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Student loan mess: What’s at stake?

Student loan mess: What’s at stake?

NEW YORK – On July 1, the interest rates on student loans subsidized by Uncle Sam will most likely double to 6.8 percent.

Congress and the White House agree that something should be done, but they don't agree on what. The Republican-controlled House passed a bill that would stop the rates from doubling now but allow them to rise later. Obama vowed to veto it. On Friday, Sen. Harry Reid said the Senate would vote next week to extend the current rate for two more years.

If this sounds familiar, it is. Last year, facing a July 1 deadline, Congress put off any tough decisions and kept rates the same. In a press event Friday, President Obama blamed Congress for another round of interest rate roulette.

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  • Written by Jennifer Liberto/CNNMoney

African Americans more financially confident, but underserved

African Americans more financially confident, but underserved

NEW YORK – While the average African American is feeling more financially secure, many still feel neglected by the financial industry, new research shows.

Half of African Americans say their financial situations have improved from a year ago, compared to 33 percent of the general population, according to a Prudential report released Tuesday. The survey polled 1,153 people who identified as African American or black and a general sampling of 471 Americans.

African Americans are also significantly more confident about making financial decisions. Nevertheless, they get 13 percent less contact from financial advisers, and only 26 percent of respondents feel that a financial firm has "effectively engaged and shown support for the African American community." As a result, only 19 percent have financial advisers, compared to 30 percent of the overall population.

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  • Written by Blake Ellis/CNNMoney

The secret to putting together an insanely successful team

The secret to putting together an insanely successful team

What are 13 of the most common words that keep companies from realizing their full performance potential? (Hint: They are 13 words that are very difficult to argue with.)

Those words are: "Hey, our goal is simply to put the best person in the job." Can't argue with that, can you? Who can be against putting the best person in the job??

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African-American consumers: Still vital, still growing

African-American consumers: Still vital, still growing

A new report from the Nielsen company suggests that with increases in income and education, African-American consumer buying power is projected to grow by $100 million in just two years. By 2015, African-American buying power is estimated to be $1.1 billion.

According to the Nielsen study, "African-American Consumers: Still Vital, Still Growing," the African-American population's growth outpaces the rest of the population by 30 percent. The demographic is also increasingly younger, more educated and has higher incomes than commonly believed. Between 2000 and 2009, the number of African Americans attending some college or earning degrees has grown to 45 percent of men and 54 percent of women.

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Business bootcamp has single moms in sight

Business bootcamp has single moms in sight

This summer, Successful Single Moms Memphis, Inc. plans to take another step in its mission of "advocating for fair wages, opportunities to return to school, homeownership and entrepreneurship" for single moms.

Single Moms University (SMU) – in concert with its collaborative partners – will provide an avenue for their single moms to participate in classes designed to foster continuing education opportunities.

"We are excited to announce our Mogul Mom™ Business Bootcamp as the first set of classes under our Single Moms University," said Nicole Gates, director of Successful Single Moms Memphis, Inc. "(This) is a collaboration of the Home Based Business Chamber of Commerce (HBBCC), National College of Business and Successful Single Moms Memphis. Completion of the training sets the women up to become Mogul Mom™ Certified business enterprises."

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DIVORCE – Property distribution and alimony

DIVORCE – Property distribution and alimony

Remember the popular song lyrics of Johnnie Taylor – "Cheaper to Keep Her?"

Well, there just may be some truth to those words.

The after effects of a divorce can wreak havoc on a business. Taking into consideration loss of property and the payment of alimony, the consequences can be long lasting and difficult to overcome.

Property distribution

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Fraud never sleeps

Fraud never sleeps

The Federal Trade Commission received over 1.8 million consumer complaints in 2011. More than half of these were for various types of fraud. Despite improved consumer education and tighter controls, criminals continue to come up with new ways to separate unwitting victims from their hard-earned money.

A list of potential scams would fill many pages, but here are three relatively new ones to watch out for.

Cut your credit-card rate! An unsolicited caller offers to help you reduce your credit-card interest rate for a fee, and you must fill out a financial profile with account numbers, Social Security numbers, and other personal information. The scammer may arrange a conference call with your credit-card company and ask for a fee reduction, which is usually refused and could have been requested yourself. You are out the fee and at risk for the misuse of your personal information.

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