Adam Kinzinger said onetime Trump chief of staff John Kelly ‘could barely stay awake’ during a White House breakfast and told GOP lawmakers he was ‘barely holding it together’ in the role

John Kelly at the White House on June 21, 2018.

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Kinzinger in his new book wrote of how he witnessed the work that John Kelly was putting in as chief of staff.
The former GOP lawmaker said Kelly spent a lot of time trying to restrain many of Trump’s personal instincts.
“I was surprised by the level of Kelly’s distress,” he wrote. “He clearly suffered from political shell shock.”

Former Rep. Adam Kinzinger said former Trump White House chief of staff John Kelly was once so “exhausted” from his role that he “could barely stay awake” during a private breakfast at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Kinzinger made the revelation in his newly-released book, “Renegade,” where he spoke of the internal pressures that the retired Marine Corps general and former Homeland Security secretary faced as he sought to bring a sense of stability to a White House that was often guided more by Trump’s personal whims than the counsel of top advisors.

The former Republican lawmaker in his book detailed how Kelly arrived to the breakfast “looking gaunt and exhausted” as he intended to update five GOP lawmakers on developments in Afghanistan.

“It was 8:00 a.m. and he could barely stay awake,” Kinzinger wrote. “He told us he was trying as hard as he could but was ‘barely holding it together.'”

“I was surprised by the level of Kelly’s distress,” he continued. “He clearly suffered from political shell shock.”

Kelly served as chief of staff from July 2017 through January 2019, and Kinzinger in the book stated that the breakfast occurred sometime during the middle of the retired general’s tenure at the White House.

Kinzinger said that Kelly was intended to be a moderating force in the administration, but had to exert energy to combat Trump’s preference to trust his own judgment or the views of those fully aligned with him, which the former congressman said was a goal that Kelly pursued “in vain.”

“The problem with Trump, from a chief of staff’s perspective, was that he preferred to do everything informally and on his own with minimum staff engagement,” Kinzinger wrote. “Consequently, Kelly and others regularly discovered that Trump had considered advice from this crony or that social contact at his Mar-a-Lago resort and was serious about acting on it.”

“The work of diverting Trump’s attention away from terrible ideas and directing him to fulfill his duties obviously took all of Kelly’s energy,” he added.

In October, Kelly in a CNN statement confirmed several claims from a damning 2020 piece published by The Atlantic which alleged that Trump had called fallen US veterans “suckers” and “losers” for having died while at war.

“What can I add that has not already been said?” Kelly said in the statement. “A person that thinks those who defend their country in uniform, or are shot down or seriously wounded in combat, or spend years being tortured as POWs are all ‘suckers’ because ‘there is nothing in it for them.'”

“A person that did not want to be seen in the presence of military amputees because ‘it doesn’t look good for me,'” he continued. “A person who demonstrated open contempt for a Gold Star family — for all Gold Star families — on TV during the 2016 campaign, and rants that our most precious heroes who gave their lives in America’s defense are ‘losers’ and wouldn’t visit their graves in France.”

Kelly was unrelenting in his criticism of Trump as he concluded his statement.

“A person who admires autocrats and murderous dictators,” he said. “A person that has nothing but contempt for our democratic institutions, our Constitution, and the rule of law.”

“There is nothing more that can be said. God help us,” he added.

Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung in a statement provided by NBC News at the time said that Kelly “totally clowned himself with these debunked stories he’s made up because he didn’t serve his President well while working as Chief of Staff.”

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Average Debt: Household Debt Statistics

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Overall American household debt totals to $17.06 trillion.

Carlina Teteris/Getty Images

The average debt in America is $59,580 across mortgages, auto loans, student loans, and credit cards.
Debt peaks between ages 40 and 49, and the average amount varies widely across the country.
If you’re holding too much debt, consider a debt consolidation loan or seeing a credit counselor.

The average debt in America is $59,580 across mortgage loans, home equity lines of credit, auto loans, credit card debt, student loan debt, and other debts like personal loans. 

Data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Household Debt and Credit breaks down the average amount of debt Americans have by type, ages, and location. The data was gathered through a random sample of about 5% of Americans with credit report information. Student loan debt was calculated by sampling 1% of the population.

Here’s the average debt in America. 

Average American debt by type of debt

Here’s a breakdown of the total debt amounts as of the second quarter of 2023 and average balances per person from the fourth quarter of 2022, the most up-to-date data available.

Debt typeAverage balance (2022, Q4)Total Balance (2023, Q2)Mortgage debt (Excluding HELOCs)$41,830$12.01 trillionAuto loan$5,470$1.58 trillionCredit card debt$3,480$1.03 trillionStudent loan debt$5,640$1.57 trillionTotal debt$59,580$17.06 trillion

Mortgage debt is most Americans’ largest debt, exceeding other types by a wide margin. Student loans are the next largest type of debt among those listed in the data, followed closely by auto loans. 

It’s also worth noting that overall, the average debt per person has increased steadily over the past few years. In the fourth quarter of 2018, the average total debt per person was $50,090 compared to $55,480 in 2021 and $59,580 in 2022.

Note: Total household debt in the US is $17.06 trillion as of the second quarter of 2023. 

