- What Is the Purpose of First Quarter Finance?
- Why Is First Quarter Finance a Trusted Source?
- Our Team
What Is the Purpose of First Quarter Finance?
First Quarter Finance (FQF) started out providing financial advice for the first quarter of life. We have now grown to all ages. When there’s a question about financing, credit cards, loans, a store policy, 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 and get on with your day. Content is written for a U.S. audience.
Why Is First Quarter Finance a Trusted Source?
Founded in 2013, FQF has been featured in and cited by a variety of publications, including:
Authority Magazine October 2019
Chime Bank January 2017
CreditCards.com July 2019
Entrepreneur September 2017
FlexJobs February 2019
Forbes May 2018
HuffPost March 2019
Journal of Antiques & Collectibles January 2019
Medium May 2019
Quicken Loans Zing! Blog December 2015
Remote.co March 2019
SCORE February 2019
USA Today February 2019
U.S. News & World Report February 2019
Yahoo! Finance February 2019
Zillow February 2015
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. 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 future readers.
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 created outside of the FQF staff. The content goes from us to you. No one in-between. Though we do accept reader article requests if there’s something you’d really love to see us cover. We take pride in our work. You can trust that FQF content is genuine and not made to manipulate the user.
Articles are updated frequently and on a schedule to ensure accuracy. Date Published or Date Last Updated is displayed at the top of each article.
For more information, please see our Editorial Policy.
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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.
Expert Writers & Reviewers
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.
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.
Brenna is a North Carolina-based writer and editor. She has a bachelor of science in journalism with a minor in religious studies. The California native's news reporting has earned acknowledgments from the California Newspaper Publishers Association and the national College Media Association Pinnacle Awards, including a first-place award for agricultural reporting (CNPA Better Newspapers Contest, 2016) and a first-place profile feature story (CNPA Campus Excellence in Journalism Contest, 2015). Brenna's bylines include USA Today, Chron (the Houston Chronicle's online platform), Career Trend, and 10Best. Brenna enjoys traveling and dedicates at least three months each year to world travel.
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.
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.
Ashley has a bachelor's degree in mass media arts with a minor in theatre and a music business certificate from the University of Georgia. She has worked in the entertainment industry as a project manager and a producer for a number of years and is now a freelancer. Ashley currently travels full time while working remotely, writing for First Quarter Finance, HearingLikeMe.com, and Envoy Medical. She has organized a sports leadership camp for deaf and hard of hearing individuals and has developed a few projects for TV and film. Ashley is a self-professed budget-savvy guru who color-codes her expense spreadsheets and gets a thrill from finding the best ways to travel on a budget.
Jennifer has a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in creative writing. She graduated with a 3.9-cumulative GPA. During her college career, she worked at the university's writing center and was an editor for the Wisconsin Review. Jennifer also freelances for Red Cat Media, which has a host of sites dedicated to pets, including The Labrador Site. Whenever she finishes an article, Jennifer reads it aloud to her dogs. They don't offer much feedback, but they are certainly the cutest audience she has read for to date.
Kathrina has a master of fine arts in writing for dramatic media and a bachelor's degree in both film and psychology. She was a recipient of The Johnny Brenden Filmmaker Award, which allowed to write and direct her first feature film, "Death to False Hipsters." Kathrina enjoys all things art, iced coffees, bargain shopping, and expanding her skill set. She is currently studying radiography.
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.
Jamie Cattanach transitioned to full-time freelance writing after spending more than a year writing for The Penny Hoarder, a blog focused on finding the fun in making and saving money. From there, she proceeded to write for outlets like Yahoo! Finance, The Motley Fool, CNBC, The Huffington Post, and others, focusing primarily on personal finance but also writing about travel, body image, and living well in general. She holds a bachelor's degree from Saint Augustine, Florida's Flagler College, where she double majored in English literature and philosophy and minored in psychology. (See? Humanities kids CAN make a living!)
These days, Jamie bounces around the country in a 17-foot travel trailer, finding as much adventure and affordability as possible in everyday life. She's committed to intentional living, escaping the cycle of consumerism, and sharing what she learns with readers in whatever ways possible. You can learn more and follow along at www.jamiecattanach.com.
Katharine Paljug is a freelance content creator and editor. In addition to First Quarter Finance, her articles can be found on Business News Daily, Business.com, SheKnows, and YFS Magazine. Visit Katharine-Writes.com to access her free library of resources for small business owners or follow @kpaljug on Twitter.
Originally from Wales, Hannah has embraced the digital nomad lifestyle and is currently traveling Europe in her vintage Volkswagen camper van. She splits her time between the U.K. and Spain, all while indulging her lifelong passion for writing.
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.
Caitlin has a bachelor's degree in human services with a minor in sustainability from The George Washington University. Since 2013, Caitlin has been writing and conducting research both academically and professionally. Aside from her work as a freelance writer, she spends several months a year in full-time volunteer work for an international NGO. Caitlin is based in southern India and travels to at least 15 different countries every year.
Justin has a master’s degree in psychology with a minor in health and exercise science. During his college career, he received multiple awards for his involvement in the university’s research team.
When he is not working, Justin acts as a “Top 50” reviewer on Amazon and has tested and written reviews for hundreds of new-to-market and well-established brands and products.
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.
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.
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.
CEO and Editor-in-Chief
William holds a bachelor's degree in communications studies with an emphasis on business strategy and a minor in political science. He scored in the 98th percentile on the Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency Writing Skills. He is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
William has been investing since age 10 and has worked in banking and financial advising. He has done research for the Department of Defense at the United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM).
He is an expert in the fields of personal finance, consumer shopping, banking, investing, and travel. He is a foremost expert in topics surrounding store policy, consumer credit, check cashing, money orders, and consumer financing.
He spent years freelance writing hundreds of pieces for over a dozen publications. His articles and quotes have appeared Business Insider, Entrepreneur, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, and elsewhere. He is also published in the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) Journal through his work at USSTRATCOM.
He is extremely passionate about academic writing standards and is always searching for ways to further improve content credibility and thus improve user experience here at First Quarter Finance. His goal is that his unwavering dedication results in your unwavering dedication to the brand. William is CEO, editor in chief, owner, and founder of First Quarter Finance.
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 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.
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.