Questions tagged [united-states]

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

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266
votes
18answers
106k views

Who can truly afford luxury cars?

I never really thought about money until one day I checked how much I made compared to the rest of America. The calculator said my household income is in the top 20%. Kind of funny to me, because I ...
179
votes
6answers
39k views

Found a heap of BTC but have no documentation. What do I do?

Many years ago, I bought around 400 BTC for a few hundred dollars (?) and stored them in a hard drive. Shortly after that, I lost this hard drive, wrote it off as an "Oh well" and didn't think ...
167
votes
6answers
33k views

What happens to people without any retirement savings?

I'm not sure if this is a naive question. I'm struggling mightily with a family member (and everyone has a similar story) who just cannot make the right financial decisions. This person will forever ...
130
votes
8answers
23k views

Oversimplify it for me: the correct order of investing

I have been reading the top posts here, and the recommendations for what to invest in are often similar. What I'd like to know, in as simply of terms as possible, is what the consensus is on priority ...
127
votes
13answers
68k views

I'm 23 and was given $50k. What should I do?

Recently I was given 50k from my grandmother in her will. I am 23 years old and have no idea what to do with it. I make $33k a year. I have zero savings. I owe $35k in student loans over 6 years 0% ...
121
votes
19answers
30k views

Should I buy my house in cash, or with a mortgage and invest the rest of my money?

I can afford to buy a house (to live in myself) in cash. Most of my investor friends tell me this would be a dumb idea, because I could earn more in interest by buying the house with a mortgage and ...
120
votes
12answers
35k views

Tenant claims they paid rent in cash and that it was stolen from a mailbox. What should I do?

I own a duplex, live in half, and rent out the other half to college students. I have just made a mistake that cost me $750. One of my tenants was late paying her rent. I'd thought it was still late, ...
120
votes
14answers
16k views

As a 16 year old, how can I keep my money safe from my mother?

I am 16 and still in HS and work 20+ hours a week. I live with my mother (my Dad left us when I was a kid and I don't see him anymore). My mother is an alcoholic and has trouble keeping a job. I don't ...
112
votes
22answers
36k views

My million-dollar brother wants to retire. Should he?

My brother is 37 years old and works in a very stable job earning $150,000 annually. He has his own house, a fianceé and a total of $950,000 in the bank (including stocks, real state and bonds). He ...
108
votes
13answers
26k views

Should I take out a loan to pay off a relative's credit card debt?

Recently a close relative revealed to me that she has run up $40,000 in credit card debt over the last few years, which she can no longer manage because the interest payments are eating up all of her ...
100
votes
11answers
23k views

Debt collector has wrong person and is contacting my employer

A debtor with my same first and last name and middle initial owes a student loan debt for a college in another state I never attended. The debt collectors have my previous address listed on the notice,...
98
votes
7answers
21k views

Why is stock dilution legal?

What I always heard, since I was a child, was that if you own a stock share, you actually own a small share of a company. That seems to be the general consensus of what a stock share is. Well, that ...
98
votes
11answers
21k views

Why does the introduction of chip & pin appear to be so controversial in the United States?

The past few weeks there have been many news articles about the introduction of chip & pin in the United States; most of these articles are against it and citing such 'issues' as: "Some people ...
94
votes
8answers
24k views

How to deal with the credit card debt from family member that has passed away?

My father recently passed away and had some considerable amount of debt on his credit cards. House and credit card were in the deceased’s name only. The state that is happening in is New Jersey. In ...
93
votes
19answers
31k views

Are my parents ripping me off with this deal that doesn't allow me to build my equity in my home?

When I bought my condo with cash for $155k, I paid $40k of my own money and my parents lent me $115k. Our agreement was that when I eventually sold the condo, my parents would get 75% of the gross ...
90
votes
11answers
65k views

15 year mortgage vs 30 year paid off in 15

I've found similar questions, but they all seem to focus on a preexisting 30 year mortgage and whether or not it makes sense to refinance to a 15. My question is a bit different. I have not yet ...
89
votes
7answers
21k views

What should I do about a dealer that took a deposit then sold my motorcycle to someone else?

