Banking / Loans: Most Popular Articles
Maybe it's your first time, or maybe it's been a long time. If you want to see an example of how to write a check you're in the right place.
When you first get your checkbook, you may not know how to write a check. It's really easy once you get the hang of it. This visual example shows how to write a check with pictures and descriptions of each step. In addition, you learn how to write a check in a way that reduces the chance of a scammer altering the check. Page 5.
When you first get your checkbook, you may not know how to write a check. It's really easy once you get the hang of it. This visual example shows how to write a check with pictures and descriptions of each step. In addition, you learn how to write a check in a way that reduces the chance of a scammer altering the check. Page 4.
When you first get your checkbook, you may not know how to write a check. It's really easy once you get the hang of it. This visual example shows how to write a check with pictures and descriptions of each step. In addition, you learn how to write a check in a way that reduces the chance of a scammer altering the check.
Need a money order but not sure where to get one? In most places, you have plenty of choices. You can get money orders at post offices, retail stores, and financial institutions. Find out where you can get money orders and how to choose.
Loan Amortization Calculator A Loan Amortization Calculator For Any Purpose The loan amortization calculator
When you first get your checkbook, you may not know how to write a check. It's really easy once you get the hang of it. This visual example shows how to write a check with pictures and descriptions of each step. In addition, you learn how to write a check in a way that reduces the chance of a scammer altering the check. Page 6.
When you first get your checkbook, you may not know how to write a check. It's really easy once you get the hang of it. This visual example shows how to write a check with pictures and descriptions of each step. In addition, you learn how to write a check in a way that reduces the chance of a scammer altering the check. Page 2.
When you first get your checkbook, you may not know how to write a check. It's really easy once you get the hang of it. This visual example shows how to write a check with pictures and descriptions of each step. In addition, you learn how to write a check in a way that reduces the chance of a scammer altering the check. Page 7.
When you first get your checkbook, you may not know how to write a check. It's really easy once you get the hang of it. This visual example shows how to write a check with pictures and descriptions of each step. In addition, you learn how to write a check in a way that reduces the chance of a scammer altering the check. Page 3.
Learn about notarized documents -- what they are and where to get them.
Question: What’s the difference between a money order and a cashier’s check? Money orders are similar to cashier’s checks. They’re documents you can use to make payments, and they’re guaranteed by somebody. They even look alike. However, there are a few differences.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) helps you compare loans and understand costs. It won't give you a perfect answer, but it's as close as you can get to an apples-to-apples comparison among lenders. Find out how APR works and how it's calculated.
Personal financial advice via four online forums. Places to help you save time and money.
Home equity loans let you borrow against your home's value. They can be used for any purpose, they come with relatively low interest rates, and they may offer tax benefits. Learn more about how home equity loans work.
A letter of credit is a promise to pay. Banks issue letters of credit to guarantee sellers (and sometimes even buyers) that they will get paid as long as certain conditions are met. Letters of credit are common in international trade, but can also be used for domestic transactions.
You may need to void a check when you provide your banking information to somebody. How do you do that? It’s easy -- especially if you have a book of checks. Find out how to void a check correctly, and learn what to do if you’re having trouble.
APR Calculator Calculate Annual Percentage Rate (APR) The APR calculator is intended to help you figure
Learn about the American Bankers Association (ABA) number, which makes it possible to transfer funds from bank to bank.
For your first home purchase, you might benefit from a first time home buyer loan. But there are always strings attached. Learn how these programs work and whether or not they make sense for you.
It’s hard to get a loan with bad credit. Options are limited, and borrowing is more expensive. If you’re trying to get a loan with bad credit, do some homework before you get a loan. It’s easy to get into expensive traps, and there are a few things you can do to improve your chances.
Use this letter to have your bank account officially closed.
Question: How much does a money order cost? Answer: It depends where you get it and how much you need. In most cases, money orders cost around a dollar (or even less). You can get money orders at a variety of places.
