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Nearly 25 years ago, the home computer first made its appearance in American homes, and roughly a decade ago, the Internet began making its presence known. Today, the home computer is a common fixture, and some 189 million Americans have Internet access.

They use the Web for everything imaginable. In Bankrate's Guide to eMoney, we'll explore the most-common ways Americans use computers and the Internet to improve their financial lives.

We begin by providing general Advice & Tips on how to get started improving your family finances with your home computer, organizing your financial life and protecting yourself against ID theft and scammers.

We also explore the growing trend in electronic Banking -- how it works, its level of security, common scams, how to decide if e-banking is right for you and, if so, how to find and check out various banks.

In our Bill Paying section we examine the process of getting yourself set up to receive and make payments, and figure out how to keep track of it all, the benefits and disadvantages -- even the best ways to file and pay the IRS.

And when it comes to Borrowing money, Americans in ever-increasing numbers are turning to the Internet. We look at finding the best credit card for your needs, review auto loans, original and refi mortgages and include a glimpse at credit reporting.

Finally, we'll take a look at Shopping on the Web and provide some valuable tips on how you can use the Internet to save money on almost anything you want or need to buy, from merchandise and cars to real estate and insurance.

eMoney Guide
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 A D V I C E / T I P S

Organizing your financial life -- It sounds like a great idea, but how do you go about it? Follow these easy steps to getting started.

Everything you need for Internet finances -- A basic rundown on the hardware, software and connectivity you'll need to take control of your finances on the Internet.

Choosing an ISP: Some are free -- To get connected the first step is choosing an Internet Service Provider. And next, what's the best way for you to link up?

More Advice/Tips stories

B I L L  P A Y I N G

Go virtual -- Paperless billing services such as Paytrust and StatusFactory can be a boon to people who have trouble organizing paperwork.

Paying bills online -- Just getting started in paying your bills online? Follow this advice for a smooth trip.

3 ways to pay online -- The best way to pay bills online depends on you. But paying directly to billers via credit cards is king in the online world.

More Bill paying stories

 B A N K I N G

What is online banking? -- How to evaluate today's banking choices, whether they're brick, brick-and-click or virtual.

The lowdown on online services -- There are plenty of banking services available over the Internet. Here's what to look for.

Do you bank online yet? -- Eager to convert customers to the Internet, banks have dropped prices, improved efficiency and allayed security concerns, but some people continue to resist the technology.

More Banking stories


Online home mortgage shopping cuts costs and time -- The growing number of mortgage lenders accessible online is a home buyer's dream.

Find the best credit card for you -- To find the best credit card, first decide which card works best for your lifestyle.

Cardless credit cards -- First came paperless bills and e-checking. Now we have credit cards with no cards. Here's how it works.

More Borrowing stories


You can shop online for anything -- You might have trouble finding some things in your neighborhood, but just about anything you can imagine can be located for sale on the Internet.

Bargain hunting in cyberspace -- Internet shopping can be faster, easier and cheaper than running from store to store. But remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Top shopbots are real bargain hunters -- Internet commerce is growing exponentially, thanks to easy navigation and search tools and to smart personal shopping agents called shopbots.

More Shopping stories

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