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Author Archives: Guest Post

Millionaires like Ellen DeGeneres’ Best Advice for New Graduates

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College seniors have spent the last several years in extremely close proximity with classmates, roommates, professors, advisors, and other token friends and family. Still, the final scholarly words they’ll likely hear will often come from a celebrity (or, at least, the most famous person their school can get) at their graduation ceremony. Now that graduation season is in full swing, ... 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 »

          5 Questions You Should Ask About Social Security

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          Error Report – On June 14, 2015 Brandon Smith sent in the following statement regarding this article. The writer has misrepresented the facts presented by the Social Security Trustees. First, he represents that the reduction is a worst-case scenario. The Trustees do not publish a worst-case figure. The produce a high-cost analysis. The idea that there are many semi-painless fixes ... 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 »

              The 5 Biggest Reasons My Clients Fall Into Debt

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              In the more than 15 years of experience working in the debt industry, I’ve heard every story under the sun about how someone fell into debt. While there are times when people fall into debt for unavoidable reasons, I do notice a lot of people fall into debt for the same reasons. So in order to help keep you from ... Read More »

                Homeownership Rate Sinks to Lowest Level Since 1993

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                The percentage of U.S. residents who own their homes is at the lowest point it has been for more than 20 years, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau. In the first quarter of 2015, 63.8% of people owned their housing units, down from 64.8% at the start of 2014 (these figures are seasonally adjusted). The Census data ... Read More »

                  13 States Where People Have the Best Credit

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                  Good credit is synonymous with opportunity: It allows you greater access to things like apartments, auto loans and mortgages, not to mention more affordable interest rates on credit products. Unfortunately, the majority of U.S. consumers have what’s called a subprime credit score, meaning their credit history makes it difficult or impossible to get some services or receive low interest rates ... Read More »

                    Despite Legal Uncertainties, Some Pot Dispensaries Accept Credit Cards

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                    It’s been more than a year since legal recreational pot sales started in Colorado, and as much as dispensary owners enjoy the booming business, they’re sick of swimming in cash. Though the Department of Justice released regulations last year allowing banks to accept money from legal dispensaries, it’s still a federal crime — the announcement that the DOJ won’t pursue ... Read More »

                      Retirement Account Balances Reach a Record High

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                      It’s no secret Americans aren’t great at saving for retirement. Actually, the research on that is pretty startling, but it seems people who are saving might be getting better at it. Retirement account balances have hit record highs and contributions have increased, according to an analysis from Fidelity Investments, one of the largest mutual fund companies in the country. At ... Read More »

                        20 Ways to Pay Less at Costco

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                        Saving money at Costco goes well beyond scoring free food samples. There are plenty of little-known Costco shopping hacks that can save you big bucks at the register — and help you avoid the notorious spending hangover that often follows a visit to one of America’s favorite warehouse superstores. Here are 20 ways to make your Costco membership worthwhile. Related: Is a ... Read More »

                          What ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans Are Worth

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                          Can’t get enough of the Avengers? Well, you’re not alone, and you’re also in luck because the next film in the series, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is set to hit theaters on Friday, May 1. The Avengers have returned to help Tony Stark in his battle against Ultron. The last time this band of the most powerful superheroes on Earth ... Read More »

                            A 5-Minute Guide to Student Loans

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                            You may have heard that college in this country isn’t cheap. Maybe you’ve even encountered this firsthand for yourself, a child or another family member. But knowing that getting a degree is going to be expensive doesn’t mean you know how to pay for it. When you are a student or even parent of a student starting the college search, ... Read More »

                              I Can’t Afford My Car Lease Anymore. What Do I Do?

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                              Larry’s car lease payment is killing his budget. His monthly payment on the four-year lease for his Hyundai Santa Fe is $ 725.49. It’s too high, and he wants to know what his options are. An increasing number of consumers are choosing to lease their vehicles; leased vehicles accounted for 31.4% of all vehicles financed in the first quarter of ... Read More »

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