You can’t get an accurate sense of the consumer debt situation without considering credit card delinquency and charge-off rates. These metrics speak to the sustainability of consumer spending habits, indicating the ability of credit card users to stay current on their bills. For example, high delinquency rates may foreshadow a rash of defaults as well as the potential for a downturn in the economy, while a downward trend in default rates could indicate economic or habitual improvement.
Furthermore, consumers continue to owe charged-off debt for years, which means ignoring such sums will paint a misleading picture of the debt landscape.
The dream of retiring on a sunny beach in Florida is alive and kicking. Despite 45 percent of workers expecting to retire past the age of 65, Florida is still the destination that comes to mind when Americans envision their golden years. And the reason is simple: Florida crosses off many items on a retiree’s wish list, starting with cheap living costs, one of the biggest considerations for older Americans who’ve stopped working and rely on a smaller income. And while Florida’s health care needs work in some areas, it does boast high marks in direct primary care and pharmaceutical access.
Beyond practical qualities, this Southern charmer is teeming with excitement. Here, retirees are likely to avoid boredom and burnout — common problems among this group — with a wide variety of choices for indoor and outdoor activities, coupled with volunteer opportunities and part- or full-time jobs. Throw in the wraparound coastline and foodie-worthy cuisine, and there will be nothing left to crave. Best of all, no one pays income tax, so every dollar goes a long way.
Women’s rights in the U.S. have made leaps and bounds since the passage of the 19th Amendment. Yet many women still struggle to break the glass ceiling because of unequal treatment in society. Unfortunately, the gender gap in 21st century America has only expanded. In 2018, the U.S. failed to place in the top 10 — or even the top 40 — of the World Economic Forum’s ranking of 149 countries based on gender equality. In fact, the U.S. dropped to 51st position from its previous rank 49th.
The workplace provides even more evidence of the issue. Despite their advances toward social equality, women are disproportionately underrepresented in leadership positions. Women make up more than 50% of the population. According to the American Association of University Women, women only constitute 25% of legislators and less than 29% of business executives.
University education is out of reach for many Americans, especially those from low-income households. But thanks to community colleges, higher education is more accessible than ever. Compared with public four-year institutions, where tuition and fees cost almost three times as much on average, community colleges offer many savings for students.
Some states make community college even more accessible than usual. Multiple states and numerous cities across the U.S. have started “College Promise” programs that give residents free rides to community college. New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Tennessee are some of the states that have joined so far. Such initiatives are proving to be more critical than ever, with college tuition increases outpacing inflation and the need for post-secondary training in most jobs protected to grow through 2020.
Cost is often a major consideration when choosing a college. And with tuition rates continuing to rise every year — not to mention all the other expenses related to attendance — many would-be students are unable to afford a university education.
Community colleges offer students the ability to get higher education without having as much financial strain. During the 2018 to 2019 academic year, tuition and fees for full-time, in-state enrollment at a public two-year college averaged $3,660 per year versus $10,320 at a public four-year institution and $35,830 at a four-year private school. Students who earn their general-education credits at a community college before transferring to an in-state public four-year university can potentially save a lot of money.
The cheapest cars to insure in 2019 are the Subaru Forester ($1,774 average annual premium), Dodge Grand Caravan ($1,786), and Honda Odyssey ($1,800), according to WalletHub’s analysis of 26 of the most popular vehicles on the road right now. Of the 10 cheapest cars to insure, 3 are minivans, 3 are crossovers, and 2 are SUVs. Minivans are the cheapest type of vehicle to insure, with an average monthly premium of $154. And Nissan is the best car manufacturer when it comes to cheap insurance, as its vehicles cost an average of $168 per month to insure.
On the flip side, according to WalletHub’s analysis, the Lexus LS is among the most expensive makes and models to insure with an annual premium of $3,308. This is not surprising given that the Lexus is also one of the more expensive car brands to insure overall. And in terms of car types, the coupe is the most expensive variety to insure in a list that includes SUVs, pickups, and sedans, among others.
