What Could Happen if Trump Rolls Back The Dodd-Frank Act

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act has been seen by many as legislation that helped dig the American economy out of the Great Recession by putting strict limitations on banks. Banks had to rein in their high-risk mortgage practices and meet stricter lending requirements.

President Donald Trump has begun the process to roll back parts of the legislation, which could eliminate the restrictions that banks had faced under Dodd-Frank. As recently as Feb. 3, Trump told business executives at the White House, “We expect to be cutting a lot out of Dodd-Frank, because, frankly, I have so many people, friends of mine that have nice businesses that can’t borrow money, they just can’t get any money because the banks just won’t let them borrow because of the rules and regulations in Dodd-Frank.”

The executive order that Trump signed on Feb. 3 asks for a review of Dodd-Frank. Many of Dodd-Frank’s key provisions can’t be undone without legislation, and Democrats have vowed to do all they can to protect the law; however, with a Republican-controlled Congress, there is a possibility of dismantling the legislation.

Consumers and small business owners could feel the impact of Dodd-Frank’s potential rollback in three key ways.

Relaxed lending standards.

The subprime mortgage lending phenomenon caused a surge in defaults when the housing market crashed about a decade ago. Nearly 9.3 million homeowners experienced a foreclosure, short sold, or received a deed in lieu of foreclosure between 2006 and 2014, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Some legal experts worry that a rollback of Dodd-Frank could expose homeowners to the same lending risks they faced prior to the financial crisis.

“If Dodd-Frank is repealed, homeowners should expect to see a return to the ‘anything goes’ days of the 1990s and early 2000s,” says David Reiss, a law professor at Brooklyn (N.Y.) Law School. “There will likely to be a loosening of credit, but also a return to some predatory practices in some parts of the mortgage market,” he says.

When signed by President Barack Obama in 2010, the Dodd-Frank law created several government agencies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB, which was tasked with protecting consumers by regulating complaints, conducting investigations, and filing suits against companies that break the law, created the Ability to Repay and the Qualified Mortgage rules. The rules were meant to ensure that banks and mortgage lenders were only issuing loans to homebuyers who could reasonably afford to repay them.

“These are really rules that require lenders to pay attention to who their borrower is, to make sure their borrower can pay back a loan,” Reiss explains. “It sounds kind of silly to have a rule to tell lenders to make sure borrowers can pay back their loan, but before the financial crisis, it was pretty common.”

One of the popular ways to entice subprime mortgage borrowers before the recession was to offer teaser rates. Teaser rates, Reiss explains, made a mortgage appear affordable in its first six months or 12 months, with low rates and low monthly payments. Once the promotional period was up, the rates and payments would skyrocket.

The subprime mortgages and other loans with higher risk for consumers, which can be profitable to banks, had much higher rates of default, Reiss says.

Dodd-Frank legislators originally reduced and prohibited these exotic terms in order to suppress the turbulent market at the time. Repealing Dodd-Frank and its restrictions will not only bring back lenders’ old habits but return the market to a more volatile state, says Reiss.

While the potential abolishment of Dodd-Frank may be a shame in terms of the loss of consumer protections, there is a bright side, says Paul Hynes, a certified financial planner and CEO of HearthStone, a wealth management firm based in San Diego, Calif. Many lenders have complained that heightened regulations have only increased their costs and made it tougher for consumers to get access to much-needed financing. Since the recession, the homeownership rate in the U.S. has declined by 4.7%, from 68.4% in 2007 to 63.75% in 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“The increased cost of compliance with Dodd-Frank may also go away,” Hynes says, “reducing the drag on the economy caused by these costs, and perhaps stimulating economic growth, higher wages, and overall increase in the standard of living for all Americans.”

Possible benefits for small banks and businesses.

The rollback of Dodd-Frank should have a positive impact on small banks that have felt the effect of the regulations much more heavily than their larger Wall Street and corporate counterparts, says John Gugle, a certified financial planner with Alpha Financial Advisors in Charlotte, N.C.

The costs of complying with Dodd-Frank for banks totaled more than $10.4 billion and 73 million hours in paperwork in 2016, according to the American Action Forum, a conservative nonprofit think tank in Washington, D.C.

