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  • Credit Card

    Credit Card Debt in America Is Almost Back Up to $1 Trillioncredit, Personal Finance

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    Americans are racking up credit card debt like it’s 2008. That’s according to The Wall Street Journal, which reports U.S. credit card balances are on pace to reach $1 trillion this year, as consumers grow more comfortable with carrying debt and banks continue to push their plastic. The sum is just shy of the all-time peak of $1.02 trillion set in July 2008, just before the financial crisis set in. The Journal cites a steady economy and lenders signing […]

  • social media hack

    The LinkedIn Password Breach Is Way Bigger Than We Thought: Here’s What You Need to DoData Security, Identity Theft

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    Quick, what was your LinkedIn password in 2012? OK, now think of every password you use for every service, and make sure that LinkedIn password isn’t reused anywhere. If ever you needed a reminder not to reuse passwords, here it is. We knew that LinkedIn got hacked in 2012, but at the time we thought only 6.5 million passwords were stolen. Now, we’ve learned the real figure was more like 100 million-plus. That means your old […]

  • Home buying

    Remember: Keep Your Tax Returns If You’re Looking to Buy a HomeMortgages, Personal Finance

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    If you were planning to buy a home or refinance one you already own, you can expect to encounter a lot of paperwork. But here’s one thing you probably didn’t know: Tax returns aren’t always required. If you are a W-2 wage earner, there is a smaller chance you’ll need to provide tax returns than if you’re self-employed. If you’re self-employed, the only way a lender can determine your income is by examining your tax […]

  • Fleeing

    There Are Already Realtors Offering to Sell Your Home if Trump Becomes PresidentMortgages, Humor

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    Disgruntled Americans of all political leanings have said it: “I’m moving to Canada.” The Great White North particularly appeals to those left-of-center, as many liberal Americans are practically drooling with envy over the new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, in addition to some public policies they would like to see emulated in the U.S. Let’s set aside, for the moment, the fact that immigrating to another country is a complicated and expensive endeavor. If Donald Trump is elected […]

  • Debt collection

    Will a Debt Take Longer to Drop Off My Credit If Another Debt Collector Buys It?credit, Personal Finance

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    When a debt goes into collections, it may change hands several times. Creditors may sell the debt or contract another agency to collect it and this could happen more than once, depending on how much time has gone by with the debt remaining unpaid. It’s important to keep track of who is managing your debt so you know who to pay back and when. (You can find tips for negotiating with a creditor here.) Having a […]

  • Retirement

    How to Delay Taking Social Security Benefits Until You Absolutely Have ToRetirement, Personal Finance

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    I recently heard about a man who was retired longer than he worked, retiring at 52 and living well into his 90’s. There’s a life worth living. And it’s not that far-fetched. Life expectancies continue to inch upward, particularly for those who make it to retirement. For those who reach age 65, life expectancy stretches to 82 for men and 85 for women. For married couples who reach 65 together, the news is even better. Odds are […]

  • Social Security Identity Theft

    Oops. I Gave My Social Security Number to a StrangerConsumer Protection, Identity Theft

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    Life can get hectic and, while media attention on big data breaches has certainly put folks on high alert, there are times when you slip and give some of your personal information away. Lots of this info, like your credit card account and health insurance ID, can be changed with relative ease. There are nine little digits you’re stuck with, however, that can cause a whole lot of headaches when they fall into the wrong hands. Those digits, of course, are […]

  • Student loan

    Parents Increasingly Expect Kids to Pay for CollegeEducation, Personal Finance

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    With college tuitions skyrocketing, it’s no surprise parents are worried whether they have enough to cover the cost. According to the fifth annual survey from Discover Student Loans, nearly half (48%) of 1,000 adults surveyed with kids aged 16 to 18 expect their child to pay for most or all their education, up from 39% in 2012. “While a vast majority of parents still report that they want to help their children pay for college, it’s clear that […]

  • Data Breach

    Nearly All Data Breaches Happen in Minutes, Report FindsData Security, Technology

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    Most data breaches happen fast — in a matter of minutes, according to a new Verizon report — but the impact on you and your credit report could make for a very long lasting financial headache. Cybercriminals institute data breaches to steal your Social Security number, credit card number, bank account information and many other forms of personal financial information. And according to the latest Verizon 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report, these thieves still find success with […]

  • mortgage

    How Your Credit Card Can Keep You From Buying a Homecredit, Personal Finance

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    New changes coming to Fannie Mae’s automated underwriting system next month could have prospective homebuyers rethinking how they pay their credit card bills. Here’s why. Lenders generally use Fannie Mae’s automated underwriting system for every single mortgage loan sold in the secondary mortgage market. This system has always reviewed the mortgage applicant’s credit history, credit score, debt-to-income ratio, reserves (a fancy term for savings) and occupancy in order to determine whether they should be approved […]

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