ABC Cash Advance

ABC's to getting a cash advance

Latest Blogs
Popular Posts
Recommended

Latest Blogs

ajax-loader

Potential Backlash in New York to Proposed CFPB Federal Payday Rules

Payday-Loans-3

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been granted the official powers to act as a watchdog group over the landscape of consumer financial products. The CFPB also happens to have recently released a draft of new federal rules for the payday lending industry. Some opponents of short term lending have said that the new rules are a great start in helping to regulate (some might say over-regulate) the burgeoning consumer lending industry. In New York, though, some financial experts and consumer groups are warning people to take a stand to protect their already effective consumer protection laws. Like New York, there are 13 others states along with Washington D.C. that have laws that cap the interest rates on payday loans. Opponents of payday lending in those states have said that the caps help to prevent payday lending companies from running profitable businesses. Regulators in New York have worked aggressively to stop payday lenders from getting around their laws. Some lending companies have opened operations on tribal lands, or via websites. So far, the regulators in New York have been successful in their bid to keep payday lending out of the state, for the most part. Some payday loans do get made in the state, though. Being as some state leaders seem to detest the payday lending industry, though, these exceptions to the rule are being confronted regularly. Other states, like Missouri and Wisconsin, have more relaxed stances on payday lending. In some of these states there are more payday lending locations than there are McDonald’s or Starbucks locations. The new rules that the CFPB has proposed are not supposed to preempt any existing state laws. However, there are some powerful groups of payday lenders that have made the argument for New York to roll back the state level regulations in order to be consistent with the current federal guidelines. Opponents of payday loans in New York believe that the new federal rules are not as effective as the protections already in place at the state level. These payday lending opponents have started to rile their supporters to make the… Read More

Surprise! Your Netflix Bill Just Got More Expensive

careful-speaking-samsung-smart-tv

Netflix has publicly started a revolution that is allowing millions of people to transition from cable/satellite providers to streaming media. Of course, they are not the only company that offers streaming services. Hulu, Amazon Prime and other apps/services are also available. And it turns out that they all have more in common, beside just letting you get rid of cable and to stream lots of great content to your device of choice. It turns out that the streaming services are all becoming a bit more expensive. With Netflix being the most popular of all these services, it is no wonder that people are a bit surprised to find out that their Netflix subscription costs just went up a bit. About two years ago Netflix began charging new subscribers $9.99 a month for their basic content streaming service. This service is essentially a plan that gives people the ability to stream HD content to two devices at the same time. People who were already subscribed to Netflix prior to two years ago, were paying $7.99 per month. Those same Netflix subscribers were grandfathered in under the new rates. If you are somebody who has had Netflix for more than two years, you probably enjoyed knowing that you were paying a little bit less than some of those who were a little late coming to the party. Well, that all comes to an end, as of the beginning of May 2016. Subscribers who were paying the old $7.99 fee had to start paying $2 more each month. This is an increase that caught a lot of old-school Netflix users by surprise. This change does not take place immediately for everyone. Netflix delivered a first quarter earnings call and said that the “un-grandfather” process would start with newer customers in the beginning. Over the course of this year, everyone will start paying the higher fee, with the oldest subscribers being the last to do so. A survey was conducted and it concluded that the $24/year price increase would probably result in about 4 percent of current subscribers dropping Netflix service. Streaming Costs Continue… Read More