Americans finally have found their own soft spot for the world’s most beloved professional sport. After what seemed an eternity of low popularity among U.S. fans, soccer — better known as “football” to the international community — has gained admiration and respect here at home.
Much of the credit for the sport’s growing domestic acceptance goes to the U.S. Women’s National Team, who made us proud with its record-breaking victory in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Part of the glory is also owed to COPA América Centenario, the world’s oldest soccer competition, held the following year on U.S. turf for the first time in its 100-year history.
While good elementary schools, high schools and colleges are important factors for parents to consider when choosing where to settle down, the availability of quality pre-K education is just as crucial.
A study by the National Institute for Early Education Research showed that students enrolled in full-day pre-K programs do better on math and literacy tests than their peers who attend only partial day preschool. In addition, those who attend pre-K programs have been shown to have less risk of future crime than those who do not. Plus, pre-K programs may generate billions of dollars for the economy over a few decades, due to lessening the need for social services and creating more productive citizens.
What should you expect when you’re expecting? Besides possibly the greatest joy of your life, you can expect a lot of extra expenses. Between one-time costs such as a crib and stroller and ongoing ones including diapers and formula, it’s easy to go over budget.
One of the biggest expenses to keep in mind is medical bills. According to The Economist, the average conventional delivery in the U.S. costs over $10,000, more expensive than the birth of Britain’s latest royal baby. Whether or not you have insurance naturally plays a big role as well.
Credit card companies are the banks and credit unions that issue credit cards to consumers and small business owners. They also service cardholders’ accounts by billing for purchases, accepting payments, distributing rewards and more. Examples of major credit card companies include Bank of America, Barclays, Citibank, Chase, Capital One and Wells Fargo. Credit card networks play a different role. They dictate where credit cards can be used, facilitate payment processing at the point of sale and administer secondary credit card benefits, such as rental car insurance, travel insurance and extended warranties. The four major card networks are Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover.
The Verdict: The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card is an attractive everyday spending vehicle for people with excellent credit (Bank of America is a WalletHub partner). Things begin on a positive note, with no annual fee to worry about and the ability to earn a $200 initial bonus for spending just $1,000 in the first 90 days after account opening.
The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card even supplements its base 1% cash-back earning rate with 2% back on groceries and wholesale clubs and 3% back on a category of your choosing. But there’s a catch. Those bonus earning rates apply to only the first $2,500 in combined grocery, wholesale clubs and gas purchases each quarter. So if you spend more than $833 a month on such everyday necessities, you will wind up hitting that limit and earning only 1% back — slightly less than the market average of 1.06% — on all your purchases for the rest of the quarter.
In an ideal world, all children would live worry-free and have access to their basic needs: nutritious food, a good education, quality health care and a secure home. Emotionally, they all would feel safe and be loved and supported by caring adults. When all such needs are met, children have a better chance of a stable and happy adult life. But in reality, not every child is so privileged — even in the richest and most powerful nation in the world.
The U.S., in fact, has the seventh highest rate of child poverty — over 29 percent — among economically developed countries. And according to the Children’s Defense Fund, a child is abused or neglected every 47 seconds and the total costs of maltreatment per year reach $80.3 billion.
To many of us, pets are family — even if they’re covered in fur, feathers or scales. Naturally, the nearly 85 million households in the U.S. that own pets want to live places where their beloved companions can enjoy long, healthy lives without breaking the bank. The American Pet Products Association projects that in 2019, pet ownership will cost Americans over $75 billion.
Years ago, pet owners had access to only a handful of businesses offering animal services and supplies. Petco and PetSmart were among the biggest names. But the market for pet businesses is growing to fill increasing consumer demand. For example, in 2018, the pet food industry reached a $91 billion global value. The industry has also grown at a faster rate than packaged or fresh food for humans since 2013. And there are new ways to buy goods for your animal, such as monthly subscription boxes.