Average American debt by state

Where someone lives tends to have a big influence on the amount of debt they accumulate. 

While some parts of the country have higher housing prices and costs of living, it can be lower in other states. California residents, for example, tend to have higher average mortgage balances than many other states with more affordable housing, like Texas and Ohio. 

Here is the average debt by type for residents of each US state, according to Federal Reserve Board of New York data from the third quarter of 2022. Scroll right to see the total amount of debt.

 

Auto loan debt

Credit card debt

Mortgage debt

Student loan debt

Total debt

Alabama$5,660$4,430$50,310$3,910$67,670Alaska$5,900$2,690$26,840$5,480$44,440Arizona$5,980$2,670$22,810$4,920$39,150Arkansas$6,040$3,530$47,820$5,420$65,600California$5,260$3,870$67,980$4,700$84,730Colorado$5,410$3,940$69,750$6,280$89,170Connecticut$4,170$4,040$47,000$6,410$64,670Delaware$5,600$3,590$43,030$6,440$61,490Florida$6,370$3,940$37,710$5,300$56,600Georgia$6,360$3,630$36,680$7,690$57,570Hawaii$4,130$4,260$64,110$3,910$82,650Idaho$5,520$3,060$46,260$4,840$64,140Illinois$4,740$3,490$35,850$6,050$52,580Indiana$5,150$2,780$29,510$5,180$45,860Iowa$5,030$2,760$30,000$5,210$45,720Kansas$4,580$3,020$27,990$5,600$43,440Kentucky$4,700$2,590$24,500$5,190$40,290Louisiana$6,710$2,880$27,030$5,940$45,830Maine$5,410$2,950$32,310$5,530$49,740Maryland$5,880$4,190$59,400$7,050$80,130Massachusetts$4,150$3,770$56,370$6,360$74,260Michigan$4,780$2,980$28,920$6,070$45,620Minnesota$4,570$3,410$45,080$6,310$62,240Mississippi$5,990$2,450$19,650$6,160$38,130Missouri$4,870$2,890$29,750$5,610$45,910Montana$4,760$3,210$39,020$4,810$55,440North Carolina$5,810$3,250$37,100$5,690$55,370North Dakota$5,930$3,410$33,250$5,470$51,360Nebraska$4,820$3,050$31,830$5,200$47,580New Hampshire$5,980$3,640$43,580$5,940$63,230New Jersey$4,820$4,220$48,120$6,440$66,800New Mexico$6,310$2,870$30,610$4,100$46,710Nevada$6,030$3,860$48,750$4,670$66,020New York$4,230$3,970$39,280$6,090$56,590Ohio$5,180$2,970$26,760$6,320$44,210Oklahoma$6,000$2,830$23,730$4,690$39,830Oregon$4,530$3,240$50,320$5,770$66,950Pennsylvania$4,780$3,330$30,170$6,540$48,300Rhode Island$4,530$3,540$41,260$5,550$58,580South Carolina$5,650$3,160$34,830$6,150$53,410South Dakota$5,150$2,960$32,740$5,330$50,150Tennessee$5,490$2,860$33,830$5,350$51,160Texas$7,610$3,650$34,800$5,330$54,290Utah$6,040$3,340$61,120$4,220$79,240Virginia$5,380$3,960$55,310$6,210$74,110Vermont$5,830$3,140$33,120$6,220$51,170Washington$4,850$3,750$65,490$4,350$82,300Wisconsin$4,410$2,820$31,820$4,950$46,790West Virginia$5,840$2,540$18,640$4,590$34,210Wyoming$5,420$3,260$37,330$3,640$52,900

This analysis excludes medical debt, which tends to fall more heavily on residents in Southern states, many of which did not expand Medicaid. As a result, the average credit score in these states is significantly lower than average credit scores of states outside this region.

Average American debt by age

Debt tends to peak somewhere around middle age. As a whole, this suggests that Americans tend to pay off debt going into retirement and tend to keep debt balances low in retirement, especially people over age 70. For those under age 30, the largest source of debt is mortgages.

The Federal Reserve stopped tracking average debt by age bracket in 2017, though it still tracks total debt by age. To find our averages, we divided the total debt by age with the number of people in each age group using the most recent population data from Marketing Charts, which reflects the U.S. population as of July of 2021.

It’s worth noting that this calculation spreads the debt load over the entire age group, not just the members of that group with that type of debt. The average debt per person will be higher if you only count debt holders.

For example, the data shows that the average person between 18-29 years old holds $70 of HELOC debt, which is likely due to low homeownership rates within that demographic. According to Statista, only 39.3% of Americans under age 35 owned homes, while 62.5% of Americans aged 35 to 44 years old owned homes in the third quarter of 2022. 

Here’s how the average debt balance breaks down per person by age group. Scroll right to see more data. 

 

Age 18-29

Age 30-39

Age 40-49

Age 50-59

Age 60-69

Age 70 and up

Auto loan debt$4,051$7,984$8,971$7,468$4,921$2,600Credit card debt$1,462$4,110$5,373$5,085$4,189$3,236Mortgage debt$11,111$58,456$77,630$63,945$44,865$27,100HELOC debt$70$592$1,625$2,095$2,087$1,791Student loan debt$6,757$11,085$8,663$5,563$2,743$790Other debt$699$1,996$2,959$2,837$2,191$1,344Total$24,142$84,225$105,219$86,994$61,014$36,846

How to start paying off debt

Holding large amounts of debt, especially high-interest debt, can quickly get expensive.

Large amounts of debt can also lower your credit score by raising your credit utilization ratio or simply by causing you to miss a payment here and there, resulting in a delinquency on your credit report. As of the second quarter of 2023, the delinquency rate on credit card loans is at 2.77%, which is the highest they’ve been since 2012.

Choose a repayment method and set a goal

Whichever method you choose, the first step is going to be to take stock of everything you owe, how much you owe in total, and the interest rate. Then, you can start to prioritize what you owe. 

Two popular strategies are the debt avalanche and the debt snowball. The debt snowball tackles the smallest debt first to build momentum, working through bigger debts next, while the debt avalanche focuses on paying down higher-interest debt first to decrease the amount you pay overall. Depending on how your debt looks, these repayment methods can help you pay off debt fast.

Consider consolidating or refinancing while interest rates are low

For borrowers with credit card debt and other relatively small debts with high interest rates, consolidating your debts could make them more manageable. Debt consolidation is a process where you take out one large loan to pay off all your smaller loans, effectively condensing them into one larger total. You can also consolidate credit card debt with a balance transfer card. The best debt consolidation loans will have a lower interest rate.

You can also consolidate credit card debt with a balance transfer card. Like consolidation loans, the best balance transfer credit cards will have a lower interest rate, but will also come with an introductory 0% APR period that usually lasts 12-18 months. 

Debt relief plans

If you need outside help with your debts, it may be worth your time to look into debt relief options. There are several options available to you, each of which differs in how it helps you pay off your debt and the urgency of your debt problem.

You can enlist the help of a nonprofit credit counseling organization, which will help you sort out your finances and pay off your debts. In extenuating circumstances, they may even recommend a debt management plan in which your credit counselor negotiates the terms of your loans with your creditors on your behalf. They can secure lower interest rates or lower monthly payments, though they usually won’t be able to lower the actual amount of money you owe. 

For more dire debt problems, a debt settlement plan will reduce your overall debt amount. While this will hurt your credit score, you may be able to reduce your debt by upt to 60%. While you can negotiate a debt settlement on your own, most people hire debt settlement companies to negotiate on their behalf. You can find our guide to the best debt settlement companies here.

Average debt frequently asked questions (FAQ)

How much total debt do Americans owe?

The total household debt in the second quarter of 2023 is $17.06 trillion.

What is considered high-interest debt?

There is no official threshold where debt becomes high-interest debt. Unofficially, any debts that have a higher interest than mortgages or student loans is considered high-interest. The federal student loan interest rate is 4.99% while the average mortgage interest rate in 2023 is 6%. 

How much debt does the average 30-year-old have?

The average 30-year-old has approximately $84,000 of debt, concentrated between student loans and mortgages. Consumers betwee 30-39 years old hold $3.75 trillion in debt.

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Black AT&T Employee Says She Was Fired After Getting Racist Death Threat

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Handout

A woman in Ohio who worked at AT&T for more than 30 years has filed a lawsuit against the telecommunications company, accusing it of discriminatory retaliation after she says she was fired for reporting a “racist, misogynistic” threat she received that called her the N-word.

Stacey Fowler, 53, launched a legal battle on Sept. 28 with AT&T, its Midwest division, and AT&T subsidiary Ohio Bell Telephone Company for their “abhorrent and shocking conduct,” the complaint says.

“AT&T did not treat the vicious and vile, racist and misogynistic Death Threat that Fowler reported with any urgency or gravity,” the lawsuit alleges.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Robert De Niro Chews Out Ex-Assistant on the Witness Stand

Roy Rochlin/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival

Actor Robert De Niro erupted on the witness stand on Tuesday, forcefully chastising his former personal assistant who’s suing him for allegedly being an abusive boss.

“Shame on you, Chase Robinson!” the Oscar-winning actor shouted across the packed Manhattan federal courtroom to his former employee, Graham Chase Robinson. The outburst came after Robinson’s lawyer asked De Niro whether he’d ever audibly urinated while on the phone with his executive assistant.

“Give me a break with this stuff. You got us all here for this?” he added, according to Deadline. “I don’t take liberties with people who work for me.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

A for-profit school that ‘deceived’ student-loan borrowers and pushed them to take on ‘unexpectedly high levels’ of debt got hit with a $37 million fine, Biden’s Education Department says

Glassdoor

The Education Department fined for-profit Grand Canyon University $37 million over accusations of misleading behavior.It said Grand Canyon mispresented the costs of its doctoral programs, leading to high student debt.Grand Canyon denied all of the department’s allegations.

A major for-profit school just got hit with a fine over accusations of misleading thousands of its students.

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden’s Education Department announced it has fined Grand Canyon University $37.7 million following a Federal Student Aid investigation that accused the school of lying to over 7,500 former and current students over the costs of its doctoral programs.

A senior department official told reporters on a Tuesday press call that this is the largest penalty the Education Department has ever enforced on a school.

