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Growth Rapidly is a personal finance blog, intended to help you save money, make money, and build wealth. Our articles and financial tools are there to assist you to make the best financial decisions, including buying a house, choosing a financial advisor, etc

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    What is Alimony and How Does It Work?

    If you’re getting a divorce, chances are good that you may be receiving or paying alimony. Alimony is also called in some states “spousal support” or “maintenance.” If you are indeed in this situation (whether you’re the payor or the recipient of the alimony), it may make sense to know what alimony is and how … Continue reading "What is Alimony and How Does It Work?" The post What is Alimony and How Does It Work? appeared first on...

    If you’re getting a divorce, chances are good that you may be receiving or paying alimony. Alimony is also called in some states “spousal support” or “maintenance.” If you are indeed in this situation (whether you’re the payor or the recipient of the alimony), it may make sense to know what alimony is and how alimony works.

    It may also make sense to work with a qualified financial advisor to help you with your money during this difficult time. This free advisor matching tool recommends up to three financial advisors based on your unique circumstances.

    What is alimony?

    Alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance, is a situation where one former spouse pays financial support to the other spouse after a divorce or separation.

    Alimony can be in the form of cash, or some other type of payments. Spousal support is usually awarded in situation where one spouse was the breadwinner in the marriage. And the other spouse could no longer support himself and herself as a result of the divorce.

    Depending on how long you were married, spousal support payments can be significant. Alimony, however, should not be confused with child support. They are two different things.

    Child support, as the name suggests, is “support: for the child. Whereas alimony is “support” for the receiving spouse.

    How does alimony work?

    Generally, after a divorce is finalized, and if one spouse makes more money than the other, and the other spouse is unable to support him or herself financially, a court may award alimony.

    How long and how much you have to receive or pay maintenance depends on your state. Consult with a divorce attorney in your state or a financial advisor for that matter. But generally, the longer you were married, the more likely spousal support will be awarded.

    Alimony must be paid for a period of time to the receiving spouse. The payments must meet these requirements:

    Cash.

     The payments must be made in cash rather than stocks, bonds or other form of property.

    For example, if you’re getting a divorce and the divorce decree requires you to transfer some stocks of XYZ company to your ex-spouse, that does not qualify as spousal support or maintenance. Rather, it looks more of a property settlement. So, it must be cash, checks, etc.

    Spousal Support Payments under decree.

    The alimony payments must be received under a divorce decree or separation agreement. A divorce degree is a court’s final order that terminates a marriage. It will list all of the obligations of each party. Who gets what and how much.

    No payment if the receiving spouse or the payor dies.

    Alimony payments stop upon the death of the receiving spouse. Alimony is “support” for the receiving spouse. If he or she dies, he or she no longer needs support.

    Even if the parties intended an amount of money to be paid to the estate of the receiving spouse in the event of his or her death, that payment would not qualify as alimony. Thus, alimony ends at the death of the receiving spouse.

    The same is true if the payor dies.

    The alimony payments is deductible.

    The divorce decree should state who will pay tax on the alimony income. Usually, the receiving spouse will pay tax on the maintenance payments, as he or she will be in the lower tax bracket. And the payor will claim a deduction on the payments.

    Therefore, it’s important to keep records of the payments (whether you’re the payor or the alimony recipient). 

    Alimony is not child support. 

    If you’re ordered by the court to pay a certain amount of money for child support after a marriage, this amount is not spousal support. So, for a payment to qualify as alimony, it must not be payment for the support of a child.

    So, you can be in a situation where you’re paying child support and spousal support at the same time.

    Who qualifies to receive spousal support?

    Before a court awards you alimony, they will look at several factors. One is how long you were married for. You are more likely to get spousal support after a long marriage rather than a short marriage.

    Another factor a court might look at is your capacity to earn. If you currently have a part time job, a judge might require you to seek a full time job to estimate how much you can earn.

    A judge might also look at your standard of living during the marriage. Again, whether you will receive alimony depends on your state. Click here for the laws on your state.

    The bottom line…

    So what is alimony? Alimony is financial support to a spouse for a certain period of time. It is ordered by a court after a divorce is finalized. To qualify as alimony, the payments must be made in cash. The parties must not live together. The payments stop if the receiving spouse dies. And the payments are not used for child support.

    What’s Next:

    Speak with the Right Financial Advisor

    If you have questions beyond alimony or spousal support, you can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals (whether it is making more money, paying off debt, investing, buying a house, planning for retirement, saving, etc).

    Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.

    The post What is Alimony and How Does It Work? appeared first on GrowthRapidly.


