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Debt Reduction

Legacy Credit Card Debt: Gone

by Smithee

I mentally separated my two credit cards into “Legacy Debt” and “Newer Debt”. The former has been with me on a variety of cards, banks, and interest rates since 1997, but in the last couple of years I consolidated it onto one card that I haven’t used to purchase anything. I’ve been paying it off ... Continue reading this article…

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Biweekly Mortgages: Do It Yourself to Save Money

by Luke Landes

On the surface, it seems like it would make sense to enroll in a biweekly mortgage payment plan. In theory, these biweekly mortgage programs offered by lending servicing companies work by allowing you to send half of your monthly mortgage amount every two weeks. As a result, you make two “extra” biweekly payments each year, ... Continue reading this article…

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Smithee Debt Update, Mid-April 2010

by Smithee

Happy Friday. It’s been just about a month since my last debt update, and I’m feeling relatively successful at it. I’m still on track to get rid of it by July, having eradicated $1,267.39 in the last four weeks. Aside from the satisfaction of persistence, there’s actual good news: as of yesterday, my employer has ... Continue reading this article…

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How Debt Settlements Affect Credit History

by Jeremy Simon

This is a guest article by Jeremy M. Simon. Each Tuesday, his Credit Score Report column addresses a CreditCards.com reader’s question on credit scoring. He selects questions that either best reflect a common reader concern or that highlight some particularly interesting aspect of credit scoring. Today, Consumerism Commentary is hosting the weekly question-and-answer session with ... Continue reading this article…

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Smithee Debt Update, Mid-March 2010

by Smithee

The last three weeks have been pretty lousy for my push to get rid of the credit card debt before summer (summer? When did I decide that? Just now, I guess). With a total balance of about $5,500, and making payments of at least $1,300 a month, you’d think it’d be a straight path to ... Continue reading this article…

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Smithee Debt Update, February 26, 2010

by Smithee

It’s been a couple of weeks since I shared details of my push to get rid of the credit card debt. I’ve been diligently taking out exactly $100 from the ATM to spend from Saturday morning through Friday night. That’s just for daily, personal purchases that don’t contribute to the house as a whole, though. ... Continue reading this article…

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Smithee Debt Update, February 13, 2010

by Smithee

This was a pretty good week for saving money. Last weekend, I took my strict $100 out of the bank for the next seven days, but I also ordered a small-ish present for my wife, which cost about $50. As a result, I set myself a challenge to see if I could spend $50 or ... Continue reading this article…

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Smithee’s First Week With Only $100

by Smithee

In my most recent debt update, I re-committed to spending a fixed amount of money on discretionary items during the week, instead of trusting my self-disciplined use of a credit card. I got $100.00 out of the ATM last Saturday, and the experiment began. See, I’m still not sure if $100.00 per week is reasonable. ... Continue reading this article…

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Which Should You Pay First: Credit Cards or Mortgage?

by Luke Landes

Imagine your income were sliced in half while your debts remained the same. How would you prioritize your payments? For those who have only credit cards, I’ve always suggested using, or at least understanding, the Debt Avalanche, but that doesn’t take into account other debts you might have such as personal loans and the mortgage. ... Continue reading this article…

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Lifelong Problem Solved for $2

by Smithee

A lot of things seem to be coming into place for me lately. Not in the “I finally have enough money that I can stop worrying” kind of way, but more in the “I’m finally acting like a grown-up” kind of way. It’s about time, given that I’m almost 35, but I finally have the ... Continue reading this article…

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Smithee Debt Update, January 2010

by Smithee

The last time I talked about my credit card debt here, one of our community said that he didn’t know the specific numbers of my problem, and it got me thinking that I’ve probably lost sight of one of the main reasons I wanted to be writing here in the first place: to keep myself ... Continue reading this article…

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The 5 Worst Forms of Debt

by Luke Landes

I suppose you could live your entire life without going into debt, though modern middle class society in the United States seems to be designed to require at least some debt. Even if young adults can complete their education without taking on student loan debt, just about all new homeowners need a mortgage in order ... Continue reading this article…

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Debt Relief: Reminders of What You Are Doing Right

by Kelly Whalen

This article is presented by Kelly Whalen, Consumerism Commentary staff writer. Like many Americans my family has debt. We are working diligently to pay off our debt. We’ve slashed expenses, given up hobbies, and even become a one car family. We have a plan. A timeline. We’re constantly working on creative ways to shave some ... Continue reading this article…

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Start the Decade Off Right: Pay Off Debt

by Luke Landes

Welcome to the 10s! It is unlikely this year will resemble Arthur C. Clarke’s classic science fiction novel. Rather than preparing for contact with intelligent life from another world, we could prepare for the coming years by making sure we have the tools and attitude for financial success. Here is one way to start the ... Continue reading this article…

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Free Gifts From Lending Club’s DebtBuster Challenge

by Luke Landes

As I mentioned yesterday, the path to getting out of debt can sometimes be aided by consolidating your credit cards or loans. You might, for example, transfer your credit card balances to the one card with the lowest interest rate. With credit card issuers’ current practices, that will likely be a variable rate, subject to ... Continue reading this article…

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Getting Out of Debt: Make That New Year’s Resolution Work

by Luke Landes

Along with losing weight, getting out of debt is the most popular New Year’s resolutions in the United States. In general, this resolution like all others tend to be forgotten within weeks. If you resolve to getting out of debt this coming year, here are some ideas for not losing sight of that goal. Don’t ... Continue reading this article…

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Getting Out of Debt: Reductionism and Holism

by Luke Landes

We’ve updated our list of the best online savings accounts, so if you haven’t checked in recently, take a look at the latest reviews and interest rates. As a teenager I was fascinated by Douglas R. Hofstadter’s book, Gödel, Escher, Bach: and Eternal Golden Braid. The book explores set theory, computer programming, logic, philosophy, genetics, ... Continue reading this article…

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Paying Off a 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage in 15 Years

by Laura

This is a guest article by Laura, a twenty-something woman working to improve her finances and reduce debt. She writes about personal finance for college students and grads at Green Panda Treehouse. We’re buying a town house and it has a been a huge learning process. We have been running the numbers and making sure ... Continue reading this article…

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Help a Reader: Move Forward With Mortgage Refinance?

by Luke Landes

Yesterday I received an email from a Consumerism Commentary reader who has a question about her mortgage refinancing options and is looking for advice. I tend not to offer too much personal advice, but I responded with some thoughts and offered to open up the discussion to other readers. Please read through and see if ... Continue reading this article…

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50 Actions You Can Take Right Now to Pay Off Debt

by Luke Landes

There are many differing opinions about whether you can assign a quality like “good” or “bad” to debt. In general, I tend to believe that if debt is providing access to a necessary asset, like an education, a car, or a house, debt is at the least understandable. With debt, there is always a risk, ... Continue reading this article…

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