As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

Debt Reduction

Money Transferred to Debt

by Luke Landes

Over the weekend, I decided to use $2,000 of the money I made from freelance web consulting last year to speed up paying off my car loan. Even though my car loan has a lower interest rate (2 percent) than my some of student loans (~4 percent), it’s more important for me to reduce the car loan. ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Bankruptcies in 2005

by Luke Landes

Personal bankruptcies hit an all-time high in 2005. Two million people filed for bankruptcy last year. That includes a less-than-expected drop off in the filing rate after the new bankruptcy bill was enacted, making it more difficult for individuals and corporations to file. Lundquist Consulting provided the survey results. From their press release [non-permanent link]: ... Continue reading this article…

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Congress Raises Student Loan Interest Rates

by Luke Landes

When congress cut federal funding from student loan programs, they raised interest rates for Stafford loans from 4.7 percent to 6.8 percent and PLUS loans from 6.1 percent to 8.5 percent. These rates will go into effect on July 1, 2006. A student with a balance of $10,000 upon graduation, taking a full ten years to pay off the ... Continue reading this article…

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Suze Orman’s Tips for 2006, Part 3

by Luke Landes

Continuing in a series which includes Part 1 and Part 2, here are some tips for personal money management in 2006, which will play well in any year: Protect Your Home. Even before the massive losses caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, insurers were scaling back policies to make it harder for homeowners to receive ... Continue reading this article…

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Backfired Bankruptcy Bill

by Luke Landes

Earlier this year, a new bankruptcy bill was signed into law, making it more difficult for consumers to declare bankruptcy. The credit industry loved this and spent a lot of money lobbying for the bill, as they stood to gain billions of dollars in fees. Apparently, this isn’t happening [msn]. The number of bankruptcy filings ... Continue reading this article…

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The Most Indebted Generation

by Luke Landes

BusinessWeek and MSN have published an interesting article which describes those of us in our 20s and 30s (ie. me) as the most indebted generation. College seems to be the tipping point. Young adults begin to see the world from an individual point of view rather than as a son or daughter. By the time ... Continue reading this article…

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Wachovia Reaches for More Auto Loan Customers

by Luke Landes

Wachovia’s purchasing Westcorp and WFS in order to grow its auto loan business.

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Monday’s Articles of Interest – Easy Loans

by Luke Landes

I’ll update this list of articles throughout the day with added commentary as I find time. Easy loans mean a hard landing later. There’s some talk in the article about the real estate bubble, but more importantly, the way banks are giving loans out to people is likely to create some problems when rates eventually ... Continue reading this article…

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Time to Consolidate

by Luke Landes

I spent the last 45 minutes or so consolidating my student loans. I’m a graduate student, working on my Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix Online. Even though I have these loans, they get paid off as soon as I receive my reimbursement check from my company. However, when I first ... Continue reading this article…

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New Jersey is a Red State

by Luke Landes

Do you live in a red state? I’m not talking politically. Experian has compiled data from credit reports to determine which U.S. states represent the highest average debt (not including mortgages) per person. There’s a nifty color-coded chart, as well. The red states have the highest average debt. The New England states rank high… but ... Continue reading this article…

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Student Loan Consolidation

by Luke Landes

Most people are predicting that interest rates on student loans will go up on July 1. It might make sense for people with these loans to consolidate before the rate increase. I still have a small portion left over from my undergraduate degree but I’ve also begun accumulating a balance from my graduate degree, 90 percent ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Loan Money to Family

by Luke Landes

Many people frown on lending money to family. Doing so runs the risk of hurting otherwise good relationships. In this MSN Money article, Liz Pulliam Weston talks about how to lend or borrow money from family while avoiding the pitfalls. When lending money to family, heed this advice:

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Should You Borrow From Your 401(k)?

by Luke Landes

Borrowing from your 401(k) is generally a bad idea. There are some positive aspects of doing so, however. It’s a nice option to have if you are stuck with no other choices. Here are some of the drawbacks, as mentioned by Lewis Schiff from the Armchair Millionaire. The money you take out of your 401(k) ... Continue reading this article…

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Upside-down Cars

by Luke Landes

If you bought a new car recently and didn’t pay cash, chances are pretty good you’re driving a vehicle you can’t afford. Having a car requires more money than the dealers let you believe. Edmunds.com features a True Cost To Own worksheet that calculates some costs you may not be thinking about when you go ... Continue reading this article…

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