Does your estate plan need a tune-up?


Our experience with clients shows that estate planning is typically the last piece of the financial planning puzzle that people address, if ever.  Not having an up-to-date estate plan could put you and your family at high risk.  If you die without a will, a court (not you) selects the executor and guardian for your […]

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How to hide credit info from nosy lenders


Beginning in 2007, Illinois resi­dents may take advantage of a new law that allows them to place a security freeze on their credit re­ports. Unfortunately for our Georgia clients, a recent proposal to imple­ment such a law was defeated by state lawmakers. For those of you in Illinois, the new law prohibits credit bureaus from […]

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Guilt: A big roadblock to financial success


The six deadly “sins” of personal finance are sins of emotion. Emotion clouds our judgment and leads us to make foolish decisions. This first in a series will explore the sin of guilt;  fear, greed, pride, sloth and envy will follow. Tormented because your spouse wants a flat-screen TV for Christmas? Feeling inadequate because you […]

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Should you pay down your home mortgage?


One question that we are fre­quently asked by our clients at Mentor is whether or not it makes sense to accelerate mortgage pay-ments in order to pay off the loan sooner. This is not as simple as it may seem. Usually we need to answer this question with a few questions of our own. For […]

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Get your free credit report


The Fair Credit Reporting Act was amended late in 2004 to require the three major credit reporting agencies to provide you with a free credit report upon request. It’s a good idea to take advantage of this opportunity, so you can verify the accuracy of the information being kept about you and to correct any […]

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How your credit score can boost the cost of borrowing


Last month we discussed the value of requesting a free credit report and checking it for errors. But beyond erroneous (or even fraudulent) infor­mation, your report contains clues on improving your credit score. The FICO score is named after Fair Isaac Corp., the company that deve­loped and licenses the secret formula that is used almost […]

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Time to order free credit reports?


A federal law allows you to receive a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union).  If you haven’t ordered credit reports in the past year, consider doing so now.  It’s important to review your credit report regularly to make sure that […]

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Save money by raising your Credit Score


Your credit score significantly impacts your finances in many ways –for example, the interest rate you pay on your mortgage, how much your auto insurance premiums are, and whether or not you can even obtain approval for a mortgage or other credit. Your credit scores – which can range from 350 to 850 – are […]

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