Financial News from Bankrate.com

  • Is it smart to be a serial refinancer? Bankrate.com - Fri, Jul 22, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Rock-bottom interest rates and consumer frustration over the squirrely economic recovery have some homeowners adopting an investment strategy borrowed from the boom years: serial refinancing. Ditch private mortgage insurance, or PMI. Approximately 3.5 million U.S. homeowners refinanced at least twice between 2006 and 2008, and another 2.2 million homeowners did the same between 2009 and 2012.

  • You might be surprised to find your car warranty has expired Bankrate.com - Fri, Jul 22, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    For example, a common bumper-to-bumper car warranty is 3 years or 36,000 miles. RATE SEARCH: Check out car loan rates at Bankrate before you start shopping for a new vehicle. This includes even if the car has some miles logged on it, such as if it were used as a demo car by the dealership or automaker.

  • Pot-dealer tenant delays payment, waits for cash crop Bankrate.com - Fri, Jul 22, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Dear Real Estate Adviser, I've had a lease-to-own agreement with a tenant for nearly 2 years, but he's still not produced the deposit money spelled out by the contract. He also lied about his employment ...

  • Where will mortgage rates head next week? Bankrate.com - Thu, Jul 21, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Will rates go up, down or remain unchanged? Intro Up 18% Down 36% Unchanged 46% Panel Prediction Up Down Unchanged 18% 36% 46% This week (July 20-26), 18% of the panelists believe mortgage rates will rise ...

  • Mortgages remain low enough for refinancing Bankrate.com - Thu, Jul 21, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Mortgage interest rates bounced up and down in their usual tiny increments this week, landing at a level that was little changed from a week ago. Rates are "up a bit from the lows," but still lower than they were right before the United Kingdom's historic "Brexit" vote to leave the European Union, says Jim Sahnger, a mortgage loan originator at Schaffer Mortgage in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Sahnger says borrowers who are paying a higher-than-market rate or want to remove mortgage insurance or consolidate other debts with their home loan are prime candidates to benefit from the current combination of low rates and house price appreciation.

  • There's no blank space in Taylor Swift's bank account Bankrate.com - Wed, Jul 20, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Taylor Swift made the majority of her wealth on her 1989 World Tour, which grossed around $200 million. Swift now holds the top spot on the 2016 Forbes Celebrity 100 list, up from No. 8 in 2015. Swift was singing at events by age 10.

  • History favors an election correction for stocks Bankrate.com - Wed, Jul 20, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    No matter who you're pulling for in this year's presidential election, if you're an investor, don't bet on either candidate giving a lift to the stock market or your portfolio this year. "The assumption is that if the election is creating significant uncertainty, it would be visible in the stock market and then could be assumed to be having economic costs," says Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody's Analytics. Since 1945, the SandP 500 has gained 5.9%, on average, during presidential election years.

  • Is a mortgage with no closing costs for you? Bankrate.com - Wed, Jul 20, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    RATE SEARCH: Bankrate can help you find the lowest available mortgage rate. "There's 2 ways people achieve no-closing-cost mortgages," says Bob Walters, chief economist at mortgage lender Quicken Loans based in Detroit. "The mortgage company will flat-out waive them, which doesn't happen that often.

  • These state are cutting sales taxes for back-to-school Bankrate.com - Wed, Jul 20, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images Are state sales-tax holidays gimmicks that rely on bad tax policy and cost states much-needed money? Or do the tax-free shopping days boost local economies by getting more ...

  • Real estate rules as investing choice, survey says Bankrate.com - Tue, Jul 19, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Given the recent record highs in the SandP 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average, you might think Americans would feel excited about the future of the stock market. When we gave people a few choices and asked them to pick the best way to invest money they wouldn't need for more than 10 years, the most popular answer was real estate. Next were cash investments, such as CDs and savings accounts.

