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State Bank of India (SBI) cuts mortgage interest rates to 6.7% in midst of holiday season


SBI home loan interest rate: India’s largest lender cuts rate to 6.7%

The State Bank of India (SBI) has cut mortgage interest rates to 6.7% to support home loan customers to make home loans more affordable during the holiday season. The nation’s largest lender offers home loans tied to the 6.70% credit score regardless of the loan amount, according to a statement shared by the bank today.

Previously, a borrower with a loan greater than Rs. 75 misses, had to pay an interest rate of 7.15%, but with the introduction of holiday-related offers, a borrower can now qualify for a home loan for any amount at a rate of 6.70 percent, SBI said in its statement. .

The holiday offer results in a saving of 45 basis points (bps), which translates into an interest saving of over Rs. 8 missing, for a Rs. 75 missing loan with a duration of 30 years. In addition, the interest rate applicable to a self-employed borrower was 15 basis points higher than the interest rate applicable to a salaried borrower.

The state bank removed the distinction between a salaried borrower and a non-salaried borrower. This means that no occupancy-related interest premium is now charged to potential mortgage borrowers. This will lead to a further interest saving of 15 basis points for non-salaried borrowers.

SBI has waived processing fees completely and offers an attractive interest reduction based on the borrower’s credit rating.

Generally, concessional interest rates are applicable for a loan up to a certain limit and are also related to the profession of the borrower. This time around we have made the offers more inclusive and the offers are available to all segments of borrowers regardless of the loan amount and the borrower’s profession, ”said Mr. CS Setty, Managing Director (Retail & Digital Banking), SBI.

“The 6.70% mortgage offer is also applicable to cases of balance transfer. We believe that zero processing fees and great interest rates during the holiday season will make homeownership more affordable, ” Setty added.

On Thursday September 16, shares of the State Bank of India gained more than 3%, reaching an intra-day high of Rs 458.65, so far, on BSE. The SBI opened on BSE at Rs 445.10 and its shares were last trading 3.26% at Rs 458.30 each.

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USDA invests nearly $ 5 million for rural broadband in Texas


By Jennifer Whitlock
Field editor

Broadband service will soon be extended to rural Texas as part of the latest funding round of the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Broadband ReConnect Rural Development Loans and Grants Program.

The $ 4.48 million grant, awarded to Tatum Telephone Co., will provide fiber-optic broadband service to an area of ​​41 square miles that includes approximately 986 households, three educational institutions, one health care facility. health, 67 companies and 60 farms, according to a USDA Backgrounder. It was part of a larger $ 167 million disbursement the agency made in early August.

“Generations ago, the federal government recognized that without affordable access to electricity, Americans could not fully participate in modern society and the economy. High speed internet is the new electricity, ”said US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “There is a need for Americans to do their jobs, participate equally in academic learning and health care, and stay connected.”

Millions of Americans who lack reliable high-speed internet have been forced to deal with a sudden shift to an almost entirely digital world after the COVID-19 pandemic swept the country last year. Rural families have often been found sitting in parking lots outside schools or in restaurants offering free Wi-Fi to do their homework and conduct business.

And as on-farm technology continues to advance, fast, reliable internet connections are more important than ever. Software embedded in tractors and other farm equipment can help farmers and ranchers map fields, adjust distribution rates of seeds, fertilizers or pesticides, etc. But they often require internet connectivity to function optimally.

Help from the ReConnect program will help alleviate some of these issues, according to American Farm Bureau Federation AFBF executive vice president Dale Moore.

“This is going to be so important to farmers and ranchers and our neighbors in rural communities for the quality of life,” Moore told USDA. Press line.

The investments were part of $ 550 million allocated by Congress to fund a second cycle of the ReConnect program, which began in 2018.

