One of the most difficult things for many a homeowner during the recession following the recent financial crisis is that through job loss, or through underemployment, foreclosure might be imminent. In order to help those who are in danger of foreclosure due to income loss, the government is offering the Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program (EHLP). This program is limited, though. You only have until July 22 to get your preliminary application in, so you need to act fast!
We are a nation of junk collectors. Look around your house. Do you see any clutter? Are there things you own that you know you shouldn’t have purchased? Are there items you purchased but have never used? Look in the closet. Are there any clothes with the price tag still on them? Any non-perishable food you bought that you decided you just don’t want to eat? Any expired food?
I thought so.
The Cost of Clutter
How often have you heard of people covering up their debts? Or even worse, going into more debt buying things they don’t need to prove to people that they’re “not in debt.” Too often, this shame someone feels drives them into further debt and causes havoc in other areas of their life. I’m here to tell you there is another way!
Being in debt does not make you a bad or irresponsible person! I mean, if it did, then anyone who is making payments on a car or house is deemed a “bad person.” More specifically though, I’m referring to serious consumer debt. I feel that often times, people who have spending problems cover up their debt or feel ashamed about what they’ve done. If you keep following a pattern of consumer debt and doing nothing about it, then yes, you are irresponsible! But, it’s all about how you deal with your debt. If you realize the damage you’re doing to your finances and do something about it, you learn a tough lesson and move on with life.
A disturbing article from the Wall Street Journal reports that Nearly Half of Americans Are ‘Financially Fragile’, which is defined in the article as households who “definitely or probably couldn’t come up with $2,000 in 30 days.”
The $2,000 figure was chosen because it’s roughly the cost of “an unanticipated major car repair, a large co-payment on a medical expense, legal expenses, or a home repair”—in other words, expenses that are hardly out of the question for a typical household.
According to the article 46.5% of all respondents are living very close to the financial edge—in other words, nearly half of America. And it’s one of the worst rates in the world—in Italy for example, the rate is only 20%. But it gets even worse; an additional 25.1% of U.S. respondents answered that they were “probably able” to come up with $2,000—meaning that they aren’t entirely sure.
That’s a sad state of affairs no matter how you interpret it.
How should we respond to this information? By making certain we don’t fall into the same category!Continue Reading
Not too long ago, the U.S. reached its debt ceiling. The amount of money the U.S. can borrow from others is determined by law, and Congress has to approve borrowing beyond a certain point. In the past, the debt ceiling has always been raised to accommodate the growing debt in the U.S. Indeed, in the past, both parties have been mostly content to raise the debt ceiling. Now, though, there is a battle brewing as Republicans refuse to vote to raise the debt ceiling. That means that the U.S. won’t be able to borrow money in order to meet its obligations.
There is an alarming trend that shows more and more people are carrying their debts into retirement with them. Some of these people are intentionally increasing their credit card debt with no plans to pay them off. Their reasons vary from necessities of life to vacations and everything in between, but this leaves their loved ones with a question that needs answering – can family members inherit debt?
National debt is a massive problem in our country and there’s no shortage of advertising reminding us that we need to pay off our personal debts. Sadly, statistics clearly indicate that the numbers of individuals who are retiring in debt are on the increase, so much so that over half of those who retire are in the red.
Earlier this year Newsweek reported that the golden years have been severely tarnished with mounting medical expenses, rising credit card debt, and little or no savings. Newsweek stated that a law professor at the University of Michigan found that individuals over the age of 55 now account for more than 20 percent of all bankruptcies in the U.S. CESI Debt Solutions, a nonprofit personal-finance firm, conducted a study and discovered that 56 percent of retirees carried outstanding debts with them as they left the workforce.