1 Out Of 3 Americans Don’t Use A Budget


Do as I say, not as I do. Do you ever fall into that trap? New research from Debt.com suggests that you might have that attitude when it comes to budgets.

Debt.com recently surveyed the budgeting habits and attitudes of Americans and found a wide discrepancy in following through on budgeting beliefs. A huge majority (93%) of respondents agreed that everyone needs a budget, with 97% of women and 90% of men agreeing – yet only two-thirds of respondents actually do maintain a budget.

The remaining 7% agreed that some people need to budget – for example, if you have limited income, are a big spender, or have a lot of debt – but they didn’t feel that budgets should be universal.

Why do budgeters budget? Most want to do a better job managing their money (34%), or budget because they’ve always done so (25%). Another 13% budget out of necessity to get out of debt. Other budgeting reasons centered on saving for wealth building and/or retirement, or budgeting as …

How The Interest Rate Increase Affects You


Your Christmas gift from the Federal Reserve is here. Surprise! It’s another 0.25% hike in the Federal Funds rate. Sure, you’ve already gotten this same gift three other times in 2018, and nine times since late 2015 – but what else would you expect to receive from the Fed?

Interest rate hikes from the Fed really can be a positive gift to you, but it’s more likely to be a negative – depending on whether you’re a saver or a spender.

The Federal Funds rate is the benchmark rate used to transfer money between banks. This rate is generally passed on to consumers. Borrowers are charged higher interest rates on the money they borrow, while savers are eventually offered better interest rates on checking and savings accounts as well as certificates of deposit (CDs).

In some cases, the changes are passed on directly to consumers. For example, credit cards and adjust…

Have a High Credit Score? Banks Want to Reward You


Further Rewards for Good Credit

You’ve worked hard to keep your credit score high. Why shouldn’t you be rewarded for your effort?

Banks agree and are looking for innovative ways to urge you to keep your credit score as high as possible. Financial institutions have always used negative reinforcement for poor credit scores – higher interest rates, lower credit limits, and further restrictions or outright rejection. The new approach targets positive reinforcement for score improvement.

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, revealed in a recent Business Insider interview that his institution is looking for ways to entice consumers to improve their credit scores. The exact approach is unknown, but Dimon assures that the programs will offer real rewards – for a potential example, reduced loan costs when a threshold improvement valu…

Banks Cut Mortgage Servicing Employees


The Fitch Group has recently released its U.S. RMBS Servicer Handbook for the most recent quarter. The handbook shows that many banks offering mortgages have halved the number of staff in their mortgage servicing departments during the last two years. The decision to downsize these departments is primarily the result of these lenders seeing their portfolios shrink.

Another reason relates to the number of foreclosures. According to CoreLogic’s National Foreclosure Report released in July 2016, there was a significant decrease in the number of active and completed foreclosures from 2015. With fewer foreclosures to manage, banks no longer needed as many staff.

Get Money Back From Western Union Scams


Western Union has served as a reliable method for rapidly sending money over long distances since the late 1800s. Once known for telegraphs, it currently offers services to more than 200 countries across the globe. Unfortunately, Western Union is frequently used by scammers, thanks to convenience, speed, and limited means of recovery for fraudulent transactions. According to a recent settlement, Western Union had not been doing enough to protect consumers from these scammers.

Between January 2004 and August 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported that Western Union received over 550,000 money transfer complaints regarding popular scamming schemes, such as fake family emergency requests, fraudulent lottery winnings, or prize awards requiring upfront fees. Internal Western Union reports raised concerns about fraud committed by their own agents, but these concerns were not properly …

How to Select the Best Business Bank – How to Choose the Bank Your Company Needs


As a company owner, CFO or Controller, one of your most important tasks is to select the right business bank. It is easy to think that all banks are the same, but there are important differences in services, fees and culture. So it’s worth taking some of your valuable time to insure that the bank you select is the best fit for your business.

First, analyze the services you need from a bank. Here are some factors to consider: