This week ABC News posted a troubling story about a retired Marine who was locked into a payday loan cycle of debt. Reportedly, he spent 5 years repaying $50,000 for $2500 worth of loans.
Legit? Possibly, but not for sure. The actual story may be different from the news story. (more…)
Quick, bookmark this site! Hurry hurry, Google is mad and about to ban us! We are not going out of business nor are we moving. We will be right here, where we have been for over a decade.
But Google has decided that businesses like this one – independent lenders who serve the hard working Americans the banks don’t like to deal with – need to be suppressed.
Is this because the massive company is complying with new guidelines put in place by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)?
Or is it because Google itself backs its own private lender, and doesn’t really enjoy free market competition? (more…)
It has always been a bit of a curiosity that payday loans – the only lifeline available to working class people the banks and credit card companies won’t help – are staunchly opposed by many Democrat politicians.
The Dems want to be the voice of the 99% right? They claim to represent the voiceless and make government help all Americans. But if that is the case, why fight against payday lenders so forcefully? These same politicians who fight private lending usually take great amounts of campaign contributions from large banks and financial institutions. And that is about as far away as “fighting for the little guy” as a politician can get!
So it is a major story when the news broke that Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Democrat, FL) is co-sponsoring a Republican backed bill to delay the attack plan of the government agency the CFPB to put the payday loan industry out of commission. Some Dems are shocked at her actions, and are denouncing her decision… but perhaps the Florida Representative is actually fighting the good fight and standing up for her constituents. (more…)
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently made public its recommendations for the overhaul of the short term lending industry. It’s one of the strongest attempts to require federal regulation of payday lending, but what does that mean to the people who lean on these loans to get by? (more…)
After weeks of meeting with industry executives and financial advocates, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its proposal for new rules to regulate short-term lending. The rules are sharp and restrictive, and seek to eliminate private lenders altogether.
While these rules are geared towards the payday loan industry, they are broad enough to encompass all forms of short term lending, including deposit advances, car title loans, and higher interest installment loans. If implemented, these rules could favor the big banks by making them the only legal way to lend and borrow in the country. (more…)
What if you could make money without driving to work? Without filling out paperwork, dressing up for an interview, or learning how to work a cash register?
Here are a list of four quick, easy, and FREE ways to start earning money from the comfort of your own home. If you have a laptop, or even a smart phone, you can get set up to start earning money immediately.
If you are already working full-time, you can still use any or all of these means as a way to earn some extra money on the side. It will be the most painless part time job you ever had. (more…)
No one likes paying taxes, not even the rich and famous. Sometimes living an extravagant lifestyle means you don’t have the money – or the inclination – to pay the government its fair share of your riches.
If the IRS has proven anything, it’s that they will go after tax cheats with the ferocity of a pit bull, regardless if you’re a work-a-day Joe, or an Oscar-winning star. (more…)
According to the Centers for Disease Control, between 1999 and 2010 the suicide rate increased by 30 percent.
US household debt has been steadily increasing since 1980. The average debt per household right now is $152,00 for mortgage, $15,000 for credit cards, and $33,000 for student loans. Roughly $200,000 per household.
Millennials, who are growing up with all this debt, have much higher rates of depression compared to other age groups, and other generations. Almost 1 in 5 members of Generation Y reported suffering from depression.
These are not three separate facts, these are three interconnected events that tell the same bleak story. The link between debt, depression, and suicide has long been known. Now that the economy is weak and debt seems overwhelming for a growing number of people, this dark connection is more dangerous than ever. If the people, like the nation itself, are digging deeper and deeper into debt and financial ruin, will more and more people suffer from depression?
You knew the student loan crisis and national debt were hurting people financially, but did you know how deep and dark that hurt can run? (more…)
Where do you get your financial advice?
It seems like everybody has an opinion on what you should do with your money. No longer do you have to make an appointment with a financial planner, or buy a book on budgeting advice. For anyone with a computer, there is an entire world of economic knowledge and monetary insight available at your fingertips.
But where to start? With literally tens of thousands of “experts” vying for your attention, everyone tends to make bold claims to grab your interest. You have to pick and choose your bloggers carefully.
In a perfect world, what you want to find is a blogger not just with knowledge of the subject, but also with personality, writing style, and maybe even a sense of humor. Let’s be honest here – finance is generally not an exciting topic. So its important to find a writer you can connect with; if they can keep you engaged, they can keep your mind focused on your finances. (more…)
When Mt. Gox lost $460 million worth of Bitcoins, it caused a lot of headlines and generated a lot of discussion. Are Bitcoins really here to stay, are they even a legitimate form of currency? Should they be taxed or subject to government oversight?
