Financial News from Bankrate.com

  • Why isn't the bank crediting my deposit? Bankrate.com - 22 hours ago

    Consumer advocates have long argued that the credit reporting dispute process is overly complex and structured in a way that can benefit the businesses over the consumer. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's complaint database, which began including public narratives this summer, is littered with grievances regarding the credit report dispute process. Capital One, Chase, U.S. Bank, Experian, TransUnion and the Consumer Data Industry Association, which represents the three credit bureaus, all declined to comment on Henry's case, citing the pending litigation.

  • Are savings bonds or CDs better for grandkids? Bankrate.com - Fri, Jul 24, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Should I get savings bonds or certificates of deposit? To Nanna's question: At today's rates, I'll take the savings bonds. If you think your grandkids will want to cash out their bonds before the 20-year mark, then you may want to consider a Series I savings bond.

  • 4 ways to save on your next vacation Bankrate.com - Fri, Jul 24, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    "Ninety-five percent of the people I know will book their reservations online," says Peter Greenberg, CBS News travel editor and founder of PeterGreenberg.com. Whether you're searching flights, hotel rooms or cruises, "only about 52 percent of the available inventory is online," he says. Better move: Research online, and then pick up the phone, says Greenberg.

  • Stop my teen from driving and using a cellphone? Bankrate.com - Fri, Jul 24, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    It's not just a teen driver problem, though certainly teens are more at risk of an accident since they are less experienced on the road. Some newer cars have features built in to block cellphone use and to report usage and driving habits such as speed and hard braking by teen drivers. One of the most advanced aftermarket devices recognized by the car insurance industry is DriveID from Cellcontrol.

  • What are the rules for a spouse who inherits IRA? Bankrate.com - Thu, Jul 23, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    If my spouse passes away, and I'm only 35 years old, would I have to pay an additional 10 percent above my regular income tax on the distribution from his IRA? You can designate yourself as the owner of the IRA. This means that you determine the required minimum distribution, or RMD, as if you were the owner beginning with the year you make this election.

  • Get debt collectors to leave you alone Bankrate.com - Thu, Jul 23, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    My problem is collection agencies keep calling my home number asking for people who not only don't live here, but have never lived in my apartment. Unfortunately, some collection agencies treat oral debt disputes, such as yours, as an immediate signal to sell the debt before it is formally disputed. By selling informally disputed debts, collectors can sidestep the legal obligations imposed by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA.

  • Mortgage rates go for a dip as stocks sag Bankrate.com - Thu, Jul 23, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Mortgage rates fell this week despite the fact that global market concerns seemed to be getting smaller in the rearview mirror. The Greek debt crisis has been "put on the back burner," says Michael Becker, branch manager at Sierra Pacific Mortgage in White Marsh, Maryland. Existing-home sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.49 million in June from 5.32 million in May, a 3.2 percent increase.

  • Long-term care insurance if you retire abroad Bankrate.com - Thu, Jul 23, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Many baby boomers dream of retiring abroad where the (cost of) livin' is easy. In fact, the number of Social Security recipients already living that retirement dream outside the U.S. increased 50 percent ...

  • Where will mortgage rates head next week? Bankrate.com - Thu, Jul 23, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Will rates go up, down or remain unchanged? Intro Up 36% Down 18% Unchanged 46% Panel Prediction Up Down Unchanged 36% 18% 46% This week (July 23-29), 36 percent of the panelists believe mortgage rates ...

  • National mortgage rates for July 23, 2015 Bankrate.com - Thu, Jul 23, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Interest Rate Roundup Find the best mortgage rates in your area. Mortgages 30-year fixed: 4.12% Average points: 0.26 Mortgage rates fell this week, according to Bankrate's July 22 survey of interest rates. ...

  • CD rates for July 23, 2015 Bankrate.com - Thu, Jul 23, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Interest Rate Roundup Compare CD rates nationally and in your area. CDs 1-year CD yields: 0.27% 5-year CD yields: 0.87% Rates on certificates of deposit were unchanged in Bankrate's July 22 national survey ...

