Some Student Borrowers Face Default if Cosigner Dies

Many parents and grandparents are aware of the hazards of cosigning an education loan, putting themselves on the hook to repay if the student doesn’t. Now another wrinkle has emerged that can end up hurting student borrowers: Under the terms offered by most private lenders, institutions can demand that borrowers immediately repay a loan in full if the cosigner dies or files for bankruptcy. These so-called auto-defaults can occur even if the borrower has been keeping up with payments. And …

Payday Loan Fees Often Exceed the Amount Borrowed

If you need more evidence that payday loans can be a debt trap, look no further than today’s report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The agency found that 4 out of 5 payday loans are renewed or rolled over within two weeks after the end of their term. In half of these cases, the borrower renews the loan at least 10 times in a row. And repeat borrowing may be more expensive than many borrowers may realize. Fees in …

Cyber Scam Predictions for 2014

As the year closes, leading online security vendors are looking into their crystal balls – or rather, reviewing recent trends of trickery – to predict the top cyber scams of 2014. Some notables worth a mention: TVs watching you. Many traditionally “dumb” devices are getting “smarter” – televisions, gaming systems and even baby monitors are being connected to the Internet and often contain cameras or microphones. So, many cybercops predict them to be a magnet for attack, such as remote spying. …

New York Cracks Down on Sites With Payday Loan Ties

Ida Bibbs, a 71-year-old grandmother from New York City, wasn’t looking for a loan online, but who could resist a solicitation promising quick and easy money? No banks. No credit checks. The result, as it turned out, was a suffocating debt trap. Bibbs says she took out one high-interest, short-term loan after another from payday lenders online. First she borrowed $400, then $300 and finally $500, all in the last year.  She used the money to pay her rent - she’d …

Want Your FICO Credit Score for Free?

So you want to know your credit score but you don’t want to pay for it? You may be in luck. Accessing your FICO score, which lenders use to judge creditworthiness and decide whether to grant you that loan or credit card, is getting a bit easier. Discover Financial Services is the latest credit card issuer to provide its customers with their FICO scores if they qualify for one of their cards, Bloomberg reports. “Discover it” cardholders will be the …

Rent to Own? It Could Cost You Big Time

As the holiday shopping season gets under way, you may be tempted to buy that fancy flat-screen TV, a laptop with the latest technologies or a stylish sofa to replace the one your cat uses as a scratching post. (I’m talking to you, Indy). To pay for that big-ticket item, you may be tempted by rent-to-own deals in department stores that now offer them, like Kmart and Sears, according to a Bloomberg report. , rent-to-own deals usually take advantage of …