5 Questions: Refinancing, Rebuilding Credit, and Being a Spendaholic

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Table of Contents  
  1. Show Notes


Time for 5 questions from listeners.  We’ll discuss refinancing, repairing damaged credit, and being a spendaholic.

We love answering your questions.  If you want to know, your fellow listeners are probably wondering too.

1.  How do I turn my spendaholic friends into the budgeting, investing machine LMM has turned me into?  First, tell them about the show!  You have to let each person realize they need help.  New Year’s resolutions are around the corner and money is a big one.  If they resolve to improve their finances, suggest some learning materials.  Podcasts, books, blogs that will help them learn.  If they suggest going out, offer up a cheap night.  A potluck, movie night at your place.  Remember, the host always gets to keep the leftover booze!  Inspire them, don’t lecture them.

2.  I have a secured credit card as I’m trying to rebuild my credit.  What’s another good card to help me repair the damage?  When Matt had bad credit, in the low 600’s, Discover gave him a credit card.  Set up an account on Credit Karma to check your credit score to see if things are improving.  Getting more than one card and putting a small charge (Netflix, gym membership) on each one will boost your credit score because it will show a history of on-time payments.  We wrote an article on credit scores with some additional information.

3.  How do on-going payments work in an index fund?  Inflation is usually 2-3% and no savings account offers anything close to that.  Through investing, over time, you can expect returns around 7%.  Make a deposit into your investment account every month and let it ride.

Savings accounts are kind enough to let your money depreciate.

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4.  My wife and I are looking to enter the property market.  After doing so, we’ll still have $20,000-$40,000 left over.  How do we stay ahead of inflation?  Betterment and Vanguard have great returns.  If you don’t need your money to be liquid, Lending Club is a great investment.  It’s not for everyone but it’s worth looking into.  If you’re more conservative, stick with Betterment.

5.  We are considering refinancing through SoFi.  Our rate could fluctuate up but the term would be reduced.  Is this the right move?  It’s more than likely that interest rates will go up in 2015.  By re-financing now, you’ll pay less and pay the loan off more quickly.

Thanks for the questions, everyone.  Keep sending them in.

Show Notes

Betterment:  The smart way to invest.

Flying Fish Red Fish: A hoppy red ale.

LMM Toolbox:  Some credit cards we recommend.


Candice Elliott - Senior Editor
Candice Elliott is a substantial contributor to Listen Money Matters. She has been a personal finance writer since 2013 and has written extensively on student loan debt, investing, and credit. She has successfully navigated these areas in her own life and knows how to help others do the same. Candice has answered thousands of questions from the LMM community and spent countless hours doing research for hundreds of personal finance articles. She happily calls New Orleans, Louisiana home-the most fun city in the world.

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