nadine Bialo took back control over her financial affairs.

Read more...

Starting and Continuing a Personal Finance Journey

Written by Sara Cooper | December 23, 2013

When Kiara Hardin, now a junior at Western Illinois University, became an intern with the Chicago Summer Business Institute during her sophomore year of high school, she began her personal finance journey. The program required participants to open a savings account.

Read more...

The Gift of Homeownership

Written by Tammy G. Bruzon | August 5, 2015

Quaneka Willis, a single mother of three children, was receiving rental assistance through the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee when she decided to take control of her finances. So, in September of 2013 she attended the Make Your Money Talk program and pledged as a Wisconsin Saver. In less than 12 months, she had maximized her savings and was beginning the process of purchasing her first home.

Read more...

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Take the Pledge

Written by Super User | September 16, 2013

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Written by Tammy G. Bruzon | July 15, 2014

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