BRUSSELS – The global financial crisis that erupted in full force in 2008 affected Europe and the United States in a very similar way – at least at the start. On both sides of the Atlantic, economic performance tanked in 2009 and started to recover in 2010.

But, as the financial crisis mutated into the euro crisis, an economic gulf opened between the US and the eurozone. Over the last three years (2011-2013), the US economy grew by about six percentage points more. Even taking into account the increasing demographic differential, which now amounts to about half a percentage point per year, the US economy has grown by about 4.5 percentage points more over these three years...

The US Department of Education Strengthens Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program

Washington, DC – As part of an effort to ensure more families can afford a higher education and promote the responsible use of taxpayer dollars, the US Department of Education proposed today new regulations that will update eligibility standards and improve access for student and parent borrowers under the federal Direct PLUS loan program.

The current...

Take into consideration that the amount you repay on a loan will always be greater than the amount you borrowed. The difference is due to interest — the money you have to pay to reward the lender for the risk of the loan, and the time it takes to repay the lender.

In the example above, the payments on a new home would add up to roughly $499,000, nearly twice the purchase price of the home. The amount of interest that you pay is directly related to the interest rate, and the length of the loan. 

What is the history of loans?

Since most people cannot afford to pay the upfront cost of a home, car purchase, or college education out of pocket, loans provide a vital way for the average...

According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, only about 1.5 million of the roughly 75 million people dealing with collection agencies sought free or low-cost counseling last year from agencies affiliated with the NFCC.

The organization serves a national network of nonprofit financial counseling agencies, and the federal government recommends that people seek out counselors certified by the NFCC. There are also plenty of for-profit companies, some of which prey upon people in desperate situations, extracting big fees based on false promises.

Those who seek out help need to be careful of their choices, of course. The NFCCs toll-free number is 800-388-2227.


Using a credit card is one of the easiest ways to build your credit score, assuming you use it responsibly. The revolving-credit trade line will help you establish a pattern of payment behavior and credit use, which have the most influence on your credit score, and there are a few simple things you can do with your card to make sure youre building a strong credit score.

How to Get a Credit Card amp; a Good Credit Score

Of course, you need a credit card to employ card-based credit-building strategies, and depending on your credit history and financial situation, you may have trouble getting one. If you have an idea of what your credit score is, you can search for credit cards...

PORTLAND, Maine — The Owls Head-based solar technology company Ascendant Energy has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, seeking to eliminate more than $780,000 in debt including grants and loans from the Maine Technology Institute and investment from the Wiscasset-based Coastal Enterprises Inc.

The company had received nearly $1 million in loans or grants through the Maine Technology Institute, a nonprofit supported with state money, to develop its proprietary solar panel technology and to launch a manufacturing facility it projected in 2009 could provide up to 40 jobs. At that time, the company was pursuing a $5 million manufacturing operation in Rockland that it planned to finance...

(CN) – Bank of America falsely certified that its home modification loans complied with federal laws in order to reap more than $907 million in government incentive payments, a man claims in a qui tam lawsuit in Federal Court.
Michael J. Fisher, of Southlake, Texas, says in his False Claims Act lawsuit that he worked for four years – 2008 through 2012 – assisting attorneys in securing mortgage loan modification for their homeowner clients.
The complaint was filed under seal in March in Manhattan Federal Court and unsealed this month.
Fisher claims to have reviewed hundreds of loan modification contracts from Bank of America and other lenders. He says he noticed a pattern...

This post comes from Stacy Johnson at partner site Money Talks News.#160;

Theres lots of#160;talk these days about how to improve your credit history and score. With good reason: If you want to borrow money, theyre a critical part of the equation. But theyre not the entire equation.


A bankruptcy discharge hearing is the forum for the Courts determination of a bankrupts application for discharge which has been opposed by one or more of: a creditor, the Trustee, or the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. This paper will aim to provide practical advice on preparing for and arguing an opposed discharge, whether from the perspective of the bankrupt, an opposing creditor, or the Trustee.1


A discharge from bankruptcy releases the bankrupt from all claims provable in bankruptcy, pursuant to section 178(2) of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, RSC. 1985, c. B-3, as amended (the BIA).2 Claims which are not released by an order of discharge,...

The threat of rising interest rates to investors portfolios – in particular their fixed income positions – is becoming more apparent, but can more niche areas like senior secured loans protect them from losses?

Stronger than expected data from the UKs resurgent economy continues to heap pressure on the Bank of Englands Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), which must decide when to raise the base rate of interest.

Investors too must be ready to shift their positions if rates start to climb, especially given the increase in the number of fixed income tourists which some fund managers believe are a growing threat to stability.

Jim Shanahan, a portfolio manager...