How To Handle Lending Money To Loved Ones

How To Handle Lending Money To Loved Ones

Lending money to a significant other, close friend or family member is an excellent way to hang a black cloud over your relationship, but sometimes it’s the only financial maneuver that makes sense. Be smart by treating the transaction just as formally as you would one with a financial institution. [More]

Layaway Can End Up Costing More Than A Credit Card, Senator Schumer Warns

Layaway Can End Up Costing More Than A Credit Card, Senator Schumer Warns

Retailers are trying to push layaway this holiday season as a way to buy stuff you don’t immediately have the money for. For people without available credit, this can be a way to eventually get what they can’t afford now. But NY Sen. Chuck Schumer is warning that layaway fees can add up to be a much higher interest rate than any credit card would be allowed to charge. [More]

Rules Changed To Make Refinancing Your Home Easier

Rules Changed To Make Refinancing Your Home Easier

With mortgage interest rates continuing to hover near record lows, the Federal Housing Finance Agency has announced big changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program with the intention of making it easier for homeowners to save money by refinancing their loans at these rock-bottom rates. [More]

4 Debt Traps And How To Avoid Them

4 Debt Traps And How To Avoid Them

One of the best ways to keep out of debt is to be mindful of the many pitfalls that are waiting to swallow you up, and how best to avoid them. The problem is, some of these debt traps don’t look so deadly until you consider the consequences. [More]

The Repo Man Always Rings Never

The Repo Man Always Rings Never

Tim fell behind on his car payments, then made one big payment to get all caught up. The next day, Hyundai Motor Finance Company repossessed his car. [More]

CitiFinancial Finally Lets Loan Die, Then Sues You

CitiFinancial Finally Lets Loan Die, Then Sues You

When we last heard from reader Jeff, he was doing battle with CitiFinancial over a loan that refused to die, stuck with a $1 balance that he had been told not to bother paying because the loan was paid in full. Citi then turned around and reported him to credit bureaus as delinquent for not paying the dollar that he had been instructed not to pay. He disputed the ding on his credit report, and heard back from Citi that the debt has been resolved. Then he learned that Citi has filed a judgment against him in Baltimore. For $1. [More]

California Hits Up 8 Banks For $5.4 Billion In loans

California Hits Up 8 Banks For $5.4 Billion In loans

Fearful that federal debt problems would leave it hanging, California has passed the hat around to eight banks and wound up with loans for $5.4 billion. The interest rate: an astoundingly low 0.237 percent. [More]

Department Of Justice Investigates Wells Fargo For Discriminatory Lending Allegations

Department Of Justice Investigates Wells Fargo For Discriminatory Lending Allegations

The U.S. Department of Justice is said to be investigating allegations that Wells Fargo discriminated against black borrowers, offering high-interest, subprime mortgages that seemed geared to lead to default. [More]

CitiFinancial Won't Let Loan Die, Trashes Your Credit

CitiFinancial Won't Let Loan Die, Trashes Your Credit

Jeffrey thought he was done paying his CitiFinancial Loan, but they kept dragging him back in. A customer service rep assured him that the final balance, $1, didn’t have to be paid. So he didn’t. This was a bad idea. [More]

Denied For A Credit Card Or Loan? Lenders Will Soon Have To Show You Your Credit Score & More

Denied For A Credit Card Or Loan? Lenders Will Soon Have To Show You Your Credit Score & More

If you’ve ever been turned down for a credit card, auto or student loan — or maybe your application was accepted but you didn’t get the best interest rate — and wanted to see a copy of the actual credit score used in the lender’s decision-making process, you were probably out of luck. But starting July 21 lenders will be required to show you the score. [More]

Chase And BoA Quietly Cutting Balances For Option-Arm Mortgagors

Chase And BoA Quietly Cutting Balances For Option-Arm Mortgagors

It’s a lovely surprise to get in the mail from your bank, a letter telling you they’re going to cut your mortgage balance in half while increasing your interest rate slightly. NYT reports that tens of thousands of option-arm mortgagors, homebuyers with a loan that had a low introductory interest rate that shot up after a set period, have been getting such letters from Chase and Bank of America over the past year. [More]

Chase Repos Wrong Car

Chase Repos Wrong Car

At first, this woman thought her used car, financed through Wells Fargo, had been jacked from the front of her house. She reported the car as stolen and filed a claim. It was a bummer because she had been only two years away from paying off the five year loan. Then she got a call from Chase Auto Finance who said they had repo’d the car because the previous owner didn’t finish his payments. Whoops! Chase had taken the car without securing a lien on the title! [More]

Class Action Suit Against BofA For Deceptive Loan Mods Goes National

Class Action Suit Against BofA For Deceptive Loan Mods Goes National

Olly, olly, oxen, free. A class action lawsuit against Bank of America claiming they were less than above board with their loan modification practices has been certified for national participation. [More]

4 Magical Words Debt Collectors Use To Open Your Pockets

4 Magical Words Debt Collectors Use To Open Your Pockets

Debt collection is all about mind games. NotSoDeepSouth blogged about the four magical words that he used to use as a debt collector that acted like a crowbar on people’s wallets, getting formerly relcacitrant people to empty out their pockets. [More]

Smooth The Buying Process By Getting Pre-Approved For A Loan

Smooth The Buying Process By Getting Pre-Approved For A Loan

Make enough major purchases and you’ll eventually learn that it’s always wise to enter a transaction with your own financing in place. [More]

Call Every Time To Make Sure Extra Payments Go To Paying Down Principal

Call Every Time To Make Sure Extra Payments Go To Paying Down Principal

People trying to get ahead on their car and house payments are sometimes shocked to discover the default way that banks handle their extra payments. Instead of paying down the existing principal, they apply it to the future interest. Not only that, but you can’t just call them up one time and ask for them to change how they handle your payments. You need to call them every month you make a payment. Here’s a tale from reader Katherine: [More]

Bank Of America Posts 36% Drop In Profits

Bank Of America Posts 36% Drop In Profits

Perhaps hoping to garner sympathy votes in our Worst Company in America contest, Bank of America today reported a 36% drop in profits for the first quarter. One of the big drags on business continues to be the toxic landfill of mortgages the bank gobbled up when it bought Countrywide Home Loans. Never trust a man who is completely orange, I always say. [More]

Get A Bad Deal On Your Loan? Now You'll Know Why

Get A Bad Deal On Your Loan? Now You'll Know Why

If you applied for a loan and got denied or received a higher interest rate than other borrowers with better credit scores, starting July 21st, the lender has to send you a free copy of your credit score. [More]