“This is an opportunity for us to add to the $ 1.5 billion we have already invested in the ReConnect program, which has already benefited more than 300,000 households across rural America,” said Vilsack. “These are real consequences of the investments that are needed in rural areas, and we are excited about the role USDA has played in the ReConnect program and will continue to play. “

The ReConnect program provides grants, loans and loan / grant combinations to build, upgrade or acquire facilities and equipment to deploy broadband service in eligible rural areas. Eleven other states – Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia – were included in this funding round.

Corporations, limited liability companies and partnerships (LLC or LLP), co-operatives or mutual associations, state and local governments, U.S. territories, and Indian tribes are eligible. At least 90% of a proposed funded service area must not have sufficient broadband access, be in a rural area and serve all premises in the proposed service area.

To learn more about ReConnect eligibility, technical support, and recent announcements, visit usda.gov/reconnect.

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Axne and the Chamber’s agriculture committee approve investments in biofuels, rural development and Axne’s law on equal rural aid


Today, Representative Cindy Axne (IA-03) voted to endorse the House Agriculture Committee’s portion of the Build Back Better Act, which includes provisions she fought for to support biofuel infrastructure and rural business owners.

Legislation approved today includes $ 18 billion in investment in promoting rural employment through rural development from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and an additional $ 7.75 billion for support agricultural research and infrastructure.

“From investments in our rural businesses to funding key infrastructure to promote biofuels and other clean energy sources, this section of the Build Back Better Act will support communities in Iowa and pave the way for a cleaner environment.” for us and our children. ” said representative Axne. “I appreciate President Scott’s leadership and openness to hearing the priorities I have presented to him on behalf of the Iowans I represent – and look forward to seeing how this section will be supported by other key provisions of our. Build Back Better program. “

The bill includes in particular $ 1 billion to support the expansion of biofuels infrastructure, a key priority for Axne, and $ 400 million for loan relief to rural borrowers, initially offered by Axne as part of its Rural Equal Aid Act.

Funding for biofuel infrastructure will allow USDA to provide grants over the next 8 years to expand biofuel pump infrastructure, upgrade existing tanks and pumps, and increase the use of higher blends. ethanol and biodiesel.

The Financing of the Rural Equal Aid Act would provide six-month payment of the loan amount for borrowers using three USDA loan programs:

  • Business and industry loans made to small businesses, cooperatives and non-profit organizations to develop and expand businesses in rural areas.
  • Two loan programs carried out through small local intermediaries. Borrowers in these programs are often unable to access other credit and may not have been able to use the paycheck protection program because they do not have existing banking relationships.
    • The Intermediate loan program, which provides loans of up to $ 250,000 to borrowers who cannot obtain credit elsewhere but need capital to start or grow their business. These loans are on average less than $ 100,000 and support small local businesses.
    • The Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP), which offers loans of up to $ 50,000 through local nonprofits. These loans are available to businesses with no more than 10 employees, making them a popular choice for entrepreneurs looking for capital to start a new business. In addition, RMAP loans are frequently used by women entrepreneurs.

The invoice also includes:

  • $ 4 billion for a new rural partnership program to help small rural communities with community and economic development
  • $ 3.65 billion for research facilities, such as land-subsidized universities like Iowa State University, to ensure the United States is not overspent on agricultural research and infrastructure development
  • $ 2.6. billion dollars for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) to provide grants to farmers and small businesses to improve the energy efficiency of their operations

The Agriculture Committee section of the Build Back Better Act will be added to sections approved by other committees which will be compiled by the House Budget Committee later this month before moving upstairs. of the House for final approval.

“Although I will hold my final decision on this package until I see the full invoice, seeing these investments included will be an essential part of my choice” Representative Axne added.

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Consider the Benefits of Student Debt Repayment Plans


As a benefit to employees, “student loan repayments can help employees solve their financial problems and create goodwill for your business,” said Karen Gustin, executive vice president of Ameritas Group Dental and Eye Care in Lincoln, Neb.

According to the NerdWallet 2020 Household Debt Study, the average American household with student debt owes $ 57,520, she noted.

