NextAdvisor Blog - Jonathan

Jonathan is a NextAdvisor Content Manager who covers credit monitoring, credit cards, savings accounts, web hosting, tax services, auto insurance, audiobooks and online meeting software. He previously wrote for J., the Jewish news weekly of Northern California and has been published by Huffington Post, SF Weekly, and San Francisco Giants Magazine, among others. He is a graduate of San Jose State University, and currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @JonAdvisor.

Posts by Jonathan:

Everything You Need to Know About Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Updated: November 16, 2015 Earning travel rewards with your credit card on every purchase you make can help you take a vacation earlier than planned, or fund an unexpected flight you need to take. While travel points are very useful, they can be confusing to fully comprehend
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Capital One and Uber Partner to Bring 20% Discount and Free Rides

Editor’s Note: This offer is no longer available. Uber users who pay with a Capital One Quicksilver credit card are going to save some serious money through the end of April 2016. As a result of a recent partnership, Uber customers who pay with a Capital One
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3 Things You Need to Know Before Applying for a Credit Card

Updated: Oct. 17, 2017 Getting a new credit card can be beneficial, especially if you’re trying to pay down debt without incurring interest charges or you want to earn miles so you can plan a vacation. However, before you apply for a new credit card, it’s important
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Chase Offers up to $250 Bonus for New Accounts

Editor’s Note: This offer is no longer available, but visit our online savings reviews to learn more about your savings options. Saving money is important, especially when an emergency occurs and you need some extra funds. If you’ve been hesitant about opening a savings account, now’s the right
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What’s a Balance Transfer and Why Should You Do One?

Updated: April 27, 2016 Credit card debt is notorious in the United States. With revolving debt, which includes credit cards, climbing from $5.8 billion to $8.9 billion in the past year, according to the Federal Reserve, it’s clear that Americans need help paying off their debt. The
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NextAdvisor.com Gets First Look at the Updated Chase Slate

Updated: April 27, 2016 NextAdvisor.com was present at Chase’s New York headquarters last week when the company officially unveiled updates to its Slate card. Generally considered one of the best balance transfer credit cards currently available, Chase redesigned the look of the Slate card and added a
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Everything You Need to Know About Cash Back Credit Cards

While this information was accurate at the time this post was published, these cards’ offers and perks may have expired or changed over time. Visit our reviews of the best credit cards to find the right card for your needs. There’s nothing quite like a cash back
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Bad or No Credit History? FICO has a New Score for You

Millions of Americans will have an easier way of proving their creditworthiness in the coming months thanks to a new credit score being developed by Fair Isaac Corporation, better known as FICO, which will factor in alternative data. The new formulation has been in the works for
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Costco is Dropping American Express in Favor of Citi and Visa Credit Cards

Updated: Oct. 20, 2016 Editor’s Note: As of June 20, 2016, any American Express cards detailed in this post cannot be used at Costco.  If you love using your American Express card at Costco, enjoy it while it lasts. Starting April 1, 2016, American Express cards will
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FreeScoresAndMore vs. Identity Guard: Which Service is Best?

Your credit scores are the life force of your financial health. They determine whether you’ll be approved for important things, like a home loan, a credit card and nearly everything else. Not only do your credit scores dictate whether you’ll get approved, but they also determine what
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3 Things People with Bad Credit Need to Know

It’s not the end of the world if you have bad credit. Actually, millions of Americans have credit that’s rated below average. While it’s not something you might be proud of, it’s important to know that there are some ways to make it better. If you have
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US Airways Points Program Merging with American Airlines By Mid-April

American Airlines is nearing the finish line of the completion of its merger with US Airways with the announcement last week that American will absorb US Airways frequent flier miles program within 30 days. This means that customers enrolled in the US Airways Dividend Miles Program will
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It’s Your Last Chance to File Taxes: 4 Things You Need to Know