Small banks, which used to be an engine for loan growth in their communities, have struggled with the costs to comply with Dodd-Frank, says Gugle, a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) policy committee.

“If you’re a small lender, and having to meet these increasingly rigorous regulations, you don’t have enough money or resources to throw at it,” Reiss says. “So I think the regulatory burden is felt more by the smaller institutions who are just trying to manage to keep the doors open.”

The Dodd-Frank rollback could make it easier for small business owners to qualify for small business loans. Since the recession, lending to small business owners has declined by 17%, according to U.S. Small Business Administration research. While larger banks have focused traditionally on investment and corporate banking, smaller banks have been a primary source of loans to local communities and businesses, and they were hardest hit by the recession.

“For smaller community banks, the increased compliance and regulatory costs have impeded their ability to lend,” Gugle says. “By lowering the regulatory burden, it would make it more cost effective for banks to make loans, but I am careful to point out that small businesses will still need to meet the stringent borrower requirements that banks will impose.”

Another recession? Not likely.

While many financiers and officials have advocated for the repeal of Dodd-Frank, the public is hesitant to remove the restraints on American banks.

In a survey of more than 1,000 people, California-based Personal Capital Advisors Corp. found that 84% were supportive of efforts to protect consumers’ financial rights and concerned about the lack of protections without Dodd-Frank.

Experts agree that a repeal will likely lead to risk-taking by banks, but contend that a recession is not immediately imminent.

If Dodd-Frank is repealed, Hynes, a NAPFA member, says he thinks the U.S. initially will see a “more robust economy, more jobs, and higher economic growth rates.”

“The U.S. economy experienced solid growth, punctuated by occasional, more ‘normal’ recessions, from the end of the Great Depression, about 1940, until 2007 — without massive legislative imposition such as Dodd-Frank,” Hynes says.

The post What Could Happen if Trump Rolls Back The Dodd-Frank Act appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

How the Stock Market Could React if Trump or Hillary Wins

Whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump wins the U.S. election this November, the question for investors is how that victory might affect the stock market.

If Clinton wins, will health care companies like Aetna prosper? If Trump wins, will oil companies like Exxon and Shell, surge?

Historically, the presidential election has had little long-term impact on the U.S. stock market. “The market responds more to Fed policy and economic conditions more than who is president,” said Sam Stovall, Chief Investment Strategist with CRFA.

Stovall looked at how the stock market has fared under past U.S. Presidents. Overall, markets from 1945 to 2016 gained 9.7% under Democrat presidents and 6.7% under Republican presidents, according to his findings. But it’s hard to say whether those gains were tied directly to the person sitting in the Oval Office.

Nonetheless, decisions the president makes can have lasting impacts on certain industries, which could have an impact on market value for publicly traded companies in those industries.


MagnifyMoney reached out to a handful of experts to find out how the market might look the day after Election Day (and beyond).

Here are their predictions:

If Trump wins …

Donald Trump

Stovall noted there’s a lot of concern that a Trump victory would send the market into a nosedive. But any dip in the market would eventually level out. “If it falls, it won’t be for too long,” Stovall says.

Trump has vowed to cut regulations across many industries and let markets rule, which could lift markets if he is elected, says Jeff Auxier, president and CEO of Lake Oswego, Ore.-based Auxier Asset Management. “The perception is he would cut taxes and regulations,” he says.

For example, Trump has said that he will allow insurance companies to buy insurance across state lines, which could boost their business.

The insurance industry would particularly benefit from Trump’s insistence on deregulation, Auxier suggests. Lately, the U.S. government has worked to block a pair of potentially lucrative insurance mergers — marriages between Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana. All signs point to less federal regulation under a Trump presidency.

Most large financial service companies favor a Trump triumph. “Banks favor less regulation,” Stovall says. Under a Clinton administration, some of the mega banks such as Bank of America and Citigroup would likely face pressure to shrink. In other words, they may be forced to sell off businesses and reduce total assets. If regulations under Trump declined, Capital One Financial Corp. (COF) and Discover Financial Services (DFS) stand to gain.

Another industry that might celebrate a Trump victory is construction and engineering.

“Any companies associated with building roads and bridges like engineering firms will benefit,” Auxier says. Some specific companies that could see revenues rise include Granite Construction (GVA) and Sherwin-Williams (SHW), the paint company. Stovall says these companies could do well under Clinton as well, who has said she would spike investment in infrastructure.

