Bankrate editorial department corrections policy
Bankrate.com takes seriously its responsibility to provide accurate information, and will correct or clarify articles produced by the editorial department if we have made an error or published misleading information.
If you see inaccuracies in Bankrate.com's news stories, please report the mistake via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=correction.
You can also reach us by mail at:
11760 U.S. Highway 1, suite 200
North Palm Beach, FL 33408
Bankrate's archives contain more than 20,000 stories published online since 1997. It is our policy that any piece containing timely information must clearly identify the date when that page was posted or updated. Bankrate updates stories as time permits and as news events warrant, but such updates will not be considered corrections.
Feb. 14, 2014 -- In "What's all the fuss about myRA accounts," published February 12, 2014, we incorrectly stated that employers are not required to offer myRAs unless they do not provide any employer-sponsored savings plan. In fact, employers are not required to offer myRAs at all. In addition, we incorrectly stated that small businesses will receive tax breaks to help defray the administrative costs associated with the program. A separate proposal by President Barack Obama would require that employers offer a payroll deduction IRA if they do not already provide an employer-sponsored savings plan. The payroll deduction IRA and the myRA are two different types of plans. Tax breaks to small businesses would apply to the “auto-IRA,” not the myRA.
Sept. 24, 2013 -- In "Cybersecurity stocks in an insecure worlds," published Sept. 11, 2013, we incorrectly stated that the theft of intellectual property cost U.S. consumers $110 billion in the year ending in September 2012. In fact, it is the global cost of cybercrime for consumers that reached $110 billion, and the report from Symantec was released in September 2012, though the research was completed on July 30 of that year.
July 22, 2013 -- In "Golden retirement benefits for Congress," published July 22, 2013, we incorrectly stated that members of Congress serve four-year terms. In fact, U.S. representatives each serve a two-year term, and U.S. senators each serve a six-year term.
May 10, 2013 -- In "Best U.S. cities for an airport layover," published March 27, 2013, we incorrectly included Vancouver International Airport among the best U.S. airports for a layover. It is in Canada.
April 25, 2013 -- In "Basics of IRAs," updated Jan. 11, 2012, we incorrectly stated that contributions to a traditional IRA are not deductible if you are already covered by a workplace retirement plan. In fact, some or all of the contributions may be tax deductible, depending on your earnings. Also, we incorrectly stated that you can only take distributions from an IRA at age 59 ½ as long as the account has been open at least five years. In fact, that rule only applies to Roth IRAs, not traditional IRAs.
April 24, 2013 -- In "Compare credit union accounts," published March 18, 2013, we incorrectly reported checking account yields of 5 percent for America First Federal Credit Union, American Airlines Federal Credit Union, BECU and Delta Community Credit Union. They are 0.05 percent.
Nov. 16, 2012 -- In "Check-in apps: Dart into stores, get rewards," published Nov. 13, 2012, we incorrectly identified the university where Marilyn Prosch is a professor. It's Arizona State University.
Oct. 26, 2012 -- In "Going abroad: Who offers EMV cards?," published April 9, 2012, we inaccurately reported that credit cards issued by U.S. Bank require a PIN. These cards require a signature, not a PIN.
Oct. 23, 2012 -- In Student financial aid: Obama vs. Romney, we clarified the student loan default rate to instead reflect the student loan repayment rate.
August 29, 2012 -- In the story 6 cheap places to retire abroad that published August 14, 2012, the island Guam was identified as a country and an American territory rather than a U.S. territory.
August 16, 2012 -- In the story Short selling: A strategy fraught with risk that published August 15, 2012, an explanation about buying put options was incorrect. A put gives you the right, but not the obligation, to sell the stock or index at a preset price.
July 31, 2012 -- In the story Earthquake insurance: Sturdier home coverage that published July 26, 2012, the average annual premium for earthquake insurance through the California Earthquake Authority was incorrect. The correct average rate is about $2 per $1,000 of coverage.
July 18, 2012 -- In the story 7 legit work-at-home jobs for 20-somethings that published May 29, 2012, the mystery shopper site referenced did not have up-to-date, valid information. This has been updated with new information.
June 19, 2012 -- In the story 6 overseas vacation spots for a song that published June 15, 2012, the name of a tour operator was incorrect. The correct name is Friendly Planet Travel.
