Questions tagged [united-states]

For questions that relate to the laws, practices, and products of the United States.

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17
votes
9answers
2k views

What would I miss out on by self insuring my car?

I've been thinking lately that it might make sense to drop comprehensive and collision and self-insure these risks (obviosuly I'd keep the liability insurance). Basically, I'd keep around in a fairly ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

How do I calculate the dwelling coverage I need from the information I have?

I have just finished ratifying a contract for a home purchase. Our timeline for getting everything done is fairly tight and I'd like to start getting the homeowner's insurance squared away as soon as ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

I have a mortgage with PMI, what happens to PMI when I get to the 'safe' LTV ratio?

I have a mortgage with PMI, what happens to PMI when I get to the 'safe' LTV ratio? Does my payment stay the same and more money goes to paying off interest or principal? Does my payment drop?
4
votes
1answer
614 views

Can I use 529 plan funds to pay for a CLEP test? How about CLEP test preparation materials?

Can I use 529 funds to pay for a CLEP test? How about CLEP test preparation materials? Title pretty much says it all.
12
votes
3answers
397 views

Solid reading/literature for investment/retirement/income taxes? [closed]

I'm striving for financial literacy and education. I've been really frustrated with most of the literature that's out there surrounding retirement, income taxes, and investment. Most of it seems ...
3
votes
3answers
228 views

How do I lower my debt-to-credit ratio?

I have a debt to credit ratio of 38% on a credit card with a limit of $1000. I thought I did every thing well: I paid on time, I spent moderately. I understand that %38 is bad. What have I been doing ...
4
votes
3answers
947 views

Can I label my checking accounts? Trying the envelope system with debit cards

I want to use an envelope system and categorize my expenses. So lets say I have 3 checking accounts for: Grocery Restaurant GAS ... each will have its own debit card. I can write a label name for ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

How bad would maxing out my credit card once a year affect my score

I just got approved for a $1500 cash secured credit card from Wells Fargo. This means I have no credit history whatsoever, and am going to use this card to establish one. With fall semester at ...
3
votes
2answers
135 views

Contributing factors to historical increase in trading volume

How can the drastic increase in trading volume that begins in the early eighties and extends to the present day be explained? My guess is that advancement in technology has increased the speed and ...
3
votes
2answers
942 views

How to calculate interest tax deduction for a mortgage?

I am trying to ascertain the effect of the mortgage tax deduction on my bottom line. The various calculators I found are confusing to me. Specifically, I want to know how much less I'll pay in taxes,...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I track 'bartered' rent?

My brother and his wife are renting part of my house from me (in Kansas). Due to financial hardship on their part, I've agreed to let him do some house repairs in lieu of paying rent for a few months....
6
votes
4answers
27k views

Am I being charged taxes on my grocery purchases at Walmart?

Today, I only bought groceries at Walmart and noticed that there is no tax on groceries in California (Google tells me that this is perhaps true for whole of the US?) So far I have always paid tax at ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Calculating savings from mortgage interest deduction vs. standard deduction?

I've read just about anything I can find on comparing cash-flow between owning a house versus renting. One new thing popped into my head yesterday, and I can't shake the feeling that it's an obvious ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What do we need to consider if we're to receive a large cash gift from family abroad?

Are there any rules regarding receiving monetary gifts from family abroad? My fiance's parents want to wire us $25,000 from Brazil to be used on a down payment on a house. What are the tax or other ...
2
votes
2answers
827 views

Do I have to repay the First-Time Homebuyers tax credit if I refinance?

My wife and I bought our first home in April 2010 and received the full $8000 First-Time Homebuyers tax credit. We now want to refinance, given that the current mortgage rates are significantly lower ...
11
votes
2answers
13k views

How many years do you need to contribute to Social Security to be eligible for benefit payments in retirement?

Recently I have been reading many articles about the insolvency of Social Security and how not to factor it in any retirement income. My questions are: How many years does someone need to pay into ...
6
votes
3answers
394 views

Do company-provided meals need to be claimed on my taxes?