The Right Approach to using Bankruptcy to Deal with Debt Problems

bad-credit-eraser

Bankruptcy! The mention of this word can dredge up some very negative associations for many people. We often think about bankruptcy as being representative of someone – or some corporation – that has been irresponsible with finances and is looking for a way to instantly escape all of their financial problems. And sure, there have been cases of people using bankruptcy haphazardly over the years. Oftentimes, though, people wind up filing for bankruptcy to deal with incredibly hard circumstances and scenarios. The loss of a good job, medical problems and even divorce can be incredibly trying in and of themselves. And these types of situations also tend to lead to extreme financial hardships for thousands of people every year. It is folks who are going through these types of situations, compounded by big money problems who can often benefit the most from filing for bankruptcy. One reason that bankruptcy still carries such a stigma is because some people assume that when a person files for bankruptcy it is just because they didn’t keep a sharp eye on their finances or that they spent more money than they had any business spending. The majority of bankruptcy lawyers will tell you that these are not usually the precipitating factors that lead to personal bankruptcies. It is almost always unforeseen negative events in the lives of people that lead to them ultimately making the very difficult choice to file for bankruptcy to get some protection from creditors/collectors and to get a fresh start on their finances. When people hear about someone filing for bankruptcy, or even bankruptcy laws, they often fail to comprehend what it is all about. Filers get a fresh start, they get a chance to rebuild their credit scores, they get freedom from collection agencies and they often get a chance to breathe easier and to improve their personal/professional relationships too. These laws were created for these purposes. Everyone deserves a second chance, and though it is not anyone’s first choice, filing for bankruptcy is often the only recourse that they have. Bankruptcy Filings are going down Data provided by… Read More

Payday Loans are the Sole Financial Lifeline for Many People

contact

The House Committee on Financial Services recently had a hearing to discuss the Obama Administrations maneuvering and attempts to wage war on the short term lending industry. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created because of the passing of Dodd-Frank and has been on a mission since day one to wipe out short term, small dollar lending companies. Additionally, the bureau seeks to destroy as many of the online lending choices that American consumers currently have access to. The attack on these lending industries is a clear cut case of government overreach and just another case of the government working in cahoots with the big banking industry. People who have a grasp on credit understand that higher risk borrowers are always going to pay higher interest rates/additional fees. That’s just the way it is, and that is what small dollar lenders build their businesses upon. Those who do not like the short term lending industry seem to fail to realize that without the services these companies provide, millions of people would suffer. Getting rid of short term lending might put an end to higher interest rate loans, but it would also eliminate access to credit for millions of people. Folks who need to get their cars repaired or pay for medical bills, but who are unable to get a loan at the bank would just have to do without. That is simply not an equitable equation no matter how you slice it. Though many media outlets have been in the practice of demonizing payday lenders the simple fact is that these unique lending companies provide a much-needed service to the consumers they provide loans for. And despite what the CFPB says, the states that allow these types of loans already do a good job of regulating the industry at a statewide level. Consider the story of Robert Sherrill’s experience with payday loans. He was, in a former life, a drug dealer. He did time in prison, and sought to turn his life around when he got out. Robert could not get a good job, so he decided to start… Read More

How to Avoid Wasting your Money so you can Save More Every Month

money-saving

If a home or building is not staying warm in the winter or cool in the summer, there are tests that can be done to figure out the source of the problem. There are many things that could be to blame. It could be old windows that need replacing, doors that are letting a draft in or a lack of insulation in the attic. And there are dozens of other sources that can prevent a home from maintaining a comfortable temperature. It just take a bit of work to search around and find out where the sources of energy loss are occurring. The same thing applies to your bank account. There are lots of little expenses that can eat away at your bank account balance. If you don’t do a check from time to time, and apply a fix for the problem areas, those little money drains will continue to add up to a major financial loss for your household. The idea is to save as much money as you can. To do so, you’ll have to get your financial records out and go over all of your expenses. You’ll ultimately find some expenses you can reduce or eliminate. This takes time, but is worth doing when you have a few hours to spare. In the meantime, though, we have some very common expenses that you may want to think about reducing or getting rid of in order to save more money each month. Cable/Satellite TV When is the last time you looked at your cable bill? Have you noticed how expensive this type of service has become? The cable and satellite providers love to tack on all sorts of charges, and their prices are always going up. It is not uncommon at all for a household to pay out up to $100 a month on basic cable and equipment costs each month. It’s time to cut the cord. Ditch traditional cable and start using streaming TV services, like Netflix, Crackle or Sling TV. For about 10 percent of the cost of the average cable bill, you can enjoy tons… Read More

Is it a Good Idea to Take Financial Advice from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

hqdefault (8)

