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Tag Archives: Consumer Debt

Holiday Debt Traps

Although we may wish otherwise, the fact is many things in life are rarely as good as they seem to be at first glance. In many cases, when you investigate the fine print, “free” is hardly ever really free, “deals” are usually anything but, and “guarantees” tend to have an awful lot of prerequisites or exclusions. As the holiday shopping season gets into full swing and our pocketbooks are flying …Read More

Ask An Expert: What is a credit report and how do I read it?

Dear reader, we all know that credit reports are important. But not many people know what reports look like or how to read the information on them. Understanding a credit report is easier than it seems if you know what to expect when you review your report. Your credit reports are generated by the credit bureaus or consumer reporting agencies, each containing detailed data about your credit behavior. This data …Read More

Ask An Expert: I’m struggling to make payments on my student loan. I have all federal and Perkins loans. Should I consolidate them to get lower interest?

A: Dear reader, consolidating your federal student loans could be an option to help you manage your payments and potentially avoid default. However, combining your loans may help you for other reasons that do not necessarily include lowering your interest rates. If you are thinking about consolidation, you can start by looking into Direct Consolidation Loans. This type of loan offers a consolidation option at no cost to you through …Read More

Ask An Expert: How can I build credit if I have no credit history?

Q. How can I build credit if I have no credit history? Dear Reader, Establishing your credit history for the first time can seem like a daunting task. Your lack of credit history tells creditors that you have no experience with credit and they may not want to risk lending you money. So how do you break the cycle? Well, your best option is to apply for a secured card. …Read More

CFPB Announcement that will Ease the Minds of Consumers

By Tara Carter We’re all familiar with the headache that can come along with the consistent nagging of debt collectors, however the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has just proposed new regulations that will give us a break from persistent debt collectors. Here are highlights of the proposed changes: To protect consumers from being contacted for debts that may be incorrect, debt collectors now have to confirm that they have …Read More

Researchers from The Ohio State University reveal the impact of credit counseling.

Since its launch in 2013, the Sharpen Your Financial Focus (Sharpen) initiative of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) has impacted the lives of more than 60,000 American consumers, helping them identify and resolve immediate financial concerns, gain a deeper understanding of financial literacy and debt management, and move toward long-term financial stability. To measure the extent of its impact, an independent, scientifically based evaluation was conducted by researchers at …Read More

Consumer Debt is Down, Spending Up. But It’s All Good.

The latest consumer debt numbers are out, and the news is good.  Consumer debt decreased in February, as card holders held back on using their plastic. Overall, consumer debt was down to $794 billion, as illustrated in the graphic.  This decrease continues what has been a steady decline in card balances.  Beginning in September 2008, card balances have gone down nearly every month.  Balances did rise in December 2010, but …Read More