Kathleen Pender

Contributing Writer, Via

Kathleen Pender has been writing about money for more than four decades. Before starting a freelance career, she worked for the San Francisco Chronicle as a business writer, editor and "Net Worth" columnist. She majored in business journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and was a Knight-Bagehot fellow in business journalism at Columbia University. She enjoys reading, biking, swimming, wine tasting and camping around the West in her teardrop trailer.


A family tours a house with a real estate agent.

How to Detect and Prevent Real Estate Fraud

Both buyers and renters should be aware of these common scams.
A man takes a picture of his red sedan to sell it.

How to Sell Your Car Online

It’s a seller’s market and companies are vying for your used car.
A couple hold the keys to their new red car in the dealership.

Should You Buy or Lease a Car?

The pandemic brings new considerations on car financing.
A woman calculates her income taxes.

5 Things to Know About 2021 Taxes Before You File

Many popular pandemic-related tax breaks changed last year.
A woman calculates the real cost of using a BNPL app.

What You Should Know Before Clicking 'Buy Now, Pay Later'

Is it safe to use installment plans when shopping?
A college student does homework in the library on campus.

Key Tips to Protect Against Identity Theft in College

From financial aid and loan applications to using public Wi-Fi, here's how students can protect their identity.
A car at the pump at the gas station.

How to Keep Your Credit Card Safe at the Gas Pump

The next time you pull into a gas station, think twice about how you pay for fuel.
A couple looks at house listings on Zillow, Redfin, and Realtor.com

How to Get Preapproved for a Mortgage

These simple steps will help you through the process of getting a preapproval letter from a lender.
A woman calls her insurance agent after her car was damaged in a hit-and-run crash.

Are You Really Covered by Your Insurance?

Ask your agent about these common insurance gaps.
A woman opens her mail at the mailbox.

Unemployment Fraud Could Trigger an Unexpected Tax Bill

Here’s how to report the identity theft and correct your taxes so you only pay for income you actually received.
AAA Member does her taxes at the dining room table.

How to Protect Your Tax Refund from Thieves

Take steps to prevent—and recover from—tax-related identity theft.
AAA Members review their credit scores on their couch.

Credit Score 101: Everything You Need to Know

Learn how to check your credit score, what it impacts, and what’s a good score.
AAA Member freezes her credit.

Should You Freeze Your Credit?

Yes! Everyone should freeze their credit to help prevent identity theft, experts say.