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Retiring baby boomers are cashing out on their decades of paying into Social Security. The problem? Social Security is no longer running a surplus, worrying many that the entitlement program is in trouble.

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He can afford it, she can't: Couple's health care dilemmaupdated: Thu Jul 19 2012 10:38:00

Janet Copeland and her husband, Richard, both say they agree almost all the time, with one exception: The Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama's health care legislation.

Congress OKs highway funds-student loan billupdated: Fri Jun 29 2012 21:12:00

Congress gave final approval Friday to a giant transportation funding bill as part of a package that includes a measure holding down interest rates on federal student loans.

Obamacare ruling paints different picture of healthupdated: Thu Jun 28 2012 21:36:00

The U.S. Supreme Court made a landmark ruling Thursday upholding the controversial, massive reform of health care coverage initiated by President Barack Obama.

CNNMoney: Supreme Court: Mandate penalty is taxupdated: Thu Jun 28 2012 18:42:00

It walks like a tax and talks like a tax. Therefore it is a tax.

How will the court's ruling affect you?updated: Thu Jun 28 2012 13:56:00

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains how the Supreme Court's healthcare ruling will affect patients and doctors going forward.

For cancer patients, health act a lifelineupdated: Thu Jun 28 2012 11:30:00

Thursday is judgment day for the Affordable Care Act, with the U.S. Supreme Court expected to release its long awaited ruling on the constitutionality of the law. Whichever way the Court rules, the decision will be instantly framed in the political context. Its potential impact on the presidential race, on the upcoming Congressional elections and on the trajectory of the political parties will be the subject of endless analysis and debate.

Where in the world can you get universal health care?updated: Thu Jun 28 2012 11:06:00

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Barack Obama's sweeping health care legislation Thursday in a narrow 5-4 ruling that Obama says will provide up to 30 million additional Americans with health care.

Health care reform: Issues roundup updated: Tue Jun 26 2012 11:15:00

While many changes to Americans' health care outlined in the the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act don't take effect until 2014, a Supreme Court ruling expected this month could stop those changes from coming at all.

Political squabbling over student loans continues updated: Thu Jun 21 2012 15:55:00

With time running out for Congress to prevent a doubling of interest rates on federal student loans, the White House and Republican leaders exchanged accusations Thursday on who was to blame for the lack of an agreement.

CNNMoney: UnitedHealthcare to keep some health care mandatesupdated: Mon Jun 11 2012 16:35:00

The nation's largest health insurer promises to continue offering some key mandates of health care reform -- such as coverage of adult dependents up to age 26 -- regardless of how the Supreme Court rules on the health care law.

Senate rejects dueling student loan relief billsupdated: Thu May 24 2012 17:26:00

The Senate, in the latest round of political maneuvering on a popular campaign issue, Thursday rejected competing Democratic and Republican proposals to prevent student loan rates from doubling to 6.8% in July.

CNNMoney: What the student loan rate hike means to youupdated: Tue May 15 2012 09:00:00

For student borrowers, that pricey college education is going to cost a bit more next year.

401(k)s are too risky for retirementupdated: Wed May 09 2012 09:09:00

Sharon Edwards of Salem, Oregon, may have to move to Mexico, where the cost of living is cheaper, so she can afford her retirement.

Senate balks at taking up student loan billupdated: Tue May 08 2012 12:48:00

With federal student loan interest rates set to double July 1, the Senate failed Tuesday to get enough votes to take up a bill to extend low 3.4% rates for another year.

Boehner: No one wants loan rates to riseupdated: Tue May 08 2012 12:48:00

CNN's Candy Crowley talks to House Speaker John Boehner about the threat of higher student loan interest rates.

Bank hounds dad for dead son's loanupdated: Thu May 03 2012 12:19:00

Ryan Bryski tells the story of his brother Christopher, whose student loans persisted after he tragically passed away.

Don't extend low interest rates on student loansupdated: Thu May 03 2012 12:19:00

The threat of increasing loan rates on future college students has become the newest political cudgel. It shouldn't be. Lowering interest rates on subsidized student loans does little to address the real problems of higher education: rising tuition costs and diminishing returns.

Obama: 'We had a mountain of debt'updated: Fri Apr 27 2012 14:56:00

President Obama targets the youth vote in calling for lower college costs.

White House: Obama would veto GOP student loan planupdated: Fri Apr 27 2012 14:56:00

The White House said Friday that President Barack Obama would veto a Republican measure passed by the House to extend lower interest rates on federal student loans because it takes money from a health care fund that benefits women.

Romney, GOP shift on vulnerable issuesupdated: Fri Apr 27 2012 10:24:00

For Republicans and certain presidential nominee Mitt Romney, the best defense appears to be a good offense on issues and themes being pushed by President Barack Obama and Democrats.

Obama pushes for the youth voteupdated: Thu Apr 26 2012 19:42:00

CNN's Jessica Yellin reports on President Obama's efforts to secure the youth vote in November.

Obama should push bankruptcy relief for student loansupdated: Thu Apr 26 2012 19:42:00

This week President Obama did a swing through some college campuses talking about student loan debt. The immediate issue is the 3.4% interest rate on federal student loans. It's set to double July 1 unless Congress acts. Keeping the rate low in this still weak economy is, as the president said, a no-brainer. Even his opponent Mitt Romney has endorsed it. But the larger problem -- mounting college costs and a cumulative $1 trillion in student loan debt ? remains untouched.

Boehner offers student loan dealupdated: Wed Apr 25 2012 20:44:00

The House will vote Friday to extend current rates on federally funded college loans for one year, Speaker John Boehner announced on Wednesday in what is seen as an attempt to blunt President Barack Obama's momentum on an issue popular with young voters.

How Obama is using student loan issue to recapture the youth voteupdated: Tue Apr 24 2012 20:42:00

Margo Balboni is cramming college into three years to cut down on the cost of her student loans. As it is, the University of North Carolina sophomore expects to graduate in a few years with $20,000 in debt.

CNNMoney: Student loan rate hike: What you need to knowupdated: Tue Apr 24 2012 14:35:00

On July 1, the interest rates on student loans subsidized by Uncle Sam will double to 6.8%.

CNNMoney: Obama pushes to keep low student loan ratesupdated: Fri Apr 20 2012 13:48:00

President Obama will use his bully pulpit to urge lawmakers to prevent a doubling of interest rates on federally subsidized student loans.

Feds warn drivers about auto loan modification scamsupdated: Thu Apr 05 2012 19:35:00

After years of focusing on home mortgage scams, the Federal Trade Commission is turning its sights on what it calls bogus auto loan modifications. The FTC says fraud artists are moving from mortgage loan modification schemes and targeting consumers who are underwater on their auto loans.

Obama: GOP budget 'a trojan horse'updated: Wed Apr 04 2012 05:23:00

President Obama attacks the GOP campaign platform and the GOP's budget proposal at a luncheon in Washington.

After the mandate, government-run health care would growupdated: Mon Apr 02 2012 21:42:00

Suppose the Supreme Court does rule that the health care mandate is unconstitutional? What happens then?

U.S. must keep its promise on health careupdated: Tue Mar 27 2012 08:06:00

Health coverage is easy to get if you're healthy. The problem is when you're sick or have a history of illness.

Health reform could survive loss of individual mandateupdated: Mon Mar 26 2012 15:55:00

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on the individual mandate. This component of the Affordable Care Act, the part that decrees that every American will either buy health insurance or face a financial penalty, is the most controversial part of health care reform.

Stop subsidizing soaring college costsupdated: Thu Mar 22 2012 14:56:00

The cost of college tuition will continue to rise as long as federal student aid programs continue to increase with little or no accountability.

GOP: $5.3 trillion cuts in 2013 budgetupdated: Tue Mar 20 2012 17:41:00

Rep. Paul Ryan and the GOP unveil their 2013 budget, citing $5.3 trillion in spending cuts.

2013 House GOP budget raises 2012 stakesupdated: Tue Mar 20 2012 17:41:00

House GOP leaders unveiled a 2013 budget blueprint Tuesday that has little chance of becoming law but draws a clear contrast with Democrats on taxes, spending, and a host of hot-button political issues -- all of which could play a pivotal role in the 2012 campaign.

Stop sex discrimination in health plan costsupdated: Tue Mar 20 2012 12:07:00

Women face shocking disparities when buying health insurance on the individual market: In the vast majority of states, nearly all the best-selling plans charge women more than men for the same coverage, a discriminatory practice known as "gender rating."

