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Senior Writer

Julie Rains

Mortgage-free homeowner, reformed rule follower, reluctant but enthusiastic change maker. UNC Tar Heel (fan and business school grad).

Latest articles by Julie Rains

We Do the Math: Save for Retirement or Pay Off Credit Card Debt?

It's a finance question for the ages: Should you save for retirement, or pay off credit card debt? Find out what the math says.

Here's How Often Your Credit Score Gets Calculated

You know your credit score can fluctuate. But you should also know what causes this — and how you can use it to your advantage.

9 Easy Ways to Pay With Your Smartphone

There's no need to carry a stack of plastic or wad of cash everywhere you go. Make your money as mobile as you are!

4 Ways to Negotiate Credit Card Debt

Here's a secret not enough of us know: Everything is negotiable — even your credit card debt.

Start Investing Today: Acorns Lets You Invest Your Change While You Shop

What if you were able to automatically invest some money, every day, in small stress-free amounts? Could investing be that simple? Yep. Just sign up for Acorns.

5 Best Websites to Help You Retire Early

Everybody dreams of retiring early, but few of us actually do it. These retirement finance experts can show you the way.

The 4 Best Investments for Lazy Investors

You really don't need a lot of money to get started investing. And you don't need a lot of time, either.

Mortgage Application Declined? Here’s How to Respond

If your mortgage application was declined, there's still hope! Take these five simple steps to get back on track.

5 Best Online Brokerages for Your IRA

You know you should be socking more away for retirement, but how? Start now with an IRA at one of these newbie friendly online brokerages.

Everything You Need to Know About Peer-to-Peer Investing With Lending Club

For borrowers, Lending Club offers another funding source. For investors, it's a way to invest in consumer debt. Here's how to get started.

Can Reinvesting Dividends Really Save You on Taxes?

If you're reinvesting your dividends, you may be shortchanging Uncle Sam. Here's what you need to know about dividends and taxes.

How and Why I Held Onto a Tanking Stock — And What Happened Next

One investor takes a chance on a growth stock just before the price falls. Learn how she rationalized her decision — and whether it was a mistake.

4 Cheap, Easy Ways to Invest Your First $1000

Investing is only for the wealthy, right? With even modest sums put aside, anyone can start building an investment portfolio — and it's easy, too.

Should You Use Peer-to-Peer Lending to Pay Down Credit Card Debt?

Depending on your debt situation, a peer-to-peer loan may be an affordable — and sensible — way to retire debt. Here's what you should consider.

How to Make Money With Peer-to-Peer Lending Service Prosper

Unleash your inner banker with Prosper, the peer-to-peer lending service. Low investment minimums and a variety of risk thresholds make it easy.

How to Get Over These 5 Scary Things About Investing

If fear is holding you back from investing, screw your courage to the sticking place! Stop letting fear make your money decisions for you.

8 Organizations That REALLY Can Help You With Your Debt

Some debtors fall victim to shady debt relief companies who often make everything worse. Instead, turn to these trusted organizations.

Is Your Doctor Helping or Hurting? This Is How to Find Out

Is there a doctor in the house? With so many resources online and off, it's never been easier to find the right doctor. Here's where to look.

You'll Be Surprised How Much Sugar These 10 Foods Have

Many of the processed foods we eat contain lots (and lots) of added sugar. Are the foods you eat hiding excess amounts of sugar?

8 Colleges With the Best Programs to Get You Jobs

Students can jumpstart their careers and help pay for school with a college work-study program. Find out which colleges are leading the way.