Every year, a number of people elect to take a 401(k) loan, an early withdrawal from their 401(k) account, which they have to pay back. Unfortunately, an increasing share of these loans aren’t paid back, as the number of 401(k) loan defaults has risen in recent years.
Sense of borrowing stymied by 401(k) loan defaults
On paper, 401(k) loans make sense. Interest rates are lower than those on credit cards or other types of loans and, unlike any other form of loan, the borrower is actually borrowing money from themselves. They are also paying themselves back, with interest. Unfortunately, a substantial portion [...]
Every year, a number of people are ripped off or have their possessions held hostage by moving scams. Some new regulations by the Department of Transportation, though, promise harsher penalties for moving companies that don’t follow the law.
Moving scams often hold possessions hostage
Moving scams can result in a person’s possessions held hostage. The scenario is fairly common; a moving company will promise a low estimate. Once they show up and get everything loaded onto a truck, they raise the rate through the roof. When the person who hired them tells them to pack sand, they haul their stuff away.
A sting [...]
The summer travel season is well upon us. With rising air fare and somewhat lower fuel prices, many are choosing to drive this year. Many of those drivers will also opt for a rental car in order to save wear on their personal vehicles. And while it is also the season to see increased rental car rates, there are many ways to minimize those costs.
Rental rates spike
June through August is typically the peak season for auto rentals. As a consequence, the rates generally rise during the summer. According to data from Abrams Consulting Group, the average weekly rate for a [...]
Counterfeit sports merchandising is a criminal industry that nets billions a year worldwide. This year, there will likely be even more, with the world’s attention on the London Olympics. British authorities have already made hundreds of arrests for attempting to move phony souvenirs. And they are warning tourists coming to see the games to be careful about what they purchase.
Counterfeiting is stealing
Much like bootlegging movies and music, the sale of counterfeit merchandise is stealing. It takes advantage of the goodwill built by others, and takes sales based on that goodwill away from them.
Gilbert Trill is an assistant special agent in [...]
A number of people donate toward charitable causes every year, including toward aid for victims of tragedies and natural disasters. However, money attracts scam artists, and the FTC has issued a warning about Aurora shootings charity scams that might crop up.
At last charity scams never had any decency
In the wake of the tragic and shocking massacre in Aurora, Colo., there have been a number of aid organizations set up to deliver monetary aid and support to the victims of the shootings and their families.It’s par for the course; in the wake of any tragic event like an act of terrible [...]
Pennsylvania State University is reeling from a child molestation scandal, where a now-imprisoned former coach committed appalling acts that were swept under the rug. Though the actions in question were one person’s doing, the blame lays solely on the shoulders of the public.
Penn State scandal tarnishes institution of college football
College football is huge. Perhaps one of the biggest college football institutions is Pennsylvania State University, often called Penn State. The school is now scandalized, as a former coaching assistant, Jerry Sandusky, was revealed to have been molesting children while an employee of the school. Also a very highly paid employee [...]
According to a new report by BankRate.com, American financial security has slipped to its lowest level since March. In spite of that, most Americans still are not tracking spending and sticking to a budget.
Financial Security Index down in all areas
BankRate.com’s Financial Security Index, released July 25, showed not only its lowest rate since March, it was also the largest year-over-year decline since August of last year. The U.S. economy maybe or may not be growing at a nearly imperceptible rate. However, it has not grown enough to make consumers feel any more off than they were a year ago.
BankRate.com compiled [...]
According to a pair of recent studies, more and more people approaching retirement age are ill-prepared for it. Many are not even aware of the true costs that lay ahead of them. As a consequence, the tradition of leaving a financial legacy for you children is rapidly becoming a quaint custom of the past.
Fewer parents plan to leave a legacy
Allianz, a provider of life insurance, reported that most baby boomers — those born, roughly, between 1946 to 1964 — had better not hope for a fat inheritance as their retirement approaches. Times being what they are, only 14 percent of [...]
