Financial News from Bankrate.com

  • Rapper Birdman's net worth has soared Bankrate.com - Wed, Jan 18, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Bryan "Birdman" Williams is a rapper, co-founder of Cash Money Records, and philanthropist whose 2016 net worth was $110 million, according to Forbes. Birdman and his brother, Ronald "Slim" Williams founded Cash Money Records in 1991.

  • Do you have to file taxes? It depends on 3 things Bankrate.com - Wed, Jan 18, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    You must consider three things when determining if you need to file a tax return: your age, your filing status and your income. Once you reach a certain income level, the law usually requires you to file taxes. If you got health care coverage as required by the Affordable Care Act, also referred to as ACA or Obamacare, you might need to file a return.

  • Chris Brown's net worth: Sweet sound of success Bankrate.com - Wed, Jan 18, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Savings Celebrity Net Worth Helga Esteb/Shutterstock.com Chris Brown Net worth: $50 million (as of J) Year of birth: 1989 Education: Essex High School (Virginia) How Chris Brown's net worth was built The ...

  • How much money should I have saved by 30? Bankrate.com - Wed, Jan 18, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT
    How much money should I have saved by 30?

    The problem is, it's difficult to account for personal factors such as health, life expectancy or retirement lifestyle in the future. It also might seem daunting to determine for people who don't understand how compound investment returns and tax-advantaged retirement savings accounts can help even small savings grow significantly over time. Rather than confront a seemingly impossible savings goal, working through retirement is many people's solution.

  • 15 essential documents for preparing your tax return Bankrate.com - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    If you or someone in your family had health coverage in 2016, you will get a 1095 form. Form 1095-A -- If you, your spouse or a dependent enrolled in health insurance through a state or federal exchange, also referred to as the marketplace, you should receive Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement. The information on this new form is needed to complete Form 8962 and calculate your correct premium tax credit amount.

  • Conventional, FHA or VA mortgage: Which is for you? Bankrate.com - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Mortgage VA Loans gpointstudio/Shutterstock.com For most mortgage borrowers, there are three major loan types: conventional, FHA and VA. Here is how they compare. 1. Conventional loans Who they're for: ...

  • 5 mortgages that require little or no money down Bankrate.com - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Homebuyers with little money for a down payment are finding more home loans available for a low down payment or even no down payment. The Federal Housing Administration, or FHA, insures loans with small down payments, and private mortgage insurers have relaxed their down-payment requirements.

  • 4 reasons you need an HSA to go with your IRA Bankrate.com - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    There are a lot of reasons to love a health savings account, or HSA. An HSA complements its cousin, the Individual Retirement Arrangement, or IRA. You can sign up for an HSA if you have a qualifying high-deductible health insurance plan.

  • How much can the mechanic do without asking owner? Bankrate.com - Fri, Jan 13, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    If I leave my car for the oil change and they find other problems, will they automatically fix them or will they call me first? Whether you are bringing your car to a dealer or an independent shop, you will be asked to sign a piece of paper outlining the services and an estimate of the cost. This is commonly called a repair order, or an RO.

  • Anticipating a tax refund? You can e-file today Bankrate.com - Fri, Jan 13, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Ready to file your tax return? More than 153 million people are expected to file a return in 2017, with 80 percent projected to prepare their returns electronically using tax preparation software, according to the IRS. In addition to now accepting paper and electronically filed returns, the IRS has opened the e-door to its Free File option.

  • The complications of gifting a home to family Bankrate.com - Fri, Jan 13, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    First of all, gifting a home may be problematic for your pop if he needs Medicaid coverage in the near future. If we assume the average monthly cost of nursing home care in your state is $6,000, then Dad would have to wait years for Medicaid to kick in. You will definitely need to talk with a qualified estate or elder law attorney or financial planner if you think he may need Medicaid at some point.

