interest rates – Grantstation Trendtrack Tue, 29 Mar 2022 01:19:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 interest rates – Grantstation Trendtrack 32 32 BI-Partisan APPROPRIATION AGREEMENT INCLUDES INDIAN AFFAIRS PRIORITIES AND INCREASED FUNDING FOR INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES Fri, 11 Mar 2022 05:11:22 +0000 How to put your tax refund to work for you Tue, 08 Mar 2022 14:33:48 +0000

If you’re looking forward to a tax refund in the coming weeks, you have good reason to be optimistic: the IRS reports that about 77% of tax returns filed last year generated a refund, and the average reimbursement was $2,815.

Even though what may look like a gift from the government is actually a deferred receipt of your own money, the best use of these funds is not always obvious. This year, the issue is even trickier, with many households facing growing financial pressure from inflation, rising interest rates and the expiration of pandemic-related government assistance programs. Advance child tax credits, for example, which offered families monthly checks based on their income and number of dependents, have ended pending further action by Congress.

“For many people, Child Advance Tax Credits have become part of their budget, so you should consider saving your tax refund and using it to supplement your monthly budget in the future,” says Tommy Blackburn, Certified Financial Planner in Newport News, Virginia. . “It can help with monthly cash flow,” he adds.

Another option is to adjust your withholding tax with each paycheck so you don’t pay more tax than necessary. But, adds Blackburn, some people prefer to receive a lump sum each year as a forced savings method.

While your refund priorities depend on your particular situation, there’s room in almost any budget to spend at least part of your refund check on something fun, too. Here’s a roadmap to help you decide what to do with the money:


“First, think about your short-term security,” suggests Vince Shorb, CEO of the Las Vegas-based National Financial Educators Council, which supports financial wellness educators. “There’s a lot going on, from COVID to inflation. I want to make sure people have food on the table and gas to get to work,” in case of an emergency like job loss or an unexpected expense, he says. This means putting money into an emergency savings fund before any other priorities, including paying down debt.

“With inflation, you want to save a little more than normal to prepare for those crazy gas and food prices. We don’t know what’s going to happen next,” says Scott Alan Turner, CFP in Aledo, Texas. While financial experts often cite the goal of having three to six months of hidden expenses, a more realistic goal may be to save $500 to $1,000, or at least half of your repayment. Given the rising prices, Turner says it’s best to save more if you can.

“If your industry is shrinking, you’ll need a larger emergency fund,” Shorb says, because it could take longer to find a new job if you lose your current job.


With interest rates set to rise this year, credit cards and other variable-rate debt would likely become more expensive, making using repayment money to pay it off a smart move, says Mike Biggica, CFP in San Francisco. He suggests paying off any debt bearing an interest rate of 6% or more and also focusing on student loans, medical debt and anything bearing a variable rate.

Maggie Klokkenga, a financial coach and CFP in Morton, Illinois, suggests using an online debt calculator to see how making extra debt payments can speed up the debt repayment process. This can help you decide whether to pay off your smaller debts first or those that bear a higher rate of interest. “You can see how quickly you can pay it all back,” she says.


If you’ve already paid off your emergency fund and high-interest debt, Klokkenga suggests putting the cash repayment into high-yield online savings accounts dedicated to different purposes, such as a vacation in Cabo. or retirement. “When it’s not in your checking account, it’s harder to access and gives you pause before you can get the money,” she says.

Increasing your contributions to existing retirement accounts such as a 401(k) is another solid option, says Biggica. “For people who aren’t already maxing out their 401(k), this increased contribution makes them feel more secure and responsible.”

In some cases, you can preload your contributions, Biggica adds, which means you reach the annual contribution limit before the end of the year. As a result, your take-home pay will be higher by November or December, providing flexibility to pay year-end expenses like vacation expenses.


After taking care of emergency savings and debt repayment, there might not be enough repayment left to make a huge purchase like a car, but Turner suggests squeezing something nice. “Go out and celebrate with something frivolous and entertaining: a nice steak dinner, brand new jeans, concert tickets,” he suggests. Her guideline: Plan to spend about 10% on fun. For the average refund recipient based on last year’s IRS numbers, that’s about $280.

It probably won’t fund a vacation, but it could dramatically improve your weekend plans.

This column was provided to The Associated Press by personal finance website NerdWallet. The content is for educational and informational purposes and does not constitute investment advice. Kimberly Palmer is a personal finance expert at NerdWallet and author of “Smart Mom, Rich Mom.” Email: Twitter: Kimberly Palmer.


