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Debt Reduction

Which Comes First: Paying Off Debt or Starting Emergency Fund?

by Luke Landes

Taking the first few steps to ensure your future financial stability can be daunting. There is so much to do, trying to decide where to start can result in wasted time, and wasted time is wasted money. Eliminating debt is often the first priority, and rightly so. If debt is in the form of credit […]

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Tips for Auto Loan Refinancing, Add Yours

by Luke Landes

Occasionally, Consumerism Commentary readers email me with financial questions. If you want to see a topic discussed here, you can do this as well. Just email me at flexo or tips at this domain name. I can’t answer every email personally, but I’ll do my best to connect you with the resources you need. Last […]

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I am Debt Free as of Today!

by Luke Landes

For several years, interest rates on high-yield savings accounts were high enough to justify choosing to leave extra money in savings accounts rather than using that money to pay off certain debts faster. I was paying only the minimum payment on my consolidated student loan. The loan’s interest rate was 4.25 percent and I had been […]

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Take Control of Your Finances Part 6: Get Out of Debt

by Luke Landes

Debt is like indentured servitude. You work and earn income, but you hand over that income to someone else. With debt, your finances are controlled by someone else, not you. For example, credit card companies have the right to change your interest rate at almost any time with advance notice. In fact, CitiGroup recently raised […]

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Smithee Update: October 2008

by Smithee

I’ve been naughty. I went a little nuts a few weeks ago and bought a whole bunch of audio/visual equipment. I didn’t do this just for fun, though. It’ll probably end up looking like an investment someday. I got a mixer and a bunch of microphones that we’re going to use to create alternative movie […]

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Get Ready to Consolidate Your Student Loans

by Luke Landes

If you have variable rate student loans, mark July 1, 2008 on your calendar. After that date, you can lock in interest rates 3 percentage points lower than what’s available now. I’m not eligible for lowering the rates on my student loans because I’ve already consolidated and I have no new student loans to add […]

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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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The Case Against Mortgage Pre-Payment

by Guest Author

This article was written for Consumerism Commentary by Adfecto, a mid-20s guy with a masters degree in engineering. He aspires to be wealthy and writes frequently for his own blog, Adfecto Abundantia. When I purchased a home it was not a lifetime commitment. I view a person’s choice of housing first as a financial decision […]

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$52,050.74: A Farewell to Student Loans

by Sasha

Ah, student loans. The things that remember you long after you’ve completely forgotten the entire college experience. Although I finished college in 1997 and graduate school in 2000, loan payments to Sallie Mae have been a constant fixture ever since, like a little wound I’d nurse which just wouldn’t stop bleeding. Even when making double […]

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Seven Home Equity Tips, Part 4: Know Your Interest Rates and Terms

by Luke Landes

The most basic piece of knowledge one needs in order to be in control of their finances is the importance of awareness. Many people will go through their lives blissfully ignorant of their own financial details. Why? For one, ignorance is bliss. The more financial trouble you are in, the easier it is to ignore […]

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