Daily Interest: Loans Up, Unemployment Down (If Only They Balanced Each Other Out)

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You’d think this would be balanced when there’s nothing on either side …

Here’s the news that caught my eye today while congratulating Spencer Pratt on (almost) graduating from college!

(And it’s totally fine that it took him a decade to do so. I mean, it’s not like finishing school is as easy as growing a creepy beard or anything.)

  • We missed yesterday’s Daily Interest, but we certainly did not miss yesterday’s big student loan news. In fact, maybe we took the day off to recover from it. A new report found that borrower indebtedness has increased a whopping 25% (!) over the past 4 years (from $23,450 for the class of 2008 to $29,400 for the class of 2012). On the bright side, the report did finally outline something to see in Delaware: people with lots of debt. Their state sports the highest average borrower debt, at $33,649.
  • OK, so those percentages look bad when it comes to student loans. However, a different statistic perhaps signifies that borrowers should be hopeful about paying off what they owe in the future. That number? The unemployment rate. Yes, the November jobs report came out today, and for the second month in a row, the news was pretty good. Employers added 203,000 jobs in November (more than the 180,000 expected), and the unemployment rate fell to 7%—which is the lowest its been in 5 years.
  • Ever wonder where loose change goes if you leave it behind at an airport security checkpoint? Apparently, into the TSA’s pocket. Yup, the agency keeps that money, and it’s decidedly not chump change. This past year, they made a record $531,395 from your unwanted pennies and quarters. Just imagine if they also turned in all the water and soda bottles that people leave behind at these checkpoints. (Perhaps in 10-cent Michigan? They could fly them there for free, right?) That agency could be totally self-sufficient!
  • This holiday season, a lot of people are going to have some sort of gaming system atop their wishlists, be it the XBox One, PS4, or whatever Nintendo’s latest thing is. (The Wii U? Is that still something? Did anyone buy that?) However, if you don’t get that gift, or you’re just not in the mood to drop $400 on a new console, check out this list from Wise Bread of eight cheap ways to play video games. While I can’t vouch for any of these services, I can say that some of their names at least sound fun. What would you rather use: “Goozex” or “XBox One.” Yeah, probably still the XBox …
  • Now that we’re in December, you’re going to see a lot of “best of”-type lists pop up. This is no different in the financial blogosphere, where Wealthy Turtle has listed the top 100 blogs for personal finance. And, no, sadly our little blog here didn’t make the cut. (I scanned the list, like a hopeful child on Christmas morning … only to end up looking like this instead.) But sour grapes won’t stop me from sharing that link, so you can investigate all the great content creators there are out there. (Oh, and I’ll totally leave a link to this column in that post’s comments. I mean, come on, I at least still believe in link karma).

What money-related news caught your eye today? Let us know in the comments.

(Photo: Wikimedia)

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