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December 5th, 2009
12:07 PM ET

Seeking Financial Advice?

We have two great tams in the Newsroom today who will be taking your questions and giving you advice, live on TV.
In our 2 p.m. ET hour, join me with the Dolans, "America's First Family of Finance."
Then, in our 3 p.m. ET hour, we'll be joined by the "Smart Cookies," a team of women who turned around their financial lives and want to help you do the same.
What do you want to know? What can our guests help you tackle? Post here, and tune in to the Newsroom, where you just might get some answers.

Filed under: Josh Levs
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Nick Ward

    I'm a recent graduate trying to start a professional career in these tough economic times, but I'm also trying to make a smart start with my finances. I have a job, but I don't have a career at the moment (i'm looking) but I want to start preparing for retirement. I want to start saving in a 401K but I don't have a job. I know the alternative is an IRA, is it financially prudent to open an IRA account knowing that I'd rather have a 401K someday? Is there something else I should be doing right now other than saving in a time deposit account.

    December 5, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  2. Barry

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    I am short on cash but own several rental properties and fortunately I am not underwater and sustaining a good cash flow. My units rent between $500 and $1000 each. My holdings are duplex's and single family homes. What is the outlook longer term for rental properties in Florida? Can one expect rents to substatially increases as the jobs market comes back and with home mortgages extremely difficult to get for the forseeable future. Your thoughts?


    December 5, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  3. Ben M, WA

    5/1 Arm about to kick in. Can't refinance because self employed.

    My wife and I are recently self employed after layoffs. Our mortgage is an interest only 5/1 arm which kicks in next July. The current rate is 6.5%. We have never missed a mortgage payment but fear that next year our payments will increase and we may start to fall behind. We do not qualify for refinance because we do not have 3 years of income from our new business. What are our options? How much should we expect our payments to change by? Is there any way we can get on to a 30 year fixed?

    December 5, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  4. laura

    How does a foreclosure effect credit rating?
    How long will it last on your report

    December 12, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  5. TC

    I have a large amount of credit card debt and am looking into debt consilidation/settlement. Which is the better option which will cause the least impact to my credit score.

    December 12, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  6. Melissa (Minnesota)

    I have some credit card debt from a year or so ago, and I would like to pay it off. Collection agencies have called me repeatedly day by day for about a half a year now. I just talked to someone on Thursday about it, and I would like to pay it off. It is a small amount-around $300 or so, and they are giving me offers to just pay it off- they are proposing that I can just pay them around $200 to close the debt.
    Is this a good idea? Does this hurt my credit report if I settle for paying less? Would it help my debt if I pay it off in small incriments or as a lump sum?

    December 12, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  7. George

    A mortgage company has been reporting three late payments (30 days) since 2005, they also keep reporting the account as if it is open when it was closed in 2005, they sent me a letter acknowledging they kept reporting when my account was closed, but they refuse to remove the late payments. Is there anything I can do to have this removed from my credit?

    December 12, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  8. Elizabeth

    Josh: It seems that the collection agencies turn your info over to other companies. How do you know which ONE is the one to pay or settle with. I have 3 "letters" from 3 different people on the same DEBT. As well, I have been hassled at work and gotten fired as a result of these tactics.
    As well, is it legal to pull your credit report to hire you and do they hold this against you when you try to get another job?

    December 12, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  9. Jonathan Welch

    Hi Josh, earlier the Dolans were talking about getting your credit report for free online. But what about getting your credit *score*? Most times I find I need to pay to find out what my score is. How important is that for me to know and how often should I check it?

    December 12, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  10. Ann

    Hi Josh,

    I would like to get my annual free credit report but it seems I have to enroll in some trial period of credit watch (which I don't want) to get this and there is a fee if I don't cancel it after the first free month or so. Can you please tell me which website provides a true free annual credit report without getting tied in to any other commitments?

    Thanks! – Ann

    December 12, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  11. lee Nager

    i'm a 48 y/o man that is currently unemployed and on ssi. i was in a car accident last month with a taxi cab. long story short...i will be receiving a setttlement somewhere between $2-400,000. i have no savings right now so this has to last me and make more $ in savings. What do you suggest i do with this large sum of money. Thank you!

