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Author Archives: Guest Post

10 Ways to Cut the Cost of Self Storage

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Americans buy – and keep – a lot of stuff. That’s made self-storage a $24 billion industry, according to its major trade group, the Self Storage Association. According to the SSA, 84 percent of all U.S. counties have at least one self-storage facility. It’s been one of the fastest-growing sectors of the commercial real-estate industry for the past 35 years, ... Read More »

    The First Steps to Take Before You Start Paying Your Student Loans

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    It’s a whole new world once you leave the cocoon of college and head off into the real world to make a living. You’re no doubt overwhelmed with getting a job and finding a place to live. That’s understandable. But if you paid for your college education with student loans, it’s also incredibly important to check your credit reports and ... Read More »

      Evictions Reach 5-Year Low

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      Apartment evictions in 2014 were at their lowest level in five years, according to a new report from credit reporting agency TransUnion. The agency recorded 3.4 million evictions last year, down from 3.5 million in 2013. Eviction proceedings vary by state, but generally a landlord needs legal cause for kicking someone out of a rental unit — like failing to ... Read More »

        Why We Need to Stop Sneering at Millennials


        I’m the perfect age (um, let’s just say in my 50s) and profession (CPA and credit counselor) to insult Millennials. They’re idealistic. They don’t work hard. They need constant care and feeding to do their jobs. On and on. Except I don’t believe any of that. While my parents were the Greatest Generation, I believe my children will eclipse them. ... Read More »

          Fake Waitress Allegedly Snags Diner’s Credit Card

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          Take a good look at your server the next time you’re dining out, because if someone you don’t recognize comes to take your credit card at the end of your meal, you may not want to hand it over. A man who was eating at a restaurant in Santa Fe, N.M., said a woman he thought to be a waitress ... Read More »

            5 Ways to Save on Summer Travel

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            With the weather warming up and images of travel getaways looking even sweeter than before, you are probably looking forward to (or trying to figure out how to afford) getting some vacation time this summer. Even if your trip seems miles or months away, you can start figuring out how to save for it now. No matter what type of ... Read More »

              The States With the Highest Bankruptcy Rates

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              Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans file for bankruptcy. Even though it damages the consumer’s credit for years and many people would do almost anything to avoid bankruptcy, it’s sometimes the best and fastest way for a debtor to recover from financial hardship. It’s not a decision to make lightly, but it’s also an option you don’t want to ... Read More »

                Corinthian’s Failure Is the Government’s Failure, Too

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                No doubt you’ve heard the news: Corinthian Colleges has flipped the switch, leaving its 16,000 current students in the dark. The for-profit “career college,” headquartered in Santa Ana, Calif., had been the subject of student and staff complaints, investigations by numerous state attorneys general, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Most recently, it was also ... Read More »

                  The Next Big Company to Offer Free College Tuition: Fiat Chrysler

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                  Thousands of employees at U.S. car dealerships will have the opportunity to get a free college degree as part of a program announced today by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Strayer University. Employees at Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram Truck and Fiat dealerships across the country will have the opportunity to get associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degrees in disciplines including business administration, ... Read More »

                    7 Tips for Moving Back Home

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                    With crippling student loan payments and a bleak (yet improving!) job market, the boomerang effect is stronger than ever. In fact, a Pew Research Center study reveals that 36% of young adults between age 18 and 31 in the United States moved back home to live with their parents in 2012. That’s the highest percentage in at least 40 years. ... Read More »

                      Secured Card vs. Prepaid Card: Which is Better If You Have Bad Credit?

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                      If you have bad credit, finding a credit card can be tough. But not having one can be inconvenient, especially if you travel or shop online. That’s where cards for bad credit come in. They are easier to get than traditional cards, and may provide some of the benefits. The cards in this category fall into two camps: prepaid cards ... Read More »

                        I’m Unemployed … Should I Pay Off My Debt?

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                        Q. I was out of work so I haven’t been saving for retirement this year. I do have $ 3,500 in a regular bank account and I’m thinking of using it to fund an IRA. I’m also getting a $ 5,000 tax refund and I was going to use that to pay off debt and start an emergency fund. What ... Read More »

                          How Do They Decide What My Credit Card Limit Should Be?

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                          First you cross your fingers hoping you’ll get approved for the credit card you want. Then you cross them again hoping the credit limit will be generous enough to get you what you want. Maybe you need it to pay for some expensive dental work you have to get done. Or perhaps you are applying for a 0% balance-transfer offer so ... Read More »

                            A Debt Collector Contacted You — Now What?

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                            Every day, hundreds of thousands of consumers are contacted by debt collectors regarding delinquent debts. As a debt collector myself, I can tell you that getting a debt collection call is not on anyone’s list of favorite things and never will be. In fact, it probably ranks dead last. Unfortunately, avoiding a debt collector isn’t the answer, either. While there ... Read More »

                              How Many FICO Scores Are There?

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                              There are hundreds of algorithms companies use to score consumers, and even the most common credit scoring company has dozens of models. Fair Isaac Corp., more commonly known as FICO, has about 50 scores (a 2012 report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau puts that number at 49). How can there be so many variations on a single score? It’s a ... Read More »

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