If you know you can’t make a payment, you need to take swift action.

A growing number of Americans may find themselves unable to make their personal loan payments due to the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. If you’re one of them, the good news is you do have options — but you need to act quickly.

The pandemic has caused serious financial hardships for many families. Here are some of the techniques you can try if you find you can’t pay your lender.

1. Refinance your debt

One of the best options available to you if your personal loan payments are too high is to change the terms of your loan. Lenders usually won’t let you do that with your existing debt, but you can accomplish it if you can qualify for a refinance loan.

The current low interest rates mean many borrowers can refinance their debt at a lower rate. This would allow you to use the proceeds to repay the debt you’re having trouble with. If your new loan has a lower rate, the monthly payments may be lower and may come within your budget — especially if you also choose a longer repayment timeline.

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The Ascent’s picks of the best personal loans

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If you are a homeowner with equity in your home, another route might be a cash out refinance — which could potentially provide significant savings. Today’s mortgage rates are near record lows and any kind of refinance deal could lower your payments. The downside of tapping your home equity, however, is that it puts

Wildfire victims who lose their home and possessions will be able to recoup money for their expenses faster, thanks to legislation that makes property insurance benefits easier to collect.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 872 into law Thursday, providing a suite of insurance protections and streamlined claims processing to better respond to the recovery challenges residents face right after a disaster.

The law won’t take effect until next year. It got Newsom’s endorsement as Sonoma and Napa counties and numerous California communities confront property losses during two months of widespread fires that have burned 4 million acres statewide this year.

Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, who co-authored the legislation, viewed it as part of the growing movement to address home insurance hurdles for disaster survivors after consecutive years of destructive wildfires in the North Bay, he said.

“None of these bills are a silver bullet, but all of them put together in a patchwork quilt of legislation are moving the needle and, I think, meeting the moment to really help consumers,” Dodd said.

The law requires insurance companies to pay up to four months of living expenses in advance, opposed to just one month now.

However, victims of this year’s blazes will go without that and other new regulations, including a provision that requires insurers to submit an advance payment of at least 25% for the value of lost possessions without having to file an inventory form.

The California Department of Insurance has received numerous complaints from residents who have struggled identifying every item that was lost in a fire, Commissioner Ricardo Lara said Friday in a prepared statement.

Lara urged insurance companies to help wildfire survivors and provide up to 100% of their personal property coverage limits without a detailed, itemized form, which has been a common request.

“Wildfire

  • The OCC has been mulling a special-purpose banking charter aimed at fintechs that process payments.
  • Currently, non-chartered fintechs are regulated and licensed state-by-state to process payments.
  • Both state regulators and bank trade associations have opposed the idea of a special-purpose charter, saying that new risks could be introduced by offering charters to fintechs and big tech.
  • The OCC argues that there are no new risks being introduced, but the oversight would be migrated from the state to the federal level.  
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Over the past decade, fintechs have become more than a niche group of disruptive startups out of Silicon Valley. Today, fintechs like Stripe and Square have achieved massive scale — and valuations — and are an essential part of the financial-services industry.

But most fintechs aren’t licensed banks, meaning they don’t have a banking charter issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), one of the key regulators overseeing consumer banking. Instead, they are regulated and licensed at the state level, which means to operate nationally they have to work with 50 different regulatory bodies.

That could soon change, however, as the OCC is mulling a charter aimed specifically at fintechs that process payments, allowing them to be regulated at a national level. 

As a result, payments fintechs would be able to sidestep state-by-state regulation. The charter would be a national version of a state money transmission license, which fintechs currently have to apply for in each state they operate in.

Through this charter, the OCC would get insight into billions of dollars worth of payments handled by fintechs that currently occur outside its jurisdiction. Similar to the way the regulator now monitors banks, the OCC would review fintechs’ control frameworks and risk management.

Read more: Investors say these 22

Analysts say affluent consumers are taking advantage of favorable interest rates to purchase bigger, more feature-heavy vehicles during the pandemic

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Oct. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Consumers in the market for a new car during the pandemic aren’t shying away from making bigger down payments than usual. According to the car shopping experts at Edmunds, the average down payment for a new vehicle climbed to $4,457 in the third quarter, compared to $3,891 last quarter and $4,045 a year ago. Edmunds data also shows that the average transaction price (ATP) for new vehicles rose significantly in the third quarter. Edmunds estimates that the ATP in Q3 climbed to $39,303, compared to $38,893 last quarter and $37,207 in Q3 of 2019.

Car-buying platform Edmunds.com serves nearly 20 million visitors each month. With Edmunds.com Price Promise(R), shoppers can buy smarter with instant, upfront prices for cars and trucks currently for sale at over 10,000 dealer franchises across the U.S.
Car-buying platform Edmunds.com serves nearly 20 million visitors each month. With Edmunds.com Price Promise(R), shoppers can buy smarter with instant, upfront prices for cars and trucks currently for sale at over 10,000 dealer franchises across the U.S.

Due to increases in average down payments and average transaction prices for new vehicles, Edmunds data shows that average loan terms and monthly payments decreased slightly in the third quarter compared to the second quarter. The average annual percentage rate (APR) for new vehicles saw a small lift, hitting 4.6% in Q3 compared to 4.2% in Q2.

“It’s clear that consumers who are purchasing vehicles right now are feeling quite secure in their financial position despite the pandemic. The discouraging unemployment numbers we’re seeing across the country likely aren’t reflective of the Americans in the new car market,” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds’ executive director of insights. “New-car shoppers are putting down more money and taking advantage of continued  low interest rates to upsize either to bigger vehicles or vehicles with more amenities.”

Edmunds analysts note that some of

Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Park Place Payments, the only women founded and run payment processing company, is named the Most Client-Centric Payments Services Provider – USA by the Worldwide Finance Awards, which honors achievements of those thriving in the current climate.

“When I founded Park Place, I listened carefully to what merchants wanted and designed the company to meet those needs,” said Samantha Ettus, Founder and CEO of Park Place Payments. “Our salesforce and service differentiate us. We are thrilled by this award not only because we have been recognized for our core competency, but because it also demonstrates that the industry has recognized that it’s time for change.”

An industry first, Park Place is tackling two pain points. It has created a financial services career path within direct sales for those who have been sidelined in their careers and its leadership team is transforming a stagnant $8B payment processing industry plagued by massive churn, dated technology and a lack of pricing transparency.

Park Place Payments is reducing costs for small to medium businesses while offering them concierge level customer service without the concierge price tag. At the same time, it is creating income opportunities for sidelined populations who have strong local relationships. The community-driven model trains its Account Executives to sell financial services to local businesses, offering better rates and service. In turn, this motivated group is now earning recurring revenue to put back into the local economy.

About Park Place Payments
Park Place Payments is a salesforce as a solution fintech that is revolutionizing the ripe-for-disruption payments and credit card processing industry. The trusted team, technology, service, and transparent pricing model is unparalleled. Park Place