Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 6 ways the tax plan could change homeownership. Also in the news: What the Fed rate hike means for student loans, what it means for your CDs, and how Donald Trump is shrinking your paycheck.

6 Ways Tax Plan Could Change Homeownership
Analyzing the impact.

Fed Rate Hike: What It Means for Student Loans
Checking your rates.

December 2017 Fed Rate Hike: What It Means for Your CDs
Impacting your savings.

Here’s How Donald Trump Is Shrinking Your Paycheck
Looking at the nuances of the tax plan.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What to do about the Fed rate hike. Also in the news: How to deal with credit card fraud, driverless cars, and how your credit card debt is costing you nearly $1000 a year.

Fed Rate Hike: Here’s What to Do
Don’t panic.

First Time Dealing With Credit Card Fraud? You Got This
Important steps to take.

Are Fully Self-Driving Cars Just Around the Corner?
Should we fear the driverless car?

Credit card debt is costing you nearly $1,000 per year
Interest piles up.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 3 steps to tame your debt in an hour or less. Also in the news: 10 housing and mortgage trends to watch for in 2018, how one woman ditched over 50K in debt, and why to be wary of instaloans in stores.

3 Steps to Tame Your Debt in an Hour or Less
Concrete steps.

10 Housing and Mortgage Trends to Watch for in 2018
What to keep an eye on.

How I Ditched Debt: A Wish List Kept Her Going
Read a success story.

Retailers now offers Instaloans to pay for purchasesBuyer beware,

Refusing to pay could hurt you more than them

Oh, the injustice of it all.

Who among us hasn’t felt abused as a consumer? We get billed for stuff we didn’t receive, or that doesn’t work, or that didn’t live up to its hype. Companies charge us unexpected fees and insist the costs were revealed in the fine print. Health insurers take customer disservice to a whole new, awful level, inexplicably refusing to pay for services they promised to cover and deluging us with impossible-to-decrypt paperwork.

It’s understandable if you feel that enough is enough. But taking a righteous stand against paying an unfair bill can boomerang on you — hard.

In my latest for the Associated Press, situations where you might be tempted to refuse to pay, and what you might want to consider doing instead.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 ways to reduce credit card interest. Also in the news: Holiday hosting tips to be safe, holiday tipping guide, and the pros and cons of using debit vs. credit cards.

5 Ways to Reduce Credit Card Interest
Escaping the interest trap.

Holiday Hosting Tips to Be Safe, Insurance If You’re Sorry
What’s covered under your homeowner’s insurance.

Holiday Tipping Guide: Whom and How Much
Showing appreciation.

Pros and Cons of Using Debit Vs. Credit Cards
Differences to keep in mind.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Is Bitcoin safe? Also in the news: How to buy better gifts with credit card rewards, must-have tools and tips for year-end retirement planning, and smart money lessons for kids that can last a lifetime.

Is Bitcoin Safe?
A roundtable debate.

How to Buy Better Gifts With Credit Card Rewards
Using your rewards strategically.

Must-have tools and tips for year-end retirement planning
Getting on the right track.

Smart money lessons for kids that can last a lifetime

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How not to go broke attending holiday parties. Also in the news: Self-taught financial advisers keep it real about money, how to determine if your taxes are going up, and how to spend your extra FSA money.

You Don’t Have to Go Broke Attending Holiday Parties
Having fun without breaking the bank.

Self-taught financial advisers keep it real about money management
Knowing your limits.

My Taxes Probably Are Going Up. Are Yours?
How to determine next year’s taxes.

How to Spend Your Extra FSA Money
The clock is ticking.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to live below your means without feeling deprived. Also in the news: How to dodge the drama of family loans, the launch of Apple Pay Cash, and using Social Security benefits to plan your retirement income.

How to Live Below Your Means Without Feeling Deprived
It doesn’t have to be a slog.

Family Loans: How to Dodge the Drama
Coping with one of the touchiest subjects.

Apple Pay Cash Launches: How It Stacks Up
A new money transfer app.

An almost perfect retirement income source
Using Social Security benefits to plan your retirement income

Would a bank payday loan be any safer?

A “safer” payday loan sounds like an oxymoron. Critics have branded these notoriously high-cost loans as debt traps that cause borrowers to go ever deeper in the hole.

Thanks to a recent regulatory change, it now may be possible for banks to offer small, short-term loans that could be a lot less dangerous for borrowers. Whether banks will actually do so remains to be seen.

The right moves could save low- and moderate-income Americans billions of dollars a year. The wrong moves could create yet another sinkhole for those who are already struggling. In my latest for the Associated Press, how to avoid falling into the payday loan trap.