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

10 Banks Allowed to Repay TARP Bailout Money

by Luke Landes

Ten banks have now been approved by the government to being repaying taxpayers for a portion of the more than $700 billion the industry has received from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in total. The stated purpose of the TARP was to provide banks with the capital to boost their balance sheets and ease ... Continue reading this article…

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Do You Get Satisfaction?

by Smithee

It seems like as long as we’ve had the Web, we’ve had support forums, usually for software, probably because you can’t depend on software to work the same way twice in a row. Sometimes the support forum is managed and moderated by the company that makes the product, and more often you can find one ... Continue reading this article…

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Let’s Stop Envying Millionaires

by Luke Landes

It is a shame that people are still fascinated with the idea of being a millionaire. According to an online etymology dictionary, the word “millionaire” was first seen in print in 1826, a year when having a net worth of one million dollars was an amazing accomplishment. An inflation calculator puts this into perspective; $1,000,000 ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 7: Quicken Online New Features and 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget

by Luke Landes

This episode of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast features interviews with Barron Ernst and Linsey Knerl. Barron Ernst is the product manager for Intuit’s Quicken Online and in the podcast, Barron and Tom Dziubek discuss the financial product’s features. Linsey Knerl is one of several authors of 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget. ... Continue reading this article…

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Savings and Checking Account Interest Rate Updates

by Luke Landes

A few banks have lowered interest rates offered for savings and checking accounts in the past few days. Here are a few of the new updates. Ally Bank Savings Account is offering 0.89 percent APY as of November 4, 2011 Ally Bank Money Market is offering 0.89 percent APY as of November 4, 2011 OneUnited UNITY Gold ... Continue reading this article…

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Who Are These Strangers on Twitter?

by Smithee

In my non-Smithee life, I spend a lot of time on Twitter, although it’d be more accurate to say I spend a lot of time through Twitter. I’ve made some solid connections and had interesting conversations, seen a lot of funny videos and kept up with the news I care about. Because my updates are ... Continue reading this article…

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Bank of America Allowed to Deduct Fees From Social Security Benefits

by Luke Landes

Bank of America 1, Retirees 0. In 2004, Bank of America was ordered to pay $284 million to 1 million customers in a settlement. The bank was charged with using funds from social security or other government benefits in customers’ accounts to cover bounced check fees. The California Supreme Court overturned this ruling yesterday. Federal ... Continue reading this article…

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Majority of Bankruptcies Due to Medical Bills

by Luke Landes

Not only are most personal bankruptcies due to medical bills beyond the ability of the consumer to pay, but most of the households declaring bankruptcy for this reason do so despite having health insurance coverage. Researchers from Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School, and Ohio University reported 60 percent of personal bankruptcies in the United ... Continue reading this article…

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Would You Buy a Car From Wal-Mart?

by Luke Landes

After General Motors’ bankruptcy, there is no question that the automobile industry will change significantly. With less competition and higher costs of production, prices will increase. It will be more difficult and more expensive to find parts and service for some vehicles. The selection of vehicles will be more limited. Perhaps more brands will opt ... Continue reading this article…

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Savings Mistakes That Cost More in the Long Run

by Luke Landes

The economy is not out of the woods yet. Companies are still laying off employees; the automotive industry is just getting started. For many families, the pressure is on to find ways and make decisions to save more money in order to prevent going into or going deeper into debt. The situation presents a good ... Continue reading this article…

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