Finance – Lost Nomad Fri, 11 Jun 2021 19:38:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Finance – Lost Nomad 32 32 Why should you be wary of home teeth whitening kits – which ones? New Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:18:51 +0000

The pursuit of a sparkling smile is very popular in today’s Insta-perfect world. Attracted by the promises of brighter, whiter teeth, consumers are shopping for a dazzling array of whitening powders, paints, gels, pens, strips and kits to use at home.

According to a recent Mintel report, 52% of those surveyed used home teeth whitening kits at least once a day.

They are usually much cheaper than professional whitening administered by the dentist, but do home whitening kits really work – and are they safe for your teeth?

We’ve taken a look at what’s in them and what to watch out for, and found that you’re unlikely to get the results you want at home.

As part of our research, we also discovered international sellers posing as UK-based sites selling illegal bleach products to UK consumers. We have reported them to Trading Standards.

How to choose the best toothpaste – we reveal if whitening toothpastes really work and if you need expensive branded toothpastes for decent cleaning

Professional whitening vs home whitening kits

The standard treatment for whiter teeth is the use of hydrogen peroxide at concentrations of up to 6%.

In the UK this can only be done by a dental professional – either a dentist or dental hygienist or therapist under the supervision of a dentist.

It is illegal for anyone other than a dental professional to whiten their teeth using this concentration of hydrogen peroxide, and it must be registered with the General Dental Council (GDC). Beauticians cannot perform the procedure.

Professional whitening generally involves:

  • Take an impression of your mouth to make a mouth tray that is exactly right for you.
  • A whitening gel containing hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide (which also contains hydrogen peroxide) will be placed inside the trays and put in your mouth.
  • The oxygen in the active ingredient then enters your tooth enamel and lightens its color, eventually to several shades.
  • You will need repeated treatments. Some of these can very well be done at home, but the treatment must be prescribed by a dentist.

Even performed by a professional, bleaching can sometimes cause side effects such as transient tenderness, gum discomfort, white spots on the gum, or a sore throat for a few days. Proper adjustment of the mouthpiece and following directions should help to minimize these problems, however.

Home Teeth Whitening Kits: How They Are Different

Over-the-counter home whitening kits are widely available in the UK, but cannot contain more than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide under EU regulations. This is due to the risk of damaging or burning your gums or mouth if the kits are misused.

The Oral Health Foundation (OHF) says the concentration of hydrogen peroxide allowed in home kits is too low to have a noticeable effect on the underlying color of your teeth, regardless of the manufacturer’s promises.

It is possible that the kit contains other stain removal ingredients that could help teeth appear whiter, but you could probably achieve this just as well with stain remover or whitening toothpaste.

Also, don’t forget that the swatches provided in these kits are included so they can promise “up to 10 shades lighter!” – are likely to be very different from the color scales used by dentists, and their interpretation of a shade change may be a smaller incremental change.

The addition of blue or UV light, included because it is believed to speed up the whitening process, is also unlikely to make a difference to the end result, unlike the power or laser whitening offered by some dental professionals.

You should also treat any UV light product with caution and protect your eyes and other exposed areas from light.

Are Home Whitening Kits Safe to Use?

Due to the extremely low levels of hydrogen peroxide allowed in home kits, some use other ingredients with claimed bleaching potential, such as sodium chlorite and phthalimidoperoxycaproic acid (PAP).

While it is possible that some of these chemical ingredients could lighten your teeth, a recent study published in the British Dental Journal found that they could potentially damage tooth enamel as well, especially when the kits were used for longer. provided that.

However, more research is needed in this area, as the study was relatively small in scale and had some limitations.

Don’t tinker with it

We’ve seen tips online and on social media suggesting painting hydrogen peroxide directly on your teeth.

3% hydrogen peroxide is easily obtainable legally – it can be used as a skin sanitizer or as a mouthwash, but should always be diluted with water.

Dr. Nigel Carter, Director General of the OFF, says that “using undiluted peroxide directly on the teeth could damage your gums and this concentration of hydrogen peroxide should not be ingested.” There is also a risk of the solution splashing in your eyes and causing damage.

Be careful where you buy

The real risk comes when you buy kits from vendors who are not based in the UK or who sell illegal products.

Trading Standards told us that it regularly runs into sellers selling non-compliant products online, which can have serious consequences.

In 2016, a father and son were jailed for selling hydrogen peroxide kits containing 110 times the legal limit. One of their clients had to be hospitalized for chemical burns.

