Archive for: December 2013

20-Something Homeowners: How We Bought a Home So Young

Images courtesy of Andrew Hou

Images courtesy of Andrew Hou

For millennials, homeownership is no longer the rite of passage into adulthood that it once was.
Call it a sign of the times. Facing crushing student loan and credit debt and a still-shaky job market, people under the age of 35 account for just 37% of homeowners in the U.S., down from 40% in 2007, according to Census data.

This is despite the fact that it is cheaper to buy a home than rent in just about every major U.S. metro.

“I think that for sure, there are people who are just never going to own,” says Brendon DeSimone, real estate expert for Zillow.


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How Credit Scores Affect the Price of Credit and Insurance

Ever wonder how a lender decides whether to grant you credit? For years, creditors have been using credit scoring systems to determine if you’d be a good risk for credit cards, auto loans, and mortgages. These days, other types of businesses — including auto and homeowners insurance companies and phone companies — are using credit scores to decide whether to issue you a policy or provide you with a service and on what terms. A higher credit score is taken to mean you are less of a risk, which, in turn, means you are more likely to get credit or insurance — or pay less for it.


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Sneaky Tricks That Make You Spend More Money


You are excited to go on a fantastic vacation and have everything booked within your budget. You head off to your trip and suddenly you realize there are additional costs every step of the way. Unfortunately, travel is not the only time that this happens. In fact, you’re faced with tricks all day long that make you spend more money. Knowing about these tricks is the best way to combat them to ensure you keep your purse strings tight.


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5 reasons you’re in debt up to your eyeballs

credit repair debt

credit repair debt

We’ve all seen the LendingTree commercials where the guy says:

“I’m in debt up to my eyeballs. I can barely pay my finance charges. Somebody help me!”

If that sounds like you, read on. Here are a few reasons why you’re swimming in debt and what you can do about it.

No spending plan. Without a plan or financial goals, you’re headed down the road to digging yourself deeper into debt. A spending plan establishes goals and principles. If your goal is to save $20,000 for an emergency fund, then you need to avoid more debt along the way.


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How to clear mistakes from your credit report

Have you ever been horrified to discover errors on your credit report? Such inaccuracies can and should strike fear into any conscientious consumer’s heart because of their punishing consequences.

What consequences, you ask? Well, they can result in higher interest rates whenever you borrow money, and they can even affect your ability to qualify for credit, insurance, employment or rental housing.

To avoid such ominous scenarios, consider these tips for fixing mistakes on your credit report.


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How to improve and protect your credit rating


bad credit rating

bad credit rating

Why does a bad credit rating matter?

A bad credit rating can limit your borrowing options. County Court Judgments (CCJs), defaulted payments and bankruptcy orders leave a black mark against your name when trying to secure credit.

Meanwhile, if you miss credit card payments, direct debits for energy bills, or other commitments, you could find a mark placed against your name that will cause you problems.

The first sign can often be when you apply for credit and get turned down. This then leaves footprint on your file and if you collect a lot of these it could make matters worse.


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Easy Ways To Cut Back on Spending Every Day

It’s easy to let your daily spending get out of control. Your small purchases can quickly add up, especially if you’re spending more than you need to be. Check out these simple ways to cut back on spending every day. 

1. Food

2. Laundry

3. Commute

4. Fees

5. Entertainment

6. Utilities


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Pensions Ask Retirees to Pay Back Tens of Thousands

Some pensions and pension plans have overpaid retirees for years — now they’re demanding their money back.

For retirees, it can mean owing tens of thousands of dollars. And with little warning, their pension checks are being slashed to cover their debt.

In April 2011, New Jersey resident Carol Montague received a letter from American Water Works Co.’s pension plan informing her that it had overpaid her for more than five years and it wanted its money back — plus interest. Montague, now 67, was told she owed roughly $45,000.


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5 seemingly harmless things that can hurt your credit

“Mom,” my daughter said as she stood by my desk recently waiting for one of her homework assignments to print from my computer, “Did you pay this bill? It was due Oct. 4.”

She asked me this on Oct. 14. And no, I hadn’t paid it.

The bill she was talking about was a “toll by plate” bill for $7.50. In some parts of Florida tollbooths have disappeared and drivers either pay using a Sunpass or get a bill like I did when a picture of their license plate is captured on one of these roads.


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U.S. consumer spending gauge rises, but confidence weakens

A gauge of U.S. consumer spending rose in September as Americans likely snapped up Apple’s new iPhone and bought leisure goods, but falling car sales pointed to sluggish economic growth.

And even the signs of strength could be short-lived as other data on Tuesday showed consumer confidence tumbled in October as a partial government shutdown rattled households.

With lawmakers still to agree on a budget, economists fear another damaging fight might be in the cards early next year.


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