Expert Contributors

  • Andrea Hopwood Andrea Hopwood
    Credit Education and Restoration Specialist

    Andrea Hopwood, better known as "The Credit Savvy Coach," is a credit education and restoration specialist based in Atlanta. Hopwood delivers lessons to equip individuals with the credit and self-development tools they need to live a creditworthy lifestyle.

    Read advice from Andrea:
  • Andrew Sperling Andrew Sperling
    Credit Cards
    Director of Federal Legislative Advocacy, National Alliance on Mental Illness

    Andrew Sperling is the Director of Federal Legislative Advocacy at the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Since 1994, Mr. Sperling has also served as a Co-Chair of the Consortium for Citizens With Disabilities (CCD) Housing Task Force - a coalition of national disability advocacy and provider organizations dedicated to promoting policies and funding to increase access to affordable housing opportunities for non-elderly adults with severe disabilities.

    Read advice from Andrew:
  • Andy Smith Andy Smith, CFP®
    Financial Planning
    Senior Vice President of Financial Planning, Financial Engines
    Co-Host, Financial Engines' Investing Sense

    Andy has worked as a financial advisor for over 15 years and has helped thousands of investors navigate a variety of markets to achieve their long-term financial and retirement goals. Through his years of on-the-ground interactions, he's forged an understanding of what investors need and want - not just from their accounts but from their relationships with an advisor.

    Luckily, Andy's advising doesn't stop in the office. He's spent nearly that same time on the local and national airwaves guiding listeners toward all of their investment and retirement goals - all while offering clear and actionable advice on everything from personal finance and investing to the economy.

    Andy considers himself on-call 24/7 and is excited to help you achieve your financial and retirement goals - and, quite possibly, learn something cool and have fun in the process.

    Read advice from Andy:
  • April Gilbert April Gilbert
    Business Loans
    Program Director, SoMa Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center

    April Gilbert is Program Director at SoMa Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center in San Francisco. She also serves as Acting Director of the Women's Business Center there. Prior to joining Renaissance, April worked on two girls' education and empowerment projects in Tanzania and Zambia. April earned her PhD in Organizational Behavior from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, her MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and her BA in Politics from Princeton University.

    Read advice from April:
  • Beverly Harzog
    Credit Cards Credit Report
    Consumer Advocate & Award-Winning Author

    Beverly Harzog is a nationally recognized credit card expert, consumer advocate, and award-winning author. Her latest bestselling book, "The Debt Escape Plan: How to Free Yourself From Credit Card Balances, Boost Your Credit Score, and Live Debt-Free" (Career Press, 2015), won the American Society of Journalists and Authors 2016 Outstanding Nonfiction Book Award in the Self-Help category.

    Read advice from Beverly:
  • Bill Banfield Bill Banfield
    Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Housing Counseling

    Banfield joined Quicken Loans in 1999, after holding positions at both MCA Mortgage and Lambrecht Mortgage Co. He is responsible for coordinating all facets of credit risk management, product development, margin management, competitive analysis, pipeline analytics, loss mitigation, and execution strategy. Bill earned an undergraduate degree in Finance from Western Michigan University and is a graduate of the Mortgage Bankers Association's Future Leaders Program.

    Read advice from Bill:
  • Bruce McClary Bruce McClary
    Credit Cards
    Vice President of Communications, National Foundation for Credit Counseling

    Bruce McClary is Vice President of Communications, National Foundation for Credit Counseling in Washington, D.C. He has nearly two decades of experience in the credit industry and has provided one-on-one credit counseling to thousands of consumers.

    Read advice from Bruce:
  • Carole Walker Carole Walker
    Executive Director, Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association
    Read advice from Carole:
  • Daniel Blinn Daniel Blinn
    Credit Cards
    Founder, Consumer Law Group LLC

    Daniel Blinn, managing attorney and founder of Consumer Law Group LLC, is a leading consumer advocate. He has served with the National Association of Consumer Advocates, as its treasurer and a board of director member, and is the current chair of the association's Connecticut chapter. Blinn holds a law degree from New York University School of Law and has specialized in representing consumers since 1997.

