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Studies Reveal Real World Benefits of Payday Loans

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

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

The Feds Close in on Operation Choke Point

In a move that many have anticipated for quite a while, the United States Department of Justice finally took some action to investigate Operation Choke Point. It seems this investigation/debate will also involve the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, so financial pundits are hopeful for some swift action. The announcement provides some sense of vindication for businesses that have been treated unfairly by this initiative put in place by the Obama administration to crack down on businesses deemed unfavorable. U.S. Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) announced that both the DOJ and the FDIC have pledged to investigate the ill-conceived Operation Choke Point. This all comes in response to communications from more than 30 Congress members to the FDIC Acting Inspector, Fred Gipson, head of the DOJ office of Professional Responsibility, Robin Ashton and DOJ Inspector General, Michael Horowitz. According to Mr. Luetkemeyer, the investigation will help to determine if any regulations or federal laws were broken and if a senior FDIC official gave false intelligence to the U.S. Congress. Operation Choke Point was originally set in motion to point out any illegal activities, like identity fraud and to punish the bogus companies doing these types of things. But instead of sticking with its original mission, this initiative has been targeting businesses in over 30 industries that the government has philosophical or political disagreements with. Industries, like telemarketing, dating services, gun and ammo dealers, and payday lenders have all been unfairly singled out and almost destroyed. Rather than actually identifying and taking legal action against illegal operations or companies that have committed fraud, Operation Choke Point has instead been putting big time pressure on banks to cut off financial services to small payday lenders and other legitimate businesses. These kinds of attacks on legitimate businesses actually threaten the people that the government and its regulating bodies are sworn to provide protection for. For example, the typical payday lending customer earns about $30,000 to $50,000 a year. These folks have not been able to get financial services from traditional banks or credit unions and depend on payday lenders and other small lending companies. These… Read More

The CFPB Issues Proposed Rules for Prepaid Financial Products

Back in mid-November the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) issued their proposed rules to offer certain protections under the existing Electronic Funds Transfer Act’s implementing of Regulation E and the Truth in Lending Act’s implementing Regulation Z to certain prepaid financial products. The CFPB also released the results of a study they conducted on the prepaid financial service industry. The rule that is being proposed by the CFPB defines prepaid accounts as a code, card or other device which is given for individual, households or family purposes and which also is issued on a prepaid basis to customers in specified amounts or not issued on a prepaid basis but with the potential of being loaded with funds at a later date; and that is redeemable upon presentation at merchant locations for goods or services, able to be used at ATMs or for person-to-person financial transfers. Prepaid accounts would also include payroll card accounts (given by some employers in lieu of actual pay checks or direct deposits to checking accounts) and government benefit accounts. However, prepaid accounts would not include store gift cards, gift certificates, promotional or loyalty card benefits or general use prepaid cards that are clearly labeled or marketed as gift certificates or gift cards. Regulation E Extended Under this proposed rule, Regulation E’s current definition of an account would include prepaid accounts and these protections would be extended to consumers that receive such prepaid financial products: Periodic account statements or the ability to access account information for free online. Limited liability for any unauthorized charges if the consumer promptly notifies their financial institution of any unauthorized charges that have taken place. Timely investigations and resolutions with regard to any errors that are reported. The Know Before You Owe Clause The new rule also includes the “Know Before You Owe” disclosures for prepaid accounts. Financial institutions that offer these types of financial products to consumers would be required to provide short and long form disclosures to consumers before a prepaid account of any type is acquired. And for some types of prepaid products that are sold in retail stores,… Read More

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Announced New Mortgage Rules

In 2010 the government established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It is this agency’s job to make sure that the consumer is protected as far as financial matters go. They have recently released a new list of mortgage rules that banks must now follow. According to the New York Times, this is to start next January. With these new rules the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to enforce qualified mortgages. This is meant to ensure the borrower can actually afford the loan. It will also protect the lending institution should the borrower default on the loan. The new regulations say that the borrower must have an income and asset combination that is sufficient to pay back the loan. The goal with this is to make sure that before someone gets a loan that they are able to pay for it. If they are not able to pay back the loan, then the borrower will end up in over their head with debt, and no way to pay back the loan. This can really ruin the borrower’s credit score. Another rule is regulating how much the monthly payment can be. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is limiting the monthly payment to be no more than forty-three percent of the borrower pre-tax income. This will help the consumer not have such a high payment every month that they cannot afford the other necessities that they need to purchase, or pay other bills that need paid. Upfront fees are to be limited now. No longer can banks charge fee after fee after fee. Now they are limited on what they can charge for fees so that the consumer is not overwhelmed with paying for fees when getting a loan. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is also eliminating interest-only payments. These types of payments can leave borrowers in much more debt. When the borrower is only paying on the interest, not the loan itself, they are not paying off the loan at all. Instead all the money goes to the interest, which will just come back as more interest that needs paid. It is… Read More

