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Financial Planning Tools That Save Money

While finding financial resources is freely found in the internet, a lot of people aren’t aware of how to get specific tools tailored to your needs as opposed to tools for the general population.

They’re not hidden tools though. You just gotta know they’re there, where to look, and how to use those tools to be financially successful.

When you’re looking for financial resources there’s no need to pay a service or waste time searching all over the internet for information that may not pertain to you.

How do you find financial resources tailored to you?

Credit card search and FinTech companies will do this for you for free

Most people use Credit Karma to enter the 20K sweepstakes or get free credit scores. But there’s other (somewhat) hidden Credit Karma tools that can save quite a bit of money. Free for everyone too.

For example, when you create a Credit Karma free account you have the choice of linking specific information. Then when doing financial searches, the information provided is tailored to you based on the details you provided.

Financial Planning Tools You Should Know About

1. Estimate Your Car’s Value

Before selling or trading your vehicle, it is incredibly helpful to know what your car’s current value is. Generally I would look at the Kelly Blue Book to give me a ballpark. However, estimating your car’s depreciation and current value can help you set a reasonable asking price and give you an upper hand to negotiate with authority when selling or trading in your vehicle.

Knowing your car’s depreciation value can also help you decide whether its worth refinancing your car for example. Do you owe more than the car is worth?

Steps to find your car’s value

To find your car’s current value click on Auto Link. Then match your car to your account. When you link your car to your Credit Karma account profile you can opt to pull your car’s data or add it on your own.

You then enter your car loan information to see more loan details, including estimates of your annual percentage rate, or APR, monthly payment, loan term, lender name, number of remaining payments and the month and year your loan is estimated to be paid off.

Entering your car loan information provides your car’s estimated current value for that day. Next to the current value is a dollar amount with an arrow that points down, which indicates how much your car has depreciated over the past month.

Then click on the “Car Value” box to see an estimated trade-in value.

2. Credit Card Reviews

Most credit card companies offer benefits, rewards, different interest rates and fees. But the benefits, rewards and interest rates charged are different, and vary based on the credit card itself. Even within the same bank.

That makes finding the best credit card that works for you can be daunting. There are so many credit card choices available, that finding the right one based on your needs can be overwhelming.

However, a credit card search allows you to select the categories that fit your needs and your situation. Thereafter, you’re given a choice of credit cards to browse that match your search.

I found using a credit card search tool comes in handy when looking for a credit card with good ratings for an 18 year old to start building credit with.

However, when searching for the right credit card, as a consumer I don’t just want to see a list of credit cards. I also want to see credit card reviews. What experiences have people had with the listed cards? Is customer service responsive?

If most reviews have a great rating from people who are verified users, then chances are you’ll have a good experience too.

3. Compare Rates

Financial rate comparison tools do all the hard work when figuring out – for example – which mortgage company offers the best rate for you. Or perhaps you have multiple loan offers and need to compare rates.

In most cases, if you’re looking for a mortgage loan, you have to go to a site that discusses mortgages. If you’re looking for credit cards, then search in a site that compares credit cards.

That’s a hassle. Credit Karma has all these options to easily compare loan rates, no matter what type of loan you’re looking for. In addition, Credit Karma also teaches the loan lingo so you’re not in limbo.

4. Find Lost Money

Surprisingly, it is true. You may not know you have money waiting for you. This happens when a company owes you money, a tax refund you didn’t receive or even insurance money. Basically, its money that for whatever reason didn’t get to you, so its turned it over to the State.

The State is not going to look for you. Its going to keep it, until you claim it. However, with Credit Karma Unclaimed Money tool you can find out if there is money owed to you, and learn how to claim unclaimed money.

The tool is a directory of state websites that helps users learn if they have unclaimed property. You can search for missing money for yourself, a friend or relative.

How to find unclaimed money

To find unclaimed money or property in Credit Karma sign up or log in to Credit Karma account. Choose the state where to search for possible money to claim. Credit Karma will direct you to that state’s treasury or state controller’s website.

If you find unclaimed money in your name, file a claim. Each state has a different process to claim money. You’ll always need to verify your identity, which typically requires some of these documents:

  • A state-issued ID, like a driver’s license
  • Proof of Social Security number, such as a copy of your Social Security card or IRS Form W-2
  • Proof of the address associated with the property you’re claiming, such as a utility bill
  • Proof of your current address

You may be able to claim your money either electronically or by mail, depending on the amount and the requirements of that state.

The key with using Credit Karma to find money that is owed to you is that you don’t have to pay a service to find money for you. Credit Karma is free to use. In addition, they guide you to the appropriate state site where to find and claim lost money.

In my opinion, nothing is lost when searching for ways to be financially savvy and save money. At some point everyone who owns a car will need a new one for example. Arm yourself with financial knowledge to get the best deals and the best savings.

Happy savings, TaLis

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure HERE. Thank you.
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