“GCU lied about the cost of its doctoral programs to attract students to enroll,” FSA Chief Operating Officer Richard Cordray said in a statement. “FSA takes its oversight responsibilities seriously. GCU’s lies harmed students, broke their trust, and led to unexpectedly high levels of student debt.”

According to Federal Student Aid, GCU stated that its doctoral programs cost between $40,000 and $49,000, when in reality, students ended up paying roughly 25% more than the school advertised. The Education Department said that in response, GCU pointed to the fine print in its enrollment agreements to justify the discrepancies, but the department said those disclosures are “insufficient to cure the substantial misrepresentations regarding cost.”

GCU said in a statement provided to Insider that it “categorically denies every accusation in the Department of Education’s statement and will take all measures necessary to defend itself from these false accusations.”

“The Department’s claims of wanting to protect students from ‘unexpectedly high levels of debt’ at GCU are false given that our graduates incur less debt than the national average, and far less than other private universities,” the statement continued. “Rather than the Department protecting students, we are being forced to protect our students from this targeted and unwarranted government overreach.”

GCU has 20 days to request a hearing on the fine or submit written material indicating why the fine should not be imposed. Along with the fine, the department is also enforcing specific conditions on the school to allow it to continue participating in federal student aid programs, including a requirement to inform students of the average total tuition and fees paid by graduates.

A department official also noted to reporters on the press call that while this fine is an enforcement action against the school, borrowers who believe they were defrauded can also submit borrower defense claims for student-debt relief. The department has taken action numerous times over the past year to provide relief to borrowers it says were defrauded, including $37 million to former University of Phoenix students.

“Deceptive for-profit graduate programs are a large and growing part of America’s higher education crisis,” Aaron Ament, president of borrower protection group Student Defense said in a statement.

“When colleges lie to students, it costs them time and money they’ll never get back,” he said. “We’re glad to see the Department of Education take action to prevent graduate schools from misleading students about the costs of their programs, and we hope they will continue to crack down on these types of predatory schemes.”

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TD Bank Checking Accounts Review 2023

Our experts answer readers’ banking questions and write unbiased product reviews (here’s how we assess banking products). In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners; however, our opinions are our own. Terms apply to offers listed on this page.

The bottom line: You might like one of TD Bank‘s three primary checking accounts if you prefer banking face-to-face and live near a branch along the East Coast. But if your main priorities are low monthly fees and good interest rates, you might prefer one of the best checking accounts with an online bank.

TD Bank Checking Accounts Overview

 TD SimpleTD ConvenienceTD BeyondMinimum opening depositTD Bank Simple Checking Account – Minimum DepositTD Bank Convenience Checking Account – Minimum DepositTD Bank Beyond Checking Account – Minimum DepositInterest earnedTD Bank Simple Checking Account – APYNone0.01% – 0.03% APY Annual Percentage Yield (APY)Monthly service feeTD Bank Simple Checking Account – Fees Display; cannot be waivedTD Bank Convenience Checking Account – Fees Display; can be waivedTD Bank Beyond Checking Account – Fees Display; can be waivedOut-of-network ATM fee$3$3$0; refunds provider fees if your balance is $2,500Cash bonus for new customersTD Bank Simple Checking Account – Intro BonusTD Bank Convenience Checking Account – Ongoing BonusTD Bank Beyond Checking Account – Ongoing Bonus TD Bank Simple Checking Account – CTA TextTD Bank Convenience Checking Account – CTA TextTD Bank Beyond Checking Account – CTA Text

TD Bank Simple Checking Account – Product Name Only Review

The TD Bank Simple Checking Account – Product Name Only might be a decent choice if you don’t want to worry about minimum balance requirements. However, the biggest downside to this account is that the monthly service fee can’t be waived. You’ll prefer one of TD Bank’s other checking accounts if you want the option to waive monthly service fees.

TD Bank Convenience Checking Account – Product Name Only Review

The TD Bank Convenience Checking Account – Product Name Only is the bank’s most popular option. It’s a good choice if you meet with of the requirements to waive the TD Bank Convenience Checking Account – Fees Display — you’ll have to maintain a daily balance of at least $100 or the fee is automatically waived if you’re between the ages of 17 and 23.

You also might like this account if you’re looking to open a new checking account with a cash bonus. The TD Bank Convenience Checking Account offers a TD Bank Convenience Checking Account – Intro Bonus. This cash bonus is being offered until November 30, 2023.

TD Bank Beyond Checking Account – Product Name Only Review

The TD Bank Beyond Checking Account – Product Name Only might be worth exploring if you regularly maintain a minimum daily balance of at least $2,500 or receive monthly direct deposits of $5,000 or more. That way, you’ll waive the TD Bank Beyond Checking Account – Fees Display. You can also waive the fee by maintaining $25,000 or more across all your TD Bank accounts, home equity loans, and home equity line of credit accounts, or mortgage.

This account offers several perks like no ATM fees and two free overdraft fee reimbursements per year. TD Bank also offers a cash bonus of TD Bank Beyond Checking Account – Intro Bonus. This cash bonus is also featured in our best bank account bonuses guide and is being offered until November 30, 2023.

About TD Bank

TD Bank has over 1,100 branches and 2,600 ATMs along the East Coast. It also ranks as one of Insider’s best national banks.