(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

Ballot proposal would cap ‘predatory’ interest rates for payday loans Wed, 23 Feb 2022 20:50:00 +0000

LANSING, MI — A polling committee is busy asking a question about the November ballot that would prevent payday lenders from charging “predatory” interest rates if approved by voters.

The Michiganders for Fair Lending campaign officially launched its petition-raising effort Wednesday to cap high interest rates on payday loans, payday loan advocates say are creating a cycle of indebtedness that is becoming impossible to escape. . The group said it wants to change the current payday loan landscape to one that provides access to small loans to those in need, not a debt trap.

“Payday lenders are targeting Michigan’s most vulnerable communities by offering quick cash that traps people in an endless cycle of debt with outrageously high interest rates,” said Michiganders spokesman Josh Hovey. for Fair Lending.

“State lawmakers have been urged for years to end predatory lending practices. People harmed by these loans cannot afford to wait any longer. That’s why we’re putting the issue directly to voters in November. »

In Michigan, the typical payday loan carries the equivalent of a 370% annual percentage rate (APR). The Michiganders for Fair Lending proposal would cap payday loans at a maximum of 36% APR.

Payday loans are marketed as short-term, but the vast majority of borrowers are caught in a cycle of long-term debt, say fair lending advocates. About 70% of Michigan payday borrowers borrow again the same day they repay a previous loan, according to a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau study. The same study found that the average payday loan borrower ends up taking out 10 loans over the course of a year.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel describes a payday loan as a short-term, high-cost transaction where customers borrow money for a service fee. Michigan law calls this type of loan a “deferred presentment service transaction” because the customer’s check is held for a period of time before being cashed. Loans are not like car payments because borrowers are unable to make installment payments.

Payday loans have high service fees and a short repayment period. For example, a customer who borrows $100 for two weeks and is charged $15 will pay a service fee equal to a three-digit APR. The actual cost of the two-week loan is $15, which equates to an APR of 391%. And that still doesn’t include additional fees for “eligibility checks” or processing.

Payday loan shops often allow customers unable to repay the loan to take out a second payday loan to pay off the first. Service charges can lead the customer into a cycle of debt.

“It’s a slippery slope,” Nessel said in a process-focused consumer alert.

Fair lending advocates say payday loan shops are unquestionably predatory. Stores are deploying manipulative tactics and engaging customers in a process that creates a cycle of debt that traps people in poverty, Hovey said.

“Stopping predatory lending is an issue in Michigan that resonates across all parties, geographies, age and income levels. Even in today’s divisive climate, this is an issue the vast majority of people can agree on,” said Jessica AcMoody, director of policy at the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan.

“Lenders know they are getting their money because they have direct access to the borrower’s bank account and can get their own money back before the borrower can pay rent, utilities or food. With no funds left over for basic living expenses, guess what happens? You guessed it. The borrower returns to take out another loan,” AcMoody said.

Gabriella Barthlow, a financial coach with the Macomb County Veterans Service, said she’s seen the predatory payday loan process play out with the veterans she works with. Military veterans are particularly vulnerable to predatory lending, Barthlow said.

“As a targeted community for predatory lending, it’s critical that veterans understand the risk associated with payday loans and the importance of a 36% interest rate cap,” Barthlow said.

The 36% APR cap used by many states is similar to the National Military Loans Act, which sets consumer credit protections for active military members. Congress passed the law in 2006 after the military found payday lenders setting up stores near military bases.

Dallas Lenear of Project Green, a Grand Rapids-based financial education nonprofit, said he was motivated to help try to change the laws after hearing first-hand stories about interest rates. excessive that trapped people in financial ruin.

“Payday lenders exploit our most vulnerable communities and neighbors without consumer protections,” said Dallas Lenear of Project Green in Grand Rapids. “People go to payday lenders because they feel they have no other choice. They get stuck in quicksand that imprisons them for months and sometimes years.

Payday lenders also disproportionately locate their stores in communities of color. Statewide, there are 5.6 payday loan stores per 100,000 people. That number is 25% higher in majority black communities, Lenear said.

Michigan would join 18 other states and Washington DC that have set a payday loan rate limit of 36% APR or less. Voters in Nebraska, Colorado, South Dakota and Montana passed per-vote payday loan rate caps that all got more than 70% voter approval.


Read petitions before signing them, group warns

Betsy DeVos says ballot initiative would allow parents to ‘take control’ of Michigan education

Petition for a “voucher” school scholarship system approved by the state board

India is giving inflation room to grow, but it can bite Tue, 22 Feb 2022 00:06:53 +0000

Indian politicians well understand that elections can be won or lost on onion prices. With only 83 million people in wage jobs in a country of 1.4 billion people, households don’t have much bargaining power over wages to cope with a higher cost of living. What is less appreciated is the differential impact of prices on producers, especially on small farms affected by the pandemic with low profit margins.