    5 Best Places to Find A Good Financial Planner Near Me

    If you’re planning for retirement, or have recently inherited some money and don’t know what to do with it, you might be in need of professional advice. If that’s the case, then you might be wondering “where can I find a good financial planner near me”? Finding a financial advisor near you can start with … Continue reading "5 Best Places to Find A Good Financial Planner Near Me" The post 5 Best Places to Find A Good Financial Planner Near Me appeared first...

    If you’re planning for retirement, or have recently inherited some money and don’t know what to do with it, you might be in need of professional advice. If that’s the case, then you might be wondering “where can I find a good financial planner near me”?

    Finding a financial advisor near you can start with a simple Google search.

    A search for “financial planner near me” can turn thousands of results.

    But this may be overwhelming. And you may not know which one to trust. In other words, you have to know where to look.

    That’s why we have compiled 5 of the best places to find a financial planner near me to help you with your finances.

    Want help with your money? SmartAsset’s free matching tool can help find you a financial advisor near you.

    What do financial planners do and do you need one?

    Before we jump into the best places to find a financial planner in your local area, we need to answer two questions:

    1) What does a financial planner do? And do you need a financial advisor?

    A financial planner or a financial advisor is a professional who provides advice on some or all areas of investing, retirement planning, estate planning, tax, and risk management, etc.

    More specifically, a good financial planner can:

    • suggest ways to manage your money;
    • explain risks of investments;
    • implement an investing strategy for you;
    • help prioritize your goals;
    • set up a retirement savings plan;
    • planning for big expenses such as a wedding or a buying home.

    Do you need a financial planner?

    You may not need a financial planner if you’ve just started out with saving money.

    Or, if you’re just trying to pay off credit card debts, you may not need one.

    That is because, these are simple things that you can do on your own and it’s because financial planners do not come cheap. You’re better off paying for professional advice for more complicated matters.

    But if you’re looking to invest in the stock market, planning for retirement, want to build wealth, or buying a house, an independent financial planner may be an invaluable resource.

    Therefore, looking for a financial planner nearby makes financial sense.

    Best Places to Find a Financial Planner Near Me

    Are you looking for an independent financial advisor nearby, but don’t know where to find one? Below are the seven places to get a good financial planner near me to help manage your money.

    1. SmartAsset’s free matching tool

    SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool is perhaps the best way to find an independent financial planner who you can trust.

    That is because each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is legally bound to act in your best interest.

    The free matching tool will pair you up to 3 financial planners near you based on your needs.

    The way it works is very simple:

    • Answer a few questions: you let Smart Asset know what you’re looking for in a financial planner, so they can find a match near you
    • See your local financial planner matches: based on your answers, Smart Asset will match you with up to three financial advisors in your area.
    • Book appointments: you can use Smart Asset’s online tools or concierge service to book an appointment.

    If you’re ready to be matched with local financial planners that will help you achieve financial goals, get started now.

    2. The Garrett Planning Network

    GarrettPlanningNetwork.com provides a map of the United States where you can click on a state and find a list of local financial planners.

    You can also type in your zip code in the search field to find a financial planner near you.

    3. The National Association for Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)

    NAPFA is another popular way to find a financial planner near you. It’s easy and quick.

    At the very top of their page, you’re able to enter your zip code or location. Then, you click on a button at the very top entitled “Find Advisors Near Me.”

    You have an option to save your advisors to a favorite list and then send them an email about your financial planning needs.

    4. Search Engines

    Without a doubt search engines are the quickest ways to find a financial planner nearby.

    Choose your favorite search engine and type in the following terms:

    • Financial planner near me
    • Financial advisor near me
    • Fee-only financial planner
    • fee-only financial planner near me
    • Expertise financial planner
    • How to find a financial planner

    You will be amazed how many results your search has gathered.

    You will see that, after searching for “financial planner near me,” instead of results of actual names of financial planners in your area, you will get websites with different advisors.

    That is because, not all financial planners have their own websites. Or it could be that they’re not independent financial advisors and work for firms.

    That does not mean your “financial planner near me” results will not be helpful. It means that you will need to know which sites are the most useful.

    That can make it hard to choose the right financial planner.

    So, what’s the best way to find a financial planner near me without feeling overwhelmed?

    Use the SmartAsset’s free matching tool. With the tool, you’re able to see nearby listings and find your financial advisor among the 3 financial planners near you.

    Searching for financial planners or advisors near you is much easier with SmartAsset. You simply answer a few questions and the tool will match you with up to three (3) financial advisors in your local area.

