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  • The New Black Friday: Green Monday?Money, Technology

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    Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be the best-known days to get holiday shopping deals, but one of the biggest shopping days of the season is happening right now: Green Monday. Digital research company comScore defines Green Monday as the last Monday at least 10 days before Christmas, and last year, it was the third-biggest online shopping day of the season (after Cyber Monday and the day after Cyber Monday). What Is ‘Green Monday’? Perhaps […]

  • Credit Cards

    What’s a ‘Good’ Debt?Financial Literacy, credit, Personal Finance

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    Thanks to the economic downturn and its lingering effects, the word “debt” predominantly carries a negative connotation. But you may have heard in the midst of balancing your budget or planning for retirement, that not all financing is created equal. In fact, some debts, experts suggest, may be good for you. But what exactly does this mean? What Is Good Debt? Simply put, good debt “is any debt that offers a return on the investment,” […]

  • Mistake

    5 Credit Mistakes You’ll Regret Immediatelycredit, Personal Finance

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    We all make mistakes and have regrets — those extra pieces of pie over Thanksgiving come to mind! — however, some regrets last longer than others. Credit mistakes can make you regret the error of your ways for years to come. Avoid these common credit mistakes and you’ll have one less area of regret in your life. Plus, you can start 2016 with a fresh start for your finances. 1. Opening a New Account Before Closing on Your Mortgage One […]

  • Homeowners

    Freelancers: Here’s What You Need to Know About Buying a HomeFinancial Literacy, Personal Finance

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    One of the main things you need in order to qualify for a mortgage is an income to support the payments—you’ll need documents showing this income when you try to get pre-approved. But self-employed and freelance workers don’t always have that option. Without work stubs, what can they do? “In general, the qualifying criteria are the same for a self-employed borrower as it would be for a wage earner,” says Jesse Gonzalez, a mortgage broker with North Bay Capital in Santa Rosa, Calif. “The only real […]

  • Home ownership

    The Loophole That Could Help You Buy a Home Even If You Have a Lot of DebtFinancial Literacy, Mortgages

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    It’s not impossible to buy a home when you have existing debts. Homebuyers do it every day, in fact. But you have to know how your existing debts are affecting your standing with the lender and the ways you may be able to exclude some debts from your loan approval process. When you apply for a mortgage, the lender takes into consideration your credit score, the cash you plan to use on a home, your […]

  • Credit Cards

    The Hidden Bonus of Paying Off Credit Card DebtLifehacking, credit, Personal Finance

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    In theory, nobody wants to be in debt. But when credit card bills arrive, we don’t exactly rush to pay them. And when we do, we may not pay the full balance. Understandably, we don’t want to be separated from our money. We earned that money, it’s hard to see it come into your bank account and exit just as quickly. But racking up high balances on your credit cards, even if you continue to […]

  • Cyber thief

    Should You Be Worried About Identity Theft on Cyber Monday?Identity Theft, Technology

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    Two years ago, hackers planted malware in Target’s point-of-sale system and stole 40 million credit card and debit card numbers, in addition to 70 million names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers of Target shoppers. Worse data breaches have occurred since then, but because the Target breach happened during the Black Friday weekend and early December, it will long be associated with the security risks of holiday shopping. Those risks are present when you shop in […]

  • Credit Card

    Why Gift Cards Aren’t As Secure As Your Credit CardsConsumer Protection, credit, Technology

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    It’s holiday season, which means you are almost certainly going to receive (and give) a plastic gift card during the next few weeks. When you (or they) try to spend it, a familiar process will occur: You will swipe the card’s magnetic stripe, even if you are shopping at a major retailer like Target or Walmart. This action might give you pause to ask a question: “Where’s the chip?” The past several months have been dominated by talk […]

  • Credit Cards

    Nearly Half of Americans Feel Obligated to Buy Holiday Gifts They Can’t AffordFinancial Literacy, Personal Finance

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    The majority of Americans who responded to a holiday shopping survey said the season is a strain on their finances, with 41% of shoppers saying they feel obligated to spend more than they can afford. The data comes from an Experian Consumer Services online survey of 1,035 adults living in the U.S., though it’s important to note that the survey is not nationally representative. Respondents said they plan to spend an average of $806 on […]

  • Debt

    There Are 6 Kinds of Borrowers: Which One Are You?Consumer Protection, credit, Personal Finance

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    Most Americans have only one kind of debt, if they have any at all, according to a new report from the Urban Institute. By analyzing five years of credit-report data of more than 5 million Americans, researchers identified many trends among U.S. debtors, including the most common kinds of borrowers. About 89% of consumers with credit reports fell into one of the following six categories. 1. No Debt This is the most common type of consumer. […]

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