How do you know that your bank is the best one for you? You can consult all the advertising flyers and conventional information available at bank branches — or you can do some homework on the fundamentals of your bank with help from the online Bank Data Guide from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
You may like shopping for a new or used car, but you will not like paying for it — especially when it comes to arranging the auto loan. The finance and insurance (F&I) office at the dealership is nobody’s idea of a good time. How can you keep your time in the F&I office to
Credit card usage is dropping among the millennial generation. A surprising 67% of Americans between 18 and 29 years of age have no credit cards at all, according to a recent survey. That compares to only 45% of Americans between the ages of 30 and 49, and 38% of those aged 50-64 without credit cards.
If you are stretching your funds to purchase a home with a minimal down payment, you are probably familiar with private mortgage insurance (PMI). It is generally required in any home purchase in which the down payment is less than 20%. PMI is insurance for the lender, not for you — it covers the lender
Are you planning to renovate your home in 2017? There’s a better than 50/50 chance that you are, if a recent poll by LightStream is accurate. The January 2017 LightStream Home Improvement survey found that 59% of homeowners plan to spend money on renovations during this year, with 42% of the planned renovations costing $5,000
College is not only supposed to give you the skills you need in a particular field of study, but also the general life skills that you need to survive and thrive. Without good habits, your collegiate financial education can come via the school of hard knocks – through incurring fees and interest charges. According to
Credit is a great convenience, but it’s a convenience that you will pay for — especially if you go over your credit limit. Traditional over-limit fees were radically changed by the Credit CARD Act of 2009, which switched credit card over-limit fees to an opt-in basis — meaning that consumers have to specifically consent to
June 28 is National Insurance Awareness Day. Are you aware of all the factors influencing the costs of your insurance? For example, does your credit score affect your car insurance rates? If you live in California, Massachusetts, or Hawaii, the answer is no. For residents of all the other states, the answer is yes, thanks
Student loan debt has made it difficult for many young Americans to enter the housing market. A recent survey from the National Association of Realtors found that 71% of student loan borrowers cited their student loan burden as a reason to delay buying a home. The student loan plight may be a major factor in
We all know the political stereotype – Republicans are supposedly the party of the wealthy, and Democrats are the party of the less economically advantaged (outside of Hollywood). How does this stereotype hold up with respect to credit scores and outstanding credit card balances? A recent study by LendingTree provides some answers. Using the definition
Treasury Report Targets Dodd-Frank In February of 2017, President Trump issued Executive Order 13772, which gave the Secretary of the Treasury 120 days to create a report reviewing financial laws and regulations with respect to seven “Core Principles”. Those principles are generally related to streamlining the financial markets and, in the President’s opinion, reducing constraints
For most homeowners, mortgage costs are the largest regular expense in the family budget. How can you manage those costs in the most efficient way? We offer a few suggestions for reducing either short- or long-term mortgage expenses to fit your needs. 1. Refinancing – According to Casey Fleming, Mortgage Advisor at C2 Financial and
If your credit score is in the low- to mid-600s, you have what is usually considered to be fair credit — not in the range where you have trouble getting personal loans at all, but in the range where finding a good interest rate and reasonable terms can be challenging. Whether you are experiencing a
You may need a personal loan for a number of reasons — perhaps to deal with unexpected medical expenses, to consolidate high-interest credit card debt, or even to take that well-deserved vacation. Unfortunately, if you have borderline or bad credit, personal loans may be difficult to get at your local bank or credit union. You
It’s bad enough when your day is derailed by an unexpected trip to the doctor, but it’s even worse when you can’t afford to pay the bill. Unfortunately, too many Americans find themselves in this position, according to a recent survey conducted by Ipsos for the healthcare transparency group Amino. The survey found that 37%
America’s student loan debt burden has reached a staggering $1.44 trillion, making it the second largest source of household debt in America – behind mortgages. According to a recent study, this growing loan burden is not equally shared between the sexes. The report from the American Association of University Women (AAUW), titled “Deeper in Debt:
Many sources are available to define and outline the fees that are associated with mortgage loans, but what about personal loans? Generally, personal loans are unsecured loans that are not tied to any form of collateral that can be taken over by the lender in case of default, such as a house with a mortgage
A recent action by a Court of Federal Claims has effectively stopped the collection of defaulted student loans – but for those affected, this is cause for concern, not celebration. To understand why, it’s important to look at the fate of defaulted loans and how those attempting to recover from the situation are being harmed
America Breaks the Debt Record According to the New York Fed’s recent Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit, America has more debt than ever before. Do you? Should you be concerned in either case? The report shows that American household debt reached $12.73 trillion in the first quarter of 2017. That tops the previous
Does Anybody See a Pattern? The financial crisis of 2007-2008 was caused in no small part by a housing market full of questionable mortgages. Loan qualifications were stretched beyond reason to accommodate eager homebuyers trying to deal with rapidly increasing prices. The resulting “subprime” loans were packaged inside vast mortgage pools (such as government-backed
If you are a first-time homebuyer, you may be aware of mortgage insurance but you may not know that there are two different types. Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP) and Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) both have the same general purpose: to offset the default risk to lenders when borrowers have purchased homes with low down payments
The Wide Reach of Your Credit Report Your credit report, which is a compilation of your credit-related activities, plays a huge part in all of your financial activities that involve borrowing money. The credit scores derived from your credit report affect the interest rate offers that you receive on a loan or a credit card,
While many outlets are publishing Mother’s Day gift lists, none of them mention “bail money”. But enterprising bail bondsmen are trying to cash in on the holiday to promote their services. A bail bond is a promise by an insurance company to pay the entire amount of someone’s bail if the accused doesn’t show up
We all want to help our children get the best start in life, and for many that includes helping them avoid excessive debt. That can lead you to co-signing student loans (or other credit sources) to help your children qualify for credit. You can then teach them how to manage debt responsibly. Isn’t that desirable?
It all looks so obvious in hindsight. Make a $500 deposit and your money will grow 18% in 10 days. You can receive a $1,500 loan by MoneyGram if you pay $170 for fees and insurance. A driveway sealer happens to be driving by and offers to coat your driveway for a low price. You
April is National Financial Literacy Month. Why do we dedicate this calendar page to highlighting financial skills and education? The tax deadline? Sound financial decisions are important all year long, but most Americans never learned how to manage money or save for goals, so financial security is a bigger challenge than it needs to be.
If you are having trouble making your auto loan payments, recent data from the New York Federal Reserve suggests that you are not alone. According to the New York Fed, delinquent auto loans have reached levels not seen in over eight years. Auto loan delinquencies of greater than thirty days or more reached $23.27 billion,
Changes are coming to your credit report – and this time, those changes may work in your favor. Thanks to some background work by the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion), public records to be included in credit reports must meet higher standards. That action should result in a boost in credit scores
Slower Credit Growth for the New Year Are you using more or less credit these days? If your habits track the latest data released by the Federal Reserve, your rate of consumer credit growth has slowed considerably. The Fed’s release for January 2017 revealed that outstanding consumer credit rose by $8.8 billion to $3.77 trillion
Which Is True? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is an independent consumer and financial watchdog agency that offers advice to consumers and levies fines against financial institutions engaged in questionable practices. The CFPB is an unchecked, poorly controlled agency that restricts the opportunity of financial institutions to operate within a free market and applies