Color of Money: Don't fall for student loan relief scams

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- If you're in the market to buy a home, you might hear a real estate professional say it's all about "location, location, location."

Those in the business of deceit also look for the best location -- but not necessarily a physical place. For scammers, it's all about where they'll get the most money victimizing people. And one of ...Read more

Color of Money: Learn how to protect seniors from fraud

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- With every data breach comes an increased need for fraud sentinels for seniors.

And by that I mean if you are a caregiver for a senior, you should become familiar with schemes targeting the elderly.

Clearly there are many seniors who are fully capable of avoiding conmen trying to get their money. But particularly for those who ...Read more

Color of Money: What you don't know about cybersecurity can cost you

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- You know the screams you hear when watching a horror movie in a theater?

That's what I want to let out every time there's another data breach. And I'm not alone.

"We're really scared," wrote readers Ellen and David, who are still scrambling for a feeling of security after the massive Equifax breach that left 145.5 million ...Read more

Color of Money: October is a spooky month for cybersecurity awareness

Business / The Color of Money /

The irony is not lost on me -- nor should it be on you -- that National Cyber Security Awareness Month falls at the same time we celebrate Halloween.

When it comes to money, one of the scariest things happening right now is the insecurity of our financial information.

The fast food chain Sonic just became the latest company to reveal that ...Read more

Color of Money: Be as proactive as possible to protect your data

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- Just when you thought you'd heard the worst, Equifax announced that another 2.5 million consumers had their personal information stolen from its database, bringing the total to 145.5 million folks left vulnerable to identity theft.

This week, a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee held a hearing that immediately turned into a ...Read more

Color of Money: After the Equifax massive data breach, so many questions

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- I finally made it in.

After numerous checks of my email, spam folder and a very unhelpful call with a customer representative, I was able to register for the free credit monitoring service offered by Equifax following its massive data breach, which affected 143 million consumers.

Through its service TrustedID Premier, I can view ...Read more

Color of Money: Equifax breach gives us a deeper look into credit bureaus

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- If nothing else, the massive Equifax data breach should broaden our knowledge of how the credit bureau world works.

For example, until this cybercrime exposed 143 million consumers to identity theft, many people didn't realize they could freeze their credit file to block new lenders from seeing their credit reports if they ...Read more

Color of Money: Equifax needs to do better in handling data breach

Business / The Color of Money /

I'm still waiting on Equifax to give me what it promised.

Like millions of others, I was informed by the credit bureau that my personal financial information may have been compromised by the company's recent epic data breach.

The Equifax debacle posed a quadruple threat, exposing people's addresses, birth dates, social security and driver's ...Read more

Color of Money: Equifax data breach could have a silver lining

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- Whatever your political affiliation, there is now one financial issue on which we can all agree.

We need Congress to pass legislation allowing consumers to temporarily freeze and unfreeze their own credit files at no charge to help thwart identity theft.

In case you missed it, the credit-reporting agency Equifax recently ...Read more

With a scary hurricane season already, is Florida the right retirement haven for you?

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- I've always imagined my retirement would include a home near a beach, where the weather is warm all year and I can spend hours a day listening to crashing waves.

I love the Mid-Atlantic with its simmering summers, fall colors and warm springs, but I hate the winters -- mostly because the cold aggravates my rheumatoid arthritis.

...Read more

Color of Money: Dreaming of retirement? Don't forget to plan.

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- The go-to strategy to encourage people to save for their retirement years has been to frighten them with the numbers.

The average cost of retirement is more than $700,000, according to a study released this year by Merrill Lynch. If you want a swanky retirement, you'll obviously need more. Fidelity Investments estimates that ...Read more

Color of Money: Testimonies of financial triumph

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- I don't know about you, but I need some good news.

I've been so worried about the financial destruction facing Hurricane Harvey victims -- many of whom won't have their losses covered because they didn't have flood insurance. And now Hurricane Irma is barreling through northeastern Caribbean islands and Florida.

Almost every day ...Read more

Color of Money: Make a regular plan to give, because there's always a need.

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- I'm in awe of the generosity and volunteer efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

There was the Chick-fil-A manager who helped an elderly couple who had called in an order for two grilled chicken burritos with extra egg, and a boat. The manager sent her husband with his boat -- and some fellas on jet skis stopped to help.

...Read more

Color of Money: Don't be fooled by Hurricane Harvey flood scams

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- With every natural disaster come the scams.

After Hurricane Harvey left a path of destruction in Southeast Texas, naturally people want to help. Americans are extremely generous when there's a devastating event, and criminals know exactly how to take advantage of a crisis.

Just three months after Superstorm Sandy pummeled the ...Read more

Color of Money: Making a dent in student debt

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- There are two words that can rock people with regret.

Just ask them about their "student loans." Then watch their faces. They will wince as they disclose how much education debt they're carrying.

Politicians have been promising to fix the growing loan crisis for years, but outstanding student debt has now mushroomed to $1.4 ...Read more

Color of Money: Allowing children financial freedom can pay off

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- I've always struggled with how much financial freedom to give my children.

I'm a life-long penny-pincher, and I wanted my children to embrace frugality, too. So I forbade certain spending. I didn't want them to grow up being spendthrifts.

But, as I've matured and gotten better at parenting, I've realized that sometimes I have to ...Read more

Are you plagued by serial get-out-of-debt disorder?

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- There's a group of people who suffer from what I'd call "serial get-out-of-debt disorder."

I know it's a mouthful, but it's a real condition for folks who find themselves stuck in a cycle of getting in and out of debt.

This ailment typically affects people who live above their means. One long-term effect of this ailment is the ...Read more

Color of Money: The cost of racism

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- Racism has taken a toll on our society in many ways. One of its costs has been the lost economic mobility of generations of minorities.

I nearly lost mine.

Like so many, I watched the horridness that was on display in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past weekend, including the twisted, angry faces of racist marchers and the blows...Read more

Color of Money: You can't afford to forget the lessons of the Great Recession

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- The Dow industrial average hit 22,000 in August, ushering in yet another noteworthy high. But Americans also reached the big time with a different financial milestone this year -- and not in a good way.

Outstanding consumer revolving debt -- mostly credit card debt -- hit an all-time peak of $1.021 trillion in June, according to ...Read more

Color of Money: Is debt a deal breaker when dating? Four signs that it is.

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- The intersection of finance and romance is always a tricky place. And many people even arrive there while still dating, when the level of debt -- student loans included -- being carried by a potential partner creates concern about the next step in the relationship.

Here's the big picture: There's $1.4 trillion in outstanding ...Read more


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