What Is the Homestead Exemption – Definition, Tax & Legal Treatment

Actually living off the grid is rare, but millions of American homeowners can truly call themselves homesteaders. That’s because the Federal Government – and most state governments too – extend special legal protections to homeowners’ primary residences.

Generally known as “homestead exemptions” (and the properties they protect generally known as “homesteads,” or “homesteaded properties”), these statutes exist to protect owner-occupants from excessive taxation, provide shelter for surviving spouses after their partners pass on, and shield some or all homestead equity from certain types of creditors. The federal homestead exemption applies specifically to homeowners filing bankruptcy. State homestead exemptions tend to be broader, with provisions that shield homeowners from some property taxes and, following death, provide their surviving spouses and dependents with protections against unsecured creditors and other claimants trying to seize their primary residence.

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How to Deal With Unpaid Invoices From Clients – Strategies & Legal Options

According to a survey by the Freelancers Union, more than 70% of freelancers report having a nonpaying client. If you’re a freelancer, you know that not being paid damages your bottom line, and can even ruin your career if it happens often enough. But while recovering the funds you’re due is possible, it’s not necessarily an easy task.

Much of the reason some clients don’t pay freelancers stems from the nature of the freelancer-client relationship. And understanding the nature of that relationship can go a long way in helping you recover your hard-earned money.

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How Payday Loans Work – Biggest Dangers & 14 Better Alternatives

According to a survey by Bankrate, roughly 25% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. The money they make just barely covers their day-to-day expenses, with little or nothing left over for emergencies. If you’re in this situation, any unplanned expense – such as a $300 car repair – can cause a financial crisis.

Payday loans – also called “cash advance loans” – appear to offer a way out. You can walk into one of the thousands of payday lending offices across the country and walk out half an hour later with $300 in your hand to pay that repair bill. Then, on your next payday, you can come back in to repay that $300 – plus another $45 or so in interest.

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25 Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards – Reviews & Comparison

Travel rewards credit cards fall into several broad categories. First, airline rewards credit cards are designed to reward spending with specific airlines or airline partnerships. When purchasing airfare, in-flight incidentals, and possibly other travel-related items, cardholders earn points at accelerated rates. Once enough points are racked up, they can be redeemed for free or discounted flights, free or reduced baggage fees, and other goodies. Some airline rewards cards offer additional perks and benefits, such as airport lounge access, discounts with hotel partners, and bonus miles for reaching certain travel milestones.

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18 Best Small Business Credit Cards – Reviews & Comparison

Small business credit cards are increasingly popular business financing options, particularly for entrepreneurs who don’t qualify for traditional business loans and don’t have access to networks filled with deep-pocketed family members, friends, and colleagues. No matter what your business does, a credit card can probably help – as long as you use credit wisely and avoid making purchases your company can’t afford.

Small business credit cards typically have higher spending limits and more generous rewards programs than consumer cards. Some have additional benefits, such as low APRs, attractive balance transfer promotions, personalized concierge service, and fringe benefits. However, many also come with annual fees and require very good or excellent credit to qualify.

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7 Best Credit Cards for College Students – Reviews & Comparison

Most college students have limited experience with credit cards and other forms of credit. Accordingly, their credit histories are often thin or nonexistent. Therefore, the single most important reason for students to apply for credit cards is to build a positive credit history.

Students keen on building credit quickly need to look for cards that report timely payments to one or more (ideally all three) consumer credit reporting bureaus – and then keep up their end of the bargain by making in-full, on-time payments. The best student credit cards generally have low fees, reasonable APRs, and perks that specifically appeal to college students. A few even have cash back programs that reward spending on gas, groceries, dining out, and other routine purchases. Here’s a look at some of the best options on the market today.

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15 Best Cash Back Credit Cards of 2016 – Reviews & Comparison

When most people hear the phrase “credit card rewards,” their minds immediately turn to cash back rewards. And why not? Flip on the TV, navigate to your favorite website, or drive around your hometown and you’re bound to see an ad for a cash back credit card before long.

Cash back credit cards are popular because they provide tangible, easy-to-understand benefits. Who doesn’t like getting a credit on their monthly credit card statement – or, better yet, actual cash deposited into the account of their choice?

Not all cash back credit cards are created equal though.

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7 Best Secured Credit Cards to Rebuild Credit – Reviews & Comparison

How’s your credit these days?

If you’d prefer not to answer that question, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans have imperfect credit due to bankruptcy, foreclosure, crushing medical or student loan debts, and other financial black marks. A bad credit score can affect your ability to secure an affordable home loan, rent an apartment, get a cell phone, and even find a job. While credit counseling and debt management plans can help you repair your credit over time, there’s no magic cure.

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9 Best Low APR Interest Credit Cards – Reviews & Comparison

Generally, it’s wise to avoid carrying balances on your credit cards. Credit card balances quickly rack up interest charges, eating into your monthly personal budget and hampering your ability to save and invest. Over time, unpaid credit card balances could compel you to enroll in credit counseling, or even cause you to declare bankruptcy.

However, it’s sometimes impossible to avoid carrying credit card balances. For instance, if your car breaks down and you have no other way to get to work, charging the repair to your credit card is better than losing your job – even if you know it’ll take some time to pay off the balance.

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