  • 3 smart ways to avoid tax refund loan loans Bankrate.com - Thu, Jan 12, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    The IRS begins accepting electronic and paper tax returns on Monday, Jan. 23. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a statement, "This year, we had a number of important legislative changes to program into our systems, including the EITC refund date, as well as dealing with resource limitations," a reference to continued budget cuts that have left the agency shorthanded.

  • CD rates for Jan. 12, 2017 Bankrate.com - Thu, Jan 12, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Interest Rate Roundup CDs 1-year CD yields: 0.33% 5-year CD yields: 0.85% Rates on certificates of deposit were mixed in Bankrate's weekly survey of CD rates. The five-year CD yield stayed at 0.85 percent. ...

  • National mortgage rates for Jan. 11, 2017 Bankrate.com - Thu, Jan 12, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Interest Rate Roundup Mortgages 30-year fixed: 4.2% Average points: 0.24 Mortgage rates mostly fell this week, according to Bankrate's latest survey of large lenders. The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ...

  • See how much birthday girl Betty White is worth Bankrate.com - Thu, Jan 12, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    The adored, multiple Emmy-winning actress has amassed an estimated net worth of $45 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. White was born in Illinois, but her family relocated to Los Angeles when she was just 2 years old.

  • Where will mortgage rates head next week? Bankrate.com - Thu, Jan 12, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Will rates go up, down or remain unchanged? Intro Up 18.2% Down 27.3% Unchanged 54.5% Panel Prediction Up Down Unchanged 18.2% 27.3% 54.5% This week (Jan. 12-18), 18.2 percent of the panelists believe ...

  • Mortgage rates fall, and there's more to cheer about Bankrate.com - Thu, Jan 12, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Mortgage rates have fallen two weeks in a row. The decrease in rates was accompanied by a modest rise in mortgage applications for home purchases. To round out the positive news, the Federal Housing Administration has announced that it will cut the cost of mortgage insurance premiums.

  • Survey: Most Americans lack savings to cover emergencies Bankrate.com - Thu, Jan 12, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    When Sarah Ballard's kitchen tile floor shifted and tiles began to crack, she knew she'd have to come up with $2,000 to make the fixes. "A tilted tile could have sliced my foot open," says Ballard, 38, of Jamestown, New York. The classic emergency fund still eludes more than half of Americans, just like the Ballards, according to a new Bankrate Money Pulse survey.

  • What is a good FICO score? Bankrate.com - Wed, Jan 11, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Kinga/Shutterstock.com If you want the best finance rates possible, you need a good FICO score. Understanding what this score represents and which elements of your credit history affect it, makes it easier ...

  • Getting an unsecured line of credit for your business Bankrate.com - Wed, Jan 11, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Defined as any credit source for a business, a business line of credit allows a company to use the capital gained to grow the business and take advantage of opportunities as they arise. An unsecured business line of credit requires no collateral, though it often comes with a higher interest rate. Many lending institutions extend a line of credit in the form of a loan, with approval dependent on the type of unsecured business line of credit sought.

  • You can do this! 10 common tax-filing mistakes to avoid Bankrate.com - Wed, Jan 11, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Tax preparation software is preventing more taxpayers from making mistakes on their annual tax returns. As you review your tax return for filing by the April 18 deadline, make sure you haven't made any of them. The most common error on tax returns, year after year, is bad math.

  • What to know about paying estimated taxes Bankrate.com - Wed, Jan 11, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Form 1040-ES helps you calculate your estimated taxes and provides vouchers to send along with your estimated tax amounts if you opt to pay by check. The U.S. tax system works on a pay-taxes-as-you-earn basis, so the Treasury's goal is to get any estimated taxes regularly, too. The IRS has set up a timetable calling for estimated tax payments four times a year.

  • Avoiding a cash crunch after a spouse's death Bankrate.com - Tue, Jan 10, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    When a spouse dies, the surviving spouse is likely to be a widow in a cash crunch. "Lots of new widows -- even those with high net worth -- ask their lawyer, 'How am I going to live and pay the bills?'" says Theodore Kurlowicz, professor of estate planning and taxation at The American College of Financial Services.