  • Retirement systems: How Canada and US match up Bankrate.com - Thu, Jul 23, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Canadians over 65 are much less likely to live in poverty than their American counterparts, but surveys show most Canadians still worry about running short of money in retirement. Canada's retirement system offers definite advantages to low-income workers compared with that of the United States, but "neither one serves middle-income, private sector workers very well," says economist and pension expert Keith Ambachtsheer, director emeritus of the University of Toronto's International Centre for Pension Management at the Rotman School of Management. In both countries, traditional defined benefit pensions that promised lifetime retirement checks are on the wane.

  • State sales-tax holidays for back-to-school Bankrate.com - Wed, Jul 22, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Some call state sales-tax holidays gimmicks that rely on bad tax policy and cost states much-needed money. Others say the tax-free shopping days boost local economies by getting more people into stores ...

  • Can I force my ex to pay joint credit card debt? Bankrate.com - Wed, Jul 22, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    My ex won't pay toward joint credit card debt! How can I force her to pay? "If the ex was required to (pay the debt) in the divorce order, then the remedy is a motion to enforce the order," says Margot Saunders, an attorney with the National Consumer Law Center. Beyond that, however, you don't have much legal recourse in this situation, since, well, legally you're just as responsible for the credit card account as your ex is.

  • Does a widow get Social Security for 2? Bankrate.com - Wed, Jul 22, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Why won't Social Security let me draw a portion of his Social Security? My monthly Social Security benefit exceeded his. The Social Security representative tells me that because my benefit is higher, I am unable to draw survivors benefits, but this leaves me with all the bills and cuts my income from Social Security almost in half.

  • Did brother abuse his power of attorney with Mom's $900K? Bankrate.com - Wed, Jul 22, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Your brother, as the person with power of attorney to manage your mother's finances, has a fiduciary responsibility to put your mother's financial interests first. Since I'm not an attorney, I asked Linda Anderson of Anderson Elder Law to help me with your question.

  • Survey: What's our most trusted investment? Bankrate.com - Wed, Jul 22, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    For the first time in three years, real estate was the most popular investment option in a survey that accompanied Bankrate's Financial Security Index. When asked what kind of investments made the most sense, 27 percent said they'd invest in property if they had a pool of spare cash. CDs and other cash investments, the top answer in Bankrate's 2013 and 2014 surveys, came in second at 23 percent.

  • Financial security stays positive for 14th month Bankrate.com - Wed, Jul 22, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Americans continue to feel good about their personal finances despite a diminished confidence in their jobs, according to a monthly reading by Bankrate. Bankrate's Financial Security Index for July remained in positive territory for the 14th month. Any reading above 100 indicates improved financial security over the past 12 months.

  • Marijuana stocks could leave you dry, not so high Bankrate.com - Wed, Jul 22, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Nearly half of the states around the country have legalized the medical use of marijuana, and a handful of others approved it for recreational use, creating "the fastest-growing industry in America," according to a report issued by ArcView Market Research, a marijuana research and investment firm. The legal cannabis industry reached $2.7 billion in sales in 2014, and it's projected to grow to $10.2 billion by the end of the decade, according to a recent report issued by The ArcView Group. While profits weren't a requirement during the Internet bubble, financial backing was, and the federal government's opposition to marijuana's legalization has proven to be an obstacle.

  • Can I claim house damage as a loss on my taxes? Bankrate.com - Tue, Jul 21, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Because you have not provided specific details on your situation other than the damage was not covered by your homeowners insurance, let's take a look at the IRS requirements for this tax deduction. An example of this would be termite damage or other types of damage that are naturally caused from a process rather than a sudden event. If you have made it with me this far and believe you have a casualty loss, then you need to be aware of how much of the loss is going to be deductible.

  • Will bankruptcy save my home from foreclosure? Bankrate.com - Tue, Jul 21, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    My house is in foreclosure, and I have had to use my credit cards for living expenses. Can I file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and save my home, or is it too late? You say that you want to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy to save your house.

  • Why does my insured son have big hospital bills? Bankrate.com - Mon, Jul 20, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    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. Please remember that your use of this website is governed by Bankrate's Terms of Use.

  • How to know if you are owed an inheritance Bankrate.com - Mon, Jul 20, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    You can also purchase access to the Social Security Death Index through the National Technical Information Service. If his date of death is established, you can request a verification of death from Texas Vital Statistics, assuming that he died in Texas.

