Mar
2015

Build emergency savings first. Then pay down that debt

Too many people dont have enough emergency savings, says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com.

Not everyone is in the red: 58 percent of Americans have more emergency savings than credit card debt, up from 51 percent in 2014 and 55 percent in 2013.

Consumers became much better about paying down debt after the financial crisis. Delinquency rates for most types of loans are falling, with the exception of student loans and car loans.

Most consumers slashed their borrowing during the downturn, but rebuilding credit can take time. Many consumers are struggling with subprime credit scores, partly because they are still waiting for blunders they made during the crisis...

Mar
2015

As Auto Sales Rise, Loans Keep Getting Longer

If your neighbor comes home with a new car and tells you hell be paying for it over the next seven years, dont act surprised at the length.

New data from Experian found that auto loans with terms of six or more years surged in the fourth quarter. More than 25 percent of all new vehicle loans have terms of 73 to 84 months, with 12 to 14 percent of auto loans now stretching out over seven years.

I havent quite made up my mind on 84 month loans, said Melinda Zabritski, director of automotive credit for Experian Automotive. Typically, the credit quality tends to drop the longer the loan terms. It has me concerned.

More from CNBC: Auto loans surge, but whos buying may surprise...

Mar
2015

Donnelly Meets with Hoosiers Whose Health Insurance is At Risk

Federal Information News Dispatch, Inc.

Washington, DC–This afternoon, US Senator

Joe Donnelly sat down with three Hoosiers who have health insurance for the first time or now have affordable health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act. These three Hoosiers are at risk of losing this coverage if a lawsuit to take away subsidies for Americans using the federal exchange is successful at the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court hears oral arguments in King vs. Burwell starting tomorrow.

HoosiersHealthInsurance

These Hoosiers stories demonstrate one of the important reasons why we reformed...

Mar
2015

Stockton Bankruptcy’s Unsettled Pension Legacy

On the day that Stockton emerged from bankruptcy last week, ending 32 months of debt protection, the final court argument was about the “cram down” imposed on the only creditor that did not cut a deal.

Is Franklin bonds getting a 12 percent payment from Stockton for a $36 million loan or, as the city contends, a 17 percent payment?

The answer depends on whether $2 million of the loan, held in reserve like a “last month’s rent” security deposit, is counted along with a $4 million city payment to Franklin or simply regarded as the bond fund reclaiming its own money.

It’s a minor issue, one Judge Christopher Klein suggested he may resolve...

Mar
2015

Secure credit cards: Retailers are on board, banks and credit unions lag

Government and the private sector dont always see eye to eye, but were working together on an issue of great importance to Californians and all Americans: making credit card purchases safer. One crucial sector of the business community, however, has yet to fully buy in.

While retailers are leading the transition to more-secure chip and PIN payment cards, banks and credit unions continue to provide their customers with outdated, riskier technology.

The path to a safer electronic payments ecosystem starts with trading away the outdated magnetic stripe cards — which far too many Americans are stuck with — in favor of chip and PIN cards that have proved to be far safer....

Mar
2015

TR council candidates share views

TWO RIVERS – Each of the five Manitowoc City Council candidates face no challengers in their respective aldermanic districts in the spring General Election set for April 7.

But that is not the case in Two Rivers where five individuals — including just one incumbent — are seeking to fill three seats on the council elected by residents across the city.

Kay Koach is in her 10th year on the Two Rivers City Council and she is vying to gain another three-year term against Patrick Gagnon, Darla LeClair, Mark Bittner and Jack Powalisz.

They shared their perspectives on why theyre running and the future of Two Rivers at a Monday luncheon meeting of Business Connects...

Mar
2015

4 Reasons Why Women Should Cut Their Credit Cards Today

4 Reasons Why Women Should
Cut Their Credit Cards Today
Financial Advisor Calls For Wiser Perspective On Spending

While women continue to make impressive strides in academics, in the business world and with buying power in general, a significant percentage are vulnerable to retail therapy and other modes of frivolous spending, says Erica L. McCain, a veteran financial expert, LUTCF and founder of McCain amp; Associates, (www.mccainins.com).

According to a recent study from Prudential – the eighth biennial of its kind – women report they are no more prepared to make sound financial decisions today than women in the study were two years ago and 10 years ago.

“Women...

Mar
2015

How Avoiding Bankruptcy Can Backfire

In the world of personal finance, credit concerns and debt issues, there is no single issue that is more misunderstood than bankruptcy.

Recently the Federal Reserve Bank of New York came out with an exceptional report on the bankruptcy reform of 2005 which made it tougher for people to file bankruptcy, and was the last time bankruptcy law was significantly altered.

Bankruptcy is a lot of things to different types of entities. For a business, it is seen as a healing process that allows a company to reorganize debt so the company can do better moving forward. When an airline files for bankruptcy protection, its stock goes up. Executives are praised for taking well-reasoned action.

For...