Large oil and energy companies would welcome a Trump victory since they prefer less regulation, a hallmark of the Republican agenda, Stovall adds.

For-profit colleges have been battered by regulations and would bounce back in a Trump presidency, Auxier suggests. Under Trump, companies such as Apollo Education Group and Lincoln Tech could “come back from the dead,” he says.

If Clinton wins …

Hillary Clinton

If Clinton wins the election, renewable stocks would prosper and many health care stocks could do well. On the downside, biotech and retail stocks might falter.

Many retail stores and restaurants are concerned about a Clinton election, Stovall says. “Retail is worried about a $15 an hour minimum wage,” Stovall says, which Clinton has supported.

On health care, don’t expect much difference if Clinton is elected. “[A Clinton victory] is basically a continuation of the Obama administration,” Stovall says. “She represents more of the center of the two candidates and that would make for less uncertainty. Wall Street doesn’t like uncertainty.”

Despite that fact that Aetna cut back its Affordable Health Care coverage in 11 states, and Humana and UnitedHealthCare also reduced coverage, the Obama administration has noted that millions of people still maintain their health plans. Health care companies can opt out of offering coverage and then return, so it’s not necessarily a permanent trend.

Under a Clinton administration, large managed health care firms, HCA Holdings (HCA), Tenet Healthcare Corp. (THC), and Molina Healthcare (MOH) could prosper as more companies drop out of the marketplace, creating less competition.

But Stovall also notes that Clinton has focused on capping the rising cost of drugs, which could trouble the pharmaceutical industry.

If Clinton wins, “biotech will shake in their boots,” Stovall adds. Clinton has stressed that controlling drug prices and avoiding massive price hikes is critical. She has said she will look to regulate and curtail pharmaceutical price increases, specifically highlighting the recent controversy over Mylan’s decision to drastically increase the price of EpiPens.

“Biotech and pharma companies would likely suffer from promised price caps. However, hospital management companies will prosper since we won’t be back to the old pattern of uninsured individuals using emergency rooms as their primary care facilities,” Stovall asserts.

While a Trump victory could likely be good news for oil stocks, a Clinton victory could send renewable energy stocks soaring.

“Democrats would be pushing for renewable energy and putting more restraints on energy,” Stovall says. Hillary Clinton has supported President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which intends to set a national limit on carbon pollution, and she has stated that “the Obama plan is a major step forward to combat climate change.”

The post How the Stock Market Could React if Trump or Hillary Wins appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

Republicans Beat Democrats on This Easy Personal Finance Quiz

When it comes time to vote Nov. 8, many voters will head to the polls with their own pocketbooks in mind. From taxes to health care, some of the candidates’ most divisive policy initiatives, if implemented, could have a dramatic impact on the purse strings of millions of American households.

But exactly how savvy are Republicans and Democrats when it comes to matters of personal finance? MagnifyMoney decided to put the major U.S. political parties (including Independents) to the test.

We gave over 1,000 potential voters ages 18 and up a six-question quiz to test their knowledge of basic financial principles, from interest rates to inflation. The quiz itself was borrowed from the official financial literacy test created by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in 2009.

financial quiz by-political-parties

On average, Republicans were more likely to pass the quiz (answering at least 4 out of 6 questions correctly) than Democrats — 60.9% vs. 56.4%. Independents fell right in the middle, with a pass rate of 55.4%.

Not surprisingly, Republicans boasted the highest average score of all with 59.3%. Independent voters weren’t far behind, with an average score of 57.7%. Democrats came in third place, with an average score of 56%.

financial quiz passed-test

On the bright side for Democrats, a larger share of respondents from this party were more likely to get every answer correct — 10.3% vs. 9.3% of Republicans. But in the end, Democrats were dragged down by a higher complete fail rate (answering 6 out 6 questions incorrectly). Nearly 13% of Democrats answered every question wrong, compared to 8.7% of Republicans and 7.4% of Independents.

financial quiz perfect score

A possible explanation for Republicans’ higher scores could be the demographic makeup of the party itself. Republicans as a whole tend to skew older and male, according to the Pew Research Center. It appears the party benefited from that base in our quiz. We found that both men and older respondents scored higher overall. Democrats, on the other hand, tend to skew younger and more female, according to the same Pew study. Both of these groups earned lower average scores on our quiz.

financial quiz financial quiz

financial quiz by-gender

Check out the full results below and don’t forget to vote!

