Does Western Union Owe You Money? Company Settles FTC Lawsuit for $586M

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Snaring you tight.

Hiding in plain sight.

Michael Westen goes up against one in an episode of Burn Notice. He mentions that all loan sharks, while usually criminals, are ultimately businessmen. They aren't really interested in harming their clients, but just want their money. Michael naturally manages to use this trait to his advantage. The loan shark in question, while undeniably dangerous, actually comes off as fairly affable and more reasonable than most of Criminal Of The Week villains. Quite a number of Chinese-language dramas shown on Singapore's Channel 8 feature the local sharks.

Korean Series like using this as a plot twist. Case in point, Twinkle Twinkle , both the poor dad and the rich son end up owning lots to the local " money lenders ". They mostly are never the real guilty party, expect to hear some variation of the line "Yeah, I killed him, that'll make him pay me" as a reason why they may have beat the guy up, but not killed him. One particularly nasty variant took out life insurance policies on the debtor's family members , anyone who claimed he couldn't pay his balance would be told that his family would be shot and he could then just mail them the check.

A subversion happened in a episode where a stock scheme runs so bad that the Mafia comes to the Manhattan D. There's also an episode in Criminal Intent where the loan shark is so impatient to get his money back that he kidnaps a guy's family, during which his hired kidnapper rapes one of the daughters. Too bad he didn't know that Goren knew what the letters on his tattoo stood for.

Used quite a lot on The Sopranos. It's all but stated that this is one of their main sources of income. Robert Patrick plays David Scatino, a local Sporting Goods store owner who gets in over his head in poker debts to Tony.

Tony then "busts out" Scatino's store, buying random crap and exhausting its assets and lines of credit until it is forced into Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation.

While he may have intended to file for Chapter 11—reorganization of debts, with creditors to be repaid from future profits—we very clearly see the liquidators roll into the store, take everything, and put up a "for lease" sign, so we can be reasonably sure that even if he filed an 11, it was converted to a 7.

This situation actually presents a very peculiar circumstance for a bankruptcy attorney: On the other hand And even if you had the balls to do it, how would you prove it?

This culminates when Tony, in a genius move , gives Meadow an SUV that he took as collateral from Scatino, her boyfriend's father. Christopher loaning to, beating, and ultimately murdering his Narcotics Anonymous sponsor. One of the thugs exploits Vito by borrowing money from him, then turning him in to the rival New York family that wanted him dead. Even Angie Bonpensiero gets in on the game, "putting money out on the street" after she gets ahold of Big Pussy's old body shop.

She doesn't do any beating herself, but it's obvious she controls guys who do. Hal goes to one on Malcolm in the Middle to pay Malcolm's college tuition, explaining that there's no way he can pay it back, but he's offering to be the guy who gets his thumbs broken as a lesson to everyone else. He quickly changes his mind once the loaner suggests that he could simply not give Hal the money and still break his legs.

Lisgoe and his incompetent collectors in the third season of The League of Gentlemen. Kramer places a large bet with a bookie in Jerry's name and ends up winning a large amount of money The precise figure is never revealed.

Unfortunately, his bookie is very new to the business and can not afford to cover the bet. Since Jerry never actually placed the bet at all he is in no rush to get the money, but he keeps accidentally behaving like a debt collector. First he breaks the guys thumbs, then he locks him in his trunk and in the end he seemingly plans a murder.

All of it In true Seinfeld fashion is unintentional and misinterpreted to turn Jerry into an unstoppable debt collector. Kenji from Deep Love borrows some money from some loan sharks to pay for his drug addiction, unfortunately he got fired from his job because of his drug addiction. It doesn't end well. An episode of WKRP in Cincinnati has the enforcer for this type of shark loitering in the station's lobby, waiting for loan-defaulter Johnny Fever to turn up.

He was only given a vague description of what Johnny looks like, so of course Hilarity Ensues. Red Dwarf had an Outland Revenue man in the Better Than Life episode who was instructed to "to break both Rimmer's legs and pull off your thumbs The episode ends with the Outland Revenue man taking a hammer to Rimmer's hand. He was, however, virtual. Given that Outland Revenue appears to be based on the Real Life Inland Revenue, he was probably collecting taxes, not loans, but the trope is functionally the same.

