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Levo Credit Union Helps Business Owners Deal With Rising Interest Rates


SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — For the fifth time in six months, the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates in a bid to fight inflation.

This week, rates rose 0.75 percentage points, now up three percentage points since March.

“It’s kind of unheard of, so many rate hikes in a short period of time,” said Matt Pekoske, assistant vice president of business services at Levo Credit Union.

Federal interest rates are now at the highest level since 2008, and many believe the increases are not over yet.

“I anticipate we’re going to see more of that before the end of the year,” said Steve Stofferahn, vice president of lending at Levo Credit Union. “I don’t know where it’s going to end.”

This can be a daunting unknown for business owners and consumers struggling with credit card debt or other variable rate loans.

“It may have been a great loan a few years ago before covid or because of covid where they were getting prime plus 0.05% or something of that nature, now with prime increasing as much as last year their rates went up that high,” Pekoske said.

In addition to dealing with these higher payments, they also have to deal with higher costs due to inflation.

“With businesses, if they’re still trying to grow in this type of environment, the first thing I would recommend is to speak with your accountant or commercial loan officers and get a business portfolio review,” Pekoske said.

Although rates are changing rapidly, financial experts say there are still ways to successfully manage growth.

“The actual rates we’re at right now aren’t that far off the norm, we’ve often been above that,” Stofferahn said. “We’ve gotten pretty used to an ultra-low rate environment, there are always favorable rates from a historical perspective, so a consumer or a business shouldn’t just stop spending or stop borrowing. “

Levo Credit Union says everyone should seek expert advice and review their current portfolio to make changes like rate locks or other restructurings to help navigate ever-changing interest rates.

“Just visit your loan officer, there are always ways to structure loans, to try to save you money in some way,” Pekoske said.

As Sioux Falls continues to experience record business growth this year, financial experts say rising interest rates could slow some of that growth. The rising cost of doing business will likely continue to pass through to consumers.

Fun and ‘intense’ start to Capitals training camp will pay off big


ARLINGTON, VA – “Quick! Up! Feet! Quickness!” were just some of the words repeated over and over again to open training camp for the Washington Capitals. Head coach Peter Laviolette didn’t let any of his players sit down to open training camp – nor did they want to let go.

When a drill wasn’t done well, Laviolette put his foot down, gathering his players to center the ice before skating them back and forth. From then on it was full blast, with every skater listening, present and putting in a full effort as if practice was a playoff game. There were no bad attitudes. Just hockey.

RELATED: Laviolette Stops Group A Drills, Skates Them On Day 2 Of Washington Capitals Training Camp

It’s a welcome sign, and this start to camp is vital for the Capitals and something that’s badly needed going into what’s going to be a tough season after four straight first-round outings.

“It’s fast, it’s high intensity,” said Dylan Strome. “There is a mindset in the dressing room with these guys that we want to be a good team. We want to be a competitive team with a good run. It’s the first time I’ve seen something like this, so I’m excited. It’s been great fun so far.

Strome on mission with capitals, wants Chicago to regret letting him walk

To open the 2022-23 campaign, Washington will be without the top 6 key scorers in Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson. The team will also continue to miss Carl Hagelin on the penalty kill and on the powerful fourth line. Factor in a tougher Metropolitan Division and the Eastern Conference as a whole, and getting off to a good start becomes even more fundamental as the Capitals look to their aging core, new additions and young guys to step up. .

“Those first 20 games are very important, so you have those kind of points. So if you’re going to have some ups and downs over the course of the season, you still have those points,” captain Alex Ovechkin explained. “So you can see last year’s teams were missing a point or two. You don’t want to play just six months. You want to play eight months and play for the Cup.”

It all starts with the high-pressure camp the team has had so far. It started with the infamous skating tests, but Friday saw experimentation with line combinations, forechecking drills, working in tight spaces and tough battles for the pucks. Ovechkin led the charge, throwing his weight and digging into the ice as he fought for every inch. The same can be said for Garnet Hathaway, Connor Brown, Marcus Johansson, Strome and several other NHL players.

READ MORE ON WHN: Washington Capitals reveal first look at Day 2 lines of training camp

Off-ice work is also part of it. Connor McMichael, for his part, seems to have added a lot of size and muscle. As he looks to earn a full-time role as a second-line center, the size will be a major help as he looks to defend and win more battles, as well as improve his backcheck.

For Washington, camp is going to be a long process, with more experimentation and lineups to come and group changes expected as the roster begins to dwindle. This will give young prospects some time to show their worth in the NHL. However, starting with Group A, which consists mostly of roster players, is something Laviolette believes will make a big difference going forward.

“There will be changes every day, but it’s a chance for our guys to jump right in and get up to speed, and we thought that was really valuable,” he said.

Yet having fun is also important, especially when it comes to welcoming new players and establishing locker room culture.

“All the guys were really good and friendly and just made sure I felt welcome,” Brown said. “It’s been a good fit.”

GOTTA SEE IT: Ovechkin shoots down, drags Hathaway to Capitals camp

Ultimately, however, success begins with the preseason. And setting that standard from the get-go is something Darcy Kuemper and the group welcome as Washington looks to move past the first round and recapture the Stanley Cup success it won in 2018.

“You go into the practices and you start with that. And then you get to some pre-season games, which also helps. Gets as close to 100% as possible for the subsequent exorcism,” Kuemper said.

Welcome to your new home for the latest Washington Capitals news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitterand don’t forget to subscribe to WHN+ for all our member-only content from Sammi Silber and the National Hockey Now Network.

Spousal student loans may soon be eligible for forgiveness


From 1993 to 2006, married couples were able to consolidate their student loans into joint consolidation loans (also called spousal consolidation loans) with a lower interest rate, making each spouse legally responsible for the other’s debt. Problems soon arose, as couples who divorced were unable to split the debt again, leaving them responsible for their ex’s debt, even though they were abused.

This can be difficult for a number of reasons, including if one spouse stops paying their debt completely. Then the other is fully responsible for the monthly payments for his and his ex’s debt, which could land them in hot water financially.

Under current law, joint consolidation loans cannot be separated for any reason, or consolidated in the direct lending program. Not only does this currently make them ineligible for Biden’s relief package, but also for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and income-based repayment.

The bill, which was passed by the Senate in June and received bipartisan support in both houses of Congress, is now heading to President Joe Biden’s office. If the president signs the bill, affected borrowers will be able to split their debt into two different direct loans held by the federal government, qualifying them for the $10,000 to $20,000 relief, assuming they meet the requirements of revenue.

Borrowers may submit an application to the US Department of Education and have their debts shared “proportionately based on the percentages each borrower originally contributed to the loan.” The two new loans would have the same interest rate as the joint consolidation loan. Borrowers could also be transferred to an income-based repayment plan or apply for PSLF, if they meet the other conditions.

Both spouses will need to submit applications to be eligible, except in certain circumstances. For example, a single spouse can file for debt splitting if they have been the victim of economic or physical abuse.

The passage of this bill “ends the decades-long saga and offers light at the end of the tunnel for struggling borrowers – including survivors of domestic and economic abuse – who have been trapped by these joint loans” , Persis Yu, Deputy Director General of the Student Loan Protection Center, said in a press release.

Some Republicans in the House and Senate voted against the bill, arguing the government is overstepping because loans are currently blocked by private companies.

Assuming Biden signs the bill, eligible borrowers will want to do so quickly. Biden’s Pardon Effort Requests Expected to Go Live in Weeks; the sooner applicants complete the online form, the sooner they will receive assistance.

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Students and staff reflect on debt cancellation

While California has the highest level of student loan debt, it also has the third lowest average student loan debt, at $21,125. (Amanda Chou | Daily Trojan file photo)

Around 35 million students attending tertiary institutions will receive an application next month that will allow many of them to forgive their student loans. For another 8 million borrowers, the process is already underway.

The pledge comes after President Joe Biden’s Aug. 24 statement that outlined a three-part plan to ease the $1.7 trillion debt burden incurred from federal student loans. Aimed at low- and middle-income households, it continues to freeze loan repayments, cancel the debt of borrowers that the government deems “most at risk of default or default once payments resume” and organizes a new recovery plan. income-based repayment to reduce future monthly payments. .

For the 26% of USC undergraduates who receive federal loans, like junior philosophy, politics, and law student Andrew Lutz, this plan will be a welcome relief.

“It’s money that I would either have to pay with my own career for the next five to 10 years or money that my parents would have to take out of the house,” he said. “It will probably cut in half the time, including interest, it would take me to repay the loans.”

By writing off debt of up to $10,000 to $20,000, Lutz said he thinks the discount plan provides more options for the future.

“It also gives me more peace of mind because I’m not a STEM major,” he said. “While there are certainly plenty of options for me after college, I don’t really feel like I have to find something that’s going to be super lucrative right out of school.”

Victor Falcon, a first-generation business administration sophomore, said the plan “makes a huge difference” in his decision to pursue a fourth year at USC rather than graduating from undergrad after three.

Student loan debt is the second highest category of consumer debt in the United States, second only to mortgage debt and higher than credit card and car loan debt. California holds the largest contribution to this segment of debt, totaling $141.8 billion for a combined population of undergraduate and graduate students.

“I definitely feel like I’m getting a better deal right now from school,” Lutz said. “It often feels like if you want to get an education, you have to go into debt.”

While the plan helps current USC students manage their debt, some suggest the school still needs to do more to increase its affordability. It is estimated that attending the University in the 2022-23 academic year will cost $63,468 in tuition alone, 53% more than the national average of $41,568.

“USC wants to proclaim itself as a top institution … on par with the top schools in the Ivy League,” Falcon said. “Many of these schools are waiving tuition and guaranteeing free tuition for all families under $100,000.”

In April 2022, Bloomberg reported that the average cost of tuition at an Ivy League school fell by about 5% on average, adjusted for inflation. While the University of Pennsylvania increased its tuition by 4%, it increased its financial aid by 5.25%. Earlier this month, Princeton University expanded its aid program by offering free tuition to students from families earning less than $100,000.

USC’s most recent milestone in need-based funding was in February 2020, when it committed more than $30 million to cover tuition for families earning less than $80,000. per year.

“[The University] needs to make financial aid more accessible, more streamlined, especially to reach first-generation students who are new to this process. Also, be more generous with their help, or maybe limit costs,” Falcon said. “Let’s say you’re a freshman, USC [could] guarantee that the costs to come here will be fixed.

Meanwhile, others believe that while the policy can help USC students, it diverts funds from areas that need it most.

“It’s going to help places like USC, but maybe there are better ways to spend those funds and the people who are really going to suffer,” said Robert Dekle, professor of economics at Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Science. “[With a degree]you are going to be reimbursed by the market, it is just an investment in yourself.

While California has the highest level of student loan debt, it also has the third lowest average student loan debt, at $21,125. Sixty-five percent of Americans don’t go to college, but the pardon plan will cost taxpayers about $400 billion over 10 years.

“Use the money for early education, and there will be more of an impact on income equality,” Dekle said.

Falcon “strongly disagrees” that the plan won’t help low-income families, since it targets families earning less than $150,000.

“I feel like it’s completely a step in the right direction,” he said. “I think the Senate debt relief should really increase the amount. I’m more in favor of a $50,000 relief.

For years, progressive members of Congress have been pushing for the cancellation of $50,000 in student loan debt. After the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, which affected the ability of borrowers to repay their loans, Congress and the Trump and Biden administrations responded with historic student loan relief and pauses on federal student loan payments.

Looking to the future, Falcon and Dekle said the long-term goal to achieve greater equity in education should not rest solely on the issue of student debt.

“I know that canceling student debt is not the ultimate solution,” Falcon said. “It should really be enlarged. I believe that the United States should adopt a system closer to the European education system for higher education, where citizens pay little or nothing to go to college and pursue their dreams. Here in the United States, we pay an exorbitant amount. »

Dekle said he had doubts about the plan’s longevity and subsequent effectiveness, asking whether jurisdictions “will permanently have a $10,000 rebate program.”

“Education has externalities,” Dekle said. “There is the question of whether this individual [forgiven of a student loan] should benefit so much at the expense of other programs… my feeling is more balanced towards greater needs than that.

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union Opens New Branch at WSU | New


WINONA, Minn. (WXOW) — winona state university (WSU) celebrated the opening of the new Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union (Affinity Plus), Thursday afternoon.

The new branch is located at Kryzsko Commons Student Union, where it is accessible to everyone on campus.

The Affinity Plus branch offers a full-service ATM, including cash and check deposit.


Winona branch manager Jamie Baumann said it’s about working with people to achieve financial success.

“Affinity Plus is about meeting people where they are — students in particular,” Baumann said. “Some students come from backgrounds where they may have talked about budgeting, they’ve talked about money in their family. Other students come to college and they have no idea how to use a debit card. debit or how to budget or how to pay my rental.”

To assist students with financial concerns and questions, Affinity Plus employees will be on campus at the Tech Bar on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Affinity Plus Tech bar.jpg

“How could we make their financial aid — make this last a little longer by budgeting on the parameters of what to spend and what not to spend,” Baumann said. “It’s about meeting students where they are and where they are comfortable, which is why our relaxed lounge space does just that.”

George Micalone, director of student union and WSU activities, said having the service at the camps will help students better prepare for the future.

“Financial literacy and financial responsibility are really important things for students to know before entering the real world,” Micalone said. “We are really excited to be able to do this more easily here on campus now. Affinity Plus is a great partner and we believe they will be able to help with this service in their own way.”


Affinity Plus plans to expand its learning opportunities in the future to include short financial lessons.

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Louisiana officials expect budget surplus, but warn of impending $300 million payout for storm cleanup | New


The Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

(The Center Square) – Louisiana Commissioner for Administration Jay Dardenne told the Louisiana Board of Regents on Tuesday that he expects the state to end the 2021-22 fiscal year with a surplus, though he’s “a bit concerned” about an impending $300 million federal payout. .

Dardenne and Louisiana Legislative Chief Economist Deborah Vivien shared their economic outlook with the board on Tuesday as the regents prepare next month’s higher education budget request for the fiscal year in come.

“I can say with some confidence that the state will have a surplus and one-time money to spend next year and the budget will be strong,” Dardenne said, though he didn’t provide a statement. figures. “The governor’s priorities will continue to focus on supporting early learning, but also focusing on higher education by emphasizing the importance of what you do in terms of economic support.

“It will be up to our colleges and universities to sharpen their pencils to show their value and how certifications and degrees translate into jobs,” he said.

The 2022-23 higher education budget included an increase of $159.2 million, including $31.7 million for faculty compensation, $5.4 million for dual enrollment and universal portability, 29 $25 million for health workforce development, $10 million for broadband upgrades, and an additional $10 million in other expenses.

Other appropriations included an additional $15 million in need-based financial aid, $10.5 million for the MJ Foster Scholars program for adult learners, and a $137.4 million increase for campus improvements.

The spending was made possible by surprisingly strong state revenues, a nearly $700 million surplus from the previous fiscal year, and an influx of federal COVID relief funds.

“I think we’re going to have a pretty good situation as we enter our last fiscal year” from the administration of Governor John Bel Edwards.

Dardenne, however, pointed to a $300 million federal payment for storm damage cleanup that may be due that authorities had not yet scheduled to repay.

“I’m a little worried about it right now,” he said.

Dardenne also touched on an ongoing effort in the Legislative Assembly to study the possibility of eliminating state income tax, wondering how lawmakers could replace the roughly $5 billion in annual revenue.

“We don’t think the Legislature should take any drastic steps on tax reform,” he said. “Where are you going to replace this huge amount of revenue that is shivering in the state budget? »

Vivien largely echoed Dardenne’s fiscal outlook, although she warned of the potential impacts of inflation and other economic uncertainties.

Regents also heard from the four presidents of the state’s university system, who shared their concerns about faculty and staff retention, the impact of the pandemic and hurricanes on student enrollment, and budget constraints due rising fuel prices, pensions and health care costs.

Regents will consider approving the current higher education budget at a meeting today and begin work on next year’s budget request next month, with the aim of submitting a proposal to the Division administration on November 1.

“We are grateful that the Governor and Legislature have prioritized investments in talent development, faculty compensation and increased accessibility here in Louisiana,” Higher Education Commissioner Kim Hunter Reed said. “However, today’s budget hearings remind us that two good years of funding for post-secondary education cannot erase decades of disinvestment. Staying competitive and advancing talent development will require sustained policy support to increase education and workforce development in our state.

Congress approves student loan forgiveness fix for some divorced couples


By Katie Lobosco, CNN

Congress passed a bill on Wednesday that would allow divorced couples to separate their consolidated federal student loan debt, potentially making some of them eligible for President Joe Biden. student loan forgiveness program.

The bill is now heading to Biden’s office for his signature, after the Senate approved the bill in June. The Biden administration said he supports the law.

Until 2006, married couples were allowed to consolidate their federal studies borrowing debt into a single joint loan. The idea was to simplify repayment by allowing the couple to make a single monthly payment.

But it also made the couples jointly responsible for the debt, and there was no way for the couples to separate their student loans later, even in the event of divorce or domestic violence.

“Spousal consolidation loans have been a terrible burden on borrowers who have since divorced or who have experienced domestic violence, as these loans handcuff them financially to their ex-spouses or abusers,” said Kyra Taylor, attorney for the student loans staff at the National Consumer Law Center. , in a report.

Couples’ consolidated loans are also excluded from some federal student loan relief plans like the Cancellation of civil service loans program, which writes off the outstanding balances of some public sector workers after making 10 years of qualifying payments.

Consolidated loans are also ineligible for the next forgiveness announced by Biden in August, which will provide up to $10,000. debt cancellation for people who earn less than $125,000 per year and married couples or heads of households who earn less than $250,000 per year. Eligible borrowers who also received a Pell grant while enrolled in college can qualify for student loan forgiveness of up to $20,000.

The bill passed Wednesday would allow borrowers with a joint consolidation loan to jointly submit a request to the Department of Education to split their debt into two separate loans. The loans would be split proportionately based on the original loan amounts, according to a statement of support for the bill from the White House.

The bill would also allow victims of domestic violence or economic exploitation, or borrowers who cannot reach the other borrower, to submit an individual application.

Once the debt is separated, each borrower will have a Direct Consolidation Loanwho may be eligible for student loan forgiveness under Biden’s new plan – as long as the borrower also meets the income qualification and the underlying loans were first disbursed on or before 30 June 2022 – according to Department of Education.

The Biden administration is expected to release the student loan forgiveness application in early October. Borrowers will have until December 31, 2023 to apply.

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Third Circuit Forces Arbitration Despite Dispute Over Legality of Loan Assignment Containing Arbitration Clause | Carlton Fields


The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that a district court should have granted a motion to compel arbitration even though there was a dispute over the legality of an assignment of a loan agreement containing the arbitration clause in question. The Third Circuit explained that there was a valid agreement to arbitrate, which was sufficient to send the case to arbitration.

OneMain Financial Group, a nonbank financial company that provides consumer loans, provided Benjamin Zirpoli with a loan pursuant to the Consumer Discount Company Act (CDCA), which creates exceptions to state usury laws. This loan contained an arbitration clause which stated that “you or we have the absolute right to require that any claim be submitted to an arbitrator in accordance with this agreement to arbitrate”. “We” has been defined to include “assignees” of OneMain. “Claim” has been defined to include “anything related to…the arbitrability of any Claim under this Agreement” and “anything related to…any alleged breach [of a state statute]including but not limited to…usury…laws.

OneMain sold Zirpoli’s account, which was then delinquent, to Midland Funding LLC, a company that buys consumer debt. The ‘CDCA prohibits CDCA licensees from ‘selling contracts to any…unlicensed company…without the prior written approval of the Banking Secretary'”, but Midland apparently ‘did not possess a license of the CDCA nor sought the approval of the Ministry of Banks”. to acquire Zirpoli’s account.

Midland sued Zirpoli to collect the debt, but later dismissed the suit and then allegedly reported Zirpoli’s outstanding debt to various consumer agencies, which allegedly negatively affected Zirpoli’s credit. Zirpoli then filed a putative class action lawsuit alleging that because Midland did not have a CDCA license and had not obtained Department of Banking approval, he was not legally permitted to purchase his loan or the other governed loans. by the CDCA that he had acquired.

Midland has requested arbitration. The District Court ultimately denied Midland’s motion based on the alleged illegality of OneMain’s transfer to Midland.

The Third Circuit (with a dissenting judge) reversed the district court’s decision and returned the case with instructions to grant Midland’s motion to compel arbitration.

After concluding that this “party” under Section 4 of the Federal Arbitration Act “refers to a disputing party” and therefore has jurisdiction to consider Midland’s petition on appeal, the Third Circuit held that arbitration was appropriate because Zirpoli had signed a valid agreement to arbitrate and that agreement applied to OneMain’s assigns, including Midland. The Third Circuit acknowledged that there was a dispute over the legality of OneMain’s assignment to Midland, but explained that its analysis was limited to the threshold question of whether there was a OK to arbitrate in light of the delegation clause delegating matters of arbitrability to the arbitrator and that he was therefore prohibited from analyzing the merits of the dispute as to whether this agreement should be invalidated because it violated the CDCA.

The Third Circuit also held that even if it considered the merits of Zirpoli’s claim, it would reject his claim that the surrender was invalid. OneMain had “written off” Zirpoli’s loan, which meant that “the assignment is outside the purview of the CDCA”.

Zirpoli v Midland Funding, LLCno. 21-2438 (3d Cir. Sept. 1, 2022).

Cooperative Credit Union Board Members Honored with CU Builder Award – Duluth News Tribune


Former MCCU board members Tim Caroline and Gerald (Jerry) Telker were recently honored by the Minnesota Credit Union Network with the CU Builder Awards.

The Credit Union Builder Award honors an individual’s dedication to the success, growth, and vitality of Minnesota’s nonprofit financial movement.

Serving in the roles of Associate Director, Director, Secretary and Director Emeritus, Caroline has dedicated more than fifteen years to the credit union philosophy of people helping people.

A credit union member since 1949, Telker personified the credit union ethos, never shy away from supporting the industry, its employees, members and fellow board members.

“During their years of service on the board, Jerry and Tim have demonstrated a deep commitment to our members, our staff, our communities and the credit union philosophy of helping people,” said said MCCU Board Chair Doris Dahl. “Their contributions make them deeply deserving of this recognition.”

About Members Cooperative Credit Union

MCCU offers local service, smart financial products and dynamic education programs to its branch communities. MCCU is proud to be Minnesota’s largest credit union based north of the Twin Cities, uniting communities since 1936 and serving its members/owners with more locations than any other credit union in the area. For more information about MCCU, visit membersccu.org or call 1-800-296-8871.

What to do if your credit card debt increases


With rampant inflation and pandemic government aid now a relic of the past, more and more people are turning to credit cards to pay their bills.

A total of 48% of cardholders say they don’t pay their credit card bills each month, according to a survey conducted for the CreditCards.com reporting service by YouGov.

And 60% of those people owe their creditors for at least 12 months, up from 50% a year ago.

In addition, 40% of debtors report having credit card debt for at least two years, 28% for at least three years and 19% for at least five years. Another 8% say they don’t even know how long they’ve had credit card debt.

Obviously, you want to avoid credit card debt as much as possible. With high credit card interest rates, you can quickly incur substantial liabilities. And if you’re only making minimum payments each month, you’re really in trouble.

Minimum payments mean big debt

“If you have the average credit card balance ($5,270 according to TransUnion) and only make minimum payments at the average interest rate of 18.17%, you will be in debt for more than 16 years. and end up paying a grand total of $11,875,” said Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst for CreditCards.com.

“It helps illustrate why it’s so important to pay way more than the minimum.”

Scroll to continue

A total of 46% of cardholders with debt said they had to do so to cover emergencies and unexpected expenses, with 11% saying it was for medical bills.

Meanwhile, 24% of credit card debtors said they went into debt to pay for day-to-day expenses, such as groceries, childcare and utilities.

“Even though Americans’ total credit card balances are down 4% from the end of 2019, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, our data is further evidence of the K-shaped economy. “Rossman said. “While many people are better, unfortunately many others are worse.”

Tips for reducing debt

So how can you reduce your credit card balance?

Rossman recommends increasing your income if you can. It could mean taking a second job or picking up a side hustle. Or it could mean selling goods you don’t need. I hope you also find a way to reduce your expenses.

“It’s easy to get into credit card debt and hard to get out of it,” Rossman said. “High inflation and rising interest rates make it even more difficult to release.”

If you find yourself mired in credit card debt, “my best advice is to sign up for a zero percent balance transfer card,” Rosman said. “These promotions last up to 21 months. Low-rate personal loans and nonprofit credit counseling can also be helpful debt repayment strategies.

What you need to know about President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan


President Joseph Biden and his administration recently implemented a loan forgiveness plan to eliminate student loan debt for low-income families.

This three-part plan is designed to help working-class and middle-class federal student loan borrowers return to regular payment when pandemic support expires.

Biden and his administration have acknowledged that the Pell Grants are worth far less than they were 50 years ago, further explaining how he hopes to change the way they benefit this country’s economy and education systems.

“Today the Pell Grants cover about 32%. It’s a third of the cost, unlike before. This is important,” Biden said during his August 25. press conference.

95% of borrowers – 43 million people – can benefit from it. Of these 43 million, more than 60% are Pell Grant recipients. That’s 27 million people who will get $20,000 in debt relief.
The first step in the plan is to extend the payment break. The Biden-Harris administration previously extended the student loan repayment pause several times. However, no one with a loan held by the federal government has had to pay a dollar in loan repayments since Biden took office due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The second step is to provide targeted relief to borrowers. The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) will provide up to $20,000 in debt forgiveness to Pell Grant recipients with DOE-held loans, and “up to” $10,000 in debt forgiveness to recipients not Pel Grant. “Up to” means that a person in debt of $7,000 and meeting the income threshold of $10,000 is eligible to receive assistance of $7,000.

Borrowers are eligible for this relief if their individual income is below $125,000 or $250,000 for households. Nearly 8 million borrowers may be eligible to automatically receive relief because relevant income data is already available to the US Department of Education.

A online application will open in early October. Once a borrower completes the application, they can expect debt cancellation within 4-6 weeks.
As for filing through the university, students are advised to complete an application by November 15. Students have until the end of the year to file, due to the suspension of student loan payments extended until December 31, 2022.

The third and final step is to rebuild the student loan system, making it more manageable for current and future borrowers.

Income-based reimbursement plans have a long history within the US DOE. However, the Biden-Harris administration is proposing a rule to create a new income-focused repayment plan that will dramatically reduce future monthly payments for low- and middle-income borrowers.

A major change concerns the rate at which loans must be repaid. Under the proposed plan, no one will pay more than 5% of their monthly discretionary income to repay undergraduate loans. Biden says this plan will save more than $1,000 a year on average for a borrower, calling it an overall “game changer.”

The Biden-Harris administration is working to quickly implement further changes to student loans. Check back to this page for progress updates. If you want to be the first informed, subscribe email updates of the US Department of Education.

CCTV script 09/20/22


– This is the script for CNBC’s financial report for China’s CCTV on September 20, 2022.

The CreditCards.com report released on Monday shows that a growing number of US consumers are taking on longer-term credit card debt. Let’s look at the specific data first.

investment related news

Fund manager says bear market will get ‘nasty’ – but says he’s not ‘freaking out’

Forty percent of credit card debtors in the United States say they have been in debt for more than two years, 28% for more than three years and 19% for more than five years, while 8% say they do not even remember how long they’ve been in credit card debt.

There are various reasons for the perpetuation of debt, one of which is emergency expenses. According to the report, 46%, or almost half, of credit card debtors said the main reason for getting into debt was an urgent need for money or an unforeseen situation.

Another important reason is the rising cost of living. Due to high prices, many Americans borrow by credit card to pay for various living expenses.

In the second quarter of this year, data from the New York Federal Reserve showed that US consumer credit card debt, totaling $887 billion, $46 billion more than in the first quarter and also up 13% from a year ago. This is the largest increase in 20 years. Meanwhile, in the second quarter, U.S. consumers opened 233 million new credit card accounts, the most since 2008.

And in addition to high inflation, consumers are also affected by high interest rates. People are spending all their savings and turning to credit to spend, but the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates to curb inflation and drive up credit card repayment rates.

The latest data shows that over the past five months, the average interest rate on credit card payments in the US market has risen from 16.5% in May to 18.1% in September. Economist Richardson described this as a “double whammy”.

This means that consumers not only have to bear the burden of high prices, but they also have to pay more money on top of that to pay off the rising cost of borrowing.

Emergency spending, high inflation and high interest rates are making it harder for consumers to get out of debt. And if the Fed continues to raise rates by 75 basis points this week, as the market expects, Americans with long-term card debt will face higher repayment balances, which means that it will take them longer to repay their debt. And we will be watching closely.

Iowa’s largest credit union lays off employees

Iowa State Flag. (Source: Shutterstock)

Iowa’s largest credit union recently laid off 42 employees due to “market corrections and rising interest rates.”

“This action was necessary due to market corrections and rising interest rates that directly impact GreenState’s operations,” GreenState Chief Marketing Officer Jim Kelly said in a prepared statement. “Employees affected by this move have received severance pay, as well as extensive insurance coverage.”

Prior to the layoffs, the $10.6 billion credit union had 761 full-time employees and 14 part-time employees, according to its NCUA call report for the second quarter.

Most of the workforce reductions have been in GreenState’s mortgage or commercial banking operations.

Kelly added that there were “no immediate plans for further layoffs”.

He also said the proposed acquisition of Premier Bank, canceled in August, had not been factored into the credit union’s decision to lay off employees.

“We still plan to be in Nebraska by the end of 2023,” he said. “In fact, we continue to seek locations in this market for our future branch network.”

Nationally, in the financial services sector as a whole, demand for mortgages has fallen by almost a third since last year due to rising interest rates.

Credit unions issued $72.5 billion in first and second lien residential loans in the second quarter, down from 14.2% a year earlier and down 1.1% from the first quarter, according to a CU time analysis of NCUA data. Additionally, first mortgages fell 5.3% from $58.1 billion in the first quarter to $55.1 billion in the second quarter.

In addition to GreenState, other Hawkeye State financial institutions have laid off employees, including Wells Fargo, one of the nation’s largest home lenders, which operates its mortgage division headquarters in Des Moines.

The bank’s mortgage division laid off 372 employees from May to Sept. 14, according to Iowa Workforce Development. Employers are required to report planned layoffs to affected employees and the state agency.

Wells Fargo plans to lay off 157 additional employees in Iowa by Oct. 25, for a total of 529 employees.

In its second-quarter financial filings, Wells Fargo said its home loans fell 53% from a year ago.

New BBB research finds predatory payday loan companies and fraudsters thrive amid uneven laws and stolen data – NWILife


As consumers lost their jobs and struggled to make ends meet during the COVID-19 pandemic, many have turned to payday loans and other short-term solutions, with an increase in solutions in line. This has not only allowed predatory lenders to thrive – many borrowers still face exorbitant interest rates and opaque fees – but has also created a fertile environment for scammers, according to a new in-depth study. investigative study by the Better Business Bureau.

Payday loan laws are managed from state to state among the 32 states in which they are legal, and a complex web of regulations makes the impact of the industry in the United States difficult to track. The BBB study, however, finds a common thread in the triple-digit interest rates that many of these loans carry – camouflaged by interest compounded weekly or monthly, rather than annually, as well as significant rollover fees.

From 2019 to July 2022, BBB received nearly 3,000 customer complaints about payday loan companies, with a disputed dollar amount of nearly $3 million. Additionally, over 117,000 complaints have been filed against debt collection companies on BBB.org. Complainants often said they felt ill-informed about the terms of their loans. Many fall into what consumer advocates call a “debt trap” of racking up interest and fees that can force customers to pay double the amount originally borrowed.

A Gary, Indiana man recently told BBB that over the course of his $600 loan, he was charged $2,427 in financing fees. “I tried to reason with them, that I paid $720 and they still want me to pay more,” he wrote. “I tried to reason with them that there is no way I would accept something like this. But my problem was not solved. They tried to tell me that I had signed an agreement , but I know I didn’t.

The scammers haven’t missed an opportunity to take advantage of consumers either, with BBB Scam Tracker receiving over 7,000 reports of loan and debt collection scams representing around $4.1 million in losses.

Posing as payday loan companies and debt collectors, scammers use stolen information to trick consumers into handing over banking information and cash.

A Fort Wayne man reported to BBB that he received a letter in the mail saying he owed 15% of his Social Security to settle a debt through the Veterans Health Administration. The letter was from an address in Birmingham, Alabama. The victim claimed to have lost $270.80 to the bogus debt collector.

“BBB research advises consumers to thoroughly research all their borrowing options – as well as the terms and conditions of a payday loan – before signing anything for a short-term loan. “said Rick Walz, President and CEO of BBB Serving. Northern Indiana.

The study also includes recommendations for regulators:

  • Cap consumer loans at 36%
  • Educate more people about no-cost extended repayment plans
  • Require lenders to test whether consumers can repay their loans
  • Require Zelle, Venmo, and other payment services to offer refunds for fraud

Where to report a payday loan scam or file a complaint:

Find more information about this study and other BBB scam studies at BBB.org/scamstudies.

Credit Card Competition Act: What Are Credit Card Fees? | Opinion


Utah is home to some of the highest credit card debt rates in the country, ranking among the top 20 states in terms of the amount of credit debt carried by residents, according to a new report.

The WalletHub Survey found Utahns carry an average of $2,225 in credit debt. A separate reportmeanwhile, showed that the state’s average consumer debt is well above the national average at $114,293.

Although worrisome, spiked credit balances are not exclusive to the Hive State. Americans across the United States are now borrowing more than ever, with credit user balances on the rise $46 billion in the second quarter of this year. That 13% spike from 2021 is the biggest year-over-year increase in two decades, underscoring the fact that Americans are borrowing more to meet higher prices.

But inflation is not the only factor driving these higher costs.

A recent increase of $1.2 billion in credit card swipe fees imposed by Visa and Mastercard is likely to raise the price of everything from baby diapers to gas at the pump. These hidden fees jumped 25% last year to a record high $137.8 billion for credit and debit cards combined, more than double the amount of the last decade.

For retailers, sweeping fees are typically the most expensive operating cost after labor. An increase in these fees forces merchants such as convenience store or grocery store owners to raise their prices in order to cover higher overhead costs. Because swipe fees are based on a percentage of the total transaction, Visa, Mastercard and major banks kill inflationary prices.

Swipe fees have increased dramatically over the past few years due to the lack of competition in the credit card industry. Visa and Mastercard control 80% of the market and set the prices for fees charged by their card-issuing banks. Instead of competing to offer merchants the best fee rate, the big banks force retailers who accept these credit cards to pay centrally set fees. This take-it-or-leave-it practice has caused many business owners to sue accusations violations of antitrust laws.

Utah Senator Mike Lee is paying attention. During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in May, Lee pressed Visa and Mastercard executives and describe their price-fixing as “anti-competitive cartel behavior”. Others, like Ranking member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said the fees “eat away already tight margins, especially for small business owners.”

Last month, Sens. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Featured bipartisan legislation solve this problem by introducing competition in the payments market. The bill, named the Credit Card Competition Actwill require the nation’s largest banks to have multiple processing networks for credit card transactions, allowing merchants to choose which network they want to use, forcing them to compete for the lowest swipe fee rate .

This means that Visa and Mastercard will have to consider a merchant’s preference for lower fees, just as any other business must when pricing goods.

In particular, this rule will not apply to community banks. The bill excludes banks with less than $100 billion in assets, meaning smaller banks will have a greater opportunity to break into the credit card issuing market while large Wall Banks Street will have to compete for customers. Considering that no Utah bank comes close to this threshold, none of our state’s local banks will be adversely affected by this legislation – but consumers in the state will still benefit.

As Utahans grapple with some of the highest credit card debt in the nation and businesses suffer from record inflation, it is imperative that our leaders do all they can to provide relief. Given Lee’s recent scrutiny of Visa and Mastercard, I hope he signs the Credit Card Competition Act to help skyrocket credit card fees.

Symone Hearst is a business development officer for the banking and credit union industry.

Lanesboro Ballyleague CU in Longford historically merged with North Midlands Credit Union


The boards of Lanesboro Ballyleague Credit Union and North Midlands Credit Union have agreed to merge the operations of their two credit unions through a transfer of undertakings and have passed board resolutions to that effect.

This transfer of commitments will come into effect in early October 2022, when Lanesboro Ballyleague CU becomes a branch of North Midlands CU.

Lanesboro Ballyleague CU, founded in 1967, has faced various challenges in recent years and these challenges, along with members’ legitimate expectations for an expanded range of services, have led Lanesboro Ballyleague Credit Union to seek a partnership with North Midlands Credit Union .

The current membership of the North Midlands Credit Union stands at 57,000, with total assets of 435 million. Lanesboro Ballyleague Credit Union has 3,500 members and total assets of 15 million.
This partnership with the North Midlands Credit Union means that Lanesboro Ballyleague Credit Union can leverage the strengths of a larger partner to provide an enhanced experience for members in the Lanesboro area, while maintaining a local service at the Lanesboro office.

The benefits of transferring commitments include:
l Freedom for members to use six North Midlands Credit Union branches: the main branch in Mullingar and branches in Rochfortbridge, Kinnegad, Castlepollard, Longford and Lanesboro.
l Low interest rates and a wide range of loan products.

l Improved range of services, including current account with Mastercard debit card, online services, mobile banking application, comprehensive online loan services.

Members of both credit unions will receive formal notice of the transfer of commitments in the coming days, and this notice details all aspects of the transfer of commitments.

Speaking on behalf of North Midlands Credit Union, Tom Allen, Director, said: “The Board of North Midlands Credit Union have been delighted to accept the request of the Board of Lanesboro Ballyleague Credit Union to consider a transfer of commitments for their members. to join us at the North Midlands Credit Union.

“The credit union movement is based on cooperation between credit unions and there will be many mutual benefits for all of our members in the transfer.”

Mr. Allen continued: “The credit union movement at the national level continues to undergo change and consolidation to ensure that credit unions have the capacity and capability to meet member demands for new products. and provision of modern financial services. The combination of North Midlands Credit Union and Lanesboro Ballyleague Credit Union is also driven by a similar concept of future service to members.

“In these changing times, credit unions offer a very different service from other financial institutions. Credit unions were created for one purpose: to serve their members, never to profit from them.

“We are convinced that this transfer of commitments will improve the services currently enjoyed by members. We look forward to continuing the work done at Lanesboro Ballyleague Credit Union and serving our new members in the years to come.


Community rallies around motorcycle crash survivor and raises money for medical bills


D’IBERVILLE, Miss. (WLOX) – Family and friends gathered on Saturday to hold a benefit for a wreck survivor.

