Grrr and ughhh about $$$! Our stress about money and finances is higher than ever

According to new data from the American Psychological Association and other studies, money is the leading cause of stress for Americans.

In fact, 76 percent of Americans report that financial worries stress them out the most, above even work (70 percent), angst about the economy (65 percent), family responsibilities (47 percent) and personal health concerns (46 percent).

1 in ...

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Using Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball method to pay off your credit cards.

Amid our current rosy good news of stock market surges and economic growth, there sits an extremely prickly thorn: high credit card debt. In fact, the levels of U.S. consumer credit cards and other personal debt have reached levels not seen since the debt parade stopped in 2008 with the U.S. financial collapse.

In fact, as of 2016, our collective consumer credit card debt climbed to $927.1 billion, ...

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Fannie Mae’s Risk Based Pricing benefits mortgage applicants with high credit scores.

Approving mortgages is all about assessing risk, as underwriters scrutinize every detail and shred of data in hopes of accurately predicting if a potential borrower will pay their mortgage on time every month – or default.

That’s good news for consumers that are good stewards of their financial affairs since keeping a great credit score, a low debt load, and plenty of assets will help them get approved for the best low-rate mortgage loan when it comes time to refinance or ...

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How much will you spend on interest payments in your lifetime? This number will shock you!

How much interest will you pay over the course of your lifetime? If you add up all the interest the average person spends on mortgage payments, car loans, and credit cards, the aggregate number is pretty starting: $279,000.

That’s the amount of total dollars spent (or wasted, depending on how you look at it), over a consumer’s lifetime when you factor in the typical use of debt, loans, and finances. But that number could easily jump higher for some consumers, or ...

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To get the extended warranty or not, that is the question.

Many retailers now offer extended service plans or warranties for an additional cost, covering you in the event that your laptop or phone or major appliances goes kaput sooner or later. But is it worth the extra cost? Statistically, the answer is probably “no” for most items.

“From a purely economic standpoint,” says Rajiv Sinha, marketing professor at Arizona State University, “It usually doesn’t make sense to buy an extended warranty.”

But there are times and circumstances where you may feel better protecting ...

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Creative ways to save for a down payment to buy a house.

Have you thought longingly about buying your first home, only to cancel out that dream once you look at the down payment requirements? It’s true that a mortgage payment often costs less than renting these days, and there are fantastic benefits to home ownership like equity appreciation and tax breaks, but there’s no getting around the fact that they need a whole lot of money, all at once and up front, in order to buy, right?

Maybe not. The good ...

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Proceed with caution when taking out predatory payday loans.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal consumer watchdog group, just released plans to further regulate payday lending, a practice that’s viewed as predatory to consumers. While payday loans are certainly popular, they are oft criticized as charging exorbitant fees and interest rates, setting up borrowers to fail and setting them further back financially. Even President Obama lent his support to the idea of further regulation that would help protect consumers.

“If you lend out money, you have to first make ...

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