  • 4 dumb mistakes people make when they hit the jackpot Bankrate.com - Mon, Jul 20, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    "I'll never forget the first thing a banker said to a client of mine after he sold his cement company several years ago for $400 million-$500 million: 'Don't blow it,'" says Richard Rampell, CEO of Palm Beach, Florida, accounting firm Rampell and Rampell. Among those who aren't sophisticated about personal finances, failing to hire an honest, competent, conflict-free financial adviser may be the biggest mistake. "Find someone whose interests will be aligned with yours, preferably a fee-only adviser, not someone who wants to sell you life insurance, mutual funds, etc., for a commission," Rampell says.

  • Psych yourself up to save for retirement Bankrate.com - Fri, Jul 17, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    It can be difficult to do something you don't really want to do, particularly if the task is complicated and ongoing. Look at the newbies at any American gym in early January. Even those who embark on ...

  • Should we abandon money pit of a home? Bankrate.com - Fri, Jul 17, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Many flaws, including plumbing, obvious termite damage and others, weren't disclosed, and they're struggling to fix them. Your son and his wife seem to be victims of a combination of professional ineptitude, real estate disclosure fraud and quite possibly, that ol' home-warranty-policy hard sell.

  • Can my car air conditioner kill my fuel economy? Bankrate.com - Fri, Jul 17, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    A co-worker said that it's because of my car's air conditioner. Could using my air conditioner really be killing my fuel economy? It is true that running your car's air conditioning decreases your fuel economy.

  • Loan options for building a backyard pool Bankrate.com - Fri, Jul 17, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    As for how to pay for it, we are deciding whether to save the money, which should take about a year, or get a home equity line of credit or second mortgage and take a tax deduction on the interest expense. Ah, I don't get too many questions about swimming pools, so let's jump right in. By your estimate, you can save the money over a year's time, so you can pay off the loan with only a year's interest expense.

  • Can mergers ruin customer service? Bankrate.com - Fri, Jul 17, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Mergers and acquisitions are increasingly common in the U.S., as activity has heated up over the past year. Each one leaves customers with a slew of questions about the impact on customer service, product offerings and prices. Take Charter Communications' $77 billion bid for Time Warner Cable.

  • Whom does a real estate agent really represent? Bankrate.com - Thu, Jul 16, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Real Estate You probably don't buy and sell a home often. Real estate salesmen help with the process. But: Before you, the seller, confess how low an offer you'll accept ... Or you, the buyer, admit you'll ...

  • When a bank fails, what happens to your money? Bankrate.com - Thu, Jul 16, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Did you know that the amount of money in your bank account matters in the unlikely event your bank fails? While your deposits are insured for up to $250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., or FDIC, that doesn't mean every account at a particular bank is covered for that amount. "A lot of consumers don't understand what the limits are," says Thomas Healy, deputy chief compliance officer at Ally Bank.

  • Mortgages bounce higher after Greek debt deal Bankrate.com - Thu, Jul 16, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Mortgage rates moved slightly higher this week after signs pointed to a much-anticipated debt relief deal for Greece. But mixed reports from the mortgage industry underscored the housing market's volatility. ...

  • CD rates for July 16, 2015 Bankrate.com - Thu, Jul 16, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Interest Rate Roundup Compare CD rates nationally and in your area. CDs 1-year CD yields: 0.27% 5-year CD yields: 0.87% There was little change to rates on certificates of deposit. Only 1 basis point changed ...

  • Work and tap 401(k) to delay Social Security? Bankrate.com - Thu, Jul 16, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    If I collect Social Security at 63, I would get approximately $1,650 per month. If, instead, I delay filing for Social Security and draw on my 401(k) at a 4% withdrawal rate, that would give me $1,453, allowing me just under $4,000 in monthly income. Do you recommend drawing from the 401(k) and allowing the Social Security to increase?

  • National mortgage rates for July 16, 2015 Bankrate.com - Thu, Jul 16, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Interest Rate Roundup Find the best mortgage rates in your area. Mortgages 30-year fixed: 4.17% Average points: 0.24 Mortgage rates increased this week, according to Bankrate's survey of interest rates. ...