Tag Archives: #NewJersey

What If I Cannot Make My Student Loan Payments?

Student loans are one of the most widely held types of debt in the US. An estimated 44 million Americans owe more than $1.4 trillion in higher education debt. For some people with student loans, payments are problematic. The Brookings Institute estimates that 40 percent of student loan debtors will default by 2024. If you are experiencing difficulty paying back your student loans, there may be measures you can take to avoid default. However, your options will vary depending on whether you have private or federal loans. Federal loans. You may be able to lower your payments on federal student loans by enrolling in an income-driven repayment program. These programs limit monthly payments to a percentage of your income. Income-driven programs include the Income-Based Repayment (IBR), Pay As Your Earn (PAYE), Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) and Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) programs. Eligibility for these programs can vary depending on…
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What are Common Rental Scam Red Flags?

Scammers are constantly on the lookout for targets who are looking to rent residential properties or who are in the process of moving. In New Jersey and elsewhere, scammers could walk away with thousands of dollars of your hard-earned money if you are not careful. Fortunately, many rental scams have common factors that can make them easy to identify. Rental scam red flags may include: The scammer says they cannot meet with you. Scammers may claim they are out of the country or cannot meet for some other reason. Never rent a property without meeting the landlord first. The property listing is vague. Be on the lookout for real estate ads with vague descriptions of the property. This could signal that the person has not seen or been to the apartment or house. You are asked to pay without having met someone or seeing the property. The scammer may demand…
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Five Common Bankruptcy Myths

Bankruptcy is a helpful debt relief option for people struggling with their finances. Common misconceptions about the process may keep people who could benefit from bankruptcy from filing. Some of the most common bankruptcy myths include: Bankruptcy permanently destroys your credit. Your credit scores are not permanent. You can begin to improve your credit scores after bankruptcy by paying your bills or any remaining credit obligations on time. Although bankruptcy will remain on your credit reports for up to ten years, you may still receive offers from lenders if you can show financial stability. Student loans are non-dischargeable. It is very difficult to discharge student loans in bankruptcy, but it is not impossible. You do have to show that repaying the loans would impose an “undue hardship” on you or your dependents. Some bankruptcy filers, such as those with permanent disabilities, may have an easier time showing undue hardship than…
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Is There More Than One Type of Credit Score?

Credit scores can determine the conditions you are offered on loans, jobs you may receive and where you can sign residential leases. These scores are determined by calculating the information on your three credit reports. The three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) each maintain an individual report on your credit history. There are two main credit scoring models: FICO and VantageScore. These credit scoring models have multiple variations that are used by specific lenders. A 2012 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) report suggests there are 49 separate FICO scores, some of which are industry-specific. For instance, there are FICO scores that are used in the auto and mortgage lending industry. VantageScore also has multiple scoring models. Some of these variations, especially for FICO scores, have been around for many years. Your credit scores can vary depending on the type of scoring model that was used to calculate the information…
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How Can I Protect My Business After a Natural Disaster?

In the past few weeks, weather on the East Coast has been borderline apocalyptic. The recent “bomb cyclone” and nor’easters have pummeled New Jersey. Power outages, heavy winds and freezing weather caused billions in damages across the East Coast. There are steps you can take to protect your business after natural disasters. However, you should consider purchasing natural disaster insurance for your business, if you have not already. If you have natural disaster insurance, the following steps may help you while filing a claim. Call your insurance provider. Do not wait to contact your insurance provider after a natural disaster has caused damage to your business. Insurance companies have time limits on filing claims. If you wait too long, you may not be able to recover compensation. Document the damage. If it is safe to do so, you can return to your business to document the damage. Photographs of the…
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