If you are looking for a car — and hoping it will last for a decade and a half — we’ve got one bit of advice for you: Buy Japanese. That was the takeaway of iSeeCars’ latest annual ranking of cars that people keep the longest. The car search engine found that all 15 vehicles that original owners were most likely to keep for 15 years or more were from Japanese manufacturers. [...]
Every morning and afternoon we publish a list of the latest and best deals from our partner, DealNews. To learn more about the discounts and details, click on any of the deals for more information. To have this list, along with our latest news and stories, delivered daily to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter. For links to deals as they’re published, follow @mtndeals on Twitter. [...]
As 2019 draws to a close, how close are you to conquering your debt?
Already there? Congratulations!
But if you came up a little short (or a lot), don’t beat yourself up about it — the important thing is that you keep trying.
To help inspire you through the end of this year and into the next, we’ve combed our archives for the top 10 debt stories of 2019.
Don’t worry, you got this — and we’ll be right there with you.
Top 10 Debt Stories of 2019
Check out our top 10 debt stories from 2019 for tips to fight debt as well as strategies for reducing it.
1. Find Forgiveness for Student Loan Debt
If you feel like your student loan debt is an insurmountable pile threatening to consume your financial future, you must consider every option for escaping it — including potentially getting the debt wiped out completely.
This comprehensive guide about student loan forgiveness explains each of the programs, including how to qualify and how long the program takes before your debt is forgiven.
Although none offer an easy fix, these programs could be the lifeline that rescues you from drowning in student loan debt.
2. Fight Back Against Debt Collectors
Calls from debt collectors can be scary and intimidating — the callers are trained to convince you to pay off your debt as quickly as possible. But what if you’re unsure of whether you even owe the debt, or you think they are scams?
One way to press the pause button on their aggressive tactics: Demand that the debt collector send you a debt validation letter, which must include how much you owe, who you owe it to and what action you can take.
A debt validation letter is the first step toward fighting off zombie debt — debt that is so old, it’s outlasted the statute of limitations so you cannot be sued to pay it.
Getting the information in writing allows you the chance to find errors and correct them — or to discover it’s a scam.
Knowledge is power, after all.
3. Tackle Medical Bills You Can’t Afford
Ignoring that pile of medical bills won’t make them go away, and the longer you wait — much like the cough that turned into pneumonia — the worse it’s going to get.
Knowing where to start can seem overwhelming, so we created a five-step guide to paying medical bills you can’t afford.
And here’s a little tip: Almost any healthcare provider will accept less than the full amount owed. But you have to ask.
4. Save Hundreds on Credit Card Interest
If you carry a balance from month to month on your credit card, biweekly payments could save you a bundle.
If you’re unfamiliar with it, biweekly payments are where you make half of your regular monthly payment every two weeks.
Tell your lender — via phone, email or letter — that you want extra payments applied toward your principal amount, not the interest. That allows you to pay down the debt faster.
So if your monthly payment for a debt is $500, you’ll pay $250 every two weeks. Because there are 52 weeks in a calendar year, you’ll make 13 full payments (26 half payments) instead of 12 if you only paid monthly.
The end result: You’ll pay $6,500 toward your debt using biweekly payment, compared to $6,000 on a monthly plan.
5. Consider a Layaway Plan With Benefits
Remember the layaway plan? It’s an old retail custom in which you make installment payments over a period of time to buy a product or service you can’t afford upfront.
But a new generation of buy-now-pay-later services like Afterpay has upped the ante by letting you keep the merchandise immediately after you make the first payment.
You pay off the balance in three equal installments, but there’s no more waiting until you hand over that last dollar to get your hands on your purchase. Curious to learn how it compares to buying with a credit card? Here’s what you need to know about Afterpay.
6. Beat This Deadline to Avoid More Student Loan Debt
Interest capitalization should strike fear in the hearts of federal student loan borrowers. It’s the moment when your interest balance is lumped in with your principal balance and you get charged interest on the total amount.
Unlike credit cards, federal student loans only accrue interest on the principal amount until a specified time period or event.
But if you pay off the interest before it capitalizes — in most cases, that’s the six-month grace period after you leave college — you could save yourself a bundle in additional interest.
Check out this article to learn more about how interest capitalization affects a loan.
7. Start Using a Credit Card Without Going Into Debt
Getting your first credit card can be exciting — the power! — but scary — the responsibility!
Now’s the time to build good habits so you won’t end up like the Americans who carried a collective $870 billion in credit card debt by the end of 2018, according to the Federal Reserve.
Instead, check out this guide for how to use a credit card without going into debt. We even walk you through how to make that first credit card purchase online or in person so you look like an old pro.
8. Escape an Underwater Car Loan
You owe more than your car is worth — aka your car loan is underwater (which requires a much different approach than when your car is underwater, but I digress).
What can you do?
We have five options to trade in a car with negative equity, ranging from easy-but-bad to tough-but-sensible. We’ll even help you figure out how much negative equity you have so you can make a more informed plan of attack.
