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5 Types of Debt to Dump Before You Retire

Debt puts a full stop to many Americans' retirement plans. Five types of debt are especially insidious, financial planners say. Here's what they are and how to eradicate them.

Year-End Debt Checkup: Make Sure Yours Is Healthy Debt

Not all debt is created equal. And even in today's low interest rate climate, too much of the wrong kind of debt can quickly snowball. So as you consider your overall financial picture, make sure you only take on healthy debt -- and even then, only if you can afford it.

What's Behind Rising Auto Sales? Cheap Financing

Want a cheap car loan? How about a free one? Believe it or not, more and more car buyers are being offered 0% interest loans, and almost everyone else can now get cheap financing -- even folks with less-than-perfect credit.

Lousy Credit? Need a Car Loan? No Problem!

Banks are still being pretty stingy about extending credit these days, when it comes to things like credit cards and mortgages. But there's one big exception: Banks are giving out car loans like they're going out of style.

US Consumers Upped Their Borrowing in March

U.S. consumers swiped their credit cards more often in March and took out more loans to attend school, driving overall borrowing up by the most in more than a decade. Total consumer borrowing rose $21.4 billion in March, the Federal Reserve said Monday. That's the seventh straight monthly increase and the largest since November 2001.

Car Loans Are Now Americans' No. 1 Bill-Paying Priority

The recession and its hangover have turned our bill-paying habits upside down. Cash-strapped Americans are paying off their car loans before they pay credit card bills and make mortgage payments, a TransUnion study finds.

What Today's Booming Auto Sales Mean for Car Shoppers

U.S. car sales just hit their highest level in four years, and that's good news for economy watchers. Falling unemployment, more cooperative lenders, and rising consumer confidence all contributed to the boom. So if you're looking to buy, what does this all mean for you?

Paying Off Our Plastic Is Killing the Economy

Here's the good news: American consumers are finally starting to reduce their reliance on credit and pay off their high-interest debt -- a positive development for their financial futures. The bad news: More money in people's pockets means less overall spending in the economy, which desperately needs the cash right now. How might the tension be resolved?

Putting Consumer Debt Into a Bigger Perpsective

Before the Great Recession, U.S. consumer debt had risen fairly steadily for more than a decade. With the downturn, it finally dropped...until December's small rise. However, a longer look at the trend of ever-rising debt shows that America is still extraordinarily overextended.

Consumer Credit Rises Again: Is U.S. Releveraging?

After two years of relative frugality caused by the financial crisis, Americans are again borrowing in a big way. Consumer spending is surely good for the economy, but have Americans learned any lessons about loading up on the red ink?

Eight Car Buying Tips You Need to Know

Auto dealers and finance companies are beginning to loosen up the restrictions on consumer credit that helped to clamp down auto sales starting in...

Consumer Debt Jumps, But Credit Card Use Falls

U.S. consumers appear to be getting bit less frugal: The amount of consumer credit in use unexpectedly rose in October for the second straight month. But the whole rise came from non-revolving debt, which includes auto loans and personal loans, while revolving debt, which includes credit cards, plunged.

More Car Loans Go to Borrowers With Bad Credit

If you've been rejected for a car loan due to poor credit, you might want to apply again. The automotive credit industry increased the share of new car loans going to credit-challenged borrowers by 12.7% in the third quarter, a sign that lenders are loosening their credit criteria.

Consumers Borrow More for New Cars, Student Loans

Consumer credit unexpectedly rose by $2.1 billion in September, but the rise is only a partial victory for those who argue that credit expansion is required for the U.S. economy to return to a normal growth rate, because credit card debt fell for the second straight month. If that decreased plastic use continues this fall, it will likely weigh on retailers%u2019 holiday shopping revenue.