About Us

Contents

What Is the Purpose of First Quarter Finance?

First Quarter Finance (FQF) started out providing financial information for the first quarter of life. We’ve grown to cover all ages. When there’s a question about financing, credit cards, loans, payment methods, earning more money, and more, FQF is where more than a million people turn to each month. We have done the research so you don’t have to. We want you to get the information you need, make a wise decision, and carry on with your day. We’re a U.S. brand, publishing for a U.S. audience.

Why Trust First Quarter Finance?

  • U.S. News & World Report logo
  • Forbes logo
  • Money logo
  • USA Today logo
  • Entrepreneur logo
  • Business Insider logo
  • HuffPost logo
  • Yahoo! Finance logo
  • Medium logo
  • The Globe and Mail logo
  • Lifehacker logo

We cite root sources so you can rest assured the information is accurate. The companies we cover are encouraged to provide us with additional information to further ensure accuracy. We have subject-matter experts in the topic areas we cover.

Why come to us instead of the companies we often write about?

  1. We are willing to provide you with the entire story — the good, the bad, and the ugly of how a company operates. We are not simply telling you enough good things to ensure a sale, which is business as usual at many companies. Many companies purposely won’t tell you certain information so you’re forced to come into the store which increases their chances of making a sale. Some even try to stop us from helping you. They don’t succeed.
  2. We provide the answers in a way that’s easy to consume. We don’t value words that are more complicated than necessary. You’re smart but you’re also busy. You get the same user experience, no matter the company you’re researching.
  3. We connect your question to the industry as a whole. If you want to know about xyz company, we will answer your question and also let you know that a similar company has lower prices, faster shipping, and better customer service. It gives us pleasure to give answers to questions you didn’t know you had.

Advertisers have no influence on our content. If a company is represented in an article, they earned the mention; they did not ask or pay for it. We do not accept guest articles, sponsored posts, or any other content pitched or created outside of the FQF staff. Despite receiving requests for such every single day. FQF content goes from our expert staff to you. No one in-between. We take pride in our work. You can trust that FQF content is genuine and not made to manipulate the user. Yes, we have display ads but those pay for the content without manipulating the content. Websites without display ads are almost always monetizing by letting corporations influence the content. “Buy from xyz company because they are the best ever and we are saying that because they are paying us but we try to hide that fact!” That’s a conflict of interest and erodes editorial integrity. We would never sacrifice your trust.

If you have concerns about any of the information we provide, please let us know. We will re-verify the information — typically within 24 hours. This helps ensure that you get the right answer. It also helps your peers in the same situation.

Articles are updated frequently and on a schedule to retain accuracy. Either Published or Date Last Verified & Updated is displayed at the top of every article.

For more information, please see our Editorial Policy.


Our Team

Our team consists of experts. We adhere to strict, journal-quality academic standards. We follow a lengthy editorial/peer-review process before publishing. We regularly review articles and make any necessary changes.

Writing & Review Team

Nichole DeFazio, Esq.

Nichole holds a juris doctorate from Rutgers University School of Law, and a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Spanish from The College of New Jersey. She is licensed as an attorney in New Jersey and has been practicing since 2011. Nichole specialized in criminal defense for six years. Currently she works for the State of New Jersey with the Election Law Enforcement Commission prosecuting campaign finance violations. She is an expert in legal research, capable of finding answers to almost any legal question within or outside of her own expertise.

Nichole is an expert in finding side hustles and making side income. In addition to her full-time job as an attorney she holds a part-time job as a bartender and has consistently worked in the service industry since she was 16. She has always held multiple jobs and has personal experience in thinking outside of the box to make additional income. Currently she stays busy by delivering for GrubHub and selling various items online and on various apps.

Nichole’s favorite hobby is traveling; she is an expert in finding the cheapest options to travel the U.S. or abroad and in planning itineraries. During college she studied in Spain to complete her Spanish minor and in law school she studied International Human Rights for a summer in Amsterdam, where she was bit hard by the travel bug. She has so far visited 18 countries with plans to continue adding more to that list, and is working on checking off all the states in the U.S.

