Sometimes it may seem like shopping has become America’s favorite pastime. With advertising popping up everywhere—from TV to billboards to city buses— shopping seems to be everywhere. Advertisers spend billions of dollars annually convincing us that products can make us feel successful, prevent us from being bored, help us attract a partner, and a myriad of other things. With ads carefully designed to manipulate our spending habits, it’s no wonder so many people have become emotional spenders.
Apps promising to “advance” a user’s wages say they aren’t payday lenders. So what are they?
Jonathan Raines needed money. An app promised to help.
He searched online for an alternative to traditional payday lenders and came across Earnin, which offered him $100 on the spot, to be deducted from his bank account on payday.
“There are no installments and no really high interest,” he told me, comparing the app favorably to a payday lender. “It’s better, in that sense.”
Earnin didn’t charge Raines a fee, but asked that he “tip” a few dollars on each loan, with no penalty if he chose not to. It seemed simple. But nine months later, what was originally a stopgap measure has become a crutch.
“You borrow $100, tip $9, and repeat,” Raines, a highway-maintenance worker in Missouri, told me. “Well, then you do that for a bit and they raise the limit, which you probably borrow, and now you are in a cycle of get paid and borrow, get paid and borrow.” Raines said he now borrows about $400 each pay cycle.
“I know it’s a responsibility thing, but once you are in that cycle, you are stuck,” Raines told me. Borrowing against his own paycheck hasn’t made stretching his money any easier. Especially because the app changes its terms based on users’ cashflow: Earnin requires constant access to users’ bank-account balances, and when its algorithms detect that a user might not be able to repay, the app lowers the borrowing limit. (A representative from Earnin said the company tells borrowers two days before their next check what the next borrowing maximum is, and that it sets these limits so users can’t borrow more than they’ve earned in a pay period.)
You should understand your chances of approval before applying for a credit card.
The fact that you need credit to qualify for credit might be the most frustrating credit-related dilemma, but there’s a close runner-up: The only way to know whether or not you’ll be approved for credit is to apply, but too many applications for credit can tarnish your credit score.
Debt doesn’t just go away when someone dies.
Most debts get passed on to any surviving family members after someone passes away. If you do nothing to plan for this inevitability, the state in which you live will decide how your estate should be handled.
Claiming to be a government authority is a tried and true way that scammers trick people into sending money. Among the most common government imposters have been scammers pretending to be the IRS – until now.
Rejoice in the nation’s freedoms by grabbing a few free treats this month.
July has arrived, and as you celebrate our nation’s freedom, also take a moment to rejoice in all the freebies available this month!
From complimentary cheesecake to free museum access for active military members (thank you for your service!), we are spotlighting some incredible offers you don’t want to miss.
Does it feel like your paycheck is gone the moment you get it? Here’s how to break that vicious cycle.
Are you stuck in the all-too-common habit of living paycheck to paycheck? You don’t need me to tell you that’s a self-defeating cycle. You simply can’t get ahead that way.
But escaping isn’t easy, especially if your paycheck is tight. Change involves not just the hard work of making a new habit, but also changing your ways of thinking.
A credit report is a detailed account of your individual credit history, compiled by one of the three major credit reporting companies (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax). Creditors use these reports to evaluate an individual’s ability and willingness to repay debt. Banks, department stores, the IRS, the court system, doctors, hospitals, utilities, and other companies all submit payment information directly to the credit reporting companies.
Some manufacturers and retailers entice shoppers with instant cash rebates that can be redeemed immediately at the checkout counter.