Copyright 2014

This week's best financial advice

Written by Super User

Here are three of the weeks top pieces of financial advice, gathered from around the web:

Building credit without a card
Millennials, its time to get serious about building your credit history, said Suzanne Woolley at Bloomberg. Just 33 percent of adults between ages 18 and 29 report having a credit card, even though a good credit score is essential when you apply for an apartment, a mortgage, an auto loan, or even to get a good deal on a cellphone. Getting on someone elses card as an authorized user is one way to start building credit, allowing a young person to piggyback off a parents credit. Starter credit cards with low limits are another option, provided theyre paid off every month to avoid their punishing interest rates. Secured cards, for which you put down a cash deposit as collateral, also build credit history, as long as you promptly pay the balance in full over at least six months.

The cost of a teenage driver
Parents looking forward to having their newly licensed teenagers drive themselves on errands this summer may be less enthusiastic when they see the familys new insurance bill, said Ann Carrns at The New York Times. Adding a teenage driver to an auto insurance policy increases the average premium by 79 percent, according to the latest analysis from InsuranceQuotes.com. Thats because inexperienced teen drivers have the highest crash rate of any group in the US However, buying a separate auto insurance policy for your teen is likely to be even more expensive, because auto premiums also factor in the parents driving history and credit scores. To lower your familys premium, be sure to ask about good student discounts, which can be as much as 25 percent for young adults who maintain at least a B grade average.

Purchasing a solar-powered home
Buying a house thats already equipped with solar panels can help you avoid the initial legwork of installation, while still enjoying the benefit of lower energy bills, said Susan Johnston Taylor at US News. But not all solar systems are created equal. Homebuyers need to do their homework. First, find out if the panels are leased or owned. Ideally its the latter, because leases are an ongoing liability that could affect the terms of your mortgage. Next, research the companies that manufactured and installed the system, and learn their warranty terms. You should also ask to see the current owners electric bills. Finally, hire an independent professional to inspect the system, before committing to a purchase.



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