Don’t Catch Sexually Transmitted Debt!

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“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 taken on by either spouse after the wedding is automatically a shared debt. The remaining reasons in the top five all relate to spending. Purchases made in a partner’s name account were cited in 25% of the cases, while joint account purchases were cited in 20% of the cases – and the dreaded secret …

Do Low Credit Scores Raise Your Insurance Premiums?

MoneyTips

Your credit score affects many aspects of your financial life. It affects your ability to qualify for loans and credit cards, and the interest rates that you’ll pay if you do qualify. It may affect your credit card limits, rental fees or deposits, utility services, and cell phone/cable bills.

Can your credit score also affect how much you pay for insurance? According to a new study by WalletHub, it can. The WalletHub study focused on the connection between car insurance rates and credit scores, and how they change by state.

The insurance industry calculates credit-based insurance scores built on information in your credit report that is relevant to your likelihood of filing an insurance claim. Credit-based insurance scores have proven to be a decent predictor of fewer accidents, and therefore fewer claims.

Insurance companies are banned by state law from using credit-based insurance scores in three states (California, Massachusetts, and Hawaii), but in …

Why We Don’t Pay Our Credit Card Bills

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Miss a credit card payment, and you’ll suffer the consequences. Your credit score will drop significantly, since on-time payments are the number one factor in determining your credit score. You’ll pay late fees and possibly incur a penalty APR. Interest charges will pile up on your unpaid balance.

So why do so many Americans miss credit card payments? A new NerdWallet study suggests the biggest reason may be summed up in two words – “I forgot.”

According to the study, 35% of Americans who miss credit card payments simply forget to make them – edging out the one-third who don’t have the money left over after paying for essentials and the 32% who had to deal with an unexpected financial emergency.

At least you have an excuse if cash flow is your problem – but it’s not much of an excuse. Over half of study respondents (56%) blame the rise in delinquencies on …

School Is In Session! Protect Yourself From Scams

MoneyTips

With the school season starting again, education is job number one for students and parents alike. A proper education includes an education in personal finance, and one of the best ways to start is to learn how to protect yourself against scams.

You can and should learn fast, too, because scams can become more common during the back-to-school buying season. Here are some practical suggestions on how to avoid credit and debit card fraudsters:

  • Only patronize known retailers.
  • Avoid jackpot online deals that offer items like $3,000 laptops for $400. These are often scams.
  • “Good PC hygiene” cannot be overstated for every handheld device, laptop, and phone. Anti-virus and anti-malware programs are key to staying safer online.
  • Avoid pooling or sharing credit card information in a dorm setting. There is no reason for students to share…

Video: The Dirty Secret Behind Zero-Percent Financing

MoneyTips

You buy a big-ticket item today and only start paying for it in a year’s time. That’s a good deal, right? Not always. Zero-percent financing may sound great, but it could end up costing you a whole lot more in hidden interest charges. Professor MoneyTips Jeff Hoyt explains how to assess a zero-percent financing offer to make sure that you don’t end up paying extra in our exclusive video above.

If you want to reduce your interest payments and lower your debt, join MoneyTips and use our free Debt Optimizer tool.

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More Americans With Low Credit Scores Buying Homes

MoneyTips

If you have a low credit score and want to buy a home, your odds of getting a loan have improved. A study by the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) shows that credit scores for new mortgage originations have been dropping, suggesting that lenders are slowly relaxing the tight credit policies imposed after the housing crisis.

According to the study, new mortgage loans with credit scores less than 700 increased from 21.9% of all mortgage loans in 2009 to 29.7% in 2017. These include scores in the subprime market that can reach down into the 400s. (While the typical lower credit score limit is 620 for conforming loans and 500 for FHA loans, loans may be granted at even lower credit scores with extenuating circumstances.)

The shift in average credit scores is driven by FHA loans – as expected by the lower acceptance criteria for FHA loans. The latest Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae shows that only 16.7% of conventional mortgage loan originations in July 2018 wer…

2 Of 5 U.S. Cardholders Have Fallen Victim To Credit Card Scams

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New Survey Shows Credit Card Fraud Totals $136 Billion

The convenience and ease of credit cards comes with a downside – credit card fraud is a tempting and lucrative target for criminals.

According to a new Finder.com study, approximately 42% of consumers (roughly 103 million Americans) who use credit cards have experienced at least one fraudulent transaction in their lifetime. At an average loss of $1,319, credit card scammers have racked up approximately $136 billion in fraudulent charges – more than the current market value of McDonalds or General Electric and greater than the GDP of 132 countries.

How do you avoid becoming a victim of credit card scams? You can’t eliminate all potential sources of credit card fraud, but you can greatly reduce the odds through pre-emptive action and goo…

More Americans Defaulting On Credit Cards

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According to the Federal Reserve’s G.19 Consumer Credit report, America’s outstanding revolving debt – mostly credit card debt – was closing in on $1.04 trillion as of June 2018. How will we pay all that money back? An increasing number of Americans may not be able to do so.

ValuePenguin analyst Joe Resendiz calls credit card defaults “a cause for concern.” Resendiz highlighted increased second-quarter credit card default numbers for both JPMorgan and Bank of America as disturbing points amid generally good reports.

The second quarter 2018 Household Debt and Credit Report from the New York Federal Reserve backs up some of these concerns. At 6% of all consumer debt, credit card debt remains firmly in third place for all non-mortgage consumer debt behind student loans (11%) and auto loans (9%). However, the sheer number of credit card accounts – approximately 480 million, over four times the number of auto loan accounts and over five times the number of mortgage lo…

#1 Older Millennial Debt Is Not Student Loans

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According to Federal Reserve data, student loan debt has surpassed $1.5 trillion and comprises 11% of America’s collective household debt balance – second only to mortgage debt. More than 44 million Americans have student loan debt, with an average balance of around $33,000.

Given those statistics, you might expect student loans to be the biggest debt burden for millennials. However, at least part of the millennial generation has other debt concerns. According to the 2018 Planning and Progress Study from Northwestern Mutual, credit card debt outpaces student loan debt for older millennials (ages 25-34).

Among older millennials, credit card balances make up one-quarter of the average debt burden, compared to the 16% burden from student debt.They also carry more personal debt ($42,000) than the average personal debt of $38,000.

In some ways, this finding makes sense. Younger millennials are just starting their careers and beginning to pay down their stude…