loans

Buying Local, and Emergency Loans

Welcome to NerdWallet’s SmartMoney podcast, where we answer your real-world money questions. 
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Welcome to NerdWallet’s SmartMoney podcast, where we answer your real-world money questions. 

This week’s episode starts with a discussion about how to help small, local businesses, which have been hit much harder by the pandemic than the big online shopping sites. One way is to seek out local sources for products you might otherwise buy from the online megastore. Another is to order directly from local restaurants rather than using delivery apps. If money is tight, a social media shoutout or five-star review can help others discover local gems.

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Options for Small Business Loans Beyond PPP

Beyond the Paycheck Protection Program and the Small Business Administration, businesses need money. But what if you can’t get a PPP loan? For example, if you own a cannabis business, a casino or a racetrack, you’re out of luck. You might even find, as you look through all of the requirements for PPP loan forgiveness, that you don’t want to bother in the first place.

Related: SBA Releases New EZ PPP Loan-Forgiveness Application

Now, the next iteration of the program is tied up in Congress, but your business still needs money. What do you do? You look elsewhere for a loan. Here’s where to start. 

Alternative lenders

Many business owners look to their bank or credit union first, but check out alternative lenders like Kabbage. Often, these lenders have less stringent qualifications, so a bad personal credit score isn’t necessarily a handicap. However, their rates may be higher than standard

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How to Choose Emergency Loans to Get Fast Cash

When the rent is due, you don’t have time to wait for the grinding gears of government.

So could an emergency loan help?

If you’re among the 31.5% of out-of-work Americans who say they couldn’t last a month without the extra $600 a week from unemployment, your budget can’t accommodate a lapse in unemployment benefits without some kind of help.

And while we recommend building an emergency fund, finding a bridge job and tightening your budget, if you need the money this week, an emergency loan may be the lifeline you need to keep your head above water until the next unemployment or stimulus check arrives.

We’ll break down loans that can get money in your hands fast, including what you need to qualify, what kind of interest rate you’d be facing and which offers to avoid.

How to Get Emergency Loans

If it seems like the more you need

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Martin Lewis hits out at ‘dangerous’ new tool from Student Loans Company

Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert, has been campaigning against scam ads online for over a year: Steve Parsons/PA Archive/PA Images
Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert, has been campaigning against scam ads online for over a year: Steve Parsons/PA Archive/PA Images

Financial campaigner Martin Lewis today blasted the Student Loans Company’s new website, dubbing it “demoralising, damaging and dangerous”.

The SLC moved its site from SLC.co.uk to Gov.uk and features tools to show students how much they owe.

However Lewis argued the tools encourage students to pay off their debts faster, even though there is no financial benefit to doing so. Annual repayments are set at 9% of anything a former student earns over a certain threshold, which is currently £26,575 per year.

Lewis, the founder of financial planning site Moneysavingexpert.com and the former head of the independent taskforce on student finance information, said: “The first thing university leavers see when they log in, in a large font, is the amount of ‘debt they owe’. This is demoralising, damaging and dangerous….

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Student Loans Company accused of encouraging graduates to make unnecessary payments

Rex
Rex

The universities minister has been urged to intervene following claims the Student Loans Company is giving graduates a “demoralising, damaging and dangerous” picture of their debts.

Martin Lewis, the consumer affairs journalist, has accused the company of urging graduates to make payments they don’t have to make.

Mr Lewis, the founder of Money-SavingExpert.com website, criticised the SLC’s new repayments website.

The site highlights an overall balance from the loans taken out as students.

But Mr Lewis said it failed to point out that the size of the debt made no difference to the amount graduates had to pay, which is linked to income.

Estimates suggest many people will never have to pay back the full balance of their debt, he added.

Repayments are currently set at 9% of a graduate’s income above £26,575. Any remaining debt not paid off after 30 years is written off.

