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  • Mortgage Lenders Lay Off Workers
    The mortgage industry has been hit hard by layoffs recently - the result of the nation’s massive housing crisis. The consulting firm known as Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. reports that more than one-third of the 71,739 announced layoffs in September came from the mortgage sector. Overall this year, one in six layoffs can be attributed [...]
    [October 29th, 2007]
  • Big Student Loan Bills Could Hurt the Economy
    Over the past 10 years, the cost of a college education has nearly doubled. As a result, students have been forced to turn to loans to finance their classes in a move which could spell trouble for the American economy. Those who have secured private loans may have noticed that their interest rates can go as [...]
    [October 29th, 2007]
  • House Approves Aid for Homeowners
    The U.S. House last week approved a program designed to help homeowners to avoid losing their homes as a result of delinquencies on their loan payments. The House approved the legislation by an overwhelming margin - 348-72. Under the plan, the Federal Housing Administration will back refinanced loans for homeowners who have fallen behind on [...]
    [October 26th, 2007]
  • Orders for Durable Goods Take a Tumble
    Orders for durable goods slid in August - the largest drop in 7 months. The downturn indicates that the country’s industrial sector is facing hard times. According to the Commerce Department, orders for large-scale items ranging from appliances to planes dropped 4.9% during the summer month. That’s the most significant decrease since the beginning of the [...]
    [October 26th, 2007]
  • Late Payments on Credit Cards Decrease
    Some encouraging financial news has emerged from the American Bankers Association. The group reports that late payments on credit cards decreased 4.39% in the 2nd quarter of the year. It’s the lowest rate recorded since the close of 2005. It also marks a decrease from the 1st quarter rate, which declined 4.41%. Yet, at the same [...]
    [October 18th, 2007]
  • Cuts in Credit Card Rates May Be Slow in Coming
    Credit card holders across the U.S. may be breathing a sigh of relief, now that the Federal Reserve has decided to trim interest rates. However, it could be some time before credit card customers notice a change in their rates. Last week, the Fed chose to reduce the federal funds rate by a half point. Since [...]
    [October 17th, 2007]
  • Credit Can Be Preferable to Debit
    Each pass through a supermarket checkout line is decision time for consumers, who must decide whether to use a debit card or credit card for cashless and check-free purchases. While debit card use appears to have grown dramatically in recent years, there are still some good reasons for using old-fashioned credit cards. For instance, Consumer Reports notes [...]
    [October 17th, 2007]
  • Home Price Plunge Continues
    Housing prices appear to be continuing on their downward slide. That’s the word from the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index which was recently released. In July, home prices recorded their most significant decline in 16 years, exacerbating worries about the health of the U.S. housing market. Home prices have been dropping steadily each month since the year [...]
    [October 17th, 2007]
  • Cut in Key Interest Rate Has Immediate Effect
    The decision by the Federal Reserve to cut a key interest rate had an immediate impact on Wall Street. When the Fed sliced a significant interest rate by half a point, the market responded with a surge of more than 330 points. That was the largest single day rise in the market in close to 5 [...]
    [October 16th, 2007]
  • Housing Slump Expected to Continue in the Short Term
    The housing slump shows no signs of abating, according to officials at the country’s biggest housing and mortgage companies. These executives are making their predictions based upon the high number of foreclosure filings and the sagging home sale market. At an investors conference in San Francisco, Countrywide Financial Corporation Chairman Angelo Mozilo said, “It is imperative [...]
    [October 16th, 2007]
  • Housing Shortage Causes Crisis for Renters
    The Center for Housing Policy notes that the number of renting families who are shelling out more than half of their household income for housing has skyrocketed to 2.1 million since 1997. Back then, working families who were paying out a disproportionate share of their income for rent was only 1 million. Because of a shortage [...]
    [October 16th, 2007]
  • Auto Sales May Give Economy a Boost
    he economic picture is brightening, thanks to an upsurge in auto sales. Sales of cars soared 2.8%–the biggest jump in a year. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department is also reporting that retail sales jumped 0.3% in August. However, the rise was less-than-encouraging news for those who continue to see recession in the country’s near-future. In other economic [...]
    [October 16th, 2007]
  • Supermarket Chain Builds Personal Finance Business
    The name “Kroger” has become synonymous with deli, freezer, and bakery items. But the supermarket giant is also making a name for itself in the personal finance business. Three years ago, the company developed its own credit card. Now, Kroger has expanded its offerings to include market mortgages, home equity lines of credit, home insurance, [...]
    [October 8th, 2007]
  • Mortgage Crisis Topples Countrywide
    Countrywide Financial Corporation has become the latest casualty of the national housing crisis. Established in the late ’60s, Countrywide has now had to embark on an aggressive plan just to survive. That’s included massive layoffs, billions of dollars in borrowing, and a complete re-vamping of its loan procedures. In fact, subprime loans, which involve lending to [...]
    [October 5th, 2007]
  • Foreclosures Skyrocket Once Again
    The housing market took a substantial hit in August, as the number of foreclosure filings doubled over the previous August’s totals. The increase also represents a 36% rise from the July totals. All told, some 243,947 foreclosure filings were logged in August, according to RealtyTrac Inc., a California-based company. Back in August of 2006, the rate [...]
    [October 5th, 2007]
  • Consumer Credit on the Rise
    The Federal Reserve is reporting that consumer credit is once again on the rise. The rate of borrowing increased 3.7% in July. Still, the rate of growth was slower than it had been in June, when the rate stood at 5.9%. It appears that consumers are not taking out as many car loans as they had [...]
    [October 5th, 2007]
  • Homeowners Choose Credit Cards Over House Payments
    It used to be that homeowners would make sure they paid their mortgages before they paid any other bills. The thought was that the last thing on earth a homeowner wanted to lose was his or her house. However, the decline in the housing market has created a new phenomenon: consumers who are facing foreclosure, but [...]
    [October 5th, 2007]
  • Businesses Have a Tougher Time Obtaining Credit
    Small business owners are finding it more difficult to obtain credit these days. In some cases, business executives are being turned down for loans. In other cases, changes are being made in the reporting standards for their lines of credit. The reason for the decline in the issuance of credit appears to be the continuing [...]
    [October 5th, 2007]
  • GM strike makes no impact on auto prices
    If you saw the recent General Motors-United Auto Workers strike, and were hopeful that you might see benefits passed on to the end user in terms of discounts. You would be let down. In actuality the two day strike will likely have no impact on car prices or sales. When it comes down to it, the [...]
    [October 3rd, 2007]
  • Graduate Student Credit Spending on the Rise
    Credit card use among graduate students appears to be on the rise, according to a study by Nellie Mae, which provides educational financing for college students. The company found that 90% of graduate students possessed at least one charge card last school year. The average outstanding balance was $8,612. That’s a 10% increase over the $7,831 [...]
    [October 1st, 2007]
  • 30-Year Mortgage Rates Record Significant Decline
    30-year mortgage rates have plummeted to their lowest point since the spring. As a result, homeowners hoping to refinance may finally be able to catch a break on their rates. The mortgage giant known as Freddie Mac is reporting that the rate for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages stands at 6.31%. That’s the lowest rate recorded since May. [...]
    [October 1st, 2007]
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