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Preparing your credit profile for the spring real estate season

When you are out shoveling snow and scraping ice off the car's windshield, winter can seem like an eternity. Yet when it comes to your credit profile, house-hunting and the spring real estate season is just around the corner. It pays to take steps to make sure your credit profile is in the best shape possible if you'll be looking for a house come spring.

A year in review: top searches of 2012

This year marked a time of change, innovation, trials and hope. But what was the most memorable moment of 2012? A great place to look is online searches, as they mark the people, places and events that mattered most in a given year.

Tips for a bigger tax refund

If you typically dread income tax time, remember this: Three out of four taxpayers receive a federal refund, and the average direct-deposited refund last year was $2,923. You have almost as many tax savings opportunities as last year, thanks to the fiscal cliff-averting tax changes passed in early January. In addition to extending the lower Bush-era income tax rates for nearly all taxpayers, the American Tax Relief Act made permanent or extended dozens of tax breaks.

Homeowners liable for snow and ice control

Whenever it snows, it is a common sight to see workers at shopping centers and business owners out and about clearing pathways, parking spaces and entrances of snow and ice. But this isn't just good business to help customers get in the door, it is also a liability issue should someone slip and fall and injure themselves. Homeowners, too, face similar, albeit more limited, liability if they fail to take adequate steps to remove such slippery hazards from their property.

The real cost of that 'free app' just might be your privacy

The app world is booming and today there are more than 1 million mobile apps available for download through online stores run by companies like Apple and Google. Many apps are available free of charge and collect user data for advertising purposes, raising the question: What is the true cost of these "free" apps?

Texting and driving don't mix

Are you like many Americans who make phone calls while they're driving? Or text a friend or family member when you reach a stoplight? Did you know that in doing so you could be breaking the law?