    December 12, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  12. Mike Yaffe

    I haven't contributed to a 401K plan this year thru my employer. At this point -Should I open a Roth for my wife and myself and put a couple thousand into each? Will this reduce my overall taxes for this year? Any other suggestions or insight would be appreciated.

    Mike in Los Angeles

    December 12, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  13. Michael Tew

    I traded up 4 years ago and purchased my 2nd house . Is their some new government write off.(taxes) I AM aware that the government is offering a 8000 dollar write off on a first time purchase. WHAT ABOUT MY SITUATION?

    December 12, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  14. Dan

    Experian has stopped allowing Fair Issac from letting conumers view (purchase) their FICO credit score based on their Experian credit report info, a score that creditors have access to. I feel this is putting consumers at a disadvantage, Is there anything being done to guarantee consumers access to their three major credit scores

    December 12, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  15. wayne

    how to deal with collection agency , i have hsb credit card handed over to a collection sgency and I owe 3000.00 and the want 3 payment 0f 700.00 I do not have thatthey wil not work with me, My wife is on disablity and my hours have been cut at work


    December 12, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  16. John Swift

    Please ask the Dolan's.............I have a $20,000. credit card debt in my name only. If I die, what responsibility does my wife have regarding this debt? Thank you.

    December 12, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  17. need help

    My husband just recently lost his job. At about the same time, his credit card company increased his percentage to 29.9!!! He has never been late with a payment or gone over his credit limit. He has a 20k balance and the minimum payment is 800.00 per month. We realize we owe this money and have tried a couple of times to call and see if we could negotiate a better rate but to no avail. What should we do next? We have already been turned down from another bank for a balance transfer because we have too much in credit balances.

    December 12, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  18. kathy

    I am so hopeful you can guide me at the very least. I was informed by a credit card company that I owed more than 3000.00 to them. I was perplexed because I had cancelled all that companies credit cards and owed -0-. I informed them of this, and they told me that it was open, and someone was making small payment. NOT ME! they said the statments were going to a post office box, but refused to give me any information. I was then called by a collection agency, and told them I don't have the account anymore, and It is NOT my debt. He said he would send something but never did, and now I am getting recorded screaming messages to pay this debt or else! I don't know where to turn, what do you do when it isn't your debt. The police won't help. I know it's fraud, but my credit which wasd outstanding is now ruined. I had my other credit card cancel my account because of it, and it is getting worse. Who do I contact for help?

    PLEASE. I can't handle it . Can they take my car and other assests?

    I am scared to death, and can't fix this. I am on disability and can't afford a lawyer.

    Thank you for any help you can offer.


    December 12, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  19. Donna

    I am a single mom of three college age students. I have been unemployed since February 2009. I have credit card debts well over 40,000 dollars. I have been able to meet every months minimum payments and have never been late. I would like to know at this point and my debts being so high would it be better for me to claim bankruptcy or continue doing what I have been doing. Its getting harder every day and I have postpone paying property tax to do this, Thank You Donna

    December 12, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  20. Susan Ellis

    Hi Josh

    My husband and I bought our home in 2006 for 800,000 with an interest only loan at 7%. We were serving with the government overseas and had to take an investors loan. We are now back stateside and we'd really like to refinance our home, but the recent home appraisal we had states our homes worth is only $620,000. I understand that Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac lenders offer a refinance to a conventional loan at 125% of your home's value. My home loan is owned by citibank and the say that the only way we can receive a modification on our home loan is to take a hit on our credit score which we are hesitant to do. We have scores of 791 and 783 respectively.

    How can we refinance our loan to a conventional loan (as our primary residence) and why are those who are lucky enough to have their home mortgage sold to Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac having these refinance opportunities and other consumers not eligible through a non-governmental lender?

    Thank you.

    December 12, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  21. linda brock

    more information in borrowing from your 4o1k .

    December 12, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  22. Michael

    I have been out of Bankrupcy for 4 years. I protected my credit report and score as much as possible and used the annual report and also bought and follow my credit score and done well to recover.