June 7, 2012 -- Due to a processing error May 31, 2012's "Interest Rate Roundup" showed an incorrect rate for the 30-year jumbo mortgage. The 30-year jumbo mortgage rate for that date has been changed from 4.54 percent to 4.5 percent to correct the error.
March 3, 2012 -- The article "International investments: Bite the bullet?" published Feb. 27, 2012, originally stated that new retirees should allocate 12.5 percent to 25 percent of the stock portion of their portfolios to international investments. The story has been amended to read: For new retirees, the stock portion may be 50 percent, so the international exposure may be 10 percent to 15 percent of the total portfolio.
Feb. 24 , 2012 -- In Bankrate's stories, "Top 10 states for foreclosure: January 2012" and "January 2012: Top 10 states for foreclosure," it was incorrectly stated that foreclosure filings had dropped. They had, in fact, increased. We regret the error, and this has been corrected.
Jan. 17, 2012 -- The article "Top 1 percent: How much do they earn," published October 24, 2011, incorrectly stated that roughly 44 percent of New York City residents made the top 1 percent in 2007 in a bulleted highlight at the top of the story. In fact, the share of income among the top 1 percent of NYC households rose from 12 percent in 1980 to 44 percent in 2007, as was correctly stated in the article itself.
Nov. 22, 2011 -- The article "Tips for getting a mortgage loan modification," published May 19, 2010, provided the wrong first name for Lisa Langlois.
Oct. 25, 2011 -- The following stories "Credit scores influence more than lenders," "High credit scores can save you plenty," "5 lessons from free credit score notices" and "Bad credit hurts" incorrectly stated that employers may check a prospective hire's credit score. Employers do not check credit scores. What can be checked, with the permission of the candidate, are credit reports.
Oct. 4, 2011 -- The article "Higher banking fees on the horizon," published Aug. 8, 2011, incorrectly stated that swipe fee caps imposed under the Durbin Amendment don't apply to financial institutions that have less than $10 million in assets. The asset level for that exemption is $10 billion.
Sept. 13, 2011 -- The article "3 ways to save money on medical costs," posted Sept. 12, 2011, incorrectly stated that an average U.S. family spends five times more on medical costs than they did five years ago, according to Simplee.com. In fact, Simplee's data show the average U.S. family has experienced a 50 percent increase in medical costs over the last five years.
July 29, 2011 -- The article "5 major must-haves for a fab first home," posted July 26, 2011, incorrectly stated that first-time homebuyers should seek an appraiser to check that a prospective home has been properly maintained. In fact, they should seek the services of an inspector.
June 30, 2011 -- The article "Group coupon craze comes to real estate," posted June 29, 2011, incorrectly said that real estate agents are not always allowed to give commission discounts. In fact, some states do not allow commission rebates.
June 6, 2011 -- The article "Pros and cons of prepaid tuition plans," posted June 3, 2011, incorrectly stated that Tennessee's prepaid college plan has recently shut down. In fact, it has simply suspended enrollment, but remains open to current enrollees.
May 31, 2011 -- In the story "7 money moves for living abroad," posted May 27, 2011, Steven Elliott, tax director of Schwartz & Co., was incorrectly identified as Steven Schwartz.
April 22, 2011 -- The Real Estate Adviser column "Heed taxes when passing home to offspring," published April 17, 2011, incorrectly referred to Medicare instead of Medicaid. The column said the homeowners could incur gift taxes for giving the home to the children, when the lifetime gift-tax exemption makes that unlikely for a couple of modest means.
April 14, 2011 -- The story "5 little-known facts about Social Security," originally published Sept. 10, 2010, stated that eligibility for Social Security required 40 quarters of employment with a minimum income of $1,000 per quarter. The minimum income required for 2010 and 2011 is $1,120 per quarter.
Jan. 4, 2011 -- The story, "10 years that shook America's finances," incorrectly stated the rise in the Dow Jones industrial average from the low set in March 2009 and the intraday high Dec. 15, 2010. The Dow Jones rose just under 76 percent during the period.
Dec. 6, 2010 -- In the Dr. Don column Dec. 6, "Best place to park short-term savings," there was an error. His statement about bonds and price risk should read: "there is not a lot of room for interest rates to go lower."
Dec. 6, 2010 -- The story, "Reverse mortgage gets affordable," incorrectly estimated the cost of an annual mortgage insurance premium. It was based on the hypothetical value of the home rather than an outstanding loan balance.While the upfront MIP is based on the value of the house, the annual MIP is based on the loan balance of a reverse mortgage.
Oct. 19, 2010 -- The story, "6 questions before you refi," contained an error about the percentage of equity a homeowner needs to avoid being required to purchase private mortgage insurance. The correct percentage of equity is 20 percent or more.
Aug. 27, 2010 -- The Retirement blog, "Social Security cutting do-overs," incorrectly stated that the Office of Management and Budget and the Social Security Administration proposed a change to the policy that allows recipients to change their minds about collecting Social Security. The proposal was sent by the Social Security Administration to the Office of Management and Budget. The blog also stated the proposed rule change would go into effect Oct. 1. No date has been set.
Aug. 17, 2010 -- The article, Changes to college loans and financial aid posted Aug. 16, 2010, identified the Project on Student Debt as a nonprofit student debt relief agency. In fact, it is actually a nonprofit research and policy organization.
Aug. 16, 2010 -- The national average for closing costs in Bankrate's 2009 Closing Costs Study was incorrectly stated. It should be $2,739.
Aug. 5, 2010 -- The story "7 crucial facts about FHA loans" incorrectly stated the amount of money available to borrowers to finance repairs through a so-called "streamlined" 203(k). The correct amount is $35,000.
June 25, 2010 -- In the story "Sharing credit card accounts," Gaurav Gupta originally was misidentified.
June 18, 2010 -- In the Bankrate article "Community vs. big banks," there were three misleading or incorrect statements. Read the correct version here.
May 27, 2010 -- The May 23 Real Estate Adviser column, "Home builder must pay for contract typo," incorrectly reported the average cost of asphalt-shingle and clay-tile roofing materials. The correct average cost for asphalt-shingle roofing is $50 to $150 per square, while clay-tile roofing averages $300 to $500 per square.
Feb. 25, 2010 -- The Dec. 30, 2009, story "7 steps to a 2010 Roth IRA conversion" incorrectly stated that converting a 401(k) or 403(b) from a former employer into a Roth IRA is a two-step process. In fact, the conversion can be made directly into a Roth IRA in one step, says Melissa Labant, a technical manager with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Washington, D.C.
Feb. 3, 2010 -- The Stratus Rewards Visa is no longer issued by U.S. Bank.
Jan. 29, 2010 -- In "Credit do's and don'ts before a refinance," it was implied that collection agencies can remove listings they have placed on a consumer's credit report. In fact, this practice violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Nov. 6, 2009 -- In an Oct. 28, 2009 Dr. Don column, it was incorrectly stated that a woman who planned to take ownership of a home currently owned by her father could qualify for the federal first-time homebuyer tax credit.
Oct. 7, 2009 -- In the Sept. 18, 2009, Dr. Don column "Hardship rule can tame 401(k) tax," it was incorrectly stated that account holders who qualify for a hardship distribution are not subject to a 10 percent penalty tax.
Sept. 25 2009 -- The article "7 steps to a 2010 Roth IRA conversion" incorrectly identified Gilman Ciocia Chairman Jim Ciocia as a certified public accountant. He does not hold a CPA designation. The story was originally posted on Sept. 1, 2009.
Sept. 4, 2009 -- The article "Should you work in retirement?" stated incorrectly that individuals earning more than $25,000 ($32,000 for married couples filing jointly), could lose up to 85 percent of their Social Security benefits to income taxes. In fact, up to 85 percent of their Social Security benefits would be subject to tax.
Aug. 21, 2009 -- The article "Campus health insurance or family plan?" should have said that James Boyle, president of College Parents of America, points to low ceilings for catastrophic coverage, high deductibles, short coverage windows (i.e., only during the school year) and the lack of portability when the student moves to another school or into the work force when discussing the pros and cons of college health insurance policies. It has been corrected.
July 16, 2009 -- The following quote was misattributed in a story about the use of social media by small businesses: "Think of social media as a cocktail party. You don't go into the cocktail party and go into the middle room and scream at the top of your lungs and say, 'Buy my products.' ... What works is you have some meaningful conversation first. And that's just how social media works." The comment was made by David Meerman Scott, author of "The New Rules of Marketing and PR" and "World Wide Rave."