Illegal laundering kits sold to unsuspecting UK consumers

We purchased products from two sites which at first glance appear to be UK based retailers: and

Both sell Crest whitening strips which are available in the US but are not approved for sale in the UK as they contain well above the legal limit for hydrogen peroxide here.

Procter & Gamble, which manufactures Crest whitening tapes, is not allowing their sale in the UK because it knows they do not comply with the regulations.

We have investigated and found out that one of the companies selling the product to UK consumers is based in Hong Kong and the other is in Canada. Both use UK distribution centers to circumvent regulations as both products we ordered arrived within 48 hours of ordering.

The products came without instructions and were unpacked. The Crest bands from did not have an ingredient list. This presents an additional risk because you don’t have the information to use it properly and don’t really know what you are getting.

We have reported our findings to Trading Standards who have confirmed that these products are not compliant and are currently investigating further action.

Neither retailer responded when we reached out to them for comment.

The problem of illegally imported bleaching kits

It might seem like a lower risk option when a product is legal elsewhere, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be.

Richard Knight, trade standards specialist and cosmetics safety expert, says, “Ultimately, any at-home teeth whitening kit involves a concoction of chemicals that will all have toxicological profiles. Any wording must be approved by a qualified safety assessor based in the UK or EU.

“A product that is imported or distributed illegally will simply not have undergone this process and will not be subject to recognized quality control and could therefore be harmful to a consumer, even if the list of ingredients seems relatively benign.

“Also, if you buy from someone who is not based in the UK or who may be operating through a UK distribution center, when you have a problem you may find a repair, or even to get in touch, very difficult. ‘

Anyone suspected of supplying illegal products should be reported to Trading Standards.

Home whitening kits: the verdict

So what is the result? Home whitening kits may work if you are looking to restore a whiter smile, but beware of what you buy and from whom to avoid kits that contain unproven or potentially harmful ingredients. Always follow directions carefully and don’t be tempted to overdo it.

However, you will likely get better results with treatment administered by professionals, so it is worth talking to your dentist for advice if you have concerns about your smile, and trying a stain remover toothpaste as well. Check out our toothpaste buying guide for advice on effective stain removal ingredients.

Thousands of dangerous goods seized at UK border – learn more about the extent of the problem and what to do if you think you have a shady product

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Why CenterPoint Energy Stock rose 20% on May 7 Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:18:51 +0000

What happened

Actions of utility CenterPoint Energy (NYSE: CNP) rose nearly 20% when the market opened on May 7 before settling at a gain of around 11% at 11:30 a.m. EDT. The big news of the day was the release of the company’s earnings, but it wasn’t your regular recap from the previous quarter.

So what

CenterPoint posted a loss of $ 2.44 per share in the first quarter of 2020 compared to a profit of $ 0.28 in the same period of 2019. It’s terrible from any point of view. But there are a few caveats, including about $ 1.6 billion in depreciation charges taken in the quarter just ended. These expenses mainly concern the intermediate segment of the company, which consists of a participation in Activate intermediary partners. Intermediate partnership units are down almost 80% from their peak in mid-2018. This is where things get interesting.

Image source: Getty Images.

At the same time as it released its results, CenterPoint sent out a separate piece of news that announced a $ 1.4 billion equity investment by a consortium including, among others, partners Elliott Management, Fidelity and Bluescape Energy. The cash injection should be used to repay debt and help fund future spending plans. The utility also announced two new board members and a full review of the business that is expected to be completed by October 2020. Coupled with the steep depreciation, it appears CenterPoint is looking to reset the business so that ‘it may operate from a less clean) slate in the future. Investors seem to like the idea.

Now what

CenterPoint’s adjusted earnings were $ 0.65 per share compared to adjusted earnings of $ 0.46 in the same quarter of 2019. That’s not bad, but the real story here isn’t earnings, it’s investing in equities and the corporate overhaul that is likely to take shape now that there is activist investors on board (literally and figuratively). Conservative investors should probably sit on the sidelines here until the full review is complete and there is a clearer perspective on what the future holds. However, it’s pretty obvious given the stock market action after the announcement that investors believe the future is brighter than it was just a few days ago.

This article represents the opinion of the author, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a premium Motley Fool consulting service. We are heterogeneous! Questioning an investment thesis – even one of our own – helps us all to think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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Premier Bank’s first Gold Mastercard first review Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:18:51 +0000

If your credit limit is: Your program fees will be: Your annual membership fee will be: Your monthly fees will be: Your initial available credit will be:
$ 300 $ 95 (one-time fee) 75 the first year, 45 $ thereafter $ 0 the first year, $ 75 thereafter ($ 6.25 per year) $ 225
$ 400 $ 95 (one-time fee) $ 100 the first year, $ 45 thereafter $ 0 the first year, $ 75 thereafter ($ 6.25 per year) $ 300
$ 500 $ 95 (one-time fee) $ 125 the first year, $ 49 thereafter $ 0 the first year, $ 124.80 thereafter ($ 10.40 per year) $ 375
$ 600 $ 75 (one-time fee) $ 79 the first year, $ 49 thereafter $ 70.20 for the first year ($ 5.85 per month), $ 99 thereafter ($ 8.25 per month) $ 515
$ 700 $ 55 (one-time fee) $ 79 the first year, $ 49 thereafter $ 96 for the first year ($ 8.00 per month), $ 124.80 thereafter ($ 10.40 per month) $ 613
$ 1,000 $ 25 (one-time fee) $ 79 the first year, $ 49 thereafter $ 96 for the first year ($ 8.00 per month), $ 124.80 thereafter ($ 10.40 per month) $ 913

To put these charges into perspective, let’s say you’ve been approved for this card with a credit limit of $ 600. In your first year as a cardholder, you would pay:

  • $ 75 program fee
  • $ 79 annual fee
  • Monthly fee of $ 70.20, valued at $ 5.85 per month

All in all, you would pay $ 224.20 in non-refundable fees. Considering this high cost, you might want to consider requesting a secure card instead. Even though secure cards require a security deposit, the deposit is refundable, so you get the money back. The Capital One Secure Mastercard has no annual fee and a minimum security deposit of $ 49 for qualified applicants. If you make your first six monthly payments on time, you may qualify for a higher line of credit.

  • Extremely high APR: The First Premier Bank Gold Mastercard has a high APR on purchases. According to Federal Reserve, the average APR for all credit cards that rated interest was 16.88% as of November 2019, the latest data available. At 36%, the First Premier Bank Gold Mastercard APR is more than double this average rate. If you keep a balance at such a high APR, you could end up paying hundreds more than what you originally charged. To avoid expensive interest charges, try paying off your statement balance in full each month.
  • Expensive credit limit increase fees: If you make all of your payments on time and develop good credit habits with this card, you may be eligible for an increase in your line of credit. More purchasing power is generally a good thing, except that the First Premier Bank Gold Mastercard has a credit limit increase fee. Each time you are approved for a credit limit increase, you will be charged 25% of the amount of the credit limit increase. For example, if your line of credit is increased by $ 100, you will be charged a fee of $ 25. Initially, you will only have $ 75 of additional credit available through this fee. The fees for increasing the credit limit are unusually high, even for a card designed for people with bad credit. For another option, consider the Blaze Mastercard. This unsecured card for people rebuilding their credit has an annual fee of $ 75, but you can qualify for a credit limit increase in as little as six months with no credit limit increase fees.

According to a May 2019 survey conducted by CNBC Select and Morning Consult, nearly one in four Americans said they were unable to get credit card approval. The most common reasons for credit denial include poor credit history and missed payments.

If you are one of the millions who have struggled to get a credit card, the First Premier Bank Gold Mastercard is an option to build or replenish your credit. First Premier Bank reports payment activity to credit bureaus. Making payments on time will help you qualify for other lines of credit later.

Standard benefits

  • Free access to the FICO score
  • Online account access

Cardholder experience

The First Premier Bank Gold Mastercard is issued by First Premier Bank, a private regional bank.

As a small card issuer, First Premier Bank was not included in the ranking of JD Power Credit Card Satisfaction Study.

You can access your account 24 hours a day, seven days a week online or contact customer service at 800-987-5521.

Security functions

First Premier Bank Gold Mastercard holders can take advantage of Mastercard Identity Theft Protection, an identity theft alert and monitoring program. If any suspicious activity is detected, Mastercard will send you a notification and help you take action to resolve the issue.

Our verdict

While the First Premier Bank Gold Mastercard is an unsecured credit card that you can potentially claim with bad credit, its exorbitant fees and APR make it extremely expensive. Unless you’ve exhausted all other options, this should be avoided.

Most consumers would find a secure credit card more cost effective. Many secure cards, like the Discover it Secured card, do not have an annual fee. Over time, you can qualify for an unsecured card with regular on-time payments and get your security deposit back. It’s a good idea to shop around for a card that doesn’t charge as many fees so that you can keep more of your hard-earned money while you build your credit.

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Blaze Mastercard credit card review Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:18:51 +0000

The Blaze MasterCard® credit card is not one of our highest rated bad credit credit cards. You can consult our list of best credit cards for bad credit for what we think are better options.

Blaze Mastercard credit card full review


  • Access to an unsecured line of credit

  • Qualify for an Enhanced Line of Credit

The inconvenients

  • Expensive fees

  • No reward

  • Above average APR

Benefits explained

  • Access to unsecured line of credit: When you have low credit or no credit, you can often only qualify for secured credit cards, which may require you to deposit hundreds of dollars as a security deposit. If parting with your hard-earned money isn’t appealing, the Blaze Mastercard can be a solid alternative. You may qualify for this card even if your credit is below average and have access to an unsecured line of credit.
  • Qualify for an Enhanced Line of Credit: Cardholders who keep their account in good standing with one-off payments can receive an increase in their credit limit in as little as six months. Many cards for people with bad credit do not have such a clear deadline to qualify for a credit limit increase. Being able to gain more purchasing power in less than a year is a significant advantage.

Disadvantages Explained

  • Expensive fees: Before applying for the Blaze Mastercard, you should be aware of two main fees:
    Annual subscription : You will be charged an annual fee of $ 75 before using this card, and this fee reduces the amount of credit you have available. For example, if you are approved for a $ 350 line of credit, the fee will reduce the available credit to $ 275.
  • Authorized user fees: Adding an authorized user, such as a spouse or partner, to the account will incur an annual fee of $ 20.

Although high fees are typical of cards for people with low credit, there are other credit cards that do not charge them. The Petal card is another option for someone who is building their credit history. Also an insecure card, it has no annual fees, overseas transaction fees, authorized usage fees, or late payment fees.

  • No reward: Unfortunately, the Blaze Mastercard does not have a rewards program. You will not earn points, miles or cash back when you use your card. While this is common for cards designed for people with bad credit, it is still disappointing. If you’re willing to apply for a secured credit card instead of an unsecured credit card and deposit a refundable deposit, you may find options that offer rewards. For example, the Discover it Secured card has no annual fee and you can earn 2% cash back on up to $ 1,000 spent quarterly at gas stations and restaurants, and cash back. 1% off all other purchases. Best of all, Discover will match any cash back rewards you earn in your first year as a cardholder, doubling your rewards. To put that in perspective, let’s say you’ve spent $ 6,000 on your Discover it Secured card: $ 1,000 quarterly at gas stations and restaurants, and $ 2,000 on other purchases. You would earn $ 100 in rewards. But thanks to Discover’s cash back, Discover would match all of the cash back you’ve earned, giving you $ 200 in rewards.
  • Above average APR: According to the Federal Reserve, the average APR on all credit cards was just over 16.28% in November purchase APR on the Blaze Mastercard is 29.9%, much higher than the national average. If you keep a balance on your card from month to month, a higher APR will charge you a lot more in interest charges. To put these numbers into perspective, let’s say your credit card has a balance of $ 1,000, an APR of 16.28%, and a minimum monthly payment of $ 35. It would take you 37 months to pay off your debt, and in total you would pay $ 274 in interest charges. If you had a $ 1,000 balance on a credit card with an APR of 29.9% and a minimum monthly payment of $ 35, it would take you 51 months to pay off your debt and you would pay $ 770 in interest charges. . The higher APR would cost you $ 525 in additional interest. If you tend to have a balance, look for another card with a lower APR, such as the Green Dot primor Visa Gold Secured credit card.

If you don’t have a credit history or a bad credit rating and don’t want a secured credit card, the Blaze Mastercard may be a good option. It gives you access to an unsecured line of credit and you can qualify for an increased line of credit in as little as six months.

Although it charges a fee, this card can be a useful tool in building your credit because it reports your payment activity to major credit bureaus. As your credit improves and you can qualify for other credit cards, you can close your account to avoid future charges.

Standard benefits

The Blaze Mastercard offers few benefits, but it does:

  • Limited Liability Protection
  • Security alerts
  • Online account access

Cardholder experience

The Blaze Mastercard is issued by South Dakota-based First Savings Bank, a smaller card issuer that is not included in JD Power’s credit card satisfaction survey.

Customer Service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 605-782-3472.

Security functions

This card offers standard security features including 24/7 account alerts. You are also never responsible for unauthorized transactions if your card is lost or stolen as long as you notify First Savings Bank.

Our verdict

If you’ve struggled to qualify for other credit cards and don’t want to apply for a secure card, the Blaze Mastercard is a decent alternative. You will have access to an unsecured credit card and you could be eligible for an increased credit limit in as little as six months. The card charges a fee, but this compromise may be justified if your goal is to avoid having to pay a large security deposit.

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Growing number of Americans pay rent with credit cards Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:18:51 +0000

HOLLYWOOD, Calif .– The serenity of snakes is one of the reasons Marine Madesclaire, 29, has found so much peace every time she takes hers.

“I used to have full-blown panic attacks, like full-blown panic attacks. Panic attacks to cry for hours. Every day,” Madesclaire said while holding a snake.

What would you like to know

  • According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, this year there was a 70% increase in the number of Americans paying their rent with credit cards compared to 2019
  • Global Investment Bank report shows Americans currently have $ 25 billion in rental debt
  • Financial experts recommend using credit cards only as a last resort
  • Financial experts urge people not to default on payments because bad credit can prevent them from renting a house, buying or leasing a car, and even finding a job

Madesclaire, who moved to Los Angeles from Seattle five years ago to become an actress, lost all of her jobs and concerts as the pandemic struck.

“In March, once things became clear on what was going on, I immediately called my landlord saying, ‘Hey, I don’t have a job, help me.’ I called my landlord. credit card company. ‘I don’t have a job, help me,’ “she said.

Much of her work had been in Las Vegas, but she lives in Hollywood. Both states denied him unemployment insurance, Madesclaire said. She asked for assistance programs and relied on her friends and family to help her.

After months of no income, she started paying for utilities, food and other essentials with her credit card.

“I’m currently maxing out, above my credit limit too, so my credit score is dying,” said Madesclaire, who owes more than $ 10,000.

She is one of a growing group of Americans who rely on their credit cards to pay for things like rent. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, there has been a 70% increase since last year.

Credit cards should only be used as a last resort, said Winnie Sun, managing director of Sun Group Wealth Partners.

“Once you put your rent and bigger expenses on your credit card, you have a lot of charges. You certainly have [an] interest. There are late fees as well, and that can be a really quick balloon. ”

Sun’s tip: be proactive.

“In this situation, whatever you do, you don’t want to stop communicating. You need to proactively contact your credit card companies and let them know the situation you are going through,” Sun said.

Although complicated, Madesclaire’s situation improves slightly. Recently, she found a minimum wage office job, which doesn’t dig her up at all but helps with some expenses. She also shot a movie in her spare time, titled The Distanced. Madesclaire even won a few awards.

“I have the best actress,” Madesclaire said. “[It] was really cool and very validating. If everything else could be a little easier that would be great, but at least I’m really proud of this one. “

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Housing Review 2020: Relief, Reality and Rationality Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:18:51 +0000

National Geographic has a series called Seconds of the disaster which, according to its website, uses “advanced infographics, forensic science, eyewitness accounts, expert interviews, archival footage and reconstructions [to] piece together in detail the events that led to some of the greatest disasters of modern times. My last posts remind me of the series; the housing market in the United States is truly seconds away from disaster, at least figuratively speaking. What can prevent this from turning into a government-run and rationed housing disaster? The answer is relief, reality and rationality.


It’s simple. When you tell people that they can’t go to restaurants and bars, these companies can’t make money and are laying people off. When these employees do not receive a salary, they cannot pay rent. Assuming this intervention – shutting down the economy – is the right thing to do, wouldn’t it make sense to help those most affected by replacing some or all of that lost income?

Instead, what the government has done is ban deportation. That does not make any sense. If people needed food, you wouldn’t advise suspending shoplifting laws so people could help themselves to groceries in the local market, you would give them money for groceries. or you would distribute them to those in need. As I pointed out before, eviction bans are a time bomb of unpaid rent.

The government can solve this problem by asking lenders to quickly give money to housing providers who have residents with unpaid rent. It would be a forgivable loan and could be settled in the coming months with rental listings and balance sheets submitted and a pledge not to try to collect the rent if a loan is made. The wrong thing to do would be for the government to distribute aid; the government is not set up to give money, the banks are.


Marriages, car loans, and business arrangements sometimes fail. Courts exist to settle disputes that arise when transactions do not work. Expulsion is no different. The vast majority of rental relationships between housing providers and their clients are working well. Sometimes there is friction. Sometimes the housing provider is a bad actor. Sometimes the resident is. Housing providers don’t make money by evicting people, any more than a bar makes money by throwing customers away.

Contrary to the hype, eviction is rare in the United States and when it does occur it is very expensive, complicated, and usually resolved without a sheriff putting the contents of a rental unit on the sidewalk. I did an analysis publicized eviction data Seattle and actual moves in one year were extremely low, only 0.7% of all rental units. How many of those 1,200 dismissals were due to bad actors? How many were the product of lost jobs? We don’t know because this data is not tracked. What is important is to eliminate causes of expulsion; in particular poverty, mental health problems and addiction, all of which, when combined, lead to serious problems affecting housing. Making eviction more difficult helps eviction defense lawyers, not residents who are cash-strapped or have complex issues.


