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Dubuque officials preparing for hundreds to be evicted after moratorium ends | Tri-state News

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The federal moratorium on evictions through the COVID-19 pandemic ends July 31, which could prompt hundreds of people in Dubuque to be kicked out of dwellings because of lack of payment.

When the prior moratorium ended just more than a year ago, the Dubuque area saw a jump in evictions that landlords had waited up to three months to file. In just the first week in which landlords were allowed to file petitions, 80 eviction hearings were scheduled at the Dubuque County Courthouse.

Then in September, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued another nationwide moratorium that has been in place since.

But it ends at the end of this month, with no signal yet of any intent to extend it.

Alexis Steger, director of the City of Dubuque Housing and Community Development Department, is preparing for a wave of even more evictions.

“We do expect the increase. We just haven’t seen it yet with the moratorium continuing to get extended,” she said. “It takes about 45 days to go through an eviction. So, we’ve got 45 days (after July 31) until we see the increase.”

She said hundreds of people might become homeless via evictions.

“So we’ve got some time, but we’re trying to prep now for some more rapid rehousing capacity,” Steger said. “Rapid rehousing is basically, if you get evicted, it’s a place for you or your family temporarily to be. They try to get you relocated in three months to a permanent place.”

The city is partnering with Community Solutions of Eastern Iowa for that program.

The city is also partnering with Dupaco Community Credit Union on a credit repair program.

“As people are coming out of some of the COVID losses they experienced, credit scores went down,” Steger said. “It’s harder to buy a home if that’s what you were working to attain right before COVID.”

But the city also will return to normal water utility operations soon, which could create another hurdle for people who are behind.

“Late fees weren’t being applied. Water shut-offs were suspended for COVID,” Steger said. “We’re making a concerted effort to see who is behind on water (and) who would be up for shut-off if we were to restart those operations. A water shut-off can lead to an eviction. The last thing we want to do is increase the number.”

For renters who are behind and want to stave off a coming problem when the moratorium ends, Steger pointed to some of the many resources available, beginning with the rent and utility assistance program through Iowa Finance Authority.

Through that, renters who are or have been on unemployment during the pandemic, who have experienced any other drop in household income or who can prove a risk of impending homelessness can qualify for up to 12 months of back rent, utilities or both.

“If people are starting to worry about how to pay their rent, that’s the number one resource,” Steger said.

East Central Intergovernmental Association now handles Dubuque County’s general assistance program, which can provide rent or utility help. There are other nonprofit organizations also offering help. Steger directed those in need to the homeless hot line at 833-587-8322.

The problems with rent not being paid have frustrated and harmed many area landlords as well, according to Steger, who meets monthly with the Dubuque Landlords Association.

“The moratorium did not stop you from owing the rent,” she said. “But in reality, some of these landlords are preparing to never be paid for those months that people lived in their place. That’s a hard business model, especially for those smaller landlords who have just one or two units and maybe they financed those units. We’re going to see some properties changing hands, where people say, ‘My way out is to sell right now.’”

Steger said some landlords worked well with their tenants for months, but the moratorium’s length proved too long.

“They’d been working hand-in-hand with their renters, but then maybe halfway through COVID, the tenants stopped communicating and stopped paying,” she said.

Lynn Lampe, vice president of the landlords association, said all of his renters kept up with their payments, but he was aware that he had been luckier than many.

“Some tenants interpreted this whole thing as, ‘I don’t have to pay rent because the government said I don’t have to,’” he said. “But if you can’t get ahold of somebody, can’t get them to open the door and you can’t evict them, what can you do? Your hands were bound.”

Lampe said he and his organization were glad to have their last resort returned with the moratorium’s end.

“When the government offers resources to help tenants pay their rents, the landlords then pay their mortgages. There is no more reason for a moratorium,” he said.

The U.S. Supreme Court this week declined to hear a movement to end the moratorium early.

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Are Sallie Mae Student Loans Federal or Private?

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When you hear the name Sallie Mae, you probably think of student loans. There’s a good reason for that; Sallie Mae has a long history, during which time it has provided both federal and private student loans.

However, as of 2014, all of Sallie Mae’s student loans are private, and its federal loans have been sold to another servicer. Here’s what to know if you have a Sallie Mae loan or are considering taking one out.

What is Sallie Mae?

Sallie Mae is a company that currently offers private student loans. But it has taken a few forms over the years.

In 1972, Congress first created the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA) as a private, for-profit corporation. Congress gave SLMA, commonly called “Sallie Mae,” the status of a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) to support the company in its mission to provide stability and liquidity to the student loan market as a warehouse for student loans.

However, in 2004, the structure and purpose of the company began to change. SLMA dissolved in late December of that year, and the SLM Corporation, or “Sallie Mae,” was formed in its place as a fully private-sector company without GSE status.

In 2014, the company underwent another big adjustment when Sallie Mae split to form Navient and Sallie Mae. Navient is a federal student loan servicer that manages existing student loan accounts. Meanwhile, Sallie Mae continues to offer private student loans and other financial products to consumers. If you took out a student loan with Sallie Mae prior to 2014, there’s a chance that it was a federal student loan under the now-defunct Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

At present, Sallie Mae owns 1.4 percent of student loans in the United States. In addition to private student loans, the bank also offers credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts to its customers, many of whom are college students.

