Archive for: July 2013

House Prices and Mortgage Rates

Several people have asked me about a comment from Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan as quoted in a NY Times article a couple of weeks ago: In a Shift, Interest Rates Are Rising

“There’s no strong correlation between interest rates and home prices,” said Douglas Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae.

Duncan is correct.

However, a key difference now compared to earlier periods, is that there is more investor buying. And investors will compare their returns on different investments – and rising rates will probably slow investor demand for real estate, even if they are all cash buyers.   But, in general, I think rising rates might slow price increases but not lead to a decline in prices (we might see some seasonal declines).


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How Secured Credit Cards Help You Repair Your Credit

There’s an age old saying that, “it takes money to make money.” Well, it also applies to credit cards and credit scores, as you have to have a card to rehabilitate your credit score. Of course, if your score is too low, then you will likely be rejected when applying for a card. So, what gives?

If you are unable to get a regular credit card at even a low limit, you may need to look into secured credit cards. Whereas a regular card is unsecured, meaning that the creditor has no collateral that they can recover if you default on the payment, secured cards have a deposit.


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Restart Old Debt in Exchange for New Credit Card?

People struggling with bad credit know how difficult it is to get approved for a new card. But what if you were given the chance to open a new credit card with the agreement that you’d pay off an old debt? Would you accept the offer?

In December 2011, the Wall Street Journal reported a credit card arrangement just like this. Consumers with bad scores were able to get a new card, but it required them to pay several hundred dollars per month toward an old debt. Is it worth it?

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The Real Challenge of Personal Finance

I believe it is far easier to earn more money than it is to accumulate wealth, in America at least.

72% of Americans would find it somewhat difficult or very difficult to pay that month’s bills if they lost their job today. In simplest terms, that simple fact means that it’s the norm to spend everything that you bring in and not accumulate anything.

Add to that the fact that the average American household income is above $50,000 a year and you have a recipe for a society in which an awful lot of people are spending an awful lot of money without accumulating very much at all.

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5 Things to Do if You’re Behind on Your Bills


Sometimes, though, we hear from people who are in a hole that goes beyond debt.

There are two pieces to the “behind on your bills” issue. First, there are people who (later) find that the money they have is enough – but they’re not using it in a way that allows it to be. Second, there are people who simply, at this time, don’t have enough money to pay even the minimums due on various accounts, including non-debt accounts like their electric bills.

Either way, nothing will change unless you’re willing to take action. 

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Homeowners Out of Luck in Finding Foreclosure Relief

Bank of America is making national headlines, as six former employees filed declarations in a federal court this month alleging that the mortgage lender engaged in fraudulent practices to force customers into foreclosure.

As the largest mortgage servicer in the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) when the program began in 2009, Bank of America held twice as many eligible loans as the next largest bank. But former employees are claiming that bank officials arbitrarily declined masses of applications, rewarded employees for foreclosing on homes and falsely claimed they hadn’t received documents from homeowners.

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4 Little-Known Reasons to Keep Your Credit Score High

credit score

You probably know that if your credit score is relatively low, it will make it harder for you to buy a car or get a mortgage. But these days, there are countless other aspects of your life that your three-digit credit score impacts. From job prospects to student loans, find out some more reasons why you’ll want to keep your credit score high.


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How to Live Debt-Free: Tips to Help Eliminate Debt

Paying down debt may reduce the rates you could pay on future loans and save you a lot in interest payments.


Making a long-term effort to pay down debt can eventually allow you to live more debt-free. With just a simple debt management plan, you can live debt-free.


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