These are all good questions, but they are also moderate to advanced level questions. For a majority of people — perhaps even you – these news stories never start from the basics. No doubt you understand the idea of what a Bitcoin is, but do you know exactly what a Bitcoin is? Do you know where they come from, or how you spend them?
You’re not alone. The Wall Street Journal reported that 76% of Americans don’t understand the basics of Bitcoins, or how they work. In the last 5 years, the value of Bitcoin has risen over 6000% and despite a series of scandals and thefts, they are still growing in value. So even if you never use a Bitcoin, now is a good time to learn about them… just in case.
What Exactly are These Things?
Bitcoins are a digital “cryptocurrency” that do not have the backing of any bank, government, or financial institution. They exist on the world wide web, where they can be exchanged for goods and services with no middle man.
One of the most notable aspects of this currency is that since it is unregulated, any buyer and seller can exchange Bitcoins without oversight, and without a third party charging fees or taxes.
Bitcoin is the money equivalent of E-mail. Emails exist only in the digital medium, and are sent directly between mailboxes. We do not need a poster carrier to deliver a message, nor do we need a phone company to get us an open line to talk – email is direct, instantaneous, and has no physical properties. Bitcoins apply the same principles to money.
Instead of being a coin made of metal, or a bill made of paper, a Bitcoin is a piece of computer code. Since each piece of code is unique, they are easy to track. The process for buying and selling Bitcoins allows the buyer and seller to remain anonymous if they so choose, but the travels of each Bitcoin are cataloged in a public record called the Blockchain. The blockchain keeps everyone honest by making sure codes are duplicated or re-used.
Limited Time Only!
There are a finite number of Bitcoins. There will only ever be 21 million of them in existence. Currently, there are 12.3 million of them in circulation, which means there is still a lot of growth for the market.
That said, there is a limited amount of growth. Unlike paper money, which can be printed at will, there will never be more Bitcoins. This is part of the reason they have become some coveted – since they are not tied to any country’s currency, they are free from inflation and the fluctuations of the stock market. The value of Bitcoins is based entirely on supply and demand.
Anyone Can Use Bitcoins, Anytime
Interested in playing with this new currency? Well, there is nothing to stop you. Although the “mining” and creation of Bitcoins is steeped in insider speak and riddles of code, the usage of Bitcoins is surprisingly simple.
Install a Bitcoin Wallet – You can do this on you home computer, your tablet, or your smart phone. Your best bet it to put the Wallet on your phone, where it is easiest to access and use.
Buy Bitcoins – It’s time to fill up your wallet. You will need to go to a “Bitcoin Exchange” website, and use your country’s currency to buy Bitcoins from someone who has them. There are over a hundred exchanges online, as well as a private sellers. It only takes a few minutes to use your money to purchase Bitcoins, which are put into your Wallet.
Spend Bitcoins – Once upon a time it was hard to find a business that accepted Bitcoin for payment, but those days are long gone. Not only do thousands of websites accept BTC for payment (including Amazon and Overstock), but now even some major retailers do as well, like Home Depot, CVS, and Kmart. If you have the Bitcoin Wallet app on your Android you can purchase with your phone on the spot!
So although the concept of Bitcoins may be complex, their usage is not. It is a currency designed for simplicity and convenience, and may very well be signaling a change in the global economy, and how we view money.
After all, Bitcoins aren’t the only digital cryptocurrency on the block any more, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Namecoin, Tonal Bitcoin, and IxCoin (and many more) are all looking to make a name for themselves.
Should You Care?
That’s a question on you can answer for yourself. Even though tens of thousands of Bitcoin transactions happen every day, the vast majority of people have no involvement with them. And they don’t need to be involved. Bitcoins definitely have a purpose, and a bright future, but they won’t be replacing cash anytime soon.
But for businessmen and investors, or for forward-thinking people who don’t trust currency, Bitcoins may be just what you’ve been looking for.
Bitcoins have no tangible qualities (like precious metals or jewels) that make them valuable, and they are not backed by a country or bank. Basically, they have value because people believe they have value. If that sounds scary, remember that the United States is no longer on the gold standard, and our currency has value because we all believe it has value. Which makes it not that different from Bitcoin.