Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.

Mary Tomkins is a freelance writer located in Spartanburg, SC, with emphasis on economic news and research on the financial industry.

NAHB: Student Loan Crisis Induced by Housing Crisis

Lower home values are contributing to the student loan crisis as parents can’t get the funding to help their kids through college, according to a report released by the National Association of Home Builders.“The rising student loan debt problem is another consequence of the housing downturn,” said NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg. “As more and more parents face tighter budget restraints as a result of lower home values, this is forcing an increasing number of students to...
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Economic Reports Point to Slowing Recovery

Key reports released this week point to the economy losing steam. Consumers are nervous about the economy despite the recent drop in fuel prices. Only 22 percent of people surveyed felt the economy was heading in the right direction in June - the lowest percentage in five months, according a Bloomberg consumer poll.“The steady drip of dreary economic data and deteriorating labor market is reshaping public expectations,” said Bloomberg LP senior economist Joseph Brusuelas in New...
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Check up on Credit Card Issuers Through CFPB Database

Consumers can now check up on credit card issuers on the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website and find out what types of complaints have been filed against lenders as well as whether the issues were resolved within a reasonable time frame.CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a press briefing, “The Consumer Complaint Database is a major milestone for consumers and all those who are interested in knowing more about their day-to-day experiences.” The beta version...
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U.S. Existing Home Sales Increase 10% Over the Year

Sales of existing homes rose in April in all regions of the U.S. and were 10% above the level from a year ago, the National Association of Realtors reported on Tuesday. Home prices also continued to rise, and the national median home price of $177,400 was 10.1% higher than it was a year ago.Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the housing recovery is underway. “It is no longer just the investors who are taking advantage of...
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Landscaping for Less

Landscaping for Less
It’s planting time across many parts of the country, and you may be looking at your yard with big plans for lush gardens and pretty flowers. But don’t let your annual landscaping bill get the best of you, save a few bucks here and there with these cost-cutting tips. Buy smaller plants Starting with small plants saves money - and you’ll also have a smaller hole to dig so planting them will be easier, too. Annuals...
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Taxes Due Today! April 17th 2012

If you haven’t filed your 2011 taxes yet, today’s the day. Your completed return and any taxes due must be postmarked or e-filed by midnight tonight to be considered on time by the Internal Revenue Service. This year’s April 17th due date comes later than normal due to a holiday that was observed in Washington on Monday, but those couple of extras days weren’t enough for many of us to complete our returns. If you need...
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Unemployment Rate Fell Over-the-Year in Most Metros

Unemployment rates in most cities across the U.S. generally improved over the year and the national jobless rate fell by one percentage point, according to a government report released on Friday.From January 2011 through January 2012, the jobless rate fell in 345 out of the 372 metropolitan areas surveyed, while it increased in 16 areas and stayed the same in 11 areas, the Bureau of Labor Statistic said in its monthly report.The national unemployment unemployment rate...
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Government Halts Another Mortgage Relief Scam

Another so-called mortgage debt relief company preying on unsuspecting homeowners in two related scams has been halted by the federal government. Putting a new twist on an old trick, the alleged scam operation lured homeowners into filing so-called “mass joinder” lawsuits against their lenders with false promises of debt forgiveness, halting and reversing foreclosure, credit restoration, and even compensatory and punitive damage awards, the Federal Trade Commission reported on Thursday.Mortgage relief scams have been quite prevalent...
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Save on Groceries - Grow a Garden

Save on Groceries - Grow a Garden
While saving money often means settling for less than the best, with growing your own produce it’s a different story. Planting a garden often allows you to get the freshest fruits and vegetables for the lowest cost possible. And with spring arriving, the time is now. Better produce As a home gardener you can choose varieties known for their outstanding flavor or unique colors rather than settling for the varieties at the grocer’s, which farmers choose...
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IRS Warns Taxpayers of Refund Scam

With anything regarding your finances, it’s always prudent to be on guard against crooks who want to trick you out of your hard-earned money - and that includes during tax time.The Internal Revenue Service sent out a warning this tax season about a particular tax scam that often targets seniors, those who have little or no income, and members of church congregations. Promoters of the scheme promise tax refunds to people who normally aren’t required to...
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