Financial News from Bankrate.com

  • Pedophile neighbor gives would-be buyer 2nd thoughts Bankrate.com - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    You have apparently signed the equivalent of a letter of intent to purchase real estate, a document that outlines your proposed transaction with the owner. Read more Real Estate Adviser columns and more stories about real estate.

  • Widow has new van she can't afford. Is it dealer's fault? Bankrate.com - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Read more Driving for Dollars columns and Bankrate auto stories. Bankrate's content, including the guidance of its advice-and-expert columns and this website, is intended only to assist you with financial decisions. Bankrate recommends that you seek the advice of advisers who are fully aware of your individual circumstances before making any final decisions or implementing any financial strategy.

  • Checks: rarely used, but still useful for many Bankrate.com - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    There was a time not too long ago when running out of checks was cause for panic and ordering your first set of personal checks was a milestone. If you lose access to the Internet while you're completing a purchase, making your rent payment or mailing a payment to an official office such as the Internal Revenue Service, you might need to write out personal checks. The recipient's name goes on the line in the center of the check that's labeled "Pay to the order of." Use the full name of the person or the official name of the business to be sure the payment goes through.

  • Think you know how much an inground pool costs? Bankrate.com - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Additionally, homeowners must research local laws regarding building codes and safety standards, which might specify a type of fence, locks, and other safety equipment you need to have on hand. After all, installing an above ground pool requires little more than flattening the area and removing grass and weeds. Accessories: Pumps, ladders, filters, pool fencing, solar heaters, cleaning tools, brushes, covers, and chemicals all add to the final price tag.

  • How outspoken businessman Mark Cuban built his net worth Bankrate.com - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Celebrity Net Worth John Lamparski/Getty Images Mark Cuban Net worth: $3.3 billion (as of September 2016) Year of birth: 1958 Education: Indiana University How Mark Cuban's net worth was built Mark Cuban's ...

  • What did the Fed say -- and what on Earth did it mean? Bankrate.com - Thu, Sep 22, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Federal Reserve officials ended their September meeting by leaving an interest rate hike on hold -- which may seem straightforward. Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in July indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and growth of economic activity has picked up from the modest pace seen in the first half of this year. Although the unemployment rate is little changed in recent months, job gains have been solid, on average.

  • Where will mortgage rates head next week? Bankrate.com - Thu, Sep 22, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Will rates go up, down or remain unchanged? Intro Up 11% Down 56% Unchanged 33% Panel Prediction Up Down Unchanged 11% 56% 33% This week (Sept. 22-28), 11% of the panelists believe mortgage rates will ...

  • Sick wife must repay Obamacare discount for using 401(k) Bankrate.com - Thu, Sep 22, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    When her savings was gone, she borrowed from her 401(k) to pay bills. When we filed our taxes for 2015, we were told that even though my wife paid the taxes on her 401(k) distribution, it was also considered income. ACA wanted her health care discounts back due to the 401(k) distribution.

  • When can you tap your IRA without owing a tax penalty? Bankrate.com - Wed, Sep 21, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    You've been saving diligently in an IRA for your retirement, but now you need some of that cash to cover today's expenses. The tax laws governing early distributions are toughest when it comes to traditional IRAs, but they also apply, albeit slightly differently, to Roth accounts. For both types of retirement plans, the IRS generally considers IRA withdrawals made before you reach age 59 1/2 as premature distributions.

  • Drawbacks of refinancing into a 15-year mortgage Bankrate.com - Wed, Sep 21, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    When you refinance from a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage to a 15-year home loan, you pay a lower interest rate and you save a lot in interest payments. Along with paying off high-interest rate debt, McBride advises saving for emergencies and for retirement.

  • Refinance into a 15-year mortgage and save money Bankrate.com - Wed, Sep 21, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    RATE SEARCH: Find the best deal today for a 15-year mortgage. Interest rates on 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages typically run about three-quarters of a percentage point lower than the interest rates on equivalent 30-year home loans. The monthly payments are higher than for a 30-year loan.

  • 10 terms that every IRA saver needs to know Bankrate.com - Wed, Sep 21, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    If you already have an IRA or are thinking of opening one, give yourself a pat on the back. An IRA is a great retirement resource that offers the benefits of tax savings and growth through compounding. Here are 10 IRA terms that retirement savers should understand.

  • Do I get tax credit for new garage with solar panels? Bankrate.com - Tue, Sep 20, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Think of it in the same terms as not being able to deduct the cost of your home if the solar panels were installed on the roof of your home and not the garage. You are correct on the 30% credit amount, and qualifying equipment includes not only solar equipment for heating water or generating electricity, but also wind turbines and fuel-cell property.

  • See how much Patriots owner Robert Kraft is worth Bankrate.com - Tue, Sep 20, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Celebrity Net Worth Drew Angerer/Getty Images Robert Kraft Net worth: $5.2 billion (as of September 2016) Year of birth: 1941 Education: Columbia University and Harvard Business School How Robert Kraft's ...

  • Posh perks for elite credit card holders Bankrate.com - Tue, Sep 20, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Holding one makes you part of a special club of cardholders. Elite cardholders have a higher level of income, a higher credit rating and higher spending. Bankrate dives into the high-class world of elite credit cards and charge cards to find out.

  • Determining best retirement states for politically weary Bankrate.com - Tue, Sep 20, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Particularly for those living in so-called battleground states, the idea of retiring somewhere that's less politically engaged probably sounds pretty nice right now. To help those feeling a little burned out at this point in the election cycle, we incorporated data on political engagement into our rankings of the best states to retire to give prospective retirees some places where they might be able to get away from it all.

  • Is the timing right for a Fed rate hike? Bankrate.com - Mon, Sep 19, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    The Federal Reserve's rate-setting panel meets this week to hash out whether to make its first rate boost in 10 months (and only the 2nd since June 2006), and it's enough to give investors indigestion. "Will this be a September to remember?" asked John Canally, chief economic strategist of LPL Financial. The Federal Open Market Committee has a window this month -- almost 7 weeks before the presidential election -- to raise interest rates by a quarter point from its current range of 0.25% to 0.5%.

  • How to qualify for a premium rewards credit card Bankrate.com - Mon, Sep 19, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    The recent launch of the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card has been a smashing success -- for Chase, and for certain consumers. During the first few days following its August introduction, tens of thousands of people signed up for this rewards card, which comes with a huge sign-up bonus and generous travel rewards, but also carries a hefty $450 annual fee. Chase says most of the cards early on went to millennials, a group that generally loathes credit cards.

  • Breaking down the costs of finishing a basement Bankrate.com - Fri, Sep 16, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Transforming a basement into a second living room, workshop or playroom for the kids is a clever way to improve the value of a property, expanding the usable square footage and making your home more versatile. ...

  • 6 NFL players with surprisingly frugal lifestyle Bankrate.com - Fri, Sep 16, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Previous 1 of 7 Next Previous 1 of 7 Next The Washington Post/Getty Images Cheapskate NFL players sack spending There's no shortage of stories about NFL players who made it to the big time and racked up ...

  • Closing disclosure reveals FSBO seller owes buyer's agent a commission Bankrate.com - Fri, Sep 16, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    It claims I'm stuck paying the commission to the buyer's agent! Since I had no agent, the buyer's agent says she's also acting as the selling agent and claims I signed a form stating this. If the contract clearly states you agreed to pay the agent part or full commission, you may be technically obligated, as unreasonable as this might sound. When buyers suggest a FSBO (or, for-sale-by-owner) listing, such as yours to an agent, they're often steered away unless the seller agrees to pay half or full commission.

  • Do batteries from dead hybrid cars pose a threat? Bankrate.com - Fri, Sep 16, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    There are lots of rumors circulating about what happens to hybrid car batteries when the cars they are in are no longer operational. Most hybrid car batteries are made up of nickel-metal-hydride cells which have substantial recycled value because they contain precious metals, so they are actually a desirable product for recycling. Auto manufacturers that produce hybrid cars all have internal programs to recover the hybrid batteries from their used cars or those that are considered defective, such as from being in a collision.

  • National mortgage rates for Sept. 15, 2016 Bankrate.com - Thu, Sep 15, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Interest Rate Roundup Mortgages 30-year fixed: 3.64% Average points: 0.23 Mortgage rates rose this week, according to Bankrate's latest survey of large lenders. The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ...

