Borrowing

Welcome to the 2018 home-buying market. Rising demand and an extremely tight supply of homes, especially in the critical starter-home market, make it difficult to realize your goal of home ownership. In this buyer’s market, you’ll need two important things to land your dream home – more money and a higher credit score. Data from
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We know the stereotype of the unmotivated millennial, living at home with their parents without any long-term plan or concern about their situation. Is that a fair representation? Do millennials disproportionately live with their parents? If so, is this from necessity, lack of motivation, or part of a grander strategy? It’s logical that younger generations
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Are you satisfied with your credit cards? If so, are you convinced that your current card best fits your needs – or have you never considered other options? Whatever the reason, many Americans tend to stay with their existing card. A recent survey from CreditCards.com found that 28% of Americans, about 49 million, have always
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President Trump promised changes in Washington upon his election. Whether you are a Trump fan or foe, there’s no question he’s succeeded in that goal. Sometimes the change is precipitated by the President’s choice to lead an agency, as in the case of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB was born out of
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Which is the worst first-date mistake – talking about an ex, eating food off your date’s plate, or mentioning that you are heavily in debt? We have no idea, but we’re guessing that a second date is unlikely in all those cases. A new survey from Finder.com suggests that in the case of excessive debt,
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How bad is America’s student loan situation? According to recent data from the New York Federal Reserve, our $1.38 trillion in outstanding student loan debt is second only to mortgage debt but comes with a higher delinquency rate. As of the end of 2017, approximately 1.3% of mortgage balances were delinquent by ninety or more
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Home ownership is a fulfilling but difficult goal. The challenges of being single can make it even more difficult to find an affordable home to buy – especially for single women. According to data provided by Zillow, the typical single American requires almost eleven years to save up a suitable down payment for a home
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We frequently hear about America’s crushing student loan debt – but auto loans are not far behind. While student loans are approaching $1.5 trillion, outstanding auto loans topped the $1.2 trillion mark in the third quarter of 2017 according to the New York Federal Reserve. Subprime borrowers (FICO credit scores below 620) hold almost one-quarter
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Subprime Loans are Back Since the housing crisis began over a decade ago, subprime mortgage loans basically disappeared – thanks to regulatory actions from government and self-preservation for both lenders and borrowers. The effects of borrowing more than you could safely afford to repay became obvious to all parties. Subprime mortgage loans have been making
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America’s economy is improving by most standards – but is it improving on the backs of excessive debt? According to the New York Federal Reserve, total household debt reached a new high of $13.15 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2017. While the majority of household debt is mortgage debt, consumer credit rose by the
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By Kelly Hartog It’s been more than seven months since the credit reporting agency Equifax revealed in September 2017 that 143 million Americans’ personal data – including Social Security numbers, addresses and birthdates – had been accessed. Several weeks later, they announced that number was actually 145.5 million. Even though the data breach occurred between
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Your credit score may not be good enough to allow you to qualify for a home at a reasonable interest rate, but can a less-than-stellar credit score also keep you from finding a good place to rent? “Credit scores aren’t just about mortgages,” says Rod Griffin, Director of Public Education at the credit bureau Experian.
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When your identity is stolen, you have so many potential issues to deal with — changing passwords, closing accounts, dealing with fraudulent charges, and placing fraud alerts with the credit bureaus — that you may forget about potential tax fraud. Armed with your personal information, identity thieves can file a fraudulent tax return in your
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By Eric Olsen Executive Director, HELPS Nonprofit Law Firm According to the Kaiser Foundation, almost half (21 million) of American seniors have incomes below 200% of the poverty line. Many have debt they can’t afford to pay. When debt is not paid, collectors call, send demand letters, and sometimes file a lawsuit. Being served legal
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Why do you even bother signing your credit card receipts? Nobody ever looks at it. You could write your name, Donald J. Trump, Samuel L. Jackson, or Bullwinkle J. Moose and nobody would care – would they? Theoretically, your signature does matter. That signature indicates a binding contract for the purchase. A seller could choose
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If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. That’s sound advice for almost all aspects of life, including the search for mortgage relief services. Distressed homeowners don’t have to resort to third-party mortgage services. Free counseling is available at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD programs such as the
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If you are a lending institution that loses money on the loans that you make, it’s an understatement to say that changes are required. Unfortunately, that’s the upcoming position of the federal government with respect to student loans. While student loan debt has spiraled upward to top $1.4 trillion, the government’s return on that investment
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Help the Renters, Too For years, cities have struggled to help lower-income Americans find affordable housing. Many housing assistance programs approach this problem through making home mortgages more affordable. However, a new test program in Montana addresses an underserved area of the housing market – affordable rental homes – by making loans to help people
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According to Collegedata.com, the average annual cost of tuition and fees for the 2017-2018 school year was $9,970 at an average public college for in-state residents. Out-of-state collegians paid an average of $25,620, while those attending private colleges saw average bills of $34,740. Throw in a typical $10,000-$12,000 for housing and meals, another $1,200 for
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Policymakers have been struggling to identify ways to deal with America’s staggering student loan debt. As of January 2018, Student Loan Hero estimated total outstanding student loan debt at $1.48 trillion, affecting 44 million Americans. Thanks to this debt burden, young Americans are having difficulty achieving typical financial milestones such as home ownership. Here’s
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The news seems to be filled with stories about hackers and identity theft these days, and rightly so. According to the Identity Fraud Study released by Javelin Strategy & Research, there were 16.7 million victims of identity theft in 2017, racking up a total of $17 billion in damages. Identity fraudsters successfully netted 1.3 million
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What’s the best way to pay down credit card debt? LaTisha Styles, Millennial Finance Expert and Founder of Financial Success Media, LLC, outlines two popular strategies. “In the first way,” says Styles, “you pay off the debts with the smallest balance. That’s how you get quick wins.” This is known as the “snowball” method, because
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America’s student loan debt may be approaching a critical point with respect to repayment. According to Student Loan Hero, the total student loan debt has reached $1.48 trillion spread across 44.2 million Americans, and the latest release from the U.S. Department of Education in September of 2017 shows that default rates are climbing. According to
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The Equivalent of Debtors’ Prison Is there such a thing as a modern-day debtors’ prison? Not literally, as debtors’ prisons were outlawed by Congress in 1833. However, a recent ACLU report on the criminalization of private debt points out that some private debt collectors are creating the equivalent of debtors’ prison via the courts. The
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