Credit Counseling Center

The Credit Counseling Center is a non-profit community organization that has been serving Bucks and Montgomery Counties, with offices conveniently located in Doylestown, Levittown and Richboro. Credit Counseling Center (CCC) was recently named Best Agency by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. There are over 80 agencies in the PHFA network and CCC was selected by PHFA for this honor because of the continued work and excellence in helping their clients.

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Credit Counseling Center

The Credit Counseling Center is a non-profit community organization that has been serving Bucks and Montgomery Counties, with offices conveniently located in Doylestown, Levittown and Richboro. Credit Counseling Center (CCC) was recently named Best Agency by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. There are over 80 agencies in the PHFA network and CCC was selected by PHFA for this honor because of the continued work and excellence in helping their clients.

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What happened to ‘Til death do us part’?

submitted by Martin H. Abo, CPA/ABV/CVA/CFF, Abo and Company, LLC

Obtaining a divorce does not necessarily mean that two people who find that they are incompatible have to undergo extended emotional and financial pain. Intelligent couples are increasingly taking a mature approach to their problem and to devising a fair resolution. The approach typically may include actions (among many others) such as:

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Five tips to maximize the return on investment in your child’s college career

submitted by Michael Garry, CFP®, JD/MBA, Yardley Wealth Management, LLC

This graduation season there are the usual stories about student debt accompanied by news of the highest-paying college majors. If you want your child to be miserable, encourage them to pick a major by its current pay.

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*Should I be investing more aggressively?

submitted by Rosemary G. Caligiuri, CASL™, President, Harvest Group Financial Services

There’s no way to know the answer to that without reviewing your individual circumstances and financial goals. However, if you are investing too conservatively, it can have a profound effect on your long-term financial security. That’s particularly true for women. Women often start saving later, save less, and invest more conservatively than men, which decrease their chances of having enough income in retirement.

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Consumer Troubleshooter

submitted by Bucks County Consumer Protection Agency

Q. I recently received a Visa debit/credit/gift card as a thank you for my volunteering at a local agency. The paper sleeve that the card came in did not indicate what dollar amount was on the card so I called the 888 number to determine the balance. I was surprised to learn that it was in the amount of $50! The following day I used the card to put $20 of gas into my car, leaving a balance of $30 on the card. Later that same day I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things; intending to use the gift card again. After completing the ringing up of my purchases, I slid the card through the machine at the self-checkout. Although my purchase total was under the amount of the balance that I had left on the card, the card was “denied.” I tried a couple of more times; even enlisting the help of the store attendant but still the card did not work. I later called the number on the back of the card to inquire what the problem was. They informed me that because of my initial purchase at the gas pump, there was a hold on the card. The balance of $30 would be available in three days. I don’t understand why using the card at the pump would affect the balance on the card. Can you explain this? F.V., Doylestown.

A. The simplest way to explain what happened is that issuing banks (the bank from where the card was purchased) do this to make certain that they will get paid. They may not find out until one or two days later what the exact amount of the gas purchase was and whether there is enough on the card to pay for it.

Banks are allowed to place a hold of up to $75 for up to three days on a gas purchase using credit at the pump. This includes “credit” purchases made by swiping your “debit” card. They do this because the exact amount of your purchase is not communicated to the bank immediately by the pump after you swipe, unlike most purchases. Also, the gas station wants to make sure that it will get paid.

A “hold” on your card can be avoided when using a debit card if you enter your PIN # at the time of the purchase. We at the Bucks County Consumer Protection Department do not recommend using this method. Using your PIN can lead to a greater chance of the theft of your debit card information which can lead to fraudulent charges against your account. For additional tips and brochures on many consumers related issues, visit

http://www.buckscounty.org/government/CommunityServices/ConsumerProtection/ConsumerTips.

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