That means nothing to these people. He threatened to close down Nathan's favorite pub. Nate's father was also a loan shark as well, fueling some of Nate's anger with that mark. In the alternate timeline in the sixth season of Lost , Sayid's brother borrows money from a loan shark to open a second business. When he can't pay the high interest rate, he asks Sayid to use his "skills" to scare off the goons.

Sayid refuses until his brother is beaten and hospitalized, at which point he meets with the loan shark Joe McIntyre fell victim to one in Coronation Street. Paddy Maguire lends Yvonne Karib money in Shameless when banks do not deal with her. Jimmy from Third Watch gets visited by several throughout the seasons. One notable example is when a Loan Shark takes Jimmy's car and makes him walk his kid home, in the cold and dark.

Hack had an episode where Mike, the protagonist becomes the personal driver of a local mob boss who is a Loan Shark. When a restaurant owner is about to be beaten for not paying back a loan, Mike saves the guy and the mob boss makes him personally responsible for collecting the debt.

He tries to be reasonable but it turns out the the restaurant owner is actually Too Dumb to Live and does not intend to pay back the money. If Mike can't get the money, he will owe the mob boss and thus having to join the crime gang to avoid getting killed.

Desperate he ends up threatening the restaurant owner with a bat till the guy give up the money. Disgusted he quits and goes back to being a taxi driver.

An episode of Crusade had a loan shark trying to get the vig from Max Eilerson's ex-wife. He responded by using an alien artifact that was used to control prisoners, mentioning that it will kill on proximity to either him or the wife, or by a manual code entry. In Castle , some evidence quite often implicates loan sharks who the Victim of the Week had dealings with in one way or another, whenever they come up, but it's never them who's guilty of the episode's murder.

In fact, when questioned, they typically state the victim had just paid them back with interest, which is a lead Beckett's team can investigate with a little Forensic Accounting.

Once Upon a Time 's Mr. Gold, in addition to being a pawn broker and the landlord for pretty much the entire town, frequently operates as a particularly inflexible loan shark.

Gold is not a man you want to be indebted to. Rizzo to purchase a valuable Chinese vase from a Korean vendor. Blood and Sand , a loan shark named Ovidius keeps pestering Batiatus to repay his debts. Eventually, Batiatus has enough and has the man and his family murdered. It turns out that Bert has had to go to some loan sharks to keep his restaurant afloat.

Only then did it finally dawn on him that he was dealing with a Loan Shark. Even then, it still took the man not so subtly threatening him, his mistress, and finally his wife and kid by showing up at their home for him to scramble and come up with the money.

Mario Condello was portrayed as such in Underbelly with the idea being played up to the point of beating down those he loans to so they cannot pay, take everything from them, and laughing as a teenager is Driven to Suicide. Both the man himself and his best friend Mick Gatto were very upset at how he appeared.

In Game of Thrones the Iron Bank of Braavos is essentially described this way on a ''nation-state'' scale — you don't pay them back, they fund your enemies — but contrary to what that might imply , they really don't play favorites and only judge a debtor's ability to repay, so once Davos Seaworth claims that his king is actually more reliable than the one physically on the Iron Throne — essentially offering to be their collector — the bankers come around and agree to fund Davos' king.

Jake goes to one in "The Apartment", the episode where his apartment is going on co-op and he is left hanging, as he hasn't paid his rent in years.

One of crime boss Datak Tarr's "activities" in Defiance , in the pilot he has a man's wrist broken for bringing him a payment in public on the street. Bacchus deals out a little street justice to scare them off. In one episode of Fuller House , Ramona and Jackson borrow money from Max, and Max forces them to be his servants to pay him back. Miles and Louis primarily work as debt collectors for Amara's casino and criminal enterprises.

Half an hour later, Harry owes 14 billion swans. Later on, Pip Bin, in dire need of cash after burning down parliament house, is approached by a "greaser of financial wheels, a servant of the fiscal hinterland". Or as the man eventually admits, a moneylender.

