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CFPB unveils payday loan plan

The oft-maligned payday lending industry may be about to get a makeover. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unveiled a new proposal on Thursday that would seriously revamp the short-term credit marketplace. The new rules, pending feedback from a Small Business Review Panel, would apply to payday loans, vehicle title loans, deposit advance products and certain…

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8 ways people use mobile banking

What’s the least popular way in which consumers interact with their bank? If you said mobile banking, congratulations, you’re our winner. While using a smartphone to conduct banking business continues to grow in popularity, just 35 percent of consumers who have a bank account reported using mobile banking in the 12 months prior to a…

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Give insurers a peek at your genes?

We’re all about high-tech genetic measurement these days, whether it’s tracking mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene to assess a woman’s risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer, or shaking our family tree to see if Alzheimer’s disease might one day befall us. Unfortunately, being genetically proactive about your health could have a negative…

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5 wise estate-planning steps

When actor Mickey Rooney died in 2014, he didn’t have much money to divide. Instead, his family fought over where he would be buried — in the family plot or in Hollywood. There was no formal burial agreement in place, setting off the feud between two factions of his family. You don’t have to be famous…

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Steller Storytelling App Gets A Huge Makeover

Steller is a storytelling app that has been around since the beginning of 2014, but today the company has announced a huge overhaul of the app’s UX to make editing and creating that much simpler. Steller allows users to upload videos, photos, and add text to create a storybook experience on mobile. Users can create…

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It’s getting harder to afford a home

These markets have the highest ratio of price appreciation to wage growth, according to RealtyTrac. A rebound in home prices is good news in the wake of the housing crash — but there can be too much of a good thing. Home prices are rising 13 times faster than wage growth nationwide, according to a…

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Oprah Auctioning Contents as She Sells Chicago Penthouse

Jordan Strauss/Invision/APOprah Winfrey with Stedman Graham at the Academy Awards. She has been trying to sell her Chicago condo. Oprah Winfrey is decluttering her real estate portfolio and her Chicago condo. The Queen of Talk has been trying to unload her Water Tower Place penthouse for $7.5 million. But while waiting for the 56th-floor, 9,600-square-foot…

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Warning signs in the housing market

New homebuyers: Time to buy? Do consumers and investors need to be worried about another housing bubble? Hopefully, the answer is no. But the question can’t be ignored. The housing market has roared back to life in the past few years. Times are once again good for big homebuilders such as Lennar (LEN) and KB…

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Frugal living to build wealth?

Ronald Read, died in June of 2014 at the age of 92. Mr. Read in his working career pumped gas at a service station, and later was a maintenance worker and janitor at a JCPenney store. Anna Prior, writing for The Wall Street Journal last week, supplied the details of Mr. Read’s work history along…

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Rent vs. buy vs. live with mom and dad

Hey Millennials, what makes you so special? Is it better to get a 15- or 30-year mortgage on a first house? — @KellyRunRuuun viaTwitter. Wow, Kelly. That’s a question I don’t hear often from millennials. Your generation is twice as likely to be living at home with mom and dad than shopping for real estate.…

4 reasons to sell your home now

New homebuyers: Time to buy? Attention potential sellers sitting on the fence: It could be time to make a move. Mid-March to mid-April is the best time to hang the sale sign nationally, with homes selling 15% faster and for 2% more than the average sale, according to Zillow. The window tends to be a…

Should you retire with debt?

Conventional wisdom says retirees would do well to pay off their debt before ditching the 9-to-5 job with its steady income. But Tom Anderson, author of “The Value of Debt in Retirement,” says a certain amount of the right kind of debt can help boost your financial portfolio and reduce risk. There’s debt and then…

Special enrollment for pregnant women?

Should an uninsured woman who becomes pregnant qualify to enroll in Obamacare health insurance at any point during the year? Absolutely, says a growing group of supporters. What’s the deal? Fifty-four members of Congress, headed by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J., have written to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell urging that pregnant…

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Rent an Apple Watch before buying

Take a week to decide if you want to buy the Apple Watch with this rental program. © ROBERT GALBRAITH/Reuters/Corbis If the Apple Watch looks interesting, it still may have you asking, is it worth $349, $549 or more? And what does it do that would be worth any amount? Good luck getting fulfilling answers…

CFPB warns of pension advances

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently released a consumer guide and advisory about pension advances and pension loans. The pension-advance companies offer retirees and veterans either a loan or a cash advance in exchange for all or a part of their pension payments. Paying back a pension advance or pension loan, plus the high…

Are boomers too fat to be healthy?

Is 60 really the new 50? Are boomers going to live to 100 and beyond? That’s the popular perception, but a recent study published in the Milbank Quarterly, a Canadian health policy journal, suggests that there is very little scientific evidence to back that up. The study, which was based on people’s own perceptions of their…

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‘Normal’ for housing remains elusive

When the housing market was strong, before the financial crisis, the markets for both new and previously-owned homes were like siblings that could do no wrong. As the market has climbed out of the abyss, their similarities have been occasionally harder to detect. That has been the case again with this week’s reports on February…

Bills propose return to old FSA rules

The anti-Obamacare effort has shifted gears in the 114th Congress. Rather than focusing on repeal of the Affordable Care Act, as it’s officially named, lawmakers now are chipping away at the health reform law. A group of lawmakers wants to restore flexible saving account, or FSA, benefits that were removed or limited under the health…