Achieve Financial Literacy!

MoneyTipsApril is National Financial Literacy Month. Why do we dedicate this calendar page to highlighting financial skills and education? The tax deadline? Sound financial decisions are important all year long, but most Americans never learned how to manage money or save for goals, so financial security is a bigger challenge than it needs to be. Even if you can handle the math involved — and calculators can help if you can’t — things get complicated when making large (often emotional) financial decisions. Some of the most common pitfalls are described below. If you recognize any of them, you’re not…

How To Get Out From An Underwater Car Loan

MoneyTipsFew things are more satisfying than driving your brand-new car – until you realize that it lost value immediately after you left the dealership. Thanks to depreciation, it’s possible for a car to lose over 20% of its starting value within the first year. According to CARFAX data, cars can lose over 10% of their value after the first month. During the early stages of car ownership, it’s easy for a car loan to be underwater – meaning that you owe more on the loan than the current value of the car. With a down payment of 20% or…

Pros And Cons Of Paying Off Loans Early

MoneyTipsIt’s always best to pay off a loan as soon as you can, isn’t it? Not necessarily. There are several reasons you may not want to pay off your loan early, including the effects on your credit score. The obvious reason for early payoff is interest savings. By paying your loans off early (especially large ones), you can save substantial interest charges. Some loans discourage early loan repayment by charging penalty fees. Know the terms of your loan and include these fees in your calculations when deciding whether to repay a loan early. When assessing early loan repayment,…

Your Car Reveals Your Credit Score

MoneyTipsIt seems obvious. If you drive an expensive car, you must have an excellent credit score – but that’s not always the case. Credit scores are calculated from factors in your credit report, including on-time payment history and how much of your available credit you use. You could be a Lamborghini driver who is drowning in debt and regularly misses payments on items other than your beloved car. You could also own a Lamborghini because you’ve saved money for years, have no other debts, and used credit properly to enable your dream car purchase. How do drivers’ credit…

Seniors With RV Payments They Can’t Afford

MoneyTips By Eric Olsen, Executive Director, HELPS Nonprofit Law Firm Recreational Vehicle (RV) loans last typically for 10-15 years and sometimes up to twenty years. Often a medical condition or simply a change in lifestyle makes the RV no longer necessary. Sometimes a high RV payment can become simply unaffordable. What are the solutions for seniors with an RV they no longer need or with an unaffordable RV payment? If you have equity in your RV, meaning it is worth more than what is owed, you can sell it, pay off the loan, and pocket the difference. Or…

Young Seniors Have High Non-Mortgage Debt

MoneyTipsDebt is a major barrier to financial well-being among Americans. While we tend to think of debt as an issue affecting young and middle-aged people, the truth is that senior citizens carry debt, too. Among seniors approaching retirement, debt can be an obstacle to maximizing savings. Retirees living on a reduced income may find debt especially crippling in an economy of rising costs. Using an anonymized sample, LendingTree analyzed 2018 second quarter credit report data for 75,000 My LendingTree users aged 65-70 across the fifty largest metropolitan centers in the US. They calculated three main metrics: median non-mortgage debt…

Your Low Credit Score Could Cost You Thousand$ On Your Car Loan

MoneyTipsYour credit score is one of the most important variables that lenders use to assess your risk. A low credit score can disqualify you for an auto loan, or force you to pay higher interest rates – but how much will higher interest rates cost you in the long run? New data from Experian shows just how much a poor credit score can cost you over time. As of the second quarter of 2018, Experian shows a 5.76% average interest rate for new car loans – not far above the 4.45% average rate for prime borrowers with credit scores…

Don’t Catch Sexually Transmitted Debt!

MoneyTips”I picked up a really bad case of debt from my ex, and I can’t get rid of it.” You can pick up several unpleasant surprises from a sexual partner, but have you considered painful, lasting financial ramifications? According to a recent survey from Finder.com, around 74 million Americans have picked up a “sexually transmitted debt,” a debt that’s assumed as part of a relationship. The study determined that the average sexually transmitted debt (STD) works out to $11,485, with most acquired through marriage (28%) or in a divorce settlement (14%). In some states, the IRS says debt…

5 Ways To Reduce The Cost Of Your Car

MoneyTips By Haden Kirkpatrick, Esurance Head of Marketing Strategy and Innovation Despite the majority of cars being parked 90 percent of the time, cars are the second biggest expense in the average American’s budget. Aside from the actual purchase of the vehicle, owners also must pay for maintenance, insurance, repairs, gas, and cleaning costs. And don’t forget parking! If you’re looking to cut your spending, we’ve got you covered with this list of tips to slash some of the major auto costs and keep more money in your pocket. 1. Buy or Lease a Pre-Owned Vehicle …

Car Leasing 101

MoneyTipsSo, you are in the market for a new vehicle, huh? You’ve got some important decisions to make. New or used? Coupe or sedan? Import or domestic? Fire engine red or metallic silver? But perhaps your most important decision, at least from a financial standpoint, is how you will pay for the vehicle. You have three main options: pay the full vehicle price in cash, borrow money to pay for the vehicle, or lease the vehicle. About one out of every four new vehicles that is sold today is leased, according to Edmunds.com. So, while leasing is popular,…