Articles by Nichole:How Long Before Credit Cards Sue for Unpaid Debts? AnsweredIs Home Title Lock Worth It? What Is Title Fraud? AnsweredHow Many Hours Can a Per Diem Employee Work? Answeredread more...


Joanna Byrne, DST

Joanna Byrne holds an Associates of Applied Science Diesel Service Technology with Highest Honors from South Plains College, Levelland, Texas. She is an alumna of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Kappa Mu Chapter and she has a growing stack of industry certifications in electrical diagnostics, engine systems, and auxiliary systems. Before studying to become a mechanic, Joanna worked for two years at Hub City Body Works in Lubbock, Texas where she learned parts management, damage estimation, and quality control. Besides over five years of experience as a technician, she also taught Diesel Service Technology at South Plains College for three years, and also served as the Program Developer towards the program’s certification with Associated Equipment Distributors Foundation. Joanna is a successful fiction and non-fiction writer, and some of her work has appeared in the Texas Tech University literary journal, Harbinger. She freelances as an insurance appraiser for auto, transportation, agriculture, and heavy equipment, besides working as an independent technician across the automotive and agriculture industries.


Andrew M. Byrne, PhD, CRC, CCCE

Career counseling content expert Andrew M. Byrne holds a PhD in Rehabilitation Counseling and Administration from East Carolina University. He teaches Higher Education Counseling and Student Affairs to graduate students at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA. Andrew is a nationally Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) and a Certified Career Counselor Educator (CCCE). He brings experiences as a professor, therapist, career and vocational counselor, and researcher- mainly of technology in counseling and higher education. He has also taught at Ohio University and the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Dr. Byrne also reviews articles for Vocational Evaluation and Career Assessment Professionals (VECAP) and is on the editorial board for the Journal of Rehabilitation. Besides his peer-reviewed publications, you can follow him on twitter at @AMorganByrne.


Sonya Bateman

Sonya has written professionally for various websites and publications over the past 18 years. She is also an author with more than 20 thriller and fantasy novels published under her name and the pen name S.W. Vaughn. Her first novel, "Master of None," was published by Simon & Schuster in 2010.

Articles by Sonya:Money Order Verification: How to Verify a Money Order ExplainedCan Anyone Cash a Money Order? Rules & Requirements ExplainedCan I Deposit a Money Order Into My Bank Account? Answeredread more...


Kait Scirri

Kait graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in writing and a minor in religious studies. During her senior year, Kait received the English Department Award for Writing. Her freelance writing experience includes writing for a variety of industries including personal finance, health and wellness, and education.

As a First Quarter Finance contributor, Kait has researched and communicated with several national and international companies including America’s Best, Bank of America, CareCredit, Costco, Discover, The Home Depot, PayPal, Sephora, Venmo, and Walmart. Kait is skilled in research and utilizes primary sources, such as corporate and in-store representatives, when researching articles for First Quarter Finance. Her extensive research has made her a subject matter expert in shopping help, store services, payment methods, checks and money orders, budget travel, and side income. She has also extensively researched government programs including Medicaid, WIC, and EBT/ Food Stamps/ SNAP.

In addition to her freelance work, Kait is a published author of several nonfiction books for children and teens and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Kait has been a contributor for First Quarter Finance since 2017.

Articles by Kait:Online Clothing Stores With Fast Shipping (Same-Day, Next-Day, etc)Vehicle Repossession Laws by State: Know Your Rights12 Best Clothing Credit Cards Listed (Discounts, Free Shipping, and More)read more...


Katie Spence

Before starting her career as a financial journalist, Katie was an active-duty Airborne Operations Technician for the United States Air Force. During her time in the military, she gained in-depth knowledge on how the military operates and learned how defense companies, and the equipment they provide, impact military readiness. Katie has a degree in analytic philosophy from the University of Colorado. After college, she was accepted into The Motley Fool's Writer Development program. Upon completion, she joined The Motley Fool as a contributing writer and used her military background to analyze defense companies. She now writes for First Quarter Finance. Her work has also appeared on The Cheat Sheet, Investing.com, and numerous other sites.

