J.R. is a senior editor and personal finance journalist at HighYa. His writing focuses on credit cards, financial apps, credit scores, budgeting and long-form advice guides that feature in-depth research as well as the advice and insight of industry professionals.
As a senior editor, he oversees the website’s editorial department and works with HighYa’s leadership team to come up with new content strategies, focus areas, and editorial policies.
J.R. started at HighYa in October 2015 writing about personal finance. He chose this focus because he saw in his own life the power of sound financial decisions. He and his wife were able to pay off $22,000 in debt in the first few years of their marriage. He wanted to help others do that, too.
His background as an award-winning journalist gives him the basic research skills and commitment to facts and objectivity that help HighYa’s readers become smart, wizened consumers.
Connect with J.R. Duren on LinkedIn.
J.R.’s Motivation for Covering Personal Finance at HighYa
J.R.’s motivation for writing about personal finance is two-fold. First, there is a proliferation of new financial apps and services that claim to be different from the big banks and customer-centered.
While that sounds great, he often finds that the fees these companies charge aren’t any better or worse than what you’d get with a bank or another legacy financial service.
He believes that through his interviews with experts and the hundreds of reviews he's written for HighYa, he can help our readers see which companies offer value beyond good marketing.
Also, as a credit card expert, J.R. believes the credit card review industry is a tricky place to get advice, as there are dozens of sites that recommend the same cards as their favorites and/or best. His role at HighYa allows him to write objective credit card reviews that cater to people in a variety of financial positions.
As a journalist, J.R. won three Florida Press Club (FPC) Excellence in Journalism awards while a reporter at The Villages Daily Sun, a daily newspaper in Central Floria. His awards included:
- First place, light features, 2012
- Second place, health writing, 2012
- Second place, community news, 2011
Educational Background, Professional Memberships, and Hobbies
J.R. has a Master of Divinity from Bethel Seminary and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Outside of work, J.R. likes to hike, smoke tobacco pipes and follow the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Publications That Have Featured J.R.’s Writing and Expertise
H&R Block: How To Budget With Irregular Income
GOBankingRates: How to Raise Your Credit Score by 100 Points (Almost) Overnight
Huffington Post: 13 Little-Known Credit Card Benefits You Might Be Missing Out On
JPMorgan Chase & Co.: How I Found Love—and Fixed My Finances