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A new survey reveals Americans are most embarrassed to admit their amount of credit card debt.

By MSN Money Partner 22 hours ago

This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyWould you rather tell people your weight or your credit card balance?

A recent survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that nearly 40 percent of Americans are more embarrassed about their credit card debt than their age, weight, credit score or bank balance. Credit score came in a close second, with 30 percent of the vote.

Overweight © ULTRA.F/Getty ImagesJust 12 percent of respondents said their weight was the most embarrassing. And only 10 percent indicated their bank balance was humiliating.

The results of the NFCC survey are telling, according to Gail Cunningham, NFCC spokesperson.

"Since consumers revealed that the two facts they'd be most embarrassed to admit are related to credit, it is obvious that they are not comfortable with how they are currently managing their money," she said in a statement.

CBS MoneyWatch said credit card debt is still a conversational taboo, likely because of the amount of credit card debt people rack up.


Investing in a printer is worthwhile for anyone who prints fairly often. Save photo printing for providers with the right equipment.

By 22 hours ago
This post comes from Louis DeNicola at partner site on MSN MoneyWhether you have a project that needs to be printed or two tickets to the biggest show in town, access to a reliable printer is a must. But if you use a printer only occasionally, is it worth the space and the expense when you could head to an office supply store instead?

Man using a printer © Stephan Zabel/Getty Images

To understand the economics behind this dilemma, we compared the cost of printing at home to the prices charged by two national chains. The frugal-wise choice was quickly apparent.

Wondering how many credit cards you should carry? Can't figure how whether to close that old account? We have answers to these and other burning questions.

By MSN Money Partner 22 hours ago

This post comes from Maryalene LaPonsie at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyJudging from our inbox, there seems to be a lot of credit confusion out there.

Whether you want to know how many credit cards to carry or when Junior should get his own card, you've got questions. Lucky for you, we've got answers!


The day has finally come -- your teen asked for a card 'to establish my credit.' One expert says it might be a good idea to wait a while.

By 22 hours ago
This post comes from Gerri Detweiler at partner site on MSN MoneyShould high school seniors get a credit card to build credit? For these young adults and their parents, the question isn’t academic. They face this question as soon as they turn 18.

Father and son © Bill Cannon, Photodisc Red, Getty ImagesThe benefits of building good credit are numerous; lower interest rates when you borrow and lower insurance premiums are just two of them. If that’s the case, then wouldn’t establishing credit as soon as possible be a smart move? After all, the age of your credit accounts is one of the five main factors that go into credit scores, and the older your accounts, the better.

Not so fast, says Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine and author of the "Money-Smart Kids" column on "I don’t think that high school seniors need to start thinking about building credit as soon as they turn 18 -- at least by getting a credit card. I don’t think young people that age have the maturity or real-world experience to manage credit, and it’s too much responsibility to put on their shoulders -- or their parents'."

Bodnar thinks kids should establish credit more gradually. She says:


As fears rise over costs and higher tuition, some law schools advertise their own plans to cover loan replacements.

By Money Staff Tue 1:44 PM

This post comes from Josh Mitchell at partner site The Wall Street Journal.

The Wall Street Journal on MSN MoneyGovernment officials are trying to rein in increasingly popular federal programs that forgive some student debt, amid rising concerns over the plans' costs and the possibility they could encourage colleges to push tuition even higher.

Graduation cap © Stephen Wisbauer/Getty ImagesEnrollment in the plans—which allow students to rack up big debts and then forgive the unpaid balance after a set period—has surged nearly 40 percent in just six months, to include at least 1.3 million Americans owing around $72 billion, U.S. Education Department records show.

The popularity of the programs comes as top law schools are now advertising their own plans that offer to cover a graduate's federal loan repayments until outstanding debt is forgiven. The school aid opens the way for free or greatly subsidized degrees at taxpayer expense.

At issue are two federal loan repayment plans created by Congress, originally to help students with big debt loads and to promote work in lower-paying jobs outside the private sector.


Often perceived to be expensive, living an eco-friendly lifestyle can actually save you money and save the environment.

By MSN Money Partner Tue 1:18 PM

This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News. 

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyMany Americans believe that living an eco-friendly lifestyle costs too much "green."

That's the finding of a new survey by digital coupon website RetailMeNot and The Omnibus Co. released just in time for Earth Day.

Factory air pollution © Chris Knorr/Design Pics/Corbis

The survey found that less than half -- 44 percent -- of Americans would describe their lifestyle as completely green.

Nearly half of the survey participants said the biggest reason for not living an entirely eco-friendly existence is because it's too expensive.

And 7 in 10 people said they only purchase eco-friendly products if the cost is the same or lower than non-green.

Trae Bodge, senior editor of The Real Deal blog, says that despite many people's perception that living green is spendy, it can actually save you money. Bodge compiled 11 ways to go green and save.

Here are our five favorite tips. They're both easy and Earth-friendly:


Are you mad as heck? Make sure your complaint letter gets attention by following these tips.

By MSN Money Partner Tue 12:33 PM

This post comes from Maryalene LaPonsie at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyFor 13 years, I was a constituent services staffer for a Michigan legislator. In other words, my job was to try to resolve constituent complaints.

Woman with computer © Jose Luis Pelaez/Getty ImagesThat means I've seen a lot of complaint letters. I've also written a fair share myself because many times, in order to resolve an issue, my boss needed to send her own letter about the problem. As a result, I quickly learned what letter-writing strategies work best and which ones are bound to get you the cold shoulder.

Here are some do's and don'ts for writing effective complaint letters.


Car, homeowners and health insurance: necessary. But what about life insurance? Here are seven things everyone should know.

By MSN Money Partner Tue 12:23 PM

This post comes from Stacy Johnson at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyThis week's reader question is about life insurance, and it’s short and sweet.

Is life insurance really necessary if you are a single person with no dependents? -- Pam
Insurance © NULL/CorbisWho needs life insurance?

Life insurance is one of the least understood major expenses. Many people buy it when they don't need it. Just as many need it and don't buy it.

You need life insurance if those depending on your income would suffer financially from your death. The most obvious example is when you have kids, debt and a one-earner household, because the death of the breadwinner would be financially tragic.

When you've paid off the house, the kids are gone, the savings account is topped off, and your death is just an excuse for your remaining friends to get together and have a drink, your need for life insurance is over.

Of course, there are those between these two extremes. For example, because Pam has no dependents, she probably doesn't need life insurance. But she may have an awesome home she wants to leave debt-free to her sister. If that home has a mortgage, she may choose to get enough insurance to pay it off.

Another situation where life insurance can come in handy is a big estate. 



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