TD Bank charges a $35 overdraft fee, up to three times per day. However, the bank also has several overdraft protection services to help you avoid overdraft fees. With Grace Period, TD will refund overdraft fees when you restore your account balance to at least $0 by 11 p.m. ET the next business day. You can also link your checking account to your savings account to cover overdrafts. In 2022, TD Bank eliminated the fee for overdraft account transfers.

You can speak with a live customer support representative 24/7. Many branch locations are also open seven days per week if you want to speak to someone in person.

The mobile app has received positive reviews, with 4.8 out of 5 stars in the Apple store and 4.3 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store.

Your deposits are FDIC insured for up to $250,000, or $500,000 for joint accounts.

Is TD Bank trustworthy?

The Better Business Bureau grades companies based on how they deal with customer issues. The BBB has given TD Bank an A+ rating.

TD Bank has been involved in recent public controversies. In 2020, the US Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection required TD Bank to pay $122 million in a settlement that accused the bank of charging customers a Debit Card Advance service without their permission. In 2023, the bank also had to pay $1.2 billion in a settlement that claimed the bank was involved in a Ponzi scheme started by Robert Allen Stanford, the former chairman of Stanford International Bank. TD Bank provided correspondent banking services to Stanford International Bank.

TD Bank Checking FAQs

Does TD Bank have a free checking account?

TD Bank doesn’t have a fee-free checking account. However, you may be able to waive the monthly service fee on the TD Bank Convenience Checking Account or TD Bank Beyond Checking Account if you meet certain requirements.

How much money do I need to open a TD Bank checking account?

You can open a TD Bank checking account with TD Bank Simple Checking Account – Minimum Deposit.

What do I need to get a TD Bank account?

To open a bank account, you’ll need to provide a US ID and Social Security number to verify your identity. You can open an account online or at a branch.

Methodology: How We Reviewed TD Bank Checking Accounts

For our TD Bank Checking Accounts review, we used our checking account methodology. At Personal Finance Insider, we rate products on a scale from zero to five stars.  We also compare and contrast the features and fine print of various products to help determine if the account may be right for you. Our checking methodology, specifically, takes into account the minimum opening deposit, monthly service fees, overdraft protection options, ATM network/fees, customer support availability, mobile app ratings, and ethics of a company.

How TD Bank Checking Accounts Compare

We’ve compared TD Bank checking accounts with accounts at two other big-name banks along the East Coast: Bank of America and Citizens Bank.

TD Bank vs. Bank of America

If you don’t have money to open a checking account, you’ll probably prefer TD Bank. At Bank of America, you’ll have to deposit anywhere from $25 to Bank of America Advantage Plus Checking Account – Minimum Deposit. TD Bank lets you open a checking account with TD Bank Simple Checking Account – Minimum Deposit minimum opening deposit. 

You’ll also prefer TD Bank to other institutions if you’d like to get 24/7 customer service. Bank of America customer support is available over the phone during select hours on weekdays and weekends.

TD Bank vs. Citizens Bank 

If you’d like to open a checking account with a low initial deposit, TD Bank and Citizens Bank have good options. Both banks let you open a checking account with no minimum opening deposit. 

The best choice for you may ultimately depend on where you live. TD Bank has branches in North Carolina and South Carolina Citizens Bank doesn’t have locations in these states, but it does have locations in Michigan and Ohio where there aren’t any TD branches.  

Citizens Bank also might be more appealing if you frequently use ATMs. Citizens Bank has over 3,100 ATMs while TD Bank has around 2,600 ATMs.

You might prefer another financial institution if you’re priority is the avoid overdraft fees, though. While TD Bank and Citizens Bank have free overdraft services to help minimize overdraft fees, there are several banks that have completely eliminated overdraft fees on accounts. You can find options in our best banks for avoiding overdraft fees guide.

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The average credit score by age, state, and year

Our experts choose the best products and services to help make smart decisions with your money (here’s how). In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners; however, our opinions are our own. Terms apply to offers listed on this page.

Average credit scores are at record highs.

Johner Images/Getty Images

The average credit score in the US is a 714 FICO score and 701 VantageScore, considered a “good” credit score.
Gen Z (18-25) has the lowest average credit score at 679, while the Silent Generation (77+) has the highest at 760.
Minnesota had the highest average credit score at 742, while Mississippi had the lowest average at 680.

The average credit score in the US is a 714, based on FICO credit score data provided by credit reporting company Experian. The average VantageScore is 701. Credit scores, which are like a grade for your borrowing history, fall in the range of 300 to 850. The higher your score, the better.

People with higher credit scores tend to qualify for better interest rates on borrowed money, have access to the best credit cards, and can even pay less for insurance. You’ll also have an easier time applying for an apartment rental. You can subscribe to a credit monitoring service to help you keep track of your credit score and your credit reports. The best credit monitoring services are even free.

The FICO model of credit scoring puts credit scores into six categories:

Very poor: 300-579Poor: 580-669Fair: 601-660Good: 670-739Very good: 740-799Exceptional: 800-850

Based on this scoring system, the average American has a good credit score. But, average credit scores varies by location and age.