Articles by Katie:USAA Deposits: Large Check Rules Explained (See Your Deposit Limit...)The Check Cashing Store Fees: Check Cashing, Money Orders, Loans, etcState Farm Grace Periods Explained in Clear Language (All Types Shown)read more...


Loren Eaton

Loren has more than a decade and a half of management experience with a long-running agricultural business. He holds an undergraduate degree from Wheaton College and received an MBA from Florida Atlantic University. During college, he interned with Merrill Lynch and has experience with fixed-income securities.

His contributions to First Quarter Finance include articles on business checking, credit building, workers compensation, repossession, various discount and return policies of major retailers, credit card approval odds, check-cashing apps, tribal and payday lenders, EBT, gas quality comparisons, and Company D, the secret, on-site Disney stores usually only available to cast members. He has also written for numerous print publications and online magazines, producing interactive apps, travel guides, parenting pieces, and pop-culture reviews.

Loren is passionate about providing high-quality, actionable information on personal finance that is backed up by original research.

Articles by Loren:What Do You Need to Cash a Check? ID Requirements & More Explained30 Grocery Stores That Accept EBT for Online Grocery PickupHow to Cash a Foreign Check Explainedread more...


Cathy Desmet

Cathy has a business degree and a background in business management within several different industries, including education, foodservice management, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail. She has been a business owner and manager; an accounting, human resources, and hiring manager; a trusted business keyholder; a technology help desk leader; a reading and writing tutor, and a teaching assistant. Many of her previous positions involved working closely with insurance brokers and agents, CPAs, business lawyers, and the IRS to provide positive financial solutions for business owners. She has also written several employee handbooks for small businesses and mid-size companies. Her business experience spans nearly 30 years.

As a freelance contributor at First Quarter Finance, Cathy is educated, knowledgeable, and diligent when it comes to consumer research and finding the most current and complete information for FQF readers. She specializes in researching AARP and senior discounts, student and military discounts, store policies, and consumer credit. Her thorough research process includes connecting with corporate and hourly associates as well as studying official policy documentation. She has researched Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Big Lots, Burger King, Burlington, Costco, Cracker Barrel, Food Lion, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Kroger, Macy’s, Marshalls, Old Navy, Olive Garden, Pearle Vision, Publix, Red Lobster, REI, Sam’s Club, SITKA, Target, Tiffany & Co., Walmart and Whole Foods, among many others.

Cathy volunteers for many organizations including the Alzheimer’s Association, the Ehler’s Danlos Society, the Loeys-Dietz Society, Make-A-Wish, and the Michigan Humane Society. She has written several blog posts as a guest for The Motion Pictures.net. Cathy has been a contributor to First Quarter Finance since 2018.

Articles by Cathy:Can You Cash a Ripped or Damaged Check? AnsweredHow to Check Your EBT Balance by Phone, Online, etcEBT Card Deposit Times Detailed by Stateread more...


Joseph Cho

Joseph has been writing professionally since 2017. He has over half a million views on Quora, covering topics ranging from software engineering to life purpose. He first got into personal finance during his senior year while studying cryptocurrency at Boston University.

In his spare time, he's a dance instructor for children and a rated chess player that competes in tournaments.

Articles by Joseph:10+ ATMs With Free EBT TransactionsDoes GameStop Repair Consoles, Discs, Controllers, etc? AnsweredDoes GameStop Buy Broken Consoles, Controllers, etc? Answeredread more...


Maria R. Riegger, Esq.

Maria holds an undergraduate degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a law degree from The George Washington University. Maria has worked in marketing and management consulting, and has worked for years as a freelance foreign-language translator in the areas of consumer finance and marketing. She currently practices banking and corporate law and has self-published several fiction and nonfiction books. Maria has spoken to author groups on the business of self-publishing and has written on how authors can set up their online stores.

