How to Select a Credit Card

Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension,

The best way to select a credit card is to match it to your intended use and bill-paying habits. Are you a “revolver?” Revolvers are credit card users who rarely, if ever, pay their credit card bills in full and, thus, pay finance charges each month to carry outstanding debt. If you plan to carry a balance from month to month, select a credit card with a permanently low-interest rate; i.e., not …

How to Get Out of Debt and Repair Your Credit

Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension,

Got outstanding loan balances and credit card debt? Do monthly payments seem overwhelming? You are not alone. The ability to “buy now and pay later,” coupled with slick advertising, has made living beyond one’s means very tempting. As a result, many Americans, at all income levels, went on a credit-fueled “spending spree” during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Now it’s time to pay back what we owe and get out of …

How Much Consumer Debt is Too Much?

Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension,

The term “consumer debt” refers to all types of non-mortgage debt obligations. Examples include outstanding balances on credit cards, installment loans for cars and other “big ticket” items (e.g., furniture and appliances), and student loans. For every person with outstanding consumer debt, there comes a point, called “enough,” where carrying too much debt starts to cause financial stress. Even minimum required payments become difficult to make or perhaps some payments get skipped …

Dealing With Collection Agencies

Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension,

Outstanding credit accounts often go to collection agencies when people fail to pay their creditors. One of the most stressful parts of being in debt is receiving phone calls and letters from collection agencies requesting immediate repayment of outstanding balances. It is typical for calls and letters to become more aggressive and threatening over time. The term “collection agency” describes a variety of business models that have one thing in common: recovering …

Danger Signals of Excessive Debt

Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension,

According to Webster’s Dictionary, debt is defined as “the state of owing.” Most commonly, the word debt is used in reference to money that is owed to various creditors as in the case of debt incurred through loans and credit cards. How do you know when you have taken on too much debt? Take the following quiz to determine whether you are using credit wisely or getting in over your head.

father and child

Circle …

Advance Directives Case Study 2


Case Study 2- How do you handle after-death choices? (Organ/tissue donations, autopsy, burial, cremation)


Millie …

Advance Directives Case Study 3


Case Study 3 – The disadvantages of writing your own will.


Eddie, age 70, decides to write his …

Advance Directives Case Study 4 North Dakota Answers

Case Study 4 – The surviving spouse’s share

Answers for North Dakota Residents

The following answers are based upon North Dakota law as of January 2006. The
laws in other states may be different. Laws are subject to change, so please ask
your attorney for answers to specific questions.

1. Assume that Joe and Sarah own their home as community property. If Joe’s will leaves the home to their three children, and he dies before Sarah, the children will inherit

Advance Directives Case Study 5


Case Study 5 – How much will each heir inherit?


George, a 98 year-old widower, has two children, Alice …

Advance Directives Case Study 6


Case Study 6 – The dangers of making