Good credit is like a muscle: You either use it or lose it. And that can be an issue for a lot of empty nesters and retirees.

Empty nesters, baby boomers and retirees have a big advantage when it comes to credit. Not only do they have a long history of using it — a big plus for the credit score — but often they also have deep-sixed a lot of their debt.

“(They) are probably financially in a much different position than younger cardholders, from the standpoint that most of their debt has been retired,” says Norm Magnuson, vice president of public affairs for the Consumer Data Industry Association, a trade association for consumer reporting companies.

But empty nesters and retirees also have some special credit needs and concerns. While they might not use credit as much as they did in their 30s and 40s, their scores — which can determine what they pay for insurance, if they pass muster with leasing and utility companies and whether issuers will maintain credit limits — are still important to their financial well-being.

Want to keep your credit strong and vital as you sail into and through retirement? Here are seven strategies to help.

Credit scores reward longevity. The longer you’ve held an account with a good record, the better it is for your score.

Because many empty nesters and retirees have credit accounts they’ve maintained for 20 or 30 years, that gives them the edge when it comes to getting good scores, says Barry Paperno, consumer affairs manager at FICO, the company that created the FICO score. Even some small mistakes will hurt less with decades of good behavior to dilute their effect on the score, he says.

This benefit is also a good reason not to close long-held accounts just to simplify finances as you approach or enter retirement. Eventually closed accounts will come off your credit report, which could shorten the length of your credit history and negatively affect your credit score.

Closing accounts can also lower your score for another reason: Your available credit decreases. Because a large part of your score looks at how much credit you use versus how much credit you actually have, decreasing your available credit affects that ratio and can lower your score.

Scoring models give you points for various things that the score developers see as signs of responsible credit management. One of the items on the list: You carry a mix of different types of credit.

Having a mix of credit means you have revolving credit such as credit cards, and installment credit such as a home, car or furniture loan, and are handling both types well.

As you get older and pay off loans, it’s possible that you will find yourself with just revolving credit.

While that might be an issue for a younger consumer, it’s not a big deal for an older one, says Paperno. “It’s a very minor issue, especially for people in this stage of life,” he says. “They do not need to worry about that.”

What you may not realize: If you co-sign for a card or loan, it’s added to your credit report just as if it’s yours. And that debt is included in your debt load if you apply for credit or a mortgage.

It can also sink your credit score. When you’re using a higher percentage of your available credit, your score can go down. If you have $10,000 in available credit on your credit cards and charge $1,000 total on your cards, your utilization ratio will be 10 percent. Staying under that utilization ratio is optimum for a good credit score. However, if your adult child maxes out that co-signed card at $5,000, you’re now using 40 percent of your overall available credit. And your score would likely drop.

You’re also on the hook for the debt if the borrower defaults.

“I am not a fan of co-signing under almost any circumstances,” says John Ulzheimer, formerly of FICO, and president of consumer education for For empty nesters and retirees, it can be especially detrimental, he says. On a fixed income, “co-signing for a loan is like having a piano dangling on a string over your head,” he says.



students tips

 It’s that time of year again … tax time! Whether you like it or not, April 15th is inching closer, and knowing how to handle student loans on your tax forms can help you save money.

Student loans and taxes — two of your favorite things, right? Okay, we know both can be confusing and frustrating. But here are the facts you should know to help you make sense of it all during tax time.

5 key facts about student loans and taxes

  1. Are student loans tax deductible?

While many people may be eligible for the student loan interest deduction, it’s important to know that only the interest (not the payments) is deductible up to $2,500. Depending on interest paid and your income, you can get up to $625 back using this deduction.

  1. Credit card interest could be tax deductible too

…If used toward qualified education expenses. The catch: every item charged to the card has to be exclusively for qualified expenses or you can’t write it off at all.

Eric J. Nisall, founder of AccountLancer, stated, “Even a single non-qualified purchase on the card makes all the interest non-deductible.”

  1. Student loan help through your job

If your employer helps pay off your student loans, it might be considered compensation and subject to payroll taxes.

  1. What about gifts from family?

If you get the deal of a lifetime and your parents or another relative pay off your student loans, it will be considered a non-taxable gift to you. However, the benefactor in question may need to file a gift tax return and pay taxes on the total gifted.

  1. Tax implications of default

If you stop making payments and default on your student loans, Uncle Sam may intervene and garnish your tax refund until your debt is paid off.

How to deduct student loan interest

Student loans are a drag, but as mentioned above, the good news is you can at least write off some of the interest.

