In order to provide the most accurate personal loan reviews, WalletHub uses 17 key metrics grouped into three overall sections: Terms, Requirements & Application, and Reviews & Transparency. We rate each section on a scale of 0 to 5, with 5 being the best, and then average the scores of the three sections to produce an overall rating for the loan.
All metrics for which we are not able to find data receive a score of 0, aside from “BBB rating” and “Reviews on WalletHub,” which would receive a score of “N/A” if applicable. If a metric receives a rating of N/A, it is subtracted from the maximum point total.
As the U.S. has embraced social distancing policies in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19, many businesses have shut their doors either voluntarily or by government order. While some businesses have dealt with the crisis by having employees work from home, that option is not available to everyone. Millions of Americans have found themselves temporarily or permanently out of a job as a result, illustrated by the record number of initial unemployment insurance claims, at over 6.6 million, for the week of March 23.
While Americans can look forward to stimulus checks in the coming weeks, those who are jobless will likely still struggle. However, not all states have experienced the same levels of unemployment due to the pandemic. In order to find out the states whose unemployment percentages are most and least affected, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across two key metrics. These metrics compare unemployment claim increases for the week of March 23 to both the same week in 2019 and the first week of 2020. Read on for our ranking of the states and a full description of our methodology.
Coronavirus isn’t just a danger to Americans’ health. It’s also a menace to our wallets. It’s led to the closing of scores of non-essential events and businesses, hurting the livelihood of many people. The U.S. stock market has lost over 20 percent of its value, and the U.S. government was forced to pass a $2 trillion stimulus package. Some of the main features of the plan include sending checks to Americans, giving loans to businesses and providing extra funding for hospitals. Hopefully, this aid will start to turn the economic downturn around in a time when the number of unemployment insurance claims being filed is rising sharply.
Some states are better positioned economically to deal with the coronavirus pandemic than others. To find out the states whose economies are most exposed to COVID-19, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 10 unique metrics. Our data set ranges from share of employment from small businesses to share of workers with access to paid sick leave and increase in unemployment insurance claims. Read on for the full ranking, additional insight from a panel of experts and a complete description of our methodology.
Stress affects everyone. Although we cannot eliminate stress entirely from our lives, we can minimize it by choosing to live in the least toxic environments. American stress levels have remained relatively stable for the past few years, with the most common personal stressors in 2019 being work and money. Americans also commonly worry about the current political climate, mass shootings and healthcare. In addition, according to a recent WalletHub survey, coronavirus has become the biggest source of stress for Americans in 2020.
But certain states have contributed more than others to elevating — or decreasing — stress levels in the U.S. WalletHub compared the 50 states across 41 key indicators of stress to determine the places to avoid and achieve a more relaxing life. Our data set ranges from average hours worked per week to personal bankruptcy rate to share of adults getting adequate sleep. Read on for our findings, expert insight from a panel of researchers and our full methodology.
Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) is worth it if you’re buying a new car and you want more coverage than a standard warranty. Mechanical breakdown insurance is more cost-effective than buying an extended warranty.
Mechanical breakdown insurance covers failure of major vehicular systems, like your engine and transmission. It’s similar to an extended warranty from a car manufacturer, but it provides coverage for more systems. MBI costs about $100 a year for coverage. Additionally, you’ll pay your deductible whenever you submit a claim for covered car repairs. Most MBI deductibles are about $250.
Tax Day can be a painful reminder of how much we have to invest in federal, state and local governments, though many of us are unaware of exactly what they give us in return. As a result, this creates a disconnect in the minds of taxpayers between the amount of money we should fork over every April and how much we deserve in return.
Perhaps that’s why, according to WalletHub’s Taxpayer Survey, 60 percent of U.S. adults feel they pay too much in taxes and why 88 percent don’t think that the government uses tax revenue wisely. We do know, however, that taxpayer return on investment, or ROI, varies based where one lives. Federal income-tax rates are uniform across the nation, yet some states receive far more federal funding than others. But federal taxes and support are only part of the story.
According to the World Health Organization, the primary way that coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads is through close interaction with other people. If people come into contact with droplets exhaled or coughed out by infected people, they are at risk of getting the virus. In response, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that Americans use “social distancing.” This includes canceling large events and staying at least two meters away from others when possible, among other measures to limit close contact.
Many states have taken the CDC’s advice and have legally enforced social distancing, to the point of banning even small gatherings, closing all non-essential businesses, shutting down schools and even ordering residents to shelter in place in some cases. Other states have focused on laws ensuring greater funding for combating the pandemic or guaranteeing that treatment is covered by insurance. Some states have even taken hygiene into their own hands – for example, New York is manufacturing its own hand sanitizer to deal with shortages.
As of November 2019, over 64 million individuals were enrolled in Medicaid. The Trump administration announced an overhaul to the system at the end of January. This change would allow states to cap the amount of Medicaid funds they receive from the Federal Government. Proponents of this change say it will eliminate waste and save money while opponents say it will limit access for people who need it.
Medicaid is also an important issue in the upcoming 2020 election. Democratic hopefuls not only differ from President Trump but also from each other on the matter. For example, Joe Biden’s plan says that he supports the expansion of Medicaid and the ACA as a whole. Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, supports “Medicare for all,” which could complicate the status of Medicaid. But Medicaid isn’t just in the news due to the upcoming election – as the threat of coronavirus looms, Vice President Pence has confirmed that Medicaid will cover tests for the disease.
The Verdict: The Total VISA® Credit Card is the exact opposite of the complete package, charging you an arm and a leg for a very modest unsecured credit line.
You have to pay an $89 program fee just to get the Total VISA®. And once your account is open, you will be responsible for a $75 first-year fee, which jumps to a total of $123 in subsequent years between annual and monthly fees. Furthermore, if you carry a balance from month to month — ostensibly what this type of card is intended for — interest will accrue at a ridiculously high 34.99% APR, one of the highest rates on the market.
One big point of difference among state economies is the tax burden of the average citizen. This number varies greatly. But what are the reasons behind why some states tax their residents more or less?
If a state can afford not to tax its residents at high rates, there are multiple explanations. One is that their economic policies are sound and the state economy is doing well. But another is that the state gets disproportionately more funding from the federal government than states with harsher tax codes.
There are four different Bank of America rewards programs for credit cards, extending coverage to both business and consumer cardholders. These programs vary in terms of the system by which members earn rewards and redeem rewards earnings for perks. For example, some Bank of America rewards programs only offer cash back while others allow members to redeem for gift cards, travel accommodations or charity donations. However, not all Bank of America rewards programs are open to new cardholders. One of the programs, WorldPoints, only applies to credit cards that have been discontinued. Current cardholders can still enjoy its privileges.
Details for earning and redeeming rewards vary drastically across the BofA rewards programs. So it can be hard for newcomers to gauge how much value they can get out of each. But don’t worry – WalletHub has collected and assessed all of the insider details to provide you with the best information and tips regarding Bank of America’s credit card rewards programs.
Doctors are one of the most essential professions, especially as the threat of coronavirus grows in the U.S. Doctors are on the front lines helping to combat the spread of this disease. Containing coronavirus, or COVID-19, will not only help America’s health but will also be essential for the healing of our economy.
Doctors are well compensated for the hard work they do to keep patients healthy. They are among the highest-paid and most educated professionals in the U.S. In fact, “physician” was the highest-paid job type in 2019, with a median base salary of over $193,000 and over 3,700 job openings during the year. The high salary average makes sense, given the importance of their life-saving work and the struggles that come with life in the medical profession. However, doctors don’t always start out wealthy. The average medical-school graduate leaves campus with around $194,000 debt.
Interest is the cost of borrowing money, and an interest rate tells you how quickly those borrowing costs will accumulate over time. For example, if someone gives you a one-year loan with a 10% interest rate, you’d owe them $110 back after 12 months. Interest rates obviously work against you as a borrower. But they benefit you as the lender, such as when you put money in a bank account or certificate of deposit.
That’s what an interest rate is and how it works in its most basic form. But things can get more complicated when you bring in compound interest (i.e. interest on interest). Loans, lines of credit and other financial accounts may also have several different kinds of interest rates. Before we get into introductory rates, penalty rates and the like, however, let’s first get one major distinction out of the way: the difference between interest rate and APR.
A credit card security code is the 3-4 digit number that is printed – not embossed – on all credit cards. The length and location of a credit card’s security code depend on what network the card is on. On Visa, Mastercard and Discover credit cards, the security code will be three digits on the back of the card, just to the right of the signature panel. But an American Express credit card’s security code is a four-digit number listed on the front of the card, slightly above and to the right of the card number. In the event your card displays longer numbers, simply use the last three or four digits.
Regardless of what kind of card you have, credit card security codes serve the same purpose. When you give your security code to a merchant, along with your credit card number and expiration date, the information is immediately sent to the card issuer for authentication. Once that is approved, your transaction will go through. If not, the transaction is instantly cancelled. So it’s a no brainer why it’s called a “security code.”
Yes, you can pay your rent with a credit card. However, making rent payments with a credit card can be difficult. Many landlords do not directly accept credit cards, forcing renters to rely on third-party apps that charge fees. Plenty of people still do it, though. Paying rent with a credit card can help keep a roof over your heard if you’re short on cash. It also provides the benefits of fraud protection and rewards.
Below, you can find out the different methods for paying rent with a credit card. You’ll also find a discussion of the pros and cons of doing so, so you can make an informed decision on whether to pay by card or use an alternative payment method.
The Verdict: The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students is a solid choice for anyone who’s currently enrolled in a U.S. college or university, particularly international students and fans of Amazon.com. Deserve EDU doesn’t charge an annual fee, as is the norm with student credit cards, and it offers rewards: 1% cash back on all purchases. That’s roughly average among all rewards credit cards, not just those for students.
Deserve also gives you a year’s membership in Amazon Prime Student, which offers savings on everything from textbooks and electronics to music and movies. And while many student credit cards require you to have a Social Security number (SSN), Deserve EDU is available to students who were born abroad. International students simply need a passport, U.S. bank account and Student Visa.
Depending on where you live, college basketball may have even more draw than the professional level does. For example, the most profitable team, the Louisville Cardinals, has a three-year average revenue of $52 million. But the sport is about much more than the money; it’s about the players and the entertainment value. Which cities provide the most exciting teams to root for?
That’s a tough question to answer, as each city has its own unique basketball history and charm. Graduates also tend to favor their alma mater, while others may have an understandable loyalty to their hometown.
With Tax Day fast approaching, the nearly 1 in 3 Americans who wait until April to file their returns have a lot of catching up to do. And that’s a recipe for costly mistakes. Taxes are complex under normal circumstances, and things only get tougher when you add a time crunch to the mix. With that in mind, WalletHub compiled a list of last-minute tax tips and reminders to make paying Uncle Sam as painless as possible.
These tips are the product of WalletHub’s industry research as well as interviews with numerous experts in relevant fields, such as individual taxation, tax law and consumer psychology. Take this advice to heart, and tax season will be a breeze. You can (ac)count on it!
Tax season is stressful for everyone. But it’s especially difficult for those of us who can't afford to pay the IRS. Fortunately, there are several ways to make an unmanageable tax obligation easier to handle. Many aren't all that expensive, either.
Which approach is best depends largely on how long you’ll need to come up with Uncle Sam's cash. Naturally, the short-term solutions are far more attractive than the options available to folks with more serious financial difficulties.
Tax season can be a costly, confusing time of year, with Uncle Sam expecting an on-time tribute and all sorts of schemers angling to steal refunds. The history of tax fraud is just as long as that of taxes, you see.
But no one wants to deal with the monetary loss, credit-score damage or hassle that can accompany tax scams. So it’s important to have at least a basic understanding of what the most common types of tax fraud are as well as how to thwart them. You can find that information below.