Five Arizona Title Lenders Sued

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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 …

Video: The Dirty Secret Behind Zero-Percent Financing

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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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Odd Online Loans

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Can you believe someone was able to borrow money online to buy basketball trading cards? Not just any card, but a Michael Jordan rookie card that could be worth six figures! While millions of people have borrowed money online to buy a house or condo, we found a social worker from New Mexico who used financing to finish paying off her yurt!

These wacky loan requests were both fielded by the online lender LightStream, which has lent money to good-credit borrowers for all kinds of reasons without any collateral. Among the oddest requests they have fulfilled:

  • A Kentucky man took $10,000 to buy a laser engraving cutter to pursue his hobby;
  • A social worker from New Mexico borrowed $15,000 to finish paying off her yurt;
  • An Arkansas resident borrowed $6,000 “for hearing aids and a car repair”;
  • A California man took out a $35,000 loan to purchase an “exquisite” Michael Jordan rookie card;
  • A Georgia resident got a $5,000…

Video: How To Raise Your Credit Score If You Mostly Use Cash

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Do you have limited credit because you usually use cash? There will come a time when you need a solid credit score to get a mortgage or auto loan, or even to rent an apartment! Watch National Financial Educators Founder Adam Carroll explain how to increase your credit score by getting a credit-builder loan in our video above.

You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes by joining MoneyTips.

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Personal Loans Are Fastest-Growing Consumer Debt

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We often hear about skyrocketing student loan and credit card debt, but a different type of debt is growing at a faster rate than either of those. According to data from the credit bureau Experian, debt from personal loans rose by 11.4% in the second quarter of 2018 compared to the same quarter in 2017 – well above the 7.1% increase in student loans and 6.6% increase in credit card debt.

Personal loans are a form of installment loan. You receive a lump sum of money and agree to repay the loan with interest over a set period of time per the loan terms. Unlike mortgages and auto loans, personal loans are generally unsecured – meaning that there is no asset to repossess in case of default. As a result, interest rates on personal loans are typically higher than rates for mortgages or auto loans.

However, personal loan interest…

Your Low Credit Score Could Cost You $45,000

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Your credit score is one of the primary items that lenders check when they consider loaning you money. A lower score means greater risk, and lenders will charge you a higher interest rate because of that difference – but how much could it cost you over the lifetime of a loan?

According to a new study from LendingTree, if you have only fair credit instead of very good credit, the difference can cost you over $45,000.

LendingTree analyzed loan data from their database to assess the costs of a lower credit score as applied to five different sources of borrowing (credit card debt, personal loans, auto loans, student loans, and mortgages). Interest was calculated based on the average loan amount for each type of credit. Combined, the loans totaled $310,263 – dominated by the average mortgage loan of $234,437.

At interest rates available with very good credit (740-799), the total interest payment over the lifetime of all five credit sources was $212,498. At t…

Credit-Builder Loans 101

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Applying for credit for the first time is a bit like applying for your first job. People are hesitant to hire you because you don’t have any job experience, and you can’t get any job experience because nobody will hire you. In the case of credit applications, creditors are leery of extending credit if they don’t have any evidence that you will pay your bills on time.

Credit-builder loans are designed to help those with little or no credit history to build their credit. Loan amounts are relatively small (typically between $500 – $1500) to minimize the lender’s risk. The lender reports your activity to the credit bureaus, thus establishing your credit history.

There are three basic types of credit-builder loan:

  • Standard Secured – The amount of your loan is backed by money that you already have in a savings account. That collateral is frozen, and …

5 Worst Mistakes of Online Borrowing

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Getting a personal loan online has grown into a multi-billion-dollar industry, with lenders ranging from individuals in peer-to-peer programs to big banks. Although countless Americans have been helped by the ability to borrow money without leaving home, others have hurt themselves by being ill prepared for the process.

“Because the loans are being evaluated remotely, the chances of making a mistake are increased,” warns Todd Nelson, Business Development Officer of LightStream.com, which offers personal loans from $5,000 to $100,000. In an exclusive MoneyTips interview, Nelson reveals the 5 worst mistakes you can make when borrowing money online.

  1. Ignoring inaccuracies on a credit report
    Credit bureaus constantly receive information about your credit use and history, contributing to a profile that lenders …

Refund Advance Loans And Refund Anticipation Checks 101

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Are you counting on your tax refund to pay off bills? You may need the cash before your refund arrives.

The IRS website states that typical refunds take less than 21 calendar days if you e-filed your return. However, if you are claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) your refund may be delayed further.

Tax preparers may offer a solution in the form of refund advance loans (RALs) and refund anticipation checks (RACs). What’s the difference between the two, and is either one right for you?

Refund advance loans are just what they sound like – a loan issued by a lender for the amount of your anticipated tax refund. You are loaned the money up front and your refund is used against the loan balance.

Predatory, older-style RALs were basically eliminated by rule changes in 2010 and 2012 due to high interest rates and other charge…