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  • Home Equity Loans and Tax Deductions
    One of the primary benefits of a home equity loan or home equity line of credit is the interest paid on that loan can, in many cases, be deducted from federal taxes. The April 15th tax deadline is rapidly approach and it’s important homeowners understand when the interest can and cannot be deducted to ensure [...]
    [March 31st, 2009]
  • Three Possible Consequences a Home Equity Loan Could Have On Your Next Refinance
    1. Reduced Home Equity and Increased Loan to Value Ratios As many homeowners have recently seen, tighter credit markets have caused many mortgage lenders to reevaluate their qualifying loan to value ratios. If homeowners tap into their home’s equity with a HELOC for example, this higher loan to value ratio could jeopardize their chances of qualifying [...]
    [March 31st, 2009]
  • Rapid Refund Personal Loans Aren’t the Best Deal
    Even if you're tempted to get a rapid refund loan, think again. These fast cash personal loans come with fees and high interest rates.
    [March 30th, 2009]
  • Savings Account PayDay Loans Cater to the Rest of Us
    Let’s face it. Not everyone has a checking account. As hard as that may be to believe, it’s true. Some pay bills with cashier’s checks or money orders. The money that they do bring to the bank goes into a savings account, never to be touched except in extreme emergencies. That’s why savings account payday [...]
    [March 30th, 2009]
  • Payday Loans: Now US Congress Considers Meddling
    The last two of these blogs have detailed just some of the current efforts of state legislatures to regulate payday loans. Now, in addition to Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and others, the US Congress is tabling a bill
    [March 30th, 2009]
  • Three Economic Indicators to Watch When Seeking a Personal Loan
    Obtaining a personal loan has a lot to do with timing. Today, personal loans might be more available than they will be tomorrow, or vice versa. It’s as much about when as it is about how much. But how can one know when, exactly, the chances of obtaining a needed personal loan are greatest? Like predicting the [...]
    [March 28th, 2009]
  • Do-It-Yourself Debt Consolidation
    Debt consolidation and elimination starts with a desire to live debt-free and to enjoy the benefits of spending less than you earn. Follow these steps if you want to start the debt consolidation process on your own: Start with a debt inventory. In our busy financial lives, it’s easy to lose track of a bill here or [...]
    [March 27th, 2009]
  • Mortgage Loan Modification to the Rescue
    What is modification, and how can it help homeowners avoid foreclosure? The answer depends on individual circumstances and mortgage loan terms, real estate market trends, and the current value of a home as compared to its mortgage balance. Here are a few ways a modification can assist struggling homeowners. Mortgage Loss Mitigation 101: Lenders Lose on [...]
    [March 27th, 2009]
  • Mortgage Fraud: How to Avoid Being Scammed
    With mortgage fraud on the rise, borrowers need to educate themselves to avoid being scammed.
    [March 27th, 2009]
  • Obama:US Auto Industry “unsustainable” in Current Form
    The Associated Press reports President Obama’s assertion that the US auto industry is “unsustainable” in its current form, and that major changes must be made if the Big Three are to remain viable. Although President Obama confirms that the US auto industry must be saved, he cautioned that automakers must move beyond making SUV’s and [...]
    [March 27th, 2009]
  • Mortgage Applications Up on Lower Rates
    U.S. mortgage applications increased last week as record low interest rates drove many homeowners to look into refinancing their mortgage. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage applications, which includes both purchase and refinance loans, increased 32.2 percent to 1,159.4 for the week ended March 20. Refinancing accounted for 78.5 percent [...]
    [March 26th, 2009]
  • Bad Credit Payday Loans: How to Make Them Work for You
    The current financial crisis threatens to take the legs out from under even the most seemingly financially stable individual. Moving from a good credit rating–around 625 depending on borrowing history–to a bad credit rating is as simple as missing one or two car payments. Once that happens, the prospects of getting a traditional loan are [...]
    [March 25th, 2009]
  • Four Tips To Help You Avoid A Bad Debt Consolidation Company
    Consolidating consumer debt is a great way to save money on interest, simplify monthly payments, and make existing debts much more manageable. However, like in any other industry, there are bad debt consolidation companies that should be avoided. Here are a few tips to help you avoid such companies. 1. Investigate Debt Consolidation Companies On Your [...]
    [March 25th, 2009]
  • Lack of Available Credit Bad News for Home Improvement Industry
    USA TODAY recently ran an article that summarized the current state of the home improvement business. Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies reported that spending on home improvement projects is expected to drop at an annual rate of 12.1 percent by the third quarter. The Home Improvement Research Institute reported that total sales feel 4.5 [...]
    [March 24th, 2009]
  • Using Personal Loans to Pay for College
    Personal loans can help students pay for a college education when federal financial aid isn't enough.
    [March 24th, 2009]
  • How To Avoid Hurting Your Credit Because Of A Home Equity Loan
    For quite some time, home equity loans and home equity lines of credit have been a great way for homeowners to tap into their equity. They can be used to pay off high interest credit card debt, fund large purchases and investments, or simply serve as an emergency fund for the future. However, there are [...]
    [March 23rd, 2009]
  • The Top 3 Payday Advance Loan Safeguards in 2009
    Nobody is more aware of the negative reputation that payday loans carry than the lenders themselves. Well, perhaps the federal government does, as well. And this year the feds are working to situate meaningful safeguards in payday advance loans that protect the consumer in more ways than ever. Lower interest rates, rational loan caps and [...]
    [March 23rd, 2009]
  • Low Mortgage Rates Promote Refinancing
    The Federal Reserve’s plan to double its purchase of mortgage debt sent rates for conforming 30 year fixed rate mortgage loans to below 5%. This news could provide the help that struggling homeowners need if they’re able to qualify for the best fixed rate mortgage loans. Low mortgage rates are also great news for those [...]
    [March 22nd, 2009]
  • Top Ten Signs Your Debt Consolidation Company Is Trying to Bankrupt You
    Americans who once thought that open lines of credit were as good as money in the bank have been getting some rude awakenings. Applications for emergency lines of credit for medical bills are going up, while credit card companies are shrinking available credit limits, even for their best customers. Many of us may seek help [...]
    [March 20th, 2009]
  • GM CEO Muses on Re-invention
    In a March 19 interview, with Bloomberg Press, GM’s CEO, Rick Wagoner, characterized  the company’s plans to drop brands Saturn, Saab and Hummer along with another 47,000 jobs worldwide as the “re-inventing” of General Motors. Wagoner, who is receiving $1 as his annual salary, appears dedicated to saving the automaker no matter what it takes. As global economies falter, and [...]
    [March 20th, 2009]
  • Qualifying for the Obama Housing Plan
    Government launches Web site to help homeowners determine if they qualify for housing aid.
    [March 20th, 2009]
  • How to Use a Personal Loan Wisely
    An unsecured personal loan can be a real lifesaver, allowing a borrower to pay urgent bills such as income taxes, a deposit on a place to live, or school expenses. But before taking out an unsecured personal loan, it’s important to realize that, at the risk of mastering the obvious, money doesn’t grow on trees, and [...]
    [March 19th, 2009]
  • Payday Loans: The Regulatory Mess Continues
    Last week, this payday loans blog looked at regulatory failures in Ohio and Virginia. This week, it is reporting on legislators in three other states who are favoring hope over experience as they seek to control the industry.
    [March 19th, 2009]
  • Refinance Applications Make up Bulk of Loan Activity
    The Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday that last week, according to Reuters, that mortgage applications surged as the borrowing rate on 30-year fixed-rate home loans fell 0.7 percentage point, to 4.89%. The market index, which includes purchase and refinance loans, jumped 21.2%, to 876.9, the highest since mid-January. The spike in applications was due to [...]
    [March 19th, 2009]
  • Study: Looks Matter at P2P Lending Site
    Study finds that looks do matter when borrowers are being approved for personal loans on P2P lending sites.