CNNMoney: Students lobby to keep interest rates lowerupdated: Tue Mar 13 2012 18:57:00

With little more than three months until the interest rates on federally subsidized student loans double, students are pushing lawmakers to help them out.

CNNMoney: Bank of America to freeze pension plansupdated: Thu Feb 23 2012 19:30:00

Bank of America announced plans Thursday to freeze pension plans, effective in July, and increase its 401(k) contributions instead.

Fortune: Your cash is costing youupdated: Mon Feb 20 2012 19:34:00

I thought I was clever. Earlier this year I had over half of my 401k assets in cash. I know that investors are terrible at timing the market and I'm way too young not to be fully invested, but I can't get over the fact that stocks look expensive right now.

CNNMoney: Debt collectors, credit agencies get new scrutinyupdated: Thu Feb 16 2012 14:19:00

For the first time in history, debt collectors -- the guys who hound you over unpaid bills -- are about to get a tough federal regulator scouring their own books.

Money Magazine: Student loans: Hit a bull's-eye with your FAFSAupdated: Mon Feb 06 2012 20:38:00

If you have a child headed off to college this fall, you've got an important item on your to-do list: the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which you can submit as early as Jan. 1.

CNNMoney: Obama's latest retirement rescue plan: Annuitiesupdated: Thu Feb 02 2012 17:54:00

The Obama administration proposed new rules Thursday to help retirees make their savings last throughout their lifetime -- by investing in annuities.

CNNMoney: Watchdog: Auto insurers overcharging the poorupdated: Tue Jan 31 2012 14:37:00

The car owners who are least able to afford high auto insurance rates are getting charged the most for coverage, according to a consumer watchdog group.

Money Magazine: Retirement saving: Don't shortchange the later yearsupdated: Fri Jan 27 2012 17:52:00

Many people think they can plan on spending less later in retirement since they'll become less active as they age. But if their health declines, they may actually shift spending rather than reduce it. Do you think it's risky to plan as if one's expenses will go down later in retirement? --Tim, U.K.

Money Magazine: Can I give my 401(k) firm the boot?updated: Wed Jan 25 2012 16:31:00

My 401(k) is managed by a brokerage firm that was busted by the SEC for fraudulent practices (although those practices weren't related to my 401(k) plan). Still, I don't want to invest my money with, or pay fees to, to a firm I consider unethical. For now, I've switched all of my money into the bond account figuring it's the safest place to invest until I can figure out what to do. But I'd really like to get into another 401(k) plan. Can I do that? -- Michael S.

CNNMoney: Federal student loan rate set to doubleupdated: Wed Jan 25 2012 13:42:00

Attention college students: The interest rate on federal student loans is scheduled to double this summer unless Congress acts soon.

Money Magazine: Retirement investing: catching upupdated: Mon Jan 23 2012 17:03:00

I'm 57 and hoping to retire at 68, but I'm behind on my retirement savings. Should I invest as if I were younger and shift more into stocks to help increase my 401(k)? -- Jeff Branstrator, Greensboro, N.C.

CNNMoney: Mortgage applications surge amid record-low ratesupdated: Wed Jan 18 2012 17:53:00

Mortgage loan applications surged 23% last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, as record-low interest rates convinced many homeowners it was time to refinance into lower-cost loans.

The perils of traveling while sickupdated: Tue Jan 10 2012 07:40:00

Pat Conroy is a road warrior, rarely getting sick as he travels three to five days per week for his job as head of Deloitte's consumer products division. He works out regularly when on the road and tries to eat right.

CNNMoney: Suze Orman launches prepaid cardupdated: Mon Jan 09 2012 15:21:00

CNBC's outspoken financial adviser, Suze Orman, has a new piece of advice for her viewers: Go pick up her new, self-branded prepaid card.

CNNMoney: Same-sex spouses lose big on taxesupdated: Sat Dec 31 2011 07:54:00

Same-sex spouses are paying as much as $6,000 a year in extra taxes because the federal government doesn't recognize gay marriage, according to an analysis conducted for CNNMoney by tax specialists.

CNNMoney: Mortgage rates hit another record lowupdated: Thu Dec 22 2011 13:31:00

Happy holidays, homebuyers! You just got a very nice present.

A game changer on Medicare's future?updated: Thu Dec 22 2011 08:05:00

The Paul Ryan-Ron Wyden Medicare reform plan is a political game-changer. Amidst heated gridlock in Washington, Rep. Paul Ryan, a conservative budget hawk, and Sen. Ron Wyden, a respected liberal senator, have reached consensus on vital entitlement reform. Medicare is on the track to insolvency; this could be the bipartisan solution.