Cashier's checks are secure forms of payment (when they're not part of a scam). These bank-issued checks assure sellers that they'll get paid quickly.
When you've been paid with a money order, how do you spend that money? You can cash money orders or deposit them just like checks. Learn how to cash a money order and where to do it.
FHA loans are appealing for several reasons, but they're not perfect. These loans allow you to buy with a small down payment, and they're easier to qualify for. Find out how they work.
Emergency cash can come from a variety of places. Ideally, you’ve got an emergency fund built up. If not, you may need an emergency cash loan. This page covers emergency cash loans, and the best places to find them.
ACH payments are electronic payments made through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network. Electronic payments can help reduce errors, speed things up, and save resources. Learn how businesses and consumers benefit from ACH payments.
Learn where to find the account number on a check, along with other important numbers needed for linking your bank account.
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Is it possible to sell a car with a loan outstanding? Yes, but it's tricky. Find out what you can do when you're ready to get rid of a financed auto.
So you need to deposit a check. It may be the first time, or it may have been so long that you forgot how to deposit checks. Make sure you know your options, including where to go, where not to go, and how technology makes it easier to deposit checks.
Money orders are used for making payments. When it’s not safe or acceptable to use a check or cash, money orders come in handy. Learn how to use them and what to watch out for.
When you need to send money fast, a bank wire transfer is often your best choice. Bank wire transfers are immediate, safe, and reliable. Learn the basics on how they work and how to start using them.
A bank draft is traditionally a check drawn on a bank’s funds, such as a cashier’s check. When paying bills, the term bank draft is sometimes used to refer to an automatic transfer from your bank account to your service provider.
If you want to open a bank account, you'll want to read this roadmap. We'll cover the 7 essential steps to get your account up and running, whether you want to open an account online or in person.
You may hear of different types of banks: investment banks, retail banks, commercial banks, online banks, and others. What do all the words mean? Different types of banks specialize in different lines of business. See the basics on each type of bank.
Before you print your own checks, make sure you know how to do it correctly. You can save a lot of time and money, but simple mistakes can ruin all of your gains. This page will show you how to successfully print your own checks and avoid hassles.
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Using an FHA 203k loan allows you to borrow enough to finance a home and make improvements. What’s the drawback? FHA 203k loans have additional costs and requirements that you should be aware of. It may make sense to use an FHA 203k loan, but you’ll want to know what you’re getting into.
Sometimes you need to send money quickly and securely. If so, you might use a bank wire to get the job done. The process is fairly easy. Learn how bank wires work and how to send one.
A collateral loan is a loan secured by some asset you own. You promise to hand the asset over to the lender if you cannot repay the loan as agreed. By using a collateral loan, the lender takes less risk, and it may be easier for you to get funding. Make sure you know the essentials of collateral loans before you use one.
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In 2007, the US economy entered a mortgage crisis that caused panic and triggered other financial problems. The mortgage crisis was a result of too much borrowing and flawed financial modeling, largely based on the assumption that home prices only go up. Greed and fraud also played important parts. Let’s review how the mortgage crisis unfolded.
Payday loans are short term loans you can use to get through a rough spot. Before you use one, make sure you understand the costs and risks. This page gives you a quick overview of how payday loans work, and ideas on how to avoid them.
Co-signing happens when somebody promises to back up a loan for somebody else. If you apply for a loan and you don’t qualify, you may need a co-signer. This person’s strong credit or higher income may help you qualify for the loan you want. This page discusses co-signing from a borrower’s perspective.
You may want to calculate loan interest costs as you evaluate loans. Different interest rates, loan terms, and fees can affect your total cost, so it’s important to pick the right loan. You can calculate loan interest with an online calculator or you can do the math yourself.
Cashier’s check fraud is one of the most popular crimes in the internet age. Once thought to be safe, cashier’s checks now require extra attention. Make sure you know all the red flags of cashier’s check fraud so you can avoid expensive scams.
