Spotlight on Library Resources: Investing

Personal Investing cover

Personal Investing: the Missing Manual [electronic resource] by Bonnie Biafore; Carol Fabbri; Amy E. Buttell

Published by O’Reilly as a part of the Missing Manual series, Personal Investing: the Missing Manual provides step-by-step guidance on preparing to invest, choosing and buying investments, and managing investments in easily understandable, engaging, language mixed with a small dose of humor. The introduction aptly points out the investment is a necessary step in one’s personal financial journey, not a choice. It is impossible to accumulate sufficient funds for costly life events such as retirement, education, and vacations with social security and savings accounts alone, given how rates of interest compare with the rate of inflation.

Part 1 of Personal Investing: the Missing Manual focuses on setting your investment goals and cleaning up your finances so you can be better prepared to invest. Part 2 explains how investments work, including funds, stocks, bonds, real estate and investment trusts (REITs), and ends with a discussion of managing a portfolio. Part 3, on investing for retirement, education for children, and health care, may seem less relevant to college students at this point in their lives. However, it is never too early for college students to begin planning for the future as they prepare to graduate and enter the workforce. This ebook is essential for anyone with a new career or unfamiliar with key investing concepts and advice.

Note: This ebook can only be accessed on campus or off campus with your University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign NetID. If you do not have access to this ebook, please request a print copy through your local public library.

Written by Heidi Johnson, University of Illinois Library

What happens if I get declined for credit?

So, you’ve gotten declined for a credit card…Now what?

Each time you apply for credit, whether it is a credit card or a loan, it is called a “hard inquiry.” This stays on your credit report for two years. While getting declined credit will not negatively impact your credit score or history, a bank or lender will look at the number of “hard inquiries” you have; the more you have, the riskier you are. However, it is important to note that if you are looking for specific types of credit, like an auto loan or a mortgage, multiple inquiries will count as only one for credit scores.

It’s also important to understand why you were declined in the first place. Reasons can include: having too low of an income, owning too many credit cards, a record of late payments, being in collections, or having limited credit history. If you are denied credit, a lender is required to tell you why within 60 days of your application being rejected according to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA).

If you’re still interested in learning more about this topic, check out these resources: “Credit Inquiries: Hard Inquiries and Soft Inquiries” and “Choosing the right card and what happens to credit scores if you are declined.”

Written by Alex Ziskind & Andrea Pellegrini, University of Illinois USFSCO Student Money Management Center