Danielle DiMartino Booth tell us what is really going on at the federal reserve board and why this might not end so well. We discuss her new book, Fed Up: An Insider’s Take on Why the Federal Reserve is Bad for America.
Simple Way to Reduce Interest Rates and Fees on Your Credit Card Debt
A survey conducted by Bankrate shows how easy it is to reduce interest rates and fees. What is the secret? All you have to do is ask. Sounds too easy? Look at these survey results:
87% of those who called in and asked for a late charge to be waived had them forgiven.
67% that wanted lower interest rates received them as well
89% of those who asked for a credit limit increase received it
82% hand their annual fee waived or reduced
Why would banks actually agree to reduced revenue? After all, banks and credit card companies are notorious for ripping off their cardholders through their deceptive practices? (Ironically that’s what we agree to when we sign on the dotted line). There are really two answers.
First, very few people make these requests. If a higher percentage of people requested these discounts, it probably wouldn’t happen.
Second, credit card companies and banks do appreciate a loyal customer who has paid on time and honored their commitment to making the credit card relationship work. After all, in order to get those discounts, a stellar payment history is mandatory.
So what do you have to lose? Just ask……..
Now there is one question that you should never ask. I have only seen one example of this happening and one example is enough for me to advise never to ask this question.
A listener sent me a story stating that she asked the credit card company to make a settlement on her credit card balance. They viewed her as a risk, closed her account, and sent her to collections. Can they really do that? Yes, it is in the fine print. I can’t tell you if that is going on today. Since it is such a low probability that they would negotiate a settlement (near zero) it is not worth taking that risk.
The Yes Scam
There is a new scam circulating around and you could easily fall for it.
According to the FCC, the scam begins as soon as a person answers the phone. A recorded voice or an actual person asks: “Can you hear me?” And the consumer responds, “Yes.”
“The caller then records the consumer’s ‘Yes’ response and thus obtains a voice signature. This signature can later be used by the scammers to pretend to be the consumer and authorize fraudulent charges via telephone,” an FCC news release said.
Once again I thought I would go over the 6 tips to preventing identity theft and fraud.
(1) Make it a habit to continually check your credit card statements and debit card statements for unauthorized charges. Just make it a habit.
(2) Get Credit Monitoring – your bigger companies like LifeLock say that is not enough – until they can prove that their system does everything they say it can I think I will stick with credit monitoring.
(3) Don’t use your car as a locker for purses, wallets, briefcases – Thieves smash windows and can easily steal your belongings.
(4) Don’t carry sensitive information such social security numbers in your wallet or purse.
(5) Be intentional when it comes to protecting your identity. It is a huge problem and you don’t have the luxury of being lazy.
(6) Golden Rule of identity theft – Don’t respond to anyone who approaches you for information. That would include emails that ask for information, people coming to your door, and most importantly any phone calls. Only give out information when you have verified who they are.
Trump, Republicans, a Party of Chaos
The failure of the healthcare bill vote on Friday by the house speaks volumes about the mess we have in Washington. Let’s break down what the failed vote says about our leadership in Washington.
First, President Trump Blew It
President Trump is all about the optics and results. He is the guy who is going to fix everything. There is some good and bad with that attitude. First, he is in such a hurry to get a victory he doesn’t take into account this is Washington DC and not corporate America. He wants to run the country like a business. This is going to be the weakest part of his leadership. You can’t run the country like a business until you get rid of all of the politicians. Politics taints the process. You have to allow for politics. You have to slow down. He rushed it in order to put a notch on his belt in his first 100 days. Can you imagine what that would have looked like? Instead he might have just set his agenda back.
Second, Paul Ryan Is Not Mature Enough to Be Speaker of the House
How do you have a Republican led Senate, House, and White House and not get something done? That is a failure in leadership. He knows how Washington works. I don’t think that he has the strength in leadership to undertake this position. He demonstrated that during the election. He is just lucky that President Trump is not making him a part of the conversation.
Third, the Democrats Are Not the Only One Concerned About “Draining the Swamp”
It is obvious there is a strong faction in President Trump’s own party that does not want him to succeed. My guess is that they feel threaten by not only his will to get things done but also his threat to clean up Washington politics. What amazes me is that a good percentage of these Republican politicians have mid-year elections and overhauling the healthcare bill could have been a good thing. That is what the Republican base wanted. They could have worked harder to secure the passing of the bill. In addition, if this is the best that they can do when it comes to unity, then there is doubt this Republican control of the house and senate will last.
Fourth, Obamacare Implosion Is Not the Answer
President Trump, in an attempt to control the optics, says he will stand out of the way and let Obamacare implode. That is a horrible answer to fixing healthcare. Guess who gets hurt in that implosion? The voter gets hurt. You pick up the pieces after an implosion. If the system hasn’t imploded, the system is still intact and a little easier to put back together. Although I support President Trump, I don’t care for the thought of continuing high prices and higher prices in healthcare premiums and services.
Finally, Is Obamacare Even Fixable?