By now, just about everyone has heard of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB.) This bureau has been given the task to help protect United States consumers from illegal financial dealings and other misdoings. However, the CFPB has been on a bit of a roll lately. With a nearly limitless budget and the backing of the Obama administration, it seems that this agency is out to spread its influence as much as it can. Case in point – the CFPB recently put together a tool that they plan on using to help measure the financial standing of Americans. They say that they will then be able to better assist Americans with their finances. According to the head of the CFPB, Richard Cordray, “A key part of our mission is providing resources that aid and empower people to lead stable and healthy financial lives. Our financial well-being tool will give financial educators an important means by which to evaluate and support consumers’ financial health.” Earlier this month, the CFPB put out a report that defines their idea of financial well-being. This report draws on information that was obtained via consumer interviews, in-house research and consulting sessions with financial educators.  According to the report financial well-being is, “a state of being wherein a person can fully meet current and ongoing financial obligations, can feel secure in their financial future, and is able to make choices that allow them to enjoy life.” The CFPB’s tool includes a list of 10 questions that can be used by financial educators when they are working with clients. According to the CFPB, the way that people answer these questions indicates how well off they are financially. The CFPB has created a scale that includes four essential elements that comprise financial well-being. Here are the four elements that are used in the scale: Present day financial security – This is the element that is focused on whether or not people feel like they are in control of their daily and monthly finances. Future financial security – This element is based upon how consumers feel about their ability to… Read More

Massachusetts Attorney General Sues Debt Collection Firm over Customer Abuse Issues

Debt_Management1

The Attorney General in Massachusetts recently sued one of the most prominent debt collection law firms in the state, along with two of the firm’s owners. The suit alleges that the firm filed repeat lawsuits against customers for unpaid debts or, in some cases, debts that were completely inaccurate. The Attorney General states that the debt collection company was acting in direct violation of the consumer protection laws of the State of Massachusetts with regards to the pursuing of debts and utilizing judicial proceedings. The complaint, which was filed in the Suffolk Superior Court was officially filed against Lustig, Glaser and Wilson, P.C. and the owners of the firm, Ronald Lustig and Kenneth Wilson. The suit alleges that as far back as 2011, the Lustig Firm filed in excess of 100,000 debt collection lawsuits in the state. Most of these suits seem to have been filed based on unsubstantiated debts and inaccurate data that were owned by national debt buying companies. A good deal of these lawsuits were filed against people who only had social security or other types of income to rely on; forms of income that are legally exempt from any types of payments ordered by the courts. Because of all of this unlawful litigation, since the year 2011, the law firm has obtained judgements against residents of Massachusetts that total up to more than $125 million, while pursuing consumers about the judgments that were handed down. Attorney General Healey said, “We allege that this firm and its owners took advantage of thousands of Massachusetts consumers by demanding money they had no right to collect and on the basis of debts they could not prove. The company used the judicial system to intimidate and harass people, and we are working hard to make sure that this kind of conduct ends and that the company and its owners are held accountable.” To keep their practice going, the Lustig Firm is alleged to have relied on basic computer spreadsheets that were given to them by national debt buying companies. These spreadsheets allowed the firm to process thousands of accounts for… Read More

More Families Turning to Pawn Shops when Money gets Tight

Cash_til_payday_loans

Just about every household experiences it from time to time: money gets tight and there is no cash on hand until the next payday arrives. Unfortunately, though, many people cannot wait up to two weeks to take care of important expenses. More and more families are taking their possessions to local pawn shops to get cash loans to tide them over until the next paycheck gets deposited in the bank. Jerri Smith runs a household, and she said in a recent interview, “I am a single mother and I made less than $37,000 last year on my job and every now and then I need a little help. I don’t need a bank account or good credit to get a loan from a pawn shop. All I need is a valid ID and an item with ‘reasonable’ value.” Smith is 30 years old, she works as a retail manager in the suburbs of Chicago Heights. She said that without loans from the local pawn shop she would have nowhere else to turn when she needs financial assistance. According to Smith, “My credit is bad so I can’t get a bank loan. I no longer have a bank account, which means I can’t get a payday loan either. And I don’t own my car so a title loan is out too.” The economy has been improving as of late, but pawn shop managers say that middle class folks, like Ms. Smith, have become some of the most frequent customers at many pawn shops across the land. According to a manager at the Cash America Pawn location in Chicago Heights, “The majority of our customers are middle-class. Having somewhere to go for a quick loan is necessary during hard times like these.” The Cash America chain is operated by Fort Worth, Texas based company Cash America International Incorporated. They operate over 850 pawn shops in 21 different states. At most pawn shops, people can purchase video games, electronic devices, DVDs and even jewelry. Business at these locations, like the Harvey Pawn location in suburban Harvey, remains consistent and is actually growing. Brian… Read More