    Read advice from Daniel:
  • Dave Ramsey
    Credit Cards
    Personal Money-Management Expert

    Dave Ramsey is a personal money-management expert and popular national radio personality. Ramsey has authored seven best-selling books. "The Dave Ramsey Show" is heard by more than 11 million listeners each week on more than 550 radio stations and digitally through podcasts, online audio streaming and a 24-hour online streaming video channel.

    Read advice from Dave:
  • Dr. Brad Klontz Dr. Brad Klontz
    Credit Cards
    Co-Founder, Your Mental Wealth™ & the Financial Psychology Institute

    Dr. Brad Klontz, Psy.D., CFP® is the co-founder of Your Mental Wealth™ and the Financial Psychology Institute, and a Partner of Occidental Asset Management, LLC. Dr. Klontz is a financial psychologist and an Associate Professor of Financial Psychology and Behavioral Finance at Creighton University Heider College of Business. He has co-authored five books on the psychology of money.

    Read advice from Dr.Brad:
  • Emma Fletcher Emma Fletcher
    Credit Report
    Director, BBBI Scam and Fraud Initiatives

    Emma Fletcher is the Better Business Bureau scam tracker project director with the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust, the educational foundation of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. She has more than two decades of experience in dispute resolution and consumer protection, particularly in the areas of marketplace scams, identity theft, and privacy. She is a certified information privacy professional and holds a master's degree in public administration from George Mason University.

    Read advice from Emma:
  • Eva Velasquez Eva Velasquez
    Identity Theft
    President & CEO, Identity Theft Resource Center

    Eva Velasquez is president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center.

    Read advice from Eva:
  • J. Robert Hunter J. Robert Hunter
    Director of Insurance, Consumer Federation of America

    J. Robert Hunter is director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of America and the former insurance commissioner for Texas. He has run the National Flood Insurance Program under HUD, worked for private industry groups such as Atlantic Mutual, and won national awards for consumer service. Here he offers tips on how to comparison shop for car insurance.

    Read advice from Robert:
  • James Haller James Haller
    President, National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys

    James Haller is president of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA). After his undergraduate coursework at Carleton College in Minnesota, he enrolled at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri and completed his law degree in 1993. He is an attorney with the Sulaiman Law Group of Chicago and has written extensively about many aspects of bankruptcy.

    Read advice from James:
  • Janet Ruiz Janet Ruiz
    California Representative, Insurance Information Institute

    Janet Ruiz is the California representative for the Insurance Information Institute. She joined the III in January 2015, bringing with her 25 years of experience in the insurance industry. Prior to III, Ruiz worked for the California office of Firemans Fund Insurance Company and State Farm Insurance Company.

    Read advice from Janet:
  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff
    Professor of Economics, Boston University

    Laurence J. Kotlikoff, ​an internationally recognized professor of economics at Boston University, is the author or co-author of 18​ books and hundreds of professional journal articles, including the best-selling Get What's—The Secrets of Maxing Out Your Social Security. Through his company, Economic Security Planning, Inc., Kotlikoff has designed the financial planning software and, which helps users get the highest lifetime benefits from Social Security.

    Read advice from Laurence:
  • Lita Epstein
    Credit Report
    Author, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Improving Your Credit Score

    Lita Epstein has authored several business and personal finance books, including The Complete Idiot's Guide to Improving Your Credit Score. She holds an MBA from Emory University's Goizueta Business School and has worked as a newspaper reporter and magazine editor.

    Read advice from Lita:
  • Melinda Opperman Melinda Opperman
    Credit Cards Mortgage
    Chief Relationship Officer,

    Melinda Opperman is the chief relationship officer at, where she focuses on educating consumers about financial literacy. She is the co-editor of's Consumer Guide to Good Credit.

    Read advice from Melinda:
  • Michael Barry Michael Barry
    Vice President of Media Relations, Insurance Information Institute

    Michael Barry is the vice president of media relations at the Insurance Information Institute. He is a former director of public affairs at the New York State Insurance Department. Earlier in his career, Barry served as the public information officer at the New York State Banking Department and the town of North Hempstead on Long Island.

    Read advice from Michael:
  • Pam Ogden
    Business Loans
    President & Founder, Business Credit Reports

    Pam Ogden is the president and founder of Business Credit Reports, which is licensed by Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, and Equifax to provide business credit reports that combine information from all three bureaus.

    Read advice from Pam:
  • Paul Golden Paul Golden
    Credit Cards
    Director of Media Relations, NEFE

    Paul Golden serves as director of media relations for the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), a nonprofit foundation dedicated to helping all Americans acquire the information and gain the skills necessary to take control of their personal finances. Prior to joining NEFE in 2005, he worked as a managing editor for an online news service and has spent time working in the financial services industry.

    Read advice from Paul:
  • Priyanka Prakash
    Business Loans
    Finance Specialist, Fit Small Business

    Priyanka Prakash is a finance specialist at Fit Small Business, an educational site for entrepreneurs. A former business attorney, Prakash now helps entrepreneurs understand loan options, credit scores, cash flow management, and other financial topics.

    Read advice from Priyanka:
  • Rhonda Shah
    Auto Loans
    Community Relations and Corporate Social Responsibility, AAA

    Rhonda Shah is responsible for community relations and corporate social responsibility at the AAA National Office and also supports AAA's efforts related to school-based and senior traffic safety programs. Rhonda works closely with stakeholders to deliver effective traffic safety content, and her years in public health education and areas of focus include older driver safety, including the national CarFit program, which she oversees for all AAA and CAA clubs in North America.

    Read advice from Rhonda:
  • Sarah Gerecke Sarah Gerecke

    Sarah Gerecke is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Housing Counseling at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where she oversees 2,000 HUD-approved nonprofit and government housing counseling agencies that helped more than 1.3 million households in 2015 to achieve their housing goals. From 2009 to 2011, Sarah was Executive Director of New York University's Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. She continues to teach a graduate law and policy seminar at NYU. Sarah is a member of the New York bar, a graduate of Harvard Law School and Princeton University and a resident of the Bronx.

    Read advice from Sarah:
  • Shannon McLay
    Financial Planning
    Founder, The Financial Gym

    Shannon McLay is a financial planner who left a traditional financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym. She said that the key to long-term success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. She writes a blog, Financially Blonde, and puts together a podcast, Martinis and Your Money. She is the author of Train Your Way To Financial Fitness.

    Read advice from Shannon:
  • Sherri Snelling Sherri Snelling
    Founder & CEO, Caregiving Club

    Sherri Snelling is the author of A Cast of Caregivers: Celebrity Stories to Help You Prepare to Care and a nationally recognized expert on caregiving. She is the founder and CEO of Caregiving Club, a former chairman of the National Alliance for Caregiving, and a contributing columnist on caregiving for PBS Next Avenue,, Huffington Post, and CareLinx.

    Read advice from Sherri:
  • Steve Vernon
    President, Rest-of-Life Communications

    Steve Vernon, F.S.A., is president of Rest-of-Life Communications, and a research scholar at the Stanford Center on Longevity. He conducts research on the most challenging aspects of retirement, including finances, health, and lifestyle. His latest book is "Retirement Game-Changers."

    Read advice from Steve:
  • Terry Savage
    Credit Cards
    Personal Finance Expert

    Terry Savage is a nationally recognized expert on personal finance, the economy, and the markets. She writes a twice-weekly personal finance column syndicated nationally by Chicago Tribune Content Agency, and has contributed extensively to the Huffington Post.

    Read advice from Terry:
  • Val Gui
    Auto Loans
    Founder & COO,

    Val Gui is founder and COO of, a website helping customers buy and sell cars.

    Read advice from Val:

Contributing Writers

  • Adolfo Pesquera Adolfo Pesquera

    Adolfo Pesquera has 32 years of news journalism experience. Pesquera has written more than 300 news and feature articles related to real property loans and transactions. His work has appeared in Hearst, News Corp., ALM, and Freedom.

