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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 Dec 10, 2019

You’re probably familiar with the term adjusted gross income (AGI). It reflects how much taxable income you have after subtracting your above-the-line deductions (also known as adjustments to income) from your gross income. You also have a modified adjusted gross income. Let’s take a look at what your modified adjusted gross income is and how it may impact your tax bill. Read more

by Lauren Perez May 18, 2018

So you’ve found a home that you’re ready to buy. You’ve had the house inspected and appraised. But before you can move in, you’ll need to get to the closing table and make some final payments. Closing costs usually include a number of fees. But for homebuyers with VA home loans, some of those costs don’t apply. Let’s look at the VA loan closing costs that borrowers are responsible for paying. Read more

by Lauren Perez Apr 03, 2017

Before you buy a house with a VA home loan, don’t forget to get a home inspection. VA home inspections aren’t mandatory. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get one. After all, home appraisals can overlook a number of issues. If your mortgage is backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, here’s everything you need to know about getting a VA home inspection. Read more

by Lauren Perez Sep 09, 2019

Many seniors try to pay off their mortgages before they leave their full-time jobs. But this isn’t possible for everyone. If your mortgage payments are eating up a large chunk of your retirement… Read more

by Lauren Perez Apr 14, 2017

No matter how hard you try to keep your debt under control, sometimes it piles up. Depending on your situation, you may be able to cancel some of your debt. That would probably lift a huge weight off… Read more

by Lauren Perez Dec 12, 2019

When it comes to investing, you can expect to experience both gains and losses. You might even incur a capital loss on purpose to get rid of an investment that’s making your portfolio look bad. And… Read more

by Lauren Perez Jun 25, 2018

Time and time again, financial advisors discuss the importance of having an emergency fund. No one wants to be surprised by an unexpected trip to the hospital or the car repair shop. If you’re not… Read more

by Lauren Perez Sep 09, 2019

Few of us know how to make the most of our home equity. For example, seniors may not realize that they can borrow against the equity they’ve built in their homes and use that extra cash to supplement… Read more

by Lauren Perez Feb 27, 2020

Many adults look forward to retirement. And some wouldn’t mind leaving the workforce ahead of schedule. But few people think about the drawbacks of retiring early. Few realize that an early… Read more

by Lauren Perez Jul 08, 2020

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by the credit card issuer. 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 Dec 11, 2019

A traditional individual retirement account (IRA) is one tool that savers can use to plan for retirement. It allows you to sock away funds for the future in a tax-advantaged way. But the IRS limits… Read more

by Lauren Perez Sep 09, 2019

Retirees on a tight budget may want to consider taking out a reverse mortgage. By applying for a reverse mortgage loan, seniors can avoid downsizing and going through the hassle of purchasing a new… Read more

by Lauren Perez Mar 02, 2017

Ready to sell your house? Before you get too excited about moving on, it’s important to consider the financial implications of putting your home on the market. Sellers are often responsible for… Read more

by Lauren Perez Feb 20, 2017

Retirement is supposed to be the time when seniors finally get a chance to relax after working for decades. But sometimes, having no job at all doesn’t work out for retirees. Some may need extra… Read more

by Lauren Perez Sep 25, 2017

The Fed’s decision to raise rates at the end of 2016 sparked much speculation about what that would mean for everyday Americans. While the rate hike will benefit savers by boosting their interest… Read more

by Lauren Perez Aug 20, 2018

While preparing for retirement is a good idea, having a plan in place for how to withdraw your savings is equally important. Without considering how you’ll use the funds in your accounts, you could… Read more

by Lauren Perez Sep 09, 2019

Reverse mortgages are popular among seniors. Through the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) Program, retirees can turn their home equity into a monthly source of income without moving out of… Read more

by Lauren Perez Jul 16, 2018

Many of us often dream (or stress) about the day when we can finally leave our full-time jobs behind and treat every day like it’s a Saturday. Some of us, though, are thinking about ditching our 9-to… Read more

by Lauren Perez May 21, 2018

Do homeowners sell their houses before paying off their mortgages? Turns out, it happens more often than you may think. After all, most mortgage loan terms last for 30 years and few homeowners stay… Read more

by Lauren Perez Sep 26, 2017

If your landlord won’t accept your personal check or you’re sending cash to a family member, you may need a money order. Like checks, money orders can be used to pay for just about anything. They’re… Read more

by Lauren Perez Feb 06, 2017

Putting 20% down on a house may not be feasible for everyone. That’s why many homebuyers get stuck paying private mortgage insurance (PMI). Having to pay mortgage insurance can make owning a home… Read more

by Lauren Perez May 18, 2018

Paying property taxes is inevitable for homeowners. The amount each homeowner pays per year varies depending on local tax rates and a property’s assessed value (or a yearly estimate of a property’s… Read more

by Lauren Perez Feb 24, 2017

March can seem like the light at the end of the tunnel for anyone waiting for winter to end. That’s what makes the month of March an excellent time for a getaway. You can explore places near the… Read more

by Lauren Perez Jun 25, 2018

Credit card companies will do almost anything to get you to sign up for their cards. Some offer travel miles and others use sign-up bonuses to entice customers. No doubt those incentives sound great… Read more

by Lauren Perez Jun 25, 2018

Secured credit cards can be perfect for anyone trying to establish or rebuild their credit. But there will come a time when the secured card has served its purpose and you’re ready to move on. While… Read more