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Articles and Updates

809, 2015

Income Share Agreements, and Their Role in Higher Education Inequality

Imagine you're going into college and staring at a bill for $25,000 for tuition and assorted other fees for your first year of school. You've got two ways to pay the bill. You can take out a combination of federal and private student loans, or ... you can agree to pay to a lender a set portion of your earnings over a defined period of time. The latter is called an income share agreement, a concept originally proposed by economist Milton Friedman in his 1955 essay, The Role of Government

409, 2015

10 Steps To Take If You’re Sued For A Credit Card Debt

The doorbell rings, and there's a strange guy standing there. He asks for you by name, hands you some documents, and walks away. Congratulations, you're being sued. It's a story that plays out thousands of times a day. People fall behind on credit card debts, can't pay the collectors, and find themselves named as defendants in collection lawsuits. This happens so often that some law firms do nothing but sue consumers for past due debts. Huge operations, these firms file thousands of lawsuits every day. Suing For Credit Card Debts

309, 2015

Why The Government Is Making It Easier To Get A Mortgage After Bankruptcy

Just about everyone who files for bankruptcy worries that they'll never get a mortgage. It's not true - in fact, it's never been true. That's not to say you can go from the bankruptcy court right to the mortgage broker, either. You've got to take steps to rebuild your credit standing, save for a down payment, and stabilize your income in order to qualify for a mortgage. Until recently, Fannie Mae had a waiting period of 4 years between the time a Chapter 7 or 11 bankruptcy case finished and when

209, 2015

How I Save $1,140 A Year On Cable Television Service

On September 2, 2015, Hulu announced that it would offer an ad-free level of its popular streaming service. This prompted a lot of my Facebook friends to start talking about cutting their cable service. According to the company's press release: Viewers now have the choice to watch Hulu commercial free for $11.99 per month or with limited commercials for $7.99 per month. Current Hulu subscribers will maintain their existing subscription, but will have the choice to switch to the commercial-free option at any time for an additional $4 per month. For

3108, 2015

Beware Debt’s Silent Partner

Debt comes with a silent partner - stress. Unless you're careful, that stress can build to life threatening levels. We're told from an early age that we need to get out into the world and make something of ourselves. The subtext is, "go out and make a lot of money so you can buy a big house and a nice car!" The message is reinforced by commercial messages encouraging us to buy a home, get a new car, and go on fancy vacations. As if that weren't enough, our celebrity-obsessed

2608, 2015

Why This Successful Business Owner Filed For Bankruptcy

For some people, filing for bankruptcy comes only when the money is gone and they've got no ability to repay their debts. But for one entrepreneur and his wife, filing  their Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition was a way to keep things going and ensure that everyone got paid. Craig Walker and his wife, Susan, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Colorado, estimating their assets at between $100 million and $500 million and liabilities at between $10 million and $50 million. The Walkers are officers, directors, shareholders or members of several companies, including

2408, 2015

California Woman Wipes Out School Debt in Bankruptcy

Sometimes the most important question about discharging student loans in bankruptcy can be as small as whether you received the check. That's what Tarra Christoff found when she filed for bankruptcy in Northern California. In 2002, Tarra Christoff applied to Center for Transformative Learning at Meridian University, a private university in California, with the goal of becoming a psychologist. As part of her financial aid package, the school offered Christoff $6,000 in financial aid to pay a portion of her first year tuition. For the second year, Meridian offered her

308, 2015

Citigroup Being Investigated Over Student Loan Servicing Practices

Just weeks after Discover was ordered by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to pay $18.5 million for illegal student loan servicing practices, Citibank is facing a probe into its own practices. In a filing dated August 3, 2015 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the banking giant indicated that federal regulators have opened a probe into its student loan servicing practices. Though Citi didn't indicate which federal agency is conducting the investigation or which student loan practices are the subject of concern, a source tells Bloomberg that that it is part of a crackdown by the

308, 2015

Is It Smart to Use Bankruptcy to Buy Time on Student Loan Payments?

If you're in debt up to your eyeballs, you look to the bankruptcy laws to help you dig out of the hole and start over. That, after all, is what the law's designed to do - give you another opportunity to put yourself in a better financial position. But if your debts include student loans, you quickly find out that the bankruptcy laws won't help unless you jump through another set of hoops and prove that your existing financial situation is not only bad, but also long lasting. That's why

2007, 2015

Why a Fresh Financial Start Makes Sense

Does your debt make you feel stuck in a bad place in your life? You can't get ahead, no matter what you try. You pour everything you've got into worrying about the bills, so there's no energy left to put into making the other parts of your life better. You can't focus at work so you underperform, which hinders your chances at raises and promotions. Seeing friends and family members is just another opportunity to be reminded of how well they're doing, and how poorly your life is turning out. One

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