It might not be the best or the right term, but most human beings are rational players in any economy. If the prices go up, people find substitute products at higher prices. If they can’t find a replacement, they manage and change their lives to get what they need. At the same time, producers strive to bring to market a product that meets consumer demand at a lower price. It’s not ideology, it’s the way the world works. Price sends important signals to people on how to behave, innovate, challenge the status quo, and propose change. The price is not a bad thing, it is our best friend.

When house prices go up, yes, it is because there is not enough. I’ve heard very smart people – a lot smarter than me – dispute that. “It’s much more complicated than that,” they say. Well, it is not. It’s as simple as that. Smart people don’t like three-piece puzzles or crosswords with simple clues. Why go to Harvard or Yale or start a lab in Princeton if the housing issues were so simple I could solve them. It is that kind of lens through which the government and experts look at the “housing crisis”.

Avoid disasters

A nobler image that I often use is that of the trojan, which has become a trope to ignore the obvious. Take income out of people for a good reason and then replace that income. You want to avoid the consequences of poverty – like bad credit, evictions and the burden of the cost of housing – work to eradicate poverty. And if you want people to creatively solve problems, get out of their way; they can usually find the solution and if you can help them then do so.

The fact that housing is a commodity is not the problem. The housing problem worsens when government and nonprofits decide to hamper home buyers and sellers with rules meant to protect consumers, but instead become a proxy for incumbents who see their equity. increase with a limited supply. We should not be subsidizing this self-imposed scarcity; instead, we should be encouraging more housing of all kinds everywhere for people of all income levels.

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Millennials are no longer good at avoiding bad credit card debt Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:18:51 +0000

Millennials and Gen Z Americans, many of whom grew up during the height of the Great Recession in the late 2000s and early 2010s, have long been wary of Wall Street products and act more frugal than the generations of their parents. Recent research from the New York Federal Reserve, however, reveals an alarming trend: the increase in credit card defaults among these younger consumer classes.

Among Americans aged 18 to 29, credit card delinquencies of 90 days or more exceeded 8% of balances in the first quarter, peaking in eight years.

“This is the ‘We don’t own’ generation. It’s unusual when you think about this cohort. These are the people who didn’t get into debt,” Dan Primack, editor-in-chief of Axios, said at the meeting. ‘a Monday appearance on CNBC The exchange.

Fall for more credit card deals

The rise in credit card debt comes at a time when large financial services companies are finding that this consumer debt demographic is more attracted to “extravagant” signup bonuses than cashback offers. money or zero rate, depending on a new report. The zero percent interest on new purchases for 18 months (11%) and the zero percent interest on balance transfers for 21 months (6%) were much lower than the interest on bonuses from registration and travel credits.

The rise in consumer debt also accelerated as the Federal Reserve drew to the end of its era of ultra-low interest rates. As the Fed suspended further rate hikes, the central bank raised rates from all-time lows in 2018, impacting rates on products like consumer credit cards.

“With rising interest rates, the average credit card rate is 18%, and that’s for people with good credit,” said Ted Rossman, industry analyst at “It can go up to 25%.”

Woman shopping online on her phone while sitting at the cafe.

Mixmike | Getty Images

Data from the New York Fed shows that 90-day and longer defaults are highest among Americans aged 18 to 29, regardless of their form of debt, with credit card debt the most high in percentage.

Primack pointed out that the strength of the US economy, which has now been expanding for a decade, is a factor in the rise in debt levels of Americans predisposed to be careful about their money.

Rossman said that there are only two categories of credit card users that an individual wants to belong to: the group of people who reduce their effective interest rate to zero by paying off their balance in full each month, or at least, by being eligible for a balance transfer offer. which will convert their rate to zero.

Credit card usage is on the rise, he said, and the best option is to be among the 40% of cardholders who pay their bills in full every month.

The rate at which credit card balances go unpaid has increased, which has coincided with an increase in the number of young borrowers entering the credit card market.

Andrew Haughwout

Senior Vice President of the New York Fed

Rossman cautioned against overreading the increase in delinquency. He noted that the Fed’s own data shows a debt-to-income ratio in the United States at its lowest level since 1980.

“The rate at which credit card balances go unpaid has increased, and this has coincided with an increase in the number of young borrowers entering the credit card market,” said Andrew Haughwout, senior vice president of the Fed at New York in A declaration. “However, these delinquency rates are increasing from historically low levels and remain below pre-financial crisis levels.”