Nathan Savoie was hit head-on by a truck where he was riding his motorbike in March, and many doctors expected him to die from his injuries.

However, Nathan miraculously survived.

Saturday’s benefit was set up to help pay off some medical debt to help Nathan on the road to recovery. A silent auction and raffles for a trip to Belize were organized.

Nathan’s family says the community outreach has been overwhelming.

“I am overwhelmed by the love and support from this community,” said Karen Savoie, Nathan’s mother. “I am overwhelmed with the love and support from this community, my family and my friends. I cannot thank everyone enough for all the wonderful love and support they have given us.

“I can’t believe how many people brought all these items to buy and the trip to Belize,” Nathan’s aunt Sheri Constant said. “There are so many things the community can help us with and everyone came out and helped out.”

The family says they would like to thank the first responders who showed up to the scene the day of the crash.

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What Employers Should Consider With Upcoming Student Loan Relief


The Biden Administration announcement several student loan debt relief measures on August 24, 2022, including an extended moratorium on loan repayment until December 31, 2022 and debt cancellation which will be available towards the end of the year. Pell Grant recipients will receive $20,000 in student loan forgiveness. Other borrowers are eligible for $10,000 in student loan debt forgiveness, if they earn $125,000 or less ($250,000 or less for married filers and heads of household). In light of these changes, employers may want to consider reassessing the benefits of their existing educational assistance program.

Future relief measures proposed by the Biden administration included a new revenue-based repayment program and a restriction on unpaid interest. Under these proposals, borrowers who have paid off loans for ten years and have a remaining balance of $12,000 or less would qualify for a forgiveness at that time. Currently, borrowers are only eligible for forgiveness after twenty years of repayment. The proposal would also limit accrued interest for borrowers who make monthly payments, so the total loan amount would actually be reduced by repayments. Borrowers earning less than 225% of the federal poverty level (that is, earning about the federal minimum wage) would be exempt from repayment and accrued interest.

Therefore, now is a good time for employers to consider reviewing all of the Education Assistance Program benefits that are currently offered, and any corresponding changes for the coming year. The rules of the education assistance program have undergone some changes in recent years. In a private decision in 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allowed employers to tie 401(k) plan matching contributions to employee student loan repayments. bill, the Securing a strong 2022 retirement law (HR 2954), often referred to as the “SECURE Act 2.0”, has been passed by the US House of Representatives and is under consideration by the US Senate and contains a similar mechanism. Additionally, in 2020, the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) allowed employees to exclude from income up to $5,250 if their employers made interest or principal payments on loans. eligible students through educational assistance programs that meet the requirements of Section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 extended this exclusion until December 31, 2025.

Employers may consider building flexibility into their education assistance programs and any matching contributions offered by coordinating such a program and a 401(k) plan benefit. While the Biden administration’s announcement refers to the repayment moratorium ending Dec. 31, 2022, as a “permanent” extension, the status of federal student loan repayments has been uncertain during the years of the national emergency. COVID-19. Additionally, if the proposed measures go into effect, more people will be eligible for $0 monthly income-based payments in the future. Finally, employers who do not currently offer education assistance programs may consider adding one by January 1, 2023, as the priorities of many borrowers will then shift from saving for retirement to paying off loans. students.

© 2022, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, PC, All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 259

Governor Hochul urges New Yorkers to be aware of federal student debt relief scams


Governor Kathy Hochul today issued a warning to consumers about scammers who are taking advantage of the recent student debt relief package to steal borrowers’ money and personal information. Scammers create a sense of urgency by posing as government agencies and promising immediate student loan relief. Borrowers are reminded of the importance of remaining vigilant, knowledgeable and prepared for any fraud related to this new relief plan. Yesterday, Governor Hochul signed legislation to expand and simplify access to the Federal Civil Service Loan Forgiveness Program statewide. This new legislation establishes what is considered full-time employment for purposes of PSLF access and allows public service employers to certify employment on behalf of workers, removing significant barriers to application and access. access to the program.

“New Yorkers work hard for every dollar they earn, and the student loan forgiveness plan will be essential to help ease the pressures of mounting debt,” Governor Hochul said. “Unfortunately, unscrupulous individuals and crooks take advantage of this to take advantage of others. Today we warn the crooks: We will not let you take advantage of New York workers. I urge everyone to stay vigilant and stay informed to stop these bad actors in their tracks.”

What you need to know about the Federal Student Financial Assistance Plan:

On August 24, 2022, the Biden administration announcement a three-part plan to help middle-class and working-class federal student loan borrowers. The package includes:

  1. A final extension of the student loan repayment pause until December 31, 2022 and loan forgiveness of up to $20,000 for those who qualify
  2. Improve the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program and create a new income-based repayment plan to reduce future monthly payments for low- and middle-income borrowers.
  3. Reduce the cost of college education to protect future students.

The US Department of Education is working quickly to implement the student loan improvements, but many details will be released. The Department of Education recommends logging into your StudentAid.gov account to ensure your contact information is up to date and to subscribe to alerts for when new information becomes available.

How to avoid a student loan forgiveness scam:

  1. Look for reliable information and sources. Go only to “.gov” websites when asking for help. The US Department of Education recently launched a Web page provide borrowers with a one-stop-shop for accurate and up-to-date program information. By accessing the site, borrowers will not only find general information, but also a detailed Frequently Asked Questions section that provides facts about the student debt relief plan.
  2. Don’t trust any person or program that promises you early or special access, or guaranteed eligibility. A company may contact you to tell you that they will help you get a loan discharge, forgiveness, forgiveness, or debt relief for a fee. They may also offer to help you apply early. The loan forgiveness application will launch in early October and early access is not possible, and you will never have to pay aid with your federal student aid. If you receive any of these offers, it’s a scam.
  3. Do not give out your personal information, Federal Student Aid ID number, or Social Security number to anyone who contacts you. No one from the Ministry of Education will call or text you about this initiative. Be sure to only work with the United States Department of Education and never reveal your personal information or account password to anyone. Authentic emails to borrowers will only come from [email protected].
  4. If you come across a scam, report it. Contact the official Federal Student Aid website to file a complaint or contact the Federal Trade Commission. The U.S. Department of Education offers additional tips and resources here.

Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said: “While many New Yorkers are struggling to repay their student loans, scammers are preying on those borrowers who desperately need immediate student loan relief. The State’s Consumer Protection Division of New York reminds borrowers to use only trusted government websites and not to respond to unsolicited offers for forgiveness as student loan repayment scams arose after the federal government’s recent announcement regarding the sorry. “

State Senator Kevin Thomas said: “It is unfortunate that the excitement and demand for this long-awaited federal student debt relief has created a new window of opportunity for scam artists to exploit those seeking help. I urge New Yorkers looking for help to stay alert and use only people you trust”. gov” websites to access student debt relief information.”

Assemblyman Harvey Epstein said: “I urge New Yorkers to be on the lookout for student loan forgiveness scams. The good news is that there are ways to protect yourself. I commend Governor Hochul for making student loan forgiveness a priority and protecting student borrowers from predatory scams.

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection offers voluntary mediation between a consumer and a business when a consumer has been unable to find a resolution on their own. The Consumer Helpline 1-800-697-1220 is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays, and consumer complaints can be filed anytime at https://dos.ny.gov/consumer-protection.

For more consumer protection tips, follow the Social Media Division on Twitter: @NYSConsumer and Facebook : www.facebook.com/nysconsumer.

Credit union membership rises as farmers applaud cooperative spirit


People’s need for access to cash and in-person rural banking is driving increased growth in credit union business, including demand for Cultivate farmer loans.

A new semi-annual Cultivate 2022 report shows a 37% increase in total loan requests for these “farmer-friendly” loans compared to the first half of 2021. The average Cultivate loan request for the first half of 2022 was €28,083 granted over 5.75 years to a farmer with 34 hectares and a total debt of €126,946 on his farm; with average debt up 22% vs H1 2021.

In real terms, farmers are keeping their level of debt relatively stable. With 33% of these agricultural loans used as working capital, most farmers take on a little more debt to cover their rising costs of fertilizers and other inputs. The other credits relate to agricultural buildings (17%), agricultural equipment (16%) and tractors (14%).

The competitive interest rate of 6.55% (6.75% APR) is clearly attractive to farmers, especially cattle farmers who make up 71% of all loan applicants (compared to 17% for dairy ). Perhaps just as importantly, the withdrawal of so many services by the anchor banks creates a vacuum for which it seems that credit unions are the ideal solution.

“People definitely see the credit union as their best alternative,” said Finbarr O’Shea, chairman of Cultivate’s marketing committee and CEO of Bantry Credit Union. “At Cultivate, we stick to our three currencies for all loan applications: simple, local and personal.

“There is no paperwork, no hassle. Credit unions are cooperatives owned by the communities they serve, rather than always focusing on shareholders. We know the value of personalized service. People want to walk through the door and talk to someone.

“Loan seekers want a simple yes or no. They also want to talk to someone face to face. A farmer wanted to come into the office to tell me why he was taking out a €15,000 loan. I told him it was not necessary, but he insisted on going 20 miles to explain his plans. This is the kind of personal service that people want.

Cultivate Credit Union farm finance, H1 2022 review: How the beef and dairy sectors compare from January to June 2022.

Launched by a handful of credit unions in Galway five years ago, Cultivate Loans were offered by 100 credit union offices by the start of 2021. This has now grown to 150 CU offices in 23 of the Republic’s 26 counties.

As milk production is stronger in Munster and Leinster, Western origins partly explain why cattle farmers are the main clients of Cultivate loans. The other reason is the €50,000 loan cap. Many dairy companies tend to operate with higher levels of funding.

The broader banking situation also plays a vital role in the rise of Cultivate loans and the rise of credit unions in general. The departures of Ulster Bank and KBC, two major players in rural Ireland, were very significant.

Add to that the Bank of Ireland’s decision to close more than 100 branches across the island and AIB’s decision to stop using cash, cutting ATM services from 70 of its 170 branches across the country. For some rural people, that might mean going 80km to 100km back and forth just to get to an ATM. Bantry, a town popular with tourists, currently has only one ATM on its main street.

Contrast that with the service levels of credit unions, many of which are now hiring office staff, rushing to install ATMs, developing mobile apps and adding a host of new mortgage, auto, education and other services to measure.

Bantry Credit Union offers a 3% student loan, effectively cost-neutral to UC and a great start in life for the student. Community service is also at the heart of the scholarship program that Bantry CU has run for 20 years.

The pandemic years, of course, have really shown the community ethos and personal touch of the local credit union for anyone who wants a face-to-face meeting with their loan provider.

“I haven’t heard of any credit unions closing because of Covid,” Finbarr O’Shea said. “Of course, we had to take measures like having two teams, one in the office and one working from home. We followed all the precautions. We are not currently in the process of ‘returning to the office’. We have never left the office.

“What you are seeing now, with all the improved services deployed by credit unions, is a product of the fact that we do indeed belong to our communities. We are financial cooperatives and our only motivation is to stay within our communities. We are here to serve our communities. This is why we exist.

One customer who clearly appreciates this co-operative philosophy is the Irish farmer. In the recently released Cultivate S1 2022 report, this link is visibly translated into numbers.

The report breaks down farmers’ motivations for taking out a Cultivate loan: buying cattle, building additional cattle bays, developing pasture infrastructure from reseeding to roads and water systems, building a calving house, investing in new parlor equipment (e.g. milk tank), build a machine shed, upgrade their tractor or machinery and working capital.

The report also cites a number of member farmers, explaining why the credit union model works for them, both commercially and community-wise.

How to Make a Bold Career Change Pay Off


We’ve heard of the ‘great quit’, we’re dealing with the ‘great attrition’ and the research companies have made it clear that the future of work is changing. But has it occurred to you that your professional future remains in your hands? By taking advantage of the tight job market and skill shortages, savvy workers can make bold career choices that pay off both professionally and financially.

Click on the image to see all job offers on the FinTech Futures Jobs portal

Covid has given the workforce an opportunity to step off the hamster wheel and see what really matters to them in terms of employment, work-life balance and future opportunity – happiness at work and societal contribution becoming more important than ever.

Currently, 80% of UK workers want their job to have more meaning, while 65% are actively looking for a role that gives them a greater sense of satisfaction, according to StandOut CV. But what if that satisfaction is found elsewhere – like in an entirely different industry? If you’ve been in your current industry for more than ten years, chances are you’ve peaked professionally.

Non-traditional experience

This does not mean that the opportunities for progression have disappeared, quite the contrary. Recognizing that you have peaked in one industry is an opportunity to put your years of experience into another growing industry where there is room for progression, perhaps a shortage of senior talent – and therefore the possibility a big salary increase.

Results from a recent PWC survey show that 48% of companies are actively seeking to move away from depending on the institutional knowledge of their employees, opening up positions to those with non-traditional industry experience. Add to that the fact that very often a move to a new industry comes with an average salary increase of 15-20% – slightly higher if you’re moving into a flagship industry like tech or healthcare – and you soon see that changing industries becomes a viable option for career progression.

Interested? Here’s how to identify your new industry and make the switch as seamlessly as possible.

Create an elevator pitch

Why do you want to move and why this industry? What are transferable skills? If you want to convince a hiring manager that your skills are transferable, you have to believe it yourself. Be honest about your reasons for moving and research the industry so you can show an understanding of future opportunities and challenges that your skills will solve. You’re selling yourself, so create a short, punchy elevator pitch.

Be industry independent

If you know you want a change, but don’t immediately recognize which industry you want to move into, take an industry-neutral approach. This is where you stay open to all opportunities and find the perfect fit by aligning your skills with those required to succeed in specific industries. Forget prejudices and stay open to everyone.

Find a springboard

Think of your career change as a stepping stone from your current role to your dream role in a new industry. The stepping stone role should complement your skills, give you the opportunity to acclimate to your new industry, network and show that your skills are transferable. It also helps hiring managers who may not have the imagination to recognize transferable skills to imagine you in a new role.

Ready to make the change? We found three companies currently operating in growing industries that are hiring across a number of roles and disciplines. And there are many more opportunities currently available on the FinTech Futures Job Board.


eClerx is currently recruiting for a number of positions in its London office in the areas of data analytics, talent management and accounting. The company provides insights to Fortune 500 companies operating in the digital financial space. From Revolut to Monzo, how and when our banking changed and as traditional institutions struggle to keep up with market disruptors, companies like eClerx offer opportunities for growth and advancement for those interested in fintech.

View all open positions at eClerx.

UnitedHealth Group

Optum is a leading information and technology-based healthcare services company and a rapidly growing part of UnitedHealth Group. He is currently recruiting for fully remote positions in engineering, actuarial and technical support. Post-Covid, the healthcare sector is seeing an increase in employment and these roles are likely to endure and create new opportunities as they expand.

Browse open positions within the UnitedHealth Group.

John Lewis and partners

Current Marketing, SEO and Engineering Recruitment john lewis is one of the UK’s leading retailers and employs over 29,000 people in its stores and departments. Retail is currently one of the fastest growing employment sectors and as such, more and more technology and marketing professionals are turning to this sector as they see the potential for career progression in a rapidly changing industry.

Discover all the opportunities at John Lewis.

To discover opportunities in other growth sectors, visit the Fintech Futures Job Board

Student Loan Forgiveness Helps Employees and Employers


Student loan forgiveness sounds too good to be true. But what does student loan forgiveness mean for employers? This could be good news for employer benefit programs and financial well-being. Either way, it will likely prompt employers to consider making changes to their benefits programs. This should be done with the guidance of a benefits counselor or consultant. Employees who find themselves free of student debt can divert their money to other benefits, such as 401(k) plans.

In August, the President announced extensive student loan debt relief. Up to $20,000 of debt will be forgiven for Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 for non-Pell grantees, for people earning less than $125,000 per year ($250,000 for married couples) . Additionally, the pause on student loan debt repayments, which was put in place at the start of the pandemic, will be extended once again, until December 31. The Department of Education has also proposed new income-based repayment plans for undergraduate loans that are intended to reduce student borrowers’ monthly payments and help them repay their loans in less time.

Cancellation of student loans and debt relief is good news for borrowers. This is potentially good news for employers too, according to a recent Employee benefits news article. Some may choose to spend the student loan forgiveness money on employee benefit programs other than student loan repayment. For example, employers may see this change as an opportunity to highlight tuition refund and student loan refund offers as a way to attract and retain bright talent. Although the debt of eight million student borrowers is automatically forgiven, some may have to make a formal request. Workers may need help understanding the application process, and employers may need to provide that assistance.

Now is not the time to throw away student loan repayment and emergency savings programs get out with the bathwater for now though. While many federal student borrowers will have their debt forgiven, those with private loans will not. Given that the average student debt is $37,000, even recent college graduates could benefit from employer assistance.

In this environment, understanding your employee population and their needs is essential. Get to know their debt situation and trust your benefits advisors to help you find the programs that will work best for your employees and help them achieve greater financial stability. It may also be useful to review student loan repayment assistance programs and other financial wellness benefits to determine if there are opportunities for improvement or improvement. This may also be a good time to review employer matching 401(k) contributions to determine if there are opportunities to increase matching. This can help capture additional deferrals from employees who may have additional cash flow. All the benefits of their Student Loan Forgiveness Debt Relief.

Steff Chalk

Steff Chalk

Steff C. Chalk is executive director of The Retirement Advisor University, a collaboration with UCLA Anderson School of Management Executive Education. Steff is also Executive Director of The Plan Sponsor University and is currently a professor at The Retirement Adviser University.

Steff Chalk

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As “buy now, pay later” plans grow, so do late payments


NEW YORK — Americans have become fond of “buy now, pay later” services, but the “pay later” part is becoming increasingly difficult for some borrowers.

Buy now, pay later loans allow users to pay for items such as new sneakers, electronics, or luxury goods in installments. Companies such as Affirm, Afterpay, Klarna, and PayPal have created popular financial products around these short-term loans, especially for young borrowers who fear endless credit card debt.

Now, as the industry accumulates customers, chargebacks are on the rise. Inflation squeezes consumers, making it harder to pay off debt. Some borrowers do not budget properly, especially if persuaded to take out multiple loans, while others may have been credit risks to begin with.

“You have an industry with a higher concentration of subprime borrowers in a market that hasn’t been effectively tested (that kind of economy), and you have a kind of toxic brew of worries,” Michael Taiano said. , an analyst at Fitch Ratings, who co-authored a report in July highlighting some of the industry’s concerns.

The most popular type of buy now, pay later loan allows for four payments over six weeks – one payment at the time of purchase and three more that borrowers often try to synchronize with pay periods. Longer term loans for larger purchases are also available. Most short-term loans bear no interest. Companies that charge interest can clearly state in advance how much a borrower will pay in finance charges.

Given these characteristics, consumer advocates and financial advisors initially saw buy now, pay later plans as a potentially healthier form of consumer debt if used correctly. The main concern was late fees, which could be a heavy financial burden on a small purchase if a borrower was late on a payment. Fees can reach $34, plus interest. But now that chargebacks are on the rise and companies are more aggressive in marketing their products, advocates see the need for additional regulation.

The industry is showing growth rates not typically found in financial services. Klarna customers purchased $41 billion worth of products on its service globally in the first six months of the year. up 21% from a year ago. PayPal’s revenue from its buy-it-now and pay-later services more than tripled in the second quarter to $4.9 billion.

Jasmine Francis, 29, a technology analyst based in Charlotte, North Carolina, said she first used a ‘buy now, pay later’ service in 2018 to buy clothes from the fast fashion brand Forever21.

“I remember I just got a cart,” she said. “At first I thought, ‘Something has to go back’, then I saw Afterpay at checkout – you don’t pay for everything right now, but you get it right away. It was from music to my ears.

It is unclear to what extent clients are using buy now, pay later loans healthily. Fitch found that chargebacks on these services rose sharply in the 12 months to March 31, while chargebacks on credit cards remained stable – although chargebacks at AfterPay, which focuses primarily on cash loans. short term, have fallen slightly over the past two quarters.

Credit-reporting firm TransUnion found that borrowers are using buy-it-now, pay-later plans, even as they rack up credit card debt as well. A Morning Consult poll released this week found that 15% of buy now, pay later customers use the service for routine purchases, such as groceries and gas, a pattern of behavior that is ringing alarm bells at home. financial advisers.

“If these buy now, pay later plans aren’t budgeted properly, they can have a cascading impact on a person’s entire financial life,” said André Jean-Pierre, a former Morgan Stanley wealth adviser who now runs his own financial planning company focused on helping black Americans save and budget properly.

Another concern of consumer advisors and advocates, as well as lawmakers and regulators in Washington, is the ease with which consumers can layer on these installment loans.

Speaking at a Tuesday Senate Banking Committee hearing on new financial products, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, highlighted the benefits of plans that allow consumers to pay for things in installments. But he also criticized the way the industry promotes the plans.

“The ads encourage consumers to use these plans for multiple purchases, across multiple online stores — racking up debt they can’t afford to pay off,” Brown said.

Short-term loans are potentially problematic because they are not reported on a consumer’s credit profile with Transunion and Experian. Additionally, buy now, pay later, industry customers are young – meaning they have little credit history to begin with. In theory, a borrower could take out multiple short-term loans across multiple buy-now, pay-later businesses — a practice known as “loan stacking” — and they would never show up on a credit report. If a person puts in too many buy now, pay later items, budgeting can be difficult.

“It’s a blind spot for the industry,” Fitch’s Taiano said.

The industry trade group buy now, pay later has pushed back on the characterization that its products could burden borrowers with too much debt.

“With zero to low interest rates, flexible payment terms and transparent terms and conditions, BNPL helps consumers manage their cash responsibly and live healthier financial lives,” said Penny Lee, CEO of the Financial Technology Association, in a statement.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is studying the popularity of buy now, pay loans later and is expected to release a report soon with its findings.

Francis, the technology analyst, said it has become common for his friends to pay for their trips with installment loans, so as not to completely empty their bank accounts in the event of an emergency.

“If I come back from vacation and I have two flat tires, and I just spent all that money on plane tickets, that’s $400 that you don’t have right now,” he said. she declared. “Most people don’t have savings. They’ve got just enough for those flat tires.

Meanwhile, “buy now, pay later” service providers view rising chargebacks as a natural consequence of growth, but also as an indication that inflation is hitting the Americans most likely to use these services. the hardest.

“I wouldn’t call it some kind of preamble to a potential slowdown, but it’s not the same kind of smooth sailing that it’s been,” said Max Levchin, Founder and CEO of Affirm, the one of the biggest buy now, pay later companies. Levchin said Affirm takes a more conservative approach to lending.

Despite concerns, the consensus is buy now, pay later, companies are here to stay. Affirm, Klarna, Afterpay, which is owned by Block Inc., as well as PayPal and others are now widely integrated into internet commerce.

Moreover, the growth of the industry attracts more and more players. Tech titan Apple announced earlier this summer Apple Pay Later, where users can make purchases on a four-payment plan over six weeks.

“I usually schedule the purchases I make using PayPal ‘Pay in 4’ so that my due dates for purchases land on my payment dates because due dates are every two weeks” , said Desiree Moore, 35, of Georgia.

Moore said she tries to use buy-it-now, pay-later plans to cover purchases that aren’t part of her usual monthly budget, so as not to take money away from her children’s needs. She is increasingly using the plans with inflation making items more expensive and so far able to keep up with the payments.

Buy now, pay later took off in the United States after the Great Recession. Analysts said the product was largely untested during a major period of financial hardship, unlike mortgages, credit cards or auto loans. Even financial executives have recognized the new challenges facing the industry.

“We’ve seen some stress (among those with the lowest credit scores), and those are starting to struggle.” said Levchin.

AP Personal Finance Reporter Cora Lewis contributed to this report from New York.

Syracuse Credit Union Adds New Location


SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV) – Karen Jones has been an electrical company for more than 20 years. His current project is part of the construction of the new Cooperative Federal Credit Union location on Erie Boulevard in Syracuse.

“I was honored for them to even ask me to provide a proposal for their project,” said Jones, owner and president of Eco Electrical Solutions, LLC.

It’s a labor of love because during the pandemic she decided to start her own business and needed a small business loan. It wasn’t easy, as she approached ten different lenders.

“And was refused. Even after the conference we had. I do my banking with a particular institution that has turned me down at every turn. When I dealt with Cooperative Federal, they were the first institution to follow,” Jones explained.

“Our mission is to ensure that we serve people who are not well served by other financial institutions,” said Christina Sauve, CEO of Cooperative Federal Credit Union.

Sauve says that 40 years ago, the co-op started with just $30.

“We started in the back of the Syracuse Cooperative Market, under the back porch,” Sauve recalls. “We have grown into a $37 million credit union that focuses on community development in the city of Syracuse.

Its current branches have no parking or drive-thru. On Wednesday, they opened a new location at 1816 Erie Boulevard East in Syracuse that will have both. They hope it will also broaden their reach to help fund even more opportunities and dreams like they did with Karen Jones.

The Cooperative Federal Credit Union’s Erie Boulevard location is scheduled to open in the winter of 2023. Once open, it will close its Westcott branch.

Great performances propel men’s cross country to second place – The Denisonian


CHARLIE THOMPSON, Special for The Denisonian

Lately, the Denison Men’s Cross Country team has been on the rise. Having not finished in the conference’s top three since the 1990s, Denison surprised everyone by finishing third behind two strong teams in Allegheny and DePauw at the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) cross country meet. ) from last year.

Despite losing defending conference champion Keanan Ginell ’22, Big Red Cross Country looks to be having a promising season with a core of young and experienced riders, with their first real challenge coming Sept. 10 at the University of Wittenberg.

Traveling to Wittenberg in Springfield, OH, Denison was more than prepared. Facing a tough encounter with many strong teams from the NCAC, Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference and Ohio Athletic Conference, Big Red Cross Country was unshaken. Team captain Worth Hinshaw, a junior from Charlotte, North Carolina, explained how the team’s summer training and pre-season camp helped strengthen and shape the team into a lean, nasty racing machine.

Said Hinshaw, “We’re coming off a long summer of pretty high mileage, but we’ve had a really strong foundation from all that high volume. Team camp, we obviously got into some race prep stuff, we had more practices, two practices a day most days, and it was really great to see the fitness and the work of everything the world over the summer begin to bear fruit.

Head coach Mark FitzPatrick, who has led the team for the past eleven seasons, has pushed the team to its limits, while encouraging the team to take the time to treat their bodies properly.

“[Coach FitzPatrick’s] the focus was on the little things, and always has been. You can do all the errands you want, you can do all the workouts you want, but if you’re not focusing on your sleep, what you eat, what you put in your body, your recovery, then all this training is almost for nothing, and it may get you halfway there. That’s what we’ve focused on a lot, capitalizing on small details that can make a huge difference for us,” according to Hinshaw.

Clearly, this has paid off for the team, as many team members are running at near-optimal levels only two weeks into the season. Having competed at Wooster in a friendly race, Denison had a tight group of finishers, with four riders finishing in the top twenty, just seconds apart.

However, no better example of this hard work was the outstanding performance of second Tomás Brockett-Delgado on the Wittenberg course.

After setting a personal best 8 kilometer run of 28:17.9 in the NCAC Conference meet last season, Brockett-Delgado shaved well over a minute in his second comeback race, finishing fourteenth overall and second on the team with a time of 27:01.3.

Sophomore Nathan Bertman, the team’s top runner, also finished well, clocking a personal best 26:35.3 for fourth place, just seconds behind Manchester University’s Enrique Salazar. , Conor Kolka of Wittenberg and Stephen Faltay of Northern Ohio. Speaking briefly about the race,

Coach FitzPatrick praised the team for sticking to their group race strategy, as well as the performances of Brockett-Delgado and Bertman.

“We established a good position and pack at the start of the race which allowed us to execute our strategy for the competition. Our top seven riders rode very well, especially Nate’s fourth place and Tomas’ breakthrough,” said FitzPatrick.

As for the rest of the season, Big Red Cross Country knows they have challengers looking to not only fill the spot left by Allegheny, but also beat longtime conference titan DePauw. Hinshaw, looking to set the tone for a young and incredibly competitive team, says the goal has always been to beat DePauw. However, he is aware that might not come this year.

“I think [Coach FitzPatrick] knows that [winning conference] is a possibility and I think we all believe in it, we’re all looking at it, but we also see it as a two-year goal. We don’t have any seniors this year, so whatever we do this year, our goal is to improve next year,” Hinshaw explained.

There’s no room for error this season, but backed by a powerful base of veteran riders, complemented by stellar rookies, Big Red Cross Country is confident, calm and collected. The team races again in a double meet against Wooster on Thursday, September 22 at Denison’s own course.

Beat the competition with digital technology for car financing


Car buyers love to finance their vehicles. In the first quarter of 2021, more than 80% of cars purchased in the United States were financed.

This should be great news for companies involved in the car buying and financing process, but not everyone is happy.

Because as consumers embrace digital technology and online shopping in their daily shopping, they increasingly expect a seamless Amazon-like experience from automakers. They don’t want to haggle or “talk to the manager”. And for them, sitting in the showroom or dealership lobby for hours waiting for loan approvals and document preparation is an irritating waste of time.

In a recent Wolters Kluwer industry survey, automotive industry professionals acknowledge these challenges. Some 74% of respondents say paper-based funding processes take more than 30 minutes. More than 60% believe that a quarter to nearly half of all transactions have errors due to manual processes.

Drive change with eSignature and eVault solutions

To deliver the kind of customer experience that attracts, satisfies and retains consumers, automakers must transform their processes by deploying digital technology.

eContracting solutions help companies move from manual face-to-face processes to less cumbersome and more compliant digital processes. Electronic signature tools enable compliant digital signatures. Electronic vault technology enables businesses to house documents in digital storage, where they can be shared with retailers, lenders, consumers, and aftermarket lending businesses.

By enabling businesses to stay digital throughout their end-to-end financing processes, these advanced technologies can enable faster and more accurate loan origination. Simpler and more efficient loan processes improve the convenience and overall experience of customer interactions. And, unsurprisingly, these benefits can increase sales.

Automotive companies that embrace digital solutions can streamline and improve the automotive finance process. In the Wolters Kluwer study, 76% of respondents say the solutions allow them to transact in just 10-20 minutes. It’s a huge improvement that consumers will love.

Overcome hesitation

Unfortunately, most automotive industry leaders have yet to embrace digital financing solutions. According to the survey results, many decision makers say they haven’t found the right solution or are unsure of the value the technology can bring.

Of those that have deployed digital tools, most companies are just getting started. Only about a quarter of respondents say they use technology in more than half of their business.

Even fewer companies have deployed eVault solutions, which ensure regulatory compliance and legal enforceability of digital asset-backed securities. Less than half of respondents said they use an eVault solution to provide proof that a digitally signed document is the original, unaltered document.

Embark on digital transformation

What is the lesson to be learned from this data? Some automakers may feel they have nothing to lose by waiting for digital solutions to be more widely deployed. They couldn’t be more wrong.

The percentage of manual finance and insurance processes will continue to decline as businesses digitally transform. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this shift, and like the new, more convenient business models adopted by the retail and consumer product sectors, consumers will expect automakers to get on board. In fact, the Wolters Kluwer Auto Finance Digital Transformation Index shows an almost 80% increase in digital transactions since the first quarter of 2021.

To deploy digital solutions quickly and with minimal cost and downtime, major automakers are connecting to third-party platforms and cloud services. These technology providers can help automakers digitize more of their processes faster and deeper. This is especially true for niche players who only operate effectively when they can effectively share reliable and standardized data and documents with other players in the automotive ecosystem.

A shared digital cloud platform provides a single, secure and tightly controlled environment that companies can use to manage all processes and transfers throughout the funding journey. It can ensure the integrity of all documents, data and connection points from start to finish.

By using a digital cloud platform, businesses can sign and manage contracts digitally, eliminating paper and the associated inefficiencies and risks. Companies can manage contracts with strict security, control and speed. And they can use trusted, reliable, low-touch governance features to boost compliance control and efficiency.

Companies that delay this transition, effectively refusing to add value for their customers, risk losing business and being squeezed out of the market by competitors. In a slowing economy, where new and used car sales are lower than expected, responding to customer interest by offering a fully digital car shopping experience is a smart move, one that is certainly worth considering. celebrated.

Mobiloil Credit Union partners with iGrad to offer the Enrich personalized financial wellness program to its 72,000 members

San Diego, Calif., September 13, 2022 — (PR.com) — Mobiloil Credit Union has partnered with San Diego-based financial wellness education company iGrad to deliver the award-winning wellness platform be financial Enrich™ to its 72,000 member credit unions.

Mobiloil Credit Union’s Enrich personalized financial wellness program includes the Your Money PersonalityTM financial behavior assessment, which analyzes each user’s personal relationship with their finances and provides recommendations for better financial behaviors. The platform also offers:

– Financial education lessons with personalized action plans on topics such as budgeting, mortgages, healthcare, college savings, student loan repayment, banking, credit, financial planning and more.
– Retirement and home affordability analyzers.
– A suite of student loan and higher education tools.
– Real-time personal finance calculators and budget tool.

Based in Beaumont, Texas, Mobiloil Credit Union is a member-owned, nonprofit financial cooperative serving 72,000 members in the Texas counties of Chambers, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Newton, Orange and Tyler.

Improving the financial health of credit union members and their communities is a top priority, said Lori Higgins, assistant vice president of business development for Mobiloil Credit Union.

“Personalized and relevant online resources are an important part of our financial wellness program and the reason we chose to partner with Enrich,” Higgins said. “By helping our members understand the ‘why’ behind how they manage their money and empowering them with the tools and resources to make smarter financial decisions, we can empower them to make lasting changes that will improve their financial health, along with all the intangible benefits that come with less stress.

Enrich is used by more than 20,000 employers and over 300 financial institutions across the country, with artificial intelligence technology that engages each user with the most relevant content based on financial situation and life stage. life.

Recent data shows that as Enrich participants improved their financial understanding, their stress levels decreased. The Enrich platform prompts users to regularly update their stress score to assess the correlation between improved financial well-being and stress levels.

Other positive behavioral changes over a 12-month period include:

– 27% increase in the number of users with emergency savings funds covering three to six months of expenses.
– 28% increase in the number of users who pay their credit card in full each month.
– 32% increase in the number of users on track to meet their financial goals.
– 15% increase in the number of users contributing to their retirement plan.

“Improved financial well-being can have a major positive impact on overall quality of life,” said Sam Evans, vice president of iGrad business development for Enrich. “Many American adults of all income levels are worried about their financial future. We are delighted to be a key part of Mobiloil Credit Union’s commitment to improving the financial well-being of its members.

About iGrad
iGrad is a San Diego-based financial technology company that provides artificial intelligence-powered financial wellness solutions to more than 2.7 million students at 650 colleges and universities, more than 20,000 employers, and over 300 financial institutions. iGrad’s Your Money Personality™ was recently recognized by the Institute for Financial Literacy with the 2020 Excellence in Financial Literacy Education (EIFLE) Adult Education Program of the Year award. iGrad is one of three 2020 winners of the inaugural Barron’s Celebrates: Financial Empowerment, having been selected by a team of judges for its contributions to improving the financial health and security of Americans. iGrad was recently awarded the 2022 Eddy Award for Financial Wellbeing by Pensions & Investments for its Enrich platform. For more information on the iGrad platform, visit https://www.igradfinancialwellness.com. For more information on the Enrich platform for employers and financial institutions, visit http://www.enrich.org.

Fort Lauderdale’s tax rate remains stable, but you could pay more


FORT LAUDERDALE — Nobody says it’s cheap to live in Fort Lauderdale.

But if you own a home here, you’ll pay one of the lowest tax rates in Broward County.

For the 16th consecutive year, Fort Lauderdale’s basic tax rate remains at $412 per $100,000 of estimated property value — the only city in Broward to maintain the same tax rate since 2008.

Commissioners gave final approval Monday night to the city’s $985 million budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

Homeowners will see their fire costs increase by $10 to $321, which will increase the city’s coffers by $50 million.

Fort Lauderdale’s total tax rate will increase to $440 per $100,000 of estimated property value to help pay off two 30-year parks bonds and a new voter-approved police headquarters in March 2019 .

Most homeowners, even those with homestead exemptions, will end up paying a little more than the previous year due to rising property values.

Fort Lauderdale saw a 12.94% increase in property values ​​between 2021 and 2022. Over the same period, Broward County’s property tax base increased by 10.66%. The estimated value of taxable property in Fort Lauderdale reached $48.8 billion in June, according to the Broward County Property Assessor.

Fort Lauderdale expects to collect $193 million in property taxes next year, enough to cover nearly 44% of the city’s $440 million operating budget. Fire charges will net another $50 million. Various other taxes will supplement the City’s general fund by $76 million.

Next year it will cost about $150 million to operate the Fort Lauderdale Police Department; an additional $110 million a year to operate the Fort Lauderdale Fire and Rescue Department; and $56.6 million to run the parks and recreation department.

A year ago, city officials agreed to increase fire department personnel by 16 to help serve a growing city. In mid-2023, they plan to hire another 16 firefighters to help staff a new aid station near downtown.

The gendarmerie also saw its numbers increase. The department plans to hire 22 more people in the next fiscal year, including 17 sworn police officers.

Fort Lauderdale will also hire four more code enforcement officers to work evenings, in a nod to all those noise complaints that come in after 5 p.m.

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Days before the final budget hearing, Fort Lauderdale made headlines for spending $500,000 on a summer concert at Mills Pond Park.

Mayor Dean Trantalis and most commissioners say they had no idea what kind of money was being spent.

To tell the truth, they were not the ones who approved it. It was former city manager Chris Lagerbloom who signed off on the spending days before he left for a new job.

In recent days, new city manager Greg Chavarria cut the budget for next year’s Summer Jamz concert to $100,000. The August 19 event this year cost five times as much, attracting between 5,000 and 10,000 people, according to unofficial estimates.

Longtime resident Kevin Bell was furious after reading everything in the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

“I’m quite outraged by this waste of taxpayers’ money,” he said. “You’d like to think they’re doing the right thing for the general public. Now, I’m afraid there are other things we haven’t discovered.

Susannah Bryan can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @Susannah_Bryan

Arsenal star’s form on loan must be a concern for Eddie Nketiah – Our View


At the start of the summer, everything looked rosy for Eddie Nketiah. He has signed a new contract with Arsenal as the club’s only striker. They have since had Gabriel Jesus, and now Arsenal star Folarin Balogun’s form might worry Nketiah.

Nketiah, 23, signed a new contract on the pretext that he would get more playing time. The reason his contract was about to expire is because he was planning to move elsewhere. But he played more before the summer.

