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Author Archives: Research Department

Help! Someone Used My Kid’s Identity to Get a Bigger Tax Refund

Strangest-Taxes-and-Deductions1

Filing your taxes should trigger a feeling of relief — it’s a huge thing you get to scratch off your to-do list — but millions of taxpayers have submitted their taxes only to have a very unpleasant experience: that their Social Security number has already been used in a tax filing. Most people discover this when attempting to file their ... Read More »

    The Weirdest Excuses People Give for Not Paying Their Bills on Time

    Financing a budget

    A few weeks ago, an acquaintance asked me about my job, and upon hearing that I write about budgets and credit cards (and such), she had something she wanted to share. She doesn’t like to pay her credit card bills on time, she told me, because it makes her nervous to see her bank balance dip so low afterward. People ... Read More »

      Should You Ever Take Out More Student Loan Money Than You Need?

      Student Loan Corkboard Concept

      If you want to pursue a higher education, you have a lot of questions to answer: What degree do you want? Which school will you attend? How long will it take to finish? How much money do you need to borrow? That last question is complicated. Not everyone needs student loans to get a degree, but many need to borrow ... Read More »

        Help! I Just Bought a New Car, Then Was Denied for the Loan

        Unless you are on fire, taking a day or two before you take action isn't going to change anything.

        Ivory, one of our readers, bought a car at a dealership and drove it home. Fifteen days later, she received a letter saying that the loan had been denied. Here’s her story: Me and my mom were approved for an auto loan on 1/27 we signed all the paperwork even got the car payment bank notes in the mail. And ... Read More »

          3 Ways to Protect Your Kids From ID Theft After Data Breaches

          ID Theft or Stolen Identity

          When a widespread data breach happens, children are often the most at risk for identity theft. Their clean credit histories make them targets for identity thieves to steal information and open new lines of credit. After the Anthem data breach, millions of children in the U.S. had their personal information exposed, making them vulnerable to identity theft. As children are ... Read More »

            4 Alternatives to Apple Pay

            Woman paying for groceries

            Last year, Apple captured the imagination of technology enthusiasts and credit card users alike when it introduced its Apple Pay mobile payments system. No longer would credit card users need to carry around a bulging wallet filled with myriad credit cards — their smartphones could simply be waived in front of a payment terminal. That payment process has a huge appeal to many ... Read More »

              How Your Cellphone Can Help You Build Credit

              blank screen mobile in woman hands

              Mobile alerts from your credit card issuer can do much more than alert you to possible fraud. You can use that information to help you improve your credit. First, a word about how credit scores work. The two biggest factors are paying on time (35%) and the amount of credit you use relative to your credit limit (30%). And mobile ... Read More »

                Attorney at Law Charles H. Huber Speaks Out on New Payday Loan Regulations

                payday loan

                St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) February 26, 2015 In a move to protect consumers from deceptive payday lenders advertising quick cash, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will soon draft the first-ever set of federal regulations for these lenders. According to the New Republic (2/11/15), the $ 46-billion payday lending industry collects about 12 million from their customers every year — ... Read More »

                  FTC, New York Attorney General Crack Down on Abusive Debt Collectors

                  ftc

                  Charges Cite Harassing Conduct, False and Deceptive Claims Made to Consumers The Federal Trade Commission, jointly with the New York State Office of the Attorney General, has filed complaints aimed at shutting down two particularly egregious and abusive debt collection operations centered in Buffalo, New York that target consumers nationwide. According to the complaints, the separate enterprises used threats and ... Read More »

                    How Smart IRA Planning Can Help You Pay Less For College

                    taxform

                    With college expenses at some of the best schools now exceeding $ 60,000 per year, education-related expenses are often one of the biggest obstacles many baby boomers face when saving for their own retirement. For many families, planning for a college education goes hand in hand with IRA’s and retirement planning. Retirement Assets are Exempt from the EFC A family’s ... Read More »

                      Tougher Rules Coming for Debt Collectors

                      tough-rules-debt-collection

                      Year after year, federal regulators get more complaints about debt collection than any other industry. Now the griping has prompted an overhaul of collection rules for the first time in decades. A frequent refrain is that collectors sling harsh threats demanding payment on poorly documented debts. Yolanda Banda, an nurse assistant in California, is among the victims. She thought ... Read More »

                        Paying for College: Are Scholarships Taxable?

                        Black Leather Flogging Whip and money on white background. Not i

                        Dear Carrie, My daughter was lucky enough to receive a significant college scholarship. Is this considered taxable income to her? And does her scholarship limit my ability to claim an education tax credit? — A Reader Dear Reader, First congratulations to your daughter — and to you. Her scholarship can be a significant financial boost for both of you. This ... Read More »

                          The 5 Most Messed Up Policies in the World of Personal Finance

                          To get the real answers, do the math and listen to what it has to say. Math does not lie.

                          Life’s not fair, and neither is the world of personal finance. But there’s unfair and then there’s really, truly messed up. That $ 5 monthly fee on your prepaid card might seem unfair, for example, but the $ 495 annual fee that the Visa Black Card charges clearly takes things to a whole other level. There are numerous examples of ... Read More »

                            Making Sure Loved Ones Are Prepared for Their Retirement Years

                            retirement

                            If a senior relative faces a sudden, debilitating illness or starts losing control of everyday finances, would you know where his or her retirement, estate and long-term care issues stand? If the answer is no, you’re not alone. In many families, it takes a crisis — a prolonged hospital stay or problems at home with neglected maintenance and bills or ... Read More »

                              Have We Already Solved the Student Debt Crisis?

                              Student Loans Concept

                              In a recent article in the New York Times, “A Quiet Revolution in Helping Lift the Burden of Student Debt,” Kevin Carey posits that the market dominance of federal student loans combined with income-driven repayment plans has solved student debt crisis. It’s an intriguing and optimistic thesis. Unfortunately, in the course of an otherwise thoughtful article, Carey commits the all ... Read More »

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