By now, everyone who can read these words knows that too much sugar is bad for you. Excess sugar consumption can place stress upon the heart, become habit-forming, contribute to the nation’s obesity epidemic and cause diabetes. Here are some tips for avoiding sugar entirely with sugar substitutes, or reducing sugar intake significantly.
Winning the sugar war tip No.1: Cut out processed foods
Any food that comes in a box, can or jar is very likely to contain either cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup. In both cases, the concentration of this sugar or sugar derivative is going to be relatively [...]
Remember that little voice in the back of your head that advises you not to trust anyone? When it comes to tipping, never go with the “for your convenience” total. Avoid this and other tipping traps when you pay your restaurant bill and you’ll save yourself a bundle in the long run.
Tipping blind is asking for trouble
Once you receive a final bill for your meal, be prepared to either do the mental math or to whip out the calculator app on your smartphone. In all honesty, you should be able to do this in your head, or you deserve to [...]
Although it has been more than a week since President Obama made his famous gaffe that seemed to say small business owners “didn’t build” their own enterprises, it is back in the news. Mitt Romeny’s campaign team has chosen this week to launch an attack, making Mr. Obama’s remark its centerpiece. Although the President’s remark was awkwardly-phrased, its intention was quite clear in its complete context. Still, the Romney campaign has chosen to repeat the isolated, misspoken phrase over and over again. Never mind the fact that the ads assume Romney’s constituency is too ill-informed and unintelligent to see through [...]
In an ironic reversal, the man who worked to break Glass-Steagall wants to repair the wall between commercial and investment banking. However, in the post-recession, some critics say he should have let it remain intact in the first place.
Separating taxpayers from gamblers
Sanford “Sandy” Weill, 79, is the founder of Citigroup and one of the men who championed the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in the late 1990s. Glass-Steagall was a legislative act born in 1933 out of the economic wreckage left by the stock market collapse four years earlier. It created a separation between investment banks, with their high-stakes gambling, [...]
One activity some people like to engage in for some side cash is to work as a “secret shopper,” where companies pay people to shop at their stores and make objective evaluations. However, there were a lot of secret shopper scams revealed over the years and they are still going around.
Secret shopper scams go back years
Naturally, a lot of people try to find easy stuff to do for extra cash, as a second job that doesn’t require a lot of effort is ideal. One activity is to get employed as a “secret shopper” or “mystery shopper,” where a company pays [...]
There is a supposed lack of jobs to go around, which makes it harder for the unemployed to get back to work. However, it might also be that what jobs there are don’t pay much, as fully one-quarter of private sector workers are estimated to make less than 10 dollars per hour.
10 dollars per hour is not that much
The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour, according to the Kansas City Star. A full-time minimum-wage worker earns $15,080 per year. In other words, the poverty line. Currently, a group of economists are pitching the idea of raising the federal [...]
Some people are not enamored of the Federal Reserve, the independent government agency that determines the nation’s monetary policy and sets interest rates. The House of Representatives has just passed a stringent bill to audit the Federal Reserve, though it isn’t likely to go anywhere.
Call to audit the Federal Reserve gaining momentum
The Federal Reserve, since it’s creation in 1913, has held sway in ways that many don’t realize impact daily life. It is the nation’s central bank, and controls the nation’s money supply, inflation rates and, through that, the costs of lending money. In short, how much a dollar is [...]
Despite a runaway city budget crisis and the potential for massive tax revenue collection, the Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday 14-0 to ban medicinal marijuana dispensaries, reports the Los Angeles Times. A total of 762 pot dispensaries registered with the city will be issued notice that they must cease all operations. If they do not comply, they will face harsh legal action.
To live and die without pot in L.A.
Activists who support the growing medicinal marijuana movement assembled inside and outside Los Angeles City Council chambers, awaiting the council vote. The overwhelmingly negative response prompted legislators to call in Los [...]