  • Who owes gift or estate taxes? See the current rules Bankrate.com - Tue, Jan 10, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    If you're fortunate enough to give away substantial amounts of money or property during your lifetime, your generosity may be subject to federal gift tax rules. After death, your money and property, known as your estate, may also be subject to federal estate tax. After years of congressional battles, the estate tax was made a permanent part of the Internal Revenue Code, thanks to the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, or ATRA, which was passed Jan. 1, 2013.

  • How to haggle on your mortgage closing costs Bankrate.com - Tue, Jan 10, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    The Loan Estimate, introduced in October 2015, is intended to ease that process for borrowers like you, who want to make the mortgage transaction more affordable. The Loan Estimate is given to you within 3 business days of turning in a mortgage application. It outlines the various terms attached to the loan, including your interest rate, estimated monthly payments and the cash you need to close.

  • How much does a food truck cost? Bankrate.com - Tue, Jan 10, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Fast food is big business, and in a fast-moving world, mobile food trucks are a convenient source of sustenance for busy workers grabbing food on the way to the office or snacking at conventions. According to a survey by IBISWorld, the revenue from 3,624 food truck businesses in America was $870 million, with growth rates of 7.9 percent from 2011 to 2016. With no lease for a restaurant location and minimal staffing costs, a food truck may seem like a low-cost business opportunity.

  • Is a 401(k) early withdrawal penalty ever refunded? Bankrate.com - Tue, Jan 10, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    My investment firm withheld the 10 percent penalty and I also withheld extra tax. Am I entitled to get that 10 percent penalty back? Do these early withdrawals from my 401(k) impact my ability to receive Social Security disability?

  • Here are the tax exemption amounts for 2016 returns Bankrate.com - Mon, Jan 9, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Taxes Tax Credits Anadolu Agency/Getty Images You can take an exemption deduction for yourself, your spouse and each dependent you claim. On 2016 returns due April 18, 2017, this exemption amount is $4,050 ...

  • Which type of annuity is right for you? Bankrate.com - Fri, Jan 6, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    What, exactly, is an annuity? The most basic definition is that an annuity is a contract between the annuity's owner and a life insurance company. The payment depends on the type of annuity, interest rate, time frame, owner's age and add-ons, or "riders," the owner purchases, says Michael Kostelnik, a financial planner at Family Life Financial Planning in Mentor, Ohio.

  • Do batteries from dead hybrid cars pose a threat? Bankrate.com - Fri, Jan 6, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    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.

  • How tennis ace Serena Williams built her net worth Bankrate.com - Fri, Jan 6, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Savings Celebrity Net Worth Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images Serena Williams Net worth: $150 million (as of January 2017) Year of birth: 1981 Education: University of Massachusetts Amherst How Serena Williams' ...

  • See the new standard tax deduction amounts Bankrate.com - Fri, Jan 6, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Taxes Tax Deductions Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images You can claim the standard deduction or you can itemize your deductions, but you can't do both. Subtract your standard deduction from your adjusted ...

  • Does 'buyer beware' apply to illegal sewer line? Bankrate.com - Fri, Jan 6, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Two months after I bought a house, I discovered that the seller had run an illegal sewer line into a neighbor's property in order to make it appear as if the house had a sewer-line connection. Does "caveat emptor" apply? There wasn't any way for me to detect that sewer line during the inspection.

  • Mortgage rates fall into the new year Bankrate.com - Thu, Jan 5, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Mortgage rates edged downward this week. Before this week, mortgage rates had gone up nine weeks in a row. From the end of September until the end of 2016, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage climbed a little more than three-quarters of a percentage point.

  • Filing status makes a difference in your tax bill Bankrate.com - Thu, Jan 5, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Taxes Tax Filing Hilary Helton/Getty Images Your tax-filing status could make a big difference in what you will ultimately owe the IRS. There are five choices, and the one you pick determines whether you ...