Buying a Car When You Have Bad Credit

You need a new vehicle, but your credit is spotty or bad. Can you afford to buy a reliable car or truck? Can you get a loan at reasonable rates? Can you avoid the high interest rates and pressure of subprime lenders? Yes, most people in this situation can find a decent vehicle and a loan that doesn't break the bank, but you'll have to be realistic and do the right homework. This report shows you the steps.

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Q&A: Co-signing

Dear Liz: We have raised our granddaughter since birth. She is the apple of our eyes. Then she fell in love. The boyfriend had no job, no car. My husband co-signed a loan for this boy! He didn't even know the boy's last name. I was devastated, as we are on Social Security so our income is limited. Our granddaughter couldn't afford the payments and the boy was useless. They got so far behind that we ended up having to mortgage our home to pay off the truck. We hoped to sell it but of course the kids have broken up and the boy disappeared. When I asked the Department of Motor Vehicles what I could do to get him off the title, they said I couldn't do anything.

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Q&A: How to Handle Credit Card Debt?

Dear Liz: My wife and I owe about $46,000 in credit card debt. We are considering a debt consolidation plan in which our debt would be reduced to about $27,000. According to what I've read and what's included in the paperwork, any reduction in our debt may be reported to the IRS as income. I'm assuming this would not only increase our tax burden but could result in the forfeiture of some of my Social Security benefits. Am I correct in these assumptions?

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Renting a Car Soon? Read This First

Has this ever happened to you? You reserved a car at a great rate but discovered that the rate didn't include the mandatory charges and fees when you picked the car up. These tips will help you avoid such surprises and pitfalls and help you save on your next car rental.

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It's Time to Check Your Social Security Statement Online

Checking your Social Security Statement annually is something all working adults should do, according to the Social Security Administration. An annual check allows you to check the accuracy of your earnings as recorded for the previous year and to correct any mistakes. Each statement also estimates the monthly Social Security payment you can expect in retirement based upon your current average earnings and planned retirement age. The various estimates can help in your retirement planning. So it makes sense to start checking your annual Social Security statement early in your working career, rather than waiting until you near retirement. If you don't regularly check your Social Security Statement, now is a good time to start!

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Native Advertising: A Radical Shift in Advertising That Targets You

"Native Advertising"—disguising a one-sided sales pitch to look like valuable information—has been around for decades.

Though advertisers may deny it, the hidden purpose of native advertising has always been pretty clear to FoolProof and many other consumer advocates: to trick you into accepting potentially faulty information as truthful information.

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Q&A: Supporting Your Child

Dear Liz: I recently got a court judgment for my daughter's father to pay me child support. She is 1 year old, and it will be about $1,500 a month. I would like this money to be a gift for her when she is older. I'm told not to put it in her name now, as it may hurt her chance for financial aid for college later. How do you recommend I save and invest it for her? I'd like her to have it when she is a young adult.

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It's Tax Season – Watch Out For Scams!

Tax-related scams are around all year, but they seem to occur more frequently during the months leading up to April 15th. This year is no exception. Tax-related scams try to steal personal and financial information or money. Some scams try to get tax payers to commit fraud. In this news brief, we describe some of the most prevalent.

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Q&A: Purchase Protection

Dear Liz: A few months ago, I purchased a large television from a nearby store. I was offered no interest for 12 months using the store's credit card. The TV was stolen from the back of my pickup truck before I was able to bring it into my apartment.

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Have You Checked Your Privacy Settings Recently?

Are you concerned about protecting your privacy online? If so, when was the last time you checked the privacy settings for each app, website, and device that you use? Using the privacy and security settings can help protect your personal and financial information and reduce online tracking.

While this may seem like an overwhelming task, making a plan can simplify it. Here are some steps you can take:

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Q&A: Social Security Question

Dear Liz: I am 63 and retired but have not started to collect my Social Security. My husband will be 67 in March. He started his Social Security at 62. Our plan is to wait until I am 70 to start my benefit, which would make my monthly amount significantly larger than his. If I predecease my husband, would he be able to collect my benefit instead of his own? If I started benefits now, our checks would be relatively close in size, although mine would be a bit higher than his current amount.

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Are You Ready for "Native Advertising"?

When conducting web searches, do you know how to tell the difference between search results that give you really helpful information and advertisements that may give you nothing useful at all (or try to sell you things)?

If you do, you're doing a lot better than most kids aged 12-15.

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Q&A: Saving For Retirement

Dear Liz: What is the best way to protect my 401(k) now and in the future when I draw from it for retirement? What is the least risky place to "bank it"? I have a fear of a crashing stock market in the middle of my retirement years.

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Why Do Scams Continue to Work?

Scams have been around for generations. Stealing other people's money has always been their goal. To do that, scams are continually evolving and scammers constantly come up with new ways to "deceive and thieve." Even though each new variety of scam brings results in widely publicized warnings and descriptions, why do people still fall for them? Scammers are master manipulators and know how to use several basic strategies to trigger your emotions and trick you into a quick action. No matter the scam, knowing these basic strategies can help you do a better job of recognizing any scam, whether it arrives by email, text, phone, snail mail or in person.

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    • Financial Well-being


      Want to improve your credit score? Want to cut your tax bills?  Like to tear up hundred dollar bills? (You're probably doing that). How about this:  want to wake up retired and without money?  Your Financial Well-being rules your life.  We put you in charge of the rules.

       

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    • Privacy Rights

      Every worry about identity theft?  Worry about young people and the dangers of the web? Mind if I read your private emails?  Or browse through your medical records? This section takes you into the scary world of privacy, fraud and identity theft.  FoolProof gives you the information you need when it comes to identity theft and privacy issues.   

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