On September 30, the suspension of student loan repayments by the federal government ends, unless extended at the last minute. “It’s a big date for a lot of your employees,” Gustin said.

“Your younger employees aren’t impressed with the traditional financial benefits,” because it’s a long road to retirement for them, she noted. They are, however, looking for immediate financial support.

According to the 2020 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Employee Benefits Survey, only 8% of employees contributed to employee student loans.

Benefit options

Gustin described the following forms of loan repayment benefits:

  • Employee subsidized student loan repayment plans. An employer makes a regular contribution to employee student loans, sending contributions directly to the loan manager. The amount of the contribution is at the discretion of the employer and is most often $ 100 per month.
  • Corresponding contributions. An employer makes a matching contribution equal to a percentage of the employee’s own contribution, similar to a 401 (k) match.
  • A choice between the pension plan or the contribution to the student loan. Employees are allowed to choose between receiving an equivalent contribution to the 401 (k) plan or an equivalent contribution to a student loan from their employer. “The advantage for employers is that it doesn’t create a new budget item,” because it doesn’t cost the employer any, said Gustin.

Among vendors, look for systems with easy administration and a user-friendly platform for HR and employees, she said.

Other related benefits that employers can offer, noted Gustin, are:

  • Student loan advice.
  • Student loan refinancing assistance.

A multi-level approach

To focus on retention, some companies are using tiered student loan repayment programs that reward employees for their tenure, Gustin said, for example by offering:

  • $ 50 per month for one year of service with the company.
  • $ 100 per month for two years of service
  • $ 150 per month for at least three years of service.

As SHRM’s survey showed, “few employers offer loan repayment benefits,” she said. “Enter now and you can differentiate yourself from your competition. It is a factor of difference. “

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Mohammad Amjad Saqib: Helping Pakistan’s Poor With Zero Interest Loans


GOD SEES PURITY IN OUR INTENTIONS: In addition to offering zero-interest loans to the poor, the Akhuwat microfinance program set up in 2001 by Dr. Muhammad Amjad Saqib provides assistance in education and health, a livelihood training and other outreach services for vulnerable sectors, including transgender people. . —PHOTO WITH THE AUTHORIZATION OF THE RAMON MAGSAYSAY AWARD FOUNDATION

MANILA, Philippines – Twenty years ago, a poor widow tried her luck to get a loan by approaching Mohammad Amjad Saqib.

Saqib, then managing director of the state-run Punjab Rural Support Program, still remembered how his investigation had unfolded in his office in Lahore, Pakistan.

“” If you give your sister a loan of $ 100, are you going to get $ 110 back? “He said, quoting the woman, converting the amount from rupees to dollars for easier illustration. “I said, ‘If I give my brother or sister $ 100, I’ll get $ 100 back. “

Islamic law prohibits interest on loans, but it was not just this religious injunction that shaped Saqib’s thinking on microfinance as a way to lift families out of poverty.

So her new “sister” that day left her office with a heavy load lifted from her chest, securing a loan she pledged to repay in six months. Saqib later learned that she bought two sewing machines with the money, earned enough to send her children to school, and generally banished hunger from her home.

She returned the $ 100 on time, now calling it “blessed money,” which she hoped she could lend immediately to someone in need.

Saqib said that meeting with the widow – a woman who kept her dignity and resolve not to beg despite her plight – planted the seed of a personal mission that continued long after he left the country. Pakistani civil service.

Impact on millions

He is now highly regarded as the founder of Akhuwat, a nonprofit microfinance organization whose impact on nearly five million people has received international acclaim, from Queen Elizabeth II to the Crown Prince of Dubai.

The final applause comes from the Philippines: Saqib is one of this year’s five winners of the Ramon Magsaysay Prize, the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (RMAF) honors Saqib for his “intelligence and compassion which enabled him to establish the largest microfinance institution in Pakistan; his inspiring conviction that human kindness and solidarity will find ways to eradicate poverty; and her determination to stay with a mission that has already helped millions of Pakistani families.

