Liz Weston

Columnist Money Talk

Recent Articles

  • Degrees of debt: The downside of federal student loans

    Degrees of debt: The downside of federal student loans

    Dear Liz: Are federal student loans turned over to a collection agency still collectible after 20 years? Answer: Yes. Very much so. There is no statute of limitations on federal student loans, which means collectors can come after you until you pay or die, whichever comes first. Statutes of limitations...

  • What to consider when deciding how to bequeath your home

    What to consider when deciding how to bequeath your home

    Dear Liz: I'm at 74-year-old retired woman living in a completely paid-off condo in California. I hold title in my name only. I would like to add my partner of 20 years and my married adult daughter to my home title so they will not have to go through probate if something happens to me. What would...

  • How to protect an elderly widower from financial predators

    How to protect an elderly widower from financial predators

    Dear Liz: Our mother recently died after a long illness. Our father is in his 70s and is getting a lot of attention from ladies at his church and the senior center. We’re concerned because of a pattern we’ve seen in other families, where the widower remarries and the new wife convinces him that...

  • How to evaluate consumer options and not get cheated

    How to evaluate consumer options and not get cheated

    Dear Liz: Although I’m able to pay my bills, it’s the decisions regarding cable, telephone, Internet and various insurance options that drive me nuts! I’ve tried to seek out independent groups that discuss such issues, but none exists in my area; and these decisions are not covered by my financial...

  • What to consider when investing in target date retirement funds

    What to consider when investing in target date retirement funds

    Dear Liz: I have 100% of my 401(k) in a fund called “Target Retirement 2030.” This fund is made of several other funds, so does that qualify as “diversified”? Answer: It does. Target date funds have become increasingly popular in 401(k) plans because they do the heavy lifting for investors. The...

  • Fixing your credit scores after a bankruptcy

    Fixing your credit scores after a bankruptcy

    Dear Liz: How do you repair credit scores after filing for bankruptcy? My husband and I are in this situation and are looking to reestablish credit and increase our credit scores. Also, how long do closed accounts appear on the credit report? Answer: Filing for bankruptcy may have actually helped...

  • Getting out of a bad car loan can be tricky

    Getting out of a bad car loan can be tricky

    Dear Liz: My car payment is $465 a month with a 22% interest rate. I need to get out of this car and into a lower car payment. My credit is poor. What is the best solution to go about this? Answer: There are a number of solutions, most of which probably won’t work for you. If you could do without...

  • Job hopping can be a good strategy for young workers

    Job hopping can be a good strategy for young workers

    Dear Liz: I am a millennial and just started a new job at a very small company. I really like the work I do and the leaders of the company. However, I don’t make enough to move out of my parents’ home and be financially secure. I live in the Washington, D.C., area and make $50,000. For an entry-level...

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