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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 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