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Lauren Perez

Credit Card, Banking and Savings Expert

Lauren Perez writes on a variety of personal finance topics for SmartAsset, with a special expertise in savings, banking and credit cards. She is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance® (CEPF®) and a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. Lauren has a degree in English from the University of Rochester where she focused on Language, Media and Communications. She is originally from Los Angeles. While prone to the occasional shopping spree, Lauren has been aware of the importance of money management and savings since she was young. Lauren loves being able to make credit card and retirement account recommendations to friends and family based on the hours of research she completes at SmartAsset.

Posts by Lauren Perez:

by Lauren Perez Oct 01, 2018

Closing your bank account may seem simple at first glance. However, there are a number of steps to follow and actions to take to close your account properly. Following the correct process will help you avoid unnecessary charges, fees and complications. We’ll walk you through the process from beginning to end and provide tips of what to look out for along the way. Read more

by Lauren Perez Sep 18, 2018

It seems we always end up with a stack of paper documents lying around. This is still true even with the major shift to mobile and online banking. But how long do we really need to keep those bank statements for? The short answer: you can usually dispose of your bank statements within a year. Sometimes, though, you’ll need to keep them for much longer for tax reasons. Let’s  take a look at why you should save some paper documents and how long it makes sense to keep them for. Read more

by Lauren Perez Sep 17, 2018

A CD ladder can prove to be a handy savings tool. This is especially true for those who need some extra structure and discipline when it comes to savings. Certificates of deposit, or CDs, come in various term lengths. Once you make your initial deposit, you cannot access the money in the account until the end of the account’s term, also known as its maturity date. A CD ladder means you’re socking money away in CDs of various maturity dates. This structure prevents you from dipping into your savings unnecessarily but also allows you more access to your cash at different intervals. Read more

by Lauren Perez Oct 30, 2018

Have you ever rushed to the bank to make an important deposit or withdrawal only to find the lights off and the doors locked? Only then do you realize the bank is closed due to a holiday. There are… Read more

by Lauren Perez Dec 21, 2018

Saving for retirement is certainly a financial priority for everyone. For Nevada state employees, it’s comforting to know that your retirement savings are automatic. Once you start working for the… Read more

by Lauren Perez Aug 30, 2018

Pennsylvania manages its state government employees’ pensions through two different systems: Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) and Public School Employees’ Retirement System … Read more

by Lauren Perez Aug 15, 2019

When browsing a bank’s account options, you’ve probably come across certificates of deposit, or CDs. These are time sensitive accounts that grow your initial deposit for a given amount of time,… Read more

by Lauren Perez Feb 07, 2019

When it comes to saving your money, you have a number of account options. You might first think of a simple savings account that allows your money to grow according to a set interest rate. You also… Read more

by Lauren Perez Jun 25, 2018

Having a savings account is incredibly important to your financial health. It keeps your money safe and grows your savings according to set interest rates. Typically, you can have a savings account… Read more

by Lauren Perez Sep 20, 2019

When choosing whether to open a bank account with Ally Bank or Capital One, it really comes down to whether you want access to physical branches when you bank. Ally Bank is an entirely online… Read more

by Lauren Perez Nov 20, 2018

There are special banking opportunities for those who have served our country in the military, are currently serving or for the families of these individuals. Two such options are Navy Federal Credit… Read more

by Lauren Perez Jun 11, 2018

The main plus of having a bank account with a big bank is the widespread access you have to your money. Both Wells Fargo and Bank of America provide their customers with thousands of ATMs and… Read more

by Lauren Perez Jun 06, 2018

No matter your age, you’ve probably dreamed of retiring on a sandy beach somewhere at some point. Perhaps you’ve started planning your retirement in Florida or San Diego. But have you ever thought… Read more

by Lauren Perez May 02, 2019

Many people dream of spending their retirement in a sunny and warm locale, often heading to Arizona or Florida. But perhaps you’re interested in retiring abroad instead of stateside. In fact, heading… Read more

by Lauren Perez Sep 05, 2018

Whether you’re new to investing or have been doing it for years, mutual funds offer a great way to invest your money. It allows you to invest in multiple stocks and bonds without the hassle of… Read more

by Lauren Perez Sep 06, 2018

When you place your investments in the care of an investment manager or advisor, you’ll often run into various fees. The advisor can charge you a percentage of your assets, a transaction fee per… Read more

by Lauren Perez Aug 20, 2018

It can be hard to start a search for a new bank. Nowadays, there are so many banks to choose from, with online banks adding their names to the ranks of big banks. But if online banking isn’t for you,… Read more

by Lauren Perez Mar 12, 2018

Money market accounts offer a unique way to save and spend your money. They act as a mix of a savings account and a checking account. This means you can earn interest on your money market account… Read more

by Lauren Perez Nov 20, 2018

Whether you’re new to banking or looking to switch banks, you’re probably familiar with Chase and Bank of America. These are two of the biggest names in the banking industry. Each has similar product… Read more

by Lauren Perez Aug 09, 2019

More and more consumers are choosing to go digital when it comes to their banking institution and are selecting online-only banks. Two of the better names out there when it comes to online-only… Read more

by Lauren Perez Apr 19, 2019

Many people dread tax season. But if you’re expecting a tax refund for the 2018 tax season (which you filed in 2019), you’ve got something to look forward to. With your extra funds, you may be able… Read more

by Lauren Perez Sep 11, 2019

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been… Read more

by Lauren Perez Jul 24, 2019

A SEP-IRA is a tax-deferred retirement plan for self-employed people and small business owners. It can be a useful tool for saving for retirement. Like all retirement savings programs, though, there… Read more

by Lauren Perez Apr 17, 2019

While most estate plans focus on leaving wealth to your heirs, some people also wish to provide for a charitable cause with their estate. A charitable remainder trust allows you to do both. This type… Read more

by Lauren Perez Aug 21, 2019

Ever heard of the financial services industry? Even if you haven’t, you’ve probably interacted with this industry almost every day. You might think it just means working with a financial advisor. But… Read more