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[7 May 2013 | One Comment | 3,349 views]
Eight tips for vacation savings

As school lets out for the summer, vacations are on many families’ minds. A Credit Counseling of Arkansas (CCOA) website poll showed that 84 percent of families haven’t had a vacation in the past year. Many can’t afford to take one unless they pinch their pennies. But whether someone plans an elaborate vacation or something close to home, it is vital to first create a vacation budget to avoid overspending, as spending too much will ultimately just add more stress to a family and their finances.
“People are still feeling pinched …

Columns and other comments, Community, Features and such »

[24 Mar 2012 | No Comment | 4,926 views]
CCOA offers tips on how to improve credit

Many people pinch their pennies by doing things such as using coupons and not leaving their water running for very long. But one thing that can save you a lot of money is improving your credit. Better credit means a better credit score, and a better credit score means better interest rates on your credit cards, home and car loans, which can save you literally thousands of dollars.
The majority of your credit score – 65 percent, in fact – is based on your payment history and how much debt you …

News »

[6 Jan 2012 | No Comment | 1,496 views]
New Year Financial Goals

The New Year is just starting to get underway. Everyone should have some kind of goals for their money and now is the perfect time to be thinking about goals for 2012. Many people wish for good things to happen to them financially, however, too few take action to turn those wishes into becoming reality.
“It is important to create a few financial goals,” said Mark Foster, Director of Education for Credit Counseling of Arkansas (CCOA). “As hockey legend Wayne Gretzky said, ‘You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t …

Columns and other comments, Features and such »

[5 Dec 2011 | One Comment | 4,963 views]
Holiday spending tips from CCOA

The holidays can take a big bite out of your budget – planning ahead will keep your spending under control so that you can enjoy the season without lingering pain from overspending.
It’s important not to get too carried away with excited holiday shopping, because you can easily end up overspending. Holiday overspending can lessen the joy of the season as you see credit card statements and minimum payments going higher or have a tougher time making ends meet to pay all your bills.
“You can find ways to enjoy the holidays …

Business, News »

[28 Oct 2011 | One Comment | 2,745 views]
Worried about debt? Avoid the scams.

It seems that the reception the nation has been slogging through for the past few years has brought along with it more than a few scammers out to capitalize on the financial woes of others.
Debt relief ads are prominent on television, the radio, email and the Internet. The Arkansas Attorney General’s office has even warned of “robocallers” promising miraculous debt cures but offering considerably less.
Mark Foster, director of education for Credit Counseling of Arkansas (CCOA), said he has become increasingly concerned about offers that claim to be tied in some …

Features and such, Legal »

[16 Jul 2010 | 4 Comments | 5,434 views]
Scam alert — sleazy debt collectors on the loose

Here’s one for the “how dare you” files.
About a decade ago, my wife and I ran out of money. We got behind on a few bills but did manage to muddle through and pay them off. One of those bills was for $260 to Southwestern Bell — yes, we did get the phone bill paid, albeit a bit late.
Flash forward to 2010 — I got a call this morning from a guy at some company (can’t remember the name) that said he was collecting that particular Southwestern Bell debt. I …