FROM THE DEBT FORUM
Eliminating Credit Card Debit - Take out personal loan with low interest rate
12/4/19 @ 2:28 PM
Balance transfer credit card
11/27/19 @ 6:39 PM
Credit card Debt
11/19/19 @ 3:56 PM
11/20/19 @ 2:17 PM
See more in Debt or ask a money question
9. Make Paying Off Debt a Team Effort
Just married? Congrats! Consider this your first project of your new life together: tackling debt.
Although you may not legally be responsible for your spouse’s debt — whether it’s credit cards, student loans, mortgage or anything else — that whole for-better-or-worse thing probably means you want to help each other stress less about money.
We’ve rounded up tips from other couples that you can apply to your marriage debt paydown strategy.
10. Stay Out of Debt Once You’re Free
If you’re nearing the end of your debt journey, you may be tempted to celebrate — and you should! (But without spending money so you end up back in debt.)
Unfortunately, breaking the cycle of debt recidivism is tough, especially if you regularly rely on credit cards to cover expenses.
Becoming aware of your tendency to return to bad habits — or giving into the temptations of lifestyle inflation — can help you avoid pitfalls throughout your financial journey, and stay out of debt for good.
Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer/editor at The Penny Hoarder. Read her bio and other work here, then catch her on Twitter @TiffanyWendeln.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder [...]
Having access to airport lounges can completely change the way you travel. The complimentary refreshments, Wi-Fi and comfortable places to rest are great perks, but did you know that some airports have places to swim? If you could use a refreshing dip between flights, here are a few airport spaces to check out the next...
Caroline Lupini is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The article Pack Your Swimsuit for a Layover at These 3 Airports originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
Daily Fintech lives at this intersection. Thankfully we avoided the temptation to monetize via advertising and as we are self funded we have no pressure to meet external growth expectations (which is the sort of pressure that leads to sacrificing editorial independence). So the media implosion does not worry us and we can focus on […]
The post The Block vs Binance intersection of niche media implosion and Crypto Fintech cambrian explosion appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.
Right now, you can score Buy One, Get One Free Nike Shoes at JCPenney!
For a limited time, JCPenney has Nike shoes on sale Buy One, Get One Free! No promo code needed.
Please note that this excludes sale and clearance shoes.
Check out these deal ideas…
Buy one pair of Nike Air Max Oketo Mens Running Shoes – $75
Buy one pair of Nike Run Swift Womens Running Shoes – $70
Total after Buy One Get One Free = $75
$37.50 each after sale
Buy one pair of Nike Downshifter 9 Womens Running Shoes – $60
Buy one pair of Nike Flex Essential Womens Training Shoes – $60
Total after Buy One Get One Free = $60
$30 each after sale
Buy one pair of Nike Zoom Rival Fly Womens Lace-up Running Shoes – $90
Buy one pair of Nike Zoom Winflo 6 Womens Running Shoes – $90
Total after Buy One, Get One Free = $90
$45 each after sale
Choose free in-store pickup to avoid shipping costs.
Thanks, Hip2Save! [...]
What better way to find your next great purchase than to consult financially savvy consumers much like yourself — you know, the kind of people who read Money Talks News? We couldn’t think of a better way, which is why we rounded up the Amazon products that were most popular last month among Money Talks News readers, including our own staff and contributors. Don’t worry: [...]
Are you a new blogger or a longtime blogger who still hasn’t figured out how to really make money from blogging? You don’t want to miss my new brand-new class on How to Make Your First $100 From Blogging. Best of all, it’s FREE!
In this free class, you’ll learn:
5 tried and true ways YOU can make money from your blog today
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My secrets for building a 7-figure blog on a shoestring budget
Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me your burning questions about monetizing a blog
Go here to sign up for one of the two times I’m teaching it on Saturday or the one time I’m teaching it on Monday. The class will be about 50 minutes long and then I’ll allow 30 minutes extra at the end to answer your questions live.
By the way, on these classes, I’ll also be unveiling my brand-new course, Monetize Your Blog: A Beginner’s Guide to a Profitable Blog. You’ll be one of the first ones to have the opportunity to sign up for it!
P.S. If you can’t make it to the live class, still go ahead and sign up because I’ll be sending you a replay of the class once it’s finished. [...]
Guest post from Julianna of The Simplicity Habit:
Do you love getting great deals? I do!
I’ve always been a frugal person. I was raised in a home where I was taught to budget and manage money well at a young age, and I’ve continued to hone my skills over the years.
It’s a running joke with my family that when anyone gets a great deal, they talk about how proud I will be. And I am! I don’t like wasting money nor do I like hearing when other people have spent too much on something.
The Thrill Of The Hunt
It’s thrilling when I can combine sales and coupons to spend as little as possible.
I once went to Kohls and bought 3 pairs of jeans and another pair of pants for a grand total of $1!
In case you’re wondering how, they were all 90% off combined with a coupon and a $10 gift card for it being my birthday month… and yes, I saved that receipt like it was a trophy.
