Financial Planning for Generation X & Y Women
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Expert Q&A Archive

If you would like to ask our Wi$eUp experts a financial question, please sign in or register now. Click on a question below to see the experts' responses.

08/05/2010 — NEW!How do I repair my credit?
08/05/2010 — NEW!Is it better to take credit trouble and save my small retirement fund?
06/15/2010 — NEW!Accessing spouse's accounts in the event of illness or death.
06/08/2010 — NEW!Should I apply for a loan to pay off all my debt and leave me with one monthly payment?
04/15/2010 — NEW!Questions about investing in IRAs and about transferring 401(k) plans into a IRA.
04/14/2010 — NEW!Should I include my children's trust on my Statement of Financial Position?
03/16/2010 — More information on Individual Development Accounts.
03/16/2010 — Where can I find Individual Development Account (IDAs) providers?
07/02/2008 — Where is the best place to save money set aside for property taxes?
03/27/2008 — How do you archive bank statements?
08/31/2006 — Are there advantages to paying my bills online?
06/14/2005 — Joint checking accounts and survivorship
12/04/2009 — What to do with tax return during bankruptcy proceedings?
Borrowing Money
02/16/2010 — Where can I find legitimate Federal grants for small women-owned businesses?
02/02/2010 — Should I borrow from my 401k account?
01/05/2010 — Are there advantages in taking out a holiday loan?
02/27/2009 — Should rent be included when calculating debt-to-income ratio?
07/16/2008 — What types of budgeting tools are best for beginners?
07/16/2008 — Should I take my savings and pay off my car note?
10/31/2006 — I'm taking a leave of absence — what about income?
08/31/2006 — How do you "pay yourself first" when you're just making it?
07/31/2006 — Saving When the Debt Burden is High.
03/18/2004 — Saving or paying off debts.
06/24/2009 — What are some mortgage options for full time students?
08/22/2008 — What is a 529 plan, and how does it relate to Upromise?
03/30/2007 — Should assets for college funding be owned in the parentís or the childís name?
03/19/2006 — Can an older student get aid to attend college?
04/15/2004 — What is the best way to save for my child's education?
10/14/2008 — What are the most common question people are asking our Experts during the economic crisis.
07/23/2004 — How do I talk to my spouse about saving money?
07/10/2009 — How do I handle credit problems after my divorce?
05/20/2009 — How can I clean up my credit in order to purchase a house?
04/30/2008 — Lowering the Percentage Rate of a Line of Credit Loan.
08/31/2006 — Is it better to consolidate your bills?
09/27/2004 — Establishing good credit after filing for bankruptcy.
Credit Cards
01/05/2010 — Does closing your credit card affect your [credit] ratings?
10/27/2008 — Should I use a secured credit card to re-establish my credit?
10/24/2008 — Should I use a credit card to rebuild credit after filing bankruptcy?
10/24/2008 — What happens if you lower your credit card limit?
08/27/2008 — How do I request interest rate reduction with my credit card companies?
04/17/2008 — Are consolidation loans recommended if you have multiple credit cards?
03/10/2008 — How do you stop credit card junk mail?
01/16/2008 — Should I close my store credit card?
01/16/2008 — If you don't have a balance on your credit card, should you keep it open?
01/10/2008 — Why isnít the Discover Card used as widely as Visa and MasterCard?
01/10/2008 — Why do store credit cards charge so much interest?
10/18/2005 — Does my debit/check card develop my credit record?
07/21/2004 — Canceling a credit card.
Credit Scores/Reports
07/28/2009 — What does my credit score have to be to refinance a house in 2009?
07/14/2009 — What is a necessary credit score to purchase a home?
01/09/2009 — Will contacting Credit Counseling Bureau show up on my credit report?
10/24/2008 — How long will closing out a credit card affect my credit score?
07/21/2008 — Where is the best place to get my credit report?
04/17/2008 — How many credit reports are free per year?
04/17/2008 — Resolving disputes in your credit report.
01/16/2008 — How long does it take to repair a credit score?
01/16/2008 — Can my spouse and I both get free credit reports?
01/25/2008 — How do I clean up my credit after a divorce?
01/16/2008 — How are credit reporting agencies regulated?
01/16/2008 — What types of scores do the three major credit bureaus give you?
03/30/2004 — What effect does closing my credit card accounts have on my credit score?
Debt Management
02/15/2010 — Does the FTC keep information on credit restoration companies?
02/15/2010 — How much can credit restoration companies really help?
01/05/2010 — Is skip-a-loan payment option a good idea?
06/19/2009 — Which is better, to roll over my 401(k) from a previous employer, or pay down debt?
10/27/2008 — Does the Statute of Limitations for Debt go by the state you live in or the state the debt occurred?
10/27/2008 — Do debt management companies take all debt into consideration when consolidating?
08/05/2008 — How do I catch up on the debt I owe?
04/28/2008 — What is the difference between a debt settlement company and a consumer credit counseling agency?
01/17/2008 — Should I cash in my old 401k to help with my debt?