    [March 17th, 2009]
  • Credit Card Debt Consolidation: How to Remove Your Credit Card Debts
    Start With a Monthly Budget and Cut Your Spending Unfortunately, the truth is that most individuals burdened by debt simply don’t have the means laying around to payoff their debts. As a result, individuals should analyze their monthly budget and cut out any unnecessary spending. For example, expenses on entertainment such as movies, video games, dvds, [...]
    [March 17th, 2009]
  • HELOC Alternatives for Small Business Owners
    Small business owners have been finding it more difficult to obtain credit and financing to keep their businesses afloat during these trying economic times. Credit card companies have been freezing credit lines and closing unused accounts while banks are approving fewer and fewer home equity lines of credit. Both credit cards and home equity lines of [...]
    [March 17th, 2009]
  • Three Reasons Why You Should Be Careful With Your Home Equity Loan In This Economy
    1. Your Home’s Equity Could Drop in Value In this current economy, declining home values have been the major concern for homeowners around the nation. As foreclosures and mortgage defaults continue to rise, many homeowners are losing thousands in their home equity because of these nearby losses. As a result, borrowers should carefully consider the usage [...]
    [March 16th, 2009]
  • Bankruptcy Attorney Joins President Obama’s Advisory Panel on GM, Chrysler
    The woes of US automakers GM and Chrysler are highlighted by Bloomberg’s report of President Obama’s s decision to add attorney Matthew Tillman to his advisory panel on the distressed automakers.  March 31 is the deadline for the embattled automakers to present plans demonstrating their ability to regain solvency and to repay government loans. Depending on the [...]
    [March 14th, 2009]
  • Five Tips for Obtaining a Personal Loan After a Foreclosure
    It has been reported in the press that fully one in eight homes in the United States is in some stage of mortgage delinquency. Foreclosure, the last step in this process, has reached epidemic proportions. This is troubling on a number of levels, not least of which is the idea that people with a foreclosure on [...]
    [March 13th, 2009]
  • Getting Out of Debt: Seven Steps Toward Success
    As household net worth plunged by approximately 18% in 2008, Market Watch notes that consumer spending fell by 4.1 percent, the steepest decline since 1980. If you want to get out of consumer debt, here are some tips for setting up a debt management plan, finding extra cash for paying off debt, and dealing with [...]
    [March 12th, 2009]
  • Number of Foreclosures Rose 30% in February
    Foreclosure filings rose 30% in February from a year earlier. Here are some tips to help homeowners keep their homes.
    [March 12th, 2009]
  • Property Taxes Remain High Amid Housing Slump
    According to a survey by the U.S. League of Cities, municipal finance officers budgeted for a 3.6 percent drop in revenue from residential taxes this fiscal year. At the same time, the National Association of Realtors has reported that the national median existing single-family price in just the 4th quarter of 2008 dropped 12.4% from [...]
    [March 12th, 2009]
  • Payday Loans: Regulation in a Mess
    Different states are experiencing wildly different outcomes after efforts to regulate payday lenders.
    [March 12th, 2009]
  • Unintended Consequences of a Home Equity Line of Credit
    Consumers that have attempted to refinance their primary mortgage after obtaining a home equity loan or line of credit quickly have realized there were some unintended consequences of taking out their second mortgage. First, the cost to refinance a first mortgage when there is a second mortgage present is higher than if there wasn’t a line [...]
    [March 11th, 2009]
  • 10 Tips For Online Debt Consolidation
    1. Begin The Debt Free Life By Consolidating Your Debt If you’re one of the many struggling to keep up with credit card debt, car loans, or other consumer debt, it may be best to consider the help of a debt consolidation company. Online debt consolidation companies have made the process even easier than before, and [...]
    [March 11th, 2009]
  • Top 10 Best Debt Consolidation Moves
    Over on MSN Money, MP Dunleavy writes about the three worst debt consolidation moves. Instead of just dwelling on the negative, here’s a list of ten positive steps to consolidate debt and maximize wealth: Review Spending for “Leaks” FMF wrote about “budget leaks” a few years ago, and that advice still holds. A strong debt consolidation plan [...]
