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Ready for a shock? Seven million Americans are currently in default on their student loans. A whopping 40% of student borrowers aren’t making any payments at all. That can have far-reaching consequences on your credit history and your life. Federal student loans generally don’t appear on your credit report — unless they’re in default, and that’s going to put a serious drag on your credit for years to come. One way to avoid getting into that kind of hot water …

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Because each credit card offers its own unique set of perks, the top credit card for one person may not be the same for another. Some families might benefit more from a solid travel credit card, while others would get more value from cash-back rewards. Others still might need a balance transfer credit card that could help them get out of debt. The fact that each of the top credit cards is so different makes it crucial to conduct due diligence before you sign up. By …

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First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes… a joint checking account. Combining assets when uniting as a married couple seems only natural, and often it is a wise idea. Other situations may also come about when sharing an account with someone else makes perfect sense. On the other side of the coin, caveats arise, and there are definitely times when having a joint checking account can do more harm than good. Let’s take a look, then, at the practical …

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For most people, one of the most intimidating parts of signing up for a 401(k) or a Roth IRA or another investment account is looking at all of the investment options. How do I know which one is right for me? How do I compare them? I remember exactly how that feels. When I signed up for the retirement plan at my very first job after college, I was hit with a plethora of investment options. I had no idea …

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At least half of workers have left a job “to get away from their manager,” according to a Gallup report from last year. If you’ve had a bad boss at some point in your career, that won’t come as a surprise. It’s hard to enjoy your work when you hate your manager. You could have an office with a window, a cereal bar, and a ball-pit filled with stock options and free candy, and you’re still not going to love …

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For many families, the month after Christmas is a time where people feel the need to cut back on their spending and live lean for a little while to reset their financial balance. For us, it’s usually just after our family’s summer vacation, where we’ve spent a ton on gas (and car maintenance… and sometimes roadside emergencies) and food and admission fees and other such summer vacation expenses. One way we sometimes respond is by putting a family moratorium of some …

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College is over and it’s time to get your first real, grown-up apartment. Even if you’re still throwing parties and living with six other people, this may be your first apartment where your name is on the lease and you pay all the rent, and that’s a total game changer. You’ll also be in a new legal situation as a bonafide lease holder. Before you wade into these wild waters of adulthood, here’s a beginner’s guide to renting your first real-deal apartment. Where to Look …

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Just by coming to this page, you likely have some understanding of balance transfer credit cards. These cards are best for people who have racked up a good amount of money on another credit card for whatever reason — it could be from an emergency or from some poor financial decisions. Regardless, the last thing you want to do is carry a large balance on a card that you’re paying a high interest rate on. My favorite balance transfer card …

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One issue that you’ll see constantly debated in books and articles about choosing a career is the idea of “doing what you love.” Should a person “follow their passion” as a primary guiding light for their career? Or does it make more sense to choose a career based on income and aptitude? There are pros and cons behind each path. Following your passion means that you’re going to usually end up spending a significant part of your workday doing something …

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Credit scores make the financial world go round, or so the saying goes. And while that may be a slight exaggeration, the truth is that your credit scores are going to have a significant impact on your money. Lenders rely on your credit scores to decide whether or not they want to do business with you and under what terms. Insurance companies rely on scores to help them determine how much to charge you for your insurance premiums. Even utility …

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