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I’m Tired of This IRS Installment Agreement

by Smithee

Now that I’ve finally gotten my credit card balances down to zero, I’ve been trying to figure out the best use of the extra money I’ll have in my checking account. Options include: make extra car payments, put it in a savings account, put it in a mutual fund, make extra house payments, make impulse ... Continue reading this article…

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Why I Don’t Chase the Highest Interest Rate

by Luke Landes

When a bank, particularly a bank that functions without branches solely or almost completely online, wants to increase its deposits, they employ several specific tactics. The bank increase the interest rates on the savings accounts, establish a significant marketing and advertising push, and if they’re smart, offer new customer or referral bonuses. Let’s go back ... Continue reading this article…

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4 Ways Credit Cards Can Still Penalize Borrowers

by Luke Landes

Last weekend, the final changes to the credit card industry spurred by the Credit CARD Act of 2009 went into effect for all credit card accounts, including existing accounts. While the goal of the new legislation and resulting regulation is to protect consumers by clarifying the terms of using credit and by banning some unscrupulous ... Continue reading this article…

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Home Resale Fees

by Luke Landes

I’m adding to my list another reason I’ll (probably) never buy a condominium. Condos and townhouses often require sellers to pay a fee when sold. The fee is often a percentage of the sale price, such as 1 percent. I didn’t know about this fee when first contemplating whether I’d ever buy a condo. Unfortunately, it’s ... Continue reading this article…

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My Credit Score is Stuck at Good

by Smithee

I am a supporter of Credit Karma, a free service that shows you your TransUnion credit score, among other things, as many times as you want. Lately it seems like it hasn’t been working. It’s been reporting a FICO for me of 732 since March, and I’ve made what I feel are dramatic differences to ... Continue reading this article…

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The Long-Term Prospects for Stocks: Game Over?

by Luke Landes

For as long as I’ve been paying attention, which admittedly is only the last ten or so years of my total thirty-four, personal finance experts have been extolling stocks as the best long-term investments. Over long periods of time they provide more growth than any other type of investment like bonds, with an expected rate ... Continue reading this article…

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Philadelphia Wants Bloggers to Pay $300 Registration Fee

by Luke Landes

Though it was never intended initially, Consumerism Commentary and my writing is a business. I pay fees every year to ensure that the state in which I operate, New Jersey, is aware of my business. Business registration with the state is just one out of many possible fees governments charge entrepreneurs and small business owners. ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 70: Avoiding Cell Phone Bill Shock, Michael Gikas

by Luke Landes

Today on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Tom Dziubek talks to Michael Gikas, Senior Electronics Editor at Consumer Reports about avoiding cell phone bill shock. Tom and Mike discuss Consumer Reports’ tips, such as monitoring your usage, adjusting your plan and even evaluating prepaid phone options. Consumerism Commentary Podcast #70 Avoiding Cell Phone Bill Shock, Michael ... Continue reading this article…

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Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express earn bonus Starpoints

by Luke Landes

If you’re a frequent domestic traveler, having a good credit card with a great rewards program is essential for not only saving money but also for providing preferential service. Previously, we published our favorite travel rewards credit cards and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express was on the top of the list. ... Continue reading this article…

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Should There Be a Limit on Copyrights?

by Smithee

I have a poll that I’m hoping you’ll take part in. Current U.S. law says that copyrights on most creative works (songs, movies, books, etc.) are valid until 70 years after the author’s death. It used to be 50 years, but when the 50 year mark was approaching, it was extended another 20. There’s no ... Continue reading this article…

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