Played with, in that he offers Pip the money he needs loan-free, but tricks him into signing a form for the grossly inflated interest, fluctuating wildly and randomly in the loan shark's favour. It eventually results in his sister and brother-in law getting sent to debtor's prison, and his getting married to a Miss Talula Not-A-Man the series Big Bad in disguise. But how can I be sure you're not sharks? Because we're called guppies. William Shakespeare used this in The Merchant of Venice. A Doll's House deconstructs the trope by having the final payment and signing off of the loan cause more trouble than the loan itself ever did, and the "loan shark", Krogstad, isn't just an evil and unidimensional Jerk Ass stock character but a fully realised human being with his own flaws, virtues and motivations.

In The Little Foxes , the Hubbards are said to have "made their money charging awful interest to poor, ignorant niggers and cheating them on what they bought," which is why Birdie's mother never trusted them. Previously the Trope Namer. You can take out a loan in Boktai and Boktai 2 from Dark Loans. If you can't pay it back in three days, you're kidnapped and forced to run on a treadmill until you've built up however much energy you owe. The game heavily advises against patronizing Dark Loans, however, and says that Dark Loans should be resorted to only once you've expended your last resort.

The crazy-ass interest rates help drive the point home. Apparently, Django didn't listen. While you could get a special weapon by running yourself deep in debt five times in Shinbok the japan-only third Boktai game , this is most likely not what happened in Lunar Knights , as those two games are in different continuities. In Saints Row , the player can borrow money from a loan shark, with three days to pay it back. Once the time expires, two goons will start to chase the player.

The longer you wait without paying back the loan or getting killed, the loan shark becomes more aggressive and eventually starts sending helicopters after you. Toontown Online has a literal version of this as a building-only Cashbot cog.

In Grand Theft Auto IV , Roman is chased by loan sharks from a small-time Albanian gang due to his massive gambling debts, requiring the player character to evade them in a car chase and finally fight them, then chase down and kill their leader. The Albanians are actually just some of the people that Roman owes money to.

The lion's share of his gambling debts are in the hands of Russian mobster Vlad Glebov, an arrogant thug with delusions of grandeur. While Vlad is more civil about collecting his debts than the Albanians, he is still an unpleasant sort; rather than resorting to upfront violence, Vlad uses Roman's debts as an excuse to intrude in Roman's life and bully him whenever he wants, sleep with his girlfriend Mallorie and strong arm his ex-soldier cousin Niko into collecting other debts for him.

These last two actions are what ultimately get him killed. In reality, Tom isn't much of a loan shark, as he'll gladly let you take your time to pay off your debt to him, he doesn't expect you to pay it all off at once, and the debt doesn't collect any interest.

He'll even let you shop at his store while you're working to pay off the debt, and even hires you for a while when you first move in, so you can work off part of the debt, do some errands, and learn the ropes. However, once you pay off the debt, he'll offer building an extension to your home. And he won't take no for an answer. In summary, he's kindlier and more forgiving than most examples on this page, but he does have an annoying tendency to move the goalposts on you.

A large percentage of the early parts of Atelier Judie: The Alchemist of Gramnad is spent paying off a very high debt incurred to one of your party members in exchange for a place to stay.

He doesn't threaten Judie with violence, but he's not very nice about it either. He claims to be a respectable businessman, but is actually a loanshark that has ties to the local crime lord. If the player doesn't pay off his debts, his two thugs attack him. Considering how long it takes to travel from town to town, it's almost as if Lorenzo doesn't want you to pay it back. The interest rate is quite high, and if you don't pay him back he'll eventually send thugs to beat you up.

Amusingly, you can pay him back more than you owe , which causes you to have a negative debt—to which the same exorbitant interest rate is applied. He still sends thugs to beat you up, but with the money you can very quickly make this way, you'll be able to take them on. On every other board, if you pass by a bank, you must deposit 5 coins, but if you land on the bank, you get all the money everyone has deposited.

Give away money to everyone passing by, then force whoever lands on the bank to pay back the total amount, and if you don't have enough, they will happily take a Star off you instead.

Exorbitant prices for basic necessities and Fantastic Racism seem to have most of the Lower City scared out of their mind. They'll have the hired thugs kill you if you're lucky, or sell your kid into slavery if you aren't Ada in the Black Vulkar base and Juhani. Tear the Fairy of Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is basically a Loan Shark in all but name despite how much she tries to deny this but is willing to help Recette pay off her father's debts as a business advisor for her item shop.