Mr Lewis called on

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Martin Lewis hits out at “dangerous” new tool from Student Loans Company

Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert, has been campaigning against scam ads online for over a year: Steve Parsons/PA Archive/PA Images
Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert, has been campaigning against scam ads online for over a year: Steve Parsons/PA Archive/PA Images

Financial campaigner Martin Lewis today blasted the Student Loans Company’s new website, dubbing it “demoralising, damaging and dangerous”.

The SLC moved its site from SLC.co.uk to Gov.uk and features tools to show students how much they owe.

However Lewis argued the tools encourage students to pay off their debts faster, even though there is no financial benefit to doing so. Annual repayments are set at 9% of anything a former student earns over a certain threshold, which is currently £26,575 per year.

Lewis, the founder of financial planning site Moneysavingexpert.com and the former head of the independent taskforce on student finance information, said: “The first thing university leavers see when they log in, in a large font, is the amount of ‘debt they owe’. This is demoralising, damaging and dangerous….

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With mortgage rates now under 3%, most home loans are due for a refinance, study says

Few people ever expected to see mortgage rates slide so low, and many homeowners have been caught off guard. Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages are now averaging less than 3% in multiple surveys — and are offering major refinance savings.

Though mortgage holders have been flocking to get new loans with sharply reduced interest rates, plenty of homeowners are still sitting on mortgages that are now too expensive.

In fact, a new report from mortgage company Fannie Mae says most mortgages with outstanding balances should be refinanced. Maybe that includes yours.

If you have a mortgage that’s closer to 4% than 3%, your monthly mortgage payment is probably hundreds of dollars higher than it could be.

Who needs to refinance?

Roschetzky Photography / Shutterstock

An estimated 60% of homeowners with mortgages can chop down their interest rates by at least one-half of one percentage point by refinancing, Fannie Mae says.

“The

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Congress should consider forgiving smaller business loans

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told lawmakers on Friday that they should consider automatic forgiveness for many loans under the Paycheck Protection Program, the $670 billion government-backed rescue of small businesses.

“I know one of the things we’ll talk about is: Should we just have forgiveness for all the small loans?” Mnuchin said during testimony to the House Small Business Committee. “That’s something we should consider. We should obviously make sure there’s some fraud protection.”

He didn’t specifically endorse the threshold of forgiveness for all loans of $150,000 or less that a large group of industry trade associations have advocated for.

The Treasury chief’s comments come as Congress is considering another coronavirus relief package, including for businesses. The small business aid program, under which loans can be forgiven if companies meet certain benchmarks, is scheduled to end Aug. 8.

Treasury and the Small Business Administration earlier this month released the names

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As loans run out, small businesses face reckoning amid COVID-19 surge

The resurgence of COVID-19 across the country this summer has deepened anxiety for millions of American small business owners who face another imminent cash crunch in their battle to survive a historic pandemic.

The government’s $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program, first rolled out in April, was supposed to help many businesses and their employees weather the storm. Nearly half of all American workers are employed by a small business.

But now many of the nearly 5 million US companies that got loans say the relief money is running out with little sign the virus is loosening its grip on the economy.

PHOTO: Will Eastman, owner of U Street Music Hall in Washington, D.C., was able to rehire five full-time staff with a loan through the government’s Paycheck Protection Program. (ABC News)

“We’re literally the guy who was jogging and got hit by the meteor like the one in a

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How to Weigh the Pros and Cons of Online Loans

Note that the situation for student loans has changed due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and relief efforts from the government and many lenders. Check out our Student Loan Hero Coronavirus Information Center for additional news and details.

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Whether you use a budget-tracking app or deposit checks to your bank account through your phone, chances are you’ve moved at least some of your financial life online. So if you’re looking to borrow money, you might wonder: Should you consider online loan lenders?

Online loans can be a good way of securing needed cash. But before you act, here are some pros and cons of online loans, as well as tips on securing a loan via the internet.

Pros and cons of online loans

Online personal loans may be taken out for a number of reasons, including consolidating debt, making home improvements, paying for a special

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