Money Magazine: How can I keep my standard of living throughout my retirement?updated: Thu Dec 22 2011 05:21:00

How much should I have in a 401(k) or other retirement accounts at various ages relative to my salary so I know I'll eventually enough money to maintain my standard of living throughout retirement? -- K.T., Olathe, Kansas

Money Magazine: Retirement planning while still in your 20supdated: Tue Dec 20 2011 05:56:00

My fiancé and I are in our late 20s and we contribute to our 401(k) plans. But we'd like to supplement our retirement savings by making additional small contributions (maybe $100 a month) over time. We wouldn't touch this money except in an absolute emergency. Any suggestions? -- M. Barber

CNNMoney: Students face squeeze in Pell Grantsupdated: Sat Dec 17 2011 12:14:00

Thousands of college students may soon feel a financial pinch and another 100,000 may not be able to complete degrees after Congress pushed ahead with changes to federal student aid, education experts said.

Money Magazine: When to put your cash back into the marketupdated: Thu Dec 15 2011 13:32:00

I have a substantial amount of cash I want to move into stock and bond mutual funds I already own. I'm aware of the concept of dollar-cost averaging, but I'm afraid that as soon as I move the money it will decline in value and take years to recover. My question is not about what to invest in, but how to make those investments timing wise. -- Robert P.

Truth Squad: How healthy is the Social Security trust fund?updated: Sun Dec 11 2011 02:47:00

The statement: The Social Security payroll tax cut that President Barack Obama is seeking to extend "will cost the Social Security trust fund another $112 billion, and we don't have enough money this year in the Social Security trust fund to put out those checks -- which means we have to go to the general Treasury to get the money." -- Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, at Saturday night's ABC News debate in Iowa. She added that the tax cut "blew a hole" in the trust fund.

CNNMoney: How to choose the best funds for your 401(k)updated: Fri Dec 09 2011 06:15:00

I'm 31 and dissatisfied with the funds I now own in my 401(k). So I want to shift my money to different funds within the plan. When making this decision, which do you think I should focus on more: the funds' expenses or the returns the funds have earned? - C.H.

CNNMoney: Payroll tax cut: What about Social Security?updated: Thu Dec 08 2011 08:04:00

In all the talk about whether to extend the Social Security payroll tax cut, a lot of the focus is on the economy: Will the recovery suffer if Congress lets it lapse?

CNNMoney: What to do with your 401(k) once you retireupdated: Wed Nov 30 2011 10:56:00

The investment company that manages my 401(k) funds recommends I roll my money into mutual funds managed by a subsidiary of theirs when I retire next year. But I'm wondering whether I would be better off moving my assets to the funds of a different firm. What are your thoughts? -- J. Thomas

CNNMoney: Savings rate rises in Octoberupdated: Wed Nov 23 2011 09:48:00

Americans put more of their hard-earned dough into savings in October and increased their spending only very little.

Money Magazine: A smaller house will make a big differenceupdated: Mon Nov 14 2011 13:20:00

Last year the economic forecasting firm Fiserv predicted that home values would sink around 5% in 2011, and that prices in three-quarters of the nation's major metro areas would fall. The bad news is, the firm wasn't that far off the mark. The good news: In the coming year, Fiserv thinks 95% of the 384 metro areas it tracks will see prices rise.

Money Magazine: Get more from your savings in the new yearupdated: Mon Nov 14 2011 11:44:00

Let's face it: 2011 was pretty abysmal when it came to savings rates, and 2012 won't be much brighter.

CNNMoney: Retirement savings: Withdraw more early on without running dryupdated: Thu Nov 10 2011 16:29:00

I'm thinking of retiring this summer. Ideally, I'd like to withdraw a higher percentage of my savings the first 10 years or so of retirement and then step it down as my wife and I become less active. Are there any rules of thumb or planning tools that could help me out? -- Craig R.

CNNMoney: Young and too scared to invest in stocksupdated: Wed Nov 09 2011 11:37:00

I'm 23 years old and working full-time. I'm on track to set aside about $10,000 this year. I'm typically very cautious, which makes me unlikely to invest in stocks or anything that is not guaranteed. So my question is: how should I invest my money? -- Laura Hochman, Lawrence, Kan.

