Tag Archives: Federal Reserve

Do huge student loans make financial sense anymore?

Connie Prater

Outstanding student loan debt now tops $1 trillion in the U.S. It’s not unheard of for students to obtain advanced degrees in law or medicine and carry hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt.

It’s no wonder given the staggering amount that families and students are now borrowing to fund college educations that more people are asking: Are college educations worth that amount of debt?

The more I think about it, the more disturbed I am about the U.S. education system. I think it is right to question the need for a college education given such huge debt loads. I don’t think college is right for everyone and I especially don’t think it’s a good idea to start adult life with a mountain of college debt.

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Will 2011 be the year of living frugally? Maybe, maybe not

Connie Prater

Will 2011 be the year of living frugally?

Or will the buy-it-now and get-the-latest-gadget trend continue? There is much disagreement about whether Americans have really changed their thinking about frugality and spending.

Of course, some people are being forced to change their ways — because they lost their jobs or they’ve gotten in way over their heads in debt. Some economic watchers say once the economy roars back and unemployment declines, many of those who turned frugal will revert to their old spending habits. Others argue that the 2008 Wall Street crisis gave us such a wake-up call and created so much mistrust of the global financial system that we won’t soon forget it.

There’s evidence on both sides of the argument.

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The check is often not in the mail — or even in the wallet

Connie Prater

How often do you write checks these days?

A growing number of people have given up check writing as electronic, plastic and online payment methods have expanded. That’s why I’m a bit puzzled by a new campaign called: “Stand up for your right to write checks.”

A press release about the campaign quotes the results of a telephone poll of 1,005 adults conducted July 17-21, 2010. More than a third of respondents (38 percent) said they would consider walking out of or not returning to a restaurant or business that refused to accept checks for payment. Three out of four people (75 percent) said they should have the freedom to pay at stores or restaurants with whatever method they choose — check, credit card, debit card or cash.

But check writing is on a steady decline in the United States — has been for two decades. Who’s really upset about places that don’t take checks?

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Coming soon to a theater near you: Fed credit card tips

Connie Prater

The Federal Reserve releases new credit card tips in movie theaters across the country — just in time for holiday shopping season.
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‘Talk like a banker’ word search puzzle

Daniel Ray

Sure, the credit crunch has made you sick. But it has also caused a host of banking and Fed related words and phrases to enter the popular lexicon. Can you find them all in this word search puzzle?
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