Create An Emergency Fund
Everyone should have an emergency fund with enough cash to cover three to six months of living expenses. Yet more than 50% of Americans don’t. If you are in that group, now is the time to start building it.
Contribute To Your Retirement Plan:
30 percent of all Americans have no retirement savings. Even if you are years away from retiring, it is never too early to start.
Pay Off Your Credit Cards:
Even if that $1,000 represents just a portion of your overall balance, the sooner you pay off any of your debt, the less money you’ll waste on interest.
Get Better Health Insurance:
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While having minimal low-cost health coverage is better than having no coverage at all, opting for a less expensive plan could cost you in other ways. Though your premiums might be relatively affordable, you could face higher deductibles and co-payments once you’re forced to use your insurance.
Save For Your Next Vacation:
Roughly 74% of Americans go into debt in order to pay for vacations, with the average adult winding up $1,100 in the hole. Though you’re certainly better off sticking that $1,000 in your emergency fund or retirement account, using it to avoid debt later is better than blowing it on nonsense and using your credit card for your next holiday.
Do you see yourself in any of these generalizations?
- Born 1981 to 2004
- Ages: 12-35
- 100 million
- Tech savvy
Millennials’ primary financial goals include managing student loan debt and saving.
- Born 1965 to 1980
- Ages: 36-51
- 65 million
Gen-Xers’ primary financial goal is to build, or rebuild, wealth.
- Born 1946 to 1964
- Ages: 52-70
- 74 million
Baby Boomers’ primary financial goal is to prepare for retirement.
- Born 1926 to 1945
- Ages: 70+
- 30 million
Traditionalists’ primary financial goal is to make their retirement savings last.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Files Complaint to Forgive $183.3 Million Student Loan Debt – Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a complaint and proposed a settlement against Aequitas Capital Management, Inc. for aiding the Corinthian Colleges’ predatory lending scheme.
The CFPB alleges that Aequitas enabled Corinthian to make high-cost private loans to Corinthian students so that it would seem as if the school was making enough outside revenue to meet the requirements for receiving federal student aid dollars.
The risky loans burdened students with high-priced debt that both Aequitas and Corinthian knew the students couldn’t afford.
Under the CFPB’s proposed settlement, if approved, about 41,000 Corinthian students could be eligible for approximately $183.3 million in loan forgiveness and reduction.
Not Mastering Your Emotions:
Fear might cause you to live in denial instead of confronting the reality of your debt problems. The dangerous effect of fear is that you can’t begin to take actions to eradicate your debt until you take the time to honestly appraise how much debt you owe.
Pride could give you the false confidence that you are still in control of your debt even when a debt consolidation program could relieve your debt burden.
Not Taking Debt Seriously:
Dealing with debt is a serious task that requires lots of commitment and dedication on your part. Many people find it hard to get out of debt because they don’t place a premium on becoming debt-free. However, the problem with debt is that it tends to increase when you don’t take drastic actions to stop it from growing.
Making Monthly Minimum Payments:
Paying the minimum monthly payments will save you from late payment fees, but it will take you much longer to pay off your debt, you’ll pay more in interest, and you’ll have the emotional baggage of unpaid debt.
While you won’t get rid of your debt problem overnight, making consistent smart personal finance decisions, and keeping your ego and emotions in check, could help you get out of debt much faster than others with the same amount of debt.
For many soon-to-be retirees, a cool $1 million sounds like a substantial savings goal, yet that largely depends on where you live. In some parts of the country, it will barely last a decade.
Top 5 states where your dollar will last the shortest:
$1 million will last: 11 years, 11 months
$1 million will last: 16 years, 5 months
$1 million will last: 17 years, 0 months
- New York
$1 million will last: 17 years, 1 month
$1 million will last: 17 years, 4 months
Top 5 states where your dollar will last the longest:
$1 million will last: 26 years, 4 months
$1 million will last: 25 years, 6 months
$1 million will last: 25 years, 2 months
$1 million will last: 25 years
$1 million will last: 25 years
Powerful Wall Street banks hide arbitration clauses in the fine print of almost every imaginable financial agreement signed by millions of Americans, from every walk of life, for services from bank accounts to credit and prepaid cards to loans.
These arbitration clauses force disputes to be heard in private proceedings overseen by an arbitrator of the financial institution’s choosing.
An example of the potential for abuse inherent in forced arbitration clauses has been abundantly provided in the recent headlines on Wells Fargo’s illegal actions, and legal reactions.
The bank recently disclosed a potential “significant increase” in the number of fake accounts it had opened, victimizing consumers.
Wells Fargo also advised of two additional scandals involving the freezing and closing of accounts suspected of fraudulent activity.
In addition, the bank revealed the unauthorized creation of insurance contracts, resulting in nearly a quarter of a million car loan customers having their vehicles repossessed for non-payment of policies they didn’t even know they had.
And in recent days, yet another scandal has emerged involving the unapproved billing of home warranty contracts to mortgage customers.
In every case, Wells Fargo has hidden behind forced arbitration clauses.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently finalized a rule which limits forced arbitration clauses in financial agreements. However, the U.S. Senate Republican leadership is currently attempting to overturn it.
One of the rights insisted upon by The Founders of our country was trial by jury in civil as well as criminal cases, which they saw as an indispensable instrument for protecting freedoms.
Ultimately, the First Congress embedded this critical protection in the Seventh Amendment.
America’s early leaders understood the role independent juries had played in standing up to British tyranny. The primary principle behind this right was to ensure equal access to justice for all, not just the wealthy and powerful, even in civil cases.
These early leaders saw that without the right protections in place, civil proceedings could be used as means to oppress the powerless.
They were right.