Some companies provide their employees with free meals (e.g. Google). Would these meals need to be claimed on my taxes? If not, what if a company provided all meals, laundry, car, house, ...
7
votes
4answers
813 views

What steps should be taken, if any, when you find out your home's market value is underwater, i.e. worth less than the mortgage owed?

What steps should be taken, if any, when you find out your home's market value is underwater, i.e. worth less than the mortgage owed?
11
votes
3answers
5k views

Green Card holder (permanent resident): Should I contribute to my employer-matched 401(k), even if I might leave the U.S. later?

I am a Green Card holder (permanent residence card) and my company offers a matching 401(k). I plan to stay in the U.S. for a long time. However, I can't control the future. If there were a family ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

I have a 401k loan used for a house down payment and now I am changing jobs: What should I do?

I guess this could be a cautionary tale, but I am hoping it can be remedied. I had a job that I am leaving, but I had took a 401k loan to put down on a house. I don't have the money to pay it back ...
3
votes
1answer
301 views

What are some good ways to get paid if you're an American working remotely for a Canadian company?

What are some good ways to receive payment if you are an American contractor working remotely for a Canadian company? The criteria would be to have a) the least percentage of the payment reduced to ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

My friend found out about FBAR some time after the fact. What can he do now?

My friend sold a property in India and he has funds in his bank account in India. He was thinking about either buying another property with that money to avoid taxes or something like that. (You have ...
15
votes
2answers
4k views

Does the United States really owe 114 trillion dollars? Please explain “unfunded liability”?

I would like to refer to the site USdebt.Kleptocracy.us (A visualization of United States debt) I'm just a little bit curious as to what these figures mean. I understand the 1 trillion dollar ...
4
votes
1answer
911 views

Can a mortgage broker issue a mortgage commitment letter?

I have applied for a mortgage from a mortgage broker and he recently gave me a loan commitment letter. But there is no mention of the lender or the underwriter. I have some doubts regarding this are ...
5
votes
1answer
394 views

Can I roll a College 529 education savings plan into a prepaid tuition plan?

I currently have college savings in a 529 plan (New Hampshire). Recently, Texas started the Texas Tuition Promise Fund which is a prepaid college savings plan. I would like to roll the money I have ...
4
votes
1answer
12k views

My state didn't withdraw income tax from my paycheck. What can I do about it?

I started a new job and today I received my first paycheck. However, I noticed that the state (Utah in this case) didn't withhold income tax, even though the Federal withholding was applied. I asked ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

I am thinking about cancelling my car insurance. Will there be any hidden costs down the road?

I own my car outright and just moved to a large city. Public transportation and access to a roommate's car makes transportation easy. I am thinking about storing my car at my parents house and ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Should I get a personal loan to pay on my mortgage to go “above water” to qualify for a refinance?

I purchased my primary residence in 2007. The rate was 5.99% on a 30 year fixed. Rates have dropped dramatically since then, but so have home prices. I wanted to refinance a while back, but it looked ...
10
votes
2answers
88k views

What do I need to bring to the bank when applying for a loan?

What do I need to bring to the bank when applying for a loan? Should I bring pay stubs or other evidence of financial stability? What will help my chances of being approved?
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Transfer money from US (“prepaid”) VISA Debit to AU bank account

I have a Citi prepaid VISA Debit card (these kind of cards) that has been issued in the US. I live in Australia, and would like to move money off of the card into my bank account. For reference, the ...
21
votes
7answers
249k views

What happens if I deposit a check and forget to endorse it with my signature on the back?

What if I deposit a check into a Bank of America ATM but forget to endorse it with my signature on the back of the check?
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Paying myself a distribution caused a negative Owner's Equity account balance? Is this normal?

I just paid out my first distribution from my LLC. I wrote myself a check for $200 (example), using my business account and selected Owner's Equity. When I look at my summary of accounts, I notice ...
9
votes
2answers
755 views

How to properly collect money from corporate sponsors?

I'm involved in a hobby, and I want to collect money from corporate sponsors to run an awareness campaign. I'm getting a marketing strategy together, but before getting too far into it, I realized ...
4
votes
2answers
208 views

What determines the 30 year mortgage rate in the United States?

