The happenings "inside" the Wisconsin State Treasury and across the street at the State Capitol

Archive for October, 2013

Wisconsin Saves Fun Tip: Save For A Car (Find The Best Loan)


WWBIC

The Wisconsin Office of the State Treasurer proudly teams up with WWBIC (Wisconsin’s Women Business Initiative Corporation) for “Wisconsin Saves.”  Each week, we will share with you a savings tip courtesy of WWBIC.

Shop for a loan before buying a car.

• Decide the amount to be borrowed and the number of monthly payments. Remember that, in general, the greater your down payment (and lower the amount borrowed), the lower your loan rate. Also remember that the shorter the loan term, the less interest you will pay.

• Shop around, using the internet or Yellow Pages, for the least expensive loans. Regardless, make certain to call your bank or credit union for a rate quote before talking to a dealer about financing.

• If all lenders quote you a rate above the typical one, you are considered an above-average credit risk. If your credit report, and related scores, are accurate, then you should consider delaying the car purchase until you have successfully raised your credit score.

If you still want the dealer to finance your car, negotiate.

• The dealer may quote you a rate above the rate reflecting your credit risk (the “buy rate”). If this rate quote is above that quoted by your bank or credit union, it is probably “marked up.” Ask the dealer for your “buy rate.” If it is not provided, consider using another source to finance your car purchase.

• The Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits discrimination in finance charges based on race, ethnicity, sex, or martial status. Make certain the rate you pay reflects your credit-worthiness, not one of these factors.

Finally, remember there is no 3-day right to cancel on car or car financing sales. Be sure you want the car and understand the terms before signing a contract. Do not drive the car off the lot until financing is final.

 

Advertisements

Money Matters: Halloween Spending Downright SPOOKY!


Hallowen Spending

Halloween spending is so popular we at the Wisconsin Office of the State Treasurer find it downright spooky.   Here are some bone-chilling facts from the National Retail Federation and our friends at MSN Money.

Americans will spend $6.9 billion in 2011 on everything from candy and costumes to decorations. That’s an increase of 16% from what consumers said they would spend last season

  • The average consumer intends to spend $72.31 on Halloween products this year. That’s $6.03 more than last year.
  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 41 million trick-or-treaters last year between the ages of 5 and 14. It’s unknown how many cranky old people sat on their front porches screaming, “Get the heck off my lawn!”
  • This year, seven in 10 Americans plan to celebrate Halloween. That’s the highest level of participation in the survey’s nine-year history. I assume the other three prefer gardening. Or giving trespassing kids the evil eye.
  •  Americans also plan on spending $310 million to dress up their pets this year.
  • With more than $2.5 billion being spent on Halloween costumes alone, it’s no wonder there were 1,719 costume-rental establishments across America as of 2009.
  • The five most popular adult costumes last year were : a witch, a pirate, a vampire, a zombie, and Batman.
  • Census data show that 92% of American households consider their neighborhoods safe. Yes, that includes the folks living in places like Tombstone, Ariz., and Cape Fear, N.C.
  • There has been only one documented case since 1974 of a child being killed by a lethal Halloween treat 
  • The typical household is expected to spend $21.05 on Halloween candy this year.
  •  Oct. 28. That day just so happens to be the biggest day of the year for candy sales.
  • In all, Americans will spend more than $2 billion this year on candy to keep their neighborhood trick-or-treaters happy. Hopefully, they’ll avoid the Halloween treats kids hate more than anything.
  • Perhaps that large confection market is why, in 2009, the U.S. had 1,177 establishments producing chocolate and cocoa products, employing more than 34,000 people. Somewhat ironically, a lot of kids will tell you that many of the most popular Halloween treats don’t involve chocolate at all.
  • Still, if you insist on giving out chocolate this Halloween, you’ll probably want to know that the four most popular candy varieties are Snickers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Kit Kat, and M&M’s
  •  

    Here’s an eerie trick (.pdf file) for scaring up your favorite treats: Kit Kat lovers might be interested to know that they have a 37% better chance of scoring that crispy confection at a ranch-style home. And any self-respecting Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup fan should realize they have a 26% greater chance of getting those tasty treats at two-story houses.


FAQ Edvest: Can I Make a Withdrawl from my 529 College Savings Plan?


edvest

You can make a withdrawal from your account two ways:

  1. Make an online withdrawal. Start by logging in to your account. Once successfully logged in, you will see the Account Information Page. On the right column, choose if you would like to:Make a Withdrawal (to your bank of record)
    Make a Withdrawal to College/University
  2. Use the Withdrawal Request Form (PDF). Allow 7-10 days for processing and mailing.

You may request a withdrawal from your account online that will be sent directly to your bank account via Automated Clearing House,* as long as your banking information has been on file with your account for at least 30 days and your address has not changed within the last 30 days. The Disclosure Booklet also contains a discussion of the tax implications, if any, of taking various types of withdrawals from the Plan.

Non-qualified withdrawals are subject to income taxes and the federal additional 10% tax.


Wisconsin Saves Fun Tip: Save For a Car (How to Finance)


OST Design large sealThe Wisconsin Office of the State Treasurer proudly teams up with WWBIC (Wisconsin’s WomenWWBIC Business Initiative Corporation) for “Wisconsin Saves.”  Each week, we will share with you a savings tip courtesy of WWBIC.

Shop for a loan before buying a car.

• Decide the amount to be borrowed and the number of monthly payments. Remember that, in general, the greater your down payment (and lower the amount borrowed), the lower your loan rate. Also remember that the shorter the loan term, the less interest you will pay.

• Shop around, using the internet or Yellow Pages, for the least expensive loans. Regardless, make certain to call your bank or credit union for a rate quote before talking to a dealer about financing.

• If all lenders quote you a rate above the typical one, you are considered an above-average credit risk. If your credit report, and related scores, are accurate, then you should consider delaying the car purchase until you have successfully raised your credit score.

If you still want the dealer to finance your car, negotiate.

• The dealer may quote you a rate above the rate reflecting your credit risk (the “buy rate”). If this rate quote is above that quoted by your bank or credit union, it is probably “marked up.” Ask the dealer for your “buy rate.” If it is not provided, consider using another source to finance your car purchase.

• The Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits discrimination in finance charges based on race, ethnicity, sex, or martial status. Make certain the rate you pay reflects your credit-worthiness, not one of these factors.

Finally, remember there is no 3-day right to cancel on car or car financing sales. Be sure you want the car and understand the terms before signing a contract. Do not drive the car off the lot until financing is final.


Money Matters: Identity Theft, How to Handle It


Identity Theft

When your private financial information gets into the wrong hands, the consequences can be devastating. Yet there are many ways you can help protect yourself on a daily basis, from taking precautions while online to checking your credit report periodically.

If you should fall victim to identity theft, it is important that you act quickly. As our friends at http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/ tell us, contacting the correct agencies and filing the necessary reports will go a long way toward minimizing any damage to your financial wellbeing.

Who to Contact

Credit Bureaus: Immediately contact the fraud departments of each of the credit bureaus listed below. Alert them that you are a victim of identity theft, and request that a fraud alert be placed in your file. You can also request a security freeze, preventing credit issuers from obtaining access to your credit files without your permission. This prevents thieves from opening up new credit cards in your name.

Law Enforcement: Report identity theft to your local police department. If the crime occurred somewhere other than where you live, you may wish to report it to law enforcement there as well. The police will create an “identity theft report” and you can request a copy.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC): The FTC does not investigate identity theft cases, but they can share information that you give them, such as the identity theft report number, with investigators nationwide. For more information about fighting back against identity theft, visit the FTC’s Identity Theft website.

The Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Hotline is 877-IDTHEFT (877-438-4338)

Credit Bureau Contact Information Equifax
Order Credit Report: 1.800.685.1111
Fraud Hotline: 1.888.766.0008
www.equifax.com

Experian
Report Order: 1.888.397.3742
Fraud Hotline: 1.888.397.3742
www.experian.com

Trans Union
Report Order: 1.877.322.8228
Fraud Hotline: 1.800.680.7289
www.tuc.com


FAQ: What does the State do to find unclaimed property owners?


The State Treasurer’s Office uses a variety of methods to locate unclaimed property owners. The Office of the State Treasurer has annual advertisements in newspapers throughout the state, cross-references the names of unclaimed property owners with public record information. The State Treasurer and his staff also attend public events, such as the Wisconsin State Fair to raise awareness for those that may have Unclaimed Property and help people make a claim if they find their names on the database.


FAQ Edvest: Compare College Savings Choices


 

Compare College Savings Choices

Your future college student will have many schools to chose from: in-state public colleges; private, non-profit universities; liberal arts-focused and technical institutions. And, you have many choices of as to how you are going to save for their college education.

 

The savings options you choose depends on:

  • how many years you have to save
  • your overall financial goals
  • your investment preferences

With average college costs rising, now is a good time to start saving. Use our interactive tool to compare college savings options: