Finance Globe

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

Understanding Mortgage Basics

Understanding how mortgages work When you choose to finance a home, the property loan is called the mortgage. The amount of the mortgage, also known as the principal, will be determined by the price of the property, minus the down payment. A larger down payment will reduce the amount of the mortgage, and will result in smaller monthly payments. The principal is reduced gradually with each monthly payment. Your monthly payments will be mostly interest in...
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Heath Care Coverage Basics

It's just an unfortunate fact that health care costs are on the rise, and the cost of health insuranceis rising along with it. Millions of families currently go without any type of health care coverage, and health care costs are often at least partially responsible for about half of all bankruptcies. The leading reason for these families to go uninsured is simply the high cost of the insurance premium. When you don't have much expendable cash,...
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Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) - Contributions and Withdrawals

Contributions to your HSA A Health Savings Account (HSA) can be a great health coverage option for the right person. In combination with a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), an HSA can offer flexibility, tax benefits, and catastrophic coverage. Once you have enrolled in an HSA-qualified HDHP, you can set up your HSA with the financial institution of your choice. Your health plan provider is required to have a trustee available for you to set up an...
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Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

Health Savings Accounts were signed into law by President Bush on December 8, 2003, as an effort to put consumers back in charge of their health care, and to make health coverage more affordable for the uninsured. The HSA provides a way to save for future medical expenses, or can be used to pay for current health care needs. Contributions to an HSA are tax-deductible, and so HSAs are commonly thought of as a health IRA....
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Debt Settlement

It would be great if we had the security of knowing that we would never lose our job, never require major medical care, and never let our debts get the best of us. But life throws a curve ball every once in a while, and sometimes debts become out of control. It can be very stressful to worry about how to pay the bills when you don't know how you're going to maintain the life you...
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The Subprime Mortgage Bailout

There's been a lot of heated discussion about the mortgage bailout. And why shouldn't the discussion be heated? Predatory lenders and gullible borrowers got together, and somehow the borrowers became convinced that they could afford a house they didn't have the income to pay for. Thinking the boom in real estate would never end and that housing prices would continue to climb, they gambled on the biggest purchase of their lifetime. Rather than play on the...
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The Economic Stimulus Package

So, have you received the friendly little reminder the IRS sent to you? Many taxpayers will receive a rebate of $600, $1200 for joint filers, and an additional $300 for each qualifying child. Even those with no tax liability may receive $300; all you have to do to be eligible is to file your 2007 tax return. High-income filers may receive reduced payments or no payment. The IRS will start sending these out in May, separately...
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A Good Time to Invest

The recent volatility in the stock market has given investors a scary ride; there's no doubt about that. But does it provide investors with an opportunity to get in on some stocks at cheap prices, so they can sell at a higher price later? That's the basic rule of investing; buy low and sell high. The thing is, you never know just when those stock prices will actually hit their bottom. It's possible that you buy...
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Get a Good Credit Rating

A good credit rating is important, whether you've got great credit or are still working on getting there. A few simple habits can ensure that your credit rating stays good, or keeps improving. A good credit rating gives you more choices, more benefits, and more flexibility, all at a lower cost. When your credit score reaches the mid-700s, you can be confident that lenders are generally happy to do business with you. Credit scores of 720-750...
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Looking for a Credit Limit Increase?

Is there something you'd like to do with your credit card, but are held back by the credit limit? Do you have a wallet full of low-limit credit cards, complicating your shopping and bill-payments? Would you like to transfer your balances, but don't have a card with a limit high enough to make it worthwhile? Are you in the market for a high-dollar item, and want to earn rewards on the entire purchase? A credit limit...
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