Who wants simpler taxes? Most of us do, assuming we also keep more money in the process. Starting in 2018, homeowners are more likely to have simpler tax returns – but they may need to make similar tax calculations to ensure a lower tax bill. Tax simplification was part of the pitch to sell the
Just like assets can be sold, so can debts. It’s possible that your auto loan or mortgage could be sold by one lender to another. If your debt is in good standing, the terms and conditions of your agreement generally apply, but things relating to the servicing of your loan such as due dates and
You probably comparison-shop for most of your purchases, especially the high-dollar ones. If you’re going to spend money on a new appliance or an automobile, you want to review options to make sure you’re getting the best deal. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), there’s a big exception to this rule – mortgages.
When your credit score is down, it takes great effort to rebuild it. You have to take care to pay down your debts and get your finances in order. You may also have to change some of your spending habits to have the greatest impact. Consider these five spending habits that will retard your credit
You want to know exactly what you are getting when you make any large purchase, especially when you are buying a home – the largest purchase that many Americans will ever make in their life. That’s why a real estate disclosure statement is a fundamental part of any real estate transaction. By law, home sellers
Living the Dream Homeownership is one of the classic measures of “the American Dream.” According to a recent Bank of the West Millennial Study, over half of respondents (58%) say they’ve either attained the American Dream or that the American Dream is still attainable. A similar percentage (59%) says that owning a home is a
Getting your first credit card can be a liberating experience. You can enjoy the convenience of a simple swipe or tap, and you don’t have to worry about having cash for all your purchases. However, if you don’t use your card wisely, it’s easy to get into unpleasant credit situations that can have long-lasting effects.
Homeowners may see less of a tax break this year, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Beginning with homes purchased after December 16, 2017, you can only deduct the interest incurred on $750,000 of mortgage debt on qualifying residences (primary homes and one second residence). Under prior law, the limit was $1
You’re in a cash-flow crunch again. An important bill is due, and you’ve earned the money to pay that bill – but it’s not payday yet. You’re on a two-week pay cycle and have to wait for another week or so before your money is available. What are your options? Ask a friend or relative
You’ve probably moved at least once in your life and had to fill out the Change of Address form at the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). The USPS makes it easy to change your address or temporarily forward mail to a different address. Forms are available at your local post office, or you can make the
Your kids are growing up fast. Soon, it will be time to have … the talk. No, not that one. We’re referring to the talk about responsible use of credit. If you don’t drive home the importance of good credit practices while your children are young, they’re more likely to learn about credit the hard
You want to buy a home and have the income to support a decent monthly payment – but you can’t save up enough money for a significant down payment. With home prices and interest rates rising, you’re afraid that you’ll be priced out of the market before you can save up a full down payment.
Do you consider a rewards program as an integral part of your credit card choice? According to a new study by finder.com, close to one-third of Americans use credit cards just to get the associated rewards. The finder survey suggests that approximately 71.7 million Americans (29.2% of the adult population) make credit card purchases just
Another Day, Another Breach Have we reached the point where Americans react to data breaches with a yawn? Given the constant stream of new attacks and the staggering number of accounts involved, that’s an understandable reaction. The sportswear retailer Adidas recently joined the list of companies successfully attacked by hackers. The size of the
Homeownership remains a goal for most Americans. According to NerdWallet’s 2018 Home Buyer Report, 91% of respondents want to own at least one home during their lifetime. However, that same report shows eight concerns renters have regarding that goal. If you haven’t bought a home yet, see if they match your concerns. 1. Purchase Cost
A poor credit score makes your financial life difficult in a number of ways. You receive poorer interest rates and terms on credit cards, it’s harder to qualify for mortgages, and, “When it comes time to get insurance, maybe your insurance premiums will be a little more expensive because you have a low credit score,”
Congratulations! Your shopping has paid off and you’ve finally found an excellent car at a reasonable price. Now, how do you plan to pay for it? Dealers will be happy to arrange financing for you. Simply fill out and sign a loan application, and the Finance and Insurance (F&I) manager will immediately begin searching
How much does your credit score affect your mortgage rates? A recent study by Zillow shows that the higher interest rates from a poor credit score can have a profound impact on the amount of interest you’ll pay over the life of a mortgage. Zillow analyzed over 100,000 mortgage quotes offered on Zillow Mortgages across
How badly do you want to own a home? What would you be willing to give up to achieve the American dream? Discover what sacrifices recent homebuyers made to purchase their homes, and whether they see the acquisition as a worthwhile investment. Your credit history is an important factor in getting your mortgage approved.
By Eric Olsen, Executive Director HELPS Nonprofit Law Firm Affordable transportation is often a concern for senior citizens. Some seniors go without basics to make car payments they can’t afford for a car with little or no equity. Others need affordable replacement transportation but don’t have the income to finance a car. What are
Are you getting the best deal on your credit cards? If you regularly carry a balance, a new survey from CreditCards.com suggests there’s almost a 50/50 chance you don’t know how good your deal is – because you aren’t sure what the annual percentage rate (APR) is on your cards. The poll of 2,315 adults
Does your student loan situation look hopeless? Don’t give up hope yet. Consider these alternative repayment programs that can provide manageable loan payments and lead to forgiveness of a portion of your loan in exchange for some form of service. 1. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program – As it stands, the PSLF program allows
It’s not uncommon for companies to help with tuition payments for their employees who are continuing their education, especially if they are working toward a professional degree that will help them in their job or with future advancements in the firm. Such a program can be a great recruiting tool. Unfortunately, these programs do not
Let’s say you’re tempted to make a withdrawal from your 401(k) plan to pay off some debts. You can always catch up by paying that money back into your retirement savings later, right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Don’t rob your future to pay for your past! Watch Bankrate.com Senior VP and Chief Analyst
America’s total student loan balance has topped $1.5 trillion, according to recent Federal Reserve data. Default rates on student loans are at 11%. While the job market has improved for recent graduates, many are struggling with excessive debt (over $39,000 at graduation on average) and entry-level jobs that make repayment difficult. Enter an alternative
According to the G.19 Consumer Credit Report recently released by the Federal Reserve, America’s total student loan debt has topped $1.5 billion – and we are having trouble paying off that debt. At of the end of 2017, a whopping 11% of student loans were either ninety days delinquent or in default. The Department
Affordable Housing? What Affordable Housing? Affordable housing is increasingly hard to find in today’s market. According to data from Trulia, America’s inventory of starter homes has decreased by almost half compared to six years ago while prices rose by almost 58%. As consumers recovered from the housing crisis and Great Recession, more people became financially
As a nation, America’s student debt load is reaching crisis proportions. The New York Federal Reserve puts the total student loan debt at over $1.52 trillion, with the delinquency rate over 11%. Is your personal student loan situation nearing a similar crisis? Consider these five warning signs to assess whether you are handling your student
A student loan can be your best friend or your worst nightmare. It can lead to an advanced degree that leads to a better job with higher pay and superior benefits. It can also be a millstone of debt keeping you from fulfilling other life goals – such as owning a home. A recent
“Jumbo shrimp” sounds contradictory but can be quite enjoyable. “Jumbo debt”? Not so much, especially for students. There’s nothing inherently wrong with large student loans, and historically the default rate has been low on such loans. People who borrow large sums of money usually go for advanced degrees that translate into higher salaries. However,