She'll still repossess her house if Recette fails though. And then she'll turn back time to Day 2 and give Recette all of the stuff she got before her failure and give her another shot at it. As many as it takes. He claims that Felix Johnston hasn't paid him back, although Felix himself objects and says that he's paid him ten times over. As if that weren't enough, Felix's son Cal Johnston protagonist and Player Character inherits his father's debt as shown in some main menu screen text in addition to just becoming orphaned, and not too far into the story, Maas gets him imprisoned for life with ease, as the authorities don't even bother to question Maas Needless to say, it's VERY personal.

Averted in the Murder, She Wrote PC game, where a loan shark interviewed in the first case was offended at the implication that he'd kill a debtor who hadn't paid him back, since that would prevent him from ever getting the money back, period. In Death Rally you can borrow money through a "loanshark" option it's literally called that.

The tutorial of Yakuza takes place in the offices of Peace Finance. According to Kazuma's informant, the loansharks have been extorting money from the locals in addition to accumulate a hefty debt themselves. When faced, the old man in charge refuses to pay, opting to call out his henchmen to beat up the Dragon of the Dojima Clan.

That went as good as expected. Yakuza 4 introduces Shun Akiyama, who is one of the new playable characters. It's actually a subversion, as in contrast to other loan sharks, the company he works for, Sky Finance, barely charges any interest on their loans and don't slander the competition or bully people into buying loans. Akiyama often doesn't bother to collect or forgets about the loan. This makes them a lot more successful than other loan sharks, enough that a trio of guys from another company try and beat on him.

Considering that Akiyama is just as much of a badass as the other characters of the series, it doesn't end well for them. During the third mission you are given the option of taking an energy loan from Arona Daal, owner of the local Honest John's Dealership. Of course, given you probably will be spending most of that loan in his store anyway They give out generous loans with exorbitant interest, then send out attack vessels after you once you default.

At least, that's their part in the overall Excuse Plot of the game. Torn City allows players to take out a loan from one of these guys in the red light district. He is actually pretty reasonable compared to most examples of this trope and the player can even steal from him as part of the pickpocketing crime.

In Contrast , Johnny is in debt to a loan shark, whose goons break his finger to send the message that his plan to pay them back better succeed. While he acts rather aloof and grumpy to Wei and doesn't show much compassion to his debtors, he comes off as just an old, jaded Triad, hardened by years of dealing with deadbeats and holdouts. He reveals what he really is in his final mission. After one of his repeat debtors is cornered and, unable to repay Roland, commits suicide, Roland orders Wei to shake down the man's newly-widowed wife for his life insurance payout.

Wei is so disgusted by this that he cuts ties with Roland then and there. Bidiots has the honestly-named Predatory Loans company. In Trauma Team , a loan shark appears in one of Naomi Kimishima's missions. He is not responsible for the death of the debtor, as he points out that he can't get his money back from a dead man. In an effort to pay back the loan, the victim then started to blackmail the "Raging Bomber" who paid the victim for making bomb threats by telephone as the "Revolutionary".

This directly led to the victim targeted by the bomber himself. Big Bang Age requires that you use B-stones to pay your allies and finance attacks on enemy territory. Until you finish paying off the loan, they take a percentage of your income for "interest".

And every time you pay them, it uses up that turn's event trigger. Call of Pripyat , the Bandit leader in the Jupiter area, Jack, runs a loan business by pushing interests into his clients. One of his, Vano, is unable to pay off his debt and is being hunted by the Bandits, taking refuge from them in the train station currently being used by Duty and Freedom.

The player can help Vano by either paying off his debt for him, scaring Jack into forgetting the debt, or if you're feeling up to it, wiping out Jack and the Bandits. Given that trying to pay off the debt will get you mugged on your way out, and killing the Bandits will net you Jack's rare Armsel semi-automatic shotgun and a ton of grenades, the third option is honestly the best one.

Kokona's father is in serious debt to one in Yandere Simulator , to the point where Kokona has taken to Enjo Kosai in order to try to help him. Yandere-chan can help them in her own special way — namely by kidnapping the loan-shark's daughter, Musume, and forcing him to let all his customers go. The loan shark's name is, appropriately enough , "Ronshaku". In Battleborn , there is one among the clone Kingdom of Mikes.