Methodology: Survey results are based on a MagnifyMoney survey conducted by Google Consumer Surveys on Sept. 28, 2016. There were 1,044 respondents — 351 identified as Democrats, 343 identified as Republicans, and 350 identified as Independents. The survey questions were based on the official FINRA Financial Literacy Quiz.

Full Survey Results:


The post Republicans Beat Democrats on This Easy Personal Finance Quiz appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

Are Democrats or Republicans Better With Money?


With America being greatly divided these days — be it red versus blue states, Democrats or Republicans, etc. — it’s easy to get caught up in the fray. Americans will argue and try to differentiate themselves in just about every way. Do you believe in the concept of working together toward a common good? You might be labeled a Socialist. Do you think people should take responsibility for their own lives, health, and finances? You’re a right-wing extremist, in some people’s eyes.

But when it comes to finances and money specifically, one political party is typically associated with fiscal responsibility more than any other: the Republican Party. Responsible spending has been a mantra of the Republicans and conservative party for a long time, and when a lot of people file into the voting booth, money and taxation are on their minds.

So, does that hold true? Are Republicans and red states truly more fiscally conservative than their blue state counterparts? Thanks to some data gathered by LendingTree, we have a better idea.

Red vs. Blue States: An Analysis

“Given this year’s polarizing election cycle with financial and socioeconomic topics, such as minimum wage and education costs being at the front of many discussions, LendingTree decided to compare how different candidate and party supporters really were financially,” a LendingTree press release says. “LendingTree conducted the survey online via SurveyMonkey and polled a nationally representative sample of respondents ages 18 and up. A total of 1,616 completed responses were collected between June 9th, 2016 and June 14th, 2016.”

From the results, LendingTree found that over half of each party’s voting base suffers from a “financial superiority bias,” though Republicans were more likely to say they are financially or economically more knowledgeable. Republicans were also more likely to say that they were financially responsible. But when LendingTree looked at the red and blue state divide and corresponding personal finance habits, there were some interesting swings.

Residents of Republican-leaning states generally had bad credit scores. In fact, of the 50 states, the bottom 10 in terms of credit scores were red. On the other hand, red states generally were better at curbing credit card debt. But, Democratic voters were twice as likely than Republican voters to say that they were “financially happy.”

Democrats or Republicans: Party of Fiscal Responsibility?

From this study, it appears that no specific party can really accurately claim any sort of financial superiority, as blue states tend to be happier and have better credit scores, but red states have better general personal finance habits. Of course, you should read the entire study yourself to get a better gauge of the data, as we’re just looking at the general findings and trends.

But the data does match up, in some ways, to other measures of financial superiority. For example, when you look at which states tend to rely more on the federal government for funding and financial backing, red states are at the top. This, as noted, contrasts with the red state values of small government and financial responsibility. But, you also have to take into account the specific cases of each state. Some of those red states are largely rural, are home to Indian reservations, or lie on the border — all things that require additional federal funding.

The point, though, is that the divisiveness surrounding fiscal responsibility doesn’t really make a lot of sense, especially when you crunch the numbers and find that members of both parties struggle. Monetary issues, like the national debt and growing deficit, were a much bigger issue during the 2012 campaign cycle than they are this time around, which might shed some light on the fact that politicians from both parties know that fighting about being fiscally responsible is losing its appeal.

The last two presidents — Barack Obama and George W. Bush — have seen the national debt and budget deficit soar, after all. So, if there is a point or underlying theme to LendingTree’s findings, it’s that as a whole, neither party appears to be all that fiscally responsible, and slugging it out over other issues may yield more of an opportunity to sway voters.

[Editor’s Note: You can monitor your financial goals, like building a good credit score, each month on Credit.com.]

This article originally appeared on The Cheat Sheet.  

Image: EdStock, 2008 Getty Images

The post Are Democrats or Republicans Better With Money? appeared first on Credit.com.

