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Rising Credit Card Interest Rates

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
May 25, 2023 5:43 pm

Rising Credit Card Interest Rates

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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May 25, 2023 5:43 pm

If you’re carrying a balance on a credit card, do you know how much you’re paying in interest? Here’s a hint—it’s a lot more than you were last year. On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will talk with Neile Simon about how you can fight back against rising credit card interest rates. Then Rob will answer your calls on various financial topics. 

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If you're carrying a balance on a credit card, do you know how much you're paying in interest? Here's a hint.

It's a lot more than last year. Hi, I'm Rob West. The Federal Reserve's effort to curb inflation by raising interest rates is hitting credit card holders in a big way. I'll talk with Neely Simon today about how you can fight back. Then it's on to your calls at 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. This is Faith & Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Neely Simon is our guest today. She's a certified credit counselor with Christian Credit Counselors, an underwriter of this program. And Neely, great to have you back with us again.

Thanks so much for having me on the show, Rob. Neely, I know so many people are carrying a credit card balance these days, and they are really feeling the effects of the Fed constantly pushing up interest rates. How has that affected credit card interest rates in particular? It's increased them significantly. The average APR for all credit card accounts in the first quarter of 2023 was just over 20%. That's a four-point increase in the last six months. It's the biggest increase since the Fed began tracking credit card interest rates nearly 30 years ago. Given the current economic outlook and interest rate environment, it's more important than ever to save money by paying down high interest debt.

There is no question about that. How should folks carrying a balance on their card, Neely, or cards, I should say, in many cases, how do they get started? You want to get informed. Look at your monthly statements and find out what your current interest rates are. Many people are not aware of the increases because they have their accounts on autopay or are no longer receiving monthly statements. Then you want to make a budget. Determine how much disposable income your family has. You have to spend less than you make and be intentional with your spending. The more extras you cut out, the more you have to pay down your credit card balances. Keep in mind, too, you have a better chance of doing this if you get everyone in your family involved.

Open up the communication lines, set family goals, and work together to achieve them. Yeah, that's a great idea. Now, of course, sometimes the amount of credit card debt is just too much and folks need additional help. So, Neely, how do folks know if they need to contact you? What are the signs that their credit card debt might be out of control? Yeah, an obvious sign is if you're having trouble making your minimum payments or maybe you can't seem to pay down the balances. Another sign might be that you can't seem to resist using the cards because you're overextended and having to use the cards for basics. The key is to break the cycle of making payments with little or no progress.

Yeah, that's exactly right. And, of course, that's where Christian Credit Counselors comes in. So, tell our listeners what happens when someone contacts you. Yeah, so we offer a free consultation that consists of providing people with a comparison estimate which is going to outline all the benefits, the new APR, the cost savings, interest savings, estimated time to repay, and what our monthly service fee is. We then walk you through a budget and help you understand what your disposable income is. We then send you all the information and allow you to think about the program. So, the important thing to remember is there's no commitment.

The call is confidential. We really just want to educate you on your options because through our debt management program, you can pay back your debt the right way. You honor your debt in full, get lower interest rates that are fixed and vary between 1% and 12%. The debt is snowballed, and the result is you will pay off your debt 80% faster.

And let me just underscore that, folks. This is my preferred way for you to get out of credit card debt once and for all. You're going to get on a budget. You're going to work with people that share your values at Christian Credit Counselors. But the big idea here is that you're going to get out of debt through this lower interest rate and with this level payment, on average, 80% faster. You're not taking out a new loan. You're not trying to settle the debt by charge-offs and becoming late on it and trying to negotiate a payoff. You're staying with your original creditor, but with a lower interest rate where you're paying through Christian Credit Counselors.

This is absolutely the way to go. And Nealey, how can folks get more information? Sure. You can visit our website at or call 800-557-1985.

We'd love to talk to you. Awesome. Nealey, thanks for stopping by. Thank you so much. That address again is Nealey Simon has been my guest today, and we'd love for you to contact him today if you need help getting out of debt once and for all.

Your calls are next, 800-525-7000. This is Faith and Finance Live, and we'll be right back. I'm so thankful to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live here on Moody Radio broadcasting live from the National Religious Broadcasters Conference here in beautiful and sunny Orlando, Florida. We're gathered with media executives and producers, hosts, and just coming together, encouraging one another, learning, growing, and forming community around this idea of leveraging the incredible platform of media to share the gospel literally to the ends of the globe.

