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Staff Writer

Dan Rafter

Dan Rafter is the managing editor of Law Bulletin Magazine and the editor of the Midwest Real Estate News. Dan has written for publications such as the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Consumers Digest, and BusinessWeek Online.

Latest articles by Dan Rafter

5 Times Buying a Home With Cash Is Bad for Your Budget

If you have enough cash to buy a house, that's great! It still doesn't mean it's always the smartest financial move.

How to Build Equity in Your Home

Truly owning your home takes time and money. If you want a bigger piece of the homeownership pie, here's how to build equity.

4 Questions to Ask Before Leaving Your House to Your Kids

A home sounds like a wonderful gift for your adult children. But before you hand over the keys, there are a few things to consider.

How a Goodwill Letter Can Save Your Credit Score

One money mishap can wreck your credit score. A simple goodwill letter just might help.

How to Fire Your Real Estate Agent

If the only thing your realtor is offering is stress, it's time to break up. It's not you — it's them.

What to Do After Losing Your Social Security Card

A lost Social Security card is easy to replace. Things become a little dicier, though, if your number falls into the wrong hands.

Can Too Many Credit Cards Hurt Your Credit Score?

You're responsible with your credit cards, but you sure have a lot of them. Is that a bad thing?

What's Better: Less Debt or More Savings?

Does your high-interest debt count as an "emergency?" Well, yes, but not one worth draining your entire emergency fund.

Beware: Your Insurance May Not Cover These 8 Losses

Insurance offers peace of mind, but it doesn't make you indestructible. Beware these costly gaps in coverage.

Who Pays When Loved Ones Leave Debt Behind?

Losing a loved one is hard enough. Managing their unfinished money matters makes it tougher.

Should You Ever Consider a Balloon Mortgage?

A balloon mortgage has its upsides, but it sure leaves a lot up in the air.

Start Planning Now for When Your Target-Date Fund Ends

Target-date funds are a common way to help you save for retirement. But what happens when they actually hit their target?

5 Questions to Ask Before You Start Claiming Your Social Security Benefits

Just because you can start claiming Social Security benefits, doesn't necessarily mean you should. Ask yourself these questions first.

3 Ways Student Loan Debt Can Affect Your Mortgage Application

Many factors can sway a mortgage approval. Your student loan debt is one of them.

How Single Parents Can Juggle Retirement Savings, Too

Being a single parent is hard work. Being a single parent and adequately funding your retirement is extra hard. But you can do it.

3 Ways Retirees Can Build Credit

When you retire, many of life's little worries melt away. Unfortunately, worrying about your credit score doesn't.

4 Smart Ways to Lower Your Monthly Mortgage Payment

A hefty home loan doesn't have to be a burden. Here's how you can trim dollars from your monthly mortgage payment.

Stop Making These 8 Risky Password Mistakes

Wanna protect your identity online? Make better passwords.

What to Do When Your Tax Preparer Makes a Mistake

The tax code is complex and even the pros make mistakes. And when they do? You're responsible for clean up.

What to Do When You Can't Afford Your Child's College Education

Your kid just got accepted into their dream school, but the price tag can make it all feel like a nightmare. What to do now?