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Author Archives: Guest Post

FTC Action Stops Scammers Who Collected Millions in Phantom Payday Loan Debts


The operators of a fraudulent debt collection scheme will be banned from the debt collection business under a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, resolving charges that they illegally processed more than $5.2 million in payments from consumers for payday loan debts they did not owe. The settlement resolves a complaint the FTC filed against Kirit Patel, Broadway Global Master ... Read More »

    Are Kids Really That Expensive?


    Becoming parents this summer has been the biggest change in our lives. So far it’s been a blast with our daughter. She’s such a happy and laid back baby. We did our best to prepare for the big event including emotionally and financially. I’ve heard from people (friends and online blogging buddies) that raising a kid can be expensive. I ... Read More »

      How to Budget on a Teacher’s Salary


      With the school year done in our area and others, I’ve been able to spend more and more time with my mom on the phone catching up. While she sometimes goes on trips during her break, this year she wants to be flexible as she’s awaiting the arrival of our baby next month, her first grandchild. We’re happy she’s able ... Read More »

        How To Empower Yourself Through Personal Finance


        “What do you do?” After your name, it’s probably the most common question people ask – I know I do. During my career as a full-time actor I would state my profession, either dreading or anticipating the inevitable follow up – “So, what are you working on?” If I was doing a show, I’d excitedly humble brag about it, and ... Read More »

          New Data Reveals Stark Gaps in Graduation Rates Between Poor and Wealthy Students


          by Annie Waldman ProPublica, Sep. 24, 2015, 3:33 p.m. A new report released Thursday provides a detailed look at the graduation rates of low-income college students. At many colleges, low-income students graduate at much lower rates than their high-income peers. At the University of Missouri-Kansas City, only 35 percent of Pell Grant recipients graduate college, a rate that is more ... Read More »

            How I Accidentally Hurt My Credit Score & Undid the Damage

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            What happens when you find an inquiry on your credit reports and you don’t think it’s accurate? The typical response to a consumer’s question about getting an inquiry removed from his or her credit report is, “It can’t be done.” While that’s generally true, there are some exceptions, as our reader Kris learned. Here’s what happened. He received a pre-approved ... Read More »

              Why Lower Interest Rates Alone Won’t Fix the Student Loan Crisis

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              When Congress passed the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, interest rates were on the verge of doubling. Once the legislation was signed into law, however, rates fell, and the sponsoring politicians rushed to take credit for having solved a notorious problem for all time. If only that were true. Apart from the legislation’s absurdly contrived tiered-pricing methodology for ... Read More »

                Debit Card Thief Manages the Impossible: Spends $293 at Panda Express

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                Police in Colorado are looking for a man who they say stole a debit card out of a car on Aug. 5 and used it to make hundreds of dollars of fraudulent purchases, including nearly $ 300 at a Panda Express, reports Fox 21 in Colorado Springs. I would really like to know what exactly this guy bought at Panda Express, because ... Read More »

                  3 Little Expenses You Can Cut to Pay Off Debt

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                  If you’ve ever overdrawn your checking account while trying to live on a budget, you already know it doesn’t take a big hole to sink you — little leaks can do the trick. Tiny, unbudgeted expenditures, if they are numerous enough or if you give them long enough, can do some pretty serious damage. And if you are trying to repay debt, ... Read More »

                    Is That Super-Low Mortgage Rate Too Good to Be True?

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                    Have you ever heard about the great low mortgage rates in the media, only to call a mortgage company and receive conflicting information? Here’s why that happens. First, real-time information is critical. When you hear about mortgage rates in the news, by the time you to take action, the information is already dated. Mortgage rates and pricing change just the ... Read More »

                      How to Stop a Typo From Wrecking Your Credit

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                      Q. I just received a replacement credit card from a retail store. My name was misspelled on the new card (e.g., last name “Jones” misspelled as “Bones”). Other than the obvious need to contact the card issuer and have a new card issued with my name correctly spelled, are there any other steps I should take? Is there now a ... Read More »

                        How Long Does It Really Take to Improve Your Credit?

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                        I was recently looking through last year’s check registers for confirmation of a payment I had made when I noticed my handwriting on several pages looked odd. It took me a moment to realize why: at the time, my right hand was in a cast and I had been writing with my left. I remembered how grueling that month felt. ... Read More »

                          Comcast Is Putting a Monthly Data Cap on Home Internet


                          Get ready for your home Internet to feel like your smartphone — bound by data caps, a large overage fee waiting to happen. Comcast gave some users the bad news Thursday. Consumers who exceed 300 GB in a month will have to pay for overages at $10 per 50 GB tier. Not surprisingly, they have the option to pay an extra $30 to get ... Read More »

                            Where Should I Put My Emergency Fund? (Besides the Mattress)

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                            Are you trying to decide if you need an emergency fund? Do you already know that you need one and are just looking for a way to start saving? Perhaps you want an emergency fund with a little extra yield. If any of these scenarios sound like you, keep reading because there’s little bit of something here for everyone. If You ... Read More »

                              Help! I Have No Credit Score

                              Credit Score Distribution

                              Establishing a good credit score can be a confusing process, especially if you are getting conflicting advice about the best way to do it. A blog reader asked us recently about the best way to build a credit score. He said he plans to start with a secured credit card, but some people are telling him he should pay ... Read More »

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