India’s wholesale price index, which tracks goods at factory gates, rose nearly 13% from a year earlier in January. The gauge has recorded double-digit increases for 10 consecutive months, even as the benchmark consumer price index, which also includes services, only recently breached the top of the bank’s tolerance range. central 2% to 6% annual earnings.

Still, the Reserve Bank of India is rather optimistic about future inflation and is keeping the market guessing whether interest rates will rise significantly this year. In doing so, the RBI is jeopardizing its credibility for a little extra growth. Is this trade-off worth it if higher prices end up putting small businesses out of business?

Think of the 7% difference between the pace of wholesale price inflation and that of consumers as a cost squeeze. Not all producers can cope with this pressure with the same ease. In the September quarter, when the economy opened up after a second deadly wave of the pandemic, smaller manufacturers of daily consumer goods captured only 2% of the growth in the value of sales compared to the previous year. Large companies took 76%, with medium-sized companies accounting for the rest, according to NielsenIQ.

According to the data provider, pressures on input costs have forced producers to raise prices, especially for food products and cooking media. “This has severely affected small manufacturers,” NielsenIQ says in its report. Companies with sales of 1 billion rupees ($13 million) or less supply almost a fifth of India’s commodity market. In the third quarter of 2021, they were 14% lower than a year earlier.

Some may have folded due to pandemic-related disruptions. Others go bankrupt because, unlike their larger competitors who can absorb some of the escalating raw material costs, the already strained finances of small businesses force them to try to pass the increases on to consumers. Few people succeed. An industry association has warned that a third of India’s edible oil refining capacity could close – and move to Indonesia or Malaysia – because it’s cheaper to import oil refined.

Prices for edible oil, aluminum, tinplate, plastic, paper and glass are near their highest in a decade, while those for coffee, sugar, wheat and milk are above their 10-year average, Mumbai-based brokerage Prabhudas Lilladher noted last week in its analysis of Nestle India Ltd’s December quarter results. As product and packaging costs soared, the maker of Maggi, Nescafé and KitKat sacrificed 210 basis points in gross margins to boost revenue by 9% year-on-year. He squeezed payroll and overhead costs to keep operating profitability — the ratio of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to sales — intact.

Small businesses don’t have that kind of stamina. Many of them made use of a government credit guarantee to access new loans to survive the worst of the pandemic. According to economists at the State Bank of India, the safety net has prevented $24 billion in credit to micro, small and medium enterprises from going bad, protecting the livelihoods of as many as 15 million workers.

However, these companies are not exactly out of the woods. When it comes to servicing their debt, credit bureau TransUnion Cibil estimates that 18% of borrowers were in worse shape in March 2021 than when they took out the emergency loans.

Big companies are flexing their marketing muscles. Unilever Plc’s Indian unit recorded its highest market share gain in a decade during the December quarter. But as financially constrained small manufacturers lay off workers, people’s purchasing power threatens to erode further, hurting weak consumer demand and making it harder for other vulnerable producers to survive.

This is why the risk of stagflation is high in India. Price spikes in areas such as clothing and footwear, healthcare, transport and communications appear to be taking a structural turn and taking root. After two years of the pandemic, “the inflationary trend in these categories instead of easing has further increased even as consumer demand is weak,” says Sunil Kumar Sinha, an economist at India Ratings and Research Ltd.

The RBI pushes on a chain. Yes, the recovery of the national economy after Covid-19 is far from complete. Output in service industries is 24 percentage points lower than before the pandemic, according to Nomura Holdings Inc. But now it’s the job of fiscal policy, which is kept ultra-loose for a third straight year , to meet a deficient demand.

With Dated Brent crude oil at $100 a barrel for the first time since 2014 and the US Federal Reserve embarking on a major tightening campaign, the time for monetary adventurism is over. Letting domestic prices spiral out of control will not buy India additional growth. It will be quite the opposite if inflation ends up further ruining its small producers.

More from Bloomberg Opinion:

• Why did central banks get the inflation rate wrong? : Blas and Ashworth

• The inflation story doesn’t get any happier: John Authers

• India’s budget poses a risky stimulus package: Andy Mukherjee

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board or of Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Andy Mukherjee is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies and financial services. He was previously a columnist for Reuters Breakingviews. He has also worked for the Straits Times, ET NOW and Bloomberg News.

Don’t let the price of college intimidate you – here are 5 ways to fund your education Sat, 19 Feb 2022 14:00:37 +0000

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

In February, higher education institutions across the country celebrate Financial Aid Awareness Month. The purpose of this commemoration is to educate students and their families on crucial information about federal, state, and institutional student aid.

