Facebook Study Shows We Hate Credit Cards
Real Talk | 

Facebook Study Shows We Hate Credit Cards

I fucking love my credit card, back off my ish FB.

We've always argued with those who say millennials are the worst generation yet. And now, we have some research to back that ish up. Millennials may be more financially responsible than everyone thinks, according to a recent white paper from Facebook.

Among the statistics uncovered? 86 percent of millennials say they save money; and 37 percent have a financial plan.

This demo defines financial success as being debt-free (46 percent), owning a home (21 percent), buying experiences (16 percent), being able to retire (13 percent), and being able to buy nice things (4 percent).

Millennials are also redefining how they approach finances: 49 percent say they use mobile banking so they can better track their spending habits; 45 percent are open to switching banks, credit card companies or brokerage accounts; and just 8 percent say they trust financial institutions for financial guidance. The study also found that 53 percent of millennials say they have no one they trust for financial guidance.

Facebook used its audience data from users age 21-34 for the study, that's about 70 million people, give or take.

Here are some infographics breaking down the study results:

We're millennials right? We love a good shortcut. Tap here for a quick breakdown of the study.

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Real Talk | 

10 Things That Won't Affect Your Credit Score

Your credit rating isn't an indication that you have money--It's an indication that you have debt.

We recently posted an article about what exactly credit is. It goes on to explain, well, what credit is. So here's the next step: 10 things that won't affect your credit score.

1. Your net worth
You could have a million dollars' worth of bonds, 10 yachts, six European cars, and four mansions. None of these show up on your credit report--and none of them will make a difference to your credit score.
2. Whether you're unemployed or not
Your employer does show up on your credit report, but it has no bearing on the actual score. Sorry.
3. Paying bills on time
This is a common misconception. People think paying their bills on time means their credit score must look good. Newsflash: it doesn't. Paying your bills on time isn't something you get rewarded for. It's what you're supposed to do. BUT, if you don't pay your bills on time and they get passed onto a collections agency; your credit score is screwed. These collection cases then stay on your credit report for years, which sets alarm bells ringing when lenders pull up your report.
4. Checking Your credit score
Another common misconception. It's important to distinguish between a soft inquiry and a hard inquiry. If you as an individual are making an inquiry into your credit score, then it's fair game. You can do it as much as you like, and it won't change your score. Credit companies make hard inquiries. When you apply for a new credit card or a mortgage, these companies make a hard inquiry and too many in a short period of time lowers your credit score. The idea is that if you're applying for a lot of credit in a short space of time, it means you're financially fucked, so you're scrambling around for whatever money you can piece together.
5. Your debit card
Your debit card contains money you've already earned. You're spending your money, so it doesn't tell lenders how reliable you are in paying back THEIR money if they lend it to you.
6. Bank overdrafts
As long as you pay back the overdraft before it gets sent to debt collection, you'll be fine. Those overdraft fees cost a lot, though!
7. Age
18, 21, 30, 47, 59, 64, 90. No one cares about your age.
8. Being on child support/alimony
External financial assistance, governmental or otherwise does not determine whether you can pay back loans or not.
9. Your college degree
Community college or Ivy League, your alma mater makes no difference to lenders.
10. Going to jail
Your criminal record is ignored by credit companies. Being locked up has no bearing on whether or not you can pay your debts or not. It's the 21st century.
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Real Talk | 

Where Does My Credit Score Come From?

An overview of the three major credit bureaus--and dealing with mistakes on your credit report.

Before Edward Snowden and the mass revelation that everyone from the NSA to Facebook was tracking your every move, there were just three places that knowingly kept tabs on you: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, the three national credit bureaus in the U.S.

Each of these credit bureaus captures and stores your credit information--in other words, your history of borrowing money through loans, credit cards, etc. The credit bureaus then pass that information along to those who request it, like banks deciding whether or not you should be approved for a loan, landlords trying to figure out if you'll be a good tenant, even employers trying to determine whether you'll make a dependable employee.

Suffice it to say, the information on your three credit reports matters, and can have major implications on your life--like getting an apartment or car. So here's what you need to know about where that number comes from.

What's the difference between the three credit bureaus?

While most of the information collected on you and your money habits is similar at all three credit bureaus, there are occasional differences in data that can harm or hurt your credit score--why you should check all three of your credit reports regularly.

The bureaus collect your information from lenders, collection agencies, and court records, but the exact information gathered may vary from bureau to bureau, accounting for differences in reporting and scoring. Lenders may also report to different credit bureaus at different times, which means one credit bureau may have a more up-to-date account of your credit history than another.

Finally, a major credit score discrepancy between the credit bureaus may be an indication of a larger problem, such as a mistake on one or more of your credit reports.

Unfortunately, mistakes are common in credit reporting. A 2012 report by the Federal Trade Commission revealed that 1 in 5 Americans had an error on his or her credit report. Five percent of consumers had errors on their credit reports with costly implications, like being overcharged for credit card debts, auto loans, insurance policies, and other financial obligations.

