Personal Finance Questions Answered Via Text Message?

April 14, 2009

Providing the easiest way to access information while on the go, that’s the mission of a company named Cha Cha.  You can text or call in with your questions and they’ll give you an answer, here’s how they describe it.

“We’ll instantly route your question to the most knowledgeable person on that topic in our Guide community. Your answer is then returned to your phone as a text message within a few minutes.”

I think it’s a neat idea but I couldn’t find anything about the credentials of the people answering your questions so I don’t know that I’d ask anything complex or complicated.  Below are some of the finance related questions and answers that have come through the site in the last day or so. Not surprisingly there are a lot of questions about tax deadlines, but what happens if they tell you the deadline is 4/16? I don’t think the IRS will care if you explain that Cha Cha told you the wrong filing date.

Maybe it’s not the best service to use for critical matters but for small things like movie times or even brief directions it could be kind of neat.

Tax Questions

When is the deadline to file taxes
April 15 is the deadline to get your taxes filed. The IRS website has lots of useful information on getting your taxes filed.

How do I file an income tax extension
To file an extension you must file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Income Tax Return

When is the postmark deadline for 2008 Federal taxes
They must be postmarked on April 15, unless you ask for an extension!

What day are taxes due this year
Tax filings are due to be filed by midnight on April 15th. You can file for an extension, but any money owed must be paid by then.

What is the current price of a US stamp
A U.S first calls stamp is currently 42 cents. First-Class Mail International postal rates varies start at $0.72

What state doesn’t have income tax
The states that do not charge state income tax are Alaska, Nevada, South Dakota, Washington, Texas, Wyoming, and Florida

Credit Questions

How long does it take to apply and be approved for a credit card
There is no set time for application and approval/denial dates for credit cards. A company can choose to never reply

What is the lowest possible credit score
he lowest score is a 300, and the highest is 850.

What is the highest credit score
he highest credit score one can achieve is the magical FICO number of 850
The highest-possible FICO score is 850, but even people with the best credit don ‘t usually exceed 825

What does it mean to have gone bankrupt
A debtor that, upon voluntary petition or one invoked by the debtor’s creditors, is judged legally insolvent.

What does it mean if your credit card account is in “default”
In finance, default occurs when a debtor has not met his or her legal obligations according to the debt contract; has not

How do you get credit if you just turned 18
You start your credit record by opening a checking at your local bank. Then you apply for low limit credit cards. Thanks.

Does a bill go to a collections agencygo straight to your credit report
In most cases your debt is reported to a credit agency every 30 days, so the collection agency will report it monthly.

Currency Questions

How much money was printed today
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing produces 38 million notes a day with a face value of approximately $541 million.

How many dollars equal a euro
1 Euro = 1.25 U.S. dollars. The value of the U.S. dollar against the Euro has gone up- now is a good time to buy!

Stimulus Check Questions

When will the stimulus checks be coming
One thing not in the new stimulus are rebate checks, unless your only income is Social Security. It will be a tax credit instead.

Will there be a stimulus check in 2009
It doesn’t look like there will be a stimulus check that everyone gets, it will be tax reductions & credits instead


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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2 Responses to Personal Finance Questions Answered Via Text Message?

  • eric nault

    Hello, i was wondering if you could answer these two questions for me? If you have something on the bad side of your credit report and you pay it off, will your credit score go up, and when you pay it and an inquiry has been made on it, will it stay on your report for another 7 years? Thank you for your time, and i look forward to hearing from you.

  • Imee

    I think this is a pretty cool thing they’re doing. Although text messaging isn’t as popular in America as it is in the UK and Asia, I think it’s catching on so this whole “ask and I will text you the answer” thing may get quite useful.