You’ve taken steps to avoid identity theft, and maybe even applied a credit freeze to your credit report. You can sit back and relax, right?Wrong. You may have prevented identity thieves from opening new accounts in your name, but have you kept your existing credit accounts secure? As opposed to identity theft where your information
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Would you know what to do if you discovered that you were a victim of identity theft? Given the massive data breaches over the last few years, it’s important that you understand your rights as an identity theft victim – because your odds of becoming one are greater than ever. “If you find you
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Let’s assume that you drew the short straw on the 2018 tax cuts, and you owe Uncle Sam this year. How do you plan to pay? There are plenty of ways other than the old-fashioned check submitted with a paper tax return. If you file electronically, why not pay electronically? Electronic Funds Withdrawal (EFW) is
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MoneyTips The last few years have been difficult ones for the IRS with respect to security issues, and the agency is determined to improve security during this year’s filing. Electronic filing is particularly vulnerable because of the speed of the process — it is a favorite method among thieves who steal information from taxpayers and
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It may seem strange to you even to think of freezing your child’s credit. Has your son or daughter gone on a credit binge at your local toy store or candy store? Why would your child even have credit in the first place? Your child probably doesn’t have credit, but he or she does have
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Chances are that if you have student loans, you need every bit of extra cash that you can get. Did you realize that your student loans might be able to generate some cash for you? Under certain circumstances, you may be able to save on your tax bill by deducting the interest that you pay
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How long have you been searching for your new home? The latest Housing Trends Report from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) suggests that you’ve been looking for a while and may be getting frustrated in the process. You may be coming down with the homebuyer’s blues. Potential homebuyers are being squeezed in multiple
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Taxpayers tend to shy away from taking the home office deduction, assuming that they will be targeted for increased scrutiny from the IRS. That is certainly possible, especially if your deductions are unusually large – but if you truly were entitled to the deduction, why wouldn’t you take it? You may feel that you have
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Have you missed enough credit card payments that your creditor has contacted you about your debt? If so, you aren’t alone. According to survey results from the February 2019 PYMNTS.com Financial Invisibles Report, almost two in five (36.3%) respondents had been contacted by a creditor regarding an outstanding debt. How did many of them resolve
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If you need money and have bad credit, payday loans may seem like your only option. Payday loans are inherently risky – and expected payday loan regulation changes have been delayed, keeping the risk relatively high. Payday loans are relatively small loans (often $500 or less) that are paid back in a short period of
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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) budget has been cut by $2.5 billion from 2010 to 2018, and it now has 22,000 fewer employees than it did in 2010, making IRS customer service challenging, to say the least. The IRS subjected 8.8 million taxpayers to “courtesy disconnects” through the 2015 tax-filing season that ended in mid-2016.
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No More Collegiate Debt Could the next drag on America’s economy come from student loans?According to StudentLoanHero.com, America’s student loan debt burden hit $1.56 trillion – more than any other kind of household debt except for mortgages. Student loans are one of the most pervasive debts. The Department of Education offers assistance programs, but participants
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According to the New York Fed’s latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit, America’s student loan debt burden has reached a staggering $1.44 trillion as of September 2018. Has that burden kept younger Americans from buying homes? A new Federal Reserve study suggests that educational debt isn’t the primary reason for the homeownership decline,
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Your smartphone is probably full of fun apps, but we have one more app to add to help you deal with a painful task: your taxes. Did you know that the IRS has a free smartphone app to help taxpayers handle basic tax-related functions? They do, and it has been in existence since 2011. The
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Your credit score is a valuable asset that must be maintained and protected. Unfortunately, there are ways that other people can negatively affect your credit score – either inadvertently or with bad intent. Protect your credit information by carefully monitoring these five potential paths to a reduced credit score. 1. Joint Accounts – Joint checking
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Gone are the days of having to call a 1-800 number to interact with customer service teams. With the rise of social media, support is often available around the clock. If you’ve ever called out a company on social media for bad service, you know they can be quick to respond. Don’t be in a
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The Premium Tax Credit (PTC) may sound like it is a credit only available to top-tier incomes, but it is actually quite the opposite. “Premium” in this case refers to health care premiums, and the PTC is a way to help those with relatively low incomes to afford health insurance premiums and avoid the potential
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We’ve all heard the scary statistics of identity theft. In the last year: An estimated 16.7 million people were victims Identity theft cost Americans $17 billion (compared to a whopping $21.8 billion in 2012) The Federal Trade Commission took 371,061 reports of identity theft in the U.S., including 133,015 reports of credit card
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The IRS recommends that you keep tax records for at least three years from the date you filed your original return, and longer for special situations. You may need copies of your tax returns for tasks like filing future years’ taxes, applying for a mortgage loan or student aid, or settling IRS inquiries. How to
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