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About 52 million American adults don't have sufficient credit histories to generate a credit score.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 9, 2012 8:30AM

This post comes from Tim Sullivan at partner blog Get Rich Slowly.


Get Rich Slowly on MSN MoneyI recently had dinner with my friend and fellow 20-something, Gwynn. When the check came, I put down plastic; she put down cash. The following conversation followed:


Gwynn: Would it be easier to just take the cash and put it all on your card?


Image: Man paying with credit card (© UpperCut Images/UpperCut Images/Getty Images)Me: No, I'll just have him split it. I tend to do this awesome thing where I take the cash, thinking I'll get the miles, and then spend the cash on whatever. When the bill comes a month later, I'm wondering why I spent $50 on dinner for myself.


Gwynn: I just don't trust those things.


Me: Credit cards?

Gwynn: Yeah, never had one, never will.


More than a dozen Saratoga Springs, NY, teenagers allegedly gave up valuable personal information in exchange for fake driver's licenses.

By Giselle Smith Apr 6, 2012 3:55PM

Image: Beer (© Corbis)Fourteen teens arrested in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., over the past month are suspected of doing what a lot of young people have done for generations: trying to get their hands on some alcohol. But they may have bought themselves a whole lot of future trouble.


The teenagers allegedly traded their photos, Social Security numbers and $75 money orders for extremely realistic-looking driver's licenses via a website in China, according to the Albany Times Union.


There are few products that look the same and do the same thing, but range in price from 1 cent to $300.

By Stacy Johnson Apr 6, 2012 1:57PM

This post comes from Brandon Ballenger at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyIf you're in the market for a new television set, Best Buy is selling a Toshiba 32-inch flat-screen HDTV for $290. Not a bad deal, right? But you'll need something called an HDMI cable to get that high-definition signal from your cable box or DVD player to your new TV. Best Buy sells those, too. For example, you can buy a 3-foot-3-inch AudioQuest HDMI cable -- for $295.

You read that right. The cable costs more than the TV.


A new debit card offers rewards that can be applied to student loan debt. Consumer advocates urge caution.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 6, 2012 1:24PM

This post comes from AnnaMaria Andriotis at partner site SmartMoney.


SmartMoney on MSN MoneyCollege graduates can now pay off their student loans by paying their bar tabs. That's the marketing pitch for a debit card aimed at those saddled with loan debt.


Image: Graduation cap (© Brand X Pictures/Photolibrary/PHOTOLIBRARY GROUP LTD)But borrowers should tread lightly: They'll have to spend a lot on clothing and nightlife before seeing any meaningful rewards, experts say. They also may incur high fees.


Launched this week, the so-called SmarterBank Visa debit card offers graduates rewards of up to 1% on purchases, which are put toward their student loan balances.


What goes around comes around, so enjoy these record low interest rates while they're here.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 6, 2012 11:33AM

This post comes from Len Penzo at partner blog Len Penzo dot Com.


Len Penzo dot Com on MSN MoneyLast summer my 12-year-old daughter, Nina, was extolling the fashion virtues of her hot pink Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star high-top sneakers, better known to many as, simply, "Chucks."


Image: Inflation (© Nick Koudis/Getty Images)What I found amusing was, while Nina really thought she was on the cutting edge of sartorial style, she was really just riding the latest fashion wave that has seen the popularity of those venerable basketball shoes rise and fall multiple times since they were first produced way back in 1917.


When I told her that dear old Dad used to wear Chucks when he was a kid growing up in the 1970s, she was completely amazed. And when I told her none of my friends would be caught dead wearing them by the time the '80s rolled around, she couldn't believe it.


"It's that way with a lot of things in life, Sweetie," I reminded her.


Imagine being ready for retirement but still making payments on your own or your child's student loan debt.

By Karen Datko Apr 5, 2012 3:22PM

Depressing fact of the week: About $36 billion of our nation's burgeoning student loan debt is owed by people 60 and older.


That stunning fact from research by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York was reported this week by The Washington Post, which added:


More than 10% of those loans are delinquent. As a result, consumer advocates say, it is not uncommon for Social Security checks to be garnished or for debt collectors to harass borrowers in their 80s over student loans that are decades old.

Canada recently announced plans to eliminate its penny, but most Americans favor keeping ours -- despite the cost to make it.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 5, 2012 2:38PM

This post comes from Brian O'Connell at partner siteMainStreet.


A new report shows that while Canada may be eliminating its penny, Americans don't want to part with their copper. What may be surprising is the amount of money consumers save by keeping the penny.


Recurring surveys -- the latest released today -- by the Washington, D.C.-based Americans for Common Cents shows 66% of Americans favor keeping the penny in the nation's currency system. (The ACC is a consortium of 50 groups that are working to highlight the benefits the penny provides to the economy and consumers.)


Putting your saving and investing on an automated plan is a great way to manage money, but some think it's the lazy man's route.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 5, 2012 12:13PM

This post comes from Rob Berger at partner blog The Dough Roller.


The Dough Roller on MSN MoneyI'm convinced that the one thing that could greatly improve finances for many people is also dead simple -- automation.


Image: Dollar sign on keyboard (© Corbis)Studies -- here's one (.pdf file) --  have shown, for example, that when an employer automatically signs up new employees to the company's 401k plan, a greater percentage of employees participate in the plan. While many of those employees would not enroll in the retirement plan if left to their own devices, they apparently also won't go to the trouble of canceling their enrollment when the employer takes the initiative.


Financial automation, moreover, has never been easier.



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