Tips for Retirement When You Are Starting Your First Job

When you are starting out at your first job it is a really exciting and nerve racking all at the same time.  There are things that you must do though when you start your first job to help you prepare for retirement.  Here are some tips to help you out when you are starting your first job. The first thing you need to do is to find out if your employer sponsors a retirement account.  If they do you need to find out if they match any contributions that you make and if so how much.  If they do match a percentage of your contribution you really should at minimum contribute the maximum they will contribute this will help you to build up your retirement account for when you are ready for retirement. Another thing that you should do when you start your first job to prepare for retirement is to start investing.  The key to investing and getting the best return from this is to diversify your portfolio.  If you keep your portfolio diversified with the right investments then you can bring in a very nice return for you to have in retirement. Create a budget and stick to it.  This will help you to have money to put into savings each month.  This also helps you to see where you can cut back and have more money to put into your retirement savings account. When you leave your job for a new one do not cash out your retirement account.  Instead most experts agree that you should do is to roll it over.  If you are unsure of how to go about this talk to your boss and find out either who to contact or how to roll it over.  Make sure you understand to understand how to roll over the account before you actually do it that way you do not do it incorrectly. Think about what your goals are for your retirement savings.  This is an important thing to know, make sure that you take your time when setting your goals for your retirement savings.  Once… Read More

Create a Realistic Budget

Saving money is an important thing to everyone. One thing that will make it easier to save money is to have a budget. A budget must be realistic in order to work. It can be somewhat overwhelming to create a budget that is practical. It does not need to be overwhelming though; there are some things that you can do to help you to make creating a budget easier. Everyone’s budget will be different; there is no formula to make a budget that works for everyone. A budget is a personal thing that is meant to help you to save money and not overspend. There are default templates for budget, these are good and all, but do not assume that you can just use that. A default template for a budget is a good starting point, but you have to adapt it to make it work for you. You need to have realistic expectations for your budget. You need to make sure that you are putting an appropriate amount in each category you have. You need to make sure that you have accurate income projections as well as realistic spending amounts. You may want to try to save in a hurry and therefore put a small amount in any given category but if you actually need more than that amount you will not have a realistic budget and it will not work. One thing that cannot be overlooked is that you need to regularly review your budget. This is an important step in the budget making process. You should review your budget every month when you first create it. That way you can adjust anything that you need to. After you spent a few months without needing to adjust it you can wait a couple months to review it again. You must review your budget every so often so that you can adjust what you need to in order to get your budget where it needs to be. A budget will help you to track your spending patterns. This means that you can see where you spend money and where… Read More

Criminal Identity Theft Has Become a Growing Problem in the 21st Century

Identity thieves have been around for decades always trying to find new ways to take advantage of other people. This is not a new problem. However now they are not just taking people’s identities for money, they are committing crimes with someone else’s identity. Identity theft should scare everyone. If you identity gets stolen, it can take a rather long time to put your life back together. Many do not know this, but you have more to fear than someone stealing your identity for money. You should fear them stealing your identity to use it to commit a crime. This is even worse than having your identity stolen for money, as I am sure you can imagine. You must protect yourself so you can avoid this. More and more of what we do is online now. We put more of our information online now that at any other time in the history of the internet. We assume sites are secures, and we are told that they are, but some people spend their day trying to get that information, and if they succeed, you could be in trouble. It is not just websites that you need to worry about. It is the personal information that you keep on your computer as well. Criminal identity thieves use various tactics such, such as viruses, which can cause your computer and your identity to have some problems. What all this means is you need to make sure that you always have your computer protection software up-to-date. When a criminal identity thief gets ahold of your identity and commits a crime in your name you are on the hook for that crime. This means you have to pay for a lawyer to go to court and prove your identity was stolen and that you did not commit that crime. Depending on the number of crimes, you could end up have to go to court a lot which will cost you a lot in lawyer fees. Until it is all settled your reputation is going to be diminished. People will look at you differently because they… Read More

High Tech Toys for Tots

The age of children who play with high tech gadgets gets lower and lower all the time. Now toys are being made with this same technology for children to interact with. There are a lot of new tech toys on the market now, how many have you heard of? Here is a list of some of the best high tech toys for your tots. Dolls for little girls have become more and more realistic over the years and Baby Alive is no exception. This baby is actually able to interact with your child. She also does everything that a real baby does, so if this is something your little one cannot handle and you do not want to clean it up it may be too high tech for your home. There are a lot of little children who like to play with stuffed animals. Many of them pretend that the stuffed animal interacts with them a little. Now there is Cuddles: My Giggly Monkey. This monkey will laugh, giggle, and close his eyes to interact with the child. This fall you will see the Furby Boom on shelves at toy stores. This isn’t the old Furby that was limited in what you could do with it. With the Furby Boom you will be able to interact with the toy using your smartphone. It has many things that it can do like take showers, eat, and even have babies. For those who have a child who would like to be a DJ there is the Jakks EZ Pro DJ Mixer. This allows your child to have tons of fun improving their DJ skills by scratching up some music. You can even buy a separate mic to go with it and sync the music together. We have had various versions of digital pets for decades now. This fall a new digital pet will hit the market called Ubooly. This pet can play games, tell you stories, and even make faces through a smartphone. You do not even need a phone with a data plan. If you have an old smartphone lying around,… Read More

