CPI Report: Inflation Was Slightly Less Terrible in November

Goods and services are getting less expensive in response to the Federal Reserve’s persistent increases in interest rates. But prices are still higher than they were a year ago. Consumer prices are up 7.1% year-over-year as of November 2022, according to Tuesday’s Consumer Price Index report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Consumer Price Index tracks … Continued

Great, Inflation Is Ruining Thanksgiving Dinner, Too

This Thanksgiving, it’s not just the pandemic or post-election political tensions threatening to ruin your family dinner — it’s also inflation. Oh, and the ongoing avian flu that has killed more than 7 million turkeys nationwide this year. The American Farm Bureau Federation, which tracks food prices, said in a news release that consumers could face … Continued

Credit Card Debt Is Making a Comeback

Credit card debt took a nosedive in the early days of the pandemic in 2020 as consumers stayed home, lost work and received cash infusions from the government. Two years later, it’s back. Credit card debt increased 15% year over year — the largest one-year increase in more than two decades, according to the Federal Reserve … Continued

Job Market Still Strong Despite Slight Rise in Unemployment

A slight uptick in unemployment in October is the one blemish on an otherwise strong employment picture for workers, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday. A significant number of jobs were gained in October and wages remain up overall. And hiring was stronger in industries that previously lacked growth, … Continued

Lawsuit Stalls Student Debt Relief: What Now?

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has granted an emergency stay pending the appeal of a lawsuit seeking to delay the scheduled rollout of the Biden administration’s promised student debt relief. In other words, borrowers hoping to see $10,000 or $20,000 wiped from their debts will have to wait while this lawsuit proceeds; hearings are … Continued

Federal Student Loan Payments on Hold Until 2023 — What Comes Next

Nearly 37 million federal student loan borrowers are getting an additional four months of reprieve from payments. The White House cited the current high inflation rate as the primary reason for extending the pause through Dec. 31. Wednesday’s announcement was coupled with a much bigger deal: The long-awaited $10,000 in student debt cancellation for borrowers and up … Continued

Do You Need a Grad Degree to Compete Right Now? Probably Not

More U.S. workers than ever hold a graduate degree. Years of intensifying job requirements and headlines declaring a master’s “the new bachelor’s degree” nudged a record number of students into grad school. And yet more well-paying jobs no longer require a college degree at all. In this tight labor market, do college grads need a master’s … Continued

Student Loan Pause Extended Again — Is There an End Game?

Federal student loan borrowers just got an extra four months before their payments resume. If that feels like déjà vu, it’s because this is the sixth extension of the interest-free payment pause that went into effect in March 2020 under the Trump administration, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Payments had been scheduled to … Continued

How the Student Loan Pause Has Played Out for Borrowers

Two years after the chaos of the pandemic prompted Congress to pause federal student loan payments, new data show many borrowers have used that extra room in the budget to shore up their overall finances. Some have inched closer to eligibility for student loan forgiveness. Economists and lending experts say it’s unclear how long that … Continued

Are You At Risk of Student Loan Default?

Student loan default starts the same way for everyone: a missed payment. Then, another. And another. Until nine total months — about 270 days — pass and your loan defaults. Three months later, it gets much worse. A debt collection agency now holds your debt, and you owe them the total balance of your loan along … Continued