It's been an amazing week. We're right here at the tail end, folks beginning to pack up, but we're coming to you today still from Orlando. However, it's your program, so we're still taking your calls and questions today, and we've got room for you at 800-525-7000. That's 800-525-7000. We'd love for you to give us a call today with whatever you're thinking about financially.

We'll dive in here in just a moment. You know, folks, as we think about our role as stewards of God's money, we have to start with this idea that money and the purpose of money is around accomplishing a set of goals. Now, those goals need to be informed by our values, and so as believers, that's our beginning point to say, what is our identity in Christ? What does God's word say about our role in managing his money if it's all his? And it is.

The Bible is very clear. And then we take it a step further and say, okay, if we're stewards of God's money, how do we look to Scripture and see the big ideas and principles that should inform our decision making? Well, that's what we want to do on this program each day as we offer a hopeful and encouraging message to help you move forward with confidence in whatever you're dealing with financially. So what are you thinking about today? Give us a call. 800-525-7000.

Let's begin in Chicago. Hi, Robin. Go right ahead. Hello, and thank you for taking my call. I listen to this program every day, and my first time calling in, my question is, I just retired in August of 2022, and I do have one credit card debt, which is about $9,000, and I was wondering if I should take my 403b to pay that off or not.

Yeah. You know, I would prefer that you don't for a couple of reasons here, Robin. First of all, I'm delighted to hear that you are retiring and entering into this next season of life. You're trying to get out of debt, and that's a good thing. We ultimately want you to be completely debt-free. That's going to help you to keep your lifestyle as modest as possible. But, you know, pulling out of that 403b is going to do a couple of things.

Number one is, as long as you're over 59 and a half, you're not going to have a penalty, but it will be taxable, so you'd have to add $9,000 to your taxable income this year. On top of that, what my bigger concern is, is that with the market being down in light of the economy and inflation and higher interest rates and a looming recession, you're going to lock in what we call unrealized losses, which just simply means those losses are not realized until you actually sell something. They're just, the prices are down, but you have the opportunity to see them recover. And as soon as you sell those investments, now you don't have the ability for them to recover. Now, you might say, Rob, how do you know the market's going to go straight up from here? And I'd say, I don't.

In fact, I wouldn't expect it to. I think at some point between now and the end of the recession, we will retest our October 2022 lows. But I also would go on to say if your time horizon is right, and keep in mind, even if you're entering retirement at 65, the Lord tarries and you're in good health, you have a decades long need for this money.

So you still have a long time horizon. So I would say for that reason, I'd rather you put this into a debt management program. We started today by talking to our friend Neely Simon at Christian Credit Counselors. Robin, they've worked with hundreds and hundreds of our listeners to help them get out of debt once and for all.

They do it by staying right where it is. So that credit card debt would not be paid off with a new loan. It would remain right there with the existing creditor. It's just that through credit counseling, the interest rate would drop. And by sending one level monthly payment with that lower interest rate, you should be able to pay it off on average 80% faster.

I'd rather see you do that. And if you have the ability along the way, add a little bit extra to it. And let's try to get out of debt that way and leave that 403b right there so it can recover.

And then beyond that be available to convert to an income stream down the road to supplement retirement. Does that make sense? Okay, so that's where I would go from here if it were me. So I would reach out as a first step to Christian Credit Counselors, you can do that on their website, Let them know that we sent you their way, they'll take good care of you. And if we can help further along the way, don't hesitate to reach out. 800-525-7000 is the number to call. We've got some room for your questions today.

It's the Thursday edition of Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West and looking forward to hearing from you today. Let's head to Idaho. Hi, Catherine, go right ahead.

Hello, thank you so much for taking my call. I've been we've been really struggling what to do. We're approaching retirement. My husband is 64 and 61. He's the only wage earner and we owe 69,000 on our house, which is our only debt. And we're wondering in light of the market, should we drain money from our 401k and our 457?

We would it would put us into a different tax bracket, but we would have the security of a paid off house. And we don't have we don't have a ton in there. You know, they say you need like six times your income, which we don't have that.

We have about 400,000. Okay. And you are fully retired now both you and your husband or that's coming soon? No, that's coming.

