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March 18, 2021, 7:20 p.m. EDT

A ray of hope for people worried they missed a valuable tax break and Biden administration to cancel student debt held by scammed borrowers

Thursday's top personal finance stories

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By Jacob Passy

Hi there, MarketWatchers. Don’t miss these top stories:

Personal Finance

Here’s a ray of hope for people worried they missed a valuable tax break on jobless benefits by filing too soon

Though jobless benefits count as taxable income, one part of the sprawling law says the first $10,200 of those benefits are exempt from federal income taxes for households making under $150,000.

Attention: Here’s one important tax deadline that has NOT been delayed

May 17 is the new date to file 2020 income taxes and pay any amount due, but some workers may have to send the IRS money before then.

My parents want to use $300,000 in retirement savings to pay off $160,000 left on their home. Is that a good idea?

‘I would like to be able to help them financially and be their safety net, but my means are limited.’

I want to buy a house, but it needs some major repairs. Is it worth it?

'Many among us fantasize about embracing their inner interior designer, taking a rundown home and giving it the Chip and Joanna Gaines treatment.'

Buying a vacation home with friends? Call a lawyer first

The idea of co-owning a vacation home with your best friends or siblings may sound like a great idea. Until you talk to lawyers.

Here’s how homeless Americans can get their $1,400 stimulus check — pass it on

Homeless Americans who don’t have a fixed address or bank accounts can claim stimulus money by filing a tax return, even if they make too little money to owe taxes.

It’s time to stop calling brokers ‘financial advisers’

Regulations and reforms to protect investors aren't working and need repair.

Biden administration to cancel $1 billion in student-loan debt held by scammed borrowers

Borrowers who requested loan forgiveness but got only partial relief under former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will have their debts wiped away.

Bernie Sanders to CEOs: Either pay workers more or pay the government more

Senator wants to increase the corporate tax rate by 0.5% for companies that pay their top executives 50 times more their median workers.

The Fed plans to keep interest rates low — so why do interest rates keep rising?

Mortgage rates are now at the highest point since June and could go even higher even if the Federal Reserve doesn’t change its policy.

Elsewhere on MarketWatch

As lawmakers reintroduce cannabis-banking bill, analyst says it’s the ‘backup plan if Democrats cannot enact legalization’

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers on Thursday reintroduced the SAFE Banking Act, a bill that aims to protect financial institutions that work with the cannabis industry.

Unemployment claims jump to one-month high of 770,000 as Texas applications surge

The number of new applications for U.S. unemployment benefits rose to a one-month high of 770,000 in the middle of March, reflecting some of the damage caused to the Texas economy by a winter freeze.

As March Madness begins, 5 ways for investors to profit from the boom in sports betting

Two stocks — Penn National and Caesars — are now in the S&P 500 index.

Jacob Passy is a personal-finance reporter for MarketWatch and is based in New York.

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