How bad is America’s student loan situation? According to recent data from the New York Federal Reserve, our $1.38 trillion in outstanding student loan debt is second only to mortgage debt but comes with a higher delinquency rate. As of the end of 2017, approximately 1.3% of mortgage balances were delinquent by ninety or more
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It’s time to honor that special woman in your life. Mother’s Day is approaching, and whether you are buying for your mother, your wife, or both, consider some inexpensive alternatives or ways to save money on classic Mother’s Day gifts. Flowers – Flowers are a popular Mother’s Day present, but you don’t necessarily have to
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Who would turn down free money? According to the Motley Fool, approximately 20% of workers with matching 401(k) retirement plans are effectively dismissing free money by making a significant mistake with their contributions. Approximately three-quarters of companies with 401(k) plans offer a matching program where the employer contributes an equal amount to the employee’s contribution
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Home ownership is a fulfilling but difficult goal. The challenges of being single can make it even more difficult to find an affordable home to buy – especially for single women. According to data provided by Zillow, the typical single American requires almost eleven years to save up a suitable down payment for a home
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How’s your 401(k) or IRA doing? A typical 401(k) plan returns from 5% to 8% based on a portfolio of 60% stocks and 40% bonds and other conservative investments. If your retirement plan is not meeting expectations, you may be tempted by the high returns of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin – but should you be wary
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We frequently hear about America’s crushing student loan debt – but auto loans are not far behind. While student loans are approaching $1.5 trillion, outstanding auto loans topped the $1.2 trillion mark in the third quarter of 2017 according to the New York Federal Reserve. Subprime borrowers (FICO credit scores below 620) hold almost one-quarter
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Subprime Loans are Back Since the housing crisis began over a decade ago, subprime mortgage loans basically disappeared – thanks to regulatory actions from government and self-preservation for both lenders and borrowers. The effects of borrowing more than you could safely afford to repay became obvious to all parties. Subprime mortgage loans have been making
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You are experiencing sweet satisfaction knowing that your taxes were filed on time. That is, until you realize that you took a deduction when you did not qualify for it, or forgot to claim an important tax credit that could save you hundreds of dollars … or until Congress suddenly resurrects some expired tax breaks,
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If you’re a Medicare beneficiary, check your mail very carefully. You’ll be receiving a new Medicare card with an important new identification number that you’ll need soon. Your current Medicare ID card contains a Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN), which is the same as your Social Security number. Your HICN serves as your identification for
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America’s economy is improving by most standards – but is it improving on the backs of excessive debt? According to the New York Federal Reserve, total household debt reached a new high of $13.15 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2017. While the majority of household debt is mortgage debt, consumer credit rose by the
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Have we bridged the gender gap when it comes to household roles, domestic duties, and career choices? Not entirely – but a new survey suggests that women are leading the way in closing the gap and preparing the next generation of men and women to continue the fight. According to the YouGov survey Women’s Voices:
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By Kelly Hartog It’s been more than seven months since the credit reporting agency Equifax revealed in September 2017 that 143 million Americans’ personal data – including Social Security numbers, addresses and birthdates – had been accessed. Several weeks later, they announced that number was actually 145.5 million. Even though the data breach occurred between
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April is National Social Security Month! Your Social Security Number (SSN) may be your most important piece of identification – yet it’s likely that you never carry your Social Security card with you. You probably committed your number to memory long ago because it’s required in so many places. Generally, you won’t need to produce
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Your credit score may not be good enough to allow you to qualify for a home at a reasonable interest rate, but can a less-than-stellar credit score also keep you from finding a good place to rent? “Credit scores aren’t just about mortgages,” says Rod Griffin, Director of Public Education at the credit bureau Experian.
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Are you financially literate? How about your kids? MoneyTips can help, but there may be something special soon going on in your neighborhood to help you learn more about personal finance. Money Smart Week®, a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances, will take place April 21-28, 2018. The effort,
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When your identity is stolen, you have so many potential issues to deal with — changing passwords, closing accounts, dealing with fraudulent charges, and placing fraud alerts with the credit bureaus — that you may forget about potential tax fraud. Armed with your personal information, identity thieves can file a fraudulent tax return in your
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Waiting until the last minute to pay your taxes can cost you if you are expecting a refund, since the government hangs on to your money and receives more interest on it. However, if you owe money to the government, that same principle applies to you. Why not wait until the last minute? There is
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By Eric Olsen Executive Director, HELPS Nonprofit Law Firm According to the Kaiser Foundation, almost half (21 million) of American seniors have incomes below 200% of the poverty line. Many have debt they can’t afford to pay. When debt is not paid, collectors call, send demand letters, and sometimes file a lawsuit. Being served legal
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America’s collective readiness for retirement is improving, according to Fidelity’s latest Retirement Savings Assessment study. The study distills America’s retirement readiness into a single score representing the percentage of estimated retirement income that the average saver will require. According to the current study, America’s combined retirement score is 80 – meaning that the average American
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