Fiscally FabulousTM Blog

  • By Dr. Teresa R. Martin, Esq. Many student borrowers are not sure about how their educational loans will ultimately affect their credit score. Are these loans just like any other, or is their impact somehow different? The answer is, it's a little bit of both. On one hand, the effect of your student loans is very similar to any other institutional loan. Pay on time, and your credit score goes up. Don't pay on time, and your credit profile will suffer. On the other hand, federal student loans in particular come with their own set of rules, and they thus

  • By Dr. Teresa R. Martin, Esq. In order to combat the rising tide of student debt, the government has tried to make repayment of student loans easier for mid to low income borrowers. Its series of income-driven repayment plans, such as the popular Pay As You Earn program (PAYE), cap your federal student loan payments at a percentage of your discretionary income- a percentage that can range from 15%, all the way down to 0%. Plus, income-driven repayment options offer the hope of a debt free future: if you are unable to fully pay off the balance of your federal

  • By Dr. Teresa R. Martin, Esq. According to recent College Board data, the average budget for an in-state public college is about $24,061 a year. For a private institution, that average jumps up to $47,831! While the price of college may seem overwhelming, the government provides several programs to make it more doable for parents who want to help off-set the costs of their children's college degree. One such program is the 529 College Savings Plan. Named after the section in the IRS Code that deals with it, the 529 plan is a type of investment account that allows you

  • By Dr. Teresa R. Martin, Esq.  It takes money to make money... Though some have debated the validity of this aphorism, when it comes to starting a new business, it is an unavoidable fact. Even the most simplest of business ideas will require some kind of monetary investment on your part. For example, you may need an upfront amount of cash that can be used to for equipment, supplies, and other business expenses. You may also need to provide for your personal living expenses until your business starts generating money. Finally, you should also realize that there is the indirect

  • By Dr. Teresa R. Martin, Esq. One of the first things you need to do when starting a new business is deciding how it will be set up. Your decision will affect your tax status, will determine who has ownership in the business, and will delineate your personal liability if the business becomes heavily indebted or closes down in the future. In terms of business structure, there are basically three main categories: a sole proprietorship, a partnership, and a corporation. Below is a brief rundown of each one: Sole Proprietorship. A sole proprietorship is a business that is owned by a

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