February 21, 2023

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As of July 1, your medical debt may no longer hurt your credit score—here’s why

Medical debt will start falling off credit reports this summer. Here’s what you need to know.

If you’re one of the many with looming medical debts on your credit report, there’s relief on the way. The three largest credit bureaus, TransUnion, Equifax and Experian, are removing cleared medical debts from consumers credit reports beginning July 1, 2022.

This means that if you’ve paid your medical bill in full and the debt is still sitting on your credit report as a negative mark, this negative mark will now be removed. It’s part of a larger effort by the Biden administration to decrease or eliminate medical debt as a part of government lending decisions.

or the millions of Americans that are battling an estimated $88 billion in medical debt, according to a report published by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last month, it’s a big relief.

Read more at CNBC

#IRS Publication 17

Your Federal Income Tax, features an in-depth look at tax changes for 2022, including recent tax changes, and covers the general rules for filing a federal income tax return. 


Need help with your 2022 taxes? 

#IRS Publication 17 provides thousands of interactive links to help you quickly get answers to your tax questions. 


Jose L. Santiago

Public Affairs Specialist

Tax Outreach, Partnership and Education


Why the largest credit card companies are suppressing actual payment data on your credit report: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

Last year, we reported that Americans paid over $120 billion annually in interest and fees on credit cards. Since that time, average interest rates charged by credit card companies have quickly increased. It’s critical that consumers can find and switch to credit cards with the lowest and most competitive rates. That’s why we’ve been carefully examining barriers to a fair and competitive credit card market, especially as it relates to the role of consumer credit reporting.

In 2020, the CFPB noted that the largest credit card companies started to deliberately suppress their customers’ actual payment amounts from the nationwide consumer reporting system. Actual payments are the amount a borrower repays each month, as opposed to the minimum payment or balance. Credit card companies’ failure to report actual payment data means that millions of people’s credit reports are missing fundamental information about their credit card repayment behavior that could help many of them receive better financial offers and potentially save billions of dollars in interest expenses.

Read more at Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

Dreher Tomkies LLP

Understanding How the Pandemic Permanently Accelerated Fintech

Fintechs are flourishing in a post-pandemic world. Equity funding for fintech companies doubled last year, bringing the industry’s global market value to about $5 trillion. Meanwhile, data from Statista found that roughly 65% of the U.S. population uses digital banking services, up from around 61% in 2018. That means more than 16 million Americans have adopted digital banking services over the past five years.

Mass mobile banking adoption suggests the financial future will be digital-first. Fintechs excel in this environment because digital applications developed on, by and for mobile devices usually provide a better user experience. Still, financial leaders must unpack how this trend will affect their bottom line. Understanding post-pandemic consumer behavior is the first step toward generating more meaningful, modern and holistic user experiences for fintechs, Big Tech, and traditional financial institutions (FIs).

Mobile payments are on the rise

Read more at PaymentsJournal

Americans lack emergency funds, Edward Jones study shows

A new study shows the rainy day funds of nearly 2 in 5 Americans wouldn't last them longer than a month.

Although they say they embrace financial wellness, too many Americans lack sufficient funds for a rainy day.

According to a recently released study from Edward Jones and Morning Consult, more than nine in 10 Americans (93%) say that financial wellness is imperative. But close to half (43%) say they don’t feel financially stable and almost a third of respondents (29%) have less than $500 in their emergency savings fund.

When it comes to defining the term financial wellness,” the report showed most Americans see it as having no anxiety over monthly bills (61%), having enough money to take care of their family (57%) and having no debt (55%).

Read more at InvestmentNews LLC

6 reasons to be unbanked or underbanked

The U.S. financial system has a massive reach — more than 4,000 banks and nearly 5,000 credit unions are scattered across the country. However, plenty of Americans never step inside their branches, download their apps or deposit money in their accounts. They’re known as the unbanked, and the most recent numbers from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) show that 4.5 percent of U.S. households — about 5.9 million people — are unbanked. A further 14.1 percent of U.S. households are considered underbanked.

If you lack a strong relationship with a bank, there are ways to join the traditional financial system. Here’s a look at six of the most common reasons to be unbanked and what you should do to improve your personal financial health if they apply to you.

What does it mean to be unbanked?

Read more at BANKRATE


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Looking to Buy a House? Here are 17 Ways to Buy Without a Mortgage

Ready to take the plunge and become a homeowner, but cringing at the thought of obtaining an expensive mortgage? Fear not! There are lots of creative ways you can buy a house without taking out a traditional mortgage.

From getting creative with down payments to enlisting help from family members or outside investors, these methods can save you tens of thousands in costs while helping you secure your dream home. Read on to explore all the different options available to those looking for how to purchase their perfect abode without going through a bank for a loan.

#1. Rent To Own

Suppose you can’t qualify for a conventional mortgage or aren’t in a position to commit to one. A rent-to-own agreement could be a great way to buy.

Read more at MSN

A Look at Access to Employer-based Retirement Plans and Participation in the States: PEW

Who's in, who's out

With the aging of the nation’s population, a continuing decline in the availability of traditional pensions, and concerns about the future of Social Security, many workers in the United States worry that they won’t have enough money set aside for their retirements. The Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2014 annual Retirement Confidence Survey found that only 22 percent of Americans are very confident that they will have enough money for a comfortable retirement, while 36 percent are somewhat confident. Twenty-four percent are not at all confident.

In addressing these concerns, policymakers have emphasized the need to expand access to what are known as employer-sponsored defined contribution plans, such as 401(k)s. The ability of employees to contribute directly from their paychecks and the use of features such as automatic enrollment make the workplace an effective place to encourage saving. These employer-sponsored plans are how Americans now accumulate the vast majority of their private retirement funds, but large gaps in coverage exist.

Read more at PEW Charitable Trusts

Workers look to employers to “take responsibility” for financial wellness gap

It revealed a widespread lack of provision with seven in 10 workers (70%) aged 45-65 reporting that they had no access to any sort of employer-based financial wellness solution.

Financial wellness support could take the form of workplace webinars, recommendations of a financial advice firm or direction to sources of information and guidance.However, half (50%) of all employees of this age group believe that their employer has a responsibility to help them understand their options and plan how to use their pension savings ahead of retirement.

This rises to 57% among people with a defined contribution pension who face complex decisions over how to use their savings when they reach retirement.The ‘financial wellness gap’ in the workplace is in contrast to mental wellness initiatives which are far more commonplace. Only half (53%) of 45-65 year olds said they had no access to an employee assistance programme, mental health support or similar wellness initiatives.

Read more at IFA MAGAZINE

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