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CONSUMER NEWS

 
Six Top Benefits of Owning a Home - The responsibilities that go with homeownership can be a pain, but the financial and "feel good" rewards make it all worthwhile.

Here Comes the 40 Year Mortgage - For years a niche product found mostly on the west coast, it will become mainstream this month.

Employment Strategies for 50-Somethings - Make your maturity and experience work for you when on the hunt for a new job.

Price Your Home at the Top, but Not Over the Top - Pricing it lower than it should be is cheating yourself, but going overboard can lead to no sale at all.

Reverse Mortgages: Retirement's On the House - Among the faster growing products in the home finance industry today is a mortgage that puts money into the pockets of borrowers -- and they don't have to pay it back until after they move out.

Cutting Your Home Energy Costs - Cooling your home this summer will be pricey, but a few changes can make a big difference. And, many changes don't cost much in cash, or comfort.

Home Buying 101 - Escrow? Jumbo loan? PMI? Before your head is swimming with these house-buying terms, get a quick vocabulary lesson in some real estate and mortgage terms.

The Truth About Buying Foreclosures - Everyone wants to buy a foreclosure for a song. But they're not that easy to find and there's no guarantee it's a good investment.

A New Way to Grow Your Money Tax Free - Proposed Roth 401(k) will offer significant benefits for savers.

How to Hire a Contractor - Remodeling or repairing your home is not something you do every day. Here's how to be selective when choosing a contractor.

Interest Only Mortgage Deja Vu - That last craze for interest-only mortgages craze ended with a Depression-era wave of foreclosures. The new variety of this loan is even riskier, says Jack Guttentag, the Mortgage Professor.

Graduation Gifts that Make a Difference - You don't have to get a present for every graduate who sends you an announcement. But here are some gifts the class of '04 can use post-diploma.

Good News, Bad News: Credit Card Minimum Payments Doubling - Ballooning minimum monthly payment on credit card balances could help you reduce debt faster or push you closer to bankruptcy.

How to Choose a Summer Camp - Choosing a day camp or sleepover camp for your child this summer? Consider these priorities before you make your decision.

Get Rid of Your Junk - Choose one of several methods to sell your old belongings and make some money.

8 tips for House-Hunting on Vacation - Some say it's no way to spend a vacation, but checking out the real estate market in your favorite corner of paradise actually may be a smart way to multitask.

Locking a Rate vs. Paying Discount Points - Those waiting for a house to be finished often spend thousands on long rate locks, but there is an alternative: Pay that same money for discount points.

Shop Wisely for a Real Estate Investment Club - You can learn a lot, both good and bad, so check them out thoroughly.

6 Money Mistakes Even the Experts Make - Everybody messes up. Smart people learn from the experience.

Breaking an ARM's Grip - Those who took out adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) when rates were at record lows are now looking for ways out.

Adding Up Deductible Sales Tax - The new sales tax deduction gives many filers another chance at cutting their federal bills. Our expert looks at how the law applies to some specialty sales taxes.

8 Calls to Make if Your Identity is Stolen - A step-by-step guide to clearing your good name.

14 Ways to Avoid Identity Theft - Former thief Frank Abagnale offers some suggestions to protect your credit.

Quiz: Do You Protect Your Identity? - Check to see if you're protecting yourself from identity thieves.