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How to Order Your Free Chex Systems Report

by Luke Landes
ChexSystems - Free Annual Checking Account Report

Chex Systems is a private database that tracks consumers’ behavior with checking accounts. The company that owns the database, Fidelity National Information Services (no relations to Fidelity Investments), is, among other things, a credit reporting agency. Therefore, customers whose activities have been tracked in Chex Systems have some rights, like customers whose credit is reported ... Continue reading this article…

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Replace the Dollar Bill With the Dollar Coin: The COINS Act

by Luke Landes
Dollar coins

A proposal has been floating around Congress for the past few years, and it should save taxpayers $4.4 billion over the next thirty years. The Currency Optimization, Innovation, and National Savings (COINS) Act would replace the $1 bill with the $1 coin. The $1 coin has been in production and circulation since 2000, with an ... Continue reading this article…

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Don’t Take Budgeting Advice From McDonald’s

by Luke Landes
McDonald's ridiculous budget worksheet

I had planned to write about McDonald’s ridiculous budgeting tips for employees when I first saw the news circulating through social media. I’m so far behind with my editorial plan that every last Consumerism Commentary reader has probably heard about this latest manifestation of corporate ignorance of reality by now. Writers of all stripes and ... Continue reading this article…

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Four Psychological Barriers to Long-Term Change

by Luke Landes
Four psychological barriers to long-term change

The concept of success means different things to different people. Ten years ago, my vision of long-term career success would have been getting a job in a great school district as a teacher, teaching for many years, and having a positive effect on the lives of the students who pass through my doors. Financial success ... Continue reading this article…

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Banks Borrow Money at Low Rates, Why Can’t Students?

by Luke Landes
Studying

Senator Elizabeth Warren, the architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, introduced a bill in Congress to give student borrowers a break. The premise is that students, whose education is important to the economic growth of the United States, should receive some of the same advantages as banks, who receive preferential treatment in the form ... Continue reading this article…

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Higher Home Ownership Linked to Higher Unemployment

by Luke Landes
Home ownership

American culture has long promoted the idea that home ownership is key to the fulfilling middle-class lifestyle. You can be sure the National Association of Realtors will continue to do its darnedest to keep this interpretation of the American Dream alive; whether you’re buying or selling, it’s always a good time for Realtors to earn ... Continue reading this article…

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Three Psychological Barriers: Taking the First Step

by Luke Landes
Psychological barriers

Everyone starts their path to financial independence from a different position. The popular belief that everyone born in this country has an equal opportunity for financial success is a Utopian myth. It may be an ideal foremost in early European settlers’ minds as they escaped a society where wealth was determined by little more than ... Continue reading this article…

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What To Do If You’ve Donated to a Fraudulent Charity

by Luke Landes
Charity scam and fraud

It happened after September 11, Katrina, Sandy, the Boston Marathon, and other disasters, man-made and natural, around the world. After serious tragedies, when a compassionate public is at its most vulnerable, unscrupulous individuals find taking advantage the world’s generosity comes easy. Within hours — even minutes — of the news, new operations spring up, offering ... Continue reading this article…

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