Data from the New York Fed shows that new credit card accounts declined sharply for young borrowers between 2008 and 2012 – in 2012, only 41% of people in their 20s had a credit card. Now, more than half (52%) of people in their 20s have a credit card, the Fed noted in a summary of its first quarter report.

The good and bad of student debt

Throughout the economic recovery of the past decade, student loans have grown much faster than other sources of debt. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has always maintained that student debt is a “A profitable investment.“The bank cited the fact that college graduates earn on average 80% more than those without a college degree and are also less likely to face unemployment.

New York Fed data shows that student loan growth has “completely broken with the economic cycle” steadily growing between 2004 and 2016 – since 2016, 18% of the population has taken out student loans, compared to only 10% in 2004.

But student debt delinquencies of 90 days or more are also on the rise, at 10.9% of aggregate balances in the first quarter. The total of $ 1.49 trillion in student loans is the second largest form of debt, behind mortgages. The New York Fed describes student loan delinquencies as being at a high level compared to other forms of debt.

Having to repay student loans can negatively influence early career decisions. A recent graduate might be less likely to start a business if they have student debt, or less inclined to take a riskier or lower paying but more satisfying job. Some recent research shows that half of student loan holders say high monthly payments influenced their career choices.

The student loan burden is on the rise again with several Democratic presidential candidates pledging to erase student debt. This weekend, Robert Smith, the wealthiest private equity billionaire and African-American man, made headlines when he announced during an opening speech at Morehouse College that he was pay off all student debts promotion of the college (estimated at $ 40 million).

It’s hard to get out of credit card debt

Rossman said the overall message on student loans shouldn’t change based on credit card trends.

“Student loans are good debt, which builds skills and hopefully long-term wealth, and interest rates are much lower,” he said.

Federal student loan rates for undergraduates fall to 4.53% for the next academic year, compared to 5.05% for the 2018-19 academic year.

Rossman noted that once a person is in credit card debt, it’s hard to get out of it, and that doesn’t bode well for young Americans among those whose delinquency is on the rise. More than half of people in debt stay in debt for more than a year; 37% for two years.

“Credit card debt is much harder to settle, with the average [interest] rate of 18%, ”he said.

The New York Fed report shows that total household debt rose $ 124 billion (0.9%) to $ 13.67 trillion in the first quarter of 2019, the 19th consecutive quarter of increases. It is now higher than the previous peak of $ 12.68 trillion in the third quarter of 2008 during the Great Recession.

The Fed’s findings may not point to a generation that has gone from risk aversion to overconfidence, but it raises concerns about the overall state of finances of young Americans, experts said. . Credit card defaults have been on the rise since 2017, and research shows that most people who take on credit card debt aren’t irresponsible – they needed credit to cover daily expenses or for emergencies. , such as medical situations or car repairs.

Check Don’t Fall For These 5 Money Myths Going through Growing up with Acorns + CNBC.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Tassels.

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‘Riverdale’ actress remembers when Luke Perry offered to co-sign for his car Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:18:51 +0000

“Riverdale” actress Hayley Law remembered Thursday actor Luke Perry and recalled the time he offered to co-sign his car.

Perry made the kind gesture when she received her first actor’s check from the CW show but had bad credit, she told Fox News.

“I just got my car because I had a paycheck, and I had bad credit and he heard me talk to the dealership – and he offered to co-sign for my car. had known for a few months – and I’ll never forget that, ever, ”Law said.

Perry, who played Archie’s father Fred Andrews in “Riverdale,” has died at the age of 52 after suffering a massive stroke in his California home.


Perry was remembered as a staple from childhood and overall kind-hearted person.

“… I think I’m still in shock. I just woke up and my phone was going crazy and I still can’t believe it. It’s awful, awful, awful. He’s so positive and amazing to work with him, ”Law told us of the late actor.

Law plays Riverdale High School student and Pussycats member Valerie Brown in the CW series.

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Turn Credit Slumps into a Win-Win Situation | 2020-11-20 Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:18:51 +0000

The pandemic has left millions of people in dire need of credit at a time of tightening lending standards. The result is a lose-lose situation: the consumer has a bad credit experience and the credit union misses a loan opportunity. How can this be turned into a win-win?

The case of coaching

Let’s start by deconstructing the credit denial process: The consumer is first encouraged to apply. The application process can be invasive, requiring a significant time commitment and thoughtful contributions from the applicant.

After all of this, many consumers are denied a form letter with little or no advice on what steps the applicant can take to improve their creditworthiness. It’s no wonder that credit denials receive a low Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 50 or often much worse.

