Finance FAQ's Secrets Inside (Newbies are welcome here!): Links ~ Tips ~ Q & A ~ more!

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Thank You for reading this!
You will reap great rewards looking here before participating in our Finance Forum!

Don't take it personally if someone suggests you look here first. That's what it was designed for, to help you and other members make FW Finance the best it can be.

PLEASE scroll down for Links; FAQ's; and tips on Posting, Searching General Use!

Check out these links to popular topics:
Original Thread

Credit Unions
ATM and Bank Account fees
Online Banking interest rates
Online Payment Methods
HELOC deals
Credit Cards
-Amex Rebate and Blue Cash
Getting and KEEPING high credit scores
Private Banking / Private Client Discussion Thread

US Savings Bonds
Savings Bonds
Real Estate
Treasury Bills: Rate Tracking, Discussion, and FAQs

Debt Collection/Disputes/Credit Issues
General Legal


Big Tickets

Warehouse club programs
Microsoft Money
My quest to become debt free (the IBJanky story)

Please read before posting a new thread:
Original Thread

Reposts clutter this forum and reduce its usefulness. This thread lists many of the most common questions, and also gives tips on searching, so that you may quickly find the answers to your questions on your own.

We do allow discussion of individual stocks, funds, and bonds now, assuming it isn't a "pump and dump" stock, or spam.

COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS Are listed below. Please read the FAQ THREAD (OP copied above), or search or Google to get more detailed information.

1. Q: What do I do / where do I invest $xxxx amount of money for XXX time?
A: See Bycracky's The "What do I do with $XX,000 question?" we love to hate thread!
See the Best Nationally Available High APY Liquid Accounts.

2. Q:How will doing XXXX affect my credit score?
A: We don't know. And since we also dont know about the specific loan you may be applying for, no one here can tell you whether doing XXX may cause your credit score to drop to the point where they increase the rate they offer you , or deny you entirely. There are many factors involved in the mysterious and elusive credit score. Credit Card FAQ)

3. Q:Can I pay my mortgage with a Credit Card?
A: Yes, there are ways to do it, but you generally wont earn rewards unless you use some "roundabout", multi-step strategies. See this thread.

4. Q:I want to start/build my credit. Whats the best card to get?
A: Department store cards, gas cards, and "student" cards (they are all over campus) tend to be the easiest ones to get. Credit unions and Secured credit cards are also good to look into, especially for those new to this country or with prior credit problems see this thread (and be SURE to check out the Credit Card FAQ)

5. Q:My lender offers a biweekly mortgage payment plan. Is this good?
A: If they charge you any fees for this service (which you can accomplish yourself for free), its generally NOT a good idea. see this thread to see an example of how many biweekly plans work.

6. Q:I have a problem with XXX company
A: Again, its time to read the FAQ THREAD, particularly the Debt Collection/Disputes FAQ , and Winning Disputes With a Company That's Giving You the Run-Around

7. Q: I have several debts with different interest rates. Which should I pay down first?
A1: Pay down the loans with the highest interest rates, taking into account possible tax benefits (for instance, a mortgage at 5% verses a credit card at 4%, with the tax write-off you may be better off paying down the credit card).
A2: Pay down the smallest loan first, then use that payment money to pay off the next loan (debt smowball effect).

8. Q.: I am $xxxx in debt. Shall I file for bankrupcy?
A.: Post at , a specialized discussion site for people with credit problems. Also see the Overcoming debt FAQ.

9. Q.: I want to open a bank account. Which bank account is the best?
A. What is best depends on individual situations. If interest is important to you, see the Best Nationally Available High APY Liquid Accounts. If you are interested in account opening bonuses, see the Free money for bank accounts thread

10. Q.: Which credit card is the best?
A.: What is best depends on individual taste, whether you want CashBack, airline miles, o%, etc. See the Credit Card FAQ), read existing threads and pick whichever you like the best.

Also, lists many more credit cards with promotional terms. You can compare and pick your favorite.

11. Q: I have a car buying / car selling / car warranty / car repair/ car financing question
A: Chances are the general topic has already been covered here.

