Monday’s need-to-know money news

download (1)Today’s top story: How to put an end to credit card solicitations. Also in the news: How a two checking account system could help automate your budget, how to maximize your pension, and five surprising sources of debt.

How to Stop Credit Card Solicitations for Good
Reclaiming your mailbox.

Use the Two Checking Account System to Automate Your Budget
Why two accounts could make budgeting easier.

Maximize Your Pension With This Calculator
Calculating the best option for your retirement.

5 Surprising Sources of Debt
Racking up debt from unexpected sources.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

22856641_SAToday’s top story: How to tackle your holiday debt. Also in the news: Saving time on your FAFSA, how to deal with debt before retirement, and the best financial tips that can fit on an index card.

Pay Off Your Holiday Bills in This Order
Tackling your holiday debt.

5 Hacks to Save Time on Your 2016 FAFSA
File as soon as possible.

5 Ways to Deal With Debt Before Retirement
Preparing for life on a fixed income.

Can The Best Financial Tips Fit On An Index Card?
4 x 6 inches of guidance.

12 Predictions For How Tech Will Change Your Financial Life In 2016
A glimpse into the future.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

kids-and-credit-cardsToday’s top story: Five of the most inspiring personal finance stories of 2015. Also in the news: How to avoid holiday fraud, helping your kids establish credit, and when it’s time to leave your bank.

The 5 most inspiring personal finance stories of 2015
Inspiration for the new year.

Three Ways To Avoid Holiday Fraud
Staying on your toes.

How to help your kids establish credit
Starting them off on the right foot.

Signs It’s Time to Leave Your Bank (and How to Choose a New One)
Making the first move.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

18ixgvpiu0s24jpgToday’s top story: What your bank won’t tell you when you get a mortgage. Also in the news: Retiring your debts before retirement, health care to-dos that can save you money, and apps that can keep your cell phone safe from security threats.

4 Things Your Bank Won’t Tell You When You Get a Mortgage
What you should know.

Before Even Thinking About Retiring, Retire Your Debts
Why your debt needs to retire before you do.

7 Summer Health Care To-Dos That Can Save You Money
Take a hard look at your health care costs.

5 Apps to Keep Your Cellphone Safe From Security Threats
Protecting yourself from identity theft.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: The best credit cards for new homeowners. Also in the news: Determining the right time to retire, what items you should buy in large quantities to save money, and finding a bank that offers the best protection for its customers.

5 Credit Cards for New Homeowners
How to save money on one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make.

How to Know When Retirement is Right for You and Your Family
Timing is everything.

10 Items to Always Buy in Large Quantities
Buying in bulk can help you stick to a budget.

Top 10 Banks That Offer The Best Customer Protection
Protecting your personal information and your assets.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: How to trick yourself into saving more money. Also in the news: States with the highest rate of identity theft complaints, the new face of consumer banking, and mistakes that could ruin your retirement.

4 Ways to Trick Yourself Into Saving More Money
You won’t even know you’re not spending it!

States with the most identity theft complaints
Do you live in one of them?

The Changing Face of Consumer Banking
Moving beyond the local branch.

5 Mistakes That Could Mess Up Your Retirement
And how to avoid them.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

HopeToday’s top story: When it’s time to look for a new bank. Also in the news: Personal finance questions you need to answer, how to upgrade your financial life, and ten ways to have a financially happy marriage.

6 Signs It May Be Time to Switch Banks
Time for a new relationship?

8 Personal Finance Questions Most of Us Flunk
How did you do?

10 Steps to an Upgraded Financial Life
Give yourself a boost.

10 Ways to Have a Financially Happy Marriage
There are better things to argue about.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

financial-toolboxToday’s top story: The best additions to your financial toolbox. Also in the news: Safeguarding your digital assets, saving money on moving expenses, and what you should look for when choosing a new bank.

10 Best Personal-Finance Tools to Better Manage Your Money
Additions to your financial toolbox.

Safeguard Your Digital Assets — In Just 10 Minutes
Ten minutes you can’t afford not to spare.

Moving on a Tight Budget: 7 Ways to Save a Ton of Money
Moving expenses don’t have to break the bank.

7 Tips for Finding a New Bank
The most important things to look for.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

crop380w_istock_000009258023xsmall-dbet-ball-and-chainToday’s top story: How high your credit score needs to be in order to refinance. Also in the news: Tips on getting out of debt from people who have paid off thousands, ways to save on monthly housing costs, and how to avoid the scariest credit card fees.

What credit score do I need to refinance?
Reaching the magic number.

How to Get Out of Debt: Lessons From People Who Paid Off $100,000
Learning from the masters.

4 Ways To Save On Monthly Housing Costs
Every little bit helps.

The 5 Scariest Credit Card Fees – And How to Avoid Them
Paying even an hour late could cost you big bucks.

8 Online Banks That Let You Skip the Fees, Enjoy the Interest
Thinking outside the branch.

Q&A: Fraud or forgetfulness?

Dear Liz: I think I’ve been scammed, but my credit union has decided I’m simply forgetful. I noticed a debit to my checking account that I did not recognize from a merchant I cannot identify. The merchant name appears on my statement as simply “Portland Portland OR.” My credit union can tell me only that it is a used-merchandise store or secondhand store. I questioned the charge by email and replaced my card. Then I got a letter from the credit union upholding the charge, saying that my card and PIN were present at the time of the transaction. I never did learn the merchant’s name. Can this merchant really not be identified? The $10.48 in dispute is unimportant compared with the complete opacity of the supposed purchase. No name, no address, only a day and time. Is this mystery the best the banking system can do?

Answer: Your credit union could identify the merchant by contacting the card network that processed the transaction, but has apparently decided it’s not worth the effort, said Odysseas Papadimitriou, chief executive of Evolution Finance, which operates the CardHub.com card comparison site. You can demand the credit union identify the merchant for you, but there’s reason to believe this transaction is legitimate, he said.

It’s not just because a personal identification number was used, however, since PINs certainly can be stolen. Hackers have compromised keypads at Michael’s stores and Barnes & Noble, among other retail chains, while Target said encrypted PIN data were stolen in its massive database breach.
But the use of a PIN combined with the small amount of the transaction indicates the culprit here likely is forgetfulness rather than an identity thief, Papadimitriou said. ID thieves are unlikely to make one small transaction and then wait, he said.

“They try to extract the max they can before they get shut down,” Papadimitriou said.
Still, your experience should make you think twice about using a debit card for a retail transaction. With debit card fraud, you may have to fight with your financial institution to get the money back, since the transaction comes directly out of your checking account. With credit cards, you don’t have to pay a disputed transaction until the card company investigates.