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Personal Finance Blog

Catch up on the latest credit.org news and personal finance trends.

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Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors are required to identify themselves in any communication with a debtor. This rule prevents collection agents from tricking consumers into returning calls or other communications without knowing the nature of the communication. There are also privacy protections built into the FDCPA that prohibit collectors from disclosing…

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We give a lot of basic money management advice, but nothing is more essential than our most basic rule: you have to have a plan. That might mean a spending plan, or budget, which you can learn about in our Budgeting 101 online course or our Power of Paycheck Planning online course. It also means…

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We recently linked to the FTC’s advice for consumers who are “Knee Deep in Debt,” which includes a recommendation that consumers seek credit counseling if necessary. In giving this advice, the FTC cautions readers that “just because an organization says it’s “nonprofit,” there’s no guarantee that its services are free, affordable, or even legitimate.” Indeed,…

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It’s not uncommon to receive a phone call or notice in the mail from a collection agency looking for payments. When a debt collector contacts you about an unpaid debt, your first order of business should be to obtain a debt validation (DV) letter. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), collection agencies are…

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In the midst of the global financial crisis, Americans cited credit and debit card fraud as their number one fear, surpassing that of terrorism, computer and health viruses and personal safety.[1] For many Americans, this fear is not unwarranted. Each year, credit card fraud costs cardholders and issuers alike hundreds of millions, if not billions,…

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I wish I had learned about the power of compounding a long time ago. As a kid I walked dogs in the neighborhood, earning $5 a week. If I’d started investing that weekly $5 from age nine until 65, it would have grown to $254,000, assuming an 8 percent return. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch compounding…

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