Looking to expand your horizons, eh? This blog just not good enough for you?
Fine. Go ahead and check out these other financial resources. Just don’t forget who told you about ’em.
- Money Magazine’s list of best apps to manage your money. Smart.
Car Buying (including Loans)
- Nadaguides.com is one of the better resources for car values. It gives you values for trade-in (rough, average and “clean” condition) and retail, which is good if buying from a private seller.
- Taxes, title and tag costs vary by state. Estimate these fees with Carmax’s taxes, title and tag fee calculator.
- Find even more car buying knowledge at Edmunds.com.
- Findabetterbank.com is a great tool for researching and comparing checking accounts from different banks and credit unions, based on the features you want. Boo-ya!
- Credit Report
- Annualcreditreport.com (boring!) is the place to go to get your official credit report for free. The three national credit reporting companies (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) are behind this website. You can get your credit report (not your credit score) once every 12 months from each of the big three credit bureaus.
- This Federal Trade Commission guide tells you how to dispute credit report errors. Good to know.
- Fair Issac and Co. are behind the FICO score. Lots of good info at myfico.com. They also sell credit score services.
- Credit Score
- Gone are the days when you had to pay to see your credit score. You can still do that but you can also get it for nuthin’ at Creditkarma.com (they use the VantageScore 3.0, which is a competitor to the FICO Score). Credit Karma also has oodles of good knowledge about credit matters.
- Speaking of VantageScore 3.0, here’s the straight dope on that –
- Purchase your FICO score(s) – as well as a bunch of other stuff, like monitoring and “Lost wallet protection”.
- The straight dope on the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act (Wow, will anyone click that link?).
Financial Aid for College
- Start with federalstudentaid.ed.gov, (used to be college.gov but somebody decided that name was too easy) from the US Department of Education.
- Get details and submit your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The Office of Federal Student Aid processes more than 21 million applications each year, so get busy!
- Like the Smart Green Pig, the Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan is also smart.
- Saving for College (’cause it’s gonna be freakin’ expensive).
- Here’s a new scholarship for students transferring from a Maryland community college to the University of Maryland system. Yes, SECU is paying for these, so give ’em some love.
- I’m assuming you can Google and you don’t need me to tell you about the College Board. But in case you missed it, their College Planning section rocks!
- Collegesavings.org is all about 529 Plans. Think 401(k) for Junior’s education.
- Get professional help… the financial kind, that is. Accel Members Financial Counseling provides free, one-on-one counseling over the phone. That’s right – free. OK, there is one catch; you have to be a SECU Credit Union member (which is easy for most people living in Maryland – and beneficial too). And no, you don’t get to lie on a couch.
Home Buying & Mortgage
- Here’s a great resource for learning how the home buying process works – specific to buying a home in Maryland; Homebuying360.com. Includes access to MLS search and pre-screened Realtors®, plus a rebate! Yes, a rebate. It’s legit. You can thank me later.
- Get an idea of title fees and transfer taxes (closing costs) with this closing cost calculator.
- Find the schools for any Maryland property with this handy dandy tool. Most Realtors® don’t know about this one, so I’m your new best friend. Let’s get lunch.