With less than one month until tax day, your time to file your taxes is quickly running out. Just as all the fun began back in January, it’s coming to a close April 15 – the day your federal and state taxes are due. If you haven’t
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Women’s History Month: Music Pioneers Share Their Stories

With the recent release of Kim Gordon’s “Girl in a Band,” musician memoirs have never been more popular. In celebration of Women’s History Month, we’ve detailed three audiobooks of memoirs by women who helped change the music industry and popular culture forever. All of these books are
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5 Best EMV Chip Cards for Your Summer Travel Plans

Updated: Dec. 1, 2015 The weather is getting warmer and summer is approaching. Whether you’re planning a big trip to another country or you just want to get out of town for a few days, it’s a great time for a vacation. While a travel rewards credit
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3 Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

There are a lot of benefits to paying off your mortgage faster. For one, you’ll save money on interest charges, which can be tens of thousands of dollars over the course of a loan. When you pay off your mortgage faster, you’ll be able to use that
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Big Changes Coming to Your Credit Reports: What You Need to Know

Your credit reports are going through a major overhaul, and it’s one that will help consumers. Considered by some to be the broadest industry overhaul in more than decade, the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – agreed this week to be more proactive in
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5 Audiobooks to Celebrate Women’s History Month

Celebrated for a full month in March for the first time beginning in 1987, Women’s History Month is meant to honor women all around the world, and those who stood up to adversity and fought for equal rights for women — a battle that is still not
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The Best Online Savings Accounts to Grow Your Money

Saving money isn’t easy. If it were, so many Americans wouldn’t be having trouble doing it. The results of a new study from the Pew Charitable Trust found that one in five Americans don’t plan on retiring. Ever. Another 56% reported worrying about their personal finances during
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Which Car is Your State’s Favorite?

Besides the license plate attached to your bumper, the kind of car you drive might signify which state you live in. According to a study by IHS Automotive focusing on the most popular 2014 models based on state, Ford is the most popular brand of automobile in
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6 Ways to Save Money on Auto Insurance

Saving money on auto insurance can sometimes take just 15 minutes, but shopping around and asking questions can help you save the most. Insurers aren’t always going to tell you each and every way to save. Oftentimes people pay more than they need and don’t take advantage
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5 Audiobooks to Celebrate African-American History Month

February is African-American History Month, and to honor this month, we’ve compiled five audiobooks that signify the vast contribution by black Americans who helped shape the United States for the better. These writers and subjects have not only left a lasting impression on literature, but also on
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State Tax Fraud Spikes: What to Do if You Fall Victim

Fraudulent state tax returns are spiking this year, but the amount of damage being done is still being tallied. Phony state tax returns are up an astonishing 3700% from last year, according to cybersecurity blogger Brian Krebs. The reason? The rise in state fraud is in connection
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Best Online Meeting Software for Businesses of All Sizes

Working remotely from halfway across the world has never been easier thanks to computers and the Internet. While nothing can completely replace face-to-face meetings, using an online meeting software makes it possible for your company to be productive when employees are separated geographically. Although this software is
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Was TurboTax breached? FBI is Investigating

Following last week’s announcement that TurboTax was temporarily suspending the ability to e-file state income taxes because of an uptick in fraudulent returns, the FBI has begun an investigation to determine the cause, according to the Wall Street Journal. Intuit, the creator of TurboTax, initially said hackers
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Phone Scams Top IRS ‘Dirty Dozen’ for 2015: How to Protect Yourself

For the first time since 2010, identity theft did not take the No. 1 spot on the Internal Revenue Service’s annual list of the dirty dozen tax scams. At the top of the chart this year are phone scams. Phishing, or sending out fake emails or websites
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4 Reasons Why You Should Still Trust TurboTax

More and more taxpayers are turning to online tax services to complete their returns. In fact, more than 27 million Americans filed their taxes online during the 2014 tax season (a 6% increase from the previous year), according to the IRS, and it’s understandable considering the ease
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Top 3 Credit Cards for Paying Taxes

Updated: April 20, 2016 The deadline to file your taxes is quickly approaching, and for those who owe the IRS money, this can be a very stressful time. To make matters worse, anxiety levels might rise if you don’t think you have the money to pay your tax
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TurboTax Temporarily Halts State E-Filing Following Multiple Fraud Attempts

Tax preparation juggernaut TurboTax is temporarily disabling the ability for its customers to e-file their state tax returns due to an increase in suspected fraudulent filings. A number of state governments said that the fraudulent tax returns are being created with stolen personal information. The problem is
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How to Get Free Credit Scores

When it comes to your credit report and scores, knowledge is power. The more you know about your financial health the better you can plan for the future. Although you can get your three-bureau credit report for free once per year with no strings attached, it’s a
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4 Ways to Protect Your Identity This Tax Season

Tax season is here, and that doesn’t just mean refunds — it also means an increase in identity theft. In fact, tax identity theft has been constantly increasing over the years with more than 1.6 million taxpayers affected in the first six months of 2013, while 1.2
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What’s the Best Way to Monitor Your Credit Reports?

It’s a good idea to know what’s on your credit reports and scores, and it’s important to make sure nothing fraudulent is going on, especially with the rise of identity theft. Although identity theft monitoring is different in some regards to credit report monitoring, fraud usually has
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4 Tips for Building an Emergency Fund

Many Americans aren’t saving money, but it’s not because they don’t want to. That’s according to a GOBankingRates survey that asked people about their 2015 financial resolutions. In fact, saving money is Americans’ No. 1 financial goal this year. The problem, however, is that 37% of those
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Not All Travel Points are Created Equal

The travel points you earn from your credit card purchases can be your best friend. Whether you’re a frequent business flier or you just want to enjoy a vacation with your family, there are a number of ways to earn points that can help pay your trip’s
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How Do I File My Taxes Online?

Q: I don’t want to use a traditional tax preparer to file my taxes this year. How do I file with an online tax preparer? Thanks for your question! With so many tax preparation options, it can be overwhelming to decide whom to choose. For many, filing
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4 Ways to Verify You’re Using a Trustworthy Tax Service

The advent of the Internet has made many necessary life tasks easier and more efficient, and filing your taxes is no exception. Numerous services offer online software to help you prepare and submit your taxes, which often helps save you time and costs less than paying someone
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US Airways Merging with American Airlines: What This Means for Your Travel Points

The US Airways merger with American Airlines took another step toward completion this week with the announcement that customers can match up both their aa.com and usairways.com accounts. For those who have accounts with both loyalty programs, you will have the option to combine your US Airways
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Time to Brush Up on 2015 Tax Laws

It’s that time of year again: tax season. To come along with it are new laws taking affect for the 2014 filing period, as well as 2015 in general. Don’t let that scare you, however, because we’re here to help you read up on the important changes
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How to Improve Your Credit Scores in 2015

2015 is here! With a new year upon us, it’s the perfect time to make a few resolutions to help improve your financial life. One of the best ways to do that is to boost your credit scores because this will give you access to a number
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Same Name, Different Credit Card

While this information was accurate at the time this post was published, these cards’ offers and perks may have expired or changed over time. Visit our reviews of the best credit cards to find the right card for your needs. It can be overwhelming when you’re trying
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Chip and PIN Coming to U.S. in 2015: What You Need to Know

Updated: June 30, 2015 A new year brings along a new way to pay for things. And no, we’re not talking about Apple Pay. By the end of 2015, most retailers will accept EMV smart cards, more commonly known as chip and PIN cards. Common in Europe
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Which is the Best Online Meeting Software?

Q: I have a small business and I rely on communicating with people outside of the office. I’d like to use online meeting software, but I’m not sure which one is the best, particularly when it comes to value. Can you help? Thank you for your question!
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Electronic Proof of Auto Insurance on the Rise

You might have seen the Geico commercials, which show the pig using the company’s app to provide his proof of insurance, and wondered “will that actually work?” As it turns out, electronic proof of auto insurance is a growing trend in the U.S. In fact, earlier this
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3 Mortgage Trends for the New Year: Why Now’s the Time to Buy

As 2015 approaches, it’s time to start setting your New Year’s resolutions. If you’re planning on owning a home in the near future, 2015 is a good year to make that purchase. That’s because a number of forecasted mortgage trends point toward a buyer’s market for first-time homeowners
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3 Reasons to Avoid Getting a Store Credit Card

While this information was accurate at the time this post was published, these cards’ offers and perks may have expired or changed over time. Visit our reviews of the best credit cards to find the right card for your needs. Would you like to open a store
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Online Dating: What Buzzwords Can Reveal About You

Particular buzzwords in your online dating profile might better help you score a date, but do specific words indicate where you live? They might, according to a study by Match.com and Mashable. In their analysis, Match.com compared words used with relative frequency in each state and contrasted
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‘Tis the Season to Check Your Credit Reports

Americans will spend billions of dollars this holiday season, and nearly half of them will buy their gifts with a credit card, according to a NextAdvisor.com survey on spending habits. With that in mind, it’s the perfect time to start monitoring your credit reports. Why should I
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Credit Report Monitoring and Identity Theft Protection: What’s the Difference?

With the rise of fraud in the country, especially those involving credit cards, one might ask themselves: do I need credit report monitoring or identity theft protection? What’s the difference? They both use similar language in their advertisements, and unless you’re a victim of a data breach,
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3 Tips for Preparing Your Taxes Early

It might not feel like it, but it’s almost 2015 and tax season is just around the corner. Although your taxes aren’t due until April 15, you can start filing in January, which means quicker access to a possible tax refund. It’s also a good idea to
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NextAdvisor.com Survey Reveals Holiday Spending Habits

It’s that joyous time of year when Americans will spend billions on gifts for loved ones and friends. Millions of consumers turn to credit cards and other forms of payments to purchase all of these gifts. As people begin planning out their annual holiday shopping trip, we
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Top 5 Audiobooks to Get Your Family into the Holiday Spirit

Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is already less than one week away and Christmas is just around the corner. It’s time to start decorating the house and getting into the festive spirit, and there’s no better way to get into the mood than with a holiday audiobook
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FTC Nabs Sites Claiming to Offer ‘Free’ Credit Scores

Three credit report monitoring companies have agreed to pay $22 million in consumer refunds under the terms of a settlement reached with the Federal Trade Commission and the state attorneys general in Illinois and Ohio on Wednesday. The FTC said that these three companies – One Technologies, LP,
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Americans Failing to Save for Retirement: How Can You Start?

Updated: Jan. 4, 2017 Would you rather die early in retirement if you couldn’t afford to live comfortably? A surprising number of middle-class Americans said yes – 22% to be exact – according to Wells Fargo survey published in 2014. Although other questions posed in the survey didn’t
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How to Rebuild Your Credit Score with a Credit Card

Having poor credit can be a real headache. Poor credit means high interest rates on your credit cards and auto loans. It also means you’ll be more likely to be turned down for future loans, and you’ll miss out on earning valuable credit card rewards. If you’re
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What’s the Best Rent-by-Mail Audiobook Service?

Q: I’m a bit old-fashioned. As much as I enjoy audiobooks, I prefer having the physical CD to downloading MP3 files. I think the audio quality is superior with CD’s, and I don’t like dealing with downloading large files because my Internet connection is slow. Is there
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Personal and Business Credit Cards: What’s the Difference?

With so many different kinds of credit cards out there, from cash back and travel rewards to 0% intro APR, it can be difficult to decide which card is best for you. To make matters more complicated, you might come across small business credit cards that offer
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USPS Announces Breach Affecting Customers and Employees

The United States Postal Service announced on Monday that it recently learned of a “cyber security intrusion” that affected more than 800,000 employees. The stolen data includes names, social security numbers, addresses and emergency contact information. The USPS also said that customers who contacted the Postal Service
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Stop Online Dating Scammers from Spooking You this Halloween

Today might be Halloween, but that doesn’t mean you want a spooky surprise when you’re online dating. Trying to find a compatible partner is hard enough without having to worry about getting scammed. Earlier in the week, the Federal Trade Commission cracked down on British-based website JDI
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What’s the Easiest Way to Make a Professional Website?

Q: I’d like to start my own professional website for my recreational photography. What’s an easy to use service that would allow me expand my site in the future, such as adding an online store? Thanks for your question. With so many web hosting services out there,
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Federal Benefits to be Issued on Chip and PIN Cards

Updated: April 20, 2016 Starting next year, federal benefits will be distributed on government-issued chip and PIN debit cards, also known as EMV cards, as stated by an executive order signed by President Obama earlier this month. They are intended to replace the currently issued magnetic stripe debit
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Mortgage Rates Hit New Low: Refinance or Buy Before It’s Too Late

One of the best times in recent memory to refinance got even better last week when mortgage rates fell to a 16-month low. Government-sponsored mortgage financial enterprise Freddie Mac said the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.97%, the lowest since June 2013 when the average loan
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3 Reasons to Move Your Savings Account Online

An online savings account might not be one of the first things that comes to mind when thinking about growing your money, but it should. Unlike certificate of deposits, known as CDs, which are somewhat inflexible and can take years to mature for low returns, many online
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6 Surprising Ways Having Bad Credit Hurts

It’s been said many times that having a low credit score can hurt your finances. From being denied a credit card to receiving a high-interest rate on an auto loan, poor credit will hurt you. In addition to the recognizable consequences, there are a few lesser known,
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5 Reasons to Use Credit Over Debit

While this information was accurate at the time this post was published, these cards’ offers and perks may have expired or changed over time. Visit our reviews of the best credit cards to find the right card for your needs. Did you know that you may be
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3 Ways to Improve Your Credit Scores

Improving your credit scores can bring about a lot of benefits. From lower interest rates to more credit card options that offer generous rewards, your credit scores play a major factor in determining your financial health. Here are some tips on how you can successfully improve your
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Top 7 Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping

While this information was accurate at the time this post was published, these cards’ offers and perks may have expired or changed over time. Visit our reviews of the best credit cards to find the right card for your needs. The holiday shopping season is rapidly approaching, and we’ve
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How to File a Credit Card Dispute

You may have been in this situation before: you purchase an item online or in a store and there’s something wrong with it. You try and exchange it, but the merchant won’t take it back and refund your money. What do you do? Well, if you paid
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4 Best Credit Cards to Use at the Supermarket

Updated: Nov. 13, 2017 The cost of grocery shopping can add up quickly, especially if you have a family to take care of. If you’re a big spender at the supermarket, it might make sense to get some money back from your purchases. There are a few
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Best Auto Insurance Rates for Younger and Older Adults

You have a number of options when shopping for auto insurance. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the numerous companies and plans to choose from. It can be especially difficult if you’re a younger or older adult, as rates tend to be less favorable for both groups of
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Can a Credit Card Be Closed for Inactivity?

Q: I have a few credit cards that I haven’t used in quite some time. Could my accounts be closed because of inactivity? Thanks for your question. Unfortunately, yes, credit card accounts can be closed by the issuer if they’re unused for extended periods of time. There is
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3 Ways Millennials Can Successfully Save Money

How much do young adults actually know about their credit score and saving money? The results of a recent study conducted by the Consumer Federation of America show that Millennials know less about their credit score than older adults, but that doesn’t mean young Americans can’t take steps to
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How Do Chip and PIN Cards Differ From Chip and Signature?

Updated: June 30, 2015 Q: What’s the difference between chip and PIN and chip and signature credit cards? I’m traveling abroad soon and I want to make sure I’m using the safest option.  That’s a great question. While the United States still uses magnetic stripe card technology
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How Your Credit Score Affects Your Mortgage Rate

Q: I’m looking into buying a house, but I don’t know what my credit report looks like. How will my credit score affect the terms of my mortgage rate? Thanks for your question. Although the process of getting a mortgage can be complicated, there are things you
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5 Things You Won’t Believe Hurt Your Credit Score

Deciphering your credit score can be difficult, especially if you don’t know all the ways you can be hurting it. Your credit is not only attached to your credit card use, but with many everyday financial activities. Here are five things that can hurt your credit, and
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Labor Day Special: Communicate Free on eHarmony

Here’s your chance to find that special someone! As summer starts to wind down and the kids return to school, it’s the best time to take advantage of eHarmony’s free communication weekend, which starts today, Aug. 28, and runs through Monday, Sept. 1. eHarmony’s free communication weekends are
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5 Things Excellent Credit Can Do for You

Have you ever thought of how an excellent credit score may impact your life? It’s no secret that there are a number of benefits to having a high score. Simply put, it can affect many of your current and future financial decisions. If your credit is excellent,
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What’s The Best Web Hosting Service For Small Businesses?

Q: I’m starting a small business and need a website. I’m not familiar with creating a website and I can’t afford to hire someone to make it for me. What should I do? Thanks for your question! Starting a small business takes a considerable amount of work, and
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Community Health Systems Breached: 4.5 Million Exposed

Cyberattacks are becoming all too common these days. It seems you can’t watch the news without hearing of some major breach. The most recent victim of this crime is Community Health Systems, one of the largest hospital networks in the United States. Community Health Systems said its computer
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Can a Regular Fax Machine Send an Internet Fax?

Q: Sometimes I need to send hard documents over fax, but I’d like to get rid of my landline. Would it be possible to use Internet fax with my regular fax machine? Thanks for your question! Yes, it is possible to send an Internet fax using a
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More Than 1 in 3 Americans Have Debt in Collections

Americans owe a lot of money. More than 35% of Americans have debt and unpaid bills that have gone to collections, according to a pair of studies released this week by Urban Institute. That’s roughly 77 million American adults with established credit who owe money to a collection
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The Best Casual Dating Sites

Q: I want to try online dating, but I’m not sure if I’m ready for a serious relationship. Are there any good casual dating sites out there? A: Thanks for your question! The proliferation of online dating websites over the past few years has made meeting new
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LifeLock vs. Privacy Guard: Which Credit Monitoring Service Is Best?

Your credit score is generally the biggest factor in determining whether you get approved for a home or car loan and credit card. That’s why it’s important to protect your credit and make sure that there aren’t any mistakes on your credit reports by monitoring them with
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Communicate Free On eHarmony Independence Day Weekend

Set off your own fireworks with someone special this holiday weekend with eHarmony’s free communication weekend starting today, July 3, through Monday, July 7. We’re getting into the full swing of summer, which means trips to the beach, barbecues and the climax of the FIFA World Cup,
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The Best Online Stamps Service For Mac Users

Q: I use a Mac. What online stamp service would work best for me? A: Thanks for your question! Going to the post office can be a hassle if you own a small business, or if you frequently use stamps in general. You’re in luck though, because
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Ally vs. Discover: Which Online Savings Account Is Best?

If you’re looking to invest some of your money in an online savings account, you should consider looking into either Ally Bank or Discover online banking, both of which are FDIC insured and trusted in the online banking world. Which one is best? Well, it depends on
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Millennials Know Less About Credit Than Most Adults

Are you a Millennial? Do you know your credit score? Then you are one of the few. Millennials know less about their credit scores than previous generations, according to a study released last month by the Consumer Federation of America and VantageScore. The results of the study
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