Remar's Report

Are You Protecting Your Personal Information from Newer Online Risks?

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Most consumers try to protect financial and personal information when online, but are you aware of newer, emerging risks and what you can do about them? Do you manage the cookies on your computer? Do you look for security indicators before using websites? Do you know about other steps you should be taking? In this month's report, I look at these and other ways to protect your financial and personal information online against both older and more recent risks.

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Rethinking Debt

Putting Money In Your Pocket

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Special note from Remar: This Remar's Report is going to sound like a commercial for Directions Credit Union, but it isn't. This report is about saving you money, and since many times "saving money" and Directions Credit Union go hand-in-hand, the credit union's name comes up a good bit. I think you'll be glad I bring it up, if you read carefully.

Want some free money? You know, some you don't have to work for? How about free money every month?

If you haven't looked at your debt—whether it's a payment on a loan or a credit card, recurring payments on your cell phone, or insurance or what you spend on groceries and house supplies each year, you're throwing away money and you're probably throwing away thousands. Like this:

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Spend to Save? A good idea or not?

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Have you seen the ads for the various debit card savings promotions? Many financial institutions are now offering some form of a debit card savings program. Some offer to round the amount of your purchase up to the next dollar and transfer that difference into a savings account. Others offer to transfer a fixed amount from your checking/debit account into savings. Some promise to match certain amounts of savings. All promise to help you save without having to think about it. Can programs like this make sense for you? Can they really help you reach your savings goals? This report profiles such programs to help you answer these questions and more.

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Looking for Extra Money? Which Options Are Risky? Which Are Real?

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With economic times still tough for some consumers, some of us are looking for ways to acquire some extra cash or to save money on necessities we have to purchase. Typical ways to acquire extra cash are to sell something or to find extra work. Buying goods and services at a discount helps us save on those necessities. How do you tell the real, practical options from the risky or fraudulent schemes? In this report, I'll give you some tips on how to tell the difference in several popular areas.

Selling gold, jewelry, coins and/or collectibles. Traveling buyers road shows are pulling in thousands of consumers all over the country today. Multiple ads on radio, TV, and billboards and full-page spreads in newspapers invite consumers to bring in their gold or jewelry (broken okay) or other collectibles to sell for "top dollar." While many of these shows are run by reputable companies, you will not necessarily get the best offer from them for your jewelry or collectibles.

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Is Now a Good Time for a New Mortgage or Refinancing Your Current Mortgage?

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Current mortgage interest rates in the U.S. remain historically low. If you're considering buying a new home, there are many of new and existing homes for sale.

Even though the economy has been picking up, the housing market has lagged behind. Several factors may play a role. The slowly recovering economy and concerns about job security have many people sitting tight. In addition, everyone has heard that loans are harder to get because lenders have tightened lending criteria and have less money to loan. That's not the whole story, however. Many lenders, particularly credit unions, are in good shape financially and are ready to make new mortgages or refinance existing mortgages for qualified consumers.

If you are interested in buying a new home or refinancing the mortgage on your current home, is now a good time to act? And what qualifications will give you the best chance? This report covers some of the basics.

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Are These Social Media Practices Endangering Your Privacy and Your Kids' Privacy?

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New developments or types of social media launch almost daily. Because such Internet-based applications or programs enable individuals and groups to connect easily and openly to share all types of information, you or your children may be putting private information at risk. Often you may not be aware just how much or what information you are sharing.

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