According to the CDC, 87.6 percent of the population has a regular place to go for medical care. But the cost and service quality of that care can vary widely from state to state. The overall health of the population, more advanced medical equipment and a general lack of awareness regarding the best types of treatment, for instance, can all affect costs. Today, the average American spends more than $10,000 per year on personal health care, according to the most recent estimates from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. That’s about 17.9 percent of the U.S. GDP.
But higher costs don’t necessarily translate to better results. According to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the U.S. lags behind several other wealthy nations on several measures, such as health coverage, life expectancy and disease burden, which measures longevity and quality of life. However, the U.S. has improved in giving more healthcare access for people in worse health, and healthcare cost growth has slowed somewhat.
Dairyland Review Summary: Dairyland auto insurance is geared toward individuals with poor driving records who have a difficult time obtaining even the most basic coverage from traditional auto insurance companies. Dairyland’s open-door policy comes with a high price tag, however. Dairyland ranks 46th, dead last, in WalletHub’s car insurance price rankings. Customer reviews online back up our findings as well, with regular complaints about higher-than-average premiums.
Dairyland sells auto insurance policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. But high-risk drivers who are looking for just enough coverage to stay legal on the road should definitely shop around. You will likely find better prices from other auto insurance companies that specialize in selling high-risk policies.
Kemper Insurance Review Summary: Kemper auto insurance is a solid option for high-risk drivers who are looking for varied coverage choices and discounts. Drivers who require more attentive customer service may want to shop elsewhere, however, as Kemper auto insurance has received more complaints than other similar carriers.
Kemper insurance has several hard-to-find features when it comes to auto coverage options and discounts. They include childcare benefits, enhanced car seat replacement protection, and the married couple discount, among others. But Kemper auto policies can come with a hefty price tag, too. Kemper comes in 31st out of 46 companies in WalletHub’s car insurance price rankings.
It takes 7-10 business days to get a new credit card after being approved for an account, in most cases. That means it usually takes 14-24 business days to get a credit card after submitting an application, though the timeframe will be a lot shorter if you’re approved instantly. And if you need a replacement card because your original was lost, stolen or damaged, it will take 3-7 business days, depending on the issuer. Most credit card companies offer free expedited shipping for replacement cards (often overnight), and a handful extend the benefit to new cards. You just have to ask. Others charge a fee for faster delivery, while some don’t offer the service at all.
If you’re among the millions of HGTV viewers who’ve seen an episode of “Flip or Flop,” you’ve probably thought about the thrill of gutting a house and turning a five- or six-figure profit. But the process isn’t as easy as the professionals on television make it look. Any experienced home flipper would caution you that transforming a fixer-upper into a profitable property is a difficult process.
In other words, don’t get your hands dirty until you’ve learned a thing or two about real estate, construction and how much damage your project could do to your wallet. Breathing new life into a low-cost property won’t necessarily return your full investment and allow you to pocket another $60,000, the average gross flipping profit in Q1 2019. According to RealtyTrac, though, the current homeownership rate is 64.2 percent (down from a high of 69.20 percent in 2004). That may translate to fewer potential buyers off the bat, depending on the location of your property.
Americans are known for racking up credit-card debt, but just how much we have in total is shocking. At the beginning of 2019, Americans owed over $1 trillion in credit-card debt. And though we repaid $38.2 billion in the first quarter of the year, we’re projected to have a $70 billion net increase by the end of the year.
Americans aren’t all in the same boat when it comes to credit-card debt, though. People in some states are better than others when it comes to avoiding charging more than they can afford. To determine which states have the least and most sustainable credit-card debts, WalletHub drew upon TransUnion credit data to calculate the cost and time required to pay off the median card balances of each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Read on for the full findings, commentary from a panel of experts and a detailed description of our methodology.