Akhuwat operates on the basis of the Islamic principle of “Mawakhat”. Simply put, Saqib said, it was like having a loaf of bread but with the willingness to give half of it to another “rightful” owner – a person who does not have one.

Based in Lahore, Akhuwat’s offering of interest-free microcredit to the poor made it the first of its kind in Pakistan. Since its inception in 2001, it has disbursed 140 billion Pakistani rupees (approximately $ 900 million) in loans to 4.8 million beneficiaries, with a repayment rate of 99.9%.

Dr MuhammadAmjad Saqib (Photo by RMAF)

Expand programs

It has also expanded its social support programs by “adopting” neglected or underfunded public schools. He has established four colleges and will soon open a university for children from low-income families.

Its health services program has provided free treatment to around half a million patients with diabetes and hepatitis. Its “clothing bank” distributed some 3 million items of clothing to the needy.

Akhuwat, which means “brotherhood” in Urdu, also offers assistance, including psychosocial services, to transgender people.

When the coronavirus pandemic struck, Akhuwat was there for people who could not immediately receive help from the government, distributing food bags, masks and supplies to hospitals and offering psychological counseling.

All of these have made Akhuwat more than a moneylender.

“It is a movement to improve the conduct and character of the people. It is a transformation of the state of mind, an attempt to create a system of mutual support. We are different from conventional microfinance in that we don’t see microfinance as an industry or a business, ”he said in a recent interview hosted by RMAF.

Borrowers, he said, feel like “part of the family” and are part of a “virtuous cycle” of people paying next. Once they start paying off the loan, they see Akhuwat as “our organization” worthy of continued support, so they “won’t let it down,” he said.

It is therefore not surprising that Akhuwat’s repayment rate has remained high despite the pandemic, unlike other more “traditional” microfinance programs in Pakistan.

“If you trust them. . . ‘

Akhuwat also puts its beneficiaries in touch with “skill-transmitting” partners to help them make the most of their loans by learning a new trade. These partners, mostly entrepreneurs eager to share their knowledge and best practices, were once borrowers themselves.

“The whole system is based on two assumptions: that there is no shortage of people who want to give and that the poor are not beggars or thieves. If you trust them they will give you the money back… Maintaining a 99% payback validates our assumption that people are honest, ”Saqib said.

“Why should I assume someone on the street is lying to me, unless they prove it?” It is a kind of reform movement in which we want to revive the spirit of hope and confidence, ”he added.

According to him, Akhuwat’s success can be replicated in other countries, regardless of religion, “because he believes and is based on virtue. For someone to be willing to help someone and for someone to return the favor is virtue. We just need an institution that can galvanize the whole of philosophy.

“I remember that even changing a person’s life is the second to changing all of humanity. We shouldn’t be aiming for quantity. God sees purity in our intentions. If you have purity in your intention, you can improve a person’s life, ”Saqib said.

“Societies only prosper when there is love… The problem is that the rich live far from the poor. There are two types of companies in each company. One where the rich live and one where the poor live. They don’t know each other, so we’re trying to bridge the gap. “

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Put money back in your pocket | Business


The current low interest rate environment is a great opportunity to refinance your existing loans. You may be familiar with mortgage refinancing, but the same benefits also apply to auto loans, recreational vehicle loans, boat loans, motorcycle loans, etc.

If you have a loan, you may be able to lower your interest rate, pay off your loan sooner, or lower your monthly payment by refinancing.

Why refinance?

Refinancing existing loans can increase your discretionary income – literally putting money back in your pocket every month with lower payments. There are many uses for the extra money, of course, but you may want to consider setting aside some of the extra money in a savings account.

According to a 2021 CNBC poll, only 39% of Americans could afford an emergency expense of $ 1,000.

Life is coming, so it is important to create a rainy day fund for you and your family. Once this is established, you can start investing for longer-term goals, like saving for a child’s or grandchild’s education.