    5. Ask family, friends, or colleagues for recommendations

    Besides your “financial planner near me” search results, use a financial planner who has worked for a friend, colleague or family member in the past for an extended period of time.

    If they had a good experience with them, you’re more likely to experience the same. So, take advantage of those sources to find a local financial planner. However, understand that just because your friends had a good experience does not necessarily mean you will. Your circumstances might be different. 

    Select your financial planner by asking several questions

    Finding a good financial planner near me takes time and effort and your search should go well beyond referrals from family, friends, and colleagues.

    In fact, you should dedicate as much time as if you were looking for a primary doctor whom you can trust with your physical well-being.

    In other words, your search shouldn’t stop once you find a financial advisor. You need to make sure you select the best one by asking several questions. 

    Here are some questions to ask your potential financial advisors:

    What are your qualifications?

    Anyone can call themselves a financial advisor or financial planner. So it’s crucial to ask important questions to know if they are well qualified.

    Knowing where they attend undergraduate and graduate schools is important.

    It’s also good to know if they are certified.

    A good financial planner usually has credentials such as certified financial planner (CFP).

    Financial planners who are certified are regulated and are required to take courses in subjects such as retirement planning, financial planning, etc.

    How much do you charge for your services?

    Financial advisor costs should be on your top list of questions to ask them. That is because financial advisors have different fee structure and they are not cheap. Some fee-only financial planner charges hourly.

    Other financial advisors charge on percentage or commission basis. So ask them: how much will you charge me hourly?

    For more information on financial advisor cost, read: How Much Does A Financial Advisor Cost?

    Are you a fiduciary advisor?

    It’s important to know if your potential advisor is fiduciary. A fiduciary advisor is legally bound to put your needs before their own.

    In other words, they’re legally bound to act in your best interest. Whereas a financial advisor who is not a fiduciary is bound to provide you products that are suitable for your needs, but which may not be the very best for you.

    What type of clients do you typically work with?

    It’s important to select a financial planner with the experience and expertise in the kind of advice you’re seeking.

    For example, if you’re deciding on what retirement plan, such as a 401k plan or an IRA, to set up, you want a financial planner who has advised other people on the same topic.

    If you’re starting a business, ask your financial advisor if they have experience in handling similar clients.

    So questions such as their qualifications, specialty areas, typical clients, fee structure, are important.

    Smart Asset’s free tool can help you find a financial advisor near you.

    Have you been subject to disciplinary action? 

    Now this is one of the questions you might not want to ask the financial advisor directly. To avoid offending your potential advisor, do your due diligence by doing your own research.

    Bottom line: financial planner near me

    How do I find a financial planner near me? Finding a good advisor in your area is easy. But you have to know where to look.

    The best places to find ones are through the SmartAsset’s free matching tool, the National Association for Personal Advisors (NAPFA), Garrett Planning Network, recommendations from people you know, from your bank or financial institution.

    The bottom line is you have to do your own diligence and choose the best financial planner for your needs.

    Are you looking for a fee-only financial planner? What do you do to find a financial planner near you?

    More articles to help you find the best financial Planner near me.

    Speak with the Best Financial Planner Near Me

    You can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals (whether it is making more money, paying off debt, investing, buying a house, planning for retirement, saving, etc).

    Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.

    The post 5 Best Places to Find A Good Financial Planner Near Me appeared first on GrowthRapidly.


    IRA vs 401k: What Are the Key Differences?

    IRA vs 401k: is there a difference? Yes, there is a big difference between an IRA and 401k. The main difference between the two is that an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) is a form of retirement plan that you can create and fund yourself. Whereas, a 401k plan is a tax advantaged retirement plan created … Continue reading "IRA vs 401k: What Are the Key Differences?" The post IRA vs 401k: What Are the Key Differences? appeared first on...

    IRA vs 401k: is there a difference?

    Yes, there is a big difference between an IRA and 401k. The main difference between the two is that an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) is a form of retirement plan that you can create and fund yourself.

    Whereas, a 401k plan is a tax advantaged retirement plan created by your employer, in which you can contribute a certain amount from your salary.

    Let’s explore more key differences between IRAs and 401(k)s.

    Note, if you have questions beyond an IRA and 401k plans, a financial advisor can help you determine the best saving options to help you reach your retirement income goals.

    IRA vs 401k: Understanding the difference between the two.

    There are several tax advantaged retirement plans out there. They are IRA, Simplified Employee Pension aka SEP, a Keogh Plan, or a 401k plan.

    Each of these plans that can help you save for retirement. And the money you invest in them grows free of taxes. However, they have their own unique benefits.

    So, knowing which ones fit your individual needs can be difficult. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to compare several plans to make the right choice. 