He has to wait until I'm 65 because of our insurance, because I quit working years ago to homeschool the kids and now I can't work. Okay, how far off is that? Hey, Catherine, are you still with us? I am. Thank you. Okay, great. I apologize for that.

So I mentioned we're broadcasting live from the National Religious Broadcasters Conference, and we just had an interruption in our transmission, but we're back with you. How far off did you say you thought retirement was? It would be four years when I'm 65. Okay. All right. So I think in light of that, you know, you all have the ability obviously to continue to serve this more service the mortgage. Are you able to pay it down at all each month?

Beyond just a scheduled payment? We are trying to we wouldn't have it paid off. In in at retirement, we can't put that much on it, but we have been whittling it down. Okay.

All right. So what I would do then is I would probably focus on continuing to do what you can while the market recovers. And then let's look beyond a year from now, I think we'll start to see this market recover.

And what I would do is work with your CPA to determine a schedule to pay that down out of current cash flow and maybe some from your 401k beyond a year from now, but before you retire, so we enter retirement in four years with the house paid off, but we don't do it right now. Let's wait for this market to recover. We'll be right back.

Stay with us. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance live broadcasting live from Orlando, Florida at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention. We're delighted you're along with us today as we help you apply God's wisdom to your financial decisions and choices. Hey, we've got some lines open today. We'd love to hear from you. Eight hundred five two five seven thousands a number to call.

That's eight hundred five two five seven thousand. In just a moment, we'll be headed to Austin to talk to Antonio and Indianapolis to speak with Anita. But first, just before the break, we were talking to Catherine in Idaho. She and her husband are four years out from retirement. They'd love to pay off that house to have the security. They've been watching the volatility of the market and they're wondering, should they go and pay it off right now?

And just before the break, I was saying, I'd love for them or for you, Catherine, to wait at least 12 months for this market to recover. And then perhaps we create a plan where you pay it off over a couple of years, two to three years, so that absolutely as you're entering retirement, it's gone. Now that's taking that biggest expense off the table to help you live more modestly with less income needs. But you don't push any thing up into a higher bracket tax bracket that you don't need to. And we're not doing it now while the market is down.

But give me your thoughts on all that. Yeah, that's kind of I was wondering about something like that, where I just drew out a few thousand out of it to keep us in our same tax bracket by starting out rather than taking because if I take out enough to pay off the mortgage, I'm going to be hit with a 22 percent tax on that versus 12 percent. Yes. So exactly.

Five. I don't know what it would be. Whatever would keep us in the lower 12 percent tax bracket.

Should I start doing that now? Because if I understand it right, everything you put now comes off interest more. More of the interest. You lose less of the interest you're paying. Well, the way that works is so with an amortized loan, the vast majority of your payment in the early years goes toward interest. And over time and there's a point at which it flips where the majority it's not exactly halfway through the loan, but somewhere around there where the majority of the payment is going toward principal reduction. And then the last few years, you're sending almost all to principal and very little to interest. So you have a bigger impact if you can in the early days of your mortgage pay more toward principal reduction.

But I think the key for you right now is to develop that plan based on the retirement date and the tax implications, which is where you are already headed. Now, keep in mind, we have a progressive tax system which just simply means there's graduated tax brackets. So if you have a higher amount of income, it's not going to push all of your income into a higher bracket. It's just going to be that portion that kind of spills over into the next graduated bracket. So, yeah, if you can stay under that, you'll avoid any portion of it, perhaps going up into the next higher bracket.

And working with your CPA to do that in a way that makes sense, I think is the best approach, but also factoring in just the fact that the market is still down. And even though we've seen a recovery, somewhat of a recovery this year, it's been very narrow. There's been just a few stocks impacted by that. It's not been the broad market that's recovered. So you're probably still down, which is why I would say if you have no problem paying that mortgage, let's keep paying on it.

Let's let the market fully recover, which it will do prior to the end of the recession. And then at that point, we start systematically pulling it out at a schedule that you and your tax preparer come up with. Okay, that makes sense.

That makes sense. Thank you, Mark. All right, Catherine. Hey, I'm so excited for you guys to enter this next season of life completely debt-free.

What a blessing that will be. Thanks for your call today. We appreciate it.

To Indianapolis, Indiana. Hi, Anita. Go right ahead. Hi, how are you today? I'm well, thank you.

Thanks for taking my call. A real quick question. What happens to the property and worldly goods that someone has when they pass away and they have no husband, no children, and they do not have a will? The only relatives that have are siblings.

Yes. Well, so when someone dies without a will, that the relative or a relative would notify the probate court that the deceased died intestate. And then the court would decide how to distribute the remaining assets after the deceased's debts are paid.

Generally, it goes to a spouse and then to children. As you said, there is no spouse, no children. So then, two more extended family members such as siblings would be next in line.

This is called intestate succession. In Indiana, if the deceased had no living spouse, children or parents, the assets would be shared equally among surviving siblings. If there are parents, which would get a quarter of the assets and the siblings would split what's left.

If there are absolutely no relatives, it actually could go to the state, which is why everybody should have a will. But that's basically how it would unfold. Does that make sense? Yes, that does. Okay.

Yeah. Thank you very much. You're welcome, but it's a great reminder to all of us in need to make sure we have a valid will in place at a minimum and that we keep that updated, especially as changes happen throughout our lives. Thanks for your call today. We appreciate it. Quickly to Austin, Texas. Hi, Antonio.

Go ahead. Just a quick question on the credit card balance that you've been talking about. I have a regular high profile bank with that card and I've had it since 2009, but recently I've been utilizing it and I've noticed the interest rate you've talked about, but I'm getting comparable banks, but not exactly that bank offering me a one year to 18 months balance transfer. There's a whole amount, 0% interest for that whole year.

I wouldn't have a better idea than going through a credit counselor. It's only on the one card. What is the balance on that card?

$15,000. Okay. Well, first of all, you're going to have a two to 3% fee for the balance transfer that's in the fine print. Secondly, my experience is when we come in and do that, it takes the pressure off and a lot of times we just don't stay as focused. I would rather you stay laser focused on getting this paid off, get it in credit counseling, get it dropped so you don't have to play that balance transfer game every year, which is going to hurt your credit and there's going to be fees to go along with it. My experience is just that credit counseling is a better longterm solution that will result in you getting out of debt once and for all. You'll have to make the call. We'll be right back. This is Faith and Finance Live. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live.

I'm Rob West. We're taking your calls and questions, 800-525-7000. We've got some lines open today for whatever you're thinking about financially. Again, 800-525-7000. You can call right now. Let's head to Chicago. Hey, George, go right ahead, sir.

Hey, Rob. Thank you for taking my call. Of course. Okay. I do have a question. All right.

Do me a favor, George, if you don't mind, turn down your radio and then go right ahead. Okay. I got two more years to retire and I have like five properties in Illinois. I like to move in Arizona. My question is, is it wise to sell everything over here and buy something over there in Arizona to retire?

Okay. You're planning to move to Arizona, but that's just temporary. You plan to return to Chicago? I'm planning to probably in the first couple of years I go there and come back, but in the near future I'm going to be moving over there. Okay. So you would return to see family and stay for an extended period of time, or would you just be visiting Chicago once you move?

What are you thinking? I have a house and I'm going to leave it to one of my kids and probably I'm going to come back whenever I can. I don't know what to do with the properties I'm going to have.

I'm going to have to tell them or... Okay. So how many total properties do you have currently? I have 10 properties.

Ten properties. And are they all located in the Chicago, greater Chicagoland area? They are in Chicago, yeah. In the suburbs of Blue Island and around Chicago, yes. Okay.

Very good. And are they all rented out? They are all rented out and eight of them are pay off and I live in my own house, yes.

Yeah. Well, that's quite a portfolio you've built. Well, I think the next question is, I mean, obviously you're skilled in this area. You've built quite a portfolio of real estate, which I think is great. I love real estate as an investment asset class. I love the fact that you've got that regular income, that you've been able to pay these off. Obviously, you could sell them at any point down the road.

Are you looking to get out of being a landlord and perhaps have a more passive investment strategy or do you want to continue to own real estate? Probably if my kids wants to keep couple of them or they want to take care of them because I'm not going to be able to come over here when something is wrong with them to take care of them. So one of my kids, if they want, I might keep some of them. Okay.

All right. So your primary question is just whether to sell the one that you're currently living in? No, to sell everything. Oh, to sell everything. Well, there's a financial side to that and a non-financial side to that. So the financial side is, is this an opportune time for you to liquidate these holdings?

