Borrowing

It’s that time of year when the leaves change colors, pumpkin flavoring is crammed into everything imaginable (who needs Eye Drops with Pumpkin Spice?), and scary things come out on Halloween – but will you open your door on October 31 and be confronted by anything scarier than these hair-raising financial horror stories? They Stole
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Where do lower-income Americans turn when faced with immediate bills and no money with which to pay them? Most turn to the payday loan industry, which offers short-term loans in exchange for fees and high interest rates. These loans are generally $500 or less and are called “payday” loans because the borrower is expected to
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A Burden for You, An Opportunity for Scammers Educational debt has reached levels that are hard for the average American to fathom. By some estimates, outstanding student loans have reached a whopping $1.45 trillion dollars. Over 44 million Americans have some form of student loan debt, with 2016 graduates averaging over $37,000 in debt. That’s
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You may associate the term “refinancing” with a mortgage or a student loan. However, almost any loan can be refinanced if the conditions are correct, including an auto loan. Why would you consider refinancing an auto loan? For the same reason you would refinance any loan — you are able to realize financial benefits. You
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E-mail scams can take many forms, but did you realize that an e-mail scam could scuttle your home purchase? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued a blog warning homebuyers of a housing-related e-mail fraud that can drain your housing funds. Thieves initiate the swindle by hacking into the e-mail accounts of homebuyers, real estate
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You check your credit card bill on a regular basis, and keep track of your purchases. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to pay some purchases in advance, and to avoid interest on larger purchases that will carry over from month-to-month? American Express has offered a new Pay It Plan ItTM program that allows
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Has your rental application just been rejected? Determined to make lemonade out of lemons, you resolve to find out why you were rejected and change the situation so that your next application is approved. Assuming that you filled out the application correctly and made no obvious mistakes such as bringing your pet rattlesnake or a
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Normally you are on time with your payments, but somehow you managed to miss one this month. What are the consequences of a missed payment, and how do you minimize their effects? Missing a single credit card payment may not seem like a big deal, but, as Matt Schulz, Senior Industry Analyst at CredtiCards.com observes,
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It’s tough living on the lower end of the credit score scale. If you have a credit score below 640 or so, you are generally given “subprime” lending offers for any form of credit that you request. From credit cards to auto loans and mortgages, you will be hit with higher interest rates and potentially
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The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) was established in 2009 as a way to help struggling homeowners refinance in the aftermath of the housing crisis. Because of lower down payments and the sharp decline in home values, many homeowners were left with very high loan-to-value (LTV) ratios that left them ineligible for refinancing under Fannie
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Electronic closing of a mortgage loan has been around for years – in a manner of speaking. Generally, some element of the transaction still requires traditional methods such as the physical presence of a notary public or signing of original documents in ink. Most, if not all, of the parties involved are still in the
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As retirement approaches, you should be making the most out of catch-up contributions in your 401(k) or IRA and socking away as much of your money as possible to prepare for retirement. Unfortunately, too many older Americans are unable to save properly for retirement – or even live outside of poverty during retirement – because
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With more and more information stored online, more bad guys are just a password away from our personal data. As hackers have stolen financial information from large corporations like Equifax, Yahoo and even the Internal Revenue Service, identity theft is on the rise. “Identity theft can trash your credit score because there’s the risk that
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Why would you loan money to someone without fully assessing the likelihood of being paid back? Lenders do make such loans on occasion – student loans, for example. Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans are another example of loans that don’t take credit history into account. PACE loans have one other aspect in common with
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Have you ever seen ads for “Get Rich Quick” books? We suspect the only person getting rich quickly is the author selling his book! Perhaps the first page of the book reads, “The secret to quick riches is to publish and sell a book on getting rich quick.” At MoneyTips, all of our eBooks filled
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When you are shopping for a home mortgage, you will probably be given the opportunity to “lock in” an interest rate when you are initially approved for your loan. This enables you to fix the interest rate you’re quoted upon loan approval for a limited period of time. Mortgage interest rates can be volatile, changing
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Debt collectors have been known to go to great lengths to collect unpaid debts. On occasion, a debt collector will go too far and face legal action. Consider the recent case of Joseph Onwuteaka, a lawyer and debt buyer from Houston, Texas, who faces $25 million in civil penalties and another $560,000 in legal fees
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The era of historically low mortgage interest rates may be coming to an end, but it doesn’t appear to be winding up anytime soon. As of this writing, interest rates on a 30-year fixed mortgage have once again dropped to 4%, despite the Federal Reserve’s interest rate increases. Low rates present an excellent opportunity to
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You may receive calls from debt collectors trying to recover past-due debts whether you have debts or not. The calls may be from legitimate debt collectors or they may be from debt scammers attempting to extract payment for debts that don’t exist. How can you distinguish between the two? You shouldn’t simply assume that if
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Money or sex: which topic causes the most trouble within a relationship? A recently released Money Habits and Confessions Survey, conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of LearnVest, suggests that the answer is… money. Finances were a greater source of relationship tension than sex, according to 68% of survey respondents. Incompatibility with finances can even
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You’ve decided to pass your home on to your children, but you haven’t settled on the best method to transfer ownership. You are also questioning whether you want to stay in the home or downsize to a smaller place. What factors should you be considering as you make your decision? Start by reviewing the typical
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