    But for purpose of this article, I will only focus on IRA vs 401k.

    What is a 401k?

    A 401k plan is a retirement savings plan that is offered by your for-profit company. If you work for a non-profit company, then you may have access to what’s called a 403(b) plan.

    Your contribution to a 401k plan is deductible on both federal and state taxes in the year you make them. A 401k plan allows you to contribute up to $19,500 per year (for tax year 2020).

    If you’re an older employee, at least age 50, you can contribute an additional $6,500 (called a catch-up contribution limit), making it a total of $26,000 each year.

    Read: 401k Contribution Limits for 2020: What Are They?

    In most cases, your employer may offer a match. That is if you contribute 3% of your paycheck, your employer may match it with 3%, making your 401k contribution 6%.

    Under some circumstances, you may be able to withdraw money from your 401k before age 59 1/2, but only if you show financial hardship.

    Otherwise, you’ll get hit with a 10% penalty and federal, state and local taxes on that amount. See more on the IRA vs 401k withdrawal rules below.

    2020 401k Maximum Contribution
    Under age 50$19,500
    Age 50 plus$19, 500 + $6,500 = $26,000

    What is an IRA?

    Anyone who is earning an employment income (or receiving alimony) can open an IRA account.

    An IRA is also a retirement account that grows tax free until you withdraw the money.

    It is an individual account and not tied to your employer.

    Unlike a 401k, your yearly contribution to an IRA is much less. You may contribute $6,000 into your IRA for the year of 2020. If you are 50 years old and older, you may contribute up to $7,000.

    Both wife and husband can contribute up to $6,000 each year, making it a total of $12,000 even if only one spouse is working. Your can deduct all of your traditional IRA contributions every year.

    However, your IRA may not be deductible if you or your spouse participates in a retirement plan at work, like a 401k.

    If you cannot deduct your IRA contribution, consider opening a nondeductible account called a Roth IRA.

    If you’re single with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $124,000 or married filing jointly with an AGI of $196,000, you can contribute up to $6,000 per year to a Roth IRA.

    Those who are 50 years old and older can contribute $6,000.

    2020 IRA Maximum Contribution
    Under age 50$6,000
    Age 50 plus$7,000

    What’s the difference between an IRA plan and a 401k plan?

    IRA vs 401k

    • An IRA is a retirement account that you create, while a 401k is a retirement account that your employer sets up for you, and one that you fund. In some cases, your employer will match a portion of your 401k contributions.
    • Maximum contribution: A 401k allows you to contribute $19,500 and up to $26,000 if you’re an older employee–at least 50 years of age. Whereas, with an IRA you can contribute up to $6,000 each year. Your spouse, regardless whether he or she is working, can also contribute up to $6,000 into your IRA, making it a total of $12,000 per year. If you are 50 and older, you can put up to $7,000 in your IRA each year. 
    • Tax-deduction: Your contributions to a 401k are tax deductible in the year that you make them. Whereas, your contributions to an IRA may or may not be tax deductible.
    • You decide where to open your IRA account (i.e., at a bank, mutual fund company or brokerage firm), while with a 401k must be established by your employer.

    IRA vs 401k Withdrawals Rules

    With both 401k plans and IRA plans, you can withdraw money before retirement. But the penalties for doing so are outrageous.

    With an IRA, any money withdrawn before the age of 59 1/2 is subject to a 10% penalty, plus federal, state and local taxes on that amount. However, there are exceptions.

    The 10% penalty won’t apply if you use the money to pay for medical expenses, to buy a house for the first time, and to pay for higher education for yourself, spouse, child, or grandchild.

    The same withdrawal rules apply for 401k accounts. Like an IRA,you’ll get hit with a 10% penalty if you make withdrawals from your 401k before age 59 1/2. Like an IRA, there are some exceptions to withdraw money from a 401k without a penalty.

    The exceptions are that if you experience financial hardship, such as:

    • Paying for medical expenses
    • Paying for a funeral or a primary residence.
    • You become totally disabled.
    • You are recently divorced and you have a court order to give money to your ex-spouse or child.

    However, showing financial hardship can be hard to prove. You really have to show that you can’t get the money from a bank or from any other sources.

    The rules regarding withdrawals from your 401k and IRA can be complex. So, always consult with a tax or financial advisor for more information.

    The advantages and disadvantages of a 401k plan versus an IRA plan.

    The great advantage a 401k plan has over an IRA is the high maximum contribution you can make. A 401k plan allows an employee to contribute $19,500 a year and $26,000 if you are older than 50.

