You can forget Christmas in July. A number of states across the country are offering sales-tax holidays primarily during the dog days of August. Seeing as state sales taxes can be as high as 7.25%, these newfangled holidays offer a great savings opportunity for back-to-school shoppers, perhaps also giving those planning to wait for sales following the start of school reason enough to move up their timeline. This is especially true since after all, most sales-tax holidays specifically target for popular back-to-school items such as clothing, footwear, electronics and sports equipment.
Growing up can be hard. Without a stable home, positive role models and tools for success, many young Americans fall behind their peers and experience a rocky transition to adulthood. Today, about one in nine individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 are neither working nor attending school. Others suffer from poor health conditions that hinder their ability to develop physically or socially.
Such issues not only affect young people later in life, but they also prove harmful to society as a whole. For instance, more than 70 percent of young adults today are ineligible to join the U.S. military because they fail academic, moral or health qualifications. Research shows that when youth grow up in environments with economic problems and a lack of role models, they’re more at risk for poverty, early pregnancy and violence, especially in adulthood.
Many Americans prefer to live in rural areas, but far more call cities their homes. Though urban settings are less than 3 percent of the U.S. landmass, they contain around 80 percent of the total population.
There are many factors that make highly-populated areas great to live in. Big cities represent opportunity, economic and otherwise, which appeals to people of all walks of life – especially young professionals seeking advancement in their careers and social lives. Another main draw is easy access to diverse dining and entertainment options that are comparatively scarce in more rural settings.
Stress is inevitable. Everyone experiences some type and level of it. But it’s not always a bad thing. Certain kinds of stress can have positive effects on a person’s well-being, at least in the right doses. According to Psychology Today, “A little bit of stress, known as ‘acute stress,’ can be exciting—it keeps us active and alert.”
When stress reaches an unmanageable level, however, it turns “chronic.” That’s when we become vulnerable to its damaging effects such as health problems and loss of productivity. In the U.S., stress affects more than 100 million people. The leading causes? Money tops the list, followed by work, family and relationships. By one estimate, workplace-related stress alone costs society more than $300 billion per year.
Taking good care of your cash is essential to reaching top WalletFitness®. But with the Federal Reserve raising interest rates from historical lows and the stock market regularly reaching record highs, it’s fair to wonder where to put your money.
To help answer that question, WalletHub analyzed the rates, fees and features associated with more than 2,250 deposit accounts. This includes checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts and CDs from banks and credit unions across the country. You can check out our findings below.
Understanding the credit card climate is important for two reasons. First, credit card offers change regularly, based on the health of the economy and issuers’ business objectives. So being able to see the bigger picture – averages, trends, etc. – gives you a baseline against which to compare offers. And that will help you find the best credit card deals as well as ultimately save more money.
Monitoring the credit card landscape can also tell you a lot about the health of the U.S. consumer. For example, 0% introductory APRs and initial rewards bonuses dried up during the Great Recession. And the decline in consumer credit quality during that period was a big reason why.
The Verdict: The Deserve® Pro Mastercard has a work hard, play hard vibe, catering to people with good credit or better who like to travel, dine out and generally have a good time. You get 3% cash back on travel and entertainment, plus 2% cash back at restaurants. That’s a pretty good deal, but it only applies to the first $500 you spend in those bonus categories each month. All other purchases yield just 1% back. So you might want to consider using Deserve Pro solely for bonus-category spending. There’s no annual fee, which means you don’t have to spend a certain amount for it to pay off. And 1% back is just average for a cash rewards card.
The Deserve Pro Credit Card certainly isn’t perfect. It doesn’t offer either an initial rewards bonus or a 0% introductory APR on new purchases. Its regular APR is likely to be well above average. And it doesn’t even allow balance transfers or cash advances. But that just means it’s not for everyone.
The Verdict: The Deserve® Classic Mastercard is a credit card designed for people with fair credit. Deserve Classic will help you build credit if you pay your bill on time every month, but it doesn’t bring much else to the table.
You won’t earn points, miles or cash back with each purchase you make. Instead, you’ll be the one doing the paying. If you don’t pay your bill in full every month, you’ll have to pay interest at a pretty high rate: 25.24% (V).
As the 2020 presidential election draws nearer, one of the hot-button issues for candidates is student debt. Some democratic contenders, such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, support the cancellation of debts. Other candidates have offered plans including refinancing options, higher grants and free community college education.
It’s not surprising that student debt has become such a high-profile talking point. After all, 10.9 percent of all student-loan debts 90+ days delinquent or in default as of Q1 2019. Save for mortgages, student loans make up the largest component of household debt for Americans. And our collective debt keeps growing. At the end of the first quarter of 2018, total outstanding college-loan balances disclosed on credit reports stood at $1.49 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Buying a home for the first time is an exciting and important milestone for many Americans. Their purchases make up a sizable chunk of the market, too. In 2018, 39% of all U.S. single-family home purchases were made by first-time buyers.
The search for a first home requires careful consideration of a number of factors. Buyers must balance what they want and need with what they can afford. Often, people begin searching for their dream homes without a realistic idea of market prices, interest rates or even their eligibility to get a mortgage.
Starting a business is never easy. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, about a fifth of all startups typically don’t survive past year one of operation, and nearly half never make it to their fifth anniversary.
