Your Low Credit Score Could Cost You $21,000

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How much does your credit score affect your mortgage rates? A recent study by Zillow shows that the higher interest rates from a poor credit score can have a profound impact on the amount of interest you’ll pay over the life of a mortgage.

Zillow analyzed over 100,000 mortgage quotes offered on Zillow Mortgages across the nation between March 25 and May 5. Using the nationwide median home price of $213,100 and a 20% down payment as a reference point, Zillow found that potential borrowers with excellent credit (above 760) could qualify for a 4.5% interest rate on a thirty-year fixed-rate mortgage. Borrowers with merely fair credit scores (640-679) could only qualify for a 5.1% rate. You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes using Credit Manager …

How We Paid For Our Homes (Infographic)

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How badly do you want to own a home? What would you be willing to give up to achieve the American dream? Discover what sacrifices recent homebuyers made to purchase their homes, and whether they see the acquisition as a worthwhile investment.

Your credit history is an important factor in getting your mortgage approved. You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes using Credit Manager by MoneyTips.

The previous infographic in our Keys to Homeownership series showed the obstacles homebuyers faced in making their down payments. Part Five will present a profile of American homebuyers and their reasons for purchasing a …

1 In 4 Kids Will Be Victims Of ID Fraud Before Age 18

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It’s hard for young Americans to leave the security of their childhood home and find their way in the real world. It’s even harder when identity thieves have stolen their identity and ruined their credit before they even have a chance to establish their own record.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported just under 14,000 cases in 2017 and over 15,000 cases in 2016 involving identity theft of Americans age nineteen and younger. The credit bureau Experian reports that around 17% of their annual fraud cases target children, and they estimate that 25% of children will experience a form of identity theft or fraud before they turn eighteen.

Identity thieves consider a child’s ID a gold mine. Parents don’t think to check for fraudulent accounts established in their minor child’s name. They may not find out about the identity theft until bills or collection notices arrive or tax forms are rejected – perhaps years after the damage is done.

How do thieves ge…

Video: How Will Meghan Markle Get Out Of Debt?

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Meghan Markle has become Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex, but has her new title and castle given her a free pass out of debt? We’re not sure, but considering her stance as a self-proclaimed feminist, we wouldn’t be surprised if she still wants to pay off her own credit card. Watch Professor MoneyTips Jeff Hoyt explain how Debt Optimizer can help Meghan – and you – minimize debt payments in our exclusive video above.

If you want to reduce your interest payments and lower your debt, try the free Debt Optimizer by MoneyTips.

Seniors And Affordable Transportation

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By Eric Olsen, Executive Director HELPS Nonprofit Law Firm

Affordable transportation is often a concern for senior citizens. Some seniors go without basics to make car payments they can’t afford for a car with little or no equity. Others need affordable replacement transportation but don’t have the income to finance a car. What are some options for these seniors?

I am the Executive Director of HELPS, a national charitable nonprofit law firm that educates lower-income seniors on how to maintain their financial independence. We regularly speak with seniors searching for answers to transportation problems. First let’s discuss options for buying a car, then what to do if you have an existing car payment you can’t afford.

Financing a car from a dealer might not be the best option or even possible for a senior with lower income. Dealers generally sell used cars “as …

Most of Us Don’t Know Our Credit Card APR

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Are you getting the best deal on your credit cards? If you regularly carry a balance, a new survey from CreditCards.com suggests there’s almost a 50/50 chance you don’t know how good your deal is – because you aren’t sure what the annual percentage rate (APR) is on your cards.

The poll of 2,315 adults found that 48% of credit card holders who carry balances weren’t sure about the interest rates on their credit cards. Only 39% of cardholders with balances claimed to know the interest rates on all their cards.

Worse yet, cardholders making less than $40,000 per year were significantly more likely not to know the APRs on their credit cards than higher-income groups. In general, lower-income consumers have the greatest need to track APRs, because they have tighter budgets and less room for error.

Credit card APRs are at an all-time high average of 16.71%, and they are likely to go higher. If you have a variable-rate APR, as most cards do, the rate is tied t…

First-Time Homebuyers Setting Records

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Prospective first-time homebuyers are facing stiff challenges as they enter today’s housing market – including finding an affordable home. A profound shortage of starter homes is limiting choices and raising home prices. According to Trulia, as of April 2018, the inventory of starter homes decreased 48.6% from six years prior while prices rose 57.9%.

Many would-be first-time buyers are millennials, saddled with student loan debt and struggling to save for a down payment. To make matters worse, the run of historically low interest rates appears to be over as the Federal Reserve gradually increases interest rates and mortgage rates follow suit.

According to data from Freddie Mac, first-time homebuyers are buying in record numbers despite thes…

Why Check Your Credit Report and Credit Score? Why Wouldn’t You?

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Sometimes people ignore important warning signs – such as a stop sign, the expiration date on their yogurt, or that rapidly spreading rash. You might ignore those signs and come out okay, but why take that chance?

Your credit report and credit score act as similar warning signs for your financial health. Ignore them at your own risk.

Your credit report contains your collective credit history as well as your current credit activity. Lenders use algorithms that distill all that information into a single credit score for ranking purposes. You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes using Credit Manager by MoneyTips.

A low credit score tells potential lenders that it’s risky to lend money to you…

5 Ways To Have Your Student Loans Forgiven

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Does your student loan situation look hopeless? Don’t give up hope yet. Consider these alternative repayment programs that can provide manageable loan payments and lead to forgiveness of a portion of your loan in exchange for some form of service.

1. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program – As it stands, the PSLF program allows those working in government organizations and certain non-profit organizations to achieve loan forgiveness. To qualify for forgiveness, borrowers must make ten years of qualifying payments under one of the income-driven repayment (IDR) programs offered by the Department of Education. These programs are popular with certain professions like police/fire department employees and public defenders where collegiate expenses aren’t in line with the pay provided by a public service position.

The 201…