A new deal has come – but Nketiah will have known the club were going to sign a new striker. Perhaps he would not have known the quality of the incoming attacker. Jesus arrived and was excellent, three goals and three assists in six.

This means that although Nketiah has played in all six of his side’s Premier League games, they have all come off the bench. He started in the Europa League against Zurich, getting one goal and one assist. But also, concede a penalty.

Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTI/AFP via Getty Images

Thus, Nketiah finds himself second choice again – something he wanted to avoid. Now, Balogun’s form in Ligue 1 with loan side Stade Reims could have him looking over his shoulder. Balogun is on fire in French football.

Balogun’s form for Reims could worry Arsenal star Nketiah

Balogun left Arsenal for the second time on loan after a decent spell at Middlesbrough, to join French side Reims. But few could have predicted how good he was – scoring five goals in seven games and providing two assists.

William Saliba switched to French football, then returned to Arsenal as a starter. Nuno Tavares is also shining at Marseille and as things stand it looks like he will have a future at the Gunners. Balogun too, given its shape.

Nketiah had plenty of chances at Arsenal. Series of games in which he shows glimpses, then dies. Balogun hasn’t had that chance yet. Maybe if Balogun continues his form, Arsenal will give Balogun a chance next season.

This will be a concern for Nketiah. Two years older than Balogun, his future may be in doubt again, with Balogun preferred if he ends up as he started. £100,000 per week Nketiah will look over his shoulder.

Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images

In other news, ‘There aren’t many players who can offer that’: Club legend wooed by 23-year-old Arsenal

Get a loan in five steps – an overview for first-time homebuyers


For many New Zealanders, this will be the biggest financial investment they will ever make.

There will be a lot to think about throughout the process, and you will receive plenty of advice from others. With so much information overload, you may be thinking, “Where do I start?”

From adjustments you can make to improve your “lending” to figuring out exactly how much you can afford to borrow, the overview below will give you everything you need to know for your first home loan – in five steps. easy.

1) Find a good mortgage specialist

Just as you’ll be looking at dozens of places before finding the right first home to buy, it’s a good idea to be equally careful when choosing a home loan provider.

Banks often provide mortgage specialists to help you navigate while providing help and advice. They are often home loan experts and it can be helpful to engage with them early on in a first home buying experience.

Westpac Mobile Mortgage Managers are located across New Zealand and have deep local knowledge. They can come to you when and where it’s convenient for you – at a coffee shop, at your home, before work or after work! They can even schedule a virtual meeting online.

A good home loan provider like Westpac knows how daunting buying your first home can be and will walk you through every step. Have a read of their downloadable Free first home buyer’s guide with lots of information to start with.

Finding a good home loan specialist like Westpac's Mobile Mortgage Manager is a great way to start your home loan journey.


Finding a good home loan specialist like Westpac’s Mobile Mortgage Manager is a great way to start your home loan journey.

2) Know how much you have

Before applying for a loan, you will need to calculate how much money you can group together for a deposit – which will ideally represent 20% or more of the value of the property you want to buy.

Your deposit can come from several sources which can include your personal savings, gifts or loans from family and your KiwiSaver savings.

If you have less than 20% down payment, contact your preferred loan provider as they may have options that are right for you. Options include shared actions, first home loan or family springboard. Certain eligibility criteria may apply, so contact a Westpac Mobile Mortgage Manager to find out more

Saving for a deposit can take some time, but there are a number of things you can do to increase your deposit faster – try these Westpac’s Top Tips to help you save.

* Everything you need to know about your first home deposit
* QUIZ: Knowledge is essential: what do you know about buying your first home?

Gathering your resources for a deposit can come from several sources which can include your personal savings, gifts or loans from family and your KiwiSaver savings.


Gathering your resources for a deposit can come from several sources which can include your personal savings, gifts or loans from family and your KiwiSaver savings.

3) Make yourself more lendable

The biggest factor in how much you can borrow will be your income minus your expenses, but there are other adjustments you can make that could improve your “lendability” or the likelihood of your loan being approved.

This can include showing that you can save consistently each pay period, getting rid of debts like purchases on credit or items for rent to purchase, and avoiding Buy Now, Pay Later services.

Consider the type of debts you have. “Good” debt is money you have borrowed to buy something, like a house, or something you need to develop your career, like a qualification. “Bad debt” is money you have borrowed for consumption, such as electronics, appliances, clothes, or vacations.

Bad debts have a big negative impact on your ability to borrow for a first home, so pay them off first.

Showing proof of your deposit and expenses will help the bank assess your lendability.


Showing proof of your deposit and expenses will help the bank assess your lendability.

4) Gather what you need to apply

Make friends with budgeting tools, manila folders and excel sheets because you will have to provide details of your income, proof of your deposit, the amount you wish to borrow, your expenses (eg childcare) and details of the property you wish to purchase, if any.

If you are an employee or employee, you will need to provide three months of statements or three consecutive payslips. If you are self-employed, you will need your latest financial statements prepared by your accountant or your most recent IR3 summary.

For any other debt, such as student loans, hire purchases, Buy Now Pay Later, or credit cards, you’ll need statements from the finance company or supplier. If you are not used to dealing with your potential lender, you will need three months of bank statements from your main transaction account(s) and if you pay for most things with a credit card, you will have also need these readings.

Securing your home loan is the first step to accessing your first home.


Securing your home loan is the first step to accessing your first home.

5) Securing the loan

Once you’ve sorted your deposit, the next step is to get a home loan.

Because everyone’s circumstances are different, lenders like Westpac will look at how you earn and spend your money.

The lender will assess factors such as whether you have high-interest consumer debt and other debt, how many dependents you have, how responsible you are for your money, and whether there will be any changes in your income or expenses over the next 12 months. .

Find out how much you can afford to borrow and keep your home search focused and realistic with the Westpac Affordability Calculator then determine the amount of your mortgage repayments on a property with Westpac’s mortgage repayment calculator.

Want to buy your first home? Thinking about it but not sure where to start? Head to www.westpac.co.nz for everything you need to know – from choosing the right Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme fund to help you with your deposit, to what you need to apply for a loan, to the purchase process itself.

And no matter where you are in your home buying journey, remember that you can always get in touch with a mortgage specialist to talk about getting your first home loan.

Westpac home loan criteria, terms and conditions apply. Resort fees may apply. A low capital margin may apply.

BT Funds Management (NZ) Limited is the program provider and Westpac New Zealand Limited is the distributor of the Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme (Scheme).

The above information is subject to changes in government policy and law, as well as changes to the Westpac KiwiSaver program from time to time.

Investments made in the Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme do not represent bank deposits or other liabilities of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141, Westpac New Zealand Limited or other members of the Westpac group of companies. They are subject to investment and other risks, including possible delays in the payment of withdrawal amounts in certain circumstances, and the loss of the value of the investment, including the capital invested. Neither BT Funds Management (NZ) Limited (as manager), nor any member of the Westpac group of companies, The New Zealand Guardian Trust Company Limited, nor any director or agent of any of these entities, nor any other person guarantees the Westpac KiwiSaver Performance, returns or capital repayment of the plan.

North County School News, September 11



Library staff will speak at Thursday’s meeting

Youth Enrichment Services holds its monthly meeting at 8:30 a.m. Thursday at the Pine Avenue Community Center, 3209 Harding St. Laura Mendez and Mayra Turchiano of the City of Carlsbad Library will present a preview of the summer reading adventure this year and provide school resource information for all ages. Turchiano is the library’s community outreach supervisor and division manager of its bilingual services division. Mendez is the Senior Librarian for Partnerships & Community Outreach. YES aims to help create a positive environment and safety net for young people in Carlsbad and the community by working with other youth-focused agencies and organizations. Meetings are open to everyone. RSVP to Rosemary Eshelman at [email protected].


District announces two new positions

The Del Mar Union School District recently announced two new positions. Maria Parker is the new principal of Sage Canyon School. Most recently, she served as the vice principal of the Santee School District and prior to that taught in the Del Mar District for eight years. Samuel Plambeck has been named the district’s chief technology officer. Prior to joining the district, he was Director of Information Technology in the Westminster School District. He has also worked as an Educational Technology Coach, Technology Teacher, and Technology Curriculum Specialist.


All high school students receive free meals

The Escondido Union High School District Student Nutrition Service will serve free lunches to all students in the district during the 2022-23 school year. Breakfast is offered before school as well as during nutrition break five days a week. Students at Escondido, Orange Glen, and San Pasqual High Schools can also receive a Super Snack meal after school. No application, registration or eligibility documentation is required. For more details, including monthly lunch menus, visit bit.ly/3AWMAML or contact Student Nutrition Director Alicia Pitrone at (760) 291-3239 or [email protected].

School for adults offering phlebotomy courses

The Escondido Adult School recently partnered with the Escondido-based Phlebotomy Training Academy to offer phlebotomy classes. Students will be prepared in as little as three weeks to take the exam to become a nationally certified phlebotomist. Through this partnership, the Phlebotomy Training Academy provides all classroom instruction as well as hands-on blood collection training. Students must complete 40 hours of hands-on classroom training, pass the national phlebotomy exam, and complete a 40-hour externship at a medical facility. Once licensed, students can work in a variety of medical settings. No medical experience is necessary to start the program. Visit escondidoadultschool.org.


Superintendent named Exemplary Woman

Dr. Candace Singh, Principal of Fallbrook Union Elementary School

(Seth Trench)

Fallbrook Union Elementary School District Superintendent Candace Singh was chosen from 50 nominees for the Association of California School Administrators’ 2022-23 Exemplary Woman in Education Award. The award highlights a female leader in California who has demonstrated a passion for educators, championed the value of public schools, and demonstrated effective crisis leadership. Singh will receive the award in person at the Women in Schools Leadership Forum in San Diego this month. The forum brings together education leaders and women educators from across California for a multi-day event focused on leadership, diversity, and empowerment.


Free education savings seminars

San Diego County Credit Union celebrates September’s National College Savings Month with free weekly educational webinars on saving and financing college. As part of Credit Union’s ongoing Financial Wellness Wednesdays, college-focused topics include How to Pay for College, Your Guide to 529 Savings Plans for Colleges, and FAFSA: The Key to Unlocking financial aid. Find upcoming topics, dates and times at sdccu.com/fww. For more college savings tips and resources, visit sdccu.com/knowledge.

Students offer an ethics seminar

Three teams of area high school students are inviting the community to a free seminar on environmental ethics from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the J. Craig Venter Institute, 4120 Capricorn Lane, La Jolla. The seminar is sponsored by the institute but hosted by students from Canyon Crest Academy, Del Norte High School, and Westview High School who are part of their schools’ iGEM – International Genetically Engineered Machine – competition teams. Teams create research projects for this college-level competition and will present their work at the seminar, which will educate the public about synthetic biology (genetic engineering) and the environmental considerations brought to this research. Guest speakers are also scheduled to discuss the topic. Book seats at bit.ly/3QsVnLZ. For any questions, email ccaigem2022@


Football fans will see the flyover on Friday night

A crowd of nearly 5,000 high school football fans will be treated to a Friday night flyover by the San Diego Salute Formation Flight Team at Del Norte High School’s Military Appreciation Night. Representatives of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and first responders will be honored with a pregame ceremony beginning at 6:20 p.m. that will include the national anthem, the flag party, gauntlet and flyover. Each winner will receive a personalized commemorative jersey, to be worn by players during tonight’s game against the Rancho Bernardo Broncos. The flyover is scheduled for 6:45 p.m.; the game starts at 7 p.m. The event is organized by parent volunteers at Del Norte Football’s Touchdown Club.

Please send articles to nc[email protected] at least two weeks before the events.

Football moves to 3-0 with 35-28 win at Georgia State


ATLANTE—Drake May passed for two touchdowns, Omarion Hampton ran for a pair of scores and North Carolina escaped another thwarted bid from a Sun Belt Conference team on Saturday, rallying for a 35-28 win over Georgia State after squandering an 18-point lead.

The Tar Heels (3-0) were coming off a wild 63-61 victory at Appalachian State despite giving up a staggering 40 points in the fourth quarter.

The Atlantic Coast Conference school hit the road again to take on Georgia State (0-2), which hosted a Power 5 team in Atlanta for the first time in its program’s 13-year history.

The Panthers snatched 25 straight points to take a 28-21 lead late in the third quarter.

But Hampton broke a 58-yard touchdown run right in the middle of the field to tie the game before the end of the third.

He won it on a 2-yard dive with 10:42 remaining, ensuring the Tar Heels escape another close call and go 3-0 for the first time since 2011.

“I’m happy to have two wins on the road”, coach McBrown said. “Those two tough wins, which really helps us grow.”

Hampton finished with 110 rushing yards on 16 carries.

Darren Grainger threw three touchdown passes for Georgia State, which opened the season with a 35-14 loss at another Power 5 school in South Carolina.

“We can hold our heads up high,” Georgia State coach Shawn Elliott said. “I feel really good in our football team. We had chances to beat both of these teams. We weren’t outplayed.”

North Carolina appeared to be heading for a more comfortable win after the previous week’s madness, taking a 21-3 lead midway through the second quarter.

Maye threw a 55-yard touchdown pass to Kamari Morales and a 28 yard Kobe Paysour.

But Grainger led a comeback in Georgia State. He threw a 6-yard TD pass to Kris Byrd, a 49-yard TD pass to Robert Lewis and another to Lewis covering 29 yards to cap a 10-play, 98-yard drive that put the Panthers up 28-21 at the end of the third. quarterback – their first lead of the game.

But North Carolina’s offense eventually resumed, sparked by Hampton’s long run.

“I just read the hole,” Hampton said. “When it opened I knew I had to take it.”

Brown went twice for fourth and ran his side of the 50 in the first half.

The Tar Heels only made one, but it worked out well.

The fourth and first at UNC 45, Hampton gained a yard to keep the drive going. Three plays later, Maye connected with Morales for the touchdown.

Brown’s second bet didn’t pay off. Up 21-10 with less than 2 minutes left in halftime, the attack remained on the pitch in fourth and second at their own 39.

Maye was fired, giving Georgia State a shot on a 44-yard field goal just before halftime. The Tar Heels blocked the attempt, preserving their 11-point lead.

“We got seven points on one, they got none on the other, so what a great call from me,” Brown joked. “We have enough good players, we should be able to get fourth and second. And we didn’t.”

North Carolina:
Another sloppy performance that doesn’t bode well for the Tar Heels in the long run. Three turnovers gave the Panthers a chance, and the defense still has a lot of work to do after giving up 419 yards. But Maye, despite his first interception of the season, put on another stellar performance as he completed 19 of 24 for 284 yards. And, unlike the previous week, the defense held the Panthers scoreless in the final period. “Today the defense won the game for us,” Brown said.

State of Georgia: The Panthers put up an impressive effort, but their attempt to beat a Power 5 team for only the second time in school history failed. They fell to 1-14 against the biggest programs in the country.

North Carolina:
After a week off, the Tar Heels host No. 8 Notre Dame on Sept. 24 in their final non-conference game before moving into the ACC portion of their schedule.

State of Georgia: Host Charlotte in the second of three straight games at Center Parc Stadium, formerly known as Turner Field.

KBRA Releases Market Consumer Loan Indices for August 2022; Announcement of changes in the constituents of the Tier 2 index


KBRA releases its Market Consumer Loan Indices for August 2022, providing monthly credit trends across securitized loan pools.

Starting this month, KBRA will add four new ABS issuers to its Tier 2 MPL index. The Tier 2 MPL Index now includes pools of ABS loans issued through the LendingClub-Prime, Prosper, Upgrade, Upstart, Freedom (F+ Loans), LendingPoint, Pagaya and Theorem ABS shelves. Only transactions with more than 6 months of seasoning are included to better reflect the current universe of outstanding securitized market consumer loan pools from platforms that typically issue ABS transactions with a weighted average credit rating between 660 and 710. The four ABS issuers are added to our level 2 are Freedom Financial (FREED), LendingPoint (LDPT), Pagaya (PAID) and Theorem (THRM), which have issued programmatic securitizations over the past 24 to 36 month.

Currently, there are no changes to our Tier 1 Index, which is typically comprised of securitized loan blocks with a weighted average credit rating of 710 to 760.

Click on here to view the report.

About KBRA

KBRA is a full-service credit rating agency registered in the US, EU and UK, and is appointed to provide structured finance ratings in Canada. KBRA’s ratings can be used by investors for regulatory capital purposes in several jurisdictions.

See the source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220909005540/en/

Why you should prepare for a bad flu season


After two straight years of the flu causing only a wave, our luck might finally turn around this year.

Experts warn that the flu season has been particularly bad in the southern hemisphere, where winter will soon be coming to an end. And many suspect that what happened below is likely to happen to us this fall and winter.

Australia has just had its worst flu season in five years, with more than three times the normal number of cases. Also, the flu peaked a few months earlier than usual.

Dr. John Brownstein, epidemiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, tells ABC News:

“Obviously it’s not a perfect 1-on-1 game but more often than not the severity of the flu season in Australia is a good correlate of what we might expect, and that helps us to prepare ourselves.”

New Zealand also recorded its worst flu season in two years.

The threat of a severe flu season is particularly troubling at a time when COVID-19 continues to circulate in the country and around the world.

Because the flu has been so mild in recent years, our bodies may not be ready for it. Dr. Jennifer Nayak, pediatric infectious disease specialist at the University of Rochester Medical Center, told CNN:

“With these few consecutive mild flu seasons, I think population immunity is probably lower than it is going into an average flu season.”

If you’re concerned about the potential impact of the flu this year, one of your best defenses is to get your annual flu shot. And if you’re 65 or older, it might be beneficial to get one of three specific vaccines. Learn more in “3 Flu Vaccines Recommended for Seniors.”

Looking for another reason to get your flu shot? See “Can a flu shot protect you against serious illness from COVID-19?” »

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click on links in our stories.

Zelle Fraud Claims on Banks and Credit Unions | Kaufman & Canoles


Tristan v. Bank of America, NA, Case No. 8:22-cv-1183-CDCA (June 8, 2022).

There is a wave of litigation over the lack of a fraud warning or bank refund protection for customers using the Zelle network to transfer funds to a party that scammed the consumer. Zelle was established in 2017 by seven of the country’s largest banks. Many other banks and credit unions are part of the Zelle network.

So far, at least three class action lawsuits have been filed against financial institutions for Zelle’s fraud losses. On April 20, 2022, Bank of America was sued in Orange County, California in a putative nationwide class action under the UCL CA. This matter has been referred to the CDCA and is pending. Tristan v. BOA.

Also in April 2022, Navy Federal CU was sued in Union County, New Jersey under the NJ CFA. This case has also been withdrawn and is pending in federal court in NJ. Wilkins vs. Navy FCU (Case 2:22-cv-02916 filed May 18, 2022). These claims fall under the New Jersey CFA for breach of contract.

In May 2022, Capital One was sued in Florida state court over similar claim theories for fraudulent activity using the Zelle network. This case has been remanded to federal court in Miami.

None of these cases have gone beyond the initial stages although motions to dismiss have been filed. Similar lawsuits are likely to follow.

EFTA’s claim for these types of transactions is bolstered by rulings by federal banking regulators – the CFPB and FDIC – that banks and providers of monetary payment platforms – like Zelle, Cash App or Venmo – have duties under EFTA to investigate disputes relating to electronic funds and to limit consumer liability even where the consumer was negligent in authorizing the transfer. Regulators also argue that it is inappropriate for a financial institution to attempt to limit its EFTA or Regulation E obligations to consumers through the wording of account agreements and related disclosures.

Expect to see more activity from regulators reviewing reported money transfer fraud. Training staff on the requirements of Regulation E and assisting consumers alleging unauthorized transactions will be very important.

Zelle is a person-to-person (P2P) payment transfer service fully owned and operated by seven of the largest banks in the United States. Person-to-person payments allow a consumer to send money to another person without having to write a check, swipe a physical card, or exchange money.

There are approximately 1,500 member banks and credit unions that participate in the Zelle service. These members engage in their own extensive marketing efforts to encourage their account holders to sign up for the Zelle service by marketing Zelle as a fast, safe, and secure way for consumers to send money.

Bank of America introduces Zelle to its account holders as a safe, free, and convenient way to transfer money. However, it misrepresents and omits a key fact about the service that is unknown to account holders: that there is virtually no recourse for consumers to recover losses due to fraud.

The unique, warped and undisclosed architecture of the Zelle payment system means – again, unlike other payment options commonly used by US consumers – that virtually any money transferred for any reason through Zelle is lost forever. , without recourse, reimbursement or protection.

BOA does not and will not reimburse its account holders for losses through Zelle due to fraud, even when such losses are reported in a timely manner by account holders.

Users would probably never have signed up for Zelle had they known about the extreme risks of signing up and using the service.

Created in 2017 by the largest banks in the United States to enable instant digital money transfers, Zelle is by far the most widely used money transfer service in the country. Last year, people sent $490 billion in immediate payment transfers through Zelle.

The Zelle Network is operated by Early Warning Services, a company created and owned by seven banks, including Bank of America, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase, PNC, Truist, US Bank and Wells Fargo.

Nearly 18 million Americas have been defrauded by scams involving person-to-person payment apps like Zelle in 2020 alone, according to industry consultant Javelin Strategy & Research.

The BOA is required to comply with EFTA requirements and does not

The Electronic Funds Transfer Act requires banks to reimburse customers for losses on transfers that were “initiated by someone other than the consumer without actual authority to initiate the transfer”. (Electronic Funds Transfer FAQs, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)

An unauthorized Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) is an EFT from a consumer’s account initiated by someone other than the consumer without actual authority to initiate the transfer and from which the consumer derives no benefit. 12 CFR § 1005.2(m).

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), “If a consumer has provided timely notice of an error under 12 CFR 1005.11(b)(1) and the financial institution determines that the error was an unauthorized EFT, the liability protections in Regulation Section E 1005.6 would apply.

The CFPB’s recent guidance on unauthorized EFTs indicates that P2P payments such as EFTs, such as transactions made with Zelle, trigger “error resolution obligations” for consumers to protect them from situations where they are fraudulently tricked into initiating an unauthorized EFT by a third party.

The CFPB had clarified that a transaction fraudulently induced by a third party is an unauthorized electronic funds transfer subject to the limitations of liability of 12 CFR § 1005.6.

Engler’s bets pay off; Billy Price is right


If you regularly attended the Pittsburgh concerts in the 70s, 80s or 90s, you knew Rich Engler.

His name was on your ticket stub, as the more active half of DiCesare-Engler Productions, the major regional concert bookers of that era, bringing most of the big acts to town.

His title could have been “promoter,” though Engler says a more appropriate one might have been “player,” as he explains in “Behind The Stage Door,” a documentary about his pioneering career that premieres September 13 on DIRECTV, Apple TV, iTunes, Verizon FIOS and Frontier Communications.

The film depicts Engler’s life and his relationships with big-name artists like the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, and Paul McCartney.

Engler is moved as he recalls how a visibly weakened Bob Marley insisted on playing a show at the Stanley Theater because his bandmates “needed the money”. This concert by Marley, on September 23, 1980, at what is now the Benedum Center, would be the last performance of Marley, who died less than eight months later of cancer.

“Behind the Stage Door” is based on interviews with music industry insiders like James Taylor’s manager Peter Asher, Kiss’ manager Doc McGhee, rockers Phil Ehart (Kansas), Lou Gramm (Foreigner ), James Young (Styx), Danny Seraphine (Chicago), and Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson, who says “The relationship between a promoter and an artist is rarely a very close, personal relationship”, noting that Engler was an exception.

“We were treated well and respected,” Lifeson said.

Gramm recalled Engler sitting in the lobbies of Pittsburgh radio stations at 6 a.m., accompanying Foreigner during interviews promoting their local show.

“It made us love him even more,” he said.

Engler recalls his working-class father’s reaction when he first heard that his son hoped to become a concert promoter: “I hate to tell you, son, it’s not a career, it’s a hobby. -time.”

A band manager says Engler and a few other 1970s promoters acted as “godfathers” ruling over their turf, though they built the successful infrastructure for what became a billion-dollar gig industry. dollars.

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Engler helped rewrite the rules, as a promoter who also printed the concert tickets.

Although even successful players and sponsors suffer losses.

“You throw $3 million on the table betting that an attraction will at least break even,” Engler said. “Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.”

Exhibit A: The 1988 Monsters of Rock show at Three Rivers Stadium featuring Van Halen, Metallica, The Scorpions, Dokken and Kingdom Come.

“I needed 40,000 people to break even, 30,000 people (and) lost $400,000 in one afternoon,” Engler said. “It’s rough.”

George Benson accepts a proclamation for

DiCesare-Engler made his fortune in 1998 when he sold his assets to Clear Channel, the conglomerate that became Live Nation, the industry’s leading concert promoters and owners of venues like The Pavilion at Star Lake.

This transition hasn’t necessarily benefited viewers, the documentary claims.

“When big business takes over, everything changes,” Engler said. “The music industry has really started to fall apart. Guess who’s hurt? The customer. Ticket prices just keep going up and up and up and up. I didn’t know that you were selling your heart and soul and everything.”

Pittsburgh concert promoter Rich Engler is the subject of a new biography released September 13.

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Billy Price’s 50 Years of Soul

Love, lust, longing, lament – Billy Price dives into all the crucial emotions with his sweet, soulful voice on a new three-CD set: ‘Billy Price: 50+ Years of Soul’.

The beloved blue-eyed Pittsburgh soul/R&B singer curated the remixed collection, evenly spanning his half-century career. It includes songs from his early days in the 1970s as a singer with nationally acclaimed guitar virtuoso Roy Buchanan, before leading The Keystone Rhythm Band and Billy Price Band.

Price’s liner notes give ample credit to the old Jeree Recording in New Brighton, where Price & The Keystone Rhythm Band’s debut album, “Is It Over?” was recorded in 1978-79.

“New Brighton was an unlikely location for a recording studio,” Price says, “but on Jeree’s board was a kindred spirit by the name of Don Garvin. Don, a great guitarist who played for many years with alumni band Pure Gold, was a soul-blues aficionado like me, we clicked from the moment we met, and Don became an engineer and played guitar on three albums for me at Jeree’s ( “Danger Zone” and “The Soul Collection” were others).

The 16-page insert also covers former KRB and Billy Price Band notables like Eric Leeds who later joined music legend Prince’s band; the late Glenn Pavone, whom Price remembers as a guitarist as talented as any national guitar god, and Eric DeFade, the two-time Grammy Award-winning saxophonist and assistant professor at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center, that Price salutes on stage amid a couple Disc 1 live selections.

Billy Price has a new release celebrating 50 plus years of soul music.

The CDs also include excerpts from Price’s collaborations with his R&B/soul music hero Otis Clay and blues guitarist Fred Chapellier, which helped Price expand his French fanbase.

Available at billyprice.com, “Billy Price: 50+ Years of Soul” is one of those uplifting albums that you listen to from cover to cover, relishing in the way Price vocally testifies to the power of everything. -powerful of love. Album snippets like “I Know It’s Your Party (I Just Came Here to Dance)”, “Lifestyles of The Poor and Unknown”, “It Ain’t a Juke Joint Without The Blues” and “Let’s Get Married” will put pep in your walk.

To hear it live, head to the official CD release show on October 1 at the Syria Shrine Center in Cheswick.

Billy Price has been singing soul music for half a century.

WYEP Weekend Mix

Pittsburgh’s 91.3 WYEP changed its weekend lineup, eliminating a few specialty shows to give listeners more of the indie rock, Americana, blues, and local hip-hop the station airs on weekdays.

Among the changes, “An American Sampler” is leaving the Sunday night schedule. Host Ken Batista is among the station’s longest-serving volunteer hosts, bringing folk and acoustic music to listeners for 31 years.

“The Soul Show,” a tradition since 1995, is also deviating from its Saturday afternoon slot. Soft-spoken host Mike Canton will continue the show on his website, soulshowmike.org.

Unchanged are the Saturday night blues shows, Big Town Blues and Rollin’ & Tumblin’.

Catch “The Grateful Dead Hour” at 11 p.m. on Sunday.

Pittsburgh radio station WYEP has made changes to its weekend schedule.

Scott Tady is entertainment editor at The Times and easy to reach at [email protected].

Australian lenders NAB and ANZ to hike home loan rates by 50 basis points


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Sep 9 (Reuters) – Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ.AX) joined National Australia Bank (NAB.AX) in raising variable interest rates on home loans on Friday, passing the rate hike of 50 basis points (bps) from the central bank in full to their customers.

Westpac Banking Corp (WBC.AX) and the country’s main lender, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA.AX), are also expected to raise their mortgage rates, after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) raised its cash rate for the fifth time since May. to a seven-year high of 2.35%. Read more

New tariffs for ANZ and NAB customers will come into effect on September 16, they said.

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Both lenders added that savings account rates remain under review.

So far, Australian lenders have followed the RBA in passing on the full rate hike to their clients, expecting to reap the benefits at a time when the country’s property market shows signs of cooling.

House prices in the country suffered their biggest drop in 40 years in August as rising interest rates and cost-of-living pressures ripped a hole in demand, threatening to undermine the household wealth and confidence.

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Reporting by Harish Sridharan; Additional reporting by Jaskiran Singh; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Rashmi Aich

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Remarks Prepared by Director Chopra at the CFPB Field Hearing on Debt Collection Practices in Nursing Homes


Good morning, and thank you all for participating in today’s virtual hearing.

The pandemic has had a devastating impact on residents of nursing homes. Across the country, seniors have been further isolated from family and friends. Mortality from COVID-19 has been borne disproportionately by people living in long-term care facilities.

Recently, more attention has been paid to investors and large companies operating nursing homes and other skilled nursing facilities, and whether the quality of care has suffered as a result. But less attention has been paid to some of the financial impacts on care home residents and their families as a result of the pandemic.

Congress created the Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to focus on financial issues related to long-term care, combat financial abuse of older adults, and identify emerging protection risks consumers. By law, the bureau is required to coordinate consumer protection efforts among federal and state agencies on issues facing seniors, and we will be focusing more on that work.

I expect our office for American seniors to become a key pillar within the policy and law enforcement community on the financial issues facing seniors and their caregivers. With the growing population of older adults, changes in technology, the retirement security gap, the cost of long-term care, and more, there are plenty of challenges to overcome.

As part of that work, today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and its Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans are pleased to host this hearing to focus on one particular issue: medical debt collection practices as they relate to nursing care in retirement homes.

In conjunction with today’s hearing, the CFPB’s Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans conducted an analysis of debt collection issues in nursing homes. The analysis included a review of listing contracts, public filings and consumer complaints. In a recently released report, the CFPB details some of the unique medical debt circumstances associated with nursing home care. Specifically, we found that family and friends of a nursing home resident are being sued for debt collection, even though federal law prohibits nursing homes participating in certain federal insurance programs from requiring that certain third parties are financially responsible. This creates a risk that caregivers and others will be subject to debt collection practices and credit reports on invalid debts.

As a first step, the CFPB and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are alerting nursing facilities and collectors to this potential risk. The CFPB has also issued guidelines for the law enforcement community that explain when certain practices may violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Over the years, I’ve heard people in the debt collection industry and the nursing home industry say that law-abiding players who treat patients and consumers with respect and dignity are routinely put at a disadvantage by having to compete with those who engage in exploitative tactics or otherwise. break the law.

Debt collection companies are a key part of the consumer credit ecosystem, and nursing homes are a major sector of our healthcare industry. It is up to all of us to ensure that patients, their caregivers and honest businesses are protected. To assist in these efforts, we urge families to file complaints with federal and state agencies. We also ask people working in nursing homes and debt collection industries who become aware of wrongdoing by a competitor to confidentially report it to law enforcement.

We are grateful for the ongoing partnership with the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to address the range of harms associated with medical debt.

Thank you again for participating in today’s hearing, and to all those who have been involved in organizing it.

Amber Heard’s Celebrity Friends Reportedly Refused to Help Pay Johnny Depp


The ‘Aquaman’ actress reportedly asked her close friends for help in her financial struggle after her loss in the libel suit, but she was ‘ghosted’.

AceShowbiz – As Amber HeardThe career of is currently in a downward spiral, she could find out who her true friend is. The actress was allegedly ‘ghosted’ by her famous friends as she sought help paying her ex-husband Johnny Depp following his loss in the libel suit.

A source close to the 36-year-old told Geo News: “Amber has approached several of her party mates in hopes that they will help her find accommodation, but she has been pushed away and in many case, completely ‘ghost.’ ”

Amber’s circle of close friends includes celebrities such as Kristen Stewart, Cara Delevingne and Margot Robbiebut it is not known who rejected it.

Amber was sued by Johnny for her December 2018 op-ed for The Washington Post in which she detailed her experience as a victim of abuse. On June 1, the jury found her guilty of defaming her ex-husband. She was ordered to pay him $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, although the court reduced the punitive damages to $350,000 due to the statute’s limit. of State.

Amber struggles to rebuild her career following the verdict. She hasn’t starred in any new movies since the defamation lawsuit, but she reportedly got an offer of $9 million from Zen Models to star in an X-rated movie. The deal is said to be worth $8 million and includes an additional $1 million donation to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

More recently, leaked emails appeared to confirm that Amber fabricated evidence her team presented at trial. In a series of leaked emails, an apparent insider from her party admitted the actress ‘is guilty’, but an entire PR firm was employed to help ‘discredit’ the verdict against her in the defamation case. .

The team allegedly intended to “twist” the facts involved in the case and attempted to discredit Johnny in an effort to curry favor with Amber. “I heard the audio recordings of Amber confessing to assaulting Johnny and of course her bruised photos are fake,” the source continued.

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Average HELOC and Home Equity Loan Rates for the week of September 6, 2022

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Key points to remember

  • Home equity loans and lines of credit (HELOC) rates remained stable last week.
  • The main driver of rising interest rates for home equity loan products is the Federal Reserve, which is expected to make its next rate hike in late September.
  • Home equity products have grown in popularity due to rising mortgage rates and the growing popularity of home improvement as buying a home becomes less affordable.

A tough housing market is forcing homeowners to reconsider their current home and look to a home equity loan or line of credit to improve it.

Much like first-time home buyers, existing homeowners who might be considering an upgrade with a new home purchase are also facing high prices and rising mortgage rates.

“Usually one of the motivations for people to move is to find a bigger, nicer house,” says Rob Cook, vice president of marketing, digital and analytics for Discover Home Loans. With these homes becoming less affordable, the demand for renovations is increasing – along with different ways to finance it.

Due to high real estate prices, homeowners have record levels of equity in their homes and they are increasingly using it by using loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) to finance projects home renovation. High mortgage rates make tapping into that equity through cash refinancing less attractive.

“You might be better off using the equity in your home,” Cook says. “You can keep the interest rate low on your primary mortgage by getting a second mortgage and using that equity in your home to fund a project in the home you currently own.”

Financing a renovation project to turn your current home into your dream home is an alternative in a housing market that some experts say is facing a “housing recession,” Cook says. “That’s one of the things we see in the market and it can also lead to lower demand for new homes or existing homes.”

Here are the average home equity loan and HELOC rates as of August 31, 2022:

Type of loan Price for this week Last week’s rate Difference
$30,000 HELOC 6.53% 6.52% +0.01
10-year $30,000 home equity loan 7.05% 7.05% nothing
Home equity loan of $30,000 over 15 years 6.99% 6.99% nothing

How these rates are calculated

These rates come from a survey conducted by Bankrate, which, like NextAdvisor, is owned by Red Ventures. Averages are determined from a survey of the top 10 banks in the 10 major US markets.

What are home equity loans and HELOCs?

Home equity loans and HELOCs are borrowing tools in which you use the difference between the value of your home and what you owe on mortgages and other home loans as collateral to borrow money. Here is the difference between these two products:

With a Home Equity Loanyou borrow a lump sum of money and repay it in installments, usually at a fixed interest rate.

HELOC are more like credit cards. Your lender gives you a limit on how much you can borrow at one time and you only pay interest on what you actually borrowed. The interest rate tends to be variable, usually based on a benchmark like the preferential rate.

Lending experts expect home equity loan and HELOC interest rates to rise through the rest of 2022. preferential rate, which is the benchmark for many HELOCs, often follows increases in short-term interest rates by the Federal Reserve. The Fed has raised its key rate four times so far, most recently at the end of July, and is expected to continue to do so through the end of the year. For home equity loans, rates are also expected to continue to climb as banks’ borrowing costs increase.

Home equity is at record highs

Rising home prices over the past two years mean homeowners have never had so much equity. Real estate data company ATTOM found that in the second quarter of 2022, nearly half of mortgaged residential properties were considered “equity rich,” meaning that mortgages and other home loans covered no more than half of their value.

Research from Black Knight, a mortgage technology and data company, revealed Total usable equity of U.S. owners — something they could borrow against while retaining 20% ​​— hit a new record high of $11.5 trillion in the second quarter, but that growth slowed as price growth cooled.

Homeowners looking to tap into that equity are turning to home equity products due to significant increases in mortgage rates, which have made pullout refinances less attractive. Cash-out refis made more sense when mortgage rates were at record highs, but now that rates are up more than two percentage points year-to-date, it no longer makes sense to take a lower rate on your mortgage just to borrow some money.

Home equity loans come with risks

Home equity loans and HELOCs are secured by your home, which means that if you don’t pay them back, the bank can put you in foreclosure. Note that just because the value of your home has gone up doesn’t mean it will stay there forever. Real estate values ​​are starting to drop a bit. Your local market might even see prices drop as national averages rise.

Don’t use a home equity loan or HELOC for just anything. They tend to be used for home renovations, which can be expensive, but can simultaneously increase the value of your home. Experts warn against using them to finance a more expensive lifestyle or for debt consolidation.

Pro tip

Keep an eye on the value of your home before taking out a home equity loan or HELOC. Give yourself a reserve of available equity in case prices go down, especially if you plan to move in the near future.

Insider buying in Ranplan Group AB (STO:RPLAN) last year has yet to pay off, remains down 41,000 kr despite recent gains


Insiders who bought for 63,000 kr of Ranplan Group AB (STO:RPLAN) Last year, stocks recouped some of their losses, with the stock rising 17% in the past week. However, the purchase turns out to be a costly gamble, as insider losses have totaled 41,000 kr since the time of purchase.

While we would never suggest that investors base their decisions solely on what a company’s directors have done, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider trading altogether.

However, if you prefer to see where opportunities and risks are within RPLAN’s industryyou can check out our analysis on the SE software industry.

Ranplan Group Insider Trading Over the Last Year

While no particular insider trades stood out, we can still review all of the trades.

The chart below shows insider trading (by companies and individuals) over the past year. If you click on the chart, you can see all individual trades including stock price, individual and date!

OM:RPLAN Insider Trading Volume September 6, 2022

There are always plenty of stocks that insiders are buying. So if it suits your style you can check each stock one by one or you can take a look at this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders bought them).