Average credit score by age

The average credit score looks very different between age groups. As credit scores are calculated on credit and borrowing history, older people have higher credit scores on average due to a more extensive borrowing history. Meanwhile Gen Z lags behind because they’ve had less time to build credit, and many members of Gen Z simply aren’t old enough to have a credit score. Here’s how it breaks down by age group, according to data from Experian:

GenerationAverage credit score (FICO) in 2022Generation Z (18-25)680Millennials (26-41)690Generation X (42-57)709Baby boomers (58-76)745Silent generation (77+)761

Average credit score by state

Finances look very different across all 50 states, and the average credit score looks pretty different, too. While Mississippi has the lowest average credit score at 680, Minnesota has the highest credit score at 742. Here’s the average credit score in each US state and the District of Columbia as of 2022, according to data from Experian.

StateAverage credit score (FICO) in 2022Alabama691Alaska723Arizona712Arkansas694California721Colorado730Connecticut725Delaware714District Of Columbia716Florida707Georgia694Hawaii732Idaho727Illinois719Indiana712Iowa729Kansas721Kentucky702Louisiana689Maine728Maryland716Massachusetts732Michigan718Minnesota742Mississippi680Missouri712Montana731Nebraska731Nevada702New Hampshire734New Jersey724New Mexico699New York721North Carolina707North Dakota733Ohio715Oklahoma693Oregon732Pennsylvania723Rhode Island723South Carolina696South Dakota734Tennessee702Texas693Utah730Vermont736Virginia721Washington735West Virginia700Wisconsin735Wyoming723

Note: Of all the state credit score averages, Southern states tend to do worse than other regions of the country.

Average credit score by year

Americans have more consumer debt than ever before, holding an average debt of $59,580 and a total of $17.06 trillion in 2023. Despite historic levels of debt, the average credit score continues to rise. Americans actually have better credit than ever.

The average score has increased by about 10 points in the past seven years. Here’s how it’s risen, according to FICO data from October of each year:

YearAverage credit score (FICO) by year20126892013690201469420156962016699201770120187052019702202071020217142022714

The period spanning from June 2009 until early 2020 became America’s longest-running period of economic expansion, which ended due to the brief, pandemic-induced recession. This extended period of growth yielded low unemployment rates. This could have contributed to America’s rising credit scores, with more people possessing the means to pay back debt on time. 

Credit scores have also risen, in part, due to the amount of information available on the credit industry and how to raise your credit score. There is also an abundance of credit-builder products available that widen accessibility, boosting the average credit score over time. The best credit builder accounts don’t require a credit check or a credit score. Some credit builder products come straight from the credit bureaus themselves, such as Experian Boost, which reports regular payments like utility bills and streaming service subscription fees.

How are credit scores used?

Credit scores are calculated using information about your borrowing, like your credit utilization ratio, the number and types of accounts you have open, and your repayment history. All of that information is drawn from your credit report, which has a detailed borrowing history.

Everyone has credit scores based on data gathered by the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. There are two main credit scoring algorithms, known as FICO and VantageScore. While each one uses a slightly different calculation, your scores should generally be within a similar range.

Keeping track of these scores is crucial if you want to build credit. You should never be paying to view your credit score. You can usually access your scores for free through your lender or financial institution. You can also access your credit score free online from sites like Credit Karma

It’s a good idea to check your credit report regularly, too. You can get three free credit reports per week, one from each credit bureau, which you can access through AnnualCreditReport.com. You can check them all at once or ration your credit reports throughout the year. It’s not uncommon for a report to contain an error affecting your score, but it’s up to you to find any such error. If you do find one, you can dispute your credit report with the agency.

How to improve your credit score

Your credit scores play a big role in your financial freedom. It figures into everything from qualifying for a mortgage or credit card to the rate you pay on your auto insurance. Bad credit can make your life difficult. But there are always things you can do to improve your credit score, including:

Making all your loan, credit card, and other monthly payments on time is essentialPay off debts and bring past due accounts currentPay your credit card balances in full each monthAvoid applying for new credit unless you really need itKeep unused credit accounts open

If you don’t have any credit history, it becomes challenging to borrow, making it hard to build a credit history. That’s why some credit card issuers provide specific secured credit cards for people to use temporarily to build credit from scratch. You can also see our picks for the best starter credit cards here.

You can also use a credit-builder product, like a debit card that reports payments to the credit bureaus or a credit-builder loan, to build a credit history. The best credit builder accounts don’t require a credit history, so you can qualify even if you’ve never borrowed money before. 

Average credit score frequently asked questions

What percent of the population has a good credit score?

75.8% of consumers have a FICO credit score above a 650.

Why are average credit scores increasing over time?

Average credit scores are increasing partially due to the amount of educational resources available. Credit-building products have also been created to increase credit accessibility. 

What generation has the lowest credit score?

On average, Gen Z has the lowest credit score, though Gen Z also has the least amount of time to build their credit history.

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Affordable Life Insurance: Cheapest Life Insurance Options of November 2023

Our experts answer readers’ insurance questions and write unbiased product reviews (here’s how we assess insurance products). In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners; however, our opinions are our own.

Life insurance is a great way to care for your family’s short-term needs once you’re gone. In the right circumstances, it can also be a retirement tool and build generational wealth for your descendants. Compare cheap life insurance options that fit your budget below. 

