If you’re feeling more than slightly overwhelmed with all of the back and forth bickering on Capitol Hill and are confused by all of the so-called “new rules” of good credit, you’re not alone. Before you think the answer is found in a sterling credit score, there are other events that continue to unfold and as my Maw Maw used to say, “It ain’t gonna be pretty”. Here are a few new financial truths you might not had considered.
In fact, most Americans these days share the same two mindsets when it comes to all of these government economic and financial scandals that are affecting all of us:
Why are they doing this?
Can someone just shut them up?
That sounds harsh, but you’d be surprised at the number of emails received every week from readers who’ve simply had enough. The gracious tones, willingness to remain patient and a commitment to bide time – those are all a thing of the past. These days, as consumers, we want to understand what it’s going to take to get our financial lives back in check.
We want to know that for the past six months, as we’ve waited for that great treadmill to go on sale, we’re actually going to be able to buy it. We want to know that wedding gown that our daughter wants is something we can give to her. By not understanding what’s going on, it makes it difficult to remain committed to a beautifully financially managed life.
Here are the latest goings-on from the financial sector. Whether it’s credit cards or shopping for back to school clothes, there’s something for everyone. Remember – a well informed consumer is one that’s less likely to be taken advantage of. It’s also the one sure way of keeping your money right where it belongs: in the bank.
This is becoming difficult to understand even by those neck deep in the latest scandal. There remain many homeowners who’ve yet to receive any type of restitution as part of the multibillion dollar lawsuit that found the nation’s banks conducted their foreclosure proceedings illegally. Last week, and due to a new OCC-authored rule book, at least two banks have ceased, in their entirety, of moving forward with new foreclosures.
The new universal minimum standards apply to every single foreclosure that occurs in this country from this point on. Both Wells Fargo and Citi, afraid that they weren’t in compliance, halted their foreclosures until they’re better confident in their own policies. As a consumer, you should research this new law as it could potentially affect you and your family at some point – even if you never go into foreclosure.
This too could potentially affect you, although it’s unsure of just how far this scandal goes. You should know that Senator Elizabeth Warren has turned her attention to these events. Remember, she’s the one who’s gone after the “too big to fail” banks and continues to look for those financial truths. She’s demanding answers on behalf of American consumers. Again, she’s one to watch as she’s also keeping the big banks in her crosshairs, too. What ultimately happens could affect the bank fees you pay, the way you apply for credit cards and even how those behaviors affect your credit scores.
Also, the talks are continuing with the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac situation. Remember, these two government-backed bodies received close to $2 billion in taxpayer funds just to stay ahead of the game.
Big Changes in Credit Scores
Another new report, released earlier this month, shows that fewer Americans are being qualified for a new mortgage. No longer is it easy to qualify for a mortgage with scores less than 640. These days, you need a score of at least 690 and an impressive down payment. In fact, Elizabeth Duke, who is with the Board of Governors, said that those consumers qualifying for mortgages with scores less than 620 are “virtually non-existent”.
If that’s true, the question is: who’s being approved for all of these purchases that analysts are saying is improving the economy? This is going to become quite interesting – and likely before the end of the summer. You can also expect to see a widening gap between credit card offers, too.
It could be that there will eventually be credit cards for those with poor credit (and usually these will be secured credit cards) and credit cards for those with prime credit. Who picks up the slack for the average consumer who has a family, two jobs and a retirement to plan for, is yet to be seen. It’s just one more of those financial truths that don’t seem to add up.
Get ready – this is likely going to be much worse before it gets better – and it’s going to cost each and every one of us, whether we decide to follow the rules of Obamacare or choose not to and pay the fine. A new report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services really tell the tale. A look at just one of the discrepancies suggests it’s going to be nearly impossible to get this straightened out.
Many say ObamaCare has no foundation – instead, it’s offering up visions of how it SHOULD work – eventually. With no idea of what’s really going on and with a lack of common sense to build any precautions into the plan, here’s just one of those quagmires revealed in the report that will serve as a stumbling block for consumers and the government:
163 hospitals across the country charge at least $100,000 for a pacemaker, while 46 charge less than $30,000. And let’s be honest – the government isn’t exactly the best source for handling these types of discrepancies. Yet, here we are.
The good news is that a quick trip down memory lane can actually be reassuring. No matter how devastating the economy gets and despite the government “cure alls” that never panned out, as a nation, this is just temporary. Consumers will rebound – provided, of course, we can keep our sanity until then.
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