  • Mortgage rates rise after 6 weeks of quiet Bankrate.com - Thu, Sep 15, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Michael Moskowitz, president of Equity Now, a mortgage lender based in New York City, says the increase in rate has been relatively modest, at least for some borrowers. RATE SEARCH: Get prequalified today with mortgage lenders you'll find on Bankrate.com. The standard advice nowadays is that if you're comfortable with the interest rate on the mortgage, go ahead and lock.

  • CD rates for Sept. 15, 2016 Bankrate.com - Thu, Sep 15, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Interest Rate Roundup CDs 1-year CD yields: 0.3% 5-year CD yields: 0.81% Rates on certificates of deposit were mixed in Bankrate's weekly survey of CD rates. The 5-year CD yield rose 1 basis point to 0.81%. ...

  • Does your state have foreclosure troubles? See the rankings Bankrate.com - Thu, Sep 15, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Foreclosure filings increased more than 10% nationally from July to August. Here's how the 50 states and the District of Columbia rank for foreclosure filings in August, according to RealtyTrac, a California-based ...

  • Don't believe these 9 myths about building better credit Bankrate.com - Thu, Sep 15, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Sadly, there are no real quick fixes despite what some commercials or online credit repair ads might proclaim. The key to increasing your credit score is good payment behavior along with time and a healthy mix of credit types. FREE TOOL: Worried there may be mistakes on your credit report?

  • Will government make personal loans harder to get? Bankrate.com - Thu, Sep 15, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    For borrowers with good or excellent credit, personal loans are relatively easy to come by and very cheap to finance. "Subprime and near prime borrowers are the ones who have fewer options available to them to begin with," says Brian Knight, a senior research fellow for the financial markets working group at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. RATE SEARCH: Find the lowest personal loan rates today.

  • Floyd Mayweather's net worth: They don't call him 'Money' for nothing Bankrate.com - Wed, Sep 14, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Jason LaVeris/Getty Images Floyd Mayweather Net worth: $400 million (as of September 2016) Year of birth: 1977 Education: High school dropout How Floyd Mayweather's net worth was built Floyd "Money" ...

  • Special tax credit could pay off, but expect delays Bankrate.com - Wed, Sep 14, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    The earned income tax credit, or EITC, can be a great benefit for workers who don't make much money or to those who did work but then lost a job. It even can produce a tax refund for eligible filers who had no tax liability. Most tax credits are nonrefundable, meaning they simply zero out a tax bill.

  • My Mom gave me the family condo. Do I have to pay tax on it? Bankrate.com - Tue, Sep 13, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    My mother, father and I jointly own a condo. My father is now deceased and prior to his death, he quitclaimed his right to the property to my mother. My mother has now transferred her interest in the property to me.

  • How to get the most from your rewards credit cards Bankrate.com - Tue, Sep 13, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    The average household active in a rewards program doesn't redeem a third of the rewards they earn each year, according to a study from Colloquy and Swift Exchange. "There are probably a slew of people out there who have cards with points on all of them," says John Ulzheimer, a nationally recognized expert on credit reporting, credit scoring and identity theft. Of course, the point of getting a rewards credit card is to treat yourself to the perks of the rewards program.

  • Bankrate survey: Election is the economy's top threat Bankrate.com - Tue, Sep 13, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Americans are so alarmed by the presidential election that 3 in 5 say that its outcome poses the biggest near-term threat to the economy. In a national survey, Bankrate asked adults what they think poses the biggest threat to the U.S. economy over the next 6 months and 61% of respondents said it will be the outcome of the presidential election. The election outcome finished far ahead of terrorism, struggling overseas economies, a decline in the stock market and an increase in interest rates.

  • What must a home have to lure millennial buyers? Bankrate.com - Tue, Sep 13, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Real Estate What young buyers want Previous 1 of 11 Next copyright Goodluz/Shutterstock.com What young buyers want The millennial generation has emerged as a dominant force in the housing market. According ...

  • Jay Z has 99 problems, but money ain't one Bankrate.com - Mon, Sep 12, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    While primarily known for his music in the hip-hop scene, Jay Z's business ventures have contributed tremendously to his $610 million net worth. Tidal, his streaming service, has more than 3 million subscribers. Of course, his Roc Nation entertainment company, Armand de Brignac champagne and D'Usse cognac are also helping his net worth grow.