Leasing – BCN Stay http://bcn-stay.com/ Thu, 19 May 2022 11:31:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://bcn-stay.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-2-150x150.png Leasing – BCN Stay http://bcn-stay.com/ 32 32 Loans Vs. Line of Credit: Which is Right for You? https://bcn-stay.com/loans-vs-line-of-credit-which-is-right-for-you/ Thu, 19 May 2022 11:31:32 +0000 https://bcn-stay.com/loans-vs-line-of-credit-which-is-right-for-you/ Post views: 128 When you need or want to buy something that exceeds your available funds, it is common to borrow money from elsewhere. If you cannot get it from your friends and family, the next practical solution is to request the funds from a bank or lender. However, most consumers are unaware that there […]]]>

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When you need or want to buy something that exceeds your available funds, it is common to borrow money from elsewhere. If you cannot get it from your friends and family, the next practical solution is to request the funds from a bank or lender. However, most consumers are unaware that there are several borrowing options, including a loan or a line of credit. Ultimately, the differences between these financial products help you determine which is best for your situation.

What is a loan?

A loan is a specific dollar amount provided by one person, business, or financial institution to another person or business in exchange for a promise by the borrower to pay interest and the balance of the loan in full on the agreed date. This is a fixed amount of money earned for one-time use. There are many types of loans, including mortgages, personal loans, auto loans, home loans, student loans, payday loans, and installment loans. A little research on the Internet can help you discover what is the difference between a payday loan and an installment loan or the difference between a mortgage and a home equity construction loan.

What is a line of credit?

A credit line is a form of lending in that it is financing from one person or entity to another. However, lines of credit are a fixed amount that can be used as often as the borrower needs (or until the account is depleted).

What is the difference?

While the definitions of loans versus lines of credit give you an overview of their differences, let’s dig a little deeper into how these financial products vary.

  • Frequency of use – The most significant difference between a loan is their frequency of use. A loan is non-revolving, meaning you can only use the borrowed amount once. You must then repay the loan in full and apply for another one if necessary. A line of credit is revolving, which means you can use the amount borrowed, pay off the balance, and use it as many times as you want.
  • Need of the borrower – Although personal loans can be used for any purpose, other loans are for a particular need. For example, a mortgage is used to buy a house, an auto loan buys cars, and student loans finance tuition. On the other hand, you can use a line of credit to finance anything.
  • Increased interest – As soon as you receive a loan, interest begins to accrue. However, a line of credit does not earn interest until you start spending from the account.
  • Refund – When you accept a loan, you must start paying the balance plus interest immediately until you meet your obligation. With a line of credit, no payment is required until you have spent the money. Plus, you only pay for what you use with a line of credit instead of owing the entire balance.

Which should you choose?

How do you know if you need a loan or a line of credit? Here are two factors to consider:

  • Financial needs – The first thing to consider is why you need the money. If you are trying to buy a house, a car, or pay for college, a loan may be the best option, as you can apply for specific loans that will pay you larger lump sums to acquire those important investments in life. However, if you live paycheck to paycheck and want a financial cushion, often need extra cash for purchases or day-to-day expenses (i.e. ideal.
  • Affordability – While having debt can be a good thing, too much debt can cause problems. Therefore, you want to select the most affordable borrowing option. For example, a bank may offer lines of credit at 12% APR or 1% monthly interest. However, a personal loan can range from 10% to 36%. You don’t have to worry about paying off a line of credit if the balance is zero; however, once you have taken out the loan, you must pay the required interest rate and the balance in full. If you’re trying to save money and avoid getting too deep in debt, a line of credit might be a better option.

When you find yourself in a traffic jam or simply make a major purchase in life, applying for a loan or line of credit is often the fastest way to reach your goals. I hope the information provided above has given you a better understanding of their differences, benefits, and common uses so that you can decide which is best for you.

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Understand and evaluate earned wage access solutions https://bcn-stay.com/understand-and-evaluate-earned-wage-access-solutions/ Tue, 17 May 2022 13:00:00 +0000 https://bcn-stay.com/understand-and-evaluate-earned-wage-access-solutions/ Access to earned wages – also known as earned payday advance or pay-as-you-go – has grown steadily. As of 2020, nearly 55.8 million people were using some EWA solution, as there are both employer-provided and direct-to-consumer options. As EWA solutions grow in popularity, there has been a steady stream of questions as some employers remain […]]]>

Access to earned wages – also known as earned payday advance or pay-as-you-go – has grown steadily. As of 2020, nearly 55.8 million people were using some EWA solution, as there are both employer-provided and direct-to-consumer options. As EWA solutions grow in popularity, there has been a steady stream of questions as some employers remain skeptical of the usefulness and benefits of EWA products. While there are certainly issues that need further investigation, it looks like EWA solutions are here to stay.

What is Earned Wage Access?
Short-term liquidity (or ability to have enough cash on hand) has long been a hallmark of financial health. Unexpected financial shocks are almost as certain as death and taxes, and sufficient cash can help weather the inevitable. Yet for millions of workers, accessing sufficient cash is difficult and sometimes costly. Payday loans, with interest rates as high as 600% in some states, have long plagued workers’ ability to sustainably meet short-term cash flow needs.

Read more: The two-week pay period no longer works for employees

Following the financial crisis of 2008, we saw a wave of new innovations enter the market, including EWA. These platforms allow employees to collect part or all of their salary before the next scheduled payday. Initially, they were intended, in part, to provide a meaningful alternative to high-cost credit products, such as payday loans or overdraft fees. Since their inception, many EWA platforms have expanded their set of solutions to include short-term savings, financial education, and many other benefits relevant to financial health.

For these and other reasons, we’ve seen a steady increase in employer interest in adding EWA solutions to their financial health benefits. Many employers (60%) agree that EWA can be an effective way to attract and retain workers, and generate goodwill among the workforce. Likewise, 56% of employees who had a free or low-cost service to access their accrued wages reported that they had used the benefit.

How does Access to Earned Salary work?
Overall, EWA products have four basic characteristics. While there are certainly variations between vendors, these four features make up the core mechanisms of EWA:

  • Funding for EWA access: Salary access is usually funded through the EWA provider – usually through capital on its balance sheet or the use of a credit facility. With payroll integration (if they are not already the payroll provider), providers secure timesheet data to verify accessible earnings.
  • Disbursement: Employees receive their earned wages in one of the following ways: direct deposit, to a separate bank account the employee has opened with the EWA provider, or to a prepaid or payroll card. Most EWA providers allow users to access 50% to 100% of wages earned at any given time. Rules and safeguards regarding frequency (for example, the number of installments per pay period) vary by provider and employer.
  • Payment to EWA supplier: For solutions where the EWA provider funds the advance, it collects the advance on the users’ very next paycheck, which means repayment typically occurs within two weeks from the date of the installment. It should also be mentioned that the terms “recovery” and “reimbursement” have certain sectoral connotations regarding credit and debt. In the context of EWA, however, these terms are not intended to equate EWA with credit products.
  • Schedule of payments to workers: For direct deposit, payments typically appear no later than the next business day. Transfers to external debit or prepaid cards can take up to 48 hours; transfers can be instant, but may incur fees of $1 to $5 depending on the provider. Conversely, transfers to bank accounts or cards provided by EWA are often free and instant.