The aptly named Loan Shark Mike has chosen to be a loan shark as his lot in life. Unfortunately, he's not very good at it as he has completely misinterpreted the job name, taking it literally. He wears a shark costume over his clone combat armor and keeps bugging his fellow Mikes, constantly trying to loan his shark suit to them much to their annoyance. This one has a twist: Ironically, the victim was killed because he won the lottery mere moments before the loan repayment was due.

However, Tigre was more interested in the collateral for the loan a very dangerous Computer Virus by the name of "MC Bomber" , as he could sell that virus on the black market for several million, while the loan was "just" several hundred grand and wouldn't cover Tigre's own debt.

In fact, they're indirectly responsible for the murder in that case. Coney met him during her potty training and promptly ate him. Kell's cousin borrowed from the mob. Miss Fenris is well known for this, anyone who cannot pay for a debt to her becomes a salesgirl in her employ until the debtor has paid off the debt.

Much seizing of property and other general shenanigans ensued. Living with Insanity had an example. While David doesn't act violent toward Alice, one has to wonder how she managed to rack up a debt that high after just a year. D as part of his backstory turned to wiretapping celebrities to pay off his ever-increasing debts to a series of increasingly persistent loan sharks. Kim Lurker, his goons and his boss.

They cause a lot of problems for Wangnan, Nia and originally, Lurker himself. When it becomes apparent that they have no means of paying him back, he becomes violent.

Woody tricks him into calling off the loan when he thinks he smashed Woody's head—only for Woody to pop up and ask for a loan on his cuckoo clock, much to his chagrin. Stewie from Family Guy became one once. Brian made a rather safe bet on a boxing match, but by a twist of fate, he lost. Stewie spends most of the episode brutally beating Brian, using everything from glass shards to a flamethrower, until Brian gives up and agrees to pay.

Hey, it is me. So uh, you got my money? Oh yes, I'll get them soon. Okay, here is a suggestion: Have the money by tomorrow and there will be no problem.

Why, what happens in 24 hours? I'm not psychic man. I am just saying, it would probably be better for everybody if you had the money tomorrow. Yeah, alright i see what I can do. How is anything else going? Nah; you are not going to forget! So it has been 24 hours. Okay, just give me until on Friday, I'll have it for you. Oh, that's funny — I could have sworn I said "Have it today". Yeah, I don't have it.

Ahh, that is some good OJ! Shady loan sharks are again seen when Bonnie gives birth and Joe has to take a loan to cover the hospital expenses. Also in an episode where Peter buys a boat and gets a loan, using his house as collateral. Weeks before the loan is due, the "bank" takes most of the possessions and sells the house to another couple. Griffin, what sets us apart from other banks is that other banks are banks On one memorable occasion, he is forced to open a clown college in an attempt to pay his debts, which Homer attends and then assumes Krusty's identity while the real one flees to change his appearance and live a new life.

Inverted and Played for Laughs in another episode, when Homer uses Lisa's near-flawless ability to pick football winners as a means of bleeding his bookie, Moe, dry. When Marge finds out, she's very angry, and Homer protests that his football gambling is a victimless crime. The only victim is Moe , after all. In one later episode, Moe turns out to be one as well. When Homer, in dire financial straits, goes to him for money, Moe calmly states that since Homer has no collateral, he'll have to break his legs in advance.

Another episode played it straight when Homer goes to the employee credit union to get the money to buy Lisa a pony. The loan is personally handled by Mr. By the way, are you familiar with our state's stringent usury laws? I must have made up a word that doesn't exist! Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Applications are subject to additional terms and conditions. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount, which is only available when you select AutoPay prior to loan funding.

Rates under the invoicing option are 0. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Shen Lu is a personal finance reporter at MagnifyMoney.

Her work examines the intersection of politics and consumer finance. She frequently writes about financial challenges that women face. Shen Lu recieved her master's degree in journalism with a focus on business and economics reporting from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

For millions of people in this country saddled with student loan debt, saving for retirement or paying down debt is an either-or decision. A new IRS ruling may help employees faced with such a dilemma accomplish both goals in the future.

The IRS issued a private ruling on Aug. This company submitted a ruling proposal last year in order to help its employees tackle education debt. The company proposed to amend the plan by allowing workers to opt into a student loan repayment program. Concerns have grown among employers in recent years that workers are not saving for retirement because of student loan debt. Many have looked into ways to include student repayment in their benefit offerings to not only incentivize employees to pay off debt while saving for retirement, but also to recruit and retain talent, according to Chatrane Birbal, director of government affairs at the Society for Human Resource Management SHRM.

However, companies have a technical barrier to overcome in order to do so. You have to defer to get the free match money. The IRS ruling is beneficial for employees in this company who have little or no ability to shunt money over to their k because of heavy student loan debt.

Although the specific ruling is limited to one company, oftentimes other employers look at these kinds of private letter rulings made public by the IRS as informal guidance on similar issues, Holdvogt said.

Experts believe this particular ruling is likely to spur more interest and confidence in pushing forward with similar student repayment benefit programs among other employers.

Shen Lu is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Shen Lu at shenlu magnifymoney. What is a tariff, anyway? Let us fill you in on some important context before you dive back into the latest trade tension escalations.

A tariff is a tax that the federal government levies on imported products. For instance, the general tariff rate on an imported dishwasher is 2. In order to get the foreign goods cleared through customs, U. The money paid on imported goods flows into the Department of the Treasury.

In , the U. Most foreign goods enter the U. In , according to The World Bank , the average applied U. In comparison, China placed an average 3. International Trade Commission listed U. Countries apply different rates of tariffs on different types of products imported from different countries. Some countries have high tariffs on imports, while others are low-tariff countries.

Within the World Trade Organization WTO system, members agree to not charge tariffs on imports above certain levels, which are set forth by the WTO in detailed schedules. Countries can also negotiate tariffs on imports and exports through bilateral or regional agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Act being renegotiated now , as long as the rates are within the WTO tariff limits.

FTAs reduce trade barriers, eliminating tariffs charged on products traded between partners. This year, the U. To protect certain domestic industries, the U. Imposition of harsh tariffs is both an economic tool and a foreign policy tool.

But Trump is wielding it mostly as a foreign policy tool to punish other countries, including U. Penalty tariffs are often much higher than the single-digit regular tariffs.

This figure could increase to 7. That was before Trump threatened to slap new tariffs on billions worth of Chinese imports. A backlash could hurt American companies who export overseas. Targeted countries often retaliate against U. Companies that heavily relied on exports may slash staff, which could have an impact on the labor market, Perry said. Duties are incorporated into the retail prices of products, differentiating from your local and state sales taxes.

How much duty consumers have to pay on each item depends a lot on the product and on the country from which the product comes into the U. On average, consumers have to bear about half to two-thirds of the tariffs on imported products, according to economists. The rest is absorbed by U. Stiff tariffs on raw materials make it more costly for American manufacturers to produce products, which in general ultimately translate to higher prices on consumer products sold at retail stores.

Sometimes the entire cost of penalty duties gets passed on to consumers. This is because the U. For lower-end products where a lot of foreign suppliers compete with one another to sell to America, the consumer impact is next to zero. Take T-shirts as an example. With all of this chaos caused by tariffs, you may be wondering how President Trump is able to single-handedly wield such a powerful tool. Congress has delegated much of the decision-making power to the president, but there are signs the chambers may want to take it back.

Mike Lee of Utah introduced a bill last year that would require congressional approval for certain trade actions. But trade upheaval is nothing new here. Tariffs have a long history in the U. Because the country was saddled with debt from the Revolutionary War and had no federal income tax until , customs duties were a major source of revenue for the federal government until the end of the Civil War.

Tariffs were a testy issue in the 19th century, too. The Republican Party, which had close ties to industrial firms, put harsh tariffs on imports to protect U. The state of economic isolation continued through the dawn of the Great Depression. When the infamous Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act was enacted in the s, world trade almost came to a standstill, which further damaged the already-troubled U. Chris is a Senior Research Analyst who got his start in the morgue at Time Magazine, clipping newspaper articles and placing them in manila folders.

He has since performed thousands of Lexis-Nexis searches, created hundreds of charts, written dozens of features, and crunched lots of data for SmartMoney, Consumer Reports, and other financial publications. But how much do they currently have in their bank, credit union or online brokerage?

FDIC to estimate the average and median household balances in various types of banking and retirement savings accounts. Of course, these are very broad numbers, and very few of the million U. Here are the average balances among savers, regardless of the kinds of savings vehicles they use. Households that have some savings vehicles but not necessarily all of the savings vehicles below were factored into each average.

When you look at the average balances of those who own the particular account, the averages are even higher:. Median balances are considerably lower than the averages. The median figures below only include households that have that type of account.

Who are the above-average saving households? Wealthier households comprise most of them, but less-well heeled households can have healthy levels of savings as well. When savings is viewed through certain demographic prisms, like age, income and education, the average and median savings account balances start making more sense.

Similarly, millennials will have saved less than boomers, as the latter has had a year head start, among other factors. Currently, the average boomer has roughly 11 times the amount saved as the average millennial. Fifty-two percent of households have some sort of retirement account, according to a survey by the Federal Reserve.

As illustrated in the chart below, the popularity of CDs has waned as banks paid relatively little interest for all CDs, even those with longer maturities. For much of the past decade, the average yield for locking up savings in 1-year CD barely exceeded the average yield on a money market account, which is more liquid than a CD. Although the Federal Reserve began its most recent series of short-term rate hikes in early , CD yields only started to climb from rock bottom in spring While savings have also increased in the much smaller credit union universe, CD deposits have remained steady.

According to the National Credit Union Administration NCUA quarterly survey, credit unions offer consistently higher rates on savings than commercial banks. Fortunately, savers or would-be savers are not consigned to improving-but-still-meager average savings yields. The best yields for savings accounts, CDs and money market accounts well exceed the average APY by at least one percentage point and often more. Chris Horymski is a writer at MagnifyMoney.

You can email Chris at chris. Although an increasing number of states has passed laws to protect consumers by capping interest rates on payday loans, lenders have found creative ways to get around those regulations and issue loans with sky-high rates. One way lenders bypass federal regulations is by offering installment loans instead of the usual, lump-sum payday loans. Unlike traditional payday loans, which borrowers have to repay in full on their next paydays, an installment loan gives borrowers a fixed payment schedule that enables them to repay their debt over time.

Many small-dollar, installment loans come in the form of personal loans. Personal loans are generally perceived as less risky because the borrower knows exactly what their monthly payment is and the rates are fixed, meaning they never change. Installment loan terms vary from a few weeks to several years. Alex Horowitz, researcher for the consumer finance project at The Pew Charitable Trusts, pointed out that the transition from single-payment loans to multi-payment loans is driven in part by regulatory scrutiny, but also by consumer preference because borrowers want more time to repay.

Although some states have cracked down on payday loans, they are far more lenient with high-cost installment loans. In Delaware, for example, lenders can issue borrowers only five payday loans per year.

Standaert said over the last two to three years, payday lenders have been making a push all over the country to try to legalize the longer-term payday loan.

So far, 10 states have rejected such proposals. In Ohio and Texas lenders bypass state interest rate caps by acting as credit service organizations instead of direct lenders. A CSO basically refers borrowers to loans from third-party lenders. And that lender can tack on a sky-high CSO fee to your loan. Take Ohio, for example.

But lenders can simply become licensed CSOs, which enables them to charge an additional fee to make up for the lost interest revenue. But Ohio lawmakers have made efforts to close this loophole: In July , Gov. John Kasich signed a bipartisan bill into law to restrict short-term loans.

The new rules will go into effect in May Standaert said that although the new law is an improvement on the current market, it still leaves borrowers exposed to high-cost direct loans because it legalizes a number of charges, including monthly maintenance, loan origination and check collection fees. Some states have a payday lending statute in place that sets interest rate caps but not for other types of loans, such as a line of credit. A line of credit works like a credit card, only at a much higher price point.

Once you repay the funds you borrower, that money is available for you to use again. Horowitz said lenders in Rhode Island, Virginia and Kansas can charge more in fees and interest by issuing lines of credit instead of payday lending statutes.

It is crucial for consumers to be savvy about which types of loans they choose and compare several options to get the best deal available. In addition, these financial institutions are much better regulated than the high-cost lenders. At LendingTree, the parent company of MagnifyMoney, you can shop and compare offers from multiple lenders at once.

