Consumer Agency May Clamp Down on Payday Lenders

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is proposing new rules to restrict high-cost payday and car-title loans that often leave borrowers in worse financial shape. The agency can’t do anything about the interest rates charged — that’s up to the states — although it does have the authority to regulate the lenders making these loans. “Too many short-term and longer-term loans are made based on the lender’s ability to collect and not on a borrower’s ability to repay,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray …

Reaching Across Party Lines to Support Caregivers

Members of Congress announced Tuesday the formation of the Assisting Caregivers Today caucus, a bipartisan coalition that aims to bring more attention to the plight of family caregivers. With the support of AARP and more than 20 other national organizations, Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Reps. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) had an afternoon news conference to announce their efforts to provide more help for people to live independently as well as to …

Getting Real About Fund Fees

So it’s time to get real about mutual fund fees. Sure, they’re lower than ever for many funds, especially those that track an index. In fact, the average fund fee is now 1.25 percent, according to Chicago-based Morningstar. Still, even this amount is too high and needlessly gives away most of your expected future gains. To understand this, consider the following: You have to frame your gains in real, after-inflation returns. In other words, your portfolio must match inflation just to keep your spending power intact. You …

How to Make Your Financial Dreams a Reality

In his “I Have a Dream” speech, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. encouraged us to think about the real possibilities of a brighter future — a future that affords us to live in comfort and prosperity. It is in that spirit that we encourage you to evaluate your dream of financial security. >> AARP’s Financial Freedom Program There are several steps you should consider to help you work toward financial freedom as you kick off the new year with a …

Perceptions About Social Issues Among African Americans/Blacks Age 50 and Over

In 2014, we conducted a study to examine the importance of key social issues facing African Americans/blacks who are age 50 and older, and also to gauge their optimism in regard to these social issues. The figures and associated infographic were recently updated. >> Visit AARP Research for Information, Insights, and Trends Impacting Americans 50+ The key findings from the study show: Access to high-quality health care and having a financially secure retirement are the most important issues facing age …

Banks Ease Terms for Struggling Student Borrowers

Big banks are beginning to cut some slack to distressed student-loan borrowers. Wells Fargo announced a new program this week that will lower the interest rate on loans so payments will be more affordable based on a struggling borrower’s income. The bank will review borrowers’ financial situations to determine whether they qualify for short- or long-term loan modification. >> 8 Hidden College Expenses According to the Wall Street Journal, both borrowers and cosigners will have to show financial hardship to get a modification. Modifications …