Does the Ranplan Group boast of high insider ownership?

Many investors like to check how much a company is owned by insiders. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely insiders will be incentivized to build the company for the long term. Great to see that Ranplan Group insiders own 72% of the company, worth around 57 million kr. Most shareholders would be happy to see this type of insider ownership, as it suggests that management’s incentives are well aligned with those of other shareholders.

So what do the insider trading of the Ranplan Group indicate?

There have been no insider trades in the last three months – that’s not saying much. On a more positive note, last year’s transactions are encouraging. With strong insider ownership and encouraging transactions, it appears that Ranplan Group insiders think the company has some merit. In addition to knowing what insider trading is going on, it is beneficial to identify the risks that Ranplan Group faces. For example, Ranplan Group has 6 warning signs (and 4 that can’t be ignored) that we think you should know about.

But note: Ranplan Group may not be the best stock to buy. So take a look at this free list of interesting companies with high ROE and low debt.

For the purposes of this article, insiders are persons who report their transactions to the relevant regulatory body. We currently record open market transactions and private dispositions, but not derivative transactions.

This Simply Wall St article is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It is not a recommendation to buy or sell stocks and does not take into account your objectives or financial situation. Our goal is to bring you targeted long-term analysis based on fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not take into account the latest announcements from price-sensitive companies or qualitative materials. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

Calculation of discounted cash flows for each share

Simply Wall St performs a detailed calculation of discounted cash flow every 6 hours for every stock in the market, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any company, just search here. It’s free.

UniCredit offers $8 billion relief package for Italian customers hit by price spike


The headquarters of UniCredit in downtown Milan, Italy, February 4, 2016. Picture taken February 4, 2016. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

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  • UniCredit CEO reassures on the quality of the loan portfolio
  • Intesa is also extending its existing aid measures
  • New loans, debt holidays offered

MILAN, Sept 5 (Reuters) – Italy’s second-largest bank, UniCredit (CRDI.MI), on Monday unveiled a package of measures worth up to 8 billion euros ($8 billion) to ease the pain businesses and households hit by record energy costs and a broader price spike.

Chief executive Andrea Orcel said on a press call that UniCredit, which also operates in Germany, Austria and Eastern Europe, was working on similar measures for its other markets, and reassured the quality of the bank’s loan portfolio.

Although UniCredit is aware that many of its customers, particularly in energy-intensive sectors such as steel or ceramics, are struggling, Orcel said loan repayments continued the benign trends seen in the second trimester.

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“Our approach is preventive,” said Remo Taricani, deputy director of the bank in Italy. “We asked ourselves, what can a bank do to help with the structural reduction in household disposable income and business cash flow that we’re going to see in the next two to three months?”

Separately, on Monday, Italy’s biggest bank, Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP.MI), announced that it would provide an additional €2 billion in financing to small businesses to cover energy costs and offer a payment suspension of up to 24 months on existing loans.

UniCredit will offer businesses €5 billion in new loans for up to three years to help them pay their energy bills.

A further €3 billion will be made available through payment suspensions and other measures for credit card and mortgage holders.

Businesses that have not taken advantage of bank debt guarantees made available by the government can apply until December 31 for a 12-month moratorium on their mortgages, UniCredit said.

A suspension of up to 12 months for principal repayment and the possibility of modifying the repayment plan will be granted on 400,000 home loans.

Some 1.4 million credit card holders will have the option to defer their payments for up to six months without rates or fees from October 1 to the end of the year.

($1 = 1.0075 euros)

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Reporting by Valentina Za; editing by Federico Maccioni, Louise Heavens and Leslie Adler

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Coping with the Covid loan repayment crisis with new forms of financing


2022 is proving to be a tough year for UK businesses. Although we have emerged from the clutches of the pandemic, thankfully leaving Covid restrictions behind, the business world now faces a whole new set of challenges.

Inflation has become the word of the day and is set to potentially reach staggering levels
15% by the end of the year. The impact of soaring prices should be particularly felt by small and medium-sized enterprises which, unlike large companies, often lack the financial margin to absorb the cost of price increases.

Amid this difficult economic climate, businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to repay their Covid loans. According to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy,
one in twelve businesses defaulted on government-backed loans they took out during the pandemic, with an estimate
£421 million yet to be repaid. The burden of Covid loan repayments isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, now is the time to look at exactly why so many businesses are struggling to make repayments – and how new forms of financing can help tackle this problem.

cash is king

Throughout the pandemic, government support has kept small businesses afloat. Temporary measures such as the furlough scheme and CBILS have essentially put the economy on life support, allowing businesses to weather the worst of the storm.

This very support has created a huge pile of debt that small businesses no longer have the financial capacity to repay. So why are so many SMEs struggling to repay this debt?

There is no doubt that the cost of living crisis is a major factor, with the number of companies reporting financial difficulties reaching almost
20% higher compared to the same time last year.

However, while inflationary pressures are undoubtedly making it more difficult for companies to repay their Covid debt, many of the reasons for companies’ inability to repay their Covid loans predate the onset of the cost of living crisis. . After all, in October 2021, a third of small businesses feared they would not be able to repay their Covid loans.

Chief among them is the thorny and ever-growing issue of securing sustainable working capital for SMEs. Payment delays are one exacerbating factor and the availability of capital is another.

According to small business federation, 61% of small businesses were affected by unpaid invoices in the first quarter of this year, with a quarter saying the propensity for late payments is on the rise. Liquidity problems are compounded by the difficulty of accessing finance itself, with bank lending to small businesses also at an “all-time high”. As a result, SMEs are literally strapped for cash. No wonder, then, that they are finding it increasingly difficult to repay their Covid loans.

Turn to new forms of financing

Fortunately, advances in financial technology are focusing on business data from companies. That means there’s no reason businesses should wait so long to get paid or struggle to access cash.

Machine learning can analyze past payment patterns to make probabilistic assessments of the few invoices that are unlikely to be paid, allowing the rest to be paid automatically by the buyer when received.

This technology can also advance cash from expected future earnings by leveraging data from multiple sources, including e-invoicing platforms and accounting systems. When strong and consistent cash flows are identified, SMEs can obtain larger loans which are then repaid as a percentage of their revenue.

This data-driven approach allows SMEs to receive the working capital they would otherwise struggle to access, providing them with the cash flow they need to meet liquidity challenges such as Covid loans.

We cannot allow the Covid loan repayment crisis to just bubble up in the background. To do so would be to kick the box, committing small businesses to further financial difficulties in the future. The cost of living crisis has certainly exacerbated the challenge of repaying Covid loans, but the scale of the problem demands an inspection that goes beyond the inflationary push.

If the crux of the problem is that SMEs have long been short of cash to repay their Covid loans, we need to look for new and innovative ways to provide small businesses with working capital. This means moving away from traditional forms of financing and leveraging technology to solve long-standing cash flow issues that businesses face. Helping businesses adopt this technology will be crucial in dealing with the Covid loan repayment crisis.

How Ohio’s Biggest Cities Are Spending U.S. Bailout Funds


Beavercreek is using almost all of the $5 million in ARPA funds it receives to reduce the city’s backlog of infrastructure projects estimated at $200 million.

City officials say the backlog was caused by the city’s rapid growth and the lack of a municipal income tax.

Major ARPA-funded projects include flood control on Willowcrest Road, erosion repair on the Vineland Trail and at the Beavercreek Golf Club, and installation of water and sewer lines along the along McGrath Way.

Project design for the Willowcrest Road Flood Control Project, a project the City of Beavercreek is funding with US bailout funds

Project design for the Willowcrest Road Flood Control Project, a project the City of Beavercreek is funding with US bailout funds

The OMA study found that infrastructure spending accounts for 20% of ARPA funds spent or allocated to date.

Kettering has committed $1 million of the $13.9 million the city receives from ARPA for a program to help people buy homes in Kettering and help current homeowners in the city repair their homes. . The program, in partnership with Day Air Credit Union, offers low-interest, repayable loans to help cover closing costs and renovations.

City officials say the program has served 20 first-time homebuyers with an average assistance of $18,670. They spent $354,729 and have enough funds for about seven other homebuyers. The home repair portion helped 18 homeowners with an average assistance of $8,153. This part of the program spent $130,440 and has enough funds for another 40 projects.

“The goal of this program was to partner with DayAir Credit Union and help lower-income households access and maintain homeownership in Kettering,” said city spokeswoman Mary Azbill. .

ExploreKettering offers home-buying assistance with federal COVID relief funds

The OMA report found that only 3.4% of ARPA funds spent or allocated so far go to housing programs.

To date, the largest category of use of ARPA funds, accounting for 20.8% of the total, is government operations. This mainly includes covering the salaries of city employees. The report notes that public safety personnel average two-thirds of the city budget in these cities.

After that, the biggest slice of the pie was community aid, at 17.7%. This included direct aid to individuals and payments to groups to support things like arts and culture, food assistance, non-profit organizations and neighborhood revitalization.

How 30 of Ohio’s largest cities are spending U.S. bailout funds, Ohio Mayors Alliance research shows

How 30 of Ohio's largest cities are spending U.S. bailout funds, Ohio Mayors Alliance research shows

How 30 of Ohio’s largest cities are spending U.S. bailout funds, Ohio Mayors Alliance research shows

“Federal investments provided by the America Rescue Plan are having extraordinary impacts on our cities,” said Keary McCarthy, executive director of the Ohio Mayors Alliance.

“Not only have these funds avoided cuts to key municipal services, they have enabled our cities to make significant investments in public safety. These funds have also strengthened our economic recovery, provided critical supports to businesses and nonprofits, and laid the foundation for transformational change in many communities.

Local cities in the Ohio Alliance of Mayors and their US bailout amounts

Beaver Creek: $5,000,920

Dayton: $137,976,174

Fairfield: $4,457,996

Huber Heights: $3,996,672

Kettering: $13,851,520

Downtown: $18,925,154

Springfield: $44,230,364

electric vehicles: the bets of Japanese companies are paying off as hybrid cars are selling very well

Japanese automakers betting on power hybrids as a “critical” gateway to full electrification in the Indian market are seeing their bets paid off, with power hybrid versions of Grand, Toyota Hyryder and Honda City seeing strong bookings.

Cumulative reservations for the three vehicles – two of which have yet to officially launch in the local market – have topped 40,000 units in the past two months. This is more than double the approximately 18,000 electric vehicles (4W) sold over the past financial year as a whole.

Of the nearly 50,000 reservations Maruti Suzuki has received for the Grand Vitara so far, 44 percent have come for the powerful hybrid version. Industry sources say that around 75% of Toyota Hyryder bookings are for the powerful hybrid version. Honda Cars India has sold the potent hybrid version of the flagship City sedan for the next 10 months.

These hybrids may represent a 20-30% premium over conventional petrol cars, but offer 35-40% better fuel efficiency and address the anxiety of vehicle buyers in a country with an extensive charging network n is not yet implemented, resulting in better than expected customer acceptance at all three companies.

“In addition to being more affordable than battery-electric vehicles, powerful hybrids do not require charging infrastructure. They largely run on batteries in urban cycles, reducing fuel consumption and emissions. exhaust,” said Shahsank Srivastava, Senior Executive Director (Marketing & Sales), Maruti Suzuki.

Electric vehicles currently command a 60-70% premium over their corresponding gasoline versions. In addition, studies conducted by car manufacturers have shown that due to insufficient availability of parking spaces, 85% of car owners in the country do not park their vehicles in the same place every day, which makes it rather difficult to install charging stations in residential areas.

Industry experts believe that the passenger vehicle segment will likely be the last to switch to electric vehicles due to the high cost difference, the slow evolution of the electric vehicle ecosystem and the need for power supplies. stable electricity.

“Fundamentally, it’s not about battery electric vehicles or powerful hybrid electric vehicles, because these technologies complement each other by having an electric powertrain with common EV parts. On choosing a technology for a market, we believe and always focus on introducing electrified technologies that are best suited to deliver maximum carbon reduction based on an assessment of local conditions based on the country’s energy mix, infrastructure development and consumer acceptance,” said Vikram Gulati, Toyota’s executive vice president.

Motor (TKM) adding customer response to the Hyryder has been “outstanding”.

Gulati informed according to independent studies on a well-to-wheel basis, i.e. taking fully into account the impact of energy production and its end use, in the case of India , the carbon emissions of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are even lower than those of BEVs. “Therefore, SHEVS will play a critical role not only in reducing fossil fuel consumption, carbon emissions and pollution, but also in creating a local EV parts manufacturing ecosystem while protecting simultaneously the huge existing investments and jobs related to the manufacture of ICE parts, thus ensuring a faster and uninterrupted technological transition,” Gulati said.

Toyota, Suzuki and Honda do not plan to launch an electric car in India until 2025 and are currently working on localizing hybrid vehicle parts.

Yuichi Murata, Director (Marketing and Sales), Honda Cars India, said: “In the Indian context, as the electrification of automobiles is accelerating, we believe that powerful hybrids are currently the best choice because they are practical and worry-free. They offer outstanding fuel economy and lower emissions compared to regular models. Powerful hybrid technology can act as a catalyst for India’s automotive industry’s smooth transition to green mobility. Powerful hybrids now account for more than 8% of all Honda City sales in India.

Ravi Bhatia, president of Jato Dynamics, said hybrid vehicles offer more fuel efficiency and lower emissions compared to conventional motor vehicles. The resale value of hybrids is also better than that of electrics. However, these vehicles are more expensive than their gas-powered counterparts and will require trained mechanics given the advanced technology.

New student loan plan lowers monthly payments and interest


The day the Biden administration unveiled its much-anticipated student loan forgiveness plan was a “day of celebration” for Justin Short.

Short, 34, graduated from the University of Missouri in 2012 with a degree in hotel management, $47,000 in federal student loans and $5,800 in private student loans. Like many borrowers, her college debt plagued her personal and financial decisions for years.

So while he found relief in lots of ads coming from the White House on August 24 – $10,000 in debt forgiveness, another extension of the payment pause until the end of the year – Short was most interested in the announcement of the proposed changes to the plans of income-based reimbursement.

The Department of Education’s new plan would cap monthly undergraduate debt payments at 5% of discretionary income, up from the usual 10% to 15% on existing plans.

The proposal also increases the amount of money considered non-discretionary income and protected from being used to calculate student loan repayments.

It would cover any accrued unpaid interest so that none of the borrower’s balance would increase if they made a qualifying payment.

And it would cancel loan balances after 10 years of payments, instead of the usual 20, for those with an initial loan balance of $12,000 or less.

This “dormant” detail of the loan forgiveness plan could be a “game changer” for millions of borrowers with remaining balances, says Julie Peller, executive director of Higher Learning Advocates, a bipartisan education nonprofit superior.

“I wish people would talk about it more than the $10,000 coin,” Short says, “because it will put more money in the pockets of ordinary, middle-class Americans who need that extra help, in especially when student loan repayments resume on Jan. 1. 1.”

“It has huge implications,” he adds.

From $690 to $200 a month: New income caps could be ‘life changing’

Short was about to start making payments on his federal student loans, which were forborne, in early 2020. At the time, he was making enough money working in the hospitality industry, but even putting 10% of his discretionary income — $690 — toward student debt each month would require sacrifice, he says.

Justin Short, 34, graduated from the University of Missouri in 2012 with a degree in hospitality and a nearly $53,000 student loan

Courtesy of subject

“The 10% payment plan is a lot of money,” he says — more than he thought when he was 18 and taking out these loans. He wondered, “What am I going to do now to pay off my student loan? Should I sell my car or move in with my family? I was already in the smallest apartment I could have in Kansas City.

Then Covid hit and Short was fired from his job. He has since found a new job as an assistant property manager, earning less than he used to, and taking advantage of the student loan moratorium. But the idea of ​​resuming payments at 10% of its income by January 2023 was a burden.

Under the new income-focused plan, Short says the 5% income cap will be “life-changing” and notes that he will benefit from the increased non-discretionary income threshold.

For existing plans, the threshold that is protected from being used for loan repayments is 150% of the poverty line, or $20,385 for a single person in 2022. Under the new plan, the Department of Education would increase the amount of money borrowers can keep to 225% of the poverty line, or $30,577 a year for a single person.

It also ensures that any borrower earning the equivalent of an hourly minimum wage of $15 or less will not have to make payments on their loans under the plan.

Raising the non-discretionary income threshold is “a big recognition that people have a lot of other things on their plate,” says Peller, such as rising costs for food, housing, child care and other basic needs.

Under the new payment plan, Short expects to pay about $200 a month on his federal loans, a “much more manageable amount, not an ‘I’m going back to my parents’ situation,” he says.

“It’s a good step to recognize that borrowers over the past decade needed help, and getting that help will have a positive impact on people’s financial future for decades to come,” he adds. -he.

Unpaid interest will no longer lead to debt inflation

Another major impact of the proposed payment plan is that borrowers will no longer accrue interest on their loan as long as they make their qualified monthly payment, which could be $0 for low-income earners.

This is “a very big problem” for low-income borrowers, says Peller: Currently, if a borrower’s income is low enough, their payment may not cover the monthly interest on their loan. If so, the remaining unpaid interest is capitalized and added to the principle of the loan. This “essentially inflates payments and puts people in a cycle where they can never make progress on their student loans,” Peller said.

[A 5% income cap is] a much more manageable amount, not a “going back to live with my parents” situation.

justin runs

student borrower in Kansas City, Missouri

Getting rid of accumulated unpaid interest means that “unlike other existing income-based repayment plans, no borrower’s loan balance will increase as long as they make their monthly payments,” the White House said.

Eliminating unpaid interest could help Christian Blair, 29, a Houston attorney. He graduated from the University of Kansas Law School in 2018 with about $170,000 in federal student loans, though some of that also came from his undergraduate years.

Since taking out those loans, however, the unpaid interest has added another $30,000 to his capital.

Christian Blair, 29, left his undergraduate and law school with about $170,000 in student loans. Since then, unpaid interest has added another $30,000 to his debt.

Courtesy of subject

Under the new proposal, payments for undergraduate loans will be capped at 5% of discretionary income, graduate loans will be capped at 10%and borrowers who combine the two will pay a weighted average rate.

Blair took advantage of the student loan moratorium during Covid, otherwise payments on his current plan would be nearly $2,500 a month. With a new cap and higher threshold for non-discretionary income, he expects payouts under the new income-tested regime to be much lower.

“If I make qualifying payments and my balance doesn’t continue to grow, and those payments are less than 10% of my Discretionary Income, it’s a better deal than most private offers, especially because interest that would accrue,” Blair said. .

“I was going to refinance, but not anymore,” he adds. “And I think it should be. I shouldn’t have to go through a private solution to get a better loan than I can get through the government.”

What happens next

The draft rule for the income-contingent refund proposal will be published in the Federal Register in the coming days and open for public comment for 30 days. A Department of Education spokesman said he could not comment on when the plan will be available, although experts like Peller say it could open by summer 2023.

A few big questions remain: Who will be eligible for the program, what types of loans are eligible, and how will people enroll?

“In the past, income-based repayment options were really good, but required a lot of care and attention from the borrower, with the requirement to recertify their income every year and ensure that ‘he gets his information to the services in time,’ says Peller.

“It’s going to take a good amount of clear communication with people so they don’t feel like they’re expecting something they’re not eligible for, and more importantly, so they don’t miss something. which they are eligible,” she added. .

I shouldn’t have to go through a private solution to get a better loan than I can get through the government.

Christian Blair

student borrower in houston

Although Blair will have to wait to see how the income-based reimbursement proposal pans out, he says Biden’s pardon plan has already had an impact on his family.

After discussing the news with her parents last week, Blair learned that her 55-year-old father had student debt from earning an associate’s degree and was making minimum payments of $60. $ per month for almost 20 years.

His remaining balance is less than $10,000 and he will be eligible to have it wiped out under the new plan, Blair says.

“He’s the target audience for a lot of this stuff,” adds Blair: a black man “who got an associate’s degree, couldn’t afford to pay out of pocket and paid for it all my life, in big, and helped put me through school all the time. For the first time since he can remember, as an adult he won’t have student loans.


Biden announces new plan to halve some student loan repayments

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Will canceling student loans make inflation worse? Here’s what economists say

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How a 29-year-old man who makes $245,000/year in Anaheim, California spends his money

The Black Keys at Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek in Raleigh, NC


Boogie all you want, the Black Keys provide too much energy and fun to pass out and miss even a moment of their stellar performance.

The Blackout Boogie Tour with The black keys and special guest herd of horses arrived in Raleigh, North Carolina. In the middle of their national tour, the two bands plus the opener First James delighted a near-full house on a hot summer evening with a hugely entertaining setlist of original songs and searing blues covers, all masterfully performed.

Early James began with a brief set of six songs, including his single “Harder To Blame”. Signed to Dan Auerbach’s studio label, Easy Eye Sound, Early James whose real name is Fredrick James Mullis Jr., is a relatively young artist with two albums released from 2020. He performed with a strong stage presence and an adorable southern personal charm and clearly enjoyed his time on stage. He never took himself too seriously and chose to have fun, including making time to joke with several members of the public about the college sports teams in his home state of Alabama. Early James sounded a lot like a grungy Johnny Cash and created a strong blues guitar vibe that the rest of the night would build on.

Band of Horses, fronted by South Carolina-born singer-songwriter Ben Bridwell, received a very warm reception for their ten-song set. After Ben admitted he overslept and failed the sound check, Ben and the band immediately kicked into high gear. Clearly still excited after performing in his home country the night before, Ben and Band of Horses enthusiastically played favorites “The Funeral”, “Is There a Ghost” and “Crutch” as well as a cover of ” Neon Moon” by Brooks and Dunn. Band of Horses played like they wanted to stay on stage all night. Everyone in the band put on a surprisingly strong rock star vibe with fiery guitar solos and a little whim to open the show from bassist Matt Gentling. They fed off the energy they created in the venue and propelled the audience into a harder, faster groove, creating excitement for the headliner.

Opening with “I Got Mine,” the Black Keys took over the venue like a downed power line in a puddle. Raw, searing and dangerous, Dan Auerbach on guitar and Patrick Carney on drums blasted a hole in the slightly damp air and sent the room to an instant climax. Supported by four touring artists who complemented the Black Keys sound with additional guitar, vocals, keyboard and percussion, the interplay of cool grooves and singable hooks with ferocious guitar attacks was on point and met all the expectations of the fans.

Playing only a handful of songs from their latest release, abandonment boogie, The Black Keys drew mostly from the middle of their discography and added a significant number of covers from blues legends such as John Lee Hooker and RL Burnside. The setlist was a celebration of music, providing fans with songs they wanted to hear while celebrating the artists the band admired and were influenced by. Kenny Brown, an American slide blues guitarist whom Dan credits with changing his life and setting him on the path he is on today, joined The Black Keys for four songs. The radio favorites “Gold on the Ceiling” and “Lonely Boy” that closed the show were clearly the highlights of the setlist.

The Black Keys were a powerhouse from start to finish, showcasing the power and emotion of raw blues energy. Delivering nearly 25 songs in total for the evening, The Black Keys produced an incredible show that any rockin’ blues music lover will thoroughly enjoy.

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Liam Dann: Hot – what if the economy doesn’t slow down?


Economy at high speed: The economy might actually be holding up too well, writes Liam Dann. Photo/NZME


Despite all the rhetoric about the recession, the economy still seems to be running at full speed.

The latest data suggests that our economic behavior does not match our pessimistic attitude.

As strange as it may seem, the

Fixing College Costs in the “Scheme” to Forgo Loans


For the editor:

Over the past 30 years, enrollment in colleges and universities has increased by 300%. President Biden’s recent scheme to forgive $10,000 in student loans ($20,000 if you have a Pell Grant) for those earning less than $125,000 was done illegally without Congress. It’s a slap in the face to anyone who worked to pay off student loans or to parents who worked two or three jobs to pay for their children’s education.

It has nothing to do with blue collar working class people. For many, this will reduce student loan balances for families financially able to help cover tuition. The government does not have the legal right to transfer the debt incurred by private citizens onto the backs of all taxpayers. This is strictly a ploy to get midterm votes.

Like much of what the Biden administration has done ignoring the law, the student loan forgiveness will be challenged in court where it will be reversed. The problem is that it won’t happen before the November election and for those who believe they are going to receive $10,000, it will be a disappointment. Unfortunately, the White House doesn’t even know the true cost of student loan forgiveness. Their best estimate is $300 billion. At $300 billion, it will cost each of us who pay taxes $2,200. It could go well beyond that number. Estimates range between $500 billion and $1 trillion. It will do nothing to stop colleges and universities from raising costs. The only way to pay for this is to raise taxes.

What his administration should be doing is tackling the cost associated with overcharging for tuition and room and board, which is a direct cause of government funding and organized labor intervention. These institutions don’t have their skin in the game. The government is handing out billions of dollars in loans while colleges and universities capitalize on collecting that government money loaned to people who may or may not be able to afford it. allow with no obligation other than to dictate tuition and accommodation. Unionized unions benefit from their support for the government. In return, they can add thousands of administrative jobs and tenured teachers in an endless cycle.

Like all loans, money for education means that the borrower has contracted to pay it back plus interest. In my own experience, it took 13 years to pay off my undergraduate loans to a job that paid less than $10,000 a year. What this president is doing is immoral and will create future student debt problems. This creates no incentive for colleges and universities to cut costs, which would be far more lucrative for students than a $10,000 or $20,000 stipend. This will discourage students from working hard to get out of debt. For those who have cut, worked, saved and saved to repay their loans will now have to cover the cost of those who have not.

William R. Bellotti
Middlebury, Connecticut

Bellotti served as Assistant Commissioner of Labor under Governor John Rowland

Bill aims to block New York state’s ‘cash grab’ of student loans next year


A top lawmaker says Albany should act to give New York student loan debtors some peace of mind amid legal and policy uncertainty — despite state tax authorities’ promise not to not touch any federal relief.

“Student debt relief is essential for so many across New York City,” Deputy Senate Leader Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) told The Post on Friday. “It shouldn’t turn into a cash grab from the state.”

President Biden announced last week that the Department of Education would forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt incurred by borrowers who received federal Pell grants for their education and earn less than $125,000 individually or less than $250,000 if part of a household, plus up to $10,000 in debt for non-Pell Grant recipients

A spokesperson for the Department of Taxation and Finance told the Post on Friday that they don’t believe the giveaway will be subject to state taxes — but not everyone agrees.

According to a recent analysis by the Tax FoundationNew York could charge borrowers up to $685 in new levies, even though the White House has said canceled portions of student loans will not be considered taxable income by the IRS.

New York could charge borrowers up to $685 in new withdrawals.
Getty Images for We the 45m

Jared Walczak, the Tax Foundation’s vice president for state projects, noted earlier this week that New York had previously determined that student debt discharged due to death or disability was subject to taxes from the state.

But pass his bill before “January at the latest,” Gianaris said, Democrats in Albany can put a stop to any chance the relief will be taxed by the state.

“Taxpayers need certainty about what they may or may not owe when preparing their taxes,” he said.

Governor Kathy Hochul, State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie — the so-called “three people in a room” who ultimately decide the politics of the state – did not respond to requests for comment on Friday.

It is expected that there will be legal challenges to the cancellation of student loans.
An estimated 2.25 million New Yorkers are set to benefit from federal loan forgiveness.
Getty Images for We the 45m

State lawmakers adjourned for the year in June ahead of the crucial November election, when Democrats’ legislative supermajorities are on the ballot alongside Hochul, who is running against Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin (R- Suffolk) for a full term as Governor.

“The massive cancellation of student debt is good for some, but it’s a slap in the face for people who sacrificed to pay off their loans, worked in college, went to a cheaper school or completely skipped college. Magical loan forgiveness is bad far-left policy and just plain wrong,” Zeldin tweeted August 23.

A spokeswoman for Zeldin did not immediately comment on Friday when asked how he might approach imposing federal loan forgiveness if elected governor in November.

The bill’s co-sponsors include swing-district Democratic state senators Anna Kaplan (D-Nassau), Kevin Thomas (D-Nassau) and Michelle Hinchey (D-Catskills), whose seats are critical for the Democratic hopes of retaining their supermajority.

“The state shouldn’t be polished and obscuring people for taking advantage of a program that was meant to help them,” Kaplan said. “It’s critical that we ensure every relief dollar goes into the pockets of New Yorkers, where it belongs.”

An estimated 2.25 million New Yorkers are set to receive federal loan forgiveness if it overcomes expected legal challenges, according to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Company of the Week: Connexus Credit Union


Wausau Driver and Review

Editor’s note: Business of the week is a sponsored feature that shares the stories of locally owned and operated businesses in the Wausau area, highlighting the products and services they offer and how they contribute to the unique flavor of the metro area. Learn how to pitch your business by emailing [email protected].

The featured business in the Wausau area this week is Connexus Credit Union, which currently has 14 branches open to the public, including 10 in Wisconsin. Jennifer Eberhardy, content strategist and editor at Connexus, said the company is delighted to announce its investment in an innovative new Connexus branch in Rib Mountain, at the intersection of North Mountain Road and Hummingbird Lane. Scheduled to break ground in September and open next summer, this iconic branch will feature modern amenities including digital self-service stations to limit wait times and maximize efficiency; a spacious and comfortable waiting room by the fireplace; a comprehensive solution center for member services; and more. The outside will be feature a modern Northwoods architectural style to complement the backdrop of Granite Peak and a five-way drive-thru with ATM for 24/7 member and community convenience.

Thank you for the warm welcome we have already received from the town of Rib Mountain and look forward to serving local residents when we open next summer,” Eberhardy said.

While some credit unions have strict eligibility criteria, Connexus membership is open to individuals who donate $5 to the Connexus Association, which will be used for charitable donations. Applying online is also quick and easy and only takes a few minutes. Here, Jennifer talks about the organization’s commitment to making a difference in the community, what makes Connexus unique, and what makes Wausau such a great place to do business.

Connexus will soon be opening a new location at Rib Mountain. Photo added

Give me a brief history of Connexus Credit Union – when did it all start?

Connexus believes in making a difference in the lives of our members and the communities we serve – a commitment we have taken to heart since day one. Founded in 1935 as Employers’ Mutual Credit Union, Connexus began with a simple mission that was fairly new at the time: to provide residents with a member-owned alternative to corporate banking.

In 1975, we celebrated our 40th anniversary with over $10 million in assets and eclipsed $3 billion in assets in 2020. Today, under the leadership of Boyd Gustke, President and CEO, Connexus has grown to more than $4.9 billion in assets and nearly 650 employees serving more than 430,000 members in all 50 states. Over the years, Connexus has undergone two brand changes and completed nine successful mergers while honoring our unwavering commitment to the credit union philosophy of “people helping people”.

What is the difference between a bank and a credit union?

Unlike for-profit banks which are owned or publicly traded by a group of individuals or shareholders, credit unions are not-for-profit organizations owned and managed by their members. Because banks are in business to make a profit, they generally charge more fees and offer less competitive rates. But credit unions focus more on the profitability of their members and therefore return excess funds to members in the form of higher dividends, competitive rates on loans, improved services and innovative and diversified products. From its beginnings until today, Connexus has always been committed to fostering the prosperity of its member-owners across the country.

What is your organization’s mission and what sets Connexus apart from other financial institutions in the region?

In June 2021, we shared our new vision – an evolution of our previous mission statement and a carefully revamped plan for future growth and success. Our vision is to be a nationally relevant and trusted credit union, delivering exceptional experiences and driving prosperity for those we serve.

What sets us apart from other financial institutions is that our strategic vision is not just words on a page. Underscored by our values, our vision is at the heart of everything we do. It guides the actions of the organization and of everyone within it. We demonstrate our commitment to our vision and values ​​in every personal interaction, phone call and email – every day.

What types of financial products do you offer and what do you specialize in?

Connexus is proud to return benefits to member-owners through high yields on checking accounts and deposit products, as well as competitive rates on personal, home and auto loans. Members benefit from a multi-channel service model that includes a robust digital banking platform and highly rated Connexus app that is available 24/7, a fully staffed Member Contact Center and trained, a shared branch, online chat support, and branches in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois.

One area where we really shine is our member service. At Connexus, we believe in provide a service that is not seen as merely positive, but stands out as truly exceptional. Through our collaboration with leading business partners and our values-driven daily interactions with members and employees, we work tirelessly to create journeys that are as easy and fulfilling as their results.

How does your credit union support the communities it serves? Tell us about these efforts and why they matter to you.

If you ask our members to choose the principle of our strategic vision that resonates the most, they would do will likely choose our commitment to fostering prosperity. That’s because Connexus is known for helping its members achieve their individual financial aspirations by offering high deposit returns, low lending rates, lower fees, as well as generously giving back to the communities we serve through of our philanthropic program, Connexus Cares.

Connexus Cares drives prosperity by giving with purpose to organizations that meet basic humanitarian needs like food, shelter, and crisis services, as well as those that advocate for at-risk youth, seniors, and veterans. For 16 years, we were honored to be the sole presenting sponsor of the Relay For Life event in Wausau, Wisconsin to raise funds and support the mission of the American Cancer Society®. In 2021, we made history with our largest single donation to date, $1 million to Community Partners Campus, and our most generous annual donation total of over $2.5 million. We’re on track to reach even more ambitious giving goals in 2022 by enabling our employees to support the organizations they love using paid, company-sponsored Volunteer Time Off (VTO) hours.

You recently completed a merger with another credit union. Tell us about that.

On August 1, we officially completed our merger with DeForest-based Heritage Credit Union (HCU), a partnership that has brought growth and value to both organizations and made us stronger together. We were proud to offer a role on the Connexus team to every HCU employee, and the synergy that we found between existing employees and new employees speaks to the alignment of the culture and values ​​of the two organizations.

The best measure of a merger’s success, however, is the value it brings to members. We are delighted with the positive feedback we heard from members about the many benefits they already value Connexus, including our highly rated Connexus app and robust digital banking platform, extensive call center hours and offerings, and competitive, nationally recognized products and services .

What makes Wausau a good place to do business?

For the past 87 years, Connexus has been proud to play a part in Wausau’s rich 150-year history. Overtime, we’ve seen the city solve problems through innovation and resilience without losing sight of its thoughtful, forward-thinking plans for future growth. Connexus shares the same passion for dreaming big, innovating and planning strategically, and our commitment to the prosperity of our member-owners is much like Wausau’s commitment to improving the quality of life of its residents. We are proud to be a valued resident of the Highway 51/29 Corridor as it continues to grow and look forward to giving back to residents and partnering with local businesses to support the economy and overall growth. from the city.

Connect with Connexus Credit Union

Doing the tough jobs can pay off for O’Reilly


Doing the tough yards can pay off for Sarah O’Reilly at Ascot Park on Friday. While most of her fellow harness racing drivers from Canterbury will be competing near their home in Addington, the junior driver will be heading south to combine with a full log of driving on a shortened six-race map at Invercargill.

Sarah O’Reilly (HRNZ photo)

O’Reilly is coaching several big hopefuls from the Michael House stable, including Franco Hoffman (A rock’n’roll dance) in race 5.

The pacer is part of a powerful house team that includes Mogul (American ideal) , Santana Mach (Santana Blue Chip) and Principal (Auckland Reactor).

Franco Hoffman worked and fought hard for fourth place on his last outing at Winton, chasing home rival Who’s Daddy (mach three), which clearly seems to be the most difficult horse for the house riders to beat.

“He did a bit of work in his last start and he fought well,” O’Reilly said.

“He should be there on arrival on Friday.”

Rockin Go Go (A rock’n’roll dance) looks at another key drive for O’Reilly in Race 5.

The pacer raced strongly to finish third on its last outing at Winton, only seeing clear air late.

“He came in quite well at Winton and she got a good draw (1) so hopefully he can use that to his advantage and be practical the whole race and come home well.”

O’Reilly also partners with the House-trained Doctor Lavros (I like you) in race 3.

Another who produced a good effort in Winton, the trotter fought hard for fourth place behind the impressive Hidden Talent.

“It was his first start at Southland and he rode pretty well, hopefully he can improve and be at the finish on Friday.”

O’Reilly combines with three riders from Brian Norman’s stable on Friday, including Harleen Quinzel (majestic son) in race 1.

The second hand showed she clearly had the ability to win a race in the short term, but she made mistakes in her last outings.

“She started out doing everything right, but she was a little tricky the last two starts, pacing,” O’Reilly said.

“I saw she had a try and trotted all the way through and that’s basically all she needs to do to fill a spot.”

Foxfire Easton (Washington V.C.) rises in rank after his win for Norman and O’Reilly at Winton last week.

From barrier 3 in an even line, the pacer again looks like a winning prospect.

“He won in a lower rated race last week, that’s a very small rating increase.”

“He can still be competitive, he can come back and if it’s real speed he can usually sprint well at home.”

“He’s got a bit of gate speed, so I’ll just decide what I do behind the gate.”

O’Reilly and Norman also combine with The Waterboy (Washington V.C.) in race 2.

The four-year-old made a creditable debut as he battled hard for fourth place at Wyndham last month.

The stimulator seems like a real threat, but he has to overcome drawing barrier 8.

For complete race entries, Click here.

by Jonny Turner, for Harness Racing New Zealand

Everything you need to know about money market accounts

Small piggy banks on ascending stacks of coins
Money market accounts often offer higher interest rates than traditional checking and savings accounts.

Getty Images

With interest rates rising, you may be considering putting your money in a savings account. One option for earning more interest is a money market account, also known as a money market savings account or a money market deposit account.

If you think this might be a good option for your money, you can easily get started today. You could earn significantly more interest than the current national average.

If you’re unsure about this option, here’s what you need to know to make a more informed decision.

What is a monetary savings account?

A money market account is a type of savings account offered by a bank or credit union that often has some features of a checking account, such as the ability to pay bills and issue checks.

Money market accounts often offer higher interest rates than checking, savings and high yield savings accounts.

Since many money market accounts require a minimum balance, they can be a good option for people who want to earn more interest than a regular savings account, but still need access. quick and easy to funds. Like all types of savings accounts, the balance in a money market account should earn interest and be federally insured.

How does a monetary savings account work?

A money market account acts as a hybrid savings and checking account. There are some rules that you won’t find in other types of savings accounts.

In general, financial institutions tend to offer higher interest rates in exchange for a minimum deposit in a money market savings account. Often (but not always), the larger the deposit, the higher the interest rate and the lower the fees. Research a range of banks and credit unions thoroughly to find an account that meets your needs and has rules you can manage.

There may be some restrictions. As of 2020, federal rules no longer limit withdrawals from money market accounts to six times per month. But many banks and credit unions still limit the number of times you can withdraw from a money market account. Make sure you research all the details before opening an account so you don’t get unexpectedly charged or penalized.