Maria is active in local financial independence groups such as ChooseFI, and is passionate about helping people build passive income streams through book publishing and other side hustles, so that they can enjoy life and do the work they love.

Maria is an expert in personal investing, self-publishing, and travel.

Articles by Maria:What to Do If a Check Is Stolen and CashedCan You Use Your EBT Card to Shop Online? Answered5 Best Banks for Trust Accounts: Minimum Investments & Fees Detailedread more...


Management Team

William Lipovsky

CEO and Editor-in-Chief

Will has been passionate about personal finance for as long as he can remember. He has been working for just as long. He bought his first mutual fund at age 10. Personal finance is his obsession, through and through.

He spent his early years after college working in banking and freelance writing. His articles and quotes have appeared in Business Insider, Entrepreneur, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and Yahoo Finance.

In 2013, William founded First Quarter Finance to help improve the finances of those in the First Quarter of Life. The website has expanded to become one of the largest personal finance brands for all stages of life.

William is CEO, editor in chief, owner, and founder of First Quarter Finance.


Lindsey Desmet

Managing Editor

Lindsey has a master's degree in library and information science, a graduate certificate in information management, and a bachelor's degree in liberal studies, where her areas of concentration were journalism, history, and literature. During her academic career, she was named an honor scholar and James B. Angell Scholar, was nominated to the Beta Phi Mu International Honor Society, and won two undergraduate writing awards.

As a contributor and editor at First Quarter Finance, Lindsey has researched many prominent companies, such as Ally Bank, Ashley Furniture, Best Buy, Capital One, CarMax, Discover, Enterprise, Kroger, Nordstrom, Overstock, Sam’s Club, Verizon, Visa, and Walmart. She conducts deep and thorough research to ensure that her articles, as well as all of FQF’s new and previously-published articles, contain accurate and up-to-date information. Her research often includes interviews; thorough readings of official documents like state and federal laws, corporate handbooks, and cardholder agreements; and first-hand contact with corporate and store representatives. Lindsey has expertise in retail store policies, consumer savings, personal finance, banking, loans, and credit cards.

Lindsey is passionate about research, the written word, and connecting people with the information they need. Her writing has been published in The Michigan Journal and on her classic film blog, TheMotionPictures.net. Lindsey is the Managing Editor at First Quarter Finance.


Erika Crawford

Contributing Editor

Erika holds a bachelor's degree in linguistics with concentrations in socio- and psycholinguistics and a minor in professional writing from The Ohio State University. She graduated summa cum laude and worked as a linguistics research assistant and a student reader for Ohio State's literary journal. Through her education in linguistics and professional writing, Erika became an expert in the areas of language learning and contact, accessibility, technical editing, and business writing.

Erika has worked in a variety of roles related to operations, finance, writing, and editing in both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Much of her experience has been centered around grant writing, reporting, fundraising, and gift processing for multiple major nonprofit institutions. In every role, Erika has taken on the responsibilities of editing and proofreading, social media management, and writing internal and customer-facing content.

Erika is extremely passionate about lifelong learning, and she is constantly looking for opportunities to hone her editing skills. She devotes her time to studying and taking courses in user experience, ethnography, and publishing. In addition to being an editor at First Quarter Finance, Erika is also working to complete her first novel.


Alexandra Fowler

Lead Research Analyst

Alexandra earned a bachelor’s degree with distinction in behavioral neuroscience from the University of Kansas Honors Program and completed an original honors thesis for which she received three awards before even tossing her cap. Her research crosses multiple disciplines, including neuroscience, bankruptcy, and personal finance; has been published in several leading journals, including Neurology; and, has taken her all over the country to present. Alexandra leads the research team at First Quarter Finance.



First Quarter Finance is owned by More Holdings LLC. More Holdings LLC is a Nebraska-based company that operates at:

More Holdings LLC
7400 Tallgrass Parkway, 307A
Lincoln, NE 68521

For inquiries, please use our Contact page or the address above.