Money Watch, a personal finance column that runs every Saturday, features a financial planner from the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors answering reader questions about saving, protecting and growing your money. To submit a question, e-mail USA TODAY personal finance reporter Christine Dugas at: [email protected] Q: I owe $45,000 to six credit cards. I pay a total of over $1,000 a month. What is the best way to manage this debt? Can I get a five-year loan so there is just one payment? A: Unfortunately, there is no quick fix to get out of credit card debt. It is important to explore all the pros and cons of the debt consolidation options and stay clear of quick-fix schemes.Here are some ways you may be able to get a five-year loan to consolidate your debt.-- A secured personal loan. Banks, credit unions and other professional lenders offer this type of loan. However, it requires the backing of some type of collateral. Secured loans are often used to purchase an … [Read more...] about Money Watch: Tips on tackling credit card debt
Can i finance a car with bad credit
Three weeks ahead of the coming apocalypse, Matthew Heimbach knew that violence was a real possibility in Charlottesville, Va.A prominent white nationalist who’d squared off with leftist counterprotesters before, Heimbach said the group he was leading into Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park would be prepared: helmets and shields. And a security wing of his fringe political party would openly carry weapons.Standing in the middle of an Indiana forest where he sometimes films propaganda videos, Heimbach cast himself and his cause — the defense of white heritage — in the most romantic of terms.“I know — and my wife knows — whenever I go to an event, like the ancient Spartan wives used to tell their husbands, come back with your shield — or on it. And my family knows this will likely cost me my life or freedom in this system we are fighting.” Stains on a city: The story of Charlottesville told in … [Read more...] about Indiana white nationalist called ‘the next David Duke’ isn’t stopping with Charlottesville
Will sticker shock — coupled with three rounds of possible interest rate hikes in 2017 — drive more consumers out of the new-car market?As the auto industry comes off back-to-back record sales years, some auto experts are questioning how high sales for new cars and trucks can grow given existing challenges and expected new higher-rate hurdles in 2017.Consumers are dealing with a world where some costs are going up far faster than many incomes. As interest rates go up, the cost of existing debt on credit cards and other variable rate loans will go up, as well.Before shopping for a new car, SUV or truck, it is becoming more important than ever to start out asking: What exactly can I afford? What's a reasonable monthly payment? What other costs do I need to consider? And, really, how long do I expect to hold onto that new vehicle?"A lot of cars here today are 50-grand or more. Most people can't afford that," said Ryan Fortenbacher, 35, who was visiting the North … [Read more...] about How much is too much for a car payment?
He thought he was ready. Sean Bowie expected governing to come naturally, but the two months since his election had been filled with things he wanted and couldn’t have: a second job to pay off his student loans, the portrait of Teddy Roosevelt he asked to hang in his office and more time to figure out how a Democrat gets anything done in Arizona.And he needed a new suit. Bowie had lost 15 pounds during the campaign, walking door to door in a district that usually elected Republicans. A steady diet of Kit Kat bars wasn’t bringing back the weight, and he spent the last weekend of his private life in search of something to fit a 6-foot-5, 135-pound state senator.Fifteen suit shops yielded nothing, so on his first day Bowie pulled on the same gray suit he wore on election night and welcomed his guests to the smallest office in the Senate.“What do you think of the office?” he asked the day’s first visitors, three friends from his time with an … [Read more...] about The long shot: Freshman Democrat Sean Bowie learns the tough lessons of serving in a GOP Senate
Ever since Arizona voters outlawed high-interest payday loans in 2008, the lending industry has been looking for ways around that ban.This year, the debate is playing out in the form of "flex loans," short-term loans that would have a maximum 24-month term and a $2,500 cap. In addition, borrowers would be limited to one loan at a time, with their practices tracked by a database to ensure they don't pile up debt.But it's the interest rate that's animated the debate: Although an unsecured loan is advertised with a 17 percent monthly rate, it works out to 204 percent on an annualized basis.Proponents say people with poor credit need a quick cash option to deal with emergencies. Critics say it's a callous attempt to prey on the vulnerable.On Tuesday, the House of Representatives hotly debated the issue for three hours before giving preliminary approval to Senate Bill 1316. It could get a final vote this week. If it passes the House, it would then have to go to the Senate and … [Read more...] about Does a 204 percent interest rate help in a pinch?
