Jill on Money: Credit, advisors, insurance

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In a week when the Supreme Court ruled on health care, Congress extended low interest rates on student loans and we closed out the first-half of the year, "Jill on Money" listeners had a lot to digest. (To learn more on the Supreme Court decision, check out "Health care ruling: What it means for you").

We started the show with credit expert John Ulzheimer, the President of Consumer Education at SmartCredit.com joined us to explain the ins and outs of the credit scoring system. He also blew my mind when he revealed that the average credit score in the U.S. is 700--700!!!

As the housing market firms a bit, John also said that when you apply for a home loan, all three of your credit scores really do matter! Then he and I discussed the trend of employers pulling credit reports. Finally, we reviewed the changes in Stafford loans, now that Congress has extended the 3.4 percent rate on new loans for another year.

Dan, a 404 fan, is a 23 year old who graduated college a little over a year ago, who has not yet gotten a credit card. Which card is best for him? A couple of tips: (1) don't shop lowest interest rates because "Jill on Money" listeners are not going to be late payers, who carry balances! (2) Compare the other attributes of the card, like rewards programs.

Floyd called from Indiana wanted to know whether or not to accelerate the pay down of his mortgage, while Chris in Seattle 54 is wondering what to do with the proceeds of a home sale. Three words for Chris: emergency reserve fund. To learn more about why it's so important to have an adequate nest egg, check out this quick video:

We fielded two interesting questions about whether or not to dump life insurance for seniors. Shannon from KY has paid for term life insurance on her 78 year-old father in-law and Carol from Louisville had a similar question about maintaining life insurance on her husband.

Bruce e-mailed after reading an article that I wrote, "Stop contributing to 401ks? The case for non-retirement savings". He has been working with two investment advisors and wonders whether they really know what they are talking about...

Here are web sites and resources mentioned in this week's show:

-- Jill's Blog

-- NAPFA: National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (fee-only advisors)

-- Best CD and Savings Rates

-- Social Security: Manage your account online

-- Social Security estimator

-- When to take Social Security?

-- Retirement Calculator

-- Stop contributing to 401ks? The case for non-retirement savings

-- Life Expectancy Calculator

-- Life Insurance calculator

-- NYT Rent vs. Buy Calculator

-- College Loans: What you need to know

--Financial documents: What to shred, what to keep

-- Estate Planning: the Documents You Need

Thanks to everyone who participated and to Mark, the BEST producer in the world and Special K, our new intern. If you have a financial question, there are lots of ways to contact us:

Call 855-411-JILL and we'll schedule time to get you on the show LIVE

Send an email: askjill@moneywatch.com

Tweet me: @jillonmoney

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  • Jill Schlesinger On Twitter»

    View all articles by Jill Schlesinger on CBS MoneyWatch »
    Jill Schlesinger, CFP®, is the Emmy-nominated, Business Analyst for CBS News. She covers the economy, markets, investing and anything else with a dollar sign on TV, radio (including her nationally syndicated radio show), the web and her blog, "Jill on Money." Prior to her second career at CBS, Jill spent 14 years as the co-owner and Chief Investment Officer for an independent investment advisory firm. She began her career as a self-employed options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York, following her graduation from Brown University.

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