July 9th, 2014

U.S. Places 4th out of 15 Countries in New Retirement Study

U.S. Places 4th out of 15 Countries in New Retirement Study

It’s no secret that the nature of retirement is changing. In the wake of recent economic turmoil and in the context of concerns about the health of our Social Security system, it wouldn’t be too surprising to find many Americans feeling pessimistic about their retirement plans. The results of a new survey, however, might be cause for some optimism.

The Aegeon Retirement Readiness Survey, issued in partnership with the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, found the United States to be the fourth most prepared of the fifteen countries studied. America, whose 6.2 score represents a “medium” level of preparedness, trails only China, Brazil and India in the rankings.

The Specifics

In their responses to the survey, Americans may have been buoyed more by personal confidence than by belief in the national economy. Only 15 percent of respondents expected their own financial situations to worsen in the next year, compared to a full 25 percent who expected the national economy to get worse. 54 percent of respondents expected their financial situation to stay the same, and a healthy 28 percent expected improvement.

Still, the United States as a whole showed signs of relative preparedness. 61 percent of Americans surveyed reported having a retirement plan, which beats the international average of 56 percent and places the U.S. in the middle of the pack. American workers also showed a jump in their financial preparedness scores, allowing the U.S. to be scored significantly higher this year than it had in the past.

Americans still have a negative perception of the economic present and of retirement’s future, though. Roughly 51 percent of respondents said American retirees will be worse off in the future than those who are retired now, compared to just 10 percent who chose better off instead. Reflecting on present day conditions, 58 percent reported that a lack of money is currently an obstacle to saving for retirement and 59 percent reported that they didn’t have a back-up plan in case they were forced into early retirement due to health problems.

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July 9th, 2014

Spotlight on Success: How Leah Improved Her Credit Score by 100 Points in One Year

Spotlight on Success: Leah

Leah’s credit awakening happened at a critical time – while she and her husband were obtaining the mortgage for their first home, a cozy bungalow in Atlanta. Although Leah thought she had a great relationship with credit, she was alarmed to find that she actually didn’t have a score that would qualify her and her new husband for the best possible mortgage rates.

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July 7th, 2014

Is College Worth It?

Is College Worth It?

Today’s millennials are the best-educated generation in history, according to the Pew Research Center. Regardless of the investment 34 percent of millennials have made in their college degrees, people still speculate whether the rising cost of tuition and the huge amount of debt are worth the diploma. Those millennials will be happy to hear that college is definitely still worth it.

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July 3rd, 2014

Infographic: Home Mortgage Averages

infographic_Mortgages_th2

In honor of the start of summer, we decided to make the housing market the subject of our latest infographic. Check it out for details on average mortgage sizes and a glimpse at how widely the market can vary based on region.

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July 2nd, 2014

North Dakota’s Economy Is Booming

North Dakota’s Economy Is Booming

When you think of the great centers of American economic growth, the Great Plains states don’t necessarily jump to mind. It might be time to change that thought process, though. Look out Wall Street, here comes North Dakota.

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June 30th, 2014

The Starbucks Solution for College Success

The Starbucks Solution for College Success

Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schulz and ASU’s President Michael Crow recently unveiled the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, which gives U.S.-based Starbucks employees the opportunity to earn a college degree through ASU’s highly-acclaimed online program.

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June 27th, 2014

International Monetary Fund Calls for Higher Minimum Wage in the United States

International Monetary Fund Calls for Higher Minimum Wage in the United States

A few weeks ago, the news that Seattle had voted to raise their minimum wage to $15 per hour proved highly controversial amongst Credit Karma members. To add some fuel to the fire, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has since weighed in on the topic as part of their annual recommendations to the U.S. While the IMF didn’t cite Seattle specifically, they did echo Seattle’s call for a higher minimum wage.

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June 27th, 2014

Win a Credit Karma T-shirt!

We’re having a caption contest! Check out this comic from one of our recent commercials and reply on Facebook with some fun captions!

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June 26th, 2014

Spotlight on Success: How Tommy Paid off $34,000 of Student Loan Debt Years Ahead of Schedule

Spotlight on Success: Tommy

Here at Credit Karma, we love success stories. We’re inspired when we hear from members who took control of their finances and made major improvements to their credit health. Tommy, an intensive care nurse from Canton, Texas, is a Credit Karma community member who paid off his student loans several years ahead of schedule. Read more to find out how!

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June 26th, 2014

Credit Scores Are a Mystery for Many Millennials

Credit Scores Are a Mystery for Many Millennials

A recent study released by the Consumer Federation of America and VantageScore Solutions found that in comparison to older Americans, 18-34 year-olds are less knowledgeable about credit.

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