Getting The Financial Relief You Need

When you are dealing with a financial emergency, you are dealing with a situation that you want to get rectified as quickly as possible. Even if you are one of those things that likes, out of a bad habit, to put off making major decisions, when you are dealing with an issue with your finances, you need to make sure that you make a quick decision on what you are going to do to get it taken care of. Of course, just because you want to move quickly on making a decision does not mean that you want to make an uninformed decision. When you are looking for Financial Relief, it is vital that you make a decision that is going to benefit you in the long-term. While you may make a decision that rectifies the situation in as little as a couple of days, you need to recognize that you will be dealing with said situation for a good amount of time. If you owe a small amount of money on a bill, but financial obligations have left money at a premium, you may want to consider taking out a payday loan. If you know that you are going to have money to pay the bill, in full, with your next paycheck, getting your check paid on time is vitally important, especially if it is one that has a large late fee attached to it. With a payday loan, you can get the exact amount of money you need, and you can get it fast. Don’t Make A Habit Of Them Payday loans are there when you need a small amount of Financial Relief after a particularly bad financial month. If you had to spend money on a car repair, or a trip to the emergency room, there is a pretty good chance that you may need a little bit of extra money to make sure that you pay your bills on time. You won’t get thousands of dollars with a payday loan, which is kind of the point of what makes it so beneficial for people. You don’t… Read More

Getting The Most From A Loan

When you are facing a challenging financial time, a payday loan might be an option for you. When you need an exact amount of money to pay off a bill that you have due before your next paycheck, a payday loan is an option that should work best for you. One of the best things about fast payday loans online is the fact that you can get the exact amount of money you want, meaning that you don’t’ have to take on extra money. There is no such thing as “free money” when it comes to loans; every cent that you get needs to get paid back, typically with fees attached to it. With that in mind, when you need $100 fast to pay off a bill, you don’t want to take $500, you want the exact amount. This is not to say that there is no risk involved in a payday loan (there is always risk involved, no matter what loan you are looking to get), it just means that, if you are smart about what you do, there isn’t much that you have to worry about. As long as you pay the loan back with a portion of your next paycheck, you can be sure that you won’t have to deal with the penalties that are usually attached to the loan. Don’t rush into the loan, makes sure that you get all of the info that you need by taking a look online, or by visiting a professional who can help you with getting Financial Relief. Finances are stressful. More than just about anything else in your life, finances are the thing that is going to keep you up at night. It isn’t just the fear of what you are facing today, it is also the fear of what could come tomorrow. Part of being a “grown up” is understanding how to deal with your finances, and the best piece of advice that you can get it to stay “realistic” with them. If you need to stop spending so much money on entertainment and eating out, you need to… Read More

Financial Tips for Properly Managing Money

Proper money management is essential when it comes to Unexpected Emergencies. Most people never had a class in school on basic financial skills. This result in having little savings and letting bills accumulate. If you do not have extra money for a car repair or Unexpected Bills, then you can take out a Payday Loan. It helps to follow Financial Tips and become smarter about managing your money. A personal budget helps with tracking with what you are earning and spending each month. It allows you to track where all of your money goes and shows where you need to decrease spending in some areas, which allows for putting more money towards savings. It also helps to make financial goals. Setting Financial Goals Most people understand it is good to save money. On the other hand, it can be hard to save when your income is already spent. Financial goals are a good start at saving more money and overcoming debt. An emergency cash fund is essential for anyone with a family and children because an emergency can happen at any time. This approach helps with practicing discipline when it comes to managing your money. Practicing Good Habits You can set aside some of your budget to go towards your financial goals instead of spending. It helps to get in the habit of investing or saving first before thinking about spending. Practicing good habits are an important aspect of good money management skills. Understand how Investments Work Many people face financial problems because of not fully understanding what they are getting into. It is important to understand how investments, stocks, car loans, and credit cards work before putting any money into the financial product. If you are interested in investing in stocks, then you should not invest money based on a tip from a friend. Before investing any money, it helps to read about the subject first and find out how it works. Sometimes Cash Loans are the only option when needing extra money. It is important to understand how a cash advance works and pay the money back on… Read More

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