And if so, what would you do with the money based on how you want to grow it, what your income needs are? So clearly the real estate market is still very strong. It's not a red hot seller's market like it was, but it's a strong real estate market. And so you being able to sell, especially as more and more people are moving out of Chicago, probably not a bad time for you to liquidate all or a portion of this portfolio, just from a purely financial standpoint. I mean, we're headed into a recession, higher interest rates. I think the question is, you know, is it still the best investment longer term there in that part of the country?

Then there's the non-financial side. You mentioned you want to be able to perhaps leave some of these homes to your kids. They may want to take them over as a rental business as well, and you need a place to live. So I think you've got to put those two things together and decide how you want to proceed from a purely financial standpoint. I would say this is a, as long as you have a plan on where you're going to put the proceeds, meaning are you going to turn it over to an advisor to manage in a stock and bond portfolio? Are you going to buy more real estate in Arizona? You need to have a plan, but as long as you have a plan, I would say this is probably a good time for you to sell, just given the incredible rise we've had in the housing market and what we're seeing in terms of the people exiting the state of Illinois, just because of high taxes and a host of other reasons. But there may be a reason for you to hang on to them, and I mentioned a few of those.

So what are your thoughts just based on what I've shared? That's a good idea. Probably what I, what I'm thinking to maybe to keep forward to have some income. So I have some income when I move, when I don't work anymore.

And I like the other ones. And I either sell them or leave it to my kids to take care of them. I think that's right. I think I'd have a hard, you know, have a conversation with the kids to make sure they're ready to step into that role.

That's not insignificant. Obviously you wouldn't be there in the state, you know, to help out. And so they need to understand what they're getting into, but what a blessing that could be to them if you were to, to do that. I think you need to think about the tax implications of all that work with your CPA, because you really want them to inherit these properties at your death. So they get the stepped up cost basis. You don't want to turn these over to them prior to your death because then they'd inherit your cost basis for capital gains. But if you can figure that out from an estate planning standpoint, I like that. And you're kind of taking some money off the table given that we've had such a significant rise in the housing market. So I think that kind of middle ground approach is good.

I would just make sure you work with your CPA on the tax side and have lots of conversations with your kids before you do it to make sure they're ready for whatever you're planning so they can step into that role. George, thanks for your call. All the best to you as you make this move to Arizona, sir.

To Tampa, Florida. Hi, Elizabeth. Go right ahead. Bless you for your intelligence.

Thank you for my call. I'm a widow. I have a home equity only loan on my home, which I've owned since 72. It's currently paying interest only.

It's gone from 3.0 to 7.5. I currently have homeowners insurance and it's been canceled. My question is, if I pay my home off, I don't have to have homeowners insurance. And I have money in IRA and savings, which would deplete those, but it would pay my house off. Or I have a vacant house across the street that I could sell. And then I could refurbish the money into my savings in 401K. This would be the best route for me to take.

Yeah, boy, there's a lot of moving pieces there. I'd really love for you to have some financial planning to kind of go a little bit more in depth here. I mean, I think generally speaking, did you lose the coverage just for a specific reason or just because of what's going on with homeowners insurance in the state of Florida? Well, it's a combination of both, but I have some, you know, like, stuff at repairs. I've had, you know, things that need to be done that I haven't been able to do. And I have till August to do it. And I was trying to get out easy and just get it paid off. Well, I think I kind of like the idea if you have another property there and it's not generating any income, I think this might be a great opportunity for you to pull that equity out while real estate is really hot in Florida. I don't think that's going to change, but certainly you'd get top dollar out and then make those necessary improvements. Get your home into good working order, keep that homeowners insurance so you protect it in case we have another hurricane or something else else happens down the road and then preserve the IRA and the other investment accounts for the longer term. So you've got those as the market recovers and starts growing again to be able to convert to an income stream in retirement. So you've got the income that you need.

So apart from you doing some deeper planning, I would say just at face value, I kind of like the idea of you selling that property that's sitting dormant and not doing anything for you and allow you to take care of a lot of these other things, preserving your investments and getting your home repaired so you can hang on to that homeowners insurance. If you need to find an advisor to help you with some financial planning, Elizabeth, we recommend the Certified Kingdom Advisor designation. You can find a number of them there in Tampa.

I'd interview two or three. Just go to and click find a CKA. We'll be right back. So thankful to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. We're taking your calls and questions today on anything financial. Let's head right back to the phones here in our final segment.

