New Study: EMV Cards Still Subject to Fraud Whether you know it or not, you probably have an EMV card in your wallet. EMV cards, named for the joint development with Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, incorporate a computer chip into the physical card. When scanned using an EMV-capable chip reader, the card generates a unique
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Student loan debt in America has topped $1.5 trillion dollars, and millennials hold a large amount of that debt burden. As of 2017, 37.5% of Americans with student loan debt were under the age of thirty. A new study by MagnifyMoney highlights the difficulties millennials face because of their debt. Since student debt draws money
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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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Home sellers and their agents may be limiting their potential base of buyers by ignoring a growing pool of them. Mortgage industry software company Ellie Mae reports that loans acquired through the Veterans Affairs (VA) Department account for 10% of all primary insured home loans. It is easy to see why VA backing is preferable
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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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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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The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) has arguably been one of the most successful programs to assist homeowners affected by the subprime mortgage crisis. According to HousingWire, almost 3.5 million homeowners have been assisted by the program, with around 1 million of those homeowners having been underwater (owing more on their home than it was
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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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What’s the benefit of having a credit card? That’s easy – it allows you to buy things with money you don’t currently have. (Of course, that may also be the biggest drawback of having a credit card, if you can’t control your spending.) All credit cards allow basic purchases, but what specific benefits draw you
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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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Do you know how to read your credit report? If not, it’s time to learn. Your credit score is one of the primary items that lenders check when approving your credit request, and the information in your credit report is used to calculate your credit score. If you never check your credit report, you can’t
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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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