Consumers optimistic about future finances

While 2011 wasn't the best of years economically for the nation or Americans in general, a new survey indicates it ended on an optimistic note. According to the Country Financial Security Index, feelings of financial stability increased 1.6 points to 64.8 in December. The rise in the index is an indication Americans are more confident […]

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Consumer Spending Index diminishes in November

Driven by a weak housing market, a new report indicates Americans reduced purchasing activity in November. According to accountancy firm Deloitte, consumer spending slid to 1.75 on its Consumer Spending Index, down from 1.96 in October. The Index takes four aspects into consideration to assess buying activity, those being the tax burden, initial unemployment claims, […]

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Credit predictions for 2012

As the year draws to a close, credit card comparison website Card Hub has released a list of predictions on how the state of credit will fare in 2012. According to the website, credit availability will likely grow. While lending standards are tight now, Card Hub anticipates that credit card companies' and mortgage brokers' portfolios […]

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More people looking to friends, family members for loans

Due to tight credit restrictions, a considerable number of potential homebuyers are turning to their loved ones for financial assistance. According to the National Association of Realtors, one-third of first-time homebuyers this year received a cash gift or loan for a down payment from family and friends, the Wall Street Journal reports. In previous years, […]

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Average credit card debt in November falls nationwide

A new report indicates that in all 50 states, consumers cut their credit card debt in November. According to CreditKarma.com's U.S. Credit Score Climate Report, since January, credit card debt has dropped nearly 10 percent, averaging $6,503 per person. But among specific states, the fall has been even more significant. For instance, in Mississippi, average […]

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Mortgage, credit defaults rise in November

A new survey indicates a considerable number of consumers had trouble making their home loan payments in November. According to a joint survey released by Standard and Poor's and credit bureau Experian, first mortgage default rates rose to 2.17 percent from 2.08 percent on the organizations' Credit Default Indices. Also registering an increase were bank […]

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Consumers’ financial circumstances continue to suffer

Despite some positive economic indicators suggesting the country's financial system may be improving, more consumers are feeling worse about their finances, a new poll suggests. In the Consumer Federation of America's 12th annual nationwide spending survey, 37 percent of respondents said their financial situation had worsened in 2011, a sharp rise from the 30 percent […]

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Real estate expert: Obtaining low-interest loan no easy task

With mortgage rates hovering at record lows, many people have used it as an opportunity to refinance. However, due to restrictive lending standards, it often proves difficult to get approved for a prime interest rate. To help, John Wasik, a real estate and investment expert, wrote a column for Reuters about the things consumers need […]

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Report: Consumer protections insufficient for mobile payments

Thanks to the advancement of technology, people can pay for goods and services through mobile devices such as cell phones and tablets. However, a new report indicates that financial protections afforded by these technologies are somewhat limited. As a result of the findings, Consumers Union — the organization that performed the study — recently called […]

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Americans’ fiscal IQ lacking

A new poll indicates that many Americans have a limited understanding of financial matters. The poll, conducted by non-profit organization CAI, questioned 1,000 individuals by phone, asking them questions that gauged their fiscal knowledge about a variety of financial matters, including how the government was spending money. On a scale of 1 to 100, respondents […]

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