On the other hand, forward-looking credit unions provide post-decline credit counseling. This is an interesting opportunity for several reasons:

  • Improved customer satisfaction. A financial institution has learned that simply offering personalized coaching, whether consumers use it or not, increases customer satisfaction by double digits.
  • Future loan possibilities. Post-decline financial coaching can position members for borrowing needs even beyond the product for which they were initially turned down.
  • Increased confidence. Good financial advice helps build trust. A JD Power The study noted that of the 58% of clients who want advice from financial institutions, only 12% receive it. When consumers receive helpful advice, over 90% report having a high level of trust in their financial institution.

Provide high-quality, cost-effective advice

AI-powered virtual coaching tools can help credit unions turn declines into opportunities. These coaches can provide step-by-step advice and personalized counseling experiences. The added benefit is simple and consistent compliance, made possible by automation.

AI-powered solutions are even more powerful when they follow coaching best practices:

  • Bite-size simplicity. Tips are most effective when reinforced with small steps to gradually nourish members without overwhelming them. This approach helps the member build momentum and confidence.
  • Clear language. Provide advice in friendly language and without jargon.
  • Behavioral nudges. Best practice nudges help clients move their action plan forward. These nudges mimic a human coach, providing motivational reminders and celebrating progress.
  • Gamification. A digital coach can inject fun into the financial wellness journey with challenges and rewards like contests, badges, and giveaways.

Virtual financial coaching, starting with reversing credit declines, represents a huge market opportunity for credit unions. To help credit unions seize this opportunity, eGain, an award-winning pioneer of AI and digital engagement, and Green Way, a leading nonprofit in financial wellness, have partnered to create the industry’s first virtual financial coach. To learn more, visit

EVAN SIEGEL is vice president of financial services AI at eGain.

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Is it possible to have a credit score of 0? Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:18:51 +0000

Even if you pay your bills in full every month, not keeping an eye on your credit could end up with a lower than normal score.

Content of the article

This article was created by MoneyWise. Postmedia and MoneyWise can earn affiliate commission through links on this page.

It’s always important to check your credit score, a three-digit number that helps banks and lenders decide whether or not to give you a loan.

Even if you pay your bills in full every month, if you don’t keep an eye on your credit, you could end up with a lower than normal score, or even no score at all.

This is what happened to Patricia Bartkiw, a retired Ontarian, who shared her story with CTV News.

‘Unable to mark’

Stressed elderly married couple sitting at table at home having financial problem, bad credit rating.

fizkes / Shutterstock

Patricia and her husband were looking to buy a home and take advantage of record mortgage rates while they could.

When they applied for a mortgage, the bank categorically refused them, claiming that Patricia had a zero credit score or that her score was not available.

“Everything is reimbursed, our cars are reimbursed, and we pay rent to have it automatically paid by the bank each month,” Patricia told CTV News.

Content of the article

What Patricia didn’t realize is that it’s not just your payment history and debt level that affects your score, it’s also your credit activity.

No matter how reliable you are a borrower, if there is no reported activity on your credit accounts for an extended period of time, you may end up being classified as “not notable”.

Fortunately, there is an easy way to avoid this problem.

Free credit monitoring for all Canadians

Smiling Asian woman looking at a smartphone while holding a credit card on the other hand filling in the information on the phone from the credit card.

Have a nice day Photo / Shutterstock

To stay on top of your score, previously you had to contact one of the major credit bureaus and request a physical copy of your credit report.

But thanks to free credit monitoring services, Canadians can now check their credit score anytime, anywhere, using their computer or mobile device.

Signing up only takes three minutes, and once you’ve created an account, you can immediately start monitoring your credit.

These services will send you an email whenever there is a change in your score – good or bad – and will contact you immediately if any errors or unusual activity occurs on your account.

You can also use them to track your monthly bill payments so you never miss a due date.

Paying your bills on time and in full each month will not only ensure that your credit accounts stay active, it will also help boost your score and make you a better candidate in the eyes of banks and lenders.

A stress-free way to protect your credit

Portrait of a girl resting on a sofa after work at home sitting on a sofa in the living room at home with warm sunset light

Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock

Patricia was eventually able to work with a credit bureau and fix her problem, but the situation could have been easily avoided if she had kept an eye on her credit.

Even if you are just curious, tracking your score is completely free and it will not affect your credit rating.

So take a few minutes to register and start protecting your credit today.

This article was created by Wise Publishing, Inc., which provides clear, reliable information people can use to take control of their finances. Millions of readers across North America rely on the Toronto-based company to help them save money, find the best bank accounts, get the best mortgage rates, and navigate many other financial matters.

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