Aside from the credit worthiness of the borrower, how do mortgage lenders determine their benchmark mortgage lending rate? Does it correlate directly to a US Government security like the 30Y Treasury ...
6
votes
1answer
915 views

I am getting an Inherited ROTH IRA BDA from a divorce, and I need to cash this out, to pay debt

I am getting an Inherited ROTH-IRA -BDA from my ex-spouse in a divorce, I am also taking on a lot of debt, and need to cash out the Inherited ROTH-IRA -BDA, and pay some of debt and have some reserve ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

How should I save for college if I have 10 years and a lump sum of money?

I have roughly 10 years until my kids go to college. How should I save for them if I have a lump sum of money (say $10K for discussion). I ask because I've heard good things about an ESA (I think ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How much should I tip movers?

Are there any rules of thumb for tipping movers who load truck on one day and deliver on the next day?
21
votes
5answers
3k views

How much should I fund an HSA? Is there a danger in over-funding one?

I'm reviewing my options for health insurance during open enrollment and one of them is a HDHP/HSA option. I hear these are best for young people without chronic conditions etc. I think I fall into ...
-1
votes
0answers
274 views

What recourse do I have when being harassed by a bill collector who has the wrong phone number? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to get rid of someone else's debt collector? I've recently started getting bill collector calls regarding a debt for someone I don't even know. I assume they have the ...
24
votes
11answers
2k views

When should I walk away from my mortgage?

I bought my home in California in 2006, at the height of the boom. Now I owe $100K more than the home is worth. California is a "no recourse" state; if I stop payments, the bank can take the house ...
2
votes
2answers
669 views

Can I save our credit with a quickie divorce?

I bought a house in 2006, at the height of the boom. Now I owe more than $100K what the home is worth, and considering walking away from my mortgage. (I'm in California, which is a "no recourse" ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Mother owed previous years federal and state taxes at death and probate is closed. Are her children responsible for paying them?

My Mother died with little or no assets. Her only income was SS which ended upon death. Her estate was probated with no claims against it and is basically insolvent. One of the bills she owed were ...
10
votes
3answers
32k views

USAA bank: What are the requirements for membership? Military only?

I've been hearing more and more about USAA bank on the radio. I've asked around and some friends have indicated to me that their rates are the best around the US for any type of personal lending. ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

As a Canadian Citizen, can I move a 401k into a RRSP in Canada?

I am a Canadian Citizen and was a resident of the US for 11 years. I moved back to Canada recently and am working in Canada. I want to move my 401k to RRSP in Canada. Is this possible? What costs or ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

How to account for money earned and spent prior to establishing business bank accounts?

In terms of QuickBooks... How does a newly started business, an LLC in my case, account for payments received and money spent PRIOR to having organized business bank accounts in place? Is there a ...
9
votes
3answers
782 views

I have a horrible 401k plan, with high expenses. Should I stay with it or move my money elsewhere?

I'm in need of help choosing options for my 401k. Unfortunately, they are not very good. Nearly all of the expense costs are over 2%! But I have brought it up with my HR to see if there is any way to ...
57
votes
11answers
7k views

Should you always max out contributions to your 401k?

I am a year out of college, and therefore, i don't have any real retirement/investment plans kicked off. I was having a discussion with my boss, and he was making a few claims I would like to get ...
6
votes
1answer
156 views

Is it common for ratings agencies to disagree on sovereign debt ratings?

I heard today that Moody's and Fitch and left the US sovereign debt rating at AAA/Aaa, despite the downgrade from S&P to AA+. Is it common for ratings agencies to disagree on a rating? If so, is ...
19
votes
1answer
770 views

What tax law loophole is Buffet referring to?

In a recent op-ed, Warren Buffet made a claim about investment managers: Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they’d been long-...
4
votes
2answers
269 views

US Income Tax and Gifts

I know that (in the U.S.) the gifter pays a gift tax (minus an exclusion and perhaps some other exemptions, but just speaking broadly here). Does the recipient of the gift pay income tax or any ...