When banks clear checks, the money is taken from a checking account and sent to the check recipient's account. However, there is a lot of confusion about how quickly banks clear checks and your risks when you deposit a check.
Some checks are made payable to multiple people. For example, a check may be written to a husband and wife. The right way to endorse these checks depends on how they're written.
Credit union loans are among the most competitive loans available. How can you get one? You’ll need to become a member before you qualify for a credit union loan. Find out what it takes to get a credit union loan.
When you need money, sometimes a second mortgage is the answer. Second mortgages serve a variety of purposes, and are described with various names. This page is a basic overview of second mortgages, how they are used, and disadvantages of second mortgages.
Online bank accounts are great. They typically offer high rates for web-savvy saver. However, the high returns come at a cost. Here are a few reasons NOT to use online bank accounts.
It may be time to switch banks for any number of reasons. Where to you start? Use this process to change from one bank to another without missing anything.
Certificates of Deposit (CDs) are one of the safest investment options available. Find out how they work and how you can maximize your earnings at the bank.
Question: I’m figuring out my budget, and need to calculate monthly interest. I want to know how much I lose every month in interest. Answer: Interest rates are often quoted as annual rates. In addition, your loan balance may change every month. As a result, you really need to calculate monthly interest charges to accurately understand where your money goes.
ATM deposits can make your life easier. Find out how to make a deposit, what you'll need, and what the potential problems are.
Although it's not easy to get a student loan without a cosigner, you can improve your chances. Learn what to watch for and what to do if lenders turn you away.
Learn how simple interest works and how to calculate it - with and without the help of calculators.
Annual percentage yield (APY) tells you how much you're earning at the bank - or how much it costs you to borrow. Learn how it works, how to calculate it, and how APY is different from APR.
Does the money need to be in your account after you write a check? It's a good idea to have it there. The check may be deposited faster than you think.
So you’ve got some cash, and you’d like to deposit it to a bank account. What are the options? Find out how to deposit cash, along with some helpful tips.
When you need money and you can’t get anybody to vouch for you, you’ll have to get a loan without a cosigner. This means you’re the only one responsible for the loan, and you have to convince the bank you’re good for the money. Figure out what lenders want so you can get loans without cosigners.
Online bill pay can help you manage your bills without having to worry about paper bills and checks. This FAQ covers the various types of online bill pay and how you can set up online bill pay quickly and easily.
Money orders can be useful tools. They allow you to make payments without the risks of sending cash or using a check. However, they are not perfect for every situation. Find out where money orders come up short.
Unsecured personal loans can be used for almost anything. Learn what the options are and find out how to get one of these loans.
Learn how to buy US Savings Bonds. After 2012, the Treasury stopped offering Savings Bonds in paper form, but you can still purchase bonds and give them as gifts. See how it works. Page 3.
Learn what it takes to get a loan. Find out what you need to decide, and what to do next.
Amortization is the elimination of a debt over time. With an amortization schedule, you can see how payments are applied to principal and interest. This page explains amortization, and then you can generate an amortization schedule with our free online calculator.
How long should you wait after you deposit a check -- especially if you think the check might bounce? Is it safe to spend the money immediately?
From time to time you have to wire money to somebody. What does it mean to wire money? A wire transfer happens when you send money to somebody electronically. Let’s review the basics of how you wire money and what your options are.
So you need a loan or a new account, and you’re not sure where to go. Both banks and credit unions can probably help you, but one may be better. What can you expect from banks vs. credit unions and why does it matter?
When you add money to your bank account you have to fill out a deposit slip. This tells the bank what to do with the funds, and helps create a paper trail for the transaction. Learn how to fill out a deposit slip so you can sail through the teller line and get everything done correctly.
Learn more about the Big 4 banks. Which banks make up the Big 4 in the US?
When you need money, an IRA loan may come to mind. Although it's not possible to borrow from your IRA, you can do a few things that look like an IRA loan for quick cash. Learn what your options are.