Keep in mind that as more payroll service providers add EWA functionality, the mechanisms may differ as there would not necessarily be a need for an integration of payroll and the funding mechanism. can also work differently. Likewise, we’ve seen private examples of large companies building their own EWA solutions in partnership with their payroll vendors. In short, innovation continues around EWA. Therefore, features and mechanics may also continue to evolve.

Read more: Access to earned wages can boost workers’ financial security – and company loyalty

Key Considerations When Evaluating Earned Wage Access Options
EWA solutions are still relatively new. As such, understanding how to evaluate an EWA vendor can be tricky. Here’s what to consider when evaluating EWA solutions:

  • Needs and feedback from employees: What evidence do you have that employees would benefit from EWA solutions? Do you see examples of workers struggling with day-to-day expenses (e.g. salary advance requests)? Grounding any solution in the real needs of workers is the best way to ensure alignment between needs and solutions.
  • Existing relationships and appropriate mechanisms: Do you already work with a supplier who has an EWA solution? What additional services does the provider offer to help improve financial health? Does the vendor offer a disbursement mechanism that works for your workforce? For example, if you have a large unbanked or underbanked workforce, does your provider offer an affordable bank account or prepaid card?
  • Cost and revenue models: There are a variety of cost and revenue models associated with EWA vendors. Some providers have a membership model (e.g. usage pricing), where employees or employers can pay a certain amount each month. Other providers have a flat-rate model, with add-ons for features like instant payment. Fee per employee per month (PEPM) structures are also on the market. Finally, providers that offer bank accounts or debit cards can monetize them through interchange fees. In summary, there is a wide range of cost and revenue models, and understanding which model best suits your organization is essential.

We are only at the beginning of the EWA. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) regulators are still debating whether to treat and regulate EWA as a credit product. In November 2020, the The CFPB issued an advisory opinion stating that he did not view EWA as a credit product, provided it meets certain criteria such as not charging fees to employees. This advisory opinion has created some confusion in the market, so the CFPB is considering how to provide greater clarity on the EWA and whether it should be regulated as a credit product.

Read more: Answering questions and misconceptions about access to earned wages

There are still questions about the ultimate impact of EWA on the financial health of workers, especially those who are most vulnerable. The Financial Health Network first research on EWA products reveal that users access the products consecutively over varying periods of time and that the cost of using the product varies based on pricing models and individual usage patterns.

Employers offering EWA should ensure their staff understand the solution, and monitor and adjust the program as necessary. Most EWA vendors are evolving their solution sets to include more comprehensive financial health resources. And finally, minimizing personnel costs should be a key consideration for employers. Increasingly, we are seeing more and more employers cover the cost of EWA solutions, making them essentially free for their workforce.

Finally, no financial health solution is perfect. Employers who add any financial health benefit, including EWA, should ensure that the goal is to improve the financial health of their workers. Having an adequate framework for evaluating the impact of any financial health benefit is not only a valuable use of time, but an essential aspect of ensuring that your program actually improves financial health.

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‘I lied to everyone I met’: how gambling addiction took hold of women in the UK https://bcn-stay.com/i-lied-to-everyone-i-met-how-gambling-addiction-took-hold-of-women-in-the-uk/ Sat, 14 May 2022 06:00:00 +0000 https://bcn-stay.com/i-lied-to-everyone-i-met-how-gambling-addiction-took-hold-of-women-in-the-uk/ IIt was Christmas Day in 2018 that things took a turn for Bev. By his own admission, it had been “a beautiful day”. “Everything was screwed up,” she said. “There was no reason why I should have played, but in my head – in a player’s head – it was Christmas Day, so you couldn’t […]]]>

IIt was Christmas Day in 2018 that things took a turn for Bev. By his own admission, it had been “a beautiful day”. “Everything was screwed up,” she said. “There was no reason why I should have played, but in my head – in a player’s head – it was Christmas Day, so you couldn’t lose. they wouldn’t do that to you on Christmas Day.

Within 90 minutes, the 59-year-old from Newcastle had bet £5,000. “I emptied my husband’s bank account,” she says The Independent. “I even borrowed money from my daughter pretending that I had an urgent bill to pay. I lost everything – and then I overdosed.

The UK is home to one of the largest gambling markets in the world, generating a profit of £14.2 billion in 2020. Gambling has historically been classified as a problem that largely affects men, but research of GambleAware from January this year revealed that the number of women treated for gambling had doubled in five years, with up to one million women at risk of experiencing gambling-related problems. He added that this figure could not represent only a small proportion of women experiencing gambling-related harm.

Bev’s gambling problems started about 16 years ago. “I entered a contest on a popular TV website and a game pop-up appeared and I thought, ‘I’ll give it a try,'” she said. Before that, she had never acted: “It just wasn’t something that interested me. It was like throwing away money. »

After depositing £10, she quickly won £800. “I couldn’t believe the money belonged to me,” she says. “I then started depositing more and more and that £800 disappeared very quickly. After that I was hooked.”

An early victory was also ‘the hook’ that kept Stacey, 29, from Derbyshire, back for more at the start of her gambling addiction. Her poison was slots and scratch cards. “It’s fast and completely mind-numbing to watch the wheels turn,” she says.



For women, gambling is an escape from overwhelming responsibilities and anxieties

The numbing effect of gambling is a big draw for many women who gamble, experts say. Liz Karter MBE, a leading British female gambling addiction therapist, says the forgetfulness offered by gambling can provide a space away from the stresses of everyday life. “You rarely hear women talk about loving the buzz or the excitement of the game, or loving the kudos that winning gives them like a lot of men do,” she says. The Independent.

“For women, gambling is about getting lost in an experience where, ultimately, they don’t think or feel anything. The focus on gambling is a distraction from stressful thoughts and feelings. It’s an escape from responsibility. and crushing anxieties.

It’s a familiar story to Tracey, 58, from Berkshire. “My game was never about the money,” she says. “It filled the void. When I was playing, I didn’t care about anything… the game took me out of my reality.

For Bev, things had started to fall apart long before that fateful Christmas and got worse over the years. As the head of the household finances, she had easy access to money, but unbeknownst to those close to her, she had used up all her credit cards and taken out loans to pay them off, which were paid directly into her gambling funds. She also borrowed money from friends, family and even people from work. “I lied to everyone I met,” she said. “I was in a terrible place mentally.

“My husband and I both make good salaries and I often waited until midnight on payday when the money came into my account each month. My husband was sleeping in his bed and within hours I was had screwed it all up.

