Finance Globe

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

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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The Student's Guide to Credit Card Use

College is an eye-opening world for many students. While your biggest expense is directly tied to tuition, books, and room and board, you will, no doubt, have quite a few expenses that may not have been figured into the higher education budget. Electronics and gadgets, fashion, parties, and spring break trips will require additional funding. How can you pay for all these extras that are a normal part of college life? Card issuers have the answer...
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The Balance Transferring Act

The credit card balance transfer is popular with credit card users. The balance transfer can offer interest-rate savings on credit card debt. A balance transfer simply means moving debt from one or several credit card accounts to a low or no-interest credit card account. These super-low teaser rates will last for about six months to a year, on average, with most card issuers. A cardholder may be offered a low-interest balance transfer rate by one of...
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Good Uses for a 0% Introductory Rate Credit Card

Who can resist the offer for an interest-free loan? If you are offered a new credit card with a zero-interest introductory period, it's a good thing to take advantage of. The introductory period on most credit cards can last anywhere from 6 months to a year, or more. When the promotional period ends, the credit card's APR will go up; you should know what that rate will become to avoid any surprises. It's important to read...
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The Danger of a 0% Introductory Rate Credit Card

A 0% interest credit card can be a valuable money-saver if you play your cards right. The key is not to fall into the trap that credit card issuers have set for you. Used wisely, a generous introductory period can buy you time to pay off debts, keep your money working for you longer, or allow you to finance a major purchase interest-free. But used carelessly, a new credit card with a super-low teaser rate can...
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Protect Yoursef from Identity Theft

Your identity, it's who you are. It's your name, your date of birth, your Social Security number. You are the only one with that individual set of personal identifying information. Unfortunately, there are crooks out there who want to become you, at least on paper. They want to use your name to take out a loan, get credit cards, or even a driver's license. They may want to use your identity because they're running from the...
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