Prefer using debit cards over credit cards, but miss earning rewards? Some debit cards offer cash-back rewards – either as a straight points-based redemption program or as a perks-based program directed at purchases with specific merchants. You may have debit card cash-back benefits through a perks-based program and not even realize it. Cardlytics is
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Do you consider a rewards program as an integral part of your credit card choice? According to a new study by finder.com, close to one-third of Americans use credit cards just to get the associated rewards. The finder survey suggests that approximately 71.7 million Americans (29.2% of the adult population) make credit card purchases just
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Another Day, Another Breach Have we reached the point where Americans react to data breaches with a yawn? Given the constant stream of new attacks and the staggering number of accounts involved, that’s an understandable reaction. The sportswear retailer Adidas recently joined the list of companies successfully attacked by hackers. The size of the
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Homeownership remains a goal for most Americans. According to NerdWallet’s 2018 Home Buyer Report, 91% of respondents want to own at least one home during their lifetime. However, that same report shows eight concerns renters have regarding that goal. If you haven’t bought a home yet, see if they match your concerns. 1. Purchase Cost
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A summer job is a great way for students to earn some extra money while building a resume for the future and learning new things about the working world. Typically, one of the hardest lessons for students to deal with is income tax. Working students may say, “Why is so much of my paycheck withheld?
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A New Avenue for State and Local Taxes Americans love shopping online, in large part because of lower prices. Online merchants offer lower prices because they have a lower overhead compared to traditional brick-and-mortar retailers – and they also enjoy a sales tax advantage. A 1992 Supreme Court decision prohibited states from requiring businesses to
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How much does your credit score affect your mortgage rates? A recent study by Zillow shows that the higher interest rates from a poor credit score can have a profound impact on the amount of interest you’ll pay over the life of a mortgage. Zillow analyzed over 100,000 mortgage quotes offered on Zillow Mortgages across
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How badly do you want to own a home? What would you be willing to give up to achieve the American dream? Discover what sacrifices recent homebuyers made to purchase their homes, and whether they see the acquisition as a worthwhile investment. Your credit history is an important factor in getting your mortgage approved.
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Do you have a financial plan? A real, written plan with goals, targets, and timelines, not just “I plan to stay out of debt this year”? If you have no such plan, you have plenty of company. According to Charles Schwab, only 25% of Americans have a written financial plan. The good news: Schwab’s 2018
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By Eric Olsen, Executive Director HELPS Nonprofit Law Firm Affordable transportation is often a concern for senior citizens. Some seniors go without basics to make car payments they can’t afford for a car with little or no equity. Others need affordable replacement transportation but don’t have the income to finance a car. What are
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Are you getting the best deal on your credit cards? If you regularly carry a balance, a new survey from CreditCards.com suggests there’s almost a 50/50 chance you don’t know how good your deal is – because you aren’t sure what the annual percentage rate (APR) is on your cards. The poll of 2,315 adults
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Does your student loan situation look hopeless? Don’t give up hope yet. Consider these alternative repayment programs that can provide manageable loan payments and lead to forgiveness of a portion of your loan in exchange for some form of service. 1. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program – As it stands, the PSLF program allows
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It’s not uncommon for companies to help with tuition payments for their employees who are continuing their education, especially if they are working toward a professional degree that will help them in their job or with future advancements in the firm. Such a program can be a great recruiting tool. Unfortunately, these programs do not
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America’s total student loan balance has topped $1.5 trillion, according to recent Federal Reserve data. Default rates on student loans are at 11%. While the job market has improved for recent graduates, many are struggling with excessive debt (over $39,000 at graduation on average) and entry-level jobs that make repayment difficult. Enter an alternative
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Affordable Housing? What Affordable Housing? Affordable housing is increasingly hard to find in today’s market. According to data from Trulia, America’s inventory of starter homes has decreased by almost half compared to six years ago while prices rose by almost 58%. As consumers recovered from the housing crisis and Great Recession, more people became financially
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As a nation, America’s student debt load is reaching crisis proportions. The New York Federal Reserve puts the total student loan debt at over $1.52 trillion, with the delinquency rate over 11%. Is your personal student loan situation nearing a similar crisis? Consider these five warning signs to assess whether you are handling your student
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Father’s Day is coming up on June 17th. What can you get Dad to celebrate his special day without loading up the credit cards? Sometimes simpler gifts are the best. Simpler gifts may also be your only option if you are young and short on cash, or if your credit is not up to scratch
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Father’s Day will be here soon. Have you picked up anything for Dad yet? You probably will, if statistics count for anything. In 2017, spending on Father’s Day will account for an estimated $15.5 billion in sales, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). That’s a pretty impressive number – not in the league with
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“Jumbo shrimp” sounds contradictory but can be quite enjoyable. “Jumbo debt”? Not so much, especially for students. There’s nothing inherently wrong with large student loans, and historically the default rate has been low on such loans. People who borrow large sums of money usually go for advanced degrees that translate into higher salaries. However,
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