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  • Four Ways The Federal Government Is Needlessly Putting Your Identity At Risk

    Identity Theft 

    The headline is not hyperbolic (although I truly wish it were.) Every day two branches of the U.S. government—the executive and the legislative—are needlessly putting our identities and financial lives at risk. How? By mismanaging the way they handle our Social Security numbers. As you know, a Social Security number (SSN from here on out) is like a skeleton key able to unlock a kingdom of untold riches for identity thieves. It is the central […]

  • 5 Reasons You Can’t Ignore Your Credit

    Financial Literacy Blog Personal Finance 

    “Living debt free” is a nice slogan, and beyond that it’s something we should all aspire to. Unfortunately, some people couple this concept with living credit free. That is a far different story. For most people credit still represents something that happens to us, rather than something we can build, nurture, manage and protect like an investment portfolio. A lot of folks simply don’t like the idea of credit or the fact that banks and […]

  • As You (Or Your Kids) Look For That Perfect Place To Rent, Identity Thieves Are Looking At The Perfect Opportunity

    Identity Theft 

    It’s that time of the year again. People are (desperately, in some cases) searching for rentals. Some have just started looking for that perfect August retreat, since they didn’t get their act together in time to snag a place in June or July. University graduates are looking for an affordable place to rent as they leave the ivory tower for the office tower. Families who waited for their kids to finish up school before searching […]

  • 5 Money Talks to Have Before You Get Married

    Financial Literacy Blog Personal Finance 

    You finally found your soul mate — someone who is sympathetic, nurturing, loving and caring. You’re ready to tie the knot. But before you say, “I do,” can you honestly say, “We did?” No, I’m not talking about that. I am talking about the talk. Not the one about sex and family but rather the one about money and credit. Buzzkill? Reality testing? Yes. However, you both need to ask: What do your credit reports […]

  • 13 Incredibly Careless Things That Make Your Smart Phone Dumb And Vulnerable To Identity Thieves

    Identity Theft 

    Organized crime sees your smart phone as the most vulnerable entry point into our electronic financial system—an easy way not only to steal your identity but also your money. Says who? The Atlanta Fed. In a bit of classic understatement, the Atlanta Federal Reserve said recently many consumers simply don’t realize how vulnerable their Androids, iPhones and other devices can be. As the AP reported the Fed’s study showed “there are several things that can […]

  • Student loan

    5 Ways Student Loans Hurt Middle-Class Kids

    Education Blog 

    Student loans are supposed to help middle-class kids pay for a college education, but these days they can do more harm than good. It’s high time we did something about that. If you imagine a world where the federal government and private lenders actually partner with students, instead of treating them as a profit center, have I got a bridge investment deal for you. As things stand, the Affordable Care Act has a better shot […]

  • Just When You Thought You Knew Every Way Your Credit Report Could Be Used Against You (A Case Study)

    Personal Finance 

    Whether we are talking about mortgage loans, credit cards, auto or student loans, most people know that credit reports play an important role in our lives. And they, like you, understand that having poor credit can impede our efforts to gain financing at competitive rates and terms. However, as was recently pointed out by my friend John Ulzheimer who used to work at FICO, Equifax and Credit.com and who often serves as a credit expert […]

  • Should You Pay Off Your Ex’s Credit Cards?

    Blog Personal Finance 

    When the Love Boat morphs into the Titanic and you are flailing in the icy waters of the North Atlantic, the banks are not rescuers, they’re sharks. In other words, divorces can get messy — sometimes really messy — and it should come as no surprise that money is often at the root of the problem. Getting through the divorce is hard enough, but the money problems don’t always end when the papers are signed. […]

  • Good News (Finally) When It Comes to Medical Debt Reform

    Personal Finance 

    You could be excused for skipping over the piece in The New York Times the other day. After all, it did sound awfully familiar. Here’s how the article by Tara Siegel Bernard began. “Megan Barringer had no idea that a medical billing mix-up over a $742 charge for a back evaluation six years ago could end up costing her more than $33,000. “But the old bill, which she ultimately paid, had gone to collections and […]

  • How Much Student Loan Debt Is Too Much?

    Education Blog 

    Some call it the Student Loan Bubble — I call it crazy. And what better time to discuss student debt insanity than now, as countless soon-to-be graduates prepare to slip on their caps and gowns? An estimated 1.8 million students are graduating this year, many with degrees that perhaps aren’t worth a damn when it comes to actually getting a job. Nevertheless, many of them will soon be paying back the tens or hundreds of […]