POS Fees are point-of-sale fees. Banks charge POS fees when…
Question: How do you fill out a money order? I bought one for a purchase online but am not sure what to do next. Answer: Filling out a money order is similar to writing a check. The specifics depend on where you buy your money order, but these instructions will help you get almost any money order filled out.
When you don't repay a loan, you take a risk. With recourse loans, lenders can try to collect money from you in a variety of ways. With non-recourse loans, lenders can only take property that you've agreed to let them take -- such as your home in foreclosure.
Choosing the best bank for your needs is easy. First, you have to figure out exactly what you need from a bank. Once you know what to look for, you can quickly evaluate the competition and end up with the best bank account out there. See how to choose the right bank for your needs, and get some ideas for starting your checklist.
Building credit helps you show lenders that it’s a good decision to approve your loan. If they don’t have any information on you (or if the information is not flattering), you need to build credit. Find out how.
A returned check is a check that the bank does not honor. If you are the check writer, it means that your bank will not pay the person or business you wrote the check to. If you received the check, a returned check is a check that you won’t get paid on. Let’s go over the basics of returned checks and what to do if you have one.
With a private mortgage, you don’t borrow from a bank. Instead, you borrow from another person or business. Whether it’s your only option, or one of many, you should understand how a private mortgage works. Find out what it takes to successfully use a private mortgage.
The amount of a check should be written two ways to avoid confusion. First, the amount is entered using numerical digits. Next, the amount is written out using words. What happens when these amounts don't match? You've got a problem.
When you purchase with plastic you’re often asked if you’d like to make it a debit or credit transaction. What’s the difference? The choice you make determines how your purchase is processed, who pays the bill for that processing, how long it takes, and what your rights are. See how interchange fees work and just how important your choice is.
Learn all of the parts on a check, and what they're used for. Find out what those numbers on your check mean, and how best to fill in a blank check.
How do you get access money when somebody writes you a check? You need to know how to cash a check or deposit it. It’s important to avoid risk and fees when you cash a check, so let’s go over your options.
Does your bank place a hold on your funds? It’s important to know how a hold works, what can cause it, and what your bank’s rules are. Most importantly, you need to know how to keep your bank from freezing your entire account.
You've got a check to deposit. Do you need to endorse checks before they go to the bank? Learn how to endorse checks - if you even need to - and how to minimize risks.
Learn about using a debit card for PayPal transactions. What are the requirements, and how do you do it?
Student loans are a way to pay for higher education. Whether you love debt or you hate it, student loans are an investment in your future. They can make an education possible when there is no other way. This page covers the basics of student loans and points you towards additional resources.
When you owe money, creditors may use a bank levy to collect. They can’t get you to pay, but they can try to take money from your accounts. By using a bank levy, creditors have your assets frozen and paid to them so you can’t spend the money.
Running numbers is easy with an Excel loan calculator. Microsoft Excel includes built-in tools and formulas so you can get information quickly. The Excel loan calculator shows all the details about your loan, and helps you figure out how to repay it early.
When getting a loan, it helps to calculate loan payments and costs. Use that information to compare loans and determine which one fits your needs. You can calculate loans yourself using formulas, or use an online calculator. Learn your options and how to calculate loan specifics.
Learn how to get preapproved for a loan. You’ll know how much you can spend, you’ll be in a better position to negotiate, and you’ll understand the costs of your loan before pulling the trigger.
A joint loan is a loan you get with another person. It may be easier to make a purchase with a joint loan, but there are some pitfalls to be aware of. Learn how these loans work and the challenges that come with them.
If you're considering a home purchase in the near future - or within a few years - you should brush up on your mortgage knowledge. Learn what to do before applying for a mortgage, what to watch for during the process, and how to use a mortgage after you've bought your home.
Can you verify funds on a check somebody writes you? It may be helpful to know if the check will bounce ahead of time. You can avoid bank fees if you verify funds, and you can start taking steps to collect a valid payment from the person.
