In September 2017, America learned about the massive data breach at the credit reporting agency Equifax that affected approximately 148 million consumers – one of the largest breaches ever. Identity thieves suddenly acquired a new batch of Social Security numbers, names, addresses, phone numbers, and other personal information. Consumers were advised to take steps immediately
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Finding a job can be a stressful and difficult task – and if you have poor credit, you may have an even harder time finding a job. A 2016 CareerBuilder study found that almost one-third of employers run credit checks on their potential hires, on the assumption that people with good credit are more likely
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The Crushing Effects Of Medical Debt How pervasive is America’s medical debt problem? According to 2017 data from the credit bureau Experian, unpaid medical debt in America topped $127 billion. New data from Consumer Reports shows that almost 30% of insured Americans had unpaid medical debt turned over to collection agencies in the past two
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We all incur debt during our lives, but will we ever become debt-free? A significant number of people say no. According to a new survey by Northwestern Mutual, 13% of Americans expect to be in debt until they die. The Depths of Debt section of Northwestern Mutual’s Planning and Progress Study 2018 contains many other
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By Eric Olsen, Executive Director, HELPS Nonprofit Law Firm I just got off the phone with a senior couple who have a timeshare they can’t afford and don’t use any longer. They had called a company who advertised that they help people get out of timeshares. (I hear such advertisements on the radio and television
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You need cash to pay an important bill, and you haven’t got it. What do you do? Many Americans turn to payday loans to fill this gap, even though the interest rates are staggering – an average of nearly 400% APR. A recent survey by CNBC Make It and Morning Consult found that all generations
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Is a home purchase on your to-do list over the next two years? You’ll have plenty of competition finding your new home, according to the latest PenFed Credit Union National Mortgage Survey. The survey found that 37% of American adults are planning to purchase a home within the next two years. Over half (52%) of
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We all like getting things for free, especially when the free items or services are valuable. Thanks to legislation that was signed in May 2018, Americans have another free service that they can use as often as they like – applying for a credit freeze. As of September 21, 2018, it no longer costs money
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Are smart appliances and systems making you feel like you are being outwitted by your home? They shouldn’t. In many cases, it is just a matter of investing the time to read through the manual and understand the capabilities of the system. For standard appliances like refrigerators, ovens, or TVs, if you do not educate
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With summer ending, the end of the year will be around before you have time to figure out whether it is better to finally take down the Christmas lights or, at this point, just leave them up. That makes it a good time to look ahead on your taxes, as well as a few other
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Parents, be careful how you act around your children. Children may listen to what you say, but they’ll be more influenced by what you do. This maxim also appears to apply to attitudes toward debt. According to a study recently released by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), children have a strong tendency to
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By Roshni Chowdhry, head of customer experience at SafetyNet Of the 17 million Americans currently enrolled in college, 74 percent qualify as what we used to call “nontraditional” students: One in five is 30 years or older. About half don’t rely on their parents for money. One quarter are caring for a
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Further Rewards for Good Credit You’ve worked hard to keep your credit score high. Why shouldn’t you be rewarded for your effort? Banks agree and are looking for innovative ways to urge you to keep your credit score as high as possible. Financial institutions have always used negative reinforcement for poor credit scores – higher
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Clerks at most department stores or retailers often ask if you’d like to apply for a store credit card, pleasantly pitching special deals and perks that the credit card provides. Why not accept? How can you go wrong opening another account? When you’re tempted to accept a store card offer, think of two things –
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Miss a credit card payment, and you’ll suffer the consequences. Your credit score will drop significantly, since on-time payments are the number one factor in determining your credit score. You’ll pay late fees and possibly incur a penalty APR. Interest charges will pile up on your unpaid balance. So why do so many Americans miss
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According to the Federal Reserve’s G.19 Consumer Credit report, America’s outstanding revolving debt – mostly credit card debt – was closing in on $1.04 trillion as of June 2018. How will we pay all that money back? An increasing number of Americans may not be able to do so. ValuePenguin analyst Joe Resendiz calls credit
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According to Federal Reserve data, student loan debt has surpassed $1.5 trillion and comprises 11% of America’s collective household debt balance – second only to mortgage debt. More than 44 million Americans have student loan debt, with an average balance of around $33,000. Given those statistics, you might expect student loans to be the biggest
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By Stephanie Braun, Director of Auto Product Management at Esurance Companies have collected data on their customers for decades. It allows them to offer more tailored services and products, and provide more relevant messaging. The reason data collection has gotten so much press lately is because it’s reached unprecedented levels. Already, we create 2.5 quintillion
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Can you believe someone was able to borrow money online to buy basketball trading cards? Not just any card, but a Michael Jordan rookie card that could be worth six figures! While millions of people have borrowed money online to buy a house or condo, we found a social worker from New Mexico who used
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Are you looking for a mortgage that features a low down payment but can’t find a suitable conventional loan because of various restrictions?The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers loan products with down payments of just 3.5% for borrowers with FICO credit scores as low as 580 – an attractive combination for potential homebuyers with lesser
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A Stressful Experience What’s the most stressful event you’ve had in your life? Applying for college? Going on a job interview? Hosting Thanksgiving dinner for your entire family? According to a recent survey by Homes.com, buying a home tops all of those events as “the most stressful event in modern life.” One-third
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