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Personal Finance


  • Tax fraud

    Why the IRS Needs to Stop Letting Taxpayers Use Stolen Social Security NumbersPersonal Finance, Identity Theft

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    While you’d never know it if you listen to politicians on the right and left argue, there are some truths out there, things that don’t yield to debate. I’m talking basics, like it’s easier to walk through an open door, and the Internal Revenue Service shouldn’t be in the business of providing open doors to pervasive forms of fraud. Are you rolling your eyes? Well, it’s happening once again at everyone’s favorite punching bag, the […]

  • mortgage

    How Your Credit Card Can Keep You From Buying a Homecredit, Personal Finance

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    New changes coming to Fannie Mae’s automated underwriting system next month could have prospective homebuyers rethinking how they pay their credit card bills. Here’s why. Lenders generally use Fannie Mae’s automated underwriting system for every single mortgage loan sold in the secondary mortgage market. This system has always reviewed the mortgage applicant’s credit history, credit score, debt-to-income ratio, reserves (a fancy term for savings) and occupancy in order to determine whether they should be approved […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • Tax return

    10 Ways You’re Filing Your Taxes WrongPersonal Finance

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    Good news: You made it through winter and spring is finally here. Bad news: Your taxes are due! Fortunately, the most common mistakes made on tax returns are fairly easy to avoid. Why should you care? These common mistakes often mean you’re paying more taxes than necessary or, even worse, you’re under-reporting your income and setting yourself up for interest and penalties on unpaid taxes. Here are the top tax mistakes you make when filing […]

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