June 30 , 2009 -- The article "7 ways to avoid tapping retirement cash" should have said that reverse mortgages are available to homeowners older than 62 who fully own their homes or have a small mortgage. In addition, income from an unqualified 529 plan withdrawal is assessed at the recipient's federal income-tax rate (plus a 10 percent penalty), whether that recipient is the parent or the child.
June 10, 2009 -- In the story "When not to use a 529 plan," it was incorrectly stated that taxes are deferred on a child's custodial account until withdrawal, and that unqualified 529 plan withdrawals are taxed at the child's rate. In fact, taxes are not deferred on a child's custodial account. They are assessed each year, as follows: If the child is older than 19 and not a full-time student at year-end, the income is taxed at the child's's rate. Otherwise, through age 23 the first $950 of income is tax-free, the next $950 is at the child's rate, and any income above that is at the parent's rate. In addition, income from an unqualified 529 plan withdrawal is assessed at the recipient's federal income-tax rate (plus a 10 percent penalty), whether that recipient is the parent or the child.
June 10 , 2009 -- In the story "When 2 heads are better than 1," Ruth Walker was incorrectly identified.
March 31, 2009 -- In Dr. Don column "Choose retirement plan that matches you," it was incorrectly stated that income limits on Roth IRA contributions will be eliminated in 2010. In fact, limits on Roth IRA contributions will remain in effect. It is income limits on conversions (from traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs) that will disappear.
March 12, 2009 -- In the story "Are you eligible for mortgage help," it was incorrectly stated that the federal government's Home Affordable Refinance program requires eligible homeowners to demonstrate financial hardship. The program does not have this requirement.
March 12, 2009 -- The tax tip discussing the first-time homebuyer credit incorrectly stated that unmarried individuals who purchase a "first" home must each qualify in order to claim any of the credit. In the case of unmarried purchasers, eligibility is determined separately and the credit can be allocated between each eligible homeowner.
Nov. 21, 2008 -- In the story "4 steps to boost car trade-in value," ZAG was incorrectly identified as an "automotive research company." It should have been identified as an "auto shopping, research and pricing technology platform to affinity buying groups."
Aug. 11, 2008 -- Bankrate's article on asset allocation presented an oversimplification of the results of a famous study by Brinson, Hood and Beebower. The article said the study concluded that asset allocation accounts for more than 90 percent of a portfolio's return. In fact, asset allocation accounts for more than 90 percent of the variance of a portfolio's return.
July 28, 2008 -- On Bankrate's Fed news page, Federal Open Market Committee Chairman Ben S. Bernanke was incorrectly identified.
May 14, 2008 -- In Kay Bell's story on deducting private mortgage insurance, the phase-out thresholds were incorrect. The deduction is limited for homeowners with adjusted gross income of $100,000 (single or married filing jointly) or $50,000 for homeowners who are married and file separate returns. The article was originally published March 7, 2008.
April 24, 2008 -- In an interactive story titled, "What can you buy for $400,000?" we mistakenly implied that Bangor, Maine, is a coastal city. The article was originally published April 14, 2008.
March 19, 2008 -- In the Bankrate story "Solo home sellers find FSBO help online," Phil Gons was touted as an FSBO success story after he found a buyer for his condominium in Greenville, S.C. However, the sale fell through when the buyer could not obtain financing. Gons is now using a Realtor to sell his home.
Feb. 8, 2008 -- The story "6 steps to better, cheaper car insurance" mistakenly implied that property damage coverage applies to the policy holder's vehicle. In fact, property damage coverage insures damage that a policy holder causes to another person's vehicle. The story was originally published Nov. 30, 2007.
Jan. 31, 2008 -- A story on Health insurance for the over-50 crowd incorrectly listed New Hampshire among the states that allow residents age 55 and older to continue COBRA coverage until they are eligible for Medicare. In fact, in New Hampshire, this applies only to the separated, divorced or surviving spouse of the policy holder. The story was originally published Jan. 22, 2008.
Nov. 15, 2007 -- A Dr. Don column incorrectly stated that a husband and wife who each have $100,000 as insured deposits in individual accounts are not eligible to have an additional $100,000 each insured in a joint account. In fact, joint accounts are a separate type of account ownership and as such have separate insurance limits. Coverage limits are up to a total of $400,000 in insured deposits for the two types of accounts. The column was originally published Nov. 8, 2007.