The basic cost of a college degree can be a huge burden on families. It may even seem unreachable. The annual Citizens’ Survey of Student Loans found that nearly 70% of current students and 69% of high school graduates said concerns about college affordability had a moderate or high impact on their college plans. registration for fall 2021.

Often, students do not realize the amount of financial aid available to them. In the 2020-2021 academic year, institutions provided about $57 billion in grants to undergraduate students, according to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA). And, the previous year, 84% of full-time undergraduate students received financial aid.


There are many funding options for current and prospective students. Here are five ways to fund your college education.

College students wear masks to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

1. Complete FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is one of the first things you should apply for even if you don’t know what college you’re going to. It helps colleges and the government determine if you qualify for certain need-based grants and loans. The application opens on October 1. Some aid is offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so it’s best to do it as soon as possible.

FAFSA is free to complete and eligible students can apply for a federal grant. Remember that you must complete the FAFSA every year and the deadline for the 2022-23 academic year is June 30, 2022. On average, it only takes 23 minutes to complete the form.


2. Apply for grants

Grants are often referred to as “gift aid” and are provided with no expectation of repayment. They are usually given to students who are in financial need and are often determined by family income level. The US Department of Education offers a variety of federal student grants.

One of them is the Federal Pell Grant. Pell Grant recipients can currently receive up to $6,495 based on their financial need. It’s free money from the government. In the fall of 2021, high school graduates missed out on $3.7 billion in Pell Grant aid because they failed to complete the FAFSA. States and colleges also offer different grant programs separate from federal programs. Most colleges provide this information on their websites in the Financial Aid section.

3. Ask about scholarships

Scholarships are generally merit-based. They are awarded to students who demonstrate academic, athletic, artistic or even social success. In addition to institutional scholarships, many private and non-profit organizations offer scholarships. At your university, you may find need-based or merit-based scholarships.

Need-based scholarships depend on your financial situation, while merit-based scholarships are based on GPAs, test scores (PSAT, SAT, and ACT), athleticism, artistic ability, or other categories. Your college may even offer scholarship-based positions in your field of study. Be sure to determine if the scholarship is renewable or if it is a one-time gift aid.


4. Consider taking out loans

Loans, on the other hand, have to be repaid and usually come with an interest rate. They can come from both government and private lending companies, such as banks and credit unions. Government loans are often offered as part of the financial aid program provided by your university.


A few things to consider are that government loans tend to come with lower interest rates and have more lenient repayment options than private loans. The government offers subsidized and unsubsidized direct loans. Subsidized loans do not earn interest while you are in school at least half-time. Unsubsidized loans start earning interest while you’re in college.

Students walking together on campus stairs

Students walking together on campus stairs

5. See if you qualify for federal work-study

Students in financial need can earn money for college by working part-time through the federal work-study program. The total amount awarded to you depends on when you apply for the program, your level of need, and the level of funding from the school. Be sure to check with your financial aid office that your college participates in the federal work-study program.

Work opportunities could be at your school or with a private, for-profit employer. Remember that you cannot earn more than your federal work-study grant total. However, you will earn at least the current federal minimum wage. A report by Sallie Mae found that the average student in the work-study program earned $1,847 in 2020. You can apply for federal work-study in the FAFSA application.

When it comes to financing your education, every penny really counts.


When it comes to financing your education, every penny really counts. As colleges across the country celebrate Financial Aid Awareness Month, you’ll want to follow your school of choice’s social media accounts to see what kinds of scholarships and grants are available to you. Many colleges publish guidance on navigating the financial aid process. Although the whole process may seem overwhelming at first, remember to start early, take your time to figure it all out, and ask for help when you need it.


]]> Nigeria’s debt sustainability in jeopardy, cause for concern, says IMF – Arise News Fri, 11 Feb 2022 09:10:23 +0000

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that Nigeria’s debt sustainability is under threat and is causing much concern and long-term unease. The IMF reiterated the need for the Nigerian government to implement fiscal reforms in a timely manner.

The IMF Mission Chief for Nigeria, Ms. Jesmin Rahman, said so on Thursday, during a virtual press conference on Nigeria’s 2021 Article IV Advisory Services report.

Rahman noted that the increase in public debt had grown rapidly in 10 years and was approaching the time when the country would devote all of its revenue to servicing the debt. She stressed the need for urgent tax reforms.

Rahman explained, “But what we need to take away here and the elements that jeopardize Nigeria’s debt sustainability are: we have seen a rapid increase in public debt over the past 10 years or so and that is due to budget deficits.

