Consumer Credit Counseling Service

ID theft can happen to anyone

An acquaintance recently shared this story with me: Ken, I have read your articles on identity theft in the past and have taken many of the precautions you have suggested. I take a great deal of pride in knowing about all of the precautions, and said “it could never happen to me, I am too…

Some deals are worth waffling on

August 1, 2010 Have you ever noticed how easy it is to rationalize your spending habits? There is nothing like something free, reduced, on sale or marked with a clearance sign to get the old shopping adrenalin going. I was walking through a store the other day, and as a good consumer, and following my…

Saving is tough, but it can be done

Dear Ken: You keep talking about saving for emergencies. But my wife and I are having a hard time making ends meet. We know we should save, but it is almost impossible. Do you have any special tricks that might work? A: Saving in tough times, or for that matter, saving anytime is tough. There…

Having the 'money talk' with spouse

June is just around the corner, wedding bells are i n the air and I can “feel the love.” If there was one thing I could share with newlyweds, it would be that sometime between “Yes, I will marry you,” and “I do,” you need to have the “money talk.” Couples don’t fight over love.…

Foreclosure purchase not always a deal

Dear Ken: I read your column on buying a home. What do you think about buying a foreclosure home? Answer: There’s a myth that all foreclosures are deals because they can be purchased for pennies on the dollar. But not all foreclosures are deals and steals.  Foreclosures often are purchased below market value, but the…

Ways to alleviate debt stress

Dear Ken: We are in a financial crisis. My husband is a carpenter and in the last year and a half work has been hard to come by. I am currently working at a factory job and have had my hours reduced. We are having a hard time making all of the payments on our…

How prepared are you for the unexpected?

Are you ready? Not too long ago, I was with my mother in the hospital. We were there because my father had some serious health concerns and we were considering the options facing the family. I was amazed at how well my mother and father had planned in case something would happen to either one…

Build a 'bridge' to a happier retirement

I was talking to a friend the other day and he made the observation that a lot of people our age are starting to look old. I had to agree with him and shared that I had noticed that he and I were aging much better than a lot of our other friends. He was…

Getting out of debt takes family effort

Dear Ken: My wife and I would like to get out of debt. We are stressing out about our money situation. We are sick of fighting over money and really would like to work our way out of debt. What do we have to do? A: I am glad to hear that you have accepted…

Credit card bailout program does not exist

Dear Ken: I saw an ad on TV last night and also on the Internet that there is a government bailout program for people with credit card debt of more than $10,000. It would allow us to pay off our debts for 60 percent of what we owe. What do you know about this program?…