Borrowing

Survey Suggests Economic Overconfidence If the economy is so great and unemployment is so low, why do so many Americans live paycheck to paycheck? And why don’t we seem to care? The February PYMNTS.com Financial Invisibles Report attempts to answer these questions, noting, “For three consecutive quarters, consumers have been optimistic about their financial futures
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First-time homebuyers face many obstacles, but perhaps the most frustrating one is accumulating down payment money. Traditional loans require a 20% down payment. Using Zillow’s $229,800 median home sale price for November 2018, that’s over $45,000 – and in many urban markets, a 20% down payment will easily top $100,000. How long will it take
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So Long, Free Credit Monitoring Were you one of the nearly 148 million consumers affected by the 2017 Equifax data breach? You may have taken advantage of Equifax’s free one-year offer of their TrustedID Premier service, extended to all affected consumers. TrustedID Premier allowed consumers to lock their Equifax credit report, provided identity theft insurance,
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Tax filing season is upon us. Soon you will be filing your paperwork and perhaps receiving a nice check — unless thieves file a return in your name first and falsely claim your refund. Unfortunately, if a thief has your Social Security number and other relevant information, tax identity theft is very hard to prevent.
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By Sandra Parsons When you apply for a credit card, the card issuer collects personal information, including your income. It’s one of the factors they consider when deciding whether to approve or decline your application. If they do approve you, your income, along with your current debt load and credit score, helps them decide how
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The Shutdown’s Housing Market Woes It’s a great time to buy a home, and you’re ready. You’ve saved up a suitable down payment, found a home, and settled on a lender. As an added bonus, interest rates are at their lowest point in the last nine months – despite the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes.
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A balance transfer card with a 0% introductory interest rate can be an excellent way to consolidate high-interest debt and efficiently pay it down. It can also be a way to avoid reality and rack up even greater interest payments in the end. A new study by CompareCards.com finds that too many Americans are taking
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Identity thieves have many ways to steal your money – including fraudulent tax returns. They file a return in your name as early as possible to beat your legitimate return, with fake financial data designed to claim a large refund. You won’t realize this until your tax return is denied because there’s already been a
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Holiday Debt On the Increase Are your credit cards still smoking from holiday overuse? Based on a recent MagnifyMoney survey, it wouldn’t be surprising. Consumers who financed their holiday spending averaged $1,230 in holiday spending debt – a sharp increase from 2017’s $1,054 average and 2016’s $1,003 average. Increases in wages and consumer confidence are
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According to the latest Household Debt and Credit Report from the New York Federal Reserve, America’s total household debt has surpassed $13.5 trillion. Do you sometimes feel like $13 trillion of that debt is yours? Based on a recent survey by LightStream, almost one-quarter (23%) of Americans believe that it’s nearly impossible to climb out
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Is 2019 the year you finally buy that starter home? Are you upgrading or downsizing to a new home? Are you interested in how your home value is likely to change over the next year? We offer these 2019 housing market predictions to consider as you review your housing plans for the year. Inventory Will
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Your Christmas gift from the Federal Reserve is here. Surprise! It’s another 0.25% hike in the Federal Funds rate. Sure, you’ve already gotten this same gift three other times in 2018, and nine times since late 2015 – but what else would you expect to receive from the Fed? Interest rate hikes from the Fed
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Do you take mobile device security as seriously as you should? You probably connect to the Internet more on mobile devices than you do on desktops – especially on smartphones, since you’re likely never far away from yours. According to the 2018 Symantec Internet Security Threat Report, newly discovered malware for mobile devices increased by
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Times aren’t great in the mortgage refinancing market. According to the October 2018 Origination Insights Report from mortgage application software provider Ellie Mae, refinancing homes make up 32% of October’s closed mortgages – continuing a drop in refis that began five to six months prior. It’s likely that mortgage rate increases are to blame for
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Does your wallet take a bigger hit during the holiday season? If so, you aren’t alone. According to a recent study by LendingTree, more consumers fall behind on their bills in December than in any other month. LendingTree reviewed anonymized credit report data from October 2017 through September 2018 and broke down the percentages of
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The Pool Is Shrinking A home equity loan or line of credit (HELOC) can be a useful financial management tool – but only if you have the available equity to take advantage of it. Do you know how much you could borrow against your home if you had to? Black Knight’s October 2018 Mortgage Monitor
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Our prior article, 5 Steps To Be Your Own Mogul – Part 1, covers the first three steps to manage your finances like a business. Below we present the final two steps. 4. Forecasting If you have performed the budget exercise and broken your expenses out into categories, you can start to highlight areas
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Why not take some financial pointers from the business world and apply them to your personal finances? Whether you are a party of one or a family of four, it pays to be fiscally agile. Some of the longest financial plays in the business world today are small businesses that perennially stay afloat and drive
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Can you avoid a New Year’s Day hangover? We’re not referring to the traditional hangover that comes from too much alcohol, but the financial hangover that comes from too many charges on your credit card. Of course, you can avoid a New Year’s credit hangover – especially with some help. Consider these eleven ways to
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By Eric Olsen, Executive Director, HELPS Nonprofit Law Firm It’s a constant struggle to stay afloat financially on disability income. Many disabled persons have credit card debt they can’t pay, often incurred before they were disabled. What can disabled persons do about telephone calls and letters from collectors? What happens if you are sued? As
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