    With an IRA, as you know, the current maximum is $6,000 a year of $7,000 if you are over 50 years old.

    If your employers offers a 401k plan at work, make sure you take advantage of it. Another advantage of 401k plan over an IRA is that your employer can contribute matching a dollar for each dollar the employee contribute.

    That’s a big plus!

    However, with an IRA, and unlike a 401k, you have more control on where you want to set up your retirement account (i.e, banks, brokerage firms, mutual funds, etc).

    You’re also responsible for creating your own portfolio and monitoring your account. 

    Read: How Much Is Enough for Retirement?

    IRA vs 401k: which one should I choose?

    Is it better to have a 401k or IRA? An IRA is a good option if your employer does not offer a retirement savings plan, or if you have already maxed out your employer’s 401k plan.

    However, if you’re choosing between an IRA and a 401k, a 401k plan is a better choice.

    That is because the ceiling on how much you can contribute each year on a 401k plan is much higher than an IRA plan.

    Therefore, your money has the potential to grow much faster. (Wondering how to grow your 401k account? Here’s how to save $1 Million in your 401k account.)

    But if you want to contribute to both an IRA and 401k, start with the 401k plan first, max it out. Then, move on to an IRA. 

    IRA vs 401k: the bottom line

    Both an IRA and 401k plans are two of the best vehicles to save for retirement. That is because the money grows free of federal and state taxes.

    IRAs are similar to 401k accounts, but there are key differences.

    One main difference between an IRA and 401k is the contribution limit. If you qualify for both and have additional questions, consult with your accountant or financial advisor to determine which is type is the best for you.

    More on retirement:

    Speak with the Right Financial Advisor For You

    If you have more questions beyond the difference between IRAs and 401ks, know that you can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals (whether it is making more money, paying off debt, investing, buying a house, planning for retirement, saving, etc).

    Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.

    The post IRA vs 401k: What Are the Key Differences? appeared first on GrowthRapidly.


    Credit Sesame vs Credit Karma: Key Differences?

    Looking for a free credit monitoring service? You may need to know the difference between Credit Sesame vs Credit Karma. There are several credit monitoring services available to consumers these days. However, since all have their own unique benefits and features, it can be hard to know which ones fit your needs the best. But … Continue reading "Credit Sesame vs Credit Karma: Key Differences?" The post Credit Sesame vs Credit Karma: Key Differences? appeared first on...

    Looking for a free credit monitoring service? You may need to know the difference between Credit Sesame vs Credit Karma.

    There are several credit monitoring services available to consumers these days. However, since all have their own unique benefits and features, it can be hard to know which ones fit your needs the best. But the best ones are Credit Sesame and Credit Karma.

    They are both popular.

    Credit Karma offers more options, while Credit Sesame offers fewer options, but also offers free services. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages.

    But whether Credit Karma is better than Credit Sesame, and vice versa, depends on your specific needs.

    In this article, we’ll focus on what Credit Karma and Credit Sesame are, as well as the key differences between the two.

    Credit Sesame vs Credit Karma: what’s the difference?

    To better learn the difference between Credit Karma and Credit Sesame, you must know first what they are. Credit Sesame and Credit Karma are two credit monitoring services out there. 

    What is Credit Karma?

    Credit Karma is a free credit monitoring service and one of the top platforms today. It was founded in 2006. As of now, they have over 100 millions subscribers.

    According to its website, Credit Karma has been offering free credit score and credit report since 2008.

    They also offer free tax filing, credit card and loan recommendations based on your credit score.

    They make money by matching you with credit card and loan companies based on your credit profile.

    Once you apply for a credit card or a personal loan based on their recommendation, they get small commission.

    But please know that you don’t have to apply for any of their recommendations. Most people sign up just to get a free credit score and credit report and free monitoring service.

    What is Credit Sesame?

    Credit Sesame, is one of the top free credit monitoring services. They are mainly known for providing free credit scores. They are also known for monitoring people’s credit scores.

    You just sign up for the service for free without needing a credit card. All you have to enter is your personal information. There is no commitment. There is no trial.

    They don’t ask for a credit card to join either.

    If you decide that you don’t like getting free credit scores, you can cancel your subscription at any time. No strings attached.

    Check out: Credit Sesame Review

    While other credit monitoring services charges consumers $15 to $20 a month, with Credit Sesame it is free. 

    The only time you’d have to pay a fee is if you want your credit score daily. Credit Sesame gives a free credit score every month. 

    In addition to providing a free credit score and monitoring, Credit Sesame also provides a free identity theft protection. They send you an alert if they suspect any suspicious activity on your report.

