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?

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How many funds you should own to save for retirement. Also in the news: COVID tax breaks could open door to student loan forgiveness, better savers spend less money on these 3 things, and how to track your third stimulus payment.

How Many Funds Should I Own to Save for Retirement?
How many mutual funds investors should have depends on the type of fund — owning shares in one fund may be enough.

COVID Tax Break Could Open Door to Student Loan Forgiveness
Could we see student loan forgiveness this year?

Better Savers Spend Less Money on These 3 Things
Better savers spend less, as a percentage of income, on housing, food and beverage, and transportation.

How to Track Your Third Stimulus Payment
Payments have begun hitting bank accounts.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Some student loan borrowers are 19 months closer to forgiveness. Also in the news: A new episode of the Smart Money podcast on pandemic debt and moving costs, buying life insurance for children, and when you’ll receive the next economic stimulus check.

Smart Money Podcast: Pandemic Debt and Moving Costs
The economy’s K-shaped recovery and how that may affect how you deal with pandemic-related debt.

Some Student Loan Borrowers Are 19 Months Closer to Forgiveness
19 months closer to having no more payments at all.

Should You Buy Life Insurance for Children?
Child life insurance can help secure your kids’ future insurability. Here’s how to decide if it’s right for your family.

When Will You Get Your $1,400 Relief Check?
More help is on the way.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Simplifying and saving during the pandemic. Also in the news: Hoping for student loan forgiveness won’t pay the bills, alternatives to Simple, and how to apply for rent assistance.

A Pandemic Shift in Finances: Simplifying and Saving
People are reassessing their priorities, finding ways to simplify life and put more money aside.

Hoping for Student Loan Forgiveness Won’t Pay the Bills
Even with payments currently paused, borrowers need a strategy that doesn’t count on forgiveness for federal loans.

Losing Your Simple Account? Some Alternatives Worth a Look
Fans of the soon-to-close app might like options including Radius Bank, Varo and Personal Capital, among others.

How to Apply for Emergency Rent Assistance
How to take advantage of the newly-released plan.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Jump start your credit with a free credit score. Also in the news: A new episode of the Smart Money podcast on COVID scams and small money goals, why you shouldn’t bank on student loan forgiveness, and how to apply for the second round of PPP loans for small businesses.

Jump-Start Your Credit: Begin With a Free Credit Score

Smart Money Podcast: COVID Scams and Small Goals

Why You Shouldn’t Bank on Student Loan Forgiveness

How to apply for the second round of PPP loans for small businesses
Who qualifies, how much you can get, and which loans will be forgiven

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Biden’s student loan forgiveness could wipe out debt for 15 million borrowers. Also in the news: A new episode of the Smart Money podcast on what Biden may do for your finances, when to donate rewards to charity and when to give cash, and mortgage rates stay low as December deadlines loom.

Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Could Wipe Out Debt for 15 Million Borrowers
More than a third of federal borrowers could see their balances fall to zero with $10,000 in debt cancellation.

Smart Money Podcast: What Biden May Do for Your Finances and How to Make Money
What your finances could look like under a Biden administration.

When to Donate Rewards to Charity and When to Give Cash
Want to help a charity without tapping into your bank account? Sometimes donating your rewards can be a good option.

Mortgage Outlook: Rates Stay Low as December Deadlines Loom
Uncertainty ahead.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Alter your buying habits in 2020 and keep the change. Also in the news: When the gift of giving brings a tax on receiving, student loan forgiveness and taxes, and 7 alternatives to costly payday loans.

Alter Your Buying Habits in 2020, and Keep the Change
Cutting back on impulse buying.

When the Gift of Giving Brings a Tax on Receiving
Understanding the gift tax.

Should You Worry About a ‘Student Loan Forgiveness Tax Bomb’?
Forgiveness comes at a price.

7 Alternatives to Costly Payday Loans
Avoiding astronomical interest rates.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Hard-won tips from borrowers who got student loan forgiveness. Also in the news: Steering your upside-down car loan back to safety, FAFSA mistakes that can negatively affect your financial aid, and what to do first with an inheritance.

Hard-Won Tips From Borrowers Who Got Student Loan Forgiveness
It won’t be easy.

Is Your Car Loan Upside-Down? How to Steer Back to Safety
Getting back above water.

These FAFSA mistakes can negatively affect your financial aid
FAFSA applications open on October 1st.

What to Do First With an Inheritance
Making smart decisions during a difficult time.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What to buy (and skip) in September. Also in the news: Why streaming services are the new credit card rewards binge, hard-won tips from borrowers who got student loan forgiveness, and why podcasts can actually push people to start saving for retirement.

What to Buy (and Skip) in September
September is the month of big sales.

Why Streaming Services Are the New Credit Card Rewards Binge
Millennial-friendly reward categories.

Hard-Won Tips From Borrowers Who Got Student Loan Forgiveness
You’ll need lots of patience.

Why podcasts can actually push people to start saving for retirement
Catch up on your retirement planning while driving to work.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Why you shouldn’t give up on public service student loan forgiveness. Also in the news: The life-changing magic of working a bit longer, why your financial aid may plummet after freshman year, and 7 thoughtful and unique graduation gifts — all under $25.

Don’t Give Up on Public Service Loan Forgiveness
The odds are slim, but still worth trying.

The Life-Changing Magic of Working a Bit Longer
It’s worth it.

Why your financial aid may plummet after freshman year
How you can prepare.

7 thoughtful and unique graduation gifts — all under $25
Celebrate without going broke.