Cheapest Life Insurance Companies

Ethos Life: Best for Guaranteed CoverageHaven Life: Best for Term LifeState Farm Life Insurance: Best for Customer SatisfactionGuardian Life Insurance: Best for Preexisting ConditionsNew York Life Insurance: Best for Whole LifeNorthwestern Mutual Life: Best for Customized CoverageUSAA Life Insurance: Best for Military and VeteransTransamerica Life Insurance: Best for Foreign Nationals

Estimate Your Life Insurance Rate

Estimate your life insurance cost and request a quote from Policygenius.

Cheap Life Insurance Policies

Whatever your goals, applying for a life insurance policy in your 20s gives you a greater chance of being accepted and more affordable premiums. But we’ve identified the best cheap coverage for buyers of all ages from the best life insurance companies.

State Farm Life Insurance

State Farm Life Insurance – Product Name Only took the top spot in the most recent JD Power US Life Insurance Study – Product Name Only. Its agents are well versed in its auto, home, life, and other insurance products, quoting with all applicable discounts, claims management, and more. State Farm sells several types of whole life policies ranging from a single premium option (for immediate protection) to a whole life policy with fixed payments. Adults between 50 and 80 may also qualify for a final expense policy with a $10,000 death benefit.

State Farm Life Insurance operates in all states except Massachusetts, New York, and Wisconsin. State Farm Life and Accident Assurance Company offers similar life insurance policies in New York and Wisconsin. Wherever you are within the US, quoting is easy, especially if you’re already a customer.

State Farm Life Insurance Review

Guardian Life Insurance

Guardian Life Insurance – Product Name Only offers easy online quotes in minutes with no insurance agent required. In addition, the company offers term policies as short as 10 years and as long as 30 years. It also provides whole, universal, and other life insurance products.

What sets Guardian Life apart from other life insurance companies is its unique HIV life insurance. Of course, conditions apply, such as a two-year history of antiretroviral therapy, no AIDS-defining illnesses, and an undetectable HIV viral load. Recently, the company has expanded this program to allow buyers up to age 65. Buyers with a history of IV drug use also have more flexibility as the company can offer coverage after seven years instead of the previous 10 years. The HIV plan is just one of the innovative life insurance products offered by a select few life insurance providers, including Guardian Life.

Guardian Life Insurance Review

Ethos Life Insurance

Ethos Life – Product Name Only is known for its efforts to work with difficult-to-insure populations. The company offers easy online quotes and term and permanent life insurance options. It also has guaranteed issue policies, meaning guaranteed acceptance if you fall between predefined age limits. At this time, all guaranteed issue policies with Ethos are whole life policies. While some companies may offer no medical exam term life insurance, issuance requires underwriter review.

Ethos’ guaranteed coverage plans can offer death benefits up to $25,000 for applicants between 65 and 85. Guaranteed plans primarily cover funerals and other final expenses. If you’re seeking a higher death benefit, Ethos offers whole, term, and no medical exam policies. Its monthly premiums start at just $7 per month, but interested customers should get a quote on their preferred life insurance plan to nail down exact premiums.

Ethos Life Insurance Review

Haven Life Insurance

Haven Life – Product Name Only offers coverage ranging from $25,000 to $3 million for qualified applicants. Many plans don’t require a medical exam, and term policies are available with terms of 5 to 30 years. Haven Term and Haven Simple can both be purchased online, the difference being Haven Simple requires no medical exam.

One thing sets Haven Life apart from other insurance companies selling term policies. Haven Life customers can add an accelerated death benefit rider to term policies. While the policy would eventually expire, policyholders can withdraw 75% of the total death benefit or $250,000 when they need it most.

The term life insurance market is full of stories of buyers unable to convert term policies before death. Policies expire before they die, leaving loved ones with six-figure medical debts and no death benefit. Haven Life offers a happy medium to protect you in the worst-case scenario.

Haven Life Insurance Review

New York Life Insurance

New York Life Insurance – Product Name Only specializes in multi-million dollar investment policies great for retirement planning with term, whole, and universal life insurance options. However, it does not provide online quotes. In addition, New York Life insurance agents complete extensive training to answer all questions about its policies and help buyers identify the right policy. New York Life agents can add riders to customize plans to meet your needs. Even with some of its smaller policies, policyholders may earn dividends.

New York Life Insurance Review

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance

Northwestern Mutual Life – Product Name Only temporarily unseated State Farm as the top life insurance company in customer satisfaction. While it may not top JD Power’s rankings currently, the company continues to offer easy quoting, strong customer service, and a streamlined process overall. Northwestern Mutual also allows buyers to utilize diverse riders to customize plans to meet their needs.

Adding a rider to protect your life insurance benefits if you’re sick and can’t make payments is just one of the affordable life insurance riders offered by Northwestern Mutual. Working with a qualified life insurance agent is the best way to ensure you can customize your plan to meet your needs.

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Review

USAA Life Insurance

USAA Life Insurance – Product Name Only is available to buyers with no connection to the military, though USAA as a whole has become synonymous with financial services for veterans. What makes it unique is its life insurance policies are open to active-duty military members. Outside of SGLI (servicemember’s group life insurance), many life insurance companies restrict coverage for military members in specific ways. SGLI may be generous while you’re involved with the military. But once you separate, the coverage would no longer be available.