Other common reasons to refinance include home improvements, paying for education, consolidating bills, or taking vacations.

Mortgages are what we often think of when we think of withdrawing money, but if you have equity in your vehicle, you will also be able to withdraw money for a vacation while keeping your payments the same thanks to the current low rate. environment.

Is refinancing right for you?

This question depends on various factors and each of the different scenarios should be considered. For example, refinancing an auto loan can be very simple and quick. It is not an extensive process and there is usually no cost to do it. Even documents can usually be signed electronically from home at your convenience.

The bottom line is, if it’s free and you’re saving money, refinancing your loan is a no-brainer.

For a mortgage, however, closing costs need to be factored in. These often run into the thousands of dollars once all of the required title, appraisal, and third-party fees are included.

While these fees are compatible with most mortgage lenders and can usually be included in your loan, you should make sure you understand any fees charged by the lender, which can vary widely.

With today’s historically low rates, mortgage refinancing can still be very beneficial. We often find that mortgage holders can get over closing costs in a year or two of payment savings. If your goal is to stay in your home for the next five to ten years, it probably makes sense to consider refinancing. If you plan to move or sell your home in a year or two, it may not be a good idea to refinance.

The best way to determine what will work for your situation is to discuss your options with a trusted financial partner. Everyone’s scenario is a little different. In central Kentucky, we are faced with a lack of housing availability. As a result, we see a lot of cash refinances when homeowners decide to add square footage or a swimming pool and make their current home their dream home.

Home equity lines of credit, commonly known as HELOCs, are another option for doing many of the same things without refinancing your existing mortgage. Now is the perfect time to make major improvements when interest rates are very, very low.

If you want to discuss your options with a local lender, it’s important to be prepared by understanding what your current payments are and interest rates. This will help your trusted financial expert see if they can save you money fast and make it easy for you to compare your options.

You may want to start by educating yourself online, calling or stopping by a local branch to discuss what is available to you. We look forward to cooler weather and more money in your pocket this fall.

Chuck Eads is Loans Director of Abbound Credit Union.

Chuck Eads is Loans Director of Abbound Credit Union.

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Tired of your big bank? Consider these 4 alternatives


Current account fees, low savings rates, impersonal customer support. The reasons why you may choose to leave a large national bank vary, but the next step can be a more difficult decision.

Many of America’s largest banks share many of the same advantages, including extensive networks of bank-owned branches and ATMs and robust mobile apps. But they also share many of the same drawbacks, such as high overdraft fees and low savings rates. If you want different benefits to better suit your needs, consider one of these four alternatives to big banks.

Credit unions

Credit unions are community-based, non-profit institutions that generally focus on customer support. They offer similar accounts, services, and deposit protections to the big banks, but their accounts usually have better rates. Compared to banks, on average, credit unions pay higher interest rates for some savings accounts and lower rates for auto and home loans, according to Data as of June 2021 of the National Credit Union Administration.

“Credit unions are built on service, not profit,” says Chris Lorence, executive director of CU Awareness, a division of the Credit Union National Association. “Instead of returning funds as dividends to shareholders, credit unions return profits beyond operating expenses to members in the form of better rates, improved services or access to services. “

Each credit union limits the number of members who can become members based on certain factors. These factors can include where you live or work, having a parent member, or even being affiliated with a certain group through a small one-time donation. These membership conditions mean that some credit unions are not accessible to everyone. Another potential downside of credit unions is that they tend to embrace new technologies, such as mobile banking capabilities, in which big banks can afford to invest more quickly.

Community banks

Community banks are smaller financial institutions, measured by asset size, that focus on specific geographic areas. They provide a vital neighborhood presence for relationship banking services, particularly for mortgages and small business loans. One in three mortgages in rural areas came from a community bank or credit union with less than $ 10 billion in assets, according to a 2018 Brookings Institute report. And in some parts of the country, a community bank is the only physical bank for miles around and can accommodate more personalized factors for loans and other accounts than the big banks.

