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Amex Survey Finds Back To School Spending On The Rise

Amex Survey Finds Back To School Spending On The RiseParents’ wallets will feel lighter than ever this fall.

Families with kids heading back to school this fall are spending more than last year, according to the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker. The annual Amex report found that folks would spend an average of $1,642 per family on back to school shopping this year, which is up from $1,239 last year.

The increase in spending was chalked up to longer supply lists, and also to parents’ readiness to buy more this year. “While looking at trending data on this topic from the past five years, 2016 is showing the largest year-over-year increase for back-to-school shopping,” said American Express vice president of consumer lending, Jed Scala. “This may be attributed to an ever-evolving back-to-school shopping list, and perhaps, parents’ ability and willingness to spend mor ...


Mastercard Lends A Hand To Chinese Students

Mastercard Lends A Hand To Chinese StudentsThis back to school season, Chinese students are getting some help from Mastercard, thanks to a program called Plastiq.

Plastiq lets cardholders use local credit and debit cards to pay their school tuition in the United States, and is the first online payment service of its kind. It was created to help Chinese students studying overseas, who might be struggling with issues such as limited payment methods, currency exchange, and other obstacles that come with the territory when away from home.

China sends many students overseas for school; the country represents 31 percent of the total amount of international students in the United States. India sits at number two, comprising 14 percent of the international student population, and South Korea is in third place with seven percent.

Paying for tuition is one of the worst headaches for students – and the b ...


Study Highlights Security Concerns On Public Wi-Fi

55If you use public Wi-Fi to look at your bank accounts and credit card statements, you might want to think twice before logging in. A new campaign from AARP is alerting the public to the risks involved with using unsecured Wi-Fi networks to access sensitive personal information.

The “Watch Your Wi-Fi” campaign tells folks how they can protect themselves from hackers and would-be identity thieves. A survey done by the AARP Fraud Watch Network showed that close to half of all consumers in the US log on to an unsecured public Wi-Fi network at least once every few months. A little over one-third of them have shopped online with a credit card, more than a third have done online banking, and over 70% have used public Wi-Fi to access their email and social media accounts.

Frank Abagnale, AARP’s Fraud Watch Network Ambassador, said that although free public Wi-Fi is convenient, it’s best used for general Internet-surfing, reading the news, or checking the weather forecast. “People too often put themselves a ...


Cash Is America’s Favorite Investment

1872When it comes to investing, it seems that people prefer cash – if they don’t need the money back very soon.

A recent survey indicates that cash investments are among the most popular types of investments among folks who don’t need their money back for more than 10 years. Fifty-four million Americans answered the survey, and 23% said that cash was the best investment they could make, if they didn’t need the money right away.

Along with cash, real estate is a hugely popular long-term investment. One-quarter (25%) of those surveyed wanted to invest in real estate. Stocks, precious metals, and bonds were all rated less well, with bonds especially unpopular, only scoring a 5% popularity rate.

But financial advisors warned that these statistics do not indicate a smart investment strategy. “While cash investments are entirely appropriate for short-term needs, such as an emergency fund, they are completely inappropriate for long-term investment horizons,” said the chief financial analyst of the f ...


Millennial Business Owners Not Afraid To Take On Debt

1866A Wells Fargo study of small business owners showed that Millennials are in it for the long haul and unafraid to make calculated gambles when it comes to taking on debt.

The study, which included answers from one thousand small business owners, asked survey participants about why they started their businesses, as well as when and how they work. The focus on Millennials showed how young folks are adapting to business and moving forward as entrepreneurs and the future of the country. Millennials are generally defined as people ages 18-35, who came of age around the year 2000.

Not scared of a little debt, in service of the greater good

These young entrepreneurs are not afraid to get into debt in order to grow their businesses. Although 78% of older business owners are “extremely wary” of taking on debt, two-thirds of Millennials said they believe a little risk is necessary to get their business on track and growing the way they want to. Only half of older folks felt that way.

Personal debt is an ...


What You Don’t Know About Your Credit Score Could Hurt You

What You Don’t Know About Your Credit Score Could Hurt YouThere are lots of sayings that hold a kernel of truth in them. For example, “out of sight, out of mind,” is an apt way to express the fact that we don’t tend to think about people when they’re not around. Or maybe “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is a more accurate saying as far as you’re concerned.

But there’s one saying that definitely isn’t true most of the time, at least when it comes to one thing: credit scores. That old chestnut, “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” isn’t accurate at all when it comes to credit. In fact, a bad credit score can certainly hurt you, in many more ways than you may realize. Whether you are aware of it or not, poor credit can affect whether or not you’re approved for a loan, what kind of interest rate you’re offered on a mortgage, and much more. Here are ...


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