Gordan Gekko in the movie Wall Street made a remark to the up and coming broker Bud Fox about some stocks that he was suggesting for Gekko. After rejecting one after another of Fox’s recommendations he said about the final stock recommendation that “it is a dog with different fleas.” That is the same thing about anything the Republicans are bringing to the table. The system is broken. To even come close to fixing it you must start by removing the politics and that is never going to happen.
This might have been a blessing in disguise for President Trump. His healthcare replacement bill appeared to have just as many issues. However, the optics would have been in his favor. Ironically the implosion of Obamacare might be a good thing for him and not for us.
When Can I Toss Tax Records?
I wanted to post a really good article from Kiplinger that they sent over to me. These are common questions that this article answers.
Q: How long do I need to keep my tax records in case I get audited? Are there some records I should keep longer?
A: It’s a good idea to keep your returns indefinitely. But you can generally toss supporting tax records three years after the tax-filing deadline, which is the time the IRS generally has to initiate an audit. Several states have four years to initiate an audit (you can find out about the rules from your state department of revenue or taxation; see the IRS’s archive of state tax agencies). The federal audit period extends to six years if you underreport your income by 25%, so Jeffrey Schneider, an enrolled agent in Port St. Lucie, Fla., recommends holding on to your records for at least seven years.
Supporting documents you should hold on to for at least three years include your Form W-2s or Form 1099s reporting income; other 1099s reporting capital gains, dividends or interest; Form 1098, if you deducted mortgage interest; canceled checks and receipts for charitable contributions; and records showing expenses for other deductions and credits. Also keep records showing eligible expenses for withdrawals from health savings accounts or 529 college-savings plans. If you have business expenses, keep records of those costs, such as for equipment purchases, phone bills, business travel and marketing expenses. If you claimed a home-office deduction, keep records of your rent or mortgage interest, homeowners or renters insurance, real estate taxes, utilities, and other eligible expenses. Keep receipts showing any tax-deductible retirement-savings contributions, such as to a deductible IRA, simplified employee pension or solo 401(k). Also keep Form 1095 showing that you had eligible health insurance, or records showing that you met the criteria for an exemption.
Continue reading Kiplinger’s article by clicking on this link- http://www.kiplinger.com/article/taxes/T055-C001-S003-when-to-toss-tax-records.html
LendingPoint Partners with FinWise Bank to Give More Credit Access to Customers Nationwide
ATLANTA – March 7, 2017 – LendingPoint, the company working to revolutionize access to credit, today announced a partnership with FinWise Bank which allows the company to offer its full suite of loan products to customers nationwide.
LendingPoint is a balance sheet lender built for the modern world. It uses a unique credit modeling process that looks for more reasons to say “yes” in seconds – helping customers strengthen their credit and improve their financial lives. The company already holds licenses in 26 states and has funded more than $185 million in loans, fulfilling a pressing need for loans to “fair credit” consumers with credit scores in the 600-700 range.
Through its partnership with FinWise Bank, LendingPoint will be able to expand its reach to tens of millions of new potential consumers nationwide, with standardized rates, loan agreements, product portfolios, marketing and services across the U.S. The company expects to complete nationwide rollout during the first half of 2017.
“We founded LendingPoint on the core belief that a person’s credit score is not their complete financial story,” said Tom Burnside, founder and CEO of LendingPoint. “By partnering with FinWise Bank, we can bring better loans to more people across the U.S., helping them improve their financial story and live better lives.”
“Traditional lending relies too heavily on FICO, which overlooks a lot of creditworthy people who deserve better access to money. And newer lenders often lack the experience to reinterpret creditworthiness,” said Juan E Tavares, Chief Strategy Officer of LendingPoint. “This leaves a lot of good customers with little to no responsible borrowing choices. We’re in the business of unlocking access to affordable loans, and through our partnership with FinWise, we can now provide more financial opportunity for even more people nationwide.”
LendingPoint combines data and technology to create a proprietary model that adds other dimensions to credit analytics. This model allows the company to get a more complete financial story of the customer and approve more people, who otherwise may have been overlooked by traditional FICO results. Loans range from $3,000 to $20,000, with terms from 24 to 48 months. So whether they’re planning a dream vacation or a dream wedding; a home renovation or a cross-country move; or need access to money for debt consolidation or medical expenses — LendingPoint responds to customers in a matter of seconds* with loan offers that meet their needs and transparent terms that take the guesswork out of repayment.
“We are so excited to partner with the LendingPoint team,” said David Tilis, Vice President of Specialty Lending at FinWise Bank. “Their technology and development is seamless and astonishing.”
About FinWise Bank
Based in Sandy, UT, FinWise Bank, subsidiary of All West Bancorp, is a community bank and offers a broad range of services, deposit and loan products to the general public.
LendingPoint is a balance sheet lender built for the modern world, with a vision to revolutionize access to credit. The company is creating a better lending environment by looking for more reasons to say “yes” — helping fair-credit consumers unlock access to affordable loans and live better financial lives. Its award-winning leadership team brings unmatched experience in FinTech and credit, having previously built a $1 billion lending company from the ground up, and holds a series of patents in data modeling technology and credit scoring. Founded in September 2014, LendingPoint is a privately-held company with headquarters in Atlanta. For more information, visit https://www.lendingpoint.com.
* If additional identity verification is needed, the loan offer process may take longer.