    Read articles by Adolfo:
  • Brian O'Connell Brian O'l

    Brian O'l is a writer with 15 years of experience covering the stock market, consumer finance, insurance, retirement, careers, college and financial planning.

    Read articles by Brian:
  • Carrie Smith Nicholson
    credit report

    Carrie Smith Nicholson is a freelance finance expert and business writer. After working as a small business accountant for over a decade she quit her job and launched When she'writing about finance and geeking out over numbers, she enjoys traveling and making food with her chef husband.

    Read articles by Carrie:
  • Chandra Thomas Whitfield Chandra Thomas Whitfield

    Chandra Thomas Whitfield is an award-winning print, broadcast and multimedia journalist and regular contributor to Her work has appeared in a wide variety of media outlets, including The Huffington Post, Essence, Ebony, People, Newsweek, The Root, The Grio, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and

    Read articles by Chandra:
  • Chaunie Brusie

    Chaunie Brusie, RN, BSN is a healthcare expert with experience in critical care, long-term care, and obstetrical nursing.

    Read articles by Chaunie:
  • Chris Woolston
    insurance mortgage

    Chris Woolston is a freelance science, health and travel writer whose work has appeared in Nature, the Los Angeles Times, Hippocrates, The Chronicle of Higher Education and elsewhere. He lives with two Aussiedoodles; his wife, novelist Blythe Woolston; and assorted other family members in Billings, Montana.

    Read articles by Chris:
  • Claire Swinarski
    auto loans insurance

    Claire Swinarski is a writer and Wisconsin Badger based out of Milwaukee. She's written for Vox, Milwaukee Magazine, Northwest Quarterly, Good Housekeeping, and many other publications.

    Read articles by Claire:
  • Daniel Levine

    Daniel Levine, MJ, is the principal at Levine Media Group and host of The Bio Report and RARECast podcasts. He has served as the San Francisco bureau chief for Adweek and as a reporter for the Oakland Tribune and the San Francisco Business Times. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Narrative, and many other publications.

    Read articles by Daniel:
  • Jessica
    business loans living

    Jessica Sillers writes about finance, business, travel and parenting for various businesses and publications. She lives with her family in the greater Washington, D.C. area. Learn more about her work at

    Read articles by Jessica:
  • Jessica
    education mortgage

    Joanne S. Liu, a former real estate attorney, writes about history, travel, real estate, financial and legal topics for numerous publications — such as Credit Union Business Magazine, The History Channel and MotorHome Magazine — and has authored several books, including Barbed Wire: The Fence That Changed the West. Learn more about her work at

    Read articles by Joanne:
  • Judi Judi Kutner

    Judi Kutner is a mortgage industry veteran with more than 35 years of experience. She is the co-founder of and has studied statistics and finance at Boston University.

    Read articles by Judi:
  • Jennifer
    debt insurance

    Judith Horstman is an award-winning journalist who specializes in reporting on science, health, and medicine. She has been a Washington correspondent for Gannett, a journalism professor, a Fulbright scholar and a senior editor at Time Inc. She is the author of seven books, including the popular Scientific American Day in the Life of Your Brain series. Her work has been widely published in media from leading newspapers and magazines to universities and websites. A popular public speaker, she is an editorial consultant and offers workshops on writing.

    Read articles by Judith:
  • Julie Bohannon Julie Bohannon

    Julie Bohannon is a San Francisco-based freelance writer and editor. She has more than a decade's worth of experience writing educational, instructional and marketing content for businesses and individuals. Julie has also served as a ghost blogger for various tech startup companies and small businesses.

    Read articles by Julie:
  • Jessica

    Kali Hawlk is a writer "passionate about using her skills and knowledge to help others make, do, and create more." She shares ideas and stories on business, finance, entrepreneurship "and living mindfully and with intention." She's been featured as a financial expert for Millennials in many online publications including Forbes, Fast Company, US News and Mashable. You can catch her on, read her latest writing on @KaliHawlk or connect with her on Twitter @KaliHawlk.