The lesson? Check to make sure your reports are correct. Seriously.

What should I do now?

  • Check all three of your credit reports--Experian, Equifax and TransUnion--annually. Annualcreditreport.com is the ONLY place to get your credit reports from each of the three credit bureaus for free each year (despite what you see on TV).
  • Scan through your reports for errors. Make note of mistakes as minor as misspellings and as major as loans and lines of credit that don't belong to you.
  • Contact the appropriate credit bureaus as necessary to file any pertinent disputes, explaining what you need corrected clearly. If you come across the same mistake on more than one of your credit reports, remember to report it to all applicable agencies. It's up to you to contact each agency. The credit bureaus have no obligation to correct anything on your credit report unless you tell them it's wrong.
  • Document each part of the process and follow up with each credit bureau as necessary until all errors are fixed. Yes, it's a time consuming pain in the ass, but better that than a cost consuming pain in your finances for years to come.

Finally, just like a bank account, it is motivating to watch it grow. As you build good credit, your score goes up. Keeping track of it as it rises or falls will make you think twice about swiping that card.

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Real Talk | 

How Do I Qualify for a Credit Card?

What you should know about applying--and being approved--for a credit card.

Qualifying for credit is the ultimate Catch-22--you read that book, right?

Basically, you need credit to be approved for a credit card, but it's only through tools like credit cards that you can build your credit. So, where does that leave you? Probably staring blankly into a pile of credit card offers and applications, crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. We feel you. Below are the basics on how credit works and what you need to do to qualify for your own credit card.

The essentials

  • You must be over 18.
  • You must have a steady source of income. Yes, your campus bookstore job counts, but deposits from the Bank of Mom and Dad do not.
  • You need good credit.

What if I don't qualify?

If you can't qualify for a card of your own, there are some alternatives to help you kick-start your credit profile. Think of them as financial training wheels.

You can piggyback on your parents' credit line by becoming an authorized user on their account. This is a great tool if your parents are responsible with their finances and have a habit of paying bills on time and in full. But be warned: Contrary to the na?ve belief we held as children, most adults are pretty terrible with money.

If it turns out your parents are responsible credit users, ask them about becoming an authorized user, using their good credit to build your own, so you can eventually qualify of a card of your own.

Get a cosigner

A friend or family member with a strong credit profile and sufficient income can also cosign your credit card application, improving your chances of approval. Cosigners are just as responsible as you are for any past due or unpaid balances you leave on your card, so if you have a history of failing to pay back friends or family in a timely fashion, don't expect them to be too willing to put their own credit on the line to back you up. Again, you want to be careful about who you're sharing your credit with--make sure you're hitching your credit to a fiscally responsible user.

Get a secured credit card

If you prefer to keep your credit building efforts to yourself, consider applying for a secured credit card. Secured credit cards are sort of similar to gift cards, and help build your credit.

You give the lender (typically an FDIC-insured bank or credit union) an upfront deposit that serves as your credit limit, then use the card as you would any other credit card, charging items and paying the bill. Your deposit stays with the lender as collateral until you close your account. Think of it like a security deposit you give a landlord when you rent an apartment. If you pay the rent and take good care of the apartment, you get the security deposit back when you move out. Similarly, if you pay your bills on time and manage your secured credit line well, you'll get your deposit back when you close the account.

Your deposit amount typically dictates the amount of your available credit line. Different lenders have different minimum deposit requirements. Check out Magnify Money's breakdown top secured credit cards to find a card with an initial deposit you can afford and transparent terms and conditions. Secured credit cards tend to have more fees than traditional, unsecured credit cards, but they're a great tool for building credit.

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Real Talk |  Source: FlockU

(No) Thanks!

Please don't send these thank-you's to any professionals.

Stationery might not seem like the most important purchase in your life. It's not, but it's certainly one that can land you some fantastic opportunities. Thank-you's are a must when it comes to working closely with a professor, employer, or job interviewer. There are many options out there. As we'll learn, perhaps there are too many.

Yeah, this is funny, but at what point would I send this to someone? Why would anyone feel the need to purchase this and send it? I mean, maybe that was the greatest sex you've ever had, but still. It's more than a little ridiculous.

Not a thank you, but these are cute and oddly motivational. Still not something I'd send to my supervisor if their great uncle passed away or something.

If you laughed, I'm judging you. As "cheeky" as this card is, it's really not funny. And I'm not 100 percent sure if I'm looking at this guy's butt. Just saying.

Um, wow. Are things still kind of heated with Debby at the office? Because damn. That card is... it's something, alright. Yikes.

They say honesty is best policy. They also say the truth hurts. Sometimes "they" have hypocritical notions of cliched sayings.

"The pen is mightier than the sword" versus "sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me."

Which is more powerful then? Physical or emotional pain? They don't seem to have an answer for that, but they know something about honesty and truth.

I'm digging the options here. Are you "you"? Or are you "an asshole"? "Both"? (Tag yourself; I'm both.) But if you're sending this one to your boss, make the good decision and mark "you." Even if the other options are true.

