May 2, 2013 |
The retirement plans of more and more Americans are about as connected to reality as Grimm's Fairy Tales. Grim is exactly what it is going to be for these folks when, in their 70s, their 401(k)s have petered out, they have no pensions and no income except what they get from the tottering Social Security system. Financial experts drone on about how today's younger couples need to be tucking away an ample share of their paychecks into 401(k) plans in order to avert a destitute old age. It's easy for them to scold.
April 23, 2013 |
People looking for a career may want to avoid some of the worst jobs around -- lumberjack, oil-rig operator and meter reader. Those are among the least promising professions, according to a new analysis. And you almost certainly should steer clear of the worst job on the list - newspaper reporter. Forget swashbuckling or intrepid. Endangered is more like it. Being an ink-stained wretch beat out 190 other careers for the distinction of being named the absolute worst. Being a reporter, according to the analysis, is even less promising than being an actor, which was named the fourth-worst profession.
April 23, 2013 |
Stocks got off to a strong start Tuesday despite a batch of dispiriting global economic data. As of 7:15 a.m. PDT, the Dow Jones industrial average jumped 119.83 points, or 0.8%, to 14,687. The gain gave hope to market bulls after last week's sharp drop in stock prices stoked talk that the market was poised for a more extended setback. The market was driven by solid earnings reports from companies such as Netflix, Travelers and United Technologies. Investors also were buoyed by encouraging news on home sales and prices and on U.S. manufacturing.
April 18, 2013 |
Looming student debt could hamper future economic growth as young people tamp down on spending and borrowing in the years to come. Compared with counterparts not saddled with student loans, these young workers are less likely to take out mortgages or car loans, according to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It's a potentially worrying sign that these workers may be less optimistic about their future earning potential because of the millstone of student loans. Last year, 43% of 25-year-olds had incurred at least some student debt, up from 25% in 2003, the study said.
April 10, 2013 |
A bill before the California Legislature to address soaring student loan debt would require high school students to take a personal finance class. ALSO: Photo gallery: Ted Rall cartoons Stumbling into another Korean war Schwarzenegger: California's silent disaster Follow Ted Rall on Twitter @TedRall
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2013 |
A California lawmaker and undergraduates concerned about record student-loan debt are rallying at the Capitol today for measures to protect those attending universities from going too deeply into hock. Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) is joining the students to seek support for a package of bills he has introduced. One bill, AB 233, would prevent wage garnishing on student loans not made or guaranteed by the government, while AB 534 would require universities to provide entrance and exit counseling to students regarding institutional or state-funded loans.
April 5, 2013 |
Borrowers with student loans from private lenders need more flexible repayment plans and should be able to refinance at lower rates once they establish a solid record of making payments, a key advocate told the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Private student loans account for about $150 billion of the $1 trillion in educational loans that are being paid off - or not (see chart below) - by borrowers. The loans often carry variable interest rates that are significantly higher than federal loans, Consumers Union noted Friday in a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has asked for comment on the topic.
April 5, 2013 |
Dear Liz: What would you suggest that someone do with $20,000 if the someone is closer to 40 than 30, single, with $100,000 of student loan debt and a $250,000 mortgage? My salary is around $100,000 a year. I have an emergency fund equal to six months of expenses and I make an annual IRA contribution since my employer doesn't offer a 401(k) plan. Should I accelerate my student loan payments, since the interest isn't tax deductible for me because my income is too high? Or should I invest instead?
April 3, 2013 |
The interest rate for a key type of student loan is scheduled to double from 3.4% to 6.8% in three months unless Congress, which voted to lower the rate in 2007, decides to keep it in place. The rate for the subsidized Stafford loans had gradually declined from 2008 through 2011, when it bottomed out at 3.4%. Last summer, after some bitter partisan sniping, Congress extended the low rate - but only for a year. It's scheduled to rise back to 6.8% on July 1 unless Congress acts.
March 31, 2013 |
After graduating from Columbia University in the height of the recession and acquiring $120,000 in debt, including 12 student loans from seven servicers, Brendon McQueen was left with a film degree and a six-month grace period before his first loan repayment was due. Frustrated by the lack of options in tracking and managing his various loans, McQueen, like many other entrepreneurs, took matters into his own hands. “I tried to find a tool out there that offered a comprehensive solution, and I couldn't, so I said, 'Well, let's create one,'” McQueen said. The solution: Tuition.io , a free one-stop-shop website that consolidates all your student loans -- public or private -- into one interface.