Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Experian flaw just revealed PINs protecting credit data. Also in the news: When little student debt becomes a lot of trouble, how to put your money where your politics are, and what’s in the tax bill that just passed the House.

Experian Flaw Just Revealed PINs Protecting Credit Data
A serious security breach.

When a Little Student Debt Becomes a Lot of Trouble
You’ll be surprised by who defaults.

How to Put Your Money Where Your Politics Are
The best ways to make political donations.

What’s in the Tax Bill That Just Passed the House?
It could change the way people save for retirement.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Don’t let magical thinking jinx retirement. Also in the news: How to live with your first credit card’s low limit, legal complaint puts student debt relief companies in the crosshairs, and a decade after the housing crisis, foreclosures still haunt homeowners.

Don’t Let Magical Thinking Jinx Retirement Planning
Money won’t suddenly begin growing on trees.

How to Live With Your First Credit Card’s Low Limit
No, your limit isn’t missing a zero.

Legal Complaint Puts Student ‘Debt Relief’ Companies in Crosshairs, and Borrowers Can Help Make the Case
Borrowers have a way to fight back.

A decade after the housing crisis, foreclosures still haunt homeowners
Long lasting repercussions.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Ditching debt while budgeting for a baby. Also in the news: What to do if Hurricane Florence hits your home and/or mortgage, five people who are crushing student debt, and what you can learn from the last financial crisis to help you with the next.

How I Ditched Debt: Changing Habits, Budgeting for a Baby
A shift in priorities.

What to Do If Hurricane Florence Hits Your Home, Mortgage
The Category 4 storm is heading towards the Carolinas.

Meet 5 People Who Are Crushing Student Debt
Tips from the masters.

Here’s what you can learn from the last financial crisis that will help you with the next
Planning ahead.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What to do if Hurricane Florence hits your home, mortgage. Also in the news: How to choose a college major with loan debt in mind, the pros and cons of product subscriptions, and the 10 cities where Millennials have the most debt.

What to Do If Hurricane Florence Hits Your Home, Mortgage
Things to do immediately.

Razors, Makeup, Hot Sauce — You Can Subscribe to Almost Anything. But Should You?
Are the discounts truly worth it?

These 10 Cities Are Where Millennials Have The Most Debt
San Antonio leads the way.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 people who are crushing student debt. Also in the news: Skipping student loan forbearance, what it takes for early retirement, and 5 things to avoid buying during Labor Day sales.

Meet 5 People Who Are Crushing Student Debt
How you can follow their lead.

Skip Student Loan Forbearance — Do This Instead
Forbearance should be a last resort.

Dreaming of an Early Retirement? Here’s What It Takes
Better start saving.

5 things to avoid buying during Labor Day sales this year
Skip these “sales.”

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to plan a vacation without getting into debt. Also in the news: How to save money and drive safer by plugging into your car’s computer, 9 expenses to pack in your moving budget, and 3 people show how they got control of their college debt.

How to Plan a Vacation Without Getting Into Debt
Sticking to your budget.

Plug Into Your Car’s Computer to Save Money, Drive Safer
Using the onboard diagnostic panel.

9 Expenses to Pack in Your Moving Budget
Don’t forget the minor details.

3 people, 3 ways of getting control of college debt
What you can learn from their approaches.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 7 questions to ask before you hire a tax professional. Also in the news: The security of your hotel’s mobile room key, side hustles you can start with no money, and how to pay off student debt while still saving and investing.

7 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Tax Professional
Asking the important questions.

How Secure Is Your Hotel’s Mobile Room Key?
Risking safety for convenience?

Side Hustles You Can Start With No Money
No investment necessary.

How to Pay Off Student Loan Debt While Still Saving and Investing
Paying for the past, planning for the future.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Buying home insurance after a wildfire starts. Also in the news: Why good credit might not be good enough for a mortgage, a quick quiz to test how you’re doing financially, and why Americans are more afraid of student debt than they are of Kim Jong Un.

Can You Buy Home Insurance After a Wildfire Starts?
It could be too late.

Want a Mortgage? Good Credit Might Not Be Good Enough
What else you might need.

How Are You Doing Financially? Take This Quick Quiz
How’d you do?

Americans are more terrified of student debt than North Korea’s Kim Jong Un
When your debt is scarier than a nuclear weapon.

Q&A: Sinking under a heavy debt load? There’s help

Dear Liz: I am trying to get my finances in order and, like many, I am struggling. The majority of my debt comes from student loans, but I also have unsecured debt that is weighing me down. I work for a nonprofit and know I need to contact my lenders to try to enroll in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, but my debt has me completely frozen. Every few months I try to do something and then I end up back where I am now, feeling overwhelmed.

Answer: You’re not alone. Credit counselors often deal with people who are so paralyzed by debt problems they can’t even open their bills. These people bring in sacks of unopened mail to their first appointments with the counselors.

If you haven’t been able to deal with your debt alone, then by all means, get help. A nonprofit credit counselor is an option; you can get referrals from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at www.nfcc.org. A financial planner, a financial coach or even a money-savvy friend also can help you.

If you can force yourself to simply call your student loan servicers — the companies that process the payments on your education debt — you can get the ball rolling. These companies can determine if you’re eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and help you start on the paperwork.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness can erase the balance of your federal student loans after 10 years of payments if you work in the public sector. To get the maximum benefit, you would need to sign up for an income-based repayment plan and you may need to consolidate your loans. All this involves effort, but if you’re planning to stay in public service, it can be worthwhile.

The Trump administration has proposed ending the forgiveness program for future borrowers. Even if Congress enacts such a change, it should not affect those who have already taken out loans. But you’d still be wise to enroll as soon as possible.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to invest $50,000. Also in the news: Ditching student debt through monster payments, funding a wedding while paying student debt, and what we can learn from rich people who are bad with money.

How to Invest $50,000
Making the wise choices.

How I Ditched Student Debt: ‘Monster Payments’
Using monster payments to pay off your student debt faster.

Ask Brianna: How Can I Fund a Wedding and Pay Student Debt?
Managing two large expenses.

What We Can Learn From Rich People Who Are Bad With Money
Learning from other people’s mistakes.