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Real Talk |  Source: addie2354

The Curse of Millennials

Student loan debt is a real fucking problem.

FlockU Presents is a new vertical we've launched for longform pieces about topics you care about - everything from sex and body shaming to the history of beer pong to how terrorism affects you as a college student.

It's on all of our minds. It's part of Bernie's campaign. It's breathing down our backs and throttling the frail necks of our wallets. It's student loan debt.

Now, the phrase, "student debt," has been uttered to the point where it's become a buzzword. We talk about it so much that when we try to envision the debt itself we think of enormous piles of cash, or canvas sacks with dollar signs on them. Or Scrooge McDuck's vault.

In reality, student loan debt operates more like that scene in The Road to El Dorado where all those women are throwing gold into a whirlpool, except we students are the women, the gold plates are stacks of cash, and the whirlpool is The GovernmentTM (or something equally nebulous and elusive).

We pay it back and it flows through some shady backrooms with exposed pipes and evil businessmen in pinstriped suits smoking fat cigars, sneering at the meager pennies we're able to give up to make progress on our loans.

Where does it go? Wherever FAFSA tells you, because where the money goes isn't as important as the fact that you have to pay it back, and often. Students are in debt for years. People are still paying loans into their 30s or 40s, depending on the size of the loan/interest/cost of schooling. That's a lot of gold to be tossing into that whirlpool.

So, exactly how much are students expected to pay back? According to The Institute For College Access and Success, (which keeps track of statistics like this to wave in Congress's face to show them how they're inhibiting their own rising generation), in 2014, 69 percent of college seniors graduated with debt. Within that 69 percent, the average amount borrowed is about $30,000. In 2015, according to The Wall Street Journal, this spiked up to more than $35,000. Indeed, the trend since 2004 shows that each successive year of graduates is accruing more and more debt.

Why? Short answer: the economy. Because of inflation, school tuition is going up. But because the economy is still staggering around on spindly little chicken legs, student aid grants coming from places like FAFSA aren't keeping up with the demand. There's too much to pay, and too little to cover it because there's too little to go around. Hence all the "FAFSA gave me fourteen dollars this semester," memes. And the sad thing is, that's not even much of a joke.

I'll put it in perspective. A senior in my department was accepted to the School of Visual Arts in New York. A great school, with a great curriculum, and huge out-of-state tuition. Specifically, $30,000 a year, PLUS room and board, PLUS all the other little things you'd have to pay for, like off-campus dining and the subway. The total after all that's added together? Over $56,000. And financial aid was willing to spot this senior a grand total of $10,000.

That much money is a lot to ask of anyone, not even looking at the fact that the $10,000 aid probably comes with a lot of stipulations, such as remaining a full-time student. (Read the fine print so you don't accidentally screw yourself). There's also the small fact that it has to be paid back at some point. So if you're taking, at minimum, a $10,000 loan (which is pretty generous, by the way,) every year for four years, you've got a five-figure sum plus interest you're paying back.

If you go Super Senior, then it gets worse because credit prices get jacked up for part-time students. You can actually end up paying more for ten credits than you would've paid for fifteen.

I suppose it could be worse. This person could have wanted to go to medical school and incur up to $170,000 in student debt, which is mind boggling. Just imagine someone putting a gun to your head and saying you had ten years to pay back $170,000. Would you cry? Because I'd cry.

So let's talk about that, paying it back. We all have to, eventually, and to pay it back you need the money to do so. And to get that money you need a job. And to get a job there need to be: A) job openings, and B) job openings that do not expect grads with degrees to work fifty hours a week for less than $10 an hour.

And as much as our parents tell us to, "pound the pavement and knock on some doors," like it's still 1976 and that's a thing that people can still do, it's becoming more and more difficult to find a job out of college that actually utilizes our degree and pays moderately well.

Here's another story, this time from a member of the class of 2014. It was their first summer out of college and they had that debt to pay off, so they decided to get a job immediately to get a jump on those payments. Problem is, most employers want an inordinate amount of experience for entry level jobs; "2 years prior experience in serving tables," is a real thing I have read. So here they are, fresh out of college with a degree and a resume, and they end up pulling a customer service gig for the first eight months until they get their break.

And that's what we all need to get the ball rolling on those payments; we need that one job that gets us in the door. For some people, (the ones blessed by angels), that job is right out of the graduation gate. For others, it's a few months later, and for others still it can take years to find something that sticks.

This doesn't even count the people that don't graduate and still have loans to pay back, a section of the student debt crisis that goes largely unnoticed. Imagine the problems listed above and having to solve them without a bachelor's degree.

There is one bright spot in all of this, however, and while it doesn't solve the problem, it does lessen it. Again according to The Wall Street Journal, graduates who are landing those big-break jobs are making pretty good salaries. An average of $50,000 a year kind of good. And while no student-loan debt is better than manageable student-loan debt, at this point, in this economy, with the amount of stress our generation is under?

Let's take what we can fucking get, honestly.