Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Options for undergrad, grad, veteran and international students when colleges say stay home. Also in the news: Which airlines have handled COVID-19 the best, is it OK to never have a credit card, and where to put your money when interest rates are falling.

When Colleges Say Stay Home: Options for Undergrad, Grad, Veteran and International Students
You can expect a decrease in costs.

Which Airlines Have Handled COVID-19 the Best?
Grades on flexible policies and health and safety measures.

Is it OK to never have a credit card?
Other ways to establish credit.

Where to Put Your Money When Interest Rates Are Falling
Consider an online savings account.

Probate workarounds can save heirs time, money

A reader recently reached out after his elderly mother died, asking how soon he could distribute the $10,000 she had earmarked in her will for each of her two grandchildren.

Because she lived in California, I had to break the bad news: He won’t be able to hand over the money any time soon.

Probate is the court process to distribute someone’s estate after their death, even if there is a will, and is notoriously slow in California. A typical probate takes nine to 12 months, and court shutdowns related to COVID-19 mean the wait could be longer. Probate is also expensive in California: By law, an attorney could charge $11,000 in fees to handle the woman’s $400,000 estate.

In my latest for the Associated Press, what to keep in mind if you’re trying to decide whether to make the investment to spare your heirs the expense and hassle of probate.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 reasons why people get personal loans and what financial advisers say about them. Also in the news: A new episode of the SmartMoney podcast on creating wealth, 5 secrets of car buying from a former undercover car salesman, and how to lower your tax bill with these last-minute moves.

5 reasons people get personal loans—and what financial advisers say about them
The pros and cons.

Smart Money Podcast: Taxes Are Due, and How to Get Started Creating Wealth
You can still create wealth in a pandemic.

5 Secrets of Car Buying, From a Former Undercover Car Salesman
Even the playing field.

Lower Your Tax Bill With These Last-Minute Moves
You still have time.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Financial lessons we’ve learned while staying at home. Also in the news: 6 ways your investments can fund racial justice, how to organize important documents simply and safely, and see if you qualify for public service loan forgiveness with this tool.

Financial Lessons We’ve Learned While Staying at Home
Emergency funds are critical.

6 Ways Your Investments Can Fund Racial Justice
Putting your portfolio to work.

How to organize important documents simply and safely
What to keep and for how long.

See if You Qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness With This Tool
The criteria is strict.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Today’s definition of financial adulthood is more flexible than ever. Also in the news: Which airlines have handled COVID-19 the best, 3 ways to say no at a car dealership, and a beginner’s guide to filling out your W-4.

Today’s Definition of Financial Adulthood Is More Flexible Than Ever
Young adults are rethinking their financial plans.

Which Airlines Have Handled COVID-19 the Best?
Where does your favorite rank?

3 Ways to Say No at a Car Dealership
Staanding firm in the finance office.

A Beginner’s Guide to Filling Out Your W-4
The IRS makes it confusing.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Why missing college this fall is a bad idea. Also in the news: Why you should get your finances in top shape now to refi your student loans, choosing the Medigap plan that’s right for you, and how to apply for a $1,000 grant if you’re a freelancer or gig economy worker.

Why Missing College This Fall Is a Bad Idea
You could be wasting time and money.

Get your finances in top shape now to refi your student loans
Get the best deal possible when the grace period ends.

‘Medigap’ insurance covers some Medicare costs. How to choose a plan that’s right for you
Covering some of your Medicare costs.

How to Apply for a $1,000 Grant if You’re a Freelancer or Gig Economy Worker
Apply for an EIDL.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: People with COVID-19 payment accommodations are finding mistakes in their credit files. Also in the news: 6 tips to teach your kids lifelong money lessons during the pandemic, Americans lost $77 million to Covid-19 fraud, and what to do if you can’t pay your taxes next week.

People with COVID-19 payment accommodations are finding mistakes in their credit files
One mistake could lower your credit score by nearly one hundred points.

Use these 6 tips to teach your kids lifelong money lessons during the pandemic
A unique opportunity.

Americans lost $77 million to Covid-19 fraud — and that’s just the ‘tip of the iceberg’
Scammers never rest.

What to do if you can’t pay your taxes next week
You have a few options.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 4 expert tips to get hired from home. Also in the news: A new episode of the SmartMoney podcast looks at the wealth gap, an artist shares her business story, and how to repay your coronavirus retirement distribution.

4 Expert Tips to Get Hired From Home
Hunting in the pandemic.

Smart Money Podcast: The Wealth Gap, and How to Cope With Variable-Rate Student Loans
Inequality in the United States.

Money/Makers Q&A: Hollis Wong-Wear Builds a Business to Fuel Her Art
One artist’s story.

How to Repay Your Coronavirus Retirement Distribution
Prepare for end-of-the-year taxes.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Some taxpayers face a desperate wait for refunds. Also in the news: Are variable rate student loans worth the risk, 6 ways your investments can fund racial justice, and why your federal student loan servicer may be changing.

Some taxpayers face a desperate wait for refunds
IRS delays are hurting struggling families.

Even Near 1%, Are Variable Rate Student Loans Worth the Risk?
Your rate could change dramatically in the future.

6 Ways Your Investments Can Fund Racial Justice
Money makes change sustainable.

Your Federal Student Loan Servicer May Be Changing
Say goodbye to NelNet.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: It’s now cheaper than ever to borrow money for college. Also in the news: What you need to know about Disney’s reopening, bankrolling your adult kid in a crisis, and 8 ways to save for your child’s college education.

It’s Now Cheaper Than Ever to Borrow Money for College
Feds have dropped interest rates to historic lows.

Disney Is Reopening: What You Need to Know
Safely returning to the happiest place on earth.

Are you bankrolling your adult kids in a crisis?
You are not an emergency plan.

8 Ways to Save for Your Child’s College Education
Start as soon as possible.