    [March 10th, 2009]
  • Bankruptcy and Personal Loans
    There were about 1.1 million consumer bankruptcy filings in the U.S. during 2008, a 31% increase over 2007, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute. For many of those people, filing bankruptcy was seen as the last resort to getting out from under the crushing debt of personal loans, mortgages, credit cards, etc. So what happens [...]
    [March 10th, 2009]
  • How to Use a HELOC Before and During a Job Loss
    The rising unemployment rate around the nation has caused some homeowners to turn towards their home as a safety cushion. If you or your spouse thinks a job loss is in the near future, here are a few things about a home equity line of credit every homeowner should first consider. Applying for a Home Equity [...]
    [March 9th, 2009]
  • Top 4 Reasons to Get Payday Loans for the Self-employed
    According to the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship, an average 2,356 people go into business for themselves every day. These ventures account for approximately 78 percent of businesses and $951 billion in receipts in the US each year. The problem here is that these entrepreneurs are all too often excluded from traditional lending opportunities. Because [...]
    [March 8th, 2009]
  • How a Fixed Rate Personal Loan Can Help You Beat a Credit Card Rate Increase
    As credit conditions have deteriorated for both borrowers and lenders, both sides of that equation have reconsidered this time-honored relationship. American Express, for example, suffering from heavier than usual defaults and late payments, has been rumored to want out of the credit card business entirely. More problematic for Visa and MasterCard customers has been the trend towards [...]
    [March 6th, 2009]
  • Obama Budget Plan Would Lower Mortgage Tax Deduction for Wealthy
    President Barack Obama’s budget proposal has a measure that would limit mortgage tax deductions for people with the highest incomes. Under the plan, single filers making over $200,000 and joint filers making over $250,000 would be affected. Obama proposed the measure as a way to help pay for health reform. About 1.2% of America’s taxpayers [...]
    [March 6th, 2009]
  • Debt Survival Tips - How To Deal with Struggling Credit Card Companies and Interest Rate Hikes
    The Effects of a Down Economy on Your Debts As unemployment rates rise across the nation, credit card companies continue to struggle with defaulting borrowers. In a recent MSNBC report, credit card companies are expected to lose nearly 100 billion dollars in write-offs–a substantial increase compared to the 41 billion dollar write-off in 2008.Unfortunately, last year’s [...]
    [March 6th, 2009]
  • Refinance Relief for Some Homeowners
    There is an estimated 4-5 million homeowners that could benefit from refinancing their mortgage due to historically low interest rates, however, they are unable to because they owe more than 80 percent of what their home is currently worth. There is good news today for those homeowners - “Making Home Affordable” was announced by the Obama [...]
    [March 5th, 2009]
  • US Auto Industry Woes Could Translate to Consumer Incentives
    It’s looking like more challenges ahead for the US auto industry. CNN Money reports that sales of US autos declined by 40% in February, the lowest level since December 1981. Based on February’s dismal figures, industry analysts expect the downward trend to continue. There’s nothing new in the reasons behind the slump in auto sales; as [...]
    [March 5th, 2009]
  • Arizona Legislators Reject Bill that Would Allow High-Interest Personal Loans
    Arizona legislators killed a bill that would have replaced payday loans with a different type of high-interest personal loan. The bill proposed to allowed lenders to charge interest of up to 113% for short-term loans up to $3,000. If the measure had been passed by the House Banking and Insurance Committee, lenders outside the state [...]
    [March 3rd, 2009]
  • Impact of Declining Values on Retirement Planning
    It’s a scary time for baby boomers that are nearing retirement. Today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) closed at 6,726, a level not seen since 1997. Retirement plans and other investment accounts have seen, in some cases, 25% of their value evaporate in the last 2 months. Add the current housing crisis to the mix and [...]
    [March 3rd, 2009]
  • Payday loans and a little learning
    California’s payday loan industry was last week the subject of an unusually vehement attack piece in the Los Angeles Times. The writer, a professor at the University of Southern California, went so far as to call payday lenders ‘bottom-feeders’.
    [March 2nd, 2009]
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