Personal Finance

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HowStuffWorks: Avoid the Holiday Spending Hangover With These 10 Tips

Ah the winter holidays! The lights, the eggnog, the goodwill and cheer. Oh, and the debt. We here at HowStuffWorks partnered with the United Way and the Sun Trust Foundation to provide a few tips to help you avoid a holiday spending hangover.

Howstuffworks: So you say you're going to college...

Yep, we’re talking about college, which ain’t cheap. HowStuffWorks joins up with the United Way of Greater Atlanta and the Sun Trust Foundation to share a few financial tips with the college bound.

Do you have to pay income tax for stuff sold on eBay?

The IRS says you're legally obligated to pay income tax on eBay profits, especially if you're a regular seller. But eBay doesn't issue 1099 forms or define "regular seller." So it can be difficult to figure out what to do — but we're here to help.

Do you need a tax ID number for an online business?

You have a shop on Etsy, while your partner owns an online travel agency. Should you both have tax ID numbers?

Can you use student loans to buy a used car?

Student loans aren't free money. If you're tempted to buy a car with your financial aid check, you might want to do the math first.

How are secured claims treated in bankruptcy?

All of your debts are classified as secured or unsecured during a bankruptcy, which affects how they're discharged or repaid.

Does filing for bankruptcy hurt your credit score?

Filing for bankruptcy can provide you with relief, but it also has some lasting repercussions that can affect your financial future.

How do you calculate disposable income?

The amount of available income you have after taxes, or disposable income, makes all the difference in whether you can file for bankruptcy.

Can you get credit cards after being discharged from bankruptcy?

Some people end up filing for bankruptcy due to credit card debt, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you can't get a credit card again.

Can the trustee sell your exempt assets in bankruptcy?

Filing bankruptcy doesn't mean losing every single asset that you own; some of your assets may be considered exempt by the court.

What was the world’s largest bankruptcy filing?

People aren't the only ones who file for bankruptcy. Businesses, cities, and even countries sometimes get into insurmountable debt. But who takes the "prize" for largest filing?

How does median household income relate to bankruptcy?

If filing for bankruptcy seems like your golden ticket out of debt, it's time to learn about what's meant by median income and means testing.

How do you write a hardship letter to creditors?

If you get behind on your bills due to a specific life event, a hardship letter can help convince your creditors to help you get back on track.

How are unsecured claims treated in bankruptcy?

Deciding to file for bankruptcy is difficult enough. Now you have to figure out the terminology used to describe your debts.

How soon after bankruptcy can I buy a house?

After a bankruptcy, you're ready to move on financially — and that can include buying a house. But how long will your bankruptcy keep you from reaching your goal?

How do bankruptcies affect foreign residents?

U.S. citizens aren't the only ones who can file for bankruptcy in the U.S., but it sure can complicate things if you file and you're living in the country illegally or applying to become a citizen.

How can you protect certain assets from bankruptcy?

Getting a flu shot while you have the flu makes no sense, and so does planning to protect your assets after you've already entered into bankruptcy. Here's what to do beforehand.

How do I know if I should file for bankruptcy?

Here's one sign that you should start seriously considering filing for bankruptcy: You can't pay your bills. What are the others?

What is asset discovery in bankruptcy?

Have you ever wondered how courts find out about your expenses and income during bankruptcy proceedings? That's asset discovery in action.

Will bankruptcy keep me from getting a loan?

It's difficult, but not impossible. Ready to learn how you might secure a loan after a bankruptcy?

Will bankruptcy affect my student loans?

It isn't easy, but contrary to popular belief, there are ways to have student loans forgiven through bankruptcy.

Will bankruptcy affect my spouse’s money?

After one spouse declares bankruptcy, the other one could be left paying off the debts. Wait, really?

Where did the idea for bankruptcy come from?

Bankruptcy and debt collection have evolved quite a bit since the days of the Roman Empire. If you have mountains of debt, let's just say that you're glad you're alive now instead of then.

Will bankruptcy keep me from getting a job?

Current hiring trends and practices can create catch-22 scenarios for those looking for work post-bankruptcy. Could your career be affected?

How do you pick the shortest checkout line?

In a hurry? Not so fast, that short checkout line may not actually be the better option.


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