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  • Chrysler Bankruptcy Signals “New Beginning” for US Automaker
    With the announcement of Chrysler Corporation’s bankruptcy, President Obama noted that he stands behind the US auto industry, but does not support those who “held out” for unwarranted taxpayer relief. GMAC, the bank holding company that provides financing for GM auto loans, has agreed to take over financing of Chrysler auto loans. The US government is [...]
    [April 30th, 2009]
  • Student Loan Debt Consolidation Warning Signs
    For students and recent graduates stumbling into the high unemployment rates of today’s stagnant economy, student loan debts loom large. Debt consolidation companies may offer to streamline your monthly payments or ease your cash flow. But, they may not always be on the level. Five warning signs highlight whether your prospective lender or consolidator is [...]
    [April 29th, 2009]
  • 5 Things to Know About Signature Loans
    Getting a signature loan won’t be cheap—especially for borrowers with bad credit.  With lenders still reluctant to lend money to people who don’t have the highest credit scores, many borrowers may find if difficult to even qualify for a signature loan. Here are five things to know about getting this type of unsecured personal loan. —Borrowers [...]
    [April 28th, 2009]
  • New Federal Guidelines Highlight Role of Home Equity Loans in Relief Efforts
    The US government has announced  new guidelines and incentives for modifying secondary mortgage loans. These loans, commonly called home equity loans, can impact  homeowners’ ability to make mortgage payments on their primary mortgage loans, and can also impede efforts to modify primary mortgages. As an incentive, loan servicers of home equity loans would be paid $500 initially, [...]
    [April 28th, 2009]
  • Government Tackles Second Mortgages
    The Obama administration announced plans today to address homeowners who are unable to afford the payments. During the real estate boom, many homeowners used home equity loans and lines of credit to purchase a new home with little or no money down. These second mortgages were also used by many borrowers who took advantage of rising [...]
    [April 28th, 2009]
  • Three Reasons to Choose a Home Equity Line of Credit Over a Typical Credit Card
    1. Save Money on Interest With a Home Equity Loan For most individuals, typical credit card interest rates can easily top off in the high double digits–sometimes even surpassing the twenty percent barrier. On the other hand, home equity loans typically offer lower interest rates since they are secured by a property. In the case of [...]
    [April 27th, 2009]
  • Credit Card Debt Consolidation Gives Greater Peace Of Mind
    Obama Administration And The Credit Card Companies Quite recently, the Obama administration began moving forward on their legislation known as the “Credit Cardholder’s Bill of Rights Act”. Within this legislation, select credit card companies will be required to change several aspects of their current business model. Specifically, one major change will prohibit these companies from retroactively [...]
    [April 25th, 2009]
  • Who Can Claim the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit?
    The first-time homebuyer tax credit is available for homes purchased through Dec. 1, 2009.
    [April 23rd, 2009]
  • Low Mortgage Rates: Time to Buy, or Not?
    Lower mortgage rates are increasing affordable mortgage financing, and long-time renters may be thinking of transitioning from renting to homeownership. When is the right time to buy a home? Here are some reasons to consider buying, and some reasons that may indicate that it’s best to wait awhile. Financial Readiness for Getting a Mortgage and Buying [...]
    [April 23rd, 2009]
  • Auto Loan Availability Showing Signs of Improvement
    An article in the Washington Post asserts that there are signs that consumer lending is loosening up in spite of financial institutions’ alleged unwillingness to pass along federal assistance to consumers. This could indicate that auto buyers can get financing in spite of widespread gloom-and-doom reports that auto loans have dried up. Check out Auto Loan Options [...]
    [April 23rd, 2009]
  • Mortgage Applications Rise as Homeowners Look for Additional Savings
    The Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday that mortgage-refinance applications rose to almost triple their level a year ago. The average contract interest rate for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages stood at 4.73%, down from more than 6% a year earlier. slightly above the all-time low of 4.61 percent three weeks earlier. About 80% of all mortgage applications [...]
