Sean Pyles NerdWallet Published 3:38 p.m. UTC Jul 16, 2018 American consumer debt has rebounded to pre-recession levels, and the category that includes credit cards hit a record $1.02 trillion this summer. Maybe your credit card debt has crept up, too, setting your own personal record. It makes sense to pay particular attention to your credit cards, because their interest rates are typically higher than other types of debt, like student loans or a mortgage. Carrying balances on this more costly debt may derail goals such as building a retirement fund. If your other types of debt are manageable, but your credit cards feel out of hand, you need to assess your situation first. Then you can choose a way to handle that debt, whether it’s a self-guided payoff strategy or some type of debt relief, perhaps even bankruptcy. Find starting point First, take stock by: ■Making a list of all your credit card balances. Note the interest rate and minimum payment for each. … [Read more...] about Different ways to zap your debt: Which is for you?
Making 2 extra mortgage payments a year
By Jerry Reynolds Published 12:00 am, Saturday, June 16, 2018 I hear from a good number of listeners who can no longer afford his or her car. Sometimes it is because of a lost job, but often it is because the person didn’t think through his or her budget very well. Too often, people contact me just before they know their car is going to be repossessed, and that means they are usually two payments behind and another one coming up. By that point, it is usually too late. If you jump on this early, and not just “hope” it will go away, you have some options. If you signed your name to a legal, binding contract, you need to do everything possible to live up to that obligation. Generally, I recommend looking for a part-time job to keep the payments current. Anybody who needs to make a couple hundred dollars per month extra, can. Recommended Video: Now Playing: Venezuela’s held three elections in just five months, which have left President … [Read more...] about Car Pro: I can’t afford my car. What do I do?
Nathan Bomey and John Gallagher Detroit Free Press Published 5:43 p.m. UTC May 24, 2018 Originally published Sept. 15, 2013 Detroit is broke, but it didn’t have to be. An in-depth Free Press analysis of the city’s financial history back to the 1950s shows that its elected officials and others charged with managing its finances repeatedly failed — or refused — to make the tough economic and political decisions that might have saved the city from financial ruin. Instead, amid a huge exodus of residents, plummeting tax revenues and skyrocketing home abandonment, Detroit’s leaders engaged in a billion-dollar borrowing binge, created new taxes and failed to cut expenses when they needed to. Simultaneously, they gifted workers and retirees with generous bonuses. And under pressure from unions and, sometimes, arbitrators, they failed to cut health care benefits — saddling the city with staggering costs that today threaten the safety and quality of … [Read more...] about How Detroit went broke: The answers may surprise you — and don’t blame Coleman Young
Baltimore's arcane system of ground rents, widely viewed as a harmless vestige of colonial law, is increasingly being used by some investors to seize homes or extract large fees from people who often are ignorant of the loosely regulated process, an investigation by The Sun has found. Tens of thousands of Baltimore homeowners must pay rent twice a year on the land under their houses. If they fall behind on the payments, the ground rent holders can sue to seize the houses-- and have done so nearly 4,000 times in the past six years, sometimes over back rent as little as $24, The Sun found. More than half of the ground rent suits filed in the past six years were brought by entities associated with four groups of individuals and families, court records show. Most ground rent holders insist that home ownership is rarely put in peril. But Baltimore judges awarded houses to ground rent holders at least 521 times between 2000 and the end of March 2006, The Sun found, analyzing court computer … [Read more...] about On shaky ground
On June 19, 2015, Bronx resident Carlos Guerrero-Roa went to an auto dealer in Brooklyn to purchase a 2005 Lexus RX that was being advertised online for $6,900. Guerrero-Roa left with the car that day, only after it was financed with a loan that, according to a lawsuit he later filed, carried an interest rate “well over” 25 percent—a threshold that New York state law deems a felony. But thanks to a loophole in the statute, Guerrero-Roa and countless others in New York end up with auto loans that have high, and possibly illegal, interest rates. When Guerrero-Roa arrived at the dealer that day, his goal was to buy the Lexus with cash at the advertised price. But the dealer, CarsBuck, claimed that wasn’t possible due to his low credit score—something that should never have been a factor on a cash purchase, the suit said. An employee told him the car could only be acquired “by way of a one-year financing plan,” according to the complaint. In need … [Read more...] about The Devastating Loophole That Sticks Car Buyers With Interest Rates That Would Be Otherwise Illegal