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  • Discover a Higher FICO Score: Secured Credit Cards

    I wrote a previous post on how to rebuild your credit score, mentioning the fact that I had signed up for a Discover secured card to get the ball rolling. In this post, I will walk you...

    • Posted February 16, 2018
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  • Department of Education Forgives Student-Loan Debt Owed by a Wounded Veteran, but the IRS Sends Him a Tax Bill for $62,000

    At age 40, Will Milzarski, an attorney, took leave from his state government job to return to the U.S. Army. After completing officer training, he served two tours of duty in Afghanistan. where he led more than...

    • Posted February 13, 2018
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  • FEMA Impersonators and Identity Theft

    If you’ve been affected by a recent natural disaster has someone called asking to verify your FEMA registration even though you didn’t apply? Or have you tried to claim FEMA benefits or assistance, but were told you...

    • Posted February 13, 2018
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  • FTC Obtains Court Order Halting Business Coaching Scheme

    Defendants falsely claimed consumers could earn substantial income At the Federal Trade Commission’s request, a federal court has temporarily halted an operation that took more than $14 million from consumers seeking to start their own online business. The...

    • Posted February 12, 2018
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  • Help is Here for People With Severe Disabilities Struggling With Student Loans

    Tens of thousands of disabled veterans and hundreds of thousands of people living with severe disabilities are now eligible for new student loan protections starting this year.  What’s new for borrowers with severe disabilities and student debt?...

    • Posted February 12, 2018
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  • TPD (Total and Permanent Disability Discharge) “Awarded” to a Personal Friend of Mine!

    CONGRATULATIONS! Congratulations to my friend Pam for the complete discharge of her Student Loans! My friend Pam in her mid 50’s has three adult children, is divorced, and because of a stroke a few years ago, is...

    • Posted February 12, 2018
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  • Paying Off Holiday Credit Card Debt

    You’ve opened all your gifts, and now it’s time to open those post-holiday credit card statements. If you were a little too jolly with your holiday spending, here are some tips to help you pay down your...

    • Posted February 9, 2018
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  • New Easy Money Con, Same Old Tricks

    What would you give for a turnkey system to earn six figures in 90 days or less, all while working from home? That’s what the defendants behind Digital Altitude promised. But the FTC alleges they did not...

    • Posted February 9, 2018
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  • The Secretary of State is Not Emailing You

    There are many scammers who pretend to be government officials – from the IRS, Social Security, and even the FTC. The latest twist is an email from – supposedly – the Secretary of State. In the email,...

    • Posted February 8, 2018
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  • Know Your Data: Our latest list of consumer reporting companies

    You may know that your credit record affects your ability to get an affordable loan, a job, an apartment, or many other essentials of daily life. But, do you know where and how to actually request your...

    • Posted February 8, 2018
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  • Are You Struggling to Build an Emergency Fund?

    If you’ve been struggling to build up an emergency fund, you aren’t alone. According to the Wall Street Journal, one in four Americans has no emergency savings. Maybe you’re stuck trying to figure out the best way...

    • Posted February 8, 2018
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  • Your Money, Your Goals: Free tools for diverse communities

    Financial challenges can happen to anyone regardless of age, income, or location. Just like the people and communities across the nation, the organizations that serve their needs are also diverse. We created Your Money, Your Goals with that...

    • Posted February 7, 2018
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  • Has an Online Love Interest Asked You for Money?

    Looking to start a new relationship? For some, that may mean meeting a new love interest online. Word to the wise: sometimes it’s best to lead with your head and not your heart. Millions of Americans use...

    • Posted February 7, 2018
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  • That’s Not Your Neighbor Calling

    When your phone rings and it looks like a local call, you may be more likely to answer. Scammers count on this and can easily fake caller ID numbers. They even can match the first six digits...

    • Posted February 7, 2018
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  • How to File Your Tax Return for Free

    Filing your own tax return is easier than ever. Follow these five simple steps to avoid scams, overpayment, and potential audits. 1. Choose your tax software wisely The drastic increase in email schemes, 400 percent in 2016,...

    • Posted February 6, 2018
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  • How to Get a Faster Tax Refund

    If you are expecting a tax refund, you probably want to get the money as soon as possible. There are certain measures that can be taken to ensure that you get your tax refund quickly. The first...

    • Posted February 6, 2018
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  • Maximize Your Tax Refund

    Dear Dollar Stretcher, I have 4 children and do not work outside the home. As tax season approaches we are anxious to get that large tax check. As usual, we have it spent before it gets here....

    • Posted February 6, 2018
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  • Company Collected Kids’ Info Without Permission

    No doubt, there are a lot of talented kids out there. Aspiring young actors, singers, dancers, models and other artists often network to find auditions, casting calls and other professional opportunities. Online talent search companies often advertise...

    • Posted February 5, 2018
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  • Housing Market Warning Signs

    MoneyTips Did you ever marvel at something from a distance, only to find fundamental flaws upon closer inspection? Today’s housing market could fit that description. On the macro scale, the market appears to be in a good...

    • Posted February 5, 2018
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  • FTC Cool on “Hot Degrees” List for Military

    When servicemembers think about a civilian career, they often consider getting more education – but they need trustworthy information to make good decisions. That’s why the FTC just announced a proposed settlement with Victory Media, alleging its...

    • Posted February 5, 2018
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  • 43% of Americans Have Trouble Making Ends Meet

    MoneyTips Do daily finances give you daily heartburn? You aren’t alone. According to a new survey by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), 43% of Americans have trouble making ends meet. One-third of survey respondents reached the...

    • Posted February 2, 2018
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  • FTC Obtains Court Order Banning Work-at-Home Operators from Selling Business Opportunities and Business Coaching Services

    Defendants must give up $1.5 million under settlement with FTC The operators of a work-at-home scheme the Federal Trade Commission sued earlier this year for deceptive practices are banned from selling business opportunities and business coaching services...

    • Posted February 1, 2018
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  • Two Los Angeles-Area Managers of Foreclosure Rescue Companies Convicted for Roles in Mortgage Fraud Scheme

    A federal jury found two Los Angeles, California-area managers of foreclosure rescue companies guilty today for their roles in a foreclosure rescue scheme. Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Assistant...

    • Posted February 1, 2018
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  • Protecting Yourself Against Tax Identity Theft

    It’s tax season and tax identity thieves are eager to claim your tax refund as their own. Find out how to stop them during Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, January 29-February 2. The FTC and its partners...

    • Posted January 31, 2018
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  • FTC Returns Money to Consumers Who Bought Purported Business Coaching Programs

    The Federal Trade Commission is mailing 7,583 checks totaling more than $2.2 million to people who lost money to a telemarketing scheme offering business coaching services. As alleged in the FTC’s complaints, the defendants falsely promised consumers...

    • Posted January 31, 2018
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  • How Confident Can You Be in Your Retirement Savings?

    As we get older, we begin to wonder if we’ll have enough money to retire. A few are confident that they’ve saved enough for a comfortable retirement, but the majority of people have serious concerns. Will you...

    • Posted January 31, 2018
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  • Scammers Impersonate the Social Security Administration

    Your Social Security number is an important key for an identity thief. Scammers want it, and they think of all sorts of ways to trick you into giving it away. Here at the Federal Trade Commission, we’re...

    • Posted January 30, 2018
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  • Put Your Tax Refund to Work During America Saves Week

    Each year during America Saves Week (February 26 to March 3), many people make an extra effort to save money. Started in 2007, America Saves Week is an annual opportunity for people to assess their saving status....

    • Posted January 29, 2018
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  • Scam Alert: How to Buy World Cup Tickets That Aren’t Fake

    The 2018 World Cup kicks off on June 14, 2018 in Moscow. Soccer’s rising stars like Argentina’s Paulo Dybala, France’s Kylian Mbappé, and Brazil’s Gabriel Jesus will join World Cup veterans Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suárez, Isco, Toni...

    • Posted January 29, 2018
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  • Do Not Call Registrations Don’t Expire

    Someone pretending to be from the FTC is sending out fake emails telling people that their Do Not Call registration is expiring. The emails use the FTC’s logo and send people to a phony Do Not Call...

    • Posted January 29, 2018
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  • Equifax’s Free Credit Monitoring – Time is Ticking …

    Considering Equifax’s offer of free credit monitoring after its breach? You need to sign up by January 31, 2018. Maybe you tried earlier but had trouble getting through. Or maybe you just put off the decision. Whatever...

    • Posted January 26, 2018
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  • Teen Money Making Opportunities

    Being a teenager has got to be the most awkward phase in anyone’s life, and I’m not just referring to puberty. Teenagers are at that age where they’re old enough to be expected to pay for things...

    • Posted January 26, 2018
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  • Entering Self-Employment: How to Prepare for Leaving Your Day Job

    Three and a half years ago, I made the decision to go into business for myself. After years of trying to put my writing skills to work, I stumbled across a Craigslist ad for a content writer...