Nov. 8, 2007 -- A Real Estate Adviser column, "Home auction best left to pro" incorrectly stated that National Association of Realtors estimates that by 2010, one-third of all U.S. properties sold will sell by auction. The statistic did not come from the NAR. The column was published Nov. 4, 2007.
Aug. 7, 2007 -- A story about emergency savings strategies incorrectly stated that a $200 investment earning 10 percent would grow to $835 after five years. In fact, it would grow to that amount after 15 years.
May 22, 2007 -- An interview with the Frugal $ense winner incorrectly stated that plastics discarded as municipal solid waste in 2003 accounted for 26.7 tons. The total weight of plastic refuse in 2003 was 26.7 million tons.
April 23, 2007 -- We incorrectly identified Steve Brobeck in a story on retirement planning, published April 23, 2007. Mr. Brobeck is the executive director of the Consumer Federation of America.
April 19, 2007 -- A story on congressional hearings into foreclosures, as originally published, overstated the recent rate of foreclosures.
April 10, 2007 -- A column on retirement as originally published in September 2006 listed incorrect dollar amounts on the table.
April 6, 2007 -- A tax column on the Pension Protection Act originally published on Oct. 6, 2006 inaccurately stated that IRA beneficiaries could defer withdrawing inherited IRA funds until age 70 1/2. In fact, that is not true.
March 21, 2007 -- A story on medical tourism inaccurately illustrated the maps of Thailand and Singapore. The maps shown in the illustration have been corrected.
March 8, 2007 -- A Dr. Don column published March 5 incorrectly described Roth IRA contributions. They are made with after-tax dollars, not pretax dollars as the column originally stated.
Jan. 31, 2007 -- A column on how the young can get rich contained an inaccurate calculation pertaining to the example of Shirley, who beginning at age 25 invested $4,000 a year in a Roth IRA for 10 years and then stopped making further investments. At 9 percent, her nest egg would have grown to $806,303, not $1.3 million as the original article stated.
Jan. 24, 2007 -- A column on long-term care insurance, originally published Jan. 17, stated that beginning in 2010, consumers can take money out of an annuity tax free if they use the cash to purchase a long-term care policy. In fact, the provisions of the new law will allow consumers to have the cost of long-term care coverage subtracted directly from the cash value of a hybrid annuity-LTC product without having the payment be taxed as a distribution (however, the long-term care costs expended will reduce the annuity's cost basis). Hybrid products eligible for these rules do not yet exist. For more details, see the subsequent column published Jan. 25.
Dec. 28, 2006 -- An interview published Dec. 12 with TV chef Mario Batali incorrectly referred to the James Beard Foundation as the James Beard Society.
Nov. 27, 2006 -- A story titled "Housing design trends of the past and future," originally published Nov. 23, 2006, erroneously identified Bob McLemore as the founder and president of House Raisers Inc. The name of the firm is HouseRaising Inc.
Nov. 8, 2006 -- A story titled "Homes for multiple generations," originally published Sept. 14, 2006, stated that, "In 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau counted 3.9 million American households consisting of three or more generations living together, a jump of about 60 percent over the bureau's 1990 findings." In fact, the bureau counted 4.2 million households in 2000, which represents an increase of 40 percent over the 1990 findings.
Oct. 27, 2006 -- A story titled "Can traffic lawyers win your case?," originally published April 25, 2006, confused the terms "plaintiff" and "defendant."
Oct. 25, 2006 -- Our story about the most popular Halloween costumes of the season, first published Oct. 14, misidentified the superspeedy The Flash and Boy Wonder superhero Robin as Marvel comics characters. In fact, they are DC Comics superheroes. We regret this error; it is against Bankrate's policy, and just plain unwise, to cause offense to superhumans and superheroes.
Oct. 24, 2006 -- A story titled "10 alternative ways to cut college costs" has been clarified to indicate that the Pell grant is free money for eligible undergraduate students. As originally posted Oct. 10, it could have been construed otherwise.
Oct. 13, 2006 -- A pair of stories, "5 tips: Selling a house in a buyer's market," published Sept. 28, and "4 tips for buying a house in a buyer's market," published Oct. 5, misidentified the nature of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. It is a national network of 650 regional and independent firms.
