Archive for the ‘Credit Cards’ Category

The Cost of Attending a Wedding in 2017

Posted on June 16, 2017 by Laura Lam

Wedding season is upon us.  According to theKnot.com, the average cost of a wedding in 2016 rose to an all-time high of $35,329.  But modern weddings aren’t just ultra-expensive for the happy couple, they’re actually a serious, wallet-emptying affair for guests as well. According to the Knot’s 2016 Wedding Guest Study, the average bridesmaid/groomsman spent just over $1,500 last year, while wedding guests spent $888.  Here’s a breakdown of the costs: Average bridesmaid and groomsmen spend per wedding: $1,154 Wedding gift spend: $177 Wedding attire: $207 Wedding travel: $342 Wedding accommodations: $293 Average wedding guest spend per wedding total: $888…

Is the New Household Debt Record Cause for Concern?

Posted on June 14, 2017 by Laura Lam

Last month, the New York Federal Reserve reported that household debt across the nation has hit a dubious milestone in the first quarter: It surpassed the peak debt level of 2008 at $12.7 trillion. Household debt — including mortgages, auto and student loans, and credit cards — rose $149 billion compared with the last quarter of 2016, with nearly all the gain coming from mortgages. Reaching the peak raises questions about whether the backdrop exists again for another financial meltdown.  But the data show the current structure of debt is substantially different from 2008. According to a research officer at…

Banks See Slower Loan Growth, Higher Charge-Offs

Posted on June 12, 2017 by Laura Lam

FDIC-insured banks reported that the pace of loan growth slowed in the first quarter and that charge-offs on loans to individuals increased. But banks still recorded robust earnings for the period.  Total loans and leases fell by $8.1 billion, or 0.1% year-over-year, in the 3 months ended March 31, led by credit card loans, which posted a seasonal decline of $43.7 billion, or 5.5%. In its Quarterly Banking Profile, the FDIC attributed the decline to cardholders paying down outstanding balances, but residential mortgages also fell, by 0.5%. Credit to businesses offset some of the decline, with commercial and industrial loans up…

Beige Book: Slower Growth, Less Optimism

Posted on June 09, 2017 by Laura Lam

Economic growth slowed across parts of the U.S. in recent weeks, and some firms have become a bit less optimistic about the future, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve.  “A majority of districts reported that firms expressed positive near-term outlooks; however, optimism waned somewhat in a few districts,” the Fed said in its latest Beige Book report. Broadly, the Fed said economic growth was modest in 7 districts, moderate in 4 districts and “flattened out” in the New York Fed district. The prior beige book said activity expanded in all 12 regions with the pace equally split…

73% of Americans Have Financial Regrets

Posted on June 06, 2017 by Laura Lam

Nearly 3-in-4 U.S. adults have financial regrets, according to a new Bankrate.com report. The most common is not saving for retirement early enough, followed by not saving enough for emergency expenses and taking on too much credit card debt. Taking on too much student loan debt is fourth, however, it tops the list among older millennials (27-36 year-olds). Fifth overall is not saving enough for your children’s education and sixth is buying more house than you could afford. Baby Boomers are the most likely to regret not saving for retirement earlier; remorse over this issue grows steadily from age 18-62. It’s…

What to Buy in June

Posted on June 02, 2017 by Laura Lam

Warm weather, wedding season, and hurricane season all bring discounts in June. Consumers will also find continuing sales on some items that were good deals in May. Here’s a look at the best things to buy this month from Cheapism.com. Tropical Vacation – June signals the onset of hurricane season and sweltering temperatures in the Caribbean. For travelers willing to take their chances with the weather, this is the perfect time to scoop up deals on cruises and tropical vacation packages, especially for last-minute bookings. Alaskan Cruise – Mid-June marks the end of the off-season for travel to Alaska, a popular summer…

Household Debt Hits New Record

Posted on May 23, 2017 by Laura Lam

Household debt is topping its 2008 peak prior to the housing crash. Total household debt has risen to $12.73 trillion in the first quarter, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported last week. However, Americans are handling their debt—mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, and other forms of borrowing – much better, the report shows.  Americans were delinquent on 4.8% of total debt in the first quarter. For comparison, at the end of 2009, 11.9% of consumers were delinquent on their debt by at least 30 days. The increase in household debt may indicate that more Americans are confident about…

American Households Spend 53% of Its Income On These Expenses

Posted on May 19, 2017 by Laura Lam

If there’s one fairly steady theme over the past couple of decades, it’s that consumers are saving less of their income and their household budgets are being pushed to the limit.  According to the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank’s February data, the personal saving rating in America was a paltry 5.6%. Comparatively, U.S. workers were socking away more than 12% of their paycheck 50 years ago.  At the same time, a number of household expenses have largely outpaced the inflation rate and wage growth. These include healthcare costs, college expenses, and in recent years housing costs, since home prices have…

Bank Card Default Rate Increases, Auto Loan Defaults Down

Posted on May 15, 2017 by Laura Lam

The S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices, a comprehensive measure of changes in consumer credit defaults, shows the composite rate unchanged from last month at 0.94% in March. The bank card default rate recorded a 3.31% default rate, up 9 basis points from February. Auto loan defaults came in at 1.00%, down 5 basis points from the previous month. The first mortgage default rate came in at 0.75%, up one basis point from February and reaching a one-year high. The 5 major cities showed mixed results in March with two higher and three lower default rates. New York had the largest…

Fannie Mae Changes Affect Borrowers With Student Loans

Posted on May 11, 2017 by Laura Lam

Fannie Mae has recently outlined changes in the way lenders can qualify potential borrowers who have student loan debt.  The policy change is designed to make it easier for more consumers to qualify for mortgages, in part by excluding some non-mortgage debt for income-to-debt calculations.  These debts can be things like installment loans, student loans, and other monthly debts as defined in the company’s mortgage lending guide. According to the Fannie Mae web site, “If the lender obtains documentation that a non-mortgage debt has been satisfactorily paid by another party for the past 12 months, then the debt can be excluded from…