But startups fail for different reasons, a “bad location” among the most common. Choosing the right state for a business is therefore crucial to its success. A state that provides the ideal conditions for business creation — access to cash, skilled workers and affordable office space, for instance — can help new ventures not only take off but also thrive.
User-friendly online dashboard for account management and innovative mobile app.
Complaints about poor customer service, claims support, and unexplained price increases.
Not many extra coverage options or discounts.
No fixed monthly premiums.
Only available in 8 states.
Metromile Review Summary: Metromile insurance offers affordable usage-based car insurance policies to drivers who put fewer than 10,000 miles on their cars per year. The pay-per-mile insurance model from Metromile changes the way insurance premiums are calculated by looking at how much you drive rather than how you drive. Metromile’s plug-in tracking device logs the number of miles driven to help determine your monthly premium. As a result, Metromile’s premiums are more likely to fluctuate month to month. Other auto insurers offer similar driver-monitoring programs, but unlike Metromile, the main purpose of those tracking programs is to simply promote safer driving habits.
As a relative newcomer to the industry serving only eight states, Metromile has received poor reviews for customer service and claims support. Even though drivers might see lower monthly premiums with Metromile, prospective customers should be mindful that cheaper insurance may not always be the best insurance for your needs.
Lines of credit and credit cards are two very similar types of financial products that help consumers, small business owners and even large corporations access borrowed funds on an as-needed basis. In order to help you better understand the differences that do exist between a line of credit and a credit card as well as the roles each can serve in your financial life and how to choose between them, we’ve compiled a complete comparison below.
We all know how embarrassing it can be to hear the words, “Sorry, but your card just got declined.” Most people tend to assume it’s because they missed a payment or have “maxed” out their credit line.
However, contrary to popular belief, these reasons are among a multitude of factors that can cause a declined transaction – and this is precisely why it happens frequently with so many people. Even President Obama recently had his credit card declined when dining at a fancy New York City restaurant.
There are two types of credit card cash advances. The first and more common type occurs when you treat your credit card like a debit card, using it to withdraw cash from an ATM. This form of cash advance is subject to a cash credit limit, which typically comprises only a fraction of your total credit line. Both your cash credit limit and the PIN needed to make a cash advance can be found by calling your bank.
The second type of cash advance also allows you to tap into your credit line, but instead of withdrawing cash, your credit card is used to write checks or transfer money into a bank account. With this type of cash advance, you may or may not be subject to a lower cash credit limit, depending on the issuer.
Get ready to crank up your air conditioner — and utility budget. July tends to be the hottest month of the year. So if you’re trying to beat the heat, this month’s higher-than-usual power bill could burn a hole through your wallet.
In the U.S., energy costs eat between 5 and 22 percent of families’ total after-tax income, with the poorest Americans, or 25 million households, paying the highest of that range. And lower energy prices don’t necessarily equate to savings. Where we live and how much energy we use are a big part of the equation.
Personal loan pre-approval is a way to estimate your chances of getting approved for a personal loan before you apply, along with the rates you would likely receive. Many personal loan providers refer to this process as pre-qualification rather than pre-approval, but the two terms are used interchangeably.
In order to receive personal loan pre-approval, you will have to provide some personal information to the lender so they can do a soft pull of your credit (which will not hurt your credit score). The best part about personal loan pre-approval is that it can save you from wasting a hard credit pull on an application for a loan where your odds of approval are low or the potential rates are too high.
The best places to get a personal loan are banks, credit unions and online lenders. The best place for you to get your personal loan is whichever lender will approve you for the best package of key terms: loan amount, interest rate, repayment period and fees. You can get a sense of which lender that will be by comparing personal loan offers and checking for pre-qualification, both of which are free and will not affect your credit.
The best place to get a personal loan won’t be the same for everyone. Each type of lender has its own pros and cons.
The Verdict: The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card is both the best cash rewards card that Wells Fargo (a WalletHub partner) has to offer and one of the best cash back credit cards from any issuer. But a limited-time offer has a lot to do with that. New applicants can now earn a $150 cash bonus for spending just $500 within three months of account opening. That’s tied for the second-biggest cash bonus among consumer credit cards, according to WalletHub’s database of 1,000+ offers.
Without its initial bonus, the Cash Wise Card is still very good, just not elite. It doesn’t charge an annual fee, which makes it $18.15 per year cheaper than the average credit card offer. It gives you at least 1.5% cash back on all purchases, which is roughly 50% higher than the average cash rewards card’s base earning rate. And you even get a bit more (1.8% back) on digital-wallet purchases for the first 12 months.
Staying active isn’t just good for your health. It’s also good for your wallet. One of the best ways to maintain an active lifestyle is to choose a city that encourages and facilitates recreation. The best cities have a wide range of leisure activities, both indoor and outdoor. Those activities require varying levels of exercise and contribute to a city’s overall well-being and economy.
Consider neighborhood parks, which are instrumental to building a sense of community, boosting property values, improving public health and reducing pollution. In Washington, for instance, close proximity to a park increases a home’s value by 5 percent while the same types of spaces in Sacramento, Calif., result in nearly $20 million in health care savings. “A regular vigorous run can cut medical costs by an average of $250 a year” per individual, according to The Trust for Public Land. Recognizing these benefits, 100 major U.S. cities together invested more than $8 billion in parks and recreation in 2018.