“So the momentum is not that great. And there are a few other points that we should remember; that is, Nigeria’s debt carrying capacity is very weak. For us, the Income levels are low compared to a typical emerging country that spends less than 10% of its income on interest payments.

“In the case of Nigeria, this ratio, if you take only the federal government, it is more than 80% of the income, if you take the consolidated, it is about a third, but the federal government is responsible for the payment of this debt service. So that’s a point.

“The second point is on the access side. Market access for Nigeria, i.e. access to the international market, like the Eurobond, etc., is highly dependent on what happens to oil prices, more so than some other oil exporters raw materials and oil exporters. So that makes Nigeria quite vulnerable.
Rahman said that going forward, the IMF predicted a continued increase in public debt for Nigeria.

“So we project that you will see public debt rise from 36% of GDP to almost 43% of GDP over the medium term,” she said. “And so it increases and it gets to that level where you should be concerned, everyone should be concerned,” she added.

According to her, “Nigeria has a favorable momentum in the sense that high inflation and low interest rates keep that momentum in favor of Nigeria, okay. But if that were to change because growth rates are not high, you could see the public debt increase very quickly”.

Responding to a survey by THISDAY on the impact that removing fuel subsidies and Value Added Tax (VAT) would have on the masses, Rahman explained that tax reforms were a necessity to increase the country’s revenue.

She also reaffirmed the need for the federal government to remove fuel subsidies, saying they are costly and regressive.
Rahman said, “A country that has little fiscal space to have a subsidy that mainly benefits the rich doesn’t make sense. There are therefore economic and social reasons for abolishing this subsidy.

“Of course it will have an impact on the poor, because it is a universal subsidy, it also affects the poor. Thus, the removal of subsidies would have an impact on poverty.

The IMF official added: “And if you look at Nigeria’s past attempts to remove fuel subsidies, it has always been difficult. But it would be important that in addition to having social assistance, targeted social assistance for the vulnerable and the poor and that it also needed strong political will and a well-designed public campaign to demonstrate the merits of this reform and total transparency in the use of resources. Without this important reform, there is again a risk of reversal.

Nume Ekeghe

Iain Macwhirter: The cost of living crisis is stabilizing upside down Sun, 06 Feb 2022 09:58:06 +0000 The default reaction to any initiative from this government is to reject it with contempt. Well, they are conservatives, aren’t they? As everyone knows, the Conservatives are looking after themselves, cutting public spending and lining the pockets of the rich.

And so Michael Gove’s leveling program was dismissed by opposition parties as at best a facade and at worst an exercise in red-wall vote-buying. Most journalists seem to agree.

I have a different point of view. We should applaud any minister who is genuinely interested in rebalancing Britain and tackling regional inequality, even if he is a Tory.

So when Michael Gove calls on this government to “put the money and the power in the hands of the working people”, and promises to make this legally binding, I am inclined to say: well, about time. He will have plenty of time to condemn them for not keeping their promises.

Certainly, there is not a lot of public money in this leveling. The initial money is less than what was lost to fraudulent Covid ‘bounce back’ loans. The Treasury pulled the purse strings. But money is not everything, despite what Labor and the SNP say.

READ MORE: UK government extends senior level invitation to Mark Drakeford

Indeed, if leveling up was simply a matter of additional public spending, Scotland would already be leveled to the stratosphere. Indeed, Scotland has benefited, year after year, from at least 11% more public spending per capita than the rest of the UK. Indeed, the Independent Institute for Fiscal Studies says the Scottish government has 30% more to spend.

When Nicola Sturgeon mocks the lack of fresh money, she condemns her own record. The SNP has been in power for almost 15 years and has little to show for the tens of billions in extra spending funneled into Scotland through the Barnett formula.

Glasgow’s men are still dying far too early and healthy life expectancy is declining across the board. A quarter of children still live in poverty, education levels are falling and the NHS in Scotland is not doing better despite all the extra money pouring into it. It was creaking long before Covid struck and revealed its deep weaknesses. And don’t talk about ferries, crumbling roads, deserted city centers.

real irony

Ironically, the Conservatives’ upgrade agenda – local empowerment, education, welfare, culture, transportation, productivity, etc. – recalls the Scottish Government’s own national performance framework with its measures, scorecards and results models. This was born ten years ago, when the SNP could still credibly call itself a progressive party. They don’t talk about it much but it’s still there.

READ MORE: Mark Drakeford must find Welsh solutions to UK problems

That a Conservative government has now accepted that the market has failed, which is essentially what leveling means, is a significant, if not historic, development. Just a few years ago, conservatives called state interventionism futile and counterproductive.

