If you’ve ever been strapped for cash and turned to a payday lender for financial help, it’s possible that the payday loan agreement you entered into is actually illegal.
According to a recent story published on PublicIntegrity.org, a man from Puyallup, Washington got a payday loan from Ameriloan, but soon found that the lender was repeatedly “renewing” the loan and collecting on it without reducing the borrower’s debt load.
Even though these terms were laid out in the fine print, this gentleman – like most people in a cash crunch – probably didn’t notice that this “renewal” loan arrangement was a big red flag.
When the borrower realized that there was a problem, he contacted the state Department of Financial Institutions and learned that Ameriloan was not licensed to make payday loans in the state of Washington. This meant that the borrower was no longer obligated to pay back the loan. He closed his bank account and made no further payday loan payments.
Could your payday loan also be illegal? [continue reading…]
Q: Our credit has been bad for the past 6 years. We have 6 years left on our mortgage and have never been late. Can we refinance our mortgage?
A: Thanks for reaching out to me on AskTheMoneyCoach.com. You didn’t specify what your credit score is, but since you said you have “bad” credit, I will assume your FICO score is below 620.
If this is the case, even though you have bad credit, you may still be able to refinance your home loan. While your credit score is obviously an important element during a refinance, so are 4 other factors: the lender you choose, the type of mortgage you seek, the amount of equity in your home, and your overall financial picture.
Concerning each one of the factors, here’s what you need to know: [continue reading…]
Imagine filing your federal taxes with the Internal Revenue Service, only to have your tax return rejected because some crook has already used your Social Security number and claimed a bogus tax refund.
You finally found that perfect nanny or babysitter to care for your kids. Congratulations! But the work isn’t done yet. Did you know that hiring a caregiver comes with tax and payroll responsibilities?
While most families are excited to find someone to help care for their little ones, the euphoria sometimes quickly disappears when they learn about employer taxes. Most people assume they’re extremely expensive.
Well, they’re wrong. Employer taxes are not as pricey as you think because tax breaks can offset a significant portion of your family’s tax liability.
As long as the sitter is paid “on the books,” most families will qualify for the Tax Credit for Child or Dependent Care. Below is breakdown about this great tax break and what families can expect to save. [continue reading…]