While I still enjoy the thrill of the hunt and pride myself on finding deals, I realized these deals came at a cost.
I’d buy things I didn’t truly love or even want sometimes because they were a good deal. This was the first way I started to accumulate clutter.
The second way was from my creative endeavors. Over the years, I’ve tried a few different things including photography, sewing baby blanket sets, and furniture and thrift store finds flipping. Each of those came with a slew of supplies. I got everything on sale or even free.
In the end, it all became a stockpile of clutter in my home — to the point where I was no longer able to park even 1 car in our 3 car garage. Yikes!
Ironically, as I was stockpiling, I began reading books about decluttering my home and life. I had gotten to a point where I was so weighed down by the stuff that I knew things needed to change.
This journey brought me to my work now, which is as a professional declutterer and writer.
I learned a lot going through the process of decluttering my home, and while I still hold onto my deal-finding ways tightly, I’ve learned to be more mindful in what I purchase.
Before buying anything, I ask myself these 5 questions:
Do I really want or need this?
Am I settling?
Will we be able to use this before it goes bad?
Do I have the space to store this?
What will it cost me?
1. Do I really want or need this?
It’s so tempting to buy something because it’s a great deal. There’s often scarcity with the product being on sale for a limited time or with limited quantities. and I don’t make the best decisions when I feel stressed.
If it’s something I already planned to buy then yes, I’ll snatch up that great deal. If not, I choose not to buy on impulse anymore. That landed me in a house full of clutter and I don’t want to repeat that mistake.
2. Am I settling?
Do you ever go shopping for a specific item and end up settling for something that wasn’t quite right because it was the closest thing you could find? For me, that always ended with money wasted and an item that became clutter.
I’m quite opinionated so if I don’t love something, I don’t want it. I don’t want to wear clothes that almost fit. There’s nothing more annoying than having to constantly adjust clothing. Don’t settle for good enough.
3. Will we be able to use this before it goes bad?
I ask this question primarily for food, but it works for anything that can expire. It’s awesome to get great deals on produce. It’s less awesome when that deal is rotting in your fridge a week later.
Be realistic about what you can use in the amount of time you have before it will go bad. Some things can be frozen and other things can’t. Be wise so that you aren’t wasteful.
4. Do I have the space to store this?
Along with using it before it goes bad, don’t intend to freeze a ton of meat if you have a tiny freezer. Know your space limitations. This can happen for things that don’t expire as well.
You know it’s turning into a problem when you’ve installed racks in your bedroom to store your toilet paper overstock because you found such a great deal. If you ever watched that extreme couponing show, you know what I’m talking about.
5. What will it cost me?
When shopping locally, consider the cost of gas and your time.
Yesterday I bought some applesauce pouches that were on clearance. I briefly considered driving to additional locations to buy more, but realized it wasn’t worth the cost in gas or my time.
The things we own don’t just cost us money. Once you bring something into your home it takes your time and energy to clean, maintain, and store it.
If you’re feeling burdened by your home and are suffocating underneath the clutter, it’s costing you breathing room and your peace. In trying to find my balance between simplicity and frugality, I started shopping less and being much more intentional with my choices.
I will always be a deal hunter, but I’m more thoughtful in what I buy so that the thrill of the hunt will never again land me in a house full of clutter.
Julianna Poplin is a wife, mom, professional declutter, and writer at The Simplicity Habit. She writes to encourage moms who want to declutter and simplify their homes and lives.
top photo sources 1, 2 [...]
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.
Wow! Proozy is having a big sale on kids’ Birkenstocks right now!
Need back to school shoes for the kids? Proozy is offering Kids’ Birkenstocks for just $29.99 when you use the promo code MSM2999 at checkout!
There are lots of styles and colors to choose from!
Pay $5.95 for shipping or get FREE shipping on orders over $50! (Go in with a friend for two pairs to save on shipping!)
Valid through August 6, 2019.
Psst! Want to save more on kids’ back to school clothing? Be sure to check out these great tips!
Be sure to check out all of the Best 2019 Back To School Deals! Don’t forget you can also sign up for our daily email newsletter to get all of the best back to school deals emailed to you every week! And be sure to check out my post on 5 Simple Ways to Save on Back to School Deals. [...]
When one transfer bonus ends, another one begins. At least that’s the case for Capital One Venture or Spark Miles cardholders. Capital One is running a new promotion this month that will give cardholders a 25% bonus on all miles transferred to Avianca Airlines LifeMiles. The standard transfer rate for Avianca is 2:1.5, but with...
Meghan Coyle is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: email@example.com.
The article Transfer Capital One Miles to Avianca With a 25% Bonus originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
It’s understandable if your student loans are taking a backseat to other, more pressing matters, like finding a roommate, saving up for a car or meeting work deadlines. But taking the time to refinance your student loans can potentially save you a bundle on interest over time. If you qualify, refinancing can be a safe...
Valerie Lai is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The article What Is Student Loan Refinancing, Really? originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]