Personal Finance

For most people, the fastest way to improve your credit score is to pay down your credit card balances. A good target is to use 20 percent or less of your available credit; a lower percentage is better.




| When a partner refuses to talk when you're trying to work out the financial stuff, that's a huge red flag. Communication is key when it comes to money, and if that's a problem now, it won't get better with a ring.

Almost half of U.S. companies that reduced or suspended their contributions to employee retirement plans during the recession haven't restored them, according to Towers Watson.

Personal Finance Headlines
In blow for BofA, Fed rejects its dividend plan (By PALLAVI GOGOI and SAMANTHA BOMKAMP, March 23, 2011 4:28 p.m.)
Leggett, Montgomery County unions spar over pension costs (By Michael Laris, March 22, 2011 4:50 p.m.)
Business Highlights (March 21, 2011 6:12 p.m.)
Citi resumes dividend, will do reverse stock split (By PALLAVI GOGOI, March 21, 2011 12:53 p.m.)
Treasury: Will begin selling mortgage securities (By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, March 21, 2011 12:34 p.m.)
Lessons learned from 4 years of 401(k) volatility (By DAVID PITT, March 21, 2011 10:25 a.m.)
Union-free Virginia not spared state pension woes (By Rosalind S. Helderman, March 19, 2011 7:05 p.m.)
With short-sale offer refused, foreclosure may end up the best option (By Ilyce Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin, March 18, 2011 7:23 p.m.)
Cisco announces first dividend (By PETER SVENSSON, March 18, 2011 6:23 p.m.)
Business Highlights (March 18, 2011 6:01 p.m.)
Personal Finance: Cashing in on the Disaster in Japan (Michelle Singletary, March 17, 2011 1:47 p.m.)
Congressional pensions fall on high end of scale (By Kevin G. Hall, March 16, 2011 10:25 a.m.)
Treasuries climb as official says Obama to seek spending freeze (By Susanne Walker, March 15, 2011 1:07 p.m.)
» More
Main photo by Daniel Acker/bloomberg
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