To Florida we go. Hi, Stephen. Go ahead, sir. Hey, man, how you doing?

Thanks for taking the call. I'm doing great. Absolutely.

Hey, pretty simple question, I think for you. But me and my wife, we have a $10,000 credit card that's pretty much maxed out. And it's been sitting at that for a long time.

And it's just, I think it's like 17, 18%. We're just making minimum payment and it's just eating us alive. And I was, you know, always hero, get this one time credit card, zero interest, you know, for whatever. But is there anything out there that you would suggest that literally would help us get out of this thing?

Yeah, you know, it's it's the topic we started with today. And what I have said is that, you know, if you've got more than 4000 in credit card debt, my preferred approach is debt management or what you might call credit counseling, those terms are interchangeable. So if you have less than 4000, I'd snowball it smallest to largest balance, pay the minimums on all of them attack with whatever margin you have on a monthly basis, the smallest balance first and then go right down the line. The data says that you'll you have a greater chance of success if you take that approach because you see the cards being paid off as you go. Now, if you just have one card, obviously, that's more challenging. But given the balance is 10,000 I like credit counseling, it's not taking out a new loan to pay it off.

You know, there's a lot of reasons why I don't like that. It's not debt settlement where you stop paying it, let your credit get trashed, get into collections, and then try to negotiate a reduced payoff. This is essentially an existing program that every credit card company has. When you go into credit counseling, you'll pay through a not for profit credit counseling agency, they'll drop the interest rates, you'll have one level monthly payment, and the combination of that level monthly payment, which snowballs the debt, combined with that lower interest rate will help you to pay it off 80% faster. And you know, I like that a lot better than the debt than the balance transfer game, which over time as you do that each year is not only going to generate a lot of fees, two to 3% as a fee to do the balance transfer, it's going to damage your credit.

And it's just not a good solution in my mind, I'd rather you leave it right there, build it into your spending plan and just tackle it, you know, right through the the debt management program. So if you're open to that, what I do is connect with our friends at Christian Credit They can explain how it works, tell you exactly what that interest rate would be with your particular creditor, and then get you set up on the program.

So tell me the tell me the website one more time. Yep, Christian Credit And they've worked with hundreds and hundreds of our listeners, I'd at least start there. I mean, there is some merit to the balance transfer game if you could continue to get approved, but you'd have that two to 3% charge every time you do it. And my experience is that when you get down to 0%, it takes the pressure off. So you just kind of lose the incentive to pay it off. And I realize you might say, I'm not going to do that I want to get rid of this thing. And that may be the case. It's just that that's not usually the way it works out. So I'd rather you get into a program.

It's a little longer term, you don't have to constantly be looking to switch to a new card. And I think you can get this debt paid off once and for all. So hope that helps you Steven, if we can assist you further along the way, don't hesitate to reach out. God bless you, my friend. Let's head to Chicago. Hi, Shawna, go ahead.

Hello. Yes, I have a house that's paid down considerably. It's down to about 89,000. But it's an adjustable rate mortgage that's gone from three to 7.04%. And it seems to change every month. And if I have to pay it every two weeks, and so it's gotten really difficult to pay the payment used to be about 800.

And now it's up to about 1200 every two weeks and it's hard. So I'm debating about refinancing versus trying to get a small business loan to the house because I have a business and my office is in my house. And when I got my first small business loan, they said that I could use it to pay my mortgage because of the home office. So that's my first question. What do you think? What would the interest rate be on that small business loan? Do you know? My original loan was 3.75. I don't know what they're offering them for now or if they still are.

Yeah. My fear is you, as much as I don't like that variable rate or the adjustable rate, you're going to end up locking in a rate, whether you refinance it or get that business loan. And keep in mind, most SBA loans do not allow you to pay off personal debt.

This loan may have allowed for that, as you said, because your home office, I guess they were giving you that ability to do that. But in either case, whether it's the business loan or the refinance on that existing property, you're going to be locking in at higher interest rates. So I think as long as you can continue to make the payments, I would just kind of stay the course and know that better days are coming. And then as soon as interest rates get back down to where they're reasonable, let's look for 3% to 4% at the most, that's the time to refinance so you don't ever have this risk again. But I think if we go through the time and expense of refinancing right now, we've got all the costs of the new mortgage, which could be 3%, 4%, 5% of the mortgage value just in expenses.