    • Posted January 25, 2018
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  • Scam Spotted Thanks to a Clever Store Clerk

    You’re going about your normal day at work when, suddenly, there’s a call that looks like it’s from your electric company. That’s what the caller ID shows, and what the person on the line says. The voice...

    • Posted January 25, 2018
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  • FTC Halts “Preferred” Mortgage Relief Scam

    v> Behind on your mortgage and looking for help? Check out these tips and learn how to avoid mortgage relief scams. If you’re hiring a company to stop foreclosure or reduce your mortgage payments, here are some...

    • Posted January 24, 2018
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  • Warning: Lottery Scam Using a CFPB Employee’s Name

    I’m Stacy Canan, I lead the Office for Older Americans at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and I’m never going to call you to confirm that you have won a lottery or sweepstakes.  I just found out...

    • Posted January 24, 2018
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  • 8 Ways to Beat Retail Therapy

    Almost three decades have passed since the expression surfaced in a Chicago Tribune article on Christmas Eve. The notion that we could nurse “our psychic ills through retail therapy” struck a chord and, according to a survey...

    • Posted January 23, 2018
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  • What You Should Know About Medical Identity Theft

    Identity theft has become increasingly more common in recent years. When people hear the term “identity theft”, the image of someone sitting in a dark basement surrounded by computers might come to mind. Unfortunately, the majority of...

    • Posted January 23, 2018
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  • Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino and His Brother, Marc Sorrentino, Plead Guilty to Tax Crimes

    Reality television personality Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino and his brother, Marc Sorrentino, pleaded guilty today to violating federal tax laws, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorney...

    • Posted January 23, 2018
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  • For-Profit Charitable Callers Must Follow the Rules

    “I’m not calling for a donation.” (But really, I am.) Have you gotten this call? You already may know that The Do Not Call Registry is designed to stop unwanted sales calls, but it has some exceptions....

    • Posted January 22, 2018
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  • Don’t Give to a Charity Imposter

    When you give to a charity, you’re giving because you care and want to help — and you want to be sure your money actually gets to those you’re trying to help. But scammers who pretend to...

    • Posted January 22, 2018
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  • Give Your Finances an Annual Check Up

    You may have noticed a few gray hairs or a new set of "character lines" when you smile. The news about the economy is less than encouraging. You might also be worried about your finances as you...

    • Posted January 22, 2018
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  • Buyer beware: Flood-damaged cars for sale

    The floodwaters from last year’s hurricanes receded months ago, but their wrath could still affect used car buyers across the nation. That’s because storm-damaged cars are sometimes cleaned up and taken out of state for sale. You...

    • Posted January 19, 2018
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  • Over the Counter Meds

    I’ve been a pharmacist for a national retail chain for 18 years. There are so many marketing ploys out there to rob unknowing consumers of their dollars. We all know that generic products can save us money,...

    • Posted January 19, 2018
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  • What to do if You’re the Target of Revenge Porn

    Has an intimate image of you been shared without your OK? If so, you’re not alone. Whether a nude picture was taken without your consent, or an image you shared with someone is shared further than you’d...

    • Posted January 18, 2018
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  • How to Find a Cure for Rising Medical Debt

    After an accident or illness, the last thing you want to worry about is medical bills. Unfortunately, medical debt is all too common in the United States. According to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 26...

    • Posted January 18, 2018
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  • 8 Must-Have Personal Finance Tools for 2018

    With only a few days left in 2017, millions of us are frantically jotting down our resolutions for the new year. Among the decrees to exercise more, quit whatever vices you have, and be kinder to others,...

    • Posted January 17, 2018
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  • Raising Quick Cash

    Help! We’ve been hit by a couple of big unexpected bills. They’ve wiped out our savings and maxed our credit cards. We need to raise some quick cash. Do you have any ideas that could help us...

    • Posted January 17, 2018
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  • 7 Ways to Travel the World for Free

    Your friends have just come home from a trip to New Zealand or Europe. You wish you could do the exact same thing but have no money or you’re on a budget. I’m here to tell you...

    • Posted January 17, 2018
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  • What does the Coast Guard know about the GI Bill that the other services do not?

    More than a hundred thousand servicemembers ship out to basic training each year. While their uniforms might be different shades of camouflage, active duty servicemembers are all given the same choice: “Should I pay $1,200 to sign-up...

    • Posted January 16, 2018
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