Bureaucracy gone mad… meddling with the market… don’t kill the golden goose.

Whether the Gove upgrade actually works is, of course, another matter. The cost of living crisis has overwhelmed it with a water price shock that will level living standards precisely in parts of the country that are expected to rise. We haven’t seen anything like it since the 1970s. The financial crash of 2008 was a minus compared to what is happening now. A global energy crisis, 7% inflation, rapidly rising interest rates and a supply chain crisis compounded by Brexit.

Previous past

For historical parallels, we have to go back to the OPEC energy crisis of 1973 and the consequences of the Barber Boom. Conservative Chancellor Anthony Barber has cut interest rates and pumped money into Britain’s sluggish economy in the hope of spurring a ‘race for growth’, as he put it. The only growth was in inflation.

Prices rose at an annual rate of 25 percent just a few years later. Britain had to turn to the International Monetary Fund in 1976 for emergency loans – although Harold Wilson’s Labor government then inherited the wreckage. Keir Starmer should be careful what he wishes for. Labor could be in government in less than two years.

READ MORE: Inflation at its highest in 30 years

The infamous wage and price spiral of the 1970s was the result of powerful unions doing their own leveling in manufacturing and mining, and 20% wage increases became the norm. Today, few workers outside the public sector are unionized, so the wage/price spiral is unlikely to repeat itself. This means that the inhabitants of low-wage regions will become poorer more quickly.

The Bank of England insists we’re all going to get poorer faster than after the 2010 recession – except, of course, the asset-rich plutocrats who seem to be getting richer no matter what. real economy. But inflation hits the poor harder because they have to spend more on what economists call “non-discretionary spending” and what the rest of us call feeding their families.

As food writer Jack Monroe has demonstrated, inflation of supermarket staples is far higher than the Bank’s overall figure. Walk into your local Morrisons or Tesco and the proof is all around you. Value brands are disappearing from the shelves. The size of the packages is decreasing. The weights are mysteriously declining.

READ MORE: Loan sharks in Wales are using family and social ties to prey on the vulnerable

Wealthier middle classes in Waitrose already pay more for the same thing and rarely look at posted prices. But the inhabitants of large houses are shocked when they discover the amount of energy they consume. And they will certainly notice that their mortgage payments will increase due to the Bank of England raising interest rates to fight inflation.

After decades of printing money while drunk, the Old Lady wins the punch bowl. Yet higher borrowing costs are meant to make businesses less willing to expand, which means fewer jobs, especially in areas slated for leveling.

blame game

SCOTLAND has its own problems, including a colder climate and slower economic growth. But as SNP deputy leader at Westminster Kirsten Oswald demonstrated on Friday, the Scottish government has no cohesive response to the coming crisis other than to blame the evil Tories.

The Scots are going to wonder why, with our prodigious oil and gas reserves and huge wind farms, they are getting so much poorer and colder. Some may think that independence will magically solve the crisis. Others will think they need an independence referendum right away like they need a hole in the roof. Scotland’s oil and gas are kept ‘in the ground’ so you can forget about the drop in energy prices after independence.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is at least reducing the impact of energy prices through municipal tax refunds and loans. It won’t make a huge difference, but neither would Labour’s windfall tax on energy companies, morally justified. It was a global crisis that put most energy supply companies out of business. And Sunak is right: net zero means we have become accustomed to higher energy prices.

The Scottish government could still act. Maybe honor his promise to reform council tax, pay discretionary benefits, raise taxes. He has more powers than he gives. Blaming London and waiting for Boris Johnson’s government to collapse may sound like good policy, but it’s not a responsible strategy, let alone an advertisement for life after independence.

This article originally appeared in our sister title, The Herald in Scotland.

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Sponsored Content: Personal Loans — Why Should You Get One? Thu, 03 Feb 2022 05:55:02 +0000

A personal loan is usually an unsecured loan, which means you don’t have to post collateral. Thus, the lender will have nothing to seize in the event of default. However, we do not encourage you to default on your personal loans, as this has consequences.

One of these consequences affects your credit score. When you default on a loan, your credit score drops and reduces your chances of getting another loan approved in the future. So where can you use a personal loan? Personal loans are flexible and you can use them for a variety of reasons, such as covering an emergency fund or consolidating your loans.

Like any other type of installment loan, they are usually repaid with interest each month. But before we get into the different reasons why you should take out a personal loan, let’s talk in more detail about the type of loan.

How do personal loans work?

Different types of loans are intended for particular purchases. For example, a mortgage is for a house, car loans for cars, and student loans for educational purposes. For loans like mortgages and car loans, the new car and the house serve as the respective collateral.