    [April 23rd, 2009]
  • Payday Loans: Campaigners’ Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics
    The last Rebuild.org payday loans blog queried a figure quoted in a New York Times editorial. Like all too many statistics bandied around by both sides in the payday loans debate, this number seemed dubious.
    [April 23rd, 2009]
  • 5 Ways Congressional Action On Credit Card Issuers May Affect the Market for Unsecured Personal Loans
    Consumer groups such as the National Consumer Law Center are encouraging Congress to take swift action to stop common lending practices used by credit card companies to increase profits, such as changing interest rates on credit card balances if the borrower’s credit score goes down. Without a doubt, credit card companies are profit-driven enterprises that have [...]
    [April 22nd, 2009]
  • Reasons to Consider Refinancing
    The St. Louis Post-Dispatch  recently reported the Missouri Attorney General’s intention to prosecute two firms allegedly engaging in fraudulent solicitation practices involving mortgage refinancing. As interest rates remain low, and foreclosures continue to abound, homeowners owe it to themselves to carefully evaluate unsolicited offers of “help” before taking action. It’s up to homeowners to decide when refinancing [...]
    [April 21st, 2009]
  • A 60-Second Guide to Taking a Personal Loan from Your 401(k)
    Think long and hard before taking a personal loan from your 401(k) account.
    [April 21st, 2009]
  • Risks of a Payday Loan: What are my other options?
    It can be quite tempting to take out a payday loan.After all, such a loan promises you just enough money to get by until your next paycheck lands on your desk. It can seem so easy and convenient to apply for such a loan. It is also a quick process, so it can fulfill your need for instant [...]
    [April 21st, 2009]
  • Home Equity Line of Credit Rates Higher Than Long-Term Mortgages
    The New York Times recently published an article that discussed why rates for home equity lines of credit, which are tied to the prime rate, are currently trending upwards. Traditionally, financial professionals have advised clients to obtain home equity lines of credit and keep them open as a back-up to an emergency fund. This is becoming [...]
    [April 21st, 2009]
  • How To Avoid the Home Equity ATM Syndrome?
    Home equity loans have been around for quite some time, but many homeowners have fallen into the trap of treating their home like an ATM machine. In the past few years, homeowners across the nation have faced serious troubles of foreclosure and negative equity because of these poor financial moves. Here are a few things [...]
    [April 21st, 2009]
  • The Top 5 Debt Consolidation Myths of 2009
    Debt consolidation is a common financial transaction in a consumer culture. However, very few people know exactly what to expect when they enter into the process of combining their outstanding debts. Here’s a run down of five top debt consolidation loan myths in 2009 and the real story behind them.
    [April 20th, 2009]
  • Payday Loans: Fight Hots Up
    Like a drunken brawl, the scrap between consumer groups and payday lenders this week rolled down the steps of the Capitol and into the opinion columns of the press. The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal both published payday loans comment pieces
    [April 20th, 2009]
  • Stimulus Plan Raises Reverse Mortgage Limits
    The economic stimulus bill raises the single national loan limit to $625,500 for reverse mortgages through the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program.
    [April 17th, 2009]
  • Scammers Use Unsecured Debt Consolidation Loan Offers to Bilk Borrowers
    A few weeks ago, this column highlighted some of the most common signs of fraudulent debt consolidation companies. Recent news reports indicate that scammers are taking advantage of consumer desperation about the economy in record numbers. Sophisticated technology makes it easier than ever for con artists to bilk borrowers of their cash. Consumer advocates offer [...]
    [April 17th, 2009]
  • How to Get a Personal Loan With a Subpar Credit Score
    In this economy, obtaining an unsecured personal loan can be challenging regardless of credit score. However, those who do rank low on the credit totem pole are measuring more limited options. For an individual whose credit score is between 580 and 630, securing a personal loan can be especially difficult. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Minimum Requirements For Securing [...]
    [April 17th, 2009]
  • Debt Consolidation Advice: How to Pay Off Debt Writing One Check Per Month
    There’s very little in life as depressing as a stack of bills assaulting your mailbox each month. But with just a little bit of fiscal maneuvering, borrowers can use debt consolidation to combine outstanding balances into one monthly payment. Here’s a run-down of borrowing trends, how to pay off debt and how to manage a [...]
