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Mitchell D. Weiss

Contributor |  In Students, Managing Debt

Mitchell D. Weiss is an experienced financial services industry executive and entrepreneur, adjunct professor of finance at the University of Hartford, a member of the board of the university’s Barney School of Business and co-founder of its Center for Personal Financial Responsibility. Mitch is also the author of College Happens: A Practical Handbook for Parents and Students, Life Happens: A Practical Guide to Personal Finance from College to Career-2nd Edition, Life Happens: A Practical Course on Personal Finance from College to Career and Business Happens: A Practical Guide to Entrepreneurial Finance for Small Businesses and Professional Practices.

Will the New Plan to Cut Your Student Loan Payments Work?

Students

Will the New Plan to Cut Your Student Loan Payments Work?

Will the New Plan to Cut Your Student Loan Payments Work?

Big news on the student loan front: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and a cast of thousands — well, 23 of her Democratic Senate colleagues, anyway — introduced the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act. The bill proposes to significantly expand the Federal Direct Student-Loan program by allowing those who financed their higher education in… Read More

Can Your Student Loan Payments Go Up?

Students

Can Your Student Loan Payments Go Up?

Can Your Student Loan Payments Go Up?

Just how unjust has the student loan-industry become? Consider the following story. I recently heard from a woman who’d borrowed $24,000 toward the cost of an MBA program she completed a few years ago. The loan—which came from a prominent private lender—was, not uncommonly, structured as a variable-rate transaction, where the interest rate on which… Read More

Will Student Loan Forgiveness Programs Be Capped?

Students

Will Student Loan Forgiveness Programs Be Capped?

Will Student Loan Forgiveness Programs Be Capped?

The Brookings Institution just threw another log on the smoldering student loan problem. In a recently published report by its Brown Center on Education Policy, the institution sets out to estimate what the various government relief strategies for student loans might end up costing taxpayers. The news isn’t good. The BCEP estimates that the price… Read More

The Little-Known Student Loan Bait & Switch

Students

The Little-Known Student Loan Bait & Switch

The Little-Known Student Loan Bait & Switch

Ever been promised something with a couple of strings attached, only to have more and more added the closer you got to your goal? That appears to be what co-signers of private student loans are experiencing, at least according to the mid-year update from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Family members who agreed to… Read More

Should a 300% Interest Rate Be Legal?

Managing Debt

Should a 300% Interest Rate Be Legal?

Should a 300% Interest Rate Be Legal?

Is there anyone out there who still believes that payday lending is a respectable business? That it’s OK to charge stratospheric interest rates—often four, five or more times the amount that’s originally borrowed—to cash-strapped consumers who typically re-borrow the identical loan over and over again during the course of a year? That it’s reputable to… Read More

How Banks Use Fear to Make You Pay More for a Loan

Personal Finance

How Banks Use Fear to Make You Pay More for a Loan

How Banks Use Fear to Make You Pay More for a Loan

In this era of attention-getting sound bites, the financial services industry has come up with one that seems to work every time. Beefed-up regulatory oversight and capital requirements? It’ll hurt consumers. Bolstered securities disclosure statements? It’ll hurt consumers. The industry repeatedly uses the word “regulation” as code for tougher lending times ahead. Indeed, added regulation… Read More

The Middlemen That Can Drive Up the Cost of Your Loan

Personal Finance

The Middlemen That Can Drive Up the Cost of Your Loan

The Middlemen That Can Drive Up the Cost of Your Loan

As if alternative financing isn’t expensive enough, an illuminating article in Bloomberg Businessweek calls attention to the increasing use of intermediaries—brokers, in this instance—by small business and consumer borrowers seeking help finding a good deal on a loan. There are two main types of financial market intermediaries: consultants and brokers. They couldn’t be more different… Read More

Combustible Adjustables: The Troubling Return of the ARM

Mortgages

Combustible Adjustables: The Troubling Return of the ARM

Combustible Adjustables: The Troubling Return of the ARM

It was only a matter of time. Adjustable rate mortgages—the apocalyptical financial product of the recent economic collapse—are coming back in a big way. Of course, the banks insist that this time it’ll be different. At the moment, they’re targeting only high-net worth borrowers. According to a study that was developed for the Wall Street… Read More

An Indefensible Defense of Student Loans

Students

An Indefensible Defense of Student Loans

An Indefensible Defense of Student Loans

James Runcie, the Federal Student Aid office’s chief operating officer, appeared before the U.S. Senate’s Education Committee where he was grilled on the manner in which the FSA is monitoring the performances of the Department of Education’s subcontracted student-loan servicers. Two interesting points caught my attention. The first pertains to the key metrics the department uses… Read More

Reverse Mortgages: What the Ads Don’t Say

Mortgages

Reverse Mortgages: What the Ads Don’t Say

Reverse Mortgages: What the Ads Don’t Say

You’ve seen them on TV and heard them on the radio. They may be yesterday’s screen stars, but they’re today’s pitchmen for one of the hottest financial products that baby boomers of a certain age and financial circumstance want: the reverse mortgage. According to studies performed by Fidelity Investments and the Charles Schwab Corporation, 48%… Read More

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