According to the IRS, you can claim this student loan tax deduction if all of the following apply:

You paid interest on a qualified student loan during the 2015 tax year

You are legally obligated to pay interest on a qualified student loan

Your filing status is not “married filing separately”

Your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is less than a specified amount, which is set annually

You or your spouse, if filing jointly, cannot be claimed as dependents on someone else’s return

In order to qualify for the interest deduction on your 2015 taxes, your MAGI must be less than $80,000 ($160,000 for couples filing jointly).

Both federal and private student loans qualify for this deduction. If you paid at least $600 in interest (which isn’t hard to do, sadly), be on the lookout for student loan tax form 1098-E  from your loan servicer, which illustrates how much interest you paid throughout the year. You’ll input that amount on tax form 1040.

You can make the process even easier by using a service like TurboTax or TaxACT, or by seeking professional help from an accountant.

Something to note is that only you, the borrower, can deduct the student loan interest on your taxes. If Mom and Dad help you out with some student loan payments, they are not eligible for this student loan tax deduction.

Nisall explained, “Only the person who is legally obligated for paying the debt is allowed to claim the deduction. The person who is legally obligated doesn’t have to make the payments, but is the only one who can claim the deduction. Even if the legally obligated person is claimed as dependent, the taxpayer claiming the legally obligated person still cannot take the deduction.”

Refinancing and the student loan tax deduction

We’ve talked a lot about student loan refinancing on Student Loan Hero. It’s one of the best ways you can consolidate your loans into one monthly payment and potentially get a lower interest rate, too.

If you choose to refinance, you may wonder if your student loan interest is eligible for tax deductions.

The verdict? Most likely. “As long as the money from the loan was used for qualified education purposes, interest paid on refinanced loans is eligible for deduction,” said Nisall.

But if you refinance more than the original value of your student loans, probably not. Nisall added, “However, if a loan was refinanced for more than the original value, and the additional money wasn’t used for qualified education expenses, none of that interest is deductible.”

As you can see, there are many nuances to student loans and taxes. When in doubt, talk to a tax professional about your individual situation to see if you’re eligible for any deductions or credits.

Get your paperwork ready early, such as your 1098-E (typically available by January 31) and get your taxes over with. Who knows, you may even get a refund, which you can put toward your student loans!

Either way, starting early and being organized can make tax season a lot less hectic and stressful.


best auto loan

Keep an eye on a loan’s total cost

When comparing loans, the figure to focus on is the annual percentage rate (APR), which varies from day to day. A lower rate can produce significant long- term savings. For example, a three-year, $15,000 loan at 5 percent APR would save you nearly $500 overall, compared with the same loan at 7 percent.

Another key consideration is the term of a loan, which can significantly affect both your monthly payment and the total cost of your financing. A shorter term means higher monthly payments but less money paid overall. Try to keep the length of the loan as short as you can afford.

A three-year loan costs far less overall than a five-year loan. For example, if you borrow $15,000 at a 6.5 percent APR for 36 months, your monthly payment will be $460, and the total interest will be $1,550. The same loan stretched out to 60 months would lower the monthly payment to $293—over $150 less—but increases the interest by $1,060 to a total of $2,610. And that doesn’t even take into account that longer loans often have higher interest rates.

Another concern with long-term loans is that they lengthen the time before your payments begin building equity in the vehicle. For example, with a 60-month loan, it might take 18 months of payments or longer before the car is worth more than you owe on it. This means that if you want to trade in or sell the car early, the price you’ll get won’t cover the amount you still owe, also called being “upside down.” The same is true if the car were stolen or destroyed. Your insurance payment won’t be high enough to pay off the rest of your loan.

You can reduce this period by taking a shorter loan. For example, with a three-year loan, you already might have built thousands of dollars of equity in the vehicle by the end of the first year.

You can avoid being upside down by making a significant down payment. When financing the purchase of a new car, we recommend having a trade-in or down payment of at least 15 percent of the total cost.

Where to shop for an auto loan

Walking into a dealership with a guaranteed auto loan in your hand gives you bargaining power and flexibility. It also helps you avoid the common sales tactic of mixing up the vehicle price with financing costs. On the other hand, going into the dealership without doing research on how you are going to finance your purchase is setting yourself up to overpay.

One place to start your search for a loan is at The website shows you the current average loan rates nationally. And by entering your ZIP code, you can see some offers tailored specifically for your area. But the site often doesn’t include a lot of local lenders or, in some cases, national ones. So it’s worth checking with individual institutions, as well.

A dealership may be able to offer you the best financing terms. But you should still do your homework beforehand by carefully shopping for the best loan offers so you have a comparison point.

Also, taking the automaker’s low- or zero-percent financing often means having to pass on a rebate, since your choice generally is one or the other, not both. But you often can get the best of both worlds by taking the rebate from the dealer and getting financing elsewhere, even if the interest rate is higher than the promotional one from the manufacturer.

To use the loan-versus-rebate tool, you’ll first need to shop for the best alternative rate. Here are some places to look:

Local banks. Banks generally have very specific, conservative loan policies and may only cater to those with better credit references. As such, banks are in a position to offer some very com­petitive loan rates. Since you probably have a relationship with at least one bank already, that might be a great place to start your financing search. Most banks have websites where you can check their current loan rates, but if you decide to apply for a loan, you should stop by a branch office and deal with a real person. It’s a good way to control where your personal information goes, and by avoiding mistakes or misunderstandings, you might walk out the door with a pretty good interest-rate offer.

Local credit unions. Credit unions operate a bit like banks, but they lend money only to their members, who are also owners of the credit union itself. Because credit unions are nonprofit, their operating costs are fairly low and their lending rates can be quite competitive. Many people belong to credit unions just to take advantage of the convenient loan policies.



getting small business loan

Getting a small business loan is rarely easy, especially if you’re planning to start a new business or have just recently started one. But, even if you have been in business for years, with today’s economic climate, banks and other financial institutions have become a lot more selective.

In fact, 82% of small business loan applications are currently being denied by the big banks. Why are banks saying “no” to small businesses? It’s partly because they’ve had to take more risk out of their portfolios (after all they are lending with our money), and small businesses are inherently riskier than large businesses. As well, it costs banks just as much to underwrite large loans (over $250k) as it does small loans. But, most small businesses don’t necessarily need a larger loan. So, what can you do if your business needs funding?

Luckily, hundreds of online lenders have popped up to fill the void left by the banks. These online lenders are approving more loans than the bank, but you are still going to have to invest some time in finding a loan. If you are wondering how to get small business loan, the best possible advice we can give is that if you understand what these online lenders are looking for, you’ll be better positioned to navigate your way through what can often be a very complex loan application process. Preparing as much as you can beforehand will help you save massive amounts of time down the road.

Six Steps for Getting a Small Business Loan

Here are six tips on ways you can improve your chances of getting your small business loan approved.


You know your business has great potential – otherwise you wouldn’t have started it – but if you can’t quickly and clearly communicate that compelling story to a lender, it will be more difficult for that lender to understand how the loan you want could improve your business prospects.

So it’s important that you create and refine a story that describes your business and its potential in just a few sentences. You should be able to explain in a short “elevator pitch” why your business will grow, what your specific competitive advantages are, and perhaps most importantly, why you need a small business loan and what you’ll do with the money.

Before asking how to get a small business loan, be sure you can answer WHY you need a small business loan.


The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers loan programs that can sometimes make it easier to get the funding you need, at the lowest interest rates available outside the bank.

Although the SBA does not directly loan money, it does partially guarantee loans that a bank might not otherwise make. This allows bankers to be somewhat more flexible in issuing you a loan.

But while lending standards for SBA loans can be a bit looser than for standard small business loans, bankers will still require extensive documentation. The process of getting an SBA loan may not be easier than that required for a traditional loan, but the chances of getting approved can be higher, especially if you have collateral and a good business history.

For newer businesses, the SBA has a “MicroLoan” program, where funds are made available through non-profit community-based lenders, but the maximum amount you can borrow is $50,000.


Evaluating your potential success in getting a small business loan has a lot to do with these three business metrics: annual revenue of your business, your average bank balance and your available collateral.

Annual revenue: Lenders are going to want to see that your business is making money. The higher your revenue, the better (after all, it shows you have the money to pay back the loan). An annual revenue of $250,000 is pretty solid, in terms of getting a loan. $500,000 is stellar. Having less than $250,000 won’t result in an automatic decline, but it could limit your options.

Average bank balance: You could be great at making money, but horrible at managing it. That’s why your average bank balance is also important to lenders. Lenders are going to want to see that you have some cash on hand, verifying you have a cushion to keep up with loan payments even if your sales dip for a bit. An average bank balance of $5,000 is a good start. $10,000 is solid. Keep in mind that the larger the loan amount you are seeking, the more cash on hand you will need.