What is the difference between private and federal student loans?

When you’re seeking financing to pay for college, you’ll have a big choice to make: federal versus private student loans. Both types of loans offer some benefits and drawbacks.

Federal student loans are educational loans that come from the U.S. government. Under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, there are four types of federal student loans available to qualified borrowers.

With federal student loans, you typically do not need a co-signer or even a credit check. The loans also come with numerous benefits, such as the ability to adjust your repayment plan based on your income. You may also be able to pause payments with a forbearance or deferment and perhaps even qualify for some level of student loan forgiveness.

On the negative side, most federal student loans feature borrowing limits, so you might need to find supplemental funding or scholarships if your educational costs exceed federal loan maximums.

Private student loans are educational loans you can access from private lenders, such as banks, credit unions and online lenders. On the plus side, private student loans often feature higher loan amounts than you can access through federal funding. And if you or your co-signer has excellent credit, you may be able to secure a competitive interest rate as well.

As for drawbacks, private student loans don’t offer the valuable benefits that federal student borrowers can enjoy. You may also face higher interest rates or have a harder time qualifying for financing if you have bad credit.

Are Sallie Mae loans better than federal student loans?

In general, federal loans are the best first choice for student borrowers. Federal student loans offer numerous benefits that private loans do not. You’ll generally want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and review federal funding options before applying for any type of private student loan — Sallie Mae loans included.

However, private student loans, like those offered by Sallie Mae, do have their place. In some cases, federal student aid, grants, scholarships, work-study programs and savings might not be enough to cover educational expenses. In these situations, private student loans may provide you with another way to pay for college.

If you do need to take out private student loans, Sallie Mae is a lender worth considering. It offers loans for a variety of needs, including undergrad, MBA school, medical school, dental school and law school. Its loans also feature 100 percent coverage, so you can find funding for all of your certified school expenses.

With that said, it’s always best to compare a few lenders before committing. All lenders evaluate income and credit score differently, so it’s possible that another lender could give you lower interest rates or more favorable terms.

The bottom line

Sallie Mae may be a good choice if you’re in the market for private student loans and other financial products. Just be sure to do your research upfront, as you should before you take out any form of financing. Comparing multiple offers always gives you the best chance of saving money.

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Tips to do some fall cleaning on your finances

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Wealth manager, Harry Abrahamsen, has five simple ways to stay on top of the big financial picture.

PORTLAND, Maine — Keeping track of our financial stability is something we can all do, whether we have IRAs or 401ks or just a checking account. Harry J. Abrahamsen is the Founder of Abrahamsen Financial Group. He works with clients to create and grow their own wealth. Abrahamsen shares five financial tips, starting with knowing what you have. 

1. Analyze Your Finances Quarterly or Biannually

You want to make sure that your long-term strategy is congruent with your short-term strategy. If the short-term is not working out, you may need to adjust what you are doing to make sure your outcome produces the desired results you are looking to accomplish. It is just like setting sail on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. You know where you want to go and plot your course, but there are many factors that need to be considered to actually get you across and across safely. Your finances behave the exact same way. Check your current situation and make sure you are taking into consideration all of the various wealth-eroding factors that can take you completely off course.

With interest rates very low, now might be a good time to consider refinancing student loans or mortgages, or consolidating credit card debt. However, do so only if you need to or if you can create a positive cash flow. To ensure that you are saving the most by doing so, you must look at current payments, excluding taxes and insurance costs. This way you can do an apples-to-apples comparison.

The most important things to look for when reviewing your credit report is accuracy. Make sure the reporting agencies are reporting things actuary. If it doesn’t appear to be reporting correct and accurate information, you should consult with a reputable credit repair company to help you fix the incorrect information.

4. Savings and Retirement Accounts

The most important thing to consider when reviewing your savings and retirement accounts is to make sure the strategies match your short-term and long-term investment objectives. All too often people end up making decisions one at a time, at different times in their lives, with different people, under different circumstances. Having a sound strategy in place will allow you to view your finances with a macro-economic lens vs a micro-economic view. Stay the course and adjust accordingly from a risk and tax standpoint.

RELATED: Financial lessons learned through the pandemic

A great tip for lowering utility bills or car insurance premiums: Simply ask! There may be things you are not aware of that could save you hundreds of dollars every month. You just need to call all of the companies that you do business with to find out about cost-cutting strategies. 

RELATED: Overcome your fear of finances

To learn more about Abrahamsen Financial, click here

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How to Get a Loan Even with Bad Credit

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Sana pwedeng mabura ang bad credit history as quickly and easily as paying off your utility bills, ‘no? Unfortunately, it takes time. And bago mo pa maayos ang bad credit mo, more often than not, kailangan mo na namang mag-avail ng panibagong loan. 

Good thing you can still get a loan even with bad credit, kahit na medyo limited ang options. How do you get a loan if you have bad credit? Alamin sa short guide na ito. 

For more finance tips, visit Moneymax.

 

 

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