More Shoppers Concerned About Getting Fat During The Holidays Than They Are About Going Into Debt

More Shoppers Concerned About Getting Fat During The Holidays Than They Are About Going Into Debt

For many Americans, the last two months of every calendar year inevitably involve eating too much and spending a lot of money. Given the still-choppy economic waters, you might think that consumers would be more concerned about their bottom lines before thinking about their waistlines, but you’d be wrong. [More]


Americans Racking Up Debt Faster Than We Save For Retirement

This seems to be the week for sad news about Americans and our retirement-saving behavior. A new study shows that while we might be sticking money in our 401(k) plan like dutiful money squirrels, in general, Americans aren’t doing ourselves any favors for retirement as we rack up debt at a higher rate than we sock away money. [More]

How To Not Suck… At Getting Out Of Debt

How To Not Suck… At Getting Out Of Debt

You’re in debt and you know it. But (a brief pause, while I invoke my inner Jersey) whaddya gonna do about it? Credit card debt can seem like a never-ending spiral. As you try to pay it down, more interest charges accrue, and it seems your balance isn’t getting anywhere. Stop the bleeding already so that you can ultimately get back in the black. [More]


Report: Student Debtors Under 30 Are Shying Away From Buying Homes, Cars

If life were a 1950s sitcom, college graduates would zoom out of school, get a job, buy a house, buy a car and get married. But these days, student loans are just one of many reason debtors under 30 are staying far away from the housing and auto markets. That, and life isn’t a sitcom. A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that this age group could be a drag on the economy by the very fact that they aren’t participating in it. [More]

No lunch for you!

Lunch Ladies Teach Middle Schoolers About Debt, Trash Their Lunches If They Owe Money

It’s never too early for kids to learn that living in revolving debt is bad, but how you get that lesson across is a tricky thing. For example, let’s say that you’re the contractor that serves school lunches in a middle school, and you take away the trays of children whose parents owe the lunch vendor money and toss a few dozen perfectly edible meals in the trash. This would be a bad way to teach kids about debt. [More]


Debt Collectors Keep Calling About Bogus Debt, Even After Being Threatened With Suit

From calling at all hours of the day and night to contacting you at work, we’ve told you before about the large number of banned practices for debt collectors. But one man says he’s the victim of a tenacious debt collector trying to collect a debt he doesn’t even owe. [More]


Senators Take Another Stab At Eliminating Paid Medical Debt From Credit Reports

This happens all too frequently: Someone with good credit suddenly incurs a large number of medical bills. Sometimes it’s too much money for the person to pay off in time, sometimes one bill will get overlooked and the debt is sent to collections. That person’s credit will now carry that stain for up to seven years. [More]

Sara Schaefer

How Does Emmy-Winning Comedian With Her Own MTV Show Have $57,000 In Debt?

Comedian Sara Schaefer already has two Emmys to her name, and her new TV show Nikki & Sara Live just debuted this week on MTV. But fame and notoriety don’t necessarily equate to being smart about your finances. [More]


8 Things We Learned From FTC Report On Debt-Buyers

In spite of the many rules imposed on the debt collection industry, it still generates, by far, the largest number of complaints to the Federal Trade Commission each year. That’s why the agency recently completed a lengthy investigation into debt-buyers and why they do such a bad job. [More]


Student Loan Debt Is Creating Generation Of High-Risk Borrowers With Low Credit Scores

Lots of people graduate college with minimal credit histories. Repaying student loans was always a dependable way to build that history. But recent, rampant growth in student loan debt in the U.S. could slow that process for an entire age group. [More]


We Would Like To Shake The Hand Of The Man With A Credit Score Of 848

If you know what your credit score is (and you should), you might know that the best possible score is 850. So the fact that there is a man who has a score of 848 might just impress you — and maybe simultaneously make you super, super jealous that he’s managed to pull that off in this economy. As he explains it, it’s not that he doesn’t have debt. He’s just very wise about how he handles it. [More]


U.S. Families Now Carrying About As Much Debt As Before The Recession

We’ve been toting quite a heavy load, economically speaking but it appears that for the average U.S. family, the debt burden has been lightened to where it was before the recession. That means that all of the unwieldy home mortgage debt, credit card debt and other debt loads have been trimmed down, making us more aerodynamic as we try to speed toward economic recovery. [More]


More Than 1-In-5 Students At For-Profit Colleges Default On Student Loans Within Three Years

For the first time, the Dept. of Education has provided stats for people three years into their student loan repayments, and the numbers don’t paint a pretty picture. The percentage of college students defaulting on their loans is on the rise, with 9.1% of recent students defaulting within two years of their first payment coming due, and a whopping 13.5% defaulting within three years. And at controversial for-profit colleges, that number is alarmingly higher. [More]

We Cosigned Our Unemployed Son's Student Loans. Now We're Screwed

We Cosigned Our Unemployed Son's Student Loans. Now We're Screwed

If you retain one piece of information from reading this site, let it be this one: never co-sign anyone’s student loans. Not your spouse’s student loans. Not your best friend’s student loans. Not your nephew’s student loans. Not even your own child’s student loans. It is the worst possible kind of debt to assume on behalf of someone else. The balances can be huge, the debt can’t be discharged in bankruptcy, and there’s nothing to repossess. That’s what anonymous parents M and D have learned, the very hard way. [More]

Justifications For Going Into Debt

It’s usually wise to avoid spending your way into the red, but sometimes it makes more sense to go wild and take on some debt rather than play things conservatively. [More]

Not-So-Fun Facts About Home Equity Lines Of Credit

Homeowners whose property is worth more than what they owe have the option of using their equity to get a hold of more money. Home equity lines of credit can fund education expenses, home improvements or help you pay off debt with higher interest. The credit can be a lifesaver, but can also get users in trouble. [More]

Obsessing Over Debt Can Stop You From Getting Rich

Obsessing Over Debt Can Stop You From Getting Rich

The credo preached by just about every personal finance writer is that debt is an enemy that must be eradicated before you can think about building wealth. But there’s a reason many rich people have no problem with taking on more debt to finance new ventures. Those who think big and take manageable risks tend to be the biggest winners. [More]

Despite What TV Commercials Tell You, Cars Aren't Gifts

Despite What TV Commercials Tell You, Cars Aren't Gifts

There are some occasions in which cars can be gifts. Say, you turn 16 and your parents give you the hunk of junk in the garage that barely runs. Or you’re on The Price is Right and Drew Carey tells you you’ve just won one. Other than that, the image — popularized by commercials — of a new car with a giant bow on it sitting in the driveway on Christmas morning are nothing more than an attempt at inception by ad wizards. [More]