All of the women spoke of the “ease” of online gambling and its 24-hour availability. Tracey describes the Internet as “the crack of the game”. She says, “When I started playing, places opened and closed. I might have been the first in and the last out, but there was still a closing time.



We have gambling in our homes, offices and purses…it’s everywhere

Before going online, Stacey had traveled between different bookmakers in an effort to avoid drawing attention to her gambling problem. Online, however, things were very different. “It was so easy. Nobody knew what I was doing.

Karter draws a direct link between an increase in gambling among women and its growing ubiquity. “We have gambling in our homes, our offices and our purses,” she says. “However, we need to look at any addiction in a social and mental health context. We are seeing an increase in stress, depression and anxiety in women leading to gambling self-medication…it is all too easy to get lost in the virtual world of online gambling.

“I don’t want anyone to feel as alone as I do”

(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

All three women found the support they needed through a women-only residential retreat with Gordon Moody, who is part of a network of organizations within the National Gambling Treatment Service that offer a range of treatments. “I went into it as a broken woman, but left feeling like there was hope,” Bev says. “They gave us the tools and strategies to stop you right before you placed a bet. It’s brilliant. Something just clicked and it worked.

Stacey admits she was initially ‘extremely skeptical’ about the service’s ability to help her, but describes it as ‘the best thing I’ve ever done’.

While all three women describe themselves as on the mend from the game, some of the aftermath is harder to forget.

Payday loans, credit cards — my debt was huge,” says Stacey. “I was moving house to house and living with friends because I couldn’t go anywhere with my bad credit. This is a long-term game issue that I’m still working on – it’s going to be a long time before I can get a house.



One of the worst things that happened when I tried to quit playing was when companies messaged you as a ‘VIP customer’ and said, ‘We haven’t seen you in a while – here’s £200 on your account”.

Bev would like to see major reforms in the gambling industry. “One of the worst things that happened when I tried to quit gambling was when companies messaged you as a ‘VIP customer’ and said, ‘We haven’t seen you in a while – here’s 200 £ in your account”. It was so bad.

“I also think they should do checks on new account holders, like when you apply for a loan,” she adds. “The number of times I’ve deposited thousands of pounds in a very short time…they must have realized I had a problem, but they encouraged it all the more.”

A government white paper addressing these issues is long overdue and is expected to be published this month. MP Carolyn Harris, chair of the all-party Parliamentary Gambling Harm Group, called the need for affordability checks, spending caps and independent assessments on new users “overwhelming”.

Stacey, Bev and Tracey all want more people to understand that this is a devastating condition that can and does affect women – but that help is available.

“It’s so important to reach out and talk to someone,” Tracey says. “No matter where you are from or how old you are – you will never be alone.”

Stacey agrees. “I don’t want anyone to feel as alone as I do. If you can get past the shame, there are so many places to go that specifically help women where you won’t be judged. Taking that first step is scary, but so worth it. There is hope.”

For information, support and advice on problem gambling, contact:

Gordon Moody (gordonmoody.org.uk), Aware of the bet (begambleaware.org), Gamblers Anonymous, which hosts a number of “female-favorite” online and real-life get-togethers (gamblersanonymous.org.uk), BetKnowMore (betknowmoreuk.org) and GamCare (www.gamcare.org.uk).

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District 41 Candidates Discuss West Taos County | Policy https://bcn-stay.com/district-41-candidates-discuss-west-taos-county-policy/ Thu, 12 May 2022 15:40:00 +0000 https://bcn-stay.com/district-41-candidates-discuss-west-taos-county-policy/ Two candidates vying for the District 41 seat in New Mexico debated Monday night (May 9) at a forum hosted by the Taos County Democratic Party. Incumbent Susan Herrera and newcomer Marlo Martinez are both competing to represent House District 41, which, while primarily encompassing Rio Arriba County, also includes western portions of Taos County […]]]>

Two candidates vying for the District 41 seat in New Mexico debated Monday night (May 9) at a forum hosted by the Taos County Democratic Party.

Incumbent Susan Herrera and newcomer Marlo Martinez are both competing to represent House District 41, which, while primarily encompassing Rio Arriba County, also includes western portions of Taos County including Tres Piedras, Carson, a part of Arroyo Hondo and Ojo Caliente.

A rift between the two candidates became clearer as they debated topics ranging from renewable energy to gun regulations.

Herrera, who was elected in 2018, said she was strongly opposed to pursuing long-term oil and gas development in New Mexico, but added that “it’s a careful needle that we have to thread.” She said she hopes to bolster the state’s renewable energy fund and invest more money in rural infrastructure development.

She said the way to do that legislatively is to look at examples like Kit Carson Electric Cooperative. “You have to have leadership at the local level… [KCEC] is not just a model in the state, but a model in the nation,” she said, adding that she would encourage all rural cooperatives to pursue similar goals.

Martinez agreed the transition was necessary, but said “New Mexico’s state budget is dependent on oil and gas at about 40% of the budget. I think we need to carefully move from oil and gas to renewable energy, maybe subsidizing solar power for homes. He noted that subsidizing solar energy at the federal level would also go a long way in facilitating this transition.

Taos County Democratic Party chairman and host Darien Fernandez asked each candidate if they had accepted campaign donations from oil or gas companies. Martinez said yes, and again stressed the importance of a slower transition. “We kind of abruptly cut oil off because they’re a lifeline for New Mexico,” he said.

Herrera said she hadn’t taken any fossil fuel contributions to her knowledge and said she mostly self-funded her campaign. “I never wanted a lobbyist to look me in the eye and say, ‘Hey, I paid that much, where’s my refund?’ I really haven’t needed their money in the past and I don’t think I will need it in the future,” she said.

Martinez replied that “[Representative] Javier Martinez and the President [of the House, Brian Egolf] give money to my opponent, and they take money from oil and gas… I think oil and gas can invest in renewable energy. I don’t see why they can’t.

When asked about their legislative priorities and the direction in which they would focus, the candidates again showed differences.

Martinez said his top priority would be to bring more funding to the district. “For example, Arroyo Hondo [has] a center there that needs kitchen facilities to be active,” he said, referring to the defunct Arroyo Hondo community center. “There are also a lot of complaints about the roads in this area that they need to be repaired.”

He said his other priorities would include funding youth programs and broadband access, as well as addressing behavioral health issues, low graduation rates and criminal justice reform.

“I’m looking at millions and millions and billions of dollars for water infrastructure in the state. I think that’s the number one problem for our rural communities,” Herrera said. “My big push is on rural water infrastructure and that’s gearing up for this huge, huge amount of infrastructure [money] it comes from the federal level.

Herrera also said she remains focused on fixing the Arroyo Hondo Community Center now that the title has passed to the appropriate party.

