As the U.S. Postal Service continues to lose money each year, a new report suggests a way to add to its bottom line: offer banklike services, such as a check cashing card that would allow holders to make purchases and pay bills online or even take out small loans. The idea is to provide services that are now unavailable in many communities.
Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 9:14 am
By Steve Henn
Millions of people are turning their thoughts to self-improvement and New Year's resolutions this week. And one of the most common resolutions, after promises to lose weight or get in better shape, is to be better about money.
A handful of entrepreneurs in the Bay Area have taken note — and they believe the time has come for you to try a different way of managing your money.
A payday loan is a costly form of credit operating on the fringes of the economy. That's why the target of a new crackdown by federal regulators may surprise you: Instead of a forlorn-looking storefront with a garish neon sign, it's your familiar neighborhood bank.
A small but growing number of banks, including some major players, have been offering the equivalent of payday loans, calling them "deposit advances."
That is, at least, until bank regulators stepped in Nov. 21 and put new restrictions on the loans.
There is something new and different for home mortgages: Jumbo loans are being made at lower interest rates than traditional home loans. That's kind of like a first class airplane ticket being cheaper than riding in coach.
At first this seems crazy. For as long as anybody can remember, homeowners have had to pay a premium to get jumbo loans. That's because they're not guaranteed by the federal government. If they're not guaranteed, they're riskier, so they cost more in interest payments.
Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 1:29 pm
There's no question that dealing with mortgages, car payments and other bills takes up time and energy. But having a tight budget may also zap our ability to think clearly, scientists report Thursday in the journal Science.
In a series of clever experiments involving farmers in India and shoppers in New Jersey, scientists found that people are worse at solving puzzles — similar to those on the IQ test — when they're first reminded of money problems.