Oct. 10, 2006 -- The compounding power of interest, though mighty, was vastly overstated in a story first published Oct. 1. Corrected figures have been inserted into the story.
Oct. 5, 2006 -- In the event of the death of a member
of the military, the surviving spouse receives a one-time payment of $255.
In a story
published Sept. 26, 2006, Bankrate incorrectly reported the amount. In addition, other benefits are available
depending on children and other factors.
Sept. 27, 2006 -- Bankrate's state tax information on Massachusetts incorrectly indicated that the state levies a 12 percent tax on interest and dividends. In fact, interest and dividends are taxed at 5.3 percent in Massachusetts.
Sept. 22, 2006 -- A story about credit card myths erroneously oversimplified the question of who is able to look at your credit report without your permission. Access to your credit report is based, in part, on context -- whether it is an inquiry for medical, employment or credit purposes, for example. In addition, what's commonly called a "credit report" has more than one part, and while your name and address can be easily obtained for marketing offers, other information is more closely guarded and won't be released without permission. Nationwide, the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act sets the rules for who can view the reports under what circumstances, but it only sets a base line. States may, and some do, set higher standards. The story was first published in another form in 2003 and appeared in its present form July 1, 2006.
Sept. 6, 2006 -- A story headlined "Assisted living at your doorstep" as originally published on Aug. 30 erroneously stated that the average monthly cost, in 2005, of a private room in an assisted-living facility was $34,860; average cost for private quarters in a nursing home was more than double that at $74,095. In fact those are annual, not monthly, costs.
Aug. 23, 2006 -- A story headlined "Boomers retiring not so rich" as originally published on Aug. 7 contained a misspelling of a person's name. It said Brent Meiser is a certified financial planner and director of collaborative programs for the National Endowment for Financial Education. His correct name is Brent Neiser. Bankrate regrets the error.
Aug. 21, 2006 -- A story headlined "Housing futures to allay bubble fears" as originally published on Aug. 17 contained one sentence with two mistakes. It said the Chicago Board Options Exchange is a subsidiary of the Chicago Board of Trade; it is not. It said the CBOE has announced plans to introduce its own electronic housing futures exchange soon; it has not. The CBOE has announced plans to introduce its own electronic housing futures contracts soon.
June 14, 2006 -- An article that was first published on June 14, 2001, incorrectly stated that origination fees are not tax deductible. In fact, origination fees, commonly expressed in terms of points, are deductible as long as they are not paid in lieu of other fees, such as attorney or appraisal fees. Unfortunately, this misinformation was picked up and appeared elsewhere on our site, including in our Mortgage Basics. It has since been corrected.
May 29, 2006 -- An article first published May 22, 2006, incorrectly stated Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is also known as propane. Propane is Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
May 12, 2006 -- An article first published in March 2002 and republished in January 2003 incorrectly described the restrictions on debt collectors. In fact, under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a debt collector can lie about his or her identity and use an alias, as long as it is used consistently and the debt collector can be identified by his or her employer.
May 2, 2006 -- A column about "Getting a discount on inner peace" referred to a book as "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about TM, Including How to Do It." The actual title is: "Everything You Want to Know about TM, Including How to Do It." The column was posted on April 19, 2006.
March 7, 2006 -- An article about homes that cost about $400,000 in cities and towns across the country incorrectly identified the capital of Delaware. Dover is the second-smallest-state's capital. The article was first published March 1, 2006.
Feb. 13, 2006 -- An article headlined "Financing a manufactured home" erroneously said you could not deduct the interest paid on personal loans taken out to secure a manufactured home. Whether the loan is called a mortgage or not, the loan interest is generally tax deductible if it is used to secure a primary residence. The article was published July 22, 1999.
Jan. 17, 2006 -- A Tax Talk column on "Using equity from town house to buy new home" incorrectly stated that the interest on the town house's home equity line of credit (even if more than $100,000) could be deducted as mortgage interest on Schedule A. This is only true if the debt is secured by a qualified home, which is strictly defined as a main or second home. To qualify as a second home, the owner must use it more than 14 days a year or more than 10 percent of the number of days during the year that the home is rented at a fair rental price, whichever is longer. If these conditions aren't met, the home is considered a rental property rather than a second home, rendering the interest nondeductible. The column was first published Jan. 6, 2006.