    Understanding the difference between Credit Sesame and Credit Karma.

    On a closer look, Credit Sesame and Credit Karma are similar credit monitoring services. Both offer free credit scores.

    They both offer free credit monitoring. They both also do not ask users for a credit card to signup.

    Also, they both analyze your credit profile and make recommendations  for loans, credit cards and other products. You don’t have to apply; they are just recommendations.

    But, there are some important differences to take notice of.

    With Credit Karma, you get  your credit score and credit monitoring — your VantageScore 3.0 — from two of the major credit bureaus Transunion and Equifax.

    Whereas, Credit Sesame only provides free credit score and credit monitoring for one credit bureau: TransUnion’s VantageScore.

    Get a free credit score with Credit Karma

    Size and reputation: Credit Karma vs Credit Sesame

    Credit Karma is a bigger company. It enjoys more than 100 millions subscribers, making it the largest credit monitoring services you’ll come across. 

    Whereas, Credit Sesame only has 10 million members. Credit Karma has been around since 2006, while Credit Sesame was founded in 2010.

    Services: Credit Sesame vs Credit Karma

    Credit Sesame provides fewer free services than Credit Karma. Credit Sesame provides a free credit score, free credit monitoring, and free identity theft protection and insurance.

    They also offer a free savings recommendations.

    Whereas, Credit Karma provides free credit score, free credit report, credit monitoring, identity monitoring, free tax preparation and filing, savings account, unclaimed money finder, etc.

    Making the choice: Credit Karma vs Credit Sesame

    Choosing between Credit Sesame and Credit Karma can be hard since they seem to offer similar services. While you have to create an account to use both, you don’t need to enter your credit card information.

    But, Credit Karma seems to have more options than Credit Sesame, making it a better credit monitoring service.

    What’s the difference between Credit Sesame and Credit Karma?

    • Credit Sesame offers a free credit score, free credit monitoring and free credit ID protection service. 
    • Credit Sesame has a free credit report card, Credit Karma does not.
    • However, Credit Karma is a more robust company, having hundred millions subscribers, and offers more free services including free credit score, free credit report and credit monitoring, and several others. 
    • Credit Karma provides credit scores and credit reports from two credit bureaus –Equifax and TransUnion, whereas Credit Sesame gets you your credit report and monitoring from one credit bureau: TransUnion

    So, if you were wondering what the key difference is between Credit Sesame and Credit Karma, know that the two aren’t world apart.

    Read more:

    Speak with the Right Financial Advisor

    If you have more questions beyond the difference between Credit Sesame and Credit Karma, know that you can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals (whether it is making more money, paying off debt, investing, buying a house, planning for retirement, saving, etc).

    Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.

    The post Credit Sesame vs Credit Karma: Key Differences? appeared first on GrowthRapidly.


    Should You Use A Loan to Pay Off Credit Cards Debt?

    A personal loan allows you to borrow an amount of money from a provider and to repay it back with interest. A personal loan can be used for several purposes: to fund a vacation, to buy a new car, to renovate your home, or even to consolidate debt. But should you get a loan to … Continue reading "Should You Use A Loan to Pay Off Credit Cards Debt?" The post Should You Use A Loan to Pay Off Credit Cards Debt? appeared first on...

    A personal loan allows you to borrow an amount of money from a provider and to repay it back with interest. A personal loan can be used for several purposes: to fund a vacation, to buy a new car, to renovate your home, or even to consolidate debt. But should you get a loan to pay off credit cards debt?

    Is it worth it to get a personal loan to pay off debt?

    Getting a loan to pay off your credit cards debt can help you pay off your debt faster. But it all comes down to whether your credit health and other aspects of your financial life are in good shape.

    This article will address the pros and cons of using personal loans to pay off credit card debt.

    In the meantime, if you’re interested in comparing the best loan offers with Even Financial, click here. It’s completely free.

    4 Reasons You shouldn’t use a loan to pay off credit cards debt

    1. You have a bad credit score.

    A personal loan can help you consolidate your credit card debt and help you pay it off faster. But if you have a bad credit score, applying for a loan can hurt you more than it can help.

    For one you might get rejected. And each time you apply and get rejected, it is another hard inquiry placed on your credit score, lowering your credit score down further.

    And if you do get qualified, your interest rate might be higher than the one you’re already paying on your credit cards.

    That is because personal loans with a lower interest rate are reserved for those people with a good to excellent credit scores.

    So check your credit score before applying.

    2. You only have a few thousand dollars in credit card debt.

    Getting a loan to pay off credit cards debt may make sense if you have several thousands dollars in credit card debt.