Helping the Majority of Americans who are Dealing with Financial Hard Times

6285214378_1f92a4843a2

A recent study conducted by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) has revealed the ugly truth about just how much people all around the United States are suffering from financial woes. It might be easy to think that the only people having hard financial times are the homeless, or even the extremely poor. The truth that this study revealed, however, is that a whopping 57 percent of American adults are dealing with very real financial difficulties. The study was performed in order to get a current “health check” on the financial state of affairs for people in America. The hope is that by understanding the current situation, steps can be taken to help improve financial outcomes for households in the U.S. Different demographic groups face various financial challenges, but the end goal that everyone needs to get behind is finding a way to help everyone improve their financial outcomes, if possible. In response to the recent study, Aliza Gutman, the director of the CFSI and leader of the study, had some interesting insights to share in a recent interview. Gutman is in a unique position of being able to interpret the data that was used in the study and making it easy to understand for anyone interested in this topic. When asked about the significance of the study, and how it differs from previous, related studies Gutman said, “The Consumer Financial Health Study consists of a nationwide survey and consumer segmentation. We surveyed over 7,000 adults from across the United States and across the income spectrum, asking about financial behaviors, attitudes, preferences and product use. Consumers with annual incomes under $50,000 were over-sampled to provide a robust set of data on consumers in the lower half of the income distribution. However, since we aimed to understand the financial health of the entire country, we weighted the data back to the total U.S. population to report findings that are nationally representative.” There are seven consumer segments that were identified by the study. These seven segments were put into one of three categories: healthy, coping and vulnerable. The healthy segments seem… Read More

Are Millennials Making Prepaid Cards More Popular?

creditcards

It has been well documented that Millennials say they do not care for credit cards. New numbers shed a bit more light on this subject: 65 percent of Millennials do not have a credit card 36 percent have never even had one It seems that prepaid cards are the most popular form of financial products for Millennials. A study revealed recently that 33 percent of young people either currently use or have prepaid debit cards. Just a few years ago, the trend was that only very specific groups, like teenagers and senior citizens, used prepaid cards. It looks like Millennials are bucking the system and are beginning to adopt prepaid cards as their preferred method of managing their money. What is to blame for the rise in popularity of prepaid cards, while credit cards seem to be on the decline? Here are a few things that may be contributing to this phase: Millennials grew up in an era when no one really used cash that much. They were used to seeing their parents use cards instead of checks or cash, so it makes sense that they would want a card-based form of payment to use for their purchases. Prepaid cards also allow people to stay in control of their money a bit more than credit cards allow for. You can set limits with prepaid cards, while it is very easy to get in serious debt with a traditional credit card. In fact, many Millennials watched their parents dig into serious pits of debt, so they would like to avoid making the same mistakes. Prepaid cards can also be integrated with mobile phone apps. The Millennials live and die by their smart phones. Mobile financial apps give prepaid card users the ability to check balances, track spending and even make money transfers, all in real time. So, how can financial providers begin to play catch up with so many young people showing a clear preference for new forms of financial services? For starters, the banks need to worry less about migrating people to full checking account customers and provide integrated services,… Read More

