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The Perpetual Credit Card Payment

Why the plastic takes so long to pay off… You’ve heard how credit cards will take decades to pay off. If you’ve got other debt like a car payment, you’ve probably wondered why a credit card balance of — say $3,000 — will take 20 or 30 years to pay off when your car —…

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Credit-Repair Scams: Beware!

You see the ads in newspapers, on TV, and online. You hear them on the radio. You get fliers in the mail, email messages, and maybe even calls offering credit repair services. They all make the same claims: “Credit problems? No problem!” “We can remove bankruptcies, judgments, liens, and bad loans from your credit file…

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The Principle of Anchor Management

In marketing, there is something called “anchoring” that is associated with just about every commercial advertisement you’ll ever see.  The premise is easy to understand, but not so easy to overcome.  Advertising agencies are paid millions of dollars to develop an approach to the marketplace that will appeal to you, the target.  In most cases…

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4 Quick Tips to Improving Your Credit

With another year behind us – and another yet ahead, you’re probably reviewing all your New Year’s Resolutions and planning just how different this year will be from all of the rest. And if you’re not sure what resolutions to focus on or which ones you’ll be able to actually stick to, let me make…

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The “More Money” Myth

Well, Christmas 2012 is behind us, and many consumers are already suffering from the “holiday hangover” – having spent too much on gifts, food, decorations, travel, and more. That’s often the time when thoughts creep into our heads like, “If I only made more money…” The desire to earn more money is a powerful motivator.…

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5 Ways to Avoid Overdraft and Bounced-Check Fees

The best way to avoid overdraft and bounced-check fees is to manage your account so you don’t overdraw it to begin with. So… Always keep track of how much money you have in your checking account by keeping your check register up-to-date. Record all checks when you write them and other transactions—like debit card activity…

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Know Your Credit Rights

Did you know that the Equal Credit Opportunity Act protects you when dealing with anyone who regularly offers credit, including banks, finance companies, stores, credit card companies and credit unions? Further, when you apply for credit, a creditor may not: Ask about or consider your sex, race, national origin or religion. Ask about your marital…

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Consumer Credit Report Card

The Federal Reserve analyzes around 40 million consumer credit reports each quarter and looks at how people are using credit during that time. The report card on how consumers use credit contains some improvements, but overall, continues to paint an unhealthy picture of individual debt, which has an impact on the nation’s economy and ability…

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Will Personal Debt Push Consumers Over the Fiscal Cliff?

7 Tips to Surviving Financial Uncertainty Consumers continue to face a lot of financial uncertainty. While the balance of power in Washington looks similar to how it appeared before the election, the big battle over the country’s growing debt load—$16 trillion and continuing to swell—is still raging.  How will the government avoid the so-called “fiscal…

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BEFORE the Holidays, Start Cutting Back

It’s always smart to control your spending. But — especially the spendy holidays — if you or others in your family are facing difficult times financially, perhaps from a job loss or wage cuts, it is especially important to spend less so you can have more money to pay essential bills or to add to…

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