Jan. 5, 2006 -- A column on strategies for increasing pay erroneously stated that a 3.6 percent base pay increase, when offset by a 12 percent increase in health-care costs, would result in a net loss of income. The column was first published Dec. 21, 2005.
Jan. 4, 2006 -- A story on increasing credit card minimum payments misspelled the name of the credit card issuer Capital One. The article was published Jan. 2, 2006.
Dec. 6, 2005 -- A chart detailing the costs of gift cards incorrectly stated that American Express charges a $5.95 fee to replace gift cards after their "valid through" date. Such replacement cards are free. The article was published Nov. 23, 2005.
Nov. 30, 2005 -- The story, "The cost of caring for your pearly whites," incorrectly stated that the American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth for two minutes at a time. The ADA does not recommend a specific length of time for brushing. The article was first published Nov. 26, 2005.
Nov. 30, 2005 -- In an article titled "Boomers push interest in Universal Design homes," we incorrectly cited the Center for Universal Design as being part of the University of North Carolina. It is actually part of North Carolina State University. The error was first published Nov. 24, 2005.
Nov. 30, 2005 -- A story first published in January 2003 and republished in a slightly different form in November 2005 misstated the length of time that negative information could remain on consumers' credit scores. It stated that creditors could, at their discretion, stretch the ordinary seven-year limit by re-reporting bad debts twice more, so that bad debt information could remain on consumers' credit reports a total of 21 years. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires credit reporting bureaus to remove "negative information" (defined as missed payment, late payment, no payment, charge off, collection) seven years from the initial delinquency date. No payments, or other activity on the account including selling the account to a different collection agency changes that original date or the requirement to remove the negative information seven years from the date. Even if a person pays the balance of an old closed account (past the seven year reporting date) it cannot legally be reported to the credit bureau because the account's initial delinquency date is past the seven year reporting period. Abusive creditors may try and have such old debts listed, however, they cannot be listed legally, according to the act.
Nov. 17, 2005 -- A column contained the statement that that the "typical American household has $20,000 in retirement savings and is on track to replace only 56 percent of its retirement income (counting pensions and Social Security), down from 59 percent last spring." It should have said that it was on track to replace 56 percent of its pre-retirement income. The article was first published Nov. 16, 2005.
Nov. 1, 2005 -- The article, "When it pays to stay single," contained three misstatements. Regarding federal benefits for the nursing home scenario, the original story erroneously referred to "Medicare" payments for nursing home care. While Medicare does cover some costs for short-term nursing care related to a patient's illness, long-term custodial care in a nursing home is covered by Medicaid. Secondly, the article stated, "If you stay unmarried and have no will or trust, all your assets will go by default to your next of kin, your children. Your partner will get nothing. Conversely, if you marry and don't have a will or trust, your new spouse will get it all, leaving your kids without an inheritance." While that is true in many states, some states follow the Uniform Probate Code, which calls for splitting the inheritance for people who die intestate. Thirdly, Bankrate erroneously stated, "There are a lot of widows out there who have their husbands' pensions. If they remarry, they would lose that pension income." Widows may not automatically lose their former spouse's pension benefits upon remarriage, but they had better check with the Pension Plan Administrator to make certain. The article was first published October 17, 2005.
Oct. 13, 2005 -- An article incorrectly spelled the name of Ranjit S. Dighe, associate professor of economics at the State University of New York. The article was first published October 12, 2005.
Sept. 9, 2005 -- An article listing the most and least expensive four-year liberal arts colleges in the United States incorrectly stated one of the least expensive was Judson College in Elgin, Ill. Actually, it was Judson College in Marion, Ala., which ranked among the least expensive. The article was first published Aug. 15, 2005.
Sept. 2, 2005 -- Two stories on Bankrate -- a Dr. Don column and a "College financing basics" -- misstated how Coverdell Education Savings Accounts are used in calculating financial aid. The federal formula for student aid considers such accounts the as the assets of the parent, not the student, if the parent is the owner of the account. The issue was settled by a 2004 clarification from the Department of Education. The Dr. Don column was first published Sept. 1, 2005; the basics article was first published May 1, 2005.
