Thanksgiving is a time to relax and enjoy a nice dinner with your loved ones. You don’t want to spend it stressing over the Thanksgiving budget; you want to spend it having an enjoyable day with friends and relatives, and relaxing on the couch with a tryptophan-induced nap. Try these tips to save dollars on
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You’re never too old to learn new things – including better money management practices. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) agrees. To address financial literacy concerns, the FDIC created the Money Smart teaching program in 2001 to help educators and financial institutions increase consumer understanding of basic financial systems work and how to use them
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Nearing the Limit The housing market has suffered from excess demand and limited supply for years, causing a sharp increase in home prices. Add continually increasing interest rates to the mix, and eventually something has to give. The turning point may have arrived. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller report shows that home prices are still rising,
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Since 2009, the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) has helped qualified homeowners with limited equity in their homes find affordable refinancing. After seven program extensions, HARP is scheduled to end December 31, 2018, when new assistance programs from the mortgage-loan-backing agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will take its place. In the wake of the
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Most consumers know that credit cards can come with fees other than interest charges applied to balances. Annual fees, late payment fees, balance transfer fees, cash advance fees, foreign transaction fees … the list goes on. Did you know that debit cards could have fees as well? If not, don’t feel bad. In a recent
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“Knowledge is power.” This famous quote, typically attributed to Sir Francis Bacon in 1597, surely wasn’t referring to credit scores – but, according to a new study, knowledge of your credit score does give you the power to manage credit responsibly. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin, New York University, and the University of Chicago
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You have several credit cards and a couple of killer rewards programs. Why not put them to good use and charge every purchase that you can? It’s smart to get the most out of your credit cards, but do so within a budget and with one thought in mind – “Is a credit card the
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A reverse mortgage allows you to convert the equity in your home to cash that you can use for other purposes. Essentially, you’re selling your home back to a lender in increments. It’s a popular method for seniors to supplement living expenses. Repayments don’t begin until the owner permanently moves out of the home, passes
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In September 2017, America learned about the massive data breach at the credit reporting agency Equifax that affected approximately 148 million consumers – one of the largest breaches ever. Identity thieves suddenly acquired a new batch of Social Security numbers, names, addresses, phone numbers, and other personal information. Consumers were advised to take steps immediately
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Zombie debt refers to old unpaid debt, declared dead and uncollectable long ago, that rises from the grave to ingest the bank accounts of the living. Who are the mad financial scientists that create this zombie debt, and how can you thwart them when it comes for you? The zombie masters, if you will, are
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Finding a job can be a stressful and difficult task – and if you have poor credit, you may have an even harder time finding a job. A 2016 CareerBuilder study found that almost one-third of employers run credit checks on their potential hires, on the assumption that people with good credit are more likely
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The Crushing Effects Of Medical Debt How pervasive is America’s medical debt problem? According to 2017 data from the credit bureau Experian, unpaid medical debt in America topped $127 billion. New data from Consumer Reports shows that almost 30% of insured Americans had unpaid medical debt turned over to collection agencies in the past two
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Thanks to large data breaches in recent years, both credit freezes and credit locks are gaining in popularity. What’s the difference between these two important identity protection tools, and which one is the best for you? Both tools stop lenders from accessing your credit information – and lenders won’t extend credit if they can’t assess
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By Eric Olsen, Executive Director, HELPS Nonprofit Law Firm I just got off the phone with a senior couple who have a timeshare they can’t afford and don’t use any longer. They had called a company who advertised that they help people get out of timeshares. (I hear such advertisements on the radio and television
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To some of us, Halloween is an enjoyable time to dress up our children and/or ourselves, carve scary pumpkins, decorate our home with spooky effects, gorge on treats, and spend the next morning jogging off a candy binge. To others, it is a time to figure out how much candy they need to have on
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You need cash to pay an important bill, and you haven’t got it. What do you do? Many Americans turn to payday loans to fill this gap, even though the interest rates are staggering – an average of nearly 400% APR. A recent survey by CNBC Make It and Morning Consult found that all generations
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Is a home purchase on your to-do list over the next two years? You’ll have plenty of competition finding your new home, according to the latest PenFed Credit Union National Mortgage Survey. The survey found that 37% of American adults are planning to purchase a home within the next two years. Over half (52%) of
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Are smart appliances and systems making you feel like you are being outwitted by your home? They shouldn’t. In many cases, it is just a matter of investing the time to read through the manual and understand the capabilities of the system. For standard appliances like refrigerators, ovens, or TVs, if you do not educate
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With summer ending, the end of the year will be around before you have time to figure out whether it is better to finally take down the Christmas lights or, at this point, just leave them up. That makes it a good time to look ahead on your taxes, as well as a few other
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Parents, be careful how you act around your children. Children may listen to what you say, but they’ll be more influenced by what you do. This maxim also appears to apply to attitudes toward debt. According to a study recently released by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), children have a strong tendency to
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By Roshni Chowdhry, head of customer experience at SafetyNet Of the 17 million Americans currently enrolled in college, 74 percent qualify as what we used to call “nontraditional” students: One in five is 30 years or older. About half don’t rely on their parents for money. One quarter are caring for a
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Further Rewards for Good Credit You’ve worked hard to keep your credit score high. Why shouldn’t you be rewarded for your effort? Banks agree and are looking for innovative ways to urge you to keep your credit score as high as possible. Financial institutions have always used negative reinforcement for poor credit scores – higher
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