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  • credit score

    The New FICO Score: What It Means for Youcredit, Personal Finance

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    If you’ve always maintained a strong payment history with your cellphone and cable bills and want a little credit for it, you may be in luck. Credit-scoring giant FICO just announced a new scoring model designed to give credit scores based on people’s payment history with their phone, utilities and other bills. LexisNexis Risk Solutions and Equifax introduced the FICO Score XD to help lenders assess consumers who may not have a traditional credit history but have a strong record of paying […]

  • Ransomware Is a Real Threat (Even to You, Apple Users)Column, Data Security

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    Maybe the thought actually occurred to you that something was “phishy” about that link, but that’s so 30 seconds ago. You clicked and now your computer screen is locked. Behind that frozen screen lie your personal files — everything from photos to tax documents — all of it encrypted by a third party that promises to return access for a ransom, which is usually between $200 and $5,000, according to the FBI. Encryption can be […]

  • Why You Need to Check If Your Child Has a Credit Reportcredit, Identity Theft

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    Imagine a 9-year-old swimming in credit card debt. Or a 13-year-old being hounded by bill collectors. Sound ridiculous? Well these are very real scenarios. It turns out adults the only demographic credit fraudsters threaten. Even children are at risk of having their identity stolen. In fact, child identity theft impacts 1 in 40 households with children under the age of 18, according to a 2012 survey by Javelin. Children’s credit reports are especially appealing to credit thieves, because […]

  • Divorce

    8 Steps to Rebuild Your Financial Life After DivorcePersonal Finance, Money

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    If you’ve gone through it, you don’t need me to tell you how financially devastating divorce can be. Many people lose half (or more) of everything they’ve saved over their lives. This includes their home, retirement, business and investments. If that isn’t bad enough, divorced people often see their income wither while their expenses explode. No doubt about it, divorce is bad news financially. Having said that, all is not lost. In fact, there are plenty […]

  • Foreclosure mortgage

    Worst-Case Scenario: What Does Foreclosure Actually Do to My Credit?credit, Personal Finance

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    A foreclosure can lead to a litany of problems, financial and otherwise, for homeowners and their families. And, as people work to keep their home or simply get through the filing, they often don’t have time to consider their credit score. In fact, for a time, perhaps they shouldn’t. “If a person is going through foreclosure, they have very serious financial issues that are probably reflected in very poor scores,” Rod Griffin, director of public education […]

  • malware

    The Demon Spawn Malware Targeting Your Bank AccountData Security, Technology

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    The internet is a strange and dangerous place, especially when it comes to your personal information. With all the hackers and scammers out there, protecting your information in cyberspace is much more of a challenge these days than simply demonstrating common sense. And you can’t just rely on your bank’s internet security measures anymore. Cyber-thieves have now found another way to target your information with a super hybrid malware combination. Recently IBM X-Force Research discovered […]

  • Student loan

    Is Grad School Worth It?Personal Finance

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    Q. I’m thinking of going back to school for my Master’s, but I’m not sure my eventual higher salary will be high enough to make it worth it. How can I decide? — Potential student A. Going beyond four years of college can be a costly endeavor, and you’re correct to view it as an investment. Like any investment, there are risks, and you need to determine if this one is worth it. “We find ourselves […]

  • Help! I Owe Money on My Taxes & I Can’t PayPersonal Finance

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    If you know you owe taxes but can’t pay right away, don’t despair. There are options, although some are admittedly better than others. Here a few ways to take care of your tax debt so it doesn’t come back to haunt you. Failing to pay your taxes can lead to a tax lien on your credit reports, which can not only be costly, it can severely damage your credit scores. Arrange an Installment Agreement  Even Uncle Sam understands […]

  • Credit Card Mistake

    6 Mistakes People Make When Picking a New Credit CardPersonal Finance

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    Applying for a new credit card can be very tempting. However, when choosing your credit card, it is important that you find the one that is most appropriate for you. If you don’t do your homework, you may end up paying more than you bargained for. Here are six common mistakes people make when choosing a credit card. 1. Choosing a Card for the Wrong Reasons Even though the attractive rewards and points on department […]

  • Couple Mortgage

    Why You Might Not Want Your Spouse on Your MortgageMortgages, Personal Finance

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    Couples may be inclined to buy a new home together — and, if necessary, apply for a home loan — but new data suggest you ought to think twice before saying “I do” to joint mortgages. In fact, according to a note from the Federal Reserve, some borrowers could have saved a lot of money in interest if they’d applied solo. “Specifically, we find that nearly 10% of prime borrowers who applied for their loans jointly could have lowered their mortgage interest rate at […]

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