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Why LeBron James gets a Social Security tax break

LeBron James makes so much money that he wouldn’t likely notice if he paid twice as much toward Social Security taxes as he does now. Jason Miller/Getty Images LeBron James is not only one of the world’s best and most famous basketball players. He seems to always find his way into tax conversations. When he…

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Prices rise for your data on the black market

TEK IMAGE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty Images Your credit card is worth more to crooks on the Internet today than it was last year. You might think the law of supply and demand would put downward pressure on prices. More stolen cards should equal cheaper black market prices. But that’s not the case, and the reason might…

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Mortgage rates for Tuesday, May 3

Mortgage rates mostly fell today. The average rate on 30-year fixed mortgages inched down, as did the average rate on 15-year mortgages. The average rate on 5/1 ARMs moved up. Although mortgage rates fluctuate daily, they are currently around historic lows. That makes it a great time to be in the market to purchase or…

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Ask your lender to compare FHA with PMI

Unless you have stellar credit, you’ll get a lower monthly house payment with an FHA loan rather than with private mortgage insurance if you make a rock-bottom down payment. Hero Images/Getty Images That’s according to the Urban Institute, which ran the numbers on a range of credit scores for a $241,250 mortgage on a $250,000…

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Nissan recalls 3.8 million cars

The Chevrolet City Express is part of Nissan North America’s recall because it is manufactured at Nissan’s facility. Nissan North America has issued 2 separate recalls related to airbags for nearly 3.8 million Nissan and Infiniti cars, as well as a Chevrolet model that is built at Nissan’s factory.The larger recall affects 3,177,645 cars for…

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Mortgage rates for Monday, May 2

Mortgage rates dropped today. The average rates on 30-year fixed mortgages, 15-year fixed mortgages and 5/1 ARMs inched down. Even though mortgage rates fluctuate daily, they are currently around historic lows. If you’re looking to purchase or refinance a home, it’s a good time to be in the market. Borrowers with excellent credit typically can…

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Job outlook is strong for new college grads

Hero Images/Getty Images College graduates have reason to throw their caps in the air with added oomph this commencement season: They’re entering the best job market since before the Great Recession. “Despite the recent slowdown, job growth for college grads is back to the levels of the mid-2000s and was recently even higher,” says Brad…

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Toyota, Infiniti top preowned value awards

The 2014 Infiniti QX60 won a top award for preowned value from TrueCar. The new award, which uses data from TrueCar’s analytics division, ALG, identifies used cars that represent excellent value based on future resale prices. This year’s award recognized preowned cars from the 2014 model year that are expected to retain the highest percent…

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Venmo addresses blocked payments

ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images This month I wrote about how using certain words can get your payments delayed or blocked — and how some of those words seemed to unfairly target some ethnic minorities in the U.S. For instance, one Venmo user saw his payment held up over the use of the word “Persian” in a…

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Those crazy rents and home prices

Maybe the rent isn’t too high. Or maybe it’s way out of whack. It depends on your perspective. Specifically, it depends upon the period you look at. JGI/Tom Grill/Blend Images/Getty Images Rents versus home prices The Census Bureau collects quarterly data on asking prices for rents and asking prices for houses. When you look at…

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Mortgage rates for Friday, April 29

Mortgage rates are mixed today. The average rate on 30-year fixed mortgages is down, the average rate on 5/1 ARMs is up and the average rate on 15-year fixed mortgages is the same. Rates on mortgages fluctuate daily, but keep in mind that rates overall are around historic lows. If you’re looking to purchase or…

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Prince, half-siblings, a state and estate

With the news about the untimely death of Prince, who left no will but had 5 living half-siblings and 1 sibling, you’re probably wondering what might happen if you died without a will. The answer depends on whether you are Marsha Brady (of “The Brady Bunch”) or Claire Dunphy (of “Modern Family”). And it also…

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3 things that WON’T ding your credit score

Gawrav Sinha/E+/Getty Images You probably know the basics of what can hurt your credit score. Last year, a Bankrate survey revealed that: 81% of Americans recognized that having an unpaid collection account would hurt their credit score. 63% knew that an account that was 30 days late but later paid in full would show up…

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How your tax dollars are spent

Almost half of federal spending each year goes to federal programs designed to help support the elderly and children. Geber86/E+/Getty Images Last week, most Americans completed their annual tax filing duties. If you’re like me, when you finish your 1040 you are painfully aware, even when you get a refund, of how much of your…

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Mortgage rates for Thursday, April 28

Mortgage rates rose today. The average rate on 30-year fixed mortgages, 15-year fixed mortgages and 5/1 ARMs all inched up. Rates on mortgages may fluctuate daily, but it’s important to remember that they are currently around historic lows. Anyone looking to purchase or refinance a home will find it’s a great time to be in…

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Future retirees are scared of inflation

If you’re worried about how inflation could eat into your savings during retirement, you’re not alone. Some even feel panicked “We looked across all demographics, and (that fear) was pretty consistent,” with younger demographics slightly more concerned, says Katie Libbe, vice president of consumer insights at Allianz Life, the insurance company. Nearly half of those…

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The Fed hits ‘pause’ again

PeopleImages/DigitalVision/Getty Images If you were wondering whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in April, fuhgeddaboutit. The Fed’s policymaking Federal Open Market Committee announced today that it will keep the federal funds rate — the rate at which banks and credit unions lend reserves to other institutions overnight — in a range of 0.25%…

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Market takes a bite out of Apple

One of the 4 horsemen of the stock market’s advance has been “deFANGed.” Apple, among a group of 4 companies dubbed “FANG” by CNBC’s Jim Cramer, has seen its shares decline sharply after reporting its 1st drop in quarterly revenue in 13 years. (FANG comprises Facebook, Apple, Netflix and Google.) Westend61/Getty Images RATE SEARCH: Shop…

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Mortgage rates for Wednesday, April 27

Hero Images/Getty Images Mortgage rates increased today. The average rate on 30-year fixed mortgages, 15-year fixed mortgages and 5/1 ARMs all inched up by the same amount. Even though rates on mortgages may fluctuate day to day, remember that they are currently around historic lows. That makes it a great time for those in the…

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Prince left no will, but you can, frugally

Even if you’re heartbroken in the wake of Prince’s death, take a minute to reflect on the extra cost to his family. Kevin Winter/Getty Images Courts, not Prince, will decide According to his sister, Prince died intestate, which is Latin or lawyer-speak for dying without a will. His estate, valued at approximately $27 million, will…

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Confusing gear shift prompts big recall

Fiat Chrysler is recalling over 800,000 cars because of a gear shift that confuses drivers. Some Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep cars are being recalled for a problem with a gear shifter that causes some drivers to exit their cars without actually putting them in park. Parent company Fiat Chrysler said it is aware of 41…

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IRS doesn’t take iTunes cards as tax payment

In the latest tax scam, thieves are demanding payment via iTunes gift cards. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images The main tax season is over, but the tax scams continue. The latest is a twist on the Internal Revenue Service agent impersonation call. This time the crooks are telling victims to send iTunes gift cards to cover unpaid…