Finance Blog

Stay financially savvy with the Equifax Advisor.

Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter


Thank you for signing up for the FREE Equifax monthly newsletter

In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.

Understand your credit. Help protect your identity.

Equifax Complete™ Premier Plan

  • Know What May Influence Your Credit Score and Be Alerted of Changes
    Credit score monitoring with custom alerts
    Important Disclosure: The Equifax credit score and 3-Bureau credit scores are based on an Equifax credit score model and are not the same scores used by 3rd parties to assess your creditworthiness.¹
  • Help Protect Your Identity
    Automatic fraud alerts encourages lenders to take extra steps to verify your identity²
  • Lock Your Credit
    The ability to lock and unlock your Equifax Credit Report³
Save 75% your first 30 days with the purchase of Equifax Complete™ Premier

$4.95 for the first 30 days, then $19.95 per month thereafter. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.4

¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.

²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.

³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.

4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.

Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.

Retirement Savings or Emergency Fund? How to Prioritize When Saving Money

Written by Steve Repak on April 28, 2015 in Newsletter  |   2 comments

Retirement savings is important, but it’s only one of three major savings categories, which also include rainy day and emergency funds – and yes, they’re different. Here’s how to prioritize these funds and decide where to put your money first.

Retirement Savings or Emergency Fund How to Prioritize When Saving MoneyAs you work to build your retirement savings account, you might wonder whether you should fund other accounts as well. After all, if your end goal is to retire on a tropical island, shouldn’t you put every dime you can into your retirement savings?

While saving for retirement is important—it’s one of my “big three” savings priorities—it’s also important to ensure you’re funding two other accounts: a rainy day fund and an emergency fund (which are, in fact, different). How much you choose to allocate to each account is up to you and will likely change over time, but here’s what to think about as you budget for your savings contributions.

The big three savings priorities: Rainy day, emergency, and retirement

Priority #1: Rainy-day savings
Your first priority should be setting up a rainy-day fund that can cover anything unexpected for which you have not budgeted: a minor car accident, a home repair, or a trip to the ER or the vet, for example. According to Bankrate’s Money Pulse poll, fewer than 4 out of 10 Americans have savings for non-budgeted expenses such as these. Without a sufficient rainy-day fund, even the most budget-conscious person can be hit hard by an unexpected expense.

Even a manageable amount, like $1,500, is a good place to start for a rainy-day savings account. The account should be readily accessible—for example, in a savings or money market account—FDIC insured, and not comingled with your retirement accounts. The funds in this account should be enough to help you get by in a pinch.

Priority #2: Emergency savings
Once you have funded a rainy-day account, your next priority should be your emergency savings. Whether you experience a job loss, a major illness, or some other significant life event, you’ll need savings to help get you through the drought.

Unlike a rainy-day fund, your emergency savings needs to be a substantial amount of cash. For example, if you are single, you should be saving enough money to cover three months of your non-discretionary expenses, including food, rent, health insurance, and utilities—the things you need to survive. If you are married, or if others are depending on you, consider setting aside at least six months of your non-discretionary spending. This account should be readily available—if you need to withdraw the funds, you should not be penalized. Just as with your rainy-day fund, your emergency savings account should also be FDIC insured and not comingled with your retirement accounts.

Always a priority: Your retirement savings
At the same time that you are allocating part of your savings for emergencies, you should also be saving for retirement. Both are extremely important for your overall financial well-being.

For example, if you were to lose your job and you did not have emergency savings, you could potentially have no choice but to withdraw money from your retirement account, which could result in penalties, taxes, and other negative consequences. At the same time, if you don’t have enough money saved for retirement, you may not be able to retire when you want, or you might have to radically change your lifestyle when you do. You might also have to dip into your emergency fund. Contribute to your 401(k), 403(b), or other retirement savings plan regularly. You may want to set up automatic withdrawals to make this easier.

Other savings goals

Once you have your rainy-day, emergency, and retirement savings in place, then it’s time to start prioritizing your other savings goals, such as paying for college for your children or grandchildren, buying a house or vacation home, or buying a new car. You might think that saving for your child’s college education needs to be a top priority—and it is important. But if the time comes and you don’t have those funds, there are options, like student loans, to help you out. On the other hand, the only one who can pay for your retirement is you.

Steve Repak, is a Certified Financial Planner™ professional, CFP® Board Ambassador, and financial literacy Speaker. He is also an Army Veteran and the author of Dollars & Uncommon Sense: Basic Training For Your Money. Follow him on Twitter: @SteveRepak


The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.


  1. Mike B. says:

    With interest rates at historic lows savings accounts are paying nothing. What are your thoughts?

Commenting guidelines

We welcome your interest and participation on this forum, but be aware that comments will be published at Equifax's sole discretion. Please don't use this blog to submit questions or concerns about your Equifax credit report or raise customer service issues. Instead, you should contact Equifax directly for all such matters and any attempts to do so in this forum will be promptly re-directed.

Some other factors to consider when commenting:
  1. Registration and privacy. While no registration is required to visit our forum, participants wishing to post a message must register by creating an account. All personal information provided by forum members incident to registration is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  2. All comments are anonymous. We'll delete your name, e-mail address, and any other identifying information, including details about your investments.
  3. We can't post or respond to every comment - As much as we'd like to, we can't post every comment, nor can we guarantee that we will respond to each individual message. All questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or similar customer service issues should be handled by contacting Equifax directly.
  4. Don't offer specific legal, tax or financial advice. All of the materials on this Site are for information, education, and noncommercial purposes only and this forum is not intended as a means of expressing views or ideas regarding any specific legal, tax, or investment advice. While offering general rules of thumb is both permitted and encouraged, recommending specific ideas or strategies regarding investments, taxes, and related matters is prohibited.
  5. Credit Repair. This blog is not intended as a venue for the discussion or exchange of ideas regarding credit repair or other strategies intended to assist visitors and community members improve or otherwise modify their credit histories, ratings or scores.
  6. Stay on topic. Your comment should be concise and pertain to the specific post in question.
  7. Be respectful of the community. The use of profanity, offensive language, spam, and personal attacks will not be tolerated and egregious or repeat offenders will be banned from future participation. We encourage disagreement and healthy debate, but please refrain from personal attacks on our WordPresss and contributors.
  8. Finally: Participation in this forum may be terminated by Equifax immediately and without notice for failure to comply with any guidelines or Terms of Use. As such, you should familiarize yourself with all pertinent requirements prior to submitting any response through the blog or otherwise. All opinions expressed in this forum are solely those of the individual submitting the comment, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.