Fill out a short online form and you can be matched with offers from up to five personal loan lenders. Check out our review of the best personal loans for people with bad credit.

Read More LendingTree is unique in that you may be able to compare up to five personal loan offers within minutes. Jenn is MagnifyMoney's auto writer. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a B. The lending industry has long chafed at the limits on APR, finance charges and insurance products they could sell to service members.

A large point of contention is a common, but little understood, product offered to military and civilians alike known as GAP. In the automobile realm, GAP guaranteed asset protection refers to two products: This is because when a vehicle is totaled whether by a car accident, by a huge storm or by a thief stealing it , your regular full-coverage auto insurance pays only a portion of what the car is worth at that time, not what you owe.

Lenders and dealerships are also being called out because GAP waivers are more expensive but offer more protection than GAP insurance and many people only see the huge price difference. The reason for inventing the category of MAPR in , and putting the limit on it, is not just to limit the APR, but to also limit the amount charged for any add-on products.

MAPR acts as a way to impose overall cost control without making hundreds of rules to limit and monitor every small aspect of lending. The MLA rule in question, and subsequent DoD interpretations of it, appears to state that going into debt to prevent debt is a catch and should just be avoided. But the rub comes from the fact the lending industry has long taken advantage of service members.

Additionally, auto dealerships, where many people buy GAP, do not have the most stellar reputation of having reasonable prices. The price range of GAP waivers can be dramatic. Three credit union trade groups, the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, the Defense Credit Union Council and the Credit Union National Association, petitioned the DoD in early , asking it to reconsider — that this protection, in financial reality, is a limitation that prevents the service member from getting protection.

For all civilians, GAP and products like GAP are not considered fees on an auto loan, but separate products as all consumers can think about and voluntarily choose to purchase or finance as they wish.

There are two potential changes on the table. The second change is that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau CFPB would stop actively monitoring the loan market for predatory lending on active duty service members and their dependents.

Both are a bad idea, according to Tom Feltner, director of research at the Center for Responsible Lending, who said the fact the industry is pushing for new loopholes and new exemptions to the MLA is troubling.

Senate urged that the CFPB not weaken protections for military service members. Even if these two changes are shot down, Feltner said it looks like the CFPB will continue the rollback of consumer protections in general.

Whether or not these changes occur, servicemembers should educate themselves and always pay close attention to the fine print and costs when making any type of financial decision. And as is the case with all potential policy changes, you may want to contact your representatives in Congress to let them know your opinion on the matter.

Jenn Jones is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Jenn at jennifer magnifymoney. Last year, the U. Reinsch previously served as the president of the National Foreign Trade Council.

The new tariffs may take effect after public hearings are held, which end on Aug. A hearing is scheduled from Aug. Based on the import value in , the PIIE analysts found the major consumer products targeted are:.

Dozens of fish are on the hook for price increases. That includes tilapia, salmon, cod and trout. When you eat out, your restaurant bill may also go up if you order seafood like tuna, squid and octopus that come from China. As you browse the aisles at your nearest big-box store, you may find household supplies with higher prices including toilet paper, facial tissue, paper towels and napkins, as well as dishes, plates and cups made of paper or paperboard.

Clothes and accessories made of leather or furskin, including belts, gloves and mittens may cost more. And if you live in one of the more than 84 million U. Prices of dog leashes, collars, muzzles, harnesses and dog and cat food may swing up, too. You can check out the full list of more than 6, Chinese items subjected to tariffs here.

Some effects are immediate. On the one hand, tariffs would raise the prices of the made-in-China products that Americans buy in stores, but on the other, domestic producers may jack up the prices of their products, too.

Reinsch estimated that consumers can see the effects rolling out between three and six months after the tariffs are imposed. Economists estimate that on average, about half of that unfavorable tax hike — Shoppers who looked for washing machines this year may have already understood how tariffs affect consumer product prices.

The price of imported washing machines shot up Either way, the consumers are going to lose, either from immediate price hikes or when the impact of the tariffs is sprinkled into the supply chain of a product that in part relies on Chinese components. In the lead-up to the new tariffs, the U. Experts interviewed by MagnifyMoney said the meeting would not likely affect the already-announced tariffs due to the tight negotiation window and a large number of issues dividing the two nations.