Freddie and Fannie are Slow Learners

March 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Loans and Borrowing

Freddie Mac announced that, come this September, it will no longer back interest-only mortgage loans. This is good news but raises two questions. First, what took Freddie took so long to pull the switch? Second, when is Fannie Mae going to follow suit? Read more

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Consumer Credit Usage: The Jury is Still Out

March 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Debt and Credit

I admit it. Mr. ToughMoneyLove was encouraged by data suggesting that many consumer debt addicts were in recovery. Maybe, I thought, people had learned important debt management lessons from the events of 2008 and 2009. I think I was wrong. Read more

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Is the World Ending Tomorrow?

February 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Debt and Credit

The number of articles written about tomorrow’s change in credit card rules seems to be approaching Y2K Armageddon levels. Pity is descending upon the young and creditless, particularly college students eager to light up credit card terminals with their new-found addiction. Mr. ToughMoneyLove’s heart is breaking. This denial of the fundamental civil right of credit cards to our young must end! Read more

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Forget the Gold, Go for the ZYNC!

February 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Debt and Credit

When gold just isn’t good enough, zinc┬áZync is better. At least for American Express it is.

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The Real Cost of Credit Cards

January 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Debt and Credit

I get bashed often about my attitude towards credit cards. Responsible users (those who never carry a balance) are very proud of the rewards and benefits they provide. Other personal finance bloggers devote substantial time writing about the various rewards cards available to us, hoping to garner some extra income through affiliate links. Read more

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New Credit Card Rules and You

January 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Debt and Credit

A hot topic among personal finance writers and bloggers is how the new credit card rules will affect existing credit card owners. I have already received a notice from our credit card issuer (yes – we have one). Mr. ToughMoneyLove scanned the document to make sure that it did not impose random fees just for the privilege of owning the card. Then I threw that mess of boilerplate away. I knew it was sent merely to inform us of the “new rules.” I have already read enough about the “new rules” to know that they were written in an attempt to protect careless consumers from their own carelessness. That leads me to write this brief post on my proposed rules for dealing with the new credit card rules. Read more

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Staying Off the Car Payment Treadmill

January 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Loans and Borrowing

Mr. and Mrs. ToughMoneyLove do not like car payments so we don’t have any. I don’t understand the logic in borrowing money to purchase a depreciating asset. Read more

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Dubai World – A Well Deserved Crash and Burn

December 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Debt and Credit

If you read the big picture financial news this week, you know that the investment arm of the emirate of Dubai has suspended interest payments to its creditors for six months. What a shame for everyone involved. Not. Read more

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Consumers to Banks: Take this Card and Shove it

October 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Debt and Credit

Consumers are unhappy with their banks. No surprise there. What is remarkable is the tangible way in which they are expressing their unhappiness. Credit card debt declined 13.1% in August. This was the 11th straight month of decline, an all-time record. Read more

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Living for Today Can Lead to Paying for the Past

October 10, 2009 by  
Filed under Debt and Credit

A frequently uttered battle cry of our borrow-and-spend culture is “live for today.” This phrase is often used to rationalize a questionable purchase, because “you never know what can happen tomorrow.” Actually, for lots of the “live for today” folks, we do know what will happen tomorrow: You will pay a huge price for your spendthrift ways. Read more

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