Community banks – defined by the Independent Community Bankers of America as banks with $ 50 billion or less in assets – issued 4.7 million loans under the Paycheck Protection Program for affected small businesses by the pandemic. The loans totaled $ 429 billion and saved an estimated 49 million jobs, according to an ICBA analysis of data from the Small Business Administration. In addition, community banks processed PPP loans five to ten days faster than other PPP lenders.

Earlier in the pandemic, “there were so many stories of small businesses that couldn’t get accounts at a big bank,” says Chris Cole, executive vice president of ICBA. Community banks, meanwhile, have played “a disproportionate role in the PPP to ensure that businesses continue to operate.”

Like credit unions, community banks also struggle to keep up with new technologies used by large institutions and Internet-based providers.

Online banking

Online banks are typically national institutions that customers access through websites and usually, but not always, through mobile apps. Because they don’t have branches, online banks can pass savings from non-payment of physical locations to customers in the form of minimal fees and some of the highest savings rates available. Some online banks are stand-alone entities and some are online divisions of traditional banks, but in all cases customer money is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

About 40% of Americans who opened accounts online only in the first year of the pandemic did so because of their high rates, according to a 2021 NerdWallet Study. Interest rates on online savings accounts can be around 0.4% to 0.5% annual percentage return, more than 20 times the average rate of 0.02% for the option. savings base in each of the four largest banks – Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citibank. Online checking accounts tend to have little or no overdraft fees compared to these four banks, which charge an average fee of $ 35 per transaction, which makes for a negative account.

Going with online banking means forgoing some services, which can include in-branch customer support, cash deposits, wire transfers, and cashier’s checks. Additionally, not all online banks offer the same variety of accounts, so be sure to pick one that has the types of accounts you need, whether they are checking accounts, savings or both.


Neobanks are fintech companies that offer mobile-centric banking services, especially low-cost checking accounts that offer more benefits than traditional institutions. Neobanks, such as Chime and Current, partner with a bank to provide their accounts or, in rare cases, become a bank. In both cases, neobanks have FDIC insured accounts that act like regular online bank accounts.

These institutions use the technology to provide features that most of the bigger banks and some online banks do not offer, such as two-day early access to direct deposits, cash deposits at retailers, etc.

“Neobanks… are integrating many money management tools and financial health ideas into their core banking services from the start,” said Brenton Peck, director of the Financial Health Network, in an email. Some neobanks “have carved out a niche for themselves by meeting consumers where they were struggling” financially, such as SoFi, which started out as a non-bank student loan refinancing company.

Like online banks, neobanks do not offer all of the services offered by traditional banks, such as in-person assistance. And only a few neobanks offer high savings rates. It was also reported that neobanks, especially Chime, had slow customer support response times and faced suspicion of account fraud by close the accounts abruptly instead of giving customers enough time to respond to complaints.

If you’re ready to leave your big bank, think about your banking needs – from early access to paychecks to high savings rates – to see if any of these four alternatives are right for you.

More from NerdWallet

Spencer Tierney writes for NerdWallet. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @SpencerNerd.

The article Tired of your big bank? Consider these 4 alternatives originally appeared on NerdWallet.

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Funding Circle Appoints New CEO As It Turns To Profit


LONDON, Sept. 9 (Reuters) – The director of online lending platform Funding Circle (FCH.L) will succeed Samir Desai as chief executive, the company said on Thursday, reporting increased profits in the first semester of the year. .

Lisa Jacobs will take the helm on Jan. 1, when Desai becomes a non-executive director, the company said.

Funding Circle posted an operating profit of 35.5 million pounds ($ 48.9 million) in the first half, compared to a loss of 113.5 million pounds in the same period last year.

The company said loans under management rose 33% to a record £ 4.9 billion, thanks to increased automation of its loan application process.