Mortgages and auto loans are secured loans because they require collateral. But not all loans require collateral and such loans are called unsecured loans. Personal loans fall into this category.

A typical personal loan does not require any collateral. This means that the lender takes a significant risk in the transaction. However, the interest rate is much higher and getting approval is more complex compared to a secured loan. Approval depends on several factors such as your credit score, credit reports, and debt ratio. However, some types of personal loans are unsecured.

Since personal loans can also be used to purchase property or a car, these purchases can act as collateral in the event of default. However, in turn, the interest rate drops significantly and approval is much easier.

Whether your personal loan is secured or not, failure to pay always has the same consequences. So why take out a personal loan? Here are some reasons.

Emergency cash assistance

If you are in an emergency and need money immediately, personal loans are your solution. Most lenders today offer online applications, which makes the application process very convenient. The application process is quick, especially if you already have the documents in hand.

Approval is also quick and you can get the money the very next day or in some cases several hours later. You may need emergency financial assistance for overdue rent, funeral expenses, medical bills, or an unexpected car repair.

If you’re hesitating between getting a personal loan or a payday loan, here’s what you need to know. Payday loans are suitable for short-term cash assistance. Their deadline is usually in your next payday. However, the borrowing limit is much more limited compared to personal loans. Plus, they have incredibly high interest rates. Personal loans are a type of instant payment loan, so payments are usually made monthly or every two weeks.

Debt Consolidation

One of the most common reasons people take out personal loans is to consolidate debt. But what is debt consolidation?

Debt consolidation takes all your debts and places them in one account for easy payment and a lower interest rate. This makes the deadline for all accounts uniform, and if you chose a personal loan with a low interest rate, you would pay that instead of having to remember the interest rate for each account.

Home repairs and improvements

The most common home improvement financing strategy is to take out a home equity loan. It’s the most logical decision, especially if you already have equity in your own home. This can also be done if you want to make repairs. However, did you know that you can also take out a personal loan for these reasons?

Home equity loans and line of credit loans take your home as collateral once you are unable to pay. Unsecured personal loans do not. So instead of risking losing your home for a secured loan, why not take out a personal loan? Of course, we don’t necessarily mean that it’s okay not to repay your personal loans. We say that a personal loan is much less risky than an equity loan or a line of credit.

In conclusion

Personal loans are quick and easy to apply for, especially if you’re in an emergency or want to buy something not too extravagant. However, remember that you must have an excellent credit rating and an impeccable credit report to access personal loans, as they are unsecured. Also, your interest rate and borrowing limit depend on these factors, so keep that in mind.

What to know before borrowing Tue, 25 Jan 2022 22:36:00 +0000
  • Payday loans usually come with very high interest rates and are often based on your income.
  • Personal loans are long-term installment loans that generally have lower rates than payday loans.
  • Payday loans are always a worse option than personal loans due to their high rates.
  • Read more stories from Personal Finance Insider.

Taking out a loan can be a useful way to pay for expenses that you might not otherwise be able to cover at the moment. You may want to borrow to cover medical bills, home renovations, or maybe even a vacation.

The most common forms of loans for quick cash are payday loans and personal loans, although one is a much better option than the other.

payday loan vs. Personal loan: In one look

  • A payday loan is a short-term, high-cost unsecured loan with principal as part of your next paycheck.
  • A personal loan is an unsecured long-term loan with higher minimum loan amounts and lower interest rates.
  • You can use either money pretty much however you like; other than that, they have few similarities.

Real Simple’s Money Confidential podcast host Stefanie O’Connell Rodriguez recommends avoiding payday loans whenever possible.

“It’s an option of last resort, like avoiding it at all costs,” says O’Connell Rodriguez. “If you’re considering something like, ‘OK, do I use a payday loan or a credit card or a personal loan,’ understanding that a payday loan is the option of last resort might help make that decision a little easier.”

What is a payday loan?

Payday loans are often for small amounts of money, usually $500 or less. They are designed for borrowers who are in need – perhaps you need money to cover an unexpected medical bill or a damaged item. Payday loans provide immediate funds, come with extremely high interest rates, and are generally based on your income, not your credit history.

“Payday loans come at a price,” says Kendall Clayborne, Certified Financial Planner at SoFi. “They can have interest rates over 600%. Such high interest rates, not to mention the other associated fees, can quickly lead to situations where you end up falling behind on the loan and have to borrow money. more and more to pay it comes back.”

Payday loans are never a better option than personal loans. They come with extremely high interest rates and are often predatory in nature.

