As a nation, America’s student debt load is reaching crisis proportions. The New York Federal Reserve puts the total student loan debt at over $1.52 trillion, with the delinquency rate over 11 percent.
Is your personal student loan situation nearing a similar crisis? Consider these five warning signs to assess whether you are handling your student loans responsibly or are on the road to potential default.
How do you plan to fund your children’s education? You’re probably counting on scholarships and grants, right?
Reliance on scholarships and grants is the highest in a decade, while college savings is on the decline, according to a new report from Sallie Mae.
Savings covers less than one quarter of collegiate funding for the typical family. As a result, one of the strongest educational savings programs – 529 plans – is being underutilized. Continue reading →
Where You Can Make the Best of a Bad Credit Situation
It’s no fun having a bad credit score. You pay higher interest rates for your credit – if you can get credit at all. You have little room for financial error. A small, unexpected bill can cause big problems.
At least your hardships may not be as bad if you live in certain states.
RewardExpert, a site that helps users optimize credit and debit card reward programs, examined factors that affect residents with poor credit – such as typical expenses, usury laws to limit predatory lending, and the status of debt collectors – and how those factors vary in each state.
Where is bad credit more tolerable? Consumers with bad credit should avoid the coasts and stick to the Midwest – not surprising, given the typically high costs of living in coastal areas. Continue reading →
The housing market topped a new threshold over the past week. Buoyed by a strong economy and a series of interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve, thirty-year fixed mortgage interest rates reached 4.61 percent – the highest number since May of 2011.
Rates crossed the 4 percent threshold in the week of January 11 and they have been on a relatively steady rise since then. If this pace continues, we may hit 5 percent before the year is out.
Should rising interest rates deter you from buying a home? Not necessarily, but it may cause you to re-think your definition of an affordable home. Continue reading →
Are you planning to work in retirement? If so, is it because you need money? The recent American Working Conditions Survey (AWCS) from the Rand Corporation think tank suggests another reason – you want to be there.
A Rand brief on the AWCS survey compared working conditions and expectations of older workers (age 50 and up) to those of workers in their prime working years (ages 35 to 49).
Over half of those aged fifty and above who weren’t working or looking for work said they would return to work under the right conditions – but what are those conditions? Do they match up well with today’s workplace? Continue reading →
Who’s thinking about retirement when they’re young? Only about a third of millennials have retirement accounts.
They’re typically not a priority for young workers – but they should be. That’s precisely the time to take the greatest advantage of compounding interest by contributing as much as your fledgling budget can afford.
A new study from the University of Missouri suggests that millennials, the youngest working generation, are not sufficiently preparing for retirement.