While Taos County is only a small portion of District 41, it still encompasses several local communities, and each contestant was asked how much time they spend watching the Taos County portion of the district. Herrera said she always gives legislative updates to the various municipal bodies in her district and said she tries to work on capital spending projects with her respective state senators and representatives from surrounding districts.

“I think the down payment is really part of the amount of money needed in my district,” Martinez said. “I think we need a lot more money, as I mentioned earlier, to do some of the things that we need to do in this district.” He agreed, however, that the right approach is “needs-based and works hand-in-hand with each community”.

On water and allocating money to water rights, acequias and sustainability, both candidates were in agreement, saying more funding should be sought, especially at the federal level. .

The subject of state reimbursement checks was also brought up, with Martinez saying he felt the money could be better spent on infrastructure. “One trip to the grocery store and your $500 is gone,” he said. “I would say it’s better to invest $700 million and leverage that $700 million with the feds or other entities to get over $1 billion so we can solve our problems in our state. .”

Herrera, who voted for the family discount bill, said she recognizes the poverty in her district. She said that, faced with a budget surplus, she thought about getting immediate help for the families. “I think right now we had to look after poor working families, and that’s kind of what I represent – ​​working families. Five hundred dollars might not mean much to everyone on this Zoom, but it certainly means a lot to a family trying to decide whether to pay the rent or the grocery bill.

Arms control presented another split among the candidates. Herrera said she had many discussions in which gun violence was brought up. “In every one of those meetings, someone said, ‘What are you going to do about gun violence? What are you going to do and how are you going to fix it?'” she said. stop this crazy system we have.” She said she was in favor of background checks and proper registration.

Herrera clarified “no one is talking about banning the hunt…I have a family of hunters and we draw to get an elk and it’s a huge family tradition.”

Martinez admitted his district was pretty “armed up” and said he wasn’t sure how he would vote on a law banning assault rifles and extended magazines. “I don’t know if it will solve the problem if you don’t deal with behavioral health issues… We just put people in jail and we don’t pay attention to them,” he said.

The contestants were allowed to ask each other one question, at which point Herrera quizzed Martinez on the reason for his candidacy. “I’m really curious why you’re running against me because, in fact, we agree on 95% of the issues,” she asked.

” It’s not against you. It’s for the job. I think voters deserve to have a choice. I think with my life experience, I would do a good job… Money is spent where it shouldn’t. We have needs like fire victims and our infrastructure and our schools and our water,” he replied.

He then asked Herrrera why she told credit unions he was in favor of payday loans. “I’m not in favor of payday loans,” he said.

“I never told anyone you were for predatory lending,” she replied, adding that she had heard that Martinez was backed by someone who was into predatory lending.

In closing, Herrera said she felt she had done a good job representing the 41st District for the past four years. She noted her progress toward drug treatment centers in Española and a drug rehabilitation center in Taos County. “I’m proud of what I’ve achieved so far.”

Martinez said he felt he was the man for the job. “I think I can do a better job because I have business experience, I have common sense, I know people’s needs, I’m from northern New Mexico, and I know the county of Taos. As a small business owner, I go to Taos every week…I just don’t think we’re fast enough to move in the right direction.

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Mother awaiting heart transplant shares her story https://bcn-stay.com/mother-awaiting-heart-transplant-shares-her-story/ Sun, 08 May 2022 09:01:17 +0000 https://bcn-stay.com/mother-awaiting-heart-transplant-shares-her-story/ Share on PinterestAfter giving birth to her second child, Zuleyma Santos was diagnosed with a rare form of heart failure and placed on the waiting list for a heart transplant. Photograph courtesy of Padilla Co Mother of two, Zuleyma Santos, works with the American Heart Association to raise awareness of the dangers of heart disease […]]]>

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After giving birth to her second child, Zuleyma Santos was diagnosed with a rare form of heart failure and placed on the waiting list for a heart transplant. Photograph courtesy of Padilla Co

Mother of two, Zuleyma Santos, works with the American Heart Association to raise awareness of the dangers of heart disease in young adults.

On paper, you’d think that now 37-year-old Zuleyma Santos had it all.

Two new children born in as many years. A retail career she loved. A devoted and loving husband who, despite cancer, was always there for her and a huge, close and supportive family.

This should have been the time of his life.

But within those events came a blockbuster: Santos developed a rare and often fatal heart condition caused by the pregnancy.

That’s why today, she smiles as she adjusts the still-there backpack on her shoulder that holds 10 pounds of batteries, constantly working to keep the device that keeps her heart going while she waits for a heart transplant.

Although there were signs – and a diagnosis – after the birth of her second child in 2019, no one understood the gravity of the situation, and Santos, immersed in the beginning of his life as a parent and concentrating on her husband’s cancer treatments, did not push.

“I think there were symptoms that went unaddressed,” she told Healthline. “I have always been a strong person. You will never hear me say “oh it hurts”. It is not me.

This “go for it” attitude could have proved fatal with the birth of her second child.

But it also launched her into a space she never thought she would be in – spokesperson for the American Heart Association.

“I felt I needed a way to reach people. To help them know how to speak for themselves.

“I never thought I would have heart failure or my partner would have cancer, at least not when our kids are babies with dirty nappies lying between my hospital bed. But I’m here. And if I can be the voice they hear – knowing there are resources out there – then so be it.

Santos was holding her then two-day-old baby in the hospital when suddenly she could barely breathe.

“I called the nurse and said ‘hold baby, something’s wrong with me!” she remembered. “I couldn’t breathe and thought I was losing my life.”

She was examined, tested, and then diagnosed. It was peripartum cardiomyopathy, they told her, a form of heart failure that occurs in the last month of pregnancy or the first few months after giving birth.

The baby went home, but Santos remained in the hospital for four more days. She was stabilized and told to rest and see a follow-up cardiologist once home.

She did, but as at every cardiology visit she was told that she had passed all the exams and that she had been given medication that stabilized her, she made a decision.

“It was time to get back to normal life,” she said. “I was like ‘I feel fine. Why are you telling me I have this? So I went back to my life: working, taking care of the kids and taking care of my husband.

No one blinked or tried to steer her in another direction, she said.

In March, the pandemic shutdown hit, a “blessing”, she said, because although it was hard to lose her job, it was great to be “home and s ‘taking care of the children’ while her husband returned to the hospital to fight his cancer. As stressful as it may seem, she said, she felt good at home and confident in her health.

Then summer came. In July, she was struggling,

“I felt tired, exhausted and couldn’t eat well,” she said.

But the postpartum heart diagnosis didn’t cross her mind.

“I didn’t really think it was my body,” she said. “I thought it was the summer heat. And you know, taking care of two babies and a husband battling cancer. It’s wreaking havoc. »

Then it got worse. “I couldn’t even lift my daughter’s legs to change a diaper,” she recalls.

She went to the emergency room – in the middle of the pandemic – with swollen legs, nausea and exhaustion. Although she was told of the earlier diagnosis, she says, they sent her home and told her to try eating differently.

Worried, she tried to get in touch with a cardiologist, but the pandemic shutdown also made that difficult. She got an appointment for the end of October and was hoping for the best.

Five days after that ER visit, she suddenly plummeted and realized she was in trouble.

“I told my husband to call an ambulance,” she said.

The last thing she remembers is being intubated. She woke up on November 3 and was told she had stage four heart failure and needed a heart transplant.

“It was very hard to hear,” she said. “I didn’t understand how I, at my age, got to this.”

It’s not an uncommon way for someone his age to think.

“It underscores the importance of recognizing this disease and heart disease in general,” Dr. Eugene DePasquale, a cardiologist at USC’s Keck Medicine, who treats Santos, told Healthline.

“The leading cause of death in the United States [based on data gathered pre-COVID-19] is heart disease,” he said. But when people look [based on their symptoms] they search for ‘cancer,’” he said.

He said the data suggests that less than three per cent of people looking for symptoms search online for heart disease.

The media, he said, reports on suicide, terrorist deaths and cancer, but not so much on heart disease.

Also, he said, younger heart patients tend to have different symptoms that are more focused on the gastrointestinal tract.

“Younger patients, in particular, can be missed,” he said of the cardiac diagnosis. “Not only by the patient but by the [medical experts] as well.

That’s why he and his team are thrilled to have her share her story while working on a heart transplant.

“She’s a special woman,” he said. “We are very grateful to him. She’s been through a lot, but she still does things like that. She is part of our family and vice versa.

Santos went home with this backpack charging her HeartMate pump, which will do the work of a heart until she receives a transplant.

DePasquale said because Santos developed antibodies during that second pregnancy that spurred heart disease, making her pool of donor hearts very small. The Friday before Mother’s Day, they were supposed to start working on getting those antibodies out of her.

She came home hopeful about it and grateful to be alive, as well as ready to take over from her ailing husband, who had taken care of the children with the help of his family during his recovery. to the hospital.

“I could feel he was waiting for me – clinging to his health to take care of things until I could,” she said.

She was right. She arrived home on December 29. On January 16, they threw a happy third birthday party for their son.

A week later, her husband went to the hospital. On February 27, he was at home in hospice care where he died shortly after.

Still, Santos is grateful and positive.

‘He gave me the strength to do it,’ she said of raising two children as a widow, battling heart disease while waiting for a transplant and being a doorway. -word of heart health.

“He did it for me, and now it’s my turn to do it for him. I’m going to support this family, keep these children happy.

She works hard with her doctors to get the heart transplant and speaks out.

Says DePasquale, she makes a difference in more ways than she realizes.

“We are very grateful to him,” he said. “She helps put this into perspective and encourages others to be proactive and fight for the symptoms to be recognized.”

It also, he said, gave visibility into how heart pumps work. The HeartMate pump has been used by people as well-known as former Vice President Dick Cheney, he said, but the powerful image of an ordinary woman living with someone could help many.

“It’s not as scary as some people think,” he said. “She can help people to accept that better.”

Santos looks to the future and a new heart with hope.

Doctors told her she probably had signs of heart disease after the birth of her first child. And while that might have meant avoiding some of the extreme illnesses, it would have changed something else as well.

“They would have told me not to have any more children,” she said. “I might not have had my daughter. And you know, I wouldn’t change that for the world.

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True Pro-Life Beliefs Demand Our Attention | Opinion https://bcn-stay.com/true-pro-life-beliefs-demand-our-attention-opinion/ Thu, 05 May 2022 21:34:00 +0000 https://bcn-stay.com/true-pro-life-beliefs-demand-our-attention-opinion/ The Supreme Court’s leaked opinions regarding Roe vs. Wade made the conversations very volatile; strong feelings are expressed regardless of which side of the issue you support. Strong opinions are good. Rhetoric that disrespects, belittles and devalues ​​the lives of others is not. Pro-lifers will argue that overthrowing Roe against Wade is essential to protecting […]]]>

The Supreme Court’s leaked opinions regarding Roe vs. Wade made the conversations very volatile; strong feelings are expressed regardless of which side of the issue you support. Strong opinions are good. Rhetoric that disrespects, belittles and devalues ​​the lives of others is not.

Pro-lifers will argue that overthrowing Roe against Wade is essential to protecting vulnerable life.

It’s true: a baby in its mother’s womb is vulnerable. My cousin Zach’s life is also vulnerable because he lives with Down syndrome; a doctor’s advice before Zach was born suggested abortion, thank goodness that advice was not followed.

My dear Shawn’s life is also vulnerable, and a broken health system constantly puts him behind the 8 ball, leaves him with no options and like too many others; how does our health care system show respect for the lives of the most vulnerable people in need of care?

A worker – a valuable worker, an excellent nine-year-old worker – who is unfairly paid and survives or does not depend on the decisions of a greedy or downright indifferent employer is vulnerable. Payday loans only make matters worse and further degrade the dignity of a life.

Elderly people whose neglect and substandard care are startlingly inhumane are vulnerable.

Our homeless people are vulnerable, as are those who wander our streets with mental health issues; too often we just pretend not to see them. Or maybe too many of us just don’t want to.

The addict and the recovering addict are vulnerable, as are the LGBTQ+ people I work with and regularly work with.

Religious communities, in particular, need to take stock of what it really means and entails to respect life or to be pro-life or pro-birth. In my ministry, I encounter LGBTQ+ people, and especially young people, who are often viewed as “less than” and expelled from “religious” families and churches. If a child is born gay or trans and then leads a hellish existence thanks to a religious tradition that does not respect their life, how can they claim to be pro-life?

I could go on and on.

Tossing Roe against Wade may offer a victory for birthright defenders, but until all people are given the full and unconditional dignity they are rightfully entitled to and the care of a nation that prides itself on claiming to vote for respecting life, ensuring a life for a child does not make sense. That’s right; until we provide structures that respect and care for this child, this life, until his last breath with unconditional love, educational opportunities, health care, a living wage and justice of workers, and that we are concerned about the most vulnerable among us, we cannot say that we are anti-abortion. The point is, we’re pro-birth.

How easy it is to respond to the silent cries of the child in its mother’s womb, but when the pleas and deafening tears of those who are alive ask us to be pro-life and respect their lives, we fail. miserably. We are too often deaf, I’m afraid.

Overthrowing hard hearts is essential. The overthrow of a culture that slowly manifests a lack of respect for anyone’s life must be done with or without written opinions and votes. There must be, for sure, a communal uprooting of an ill-informed mindset that sees birth as an autonomous issue; there must be communal metanoia – a total conversion of hearts – before we can truly claim the victory of being pro-life.

Stan Zerkowski is the Catholic LGBTQ+ Ministry Director for Lexington.

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COVID woes prompt more states to require financial literacy classes https://bcn-stay.com/covid-woes-prompt-more-states-to-require-financial-literacy-classes/ Tue, 03 May 2022 18:11:36 +0000 https://bcn-stay.com/covid-woes-prompt-more-states-to-require-financial-literacy-classes/ Posted May 3, 2022 6:11 a.m. Elaine S. Povitch Stateline Studies have long shown that high school students are woefully misinformed about personal finances and how to manage them. But the COVID-19 pandemic, which has revealed how many American adults are living on the financial edge, has spurred ongoing efforts to make financial literacy classes […]]]>

Elaine S. Povitch

Stateline

Studies have long shown that high school students are woefully misinformed about personal finances and how to manage them. But the COVID-19 pandemic, which has revealed how many American adults are living on the financial edge, has spurred ongoing efforts to make financial literacy classes a school requirement.

Seven states now require a stand-alone financial literacy course as a high school graduation requirement, and five more state requirements come into effect within the next year or two. About 25 warrants at least some financial training, sometimes as part of an existing course. This year, about 20 other states have considered establishing or expanding similar rules.

Opponents of state mandates say the requirements, while laudable, may encroach on the limited time available for other high school electives and would impose costly demands on teacher training or hiring.

Nevertheless, financial literacy courses are gaining ground.

“I think there’s a lot of momentum now; many more states have legislation pending,” said Carly Urban, an economics professor at Montana State University who has studied financial literacy. In seven states — Alabama, Iowa, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia — “almost all schools require it,” she said, though some graduation prerequisites don’t come into play. force only in 2023.

Over the past two years, Nebraska, Ohio, Rhode Island, and most recently Florida have passed laws making financial literacy a staple in high schools within a year or two. In North Carolina, graduation requirements take effect in 2023.

Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia introduced bills addressing financial literacy in the 2021-22 legislative sessions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Of these, about 20 focus on secondary schools.

The Kentucky and District of Columbia bills appear to take into account that student-athletes are now allowed to earn money for the use of their name, image or likeness. None of the measures require secondary schools to teach financial literacy. But the Kentucky bill, which the governor signed into law, requires colleges to set up financial literacy workshops for student-athletes. The DC bill would encourage colleges with student-athletes to teach financial literacy.

Last month, Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill calling for students entering high school in the 2023-24 school year to take a financial literacy course as a condition of graduation. . The new law provides a half-credit course on personal money management, including how to open and use a bank account, the meaning of credit and credit scores, types of savings and investments and how to get a loan.

At a signing ceremony, DeSantis touted the law as something that “will help improve the ability of students in financial management, when they find themselves in the real world.”

Financial literacy is an issue that is remarkably bipartisan. Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee, a Democrat, sounded a lot like DeSantis when he signed Rhode Island’s requirement for financial education in high schools last year.

“Financial literacy is key to a young person’s future success,” McKee said. “This legislation paves the way for our public high schools to provide young people with the skills they need to achieve their financial goals.”

Urban, from Montana, said state policies that require stand-alone financial literacy courses help students the most, especially if states set standards on what topics should be included in the curriculum. . Most courses last one semester.

Some states use materials provided by the nonprofit Next Gen Personal Finance, which offers a free study guide and classroom materials for teaching financial literacy, to help set the standards, while others have expanded units already included in economics, math, or social studies courses.

Next Gen’s free courses include tutorials for teachers, plus in-class study guides on topics like managing credit, opening checking and savings accounts, budgeting, paying for school academics, investing, paying taxes and developing consumer skills.

In a 2018 study, only a third of adults could answer at least four out of five financial literacy questions on concepts such as mortgages, interest rates, inflation and risk, according to the Foundation for Financial Literacy. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Investor Education. Financial literacy was lower among people of color and youth.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, about 16% of 15-year-old American students surveyed in 2018 did not meet the basic level of financial literacy skills.

But with a little education, those numbers can improve, according to Urban studies.

“The results are striking,” she said in a phone interview. “Credit scores go up and delinquency rates go down. If you’re a student borrower, you go from low to high interest, you don’t accumulate credit card debt, and you don’t use private loans, which are more expensive. Additionally, his research found that young people who have taken financial literacy courses are less likely to use expensive payday loans.

Even the teachers who run the classes tend to see an increase in their savings.

“If access remains limited – especially for students who have the most to gain from education – state policy may be the only option to ensure all students have access to personal finance before becoming financially independent,” Urban wrote in a 2022 study of high school personal finance courses.

The California Assembly Committee on Education unanimously approved a high school financial literacy bill last week. Committee chairman Patrick O’Donnell, a Democrat and former high school economics teacher, said financial concepts like individual retirement accounts, Roth IRAs, loan terms and other things are “difficult to understand… in their head”.

Educators need resources to teach these concepts, he said, noting that when he was a teacher he wrote his own course materials for teaching financial literacy.

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored how few Americans are prepared for financial emergencies, giving new impetus to financial literacy requirements, according to John Pelletier, director of the Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College in Vermont. “COVID woke people up,” he said in a phone interview.

He cited a 2020 Federal Reserve study that showed many Americans couldn’t come up with $2,000 in an emergency, and “it really hit home when people were forced off work. and collect a paycheck. If policymakers haven’t found a way to get money from people, we’re dealing with more than just paying the rent; we face hunger and homelessness.

Pelletier estimates that about 30% of public school children now have access to financial literacy classes.

But not all financial literacy bills made it through the legislative process. A bill in Wisconsin this year died after objections from the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.

Ben Niehaus, director of member services for the association, said his group agreed with the intent, but was concerned about the rapid one-year timeline and the possibility of “compromising elective choices”.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican State Rep. Alex Dallman, said in a phone interview that he hopes to reintroduce the bill next session, possibly with only a half-credit course. .

“In our current economy, we’re taking out massive loans, not paying them back, and we have to be smarter about how we handle money,” he said. He added that technical schools across the state like the idea of ​​teaching finance because it could lead more students to conclude that they should forgo an expensive college education for a lucrative career in the trades.

But Niehaus said a financial literacy requirement could take time out of vocational electives, such as manufacturing courses, that many Wisconsin high schools have started offering.

“We try to add these experiences to meet the needs of the labor market with more than a high school diploma and less than a four-year diploma. There are only so many hours in a day,” Niehaus said.

“Yes, it’s important, but career and technology education is also important, and we think local school boards should decide.”

Stateline is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news service of the Pew Charitable Trusts that provides daily reports and analysis on trends in state politics.

– 30 –

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Choose the right home improvement loan to start your major repair https://bcn-stay.com/choose-the-right-home-improvement-loan-to-start-your-major-repair/ Mon, 02 May 2022 05:26:38 +0000 https://bcn-stay.com/choose-the-right-home-improvement-loan-to-start-your-major-repair/ There is always something to fix or improve in a house. From the roof to the foundation, home repairs can be costly. That’s why so many homeowners turn to home improvement loans to help them get the job done. However, with so many types of home improvement loans available, it can be difficult to choose […]]]>

There is always something to fix or improve in a house. From the roof to the foundation, home repairs can be costly. That’s why so many homeowners turn to home improvement loans to help them get the job done.