How can a money market savings account help you save?

A money market account can earn you higher interest than a typical savings account. It also offers some checking account features along with easy access to funds. Money market accounts can offer higher interest without the time constraints of a certificate of deposit (CD) or savings bonds.

For example, if you’re saving for a large expense like a down payment on a house, but expect to need cash quickly, a money market account may be the type of savings account for you.

If that’s something you’re interested in, don’t hesitate. Get started today and start earning more interest on your money.

Do money market accounts make you money?

With rising interest rates, you are likely to earn more interest than you would have earned recently with traditional savings accounts. You’ll also have your money in a separate account, which experts recommend for building up emergency savings and other savings.

Unlike investments in riskier instruments like stocks, money market accounts present little or no risk. You won’t lose money even if interest rates go back down to near zero.

Money market accounts are a type of deposit account and are federally insured up to $250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for banks or the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for credit unions.

How is a money market account different from a savings account?

A money market account is technically a kind of savings account that offers some of the features of a checking account. It often (but not always) pays a higher interest rate due to the larger deposit required than a typical savings account.

Rates on money market savings accounts are variable, which means that factors such as Federal Reserve policy and the state of the economy cause banks to raise and lower rates accordingly. Each financial institution controls its own rates, so they may also depend on the company’s terms.

Some institutions charge a fee for falling below a certain balance or for making too many withdrawals per month, so look carefully at the terms of a money market account.

How to open a money market account?

To shop for a low minimum balance, no fees and a combination of higher interest rates, you might want to:

  • Check with your bank, credit union, financial advisor or broker first. It’s a good idea to take a close look and compare the institutions you already use.
  • Consider online banks. Online institutions tend to have lower costs than physical banks, making it easier for them to offer lower fees and higher interest rates.
  • Look at factors other than the interest rate. This includes fees, minimum balance levels and the number of withdrawals allowed per month.

What do you need to open a money market account?

Some money. If you’re just starting out and don’t have a large amount, some banks and credit unions have money market accounts that require less than $1,000 to open an account.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Money Market Accounts

There are pros and cons to opening a money market account.

Here are some benefits:

  • Interest rates/Annual Percentage Yield (APY) are generally higher than regular savings
  • Risk is low to non-existent as deposits are federally insured
  • Accessing your money can be faster and easier than other types of accounts with high interest rates
  • Many have little or no fees depending on the terms of the bank or credit union

And there are a few downsides to opening a money market account:

  • Minimum deposits could be high
  • Financial institutions often limit the number and type of monthly withdrawals
  • Lower risk means you might not make as much money as higher risk investments like stocks or real estate

If you think you’re ready to start earning more on your savings, you can explore your options now.

Kari Lake speaks out against federal loan forgiveness. Unless it’s hers


Kari Lake just wants us to leave her a loan.

The Republican candidate for governor of Arizona has publicly opposed recent federal action to provide relief to student borrowers across the country. But she also benefited from a federal loan in April 2020 under the Federal Paycheck Protection Program which was later forgiven.

That doesn’t stop her from comparing loan forgiveness to stealing when the money goes to debt-ridden college students, instead of her husband’s video production company that works for his political campaign. It’s a classic case of rules for you but not for me.

Last week, Lake replicated the burgeoning trope of his fellow self-proclaimed, Trump-endorsed “MAGA patriots” after President Joe Biden proposed canceling up to $10,000 in federal student debt for individual borrowers earning less than $125,000 per year.

The trope: bailing out people mired in student debt is tantamount to robbing blue-collar workers and honest college graduates who have already paid off their debts. The underlying sentiment of conservative dissidents centers on the right-wing pillars of personal responsibility and sacrifice.

Many critics of student loan forgiveness believe that borrowers are responsible for repaying the loan by any means necessary. But several Republican critics of Biden’s proposal, including Lake, failed to mention their own canceled federal loans.

The former Fox 10 Phoenix anchor retweeted a Fox News clip posted by the Republican National Committee on Aug. 24 with the caption, “People who’ve already paid off their student loans, they’re not getting anything out of this deal.” In her own caption, she wrote, “Democrats like Joe Biden and Katie Hobbs will rob you blind and expect you to thank them.”

Hobbs, the current Arizona secretary of state, is Lake’s Democratic opponent in the November general election.

Main sonar FiveThirtyEight predicted Hobbs is a three-point favorite to win. Lake’s shares fell last week after endorsing a homophobic anti-Semitic for the Oklahoma State Senate. He lost fantastically.

Borrowing problem

The White House delivered a scathing defense of his student loan cancellation plan on Twitter, throwing down the gauntlet to Republican lawmakers, one by one, who have seen their own PPP loans canceled.

Phoenix-based ZenVideo’s $5,663 PPP loan has been forgiven, according to public records. ZenVideo belongs by Lake’s husband, Jeff Halperin, and is owned by the Halperin Family Living Trust. Lake is a trustee of the inter vivos trust, according to his campaign financial disclosure.

The Paycheck Protection Program was designed to provide small businesses with funds to cover payroll costs. Records show that ZenVideo employs no personnel other than Halperin.

Federal Election Commission records showed ZenVideo received nearly $2,200 from Lake’s campaign. Halperin exists alongside Lake in perpetuity, filming music videos at all of his wild parties and posting them to social media.

Democrats jumped on the hypocritical nature of Lake’s criticism of the student debt relief proposal.

“Does Kari Lake see this as a gift from the government when she had her own PPP loan cancelled?” Josselyn Berry, chief spokesperson for the Arizona Senate Democratic Caucus, asked in an interview with Phoenix New Times. “Or does she reserve her criticism only for hard-working Arizonans trying to keep their businesses and households afloat?”

The lake campaign did not respond to the many new times requests for comments.

Junk bond traders should check with economists



U.S. junk bonds pay investors a paltry premium for the risk of keeping them in an impending recession. Either spreads have to widen or the clouds of recession have to clear, but something has to give.

Consider the first possibility, the base case. Junk spreads generally follow recession risk closely, and economic gloom has steadily mounted over the past nine months. In particular, the median economist in Bloomberg survey data predicts a 50% chance of a recession next year, and yield curve-based indicators also warn of a slowdown. Yet high-yield spreads still sit 4.52 percentage points above the Treasury curve on an options-adjusted basis, in line with their average over the past decade, according to the Bloomberg US Corporate Index. High Yield.

If you think the economists are right, then this gap is bound to widen. Economists may have a poor track record for calling recessions, but that’s usually because they’re too conservative. They fail to predict recessions or come too late, but almost never predict ones that won’t happen, as an IMF working paper found. In that sense, economists are the opposite of the specter of stock market hysteria, which gets riled up about false signals all the time.

Of course, economists have good reason to worry. The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates at breakneck speed to fight the worst inflation in 40 years, and that process will lead to economic hardship, a fact Fed Chairman Jerome Powell emphasized in his annual address on Friday. in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Resilient consumer spending and a strong labor market may mean that corporate and household debt ratios remain healthy for a few quarters, but interest rate hikes take 18-24 months to reach their full effect, and the central bank has clearly not finished increasing yet. Meanwhile, China’s economy is slowing and Europe faces even greater recession probabilities than the United States, creating headwinds from key trading partners.

But what if it really is much ado about nothing and the proverbial “soft landing” occurs? Obviously, the market must assign some probability to this outcome. So let’s take the economists’ 50% recession probabilities and assume there are equal chances of a non-recessionary bullish case that brings spreads down to around 325 basis points. On the other hand, let’s assume (optimistically) that the potential recession that everyone is so worried about would not be particularly deep and would send spreads to around 800 basis points. Based on these assumptions, fair value is likely around 563 basis points, 1.11 percentage points above Friday’s close and close to the widest spreads of the year.

What can explain the disconnection? Part of this likely comes down to a version of the “there is no alternative” sentiment – ​​TINA, as it is called – that was pervading the stock markets. Downside risks are plentiful for the stock market, and commodity markets may have peaked after the early 2022 rally, so perhaps corporate bond risk doesn’t look so bad in comparison. As my colleague at Bloomberg Intelligence, Noel Hebert, often reminds me, it would be unusual to lose money buying and holding the high yield index with yields around 8%, provided you have some years to remain patient. On the other hand, spreads may be just one last vestige of a tasteless summer risk surge that is slowly unraveling across all asset classes.

Either way, new investors are unlikely to line up to fund high-yielding companies if markets offer only 4.52 percentage points of spread for their troubles. Either way, the status quo is not sustainable. In the medium term, this could mean anything from a spike in yields and default rates to the rare and coveted “soft landing,” but the least bond traders can do is meet somewhere in the middle. . For now, they are still in the fantasy world.

More other writers at Bloomberg Opinion:

• What the Hawks didn’t get in Jackson Hole: Daniel Moss

• Powell must back his words with actions: Bill Dudley

• Jerome Powell fights inflation — and wins: Karl Smith

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board or of Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Jonathan Levin has worked as a Bloomberg reporter in Latin America and the United States, covering finance, markets, and mergers and acquisitions. Most recently, he served as the company’s Miami office manager. He holds the CFA charter.

More stories like this are available at bloomberg.com/opinion

Credit Union 1 (CU1) New $500 Promo Current Account with Direct Deposit — My Money Blog


Credit Union 1 (CU1) has a $500 checking account promotion with qualifying direct deposits. Available to new customers and existing customers who have not yet set up direct deposit. Based in Illinois, CU1 membership is open nationwide through membership in the Credit Union 1 Educational Development Association ($5 one-time CU1EDA fee + additional $5 CU1 one-time membership fee) . Hats off to Reader Chuck. Offer expires 9/30/22.

$500 direct deposit bonus steps.

  • Open a CU1 current account. Open a current account with CU1 online and use the promotional code CHK500, at your local office or by calling. Must open with a minimum of $25 or direct deposit of $500. Already a member with a current account? Set up your direct deposit in digital banking and call our team to mention the “$500 check offer”.
  • Set up direct deposit ($1,000/month for 3 months). Establish direct deposit activity within 60 days of account opening or by September 30, 2022. Recurring minimum total direct deposit of $1,000 per month for three (3) consecutive months.
  • Receive your $500 verification bonus. The $500 bonus will be deposited into your account after three (3) consecutive months of qualifying activity. The bonus will be paid by deposit to your CU1 checking account within 7 days of meeting all qualifying criteria.
  • Note: Must keep current account open for at least 12 months after opening.

Offer fine print:

1 To take advantage of this offer, you must use promo code: CHK500 by September 30, 2022. The offer is not available to existing members who already have an incoming direct deposit into a CU1 account, those whose accounts have been closed within 90 days or closed with a negative. balance within the last 3 years from the date of use of the promotional code. The promotional code is only valid once and is not exchangeable with other offers. To receive a $500 bonus: (1) Within 90 days of using the promotional code, you must establish and receive a recurring minimum total direct deposit of $1,000 per month into a new or existing CU1 checking account. (2) Your direct deposit must be from an electronic deposit of your paycheck, investment account, pension, or distribution of government benefits (such as Social Security) from your employer or government agency. Person-to-person transfers or payments are not considered direct deposit. The bonus will be paid by deposit to your CU1 checking account within 7 days of meeting all qualifying criteria. To receive the bonus, the current account must not be closed or restricted at the time of payment. The bonus is considered interest and will be reported on 1099-INT. Offer may be canceled at any time without notice.

Account Closure: If the current account is closed by the member or by CU1 within 12 months of opening, we will deduct the bonus amount from the current account upon closure.

Free verification of details.

  • No monthly maintenance fees.
  • Access to CO-OP ATMs. Get cash at no extra charge at over 30,000 ATMs nationwide
  • No charge for online statements, $3 monthly charge for paper statements, unless you are 65 or older.
  • Inactivity fee of $25 per month if no activity for 12 months.

Application experience and advice. Here are some tips based on my experience opening an account outside of Illinois.

  • Applied online via the promotion link above.
  • Enter your personal information, including your name, address, driver’s license/ID card, social security number, etc. They will ask you for a scan of the front and back of your photo ID.
  • Be sure to enter the promotional code CHK500 when prompted near the end of the application.
  • My initial deposit was through an external checking account providing them with an account and routing number. There was no credit card financing option.
  • Your minimum deposit should be $40 based on my calculations: $25 free verification minimum initial deposit, $5 CU1EDA, $5 minimum stock savings account, and $5 CU1 new member fee. See screenshot below.
  • Once my online application was submitted, within an hour they asked for supporting documents: another scan of front/back of ID, proof of address (utility bill, pay stub) and proof of SSN (scan of SSN card or W2 2021). I submitted via email (can also fax) and my account was approved the same day.
  • Registered for online access and discovered my current account number (routing number is 271188081). I used this information to change my direct deposit.

CU1 seems eager to expand as it offers additional competitive offerings.

also recently acquired Northside Community Bank in June 2022.

CU1 also offers other competitive offers:

  • 44 month CD at 3.00% APY + up to $500 bonus:

    LIMITED TIME OFFER: Get up to $500 bonus2 when you open a 44 month stock certificate. There is a minimum balance of $1,000 to open the stock certificate, and you can receive a bonus2 payout when you deposit NEW money over $100,000!

    $100,000 – $249,999 deposited | One-time bonus payment of $2502
    $250,000 or more deposited | One-time bonus payment of $5002

  • 22 month CD at 2.25% APY. Rates as of 08/29/22.
  • Need a big mortgage? They have what they call the lowest ever Jumbo rate with a possibly canceled PMI, an 80/10/10 structure and a closing credit of $400.
  • Auto loan rates starting at 5.24% APR for up to 60 months + $100 bonus:

    To qualify for the $100 bonus, the minimum loan amount is $15,000 and the loan must be closed within 30 days of the application date. Offer does not apply to existing Credit Union 1 loans or refinance of existing Credit Union 1 loans. Bonus will be deposited into member’s CU1 account upon loan closing. The bonus will be reported on 1099-MISC.

  • If you live near a branch, it’s also worth noting that they have a savings bond page that says Credit Union 1 members can redeem US savings bonds at any branch . It’s nice to see, because many banks seem to barely know what a paper savings bond looks like these days.

Hopefully they handle this promotion better than some other credit unions (*cough* Teachers FCU) and give them a shot at earning our continued business through their competitive term certificate, mortgage and car loan rates.

Working-class Latinos bail out the wealthy with Biden’s student loan repayment


For many Latinos, earning an undergraduate degree is a dream come true (about 21% have one). But several million Latinos across our country have taken a different path. Instead, they started their own business, got certified in their trade, or started a career, all without a college degree.

Both paths have merit and can be celebrated. But President Joe Biden’s plan to cancel by executive order about half a trillion dollars in student loan debt for people earning up to $125,000 a year and couples earning up to a quarter of a million dollars is bad economics, bad politics and bad politics. . It’s also incredibly unfair.

Let’s start with injustice.

It is irresponsible and disrespectful to force working-class Americans – many of whom have not attended college – to pay the debts of high-income, college-educated Americans.

Our community sees this scheme for what it is: a scheme to transfer money from far less well-to-do to more well-to-do and a blatant attempt to secure the base ahead of a critical election.

Biden’s plan will reduce some of the debt of those earning up to $125,000 a year.
Getty Images/EyeEm

In practice, Biden’s executive order means that many Latinos — including those working in services, commerce and retail who are battling inflation while trying to save money to send their own children in college – will pay college bills for doctors, lawyers, and other wealthy people. professionals.

professor at Harvard Law School Laurence Tribe took to Twitter to thank the president for bailing out his alumni, some of the wealthiest and most privileged people in the country. The loans of these high-powered lawyers will be paid for with the taxpayers’ money of waitresses, truckers, nurses, farmhands and millions of other ordinary Americans.

And these lawyers will earn even more money as their careers progress. When you consider the value of law and medical degrees, for example, the Brookings Institution finds that “student debt is concentrated among very wealthy households, and loan forgiveness is regressive whether measured by income , level of education or wealth”.

Hispanic households only owe about 6% of student loan debt. In other words, loan forgiveness is regressive and unfair not only to taxpayers, but also to the borrowers themselves, as it is more likely to benefit high-income, highly educated, and highly indebted borrowers than low-income, low-debt borrowers.

And ultimately, this cynical ploy will do nothing to make college more affordable for whites, blacks, Latinos, Asians, or anyone else. This will compound the problem by showing schools that they can continue to inflate costs knowing that the taxpayer ultimately be forced to foot the bill.

Just a few weeks ago, the administration bragged about taking steps to reduce the annual federal deficit by a trillion dollars. This adds another half trillion to the debt, eliminating any potential deficit reduction from the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, and will make inflation worse.

President Joe Biden speaks at a rally for the Democratic National Committee on August 25.
Biden speaks at a rally for the Democratic National Committee on August 25.
Alex Brandon/AP

There is also a question of whether the president actually has the power to take this action. The order will almost certainly be challenged in court as a usurpation of legislative power by the executive.

And to top it off, the plan risks proving politically of dubious value. While those who directly benefit from it will of course be grateful, half of all student debt is held by the 13% of Americans with advanced degrees.

There are many more people who have taken out loans to start a small business, buy a truck or van to supplement their self-employment, or use for one of the hundreds of other purposes that Biden’s plan doesn’t offer. no help. These people are unlikely to be happy being forced to pay other people’s bills on top of their own, especially when many of these people are much better off.

Instead of playing politics with debt relief, we need real reforms to fix a broken system. Instead of bailing out the rich, policymakers should overhaul a student aid structure that has led to skyrocketing tuition fees. The goal should be to make college truly affordable.

Simply erasing hundreds of billions of dollars in debt from the ledger is unfair to students (and parents) who have worked hard, saved, and deferred gratification to fund their education. This is bad economic policy. And this is a dangerous precedent for the future.

Daniel Garza is president of L’Initiative LIBRE.

former real estate lawyer and wife sentenced for mortgage fraud and tax charges | USAO-MA


BOSTON — A former Massachusetts lawyer and his wife have been convicted in federal court in Boston for various mortgage fraud schemes.

Barry Wayne Plunkett Jr., 62, and Nancy Plunkett, 57, both of Hyannis Port, were sentenced on August 25, 2022, by U.S. District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf. Barry Plunkett was sentenced to 78 months in prison and five years of probation. He was also ordered to pay restitution of $3,236,466 and forfeiture of $3,221,403. Nancy Plunkett was sentenced to one year and one day in prison and five years of probation. She was also ordered to pay restitution of $3,054,759, jointly and severally with Barry Plunkett, and forfeiture of $3,221,403. On March 4, 2022, Barry Plunkett pleaded guilty to five counts of bank fraud, one count of aggravated impersonation and one count of tax evasion. On the same day, Nancy Plunkett pleaded guilty to five counts of bank fraud.

Before being disbarred in October 2017, Barry Plunkett owned and operated the law firm Plunkett where his wife, Nancy Plunkett, was his office assistant and paralegal.

The defendants engaged in several bank fraud schemes. In one scheme, from September 2012 to July 2016, the defendants defrauded six mortgage lenders and 14 landlords for whom the law firm Plunkett handled the closings of new mortgages to refinance residential properties. The Plunketts informed the mortgage lenders that the pre-existing mortgages had been paid off from the new loan proceeds when, in fact, they had intentionally failed to pay off the prior liens and instead had converted more than $1 million into mortgage funds. repayment for their own purposes.

In other bank fraud schemes – between April 2015 and March 2018 – the Plunketts fraudulently used various names, entities and false documents to secure three successive mortgages on their Hyannis Port home for amounts of $412,000, 470,000 $ and $1.2 million. The defendants pledged property in Hyannis Port that was held in a family trust of which Barry Plunkett was one of three beneficiaries. The two defendants participated in providing false documents to the lenders, including false title reports and other documents to falsely represent that the property was free and clear of any existing mortgage liens and false documents in the name of other people. The defendants also made false statements to a lender that Nancy Plunkett was a single woman living in Wellesley who was buying the property under her maiden name as a business investment when in fact the defendants had been married since 2014 and that the property was their residence.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; and Joleen D. Simpson, Special Agent in Charge of Criminal Investigation for the Internal Revenue Service in Boston, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Victor A. Wild and Mackenzie Queenin of Rollins’ Securities, Finance and Cyber ​​Fraud Unit and Carol Head, head of Rollins’ Asset Recovery Unit, prosecuted the case.

Here’s how US credit card debt has changed in 5 years | Economic news


If you are aware of any local business openings or closings, please let us know here.


– Giant company chairman Nicholas Bertram will step down on August 31. John Ruane will take over as interim president.

– Reiki Balance will open September 9 at 529 Reading Ave. in West Reading.

– Alfie’s Kitchen near Sullivan Trail in Forks Township closed after five years.

— A four-story, 30,000-square-foot seniors’ residence from Easton Senior Living LLC is underway at 3701 Corriere Road in Palmer Township.

– The former Jacksonian Club on Main Street in Nazareth is now The Farm & Table restaurant with bowling alleys.

– Lehigh Valley Martial Arts opened its sixth location in the Easton Avenue mall which also houses a Giant grocery store in Bethlehem Township.

– Mind Matters Coaching, Counseling and Psychological Services is opening a new office in Upper Macungie on August 31.

– The Lower Macungie Planning Commission reviewed a sketch plan for a 54-acre mixed-use development near the Hamilton Crossings bypass.

– A developer is proposing a sweeping plan to repurpose the former Santander Bank building on Penn Street in Reading to include a hotel, apartments and restaurant.

–Oley Turnpike Dairy and its petting zoo have closed after serving Berks County for 52 years.

– Crossings at Ambler Station have opened and are billed as “Ambler’s first apartments in 50 years”.

– A new Panera drive-thru restaurant will be added to the Tri-County Business Campus in Pottstown.

People in the News: August 29, 2022


People in the News: A roundup of new hires, promotions and awards in West Michigan.

A company outsider will lead the family business ADAC Automotive

Ois Michigan’s Tier 1 Automotive Supplier ADAC Automotive Inc. named a company outsider and industry veteran to replace longtime chairman and CEO Jim Teets.

The Cascade Township-based company announced last week that jonathan husby took over as President and CEO effective August 22. Teets – who has been with the company for nearly 30 years and led as CEO since 2007 – is retiring but will continue to serve on ADAC Automotive’s board. The company had also named Jeff Dolbee as chairman in early 2021, although Dolbee left the company earlier this month, a company representative said. MiBiz.

Husby is an outside hire for the family-owned supplier of door handles and exterior mirrors that brings over 25 years of experience in the automotive industry. For nearly five years, Husby served as president and CEO of SEG Automotive North America, and two years ago he took on the additional role of senior vice president of sales.

Prior to joining SEG, a global supplier of alternators and starters based in Novi, Husby held various positions at Harman International, TomTom and TeleAtlas. After earning a master’s degree in business administration from Wayne State University, Husby began his career as a sales manager at Denso International Inc.

“Jon is a seasoned industry veteran with a proven track record of skilled leadership and hands-on experience growing new and existing markets and serving a global customer base with numerous technologies and solutions,” said Teets said in a statement. “He is smart, capable and has established a reputation among his team and the industry as a motivator, coach and mentor. We are confident he will take ADAC to the next level while mentoring the next generation of leaders of our team.

Husby called the position a “unique opportunity” to lead a tier-one global supplier “that is also a multi-generational family business with a deep commitment to the communities and people it serves.”

“As I get to know the incredibly talented team that made ADAC the global powerhouse it is today, I also look forward to bringing everything I’ve learned about motivating people to life. talent, inspiring innovation, profitable business growth and navigating the complexities of this ever-changing industry,” Husby said in a statement.

Husby also sits on the boards of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association and the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association.

Founded in 1975, ADAC Automotive has 14,500 employees worldwide and 17 manufacturing plants around the world. ADAC Automotive also has operations in Muskegon, Saranac and Auburn Hills in addition to its new headquarters in Cascade Township which opened in 2020.

— Reported by Andy Balaskovitz


  • Lakeland Health Spectrum hired a pulmonologist Jeffrey Grondin to join Lakeland Pulmonology in St. Joseph and Physician Assistant Shannon Arder to join Lakeland Ear, Nose & Throat at Niles and St. Joseph. Grondin completed his Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship and Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and previously served as Medical Director of Critical Care at Rush Foundation Hospital. Arader holds a bachelor’s degree in health sciences from Stony Brook University and a master’s degree in physician assistant studies from Bryant University. She previously worked in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at Mayo Clinic Health System in Minnesota. “I look forward to working in partnership with my patients so that we can find the best solution to their health issues,” Arader said. “It’s a wonderful feeling to know that you can help improve someone’s quality of life.”
  • Ascent Michigan named Dr. Thomas Rohs as President and CEO of the Southwest Health System region, overseeing hospitals in Kalamazoo, Plainwell, Allegan and Dowagiac, as well as other care centers across the market. Rohs succeeds former regional president Peter Bergmann, who led the Ascension market since 2019. A critical care surgeon who first joined Ascension Borgess in 1998, Rohs has been chief medical officer for the South West region since 2019 and was previously medical director of the hospital. clinical services.


  • Hospitality Industry Veteran Lam Vong Sakoun will lead the food and beverage operations at Gun Lake Casino as Vice President of Hospitality. Vongsakoun brings over 25 years of experience, including serving as Senior Hospitality Manager at Oak Grove Racing, Gaming and Hotel, Vice President of Food and Beverage at Wind Creek Bethlehem, and Food and Beverage Manager at Ameristar Black Hawk Casino Resort. . “Lam Vongsakoun is a leader in the casino hospitality industry that we are fortunate to have on our team, and I’m glad he’s already started,” said Jose Flores, Vice President and General Manager. General of Gun Lake Casino.


  • Lawyer for Varnum LLP Peter Schmidt was accepted as a scholarship holder by the American College of Mortgage Lawyers. Schmidt has 15 years of experience as a real estate attorney and focuses his practice on complex commercial real estate, construction and real estate development transactions. ACMA Fellows are nominated by their peers and the designation recognizes excellence in the field.


  • Grand Rapids Nonprofit Amplify GR expanded its team with the hiring of Amy Knape as Senior Director of Fund Development and Patrick Johnson, Jr. as Chief Operating Officer, both in newly created positions. Knape previously worked in fund development at the West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology (WMCAT), including leading WMCAT’s $8.5 million Leave Your Mark fundraising campaign in 2018. She holds a B. in public relations from Western Michigan University. Johnson has spent the past four years as vice president of human resources at nonprofit Bethany Christian Services and has more than 15 years of experience in finance, operations, human resources, and executive leadership in the industries. non-profit and for-profit. Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in business and cultural development from Grand Valley State University.


  • Advia Credit Union was appointed long-time CFO Jeff Fielder as the next President and CEO. Fielder succeeds Cheryl DeBoer, who will retire in early 2023 after 40 years in the industry and the last 18 with Kalamazoo-based Advia. Fielder started with Advia — one of Michigan’s largest credit unions — in 2004, when it was known as First Community Federal Credit Union. He also served as Director of Finance and Accounting for the Credit Union and Executive Vice President of Finance.
  • Northern Trust named Neighborhood Jim as a senior chief investment officer and senior vice president in the wealth management firm’s West Michigan office, where he will oversee a team serving high net worth individuals and institutions. Ward joins Northern Trust from Fifth Third Bank, where he most recently served as Director of Regional Portfolio Management, overseeing teams in Michigan and Northern Ohio. With over 35 years of investment experience, Ward earned his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and is a member of the West Michigan CFA Society and past president of the Toledo CFA Society in Ohio.


  • The Kent County Public Works Department hired public relations specialist Steve Faber as the agency’s new Director of Communications and Marketing, effective August 22. Faber previously served as a senior strategist at Byrum and Fisk Communications, supporting education, environmental, and economic development clients in West Michigan. He is also the former executive director of Friends of Grand Rapids Parks. In his new role, Faber will lead county agency communications and outreach to several DPW facilities, including its new waste-to-energy facility and sustainable business park. Faber holds a master’s degree in public administration and nonprofit management from Grand Valley State University. “The DPW has an incredible story to tell. Kent County has been a leader in waste management and reduction for decades. Kent County’s Integrated Waste Management System provides an incredible opportunity to reduce our dependence on landfill and find new solutions that protect our land, air and water,” Faber said in a statement.


  • The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce made a series of staff changes and a new addition to advance the organization’s work on talent development and diversity, equity and inclusion. Monica Mendez, who joined GR Chamber in 2020 as Head of Talent Development, has been promoted to Director of Talent and Leadership Programs. Mendez will work with members on their talent needs after previously launching Latina Connect, which brings together Latino professionals and community members to develop as leaders. The business defense organization has also hired Amari Brown as the new Inclusion Program Manager to support DEI programs. Brown received a bachelor’s degree from Hope College and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan. The GR Chamber has also appointed Megan Steenwyk as senior director of business services and Olivia Koster as senior event project manager.

— Compiled by Abigail Ham, Mark Sanchez and Andy Balaskovitz.

New car buyers pay record prices, accept record loan repayments


(The Car Connection) – The average price of new cars is expected to hit $46,259 by the end of August, eclipsing last month’s record and the one before, according to JD Power’s latest sales forecast.

Record-breaking new car prices have become a record breaking for car buyers over the past year. The average transaction price paid by customers for a the new car cost $45,844 last month, up from more than $41,000 a year ago. The automotive research and advisory firm estimates that the highest ever price for new cars was an 11.5% increase from last year.

The usual suspects of global microchip shortages and other supply constraints have resulted in demand always exceeding supply.

“This August, the industry is still constrained by insufficient inventory to meet strong consumer demand,” Thomas King, president of JD Power’s analytics and data division, said in a statement. “The result is a retail pace that fails to live up to its potential.”

Estimated sales volume for the year for retail and fleet customers is expected to be 13.3 million vehicles, down from 17 million pre-pandemic highs. Fleet sales will be slightly higher this year than last year, while retail sales are expected to be slightly lower.

The lack of volume is more than offset by high margins on more expensive models. Many automakers are delaying base models or dropping entry-level models in favor of better-equipped, more expensive models. Buyers continue to buy more expensive trucks and SUVs. Together, trucks and SUVs will account for more than 78% of new car sales in August.

Dealerships continue to benefit with an average profit of $4,976 on each car sold. That’s down from $5,123 in June, but still up $639 from a year ago and well above pre-pandemic expectations of around $2,000.

Car buyers continue to pay more. The increases come amid prevailing trade winds meant to keep inflation in check, such as higher interest rates for car loans. But robust demand is fueling economic logic, leading to the highest-ever monthly loan payment of $716. That’s an increase of $78, or 12.2%, from a year ago, according to JD Power. The average interest rate on a new car loan has climbed to 5.5%.

Typically around Labor Day, automakers push out new model year cars and dealerships offer more incentives to clear many outgoing model years. Incentives remain weak.

On the positive side, used car prices remain high and trade-in values ​​are offsetting some of the high costs of owning a new vehicle. Of course, the downside is that deals on any car are hard to come by.

Americans reluctant to spend as inflation woes continue – Forbes Advisor


Editorial Note: We earn a commission on partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect the opinions or ratings of our editors.

Inflation has been hitting American consumers since 2021, but relief is finally coming, especially at the gas pump.

After spending ten weeks below the 50 mark, the main confidence index of the latest Forbes Advisor-Ipsos Consumer Confidence survey is up 2.5 points to 52.1.

The surge in consumer optimism was helped by President Joe Biden’s student loan relief plan, the Cut Inflation Act and still strong employment numbers.

But the good news comes with an important caveat: our latest survey also revealed that consumers are tightening their budgets.

Nearly 35% of people said they were spending less than usual, a jump of 6 points from this time last month and the highest percentage since November 2021.

Survey shows job confidence is fragile

As the Labor Department reported record layoffs in July, headlines paint a grim picture. Companies like Ford, Peloton and Redfin are all cutting jobs, which could signal a tough road ahead.

Given these mixed signals, it’s no surprise that survey respondents are evenly split when it comes to jobs. Half said they were more confident about job security for themselves and their families than they were six months ago, an increase of 5 points from a year ago two weeks.

  • 23% said they, a family member or a personal acquaintance had lost their job in the past six months due to economic conditions, down 1 point from two weeks ago.
  • 40% said they or a family member or personal acquaintance are likely to lose their job in the next six months due to economic conditions, up 3 points from a year ago at two weeks.

“Labour markets are starting to show weakness, and I think they will continue to deteriorate in the fourth quarter of 2022 as retailers report weaker earnings and earnings,” said Shmuel Shayowitz, president of Approved Funding.

Consumers are saving more and repaying their debts

Shopping tends to slow during recessions, especially for big-ticket items, as consumers turn to thrift.

Some observers say the US economy is already in recession as economic data showed that GDP fell in the first two quarters of 2022.

Americans may already be cutting spending in anticipation of bad financial winds. All of Netflix subscriptions home buying activity has weakened.

The Forbes Advisor-Ipsos survey found that consumers are actually restricting their spending. Some 35% of respondents said they were spending less money than usual, up from 29% last month.

There was a slight increase in the number of people who report borrowing money or using credit more than usual – 18% this month, compared to 17% last month. As interest rates rise, so does the cost of your credit card balances.

“Cash is king in an economic downturn. Although you have ample borrowing power on your credit card, it’s one of the first things to do as banks reduce risk to approaching a recession,” says Peter Donisanu, chief financial strategist at Franklin Madison Advisors in Pittsburgh. “That’s why if you don’t have enough money to cover at least three to six months of sustenance, it may be time to top up your emergency fund.”

There is a slight increase in the number of people saving more than usual: 12% compared to 10% a month ago. And 13% of respondents say they are spending more than usual on their loans and credit card debt. These are both smart money moves in a recession, says David Kass, clinical professor of finance at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

“Consumers under these conditions should consider paying off consumer debt and delaying major purchases,” he adds.

More Fed rate hikes won’t help confidence

The next Federal Reserve meeting is fast approaching and consumers may be worried about the impact of another rate hike on the economy.

Most experts expect the Fed to make its fifth straight rate hike. Although the peak of inflation is near, the Fed is still struggling with stubbornly high prices.

Kass expects three more outsized rate hikes in September, November and December, totaling between 100 and 125 basis points. The current federal funds rate is 2.25% to 2.5% and the Fed predicts it will reach 3.1% to 3.6% by the end of the year.

“These rate hikes will increase consumers’ borrowing costs, for example for home and auto loans,” Kass said. “Furthermore, the fear of job loss as the economy slows will cause consumers to save more and spend less.”

Survey methodology: Ipsos, which surveyed 924 respondents online Aug. 22-23, provided the results exclusively to Forbes Advisor. The survey is conducted every two weeks to track consumer sentiment over time, using a series of 11 questions to determine whether consumers have a positive or negative view of the current state of the economy and its future development.

Company: Ascend Federal Credit Union Wins Rutherford Main Street County’s Best Credit Union Award for Seventh Consecutive Year


MURFRESBORO, TENN. – Ascend Federal Credit Union, the largest credit union in Middle Tennessee, was named Best Credit Union in the 2022 Rutherford County Main Street Awards sponsored by the Murfreesboro Post. This is the seventh consecutive year that Ascend has won the award for Best Credit Union. Ascend was also one of three finalists for Best Bank and Best Mortgage Lender.

“Once again, it is a tremendous honor to win this award,” said Ascend President and CEO Caren Gabriel. “We would like to thank the readers of the Murfreesboro Post for recognizing us for the seventh consecutive year as we continue to provide the best experience for Ascend members. This award also reflects the tireless efforts of our employees in Middle Tennessee, and I would like to express my gratitude to the entire Ascend team for their hard work and success.

The winners were selected by readers of the Murfreesboro Post, who voted more than 111,000 times this year for their favorite local businesses, breaking all previous voting records. This was the seventh year that the Murfreesboro Post has held the awards for Rutherford County.

The awards ceremony was held at the New Vision Baptist Church in Murfreesboro on August 5. The ceremony took place in person this year for the first time since 2019, after the award was presented virtually for two years due to COVID-19.

About Ascend Federal Credit Union

With over 248,000 members and over $3.7 billion in assets, Ascend Federal Credit Union is the largest credit union in Middle Tennessee and one of the largest federally chartered credit unions in the United States. . Based in Tullahoma, Tennessee, the member-owned financial institution offers banking, lending, retirement and investment services from its 27 branches, more than 55,000 free ATMs worldwide, a portal online banking and a mobile application. The credit union’s mission is to serve by providing financial literacy education and giving back to its community in a variety of ways, including being the naming rights sponsor of the Ascend Amphitheatre, the premier live music venue in outdoors from downtown Nashville to Metro Riverfront Park. Ascend is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration. For more information, visit ascend.org.

SFAI closes with a legacy of student debt


When you’re an adult and think back to the places you spent time as a kid, chances are they feel noticeably smaller than you remember. But 12 years later, that’s not the case with the San Francisco Art Institute, the gray monolith that now sits alone and empty on Russian Hill.

The school, once famous for its maximalist Halloween parties and illustrious teachers, who included Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange and Mark Rothko, recently made headlines after graduating from school – marking the end of a 151-year saga as one of the oldest arts institutions on the West Coast. In a grim July 15 press release, he said he could not survive amid ongoing financial problems, low enrollment and a failed USF acquisition that left the l breathless school.

Like many former students and alumni, I have strong and mixed emotions about his closure and even stronger feelings about the complicated legacy he left behind. In many ways, I feel like I’m mourning the loss of a troubled parent or partner, a parent I had to push away but with whom I still share lifelong memories.

Most of these memories are “firsts” I experienced as part of SFAI’s pre-college program: a month-long summer program where teens were able to live in a dorm in downtown San Francisco and simulate college life. When my parents dropped me off at the corner of Sutter and Taylor, I was only 15.

A collage I made of my friend Jeremy during the SFAI pre-college program.

Ariana Bindman, a long time ago

I’m not being hyperbolic when I say that this program changed me: at the height of the indie sleaze era, that’s when I first fell in love and had my first real kiss ( sadly, it was actually at the AMC Theater on Van Ness, but I usually spare that detail). It was there that, for the first time, I felt a deep sense of community among my peers, some of whom I still keep in touch with well over a decade later. These experiences have been invaluable, and my friend Jeremy Cain – with whom I still exchange postcards – says he has met people “worth staying connected for life”.

A year later, it seemed natural to finish high school early and enroll in the SFAI bachelor’s program. I didn’t really know who I was yet, but I knew I loved taking pictures, so I decided to pursue photography. But once I settled in, the students around me started dropping out or transferring after just two semesters, sometimes less. That’s when I started noticing that many of us, myself included, were falling into a black hole of student loan debt — and no college credits transferred to public universities.

In 2020, SFAI only had a graduation rate of 39.2%, and it’s understandable why: Previously, KQED’s Sarah Hotchkiss reported that a four-year degree from the “nonprofit” school cost nearly $280,000. The median tuition costs $45,664, which is $31,264 more than the average cost for specialized institutions, according to Data USA.

By the time I left for second grade, I had taken out enough student loans to buy a small 7-acre island in Nova Scotia.

So when I arrived at the administrative office at San Francisco City College and found that almost none of my credits were transferring to local public schools—meaning I had to start all over again—my sanity took a turn for the worse. is deteriorated. Thus followed the course of my life.

The entrance leading to the SFAI library.

The entrance leading to the SFAI library.

Beckstrand Cat

After years of “taking breaks” from school, working minimum-wage jobs, and navigating San Francisco State University’s strict enrollment standards, it made me wonder if I even had the strength to get a diploma. That’s when the panic attacks started. And racing thoughts. And the dissociative episodes that nearly landed me in the hospital. Either way, I maintained this emotional and financial balance for almost a decade. Looking back, it almost broke me.

Right now, my family is appealing to erase my student loans, but it’s not yet clear if this burden will ever be lifted or if my wounds will truly heal from this experience.

That’s why when I see poor, silly grassroots campaigns to save the SFAI – an institution that was so cruelly expensive that it forced 90% of national students into loans that they’ll probably spend their whole lives paying back – I want to shake the organizers by their shoulders and shout “STOP”. There are so many ways to support artists, and the best way to do that is to give them money directly instead of letting some incompetent middleman fumble the bag.

Savash, Cat's colleague in the school library.

Savash, Cat’s colleague in the school library.

Beckstrand Cat

Apart from the financial and emotional upheaval the SFAI caused me, it also nearly prevented me from becoming the journalist I am today. Some of my instructor reviews were so unnecessarily harsh and personal that I stopped taking pictures for a while. I couldn’t stand being tossed in front of my classmates for my shoddy darkroom work, even though I tried my best. Years later, when I got my digital camera back and started publishing photo essays for small media outlets, I finally became the photographer I always wanted to be. But I’m not the only student who took issue with the way we were sometimes criticized by the teachers who were supposed to help us.

“If I or another student didn’t do the job exactly the way they thought we should, we got pretty heavily criticized for that,” said my friend Cat Beckstrand, a San Francisco photographer and alumnus of the SFAI which uses the pronouns them/them. . “I was a bit shocked to experience this in an artistic setting.”

The students were sunbathing, smoking and overlooking the horizon on the roof.

The students were sunbathing, smoking and overlooking the horizon on the roof.

Beckstrand Cat

Beckstrand, who transferred from community college and graduated from SFAI’s urban studies department, said the school was “classist” and inhospitable to low-income students. At the time, they say photography instructors told them to use entire rolls of film for a single project. These days, a roll of 35mm black and white film costs between about $8.50 and $13. “And I remember telling my instructors that I literally couldn’t afford to work that way and spend so much money on rolls,” they said. In response, the instructors allegedly told them that “they didn’t care” and that they just had to “make it work”.

My own experience was quite similar. To this day, I’m still furious that one of my photography professors mocked me and my ideas in the review, only to use the same for their own editorial projects in The California Sunday Magazine and National Geographic years later. late.

When asked if the SFAI had any programs to support low-income students, if an SFAI degree still retained its academic value, or if student loans still had to be repaid, press secretary Margot Frey replied tersely. “We no longer have employees. , so we have no one to answer these questions.

The rooftop was a popular meeting place for students between classes.

The rooftop was a popular meeting place for students between classes.

Beckstrand Cat

“My whole art degree feels like a receipt,” said 2016 graduate Oskar Malone Peyak. While he agrees he had an incredible community of artists and teachers, he admits the administration let down many students. He also said they dropped out or transferred because they couldn’t afford to keep paying tuition. It is a story that touches us closely. “It worked for some people, but like the majority, not really,” he continued. “… From an institutional point of view, especially everything that I learned myself.”

Under SFAI’s Instagram post about its closure, an alumnus, Jerry Gogosian, said he paid $175,000 for a “useless” degree. “This school had a history of financial embezzlement, poor leadership, and NEGLIGENT educational practices for its students,” he wrote. “It deserves to close”

But on the contrary, some students say the SFAI experience was not limited to the classroom.

Anthony Russell, who graduated in 2012, loved learning from cult filmmaker George Kuchar and admiring legendary Bay Area artists Carlos Villa and Richard Berger. For Russell, SFAI was his “anchor” that brought him to the city and helped build an artistic community. But he, too, noticed that few students had graduated from the school.

Sophia Germer, a pre-college alumnus who is now a photographer at the Advocate in Louisiana.

Sophia Germer, a pre-college alumnus who is now a photographer at the Advocate in Louisiana.

Ariana Bindman, a long time ago

He said he couldn’t afford to leave the “brutally expensive” institution since he had already invested so much money in it. “I am definitely angry. It was so expensive,” he said, “but I knew it would be, and I knew it wasn’t something that necessarily guaranteed me an income to pay off the debt I was accumulating, but I don’t regret it.

Russell, who works at The Lab, a non-profit arts and performance space in San Francisco, gets by with art manipulation and voice acting gigs for adult films. He said that while college life at SFAI taught him how to socialize and build friendships in the creative world, the school did not guide him on how to find a job and build a career. “I wish there were more instructions on how to sail professionally,” he said. I did too.

The San Francisco Art Institute on a sunny spring day.

The San Francisco Art Institute on a sunny spring day.

Diana Cheng/FlickrVision/Getty Images

Long ago, while browsing the school’s marketing materials and choosing classes for the fall semester, I read that SFAI had made some of its students who they are today. But in my case, I’m relieved that’s not the case.

Student Loan Forgiveness Comes True – The Oakland Press


Jared Barnett breathes a sigh of relief. The Oakland University graduate is among millions who will see some or all of their student debt forgiven after a new plan was unveiled by the White House on Wednesday.

Barnett entered Oakland University as a transfer student from Oakland Community College through Pontiac High School to pursue a sociology major at the College of Arts and Sciences. He graduated in December 2021 and found a job as a community health worker.

He also had to start repaying $22,984 in student loans and grants. Barnett still doesn’t know how much of his debt will be cleared, but knows he’s on track to have almost all of it cancelled.

“I’m still figuring it out. It’s so new that I’m still trying to figure it out, but the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) crashed because everyone else is trying to figure it out too,” he said. . “I’m still trying to navigate the process and figure out how much it will cost.”

Barnett said he was making payments of $300 a month and was now looking to invest that money in something else.

“To have a clean slate and start working for your career and start investing that money in yourself instead of making those payments every month is huge,” he said. “To have that pressure taken away from you means a lot.”

According to the White House, total student debt is $1.6 trillion and growing for more than 45 million borrowers.

Federal borrowers who earn less than $125,000 a year, or $250,000 a year if married, and who received Pell Grants as part of their financial assistance can get up to $20,000 in loan forgiveness. federal student loan.

Only loans initiated before July 1 are eligible and loans initiated and held by private lenders are not eligible.

Another part of the plan is to extend the pause on outstanding student loans until December 31. The pause, which suspended all payments and accrued interest on federal student loans held by the government since March 2020, was scheduled to end on August 31.

Barnett is like millions of college graduates trying to pay off their loans after finding their first job.

“Most students start out in the red and are in debt before they can find a competitive salary to start working,” he said. “Before you even have a career, you have this stress of being in debt.”

He admitted that other students in the area are going through the same type of situation and that this plan could make life much easier.

“It’s one of those things you hope is possible, but making it happen is just a huge weight on the shoulders of a lot of students,”

Barnett said he envisions a different financial future and is ready to forget about the stress of loan repayments.

“Imagine the first month or two after graduation and you still haven’t received a job offer and the payment companies are knocking on your door,” Barnett said. “It’s a great time when you graduate and graduate, but it’s a tough time when you realize you need to start making payments and you don’t have a financial plan ready for it. to face.”

U.S. consumers are going into more debt to buy new vehicles, reports Experian


Auto loan debt rises amid soaring prices

U.S. consumers are responding to soaring prices for new cars and trucks by taking on more debt, pushing the average loan for a new vehicle to a record high of $40,290 in the second quarter, the credit monitoring firm said Thursday. Experian.

The average monthly payment for a new vehicle loan rose to $667 in the second quarter, up nearly 15% from a year earlier, Experian said in its latest auto finance market report. The average amount borrowed increased by 13.2%.

The average term of loans for new vehicles remained stable in the second quarter compared to a year ago, at just over 69 months.

Used car buyers are also borrowing more. The average used vehicle loan jumped 18.7% to $28,534, with an average monthly payment of $515, up 17%.

Despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to cool the economy by raising interest rates, prices for new vehicles in the United States rose faster than the headline inflation rate for much of the year. Automakers say they still can’t keep pace with demand due to semiconductor shortages and other supply chain issues.

The average price of a new car or truck hit a record high of $46,259 in August, market research firm JD Power said this week.

Of the vehicles financed in the second quarter, 60% were sport utility vehicles, Experian said.

Whole Foods joins the promotion of chicken welfare

Amazon’s Whole Foods and HelloFresh are among nine food companies stepping up efforts to improve the lives of chickens.

The companies will join the US Broiler Welfare Task Force, which helps companies meet their animal welfare commitments. It partners with Perdue Farms, the fourth largest chicken producer in the United States. These changes come as organizations come under increasing pressure to change the way they raise animals for food.

(Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

Chickens raised for cooking are usually raised in controlled environments designed to grow them as quickly as possible. This can be bad for animal health and impact meat quality, according to the group. Current members of the organization purchased more than 540 million pounds of chicken last year, and their efforts could help 111 million birds a year, the group said.

Applegate, Pret a Manger, Sprouts and Natural Grocers are other companies that have joined. New members join companies like Target, Shake Shack and Nestlé USA, bringing the group to 16 members.

Wall Street giant Citigroup announced on Thursday that it would end its local retail and commercial banking operations in Russia and expects to incur approximately $170 million in fees over the next 18 months. Wall Street’s biggest financial firms have closed or announced their intention to close their operations in Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, in accordance with sanctions imposed by Western countries. Citigroup disclosed that its exposure to Russia stood at $8.4 billion as of June 30. The US lender has in recent years reduced its international footprint.



NASHVILLE, Tenn., August 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — car saverthe market leader in automotive e-commerce and fintech platform, announced today that Federal Credit Union Teachers (Teachers) – one of the largest credit unions in United States with $8.8 billion of assets and over 420,000 members – has joined its leading marketplace and automated upgrade platform. CarSaver’s e-commerce platform was designed to help auto lenders increase member satisfaction, loan retention and dealership satisfaction, while enabling members to purchase, finance and insure new and used cars completely online.

By implementing the CarSaver Marketplace and automated upgrades, teachers will help members more easily purchase a new vehicle and avoid issues such as costly repairs in the last years of a vehicle’s life. CarSaver’s proprietary automated upgrade platform identifies members with a car loan who are eligible to upgrade to a new car for a lower monthly payment, then connects them to a personal portal where they can view their Upgrade. With just the click of a button, members can complete the entire transaction online and have the car delivered directly to their doorstep or picked up from a local authorized dealership. Teacher members will save time and money on their purchase, and every new and used vehicle on the market comes with a lifetime warranty covering major repairs for unlimited miles at no cost to the member. not even a franchise.

“We are thrilled to have Teachers Federal Credit Union join our network to provide its members with unparalleled benefits for their car buying needs. Teachers is one of the nation’s largest credit unions and is dedicated to helping its members saving money and being on the best path financially. Now with CarSaver, it’s easier than ever for qualified teachers to upgrade their car to a new one. Not only does our partnership further develop the technology of teacher loan, but it will allow our dealership partners to sell more cars and do more trades,” said Chad Necklaceco-founder and CEO of CarSaver.

“Product innovation and partnerships that deliver high service to our members are essential to Teachers’ guiding principle of being the best place to bank. We are excited to offer our members the premier marketplace and CarSaver’s automated upgrade platform, helping to make their car buying experience more convenient,” said Francois Collins, SVP, Credit, Teachers Federal Credit Union. “CarSaver’s exclusive technology combined with Teachers’ reduced rates provides members with a premium experience upgrading their vehicle for less than their current monthly payment.”

The market will include new and used cars of a variety of brands available from local certified dealership partners. Members eligible to upgrade will receive an email notification and instructions to visit their personalized portal to view their upgrade offers. Dealers can register or get more information at: https://www.carsavercommerce.com/teachersfcu.

About CarSaver

CarSaver is the premier online automotive marketplace for new and used cars, helping buyers and sellers save time and money by automating the entire process from first click to home delivery. CarSaver allows consumers to do everything 100% completely online. Buy, finance, lease, sell and trade all the best brands of new and used vehicles in a simple and transparent online experience, personalized for each customer.

CarSaver’s Marketplace is used by some of the world’s most trusted brands, including Walmart, Nissan, iHeartMedia and SHOP.com, to automate the entire online shopping process, allowing buyers and sellers to complete online contactless commerce faster and easier. CarSaver licenses its business platform to automakers, electric vehicle distributors, banks and credit unions who white label CarSaver’s e-commerce platform to power their online transactions.

CarSaver has established a nationwide network of certified dealerships that supply hundreds of thousands of new and used cars from all major brands available in a single market. Plus, Certified Dealers perform maintenance and warranty repairs for CarSaver’s Lifetime Warranty which comes standard at no charge, not even a deductible on every car.

CarSaver was recently named the winner of the 2021 Automotive News PACE award. This prestigious award recognizes automotive suppliers for their superior innovation and technological advancements. CarSaver was recognized for launching the first end-to-end 100% online car buying platform for new, pre-owned and Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicles, and its work with Nissan to propel the [email protected] live.

For more information, visit CarSaverCommerce.comfollow CarSaver on Facebook, Twitter, instagram, Youtube and LinkedIn.

Dealer visit CarSaverCommerce.com/teachersfcu

About Federal Credit Union Teachers

Teachers Federal Credit Union (Teachers) is one of the nation’s largest credit unions with $8.8 billion active and more than 420,000 members in all 50 states. Based on Long Island in 1952, Teachers is a full-service, not-for-profit financial institution that offers its members 32 full-service branches across Long Island, queensand manhattan, as well as access to services from more than 5,000 shared service centers across the country. Over the years and through various partnerships, Teachers’ is proud of its role as a key supporter of the communities it serves. Teachers offers a range of member-focused products with competitive pricing and low fees that started as a smart solution for teachers – now smart for everyone.

For more information, visit www.teachersfcu.orgfollow the teachers on Facebook, Twitter, instagram, Youtube, LinkedIn and ICT Tac.

Press contacts for CarSaver
Erin Haworth
High10 support for CarSaver
[email protected]

Press contact for teachers
Sophie Schneidmann
RWest for Teachers Federal Credit Union
[email protected]


What to do with the remaining student loan debt? The Nashville experts step in.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) – While many are celebrating the Biden administration’s decision to forgive up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt for most borrowers, most Tennessees who have student loans still have plenty more to repay.

“I think that’s the question everyone is asking: am I holding on, am I waiting for the government to write off even more debt?” said financial adviser Carson Odom of David Adams Wealth Group.

The Biden administration announced Wednesday that it is also extending the pause on student loan repayments through the end of the year.

But financial advisers said if the graduates hadn’t paid off their debt, now was a good time to start. This would help eliminate the principal, which means you’ll pay less interest in the long run.

“Work up,” Odom said. “Start by paying $50 and stop some of the expenses you’ve incorporated over the years, then $100 the next month, then $150, work your way up to prepare.”

Advisers say it’s not a good idea to suspend loan repayments, assuming the government will write off more debt. After all, advisers say, today’s decision doesn’t just make the money disappear. They say this decision, and any future decisions on student loans, will have impacts on inflation and tax rates that everyone will end up paying.

“Every check that the government writes comes from somewhere, it comes from somebody’s pocket, and that pocket is the taxpayers,” Odom said.

Who is eligible and other questions answered


Editor’s Note: This article will be updated as new details are announced.

President Joe Biden announced a series of student debt relief measures on Wednesday, including debt forgiveness of up to $20,000 for some Americans.

The Department of Education estimates that about 27 million borrowers are eligible to receive up to $20,000 in assistance, helping borrowers struggling with their repayment obligation.

Here’s what you need to know about Biden’s student loan debt forgiveness.

A woman throws her cap in the air to celebrate her graduation from the University of Missouri.

Who is eligible for $20,000 in student loan debt forgiveness?

Borrowers who have received Pell Grants and earn less than $125,000 as individuals or less than $250,000 as married couples are eligible to receive $20,000 in student loan debt forgiveness. Your income is based on your 2020 or 2021 federal income tax return.

Who is eligible for $10,000 in student loan debt forgiveness?

Those who have not received Pell Grants but earn less than $125,000 as individuals or less than $250,000 as a married couple are eligible for $10,000 in student loan debt forgiveness. Your income is based on your 2020 or 2021 federal income tax return.

Are current students with loans eligible for the discount?

Students currently enrolled in school with loans may also qualify for relief as long as their parents’ income is below the eligibility threshold for single or married filers. Loans must have been issued before July 1 to be eligible.

What types of student loans are eligible for forgiveness?

Only federally backed student loans are eligible for forgiveness. Loans from private banks and lenders are not eligible. Graduate and undergraduate loans are eligible for cancellation as well as Parent PLUS loans taken out by parents or guardians, according to a press call with the administration.

BOSTON - MAY 4: Northeastern University held its commencement ceremony at TD Garden on Friday.  Nipali Patel put this saying on her cap when she graduated from nursing school.  (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

BOSTON – MAY 4: Northeastern University held its commencement ceremony at TD Garden on Friday. Nipali Patel put this saying on her cap when she graduated from nursing school. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

How do I apply for student loan debt forgiveness?

You cannot apply yet. The Department of Education is working to put in place a simple application process for borrowers to apply for relief, according to the administration’s fact sheet. The app is expected to be available by the time the pause on federal student loan payments expires at the end of the year. (The forbearance was originally set to expire Aug. 31 until Biden extended it to Dec. 31.)

Income limits must be checked, which may cause a delay for applicants whose data is not in the Department of Education database. However, nearly 8 million borrowers could be eligible for automatic relief because their income data is already available to the Department of Education.

Is it the same as the PSLF (Public Service Loan Forgiveness) program?

No. Public Service Loan Forgiveness provides student debt forgiveness to those who have worked at least 10 years in public service jobs with federal, state, local organizations or certain non-profit organizations such as teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers and other professionals. .

How can I stay up to date on the student loan forgiveness application process?

Borrowers can receive notifications when the app is available by signing up for StudentAid.gov/debtrelief.

What happens to my payments if I don’t qualify for the rebate or if the rebate doesn’t cancel all my debt?

Biden also extended the pause or forbearance on federal student loan repayments through Dec. 31. The relief was originally scheduled to expire on August 31. elimination of $10,000 in debt.

Is canceled student loan debt taxable?

Not at the federal level. This debt relief will not be considered taxable income for federal income tax purposes due to a provision of the US bailout enacted in March 2021.

Ronda is a senior personal finance reporter for Yahoo Money and an attorney with experience in law, insurance, education and government. Follow her on Twitter @writesronda

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Pure Harvest Announces Significant Debt Reduction via


GREENWOOD VILLAGE, CO, Aug. 24, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via NewMediaWire — Pure Harvest Corporate Group, Inc. (OTC: PHCG), a vertically integrated consumer products holding company focused on advanced plant-based nutraceuticals , recreational cannabis, hemp-derived health and wellness products and other emerging industries, today announced that a positive corporate event has resulted in a significant reduction in corporate debt. The Company and creditors have reached a settlement agreement, which results in the removal of approximately $2.8 million of senior debt from the Company’s balance sheet. The U.S. District of Wyoming has granted a motion to dismiss all claims regarding the debt.

“This is an important event for our business that will result in a significant reduction in the amount of debt on our balance sheet. We expect the reduction in debt to be reflected in our upcoming quarterly filings,” commented Matthew Gregarek, Managing Director of Pure Harvest.

Reducing senior debt from the company’s balance sheet by $2.8 million is one of several goals set by the board of directors to strengthen the company. In addition, management is seeking additional sources of capital to further reduce and restructure debt and acquire the growth capital necessary to realize the many opportunities currently facing the Company.

Mr. Gregarek continued, “Apart from the clearly positive effect on the balance sheet, putting this litigation behind us will allow our team to fully focus on seizing the many opportunities in the hemp and cannabis markets. Large-scale changes are occurring in many market sub-sectors, resulting in a plethora of opportunities for acquisition, restructuring and consolidation in the hemp and regulated cannabis markets. Our corporate mission over the coming year is to capitalize on the best of these opportunities to create additional long-term value for all of our shareholders.

About the Pure Harvest Group of Companies

Pure Harvest Corporate Group, Inc. (OTC: PHCG), headquartered in Colorado, one of the major epicenters of the cannabis industry, is a vertically integrated holding company that manufactures, distributes and sells a wide range cannabis products, including hemp, CBD and consumer products containing cannabis products where permitted by state laws and regulations. Company information is available at www.pureharvestgroup.com.

Forward-looking statements

Certain statements in this press release may contain forward-looking information within the meaning of Rule 175 of the Securities Act of 1933, are subject to Rule 3b-6 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and are subject to the safe harbors created by those rules. . . All statements, other than statements of fact, included in this release, including, without limitation, statements regarding the company’s potential future plans and objectives, are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate. Future events and results could differ materially from those stated, contemplated or underlying the forward-looking statements.

Company Contact:
Matthew Gregarek
Pure Harvest Corporate Group, Inc.
[email protected]

Recent Awards Highlight Del Norte Credit Union as Best Place to Work in 2022


DNCU News:

SANTA FE – Del Norte Credit Union (DNCU), the financial cooperative that employs more than 200 workers in eight branches across New Mexico, recently received a series of awards recognizing its achievements as a great place to work in 2022.

Family-friendly policies that lead to employee success at work and at home serve as the basis for the 2022 “Family Friendly Business Award” given to the DNCU of Family Friendly New Mexico, a nonprofit initiative that recognizes employers who offer family-friendly policies in the Land of Enchantment.

Additionally, the DNCU was listed as one of the “Best Places to Work” of 2022 by the Albuquerque Business Journal in its annual recognition of employers with “the best climate, team vibe, benefits…and engaged employees.

“It’s always nice to get a pat on the back for how your organization treats its most valuable asset, its people. But the most important part of the Best Places to Work survey is the feedback our employees give us. It helps us get better every year,” explained Kim Currie, Director of Marketing at DNCU. “The most important result of the Best Place to Work survey is employee feedback which helps us improve every year. After receiving the Best Financial Institution of 2022 award from the Santa Fe Reporter, it looks like the DNCU is building tremendous momentum and establishing a reputation as a great place to work in New Mexico. .

Earlier this year, the DNCU announced that it had registered over $1 billion in total assetsa milestone the organization attributed to a renewed focus on member service and its primary mission of improving life in New Mexico.

About Del Norte Credit Union

Established in 1954, Del Norte Credit Union is a New Mexico-based nonprofit credit union with a mission to improve lives. The DNCU offers a wide variety of products and services designed to enable members to achieve financial success. Today, the DNCU serves more than 60,000 members across New Mexico and the United States.

Pritzker extends COVID emergency powers for 33rd time


Gov. JB Pritzker is declaring Illinois a disaster for the 33rd time since the pandemic began, meaning he has given himself emergency powers for nearly 70% of his term.

Governor JB Pritzker extended his COVID emergency powers on August 19 for the 33rd time, with the last proclamation expiring on September 17.

By the end of his new proclamation, Pritzker will have held emergency powers for 919 of his 1,341 days in office, or 68% of his term.

Since the early days of the pandemic, Pritzker has used these powers to issue 116 executive orders related to COVID-19. He hinted at their withdrawal in April, but has remained silent recently.

“Hopefully we can remove all of them eventually, along with the disaster declaration,” Pritzker said on April 27.

Emergency executive powers are designed for tough times, like when there’s a tornado or there’s no way to vaccinate people against a disease. Thirty-three proclamations later, over 80% of Illinois people over the age of 5 have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, so what’s the rush?

When the pandemic hit, social distancing was a norm across the country. On August 11, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidelines to no longer recommend social distancing or quarantine if people have been exposed to COVID-19.

A federal health official pointed out how much everything has changed since March 2020.

“The current conditions of this pandemic are very different from those of the past two years,” Greta Massetti, who leads the field epidemiology and prevention branch at the CDC, said Aug. 18.

Pritzker’s series of disasters has not changed. Without legislative oversight of emergency powers, Pritzker can continue to write its own rules.

Illinois is expected to follow 34 other states that expect lawmakers to check their governor’s emergency executive powers. Illinois is the only state in the Midwest still under a COVID emergency declaration, according to the National Academy for State Health Policy.

Ohio implemented a new law allowing the state legislature to override executive emergency powers in March 2021.

After two and a half years of living with the virus, it’s time for Illinois’ COVID response to be in more than one man’s hands.

Why savings interest rates aren’t rising like loan interest rates – InsuranceNewsNet


Rising interest rates have been a hot topic over the past year, as Federal Free Market Committee (FOMC) raises interest rates to Federal Reserve system, the central bank of United States. Many business owners wonder what rising interest rates mean for their business in terms of loan interest rates and savings and wonder why increases in loan interest rates don’t not reflect increases in savings rates.

Jon Stewartretail team leader, Coastal Community Bank, said he speaks to clients daily about their questions about interest rate increases. “Clients often ask why savings interest rates do not increase in the same way as lending rates, and how the increase in the federal funds rate (federal funds) affects interest rates for home loans,” he said. “I’ve been in banking for a long time, and it’s understandable that even the most knowledgeable would ask questions like these, because historically interest rates have acted differently.”

Why aren’t savings rates rising as much as loan rates?

Stewart explained that generally, as the Federal Reserve moves the federal fund up and down, financial products that are variable and tied to some kind of agreement or contract are also likely to move right away. For example, variable rate loans and certificates of deposit are linked to a particular index such as the federal funds or the prime rate, and their rates move accordingly.

However, Stewart explained that when it comes to raising or lowering other deposit rates, it depends on the individual bank and how it manages its balance sheet (loans and deposits) and the type of loans. that she offers. Banks that offer consumer loans at higher interest rates may be more willing to pay more on savings accounts because the increased cost of that higher savings account is offset by interest on the loan.

Why do some financial institutions offer special interest rates for savings accounts and others do not?

Stewart said customers ask him why they see CD promotions and special interest rates at some financial institutions while others don’t offer those promotions. “Some financial institutions will offer a much higher rate of return in the short term to attract new customers,” he said. “Other banks may raise their rates to stay competitive. As banks offer these rates, they will need to find ways to offset the increased cost of paying that higher interest rate. When the The Fed lowers the rate, which it will eventually do, it will still have to pay the same high rate on those accounts.”

“It’s different now than it was in the past for a number of reasons,” Stewart said. “Savings rates have not increased at the same rate. In the past, banks have raised interest rates on savings accounts to help encourage people to keep their money in the savings account. a bank, i.e. a money market, certificate of deposit (CD), or savings account, so that the bank can use the money to lend. The difference now is that banks have more deposits than in the past and do not necessarily need more deposits to lend. Raising savings account rates is not as necessary as in the past.”

What is the impact of the federal funds rate on mortgage rates?

“This is where it gets confusing and complicated,” Stewart said. “The fed funds rate is just one of multiple factors in mortgage interest rates and influences short-term, variable-rate mortgages that revalue more frequently.” He further explained that longer-term fixed-rate mortgages tend to be influenced more by 10-year cash flow, the yield curve and longer-term inflation expectations.

Stewart said every business and financial institution has different goals and needs, and increasing and decreasing rates can have an impact. He encourages companies to speak to their banker about any questions regarding the rate environment and how they can work with them to help them plan in the current economic climate.

Jon Stewart is Vice President, Retail Team Leader at Coastal Community Bank. For more information, contact a banker at one of Coastal’s 14 local branches. www.coastalbank.com FDIC member. Equal Housing Lender.

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Detroiters sued over utility debt


When people are behind on their bills, it’s not uncommon for collections to come calling. A new investigation from Detroit’s Outlier Media and ProPublica finds that one of Michigan’s regional power companies, DTE, is taking an unusual route to deal with unpaid consumer debt.

What did they find? DTE is selling old debt – debt from years ago. AND one of the companies they sell it to has aggressive tactics to get that money back.


Sarah Alvarezeditor of Outlier Media

In response to the Outlier Media report, DTE released the following statement in the United States:

“DTE has not sold customer debt in the past 5 years, since 2017. Since the pandemic, overall customer debt has actually decreased. In our service territory, an unfortunately high percentage of our customers fall into below the poverty line, and we are doing aggressive, targeted outreach to let them know that financial assistance is available. We are not selling these customers’ debt. In FY21, eligible DTE customers received $119 million in financial assistance, and we expect that number to grow to $185 million this year .

“In 2017, some customers had become unresponsive to our relief efforts, and their outstanding debt was sold in an effort to ease the growing burden of higher rates on the rest of our customers. All of these customers had terminated the service, had closed accounts and left invoices unpaid. All debt sales include only closed customer accounts.”


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Montana Credit Union President and CEO Tracie Kenyon set to retire in 2023

Source: Shutterstock.

Montana Credit Union President and CEO Tracie Kenyon plans to retire in May 2023 after nearly 22 years of service, according to a statement prepared by the state trading group.

“I have loved serving Montana Credit Unions as President and CEO of their trade association. Together, we have done incredible work to improve the credit union movement,” Kenyon said in a prepared statement released Friday. “I expect MCU to continue to thrive after I retire, and I am dedicated to helping with the transition.”

Before joining MCU in 2001, Kenyon was senior vice president of the Utah Credit Union League.

During his tenure, MCU launched Montana Credit Unions for Community Development, a charitable organization that combines advocacy efforts with awareness and development; and Montana Credit Union League Group Benefit Trust, a self-funded benefits plan for Montana credit union employees that incorporates holistic approaches to wellness, including financial wellness.

Tracie Kenyon Tracie Kenyon

Kenyon received the Farley Leadership Award in 2017 and his credit union development education project, MCUCD, received the Herb Wegner Memorial Award from the National Credit Union Foundation in 2009.

In addition to her work in the trade association, Kenyon served as chair of the board of directors of the American Association of Credit Union Leagues and the Filene Research Institute. She has also served on the Board of the National Credit Union Foundation and the Executive Committee of CUNA. She currently serves on the board of Western CUNA as Treasurer.

“We thank Tracie for her outstanding dedication and passion for the credit union movement, and wish her continued success in her retirement,” said Jeremy Presta, Chairman of MCU’s Board of Directors and President and CEO of the $405 million Park Side Credit Union in Whitefish.

Presta also reiterated that the trade group will remain independent, which the MCU Board of Directors announced at its annual members meeting in May.

“We have strong finances, strong advocacy and service delivery, and strong member engagement,” he said in a prepared statement.

The MCU board has hired Humanidei + O’Rourke to conduct a nationwide search for Kenyon’s successor. Jill Nowacki, who launched her career with Montana Credit Unions 21 years ago, will serve as the lead recruiter for the search.

Currently in Montana, there are 45 NCUA-insured credit unions and one credit union that is insured by American Share Insurance.

Collectively, the state’s credit unions manage more than $8 billion in assets, serve more than 430,000 members and operate 131 branches, according to MCU.

Money pit or protector of profit?


Selling grain for cash at harvest and buying call options may be a necessity for farmers who do not have enough bins. But using paper to replace the real thing can seem like a waste of money if positions lose most or even all of their value.

Still, the calls have paid off for corn and soybeans over the past two years, exceeding expectations by bringing in big profits, according to Farm Futures’ long-term study of storage strategies. The secret to this success is also why growers shouldn’t automatically assume the tactic will work again at harvest this fall.

Call options give the right, but not the obligation, to buy futures contracts at a predetermined strike price in exchange for a premium. This cost, paid upfront, is a headwind on profits, especially for growers who want months of exposure to take advantage of the following summer’s rallies.

Several factors affect premiums, including interest rates, the strike price of the option, the underlying futures contracts, and volatility due to the risk of large price swings. But the time until the option expires about a week before the start of futures delivery also adds significantly to the cost of this insurance. At harvest, July options, which exit the chart at the end of June of the following year, typically cost more than similar futures positions with closer delivery.

This influence is known as time value, the amount of premium that could not be recovered by exercising the option immediately.

Let’s say the July futures at harvest are $6 a bushel and the July $6 call is 45 cents. The “at-the-money” position with a strike price close to where futures are currently trading would pay nothing if exercised – it has no “intrinsic value”, as it is known in the jargon options.

Related: Put Options: Time Value vs. Intrinsic Value

Limited downside risk

But if the underlying futures contracts go up far enough fast enough, the calls can pay off big – and that’s exactly what has happened each of the past two years.

July’s parity corn calls returned $1.59 a bushel for 2022. That wasn’t as strong as the $2.16 gain seen in 2021, but it was still 10 times the average dating back to 1985 The July soybean parity call gained $2.58, a few cents higher than a year earlier, despite futures falling $2 at expiration from June contract highs.

Buy calls on 2021 crops have not yielded as much as some other strategies, such as buying futures or using storage. But the downside risk was limited to the cost of the options.

On-farm corn storage remains the most cost-effective long-term storage strategy at the sites, eight for corn and seven for soybeans, tracked by the study. Putting grain in the trash comes with its own set of risks if the market turns sour. On-farm storage of soybeans from the 1988 crop lost $1.48, or nearly 20% of the value of their crop. The 2019 corn release — en route to the COVID pandemic — generated losses of 84 cents a bushel, even more on a percentage basis.

On average, calls seem to work a little better for soybeans than for corn. While on-farm soy storage pays off 70% of the time, calls have paid off 46% of the years. On average, parity corn calls earned 14 cents, 41% of forward earnings, and made money in only 35% of the 34 years of the study.

Soybean calls also fare better on another key options metric. The average gain for soybean calls at 45 cents was exactly what is supposed to happen, at least in the short term with calls at par.

Public enemy #1 for options

These positions start with a “delta” of about 0.5. In other words, they must reflect 50% of the change in the value of their underlying futures contracts. Declining time value, public enemy No. 1 of options buyers, has not impacted trading profits as much as it has with corn.

And although spot corn storage was the most profitable strategy for this crop, it made less money than soybeans, ending up in the dark 57% of the time.

The tool with the highest batting average for either crop was the corn storage hedge, where cash inventory is protected by a futures contract sale. Profits are more consistent, but this strategy limits gains to base appreciation, regardless of the fixed price. So while cash storage brought in $2.15 for corn from the 2021 crop, storage cover brought in only 18 cents.

The soybean hedging strategy returned the same amount as corn. But on average since 1985, covering soybeans at harvest was a washout, yielding nothing. This is largely due to carry, in this case the difference between the crop delivery and the July futures.

In most years, the soybean market does not encourage carry storage because end users want harvest in the months immediately following harvest, before the pipelines fill up with production from South America. During the disruptions of the trade war with China and the pandemic, this dynamic has changed.

Corn last year offered 15 to 18 cents of carry from December to July around harvest, just over 2 cents a month and less than a quarter of the total cost for commercial hedges. Soybean carry traded as high as 38 cents in October, much higher than usual – although it still represents only around 40% of the total carry.

This year, summer markets traded at more than their usual range. The tight 2021 crop carryover projections have crop futures with only a small discount from July 2023, giving storage operators little incentive.

That could change, of course, when the combines start rolling. At-the-money options will always look expensive, regardless. We won’t know if that cost is worth it for months. But a smaller crop and a tight carryover could make paper stockpiling more attractive to growers who need to limit downside risk.

Soybean storage gain or loss per average bushel

The Farm Futures study examines storage returns after costs from 1985 to 2021. This includes interest on debt incurred because grain is not sold at harvest to repay loans, as well as expenses for commissions brokerage, handling and commercial storage. No depreciation for bins or equipment is added as this varies greatly from farm to farm.

To view the full annual results of our storage study, click on the links below:

Central Illinois

Denver Corn

Evansville Corn

Kansas City

Louisville Soybeans


North Central Iowa


Knorr writes from Chicago, Illinois. Email him at [email protected]

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress.

China cuts lending rates a week after surprise policy rate cuts


A man looks at his smartphone as he walks past the People’s Bank of China building on May 20, 2022 in Beijing.

Jiang Qiming | China Information Service | Getty Images

While the reduction in the LPR may provide short-term relief, the easing of liquidity alone is unlikely to lead to a recovery in the housing market.

Positive reactions to last week’s rate changes were short-lived, analysts such as Navigate Commodities chief executive Atilla Widnell said.

“Further monetary easing/stimulus has been seen as as futile as ‘casting a dead horse’, given that the Chinese economy desperately needs consumers to return to the streets to spend money,” he said. he stated in a note.

Regarding the latest round of cuts, David Chao, global market strategist for Asia-Pacific (ex-Japan) at Invesco, said he was referring to the severity of the housing market downturn.

However, he conceded that these cuts will not be enough to increase liquidity.

“This sends a strong message that policymakers are ready to take stronger action to stabilize the struggling market,” he said in a note.

“While the reduction in the LPR may provide short-term relief, the easing of liquidity alone is unlikely to lead to a recovery in the property market.”

He added that lower mortgage rates had so far not translated into increased property sales, “due to lack of confidence in large developers and the pre-sale model”.

Chao said he did not expect these monetary policy fixes to be the last of the Chinese authorities, especially when “central and local governments have the financial tools to deliver a 3 trillion yuan surplus. in order to stimulate the real estate sector”.

“It’s breaking news. Please check back for more updates.

The Dirt: Progressions Credit Union eyes North Spokane site for new branch


Progressions Credit Union is looking to build a new branch in North Spokane.

Spokane-based HDG Architecture filed a pre-development application on behalf of the credit union to build a 3,200-square-foot branch with a three-way covered drive-thru, employee patio, and 24 parking spaces. parking at 9233 and 9249 N. Nevada St.

Progressions Credit Union purchased the two sites for $1.2 million in June, according to Spokane County Assessor’s Office records.

The estimated cost of the project is $1.2 million, depending on the application.

A project contractor was not specified on the application.

A pre-development application does not necessarily mean that a project will take place, rather an applicant seeks information from the city about design regulations or if the site is feasible for development.

Progressions Credit Union, formerly known as Spokane Postal Credit Union, was founded in 1928.

The credit union was incorporated in 1933 after the state passed a credit union law.

In 1962, Spokane Postal Credit Union merged with Railway Mail Credit Union, according to its website.

In 2003, Spokane Postal Credit Union expanded its membership to include those who live, work, worship, and attend school in the state.

The following year, the Spokane Postal Credit Union Board of Directors approved a name change to Progressions Credit Union to reflect the evolution of its membership.

