Your weekly money scoop: January 20, 2017

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Your weekly money scoop: January 20, 2017

By MIKA BHATIA

We're serving you our weekly bite-sized roundup of the stories you need to know. This week, read about how you might qualify for a cash refund if you've bought a milk product in the past 14 years and how you might be able to save some money by plugging common money leaks.

Bought milk in the past 14 years? As a result of a class action lawsuit against a group of dairy providers, eligible individuals may be able to receive a refund. To qualify, you need to have bought a milk product in and been a resident of one of 15 states identified in the lawsuit and are required to submit your claim by January 31. No need to cry over that spilled milk.

Amazon will soon accept food stamps for online grocery orders in Maryland, New Jersey and New York. The online retail giant, along with four other national stores, is participating in a pilot program by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that aims to eliminate "food deserts" -- areas with limited access to fresh food and groceries. Individuals who receive food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will be able to use their stamps to buy groceries from Amazon starting this summer, though their value can't be applied toward service or delivery charges.

The eight richest men in the world control the same amount of wealth as the 3.6 billion poorest people in the world. Nope, it's not an exaggeration: Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Carlos Slim, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Amancio Ortega, Larry Ellison and Michael Bloomberg are worth a total of $426 billion, the same amount of money possessed by the poorest 50 percent of the world's population, according to a report by Oxfam International. And that's not all -- 89 percent of the globe's billionaires are men, highlighting a big gender gap too.

Trying to save up in the new year? Rather than cutting back on leisure activities or working overtime, another way to pad your bank account might be to plug your "money leaks" -- small, often hidden costs that can add up over the months and years. Check out one writer's recommendations on how to patch common money leaks, which can include paying too much for car insurance, not using a programmable thermostat and buying too many name-brand products.

Consumers over 60 now hold $66.7 billion in student loan debt. Sadly, many of these Americans, who are taking out these loans to help their children and grandchildren pay for college, are struggling to pay back this debt in retirement - according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), nearly 40 percent of student loan borrowers over age 65 are in default. And now, some are getting their Social Security benefits taken away due to unpaid student loans.

And that's the scoop this week -- see you next week for more.

About the Author: Mika Bhatia is a Staff Writer for Credit Karma. She's worked in financial services and tech, and has now found the perfect union of the two at Credit Karma. When she's not busy coming up with credit-related analogies, she's most likely supporting the Warriors, enjoying a fine cup of British tea or doing yoga (goal: completing a headstand without toppling over). Follow her at @MikaBhatia!

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Compensation may factor into how and where products appear on our platform (and in what order). But since we generally make money when you find an offer you like and get, we try to show you offers we think are a good match for you. That's why we provide features like your Approval Odds and savings estimates.

Of course, the offers on our platform don't represent all financial products out there, but our goal is to show you as many great options as we can.

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