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A 15-Year Mortgage Can Save You $190K … But Can You Get One?

One of the best ways to eliminate your mortgage debt is moving into a 15-year fixed-rate loan. With the average spread a full 1% compared to its 30-year mortgage counterpart, a 15-year mortgage can provide an increased rate of acceleration in paying off the biggest obligation of your life. Can You Pull It Off? In most cases, you’re going to …

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How Long Does It Take to Get Approved for a Mortgage?

Three days. That’s the fastest loan officer Scott Sheldon has ever seen someone get approved for a mortgage. “He had every single iota of possible documentation you could imagine upfront,” said Sheldon, who’s a senior loan officer in Santa Rosa, Calif., and regularly writes about mortgages for Credit.com. That three-day turnaround was unusual, but so was the time it took roughly …

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Fraud in Money Transfers

You’ve won a prize! I’m in a foreign country, and I need cash. We’re temporarily unable to accept credit cards. Your dream apartment is available immediately at an incredible price! These are statements that get attention and often tempt the most reasonable, intelligent and trusting consumers into literally handing over their hard-earned dollars to complete strangers. Money transfer scams come …

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What Keeps Some Consumers Stuck in Bad Credit

Credit cards and other loans can serve as a lifeline, when making ends meet may seem out of reach during times of financial hardship. Unfortunately, relying too much on these types of loans can actually damage already poor credit, and recent data indicates that this kind of problem could be getting worse. New data from credit bureau Experian shows that …

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4 Ways to Cut the Cost of Life Insurance

Thinking about your own death is not fun; paying for something that will be useful only when you die can be even less so. But protecting your assets and dependents in case something happens to you is important. Once you calculate how much life insurance you need, you can start to look for the right policy and coverage for you. If …

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3 Dangers of Borrowing Against Your Pension

For consumers who are entitled to a steady stream of future payments, like a pension or structured settlement after a lawsuit, they may find themselves eligible for a lender offer on an “advance” lump-sum, upfront payment on that money. It’s kind of like taking out a loan on money you’ve already been promised. Since the “loan” payment is guaranteed by …

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How Much Is Too Much to Spend on a Car?

Everyone overspends from time to time, but when it comes to big purchases, like a home or vehicle, something that seems like an exciting splurge could end up devastating your finances. The question of, “How much is too much?” is quite personal. To say that you should only spend a certain percentage of your income on a car doesn’t take …

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Will Your Next Debt Collector Be a Robot?

Are the days of debt collectors sitting in cubicles “dialing for dollars” numbered? Debt collection, like many sectors of the economy, is starting to go digital. So if the idea of talking with a debt collector automatically puts your stomach in knots, you may be in for a pleasant surprise: In the not-too-distant future, your debt collector may be a …

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8 Luxury Cars You Can Buy for Under $20K

Fancy cars generally come with hefty price tags, but that doesn’t necessarily mean luxury is beyond your reach. With a little bit of patience and strategy, you might be able to buy a luxury vehicle for thousands of dollars off the sticker price. The National Automobile Dealers Association compiled a list of eight luxury vehicles that could be bought for …

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Are My Retirement Funds Safe From Creditors?

Q. I understand that in certain circumstances IRA and 401(k) money may be protected from a lawsuit. However, if a person is retired and has rolled over their ERISA plan to an account with a financial institution, are those funds still protected? A. Generally speaking, yes. The laws can vary by state. “Under federal law, pension plans such as a …