Tax season is over and now the IRS will start their audits. According to a report from the Internal Revenue Service nearly twice as many millionaires were targeted for tax audits in 2011. That’s right, you’re more likely to be audited if you’re a millionaire.
Number of all audits about the same
The overall audit rate in 2011 remained nearly unchanged at 1.1 percent of all taxpayers. Not so, however, for taxpayers who earned between $1 million and $5 million over the year. Twelve percent of taxpayers in those brackets were audited, a five percent leap from 2010.
Higher the income, greater the [...]
Debt Consolidation loans can be a good way to simplify your debt. But when it comes to debt relief, it’s only the first step. You have to change your spending habits as well, or you’re simply trying to borrow your way out of debt, which doesn’t make any sense no matter how you look at it. Debt consolidation makes sense if, by grouping all individual forms of debt into one place, the interest rate is lower. But if the only reason for the lower interest rate is a longer term, you could end up paying more money in the long [...]
Cap rates on cash advances is a common practice in the financial industry. It may seem like it’s a good thing to do to protect consumers from unfair interest rates. In reality, interest rate caps can sometimes be an unfair standard on cash advance loans. Furthermore, rate caps constrain businesses in an industry in which almost half of all loan lenders are small business owners.
The cap rats on cash advances use bad math
Many states have introduced initiatives that cap interest rates on loans, aimed at capping the rate of a cash advance, usually at 36 percent APR. It seems like [...]
There are trillions of dollars of student loans currently in the U.S. market, and $67 billion is in default with student loan collections. Student loans are one of the few things that can’t be written off in bankruptcy, doesn’t go away after seven years, and must be paid off at some point. Though there are programs to help loans in default, federal student load debt collectors may not be offering those programs to troubled lenders.
Student Load Debt Collectors
The Department of Education does not directly collect on overdue student loans. Instead, the Department of Education contracts out with debt collection agencies [...]
Allowing credit card debt to pile up can be a disaster, and today millions of people around the world are in over their heads when it comes to this particular debt. Instead of feeling trapped, as if no solution exists, you might consider credit card debt consolidation. For many, this has proven to be a highly beneficial solution, but some factors need to be considered.
Advices for starters
For starters, you need to understand what credit card debt consolidation involves. Simply put, this service is a process that makes it possible for all credit card debt to be rolled into one debt. [...]
I pay my bills online all the time now, but what is better to use a credit card or debit card? They both have their advantages and disadvantages so which one is really better with price, identity protection, and fraud protection? Electronic payments accounts for more than 65% of regular bill payments, and that percentage is only increasing. Debit and credit cards have become the payment methods of choice over cash because of their convenience, but which type of card is safest when it comes to protecting consumers from fraud?
Debit Card and Credit Card liability
The FTC requires that consumer liability [...]
Overcoming hardships can affect you emotionally and monetarily. The recession was hard on us all and many had to drastically change our ways of life to manage. On top of the financial situation, some of us suffered other hardships to make matters even worse. For anyone who had difficulties personally and financially, it was a challenge.
For example, Michelle Plumbley, of New Castle, New Jersey, is a homeowner with three children. Her husband died of cancer and she was notified that she would no longer be receiving the $2,100 in Social Security benefits to live. Her credit card debt is $18, [...]
Weak lending standards created the housing crisis; that led to the the housing crisis, which in turn led to the foreclosure epidemic. But experts, including the chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), are saying the federal government has yet to learn the lesson. An amendment calling for adequate down payments for mortgages was defeated during the financial reform debate. Federal housing agencies project a return to subprime lending. And the crisis is being perpetuated by the Federal Reserve, with policies that prevent a natural correction that is the ultimate solution to the problem.
Skin in the game vs. loan [...]
Living off Mom and Dad
It’s that time of year where seniors are apply to colleges, kids are getting ready to graduate high school and move out on their own, and parents are expecting more independence from their kids. You may find yourself in a place where your parents are about to cut you off.
A lot of college students get financial help from their parents. While that is perfectly normal, it can also be detrimental, so it is time to start planning your financial independence before you end up in a sunk ship.
Learn finance and start living it now
The good news [...]
Ruin Your Credit with These Habits…
Commercialism is everywhere, and one can’t seem to survive without being expected to run up credit card debt. It’s the “gotta have it now” syndrome, and it is ruining your health. Think you are immune to this syndrome? Let me ask you: do you have at least one credit card? Are you depending on payday loans to get you through the month each month? Well, I am afraid to tell you—you have the syndrome and it is going to eventually wear you down due to lack of sleep and an abundance of worry about your [...]
According to one website, there may be a correlation between your email and credit worthiness and your ability to repay credit. One credit score website took a look at its clients by email server and found some surprising results. There does seem to be a correlation between Internet server and credit score.
Statistic based on one free credit score website
The advertising-subsidized website Credit Karma provides free credit scores for its clients. The site has a database of about 100,000 users. The site recently ran the numbers to determine the average credit scores based on user’s e-mail servers.
Results similar three years ago
Canada is now phasing out their penny following a few other countries who have decided a penny value is not worth much. Many in America have suggested we do the same. While this is not a news story, it reminded me of a math assignment I did as a kid and I want to do with all of you.
The Rules of The Game
The rules are simple, answer if you would rather have a penny that doubles in value every day for thirty days, or if you would rather have a million dollars. Don’t do the math yourself, just answer the [...]
Last year, about 75 percent of Americans who filed tax returns received a refund. The average amount of those refunds was around $2,800. While many say they will use that money responsibly, recent data shows much of it is used for splurges. How do you plan to spend your 2012 tax refund? Remember, even though it is 2013, your tax refund is for the year 2012.
How you say you will spend your tax refund
According to a survey released in February by TD Ameritrade, 47 percent of those expecting a tax refund planned to use it to beef up savings. Meanwhile, [...]
The Zags had a narrow escape in the 2013 NCAA tournament yesterday afternoon, but they still managed to pull off a win. Like promised, here is another segment on how we pull together finances, the NCAA, and college sports. Today I want to focus on what the NCAA does to further education and not simply athletics. If you missed the first part of my NCAA segment, feel free to read up on that article on our blog by clicking here.
NCAA and Education
The NCAA actually spends a large chunk of money promoting education. There is always the obvious expenses like the [...]
As of this writing, tax filing day is one month away. Many of you still haven’t filed your taxes yet though, have you? You know who you are. If you were married last year and are still debating whether to file jointly or to check the “married filing separately” status, here is the lowdown.
When not to check “married filing separately”
In most cases, it makes sense for a married couple to file jointly. There are many reasons for this beyond that there is only one tax return to worry about preparing.
The figure at which the tax brackets begin for joint filing [...]
Nearly everyone these days has a laptop or hand held device they can use to connect to the internet while they are out and about. And free WiFi hotspots are available at more and more businesses and public venues. The temptation is great, but there can be serious security risks to using these generally-unsecured connections.
WiFi hotspots proliferating
In 2011, according the Wireless Broadband Alliance, the global number of WiFi hotspots grew to 1.3 million. By 2015, it projects, there will be 5.8 million. Public WiFi hotspots are a way to lure in customers, and they are not about to go away.