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This Week in Money Management: Top Credit Secrets Exposed

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Credit is often perceived as some mysterious, wild creature — difficult to understand and even more difficult to manage. In truth, it’s just another tool that can get you to a comfortable place in life.  These bloggers and top web sites help us explain away the secrecy and give you concrete tips for leveraging your credit and finances so that you can spend more time living better!

1.  The little things really do kill.  Just ask Wise Bread, who has helped to uncover some of the more surprising ways to sabotage a good credit rating (as well as how to steer clear of these astonishing pitfalls!)

2.  Avoid payday lenders at all costs.  Ready for Zero gives you practical tips for finding other ways to come up with the cash, and avoiding leg-breaking interest rates that come with payday loans.

3.  Think that the sign-and-drive offer your car salesman gave you is all you have to worry about? Think again. Christian PF uses reliable sources to compare the true life costs of a few vehicles, complete with fuel, repairs, and the whole kit and caboodle!

4.  Can’t wait for your tax refund?  Maybe you should; Free From Broke tells us why refund anticipation loans may not be the quickest way to get your own cash back, and how you can avoid paying fees to access the money Uncle Sam’s been holding all year.

5.  Is credit necessary?  Suppose you decide to live a cash-only lifestyle; will you suffer?  Everything Finance gives a good, hard look at what it takes to live without the convenience of plastic and loans.

6.  Get the scoop on getting rid of that gift card. The Centsible Life compares a handful of gift card buy-back sites to help you convert those unwanted holiday gift cards into cash. (This could come in handy for paying off that holiday credit card debt!)

7.  How much college debt is too much? Believe it or not, there is a number. Dough Roller shares the rule of thumb for figuring out just how much you should borrow on student loans for that higher education.

8.  Responsible homeowners need refinancing, too!  In response to the rest of consumers who need a break from underwater mortgages, My Dollar Plan dishes on Obama’s vision for relief.  Getting legislation passed, however, may be an entirely different ball of wax.

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