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Finance: Personal Finance

Learn about Personal Finance

 “Most people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan.”  John L. Beckley

          Personal financial planning is the process of planning you’re spending, financing, and investing in order to optimize your financial situation. A personal financial plan involves decisions about financial goals and describes the spending, financing, and investing plans necessary to achieve those goals.  An understanding of personal finance enables you to make more informed decisions about your financial situation. You would be able to better judge the advice of financial advisers. You might even pursue a career as a financial adviser or even become certified as a financial planner (  Here are the fundamental 6 steps in the process necessary to create a sound personal financial process. 

  1. Budgeting and tax planning
  2. Financing your large purchase needs
  3. Managing your liquidity and credit
  4. Protecting your assets and income (insurance)
  5. Investing your money
  6. Planning your retirement and estate

Library Guide on Personal Finance


Books and Articles

There are some great books on personal finance.  I am only going to highlight a few here. 

Helpful Websites for Personal Finance

Student Loan Information

Many students need to borrow funds to pay for a quality education here at Sullivan University. Here is some helpful information for students when dealing with student loans, lenders, and student loan assistants. 

Since student needs are unique and all lenders are different a student needs to talk with his/her lender directly if you have questions.   Student may wish to obtain some assistant from student loan assistance.  This assistance is a free help agency between the student and the lender.  They can be reach at 1 (800) 876-4930. 

Monday – Thursday (CST) 8:00am – 8:00pm

Friday (CST) 8:00am – 5:00pm

Saturday (CST) 9:00am –3:00pm

Here is help paying for college!

Scholarship websites.


​Here are scholarship specific to Sullivan University.

Scholarships - Sullivan University

Here is an accounting scholarship for CPAs

KYCPA Educational Foundation

Here is a scholarship for a veteran from

Veteran Scholarship

Free Excel Calculators for Personal Finance

Credit Score Information


 In addition to the three national credit bureaus, there are credit-scoring companies. Fair, Isaac makes the FICO score, which is by far the most widely tested and used by creditors. You can purchase your score or learn more with scoring simulators at Scores can range from 300 to 850. The higher the score, the better the credit rating. Generally, any score above 700 indicates a good credit risk, and below 650 is a problem. Remember, you can work to improve your score, no matter how low it is right now.       

Reasons Your Score May Be Lowered

  • Derogatory public record (court record) or collections;
  • Delinquent payment on accounts;
  • Number of accounts with delinquency;
  • Time since delinquency paid up is too short;
  • Proportion of balances to credit limits is too high (maxed-out);
  • Too many new accounts or accounts are too new to rate;
  • Too many accounts from sub-prime lenders (like finance companies);
  • Too many inquiries in the last twelve months;
  • Length of positive credit history is too short, or no recent balances.

FICO Has Disclosed the General Structure of How Their Model Scores

35% = payment history (have you paid on time, especially over past two years)

30% = amounts owed (how much owed total, and how much in relation to credit limits)

15% = length of credit history (how long you’ve had accounts, how long since used)

10% = new credit (how many new accounts and how many new inquiries)

10% = types of credit used (healthy mix of loans, bankcards, store cards, no sub-prime)

Things You Can Do to Build Good Credit to Boost Your Score

  • Pay your bills consistently and on time.
  • Check your credit report and write the bureaus to remove any errors.
  • Pay down your debt load by paying more than minimums and not maxing-out limit.
  • Avoid lots of inquiries. If you are turned down for credit, fix the problem before applying again.

Credit Bureau Information and Credit Freeze Information

Credit Freeze Information

Credit experts recommend that consumers freeze their credit to reduce their risk of becoming an identity theft victim. This has to be done individually with each of the “Big Three” credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion), plus some experts also recommend doing a freeze with a lesser-known credit reporting agency called Innovis to “cover all the bases.” That means making 4 separate freeze requests per person or 8 requests for a couple.

By freezing your credit, you prevent potential creditors from accessing your credit file, thereby preventing identity thieves from opening accounts in your name. However, credit freezes will not deter non-credit related frauds such as tax refund identity theft and health insurance fraud. For that, consumers are simply told to “be vigilant.”

Credit freeze requests can be made online, by phone, or by certified U.S. mail. Expect to devote some time to this task. Below is contact information for each credit reporting agency for each method of contact to request a credit freeze:







Equifax: 800-685-1111

Experian: 888-397-3742

TransUnion: 888-909-8872

Innovis: 800-540-2505

U.S. Mail

Equifax: Equifax Security Freeze, P.O. Box 105788, Atlanta, GA 30348

Experian: Experian, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013

TransUnion: TransUnion LLC, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016

Innovis: Innovis Customer Assistance, P.O. Box 26, Pittsburgh, PA 15230-0026

The costs of security freezes vary from state to state. Fees may or may not be charged to add a credit freeze, temporarily

lift (thaw) a credit freeze (e.g., when you need to apply for a loan), and remove a credit freeze. Different fees for credit

freezes may also apply depending on whether someone is or is not a victim of identity theft.

For mailed security freeze requests, include the following information in a cover letter format:

  • Full name (with middle initial) and former name, if applicable
  • Current address and former addresses within the last five years
  • Social Security number
  • Full date of birth (month, day, year)
  • Signature
  • Photocopies of two forms of identification such as a government-issued identity card and proof of residence such as phone bill or utility company bill.