Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What the new COVID relief package means for you and your money. Also in the news: Second relief bill and vaccine rollout attract fraudsters, taking advantage of student loan breaks before 2020 ends, and why a down payment is just the beginning of buying a new home.

What the New COVID Relief Package Means For Your Money
It includes $600 checks for millions of Americans and revives federal unemployment aid and loans for small businesses.

Scam Alert: Second Relief Bill, Vaccine Rollout Attract Fraudsters
Staying skeptical and reading up on common schemes can help you keep your money and personal financial info safe.

Take Advantage of Student Loan Breaks Before 2020 Ends
Consider making a lump-sum payment, addressing defaulted loans or refinancing private loans before the year ends.

Want to buy a home? A down payment is just the beginning
What can go wrong, will go wrong, and you’ll need cash to pay for repairs and everything else for your new home

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Calibrate your emergency fund to a crisis-prone world. Also in the news: How to give stock as a gift, what you need to know about Joe Biden’s student loan plan, and the pros and cons of Buy Now, Pay Later retail loans.

Calibrate Your Emergency Fund to a Crisis-Prone World
Financial advisors are urging clients to consider expanding their emergency funds.

How to Give Stock as a Gift (And Why Tax Pros Like The Idea)
Is it better to give than to receive? Certainly. But giving while receiving a tax benefit is pretty good, too.

Will student loans be forgiven in 2021? Here’s what you should know
What you need to know about Joe Biden’s student loan plan.

Are ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Retail Loans a Good Deal?
The pros and cons.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How the pandemic disrupts holiday travel. Also in the news: A new episode of the Smart Money podcast on charitable giving and using your savings to pay student loans, how to insure an expensive present, and how to plan for the end of student loan forbearance.

Change of Plans: How the Pandemic Disrupts Holiday Travel
More than two-thirds of Americans who had December holiday travel plans (68%) say these plans have been affected by the pandemic, according to a new NerdWallet survey.

Smart Money Podcast: Charitable Giving, and Using Savings to Pay Student Loans
Is using savings a good idea?

Bought a Pricey Present? Here’s How to Insure It
If you’re splurging on an amazing gift this year, it makes sense to protect your purchase.

How to Plan for the End of Student Loan Forbearance
January 31st is the new cutoff.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What Biden’s win may mean for your student loan forgiveness and free college. Also in the news: 13 ways to leave scammers empty-handed this holiday season, credit card bonuses are at an all-time high, and 6 cybersecurity tips when you work from home.

What Biden’s Win May Mean for Your Student Loans and College Plans
A Biden victory signals possibilities for student loan forgiveness and free college.

13 Ways to Leave Scammers Empty-Handed This Holiday Season
Protect your mobile devices, recognize and avoid risks, and guard against ID theft while holiday shopping.

Credit Card Welcome Bonuses Are at All-Time Highs
Credit card companies really want your business.

6 Cybersecurity Tips When You Work From Home
Protecting yourself and your employer.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to get your parent off the hook for your student loans. Also in the news: A new episode of the Smart Money podcast on open enrollment and HSA vs. HFA, getting a side gig while on unemployment, and 5 financial moves you need to make before the end of 2020

How to Get Your Parent Off the Hook for Your Student Loans
Refinancing and co-signer release can get a parent’s name off of student loans.

Smart Money Podcast: Open Enrollment and HSA vs. FSA
Open enrollment is underway.

Can You Get a Side Gig While on Unemployment?
Depends on state law.

5 financial moves you need to make before the end of 2020
Preparing for the new year.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How losing Obamacare could cost you. Also in the news: Understanding Medicare prescription drug plans, a new episode of the SmartMoney podcast on remote work burnout and saving for college, and the pros and cons of paying your student loans with a credit card.

How Losing Obamacare Could Cost You
If the Supreme Court tosses out the Affordable Care Act, it could dramatically affect your finances and choices.

Understanding Medicare Prescription Drug Plans
Medicare can help you pay for prescription drugs in two ways.

Smart Money Podcast: Remote Work Burnout and Saving for College
How to handle Zoom fatigue.

Can You Pay Your Student Loans With a Credit Card?
Yes. But should you?

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 7 Halloween headaches and how insurance can help. Also in the news: Your battle plan for buying a home with a VA loan, what college and student debt changes are likely after the election, and the best credit card for food delivery apps.

7 Halloween Headaches and How Insurance Can Help
What to do when you get tricked.

Your Battle Plan for Buying a Home With a VA Loan
Choose experienced professionals to guide you through the VA loan process, and bring some cash to the table, even if you don’t plan to make a down payment.

Trump vs. Biden: What College and Student Debt Changes Are Likely
What to expect from both candidates.

The Best Credit Cards for Food Delivery Apps
Finding tasty discounts.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Why playing the market right now is an especially bad idea. Also in the news: Is student loan discharge in bankruptcy within reach, the difference between being preapproved and prequalified for a credit card, and how your credit score is determined.

Playing the Market Is a Bad Idea, Especially Now
Brokerages have reported a surge in day trading, but the vast majority would be better off in low-cost funds.

Is Student Loan Discharge in Bankruptcy Now Within Reach?
Recent court rulings and lawmakers’ support to expand relief could help borrowers meet the stringent standards.

What’s the difference between being preapproved and prequalified for a credit card?
An unsolicited approval from a credit card issuer can be a red flag—they could be trying to sell you on a card you don’t need or want

How Your Credit Score Is Determined
Unraveling the mystery.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to shop during Medicare open enrollment. Also in the news: Don’t wait to apply for student loans for next year, 6 things you should add to your pandemic travel kit, and how to handle a suspicious inquiry in your credit report.

Medicare Open Enrollment: How to Shop
Two Medicare-related open enrollment periods offer a chance to switch your coverage. Here’s how to compare plans.

Don’t wait to apply for student loans for next year—some of the money could actually run out
Apply for the FAFSA now, there is ‘a lot of risk in applying late’

6 things you should add to your pandemic travel kit
It’s a whole new ballgame.

How to Handle a Suspicious Inquiry in Your Credit Report
Contact the lender directly.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Fear of bankruptcy holds too many people back. Also in the news: Saving for a down payment is only the start for homeowners, pressing pause on private student loans, and it’s time to revise your pandemic budget.

Fear of Bankruptcy Holds Too Many People Back
Many people could benefit from bankruptcy relief but don’t file because of fear, myths or misplaced optimism.

For Homeowners, Saving a Down Payment Is Only the Start
The down payment is just one cost to save for.

Should You Press Pause on Private Student Loans?
Forbearance isn’t the only way to get a more manageable private student loan payment.

It’s Time to Revise Your Pandemic Budget
Budgeting is more important than ever.