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  • Could an Adopt-a-Loan Program Take a Bite Out of Student Debt?Column, Blog

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    The private sector adopts all sorts of things — highways, parks, medians, pets, pet projects — so why not student loans? With the right tax incentives, an Adopt-a-Loan program could help ease the current financial quagmire of $1.3 trillion in student loan debt. Earlier this week, Starbucks announced a plan that will let any of its 135,000 employees go to college for free — as long as they meet the criteria outlined in the new […]

  • The Government Database That Could Know Everything About YouColumn, Blog

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    Millions of Americans may soon become part of an expanded government database that would give two federal regulatory agencies an up-close and personal (perhaps too up-close and personal) view of their private financial lives that, if breached, could make for a really bad day for a whole lot of people. The seed for this proposed database expansion was buried in the 261-page Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008; a requirement that the Federal Housing […]

  • Cyber thief

    Cybercriminals Have Your Number, But Which One?Column, Blog

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    The Star Wars Cantina of cybercriminals targeting your identity, healthcare, finances and privacy today might seem like a movie you’ve seen so many times you could lip sync the entire thing. Nevertheless, cybercrime and identity-related scams change faster than trending hashtags on Twitter, and the fact is nobody knows what’s going to happen next. Who would have thought Apple’s iCloud was vulnerable (much less to ransomware)? Or eBay? Data breaches are now the third certainty […]

  • 3 Student Loan Strategies that Won’t Get You Out of DebtColumn, student loans

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    Class of 2014, the time has come to find a job and start paying down your student loans. Like many young graduates, you probably don’t feel like embracing this particular change. If that’s the case, I’d like to suggest you at least consider shaking its hand. Commencement season is here, which means a torrent of speeches about risk-taking and being bold on life’s journey — with a laugh line here and there about the student […]

  • Could a Bad Credit Score Make You Homeless?Column, Press, Blog

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    A landlord in San Francisco recently wrote letters to tenants that said if their FICO credit score was below 725 or they made less than $100,000 a year, they would have to move out. A media dust-up ensued and the landlord retracted the letter. While this is an extreme case, it just goes to show that good credit is increasingly linked to your ability to secure housing. Tight Market for U.S. Rentals The National Low […]

  • Privacy and security

    Data Security: Can Corporations Protect Us From Hackers?Column, Data Security, Blog

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    Gregg Steinhafel’s ouster at Target this week was a major C-Suite casualty in corporate America’s war on hackers. Sales took a major nosedive after the retailer’s big data security breach hit the news last December, with fourth-quarter profits down 46%. So what’s a CEO to do? First of all, if it seems a little overblown to blame Target’s poor performance of late solely on the breach, I’d tend to agree with you. There was the […]

  • Parents

    A Parent’s Guide to Stopping Child Identity TheftColumn, Blog, Identity Theft

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    Mother’s Day and Father’s Day aren’t only boons to the greeting card business—for parents they provide a welcome break, a chance to sleep in and take it easy, and spend some quality time thinking about… child identity theft. Huh? OK, maybe you aren’t kicking back in your down-time and thinking about the finer points of child identity theft. But if you haven’t been paying much attention to the growing number of horror stories featuring starry-eyed […]

  • Could Your Mother’s Online Sharing Cost You Big Time?Column, Blog, Identity Theft

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    With Mother’s Day just around the corner, it’s quite natural to reflect upon the innumerable ways our mothers have made us the men and women we are today. But while lost in that reverie, consider this: In her love for you and your family, and her desire to share online your joys and accomplishments with friends and the world at large, could your mom be putting you in harm’s way? There are many ways our […]

  • Data Breaches: Why Assigning Blame Is a Zero-Sum GameColumn, Data Security, Blog, Personal Finance

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    Today’s data breaches are like a game of musical chairs: sooner or later, you’ll have to face the music. Last year was bad for data security: More than 800 million records containing sensitive consumer data were exposed. News of breaches keeps rolling in. Identity theft—which had been considered a crass scare tactic conjured up by creative marketing departments to sell solutions to a non-problem – has become the third certainty in life, alongside death and […]

  • The 4 Laziest Ways to Improve Your Credit ScoreColumn, Blog, Personal Finance

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    There are people out there who expend a lot of energy in the quest for a totally meaningless perfect credit score, which I’ve written about elsewhere. Most people know it’s important to have good credit, but they don’t want to spend too much time worrying about it. The good news is that you can be pretty lazy and still improve your credit. The difference between having good credit (generally from 700-749) and bad credit (anything […]

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