CNNMoney: TD Bank adds $9 savings account fee, hikes othersupdated: Thu Nov 03 2011 13:39:00

As other banks recoil from the customer wrath they faced after attempting to introduce debit card fees, TD Bank is rolling out a brand new fee and hiking others.

CNNMoney: Beyond IRAs and 401(k)s: Smart retirement saving optionsupdated: Thu Nov 03 2011 10:18:00

My company doesn't offer a 401(k). I invest the max in a Roth IRA, but I know that won't provide enough for retirement. I'd like to invest another $5,000 a year into some sort of retirement plan. What options do I have? -- Daniel J., St. Paul, Minn.

CNNMoney: No more debit card fees. What will the banks try next?updated: Wed Nov 02 2011 19:42:00

Just because debit-card fees are out of the picture for now, don't stop checking your bank statements.

Money Magazine: Solving the new Medicare puzzleupdated: Tue Nov 01 2011 06:36:00

Thanks to Medicare, there's at least one thing you don't have to worry about in retirement: whether you'll have health insurance. How you'll get it, on the other hand, is another matter.

CNNMoney: College costs climb, yet againupdated: Sat Oct 29 2011 18:09:00

Although more Americans are getting help from scholarships and tax breaks, the net cost of college is eating up a higher share of the typical family's income in 2011, according to a report released Wednesday.

Obama plan for student loan reliefupdated: Wed Oct 26 2011 16:42:00

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan explains President Obama's plan to ease the student loan burden for graduates.

CNNMoney: See how much debt college will really put you inupdated: Wed Oct 26 2011 06:59:00

Figuring out how much college is going to cost you is about to get much easier.

CNNMoney: Obama to offer help for students buried in debtupdated: Tue Oct 25 2011 18:32:00

The White House announced on Tuesday two new measures the Department of Education will start offering in January to help college graduates climb out of their student loan debt hole.

Money Magazine: Medicare: How much more will they cut?updated: Fri Oct 21 2011 15:33:00

This is the second-part of MONEY's ongoing series on Medicare.

Money Magazine: What no one is telling you about Medicareupdated: Fri Oct 21 2011 15:27:00

This Sunday morning, and for every foreseeable Sunday until at least the 2012 elections, the talking-head news shows will be crowded with members of both parties talking about the need to fix out-of-control "entitlements." Politicians like that word. It's safely nonspecific, and we're all a little suspicious of someone who feels entitled.

Obama drops long-term health care program updated: Mon Oct 17 2011 11:55:00

Citing cost concerns, the Obama administration said Friday it has halted a long-term care insurance program that was part of the massive health care law passed in 2010.

Key health care initiative droppedupdated: Mon Oct 17 2011 11:55:00

Elizabeth Cohen, senior medical correspondent, explains why the White House is dropping a long-term health care program.

Money Magazine: Can I really get a 10% return from a life insurance policy?updated: Fri Oct 14 2011 16:08:00

A life insurance broker told me that if I put my portfolio in a variable universal life insurance policy it would be a great investment and tax shelter. I was also shown an illustration that my money will grow at 10% a year. Do you believe that a stock market investment will grow at 10% in such a policy? -- Todd C.

CNNMoney: 30-year mortgage rates fall below 4% for first timeupdated: Thu Oct 06 2011 12:10:00

Mortgage rates have never been cheaper, with the 30-year rate falling below 4% for the first time in history.

Money Magazine: 'Terrified' of the stock market: What should I do?updated: Thu Oct 06 2011 05:52:00

I'm terrified of the stock market these days. I plan to retire in April, but I'm afraid I'll lose everything before then. I want to put my money in a safer place, but I don't know where. Should I sell stocks now or wait to see if they go up in value? What do you think? -- Gerry

Fixed mortgage rates lowest on recordupdated: Thu Sep 29 2011 20:28:00

Fixed mortgage rates hit their lowest levels since Freddie Mac began tracking them, the agency reported Thursday.

Money Magazine: Are retirement calculators useful in this volatile economy?updated: Wed Sep 28 2011 10:02:00

I'm more than a little disappointed with calculators. I began saving regularly for retirement in the late 1970s and according to the calculator I was supposed to be pretty well off by now. What actually happened, though, was that I did OK until about 2000 but not very well since then. I'm glad I saved, but the calculator was wrong. --David R., Phoenix, Arizona

CNNMoney: Employers bear brunt of health insurance hikesupdated: Tue Sep 27 2011 12:18:00

Thank you, boss?: While the annual cost for employee family health insurance jumped 9% this year, employers shouldered the bulk of that increase, according to a new industry survey Tuesday.

