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Tip: Pay close attention to your child-support guidelines, and don't miss a payment if you can avoid it.

By Jul 14, 2014 2:21PM
This post comes from Gerri Detweiler at partner site on MSN MoneyWhen parents fall behind on their child support payments, they may be surprised to learn those delinquent payments can appear on their credit reports. What does that mean for their credit scores? A reader asks:

I recently pulled my reports and was shocked to see the State of MO is listing my child support in arrears when it is not. I pay it regularly. Is that harming my credit?

Wedding cake © Mike Kemp/JupiterimagesFirst, it’s important to understand why and how child support appears on credit reports. "Child support is generally reported as a tradeline," says Equifax Senior Director of Public Relations Meredith Griffanti. "It is reported directly from the municipality/agency collecting the debt."

In fact, this reporting is mandated under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, which requires "states to report periodically to consumer reporting agencies . . . the name of any noncustodial parent who is delinquent in the payment of child support and the amount of overdue support owed by such parent."

There are procedures in place to try to ensure that this information is accurate.


Looking to save money fast? Survey shows where the big savings are: Car insurance and cellphones.

By QuinStreet Jul 14, 2014 2:09PM

This post comes from Donna Freedman at partner site on MSN MoneyWhen someone asks me how to take control of his finances, I don't advise that he bake his own bread.

Man holding stopwatch © Keith Leighton/Alamy
Yet those are the sorts of tips you tend to get when Googling "how to save money." You’ll save money, but probably not as much as you'd think. And you’ll find these tactics can take time away from everything else you need or want to do.

I suggest instead that people think first about the big-ticket items. Results of a new survey from back me up.

The insurance comparison-shopping site asked 2,000 adults about how much time they spent on five big purchases and how much they saved, then ranked their potential bang for the buck. For example, the typical amount of time spent researching and shopping for a new car was 13.6 hours and the amount saved $1,054 – which works out to about $1.29 a minute.


A new Kaiser Family Foundation tool shows the harsh reality of trying to shift more Medicare costs to already-strapped seniors.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 14, 2014 1:40PM

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

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyIf you think seniors can afford to pay more for Medicare, let's take another look at that thought.

Why is this important? House Republicans have been calling for an end to traditional Medicare, instead favoring a voucher program where seniors pay for private plans. The latest proposal would give seniors a choice of using a government subsidy to either buy private insurance or pay for Medicare premiums in 2024.

Medical doctor © Creatas/SuperStockMany believe a subsidy program would shift more health care costs to seniors over time. Also, if new retirees picked private insurance, traditional Medicare would become much more expensive for those who continued to use it because they'd likely be older and in poorer health.

"The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that this effect could boost traditional Medicare premiums 50 percent by 2020 compared with current projections," Reuters said.

Seniors covered by Medicare are already paying for a chunk of their health care costs.


Some job seekers have tried over-the-top methods, like billboards and mailed shoes, to get noticed by potential employers. You don't need to be so unorthodox to get the job you want.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 14, 2014 12:19PM

This post comes from Victoria Hudson at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyT.S. Eliot's beleaguered J. Alfred Prufrock laments that his life is measured out in coffee spoons. His disillusionment reminds me of the online job hunting experience. Search … click … repeat.

At least Prufrock had a cup of joe to show for it. There's nothing more disheartening than submitting dozens of resumes, only to hear the same thing over and over, which is to say, nothing.

Resume © Dynamic Graphics, age fotostockSo why are you being ignored? The Wall Street Journal points to a report by CEB that says, "Companies received an average of 383 applications for every job opening they advertised in 2013."

That's a whole lot of clicks.

In an attempt to thwart the competition, some job seekers have responded with over-the-top schemes. You may have heard about the applicant who delivered his resume via stuffed carrier pigeon. Other job seekers have rented billboards. One woman even mailed her shoe to a prospective employer (to get her "foot in the door").

These outrageous plots sometimes work, but they are no substitute for the hard-and-fast rules of job seeking, such as doing your research, networking and reaching out to multiple employers.

That being said, it's sometimes necessary to step outside your comfort zone in today's crowded job market. So how do you stand out among the masses?


A recent study shows that American teenagers trail many of their global peers when it comes to financial literacy.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 14, 2014 12:08PM

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

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyWhen it comes to money, American teens have a lot to learn.

That was a finding of a recent financial literacy test administered by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. It was the first test of its kind, assessing teens' knowledge of personal finances -- including banking, taxes and how interest rates work -- and their ability to apply those skills to financial problems.

Teens with MP3 player © RubberBall, SuperStockOf the 18 countries tested, the U.S. ranked ninth, sandwiched between Latvia and the Russian Federation. Chinese students in Shanghai (the only Chinese city tested) earned top scores. Belgium, Estonia, Australia and New Zealand also ranked near the top. Colombia, Italy and the Slovak Republic rounded out the bottom three performers.

In a press release, the OECD said the overall results of the 29,000 15-year-old students it tested were less than impressive.

"Around 1 in 7 students … are unable to make even simple decisions about everyday spending, and only 1 in 10 can solve complex financial tasks," OECD said.

One seemingly simple question from the test required that teens know how to read a pay slip and understand the difference between gross and net pay.


Boat owners are getting savvy about how expensive boat ownership really is. Here are five ways to cut costs and maximize the fun without buying the boat.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 14, 2014 12:04PM

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

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyBoating for fun was once a rich person's passion. "Yachting," they called it. The boats were big and lavish. The costs were astronomical.

Sailboats and powerboats eventually became a middle-class pastime in the U.S. But the Great Recession and the rising cost of fuel made clear just how expensive boat ownership can be.

That made it clear to many that the next boat they own should not be theirs alone. We'll explain how this works and how you can substantially cut the cost of your boating pastime.


Some people use the global marketplace to make thousands of dollars. Discover their moneymaking method and how to make it work for you.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 11, 2014 2:51PM

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

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyWith a little shopping savvy, you can turn the global marketplace into your own personal moneymaking machine.

Whether you're looking for some extra pocket change or want to earn enough to replace a full-time job, the income potential is there for the taking. Some people are making thousands of dollars and more buying and selling online, and you can learn how to do the same.  

Your dream of doing what you love for a living may not be so far-fetched after all. Here's why.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 10, 2014 2:28PM

This post comes from Allison Martin at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyDo what you love and the money will come, it's often said. And it's often true. But if you're already committed to a boring full-time job, you likely can’t see how to make the transition.

In fact, the idea seems so far-fetched that each year many head straight into the work force from high school or college to begin a stable, though not necessarily satisfying, career.

Imagine how much happier people would be if they could spend their days doing what they love while also making a decent living?



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