How My Student Loans Ballooned From $8K to $36K

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Confusion over student loan payments left an Arizona woman owing nearly five times the amount she took out to finance her education, though she insists she repaid the balances years ago, KTVK-3TV reports. Michelle Hudman took out three loans totaling $8,400 in the 1980s. As she explained to a local reporter, Hudman repaid one loan and her mom…

After Detroit, another city ponders bankruptcy

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FLINT, Mich. — As Detroit struggles to climb out of bankruptcy, another Michigan city with strong ties to the auto industry may be about to fall into the same hole. Flint, the birthplace of General Motors that once had 200,000 residents, has also endured a spectacular drop in population and factory jobs and a corresponding…

Your 401(k) Plan May Provide a False Sense of Security

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The 401(k) landscape is definitely improving. But with this improvement comes a new danger: Your plan may be giving giving you a false sense of security. According to a report on 2013 defined contribution plan data, “How America Saves 2014,” recently published by Vanguard, more than 88 million Americans participate in defined contribution plans. The…

Jobs, cars seen cementing U.S. spring rebound

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The United States can firmly consign its weather-beaten start to the year to history this week with June vehicle sales and jobs data expected to show a strong end to the second quarter. The U.S. economy contracted at a 2.9 percent annual rate, the sharpest decline in five years, in the Jan-March…

Student Debt Takes a Toll on Some Home Buyers

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Rachael Heffner, like many Americans, has long had a dream of owning her own home. But the college graduate also has a much newer problem blocking her way: a $691 monthly payment to service her nearly $60,000 in student loans. Homeownership among Americans under age 35 hit the lowest level on record earlier this year,…

Senators propose 12-cent gas tax increase

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Two senators unveiled a bipartisan plan Wednesday to raise federal gasoline and diesel taxes for the first time in more than two decades, pitching the proposal as a solution to Congress’ struggle to pay for highway and transit programs. The plan offered by Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., would…

Court sides with payday lenders

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Consumer advocates again are calling on state lawmakers to tighten restrictions on short-term, high-interest loans after the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the ability of payday lenders to sidestep a law intended to crack down on them. Whether Republican legislative leaders will impose new controls on an industry that has provided a steady stream of campaign…

Steve Forbes’ solution for student loan debt

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It’s not often that Democrats like President Barack Obama and conservatives like Steve Forbes agree on the key issues of the day but that’s exactly what’s happening with the high cost of college and explosion of student debt. They both agree that rising college costs – now averaging almost $31,100 a year at private colleges and $9,000…

Obama’s new student debt plan may end up backfiring

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President Barack Obama will issue an executive order on Monday directing the secretary of education to ensure that students with federal loans will be able to cap payments at 10% of their monthly income. The order expands on previous legislation aimed at making it easier for young Americans to repay student loan debts. Federal student…

Why U.S. Manufacturing Is Poised for a Comeback (Maybe)

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Manufacturing in the U.S. is starting to make a comeback, and is poised for even bigger gains in the years ahead. That, at least, is the way the optimists see it. Driven partly by more competitive labor and energy costs and companies’ desire to produce goods closer to their customers, the number of factory jobs…