December 29, 2013 |
Teresa Martin was laid off in October from her job as office manager for a packaging company. The Corona resident is now struggling to pay her bills. Martin, 57, isn't carrying any credit card balances at the moment, but she said she may have to start running up debt on plastic in the coming days if she wants to keep a roof over her head. "It's scary," she told me. "But I'm not sure what else I can do. " As we stagger into a new year, consumer debt is climbing at the fastest pace in more than five years.
December 27, 2013 |
Guess how many Americans correctly answered this basic financial question: Is the stock of a single company usually safer than a mutual fund? A) 100% B) 80% C) 60% D) None of the above. The right answer is D. Barely 1 in 2 people knew that a single stock is not safer than a mutual fund, which holds many stocks. The question, included in a survey by a pair of college professors, underscores a fundamental problem facing millions of Americans. At a time when the world of personal finance is increasingly complex - and when people are more responsible than ever for their own financial future - Americans' understanding of basic concepts is sorely lacking.
December 2, 2013 |
Students who get the runaround from companies handling their college loans soon may get help from the federal government. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said it will begin regulating the nation's largest student-loan servicing firms, which manage student accounts, process monthly payments and respond to borrower questions. Though they don't make the loans, the companies are the main point of contact for borrowers. They effectively serve as gatekeepers that have enormous influence over requests for deferments or loan modifications.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 6, 2013 |
College students, faculty and administrators met Wednesday at Cal State Dominguez Hills to express their concerns about President Obama's proposals to make college more affordable. The forum is one of four public sessions held around the country - and the only one in California - for the Obama administration to gather input on the president's recently announced agenda to develop a college rating system. Dozens attended the forum and spoke to the panel - headlined by U.S. Undersecretary of Education Martha Kanter - expressing their concerns about the reliability and unintended consequences of such a system. The rating score card, to be launched for the 2015 school year, would be based on such measures as the percentage of low-income students receiving federal Pell grants, average tuition and student debt, graduation and transfer rates. Other proposals would award more financial aid to students at higher-rated colleges and create incentives for new cost-saving approaches, such as three-year bachelor's degrees and online programs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 3, 2013 |
Californians will get the first chance to comment on President Obama's proposals to make college more affordable during a public forum this week at Cal State Dominguez Hills, officials said. The Wednesday event is the first in a series of four public sessions held around the country - and the only one in California - to gather input on the president's recently announced agenda to develop a college ratings system to help students select schools with the best bang for their buck. "Higher education is still the best ticket to upward mobility in America," Obama said in August during a kickoff campaign at the University of Buffalo.
October 23, 2013 |
The average millennial graduating from college today will not retire until age 73 because heavy student-loan debt will prevent them from saving enough money for an earlier retirement, according to a new study. The typical graduate has a “seemingly manageable” $23,300 in education debt and a median starting salary of $45,327, according to the analysis by financial website NerdWallet.com. In general, millennials are people in their 20s or early 30s. Despite their decent salaries, the average millennial has to earmark roughly 7% of earnings toward student loans.
October 10, 2013 |
Corinthian Colleges again stands accused of being one of the crummiest operators in a crummy industry -- the for-profit college game. The finger-pointing this time comes from California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, who sued Santa Ana-based Corinthian on Thursday for a pattern of out-and-out lying to applicants and students about placement rates and other facts. She also accused the company of misleading investors in a way that the Securities and Exchange Commission would want to ask about, if it weren't closed for business because of the Republican shutdown.
September 6, 2013 |
During the eight-year run of the show “House M.D.” the series mantra was, “Everybody lies.” The corollary to that could well be, “Everybody cheats.” Maybe not everybody, but fairly close. That's why I can't fathom the fuss being made over a Harvard University survey that found 42% of incoming freshmen admitted to having cheated in homework in high school, and 10% admitted to cheating on tests. People, including my colleague Paul Whitefield, conclude they've found the difference between those elite Ivy Leaguers and the rest of us. Aha!
August 22, 2013 |
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- President Obama began a two-day bus tour here by laying out new proposals to address what he called a “crisis” of college affordability, including a new rating system that would reward universities that provide better value for students' tuition dollars. Obama said the new initiatives were part of his agenda to improve the standing of America's middle class, which he said was his “highest priority” despite the many challenges facing his administration. The president chose move-in day at the University of Buffalo to outline his new college aid proposals, thanking more than 7,000 students at a sports arena for taking time away from “setting up your futons” to hear his message.