For purchasing, read through The Father of all Car Shopping, Financing & Leasing threads

Posting information on current automotive financial deals of general applicability is relevant to this forum. Questions related to a specific deal or specific make/model, specific problem, etc. are better handled by posting in a discussion forum for your particular car. Many makes and models have their own discussion forums. You can get better responses from owners of the same model, rather than starting a new thread for each make and model of car in this forum.

12. Q: I a) Have a legal problem
b) am getting/about to get screwed by a business/individual
or c) thinking of entering an agreement for several thousand/hundred thousand dollars.
It will probably cost me a lot of money, but I do not want to invest in professional competent legal advice, so I am coming here for free advice from a bunch of strangers on the internet. By doing so, I will save hundreds in legal fees, even if it costs me thousands in the long run.

A. BAD IDEA. This is not a legal forum, and an internet forum is no substitute for professional advice from someone who can see the relevant documents in front of them. See the LEGAL FAQ in this forum for some tips on obtaining low cost legal advice. And if you are determined to get free internet armchair lawyering, there are forums such as and better suited to such discussions.

Please read this section to help with your Finance Forum SEARCH:

The FW search function offers more help if you just type the first few LETTERS of the word you want to search...for example, if you want to look for a thread on "online brokerages", dont type that whole thing into the search box. Type BROKER, so it will pick up threads with broker, brokers, brokerages, etc. in the title. You are much more likely to find the thread you want.

If you are looking for a thread on auto loans, try searching using the words AUTO, CAR, etc. If you are looking for home loans, try HOME, MORTGAGE, LOAN, etc. The search function is only as smart as the person using it.

There is a separate search page which lets you perform more detailed searches. you can search active and old threads, threads started by a particular user, etc. I frequently use this function when I remember that a specific member posted some good info but I cant find the thread...

4. TRY SEARCHING THE NET BEFORE POSTING A QUESTION. Doing a Google search will often yield an answer quicker and more accurately than posting a topic on FW and waiting for a reply...often times, when someone posts a question, someone else just googles it and posts the results. Save yourself and others the wasted time and try Google FIRST.

5. READ THE FAQ TOPICS IN THIS FORUM. Many prior threads have been categorized into FAQ threads. Please read through them.

Following the simple tips in the Guide to Posting will help ensure that your post contains the information needed for others to best help you.

SEARCH tips! -submitted by PeanutButterAndJelly
Here are some tricks for using the search box that is directly above the list of threads.

1) How to search for words in order. Suppose you want to find a thread about borders coupon. Normally
this will not match a thread titled "borders $5 off coupon" (try it in HD). If you search for borders % coupon
instead, it will find it. The "%" tells the search to ignore any stuff in the thread title that comes between the words "borders "
and "coupon". You can use "%" more than once. For example, 256%usb%drive will find all threads that have
a "256", "usb", and "drive" in the title (in that order) even if there are other words in between (the first match
I got was Iomega Mini 256MB USB 2.0 Flash Drive for $9.99 AR at Staples).

Note: if you search for 256 %usb%drive (with a space after the "256") you are telling the search to find
all threads where there is a "256" followed immediately by a space, then some random junk, then "usb", then
more random junk, and then "drive".

2) The character "_" is a wild card. It will match any single character. So searching on USB _.0
will match threads whose titles are USB 2.0 or USB 1.0 (as well as "USB A.0", "USB B.0", etc)

Those of you who know SQL will already be familiar with those, those of you who don't, play around with the search

But what if I want to search for "0%" ?
Enter a space before "0" so you don't get 20%, 30%, etc... then, place backslash before the "%" to get search to see it as a character instead of a wildcard.

Pleae read these tips by Taylor to get the most from our Finance Forum:
Original Thread

Welcome to FW. This thread is a response to initial discussions that took place in tooshy's original Finance forum posting etiquette thread. If you are new to FW Finance, we would request that you read this before posting. FW Finance began as a discussion area for little-known and lucrative financial deals. Since its beginnings it has broadened its scope some. This thread was created to help you make the most of this forum. Included here are tips on how to make FW Finance as useful as possible for you and others.

