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

March 2008

Study: Payday Loans Cause More Bankruptcies

by Luke Landes

A new study by researchers at Vanderbilt University Law School and University of Oxford reveals a strong correlation between approvals for payday loans and bankruptcy filings. Considering that people who are rejected for payday loans have other (limited) options for credit, it’s surprising that the rate of bankruptcy isn’t as high with this group. It’s […]

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Cost-Cutting Consumers Trade Down from Steak to Chicken

by Sasha

RIS News, a retail technology publication, announced some interesting findings recently related to consumer shopping behavior. According to Deborah Weinswig of Citi Investment Research, the recession is creating more bargain hunters and transforming our shopping style in four key ways: 1. “Trading Down” to Private Label There’s a cost benefit to going generic, and store […]

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Economic Stimulus Rebate Schedule: When You’ll Receive Your Rebate

by Luke Landes

The IRS has posted a schedule indicating when tax payers, if eligible, will receive their tax payments. Keep in mind that these are estimates and the IRS could very well not meet this schedule. The schedule is based on the final two digits of your Social Security number. If you file jointly, use the last […]

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8 Benefits to a Recession or Down Market

by Luke Landes

Will politicians say the word recession? Not if they’re serious about helping their party get elected. Yet, it feels like we are in a recession — or at least, that’s what the media wants us to believe. The stock market, measured by the indexes, is certainly in a downward trend, but I suppose I agree […]

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Deadly Sins, Getting a Raise, and Reducing Grocery Bills

by Luke Landes

Here are some recent articles from around the web. Five Cent Nickel has the seven deadly sins that lead to debt. I would say it’s possible to fall into deep debt even without “sinning.” Even the best and most reasonable emergency fund can be insufficient to take care of a major medical expense. A guest […]

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It’s Official: New Job With a Raise and Promotion

by Luke Landes

Earlier this year, a new position opened up in my department when a co-worker left for a better job within the company. The open position is similar to my current one, with some added responsibilities, a higher “salary grade,” and the same reporting lines. I decided to put my hat in the ring for the […]

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W-4 and Your Working Spouse

by Smithee

It’s possible that this advice might be considered common knowledge, but I just learned it at age 32, so feel free to forward it to your friends who recently became part of a working couple. The first time I saw a W-4 form at age 16, I had to take it home and ask my […]

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Balance Transfer Fees on American Express Credit Cards

by Luke Landes

Credit cards are tightening their standards and no longer being generous with low promotional interest rates on balance transfers. In fact, many cards have balance transfer fees even with their promotional offers. This information is not always immediately apparent. I’m assembling a list of current balance transfer fees by credit card. The other day, I […]

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Three Tips for More Financial Aid

by Luke Landes

When I was applying for colleges for my undergraduate degree, a scholarship agent came to our house. I think he was referred to us by a friend of mine, and even then I wondered whether this was the time of arrangement where someone gets a referral bonus. The scholarship agent entered our house with a […]

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Comcast Bills for Two Months of Service on First Bill

by Luke Landes

The author of the Debt Sucks blog explains his recent predicament with Comcast. When I received my first bill from Comcast many years ago, I faced the same situation. My first bill was much higher — almost twice as much — as the monthly rate I originally agreed to. Here’s what Debt Sucks has to […]

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