Seniors With RV Payments They Can’t Afford

MoneyTips

By Eric Olsen, Executive Director, HELPS Nonprofit Law Firm

Recreational Vehicle (RV) loans last typically for 10-15 years and sometimes up to twenty years. Often a medical condition or simply a change in lifestyle makes the RV no longer necessary. Sometimes a high RV payment can become simply unaffordable. What are the solutions for seniors with an RV they no longer need or with an unaffordable RV payment?

If you have equity in your RV, meaning it is worth more than what is owed, you can sell it, pay off the loan, and pocket the difference. Or you can sell the RV for what it is worth and cover the difference owed to the bank, so the bank will release the title to the new purchaser. However, often more is owed on the vehicle than the amount it would sell for and many seniors can’t afford to make up the difference. I have been an attorney for over forty years and am the Executive Director of HELPS, a national charitable nonprofit law firm that helps seniors …

Achieve Financial Literacy!

MoneyTips

April is National Financial Literacy Month. Why do we dedicate this calendar page to highlighting financial skills and education? The tax deadline? Sound financial decisions are important all year long, but most Americans never learned how to manage money or save for goals, so financial security is a bigger challenge than it needs to be.

Even if you can handle the math involved — and calculators can help if you can’t — things get complicated when making large (often emotional) financial decisions. Some of the most common pitfalls are described below. If you recognize any of them, you’re not alone. The good news is that you have an opportunity to improve your finances and save more money.

Emergency Preparedness

An emergency fund is essential because you need to absorb life’s surprises without making things worse. Without a stash of cash, you’ll have to take…

Young Seniors Have High Non-Mortgage Debt

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By Sandra Parsons

Debt is a major barrier to financial well-being among Americans. While we tend to think of debt as an issue affecting young and middle-aged people, the truth is that senior citizens carry debt, too. Among seniors approaching retirement, debt can be an obstacle to maximizing savings. Retirees living on a reduced income may find debt especially crippling in an economy of rising costs.

Using an anonymized sample, LendingTree analyzed 2018 second quarter credit report data for 75,000 My LendingTree users aged 65-70 across the fifty largest metropolitan centers in the US. They calculated three main metrics: median non-mortgage debt balances; distribution of debt by type (auto loans, credit cards, personal loans, student loans); and average credit score. The results might surprise you.

The Average Median Non-Mortgage Debt Among Retirement-Aged…

Five Arizona Title Lenders Sued

MoneyTips

Five loan companies in Arizona have been sued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for failing to follow disclosure guidelines in online advertisements. Guidelines state that lenders must follow specific formats for disclosing any interest rate changes in online marketing. The five lenders, which make loans secured by the borrower’s car title, did not include information related to the APR of their loans.

Named in lawsuits by the CFPB, the five companies are Interstate Lending, Auto Cash Leasing, Phoenix Title Loans, Presto Auto Loans, and Oasis Title Loans. Allegations against the companies state that the listed rates in the advertisements were lower than those borrowers would be given.

All the loans offered by …

Your Low Credit Score Could Cost You Thousand$ On Your Car Loan

MoneyTips

Your credit score is one of the most important variables that lenders use to assess your risk. A low credit score can disqualify you for an auto loan, or force you to pay higher interest rates – but how much will higher interest rates cost you in the long run? New data from Experian shows just how much a poor credit score can cost you over time.

As of the second quarter of 2018, Experian shows a 5.76% average interest rate for new car loans – not far above the 4.45% average rate for prime borrowers with credit scores between 661 and 780, or the 3.47% average rate of super-prime borrowers with credit scores above 781. Non-prime borrowers with credit scores between 601 and 660 are charged an average 7.55% interest rate for new car loans.

However, the penalty for lower credit scores is significant. Subprime borrowers (501-600 credit score) pay 12.14% interest on average, and deep subprime borrowers (300-500 credit score) pay a whopping 14.93% on average for their au…

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 …

5 Ways To Reduce The Cost Of Your Car

MoneyTips

By Haden Kirkpatrick, Esurance Head of Marketing Strategy and Innovation

Despite the majority of cars being parked 90 percent of the time, cars are the second biggest expense in the average American’s budget. Aside from the actual purchase of the vehicle, owners also must pay for maintenance, insurance, repairs, gas, and cleaning costs. And don’t forget parking!

If you’re looking to cut your spending, we’ve got you covered with this list of tips to slash some of the major auto costs and keep more money in your pocket.

1. Buy or Lease a Pre-Owned Vehicle

In 2018, the average cost of a new car is $31,455. That’s plenty for an asset that loses value as soon as you drive it off the lot.

Buying a pre-owned car can save you tens of thousands of dollars. This consumer report breaks down some of the best use…

Car Leasing 101

MoneyTips

So, you are in the market for a new vehicle, huh? You’ve got some important decisions to make. New or used? Coupe or sedan? Import or domestic? Fire engine red or metallic silver?

But perhaps your most important decision, at least from a financial standpoint, is how you will pay for the vehicle. You have three main options: pay the full vehicle price in cash, borrow money to pay for the vehicle, or lease the vehicle.

About one out of every four new vehicles that is sold today is leased, according to Edmunds.com. So, while leasing is popular, most car buyers still prefer to pay cash for their vehicles or finance them. To decide which option is right for you, you need to understand the details and nuances of each.

Paying In Cash and Vehicle Financing

From a pure cost standpoint, paying in full without financing may be the smartest option — if

Nearly Half Of Millennials Feel Held Back By Credit Score

MoneyTips

Is a bad credit score dragging you down? Almost half of millennials (46%) feel that way, according to a new survey conducted by OppLoans.

It’s an understandable feeling, given that millennials came of age during one of the worst recessions in decades. Many millennials emerged from the recession with delayed careers or lower-than-expected earnings and burdened with excessive student loan debt before they even started.

As a result, millennials tend to have lower average credit scores. According to Experian, millennials had an average VantageScore of 638 in 2017 – well below the overall average score of 675. In the previous year, TransUnion found that 43% of millennials had scores considered to be subprime.

The ripple effects of bad credit are reflected in many of the survey results. One-quarter of millennials claim that poor credit adversely affected their housing opportunities, while 14% of millennials continue to live with roommates because bad …