    Read articles by Kali:
  • Kate
    credit cards

    Kate Ashford is a freelance journalist who writes about personal finance, career and consumer trends. She'ntributing writer for BBC, Forbes, and Money, and her work has been published in Family Circle, Health, More, Parents, Real Simple, Redbook, and Women's Health, among others.

    Read articles by Kate:
  • Kelli Kelli Bamforth
    credit cards financial planning

    Kelli Bamforth is a freelance writer and editor living in Kansas City. Specializing in financial services and lifestyle topics, she spends her time creating a content strategy and social media marketing solutions for brands of all sizes. Email [email protected]

    Read articles by Kelli:
  • Lee Lee Nelson

    Lee Nelson of the Chicago area writes for national and regional magazines, websites, and business journals. Nelson has written more than 200 news and feature articles on home loans and property transactions. Her work has recently appeared in,,, Yahoo! Homes, and a biweekly blog on

    Read articles by Lee:
  • Liz

    Liz Alton is an experienced writer specializing in digital marketing, technology, business, and finance. Her work has been published in The Huffington Post, USA Today, and a host of other publications. She holds a BA in journalism and an MBA.

    Read articles by Liz:
  • Marcie

    Marcie Geffner is an award-winning reporter, writer, and editor. Geffner's current projects include stories and articles for real estate and mortgage websites and magazines. She has been writing about home loans and property transactions for more than 20 years.

    Read articles by Marcie:
  • Mark Mark P. Cussen

    Mark P. Cussen, CFP®, CMFC, AFC, has 20 years of experience in the financial industry, which includes working with investments, insurance, mortgages, taxes, and financial planning. He has several years' experience as a financial author and has written numerous educational articles for various financial websites. He also has worked in retail, discount and bank brokerage systems and is currently working as a financial planner for the U.S. military. Mark has a bachelor of science in English from the University of Kansas and completed his CFP coursework at the Bloch School of Business at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in August 2001.

    Read articles by Mark:
  • Sean Bryant Sean Bryant

    Sean Bryant is a Denver-based freelance writer specializing in travel, credit cards and personal finance. With nearly 10 years of writing experience, his work has appeared in many of the industry's top publications. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics. When not working Sean enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and dog Charlie and can frequently be found on his bike or snowboard.

    Read articles by Sean:
  • Shannon Lee

    Shannon Lee is a freelance writer and occasional novelist. A professional with over 22 years of experience in the writing world, today she focuses on medical and health writing, legal and insurance topics, and higher education.

    Read articles by Shannon:
  • Sheree R. Curry Sheree R. Curry

    Sheree R. Curry is a multi-award-winning personal finance journalist with more than 20 years of experience reporting for Fortune, the Wall Street Journal,, AOL and many other publications. Curry has written more than 1,000 news and feature articles on home loans, property transactions and related issues. Follow her on Twitter @shereecurry

    Read articles by Sheree:
  • Stephanie Faris
    business loans insurance

    Stephanie Faris is a freelance writer whose work has appeared on the Intuit Small Business Blog, Ecommerce Insiders, and many other business sites. She is also a fiction author, including 30 Days of No Gossip, 25 Roses, and the upcoming Piper Morgan series (all from Simon & Schuster).

    Read articles by Stephanie:
  • Taylor Christensen

    Stephanie Taylor Christensen is a freelance writer with more than a decade of experience in the financial services industry. Her work is frequently syndicated on national media outlets including USAToday, Fast Company, Real Simple, and Forbes.

    Read articles by Stephanie:
  • Steve Evans Steve Evans
    debt insurance mortgage

    Steve Evans is an award-winning journalist and former managing editor of general media in the Central Virginia Newspaper Group. He has worked as a senior writer for SNL Financial and as a reporter for the Bristol Herald Courier, The Progress and the Richmond-Times Dispatch; he has also served as a magazine and online news editor at the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia. His work focuses on business, finance, tech, health and education, and government and public policy.

    Read articles by Steve:
  • Zina Kumok
    business loans

    Zina Kumok is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance. She writes a blog about paying off her student loans in three years. A trained journalist, she has covered everything from murder trials to the Final Four.

    Read articles by Zina: