Daily Archives: October 29, 2017

Finances Prompt 1

The first article I read was the Crackdown on Cheating Companies. After reading this article it doesn’t surprise me that large companies are misclassifying their employees to save themselves some money. Companies take advantage of full-time employees without actually having to pay or offer benefits that normally would come with being a full-time employee. The next article I read was about student loan debt and how to overcome it. This article was really helpful especially for college students like us who probably all have some sort of loans out that will need to be paid back after graduation. I think it is critical for people to know about the consequences that happen when you ignore your loan payments. Personally I know there have been times in my life where I have ignored responsibilities and it only causes things to get much much worse. That why these tips were helpful! Lastly, I read the article that touched on Debt and Deceased Relatives. This article really surprised me because I honestly thought that when you die, your debt is erased, simply because well, you are dead. Who’s going to pay it? Collecting estate to pay off debt seems reasonable if the person dies, however I think going as far to collecting it from significant others is drastic. I think it’s important to know that debt collectors are only allowed to contact third parties in order to obtain contact information ONCE. Its also important to know that you are legally allowed to have collectors stop contacting you. Just make sure to send that letter and get a return receipt for proof. As a consumer, it gives me hope that there is more investigation being done on companies who are misclassifying their employees. As an employee of a really large company myself, I would have to be taken advantage of by being called a “contractor” when I am still abiding by all company rules and not my own work. I think the first step in solving these problems is creating awareness for the consumers (I did not know about this deception going on, how many others don’t?) The more consumers know about it, the more change can happen. As for policy makers, it sounds like they are headed in the right direction with investigating unlawful companies. Making stricter consequences for companies misclassifying their employees could also aid in solving this issue.

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Finance Prompt 1

When I first saw that the topic this week was going to be finance, let me just say I was a little worried. For me, Finances have never been my strong suit. I never really was taught in high school either about certain finance topics that others were taught. So reading the course materials made me very informed and I was able to actually learn about finances. The first article I read was about student loans, and some tips on how to pay them off, and what to do when you do have a bunch of loans. One thing I learned, in particular, was that you should always start with paying off the most high priced loan first. And then continue to pay the rest, this way you will get the big chunk out of the way and will able to pay little amounts and soon enough they will be paid. The second article I read talked about what happens when a deceased person still has debt. I actually found it very interesting that when a person passes away and they may not be here, their debt definitely still is. When that person passes away, a loved one, relative or someone still has to pay the debt of that person. I found that astonishing, I had no idea that it still would have to be paid even though they are no longer here. The third article I read focused on what you would want to do with your finances and what you should know about how expensive they can be. For instance, starting a business, before starting a business you should do research about the certain business you are wanting to start; ranging from an internet company all the way to opening your own franchise. There are many things that come to the forefront way before signing any kind of papers. You must consider your financial situation, your abilities, goals, and most importantly if this is actually going to make you money.

Works Cited:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0401-thinking-about-buying-franchise

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0081-debts-and-deceased-relatives

https://ticas.org/content/posd/top-10-student-loan-tips-recent-graduates

Why Finance Matters: Lean into the blog’s title.

It’s a relatively straightforward thing – finance matters, making sure that you are able to effectively manage funding is an incredibly important part of the human responsibility scale. And it’s not just to make sure that you’re able to get a coffee with almond milk, or have endless access to the hits of the mid aughts on Apple music – financing is an important part of making sure the you now and the you later will be able to live a life that’s worth living, and by being aware that companies who provide financial services, typically, are in the market to: wait for it, make money. Some may be trustworthy, but having a good grasp on the risks you take when dealing with financing is important.

Examples being, as provided through this class, working as an independent contractor in lieu of being an official employee – though again, it depends on the context of the situation you’re operating within. As a contractor, medical benefits aren’t awarded to you and you have to do some more intricate taxation processes come tax day – employers also have no legal liability to keep you on. So, while the idea of contracting tends to be appealing to people, knowing the different things – and being able to identify if your position extends beyond the contractors purpose (if you’re working full-time on something that extends beyond the reach of a specific things) – be wary, as you could potentially be getting more kickbacks from your employer.

I think, though, a majority of the time it really comes out to being aware of the things that you do financially and the profit incentive behind it – whether it be the girl you went to high school with who’s already had a couple kids and wants to “have it all’ and have you join her in selling makeup over Facebook or if it’s as something as predatory as payday loans. Making sure you’re aware of the things that happen in this context is incredibly important – don’t be doubtful, be skeptical.

Finances

Prompt 1

As a consumer we am automatically at risk  for some sort of financial struggle. As people age and slowly become more financially independent, more expenses tend to come into play.  Credit card offers, Schools loans, Personal loans, Legal assistance, Car Payments, Bankrupts, and more. These will most likely occur at least once in your life time. These things can be a product of disaster, enabling to accomplish many things and often make life much more difficult than it should be. Unfortunately young adult consumers are a main target for financial traps  because they are often much less financially knowledgeable and easier to receive money from (this is why young people receive so many credit card offers).  young consumers are the best consumers because of their willingness to spend money and participate in things that could possibly get them more money. This is what gets them in trouble. Not knowing how to budget, missing payments and not reading the fine print can put young people in a sticky place. This is when dept comes in. Not knowing how to manage your finances can leave someone with limited options of how they can live. By being more knowledgeable on things like how to manage student loans, apply for a credit cards and avoiding late fees, it could save someone a life of struggle.  The goal should always be to buy smart.

Student loans are one of the first things people experience when growing into an independent adult. Student loans are sometimes the only way most people can fully afford a higher education. The first time a student loan is taken out, we don’t have to think about how we are going to repay it because that moment isn’t for another 4+ years. But the truth is, we should always consider what we can do in the mean time. There are options. first, you can get acquainted with which loan or loans you have. You should learn what type it is, its terms and conditions, their interests rates, as well as what their grace periods look like. It is possible that if you begin to pay your interest rates sooner, the amount you’ll have to pay in the future can be a lot less. The grace period for most loans can start between 6 to 9 months, meaning you’ll have time to figure out what your financial situation is depending on the loan. what ever your financial situation may be, you may have options on what kind of payments you are able to make each month. when your financial situation changes, you may also have the ability to adjust how you make your payments. The goal is to stay in contact about your situation and try to NEVER miss payments. It is also helpful to keep in mind that if you obtain a job in certain fields such as, government positions, Non profit, public service, teaching positions, Americorps, peaceCorps, and more, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness programs. These could be extremely helpful in the long run. Knowing more about what your future may look like can prepare you for much more.

We also must watch out for ourselves when entering the work force. Depending on our field and position, we may be a risk for being taken advantage of by the companies and businesses we work for. We must stay aware of the rights we possess, what we are eligible for and how the places we work for “run”. This could avoid misclassification, mistreatment, lack of qualification/benefits and other unethical practices that could negativity affect workers. It is our right to uphold our employers to the laws and regulations that protect us as workers. We must be aware that our health and well-being is much more important than any amount of money or tax break. By being unaware mistreatment, could possibly enable workers from greatly benefiting from things they may qualify for. Doing the research could make a huge difference.

It is great to be a smart consumer. it could save you from a world of hurt and struggle in the future. If we take initiative and begin to use our resources for information and answers, we can avoid financial traps. to be aware means that you are using your knowledge to make smart choices. Choices that could benefits your future in very positive way.

Sources:

Financial Slides

P. (2013, August 23). A Crackdown on Cheating Companies. Retrieved October 30, 2017, from https://parade.com/49312/parade/100411-a-crackdown-on-cheating-companies/

Project on Student Debt. (n.d.). Retrieved October 30, 2017, from https://ticas.org/content/posd/top-10-student-loan-tips-recent-graduates

 

Finance Matters

As a consumer, especially one who’s largest financial investment is higher education, financial responsibility is of utmost importance. There are very few citizens in the United States who can afford a college degree without taking out some form of student loans. As young adults, we are expected to be responsible enough to figure out how to finance and have a plan of how to pay back our loans once we finish. The reality is, a nineteen year old kid has no idea how to make a decision that costs thousands of dollars (generally). To land most jobs in America, a young person needs a college degree to at least show they can be dedicated to something. Due to this social norm, every high school graduate is becoming a college student. And some are still not finding jobs when they get out, or are cheated out of full-time benefits and a true job title (as stated in one of the resources this week.) Therefore, the amount of national debt accrued by all these students is astonishing. Even after former President Obama’s administrative changes to increase Pell grants and other funds for students, every young American is still in debt. In my own experience, there was little education offered to me as to how I should pull out these loans and how much I’d be paying monthly once I was out. I did not receive many scholarships, and with the current FAFSA calculation, I got about a thousand a year. However, my parents did not assist me with any payment for college, thus my loans were going to be massive. I have gained a lot of advice through research and this class, such as how to be smart when taking out a loan and having the foresight to look ahead at what my monthly payments may be. A course of action I learned through some of the content this week was that banks offer financial education to those who are taking out loans. Perhaps all college freshmen should be required to take a course in managing their loans.

Glossary 3

My first glossary word is misclassifcation.   Workers who are misclassified are not being compensated fairly and it is disturbing.   “Businesses get all the advantages of full-time employees but save millions of dollars. They also gain an edge over their competitors, deprive the government of billions in tax revenue, and hurt employees by making them ineligible for worker’s compensation, unemployment insurance, medical leave, and other benefits.”   This is epidemic says the Parade magazine under cheating companies.  Also, President Obama allocated $25 million U.S. Department of Labor just to combat employee misclassification.    It sounds like a huge problem.

Secondly, I found CDR to be interesting but useful for students who have a loan are the words  “cohort default rates” (CDRs) measure the share of their federal student loan borrowers who default within a specified period of time after entering repayment. This CDR is important because colleges with high CDRs may lose future eligibility for federal grants and loans.  For example, the most recent CDRs, released September 2017, are for borrowers who entered repayment in federal fiscal year 2014 (FY14) and defaulted in FY14, FY15, or FY16.

I found delinquency and default can mean trouble under student debt in the finance matters page.  To further explain, ignoring your student loans has serious consequences that can last a lifetime so I thought I insert the importance of repayment.  “For federal loans, default kicks in after nine months of non-payment. When you default, your total loan balance becomes due, your credit score is ruined, the total amount you owe increases dramatically, and the government can garnish your wages and seize your tax refunds if you default on a federal loan. For private loans, default can happen much more quickly and can put anyone who co-signed for your loan at risk as well. Talk to your lender right away if you’re in danger of default.”

 

 

 

Glossary Post 2

After reading through the finance articles and slides this week, I had come across a few words that I was not super familiar with and thought I would share. I think with finance in general, there are a lot of big words that we come across and never really think about or try to understand but they most likely play a role into our financial education and decisions.

The first word I came across was Envelope-Stuffing Schemes. The name seems self-explanatory but I did not know that this was the term used for “get rich quick schemes”. It also seemed like another form of a pyramid scheme almost.

Envelope-Stuffing Schemes: you send your money, you’re likely to get a letter telling you to get other people, even your friends and relatives, to buy the same envelope-stuffing “opportunity” or another product. The only way you can earn money is if people respond to your solicitations the same way you responded. The promoters rarely pay anyone.

Definition Source: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0112-envelope-stuffing-schemes

The second word, one I am familiar with because a lot of people my age take part in it, is Pyramid Schemes. Pyramid Schemes are when one person at the top makes all the money while the people below make little to none and the fight to reach the top is rather difficult.

Pyramid Schemes: a form of investment (illegal in the US and elsewhere) in which each paying participant recruits two further participants, with returns being given to early participants using money contributed by later ones.

Definition Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_scheme

The third word is settlements which I came across while reading the article about Fandango and Credit Karma. Settlements, to my understanding, are how much money the “winner” receives after a lawsuit. The settlement can range for any dollar value and it is settled through the clients and the lawyers.

Settlements: a resolution between disputing parties about a legal case, reached either before or after court action begins. The term “settlement” also has other meanings in the context of law.

Definition Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Settlement_(litigation)

 

Finance Prompt One

Being a young adult, financial health seems to be something I feel not only myself but other people in my age bracket are struggling with. I think that there are several factors as to why young adults are stuck when it comes to their financial situation and I think that not all of these factors are taught in schools or talked about home, or if they are, then they are not taught properly.

One thing I know that is a big conversation is financial aid. Schools promote financial aid all the time and how to get it and parents always speak about how their child should apply for it once they get the chance to. However, what I feel is never talked about is what happens when that financial aid is not given to you or when the school year is up. Financial aid can cause the student or the family to accumulate debt rather quickly due to the amount of interest that can occur once the student graduates. If the debt is not paid off quick enough, the more consequences occur. Financial aid is beneficial when helping a student pay for school – but there is a lot of fine print with it. Also, with the prices of college increasing every year, financial aid can either increase, decrease, or remain the same. I believe that politicians should work to lower interest rates, provided more financial aid when necessary, or work to make community colleges free or the first two years of college free. That way there is an opportunity for everyone to get a higher education without having to dig themselves into debt.

Another factor is credit cards. I think that growing up and hearing my parents and other adults around me talk about credit cards or even the term “credit” created this idea that I needed to start building credit once I was old enough to – and that is what I did. At 18 years old, I applied for a credit card and I have had one ever since. I have done well, thus far, at maintaining my credit score with my credit card, bills, etc. but I feel that some other people my age may not be so fortunate. There is an assumption that one needs credit in order to do any other “adult” purchases or decisions and therefore, that is why young adults open credit accounts at the first moment possible. But then they are not educated enough on how to fix the issue once it gets out of hand. I think that there should be courses offered on how to avoid financial issues like this and how to resolve them. As mentioned in the slides, education and counseling about credit can be extremely beneficial especially to young adults.

The third factor, that I actually struggled with personally while living on my own in a college town, is landlord and tenant issues and the fees that came with it. A few years ago I was living in a house with five other young adults in Bellingham going to Western at the time and we had run into a number of financial issues with our landlord – more specifically, our management company that was overseeing the paperwork for our landlord. While the lease was rather detailed, there were some things missing from it. We got random “noise compliment” charges or “extra garbage bags” fees and none of these minor fees were laid out in the lease. Being college students, we are all slightly limited on income so being hit with random fees ontop of rent was always really annoying. Long story short, we eventually all left the house because our management company was going to keep draining our wallets. However, during the process, we did not get any of our security deposits back when that was promised. That was the biggest concern of ours, was getting our $500+ back into our pockets – but the check never showed up. In situations like this, I wish that more help was available to us when we needed it and I wish that we had all taken the proper legal actions to protect ourselves as tenants so that we did not have to pay endless fees.

 

Glossary Building #3

  • In A Crackdown on Cheating Companies by Parade Magazine, they introduce the epidemic of misclassification in the workforce. The use of misclassification in this context looks at the misrepresentation and labeling of certain workers or employees in the workforce. These workers are not only titled incorrectly, but are robbed of the compensation that they deserve.
  • In the Finance 2017 Power Point the term “technocratic” is used to describe a particular approach. In context the term is understood to be a type of approach public health takes with regards to agencies and regulations. After searching the term on Google.com technocratic is defined as relating to or characterized by the government or control of society or industry by an elite of technical experts. Now when I look back at the term in the context of the power point and with this new definition my understanding of a technocratic approach is to utilize technical experts to control or oversee agencies and regulations.
    • See: Finance 2017 Power Point and Google.com to define technocratic
  • In the Finance 2017 Power Point the basic education act is introduced. It is said, “to provide students with the opportunity to become responsible global citizens, to contribute to their economic well-being and that of their families and communities, and to enjoy productive and satisfying lives”. After considering what this means I interpret this to be a way or ways students can become citizens of their communities. The act is put it place to give and share opportunities equally among learners in the society to better the community and their personal lives.
    • See: Finance 2017 Power Point

Finance Prompts – Prompt 1

After looking over several resources I found that in financial health and decision-making it is critical to be informed. When we are informed of our choices in their entirety it aids in our ability to make the best choice we see fit in making our final decision. Often times we are bombarded with so much information that is not necessarily so easy to understand especially as a student. It is comforting to know that President Barack Obama’s Presidential Memorandum on Student Aid Bill of Rights puts in place resources and clauses that will better the outcome of students in debt. This not only gives me hope and comfort as a student, but also as a consumer. Now this is only speaking from a student’s experience, but I think there is still a vast amount of work needed to be done by policy makers and consumers in order to solve this loss of communication or understanding in debt. Policy makers need to improve their ability and ways of communicating debt and borrowing policies. In turn consumers also need to be able to understand the language of policy makers in order to improve their ability in making financial health and other life decisions.