A couple days ago, we wrote about a fake company called Adele that was fraudulently charging 25 cents to credit cards. Personal finance site Mint heard about the scam too, and they reviewed their users’ records and notified them if they found a fraudulent charge.
The consistently useful Get Rich Slowly has some New Year’s resolutions for you: 9 Methods for Mastering Your Money in 2009. We especially like methods 3 and 7, as they’re easy fixes that shouldn’t take more than a couple hours to implement.
The web is full of financial resolutions for 2009, telling us all what we should and shouldn’t do for the next year. And whether or not you’re the resolution type, it’s probably worthwhile to review what some of the leading financial publications are recommending. After all, aren’t we all interested in ideas for improving our financial lives?
Slate’s “The Big Money” has decided it’s time to start educating readers on some core financial principles, and they’re starting with the very basics, presented in a “Schoolhouse Rocks!” style. Their first cartoon explains the four types of bonds. Visually, it’s a perfect match to the style of the original cartoons, but we hope they work on a catchier jingle for their next installment.
Thanks to state-sponsored 529 plans, friends and family can finally contribute to college savings funds without drowning under long forms and boring paperwork.
Recently, we told you that Senator Levin recommended that the UBS not patronize American citizens who are trying to evade taxes. His wish has come true–UBS has announced plans to close the Swiss bank accounts of such American customers and will lift the cloak of anonymity which has protected its customers for centuries. Details, inside..
Millions of Americans are in debt, so it stands to reason that there are over 6,500 collection agencies in the U.S.. Most of these agencies operate under the law but a growing number of them do not. According to statistics from the Better Business Bureau, complaints filed against debt collectors rose 27% in 2007. Even if you legitimately owe the debt, you should know there are laws that protect you against harassment and the unfair practices often employed by these rogue debt collectors. CNN Money discusses the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and laws which protect the consumer. Details, inside… [More]
Personal finance blog Free Money Finance suggests that employees can improve their incomes by asking for a raise, but you have to make sure to time it right.
n+1: So can you tell me what happened with Bear Stearns? What were the steps?
Today CNNMoney profiles an out of work mortgage banker who has been sending out 10 resumes a day since he was laid off in Feburary. He just got his first interview.
The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee today announced a rate cut of 75 basis points to 2-1/4 percent.
All Presidential candidates should have a plan to wean America off its credit card dependence. We collectively owe almost $1 trillion to credit card companies, but only the Democratic candidates have written plans to reform the credit card industry. Alpha Consumer wrote an excellent summary of their competing plans to strike at some of the industry’s most harmful practices.
New Hampshire will become the latest state to keep payday lenders from gouging their patrons. A measure passed by the legislature will cap interest rates on payday loans at 36%, a drastic change for an industry used to bludgeoning underbanked consumers with interest rates exceeding 500%. Payday borrowers spend an average of $793 trying to repay a $325 loan. Let’s see how the economic leeches spin this as a loss for consumers.
Although December marked a slight decrease in Chapter 13 filings from November, 2007 overall logged a whopping 40% rise in the number of bankruptcy filings compared to 2006, reports the Wall Street Journal—over 800,000 filings in 2007, versus around 570,000 the previous year.
Want a college education but don’t want to go into debt over it? If your interests happen to coincide with the specific curricula at certain “tuition-free” schools, you might actually be able to get away with it. “There are only a handful of such schools in the U.S., which is one reason they are often overlooked by students, parents, and high school guidance counselors during the college search,” says a senior policy analyst at the College Board.
As foreclosures continue to skyrocket, debt counselors have become a last resort—sometimes the only resort—for thousands of panicked homeowners who don’t know how they’re going to keep their homes. “I don’t think people fully appreciate the pressure that’s being put on those counselor organizations today,” says a Housing and Urban Development official. In addition to offering financial advice, the counselors try to help negotiate payment plans with lenders, stave off foreclosure notices, and even offer mental health support for people so distraught that they become depressed or suicidal. The average pay: $30-50,000 a year.