Available collateral: In order to help offset risk, many lenders will require collateral. This way, if you are unable to meet loan payments, they have a way to make back their money lent. They will first look at your business assets (more on personal later) as possible collateral. Potential sources of collateral include business assets such as equipment, real estate and inventory.


ways to hire a loan

Beginners look at commercial loans as a means of realising a dream. They long to own their own restaurant, pub or bed-and-breakfast, and look to their friendly local bank manager for help. Cue frustration and disappointment. These days, loans are decided by back-room underwriters, who use cold calculation to decide your credit worthiness. To the seasoned pro, it’s just another day at the office; a handy way of adding to their portfolio. To get the best deal, you need to prepare in advance. Here are a few tips to help you on your way:

  1. Have your business plan, forecasts and projections, financial records and statements, history of the property’s income, and the appraisal when you approach lenders. Make sure these are accurate and up to date. This lets the bank know that you mean business. If make them think about your application, they are more likely to deny your loan.
  2. Put your own money down. You’ll need at least a deposit and closing costs. Lenders want to share the risk, not own it entirely. They will usually not finance more than 75% of the appraised value of the property. Personal guaranties of the principal owners may be necessary.
  3. Get your own appraisal of the property. This will provide you with an unbiased estimate of what the property is really worth. You’ll then know whether it’s worth the financial risk.
  4. Apply for your loan as soon as you can. Commercial lenders exaggerate their speed. They’ll quote you forty-five days when it’s more likely to be three months!
  5. Never rely on just one commercial lender. Commercial lending is very subjective. Submit your deal to at least four of them.
  6. Commercial lenders must order a property appraisal themselves. The bank won’t be allowed by law to accept one ordered by you or a third party.
  7. Most commercial lenders now require toxicity reports, to discover any contamination of the site. If a lender forecloses on a contaminated property, the lender inherits the expense of cleaning it up.
  8. Lenders near the property generally offer better terms. With those farther away, it’s a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’.

Does your company have a sizable cash flow? You can use the promise of depositing it with the lender to negotiate a better deal.



7 ways to make a business loan

Step 1: Start before the loan is needed. It is critical to build a relationship with the people at the lender before the business actually needs the loan. Let the key contacts get to know the company before asking for anything. Remember, people do business with who they know, like, and trust. Lenders work the same way.

Step 2: Decide what the money is needed for. There are good and bad reasons for business loans. Good reasons include financing a piece of equipment, real estate, long term software development or large seasonal sales variances. Bad reasons include financing ongoing losses, office build outs, or acquiring non-essential business assets.

Step 3: Decide how much money the company needs. Most small businesses don’t ask for a large enough loan. Underestimating the amount of money can lead to problems with a lack of working capital sooner than planned. Overestimating can make lenders question the business owner’s assumptions and credibility. Have a well thought out budget that is supported by financial projections (profit &  loss statement and a cash flow statement) that is reasonable and shows that the research was done.

Step 4: Know the score. Lenders still look at personal credit scores as a way to judge the reliability of the principals who are borrowing the money. It is important to know what lenders look for and how the scores compare to those expectations.

Credit score: A credit score of above 650-700 is considered acceptable, but does not guarantee a loan. Most lenders will look for a credit score that is at least in the 700-800 range.

Debt to income: Personal debt payments should not be more than 33% of gross monthly income.

Time in business: Lenders give unsecured working capital lines and term loans to businesses which are over 2 years old and have a reliable record of incoming accounts receivables.



Good personal loan

Personal loans can be a great way to solve cash flow problems. They can help you consolidate your debt, pay bills or help you out of an unexpected financial bind. You can even use a personal loan to fund a new business venture. Personal loans are great for many purposes as long as you do not use the money for frivolous things you really cannot afford. Additionally, any time you take on new debt, you should understand what you are getting into. Here are ten important things you should know that will help you find a great deal on a personal loan.

Know your FICO Scores

A large part of what determines whether or not you are approved for a loan and how high the interest rate is depends on your credit report. A lender will typically pull credit reports from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion and compare your credit score from all three. If you know your scores before you apply for the loan, then you can get a ballpark idea of what interest rate percentage you should be eligible for.

Check Your Reports

While you are looking at your FICO scores, check your credit report for errors. All too often people end up with lower scores than they should because of errors on their credit report. If you can find and correct these errors before you apply for a loan, then you will greatly improve your chances of getting favorable loan terms. It can take up to 30 days for the bureaus to resolve these errors, so you should pull your reports as early as you can.

Shop Around

Different lenders have underwriting guidelines, so not all their offers will be the same. Fill out an application at a website like personal loans or even and they will submit your application to different vendors. Applying online is faster than going to multiple banks and online lenders tend to have higher approval levels and better loan terms. You are not obligated to accept any offers once you fill out the application, but is a nice, quick way to make comparisons.




PERSONAL LOAN is a credit agreement between the client and the financial institution where the client receives a financial amount that must be returned to the bank or financial within the given time, plus agreed interest. There are several ways to pay your loan. By check, direct debit or bank transfer.

What is the difference between PERSONAL LOAN FINANCING and

In PERSONAL LOAN, the approved credit does not have a specific destination, or can be used for any purpose, such as paying bills, education (college, university), discharge other debts or to make a purchase or desired trip. Already FUNDING, it is also a contract between the customer and the financial institution, but in this case there is a specific purpose, such as the acquisition vehicle or a building.


When you choose to make a PERSONAL LOAN WITH CHEQUE, you fill out a check for each loan installment and delivery to the financial institution as collateral. Every month your check will be deducted to pay off the loan amount. In the case of LOAN DEBT WITH REGARD, every month the financial institution will deduct from your checking account the amount corresponding to that month of your loan. And LOAN WITH BANKING BOLETO, will generate a ticket that need to be paid every month.

The Good Credit To grant loans or financing?

IMPORTANT: To Good Credit is not a financial institution and therefore does not make any loan or direct financing to customers. The Good Credit To not represent any financial institution in particular. That is, the Good To Credit is an independent company and exempt only mediates the sale of financial products of the institutions with which we have partnership helping our customers find the best credit offers.



The importance of cash flow for your business and your business management

Does the current situation of your company enables the development of a promotion? Does it allows grant payment terms to customers? Is it possible to buy the sight of suppliers?

At the beginning of my project I used to take a lot of intuitive decisions, not checking such questions, which, of course, ended up resulting in nothing exciting consequences. So I had to learn to deal with the cash flow!

It is nothing more than a tool (important) that helps control the financial operations of each period, be it daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. From the moment that I adopted – with better understanding of the accounts payable and receivable, as well as sales, expenses and investment balances, among other data – I started to avoid problems scraps and faults in my box, and optimize returns and my plans.

Without this control and these possibilities I could not develop a business management really efficient and, either, to have a profitable business. It is also worth noting that the cash flow can even be used as a legal instrument accounting, but in this case it is best to enlist the help of an accountant.



Best Personal Loan … What is mine?

And then comes the end of the month, the bills hit the door and the situation begins to tighten … At such times, the best loan can be a good solution for you to pay in installments its commitments, since you organize, search, and compare the rates of interest before hiring.


But there are several types of Personal Loan (or Personal Loan as it is also called): loan with payment slip, loan check, payroll loan and loan guarantee. There always comes that question … OK. So what’s the best personal loan for me?

The Good Credit To want to help you understand and choose the best loan pro your profile!

Each type of loan offers for each specific credit profile of the person or for every need and time of each. To find the best personal loan that suits your credit profile, the Good Credit to help you evaluate what the purpose of your loan and separated four special tips for you.


See our 4 tips on how to know what the best loan for you:

  1. If you need money for an emergency or immediate need, such as to change a debt of a credit card or overdraft, despite having the highest rates Loan Personnel Check, Carnet or Billet can be a good solution since you replace the previous debt paying the new loan in installments that will fit in your pocket


  1. If you are retired, INSS Boarder or Public Officer, the best loan for you choose is the payroll loan. The rates of this type of loan are usually much lower because the installments are charged monthly direct their benefit (in the case of the INSS) or automatically from your paycheck (in the case of public employee). In addition, the conditions of this loan this (consignable rates and%) are controlled by the government through the Central Bank. Click here for the Best


  1. If you have a good itself, such as a building or settled vehicle, the best loan for you choose is the Loan Guaranteed putting good warranty, so this type of loan is also called Refinancing Property or Refinancing Vehicle. This personal credit, has the lowest rates on the market, but the credit release can take from 15 days to 60 days to go


  1. Now, if you are already quite indebted, with “bad name” restriction on the market or negated, we do Bom Pra Credit, do not indicate that you get more credit further increasing their debts. For you, before looking for the best loan, our tip is that you negotiate your existing debts in the institutions that are supposed to clear his name. In this case, the institutions often provide new plans to refinance its debt or even give good discounts if you pay off the outstanding balance in cash