Main branch of Progressions Credit Union at 2919 E. Mission Ave.

The Schwab extends to Liberty Lake

Schwab Tire Centers Inc. is looking to build a new showroom and service facility at Liberty Lake.

Cushing Terrell, a Boise-based architectural firm, has filed a building permit application with the City of Liberty Lake for a 9,580-square-foot building that includes a Les Schwab showroom, offices, six bays service and tire storage at 22401 E. Appleway Ave. .

The contractor for the project has not yet been determined.

Les Schwab, founded in 1952 and based in Bend, Oregon, operates 10 tire centers in the Spokane area.

Proposed residential units

The former Garland Dental building could be converted to residential use, according to a pre-development application filed with the city.

Jeff Howard and Terry Panagos are looking to convert the 9,200 square foot building at 3718 N. Monroe St. into eight to 10 apartments or condominiums.

Records from the Spokane County Assessor’s Office show that Gerald and Charles Kolstrud currently own the property.

The work requires a complete interior renovation, the cost of which is estimated at $1 million, depending on demand.

Construction is expected to begin in September, depending on demand.

Student loans are on hold – should you still pay?


(NerdWallet) – Payments are currently suspended, without interest, for most federal borrowers until August 31, 2022. This policy does not apply to private student loans.

Borrowers can still make payments to reduce their debt during this period of suspension of payments, called forbearance. According to the latest federal data, a total of 500,000 borrowers (about 1.16% of all 42.9 million federal borrowers) continued to make payments during the pause. Contact your repairer if you have any further questions.

” MORE: Can student borrowers also manage payments and inflation?

Don’t get me wrong: this is a pause in payments, not a pardon. Your debt will be waiting for you at the start of the repayment at the end of the forbearance, unless the politics change again. While the Biden administration has said it plans to push for an accelerated $10,000 forgiveness for all federal borrowers, few observers think such a bill could pass Congress quickly.

In the meantime, here’s how to decide what to do next.

If you want to suspend payments

You don’t have to do anything to get a forbearance to stop student loan repayments. Interest will not continue to accrue as it normally would.

A abstention could give you leeway to deal with other financial problems.

If you’re unemployed or working reduced hours, abstaining can free up money to pay rent and utility or grocery bills. Even if your salary isn’t affected, forbearance could help divert money toward building up an emergency fund or help you pay off another, more pressing debt.

Usually, forbearance is granted at the discretion of the administrator and interest will continue to grow. In this case, the Department of Education has instructed all administrators to automatically place all loans in interest-free forbearance.

If you’re behind on your student loan payments (or late)

Federal loans with overdue payments or loans in default will return to “good standing” status when payments resume on September 1, 2022.

Default on federal loans occurs when a payment is 270 days past due, sending your loan into collections and exposing you to damaged credit, garnished wages, and garnished tax refunds.

All collection activities are suspended until August 31, 2022. You can get a refund for any forced student loan payments made since March 13, 2020. If your tax refund was entered before March 13, 2020, it will not will not be returned.

If your loans were already in forfeiture, any interest already accrued will still be added to your loan principal when your repayment begins, but while in the forfeiture in progress, no new interest will be calculated.

If you are applying for a civil service loan forgiveness

Automatic forbearance will not reverse your progress towards Public Service Loan Forgiveness, or PSLF. As long as you are still working with an eligible employer, the months spent in abstention will count towards the PSLF.

Making payments during automatic forbearance will not advance you on payments. You are in the same boat whether you pay or not.

Under normal circumstances, only full payments count. You also won’t lose credit for payments you’ve already made.

If you want to continue making payments

Borrowers might want to keep making payments on federal loans if they want to pay off their debt faster.

If you continue to make payments, you will not pay any new interest on your loans while forbearing. This 0% interest rate will save you money overall, even if your payment won’t be lower.

The full amount of your payment will be applied to the principal balance of your loan once all interest accrued before March 13 has been paid.

Whether or not to make a payment during this time will depend on your initial repayment strategy:

  • Those who stick to a standard repayment term (usually 10 years) might consider making payments. You probably won’t have a lot of unpaid interest, and extra payments can help reduce your principal during the break. To maintain your flexibility, we suggest you open a savings account and collect these monthly payments, then make a lump sum payment on your loan at the highest interest rate when repayment begins.
  • Borrowers enrolled in, or planning to, income-contingent repayment shouldn’t worry about making payments now if the ultimate plan is to pay until the loans are forgiven – typically 20 or 25 years. If you want to pay off your loans sooner, paying now could help reduce the total interest you owe on top of your principal.
  • Borrowers applying for public service loan forgiveness do not need to make any payments until at least September 1, 2022. The months of automatic forbearance will count towards the 120 payments needed for forgiveness.

Contact your loan servicer with any questions about continuing or restarting payments during the forbearance period.

If your income has changed

If you see a change in income and still want to maintain your payments, the best way to reduce your payment to something more affordable is to request an income-contingent refund. You will receive a new payment based on your family size and a percentage of Discretionary Income, and it will be in effect even after the relief expires. You can apply online at studentaid.gov.

If you are already enrolled in an income-based plan, be sure to update your income if it has changed due to the economic downturn.

If you had to recertify your plan before August 31, 2022, you will now have additional time to do so. IDR recertification dates have been extended until at least March 2023. Borrowers will be notified when it is time to recertify. Temporarily, borrowers with direct loans can self-declare their income when applying for or recertifying an IDR plan. This means that you do not have to submit tax documentation, but you will need to select “I will report my own income information” in Step 2 (Income Information) of the IDR application. This option ends on February 28, 2023.

If you have FFEL loans

If you have Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL), you are eligible to receive interest-free forbearance only if the government owns the loans. It won’t be most FFEL borrowers – most of the loans in the now defunct program are held by businesses.

You can find out who your loans belong to by logging into studentaid.gov using your FSA ID.

The only way to gain forbearance for FFEL loans held for business purposes is to consolidate your debt into a new direct loan. But there are downsides to consolidation:

  • Your repayment term will be extended.
  • Your interest rate will increase slightly.
  • Any unpaid interest will be capitalized and added to the total amount you owe.

Interest-free temporary payments may not be worth these extra costs in the long run.

Additionally, if you are already making payments on a income-based repayment plan (IBR), these previous payments will no longer count towards the rebate. You will have to start all over again.

Consolidation may make sense if you have FFEL loans and want to qualify for civil service loan forgiveness. Otherwise, stay with your current loans.

If you have experienced a change in income, you can enroll in the IBR or recertify earlier, if you are already on this plan. The IBR will always take your spouse’s income into account. Your loans are also eligible for report of unemploymentwhich can be useful if you have lost your job but expect to start working again soon.

How to work with your repairer

If you want to restart payments during automatic forbearance, contact your student loan officer – this is the private company that handles your federal loan payments. But you don’t have to do anything to get the forbearance or the 0% interest rate.

To find out which loan officer is yours, log in to studentaid.gov with your FSA ID.

You can get in touch with all loan officer contact centers by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID.

For more information, visit studentaid.gov/coronavirus for details to come.

Energy Adviser: Adding insulation to older homes can pay off


Owning an old house is a bit like owning an old vehicle. Although it doesn’t have the features or comforts of its modern counterparts, the right upgrades can make it perform better than it did the day it was built.

Additionally, Clark Public Utilities can help make the investment more affordable.

Older homes are not as energy efficient as those built after 1990. Stricter building codes, along with changes in building science and materials technology mean that newer homes stay at the desired temperature longer while consuming less energy than older homes.

The difference is mainly in the insulation.

Newer homes are framed with two-by-six studs spaced 16 inches on center, while most pre-1990 homes were built with two-by-four studs 12 inches on center. Thicker walls mean more room for insulation. Fewer poles means less thermal bridging for heat to get where it’s not supposed to be.

Not only were homes built with less room for insulation, but builders often didn’t prioritize its installation. As any professional renovator can probably tell you, old attics, floors and walls can all be insulated, but to different degrees from house to house.

Homes built before the 70s may have little or no insulation in the walls or floor, but a decent layer in the attic.

Fortunately, inadequate insulation is fairly easy to remedy and offers one of the best investments for return value of any home improvement project.

With a little hard work and a few simple tools, a DIY homeowner can insulate the attic or floor in an afternoon or two. Although the do-it-yourselfer can save money on installation, it’s often worth considering at least the services of a professional. Contractors often have better insulation solutions than a do-it-yourselfer can achieve, handle all safety aspects of the project, and can provide crucial air sealing services as part of their offerings.

“Air leaks are constantly working against the heating or cooling system, and older homes are full of them,” said DuWayne Dunham, energy services supervisor. “Many contractors offer both air sealing and insulation, together they will really improve the energy performance of a home.”

Even if they are well insulated, older houses tend to heat up quickly in the summer, often because the attic is poorly ventilated. A good insulation contractor will consider ventilation and modern standards as part of a job.

“People often say the heat rises, when in reality it’s warm air rising, the heat expands and moves in any direction to heat cooler spaces,” Dunham said. . “So on a hot summer day, when an attic can easily reach over 160 degrees, that heat is going to sink into the cooler living spaces – unless it is properly vented to the outside.”

Wall insulation is generally too technical for most do-it-yourselfers. But, for an insulation contractor, it’s just another day of work. They reinforce a wall’s insulation by removing a bit of the exterior sheathing, cutting or drilling a small hole in the wall, and then blowing in the insulation until the wall is well compacted. Other companies use specially formulated spray foam insulation, which is more effective but also more expensive.

Older homes also run the risk of having asbestos in the insulation. Although not threatening if left alone, asbestos can be very harmful to human health if disturbed. Its removal should only be carried out by a professional.

After meeting certain conditions, Clark Public Utilities customers who own an electrically heated home can receive a rebate of $0.40, $0.50 and $1.20 per square foot on the attic, floor and wall insulation, respectively. It’s between 10% and 20% off a job.

Contact us at 360-992-3355 [email protected] to discuss insulation projects and to learn more about discounts.

Energy Adviser is written by Clark Public Utilities. Send your questions to [email protected] or to Energy Adviser, c/o Clark Public Utilities, PO Box 8900, Vancouver, WA 98668.

CFPB Bites of the Month – August’s Top 10 | Hudson Cook, LLP


In this month’s Top 10 article, we share some of our best “bites” from the previous month covered during the August 17, 2022 webinar.

So what happened last month?

Bite #10Extra Bite: Global payments company plans to appeal deception decision

In an August 9 ruling, federal court for the Northern District of Georgia granted the FTC’s motion for summary judgment in a case involving a multinational payments company and its CEO. According to the FTC, the payment company claimed that its business customers would save on costs, but did not save as promised by using the company’s cards. The company said it strongly disagrees with the ruling on liability and plans to appeal the judgment. The court denied the FTC’s claim for monetary relief.

Bite #9: The CFPB analyzed the impact of changes in the credit report on medical debts

On July 27, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a analysis Address changes made by national consumer reporting agencies that will affect people with unpaid medical debt. Specifically, beginning in 2023, commercial medical collection lines under $500 will no longer be reported on consumer credit reports. However, according to the CFPB, nearly half of all consumers with medical collections on their credit report will continue to see them after the changes take full effect next year. The CFPB also said consumers living in northern and eastern states are more likely to benefit from the changes.

Bite #8: The CFPB published a report on innovations in payments, including the BNPL

On August 4, the CFPB published a report discuss emerging payment systems and their ability to collect user data. The report discusses the growing presence of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) offers, in-app commerce and in-app “super apps”. According to the CFPB, these technologies have “the potential to streamline payments, facilitate commerce and improve user experience”. But, the CFPB warned that they can “create more opportunities for businesses to aggregate and monetize consumer financial data, and for big players to dominate the financial and business lives of consumers.” The CFPB also warned that “while a range of payment capabilities creates more options for consumers, varying regulatory requirements can lead to regulatory arbitrage.” The CFPB concluded the report by noting that it will propose rules on “financial data rights”, assess BNPL to decide whether regulatory interventions are appropriate, and assess ways to protect consumers in real-time payments.

Bite #7: The CFPB and the DOJ have issued a warning regarding the protection of military personnel

On July 29, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the CFPB issued a joint statement letter reminding auto finance companies of the legal protections for military families under the Military Civilian Assistance Act. The letter discussed wrongful repossessions, termination penalties and interest rate benefits. The letter reminded automakers that it was their responsibility to identify whether borrowers were protected against repossession and included links to the Department of Defense website to verify a borrower’s military status, as well as information about the DOJ Military and Veterans Initiative and the CFPB office. military affairs.

Bite #6: The CFPB has issued a circular on data security practices

On August 11, the CFPB published a circular reminding regulators that financial firms violate federal law when they fail to protect consumer data. The circular provides guidance to other regulators, outlining examples of circumstances in which organizations can be held accountable for data security protocols. According to the circular, liability may be incurred for failure to implement multi-factor authentication, inadequate password management and failure to update software in a timely manner.

Bite #5: Behavioral targeting of individual consumers can create liability

On August 10, the CFPB published a rule of interpretation and Director Rohit Chopra gave a related speech to the National Association of Attorneys General. The rule of interpretation and discourse concerned digital marketing by big tech companies. According to the CFPB, digital marketers are not exempt from consumer financial protection law and can be held liable for “unfair, deceptive or abusive acts”. Under the rule of interpretation, digital marketers provide material services to financial firms and are subject to consumer protection enforcement. As service providers, they are liable for violations of consumer protection laws.

Bite #4: CFPB needed savings app to pay $2.7 million

On August 10, the CFPB issued a Consent order against a fintech company that the CFPB says used a flawed algorithm resulting in overdrafts and overdraft penalties for consumers. The company came up with an app that was promoted as a way to save money. But, according to the CFPB, the company falsely guaranteed no overdraft fees, broke promises to correct its mistakes and pocketed some of the interest that should have gone to consumers. The order requires the company to pay consumers redress and pay a $2.7 million civil penalty to the CFPB.

Bite #3: Consent order compels auto company to pay $19.2 million

On July 26, the CFPB issued a consent order and fined the finance arm of an auto company $19.2 million to resolve CFPB allegations that the company provided inaccurate consumer credit information. The CFPB says the company provided credit bureaus with “inaccurate account information” about consumers’ payment history. The consent order requires the automaker to take steps to prevent future violations, pay consumers $13,200,000 in reparations and a civil penalty of $6,000,000. The automobile company consented to the settlement without admitting the findings of material fact or the findings of law.

Bite #2: The mortgage company will pay more than $22 million

On July 27, the CFPB and the DOJ deposit a complaint and a proposed settlement order to resolve the allegations against a mortgage loan originator. The CFPB and DOJ allege that the company engaged in unlawful discrimination based on race, color, or national origin against candidates and potential candidates, including by (i) highlighting majority minority neighborhoods in the Philadelphia Metropolitan Statistical Area and (ii) discouraging potential applicants from applying for credit in violation of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Regulation B, and the Consumer Financial Protection Act . The DOJ also alleges that the mortgage company violated the Fair Housing Act.

According to the CFPB complaint, the company’s loan officers sent and received emails containing racial slurs and racist content. The company also reportedly avoided sending loan officers to market in majority minority neighborhoods and developed marketing that discouraged and ignored minority mortgage applicants.

If a court approves the proposed consent order, the company will have to invest $18.4 million in a loan subsidy program under which the mortgage company will contract with a lender to increase credit in neighborhoods. majority shareholders of the Philadelphia MSA and make loans under the Loan Subsidy Fund. This lender must also maintain at least four licensed branches in majority-minority neighborhoods of MSA Philadelphia. The company would also be required to fund targeted advertising to generate credit inquiries from qualified consumers in majority-minority neighborhoods in Philadelphia’s MSA and take other corrective actions to meet the credit needs of majority-minority neighborhoods. of the Philadelphia MSA. The company would also be required to pay a civil penalty of $4 million.

Bite #1: CFPB fined national bank $37.5 million over alleged fake accounts

On July 28, the CFPB issued a consent order against a major national bank for allegedly accessing credit reports and opening various accounts without authorization in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Truth in Lending Act and the Truth in Savings Act. The CFPB claims that the bank has pressured its employees to meet sales targets, thereby pressuring them to misuse customer information. As a result, the bank will be required to waive and return the related fees and costs to customers, in addition to paying a $37.5 million penalty to the CFPB.

Credit Union offers tuition lifeline


It should come as no surprise that according to US news and world report, average tuition and fees required to attend college continue to rise.

For private colleges, this average amount is $38,185 per year. For international students attending a public college or university, the amount is $22,698 and about half that amount for in-state students at $10,338 per year.

By the way, these amounts do not include room and board.

For a large majority of students and their parents, the only way to attend a public or private college is to incur student debt. According to the Federal Reserve, there are 45 million borrowers who collectively owe more than $1.7 trillion in student loans.

Student loans have risen to become the second highest category of consumer debt, behind mortgage debt.

According to Fidelity Investments’ 2021 College Savings and Student Debt Study, only 19% of respondents said they have a dedicated college savings account to help pay for college fees.

“A growing number of parents are turning to loans in their own name to help fill the void, leaving Gen Xers and baby boomers heavily in debt as they approach retirement – ​​and millennials may want to think about twice before adding their children’s student debt onto their own student debt burden,” the study states.

The study adds, “After graduation, nearly two-thirds (64%) of recent graduates and their parents say their final loan balances were higher than expected.

Fidelity’s study found that four in 10 high school students considered the cost of a college education the most important factor in deciding when and how to pursue higher education.

“Nearly half (49%) of high school parents expect grants and scholarships to play a role in funding education, but only a third of recent graduates say they have benefited from these programs,” reports the study.

The study also found that 44% of high school parents expected financial assistance to pay for their education, while 35% expected student loans to cover costs.

For many who were simply considering a post-secondary education, private colleges and universities were out of the question due to their higher costs in almost every category, from tuition to room and board.

What if there was a new way of thinking about helping students attend college without going into oppressive debt? What if credit unions could tap into a program that serves as much-needed financial assistance and, at the same time, serves as a member retention tool?

Earlier this year, at the annual meeting of the CrossState Credit Union Association in Atlantic City, NJ, a new partnership was formed to do just these things: help students with the cost of a private school education and to gain more members.

SAGE Scholars, Inc., headquartered in Philadelphia, is the nation’s oldest and largest private college preparation and funding organization. SAGE Scholars aims to “bridge the gap between students who want an affordable private college education with colleges that will guarantee tuition discounts to member families – all at no cost to the student, family, or college. “.

According to Michael Hall, CEO of SAGE Scholars, his company has become a preferred supplier for CrossState and he is currently rolling out his organization’s tuition rewards program to member credit unions.

The way Hall explained it, the SAGE Scholars Tuition Rewards program is similar to frequent flyer miles. Each point equals $1 off and represents the minimum scholarship a sponsored student will receive if attending school at a participating private college.

Hall said he believes this program is a great benefit to being a member of a credit union.

“So, for example, let’s say someone has a money market account and the money market account is $50,000 for each year the member keeps the money market account active. We will match the December 31 balance with 5% tuition reward points. So, you will get 2,500 tuition reward points every year. You keep this money market account at this credit union. So after 10 years, you can accumulate 25,000 tuition reward points that can be redeemed at any of our 440 schools,” Hall said.

Hall said he thinks adding products or benefits like this can provide additional value to credit unions looking to stand out to members facing the daunting financial pressure of sending their children or themselves at university.

Daniel Sulpizio

Daniel Sulpizio, EVP and COO of Deptford, NJ-based First Harvest Credit Union (496 million assets, 50,622 members) similarly believes in Hall’s vision.

Prior to joining First Harvest nearly four years ago after his stint in banking, he instituted the SAFE Scholars tuition program as a way to acquire new depositors with great success.

“I used it at another financial institution as a method of acquiring new depositors because if you get rewards that you could use for college for the kids, you’re more likely to see that as a benefit and bank with this financier. institution,” Sulpizio said. “So my, my plan was to do the same for the credit union.”

In fact, First Harvest is the first and only credit union in New Jersey to offer the rewards program.

When he initially launched the program at First Harvest, COVID-19 hit and he had to be put on hold. But now, he said, the credit union is rolling it out again this fall as kids return to school.

“And as you know, credit unions being [not-for-profit], one of our biggest platforms is of course education. I think it’s very important that we support education,” Sulpizio said. “We have a lot of select employer groups that are school districts and we support a lot of teachers. So it was a perfect opportunity for me to bring this program to First Harvest.

Sulpizio said the feature, which is free for members, has indeed become a member retention and acquisition tool. He also said it couldn’t come at a better time.

“Obviously if you think about the cost of college today, I mean the cost of college just keeps growing and growing and growing,” he said.

He continued, “The way I see this product is like a pyramid – you have the best kids getting academic and athletic scholarships. And then you have the base of that, the people who get all the financial aid and scholarships. And you have this group in the middle of kids who really want to go to these best schools, but their parents can’t afford it. It’s a bit out of reach and it really gives our members the ability to use reward points for these kids, to level them up. »

Hall realized early on that the SAFE Scholar Tuition Rewards program had the potential to attract members and also become a benefit for employees. Sulpizio accepted and went even further.

“One of the things we talked about developing the product is, how can we engage our employees more and help them, as part of our family, to be more involved in their 401(k) and planning for their future?We are looking at this right now, that maybe we can give our employees who participate in the 401(k) program the opportunity to earn reward points if they participate, because we really care about our employees,” Sulpizio said.

Sulpizio added that he wants his credit union leaders to show members how much they understand financial strain and the stresses of school and life.

“We are here to help them in all areas of life and we want to help their children. If you think about our slogan, “First Harvest is a better place to grow,” it’s really about growing your future, growing your kids, growing your family. And that’s really what we want it to be,” he said.

Agrify to Repay Debt and Replace with New $35M Facility with Warrants Attached – New Cannabis Ventures

Agrify Completes Previously Announced Amendment to Credit Facility

New terms provide the company with additional flexibility to pursue long-term growth initiatives

BILLERICA, Mass., August 19, 2022 – Agrify Corporation (Nasdaq:AGFY) (“Agrify” or the “Company”), a leading provider of innovative cultivation and extraction solutions for the cannabis industry, has today announced the signing of a definitive agreement with its institutional lender to successfully amend its existing credit facility.

“Given the current challenging operating environment in the cannabis industry, it is imperative for us to align our strategy, resources and execution plan with the new market realities,” said Raymond Chang, President – CEO of Agrify. “The modification of our credit facility has been a top priority for us, and we are pleased to be able to move forward with additional flexibility to manage our business, conserve liquidity and pursue a variety of exciting growth opportunities with fewer restrictions.”

As part of this transaction, we will refund a portion of the outstanding balance on the original note, exchange the remaining balance on the original note for a new note with a significantly reduced principal balance, and remove or modify certain financial covenants.

Raymond Chang, CEO of Agrify

The new note will have no required amortization payment on the principal balance for three years and a Company option for early redemption. All of these changes should make it easier for us to navigate these turbulent times as we hope to bounce back strongly from the temporary challenges facing the entire industry.

Terms of trade

Pursuant to the Amendment, Agrify will partially prepay the Senior Secured Note (the “Original Note”) originally issued to the lender (the “Lender”) in March 2022 (the “Pre-Closing”) and exchange the remaining balance of the Note initial. for (i) a new senior secured note (the “Note”) in an initial principal amount of $35.0 million and (ii) a new warrant to purchase 14,227,643 common shares ( the “Note Exchange Warrant”). In addition, Agrify will exchange the warrant to purchase 6,881,108 common shares issued at the prior closing for a new warrant with the same number of underlying shares but with a reduced exercise price (the “warrant Warrant Exchange Subscription”).

The Note will mature on the third anniversary of its issuance (the “Maturity Date”) and will contain an annualized interest rate of 9.0%, with interest payable monthly, in cash, beginning September 1, 2022 The principal amount of the note will be payable on the maturity date, provided that the lender is entitled to a cash sweep of 20% of the proceeds received by Agrify under any equity financing, which will reduce the principal amount outstanding on the note.

At any time, Agrify may prepay the entire Note by redemption at a price equal to 102.5% of the principal amount then outstanding under the Note, plus accrued but unpaid interest. The Lender will also have the option of requiring Agrify to repay the Note (i) on one-year or two-year issue anniversaries at a price equal to the principal amount then unpaid under the Note plus accrued interest but unpaid, or (ii) if Agrify suffers a Fundamental Change at a price equal to 102.5% of the principal amount then unpaid under the Note, plus accrued but unpaid interest.

The rating will impose certain customary affirmative and negative covenants on Agrify, but will not include the revenue or EBITDA covenants included in the original rating. In addition, if an Event of Default under the Note occurs, the Lender may elect to repay the Note for cash equal to 115% of the then outstanding principal amount of the Note (or such lesser principal amount accelerated by the Lender) plus accrued and unpaid interest.

Until the date the note is fully repaid, the lender shall, subject to certain exceptions, be entitled to participate in up to 30% of any debt, preferred stock or equity financing of Agrify or its subsidiaries.

The exchange warrant will have an exercise price of $2.15 per share, will be exercisable beginning on the sixth month anniversary of issuance and will expire five years and six months after issuance. The Note Exchange Warrant will have an exercise price of $1.23 per share, will be exercisable upon issuance and will expire five years and six months after issuance. Until the Company completes a qualified equity financing of at least $15.0 million, the exercise price of the Note Exchange Warrant will be reduced to the extent Agrify issues securities at a price of inferior purchase. The Note Exchange Warrant will also prohibit Agrify, until the completion of such qualified equity financing, from issuing Warrants with more favorable or preferential terms and/or terms.

The Warrant Exchange Warrant and the Note Exchange Warrant will include a limitation such that the Lender’s beneficial ownership will not exceed 4.99% of the outstanding common shares of Agrify at the time of the exercise (this percentage may be reduced or increased by the lender subject to the terms of the warrants, but may not exceed 9.99%). In addition, the Lender may not exercise the Warrant Exchange Warrant and/or the Note Exchange Warrant for more than 5,308,578 Common Shares unless and until the shareholder approval is obtained, which the Company has agreed to use all reasonable efforts to obtain such shareholder approval at the next meeting of shareholders of the Company, but in no event later than June 30, 2023.


The securities to be issued to the lender will not be registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or state securities laws and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration with the SEC or an applicable exemption from these registration requirements. . The definitive exchange agreement requires Agrify to file a resale registration statement with respect to the shares underlying the Warrant Exchange Warrant and the Note Exchange Warrant as soon as practicable and in good condition. cause within 45 days of the initial closing.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities that are the subject of the offer. There will be no sale of the securities described herein in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, sale or solicitation would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of such state or jurisdiction.

About Agfy (Nasdaq:AGFY)

Agrify is a leading provider of innovative cultivation and extraction solutions for the cannabis industry, bringing data, science and technology to the forefront of the market. Our micro-environmentally controlled Vertical Farm Units (VFUs) allow growers to produce the highest quality produce with unmatched consistency, yield and return on investment at scale. Our comprehensive line of extraction products, which includes hydrocarbon, ethanol, solventless, post-processing and laboratory equipment, enables producers to maximize the quantity and quality of extract required for concentrates of superior quality. For more information, please visit Agrify at http://www.agrify.com.

original press release

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China set to lower lending standards to revive faltering economy


People wearing protective masks visit a main shopping area, following new cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Shanghai, China January 21, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song

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SHANGHAI, Aug 19 (Reuters) – China is expected to cut policy rates significantly on Monday, a Reuters survey has found, with the vast majority of respondents expecting a deeper reduction in the mortgage benchmark to prop up the ailing real estate sector and the broader economy. . .

The Lending Prime Rate (LPR), which banks normally charge their best customers, is set by 18 designated commercial banks that submit rate proposals to the People’s Bank of China (PBOC).

Twenty-five of 30 respondents to the Reuters snapshot poll predicted a 10 basis point reduction in the LPR year on year.

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All 30 participants expected a five-year duration reduction, with 27, or 90%, expecting a reduction of more than 10 basis points. Among them, 15 traders and analysts predicted a decline of 15 basis points, 10 a decline of 20 basis points and the other two a reduction of 25 basis points.

Most new and outstanding loans in China are based on the one-year LPR, which now stands at 3.70%, after a reduction in January. The five-year rate, which was last lowered in May, is influencing home mortgage pricing and is now at 4.45%.

The market consensus on LPR cuts this month comes as the PBOC earlier this week unexpectedly cut two key interest rates for the second time this year, in an attempt to revive credit demand in the economy affected by COVID. Read more

“We believe this could translate into more transmission of the easing to the real economy, via potential LPR cuts next week,” said Peiqian Liu, chief China economist at NatWest, as the LPR is now loosely linked to the central bank’s medium-term lending facility. assess.

“We expect the 5-year LPR to be cut by 15 basis points (bps) while the 1Y LPR will be cut by 10 bps, as banks step up support for mortgage demand.”

The notable dovish tilt in the PBOC’s monetary policy stance came after a series of key indicators, including lending data and activity indicators, showed the economy had slowed by unexpectedly in July.

The loss of growth momentum has raised the challenge facing policymakers amid growing headwinds, including a resurgence of local COVID-19 cases, inflationary pressures and a slowing global economy.

Political insiders and analysts told Reuters that the PBOC is set to take more easing action, although it faces limited room to maneuver amid concerns over rising inflation. and capital flight. Read more

“After this small rate cut and the likely subsequent LPR cut, the PBOC’s room to cut rates will be quite limited due to the widening interest rate differential between China and the US. United States and shrinking bank profit margins,” said Ting Lu, head of China. economist at Nomura.

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Reporting by Li Hongwei and Brenda Goh; Writing by Winni Zhou Editing by Shri Navaratnam

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Creation of a new memorial fund for the family who lost an 8-month-old child in an accident


OSHKOSH – A fundraiser for the Vinland family who lost an 8-month-old boy in a semi-accident has raised more than half of their $100,000 goal in less than three weeks. Now, its organizer wants to streamline the donation process.

Trevor Fenrich, executive director and founder of Solutions Recovery, helped coordinate initial fundraising for the Stechner family through a donation page on his nonprofit’s website..

He has now partnered with Fox Communities Credit Union to create a memorial fund for 8-month-old Martin Stechner III that will allow funds to go directly to the family instead of what was a longer process.

He said working with the credit union will also allow fundraising to have a greater reach in the Fox Valley.

“We wanted to increase fundraising impact and increase awareness,” Fenrich said.

Fenrich began fundraising after a tractor-trailer veered off Interstate 41 near State 76 on July 26 and crashed into the Stechner family home, killing their infant son, Martin, and destroying their home and “almost everything” inside. The family also has three daughters.

RELATED:Sheriff’s report reveals the semi passed out before crashing into the Vinland family home, killing an 8-month-old child in the home

RELATED:An 8-month-old boy died after a semi veered off Interstate 41 and crashed into a home near Oshkosh

Fox Communities Credit Union announced the memorial fund Monday in a press release and said all donations would go to the family to “give them the tools they need to start rebuilding.”

The press release says 100% of donations will go to the family to help them “find some comfort” after the tragedy.

The fundraiser’s website says its goal is to raise $100,000. Already, the fund has raised more than $50,000 for the family, according to Fenrich, with nearly $40,000 coming from the online reader and another $14,000 from checks or cash donations deposited at Fox Communities branches. CreditUnion.

“Our community has really come together to support the family,” Fenrich said.

Fenrich recently spoke to the family and said they were “tremendously grateful” for the support and look forward to moving into a new home soon.

The credit union accepts cash or check donations at any of its 20 locations in and around Fox Valley, or checks can be mailed to:

Fox Communities Credit Union

Attention: Martin Stechner Memorial

3401 E. Calumet Street

Appleton, WI 54915

Online donations can still be made at www.Stechnerfund.com.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, who suffered minor injuries in the accident, is a 63-year-old man from Little Chute, according to the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office. An initial investigation revealed that the driver passed out before losing control of the vehicle, causing the tractor-trailer to veer off the highway toward the house. The investigation is ongoing.

Contact Bremen Keasey at 920-570-5614 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @Keasinho.

Tiffany Haddish talks about living on $500 a month, then using the ‘Girls Trip’ paycheck to pay for her house


Tiffany Haddish I don’t mind living modestly, especially in the pursuit of generational wealth.

In an interview with Cosmopolitan, the comedian and actress opened up about her humble days at work and her crippling fear of being homeless. She also shared her ambition to create a means for future generations by buying land and houses. The goal became achievable after Haddish started “earning some money” working on projects such as Tyler Perry If loving you is wrong and The Carmichael Show.

“So as soon as I started making some money doing things like Tyler Perry If loving you is wrong and The Carmichael ShowI started trying to figure out how to build generational wealth,” Haddish told the magazine.

“The fastest way to do it and the first way to do it is to buy land.”

Laser-focused on the prize, Haddish made an ambitious decision despite the pushback from others.

“I just knew that I was always going to have to make enough money to take care of myself and the house, and that’s what I did,” she continued.

She continued, “So before we even get into season two of The Carmichael Show, I bought a house. Between next season of this show, the Keanu movie, and making sure I could live comfortably on $500 a month, I was able to afford half the house.

The blessings didn’t stop there. Haddish not only won hearts with her comedy, but also won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Supporting Actress in the 2017 hit film. Girls trip. According to Variety, the actress and comedian used her $80,000 paycheck to finish paying for the house.

“The Girls trip the check was the final check,” Haddish told Cosmopolitan.

“People told me to spend it otherwise, but I used it to pay for the house because I was always afraid of being homeless again. Now I have extra money, but I I’m always afraid of being poor again. Every movie I made, I just bought another piece of land or a house.

NJ launches ‘Pay it Forward’ zero-interest college loan program


New Jersey’s Pay it Forward program, a new workforce development initiative that aims to help residents get quality post-secondary education and training to advance their careers, launched Wednesday.

The first of its kind in the nation, the program’s goal is to build a strong and talented workforce while supporting the state’s economic growth, Gov. Phil Murphy said at the Journal Square campus launch. from Hudson County Community College in Jersey City.

Participants will receive interest-free, no-fee loans with no upfront costs, as well as non-repayable living allowances and package supports, to enable them to affordably prepare for well-paying, career-oriented jobs in care. healthcare, information technology (IT) and clean energy sectors, Murphy said.

The $12.5 million “student-friendly” loan program for students is primarily aimed at interest-free tuition reimbursement through a partnership between the state and private companies, which ties loan repayment to the amount that students will earn after graduation.

The program is designed to take away the uncertainty and stress students face when cost is a factor in choosing a career or major, Murphy said. The loan terms are designed to be friendlier to borrowers than even federal student loans, according to the governor. Desk.

The program will train an initial cohort of students by paying for their tuition and some of their costs through grants for stipends for living expenses and mental health counseling services.

For subscribers:As debt soars, Rutgers Athletics loses millions on credit cards for steaks, Disney, Broadway

Financial Literacy:Having trouble setting a budget? Get a loan ? Saving for retirement? Help is available in New Jersey

The fund is a “revolving” fund, said David Socolow, head of the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority. This loan offers “extraordinary consumer downside protections” because students who receive the funds pay no interest or fees and are only required to repay them if they are successful, and that success is tied to an income threshold. , Socolow said after the announcement. Money repaid by students will flow back into the program to fund future students in high-demand, high-growth industries.

Students should start repaying the loan only after they find a job and start earning a living.

David Socolow, director of the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority and Tracy Palandjian, CEO of Social Finance at Hudson Community College.

Reimbursement is limited to the amount of tuition fees and may be waived for students whose income does not meet the $55,000 income threshold. There is a 90-day grace period after graduation before the loan takes effect, although students can wait until they start earning money to repay what is ‘they have to,’ said Tracy Palandjian, CEO of Social Finance, a nonprofit organization hired by the state to create the Pay It Forward over the past year.

The New Jersey CEO Council, a group of private companies doing business in the state, donated to the program.

Those who get good jobs at a particular income threshold repay the interest-free loans, those who don’t get a good-paying job don’t have to repay the loan at all, Palandjian said. “We hope to see businesses turn to this program to fill vacancies,” she said, adding that the program is innovative and sustainable because of the way it recycles repaid loans for prospective students.

The program will pay tuition for 200 to 300 students enrolled in each of the following programs: nursing at Hudson County Community College, cybersecurity at New Jersey Institute of Technology, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) training at Camden Community College. It will last five years in this phase.

Eight New Jersey companies, BD, Campbell Soup Company, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Prudential Financial, PSEG, RWJBarnabas Health and Verizon have made private donations to the fund amounting to approximately $5 million. The state is providing $7.5 million in credits, bringing the total amount available for the Pay It Forward program to $12.5 million.

Programs eligible for Pay It Forward are: New Jersey Institute of Technology Professional training in cybersecurity, a 10-month part-time online training program designed for cybersecurity careers; Hudson County Community College Nursing program, a two-year, full-time associate’s degree program designed for registered nursing careers; and Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) Where Welding course at Camden County College.

Murphy and others at the event said they hoped the program would become a national model.

Falling rocks and debris creating a life safety hazard on the west side of Moose Fire


SALMON – As fire activity continues to increase along the Salmon River, public safety is a concern for firefighters.

Amy Baumer, spokesperson for the Salmon-Challis National Forest, told EastIdahoNews.com that the growth on the west side of the Moose Fire, 17 miles north of Salmon, is dangerous for area residents. As of Monday evening, a portion of Salmon River Road and the areas around it have been closed.

“From Pine Creek to Panther Creek – this part of the road is closed until further notice,” Baumer said. “Rocks, logs and debris are falling on the road. (Firefighters) are working to clear this up and assess the situation. They will open it once they feel it is safe.

This section of the blaze is the area firefighters are focusing on on Tuesday, aiming to train “a potential fire operation along the road to help reduce the intensity” of the blaze.

Although weather conditions will continue to be hot and dry, Baumer says reduced winds will be helpful in preventing or reducing further growth.

“Air assets will also be utilized where appropriate and safely,” according to the latest update from the Bureau of Land Management’s InciWeb website.

RELATED | Moose Fire spans 77,298 acres, 27% contained

Firefighters used rafts to cross the river along US Highway 93 near Fourth of July Creek on Monday to douse a hot spot in some trees. Air and ground crews dropped buckets to extinguish smoke in the area.

“Hand and engine crews continued to go straight into the ‘Horseshoe’ areas, including the Napoleon area, Napoleon Hill and Moose Meadows, but had to pull back in some areas due to increased l activity of the fires, which made it dangerous. Protection of the structure within the “horseshoe” is ongoing,” according to InciWeb.

There are currently six helicopters on site, along with 49 engines and 949 people working to contain the fire.

The 80,096 acre blaze is currently 34% contained. The fire started on July 17 and is thought to be human-caused, but specific details remain under investigation.

RELATED | Pilots killed in Salmon River helicopter crash

So far, no injuries or major property damage have been reported from the blaze, although two pilots assisting with firefighting efforts were killed in a helicopter crash on the Salmon River on July 21.