However, with so many types of home improvement loans available, it can be difficult to choose the best one for your project. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the different types of home improvement loans available and help you choose the right one for you!

Home improvement loans can be a great way to finance your project or repairs.

But with so many options available, it can be difficult to choose the right one for you. Vernon Tremblay of ACFA-CashFlowdetails some tips to help you choose the right renovation loan for your needs.

– First, consider how much money you need to borrow. Home improvement loans typically range from $500 to $100,000, so it’s important to know how much you’ll need before you start shopping.

– Second, consider the terms of the loan. Home improvement loans can have terms as short as a few months or as long as 20 years. Choose a loan term that suits your budget and project schedule.

– Third, compare interest rates and fees from multiple lenders. Home improvement loans have different interest rates and fees depending on the lender, so it’s important to compare your options before settling on a loan.

– Finally, make sure that you can benefit from the loan. Most home improvement loans have specific requirements, such as a minimum credit score or income level. Make sure you meet all the requirements before applying for the loan.

Following these tips will help you choose the right home improvement loan for your needs and ensure you get the best rate and terms possible. So start shopping and comparing your options today to find the perfect home improvement loan for your next project.

There are different types of home improvement loans, so it’s important to find the one that’s right for you.

Home improvement loans can help you finance a renovation or repair project in your home. But with so many different types of home improvement loans available, it can be difficult to know which one is best for your needs.

Here is a brief overview of the different types of home improvement loans and what they can be used for:

– Home Equity Loans: A home equity loan is a second mortgage on your home. You will need to have the equity in your home to qualify for this type of loan, i.e. the part of your home that you fully own, without any outstanding mortgages or other claims against it. Home equity loans can be used to make small repairs or undertake major renovations.

– Advantages: low interest rate, flexible repayment terms

– Cons: Requires equity in your home, may require home appraisal

– Online personal loan: A personal loan is an unsecured loan that can be used for anything you want, including home improvement projects. They are usually called online payday loans. You’ll usually need good credit to qualify for a personal loan, and these are the easiest to get since all you need to do is fill out a loan application online and you can expect the money to be deposited into your bank account within 24 hours. .

– Pros: No collateral required, can be used for anything

– Disadvantages: higher interest rates than some other types of loans, may have shorter repayment terms

– Title I Home Improvement Loans: These loans are offered by the federal government through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). They can be used for any type of home improvement project, big or small.

– Pros: No collateral required, can be used for anything

– Disadvantages: interest rates can be higher than for some other types of loans

– FHA 203(k) rehabilitation loans: These loans are offered by the federal government through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). They can be used to finance both the purchase of a home and home improvement projects, all in one loan.

– Pros: Can be used to finance both home purchase and home improvements, low down payment requirements

– Cons: Requires you to work with a HUD-certified consultant, interest rates may be higher than market rates

Whichever type of loan you choose, be sure to compare interest rates, fees, and repayment terms before settling on a loan. And remember, home improvement loans are just one option for financing repairs or renovations to your home. You can also use savings, home equity lines of credit or credit cards. Choose the option that best suits you and your project.

Work with a contractor who can help you meet your budget and deadlines

You don’t have to go it alone when you’re ready to tackle home improvement projects. There are plenty of contractors out there who can help you get the job done, and they can even help you stick to your budget. Just be sure to choose a contractor who has experience with the type of home improvement project you are considering. Otherwise, you might end up spending more money than necessary.

And speaking of money, one of the most important things to do before starting any home improvement project is to figure out how you’re going to pay for it. This is where home improvement loans come in. Home improvement loans are designed specifically for homeowners who want to make major repairs or renovations to their home.

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COVID woes prompt more states to require financial literacy courses | Education https://bcn-stay.com/covid-woes-prompt-more-states-to-require-financial-literacy-courses-education/ Sat, 30 Apr 2022 00:11:00 +0000 https://bcn-stay.com/covid-woes-prompt-more-states-to-require-financial-literacy-courses-education/ Studies have long shown that high school students are woefully misinformed about personal finances and how to manage them. But the COVID-19 pandemic, which has revealed how many American adults are living on the financial edge, has spurred ongoing efforts to make financial literacy classes a school requirement. Seven states now require a stand-alone financial […]]]>

Studies have long shown that high school students are woefully misinformed about personal finances and how to manage them. But the COVID-19 pandemic, which has revealed how many American adults are living on the financial edge, has spurred ongoing efforts to make financial literacy classes a school requirement.

Seven states now require a stand-alone financial literacy course as a high school graduation requirement, and five more state requirements come into effect within the next year or two. About 25 warrants at least some financial training, sometimes as part of an existing course. This year, about 20 other states have considered establishing or expanding similar rules.

Opponents of state mandates say the requirements, while laudable, may encroach on the limited time available for other high school electives and would impose costly demands on teacher training or hiring.

Nevertheless, financial literacy courses are gaining ground.

“I think there’s a lot of momentum now; many more states have legislation pending,” said Carly Urban, an economics professor at Montana State University who has studied financial literacy. In seven states — Alabama, Iowa, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia — “almost all schools require it,” she said, though some graduation prerequisites don’t come into play. force only in 2023.

Over the past two years, Nebraska, Ohio, Rhode Island, and most recently Florida have passed laws making financial literacy a staple in high schools within a year or two. In North Carolina, graduation requirements take effect in 2023.

Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia introduced bills addressing financial literacy in the 2021-22 legislative sessions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Of these, about 20 focus on secondary schools.

The Kentucky and District of Columbia bills appear to take into account that student-athletes are now allowed to earn money for the use of their name, image or likeness. None of the measures require secondary schools to teach financial literacy. But the Kentucky bill, which the governor signed into law, requires colleges to set up financial literacy workshops for student-athletes. The DC bill would encourage colleges with student-athletes to teach financial literacy.

Last month, Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill calling for students entering high school in the 2023-24 school year to take a financial literacy course as a condition of graduation. . The new law provides a half-credit course on personal money management, including how to open and use a bank account, the meaning of credit and credit scores, types of savings and investments and how to get a loan.

At a signing ceremony, DeSantis touted the law as something that “will help improve the ability of students in financial management, when they find themselves in the real world.”

Financial literacy is an issue that is remarkably bipartisan. Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee, a Democrat, sounded a lot like DeSantis when he signed Rhode Island’s requirement for financial education in high schools last year.

“Financial literacy is key to a young person’s future success,” McKee said. “This legislation paves the way for our public high schools to provide young people with the skills they need to achieve their financial goals.”

Montana State’s Urban said state policies that require stand-alone financial literacy courses help students the most, especially if states set standards on what topics should be included in the curriculum. Most courses last one semester.