    [April 17th, 2009]
  • Mortgage Applications Fall Despite Lower Rates
    According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey released today 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.82 percent with an average 0.6 point. This is down from last week’s 4.87 percent average, and far below the average last year at this time — 5.88 percent. “The housing industry is starting to exhibit some positive signs, albeit scarce and [...]
    [April 16th, 2009]
  • Auto Loans: Find Financing Before Buying
    The Wall Street Journal reports that among the 21 largest banks receiving TARP funds, lending rates for all types of consumer loans fell by slightly more than 2% during February. Although these figures include auto loans, car buyers need not worry. Resources for auto loans include local banks, online banks, credit unions, and auto industry sponsored [...]
    [April 16th, 2009]
  • Debt Consolidation Benefits Explained as Bankruptcy Filings Continue to Rise
    Bankruptcy Filings Increase By 46 Percent Last Month According to federal court records analyzed by the Associated Press, bankruptcy filings increased by 46 percent compared to March 2008 with about total 130,831 filings. As consumers struggle to handle credit card debts, job losses, and medical bills, many have chosen the route of bankruptcy to escape their [...]
    [April 15th, 2009]
  • Think Long and Hard Before Cosigning for a Personal Loan
    Becoming a cosigner on a personal loan is a step that shouldn't be taken lightly.
    [April 14th, 2009]
  • Home Equity Conversion Mortgage for Purchases
    Seniors are just now starting to close on  Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM) for Purchase, a form of federally insured reverse mortgage authorized in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. The law took effect Jan. 1, 2009. The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage for Purchase is a terrific tool for seniors looking to downsize without [...]
    [April 14th, 2009]
  • Three Ways Home Equity Loans Can Save Homeowners Some Serious Cash
    1. Consolidate Debts Through a Home Equity Loan One of the best ways to take advantage of home equity loans is to consolidate existing debts with high rates of interest. For most individuals, this automatically includes any credit card debt, automobile loans, and other personal loans. Even homeowners with bad credit or less than excellent credit [...]
    [April 14th, 2009]
  • Auto Loans: GMAC Loosens Credit Requirements
    The Detroit Free Press recently reported that GMAC has agreed to relax credit standards to accept applications from GM customers with credit ratings 620 and less. This move is designed to  boost GM sales while providing a source of auto loans to those with credit problems. This can be seen as good news for the auto [...]
    [April 13th, 2009]
  • Can You Refinance?
    There has been a lot of talk about the plans the Obama Administration has to help homeowners who are unable to refinance because of falling home prices, which has left them very little or no equity in their homes. Unfortunately, very few details have emerged to help guide these homeowners. Ultimately, the Obama Administration wants to [...]
    [April 13th, 2009]
  • Payday Loans: More From Congressional Hearing
    The congressional hearing of April 2nd into payday loans provided such a great forum for lively debate that this blog is visiting it again this week.
    [April 12th, 2009]
  • Vanishing Balance Transfers Force Americans to Find Alternative Credit Card Consolidation Loans
    Credit card account holders across the United States may have noticed a few less envelopes in their mailboxes this month. According to industry statistics, many credit card issuers have reduced the number of convenience checks and balance transfer offers sent to their customers this quarter. This popular form of low-cost credit card consolidation made it [...]
    [April 10th, 2009]
  • How Much Can I Borrow for a Mortgage?
    Today’s mortgage rates are at historical lows, delighting many first-time homebuyers. But many real-estate newbies are confused about how much they can borrow for their first mortgage. The following guide can help with the process of applying for a mortgage loan. What You See Isn’t Necessarily What You Get It’s fun to visit open houses and dream about the [...]
    [April 10th, 2009]
  • Avoid Foreclosure Scams: Movie Theater Commercial Educates Audiences
    In her colunn The Color of Money, Michelle Singletary notes that the FTC has put together a short commercial to be shown in nine states with the highest rates of foreclosure.  Although the trend for seemingly endless strings of commercials between feature films is definitely a nuisance, this one might be worth watching. The 30 second spots, [...]
    [April 9th, 2009]
  • 5 News Stories to Read Before Applying for a Personal Loan
    An unsecured personal loan is not an easy thing to obtain these days. In this tough credit environment, education is key. Knowledge truly is power. Read these five news stories to gain perspective on trends and ideas that may improve a borrower’s chance of qualifying for a personal loan: 1. “Markets for the Poor In Mexico” It may seem [...]
    [April 9th, 2009]
  • 10 Things to Remember When Getting a Personal Loan
    Getting a personal loan these days is tough, so here are some things to know about the process.
    [April 8th, 2009]
  • Debt Consolidation Loans May Soon Benefit From Lower Mortgage Rates
    Although not all debt consolidation loans must involve a mortgage, typical debt consolidation loans are usually possible through a mortgage refinance or home equity loan. In these programs, individuals consolidate various personal debt such as car loans and credit card debt into loans with lower rates of interest. As a result, individuals can simplify monthly [...]
    [April 8th, 2009]
  • Universities Are Changing Their Views on Home Equity
    As real estate values continued to climb earlier this decade, many parents would utilize the equity in their home as a way to help their children pay for college. Some universities would include a percentage of the parents’ home equity into their financial aid applicants. A lot has change in recent years as housing prices continue [...]
    [April 7th, 2009]
  • How To Protect Your Home Equity Loan In This Current Economy
    As unemployment rates continue to rise, more homeowners around the nation are beginning to struggle with their monthly mortgage payments. Most recently, the government reported a national unemployment rate of 8.5%–the highest rate in almost 26 years. And in its latest reports, the American Bankers Association reported a record 1.46 percent delinquency on home equity lines [...]
    [April 6th, 2009]
  • Automakers Face Balancing Act Between Consumer Wants and Needs
    Ah, the impulsiveness of new romance; being seduced by that new car smell, the luxe leather interior, or a sound system that blasts tunes all the way to Mozambique, but wait: unemployment, shaky investments, shrinking savings and increasing bills quickly interrupts any flirtation with buying a new car.  Until recently, US automakers have rewarded brand loyalty with bigger [...]
    [April 6th, 2009]
  • Mortgage Delinquencies Gain among People with Good Credit
    More people with good credit are becoming deliquent on mortgage loans.
    [April 3rd, 2009]
  • Top Five Tips for Student Loan Debt Consolidation
    Experts note that interest rates for government debt consolidation loans are approaching historic lows, with even lower interest rates expected into the summer of 2009. For eligible student loan borrowers, now could be a great time to reduce monthly payments while still saving money on interest. Financial advisors remind college graduates to consider student loan [...]
    [April 3rd, 2009]
  • Mortgage Rates Hit Record Low
    Mortgage rates have continued their decline. The Federal Reserve’s buying of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) has certainly helped to keep rates low at a time where few other investors are interested in these investment vehicles. Mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac said Thursday that average rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped to 4.78 percent this week, from 4.85 [...]
    [April 3rd, 2009]
  • Payday Loans: Congressional Hearing Provides Forum
    Yesterday (April 2nd) afternoon, the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit held a hearing on one of its bills, the Payday Loan Reform Act of 2009 (H.R. 1214).
    [April 3rd, 2009]
  • Loan Delinquencies Rise as Consumers Struggle to Manage Debt
    In a recent article from CNNMoney.com, the American Bankers Association reported the highest delinquency rates since it began tracking such data in 1974. Specifically, the ABA reported a 3.22% seasonally adjusted delinquency rate in the last quarter of 2008. The ABA, which represents most large U.S. banks and credit card companies, comments that this rising [...]
    [April 3rd, 2009]
  • How to Qualify for a Personal Loan: Live in Alabama
    The Wall Street Journal ran a fascinating story on the front page the other day, describing some of the geographical considerations that affect personal loan availability. The article, aptly titled “Many Smaller Cities Dodge Crunch in Consumer Lending,” proved that Huntsville, Alabama is by far the greatest city in America–or at least one of the greatest cities [...]
    [April 2nd, 2009]
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