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The Federal Reserve recently downgraded the outlook for the U.S. economy. At the same time as making the announcement of the downgrade, Ben Bernanke also announced that they will be taking quantitative easing measures, beginning what has been called Operation Twist. The $400 billion program is supposed to help stimulate the economy, but there is disagreement over whether this will work. Some think that it is foolhardy, and will only encourage inflation, while others think…

One of the biggest concerns that many people have right now is identity fraud. There is good reason for concerns about identity theft: It’s the fastest growing crime. Whether someone uses your name and address to open a line of credit, or whether you credit card number is hijacked, identity theft is a very real concern. One way to protect your identity it to get a credit freeze. It won’t stop someone from using your…

One of the first, and most important things, that you need to do if you are looking to get out of debt is to stop spending more. It sounds obvious, but it really is difficult to stop digging when you’re trying to get out of the debt hole. Here are a few strategies that might help you stop the spending habit and turn things around: Put your credit cards away: As you might imagine, one…

There are many ways to save money, from buying a smaller house, to refinancing your car loan or mortgage loan, to cutting out the cable subscription. But those items are big, and they may not be practical in your life. Indeed, you might be looking for smaller, simpler ways to save money. Whether you want the money for more “fun” things, or whether you are looking to find the money to pay down debt, or…

A lot has changed since the financial crisis of 2008. And one of those things is the workforce. The last recession happened during a time when technology has advanced quite far, and there are higher costs associated with permanent workers. As a result, the workforce is changing — we may be on the verge of seeing a true decline in the full-time, full benefits workforce we have come to expect in the last few decades.…

Many people are excited about buying a home right now. This, of course, makes sense. Prices are low, and so are mortgage rates. This means that you can get a good deal on a home, and pay less in interes. However, before you pull the trigger, you need to consider whether buying a home is right for you right now. There are a number of things to consider as you decide whether or not to…

Welcome to the 119th Best of Money Carnival. Today is Labor Day, and while you’re enjoying your day off, hot dogs, chips and beer, I’m slaving away to give you the best in personal finance from this past week. If you have a worthy Personal Finance post, submit it for next week’s carnival. Editor’s Pick: CreditDoneky’s Infographic on Labor Day. Quite Fitting. I didn’t know there are 2.8 million registered nurses – quite a lot.…

Average Credit Score is 692 (out of 850). The median credit score is roughly 723 in 2011. 60% of Credit Scores are over 700, most experts believe that when a 720 or above there is little need to increase the score. (Read More: Guide: What’s a Good Credit Score) [ad#Credit Pages Large] Credit scores are one of the most important factors determining whether or not a consumer will be approved for a loan or line…

When it comes to buying a house, you need to consider your own personal finance situation. During the housing bubble, and during the loose lending standards that helped fuel it, many people fell prey to the idea of getting “more house for the mortgage.” Because of “creative financing” techniques like interest-only loans and adjustable rate mortgages with ridiculously low teaser rates, many people thought they could afford bigger homes. Of course, it soon became apparent…

One of the biggest challenges that many of us increasingly face is that of having a variable income. It is possible to budget your money on a variable income, but you do need to be better prepared for a rainy day. It’s easy to feel good about the way things are going when you have a good month with high income, but you can’t go crazy and spend to your income. What you need is…

Any consumer who has tried to borrow money, apply for credit or even rent an apartment most likely understands the importance of a good credit score. There is so much emphasis on this three digit number that entire talk shows, books and even products for credit repair are centered around it. While it is in fact true that a good credit score will get you approved for more lines of credit with more favorable terms…

One of the questions that many people ask when they are looking for insurance coverage is whether or not they need coverage for protection against uninsured drivers. Because many drivers are uninsured — in spite of laws that require car insurance — it can help in some cases to make sure that you get uninsured motorist coverage. What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage? This is coverage that helps pay for injuries you sustain if an uninsured…

Many of us have come to rely on debit cards. They are convenient methods of payment, working like credit cards — and accepted where credit cards are used. You can swipe your debit card quickly and easily, without worrying about paying interest; your money comes right out of your checking. And now, banks are betting on the fact that you will want to keep the convenience of debit cards. Wells Fargo is test out monthly…

I hate to admit it, but it’s been awhile since I’ve checked my credit report. Normally, I check my credit report three or four times a year. However, I’ve been a little lax recently. I don’t need new credit, and I’ve just not thought about it much. I’m about to rectify that, though. It’s important to check your credit report regularly. Here are 3 reasons to keep track of what’s in your credit file: 1.…

The student loan industry is huge now. Indeed, outstanding student loan debt now exceeds outstanding credit card debt in the U.S. As you get ready for college this fall, it’s a good idea to think about your college funding options, and consider your financing. If you have a child that is still a few years away from college, it’s never too early to start saving. Here are some ways to avoid student loans: Save up:…

One of the more worrying issues related to your money is how to protect your assets. During time so economic recession and market turmoil, we tend to pull back a little bit and consider how to best protect our money and remain financially solvent. One way that you can protect your assets is to make sure that you have adequate insurance coverage. How Does Insurance Help You? When we think of insurance, many of us…

Last Friday evening, S&P downgraded the U.S. credit rating. This marks the first time that the U.S. has seen its sterling rating tarnished. Since then, the stock market has been quite volatile, with investors being taken on a wild ride. However, the stock market isn’t the only thing that might be affected by the credit downgrade. Mortgage rates might soon be affected. If Treasuries Rise, Mortgage Rates May Rise, Too One of the possible effects…

It is understandable that you may worry from time to time about how you and your family would cope financially if you were unable to work due to an illness. Cheap critical cover may offer a solution, which could put your mind at rest. A critical illness insurance policy may provide you with a tax free lump sum if you are diagnosed with a serious or life threatening illness. This means that if you are…

One of the questions we sometimes have to ask ourselves is this: Is it sometimes worth it to pay a little more? The issue of the Netflix price increase has me thinking about when it might be worth your while to pay a little extra. For instance, if the Netflix price increase will allow the company to expand its streamed offerings, then I think that the higher price is well worth it. There are other…