USAA offers whole life insurance policies with expedited coverage for deployed soldiers. It also provides severe injury benefits and coverage for wartime. One key selling point for veterans is USAA guarantees SGLI replacement when separating from the military.

USAA Life Insurance Review

Transamerica Life Insurance

Transamerica Life Insurance – Product Name Only (AEGON) offers life insurance limits of up to $10 million with many universal life insurance policies and other permanent options. Visa holders can also buy plans with Transamerica. When evaluating your risk class, some restrictions may apply depending on the country of origin.

Transamerica has decades of history in the life insurance market. It also reports faster underwriting and processing times than its competitors. If you’re interested in life insurance with Transamerica, we recommend contacting an agent. It offers limited quotes online, but many of the best policies are only sold through licensed insurance agents.

Transamerica Life Insurance Review

Cheap Life Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cheapest form of life insurance?

Term life insurance is generally the cheapest type of life insurance, but it’s the cheapest for a reason: It expires after a set term. You can buy a 30-year term life insurance policy, but if you outlive the policy, your relatives won’t receive any payout when you die.

How much is life insurance a month?

The average cost of life insurance is $40-$55 a month. Keep in mind that your monthly premium will vary depending on the type of policy you purchase and how much coverage you select.

What is the cheapest life insurance that has no cash value?

The cheapest life insurance with no cash value is term life insurance. Term life insurance policies only last for a set amount of time (usually 10 to 30 years) and they don’t accrue any cash value like whole life policies do.

How can I get cheap life insurance?

To get cheap life insurance, consider working with an insurance agent who can help you balance your need for affordable premiums with adequate coverage. While term policies are the cheapest, that might not be the best option for your situation.

Is life insurance affordable?

Life insurance is affordable, with monthly premiums averaging about $50. You’ll save money the earlier you buy a life insurance policy as well, so it may be worth buying a policy for yourself or a loved one while they’re still young.

How to Pick a Life Insurance Policy that Fits Your Budget

We recommend starting with online research if you want a life insurance plan. You can get quotes online if you want a plan to cover funerals and other limited costs. But first, decide what you want your life insurance plan to do, how much you can afford to spend each month, etc.

Next, we recommend talking to at least one licensed insurance agent. Some of the best life insurance products can only be quoted or sold through a licensed insurance agent. Ask questions about the things you don’t understand. Let an agent help you calculate the ideal benefit for your needs. Ask which riders customers add to the policies you’re looking at, and compare three life insurance quotes.

Why You Should Trust Us: How We Chose the Cheapest Life Insurance

We look beyond the obvious factors like online quote calculators and affordable pricing to see what life insurance companies offer. Our life insurance ratings methodology reflects aspects including:

Customer satisfaction (as rated by JD Power)Financial stability (as rated by AM Best)Policy types offeredAverage monthly premiums/affordabilityWaiting periods required for complete life insurance benefitsExclusions that would prevent you from getting life insurance with the company being reviewedWhat you can expect from life insurance agents who quote a company’s policiesHow available are a company’s life insurance products? (is it licensed to sell life insurance in all 50 states and Washington, DC?)How ethical company practices are measured by recent controversies, charitable activities or donations, etc.

Compare Cheap Life Insurance Policy Options

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US stocks rise but end October lower for 3rd losing month in a row

Lucas Jackson/Reuters

US stocks edged higher on Tuesday as investors prepare for the Federal Reserve’s next interest rate decision.Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is expected to make no changes during Wednesday’s FOMC meeting.Stocks ended October lower, representing the first three-month losing streak since early 2020.

US stocks edged higher on Tuesday but ended the month of October lower, representing the third consecutive monthly loss.

The last time the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered a three-month slump was in March 2020, during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Investors were also awaiting the Federal Reserve’s rate decision Wednesday afternoon and Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conference.

The market expects the Fed to keep rates unchanged and sees no more hikes this cycle with at least two rate cuts by the end of next year.

Investors continue to digest a wave of third-quarter earnings. More than half of the S&P 500 has reported, and about 78% of those companies beat profit estimates by a median of 6%, while 62% beat revenue estimates by a median of 2%, according to data from Fundstrat.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4:00 p.m. closing bell on Tuesday: 

S&P 500: 4,193.80, up 0.65%Dow Jones Industrial Average: 33,052.87, up 0.38% (123.91 points)Nasdaq Composite: 12,851.24, up 0.48%

Here’s what else is going on today: 

Stanley Druckenmiller said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen made the worst mistake in the US Treasury’s history by not issuing long-term debt when interest rates were so low. Housing affordability has plunged to the lowest level since 1985 as prospective homebuyers grapple with high mortgage rates and low housing inventory.Bitcoin is set to rocket to $150,000 by the middle of 2025 as the world’s largest cryptocurrency begins a new cycle, Bernstein said.

In commodities, bonds, and crypto: 

West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 1.32% to $81.22 a barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, dropped 1.23% to $85.29 a barrel. Gold declined 0.58% to $1,994.00 per ounce. The 10-year Treasury yield was flat at 4.89%.Bitcoin rose 0.01% to $34,496. 

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