Need to Register to Vote? Just Google It


Thursday’s crowning of Donald Trump as the Republican presidential candidate has ushered in the beginning of the real battle for the White House. Regardless of whether you support Trump, his presumptive Democratic rival Hillary Clinton or neither, you won’t be able to voice your opinion in the November election if you aren’t registered to vote.

If you haven’t registered — whether you think it’s just too much of a pain, you haven’t had the time, or you just don’t know where to start — you’re in luck. Google is here to help with a new widget that makes the process a lot easier.

The widget, launched earlier this month, appears in the results for search terms like “how do I register to vote?”

The widget provides links to registration forms, your state’s county voter registrar offices, plus requirements and deadlines for registration.

Google said in an announcement that the widget helps serve user needs.

“With states’ varied deadlines and methods, the voter registration process can be tricky,” Jacob Schonberg, Google product manager, wrote on the company’s blog. “So … we’re introducing a new tool in Search to simplify the voter registration process to make it easier for you to have your voice heard.”


The Election & Your Finances

Whether you believe your vote counts or not, voicing your opinion can have a direct impact on your personal finances. The candidates’ economic proposals are very different this year, on everything from student loan payments to tax breaks, all of which are sure to affect voters’ bottom lines.

While your vote will only go so far in addressing how the economy operates, you can still take charge of your own personal finances by maintaining a good credit score, paying your bills on time, ensuring you have sufficient income and putting some of your money into savings. If any of these are a struggle for you, you can start down the road to a better financial life by checking your credit scores to see where you stand. You can get two free credit scores, updated monthly, on Credit.com.

[Offer: If you need help fixing your credit, Lexington Law can help you meet your goals. Learn more about them here or call them at (844) 346-3296 for a free consultation.]

More on Credit Reports & Credit Scores:

Image: adamkaz

The post Need to Register to Vote? Just Google It appeared first on Credit.com.

The Bill That Could Help Veterans’ Credit Scores


Veterans experiencing credit problems could be in store for some good news. Lawmakers are looking to help ensure veterans’ credit scores don’t get dinged when they have late payments on medical bills.

The Protecting Veterans Credit Act (H.R. 1862), introduced last month by Reps. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) and John Delaney (D-Md.), would provide a 1-year grace period before medical bills for services received through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Choice Program could be reported to the credit reporting agencies.

The bill is in response to the program, created in 2014, which made it possible for veterans to seek medical treatment outside VA clinics because of long wait times, according to TheHill.com. Many complaints have arisen that the VA is slow to make payments to these private doctors, which have reported the outstanding medical debts to credit bureaus, the political news site said.

The VA did not immediately respond to Credit.com’s request for comment on the bill.

The lawmakers say their bill will provide the VA with enough time to make payments on the bills, ensuring veterans’ credit scores aren’t unnecessarily and negatively impacted.

According to TheHill.com, Rep. Delaney said veterans already had to endure long wait times for treatment. “We shouldn’t destroy their finances on top of that,” he reportedly told the website.

Maintaining Your Credit 

Whether you’re a veteran, active military or a civilian, medical debt can ultimately damage your credit. And a low credit score can have a negative impact on your ability to buy a home, take out a car loan or even get a job.

You may be able to mitigate medical bill nightmares by reviewing billing statements closely for double charges, evaluating all the insurance, Medicaid and charity options available, and using your own low-interest credit card to pay for medical bills instead of opening a new account through the hospital (which typically carries high interest rates).

And to maintain good credit in general, it’s important to make your bill payments on time, keep your credit card debt to a minimum and check your credit regularly. You can view two of your credit scores for free, updated monthly, on Credit.com, and get your free annual credit reports through AnnualCreditReport.com.

If your credit is looking lackluster, you can generally improve your scores by disputing credit report errors (you can go here to learn how), paying down high credit card balances and limiting new credit inquiries while your score rebounds.

[Offer: Your credit score may be low due to credit errors. If that’s the case, you can tackle your credit reports to improve your credit score with help from Lexington LawLearn more about them here or call them at (844) 346-3296 for a free consultation.]

More Money-Saving Reads:

Image: vgajic

The post The Bill That Could Help Veterans’ Credit Scores appeared first on Credit.com.

Whether Trump or Clinton, 24% of Americans Think They’ll Be Worse Off After Election


Only 6% of Americans think their finances will improve after the November presidential election, regardless of which party’s candidate wins, according to a recent loanDepot survey.