Some states are using materials provided by the nonprofit Next Gen Personal Finance — which offers a free study guide and educational materials for teaching financial literacy — to help set the standards, while d Others have expanded units already included in economics, math, or social studies courses.

Next Gen’s free courses include tutorials for teachers, plus in-class study guides on topics like managing credit, opening checking and savings accounts, budgeting, paying for school academics, investing, paying taxes and developing consumer skills.

In a 2018 study, only a third of adults could answer at least four of five financial literacy questions on concepts such as mortgages, interest rates, inflation and risk, according to the Foundation for Financial Literacy. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Investor Education. Financial literacy was lower among people of color and youth.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, about 16% of 15-year-old American students surveyed in 2018 did not meet the basic level of financial literacy skills.

But with a little education, those numbers can improve, according to Urban studies.

“The results are striking,” she said in a phone interview. “Credit scores go up and delinquency rates go down. If you’re a student borrower, you go from low to high interest, you don’t accumulate credit card debt, and you don’t use private loans, which are more expensive. Additionally, his research found that young people who have taken financial literacy courses are less likely to use expensive payday loans.

Even the teachers who run the classes tend to see an increase in their savings.

“If access remains limited – especially for students who have the most to gain from education – state policy may be the only option to ensure all students have access to personal finance before becoming financially independent,” Urban wrote in a 2022 study of the high school personal finance course.

The California Assembly Committee on Education unanimously approved a high school financial literacy bill last week. Committee chairman Patrick O’Donnell, a Democrat and former high school economics teacher, said financial concepts like individual retirement accounts, Roth IRAs, loan terms and other things are “difficult to understand… in their head”.

Educators need resources to teach these concepts, he said, noting that when he was a teacher he wrote his own course materials for teaching financial literacy.

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored how few Americans are prepared for financial emergencies, giving new impetus to financial literacy requirements, according to John Pelletier, director of the Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College in Vermont. “COVID woke people up,” he said in a phone interview.

He cited a 2020 Federal Reserve study that showed many Americans couldn’t come up with $2,000 in an emergency, and “it really hit home when people were forced off work. and collect a paycheck. If policymakers haven’t found a way to get money from people, we’re dealing with more than just paying the rent; we face hunger and homelessness.

Pelletier estimates that about 30% of public school children now have access to financial literacy classes.

But not all financial literacy bills made it through the legislative process. A bill in Wisconsin this year died after objections from the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.

Ben Niehaus, director of member services for the association, said his group agreed with the intent, but was concerned about the rapid one-year timeline and the possibility of “compromising elective choices”.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican State Rep. Alex Dallman, said in a phone interview that he hopes to reintroduce the bill next session, possibly with only a half-credit course. .

“In our current economy, we’re taking out massive loans, not paying them back, and we have to be smarter about how we handle money,” he said. He said technical schools around the state like the idea of ​​teaching finance because it could lead more students to conclude that they should forgo an expensive college education for a lucrative career in the trades.

But Niehaus said a financial literacy requirement could take time out of vocational electives, such as manufacturing courses, that many Wisconsin high schools have started offering.

“We try to add these experiences to meet the needs of the labor market with more than a high school diploma and less than a four-year diploma. There are only so many hours in a day,” Niehaus said.

“Yes, it’s important, but career and technology education is also important, and we think local school boards should decide.”

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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“Buy now, pay later” plans come with pricey catches https://bcn-stay.com/buy-now-pay-later-plans-come-with-pricey-catches/ Thu, 28 Apr 2022 13:38:22 +0000 https://bcn-stay.com/buy-now-pay-later-plans-come-with-pricey-catches/ Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) plans are increasingly being offered as a convenient credit alternative that allows purchases to be made in installments, typically four payments over six weeks. The so-called “fintech” (financial technology) companies that offer these plans often advertise them as offering consumers interest-free payments without impacting credit scores. But consumer groups and […]]]>

Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) plans are increasingly being offered as a convenient credit alternative that allows purchases to be made in installments, typically four payments over six weeks. The so-called “fintech” (financial technology) companies that offer these plans often advertise them as offering consumers interest-free payments without impacting credit scores.

But consumer groups and economic justice organizations point out that these financial products that already reach 8.42 million consumers may be just another explosive form of predatory lending that exploits unsuspecting consumers through a lack of transparency that usually leads to confusion as to the true terms and consequences that flow from it. with the product. Without effective regulation, millions more consumers could be financially duped by the BNPL.

Consumers can use BNPL offers from companies such as Affirm, Klarna, PayPal Pay in 4 and Sizzle, as well as others at physical stores like Macy’s, Footlocker, Target and Walmart, and online retailers like Amazon.

BNPL purchases require direct debits from credit or debit cards. Since each BNPL purchase comes with its own set of payment due dates – unlike the fixed payment date of a credit card bill – these ongoing deductions can easily result in additional bank charges for consumers in case of insufficient funds and overdrafts. And many BNPL transactions do not automatically come with the product return and/or fraud protections offered by credit cards. Instead, these credit terms are currently at the discretion of BNPL’s suppliers. As a result, consumers may find themselves without merchandise, while their money is still taken from debit or credit card accounts.

Complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Better Business Bureau noted several consumer issues, including lack of information about initiating disputes, delays in receiving refunds, and continued demand for refunds BNPL lenders.

Last November, Marisabel Torres, California policy director for the Center for Responsible Lending, told Congress that BNPL loans are generally designed to avoid coverage under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA).

“This law excludes from the definition of “creditor” anyone who grants a credit which does not require a financial charge and is repayable in four installments or less…. The fact that this is a “free credit” product begs the question: what is the problem? Torres said. “It turns out there are a number of captures – some demonstrable, some potential – that require regulatory attention and response.”

Proponents say many adverse effects could be avoided if BNPL lenders were required to verify a consumer’s ability to repay before the first loan was made. Instead, as with payday loans, each billing cycle tends to worsen, rather than improve, the borrower’s financial situation, dragging them deeper into the debt trap.

Just a month later, in December 2021, consumer and economic justice advocates applauded the CFPB when it announced it would open an investigation into the BNPL’s big lenders.

“By opening this investigation, the Office of Consumer Affairs is taking an important first step in understanding this industry and preventing harm to consumers,” said CRL’s Torres.

Without vigilant oversight and proper regulation, warn Torres and other advocates, products promising to promote financial inclusion could instead exacerbate financial exclusion.

Last March, a coalition of 77 organizations representing national consumer organizations and advocates from 16 states and the District of Columbia sent a letter urging the CFPB to treat BNPL as a form of credit and subject lenders offering the products to regulation under appropriate consumer financial protection laws. like TILA. This law requires responsible underwriting, disclosure of fees, and the ability to dispute billed items.

Without regulation, the growing use of BNPL could lead to further financial harm for consumers, especially those with the least financial resources.

Charlene Crowell is a senior researcher at the Center for Responsible Lending.

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