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Debt Reduction

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 […]

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

by Laura

We’re buying a town house and it has a been a huge learning process. We have been running the numbers and making sure everything works budget wise. While looking through some books and blogs, I noticed some people mention getting a 15 year fixed rate mortgage instead of a 30 year fixed rate mortgage. Talking […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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Changes to Student Loans Coming July 1

by Luke Landes

While it’s great to avoid debt whenever possible, if you have to deal with federal student loans, including Stafford and PLUS loans, you might qualify for some better deals starting July 1. Interest rates will be at the lowest rates in years. If you can consolidate, lock in rates after July 1. They will be […]

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When Going Into Debt is Worthwhile

by Luke Landes

On a macro level, debt was a force behind the incredible economic expansion over the past two centuries, and the availability of debt at the family level played a role as well. Despite all that debt has brought society, many financial gurus and authors vilify debt and explicitly call the idea of borrowing money “evil.” […]

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Pros and Cons of Interest-Only Mortgage Payments

by Luke Landes

Yesterday, Consumerism Commentary reader Ryan suggested I write about interest-only mortgages. There is no such thing as an “interest-only mortgage.” Wouldn’t that be nice, though, to have a mortgage that did not require you to pay any principal back to the lender? Unfortunately, when you become a borrower, your lender will insist upon receiving interest […]

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Suze Orman Says Stop Paying Off Debt

by Luke Landes

Recently, famous finance guru Suze Orman, who usually doles out sensible advice even if in an disrespectful manner, has advised the public to stop paying off credit card debt any faster than minimum payments allow in order to shore up a savings account that could last eight months in an income emergency. According to this […]

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Number One Frugality Tip: Don’t Be a Woman

by Luke Landes

I will admit that the title of this post is a bit inflammatory. I should specify that the more accurate number one frugality tip should be “Don’t be a woman (or a man, but in our society, mostly a woman) obsessed with beauty.” Newsweek illustrates this by breaking down the cost of female beauty maintenance […]

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Reader Question: Find Better Loan to Pay Off Student Loan?

by Luke Landes

Occasionally, readers email me with questions about their own personal finances. Considering I share so much of my own, it’s always interesting to get a peek into the issues other people are concerned about. In fact, right now, I am actively seeking reader questions to serve as launching points for a discussion I plan to […]

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