Finance Globe

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

President Bush Signs Housing Bill

President Bush signed the housing rescue bill into law on Wednesday. The new laws have two main objectives; to help struggling homeowners refinance into affordable loans guaranteed by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), and to give additional funding to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) that buy or back about half of all U.S. mortgages. These actions are hoped to bring stability back to the housing market and give a boost to...
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Freedom From Debt

Living from paycheck to paycheck? Using your credit cards to pay your monthly expenses? Wondering how you'll ever get on top of your debt when the credit card balances seem to grow little by little each month? You're not the only one. Though it may be possible to play the game for some time, it's important to take back control of your finances now, before the problem grows any bigger. Small steps will get you back...
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The Credit Card Protection Program

What is a credit protection plan? A credit protection plan - also known as credit insurance - is an optional add-on with many types of loans, meant to protect your credit in the case that you are not able to pay your bills due to death, disability, or unemployment. Auto loans, mortgages, personal loans and credit cards may offer a credit protection plan to consumers. It is illegal to require you to buy credit insurance to...
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Surviving the Credit Crunch

The credit crunch The U.S. mortgage meltdown of 2007 started the whole process of a global credit crunch. Extreme bank losses, due to record numbers of defaults and foreclosures, put some lenders out of business, and caused many secondary mortgage markets to dry up. And, to limit losses, the financial institutions that survived the meltdown have tightened the grip on their cash, becoming more cautious in granting any type of credit, whether credit card, home mortgage,...
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Ca High Gas Prices Be Good?

When I first started driving as a teenager, gas was only $.99/gallon. And the car I drove was a Chevy Chevette. Not too glamorous, but I could get to school, work, and play for about five dollars a week. Yes, times have changed, but I think they changed a lot more than any one expected in the way of gas prices. So, what now? Back to the horse and buggy days? Is there a bright side...
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Credit Monitoring Services

Credit monitoring services offer subscribers access to their credit reports and credit scores from one or all three of the major credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Many monitoring services allow unlimited access to your reports, even as much as daily. Some have other features to help you improve your credit, and may offer tips for your particular credit situation. Most services cost about $120 to $180 a year. Consumers may have different reasons for...
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Renting with a Roommate

One of the decisions you'll need to make when you move out on your own is whether to have a roommate. Having a roommate lets you share in the cost of having your own place, and can make an otherwise out-of-reach apartment affordable. Choose the right roommate The right roommate can be or become a good friend, but not all your friends will make good roommates. Ensure that you and your roommate will be compatible under...
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Put an Emergency Fund on Your To-Do List

An emergency fund helps to get you through...an emergency. According to a Bankrate.com poll, only 4 in 10 Americans have an adequate emergency fund to fall back on. With three to six months of living expenses being the recommended savings, it's easy to see why. Putting away enough money in an emergency fund can take a typical family several years to build up. And all the while, there's the possibility that an emergency will come up,...
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Emergency Savings Fund; How Big Should It Be?

The size of your emergency fund depends on your personal situation. Just as there's a lot of conflicting advice on many money issues, there are different recommendations on how much to save in your emergency fund depending on who you get the advice from. Though the commonly accepted advice states you should save three to six months' worth of living expenses, some financial advisors feel that to be totally safe you should save a year's worth...
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Moving Out into Your First Apartment

Moving out on your own is a big step towards independence, and means more freedom and increased responsibility. It's a good idea to begin preparation about a year before you actually do move, so you have a chance to save money for all the expenses related to moving into your own place of residence. Many have moved out on their own with very little advanced preparation, and while it is certainly possible, it's just more difficult...
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