Former Treasury Secretary a Huge Fan of Online Loans

22_summers_560x375

You don’t get the chance to see someone with the credentials of Larry Summers extolling the virtues of your industry every day. But that is just what online lenders recently experienced. Summers, the former Treasury Secretary and a world renowned economist has recently shifted toward becoming a full time supporter of the online lending industry. Once Summers left the Obama administration, he took a seat on the board of the Lending Club. The Lending Club is the country’s largest peer-to-peer lending company, with a lending division known as the payment company Square. At a recent conference called Lend It 2015, Summers listed why he is so excited about the online lending industry and why he is sure that “technology based businesses have the opportunity to transform finance over the next generation.” Along the way, Summers expects tech based financial companies to help to make the economy more stable and efficient in the years to come. Though it used to be that online lending was somewhat scrutinized by everyday borrowers, the industry has recently enjoyed an upswing in popularity. Customers who have great credit and want to consolidate credit cards on lower interest rate accounts can do so easily online. And even people who have lower credit scores can make use of online payday advance lending companies to get a quick loan to help them keep their heads above water in between paydays at work. In short, the Internet and other progressive forms of technology are beginning to change the way that people borrow money for good. And Summers seems to be on board for the long haul. The Change in the Online Lending Industry Why such dramatic changes in recent years? Well, according to some experts, half of all the workers in this country either own or work for small businesses. Whether it is because of the total number of jobs or output, the economy has finally recovered. However, lending to the small businesses that have fueled so much job growth has been somewhat stagnant. Part of the reason for the lack of lending progress to small businesses has been… Read More

Studies Reveal Real World Benefits of Payday Loans

Payday-Loans-3

It is no secret that there are lots of folks and organizations out there that like to drag the payday lending industry through the mud whenever they get the chance. Things have become so bad for some alternative financial providers that some lenders have been forced to close up shop because of some heavy pressure from government initiatives, like Operation Choke Point. It appears, however, that there is some very real proof that there are indeed benefits to payday loans that some people don’t want other folks to know about. Two new studies on the payday lending industry cast a new, more positive light on the industry as a whole. A Law Professor from Columbia, Ronald Mann, came to some very interesting conclusions in his most recent study. Here’s just a little bit of what Professor Mann’s study revealed about the short term lending industry: The study proved that credit ratings changes for people who default on payday loans are not all that much different from the credit score changes that responsible borrowers have. The decline in credit score in the year that a borrower defaults greatly exaggerates the final effect of the actual loan default. This is because the credit scores for folks who default on their loans typically experience very large increases for more than 24 months after the year that they defaulted on their loans. In other words, the payday loan default is not to blame as the ultimate cause for certain borrowers’ financial problems. This is usually because the borrowers who do not pay their payday loans back usually have dealt with other financial problems in the past that caused their credit scores to decrease. This all goes on to suggest that defaulting on a payday loan plays a very small part in the complete timeline of distress that default borrowers experience. It is hard to bring all of this into line with the improvements that the improvements to borrowers’ financial situations come from the ‘ability to repay’ requirements that are factored into every payday loan that is provided by short term lending companies. In a… Read More

Tips for Home Buyers with Bad Credit

bad-credit-eraser

Every prospective home buyer has a few financial concerns to think about prior to shopping around for a new home. It all starts off with getting prequalified for a loan. This step allows lenders to review your financial history and health. After that, borrowers can begin the process of submitting loan applications, so lenders can get a more in depth history of the purchaser’s financial situation. Lenders will almost always offer the best loans and lowest interest rates to home buyers who pose the lowest risk. Credit scores vary from just 300 to 850, with 850 representing the lowest level of risk. Anyone with a credit score lower than 620 may find that it is difficult to qualify for a mortgage. Don’t lose hope, though, as there are some lenders that specialize in providing mortgage loans to people with low credit scores. If you are planning on purchasing a home soon, but worry about your credit score, here are some tips to help you along your way. Get Your Finances Stabilized Prior to Shopping for a New Home It is a good idea to avoid any major financial changes for about two years prior to purchasing a new home. Lenders are apt to be more comfortable with loaning money to borrowers with low credit scores, if those borrowers have a stable income, up to date bill payments and a stable employment situation. Start Saving Money Now for a Big Down Payment The lenders that provide loans to people with bad credit scores assume that these loan seekers will provide large down payments. It is a good idea to have around 20 percent of the purchase price of your home saved up for a down payment. If you can save more, do so, as you may need additional funds for home inspections, loan closing fees and other expenses that pop up when you get around to actually closing on your loan. Pay Down Your Debts and Keep them Paid Down Lenders will often look at your debt to income ratio when they are looking at your loan application. Debt to income… Read More

ajax-loader