    I used my most updated credit report and credit score from true credit and applied for a loan. I sked the loan officer if I could use my credit report and score that I bought. The loan officer told me no they have to pull a credit score from their sources.

    What is the diffrence if I pull it or they pull my report with the same information? If Im denied I will protect my score from dropping. If they decide to move on then I can approve my credit report to be pulled.

    Can this be done to protect my credit score and report?

    December 12, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  23. Dan

    One's debt to credit ratio is and important factor in the formula credit bureaus use in determining you credit score. is this ratiio used as a calculationd based on singling out individual credit line limits and balance ratio, or is this ratio used as a total of all credit lines credit limits and the total of all the balances?

    December 12, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  24. Mike

    Money question for the Nolands.
    I own property in another state.
    I need a tax deduction for 2009.
    The airlines offer anytime travel tickets.
    I plan to purchase a thousand dollars worth of tickets.
    My question, can I deduct the money paid for the tickets in 2009 if I decide to postpone my travel to 2010?

    December 12, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  25. Suzanne

    18 months ago I transferred a traditional IRA account to my brokerage firm. They mistakingly place the funds in a Roth account. Now they advise that I must file and amended return. Can they not correct this matter?


    December 12, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  26. vicki

    we keep getting calls from collection agencys, people calling to serve warrents for my sisterinlaw. this has been a daily thing for about a year now. they have even gotten our daughters phone number and arevcalling her ..... what can i do to stop this... my sister in law does not live with us and we are in no way responsible for her debt...

    December 12, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  27. Mike

    With credit card companies raising interest rate with choice to accept or OPT out, will OPT out hurt my credit?

    December 12, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  28. Diawara

    Hello Josh,
    My family and I are currently having a problem with out mortgage company. I have 14 children, and this mortgage company is threatning us out of our home, for no reason. We haven't missed a payment because according to out documentations after our home modification, we should have started out payments after the modification which was during May, and the mortgage company is saying otherwise. We payed over two thousand dollars for the modification, and the mortgage company is still giving us a hard time, even though we went to the bank to have our account updated. We need help, and we are wondering if you guys have any idea of what we sould do.

    Thank you,

    December 12, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  29. Craig

    This question concerns debt collection.
    Back in March of this year, I had a dental procedure performed. The dental office sent a sample to a laboratory for analysis. I paid the dental office in full. Yesterday, I receive a collection agency notice for the lab work – yet, I have never received a statement from the lab for this service. How does one protect you credit record from a situation like this?

    December 12, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  30. Gomzi

    Hello Josh,

    I am a international student and working on my masters degree here in the US. I have incurred a debt of about $10,000 in credit card debt (a large portion of which is late fees, credit protection fees, etc) in the past 3 years. I also have a student loan of about $35, 000 that I took from my home country that I have been paying off as well. Because of this I have not been able to pay my credit card debt which has resulted it to go to the debt collection agency. In a day I get at least 10-15 phone calls starting at 8 am all the way till 9pm or 10pm sometimes. I would like to start paying of the debt and improve my credit score but I am not sure what options I have available as a international student.

    December 12, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  31. yamini

    hi , my name is Yamani I am from Texas , i was trying to help my uncle, a very generous man the reason why I live as a cancer survivor, who stays near Atlanta......I am sure during this time of year when people r without jobs and the recession does not seem to come to an end .....the dept collectors and their calls can torture people… my uncle is experiencing something like this ......he is a doctor [radiologist] and had branched into the hotel business for investment purpose and it flopped out due to the recession now his doctor profession is doing bad too due to outsourcing in his field his daily living is difficult and this loan amount is sky high. As his family member and his good wisher I wish to help him but, an a mother of 2 and a student I cannot assist him financially.....the dept calls can be torturous and I am scared he will do something to himself. There are so many dept agencies we can call up but who is the most reliable in Atlanta area for him to take advice?? He cannot even afford most of the basic comforts in life who r the people he can approach???? This info if I get for him is the least I can do for him ...please help?? Prevention is better than cure today if I get this info I can at least hope he could get off of this situation.

    December 12, 2009 at 3:00 pm |