Dial 'M' for mortgage help

By Marcie Geffner - HSH.com

If you're having difficulty making your mortgage payments -- and many homeowners are -- you're probably wondering who you should call for help. Experts say the worst thing you can do is ignore the problem. Here are five phone calls to make if you need mortgage help:
No. 1: Your loan servicer. The most important call will be to your loan servicer, the company that collects and manages your payments for your lender.
Calling your servicer is paramount because no one else has the power to make a decision as to what will happen with respect to your mortgage.

Read on: http://library.hsh.com/articles/homeowners-repeat-buyers/dial-m-for-mortgage-help.html

Bottom line on small business credit cards

By Marcie Geffner - Bankrate

A small-business credit card can be a perfect financial product for a small-business owner. But "can be" doesn't always mean "is." Rather, owners must consider their needs, weigh the costs and risks, and read the small print before they decide.

Business credit cards offer some nice benefits, according to Janet Zablock, global head of small business at payment processing giant Visa in San Francisco.

Specifically, she explains, these cards can help owners separate their business and personal expenses, get better views of their operating costs, bridge the gap between receivables and payables by periodically revolving business debt, establish a business credit history and take advantage of discounts offered through a business credit card program.

"The key is keeping personal versus business separate and making sure they're responsible in managing the financial end of the business," she says.

American Express, Bank of America, Chase, Capital One and Citi all offer small-business credit cards, as do many smaller banks and other financial institutions. Some cards have no annual fee. Others charge $59 to $95 per year or more. The first-year fee is often waived as an inducement to new customers.

Read on: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/credit-cards/bottom-line-small-business-credit-cards.aspx

11 dumb excuses not to save money

By Marcie Geffner - Bankrate

It's easy to come up with reasons not to save money for an emergency, job loss, retirement or other need or goal, but not saving can cause considerable financial pain down the road. That's why it's smart to regularly put money in a savings account where it's available for whatever happens in the future.

"Saving is about mindset," says Bob Morrison, principal at Downing Street Wealth Management LLC, a financial planning firm in Littleton, Colo. "It doesn't matter whether you make minimal dollars or a significant amount, you should save a certain percentage and learn to live within that income because you have a responsibility to provide for yourself and your goals for the future."

With that in mind, here are 11 lame excuses not to save money and why they don't work:

Read on: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/savings/11-dumb-excuses-save-money.aspx