Funding Circle, which Desai founded in 2010, saw early success as one of the first peer-to-peer lending platforms connecting retail and institutional investors with small business borrowers.

It has fared less well in recent years, however, and its shares plunged when they debuted in September 2018.

The company added on Thursday that its performance in the first half was better than expected and that it is unlikely to be repeated in the second half.

($ 1 = 0.7267 pounds)

Reporting by Lawrence White Editing by David Goodman

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We’re getting married and having a baby on the way. My wife offered to pay off my $ 10,000 student debt and my $ 7,500 car loan


Dear Quentin,

This past year has brought a ton of changes in my personal life. Most notably, the love of my life agreed to marry me. Unbelievable! Shortly after, we found out that she was pregnant. I’m in heaven and can’t wait to start my family! This will be the first child for both of us.

Already looking into the barrel at the cost of a marriage, my mind has been strained with the news that a little one will be on the way. I started to restructure my personal finances to anticipate this news “adventure“of ours. My future wife asked me to do the same for her in the short term, because she is, it must not be admitted, the most financially educated.

We’re both in our 30s and both earn over six figures a year, although my fiancee earns about 30% more a year than I do. She started working right out of high school, so she doesn’t have any student loans. She has debts, but nothing substantial. I owe a very small amount for my student loans (less than $ 10,000) and a small amount for my car (around $ 7,500).

My question is: how and when should I pay off my debt? I don’t necessarily want to pass my debt on to my future wife because eventually we will have to buy a house and I don’t want that to hurt her credit history. I have a budget to pay off all of my debt before the baby arrives.

However, I will get married before I can pay the full amount I owe. My fiancee, who has more cash than me, offered to help me pay off the debt in full since we will be joining all assets once married anyway. I just want to make the safest decision for my new family members, as well as for myself.

Does the timing of all this matter? Or do I make mountains with molehills?


You can email The Moneyist with all financial and ethical questions related to the coronavirus at [email protected], and follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitter.

Dear future,

It’s a happy story indeed! There are so few around these parts. I’ll tell you what I would do and then add what you could do. They differ slightly, because I’d like to answer your question – without being too prescriptive or presumptuous.

If I were you, I would have the smallest, cheapest, and most intimate wedding in my backyard, a friend’s backyard, or a restaurant with a backyard, and I would put all the money I got. was going to spend for the wedding in my loans.

Later, I would throw a wedding party when people could socialize more freely and when my finances were more stable. It would allow me to celebrate the wedding with my family and close friends, and have a more public party later.

The average cost of a wedding is between $ 12,400 in Arkansas and $ 30,400 in Massachusetts, according to the survey. Of course, people can spend even more on their special day. Lots of money for a lot of stress.

It makes sense to get rid of both loans, even in this low rate environment, but only if it doesn’t delay other goals like saving for a house.

It makes sense to get rid of both loans even in this low rate environment, but only if it doesn’t delay other goals like saving for a house. You can then open a joint account using your existing payment plan with the goal of saving $ 17,500.

You have little reason to worry about your wife’s credit rating. A credit rating is based on your payment history, your use of available credit, whether you take out new credit, the length of your credit history, and your credit mix.

It is a very exciting stage in life. You are young enough to have the best part of your life ahead of you with a fraction average student loan debt, and you’re old enough to have the agency and the energy to make it all happen. Enjoy the ride!

By sending your questions by email, you agree that they will be posted anonymously on MarketWatch. By submitting your story to Dow Jones & Company, the publisher of MarketWatch, you understand and agree that we may use your story, or versions of it, in all media and platforms, including through third parties.

To verify the private Facebook Moneyist group, where we seek answers to life’s toughest money problems. Readers write to me with all kinds of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about or weigh in on the latest Moneyist columns.

The Monetary regrets that he cannot answer the questions individually.

More from Quentin Fottrell:

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Should you buy a home in the hottest market ever? Huge gains can’t continue, some experts warn


The US real estate market is in an absolute tear. Month after month, prices break new records. The sellers are thrilled. While buyers can revel in mortgage rates close to historic lows, that’s about the only advantage to buying a property in this market.

