Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 3 questions to answer before taking out student loans. Also in the news: Debt collection goes high-tech, 7 alternative ways to pay your taxes, and credit card rental insurance doesn’t cover as much as you think.

3 Questions to Answer Before Taking Out Student Loans
Important things to consider.

From Stone Age to Drone Age: Debt Collection Goes High-Tech
Send in the drones!

7 Alternative Ways to Pay Your Taxes
Thinking outside the box.

Credit Card Car Rental Insurance Doesn’t Cover as Much as You Think
Reading the fine print.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: April 18th isn’t just the tax-filing deadline. Also in the news: Why so many credit cards are from Delaware, how to file a tax extension online, and lowering your tax bill with IRA contributions.

April 18 Isn’t Just the Tax-Filing Deadline
Other items to add to your to-do list.

Why So Many Credit Cards Are From Delaware
The answer may surprise you.

How to File a Tax Extension Online
Don’t delay when you need more time.

Reminder: You Have Until Tomorrow to Lower Your Tax Bill With IRA Contributions
Tick-tock.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What student loan borrowers need to know about the Navient lawsuit. Also in the news: 5 ways to avoid blowing your tax refund, how to prepare financially for a baby, and spreading your tax refund across multiple accounts.

Navient Lawsuit: What Student Loan Borrowers Need to Know
Navient is facing three lawsuits.

5 Ways to Avoid Blowing Your Tax Refund
Using it wisely.

Baby on the way? Here’s how to prepare financially
Preparing for parenthood.

The IRS Will Split Your Tax Refund for You
Spread your refund across multiple accounts.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: These 4 tax bills can surprise, but you can be ready. Also in news: Can’t pay your taxes? Here are 6 ways to cope. Why stay-at-home spouses should buy life insurance, and how to avoid blowing your tax refund.

These 4 Tax Bills Can Surprise, but You Can Be Ready
Be prepared.

Can’t Pay Your Taxes? Here Are 6 Ways to Cope
Don’t panic.

Why Stay-at-Home Spouses Should Buy Life Insurance
Guidlines for the right policy.

5 ways to avoid blowing your tax refund
Spending it wisely.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 6 late-filing tax mistakes you need to avoid. Also in the news: Why paying taxes by credit card probably isn’t a good idea, collection agencies are getting another shot at your back taxes, and filing a tax extension to buy more time.

6 Late-Filing Tax Mistakes You Need to Avoid
Common mistakes to watch out for.

Paying Taxes by Credit Card Probably Isn’t a Good Idea
You’ll pay for the convenience.

Collection Agencies Get Another Shot at Your Back Taxes

Don’t Panic, File a Tax Extension to Buy More Time
Take a deep breath.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Can’t refinance student loans? Try these tactics. Also in the news: 10-word answers to your biggest car insurance questions, 5 foods that raise blood pressure – and life insurance rates, and 5 ways to save on preparing your taxes.

Can’t Refinance Student Loans? Try These Tactics
Looking at the alternatives.

10-Word Answers (or Less!) to Your Biggest Car Insurance Questions
Short and sweet.

5 Foods That Raise Blood Pressure — and Life Insurance Rates
That burger could spike more than just your blood pressure.

5 ways to save on preparing your taxes
Keeping more of your money.

4 tax hacks you might not know

You know to contribute enough to your 401(k) to get the full company match. Maybe you’ve even adjusted your withholding so you’re not giving Uncle Sam an interest-free loan.

Yet you may feel the need to do even more, especially if you’re making the last big push toward retirement. These hacks allow you to shelter more money from taxes now and when you retire. In my latest for the Associated Press, the 4 crucial tax hacks you might not know.

Q&A: Credits can boost a refund beyond the taxes paid — and keep millions out of poverty

Dear Liz: A friend of mine received a 2016 tax refund of over $9,000 even though this person did not pay nearly that amount in taxes over the course of the year. My friend has a fairly low-paying job with no benefits, is a single parent of two young children and receives no support from the children’s other parent. Given this scenario, is it possible to get a tax refund in an amount greater than what you paid in taxes?

Answer: Absolutely, and these refundable credits keep millions of working Americans out of poverty each year.

Refundable credits are tax breaks that don’t just offset taxes you owe but also can give you additional money back. Most of your friend’s refund probably came from the earned income tax credit, which was initially created in the 1970s to help low-income workers offset Social Security taxes and rising food costs due to inflation.

The credit was expanded during President Reagan’s administration as a way to make work more attractive than welfare. Each administration since has increased the credit, which has broad bipartisan support.

The maximum credit in 2016 was $506 for a childless worker and $6,269 for earners with three or more children. Your friend probably also received child tax credits of up to $1,000 per child. This credit, meant to offset the costs of raising children, is also at least partially refundable when people work and earn more than $3,000.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Using your tax refund to spring clean your finances. Also in the news: A money conference for women, why the IRS wants their share of your March Madness winnings, and how Millennials can make car buying easier.

Use Your Tax Refund to Spring Clean Your Finances
Tidying up your money.

Lola: A money conference for women.
How to better deal with financial issues unique to women.

You Won! Congratulations — Now Pay Your Taxes
The IRS wants their share of your March Madness winnings.

5 Ways Millennials Can Make Car Buying a Smoother Ride
Making the process easier.

9 Smart Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund
Buying yet another overpriced gadget isn’t one of them.

How Much More It Costs to Own vs. Rent in Your State
Where does your state rank?

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 7 reasons why the IRS will audit you. Also in the news: Big news that could affect your student loans, sneaky ways debt can change how you think, and how the “Once in a Lifetime” mentality screws up your budget.

7 Reasons the IRS Will Audit You
How to avoid triggering an audit.

This News Could Affect Your Student Loans
Heads up.

3 Sneaky Ways Debt Can Change How You Think
Don’t resign yourself to debt.

How a “Once in a Lifetime” Mentality Screws Up Your Budget
Something to watch out for.