Nature has practically taken over the historic Boyle Racing Garage on Indianapolis’ Near Northside.The other day a pigeon exited through an opening where once there had been a window. Inside the building a tree flourished under a lot of direct sunlight — the roof above was totally gone. A green-eyed cat without a collar huddled in the jungle-thick vegetation that obscures much of the building.The scene looked wildly disorderly. It looked hopeless.But not to a group of local historic automotive enthusiasts, who later this week expect to take possession of this pile of bricks with the idea of turning it into a microbrewery or a restaurant or artist studios or an event space — something. The point is to save the building because it’s the old Boyle race team headquarters.Built shortly after World War I of brick and glazed tile block, the 15,000-square-foot building was never much architecturally.“But it’s the history of the building that’s … [Read more...] about Extreme makeover: Gangster’s Indy car garage edition
BILL: That's from Melba, who goes on that "Tom's" job demands he function at a very high level, which he has no trouble doing. Dave, the word addiction has become so hot, it's almost lost meaning. Someone will tell you, "I'm addicted to tap dancing," or to putting ketchup on her hotdogs. So, is Tom addicted?DR.DAVE: Our modern use of "addiction," to mean a habitual behavior, is really the word coming full circle. Shakespeare first used it with that intent in Henry V. From the late 19th century to around 1970, addiction was a term applied to describe the immorality, habitual or illegal use of alcohol and other psychoactive drugs. Today, under the health care model started with the 1970 Hughes Act, you have two types of addictions: One, the dependent use of substances and two, obsessive-compulsive process addictions—like eating, gambling, and sex.BILL: By this definition, gambling, for instance, is a process addiction, because no chemical is taken into the body? My … [Read more...] about Addictions & Answers: If you have to have those two glasses of wine a day, are you an alcoholic?
David Brooks of The New York Times thinks that Donald Trump is an "anti-elitist," more at home with immigrants and the lower middle class than with the superrich. Mayor Bloomberg, coupling mild criticism of Trump with praise, calls him a "New York icon." Must be a different Donald Trump. To native New Yorkers, he is more like a burr under the skin that has been irritating us for years. I well remember hearing about Donald, the neighborhood hellion, when I was growing up in Queens. By the time he was a teenager, Trump, now 64, was already known as a troublemaker who raced through our quiet streets in his flashy car. My family lived on the frayed edges of a wealthy neighborhood that, within a few blocks, shifted from small red brick apartment buildings to mansion-like private homes. Young Trump, scion of a successful real estate developer, lived with his family in one of the leafier sections, when he wasn't away at the military academy his parents hoped would tame him. "Stay away … [Read more...] about The Donald Trump we know (and don’t love): He’s riding high in polls, but NYC’s seen his bad side
Below, President Obama's State of the Union address, as released on the White House's Web site. Madam Speaker, Vice President Biden, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans: Our Constitution declares that from time to time, the President shall give to Congress information about the state of our union. For 220 years, our leaders have fulfilled this duty. They've done so during periods of prosperity and tranquility. And they've done so in the midst of war and depression; at moments of great strife and great struggle. It's tempting to look back on these moments and assume that our progress was inevitable -– that America was always destined to succeed. But when the Union was turned back at Bull Run, and the Allies first landed at Omaha Beach, victory was very much in doubt. When the market crashed on Black Tuesday, and civil rights marchers were beaten on Bloody Sunday, the future was anything but certain. These were the … [Read more...] about Full transcript: Text of President Obama’s 2010 State of the Union address; with video
When you think about retirement and savings, what comes to mind? If you’re anything like I used to be, retirement is something you did with last year’s handbag, and savings is something you did with your calories before Thanksgiving dinner. Your idea of an emergency fund is a $20 bill shoved in the back of your panty drawer, your retirement plan consists of praying the CEO gets canned and you miraculously land her seven-figure-a-year job (and that fabulous corner office while you’re at it), and your investment strategy, well, I am not even going to go there. You’re a smart, together woman, but your finances are another story. Or maybe you’re not that bad. You’re one of those women who is already pretty good with money but could use a little financial touch-up. You’re pretty sure that your retirement fund is invested smartly, that your savings will last should you lose your job, and that you manage your taxes well, but you wouldn’t … [Read more...] about 10 signs you need a money makeover (or at least a little financial touch-up)