A line of credit is a pool of available money that you can borrow. This page covers the basics of how lines of credit work.
Peer to peer lending allows you to skip the bank and borrow from individuals. You can borrow from complete strangers or just use peer to peer lending services to structure loans between friends and family. This page covers how peer to peer lending works, the major services, and how you can take advantage of it.
Most people never notice the differences between credit unions and banks. However, as an educated consumer looking to get the best deals (that is you, right?) you should know how the institutions differ. By reading these fast facts about credit unions, you’ll know what to expect.
How much will you have to pay for a loan? A loan payment calculation gives you the answer you need. If you just want the answer, use our free online calculator. If you’d rather run the numbers yourself, this loan payment calculation formula shows you how.
The U.S. government provides access to free credit reports to all consumers. Find out where and how to get yours. Every year, you're entitled to one copy of your credit report from each credit reporting agency. Don't pay fees when you don't need to.
So it’s time to reorder checks. There are a few ways you can handle it, and they all have advantages and disadvantages. Find out how to reorder checks, where you can do it, and how to be safe.
Start up business loans are difficult to come by. If you’re not having luck with traditional lenders like banks and credit unions, start looking at alternatives.
Direct deposit is a great way to move money electronically. You don't have to mail or sign any checks over to the bank, and your money tends to move more quickly when you use direct deposit. Read on for more information about direct deposit and setting up direct deposit for your accounts.
Certificates of deposit (CDs) are among the safest investments available. What about the interest you earn - is there a CD tax? When do you have to pay tax on CD income, and how can you avoid it? If your CD is not in any type of tax-favored account, you generally have to pay.
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Shopping for an auto is complex. Here are several reasons why preapproved auto loans make your life easier. With your finances lined up ahead of time, you can focus on your next auto’s features, benefits, and price -- instead of the deal.
When you borrow money, it’s important to know how loans work. With more information, you can save money and make better decisions about debt - including when to avoid it. Learn how loans work before you start borrowing.
A review of Credit.com, one of the most popular websites for learning about your credit. Learn about the quality and people of Credit.com.
Have to make a payment with a money order? Rest assured -- the process is easy. If you don’t know how to use a money order you’ll be an expert in just a few minutes.
Prosper.com is a social lending site. Instead of borrowing from a bank, you can borrow money from other individuals. One or more people may offer to loan you money, and they may even compete with each other to get you a better rate. This page covers the basics of Prosper.com, and gives you resources for more information.
It’s not easy to remove somebody from a mortgage. Lenders don’t want to let anybody off the hook, so success is rare. Find out why, and what you can do when getting a name off the mortgage won’t work.
2nd mortgages can be tempting because you can get a large amount of money. However, there are some common pitfalls you should keep an eye out for. Take a quick glance over these 2nd mortgage quick-tips. You’ll be in a better position to negotiate the best 2nd mortgage.
Opening an account at a credit union is fairly easy. This page covers the three basic steps required to open a credit union account.
One nice feature of home equity loans is that borrowers may get a tax deduction on interest paid for the loan. Before you try this, you should understand that the tax deduction is not unlimited. Find out how the tax deduction really works.
It is important to balance checking accounts regularly. You'll reduce the chance of bounced checks, pay less in fees, and know if somebody is stealing your identity. How do you get things in balance? See our simple step-by-step process for balancing the books.
Learn how a letter of credit works with a visual step by step tutorial.
There may come a time when you want to stop making payments, and you're lucky enough to have somebody to take your place. Transferring a mortgage is possible, but not always easy.
Debt consolidation programs are usually just a big loan that pays off other smaller loans. They can be very beneficial to borrowers, but these programs also have their pitfalls. Read up on how you should use debt consolidation programs and how to find the best deal.
Some people want to know how to calculate mortgage payments. You don’t really need to do the work, but if you’re curious you can certainly do so. To calculate mortgage payments, you need to know a few details about the loan. Let’s go through the steps and tools you can use to calculate mortgage payments.
