NEW YORK (CNN) -- CNN Money's Stacey Delikat has your top business and financial news on this Thursday, July 25.
Student loan deal passes Senate
The Senate on Wednesday approved a bipartisan deal that ensures lower interest rates on loans for students heading to college this fall. Senators voted 81 to 18 to lower interest rates for undergraduates taking out government loans this school year to 3.86% -- cheaper than the 6.8% interest rate that kicked in on July 1. The new rates would be retroactive and apply to loans taken out after July 1. However, the bill has provisions for rates to go higher in coming years. It is expected to become law, with support from the White House and the House of Representatives, which will likely take up the bill in coming days.
Retailers spruce up websites for back-to-school
Wal-Mart, Target and Sears are among the retailers with online deals and tools to draw back-to-school shoppers. After uninspiring sales in the first half of the year, retailers are hustling to salvage a back-to-school shopping season that has gotten off to a muted start. Parents, worried about the economy and pressed for time, plan to spend less money and do more school-related shopping online, recent surveys show. To chase elusive customers, many retailers are sprucing up their Web portals and offering special Internet deals.
Who works the most hours? Among full-time workers, men trump women
The pay gap between men and women has been a subject of debate for decades. But a new survey reveals a clue to the discrepancy: the number of hours worked by men with full-time jobs versus women in full-time positions. On average, men log 8.46 hours a day versus the 7.87 hours worked by women, according to a recent Labor Department American Time Use Survey. However, that difference is flipped when it comes to part-time gigs. In those positions, women work 5.29 hours per day compared with men, who put in 5.16 hours.
Bad credit: A deal breaker for many singles
For many singles, bad credit can be a deal breaker when it comes to finding love. About 30% of women and 20% of men say they won't marry a person with a low credit score, according to a new survey from FreeCreditScore.com that polled 1,000 adults. Most respondents also said money management skills are just as important as looks when deciding whether someone is worth pursuing. This is especially true for women, with nearly all female respondents ranking financial responsibility and financial compatibility as more important or just as important as career ambition, physical attraction and sex and intimacy, the survey found.