Posts Tagged: ‘Interest Rates’

What the Fed Rate Hike Means for Homebuyers

March 23, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Last week the Federal Reserve increased its benchmark interest rate by one-quarter of a percentage point. This marked the second increase in three months and the third increase since 2015. As a result, mortgage rates have already increased. The average rate of a 30-year fixed mortgage jumped to a 2017 high of 4.21 percent, up from 3.68 percent last year.

What this means for house hunters is that buying a home is going to be more expensive. “That is going to create a bit of sticker shock for some buyers looking to buy this spring,” said Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac.

Fortunately, the changes in the Federal Reserve benchmark interest rate are somewhat predictable. The market expects two more Fed rate hikes before the end of the year. However, another increase is not likely in the next few weeks.

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:

http://money.cnn.com/2017/03/15/pf/fed-rate-hike-mortgage-rates/index.html?iid=SF_LN

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/15/fed-raises-rates-at-march-meeting.html

5 Times you should Never Use a Credit Card

August 29, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Using a credit card responsibly is an excellent way to boost your credit score, build your credit history, track spending, even take advantage of cash-back and other reward programs.  However, if you are unable to pay your bill off every month the high interest rates will cost you.

Here are five times you may want to put the credit card away and opt for another method of payment:

Paying for a BIG expense– Moving to a new city, remodeling your home or going on a vacation are all purchases you will want to save up for ahead of time.  Using more than a third of your available credit on a card can have a negative effect on your credit score.

To consolidate credit card debt– If you are trying to consolidate all of your consumer debts into one payment, the best option depends on your credit score, how much debt you have and, most importantly, your ability to pay down the debt.  If you cannot reasonably pay off your consumer debt in five years, most experts advise debt reorganization or bankruptcy. If your credit score is average, you can tap into your home equity or take a loan against your retirement account or life insurance policy. However, the consequences of defaulting on these loans come with severe penalties.

To fund emergencies– In an emergency situation, a credit card should be your last resort. If you do not have an emergency fund, start one today.  Budget to have the money automatically transferred from your checking account into a savings account- even if it is only $50 a month. This can add up over a year.

To pay for your wedding– Do not start your married life in debt.  Taking out a  personal loan to help pay for a portion of the wedding expenses is a smarter option because these come with fixed interest rates, making it easier for the payments to be factored into your monthly budget.  Depending on your credit, these can come with lower interest rates and allow you to pay overtime.

To pay your taxes– Avoid using a credit card to pay your taxes.  It is better to take from savings or utilize the IRS installment plan option to avoid paying a fee on top of your tax bill. Vendors that the IRS authorizes to accept card payments charge a convenience fee of 1.87% to 2.25% of the amount you owe. E-filing software companies charge even higher rates for credit card payments.

If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2016/08/20/5-times-you-shouldnt-use-credit-card/88945872/

Americans Underreport Credit Card Debt by $415 Billion

February 29, 2016 Posted by kingcade

A recent study conducted by NerdWallet showed that consumers are underreporting their credit card debt. In December 2013, lenders reported approximately $683 billion in outstanding credit card debt, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. However, Americans only reported having $268 billion in credit card debt.

The $415 billion discrepancy in reported credit card debt was far greater than any other type of debt, including student loans and mortgage debt. The reasoning is likely due to the stigma surrounding credit card debt, according to NerdWallet.

According to the study, 70 percent of Americans think credit card debt has a more negative stigma attached to it than any other type of debt. Mortgage and student loan debt is often considered “good” debt and credit card debt is considered “bad” debt. As a result, consumers may be underreporting credit card debt because they are ashamed of the amount of credit card debt they have. The survey also found that 35 percent of Americans would be embarrassed to tell others they have credit card debt, significantly more than any other type of debt.

How to pay off your credit card debt

Credit cards typically have the highest interest rates among other types of debt, therefore it is important to pay them off as quickly as possible. The first thing you need to do is figure out exactly how much you owe. You can do this by logging into your credit card account’s website. While you are logged in, note the balance, interest rate, minimum payment and due date.

Once you have determined how much you owe with each credit card account, make the account with the highest interest rate your top priority. Pay any extra that you can each month on that account. Once it is paid off, move on to the account with the second highest interest rate, and continue paying off each account by the highest interest rates.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com

Five Store Credit Cards to Avoid

August 8, 2014 Posted by kingcade

According to a survey of 61 major retail credit cards by CreditCards.com, retail credit cards are becoming debt traps for consumers. Many of these cards have an average APR of 23.23%, compared with 15.03% for other credit cards. This means a consumer who spends $1,000 on a retail card, and made only the minimum payments, would spend more than six years repaying that balance and end up paying a total of $1,840 for the $1,000 item. That is equivalent to an 84% markup!

Retail credit cards sometimes have benefits that may be worth it to consumers who frequently shop at the store and pay the balance off in full every month. Many of these cards come with perks like store discounts, special sales and rewards for cardholders. But miss one payment one month and you run into trouble on most of these credit cards.

Below are the retail credit cards to steer clear of, according to the CreditCards.com survey:

1. Zales has up to a 28.99% APR.
2. Office Depot Personal Credit Card has a 27.99% APR.
3. Staples Personal Account has a 27.99% APR.
4. My Best Buy has up to 25.24% and 27.99% APR, depending on your credit score.
5. My Best Buy Preferred has a 25.24% and 27.99% APR, depending on your credit score.

Bottom line: Retail credit cards are a bad idea for anyone who does not pay their balance off in full every month, because the interest rates are so exorbitant.

If you are in a financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/don-t-credit-cards-5-134815527.html

3 Reasons the Housing Market Recovery Might Not Last

April 23, 2013 Posted by kingcade

The housing market has made a big comeback this year! Home prices have increased approximately 8 percent and interest rates have hit record-lows. However, some experts worry that the housing market will crash just as quickly as it has surged.

Below are three main reasons industry experts worry the recovery might not last.

1. Investors are leading the housing market recovery. Investors have been taking advantage of low interest rates by buying up a huge portion of the real estate inventory. However, when prices begin to rise, economists believe that investors will likely pull back. Many believe an investor-driven boom led to the original housing bubble.

2. The economic recovery is not strong enough, yet. There are many factors within the economy that can still hurt the housing market, such as employment. After gaining some momentum during 2012, the job market has been showing signs of weakness in recent months. Once the job market picks up, the housing market should gain some strength.

3. Government cuts will hurt homeowners. The housing market recovery will be greatly affected by the $85 billion worth government spending cuts. The cuts include unpaid days off for federal workers, cuts in unemployment compensation and decreased military spending. All of which will lead to job and income losses.

Click here to read more on the three reasons why the housing market recovery might not last.

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the website, Kingcade & Garcia, P.A.