A retail bank is a bank that works with consumers, otherwise known as 'retail customers'. Retail banks are the banks you most often see in cities on crowded intersections, the ones you probably use for your personal checking account. Let's take a look at the basics of retail banks.
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If you're buying a car and short on cash, you'll need an auto loan. Be prepared before you head out to the lot. To save yourself thousands, use these 6 keys to a great auto loan. Then you can ride around knowing you got the best deal.
Experts suggest that you get preapproved for a loan before making a purchase. But what does that mean, and why is it important?
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Compound Interest Calculator Calculate Interest Earnings This compound interest calculator tells you
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Money order scams are common when selling items online. Before handing over merchandise, be sure you’re dealing with a legitimate buyer. Be especially careful if you’re asked to send money after receiving a money order.
To get a loan, you may be required to use collateral. Learn more as we define collateral, see why it’s helpful, and examine how it’s used with loans.
The loan to value ratio (LTV) tells you how much of a property is being financed...
CDs pay more than savings accounts, but what's the catch? You might have to pay a penalty for pulling funds out of a CD early. Find out how CD penalties work and how you might get out of them.
What should you do about debt if you're getting divorced? Loans may last for years after the marriage, causing additional heartache and costing you money. It's important to handle them correctly. Find out what to do about debt in divorce.
Unsecured loans are not attached to any collateral. This page gives a definition of unsecured loans.
Check float refers to the amount of time it takes for money to leave your checking account. Check float helps to keep some people out of trouble, but it will increasingly cause problems for those who rely on it. Make sure you understand what you’re doing if you’re taking advantage of the float.
Before you sign up for a free checking account, you should understand how free checking works. We'll cover the typical free checking offer and what services should be included. You'll also find out why banks offer free checking.
Starting an emergency cash fund to prepare for the unknown? Find out how to set yourself up for success.
While difficult, it is possible to get an unsecured loan even if you have bad credit. Learn what your options are and how attractive each one is.
When you capitalize interest, you skip the payments. However, you still owe the money and you'll have to pay eventually. Your lender adds the interest charges to your loan balance, so you owe more and more as you capitalize. Capitalization is the process of adding interest charges to your existing loan balance.
What is interest? It's the cost of using somebody else’s money. When you borrow money, you pay interest. When you lend money, you earn interest. Learn more about what interest is and how it works.
A mortgage is an agreement that allows a lender to seize property when a borrower fails to pay. Find out what it means to have a mortgage.
Personal and business checks come with a variety of security features. The letters “MP” next to the signature line tell you that you are likely to find tiny words printed in a few places on the face of a check. MP stands for microprint, and it helps you identify fake checks.
Government loans come in a variety of flavors. You can get a government loan to go to school, buy a home, run a business, and more. This list shows the most common government loan programs.
Question: I was paid with a check, but I’m exactly confident with the person who wrote the check. I’d like to find out if the check is going to bounce before I deposit it (my bank charges a fee for bad checks). Is there any way to check the check out and find out if it’s bad - without depositing it and waiting to find out?
A check register is your personal record of your checking account. It’s a good idea to use your check register as a backup system even if you trust the bank. You can use the paper check registers that come with your checks, or you can use an electronic system. Let’s look at how check registers work and how you can get them for free.
If you have to save for your own retirement, an IRA is probably one of the first things you should look into. While IRAs can be complicated, you can accomplish a lot if you just understand some basic concepts. We'll cover some of the basic IRA material that you need to know, and you can work your way toward your retirement goals.
You are protected if your debit card is used by a thief. However, you have to act fast. Compared to credit cards, stolen debit cards carry a lot of risk. This page covers the basics of stolen debit cards and your liability.
A tax levy happens when tax collectors take possession of your assets. If you owe taxes and don’t do anything about it, they may just take what you owe from bank accounts or earnings. Learn how a tax levy works and what to expect.