Grupo Ficohsa Agrees to Buy Citigroup’s Businesses in Nicaragua

(Bloomberg) — Grupo Financiero Ficohsa SA agreed to buy
Citigroup Inc.’s businesses in Nicaragua, taking over one of the
nation’s largest consumer banks as the US lender simplifies
its international network to boost returns.

Ficohsa will acquire Banco Citibank de Nicaragua SA and
Cititarjetas de Nicaragua SA, it said late Wednesday in a
statement that didn’t disclose terms. The purchase, subject to
regulatory approval, includes commercial loans, personal loans,
deposits and credit cards. Citigroup has $255 million of assets
and more than 600 employees in the country, according to the

Citigroup operates Nicaragua’s second-largest consumer bank
by market share, according to Ficohsa. The deal also will help
Ficohsa serve small- and mid-sized companies in Latin America as
they grow internationally, it said. The firm agreed last April
to buy Citigroup’s Honduras consumer-banking business.

Beattyville home health nurse charged with stealing identities to obtain …

A Beattyville woman obtained identity information from two women and used it to steal more than $50,000 in student loans, Kentucky State Police have charged.

Marsha Cook, 51, was arrested and charged with identity theft and theft by deception involving $10,000 or more, state police said.

Cook previously had worked in the homes of both women as a home health nurse, troopers said.

Police said Cook created an email address and a federal student loan profile to apply for student loans, using the names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and drivers license numbers of the two victims.

Lee County sheriffs deputies arrested Cook on Friday, based on information gathered in an investigation by state police at the Richmond post.

The investigation is continuing, police said Tuesday.

Jim warren: (859) 231-3255.

Don’t fall into debt trap, know your good loans from bad ones

  Educational loans – Educational loans do not create any tangible benefits and hence often overlooked by people as a good loan. However, education loan is a very good loan to have as it creates an asset far superior to any house or business. The human asset is most valuable and a well educated individual has the opportunity to do well and secure his future. Rest assured that the value of knowledge and wisdom will never diminish and education loan helps a person became a better human being. These loans also have lower interest rates and repayment structure is geared towards helping a student successfully repay it.

Bad Loans

Personal loan for Holiday – Personal loans have some of the highest interest rate, second only to credit cards and hence should be taken only when absolutely necessary. Special occasions like marriage or unforeseen situations like bad health may warrant a personal loan, which is acceptable. However, people should refrain from taking a personal loan for a holiday as a 5-7 days of holiday and paying EMI for 3-4 years is not a good idea. With interest rates ranging between 14-28%, personal loan for a holiday does not create any wealth or any asset for the future. Holidays are a welcome break from the everyday life and do enrich and broaden perspective, but should not be done at the behest of paying exorbitant interests. Save and then go for holiday, rather than taking a loan.

CFPB Proposes New Payday-Lending Rules

A federal regulator moved toward reining in payday and other short-term lenders, outlining changes that could alter how borrowers get approved for some high-cost loans.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Thursday is releasing a blueprint that could affect millions of Americans in need of cash who sign up each year for payday loans, car-title loans and certain high-cost personal loans.

The CFPB is considering requiring…

Consumer Education Services Inc. Acquires Start Fresh Today

RALEIGH, NC, March 24, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via PRWEB – Consumer Education Services Inc. (CESI), a non-profit credit counseling organization since 1998, announced today that it has acquired Start Fresh Today, one of the nations leading bankruptcy solutions platforms. CESIs acquisition of Start Fresh Today advances its mission of offering comprehensive personal financial education and solutions for all life stages and milestones coupled with Start Fresh Todays proprietary software platform. The purchase will transition Start Fresh Today from for-profit to non-profit status under the CESI umbrella.

Founded in 2005, Start Fresh Todays platform has been used to provide Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling and Post-Bankruptcy Debtor Education services to over a million consumers nationwide. In addition to helping consumers, Start Fresh Today also works with thousands of bankruptcy attorneys nationwide by offering due diligence products and a free document storage portal–making it a one-stop-shop for attorneys and their clients.

Offering the highest quality bankruptcy counseling program in the industry allows us to further serve the needs of our valuable customers, especially those who are at a critical crossroad in their financial future, said Dr. Diane Chen, CESIs CEO. Weve chosen Start Fresh Todays technology platform since they are one of the pioneers in the industry.

