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More than $1.3 trillion dollars, with $2,726 added every second. That’s how much student loan debt Americans have accumulated, and how much debt gets added with every second that ticks by. To many people, this amount is nothing more than an outrageous number to balk at – an anomaly shared on the nightly news. But for others, their share represents so much more. Fear. Shame. Frustration. A lifetime sentence of debt. And for most, it represents regret – and a whole …

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It’s an annual tradition of sorts for parents all across the country. The summer starts to wind down. They get a letter from the school telling them about their student’s enrollment for the next year and who their teacher is. They start seeing hints of “back to school” at the store and in their mailbox. Their children are dressed in clothes that are almost too small and are worn from a summer of play. It’s time to start thinking about …

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More than half of used cars and a full 86.3% of new cars were purchased with a loan in the first quarter of 2016, according to Experian. The average new car buyer borrowed $30,032 for 68 months for their new ride, while the average used car buyer borrowed $20,723 for 66 months. Compare those figures to last year’s, and you’ll notice an expensive trend. Each year, Americans commit to borrowing more money to buy both new and used cars – …

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Price: It’s the single most important factor for a lot of car insurance shoppers. Choosing a policy based on rates alone could cost far more out of pocket when filing a claim, however, and, statistically speaking, that will happen to each driver at least once every 18 years. It pays to get the right amount of coverage, whether it’s the cheapest package or not. The best auto insurance companies have more than just competitive prices; they also offer versatile coverage …

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A few weeks ago, I made an offhand mention in a reader mailbag about the wonderful book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. Duckworth defines grit in very simple terms – it’s simply perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Since long-term goals are a huge part of personal finance success, there’s naturally a lot of overlap between this idea of grit and some of the smarter strategies for your money. Grit offers up a four-step recipe …

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Enduring a high-pressure timeshare presentation was never on my must-do list. Then again, it’s not that difficult to lure me in with the promise of a cheap vacation when all you’re asking for is two hours of my time. It all started when I received an offer from Holiday Inn Vacation Club: five nights at the Holiday Inn Orange Lake Resort in Orlando, Fla., for a grand total of $299. That’s just $59-ish per night in case anyone is counting, and …

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Max wrote in with a great question that started off in the reader mailbag, but eventually grew into a rather long post. Here’s what he had to say: Most good mobile games are free to play but they offer optional purchases that make the game a little easier or give you a boost or a cosmetic improvement. When you are struggling with a challenging part of the game it is really tempting to buy especially when you like the game …

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The old adage is true: it’s easier to find a job when you have a job. Sometimes, however, you have no choice – you’re laid off or fired or your job otherwise disappears, and you find yourself looking for work without the security of full-time employment. When that happens, the goal is make sure you go into the job interview process from a position of strength. You might not have a job right now, but you’re still the same candidate …

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I am guessing that a lot of The Simple Dollar readers already know their credit score. Even if you can’t recite the exact numbers off the top of your head, you probably know the general range. (I’m in the mid-700s.) I am also guessing that a lot of readers don’t regularly check their credit reports. Sure, there are a few of you who have calendar reminders to get your free, federally mandated credit reports from , but the rest of …

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For me, and for a lot of other people, shopping can be a very impulsive exercise. When something you want is on your radar, you’re often pulled very strongly toward making that purchase. Your mind comes up with tons of reasons why it makes sense and, beyond those reasons, there’s still a strong nameless desire to acquire the item. Perhaps the best financial move I’ve ever made in my life is to get that sense of impulse under control. That’s …

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