The latest information on evacuations is available here. For more information on road closures, click here.

A virtual public meeting will be held Wednesday on the Salmon-Challis National Forest Facebook page.

7 ways to pay off student loans faster


Our goal at Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, hereafter referred to as “Credible”, is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we promote the products of our partner lenders who pay us for our services, all opinions are our own.

If you want to get rid of your student debt, but don’t have the money to pay off your student loans in full, these 7 ways can help you pay off your loans faster. (Shutterstock)

Worried about graduating with student loan debt? You’re not alone. Students graduating with a bachelor’s degree from a borrowed public college or university $26,100 in student loans on average, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This figure is even higher for students at private non-profit and for-profit institutions.

The good news is that it is possible to pay off your student loans and save money.

Student loan refinancing could be an option to help you pay off your loans faster. You can learn more about refinancing student loans by visiting Credible, where you can compare rates from several private student lenders.

1. Understand all your debts, then make a plan

Many people leave college with multiple student loans, including federal and private student loans. Your first step should be to figure out how much you owe so you can make a plan.

To find out the amount of your federal student debt, log on to your StudentAid.gov Account. Here you will find the current balance, interest rate, loan manager and payment schedule for each loan.

To gather information about your private loans, you may need to call your loan manager to get details about your loan balance, interest rate, and payment schedule. If you don’t know who your service agent is, check your original loan documents, ask your university’s financial aid office, or check your credit report.

Once you’ve gathered information about each loan, create a spreadsheet with all of your loan details.

2. Consider consolidating or refinancing

consolidation or refinance your student loans combines multiple loans into one monthly payment with one servicer. So what is the difference?

Consolidation consolidates all or part of your federal loans into one Direct Consolidation Loan. Consolidation does not lower your interest rate — your new rate will be a weighted average of all your consolidated loans, rounded to the nearest eighth of a percent. Fortunately, the new loan will have a fixed interest rate, so your loan payment won’t increase if interest rates go up.

Refinancing combines all or part of your federal and private student loans into a new loan with a private lender. Refinancing can allow you to lower your interest rate or lower your monthly payment by extending your repayment term. Your new interest rate can be fixed or variable.

Remember that refinancing federal student loans to a private loan means losing many benefits of federal student loans, including income-based repayment plans, loan deferment, forbearance, and loan forgiveness. students.

You can easily compare prequalified rates from several lenders using Credible.

3. Stick to a budget

Setting (and sticking to) a budget is one of the most important things you can do to develop good financial habits and pay off your student loans quickly.

Although many effective budgeting methods are available, the 50/30/20 rule is the most common. This budget approach suggests that you distribute your monthly net salary as follows:

  • 50% toward needs (housing, groceries, utilities, transportation and minimum debt payment)
  • 30% towards desires (restaurants, streaming subscriptions, entertainment)
  • 20% savings (retirement account contributions, emergency savings and investment)

When you use the 50/30/20 rule to pay off student loan debt, your minimum payments fall into the need category so that you don’t miss your loans and negatively affect your credit score.

Any additional student loan payments fall into the category of savings because once your debt is exhausted, you can put that money towards savings.

Keep in mind that the 50/30/20 rule is only a guideline and you may need to modify these categories to suit your particular situation.

4. Decide between snowball and debt avalanche methods

Debt Snowball and Avalanche are strategies for paying off your debt, assuming you have decided not to consolidate or refinance your loans.

Under the debt snowball method, you pay off your debts in order of size, from smallest to largest. You make the minimum payment on all debts and allocate any additional principal payments to the loan with the lowest balance. Once you’ve paid off that loan, you focus on the next smallest balance, repeating this process until you’re out of debt.

Under the debt avalanche method, you pay off your debts according to their interest rates, from highest to lowest. You make the minimum payments on all loans, but allocate any extra money to the loan with the highest interest rate.

The avalanche method is the most efficient way to pay off your student loans because it minimizes the cost of debt. However, many people find the frequent debt snowball method milestones more motivating.

5. Pay more than the minimum payment

Federal student borrowers are automatically enrolled in a standard repayment plan with a repayment term of 10 years. If you want to pay off your student loan in less than ten years, you will have to make additional payments on the principal of the loan.

You can do this by paying extra with your monthly payment or by sending a lump sum whenever you have funds available.

You can also make an additional payment each year by switching to bi-weekly payments. When you make payments every two weeks, you make 26 half payments per year instead of the 12 monthly payments you would normally make. For this strategy to work, you need to make two halves of your payment before the due date.

Whichever method you choose, make sure that your additional payments are allocated to the principal of the loan rather than the prepayment of interest. Your loan manager should be able to tell you how to make principal-only repayments.

6. Set up automatic payment for an interest rate reduction

Federal student lenders and some private lenders offer a slight reduction in the interest rate if you sign up for automatic payments – usually 0.25%.

While this discount won’t make a huge dent in your debt, every dollar counts when you’re trying to pay off your student loans faster. Plus, it’s a good way to make sure you’re never late with your payments.

7. Stay on the Standard Refund Plan

Federal student loans offer income-oriented repayment plans, which limit your monthly payment to 10% to 20% of your discretionary income. These plans are useful if your monthly payments are too high compared to your income, but they are not the best choice if you want to get out of debt quickly.

Income-driven repayment plans often extend your repayment period and increase the amount you’ll pay in interest over the term of the loan.

If you want to pay off your student loans faster, consider staying on the standard repayment plan, which guarantees that your loan balance will be paid off in 10 years.

To start refinancing your student loans, visit Credible and compare prequalified rates from several lenders.

LendSure’s 5-8 unit DSCR program gives investors the freedom to expand their portfolios


LendSure’s Innovative Investor Cash Flow Program Now Available for 5-8 Unit Properties

SAN DIEGO, August 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — LendSure Mortgage Corp. (“LendSure”), an industry leader in non-QM lending programs, is filling a huge market need with its new 5-8 Unit DSCR Investor Cash Flow Program. Also known as debt service coverage ratio loans, DSCR loans can be used to purchase or refinance investment properties, assuming rental income covers expenses. This loan option allows investors to access up to $2 million for a purchase or refinancing at rate and term, and up to $1 million for cash refinancing, with no limit on the number of properties owned.

LendSure’s Investor Cash Flow DSCR program for 1-4 unit and 5-8 unit properties focuses solely on the property’s cash flow (rent in/expense out) to determine income eligibility.

LendSure requires a DSCR loan ratio of 1.1, which means the property generates 10% more revenue than what is needed to pay the debt. The same formula is used for refinancings. In short, the property must bring in enough money to cover expenses.

“With increasing home values, many investors are turning away from the current market, but with our comprehensive loan offerings, it’s actually a wonderful time to come in,” said Joseph Lydon, co-founder and co-CEO of LendSure. “Our teams work with mortgage brokers and loan officers nationwide to offer Non-QM, Jumbo Prime, Bridge financing and a variety of other lending options to meet the needs of home buyers and investors. today.”

LendSure’s DSCR loan offerings are available up to 75% loan-to-value (LTV) for investor purchase or rate and term refinance, and up to 70% LTV for cash refinancing. LendSure offers investors a number of options to make their financing options more attractive, including closing multiple loans simultaneously, buying at lower rates without needing additional cash at closing, and increasing the monthly cash flow with the LendSure 10-year interest-only and 40-year program.

LendSure’s innovative DSCR Investor Cash Flow program has expanded and is now available for 5-8 unit properties for seasoned real estate investors with credit scores as low as 700. This program comes with exceptional service levels investors expect from LendSure.

To learn more or to discuss a specific lending scenario with a LendSure DSCR Program Specialist, visit LendSure.com.

About LendSure Mortgage Corp. :
Based at San Diego, California, LendSure Mortgage Corp. NMLS #1326437, was founded in 2015 to help mortgage professionals better serve their clientele by offering a wider range of programs to meet their needs. LendSure offers a full range of non-QM loan programs for borrowers who do not meet compliant guidelines. Lending programs include: 24-month bank statement loans, Missed Agency Loans (Alt-A), real estate investor loans, common sense underwriting for borrowers with credit problems, programs for foreign nationals and a variety of other non-QM loan programs. This information is intended for the exclusive use of licensed real estate and mortgage professionals. It is not a commitment to lend. Rates and programs are subject to change without notice. Other restrictions and limitations may apply. The granting of a loan is subject to the credit and policy requirements of LendSure Mortgage Corp. For more information and to obtain a license, visit LendSure.com

This press release was published via 24-7PressRelease.com. For more information, visit http://www.24-7pressrelease.com.


Everything you need to know about credit card cash advances


If you don’t have cash on you, it can be frustrating to walk past an ATM without enough money in your bank account to cover a withdrawal. However, the best credit cards can be used to withdraw cash from an ATM, whether it’s your bank or not. Just like that, you can have money in your pocket.

But don’t hop on the first ATM you see and withdraw cash with your credit card just yet. Called cash advances, these withdrawals are basically borrowing money from your credit card and you have to pay them back, usually with high fees and interest rates.


  • How to get a cash advance from a credit card
  • Is a cash advance bad for your credit?
  • How to avoid certain cash advance fees

How to get a cash advance from a credit card

First you need to verify that your credit card will work in an ATM. You can do this by calling your credit card company or by checking the Cardholder Agreement that came with your card. Look for the sections on “Cash Advance APR” and “Cash Advance Fee,” which are listed with dollar figures or percentages charged and indicate that you can use your card at an ATM.

Your credit card statement may show a cash advance line of credit or a cash advance credit limit, which is the maximum amount of money you can withdraw. The credit limit for cash advances is usually lower than your credit limit for regular purchases.

To use your credit card at an ATM, you will need to find or set the PIN associated with your credit card. You may have received it when the card arrived in the mail. Otherwise, you may need to ask the credit card issuer by logging into your online account or calling the phone number on the card for the bank. Setting up the PIN code can take seven to 10 days.

You may be charged a fee for using an ATM located outside the network linked to the credit card. Check with your credit card provider or bank to find out how much it costs and if you can avoid it.

Is a cash advance bad for your credit?

Short-term problems with cash advances

Fees are the first thing you’ll pay on a cash advance. They are usually based on the amount of money you borrow, such as $10 or 5% of the amount, whichever is greater. This equates to a $10 fee for borrowing up to $200, or 5% of the amount borrowed if over $200.

Up-front interest charges are another reason to avoid cash advances. They don’t have grace periods – like your normal credit card purchases do for about a month – and the credit card company will start charging you interest on a cash advance as soon as you borrow money. silver.

Cash advances have high annual percentage rates (APR) that are much higher than normal purchases. Expect to pay 25% interest on a cash advance, again with no grace period.

Long Term Cash Advance Problems

High interest rates can turn into long-term problems if you don’t repay the cash advance quickly, but there are other problems with cash advances that can follow you for years. First, your credit card company may flag you as a subprime borrower. Creditors consider people who use cash advances to be in desperate need of money, especially if they make a few.

Such risky behavior with your money may prevent you from getting higher credit lines or good terms with the bank that gave you the cash advance. Your credit card interest rate could increase or your account could be closed.

Second, cash advances add to your credit card debt and show up on your credit reports. If you already have high balances on your credit cards compared to your total available credit, a cash advance can reduce it further.

The more credit card debt you have relative to your total available credit — called credit utilization — the more it can hurt your credit score. If you already have high balances on your credit cards, a cash advance can increase your credit utilization rate and flag you as a greater risk to creditors. The higher the credit utilization rate, the greater the risk of default on a credit account within the next two years, according to FICO, a credit reporting company. “Amounts owed” represent 30% of a credit score, and using more than 20% of the credit you have is considered risky.

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How to avoid certain cash advance fees

Interest charges on cash advances are unavoidable. However, you can eliminate some fees by using a few options.

If you have a credit card from Discover, it lets you borrow up to $120 in cash at checkout when you buy something. It categorizes the money as a purchase instead of a cash advance, so you’ll avoid bank and transaction fees.

Your regular APR applies to the money you receive and there are no hidden fees, according to Discover. Called “cash over,” Discover limits transactions to $120 every 24 hours with no monthly limit, but your local store may allow less cash to be taken out of the purchase amount and may limit the number of times you can withdraw money.

When withdrawing money from your checking account, if you cannot find an ATM linked to your bank to avoid ATM fees, find a bank that covers ATM fees in other banks. Some brokerage accounts offer free use of ATMs for customers, so it may be worth setting up a brokerage account.

If you’re really short on cash, consider a balance transfer credit card. It lets you transfer a credit card balance and then pay it off without interest charges for a year or more.

However, these cards have drawbacks and fewer credit card companies offer them. Be aware of the terms and fees before upgrading to one.

If you decide to get a credit card cash advance, try to pay it off as soon as possible. Interest will start accumulating immediately, and debt spiraling out of control will only add to your cash flow problems.

Your Neighborhood Credit Union, Perth County’s Last Living Wage Employer


Content of the article

Your Neighborhood Credit Union has become the latest organization in Perth County to guarantee its employees a living wage, the region’s United Way has announced.

Content of the article

“By committing to improving the lives of its employees, YNCU is helping to champion our work in building stronger local communities,” Ryan Erb, executive director of United Way Perth Huron, said Monday in a press release. “We appreciate their commitment to this important initiative.

The Kitchener Credit Union manages $2 billion in assets and has 53,000 members in southwestern and northern Ontario. Two of its 17 branches are in Perth County – one in Stratford and one in Mitchell.

“We want our employees to feel valued and to be able to give back to their communities,” said Jennifer Kern, director of sales and coaching for the credit union at Mitchell. “By ensuring they receive a decent wage, we know they will be able to enjoy their life outside of work and invest in the wonderful businesses in Stratford. It’s a great place to live and work, and we want our employees to be able to enjoy all that our community has to offer.

The living wage in Perth and Huron counties is currently set at $17.95 per hour. It is calculated by United Way, which takes into account the estimated living expenses of various family types after government transfers and deductions. Expenses included in the calculation are housing, food, utilities, childcare and transportation.

According to United Way, there are 48 Certified Living Wage Employers in Perth and Huron counties.

What Coloradans will do with TABOR refunds

Data: Axios survey;  Graphic: John Frank/Axios
Data: Axios survey; Graphic: John Frank/Axios

Refunds to taxpayers are arriving in Colorado mailboxes this month.

  • Individuals receive $750, while joint filers receive $1,500.
  • Refunds, which come early, come because of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

What’s new: We asked you what you would do with the money.

What we found: We heard from over 200 readers. A plurality said they planned to pay existing bills, followed by those planning to cash them.

  • Others intend to spend money or travel.

Why is this important: The early arrival of the check is a political game of the Democrats. And the taxpayers’ answer is an economic question, because that’s $30 million to $40 million statewide.

What you say : Here is a sample of the different reactions to TABOR controls.

  • “Our local food bank, Bienvenidos Food Bank, is struggling this year with higher needs, fewer donations and food price inflation, so we will be using part of our refund to support our neighbours.” —Ramsay H.
  • “Credit card bills have piled up due to rising gas and grocery prices and I will be paying off some of that debt.” – Nick H.
  • “The rebate is a wonderful opportunity to help small businesses in Colorado.” – Rich C.
  • “As a senior on a fixed income, I’m looking for ways to increase my emergency fund.” — C. Rider
  • “I still pay my bills. That will help. That said, I would rather get rid of Tabor and allow the money to be used for public education.” —Wendy B.
  • “I am changing careers outside of education and have taken a pay cut. This will help me catch up on my bills.” — Makayla V.


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Lending crisis pushes people into ‘totally unregulated’ buy-now-pay-later arrangements – lender

First Credit Union is frustrated that some members don't “fit in” to get a loan and has donated $50,000 to food banks to channel funds to the grassroots.  Vinnies managing director Mike Rolton, left, is pictured with First Credit Union managing director Simon Scott.

Mark Taylor / Stuff

First Credit Union is frustrated that some members don’t “fit in” to get a loan and has donated $50,000 to food banks to channel funds to the grassroots. Vinnies managing director Mike Rolton, left, is pictured with First Credit Union managing director Simon Scott.

New credit rules make loans impossible for some and push them to buy now and pay later, a lender has said.

It’s an unintended consequence of recent lending regulations, First Credit Union chief executive Simon Scott said, and their inflexible nature means his organization can no longer help some people overcome short-term hurdles.

The Consumer Credit Agreements and Credit Act (CCCFA) came into force on December 1, 2021, requiring lenders to follow a robust process and ensure that loans are affordable and suitable. High inflation and rising food prices are also shaping the economic landscape.

“In the past, we could lend money to someone who needed a car to get to work. Now they’ve regulated so much they don’t fit in the box, and we have to turn down the loan,” said Scott, who is based in Hamilton.

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“It’s the member we know pays, needs the car for work, but we have to say no.”

Scott said step two of resolving some issues in March next year would be like putting a “hammer on a nut”.

“We know that buy it now, pay later (BNPL) is a real scourge and the government is simply not doing anything about it.”

Scott said one of the members signed up for 32 BNPLs, each for a minimum of $20.

“It’s incredible that someone can get into debt, and it’s absolutely unregulated.

“To get a BNPL, you don’t need to apply, just walk into the store. There is no regulation or process as to whether they can afford this or anything that we have to go through.

Vinnies Food Bank is one of the banks to receive part of First Credit Union's one-time donation.  Pictured, left to right, are Shonae George, Kyssiah Collins, Tina Collins and Evia Nakarawa.

Mark Taylor / Stuff

Vinnies Food Bank is one of the banks to receive part of First Credit Union’s one-time donation. Pictured, left to right, are Shonae George, Kyssiah Collins, Tina Collins and Evia Nakarawa.

Scott said the bank knows firsthand from members how difficult things are and donated $50,000 last week to eight food banks in Hamilton, Te Aroha, Tauranga, Whakatāne, Kawerau, Taupō, Rotorua and Ngāruawāhia – regions where FCU has branches.

With poverty and inflation on the rise, the one-time donation would be a good way to get money to the grassroots, Scott said.

Waikato’s Vinnies Food Bank provides about 350 food parcels a month, and manager Mike Rolton said the money will help people struggling to get food.

At least 30% of people who took help from Vinnies were new customers.

“The cost of living is the contributing factor…it was the cost of fuel, now it’s the cost of food. We hear that the price of vegetables has gone up 10%. People can’t do everything simply cannot afford to eat every other day of the week.

“We have a lot of people who come here who have to decide at night which children are going to be fed and which adults aren’t that night.”

“Covid-19 really affected people who had small businesses.”

At least 30% of people who receive help from Vinnies Food Bank are new to the service, says chief executive Mike Rolton.

Mark Taylor / Stuff

At least 30% of people who receive help from Vinnies Food Bank are new to the service, says chief executive Mike Rolton.

The food bank distributed 4,000 food parcels in 2021 but plans to deliver over 5,000 in 2022.

Te Aroha food bank manager Shirley Gillard said when it started 13 years ago most customers were on benefits.

However, more and more working class people relied on the food bank.

This donation will help our food bank help more people in need, and the donation itself is very generous.

“This year has been better than the first year of Covid, but the numbers are still high and above normal.”

Who owns your credit rating? Not you


Credit bureaus know a lot about Americans. The agencies accumulate information, such as social security numbers, birthdays, how much people have saved, how much they owe, and how late they pay their bills.

This data boils down to a number ranging from 350 to 800 that estimates the risk of lending someone money. It can determine the interest rates they pay and whether or not they get credit.

So, who owns your credit score and all the granular personal data associated with it?

You might be surprised to find out it’s not you. You might be even more surprised to find that the data is often wrong, especially since the pandemic — and that it’s being used in more places for more purposes than ever before.

Equifax Errors

This spring, credit rating giant Equifax sent incorrect credit ratings to banks and other lenders for potentially hundreds of thousands of customers, the company revealed last week. Equifax said a significant number – less than 300,000 people – saw their credit rating change by 25 points or more due to the error. This is more than enough for some people to be denied a loan that should have been granted to them.

That infuriated Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has long criticized the banking industry. In a statement to CNN Business, Warren called the errors “outrageous.” Equifax must clearly explain who was affected and how it happened, and the company must help consumers who have been defrauded.

Equifax disclosed the most recent error after a Wall Street Journal survey earlier this month and issues reported by National Mortgage Professional magazine.

If the company’s name sounds familiar, in September 2017 Equifax revealed that hackers had exploited a security flaw in its system to gain access to the company’s customer data. The data covered up to 145 million people, or about half of the adults in America.


Now some critics argue that the entire national credit reporting system is just broken.

Equifax is one of three major publicly traded credit bureaus in the United States, the others being TransAmerica and Experian, which compile consumer behavior data and sell it to financial institutions.

But more than 50 small, specialized agencies have sprung up, which provide this data to potential employees, tenants and utility customers.

Credit data is being used more broadly than it was initially, consumer watchdog groups warn, sometimes quite carelessly. The data of several people with the same name is often provided to a rental agency.


The Consumer Financial Protection Board received 700,000 complaints against the three largest credit reporting agencies between January 2020 and September 2021.

More than 60% of all complaints in 2021 were related to consumers reporting incorrect information on their report.

The errors are so numerous that in 2019, the current CEO of Equifax, Mark Begor, told the New York Times that when he first checked his own Equifax credit report, it showed that he had purchased a vacuum cleaner that he did not own, a cell phone service that he did not subscribe to, and a credit card credit he did not have.

He was not alone: ​​last year, Consumer Reports magazine asked nearly 6,000 consumers to check and report their credit scores. Just over a third said they found at least one error.

For these reasons, some experts suggest more regulation or a public credit bureau that doesn’t try to profit from personal data.

‘Mission creep’

In a study of credit reports and their use for non-credit purposes, Chi Chi Wu, an attorney at the National Consumer Law Center, warns that there has been a “creeping mission” to the extent to which the data is used.

Some vital services like gas, water, or electric utilities use credit scores to determine whether to require a security deposit from a customer, for example.

Credit scores can be predictive of consumer shopping behavior, but misleading as to whether people will make good renters or pay crucial bills like utilities on time.

“Credit ratings are increasingly being used as a measure of character, when sometimes it’s just luck,” Wu said.

The pandemic has called into question the reliability of the data. Credit scores often don’t tell a person’s whole story, said Michael Pugh, president and CEO of Carver Bank, a New York City bank headquartered in Harlem.

Just before the pandemic began, he said, Carver Bank provided a loan to an equipment repair business that had decided to expand into the installation business.

“They had already hired new employees and purchased additional equipment when they suddenly had to close the business. [because of Covid],” Pugh said in an email.

Over time, the company’s credit rating plummeted as it depleted savings, increased credit card use, and took longer to pay bills. Carver continued to extend credit and accept late payments. “They came out stronger on the other side,” he said, but a credit report could take a long time to catch up. The installation company was lucky that their bank was flexible – many other companies were not.

Credit reports are being used more and more now, Wu said, because some people think they eliminate discrimination — “thinking it’s a number, it’s just a computer program — but [discrimination] is baked into the algorithm,” Wu said.

And there are serious disparities in credit rating by race. An Urban Institute report analyzing Freddie Mac data in 2016 found that more than 50% of white households had credit scores above 700, compared to just 21% of black households. That gap has narrowed in the five years since this study recently reported by the Institute, but for Native American groups in particular, the disparity remains significant.

You cannot unsubscribe

How can such a flawed system be so powerful?

There’s no legal way to opt out of the powerful digital image of you that the credit agencies paint. An Equifax executive testified before the Senate Commerce Committee in 2017 that Equifax has the consumer data and its analysis of it and that “it’s part of how the economy works.”

But, Wu said, “one of the reasons why [errors] continues to happen is that they can get away with it – they’re an oligopoly, you can’t choose between them like you can with mobile operators. If you want credit, you have to deal with these three agencies.

Regarding recent incorrect data released by Equifax, unless you applied for a loan, credit card, or other financial products in a March 17-April 6 window when they had errors coding on a server, it’s hard to tell if you’ve been affected by Equifax’s grading errors. So far.

What are consumer rights? The right to know what’s in their file. All consumers are entitled to free annual disclosure upon request to each of the national credit bureaus, the CFPB says. If there are any errors, dispute them both over the phone and in writing, but be aware that there is a backlog in dealing with such complaints.

In the meantime, while consumers may have limited rights related to the data itself, there are ways to improve your credit score. Consumer advocates advise always paying bills on time, especially mortgages and credit cards, as banks and home lenders report to credit agencies immediately.

And be sure to check your report for a vacuum you never bought.

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South County Events, August 14


Town halls: Coronado, 4 p.m. Tuesday; Imperial Beach, 6 p.m. Wednesday; national city, 6:00 p.m. Tuesday

School Boards: Coronado Unified School District, 4 p.m. Thursday

Free car seat fitment check

The Chula Vista Fire Department is offering free car seat installation checks from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday 8/20 at the Chula Vista Mall. Find the staff in the Macy’s parking lot. Parents can bring their car seat to learn proper installation from a nationally certified technician. Chula Vista Fire Paramedic Ben Harris offers the service in an effort to reduce injuries or worse from improperly installed car seats. No registration necessary.

IB residents invited to take part in a survey

Imperial Beach residents are invited to participate in a survey conducted by researchers at San Diego State University. The goal is to better understand residents’ perspectives on flooding at Imperial Beach and potential solutions. Imperial Beach is at high risk of flooding called compound flooding, which occurs when sea level rise interacts with an already saturated groundwater table. The survey is brief (10-15 minutes); it can be found at bit.ly/3DklnEE. The survey is open until August 31.

National City seeks board volunteers

National City has vacancies on several of its city boards and commissions and is looking for residents interested in volunteering for the positions. Positions are available on the Library Board, Public Service Commission, Parks, Recreation and Seniors Advisory Committee, Highway Safety Committee,
Public Art Committee, Planning Commission and Housing Advisory Committee. Find the applications and more information on https://bit.ly/3PecOPL. Nominations are due by 5 p.m. on August 22 in person or by mail or email to the city clerk’s office. Call (619) 336-4228 or email [email protected].

NICU launches book drive

The North Island Credit Union is holding a book drive to provide children from low-income households with access to books outside of the classroom. The book drive is organized with the Scripps Howard Foundation and ABC 10News as part of the “If you give a child a book. . .” children’s literacy campaign. Community members can drop off new books through August 30 at all San Diego County NICU locations. Donated books must be new and suitable for children from kindergarten to elementary school. All books will be given to students attending Title 1 schools in San Diego County. Drop-off locations include: 2550 Fifth Ave. and 5898 Copley Drive, San Diego; 45 N. Broadway and 884 Eastlake Pkwy., Chula Vista; and 1101 Palm Avenue, Imperial Beach. Cash donations are also accepted to purchase books at bit.ly/3zGM3Oq.

PAC gun owners will meet on Thursday

The San Diego County Gun Owners, a political action committee promoting Second Amendment rights, will hold their monthly South County meeting from 6-8 p.m. Thursday at La Bella Pizza, 373 Third Ave. , Chula Vista. The free meeting is open to the public. Welcome non-members and new visitors. Meeting topics will include updates on advocacy and education efforts, as well as information on shooting socials, gun safety training courses, and recent court decisions. Visit www.sandiegocountygunowners.com.

The Summer Resource Festival is on Saturday

The Partnerships 4 Success Project invites community members to a free, family-friendly South Bay Summer Festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday 8/20 at the Mar Vista Academy. Enjoy resource tables from over 20 community organizations, workshops on everything from financial literacy to cultural arts, COVID boosters from San Ysidro Health, free breakfast and lunch, and live entertainment. The Partnerships 4 Success project promotes equitable opportunities among disadvantaged Latino residents in the southern border region of San Diego County. Email [email protected].

Chula Vista couple win WaterSmart contest

Bryan and Denee Felber have won the title of “Best in District” in the Otay Water District 2022 WaterSmart Landscape Competition. County water agencies hold the contest annually to reward residents for well-planned designs, selection and maintenance of drought-resistant plants, and efficient irrigation methods. In 2015, the Felbers participated in the San Diego County Water Authority’s WaterSmart Landscape Makeover program to learn how to create and maintain a water-efficient yard. That same year, they were approved for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and San Diego County Water Authority Turf Replacement Program. They received a rebate to replace 5,007 square feet of their property with drought-tolerant plantings. Eventually they replaced an additional 202 square feet. Instead of spray nozzles, a drip system irrigates plants on a programmed schedule. When rain is forecast, the system is disabled or delayed. A dry river bed captures and directs rainfall, minimizing runoff. Their completed landscape has enabled the Felbers to reduce their overall water consumption by approximately 33%. The Felbers will receive a certificate of recognition, a gift certificate for a local nursery, a yard sign and other promotional items. To learn more about their project, visit otaywater.gov/landscape-contest-winners-2022. To learn more about water conservation, including turf replacement, visit otaywater.gov/conservation.

Please send articles to [email protected] at least two weeks before the events take place.

Student loan forgiveness: When will the Biden administration make a decision?


The first official speech from the US government in months emerged after White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre commented on the plan’s release date last Tuesday.

“We will just continue to evaluate our cancellation options…so no decision has been made on that. [yet],” she said. “And the president made it clear that he would – he will have something before august 31st.”

The Biden administration has been tight-lipped on student debt plans, despite it being a key commitment when Biden was elected. August 31 also coincides with the date when repayments and debt accumulation are due to resume for the first time in two years, although a further extension of this may be a proposition.

What help should be offered?

Biden is now consider canceling up to $10,000 but limit access to assistance, according to a number of American media. Only single borrowers earning less than $150,000 a year, or less than $300,000 for married couples filing jointly, would be eligible for federal debt forgiveness. This is far less than promised during the election cycle and he is unlikely to be popular with his young voters, which is particularly vital with the midterm elections fast approaching.

With the flick of a pen, President Biden could forgive $50,000 in student loan debt and give millions and millions of student borrowers a new lease of life,” Senate Majority Leader Schumer, one of the biggest proponents of full forgiveness, said in October.

Until the full announcement is made, the amount of debt written off is not known, but it looks increasingly less like $50,000.

How much debt do students in the United States have?

The Average student debt per borrower is $39,351which means an average monthly payment of $393, according to recent statistics from EducationData.org. A total of 43.2 million people currently have a student loan and this number is only increasing every year. Around 2.6 million graduates owe more than $100,000 in student loan debt alone.

Lightning May Finally Pay For The MCU’s Forgotten Civil War Fallout


The Phase 5 Thunderbolts movie is set to be a sequel to Captain America: Civil War, further exploring the fallout from the MCU’s Sokovia Accords.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is finally able to repay the fallout from Captain America: Civil War making the Sokovia Accords a key part of Phase 5 Love at first sight. The role of the Avengers in saving the world came to a head in Phase 3, as the Crossbones bomb in Lagos was the final straw for the damage they cause. The United Nations put the Sokovia Accords into effect soon after and split the Avengers on whether or not they should sign the documents. With Team Iron Man and Team Captain America battling, the impact of the deals was expected to be felt throughout the future of the MCU.


Marvel didn’t really explore the ramifications the Sokovia Accords had after Captain America: Civil War That much. Yes, they were partly responsible for breaking up the Avengers, rendering them unable to stop Thanos, but that’s the only real lasting impact they had. Heroes were still able to be fairly active in Phases 3 and 4 with limited government interference. Avengers: EndgameThe film’s ending even left audiences wondering if the Sokovia Accords were still in effect. Even SWORD violated them by creating White Vision in Wanda Vision. The next Love at first sight The release of the MCU movie may change all that.

Related: Every Candidate To Be The MCU’s Thunderbolts Movie Villain

One of the purposes of the Sokovia Accords was to give the world a group of super-powered people who must answer any question the UN wants. That certainly wasn’t what the Avengers did, and it’s hard to imagine the new version of the team playing by those rules. Love at first sight is an opportunity for the MCU to rework the Sokovia Accords and make them the basis of Marvel’s villain team. It would bolster Suicide Squad comparisons in some way, but the Thunderbolts could emerge as part of Captain America: Civil Warand the formation of the Sokovia Accords. This would have been especially true if they had to report to Thunderbolt Ross, but barring a surprise overhaul from William Hurt, that dynamic is now unlikely.

Why Thunderbolts Makes So Much Sense As A Civil War Sequel

Having the Thunderbolts operate under the guidance of the Sokovia Accords would be a smart way to circumvent some tricky parts of the comic book team adaptation. The MCU can’t take away the quirky comedic twist of the team where the villains dressed up as heroes and fooled the audience. However, the Thunderbolts could be considered “Good Guys” if they can be considered the only technically law-abiding superteam. A team of US Agent Yelena Belova, Baron Zemo, Abomination, and more could see their reputations changed by signing the Sokovia Accords and participating in United Nations-approved missions.

If the MCU’s Thunderbolts team fits that mold, it would also leave the villains to be antagonists to the rest of the shared universe. The Thunderbolts could be tasked with trying to limit the activity of other superheroes. It certainly wouldn’t sit well with the Avengers, which would again bring them into conflict with old foes. Love at first sight can give the bad guys the upper hand though, thanks to the Sokovia Accords. Since the MCU hasn’t really explored what it would be like for the heroes if the deals were enforced, the Love at first sight can be heroes for the general public but villains for heroes – do what Captain America: Civil War and the rest of Phase 3 failed to do so.

Key releases

Is it easy to get into debt?


LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Rising prices have prompted shoppers to look for alternative payment methods for their everyday purchases. That’s a concern for consumer advocates who say the surge in use of “buy now, pay later” services leaves them wondering just how much debt Americans are getting into.

“I think a big part of its rise is people leaning into it, like credit cards at times when they find themselves a little light on cash,” said Nathan Grant of moneytips.com.

Grant says BNPL’s typical consumers are younger, mostly Gen Z and Millennials. They use these services to split a purchase into four or more installments over a period of weeks or months.

These services are usually offered with zero or minimal interest and often come without a credit check.

While other household debt, such as credit card spending and auto loans, is collected and tracked by the Federal Reserve, “buy now, pay later” data is not included because non-bank sources provide usually funding.

“You don’t get any benefit from it, these payments don’t help you, they don’t get reported to Experian or Transunion, and don’t see the credit report reflected positively,” Grant said.

Despite its rapid growth, some experts worry that users are getting into debt quite easily without realizing it.

“But I would say any financial deal you make with a loan, short-term loans, you want to read the fine print, make sure you know everything you’re getting into,” Grant said.

The three major credit bureaus have said they will begin including buy-it-now, pay-later activity on credit reports, but they still have to rely on vendors for that information.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau plans to address these concerns and expects to release its findings later this year.

Workers without paid leave lost $28 billion in wages during Covid-19


Families, parents and caregivers call on Congress to include paid family and medical leave in the Build Back Better legislative package during an all-day vigil on November 2, 2021 in Washington, DC

Paul Morigi | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Missing a week of work due to illness, childcare or other obligations during Covid-19 costs workers without access to paid time off an average of $815 in wages, according to new research from the Urban Institute.

As a result, workers lost about $28 billion more in wages between March 2020 and February 2022 than the previous two years, according to the report by the nonprofit research organization with support from the Robert Wood Foundation. Johnson.

The United States is one of the few countries that does not have a national paid sick leave or paid family and medical leave policy. Instead, workers face a “patchwork” of benefits and programs through employers or at the federal, state and local level, according to the research. The Family and Medical Leave Act 1993 provides employees with unpaid leave provided they work for a covered employer and have valid reasons.

Learn more about personal finance:
30 companies that help their employees repay their student loans
Here’s how to save on groceries in the face of food price inflation
Typical job changer got almost 10% pay rise, study finds

The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the gaps in paid leave coverage that many employees face.

Workers reported a 50% increase in absences from March 2020 to February 2022 due to illness, child care, family or personal responsibilities compared to the previous two years, according to the research, which examined the Current Population Survey from the US Census Bureau and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The unpaid weekly absence rate for all workers jumped 60% from March 2020 to February 2022.

The majority of absences — 81% — were due to a worker’s illness.

Yet less than half of all absences in the first two years of the pandemic were paid, whether due to illness, childcare or other family or personal obligations.

Childcare absences were the least likely to be compensated, with only about 24% of childcare absences compensated. In comparison, 34% of worker absences for family or personal reasons were paid, as well as 45% of worker sickness absences.

Low-income people, women and minorities hardest hit

Some workers have seen the biggest increases in unpaid absences during the pandemic.

Workers earning less than $25,000 a year had the highest unpaid absence rate of any group. They were also three times more likely to be absent from work without pay compared to households with an income of $100,000 or more.

“It was just this double whammy that hit low-income workers, where they were more likely to be sick and less likely to have paid time off to deal with their own illness,” said Chantel Boyens, senior policy associate at the Urban Institute.

Having a national paid sick leave policy could help reduce the spread of Covid and other illnesses, she said.

It is precisely this double whammy that has hit low-income workers.

Chantel Boyens

senior policy associate at the Urban Institute

“By not making this available to workers most likely to be sick and absent, we are missing an opportunity to both prevent the spread of Covid and protect workers’ wages,” Boyens said.

“At the same time, we are causing damage to the wider economy,” she said.

Women were 42% more likely than men to be absent without pay, particularly for reasons related to childcare or personal and family obligations. While 82% of childcare absences were taken by women, only 24% of them were paid. At the same time, women account for 65% of absences for personal and family reasons, of which 34% are compensated.

Meanwhile, 66% of Hispanic workers and 57% of black workers took time off without pay for absences due to illness, childcare, or family or personal obligations.

Where are the efforts to extend paid leave

Paul Bradbury | Pictures Ojo | Getty Images

Federal policies were temporarily expanded to help workers who needed access to paid time off during the pandemic. But many workers were still being left behind, according to the research.

The Families First Coronavirus Act temporarily created paid sick, family and medical leave for reasons related to Covid-19. It was initially available from April to December 2020, then extended twice until December 2021.

The policy provided refundable tax credits to employers who provided paid time off to covered employees. But employers with more than 500 employees were excluded. There were also exemptions for employers with less than 50 employees and certain types of employees.

With policy extensions, the employer mandate was eliminated, making coverage voluntary.

Millions of workers were not covered by the temporary federal policy, the research found. Once he became a volunteer, it likely further reduced participation in the program.

Separately, Democrats had hoped to adopt a more permanent paid vacation policy with a broader set of social spending. But the four-week paid family and medical leave that passed the House failed to gain traction with the Senate.

Currently, 11 states and Washington, DC offer paid vacation programs, with four states adding plans since 2020. States with paid vacation include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Oregon, Maryland , Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Washington.

As state and federal policymakers consider expanding paid leave programs, previous research from the Urban Institute suggests certain features could help reduce access gaps and financial hardship. These options include broader worker coverage and eligibility, phased wage replacement, job protections, and greater worker awareness and education.