CESI has worked closely with the Executive Office of US Trustees (EOUST) to meet the new requirements by updating Start Fresh Todays software platform and integrating comprehensive training for their counselors. As a result, they are positioned to deliver the highest level of counseling and customer service.

The Start Fresh Today team is excited to join one of the nations leading credit counseling agencies said Cris Frankel, CEO of Start Fresh Today. This acquisition will combine the strengths of our technology, courseware and strong law firm relationships to compliment CESIs many years of high quality credit counseling and education. Members of the Start Fresh Today team will join CESI and maintain operations in Fort Lauderdale, Florida while CESIs headquarters will remain based in Raleigh, North Carolina.

About Consumer Education Services Inc. (CESI)

CESI is a not-for-profit organization that helps consumers achieve financial freedom by offering a complete life cycle of services: credit counseling, debt management, representative payee services, student loan counseling, HUD-certified housing counseling, reverse mortgage counseling, and bankruptcy counseling. For more information, please visit or call 1-855-716-2451.

This article was originally distributed on PRWeb. For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit

Consumer Education Services Inc. (CESI)
Tracy East

+1 (919) 861-5327

Hyundai Capital America Has Partnered With Consumer Credit Counseling …

IRVINE, Calif., March 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ –Hyundai Capital America(HCA), a top-10 US captive auto finance company that does business as Hyundai Motor Finance and Kia Motors Finance, is pleased to announce it has partnered with Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Orange County (CCCS-OC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping consumers reach financial stability.

HCA donated $40,000 to CCCS-OC, a member agency of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), to become the primary sponsor of the nonprofits new program, Financial Futures for Youth and Young Adults. The program is designed to teach financial literacy to students in Orange County.

With this sponsorship, HCA employees will volunteer their time, during work hours, with CCCS-OCs community partners in Orange Countyincluding high schools and other youth organizationsto teach basic financial and banking skills to young people. The target reach for the Financial Futures initiative is over 1,000 at-risk youth and young adults ranging from 15-25 in age.

HCA has three existing internal grant programs designed to empower employees to organize employee-led volunteer events for their cherished causes. Through the new Financial Futures program, HCA is building on its efforts to promote volunteerism in the community with a corporate-led volunteer program that leverages employees professional backgrounds and complements the companys role as a responsible lender as well as its other efforts to promote more awareness around financial wellness. HCA recently became the first captive auto finance company to provide FICO Scores for free to all of its customers as part of the FICO Score Open Access program.

HCA employees have huge hearts and a strong desire to make a difference in our communities. Our partnership with CCCS-OC presents a fantastic way to enable them to give back by sharing their knowledge around financial literacy with young adults, said Carol Moore, HCAs vice president amp; general counsel. Its very important for young adults to know how to borrow responsibly and save for the future, and Im proud that HCA and our employees are taking up this worthy cause.

Moore was recently elected to CCCS-OCs Board of Directors, replacing Tom Oliver, HCAs director of collections operations management, who served on their board for 10 years.

CCCS-OC is thrilled to be working with HCA on this community project, said Cheryl Spencer-Border, President amp; CEO of CCCS-OC,Financial Futures for Youth and Young Adults is a needed program within our community, and CCCS-OC and HCAis a perfect partnership to reach students in the classroom setting. HCA brings the financial expertise and CCCS-OC brings the financial academic experience to develop the financial capabilities of our youth.

HCA is also planning to work with CCCSs chapters in Georgia and Texas to expand the Financial Futures program so that HCA employees in the companys Atlanta and Dallas operations centers can also volunteer to help bring early financial education to their communities.

Headquartered in Irvine, CA, Hyundai Capital America is a top-10 US auto finance company supporting the financial services needs of Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America. Through the Hyundai Motor Finance and Kia Motors Finance brands, the company provides financial products to Hyundai and Kia dealerships nationwide, including dealer inventory and facility financing, as well as indirect vehicle financing for retail and lease customers. Through its subsidiary, Hyundai Protection Plan, the company offers vehicle service contracts and other vehicle protection products under the Hyundai Protection Plan and Power Protect brands. As of 2015, the company serves over 1.4 million customers and over 1,500 dealers nationwide, and has over $25 billion in assets. In addition to its three offices inIrvine, CA, Hyundai Capital America hasoperations centers inAtlantaand Dallas.

