interest rates

Payday Lender Ordered to Pay $10 Million Over Collection Practices

Posted on 07/14/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsAce Cash Express, one of the nation’s largest payday lenders, has agreed to pay a $10 million settlement over its collection practices. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said that Ace, based in Irving, Tex., must refund $5 million to customers who fell victim to such practices from March 2011 to September 2012; it must also pay a $5 million civil penalty. Payday loans are taken out by people who need quick cash between paychecks. Companies such as Ace Cash Express have been known …

Getting a Student Loan? Your Interest Rate Just Went Up

Posted on 07/1/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsStarting today, parents and college students will be paying more for federal education loans. Interest rates on new federal loans are adjusted every July, and this year’s rates are slightly higher than those for loans issued in the previous 12 months. The rate on Stafford loans for undergraduates is now 4.66 percent, up from 3.89 percent. Parents and graduate students now will pay a rate of 7.21 percent for PLUS loans, compared with 6.41 percent previously. These rates are fixed …

Interest Rates Are Low Until You Do the Math

Posted on 05/1/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Money & SavingsI often hear that interest rates are awful and that it’s the worst time ever for retirees needing to live on fixed income. Yet when you look at after-tax, inflation-adjusted returns, a different picture emerges. Many people smile when I tell them that back in 1980 they could have earned 12 percent on a 10-year U.S. Treasury or certificate of deposit (CD). Depositing $10,000 would have returned $1,200 a year. But if a third went to taxes, that gain would …

Medical Credit Card Issuer Ordered to Make Refunds

Posted on 12/12/2013 by |Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsA dentist tells an older patient during an exam that she needs expensive treatment. She can’t pay the fee outright, so the dentist immediately arranges financing through a medical credit card plan. A month later, the patient opens her first bill and discovers that the card is not interest-free, as she’d thought. In fact, it carried an annual interest rate as high as 27 percent if she didn’t pay it off within a certain period. Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer …

Looking to Downsize? Now May Be the Time.

Posted on 03/22/2013 by |Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsIf you’re looking to downsize or move closer to your grandchildren, now may be the time. More people are buying existing homes and inventory is dropping. So as the spring selling season gets underway, and there are fewer homes to choose from, it’s a good time to put your house on the market. Home sales were up  nearly 1 percent in February but 10 percent over last year, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. Sales haven’t been that robust since …

Congress Closes In On Deal To Keep Student Loan Interest Rates Low

Posted on 06/27/2012 by |Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsFor those of you with children or grandchildren about to start college, there may be some good news to report. Congress seems ready to agree to a deal that would prevent interest rates on federal subsidized student loans from doubling to 6.8 percent. Democrats and Republicans both say they want the deal, but they’re still arguing over how to finance it. If they can reach agreement by July 1, rates will remain at 3.4 percent for another year. And that …