Aug. 15, 2005 -- An article on obtaining an insurance-claim history on a home before entering into a contract to purchase it incorrectly stated that Choicetrust.com is a division of the credit-reporting company Equifax. ChoiceTrust is the name of a product of the Choice Point Asset Company which began operations as the Insurance Services Group of Equifax. The two companies parted ways when Equifax spun off ChoicePoint to its shareholders in 1997. The article was first published March 15, 2004.
July 14, 2005 -- An article on stopping payments on checks incorrectly stated that payments on cashier's checks could be stopped the same way as personal checks. While that is often true, the rules for cashier's checks are different and can vary between institutions. The article was first published July 6, 2005.
June 8, 2005 -- In an article detailing how to receive free annual credit reports, we mistakenly said a consumer can request reports from all three major credit reporting agencies at once if they want to compare credit scores. The free reports do not include your credit score. Scores are available only for a fee. The article was first published May 2, 2005.
May 25, 2005 -- An article on reverse mortgages incorrectly stated that Congress recently raised the cap on FHA-insured reverse mortgages from $150,000 to $250,000 after the Department of Housing and Urban Development warned that originations of the FHA home-equity conversion mortgages were dangerously close to the cap figure. Actually, these figures should not be expressed as dollar figures, but rather numbers of mortgages allowed. Congress raised the cap on FHA-insured reverse mortgages from 150,000 to 250,000. The article was published on May 23, 2005.
May 5, 2005 -- An article profiling state taxes in Rhode Island incorrectly stated that the Ocean State's tax rate is 25 percent of the federal taxable income. The tax rate is actually 25 percent of the federal tax liability. The story was originally published in 2000 and has been updated yearly.
March 21, 2005 -- An article on finding the best in 55-plus housing communities incorrectly referred to such a development as being in Brownstone, Mich. The community is in Brownstown Township, Mich. The article was first published March 17, 2005.
Feb. 17, 2005 -- A road test review of the 2005 Honda Accord Hybrid incorrectly stated the vehicle features rear-wheel drive, when, in fact, the car has front-wheel drive. The article was first published Feb. 15, 2005.
Dec. 6, 2004 -- An article on sound systems available in 2004 model cars incorrectly stated the 2004 Acura TL had a matrix surround sound system. In fact, the 2004 Acura TL was the first production automobile to carry the new high-resolution ELS surround system, the first DVD-audio system in a vehicle to provide six independent and discrete channels of sound. The article was first published Dec. 19, 2003.
Nov. 15, 2004 -- An article about housing policy in President Bush's second term misleadingly mixed Kenneth Wade's statements with the author's conclusions regarding the mortgage interest tax deduction. Wade, chief executive of Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp., said that too many low-income families do not take advantage of the deduction. It was not Wade's conclusion that homeowners who don't take the home interest deduction would not miss its elimination.
Nov. 11, 2004 -- An update to a story on the capital gains exclusion for home sales misstated a change in the tax treatment of like-kind properties that are converted to primary residence status and then sold. The article was first published Oct. 18, 2004, and the like-kind change was added Oct. 22, 2004. The capital gains exclusion remains available to sellers who use a property as a primary residence for two years, not five as first reported, as long as the like-kind exchange was accomplished at least five years previously.
Sept. 29, 2004 -- A story about end-of-season car sales incorrectly stated the engine size of the Acura TL. The car has a V6 engine. The article was first published Sept. 23, 2004.
Sept. 8, 2004 -- A feature article on Kathy Ireland incorrectly stated that Ireland was on the cover of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition in 1984. It should have said she was on the cover of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition in 1989. The article was first published April 13, 2004.
July 21, 2004 -- An article on spyware that crooks are using to scam bank customers gave instructions for tweaking Internet Explorer's Outlook e-mail program to better protect systems from being scammed. The instructions were for opening e-mails in text only, and applied only to one version of Outlook. It should have said these instructions applied only to the most recent versions of Outlook. The article was first published July 2, 2004.
March 3, 2004 -- An article on co-ops and condos misstated the tax deduction status of co-ops. Real estate taxes paid by owners of cooperative housing corporation units are, in fact, deductible according to Section 216 of the Internal Revenue Code. The article originally was published Feb. 14.
Feb. 5, 2004 -- An article on the military's problems with payday lenders should have stated that the interest charged on a loan taken by Jason Withrow was 30 percent. The article was first published Feb. 2, 2004.