loans

US Consumers Upped Their Borrowing in March

U.S. consumers swiped their credit cards more often in March and took out more loans to attend school, driving overall borrowing up by the most in more than a decade. Total consumer borrowing rose $21.4 billion in March, the Federal Reserve said Monday. That's the seventh straight monthly increase and the largest since November 2001.

How to Raise Your Odds of Getting a Mortgage

It doesn't look like the housing market will come roaring back anytime soon, but with historically low interest rates, now's a good time to buy. The hard part is that banks in the post-bubble era are notoriously stingy with that cheap money, so figuring out how to get a smile out of a mortgage lender is task No. 1.

Refinancing Tips: How to Snag Today's Low Rates

With the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage down to 4.09%, -- another record low -- it's a great time to refinance. But before you go running off to your lender to catch the best rates since 1951, get yourself straight. According to LendingTree, many people are making major refinancing mistakes that can cost them dearly.

Young Real Estate Investor Seeks Best Use for Cash

Andy Buman has been financially responsible, and invested wisely in two rental properties and a home of his own in the Omaha, Neb., area. His small real estate empire is doing well, and he has saved an extra $20,000. His question for DailyFinance's Laura Rowley: Which loan should he apply it to for the best return?

The Trouble with Online Payday Loans

If you're strapped for cash and need money quickly, an online payday loan can be tempting. But these high-interest loans can lead to financial trouble. Here are some tips on selecting a provider, as well as some alternatives to payday loans.

Can't Get Credit? You May Be Living in the Wrong State

Credit is ever so personal, and ultimately it's your responsibility -- but it's not solely about you. Your state's creditworthiness can impact you too. For that reason, CardRatings.com's recently released rankings of the 10 Best and Worst States for Consumer Credit is worth a look-see.

Denied Credit? New Fed Rule May Interest You

Have you ever been turned down for a loan? Had your credit line slashed or interest rate bumped up? Well, starting Thursday, banks and other lenders will be required tell you a bit more about why. The FTC and the Fed are implementing a new rule requiring lenders to show consumers the credit score data they used to make their decision.

Six Financial Myths Your Father May Have Taught You

You love your dad, but you don't have to buy everything he taught you about money. DailyFinance celebrates Father's Day by debunking six financial myths he might have held held true. He still deserves the socks and the cologne. Just don't necessarily trust him with your portfolio.

Borrowing From Retirement Plans Hits New Highs

Like a tree laden with ripe summer fruit, plump 401(k) accounts can appear as tempting sources for an easy loan, especially when other financial resources have dried up. And more people than ever have been plucking from that tree. It's not always the wrong move, but here's why it should be a last resort.

Rising Expenses Cut Into Wells Fargo's Outlook

Wells Fargo's stock dropped by about 5% after it announced its earnings last month, due to lower than expected home mortgage originations. While rising interest rates could be one factor, non-interest expenses were up by $616 million from a year ago. If those expenses stay that high, Trefis will be cutting its target for the stock.

Is Your Financial Situation Grave? Try Zombie Economics

If you've ever felt like your debts were going to eat you alive, the authors of "Zombie Economics" have some advice for you: Battle for your financial survival with the same methods you'd use to fight off an approaching horde of the shuffling, brain-chomping undead.

How to Lend Money to Friends Without Losing Both

Lending money to friends and family ranks among the most pernicious of relationship stressors. It's not just the cash -- it's the emotions we all carry about it. But with a little planning, you can help someone out of a financial bind without putting your friendship in the red.

The Mortgage Mess Settlement Proposal: Off to an Awful Start

A partial settlement plan has been constructed by a group of state attorneys general and federal regulators. In theory, it addresses banks' flawed mortgage servicing, modification and foreclosure practices. In reality, it just lets the banks off the hook.

Career Risk-Taking Hits a New Low, Thanks to the Still-Weak Economy

Whether it was a fresh startup or a fresh start, fewer Americans seemed willing to take career risks last year, according to a new report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The percentage of job-seekers starting their own businesses or relocating for new positions fell to historic lows in 2010.

Peering Into the Peer-to-Peer Lending Boom

For those who can't get bank loans, the new business of peer-to-peer lending can be a lifesaver. Internet companies connect people who need to borrow with individuals willing to lend to them directly -- for a fair profit, of course. Here's how it all works.

Home Prices Fall to Pre-Bubble Levels

The drop in home values caused by the mortgage crisis has resulted in one positive outcome: Prices have fallen so far that home affordability is back to pre-housing boom levels, reports Moody's Analytics. But a quarter of households with a mortgage are underwater on their loan.

N.J. Appeals Court Blocks Foreclosure Over Bad Docs

A New Jersey court has invalidated a foreclosure by insisting on a basic concept of due process -- that the bank must authenticate the documents it uses to make its case. But in the case of Wells Fargo v. Sandra A. Ford, there are more issues than just who owns the mortgage. She has fraud claims that go back to the very beginning.

Did Bear Stearns Know These Securities Were a House of Cards?

JPMorgan Chase may come to regret buying Bear Stearns. Suits by Wells Fargo and bond insurer Ambac claim that Bear entirely disregarded loan quality to appease its trading desk's ever-growing demand for mortgages to securitize. Now, those parties are suing to get their money back, and they might get it.

Housing 2011: Unsettled, Underwater, Unsold

Housing market watchers got a bit of good news Thursday: Sales agreements for previously occupied homes rose 10.4 % in October. But that was one spark of hope against a backdrop of declining prices, bulging inventories and ongoing legal issues around foreclosures. A real estate recovery in 2011? Don't count on it.

Banks Resist Requests to Buy Back Failed Mortgage Loans

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are encountering growing opposition from banks as they try to make lenders including JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM) and Bank of America Corp. (BAC) buy back failed mortgage loans. The two government-owned companies are trying to enforce contracts that require banks to take back loans that don%u2019t meet certain underwriting standards, Bloomberg News reported.

Can Hong Kong Gently Deflate Its Real Estate Bubble?

Hong Kong took a new step this week to let some air out of its real estate bubble, levying a heavy tax on property flippers -- a move that has already sent asking prices there downward. But Hong Kong's real estate risks are dwarfed by those in Mainland China.

The New Bank Stress Tests Show Just How Serious the Mortgage Mess Is

This week, the Congressional Oversight Panel recommended that the nation's big banks be stress tested again, because if problems with mortgage-backed securities are widespread, the consequences could be dire. Now, the Fed has agreed to run those tests, which it wouldn't do if it wasn't worried.