08/31/2006 — How do I go about changing childhood spending habits?
Emergency Funds
08/31/2006 — What about saving for emergencies?
11/23/2004 — Is is wise to use a Post Tax 401K for an Emergency Savings Fund?
Employee Benefits
11/06/2009 — Getting maximum benefits from employer matching funds for 401(k)
05/18/2009 — Is it possible to negotiate severance pay?
05/18/2009 — Do I have the option to appeal an unemployment benefit decision?
02/27/2009 — How do I cope without a job?
09/10/2008 — What resources are available for job searches?
04/09/2008 — Tips on enhancing a résumé
04/09/2008 — When would a career change be warranted?
04/09/2008 — Advice for someone who may be facing a layoff
09/29/2006 — What does an employer's health savings account cover?
05/16/2005 — Being an employee or independent contractor
05/09/2005 — Whether to work independently or as an employee in her profession.
Financial Planning
01/15/2009 — Do financial advisors only work with people who have large amounts of cash?
09/25/2008 — What financial books would you recommend?
03/27/2008 — When should I hire a financial advisor, and how do I find one?
Financial Recordkeeping
04/02/2008 — What's the best schedule to pay your bills?
02/18/2008 — How long should you keep utilities receipts?
02/18/2008 — How long should you keep your tax records?
02/25/2008 — Should I keep records of all medication purchases for taxes?
02/25/2008 — Can I get rid of my credit card receipts?
02/25/2008 — How long should you keep pay stubs?
08/06/2009 — What is the best way to assist our parents in avoiding foreclosure?
Home Equity Loans
07/31/2006 — Home Equity Loan vs. 401(k) Loan
Home Ownership
02/05/2010 — More questions about the first-time homebuyer credit.
02/05/2010 — How will the first-time homebuyer credit affect me when filing taxes?
09/14/2009 — What advice can you give me if I'm trying to obtain a loan in order to down size after filing bankruptcy?
08/26/2009 — Is title insurance necessary when purchasing a home?
07/13/2009 — Who might not qualify 100% for the "first-time homebuyer" tax credit?
07/13/2009 — Regarding the "first-time homebuyer" tax credit: Does owning a condominium count the same as owning a home?
07/13/2009 — Can the "first-time homebuyer" tax credit be used as a downpayment?
04/30/2009 — Should my boyfriend and I buy a house together?
01/28/2009 — Would it be better to pay extra on the principal of my house note or put the extra money in savings?
05/16/2008 — Programs for first time homebuyers.
02/11/2008 — Single parent with goal to become a homeowner
10/31/2007 — Recommended housing expense ratio?
08/31/2006 — I'm buying a home; Should I get a credit card to establish credit?
07/31/2006 — Real Estate and Retirement Planning
11/23/2004 — Is it wise to buy a home when you have outstanding debt?
Identity Theft
01/10/2008 — How do you prove that youíre a victim of identity theft?
12/11/2009 — How much life insurance to purchase when single and in the military?
08/14/2009 — I have a Question about COBRA insurance.
10/31/2006 — Choosing insurance plans: deductibles vs. payments
10/31/2006 — Whole life insurance as opposed to term life insurance
09/29/2006 — How high should I want my insurance deductible to be?
09/29/2006 — Who should I contact if I have a problem with my insurance carrier?
09/29/2006 — What is an umbrella policy?
09/29/2006 — What are high deductible health insurance savings plans?
08/31/2006 — Is there a pay back to relatives for long term care insurance policies?
08/31/2006 — What does long-term care insurance cost for me? (Ages 40-50)
01/20/2006 — Can a stay-at-home mom get disability insurance?
11/19/2009 — Are there better investments than savings bonds for grandchildren?
10/21/2009 — Is there a recommended ratio for a particular percentage of stocks versus bonds?
03/16/2009 — Should I pull my mother's investments from the stock market?
02/27/2009 — What is the best way to sell or get rid of my timeshare?
01/27/2009 — How do I check that a brokerage or a pension company is in good standing and trustworthy?
11/26/2008 — Should I continue investment in a 401(k) while laid off?
08/19/2008 — Is buying savings bonds a good investment for retirement?
06/23/2008 — What is the best way to invest student loan money?
06/19/2008 — Should I pull out of the stock market when the going gets tough?
03/11/2009 — Rolling funds from a new Roth IRA to an old Roth IRA
03/11/2009 — Are there penalties for converting a traditional IRA over to a Roth IRA?
03/11/2009 — Is it possible to roll funds from a Roth IRA into a traditional IRA?
03/06/2009 — Will there be a possibility in the future to convert traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs without being penalized?
03/06/2009 — Will there be a Roth Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) offered?
01/27/2009 — Should I keep a Roth IRA account open if I am not currently adding to it?
01/15/2009 — Can I use my Roth IRA as a downpayment for my first home?
01/15/2009 — Are there different Roth funds/types of accounts you can go into with different risk levels?
01/15/2009 — Do you have to pay any taxes to transfer your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA?
