Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How one person’s travel credit card benefit saved them over $1000. Also in the news: How to file a complaint against your bank, how to buy the car you loved in high school without losing your shirt, and these states will pay off your student loan debt for moving there.

How My Travel Credit Card’s Benefit Saved Me Over $1,000
When the unexpected happens, a credit card’s trip cancellation or interruption insurance may recover the cost of nonrefundable expenses.

How to File a Complaint Against Your Bank
Work with your bank and if that fails, submit a complaint that specifies the problem and your proposed solution.

Buy the Car You Loved in High School (Without Losing Your Shirt)
Shop wisely.

These States Will Pay Off Your Student Loan Debt for Moving There
A look at the Smart Buy program.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 9 money numbers you need to know. Also in the news: The case for going back to school, how to avoid pet scams, and when to consider an FHA-backed mortgage.

9 Money Numbers You Need to Know
Give yourself a quick financial health check-up by seeing where you stand on a handful of important measurements.

College, Interrupted: The Case for Going (Back) to School
Skipping out on college, delaying enrollment or not finishing a degree can affect lifetime earnings.

Scam Alert: How to Get a Pet and Not Get Taken
Avoid online animal listings, and take steps to protect yourself when buying in person. Consider a shelter animal.

When to Consider an FHA-Backed Mortgage
The pros and cons.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What to do if a credit card issuer lowers your credit limit. Also in the news: Paying off credit cards takes money and the right mindset, how to rethink home and travel if your job is now remote, and when to expect that $3600 in child tax credit checks.

What to Do if a Credit Card Issuer Lowers Your Credit Limit
Your main option is to ask your issuer to reconsider. But there are also some steps you can take to mitigate the effects of a cut and minimize the risk of future ones.

Paying Off Credit Cards Takes Money and the Right Mindset
The right frame of mind is key.

How to Rethink ‘Home’ and ‘Travel’ if Your Job Is Now Remote
Your first thought might be to become a digital nomad or buy a new house to take advantage of your flexible work.

When to Expect That $3,600 in Child Tax Credit Checks
Coming this summer.

9 money numbers you need to know

Your doctor needs to know certain numbers to judge your physical health, such as your weight, your blood pressure and your cholesterol levels.

Similarly, you need to know certain numbers to monitor your own financial health. In my latest for the Associated Press, find out the 9 money numbers you need to know.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Can I deduct Medicare costs on my income tax? Also in the news: Is a personal loan or home equity loan right for your reno, the high price of money shame, and steps to take before you go to a car dealership if your credit score isn’t great.

Can I Deduct Medicare Costs on My Income Tax?
If you itemize, premiums, copayments, and certain other expenses may be deductible.

Is a Personal Loan or Home Equity Loan Right for Your Reno?
The best financing depends on your financial situation, including your income, credit and how much equity you have.

The High Price of Money Shame
Simply naming the emotions you feel about financial mistakes is a step toward breaking the cycle and taking control.

If Your Credit Score Isn’t Great, Take These Steps Before You Go To A Dealership
Walk in fully prepared.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How much car insurance do you really need? Also in the news: As major credit card issuers pull back amid COVID, startups stepped in, reboot your budget to prepare for reopening, and when to expect a refund for your $10,200 unemployment tax break.

How Much Car Insurance Do You Really Need?
Too little car insurance and you’re financially vulnerable. But too much, and you’ll overpay. Here’s what to know.

As Major Credit Card Issuers Pulled Back Amid COVID, Startups Stepped In
Some products that were launched or expanded in 2020 don’t bother with credit checks at all and instead look at your income and bank account. They also charge no interest.

Reboot Your Budget to Prepare for Reopening
As states ease COVID restrictions and vaccinations pick up, here’s why it’s time to take a look at your finances.

When To Expect a Refund for Your $10,200 Unemployment Tax Break
What will happen if you filed your taxes before the new stimulus.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: The high price of money shame. Also in the news: Will travel costs change as more vaccines roll out, how to tell if your credit card is worth the annual fee and snags hit free COBRA health insurance for the unemployed.

The High Price of Money Shame
Simply naming the emotions you feel about financial mistakes is a step toward breaking the cycle and taking control.

Will Travel Costs Change as Vaccines Roll Out?
With travel demand likely to increase, the price of flights and hotels will also rise if travelers wait to book.

How to Tell If Your Credit Card Is Worth the Annual Fee
Look for ways to offset the fee.

There are some snags in free COBRA health insurance for unemployed. Here’s what you need to know
A provision in the latest stimulus package nixes people’s monthly COBRA premiums for six months.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to budget for a new home so you don’t end up house poor. Also in the news: Why (and how) to renew your passport now, even if you’re not traveling soon, once-rare cell phone protection is now a common credit card perk, and should you plan for $50,000 in student loan forgiveness?

How to Budget for a New Home So You Don’t End Up House Poor
Before buying a home, figure out how much house you can truly afford, including a budget for maintenance and repairs.

Why (and How) to Renew Your Passport Now, Even If You’re Not Traveling Soon
The State Department is processing applications slower than usual, so you’ll want to apply early.

Once-Rare Cell Phone Protection Now a Common Credit Card Perk
Cell phone insurance is the kind of perk that can benefit both the cardholder and the card issuer. Here’s why and what to know about it.

Should You Plan for $50,000 In Student Loans Forgiveness?
Is there reason for optimism?

The high price of money shame

The U.S. suicide rate has risen dramatically in recent years, and certified money coach Tammy Lally of Washington, D.C., is convinced money shame is a contributing factor.

Lally’s brother died by suicide in 2007 after receiving a foreclosure notice. Shortly afterward, Lally’s mortgage business collapsed in the Great Recession. She says she went from driving a Mercedes and living in an oceanfront house to filing for bankruptcy.

“It blew me away, the level of pain and sadness that I was experiencing,” Lally says. “I didn’t tell anybody. I was pretending like nothing was going on.”

In my latest for the Associated Press, the origins of money shame and what can be done about it.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Prepare for COVID medical bills this year. Also in the news: A new episode of the Smart Money podcast on pandemic savings goals and inheritance taxes, how to save on supplies as kids go back to school, and why your dog needs liability insurance.

Prepare for COVID Medical Bills This Year
Find out what’s covered under the law.

Smart Money Podcast: Pandemic Savings Goals and Taxes on Inheritance
A discussion about consumers’ saving habits during the pandemic.

Save on Supplies as Kids Go Back to School in Person

Why Your Dog Needs Liability Insurance Even if She’s Perfect
Personal liability, umbrella and animal liability coverage can keep your finances safe if your dog hurts someone.