    Most lenders, with the exception of a few, offer a minimum of $5,000 personal loans. For example, Payoff’s personal loan offers range from $5,000 to $35,000. So, if you only have one or two thousands dollars in credit card debt, it may not be worth it to get a personal loan to pay it off.

    Have a good credit score? Take out a credit card consolidation loan from Payoff. Payoff loans are specifically designed for people who want to consolidate credit card debt. Loans start from $5,000 to $35,000. They require a minimum credit score of 640. Get started with a Payoff loan now.

    3. You can’t make the monthly payments.

    When you take out a personal loan to pay off credit cards debt, you’re locked into a set of monthly payments to be made within a set of period of time.

    Most often than not your monthly payments might be higher than the minimum monthly payments on your credit cards. And if you have a cash flow problem, or you have an unstable job, this can be a problem.

    That is because if you miss payments on your loan, not only will you pay late fees, it can also negatively impact your credit score.

    So before you decide to take out a credit card consolidation loan, ask yourself if you can afford to make the monthly payments. If your answer is yes, then taking a loan to pay off credit cards debt may be a good financial decision. 

    Need a personal loan? Shop and compare loans based on your credit score.

    4. You ignore the root source of your debt.

    If the reason why you have a lot of credit card debt is overspending, a personal loan may not be the solution to solving your problem. That is because, you’ll see yourself keep using a personal loan to pay off your credit cards debt, and therefore putting yourself into more debt over and over.

    In fact, overspending and credit card debt go hand-in-hand. If you stop overspending, your debt may be reduced significantly.

    How Can I get the right personal loan to pay off my credit cards debt?

    If you have your financial life in order, you’re probably wondering how you can get the personal loan to pay off my credit cards debt faster. Follow these quick steps…

    Step 1: Compare personal loans

    To get a competitive loan rate specific to your needs, you can use Even Financial’s personal loan search tool. The right loan will be able to save you the most money in interest and fees.

    Step 2: Take out a credit card consolidation loan from Payoff

    Payoff provides loans to individuals to use for one specific purpose: to people who want to consolidate credit card debt. Loans start from $5,000 to $35,000.

    They require a minimum credit score of 640. Payoff do not directly fund the loans. They work directly with 4 lenders to fund you the loans: technology Credit Union, Alliant credit Union, First Electronic Bank, First Tech Federal Credit Union. Get started with a Payoff loan now.

    Step 3: Use a payoff loan calculator

    Use a payoff loan calculator to see how much your monthly payments will be. A payoff loan calculator will help calculate your repayments and interest on the amounts of your personal loan.

    A payoff loan calculator will also let you know how long it will take you to pay off your personal loan.

    For example, let’s say you borrow $20,000 worth of personal loan with an interest rate of 10%. It will take you 2 years to pay off your loan if you make a $923 monthly repayments.

    The bottom line:

    So, is it worth it to get a personal loan to pay off debt?

    Whether you should use a loan to pay off credit cards debt depends on your credit health.

    While using a personal loan can help you save money on interest and potentially help you get out of debt faster, it may not be a viable option for you for the reasons stated above.

    Read More

    Credit Card Tips:

    • If you have more questions beyond getting a loan to pay off credit cards debt, you should talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals (whether it is making more money, paying off debt, investing, buying a house, planning for retirement, saving, etc).
    • Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.

    The post Should You Use A Loan to Pay Off Credit Cards Debt? appeared first on GrowthRapidly.


    Is Credit Sesame Legit, Safe, or a Scam?

    You’ve probably heard of Credit Sesame before, either on TV, online, or through friends. But is Credit Sesame legit? Is it safe like it is advertised to be? Can I trust Credit Sesame with my sensitive and personal information? To put your mind at ease,  the answer is a resounding “Yes,” Credit Sesame is a … Continue reading "Is Credit Sesame Legit, Safe, or a Scam?" The post Is Credit Sesame Legit, Safe, or a Scam? appeared first on...

    You’ve probably heard of Credit Sesame before, either on TV, online, or through friends. But is Credit Sesame legit?

    Is it safe like it is advertised to be? Can I trust Credit Sesame with my sensitive and personal information?

    To put your mind at ease,  the answer is a resounding “Yes,” Credit Sesame is a legitimate free website that provides you with a free credit score and free credit report.

    It also monitors your credit score and alerts you of any suspicious problems with your credit report.

    Moreover, there are several ways to check if Credit Sesame is indeed legit.

    Resources such as, consumer reviews about the company, is an effective way to know if Credit Sesame is a legitimate and trustworthy company.

    Click here to learn more about Credit Sesame.

