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How to Protect Your Credit and Online Data From Fraud—A Year After The Equifax Breach

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Home Mortgage Loans: Is 20% Down Dated Advice?

Home Mortgage Loans: Is 20% Down Dated Advice?

If you’re ready to buy your first home, you’ve likely heard that a 20% down payment on a mortgage is pretty standard. But given that as of July 2016 the median price of a home in the U.S. was $294,600, that can be a substantial chunk of change—$58,920 to be exact. Heck, that’s enough for an all-frills wedding, a Model 3 Tesla and a sweet honeymoon, or maybe even for a small private island in Nova Scotia.

But is the 20% down sage advice or an opinion that’s no longer relevant? Just last year, the average down payment on a single-family home was 14.8% (via RealtyTrac). So, times are a changin’.

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5 Strategies for Sticking to Your Remodeling Goals

Editor’s Note: The following article on home renovation and budgeting originally appeared on our web partner Houzz’s website. Some of the content has been slightly edited from its original version, and is written from the perspective of a home designer.

Remodeling is a great way to stay in the house you have. Plus, making changes can improve the way you live. But everyone has heard the horror stories of going 50 percent or more over the remodeling budget. Truth be told, even contractors will admit that it’s hard to provide an exact price on the work, because there are often unforeseen circumstances that could cause the price to rise. I always recommend factoring in about 20 percent over what you think you should budget. But knowing what you want from the very beginning — and sticking to those goals — can greatly help your project stay on track. Even if it seems like it’s going off the rails.

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How To Prioritize Savings Goals When Paying Down Student Loans

Got student loans? We’ve got you covered with our Student Loan Smarts blog series. Our expert tips and hacks will help you save money, pay off loans sooner, and stress less about student loan debt. Read the other posts in the series to get all the info you need to make intelligent decisions about your student loans.

Student loan debt can cause you to delay important life decisions, such as those around marriage and family, or postpone big savings goals like buying a house. But by refinancing, you won’t have to put your dreams on hold. All you need is a little guidance and a plan.

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Love and Loans: How Couples Can Pay Down Student Debt and Build a Joint Financial Future

Couples in committed relationships share a lot of things, from values and goals to favorite takeout places to Netflix and Spotify accounts. But many couples share something else: student loan debt. It’s not at all unusual—nearly 70% of people holding a Bachelor’s degree leave school with college debt—but it can be trying and cause concern.

If you and your partner are in that group, you might have already discovered how student loan debt can affect your financial lives. And if you’re like 54% of people surveyed, you might even have had second thoughts about taking on the debt of the person you love.

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