Kia Motors Finance is the registered trademark of Kia Motors America, Inc. and is used with permission.

Founded in 1966, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Orange County (CCCS-OC) is dedicated to assisting consumers in achieving financial stability through education and counseling. It provides free or low-cost financial services to Orange County residents who seek more control over their financial situation and financial self-reliance. CCCS-OC offers more than 30 educational courses attended by both youth and adults. In addition, clients meet with counselors for services including financial counseling, housing or foreclosure prevention, reverse mortgage, bankruptcy or debt management. Services are provided at six Orange County locations and via phone, Internet or in person.

SOURCE Hyundai Capital America


How to Know If You Are Overpaying on Your Student Loans

No one likes paying their student loans, but many people come to enjoy it even less once they realize that they are overpaying by thousands of dollars each year. Student loans come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Many graduates do not graduate with just one student loan, but with multiple loans, each with its own interest rate, repayment period and fine print. Understanding the types of loans you have and comparing them against the other options that exist can help you determine if you are paying too much.

Why do interest rates differ?

Interest rates are dictated by market conditions, and as a result they can vary from year to year. In the past five years, federal student loan interest rates have ranged from a high of 8.5 percent, before the financial crisis, to as low as 3.4 percent. For example, if you first received a Direct Subsidized undergraduate loan in 2008, it came at a fixed interest rate of 6.8 percent, whereas if you had first received that same loan in 2014, it would have been at a fixed rate of 3.86 percent. Graduate federal student loans also tend to have higher interest rates compared to undergraduate loans. An Unsubsidized Direct graduate loan in 2014 had an interest rate 5.41 percent.

What factors determine my interest rate?

Federal student loan interest rates are one size fits all: everyone gets the same rate regardless of his or her credit and financial history. However, many graduates may also take out private loans to finance the remaining portion of their education. Private loans often have higher interest rates while in school because of your limited financial and employment history. However, once you graduate and land a steady job, you immediately become a stronger candidate and can often be rewarded with a more competitive interest rate.

Are my interest rates competitive?

At Credible, we have a unique view of the student loan market and a deep understanding of the interest rates offered to graduates over the past 15 years. We have partnered with the majority of lenders in the market, and we know what student loan interest rates are competitive: a number of lenders offer variable interest rates as low as 1.92 percent and fixed rates as low as 3.95 percent. If you have graduated in the past 10 years and have stable employment with good income, you could probably reduce your interest rate by refinancing your student loans.

It is of paramount importance to note that refinancing federal student loans comes with a number of trade offs, such as eligibility for income-driven repayment plans and forgiveness options. It is important for graduates to do their homework and speak with their existing and potential lenders about the terms and conditions to get a complete picture of the decision they are making. However, for many student loan holders, refinancing is a viable option that can offer substantial lifetime savings.

So, are you overpaying on your student loans? Find out what your options are, and see how competitive your rates are with whats currently offered on the market. In less than 30 seconds, you can see how your loans stack up using Credibles comparison tool.

Visit for more information regarding your federal loan options.

New rules proposed for financial advisers

Registered financial advisers, like Moore, already operate under these rules. Brokers or stock brokers who also often go under the title of financial adviser fall under different, suitability rules. These rules only require them to point clients to suitable options which may or may not be more expensive or provide the best return on investment than other available financial products.

Consumers dont know the difference between the types of financial advisers, said Chris Draughon, director of advocacy for the Financial Planning Association of Florida and director of financial planning for First Coast Wealth Advisors in St. Augustine. You have a group of professionals that sell financial products. And then you have a group of professionals that give advice.

A mutual fund that costs $10 a share with a 4 percent return might be just as suitable as one that costs $12 with a 2 percent return. The latter, however, might provide the broker with a commission. Under fiduciary rules, the adviser would be required to present all the options.

Want To Pay Off Your Student Loans? Givling Online Trivia Game Might Help

Somewhere along the way of going to college to get a degree that will land us a good job and a stable future, America has somehow found itself in a pickle and amassed a 1.2 trillion dollar student loan debt. Thats a hard pill to swallow, especially for the thousands of fresh grads (and even those who have been out of school for years already) who cant shake the demons of their loans that they have to pay up or lose everything.

Thankfully, one company is trying to help. Givling is an online trivia game that may help some people pay off their debt, one question at a time.