In fact, the survey found that most Americans expect their financial situations will either stay the same (66%) or become worse (24%). Part of the negative sentiment appears to stem from the failure of presumptive nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to talk about their proposed housing and finance policies.

“People across the nation told us they want to hear more from the presidential candidates about their housing and financial policies on issues like income, access to credit, interest rates and affordable housing,” Anthony Hsieh, loanDepot chairman and CEO, said in a press release. “The candidate who does a good job in communicating their policies moving forward has an opportunity to influence millions of potential voters.”

LoanDepot’s survey was conducted by OMNIWEB, comprising of interviews with 500 female adults and 500 male adults in the United States, with the margin of error on weighted data plus or minus 3% for the full sample.

Nearly two out of five (36%) respondents in loanDepot’s survey felt the candidates were doing a poor job articulating their housing and finance policies; 35% would like to hear more from the candidates on these topics. The survey also found that those who want to hear more are mostly Democrats (56%), followed by Republicans (39%) and millennials (29%).

Also, more Democrats (50%) expect to be worse off financially as a result of the elections than Republicans (44%).

How to Protect Your Credit

Survey results also showed that many younger Americans are still discouraged about their incomes and the election’s impact on their access to credit. In fact, more than one-third (36%) of millennials say their primary financial concern is not making enough money, and 46% are concerned about how the elections will impact their ability to access credit. Two out of five (40%) millennials said making homeownership more affordable to middle- and low-income Americans should be a priority for the next president’s first 100 days in office.

Whether you think the results of the November elections will improve or hinder your personal finances, it’s a good idea to keep your credit scores in good standing. Having a good credit score can help you access more credit and at better terms and rates. (You can see where your credit currently stands by viewing two of your credit scores, updated each month, for free on Credit.com.) If you aren’t happy with your current credit situation, you can try to improve your credit scores by disputing any errors on your credit reports, limiting new credit inquiries and paying down credit card debt.

More Money-Saving Reads:

Image: EdStock, 2008 Getty Images

The post Whether Trump or Clinton, 24% of Americans Think They’ll Be Worse Off After Election appeared first on Credit.com.

The Money Issue Americans Wish Trump & Clinton Would Talk About


If there’s anything the American public knows about politicians, it’s that they like to talk. We have some particularly chatty people running for president right now, but despite the many topics Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton spend their time discussing, voters think they’re leaving out some important issues.

Housing affordability is one of them.

More than 3-in-5 adults (63%) believe the presidential candidates have not given enough attention to housing affordability, according to a new survey from the MacArthur Foundation, a liberal public-policy nonprofit. The vast majority (81%) of those surveyed said they believe housing affordability is a problem in the United States.

These figures come from interviews with 1,200 adults, conducted by phone (mobile and landline) between April 28 and May 10. The report did not state a margin of error. It was the fourth year the foundation conducted its How Housing Matters survey, and compared to last year’s survey, it seems Americans are less optimistic about the state of housing affordability. Only 29% of those surveyed this year said they believe “the housing crisis is pretty much over,” which is down 6 percentage points from the 2015 survey. A third (34%) of respondents said they know someone who has personally experienced eviction, foreclosure or some sort of housing loss in the last five years.

At the same time, Americans are optimistic that housing affordability is a solvable problem, should leaders give it the attention voters believe it deserves. It’s a pretty important issue for voters: While 90% of people said having a good, stable job is very important to having a secure, middle-class lifestyle, 85% of people said the same of access to affordable housing, as well as the ability to save for retirement.

It’s not surprising people want to hear the presidential candidates address housing costs, considering that more than half (53%) of survey respondents said they’ve made sacrifices in the last 3 years in order to afford their mortgage payments or rent. Those sacrifices include taking on extra jobs (24%), delaying saving for retirement (19%), going into credit card debt (17%), skimping on healthful food (13%) or cutting back on healthcare (11%). All of these things, particularly going into debt or cutting back on savings, can have serious implications on one’s financial future.

Figuring out a housing budget isn’t easy, but it’s a crucial component of your financial well-being, like minimizing your debt and taking care of your credit. Credit plays a role in your everyday life, like finding housing, so before you rent or buy, be sure to review your credit standing — you can get two free credit scores each month on Credit.com. You may also want to make checking your credit a routine, so there are no surprises down the road.

