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The Perils of Private Student Loans

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The cost of college is growing faster than inflation, and now many students find it difficult to go to college without some type of loan financing. 

To illustrate this, Heather Boushey, economist for the Center for Economic and Policy Research explains, “In 1981, a student could work full time all summer at minimum wage and earn about two-thirds of annual college costs.  Today, a student earning minimum wage would have to work full time for a year to afford one year of education at a four-year public university–and that assumes she saves every penny” (USA Today).

According to FinAid.org, “Two-thirds (65.6%) of 4-year undergraduate students graduated with a Bachelor’s degree and some debt in 2007-08.”

While the vast majority of those student loans are federal student loans, a small portion of them are private student loans.

Getting in student loan debt too deeply is a risk for all students, but private loans in particular come with inherent risks.

Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.

The Benefits of Private Student Loans

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Investment Strategies During a Bear Market

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As an investor, you might have heard of a bear market.

This is actually a market condition wherein the prices of securities are falling.  There is widespread pessimism within investors about the market.  Because of this negative feeling, investors would continue to sell due to the anticipation of losses.

This only leads to growing pessimism.

Despite this fact, there are still ways to make money from a bear market; or at the very least not to lose money from investments.

Before going into that, you have to completely understand what a bear market really is.

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Blue Sky from American Express® – A Great Way to Make Your Travel Spending Go Further | Review

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Are you looking for a travel rewards/airline miles card but hate the idea of all those blackout dates and weird restrictions?

The Blue Sky from American Express® credit card just may be the answer… and they’re currently offering a decent welcome bonus of 7,500 points (redeemable for up to a $100 statement credit).  Charge $1,000 on the card in the first three months of card membership and the points are yours.

Join us as we review the Blue Sky by American Express®.

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How to Blog and Make Money – 5 Ways to Use Your Blog to Make Money

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By now, many have recognized the potential for blogs as a money maker.

While many people don’t actually end up getting rich off their blogging efforts, there are some who manage to build home businesses around their blogs — or at least use their blogs to make a little more money from their business efforts.

If you are looking for ways to use your blog to make money, you might be surprised that it isn’t all about affiliate marketing (although that can certainly be part of it).  The big question of course is how to blog and make money?

Here are 5 ways that you can use your blog to make money:

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Why Do Women Make Less Money Than Men? Are We Training Them to Earn Less?

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That women generally earn less than men is a well known fact. 

Many people attribute the income difference to the fact that women are more likely to leave the job field to become caretakers, either for their children or their parents.  In fact, Time reported that “over a period of 15 years, according to a 2004 study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), a full 52% of women in their prime earning age range of 26 to 59 go through at least one full calendar year earning nothing at all, compared with just 16% of men.”

Of course, that absence in the work place can account for some difference in pay, especially when women stay out of the workforce for several years while their children are young.

However, women leaving the work field to care for others is only part of the story.

When Does the Wage Gap Between Men and Women Begin?

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Dow Crosses 14,000 and Links

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 14,000 this week.

This achievement was a big milestone for the bull market, yet no one seems to be celebrating too much.  Some traders think the market will begin to cool off while others think the government will work with the Federal Reserve to continue pushing the economy and markets up.

For all the talk of the Great Recession, the Lost Decade of 2000 to 2010, and so forth the markets have done surprising well.  The S&P 500 is up 37%, the Dow Jones is up 36%, and the Nasdaq is up 44% since the beginning of January 2010.

If you had funds invested in the market through a low cost index fund, you’ve probably done well.  And that’s not even taking into consideration dollar cost averaging your investments into the market which would catch some of the lows along the way and drive your returns even higher.

Will the bull market continue?  No one really knows and making drastic portfolio changes based on your gut is unwise.

Focus on what you can control with these articles:

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4 Money Attitudes that Will Lead to Financial Failure

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Sometimes, the way we think about money can have a big impact on how successful we are financially.

It seems strange that your mindset could matter so much, but how you think about money, and what you think is possible, can affect your financial success over time.

Take a few minutes to examine your money attitudes, and determine whether or not they are healthy.  Think about some of the attitudes you have that might be bringing your finances down the road to financial failure, including:

1. I’ll Start Saving When I Make More Money

My husband and I fell victim to this attitude early on in our marriage.  We thought we had to be making a certain amount of money before we could start saving.

Eventually, though, we realized that we needed to start small.  Building the habit, especially with our low income, was more important than anything else.

It’s important to get in the habit of saving.
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