“If someone asked me personally, I wouldn’t recommend a payday loan under any circumstances,” says Annie Yang, strategic financial advisor at Real Estate Bees.

You can get a payday loan by going to a physical lender or through an online lender. When you take out a payday loan, you often agree to authorize the lender to withdraw funds from your bank after your check has been deposited. The lender may request a signed check in order to receive the funds soon after your next paycheck.

what is a Personal loan?

With a personal loan, you ask to withdraw a specific amount of money. The lender will show you available offers based on financial factors such as your credit score, debt-to-equity ratio, and ability to repay the loan. You can use a personal loan for a variety of reasons, including home renovations, medical bills, and vacations.

“Personal loans come with a credit check to qualify, but will give you a longer term to pay them back,” says Clayborne. “Your repayment schedule can be less stressful, giving you the flexibility to pay over a few years rather than a few months. With a longer repayment term, your personal loan can be easier to manage than a payday loan. .”

Personal loans are always a better option than payday loans because they come with lower interest rates and the loan decision is based on your ability to repay.

Online lenders, banks and

credit unions

will give you money that you will repay over a fixed period, say a year or five years. Personal loans are almost always unsecured, meaning they don’t require collateral – like a house or car in the case of a mortgage or car loan – to be received. Most personal loans have fixed interest rates that remain the same for the life of the loan.

Whether you decide to take out a loan or not, O’Connell Rodriguez advised you not to judge yourself too harshly based on your financial situation.

“Have compassion for yourself,” O’Connell Rodriguez said. “Understand that where you are, if you’re in an emergency, if you’re in debt, if you’re in a really bad financial situation, it doesn’t say anything about who you are, it doesn’t say anything about what you’re capable of. of, or who you are. It doesn’t define your goodness or your dignity.”

Economy rebounds above pre-COVID levels for first time, but fears over Omicron hit | Economic news Fri, 14 Jan 2022 07:30:00 +0000

The UK economy grew stronger than expected in November before the Omicron variant hit, rebounding above pre-pandemic levels for the first time.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.9% in the month, compared to a rise of just 0.1% in October.

Analysts had predicted a 0.4% rise in November.

This meant the world’s fifth-largest economy was 0.7% larger than it was in February 2020, the ONS said.

However, despite the acceleration in growth in November, GDP was likely hit in December when the Omicron variant of the coronavirus swept the world.

The loss of momentum likely extended into January, with many businesses reporting severe staff absences and consumers still hesitant to step out.

But health officials believe the wave of Omicron infections has now peaked in the UK and economists say the impact on the economy is likely to be short-lived, allowing the Bank of England to continue to raise interest rates.

Office of National Statistics chief economist Grant Fitzner said: “The economy grew strongly in the month before the Omicron strike, with architects, retailers, couriers and accountants having a bumper month.

“Construction also recovered from several weak months as many raw materials became easier to obtain.

“This means that monthly GDP exceeded its pre-pandemic level for the first time in November.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said the higher-than-expected GDP figures were due to the “courage” of the public.

He said: “It’s amazing to see the size of the economy return to pre-pandemic levels in November – a testament to the courage and determination of the British people.

“The government continues to support the economy, including through grants, loans and tax breaks for businesses, and our jobs plan is ensuring people across the country have fantastic opportunities.

“We all have a vital role to play in protecting lives and jobs, and I urge everyone to do theirs by getting boosted as soon as possible.”

CBI Chief Economist Alpesh Paleja said: “While it is good that economic growth picked up in November, the data has been overtaken by events.

“It is very likely that activity took a hit in December as the spread of the Omicron variant and subsequent restrictions disrupted operations in some sectors.

“As we enter the new year, the near-term outlook is also clouded by additional challenges: labor shortages – exacerbated by sickness absences, supply chain disruptions and a household cost of living.

“Implementing Plan B in December was the right thing to do, but with COVID clearly here to stay, the government must now act to avoid the need for further activity restrictions.

“This includes providing clearer forward guidance to support business adaptation, prioritizing mass testing over mass self-isolation and ensuring travel controls are proportionate so that the UK remains open to the rest of the world.”

Suren Thiru, head of economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Stronger growth in November is likely to be followed by a modest decline in output in December and January as consumers are cautious to socialize and spend, and increased staff absences caused by Omicron and Plan B limit activity.

“While the UK economy is expected to rebound once Plan B measures are lifted, soaring inflation and continued supply chain disruption could mean that the UK’s economic growth outlook will remain under pressure for a while. much of 2022.

“The government must do everything in its power to support the economy during this difficult time.

“If the current restrictions persist or are further tightened, a more comprehensive support package commensurate with the scale of any new measures will need to be put in place.”