At ease Soldiers! We’ve begun a new year and many of us are in the middle of goal setting for 2019. Consumer and personal finance is constantly changing. We need to be armed with information to help us make informed decisions with our money. Here are 9 solid tools to help us navigate the ever changing world of finance.
Fair Credit Reporting Act
There have been some important changes within the past few years to how our credit is evaluated. It’s paramount to know your rights to understand impacts to your credit report and score. Look no further than the Fair Credit Reporting Act (ftc.gov), which highlights the accuracy and fairness of credit reporting as well as reasonable procedures companies should follow. Take time to read what the law protects you from.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
While the Fair Credit Reporting Act is the “written” law that protects you, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is the government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly. They take action against unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices companies might be leveraging.
The law allows you to request one free credit report from each credit bureau (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) every 12 months. Annualcreditreport.com is the only source to do this from as authorized by federal law. Review your credit report from each bureau every year to look for your proper personal identification (name, address, social security number, accounts, and loans), accuracy, and completeness.
Annualcreditreport.com is the only source to pull all three of your credit reports. However, if you want to monitor ongoing activity on your credit reports as well as keep track of your credit score for FREE, Credit Karma is your go-to.
Known as a Swiss Army knife of finance, bankrate.com provides guidance in the areas of mortgages, banking, credit cards, loans, investing, home equity, and personal finance. They help you find and compare rates.
Student loan debt has reached astronomical levels at over $1 billion! We must be intentional about finding more cost effective ways of paying for college. With fastweb, paying for school just got easier. They are your connection to scholarships, colleges, financial aid, and more.
Savingforcollege.com is your guide to 529 Plans and learning how to save for college.
Do you find investing, retirement, and the stock market confusing? Investopedia is a great resource focusing on investing and finance education and analysis.
R:IQ Assessment (Retire Inspired Quotient)
The R:IQ is a retirement calculator that makes planning easy for you. Create a plan to reach your retirement dream. Retirement is not an age, it’s a financial number.
Soldiers, the above tools are just a few examples of powerful resources that help you win financially. Action plan time. How often do you spend time looking for resources to help you grow financially? What other financial tools have you heard of that can help you or someone else?