Tag Archives: mortgages

What to Do if You Can’t Pay All Your Bills

In an ideal world, you would pay your bills on time every month and have money left over. And in an ideal world, there would be no interest, no late fees, and no one would ever be stuck with the feeling that they cannot get ahead. But this is not an ideal world. Emergencies happen. Sometimes there are more bills…

The $25 Billion Foreclosure Fraud Deal: What It Means for You

Are you one of the millions of Americans who is struggling with mortgage payments or who lost their home to foreclosure in the last three years? If so, you may get some financial help from the $25 billion foreclosure deal announced yesterday by the U.S. Justice Department and 49 state attorneys general. The settlement, which results from the widespread use…

Protect Yourself from Debt After Death

Let’s make one thing clear right off the bat: You don’t have to pay the debts of a family member or relative who has passed away. This weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported that debt collection agencies are increasingly targeting loved ones in their attempts to recoup money owed by a deceased family member despite the fact that there is…

The Myth of Minimum Payments: They’re Sneakier than You Think

What are Minimum Payments? Almost everyone knows about minimum payments — they’re the amount you have to pay your credit card company (or lender) each month — but few of us stop and think about how those monthly amounts are calculated or understand the “myth of minimum payments.” In fact, you probably don’t know that minimum payments are strategically calculated…

How will the U.S. Credit Downgrade Affect Consumers?

When Standard & Poor’s, one of the three main credit rating agencies, decided to downgrade U.S. government debt from the highest rating (AAA) to the next lower rating (AA+), it caused a whole lot of volatility on Wall Street and prompted a rapid response from President Obama.   But how will the downgrade affect consumers directly?  Will it change interest rates…

The Nine Levels of Debt Suffering

One of the frustrating things about debt is that everyone who faces it does so in a unique (and uniquely challenging) way.  To paraphrase from Dante’s Inferno, there are at least Nine Levels of Debt Suffering in the 21st Century — and probably more.  Since it’s Friday, let’s have some fun and define these Nine Levels.  After all, they say…