  • I've been waiting 2 years for my tax refund. Help! Bankrate.com - Tue, Jul 19, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Because you have tried contacting the IRS numerous times and still have not resolved the issue regarding your refund, you should contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service, or TAS, which is an independent organization within the IRS that can help you. The TAS is available for all taxpayers who have tried to resolve tax issues and experienced long delays, or who have economic hardship and need assistance. The TAS has offices in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

  • Donald Trump: The Bankrate interview Bankrate.com - Tue, Jul 19, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Trump, who's 70, got started in business helping his father Frank with real estate deals in New York. The rough patches don't faze Trump, including recent feuds with Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

  • Retiring next year? 8 money moves to make now Bankrate.com - Mon, Jul 18, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    As life transitions go, retirement ranks way up there among the most challenging, both financially and emotionally. After a lifetime of work, you may have mixed emotions about retirement -- looking forward to not working but nervous about leaving your work identity behind. Because retirement can be so stressful, Jeff Vollmer, a financial adviser with Hyde Park Wealth Management in Cincinnati, advises clients to begin planning 5 years in advance.

  • Escape the cubicle: 3 steps to retiring at 50 Bankrate.com - Mon, Jul 18, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    You'd want to be more like Jonathan Look Jr., who walked away from his air traffic controller's booth for the last time in 2011 at age 50 and flew to Mexico to start a new life of travel and adventure. From your first job on, you should be setting something aside in a retirement savings plan, says Ed Snyder, CFP professional at Oaktree Financial Advisors in Carmel, Indiana. "To decide what you need to save to meet your future goals, you really need to plan backwards," Snyder says.

  • A cashier's check is still useful, but beware of scams Bankrate.com - Fri, Jul 15, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Checking Joe Amon/Getty Images At some point, you may need to make a big purchase from a merchant that does not accept credit cards or personal checks. What can you do? One option is to pay with a cashier's ...

  • 10 questions to ask before getting a secured credit card Bankrate.com - Fri, Jul 15, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    It's tough to get by without a credit card. Responsible use of a credit card builds a good credit rating, too, marking the owner as mortgage-worthy. For them, a secured credit card may be the only way to establish, or re-establish, credit.

  • Listing agent ignores 2 potential buyers. Fire her? Bankrate.com - Fri, Jul 15, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Under real estate law, it's the responsibility of the listing agent to submit any and all offers to the seller, unless the seller expressly instructs the listing agent otherwise. To ask a question of the Real Estate Adviser, go to the "Ask the Experts" page and select "Buying, selling a home" as the topic. Read more Real Estate Adviser columns and more stories about real estate.

  • How do I prevent my car from hydroplaning? Bankrate.com - Fri, Jul 15, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Is my car hydroplaning? It's understandable how driving in the rain can make you feel uncomfortable when you are not accustomed to wet weather. Hydroplaning occurs when your tires don't have enough tread or tire pressure for the water to be dispersed and allow the rubber to keep contact with the road.

  • Survey: Banks make new checking accounts very rewarding Bankrate.com - Wed, Jul 13, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Checking Photo by Bankrate In major U.S. cities, it's not difficult to find banks that will offer you $50, $100 or even $400 for opening a new checking account, a new Bankrate survey has found. The reason ...

  • Refinance into a 15-year mortgage and save Bankrate.com - Wed, Jul 13, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Refinance Marilyn Nieves/Getty Images Refinancing from a 30-year mortgage into a 15-year mortgage is an excellent way of taking advantage of today's low interest rates. You pay more every month, but cut ...

  • Coveting a black card? It could change your life Bankrate.com - Tue, Jul 12, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    What is a black card? A black card is a type of extremely exclusive credit card that is almost solely reserved for the ultra-wealthy. "Black cards do have a sleek and sophisticated look that gives a cardholder an 'exclusive' kind of feeling when they hand over the card for a purchase," she says.

  • Dodge tax by moving rental profit to college fund? Bankrate.com - Tue, Jul 12, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    If I sell my rental property, and immediately put the sales proceeds to my kids' college fund (non-taxable), will I still have to pay the capital gain tax? Sorry! Directing the sales proceeds to your kids' college fund does not eliminate the capital gains tax on rental property. The first item on your agenda should be to sit down and calculate the taxes that will be owed on the sale of the rental property, keeping in mind that not all of the gain may be taxed at capital gain rates due to the depreciation recapture rules.

  • Why to keep investing in your IRA during retirement Bankrate.com - Tue, Jul 12, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Should you fund your retirement even after you retire? While the concept may seem counterintuitive, for retirees still working part time, continuing to seed a tax-deferred IRA can ensure that you have enough money to enjoy retirement long into the future. "If it doesn't harm the current lifestyle, having extra for the future is seldom a bad thing," says Ilene Davis, CFP professional, a financial adviser with Financial Independence Services in Cocoa, Florida.