More on Mortgages & Homebuying:

Image: leezsnow

The post The Money Issue Americans Wish Trump & Clinton Would Talk About appeared first on Credit.com.

People Would Rather Sit Next to Donald on a Plane Than Hillary, Bernie


Pretend for a moment that you’re on a plane, and a flight attendant taps on your shoulder: “Just FYI — the seat next to you will be occupied by a presidential candidate.”

Who do you hope it is?

For many Americans, it’s Donald Trump they’d prefer for a seat buddy on this highly improbable flight. According to a survey of 9,700 travelers, 36.8% said they’d most like to sit next to the presumptive Republican nominee for president. Bernie Sanders was second-most popular (barely) with 31.9% of the vote, followed by Hillary Clinton (31.3%). The margin of error is plus or minus 1.1%.

SmarterTravel, parent company of flight-comparison site Airfarewatchdog, conducted the email survey between May 19 and May 23, and the sample is nationally representative, according to a company spokesperson. It was part of a larger survey about air travel.

What the survey didn’t ask about, unfortunately, was the respondents’ motives for choosing their seat mate. Sitting next to politician isn’t necessarily indicative of a vote. Some people might want to sit next to Trump (or Clinton or Sanders) for the chance to interrogate them. (My boss, for one, would treasure such an opportunity.)

Of course, the odds of you seeing a presidential candidate on a commercial airline aren’t great — even Sanders, who collected social-media praise for flying coach, is taking more private flights. Heck, Trump has his own plane, complete with gold fixtures and Trump-crest-embroidered pillows. And Clinton likely would be far too busy doing who-knows-what on her phone to engage with whomever she’s seated next to.

For more realistic flight perks, you might want to look to an airline loyalty program or a credit card that rewards you for travel. That’s not necessarily going to land you in the seat next to anyone notable, but maybe you’ll see someone famous in an airline lounge. If not, a free checked bag or priority boarding should be some sort of consolation. As always, consider your overall financial goals before getting a credit card just for the perks — rewards credit cards can make it tempting to overspend. You can monitor your financial goals, like your credit score, for free on Credit.com.

More on Credit Cards:

Image: andykatz

The post People Would Rather Sit Next to Donald on a Plane Than Hillary, Bernie appeared first on Credit.com.

There Are Already Realtors Offering to Sell Your Home if Trump Becomes President


Disgruntled Americans of all political leanings have said it: “I’m moving to Canada.” The Great White North particularly appeals to those left-of-center, as many liberal Americans are practically drooling with envy over the new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, in addition to some public policies they would like to see emulated in the U.S.

Let’s set aside, for the moment, the fact that immigrating to another country is a complicated and expensive endeavor. If Donald Trump is elected president, there are a lot of people saying they want to get the heck out of the U.S. as fast as possible — logistics aside.

If you’re one of them, and you’re a homeowner, selling your home will be on your to-do list, and there are a few people willing to help you with that. A Texas real estate agent’s Facebook page went viral over the weekend after she advertised her business as an option for helping people sell their homes if they decided to flee the U.S. in the event of a Trump presidency, BuzzFeed reports.

Michelle Blackwell’s Facebook page had 173 fans when she posted the ad. She now has more than 5,000, and the ad was shared tens of thousands of times before she took it down (her firm reportedly asked her to.)

Another Texas real estate agent, Elena Dinaburg, posted a similar ad, but only within a private Facebook group, rather than on the public platform.

“There’s so much media [attention] with Trump, and so much for and against him,” Dinaburg told BuzzFeed News, saying it seemed like the perfect time to post the ad.

Sure, the presidential election is several months away, but if you’re planning a transnational move, you’ve got a lot to do in that short period of time. Locking in a good real estate agent to sell your home is probably the least of your problems, given that you have to search for a home in Canada, where you have no credit. (You can see where your credit in the U.S. stands by viewing your two free credit scores, updated each month, on Credit.com.) You’ll also need a job or some sort of reason for Canada to let you in the country to stay. Best of luck with that search.

More on Mortgages & Homebuying:

Image: andykatz

The post There Are Already Realtors Offering to Sell Your Home if Trump Becomes President appeared first on Credit.com.