I recently was interested in purchasing a motorcycle from a dealer but I was about to be out of town for a few days for a vacation. I called him and said I can make a deposit on the bike for $500. He ...
88
votes
5answers
19k views

I have sole custody of my child but the child's father's brother claimed him as a tax deduction

I have court papers showing that I have full and sole custody of my son and that he was with me like 99% of the year. I let my son's father have him a few weekends last year but only a handful. My ...
77
votes
4answers
13k views

The USA “self-employment tax dodge” mystery

For non-US readers: In the US, for those who are self-employed, there are many specific taxes. One particular tax is the confusingly named "The Self-Employment Tax". Thus, if you are self-employed, ...
75
votes
9answers
14k views

Should I sign the back of my credit card?

When getting a new credit card, what is the policy in regards to signing the strip on the back? Should I sign it? Should I write "See ID"? Should I leave it blank? Should I sign it AND write "See ID"? ...
72
votes
5answers
23k views

Why is a friend asking me to make multiple Money Gram transfers in my name using his money?

For the past few months, someone that I know casually is sending money to the Philippines every 2 to 3 days. He mentioned that the money is going to his family so that they can use it to travel to ...
71
votes
9answers
31k views

If the co-signer on my car loan dies, can the family take the car from me like they're threatening to?

I have a car, both me and by grandpa are on the title. As I cannot get loan on my own, my grandpa is my cosigner. My grandpa is almost 90, and chances are he may not be around till the loan is paid ...
71
votes
4answers
17k views

Is there any danger of my neighbor having my wife's signature?

On Monday my next door neighbor came over and asked my wife for her signature. He said they were having a contest at work (he works at the local grocery store) that whoever got the most signatures got ...
71
votes
9answers
10k views

Ballpark salary equivalent today of “healthcare benefits” in the US?

For my friends in the US, when considering positions (this applies to either salary or contract positions) I've heard it's sometimes along the lines of, you can have X with healthcare, or Y with no ...
70
votes
9answers
38k views

Making $100,000 USD per month, no idea what to do with it

I have a few consulting jobs I do on the side, and this year I've had a lot of extra work, with several months in 2016 exceeding $100,000 USD in billing. I do this work from my home with no ...
70
votes
11answers
19k views

Shouldn't the “credit score” prevent Americans from going deeper and deeper into personal debt?

I'm not from the U.S but I know about the dreaded "credit score" that haunts Americans. I've seen a lot of documentaries and videos on YouTube with people that can't get a loan to buy a house because ...
70
votes
4answers
25k views

Received an unexpected cashiers check for over $2K from another state - is this some scam?

This is actually about my sister-in-law who lives in Georgia. She just received a "cashiers check" for $2395 from a company in Indiana. It looks like this: She said that she has been doing "mystery ...
68
votes
11answers
19k views

How can I prepare for my US student debt?

I'm a student at Drexel University. Drexel is a notoriously expensive school, and I pay roughly $35,000/yr in tuition, after awards. What's more, it is a five-year school. Currently, I'm in my fourth ...
68
votes
8answers
22k views

Company stopped paying my salary. What are my options?

UPDATE 3: The firm is likely lying to us and going up declare bankruptcy on May 15 after moving money out of the country. Asked advice here: https://law.stackexchange.com/questions/40917/want-to-sue-...
67
votes
3answers
14k views

How did this day trader lose so much?

I recently read this article about a day trader that lost $100,000: A trader started a GoFundMe page to pay back $100,000 to E-Trade after a disastrous short Please explain this, because I can not ...
64
votes
5answers
16k views

What should I do if I lost money in a scam?

I live in New Jersey and my son wanted to order some toys from this guy who said he makes them in his house and he could give him the best deal, but before he could send these toys he needed my 16 ...
64
votes
10answers
16k views

Apartment I never lived in is collecting against me. Recourse?

I was looking at apartments a year ago, and found the "perfect" apartment online. However, I couldn't go look at it until the following weekend. Unfortunately, the apartment had already been listed ...
64
votes
3answers
12k views

Saving for retirement: How much is enough?

How to save I'm in my late twenties and am trying to get started off on the right foot saving for retirement. I have learned that retirement savings should usually be placed in retirement accounts in ...
63
votes
7answers
14k views

Is there a “catch” on my “increased credit limit”?

Today I received a letter from the bank that issued my credit card. Basically it says that, since I'm "one of their best customers" my credit (card) limit has been increased. This is the second time ...
63
votes
7answers
104k views

What is the best way to accept payment when selling a used car?

I plan on selling a used car via Craigslist, and I hope to get between $4-5K for it. I don't want to take a check from a stranger, but I'm concerned that no one will be willing to show up at my house ...
61
votes
11answers
30k views

I'm 18 and have 6 grand. What should I do with it?

I'm 18 and about to go to college. Luckily, I don't have to worry about student loans or most other living expenses. I've been working and have over $6,000 (will probably be about $7,000 by the end of ...
61
votes
11answers
13k views

Stock market long term risks

This question has been spurred by the following question which was on the 'Hot Network Questions' Is it a lie that you can easily make money passively in the stock market? . The answers to that ...
60
votes
5answers
16k views

Can a company block a specific person from buying its stock?

Say there is a very rich, very unpopular individual. This individual wishes to buy millions of dollars in stock in a company he or she thinks will be successful. The company, however, realizes that by ...
60
votes
10answers
30k views

Pay off car loan entirely or leave $1 until the end of the loan period?

Background information: I have a car loan that doesn't require payments if I'm ahead on the loan (but accrues the interest, of course, on the balance remaining). I still have a year and a half on my ...
59
votes
6answers
12k views

Why does Geico ask me not to reveal the limits of my liability coverage in case of a car accident?

I read on my "Evidence of Liability Insurance card" issued by Geico in California, US: What to do at the time of an accident: […] Do not reveal the limits of your liability coverage to anyone. Why ...
59
votes
15answers
21k views

Credit card details stolen every 1-2 years. What am I doing wrong? [duplicate]

Background I just had my credit card canceled because of fraud. This is actually a perfectly normal occurrence for me, which is the impetus behind this question. The card in question was only about ...
58
votes
11answers
21k views

Does my tax refund need to be as close to zero dollars as possible?

Am I doing my taxes wrong? I am receiving around 1000 dollars in tax refund, and someone tells me it should be as close as to zero as possible, I thought the tax refund was government giving back most ...
58
votes
4answers
19k views

Why would a home seller ask a buyer to offer LESS?

My brother-in-law is looking to buy a house. The house he wants has been on the market for a long time, and it's in pre-foreclosure. The owners are underwater on it. He submitted a lowball offer, ...
58
votes
5answers
19k views

In what cases can a business refuse to take cash?

Printed on US currency you will find "THIS NOTE IS LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE". Some businesses have refused to accept larger bills for a long time, as other forms of payment have ...
58
votes
9answers
17k views

Why are 30-year mortgages seen as unwise, if you can pay off the loan in a shorter period of time anyway?

I'm slowly working towards buying my first home (yay!), and have been playing around with the numbers. As far as I can tell, there's literally zero advantage for getting a 10 or 15-year mortgage since ...
57
votes
8answers
20k views

Can I become debt free or should I file for bankruptcy? How do I manage my debt and finances?

I am 35 years old, single, and live in the US. My income is 78K to 80K after taxes and insurance. I pay $1,500 for rent+utilities, $150 for phone bill, $450 for auto loan, $300 for auto insurance (...
57
votes
4answers
12k views

Closed account, haven't received payment. When has the bank “stolen” my money?

Background I closed a checking account over 40 days ago at a large national bank in the US. I was told I would receive a check for the remainder (>$1000) in one to two weeks. I still have not ...
57
votes
14answers
10k views

Do Americans really use checks that often?

That might sound a bit silly to people from USA but is it really that common to use checks in America? I am from Austria and here (Austria, Germany, Switzerland) checks play practically no role in ...
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 ...
56
votes
8answers
9k views

Gigantic point amount on rewards card - what are potential consequences?

Recently, I asked with an online form for some receipts to get added to my rewards card (because I forgot the card when paying). However, they accidentally added more than a thousand times the amount ...