Specific Tips

      • Be prepared to be referred here:
        If another poster suggest that you take a look at this thread, don't take it personally. That suggestion is likely done to help you and other members make FW Finance the best finance forum it can be.
      • Learn to search:
        One of the most helpful things you can do for yourself is become familiar with the search tools available. There is a lot of good (and some not so good) information posted here already. If you get good at searching you will likely be able to find the answer to your question(s) immediately and not have to wait for someone to post an answer.
      • Use other search tools:
        FW Finance is not the only destination with useful information. You owe it to yourself to see what kind of information you get when searching with google or other search engines.
      • Read relevant threads before posting:
        Do not simply ask a question on a topic without checking the rest of the thread(s) first. Yes, some of them are long, but spending a few minutes skimming won't hurt. Changing your FW settings to view a larger number of post per page (default is 20) may help make skimming a large thread go faster. Note: you'll need to be logged in as a FW member to do this.
      • Post closely related questions/advice in existing thread:
        If the topic on which you have a question/advice has been discussed, post your question in that thread instead of creating a new one. We have too many subjects spanning multiple threads because others didn't bother to check for relevant threads before posting.
      • Explain how previous discussions fail to address your question(s):
        When posting a question related to a previous discussion, be sure to explain how the previous discussion fails to address your specific circumstances. This will make it easier for others to provide relevant responses.
      • Create new thread for topics that are new:
        In the unlikely event that you have a question/advice on a topic that has not been discussed, create a new thread. Be sure to choose your subject line carefully. It will make it easier for others to find your thread when searching.
      • Give as much specific information about your circumstances as possible when seeking advice:
        Providing all relevant information in the initial post makes it easier for others here to give meaningful and relevant advice.
      • Explain your source when making a non-obvious claim:
        When making a non-obvious claim about how something works, please provide details on how you verified this claim so that others can judge its credibility for themselves.
      • Don't condemn others:
        Condemning others for mistakes or foolish decisions they have made in the past serves no useful purpose and discourages others from volunteering their information, experience, and advice. Please don't do it.
      • Verify advice before acting:
        Much of the information contained here is sound. However, before making any decisions that may have a significant impact on you or other, you should verify that the advice is indeed accurate and that it fits your personal circumstances.
      • Edit posts sparingly:
        Several good threads here have become hard to follow as a result of major edits and removals by posters here. If you do find the need to edit a post, please do not modify the content of the post without an explanation. Without an explanation, it may be difficult for future readers to follow the responses to your post in the thread.
      • No trolling for referrals
      • Attack arguments, not people
      • Smile while composing your posts

Credit for this post belongs to many FW members who contributed their ideas. In particular: DaveHanson, mshen11, SUCKISSTAPLES, sygyzy, Witold and zender.

Expectations of Forum Tone & Behavior

Be nice.

You want more? Okay, I'll explain.

Be nice because it promotes better discussion. When people feel attacked they get defensive. The topic gets derailed onto personal issues, and productive discussion ends. Nobody wins here.

If you were sending a friend or family member to the forums, how would you want them to be treated?

Stick to the topic. Criticize the argument but not the individual. If you have a strong case, there's no need to attack the other person's character to make your point.*

And let me be clear, personal attacks aren't just direct namecalling. These are all attacks to the intelligence and character of the poster and not acceptable:
- "Even you can understand this."
- "Let me put this in simple terms you can understand."
- "Only an idiot would think that."
- "I think I lost IQ points just reading that."
- "I will not dignify that nonsense with a response."

Be respectful and bring value to the conversation. Explain your criticism. Differences of opinion are great! ...if both sides take the time to explain themselves. Don't just have a duck season/rabbit season argument.

Good examples:
- "I hate to burst your bubble, but that hard drive has gotten some pretty terrible reviews: Link"
- "Good price, but mine broke after a week"
- "Found it cheaper here: Link"
- "Rebate kills this deal. Company XYZ is notorious for not honoring their rebates."
- "I'll have to disagree. In my experience..."
- "Really? I was just reading this article that says the exact opposite..."

Want to avoid the drama and running afoul the moderation team? I'll let you in on this simple, time-tested strategy:

Be more polite than you think is necessary.

*Excellent video discussing "What You Said vs. Who You Are". Hint: You want to be having the first conversation. It has examples specific to discussing race, but the basic principle applies to any conversation.

FAQ pages

In the interest of keeping this information as short, sweet and readable as possible, I'm locking this thread.
Please PM VBMcGB with suggestions on how to improve this post. Thanks!

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