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They can qualify for cards and are capable of building credit, but many are opting to avoid the debt that comes with them.

By Credit.com Mon 1:12 PM
This post comes from Christine Di Gangi at partner site Credit.com.

Credit.com on MSN MoneyIf you ask a young consumer about the contents of his wallet, there's a pretty good chance he'll tell you he has a debit card in it, if a recent survey is any indication. The prevalence of ecommerce and mobile banking practically makes it a necessity to have a payment card of some kind if you want to engage in the modern economy, but among the youngest adult generation, debit cards are the favorite.


Millennials -- people define the group differently, but it's generally people ages 18 to 30 or 35 -- favor debit cards  not because they don't want to build credit or can't qualify for credit cards, rather they tend to have an aversion to the idea of debt. Millennials started their adult lives during or in the wake of the financial crisis, in which debt emerged as a devastating villain to be avoided at all costs in the future.

 

A new comprehensive report by the Federal Reserve finds that most Americans' incomes have fallen since 2007, and the recovery hasn't brought them back.

By MSN Money Partner Mon 1:00 PM

This post comes from Marilyn Lewis at partner site Money Talks News. 


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyThe verdict is in on the economic recovery, and it's what you may have suspected: The only Americans who have really recovered are wealthy ones.


Businessman with cigar © Juice Images , SuperStockThe majority of U.S. families could not even handle an unanticipated expense as small as $400, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says a new Federal Reserve survey has revealed. Those families would need to sell something, borrow or not pay, she said.


Financial crisis looming for many families

"For many lower-income families without assets, the definition of a financial crisis is a month or two without a paycheck, or the advent of a sudden illness or some other unexpected expense," Yellen said, speaking to the Corporation for Enterprise Development, a nonprofit organization whose goal is financial independence for lower-income families.


She described more findings from the Fed's Survey of Consumer Finances, a major study done every three years. This year's study is called "Changes in U.S. Family Finances from 2010 to 2013: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances" (.pdf file). Among the findings:

  • The median net worth of the bottom 20 percent of U.S. households, some 25 million households in the lowest income bracket, was just $6,400. The median is the point in the middle for the group; half had a net worth that was higher, and half were lower.
  • Many of those families had no savings at all. For some, their debts exceeded assets.
 

She's 20-something, making $57,000 a year in Southern California, and can't afford to rent an apartment on her own, let alone buy a house. It's part of a phenomenon called The Great Delay.

By MSN Money Partner Mon 12:55 PM

This post comes from Bob Sullivan at partner site Money Talks News. 


Money Talks News on MSN Money"What is making me 'restless' is that I 'should' be able to live on my own. I hate the idea of the very real possibility that I may be 30 and still living with a roommate because I cannot afford to rent by myself."


Conflict between roommates © Izabela Habur/Getty ImagesIn The Restless Project, I am examining the surprising reasons that many Americans feel stuck, even though they seem to be doing all right. Household budgeting is one main factor. The reasons are simple: Wages are stagnant, but costs have risen, particularly housing and education costs. Outstanding student loans, now more than $1 trillion, have tripled in a decade, for example.


In other words, many people feel like they are earning plenty but still have no money left to plan for the future.


In the coming weeks, I'll be sharing individual American budgets that represent typical experiences. Today we start with a millennial who has no idea when she'll be able to live on her own.

 

Occupy Wall Street bought and forgave the student loan debt of more than 2,700 Everest College students.

By MSN Money Partner Fri 1:51 PM

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


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyMore than 2,700 people were able to breathe a collective sigh of relief after being unburdened of at least part of their student loan debt by an Occupy Wall Street campaign.


 College diploma © CorbisRolling Jubilee, an initiative of the Occupy movement, recently bought up about $3.9 million in private student loan debt for $107,000, according to Time. The debt belonged to 2,761 people who attended Everest College, a for-profit school run by Corinthian Colleges. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently filed suit against Corinthian Colleges for alleged predatory lending.


Time said Rolling Jubilee specifically selected loans for Everest College.


"We chose Everest because it is the most blatant con job on the higher ed landscape," the organizers said. "It's time for all student debtors to get relief from their crushing burden."


How did they retire so much debt for so little? 

 

Bigger products and purchases can be unwieldy, wasteful, and expensive to maintain. These things prove that good things come in small packages.

By DealNews.com Fri 1:19 PM
This post comes from Tucker Cummings at partner site DealNews.

DealNews on MSN MoneyAmerica is a land of bigness: we're the home of the Grand Canyon, the Cadillac Escalade, and the Big Gulp. If the nation had another Latin motto, it might be 'Grandior Melior Est': Bigger is Better. (Note: rough translation.)

Wedding ring © Jamie Grill, PhotolibraryThat might be true for some things (like the new iPhone 6 Plus, which is drumming up more interest than it's smaller sibling), but there are a few products where you're actually better off "skimping" and getting the smaller, less expensive option. For perishable goods or things that are expensive to maintain or store, bigger isn't always better. Read on to see our tips for downsizing your shopping.  

You think you're a savvy shopper, but you may be playing right into retailers' hands. Find out which sales tactics they're counting on you falling for again and again.

By MSN Money Partner Fri 12:40 PM

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


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyEvery time you walk into the mall, the grocery store or a big-box retailer, remember it's you against them.


"Them" are the marketers, sales professionals and CEOs who are determined to make you buy more than you planned. They spent $60 billion worldwide in 2013 on market research and business intelligence, all with the goal of putting more money in their coffers. For retailers, their research may include what you buy, when you buy and even what displays catch your eye.


In addition, retailers have an arsenal of sales tactics that may seem silly but serve as heavy-duty artillery when it comes to persuading you to part ways with your money.

 

These smart moves can help you save at Kohl's, a destination for frugal shoppers.

By Cheapism.com Fri 11:46 AM
This post comes from Raechel Conover at partner site Cheapism.com.

Cheapism.com on MSN MoneyWith school starting and the seasons changing, now is the time to start turning over your closet and getting the house ready for fall. This needn't be a costly endeavor, especially if you patronize the regular frugal haunts.

People leave the Kohl's Department store in Waukesha, Wisconsin © Morry Gash/APThe following tips and tricks can help maximize your savings when shopping at Kohl's.

Sign up for a Kohl's credit card. If you can handle a credit card judiciously -- that is, pay it off every month -- the Kohl's Charge Card is a good way to go. Kohl's frequently rewards cardholders by mailing coupons worth discounts of 15, 20, and 30 percent. In fact, the coupons arrive with such frequency that you should not have to shop without one. Even non-cardholders receive mailed coupons, just not as often or for as much of a price cut.
 

Residents of the biggest state carry the biggest debts, according to a new study.

By Credit.com Fri 11:37 AM

This post comes from Christine Di Gangi at partner site Credit.com.


Credit.com on MSN MoneyAlaskans have consistently carried high credit card balances for the past few years, possibly due to the high cost of living in the state.


According to data from the Experian-Oliver Wyman Market Intelligence Reports, sorted using Experian's IntelliView tool, only Alaska residents have carried an average credit card balance greater than $2,000 in the past three years, making it consistently the state with the most credit card debt.


Credit cards © CorbisAlaska is a bit of an outlier, with its average debt of $2,299 per card in the second quarter of this year -- the rest of the states carry an average balance between $1,366 and $1,817 -- but even with high balances, Alaskans followed d the national trend and reduced that balance over the past few years.


Here's how other states compare:

 

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