    What is Credit Sesame? Is It Legit?

    Before answering the question “is Credit Sesame legit?,” you need to know first what Credit Sesame is.

    Credit Sesame is one of the top credit monitoring services out there. Their main competitors are Credit Karma, Quizzle, and Wallethub.

    Credit Sesame offers a free credit score and credit report, without needing your credit cards. In fact, you don’t ever have to use your credit card to join.

    All you need to enter is your social security number. There is no commitment. there is no trial.

    While other credit monitoring services charge anywhere from $15 to $20 a month for their services, Credit Sesame is totally free.

    Get your free credit score at Credit Sesame Now

    In addition to providing you with a free credit score, Credit Sesame also offers a free credit monitoring service and a free identity fraud protection service.

    The identity fraud protection service is one of the things that I really like about Credit Sesame. It allows you to take immediate action in case someone has stolen your identity.

    So, in case you were wondering if Credit Sesame is a legit, safe and trustworthy company, the answer is a resounding “yes.”

    Credit Sesame is legit.

    4 Ways to Decide if Credit Sesame is Legit

    If you’re still not convincing if Credit Sesame is a legit company, here are 4 ways to tell.

    1. Read consumer reviews about Credit Sesame.

    Part of your inquiry “is Credit Sesame legit” should include reading reviews of people about their experience with the company.

    For example, if you type in “Credit Sesame reviews” in one of your best search engines, you will notice sites like consumeraffairs.com or BBB.org

    These consumer reviews can be a great help to determine if indeed Credit Sesame is legit.

    But keep in mind that happy customers rarely leave reviews. It’s usually angry customers. So, have an open mind when reading these reviews.

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    2. Check the Credit Sesame’s website

    Another way to know if Credit Sesame is legit is to review its website. A company may appear legitimate, but its website can say otherwise.

    Here are a few things to consider to know if Credit Sesame is legit:

    • Is the Credit Sesame’s website itself safe? One way to judge whether a website is safe is to check and see if it has that green padlock in the address bar. A green padlock means that the information you’re about to share, i.e., passwords, personal information, social security numbers are secure. A look at Credit Sesame’s website shows that it has a green padlock. So we can rest assured that our personal data is protected with Credit Sesame.
    • How long have they been in business? The length Credit Sesame has been operating is another sign that it is legit. Credit Sesame has been in business since 2010. So, that’s a sign that they are a legitimate company.
    • Do they provide customer support? Yes, Credit Sesame has a help center you can visit to have your questions answered. In addition, they provide several email addresses to reach them. For example, if you suspect any fraudulent activity on your credit, you can send them an email immediately at security@creditsesame.com. If you have feedback for them, you can contact them at feedback@creditsesame.com.
    • Do they have a privacy policy page? A legit company will surely have a privacy policy page. A look at Credit Sesame shows that the company has one. 

    3. Does Credit Sesame have a physical location?

    A company with a physical location is a sign that they are not a scam. Credit Sesame list two physical addresses on their website:

    1) 444 Castro St, 500, Mountain View, CA 94041; 2) 100 Montgomery St., Ste 2500, San Francisco, CA 94104. This can lead you to believe that Credit Sesame is legit.

    4. Check the Credit Sesame’s BBB rating.

    Another way to know for certain that Credit Sesame is legit is to see if it has a good BBB rating.

    The BBB assigns business ratings from A+ to F, with an A+ rating being the highest and an F being the lowest rating.

    If you go to the BBB website, you will see that Credit Sesame has an A+ BBB rating. So, if Credit Sesame has an A+ rating, you know it’s legit.

    In addition, according to BBB, Credit Sesame has also been accredited since 2011.

    This should lead you to believe not only is Credit Sesame legit, it’s also safe.

    Is Credit Sesame legit: the bottom line

    In summary, I hope the reasons mentioned above have led you to believe that Credit Sesame is legit, safe and trustworthy.

    They have been in business since 2010; they are an accredited company since 2011 and they have an A+ BBB rating, the highest score you can get. 

    So, when yo want a free credit score and credit report, rest assured that your personal information, data, and sensitive information are protected, and free of risk and danger. 

    Get your free credit score at Credit Sesame Now

    Read More

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    Check Your Free Credit Score

    Get Your Free Credit Report

    Improve Your Credit Score

    What is a Good Credit Score?

    Work with the Right Financial Advisor

    You can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances (whether you need it to pay off debt, to invest, to buy a house, or plan for retirement, saving, etc).

    Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.

    The post Is Credit Sesame Legit, Safe, or a Scam? appeared first on GrowthRapidly.


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