Debt Consolidation vs. Credit Counseling: What’s the Difference?

Managing Debt

Debt Consolidation vs. Credit Counseling: What’s the Difference?

Debt Consolidation vs. Credit Counseling: What’s the Difference?

When escaping the country and hiding from the law are your best ideas for dealing with debt, you know you’re in trouble. Pamela has gone through “a few bad years,” she says. Hurricane Katrina hitting her Gulf Coast community followed by a series of low-paid jobs left her with almost $60,000 in debt. Pamela has… Read More

The States With the Biggest Income Gaps

Personal Finance

The States With the Biggest Income Gaps

The States With the Biggest Income Gaps

Income inequality is becoming the centerpiece of the election, with both President Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney stumping around the country on economic issues. In fact, both presidential candidates have released long-form commercials recently laying out their economic arguments. Perhaps this is because the real economic recovery isn’t quite hitting home yet. A recent Census… Read More

Consumers: Credit Scores Shouldn’t Inflate My Insurance Costs

Credit Score

Consumers: Credit Scores Shouldn’t Inflate My Insurance Costs

Consumers: Credit Scores Shouldn’t Inflate My Insurance Costs

Many Americans consider it more than fair for institutions that issue consumer loans or credit cards to use their credit rating when weighing the decision on whether to extend financing, but feel less satisfied when insurance companies do the same. The majority of consumers disagree with insurance companies using a credit score to determine eligibility… Read More

How Refinancing Can Affect Your Credit

Credit Score

How Refinancing Can Affect Your Credit

How Refinancing Can Affect Your Credit

It hardly seems possible that mortgage rates can get much lower, but they have. Homeowners are taking notice and refinancing their mortgages. Freddie Mac reports that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have reached an all-time record low at 3.4 percent for the week ending September 27, 2012, down from last week’s 3.49 percent. So if you’re on the… Read More

20% of Consumers Get Different Credit Scores Than Lenders

Credit Score

20% of Consumers Get Different Credit Scores Than Lenders

20% of Consumers Get Different Credit Scores Than Lenders

When consumers seek a line of credit, they may be fairly confident that they know where they stand with regard to their rating, but this might not always be the case. Anywhere between 20 and 27 percent of the time, credit scores consumers see are meaningfully different than the credit scores lenders use, and that… Read More

The Most Costly Mistake to Make With Your Bank Account

Personal Finance

The Most Costly Mistake to Make With Your Bank Account

The Most Costly Mistake to Make With Your Bank Account

There’s nothing more expensive than spending money you don’t have. That, of course, is a lesson you might learn the hard way if you carry a balance on a high-interest credit card. But spending beyond your means can be a pricey proposition even with a debit card. Bankrate.com released its annual checking survey Monday, assessing… Read More

The Secret Ties Between Debt Collectors & DAs

Managing Debt

The Secret Ties Between Debt Collectors & DAs

The Secret Ties Between Debt Collectors & DAs

Of all the debt collection scams, the ones that inspire the greatest panic come over the phone. A menacing, often almost incomprehensible voice, claiming to represent a creditor, demands immediate payment of a supposed debt. Otherwise, the caller threatens, the consumer could be arrested and thrown in jail. “Outrageous!” we tell the many consumers who… Read More

Task Force to Pursue Legal Action Over Mortgage Practices

Mortgages

Task Force to Pursue Legal Action Over Mortgage Practices

Task Force to Pursue Legal Action Over Mortgage Practices

Millions of Americans saw their mortgages go underwater in the last few years as property values declined significantly. Now it seems that some of the companies or individuals partly responsible for the housing market collapse could be held to account for their actions. A federal task force put together to investigate those responsible for the… Read More

Rent-to-Own: Does It Ever Make Sense?

Personal Finance

Rent-to-Own: Does It Ever Make Sense?

Rent-to-Own: Does It Ever Make Sense?

Under normal circumstances, Amy Willingham would never buy furniture from a rent-to-own store. After all, getting furniture and electronics on a rent-to-own contract is usually much more expensive than buying goods from a traditional retail store. But Willingham had a special reason to go the rent-to-on route: poor credit, and the lure of boosting it…. Read More

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