12/08/2008 — Are there different risk levels associated with different Roth funds/types of accounts?
12/08/2008 — Do you have to pay any taxes to transfer your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA?
12/01/2007 — Parents helping teens establish Roth IRAs
10/31/2006 — Should I pay into the Roth IRA or 401(k)?
07/31/2006 — Which Thrift Savings Plan should I use?
07/25/2005 — Changing the funds in a struggling IRA.
Loan Modifications
07/17/2009 — I have a question about the short sale process and loan modifications.
07/17/2009 — Why can't I get a loan modifcation if I have a 3rd party mortgage?
07/16/2009 — Loan Modifications
12/08/2009 — Are there any resources available to help longtime homeowners who have an outstanding HELOC to refiance and roll in a 2nd mortgage?
11/02/2009 — What are the risks involved with reverse mortgages?
06/22/2009 — How can I change a variable mortgage rate to fixed rate if the request is denied by my bank?
02/02/2009 — Can a mortgage company automatically put you into an escrow account?
12/05/2008 — What would be the property tax and credit score implications for loan modifications?
10/31/2008 — Do I need a lawyer to help re-negotiate mortgage refinancing?
05/31/2007 — What are the pros and cons of a 40 year loan?
06/02/2004 — Mortgages
Real Estate
12/05/2008 — Given the current housing climate, is the real estate market a good investment?
04/02/2008 — How do your own home improvements affect property value?
11/12/2007 — Recouping rental property damage on taxes not covered by insurance
05/31/2007 — How can I tell if thereís any more value in an area or in a property?
05/13/2008 — Pros and cons of refinancing home mortgages.
05/13/2008 — Are there special programs to assist in non ARM refinancing?
11/30/2006 — Should I refinance my interest-only loan to a fixed rate one ?
11/30/2006 — Can you refinance an equity line on your house?
11/23/2004 — Whether refinancing her car improved her financial situation.
Rental Property
01/31/2008 — How long should I keep receipts dealing with my rental property?
11/17/2009 — How helpful are annuities for retirement plans?
11/17/2009 — How much of your income should make up your retirement base?
11/06/2009 — Starting over saving for retirement
11/02/2009 — Mortgage in retirment vs. Tax benefit for mortgage payments
03/17/2009 — What if we cannot afford a house payment when we retire?
03/17/2009 — Is it better to have one 401(k) fund, or have money going in other funds as well?
07/21/2008 — How can I contribute to a 401k from a previous job?
03/27/2008 — What is the best way to play "catch up" if you have no savings?
11/12/2007 — When is it okay to withdraw funds from my retirement plan?
11/30/2006 — I'm retiring — should I still refinance my home equity?
07/30/2004 — Whether to repay her debt to her retirement account.
07/21/2004 — Achieving financial security in retirement.
06/18/2004 — Should I pay off debt instead of contributing to my 401k?
10/31/2006 — Should I get a savings plan outside of my own job's plan?
09/21/2006 — Options for maximizing my savings ...
08/31/2006 — How can I save money without a high income?
06/06/2004 — Would it be best to use my savings to buy a condo, invest in retirement, or pay off student loans?
Student Debt
01/20/2010 — What to do when drowning in Student debt?
08/06/2009 — How should my boyfriend and I deal with student debt before and after marriage?
03/23/2004 — Balancing car debt and student loan debt.
03/10/2004 — Taking out a student loan.
03/24/2010 — How to use your tax return refund to purchase U.S. Series I Savings Bonds?
03/16/2010 — Do self-employed business owners qualify for the EITC?
03/16/2010 — What is the EITC for two qualifying children?
02/16/2010 — Do I claim a loss on my tax return for selling stocks?
01/20/2010 — What tax credit is available for Civil Service retirees?
05/11/2009 — Are there tax credits available for small business owners?
04/21/2009 — How do I know how many deductions to make on my W-4 form at work?
09/17/2008 — Do I need to pay capital gains on the sale of a home if I ran a side business in the home?
09/17/2008 — Can You Amend Prior Taxes for Financial Emergency?
04/02/2008 — What's your opinion on using electronic tax filing software?
02/08/2008 — Can I claim a loss on rental property?
01/31/2008 — Is there a cap on how much you can earn on the sale of a home?
01/31/2008 — How long should I keep records of my home improvements?
08/31/2006 — Is it smart to not claim tax withholding during the year?
01/20/2010 — What kind of tax credit is available for purchasing a car?
12/04/2009 — Whats the best way to handle car debt going into retirement?
12/01/2007 — The pros and cons of upgrading to a different vehicle and how to do so
10/31/2007 — Do I need a new title when I pay off an automobile loan?
11/30/2006 — When should I think about selling my car?
11/30/2006 — Should I lease a vehicle? What are the hidden costs?
11/30/2006 — When buying a car, how do we determine if it is going to last?
10/01/2009 — Validating Father's Will
06/22/2009 — I would like information on wills and the best place to get them drawn up.
04/29/2004 — What is a good age to create a will?