Children slipping through health care safety netupdated: Wed Sep 21 2011 12:00:00

These are hard times in the United States.

Money Magazine: 10 ways to save on your taxesupdated: Fri Sep 16 2011 18:14:00

When you gather up your W-2s, 1099s and crumpled receipts to figure out your taxes this time of year, you're probably hoping for some shreds of good news. How's this: Because April 15 falls on a Saturday in 2006, you have two extra days to file.

Money Magazine: The dangers of over-diversifying your portfolioupdated: Fri Sep 16 2011 12:53:00

My IRA rollover account is already diversified across a wide range of low-expense investments (including some Money 70 funds), but I'm considering diversifying even more, perhaps global bonds, mid-caps, REITs and commodities. How far should I split the atom in terms of diversification? -- K.S.

CNNMoney: Number of people without health insurance climbsupdated: Tue Sep 13 2011 17:22:00

The number of people who lacked health insurance last year climbed to 49.9 million, up from 49 million in 2009, the Census Bureau said Tuesday.

CNNMoney: Social Security pays millions to dead peopleupdated: Wed Sep 07 2011 12:34:00

While many Americans worry that the Social Security Administration won't have enough money left to pay their benefits when they retire, the agency is doling out millions of dollars to people who aren't even alive.

Money Magazine: Switching jobs: Should I wait to roll over my 401(k)?updated: Fri Sep 02 2011 16:02:00

I switched employers recently and I want to move my old 401(k) balance into my new plan. But I'm afraid that if I do, I might miss out on gains if the market moves into more bullish territory while the transfer is taking place. Should I make the move now or wait until the market settles down a bit? -- Mike S.

CNNMoney: Hurricane Irene: Insurance nightmare awaits homeownersupdated: Mon Aug 29 2011 12:40:00

Now that Hurricane Irene has departed, many Americans are left to deal with the damage the storm left behind and whether or not their insurance company will help pick up the tab.

Report: Private firms still selling unsuitable insurance to troopsupdated: Tue Aug 23 2011 19:58:00

Five years after a law to protect U.S. military personnel from salespeople selling life insurance, a new Pentagon report finds problems continue.

Fortune: Your will: The hidden trapsupdated: Mon Aug 22 2011 13:30:00

Drawing up a will may not be the most pleasant task, but it seems straightforward: You leave behind a legal document that specifies how you want your property doled out when your time on this earth is up. What you may not realize, though, is that much of your net worth can be passed along outside of that will. Without some planning, you could unwittingly disinherit intended beneficiaries, including your children, from significant portions of your estate.

'Sweet' Alice, 76, makes kids' college goals possible $5 at a timeupdated: Sun Aug 21 2011 01:24:00

One savings account at a time, "Sweet" Alice Harris is trying to save youths from the temptations of crime and violence in Los Angeles' notoriously troubled neighborhood of Watts.

Money Magazine: How much will I be spending in retirement?updated: Tue Aug 16 2011 12:52:00

How can I go about calculating the expenses I should expect in retirement? -- Bozena Thrower, Portland, Conn.

CNNMoney: Household debt falls slightlyupdated: Mon Aug 15 2011 11:50:00

Consumer borrowing fell slightly in the second quarter, as Americans shed more of their debt. A new report released Monday by the New York Federal Reserve -- which looks at mortgages, home equity lines, credit cards, auto loans and student debt held by consumers nationwide -- found that total consumer debt fell to $11.4 trillion in the second quarter of this year.

CNNMoney: What the debt downgrade means for your mortgageupdated: Tue Aug 09 2011 14:09:00

At least one fear was not realized amid Monday's meltdown: the concern that mortgage rates would immediately shoot higher in response to Standard & Poor's downgrade of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored entities that are the 800-pound gorillas of the mortgage market.

CNNMoney: Students to feel pinch in debt dealupdated: Tue Aug 02 2011 10:11:00

Some students will start owing more on their loans while they're in school under a last-minute debt ceiling deal to keep the country out of default and reduce deficits by at least $2.1 trillion over a decade.

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