If you are thinking of buying a home now, the surge in prices raises an obvious question: should you join the bidders who are pushing the prices ever higher?

Some, like Desmond Lachman, senior researcher at the American Enterprise Institute, urge caution. He says the Federal Reserve’s decision to cut interest rates during the coronavirus pandemic has inflated everything from home values ​​and stock prices to cryptocurrencies and collectibles.

“If you buy now, you would buy at the top,” Lachman says. “It’s not just the real estate market, but all of these other markets that are in danger of collapsing.”

Ken Johnson, real estate economist at Florida Atlantic University, is also reluctant about the direct trajectory of home values. While he expects any correction in home prices to be moderate, those who buy at the top of the market are unlikely to reap big returns, he warns.

“Trees don’t grow skyward and neither do house prices,” Johnson says. “We’re a long way from where we were at the peak of the last real estate cycle, but we have to be careful. Stepping away from a blatantly overpriced home may be the best thing buyers can do in this kind of market.

House prices are soaring

When the US economy stalled in the spring of 2020, many expected home values ​​to crash deeply. Instead, prices spiked to new highs and then continued to climb.

The 18.6% rise in nationwide home prices in June was the largest in over 30 years of S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller data. (Figures for July are not yet available.) June marked the third consecutive month of record home price appreciation.

“The past few months have been extraordinary not only for the level of price gains, but also for the consistency of gains across the country,” said Craig J. Lazzara, Managing Director of S&P Dow Jones Indices.

The metropolitan areas of Boston, Charlotte, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver and Seattle all recorded their highest levels of price increases.

This is in stark contrast to the housing bubble of 2005-2007, when prices soared in coastal markets but remained low in many inland metropolitan areas.

What drives up house prices

Soaring house prices are largely a function of an imbalance between supply and demand. Construction has never returned to the levels seen before the Great Recession, putting a damper on supply. On the demand side, the maturing millennials mean millions of Americans are forming households.

HousingWire analyst Logan Mohtashami says there are more than 32 million Americans between the ages of 27 and 33. “This is the largest demographic patch on record in US history, and the median age of first-time buyers is 33,” he says.

For this reason alone, house prices are unlikely to fall, Mohtashami says. He points to other factors, such as the high credit scores of mortgage borrowers and the relatively strict guidelines of lenders.

Lachman is not so sure. He fears that the Fed is inflating a bubble. “It’s fun while they print money and everything goes up. But the question is, what happens when interest rates rise, ”Lachman says. “By keeping interest rates this low for so long, they’ve created a bubble of everything. It’s not just the housing market.

Most observers don’t expect a crash like the one the housing market experienced from 2008 to 2010. Homeowners have record levels of equity in their properties, making a foreclosure crisis unlikely.

What buyers can do

It’s a sellers’ market in almost every housing market in the United States. If you’re shopping for a home, here’s how you can avoid paying too much:

  • Breathe deeply. Such a hot market creates its own sense of urgency. Johnson suggests avoiding paying more than you think a house is worth – there will always be another house.
  • Take into account local population trends. Populations in Texas, Florida, Utah, and North Carolina are growing. But in some Rust Belt markets, populations are declining, a reality that is driving down demand for housing. Buying in a warm market gives you more convenience than buying in a place where the population is declining, Johnson says.
  • Shop hard for a mortgage. Buyers may not have a lot of bargaining power when it comes to bidding on homes, but you can shop hard for a home loan. Getting multiple loan deals can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
  • Watch out for bidding wars. It’s not easy to avoid multiple auction situations in today’s market, where buyers pay tens of thousands of dollars more than the list price just to get a home.
  • Get started in auctions with a plan. In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to dramatically increase your prize just for trying to win. Before you get into a bidding war, set a clear cap on how much you’re willing to bid for the property and stick to it.

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