And then on top of that, we're fixing the rate at the high end of this range, even though we're off the ultimate high watermark where we were six months ago, the rates are still considerably higher than they were 18 months ago. So I'd rather us get back closer to that point before you refinance. Are you able to make ends meet with the current payment?

Well, that's been a second question. I'm working part-time and with about the same salary that I made many years ago. And they're offering me to become permanent employee there. I'm working as a contractor now. There's another job that pays a lot more.

We're talking about $165,000 versus $250,000. That would be full-time. And so even the $250,000 would even allow me to work as a contractor for the first six months as we try each other out and make sure it's a good fit. So that sounds really good to me.

Sure does. And the other job is that I'm there now and I like the people and they need me and I'm serving an underserved population. Are you there as a contractor in your current job?

Yes. So conceivably, you could do this trial on the new job, make sure you like it and potentially, if either one of you decided it wasn't a good fit, you could go back to the one that you have now. But it seems like it's a blessing to have the ability to take this other higher paying job that could allow you to accomplish some of these goals, including paying off the mortgage and having a nest egg to continue to give, maybe even accelerate your giving and have enough for retirement. So I'd certainly pray through that. I mean, money is not the primary driver here. It shouldn't be, but it's a clear factor and you need to be able to weigh your ultimate goals that align with your values as a believer alongside the opportunities the Lord has given you and decide what makes the most sense.

But in either case, no matter what you do with your employment, I wouldn't be refinancing at this point. All right. Very good. Okay. All right. Thank you for calling, Shawna. All the best to you as you navigate this. We appreciate it. Let's head to Miami.

Hi, Alberta. Go right ahead. My credit should be 40 in order to retire at the age of 70. And because I came to the country late, what can I do to speed up my credit?

Yeah. So you need the 40 credits, which is at least 10 years of work to qualify for social security retirement benefits. And then the amount of the benefit is based on your highest 35 years of earnings. But at a minimum, you have to have that 10 years of work or 40 credits, a credit for each quarter that you pay social security taxes. I'm delighted you're here in America. I would love for you to be able to participate in the social security system, retirement system, but there's no way to speed that up.

Unfortunately, it does require that full 10 years or 40 credits. Okay. I appreciate that. Thank you so much.

All right, Alberta. I wish I had better news for you, but you just stay at it. And if you can get to that 40 credit mark, at least you can count on some benefits. We appreciate your call today. God bless you.

Hey, a quick email before we wrap up today. Candy writes to us at AskRob at What's the best way for my 16 year old to start to build credit? Buy a credit card or a checking account or both? What's the best place to keep her savings?

That's a second question. There's two easy ways for your daughter to build credit, Candy. First, she can get a secured credit card.

Most of the big issuers offer them. She'll deposit a few hundred dollars into the account and then be able to charge up to that amount. But she should make only one small budgeted purchase each month and then pay it off in full. The second would be you could make her an authorized user on your credit card. She doesn't even have to have access to the card. But then your credit history will be sent to her credit reports at the bureaus that your credit card reports to, potentially all three, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. But if you're late making a payment, that will go on her report too.

So it goes both ways, both the positive information transfers as well as the negative information. So just be careful there. As to the second part of your question, best place to keep her savings? I would look at probably Capital One has one of the best teen checking accounts that issues a debit card. It's called their Money Account and it's designed for teens in particular. That could be a great one and they offer a decent interest rate on that.

Capital One would be a great place for you to check out. Candy, I hope that helps you. I'm grateful for you writing to us today. We were happy to get that on the air for you.

Well, folks, that's going to wrap it up for us. This is our last day broadcasting from the National Religious Broadcasters Convention. We're so grateful that you were along with us today as we were able to cover a lot of ground and hopefully be an encouragement to you as you think about answering the question, how do I manage God's money faithfully in light of the decisions and choices I have to make each day? Yeah, I couldn't do this without my amazing team, Amy Tahira, Lynn, Gabby T, and here on site in Orlando, Chris Seagard. Grateful for you to be along with us as well.

Faith in Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and FaithFi. I'm Rob West. I hope you have a great rest of your day and come back and join us tomorrow. We'll see you then. Bye-bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-25 18:24:22 / 2023-05-25 18:40:57 / 17

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