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Personal Finance

TIps and advice on personal finance by Adam K Levin.


  • 5 Money Talks to Have Before You Get MarriedFinancial Literacy, Blog, Personal Finance

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    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 […]

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

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    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

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    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 ReformPersonal Finance

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    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 […]

  • 5 Money Lessons Every New Graduate Needs to KnowFinancial Literacy, Education, Blog, Personal Finance

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    Yes my friends, it’s that time of year again. No, not allergy season — graduation. That seminal moment in our lives when, in ceremonies of varying degrees of pomp and circumstance, our elders pass on the wisdom of the ages to those of us who are evolving from the shelter of the ivory tower to the stark reality of the “real world.” Tens of thousands of graduates will likely hear that Emerson nugget “Hitch your […]

  • The Tax Form That Could Save Your Refund From ThievesGovernment, Blog, Personal Finance

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    The Bible tells us, “It is better to give than to receive.” Most Americans don’t feel that way on April 15. But when the Lord (a.k.a., an IRS algorithm) shines his countenance upon us and a portion of what we paid is returned in the form of a tax refund, it seems only fair that we actually get to spend that money. Unfortunately, this is not always how it works. In 2011, 1.5 million Americans […]

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    The Biggest Credit Mistake People Make (Plus 3 Tips)Financial Literacy, Blog, Personal Finance, Money

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    Some credit mistakes are obvious. Everybody knows the big one: Failing to pay your bills on time. If you’re looking to wreck your credit score, there’s no faster way. Some credit mistakes aren’t so obvious. What’s worse, the biggest secret credit mistake — the one most people don’t even know they’re making — actually happens when people are trying to turn their credit score around and be more financially responsible. That mistake is closing credit […]

  • Since When Did Megabanks Become Your Evil Step-Mother?Financial Literacy, Blog, Personal Finance

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    Veronica Gutierrez never asked Wells Fargo to act like her mother. The banking colossus just did it anyway. Here’s what happened. She bought some sandwiches at Subway for $11.27. Then she purchased car parts at Autozone and went grocery shopping. Twelve transactions into the billing cycle, she wrote a check for $65. It overdrew her account, which should have cost her an overdraft fee of $22. But Wells Fargo didn’t order Veronica’s purchases chronologically. Rather, […]

  • Can Lessons From Lance Pump Up Your Finances?Financial Literacy, Blog, Personal Finance

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    Now that the interview has aired and Lance Armstrong is the poster boy for the dangers of running (or bicycling) from the truth, you knew it was only a matter of time before I figured out a way to turn it into a teachable moment for improving your credit portfolio. Hounded for years by former teammates and others close to his cycling team who alleged that he used banned drugs to win the Tour de […]

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    Forget Your Money Resolutions! You Need a Plan in 2013Financial Literacy, Blog, Personal Finance

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    We live in uncertain times. Uncertainty spooks financial markets and keeps a lid on lending. It gives millions of businesses a legitimate argument to sit on the sidelines hoarding trillions of dollars that could otherwise fuel meaningful economic expansion. That private sector money could fuel the most effective “stimulus program” this country has ever known if only some market confidence could be fostered. But these are all things that are beyond our control. Some degree […]

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