Sunday Roundup – The Back Porch Edition

After having abnormally cold weather earlier this week (along with a malfunctioning heat pump) it’s now 70 degrees and sunny. As such, I’m coming to you live from the back porch. Gotta love that wireless internet! And now, time for a link roundup… For starters, here are a few articles on budgeting: Lazy Budgeting: Planning […]


Experian to Discontinue Consumer Credit Score Access

I originally wrote this up over at Credit Addict, but it’s important enough that I wanted to share it here, as well. Apparently Fair Isaac, the company that created the FICO score, will not be allowed to provide consumers with credit scores based on Experian’s data beyond February 14th, 2009. In the past, you’ve been […]


Lending Club $100 Giveaway

The good folks at Lending Club have offered to underwrite a $100 giveaway here on FCN. I’ll start by sharing the details of the giveaway. You can then read on for details about Lending Club. In order to enter the contest, you must do the following: Join Lending Club as a lender (it’s free!) Leave […]


How to Claim the Recovery Rebate Credit

If you didn’t receive a stimulus check last year (or if received less than the full amount) and your circumstances have changed such that you now qualify (or qualify for more), then listen up… The “Recovery Rebate Credit” is a one-time tax credit that’s intended to make up for the unpaid portion of your stimulus […]


$15, 000 Homebuyer Tax Credit

Big news tonight… The Senate just voted to give a tax credit of up to $15, 000 to homebuyers check federal income tax. While I haven’t found details of the proposed implementation, I know that Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia was pushing for a larger credit that would be available to all buyers of a […]


Ten Common Income Tax Credits

Unlike income tax deductions, which reduce your taxes by reducing your taxable income, tax credits offer a straight up, dollar-for-dollar reduction of your tax bill. In other words, a $500 tax credit will reduce your tax bill by $500. In contrast, a $500 tax deduction will reduce your tax bill by anywhere from $50-$175 (depending […]


Second Stimulus Check?

In recent weeks, I’ve gotten a number of e-mail inquiries about the possibility of a second stimulus check. Instead of answering these inquiries individually, I thought I’d take a moment to answer them all here. But first… Why the Sudden Interest? I’m guessing that recent interest in this topic has been driven by publicity surrounding […]


TurboTax Rated the Best Tax Prep Software

Awhile back, I wrote about the best tax prep software. I’ve always been partial to TurboTax, and it seems that I’m not alone… PC Magazine has named TurboTax as it’s Editors’ Choice award winner. Here’s their summary: TurboTax and H&R Block’s TaxCut wage a mighty battle in the premium personal tax preparation software market every […]


4% Mortgages Just Around the Corner?

According to recent media reports, leading Senate Republicans are looking to spice up the economic stimulus plan by pushing 30 year mortgage rates down into the 4% range. Details of the plan aren’t yet available, but: Presumably, borrowers would be required to meet stringent loan requirements of the kind the lending industry reinstated in the […]