Remar's Report

Higher Education Loans—Tips to Minimize Debt

College loan debt is a fact of life for many college graduates. So it’s important to manage student loan debt both to minimize how much you have to borrow and to repay the loans efficiently.

The average student loan debt for a graduate with a bachelor’s degree in the class of 2011 was $26,600, according to a survey conducted by the Institute for College Access and Success. Approximately two-thirds of students graduated with loan debt. Recent reports from the Federal Reserve estimate that total student loan debt nationally has passed 1 trillion dollars, more than current national credit card debt.

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Buying a Car? Five Traps to Avoid

Are you ready to replace your current vehicle with a new—or newer—set of wheels? If so, you’ve got lots of company. The average age of passenger vehicles on the road is approaching 11 years, and automotive sales have been growing in recent months. Many of these consumers, however, spent as much as several thousand dollars more than they needed to. Why? They fell into one or more of five common traps in the car buying process that I’m going to show you how to avoid.

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Buying or Refinancing a Home? Tips for Finding the Right Mortgage

With continuing lower prices for good homes, many consumers are considering buying a home. Maybe you are among the potential buyers looking for a first home, thinking about a larger home for a growing family, or planning for a retirement home. With interest rates remaining at low levels, other consumers are considering refinancing their mortgage to lower payments or, perhaps, to pay off the loan sooner.

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Tired of Rising Bank Fees?

Switching Financial Institutions is Worth the Time and Effort

Has any financial institution where you keep a checking account been on a “fee-ing frenzy” lately, as BankRate’s latest survey described it?

Recent surveys report significant 2012 increases in many fees related to checking accounts. These include increased minimum balance requirements, ATM fees, and overdraft (NSF) fees. Such increases are a problem because most people manage their daily finances using a checking account and related services including debit cards and online or automatic bill payment. In general, the biggest increases have come from the biggest banks, according to the research.

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Make Medicare Plan Changes Oct. 15 – Dec. 7: What Needs Review?

If you already receive Medicare, then you need to know that the “open enrollment” period when you can make changes for 2018 extends from October 15 to December 7, 2017.

Open enrollment is the annual period when you can make changes to your Medicare plan to better meet your health or financial needs for the coming year. Changes made during this period usually take effect on January 1, 2018.

If you are satisfied that your current plan will meet your needs in 2018, you don’t need to do a thing.

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Reverse Mortgages—What Are the Pros, Cons, and Cautions?

If you listen to the TV pitchmen, you would think that a reverse mortgage is every older homeowner’s dream. Advertising claims appear to promise a risk-free, low-cost way to get easy cash from your home without endangering your home ownership. Some even imply you won’t be increasing debt.

Such advertising is simplistic and deceptive. In actuality, a reverse mortgage is a complex product. Most important, it is a loan, a fact often glossed over in the ads. A reverse mortgage may be right in certain situations, but you need to take time to understand the options and costs as well as potential benefits and risks. Comparing loan offers and finding the best lender are also challenges.

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