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Author Archives: Guest Post

Broke With Privilege


My mother grew up in poverty, raised by a single-mother in a non-English speaking household in New York City. Without the slightest hint of today’s buzzword – “privilege”- in her upbringing, she worked and earned herself a scholarship to Barnard College and later, Columbia Business School, paving the way for her unprecedented career successes. I, on the other hand, grew ... Read More »

    The Game of Thrones-Inspired Malware That Will Massacre Your Bank Account


    A cyber gang specializing in ripping off online banking accounts has been successfully executing a multistep campaign to pull off six- and seven-figure heists from the accounts of small- and mid-size businesses, as well as large enterprises. This intel comes from IBM Security in a report disclosing details of a gang using the Dyre family of malware, which has been ... Read More »

      How Long Can Student Loans Hurt Your Credit?


      We get questions and comments from distressed student borrowers wondering exactly how long missteps in repaying their student loans are likely to continue to hurt their credit. It can feel like student loans cast a very long shadow that is hard to escape. How long student loan problems can affect your credit isn’t always clear, because they don’t all work ... Read More »

        8 Luxury Cars You Can Buy for Under $20K


        Fancy cars generally come with hefty price tags, but that doesn’t necessarily mean luxury is beyond your reach. With a little bit of patience and strategy, you might be able to buy a luxury vehicle for thousands of dollars off the sticker price. The National Automobile Dealers Association compiled a list of eight luxury vehicles that could be bought for ... Read More »

          How Much Is Too Much to Spend on a Car?


          Everyone overspends from time to time, but when it comes to big purchases, like a home or vehicle, something that seems like an exciting splurge could end up devastating your finances. The question of, “How much is too much?” is quite personal. To say that you should only spend a certain percentage of your income on a car doesn’t take ... Read More »

            Are My Retirement Funds Safe From Creditors?


            Q. I understand that in certain circumstances IRA and 401(k) money may be protected from a lawsuit. However, if a person is retired and has rolled over their ERISA plan to an account with a financial institution, are those funds still protected? A. Generally speaking, yes. The laws can vary by state. “Under federal law, pension plans such as a ... Read More »

              The 2 Words Debt Collectors Don’t Want to Hear


              While much of the debt collection world is straightforward and, quite honestly, a little boring, some people in the industry treat it like a free-for-all. “There are widespread attempts to add charges to debts that aren’t legal. Excess interest is something we’ve encountered quite frequently,” said Daniel Edelman, consumer law attorney, founder and partner at Edelman, Combs, Latturner, & Goodwin ... Read More »

                Can I Bypass a Debt Collector?


                When I am assisting people to resolve unpaid bills I’m often asked, “Why do I have to pay the debt collector? Why can’t I just pay my creditor or lender and avoid the collector all together?” A reader recently wrote in with just this question: I have a $ 5,000 balance on my credit card and it is now at ... Read More »

                  A Creditor Took Me to Court. Now What?


                  Sometimes, the first time you find out you’ve had a judgment entered against you is when the judgment-holder seeks to enforce it. While due process is supposed to notify all parties to a court action ahead of time, there are many reasons why you may not have gotten that notice. You may have moved from the address where notice was ... Read More »

                    4 Common Student Loan Problems & How to Deal With Them

                    Student Loans Concept

                    Many people who have finished college in the last decade have student loan debt, but some have found that repaying that debt is more complicated than they expected it to be. There are many resources for student loan borrowers trying to figure out repayment, and some go to financial planners for advice on how to manage their student loan debt as a part of a ... Read More »

                      CFPB Sues Participants in Robo-Call Phantom Debt Collection Operation

                      Bureau Also Obtains a Temporary Restraining Order to Halt Illegal Operation and Freeze Assets of Operation’s Leaders WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced today that it has filed a lawsuit against the ringleaders of a robo-call phantom debt collection operation, their companies, and their service providers. The debt collectors, using various aliases, allegedly deployed automated calls ... Read More »

                        Fraud in Money Transfers


                        You’ve won a prize! I’m in a foreign country, and I need cash. We’re temporarily unable to accept credit cards. Your dream apartment is available immediately at an incredible price! These are statements that get attention and often tempt the most reasonable, intelligent and trusting consumers into literally handing over their hard-earned dollars to complete strangers. Money transfer scams come ... Read More »

                          Can You Discharge Private Student Loans in Bankruptcy?


                          There’s a big misconception that private student loans can never be discharged in bankruptcy. People have repeated that statement so often they believe it to be a fact. The only problem is it’s not quite true. Some private student loans are clearly eligible to be wiped away in a consumer bankruptcy. Even in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it takes only ... Read More »

                            Can I Get a Car Loan If I Have No Credit?

                            Happy new car buyer. Hope you love those new monthly payments.

                            What do you do if you need a car and you don’t yet have a track record to make a dealer confident you’ll be able to repay a car loan? Phil Reed, senior consumer advice editor for consumer auto site, said a surprising number of people who aren’t sure of the answer to that question go to dealerships and ... Read More »

                              More Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Bother With Gas Credit Cards


                              Last June, I wrote about why you should get rid of your gasoline credit card — because the rewards just aren’t competitive. Since then, the price of gasoline has plummeted, which might seem to help the case for some gas cards. Nevertheless, these cards are still a bad deal… Low gas prices don’t help gas credit cards At 10 cents off the ... Read More »

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