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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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Credit Scores Trending Upward Congratulations, America! Your average FICO credit score reached 704, continuing the upward trend of the last eight years. According to a recent FICO blog, the 704 average score is the best average ever recorded on the 300-850 standard FICO scoring scale. America’s average score sank to 686 in October 2009 thanks
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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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Clerks at most department stores or retailers often ask if you’d like to apply for a store credit card, pleasantly pitching special deals and perks that the credit card provides. Why not accept? How can you go wrong opening another account? When you’re tempted to accept a store card offer, think of two things –
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Miss a credit card payment, and you’ll suffer the consequences. Your credit score will drop significantly, since on-time payments are the number one factor in determining your credit score. You’ll pay late fees and possibly incur a penalty APR. Interest charges will pile up on your unpaid balance. So why do so many Americans miss
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According to the Federal Reserve’s G.19 Consumer Credit report, America’s outstanding revolving debt – mostly credit card debt – was closing in on $1.04 trillion as of June 2018. How will we pay all that money back? An increasing number of Americans may not be able to do so. ValuePenguin analyst Joe Resendiz calls credit
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According to Federal Reserve data, student loan debt has surpassed $1.5 trillion and comprises 11% of America’s collective household debt balance – second only to mortgage debt. More than 44 million Americans have student loan debt, with an average balance of around $33,000. Given those statistics, you might expect student loans to be the biggest
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By Stephanie Braun, Director of Auto Product Management at Esurance Companies have collected data on their customers for decades. It allows them to offer more tailored services and products, and provide more relevant messaging. The reason data collection has gotten so much press lately is because it’s reached unprecedented levels. Already, we create 2.5 quintillion
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Can you believe someone was able to borrow money online to buy basketball trading cards? Not just any card, but a Michael Jordan rookie card that could be worth six figures! While millions of people have borrowed money online to buy a house or condo, we found a social worker from New Mexico who used
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Are you looking for a mortgage that features a low down payment but can’t find a suitable conventional loan because of various restrictions?The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers loan products with down payments of just 3.5% for borrowers with FICO credit scores as low as 580 – an attractive combination for potential homebuyers with lesser
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By Haden Kirkpatrick, Esurance Head of Marketing Strategy and Innovation Despite the majority of cars being parked 90 percent of the time, cars are the second biggest expense in the average American’s budget. Aside from the actual purchase of the vehicle, owners also must pay for maintenance, insurance, repairs, gas, and cleaning costs. And don’t
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You may be mentally and physically ready to retire, but are you financially ready to retire? Don’t just automatically assume that your current nest egg is sufficient because you’ve reached a certain age. Assess your financial readiness, starting with these five questions. 1. What Are Your Retirement Goals? – Typical advice suggests aiming for 80%
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“I raised my credit score over 800 – and you can, too!” So says Tiffany Aliche, a financial speaker and author better known as The Budgetnista. Tiffany was working as a schoolteacher, and had excellent credit, until she lost her job in the Great Recession. “I had a choice between paying my mortgage
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