  • How to dump private mortgage insurance ASAP Bankrate.com - Mon, Jul 11, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    If you bought a house with a down payment of less than 20%, your lender required you to buy mortgage insurance. Private mortgage insurance is expensive, and you can remove it after you have met some conditions. To remove PMI, or private mortgage insurance, you must have at least 20% equity in the home.

  • Will hotel bidding site net huge savings? Bankrate.com - Mon, Jul 11, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    The idea that some people would spend hundreds of dollars per night on a hotel room has always seemed crazy to me. A stay at a Walt Disney World theme hotel or a luxury resort on the beach in Cancun, Mexico, might enhance your vacation experience.

  • How the sun damages your car and what to do about it Bankrate.com - Fri, Jul 8, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Do I really need to be worried about sun damage? Just like your body, your car can get sun damage, too. Intense sunlight, as well as the heat that builds up on a car's surface and inside the car, can cause all of the problems you've noted on cars around your new neighborhood.

  • Should you refi, even if it means paying PMI? Bankrate.com - Fri, Jul 8, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    With mortgage rates so incredibly low, would you like to figure out whether a mortgage refinance makes sense? If you might have to pay private mortgage insurance, or PMI, the math gets a bit trickier. What adds urgency to the equation is the possibility of higher mortgage rates in the future.

  • When's the best time to refi your mortgage? Bankrate.com - Thu, Jul 7, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Here's how to determine whether you will benefit by refinancing your mortgage. Rate-and-term refinancing to save money. Typically, you refinance your remaining balance for a lower interest rate and a term you can afford.

  • Everything you need to know about IRAs Bankrate.com - Wed, Jul 6, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Retirement "Buy value and investments with a yield that is safe." -- Barry Armstrong, president, Armstrong Advisory Group "Make sure you are properly asset-allocated by reassessing your ...

  • Less tax, more retirement saving with IRA account Bankrate.com - Tue, Jul 5, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Polls indicate that most Americans haven't saved enough for retirement. Individual retirement accounts, or IRAs, are a tax gift from Uncle Sam. Essentially, the IRA label on an account tells financial institutions and the IRS that the account is for retirement and gets special tax treatment.

  • What to do about sex offender's offer to buy home Bankrate.com - Fri, Jul 1, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Do I have to accept an offer for my home from a registered sex offender? Most inquiries about registered sex offenders are from sellers, wondering if they're legally obligated to disclose a neighborhood sex offender to a buyer, especially if that offender is a pedophile and the buyer has kids. By law, in fact, you can refuse to accept a purchase offer from a sex offender or anyone else as long as your refusal is not in violation of the Fair Housing Act (Title 8).

  • Understanding the basics of estate planning Bankrate.com - Fri, Jul 1, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Hero Images/Getty Images Do you have an estate plan? Don't make the mistake of overlooking your assets because you think you don't have any. In fact, a basic estate plan is an important financial document ...

  • Paying more at the gas pump? Blame it on the blend Bankrate.com - Fri, Jul 1, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Why are there different blends of gasoline, and why in the world does it cause gas prices to go up? It's easy to think that you are being taken advantage of at the gas pump when you see gas prices suddenly spike, but there is a very real reason for a sudden increase when gas pumps switch out their gasoline blends. Winter blend has a higher RVP, so the fuel can evaporate in the engine properly at colder temperatures.

  • 4 keys to selling your house while you buy another Bankrate.com - Thu, Jun 30, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Listing a house for sale and buying a home at the same time is no easy feat. Here's what to consider when simultaneously buying a home and listing a house for sale. "If you have the financial reserves or the income to qualify to purchase without selling, then you are in a great place," says Ron Phipps, principal with Warwick, Rhode-Island-based Phipps Realty and past president of the National Association of Realtors.

  • Couple with baby on the way wins $10K -- and money advice Bankrate.com - Thu, Jun 30, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    Avery and Kim Alexander are expecting their first child in July. Avery Alexander, 35, is a mutual fund accountant in Lee's Summit, Missouri, a suburb of Kansas City. Avery and his wife Kim, a housing specialist for a nonprofit, have been married for 2 years, are new homeowners, and are expecting their first child in July.