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The www.FedPrimeRate.com Personal Finance Blog and Magazine

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

You Can Order 4 FREE COVID-19 Test Kits Right Now!

You Can Order 4 FREE COVID-19 Test Kits Right Now!

You Can Order 4 FREE COVID-19 Test Kits Right Now!

            >>> https://bit.ly/Free-COVID-Test <<<

NB: Tests will ship free starting in late January 2022, to valid residential United States addresses.

#COVID19 #Pandemic #Coronavirus #Omicron #FedPrimeRate #FreeCOVIDTest #FreeStuff #COVIDTestKits #COVIDTest

I thought the website for ordering would be super slow or down due to volume, but I was able to order with zero troubles...YAAAAY!

You Can Order 4 FREE COVID-19 Test Kits Right Now!

You Can Order 4 FREE
COVID-19 Test Kits Right Now!

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Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Best Egg "Pre-Approved" Loan Offer: Why Not Say "Pre-Qualified?"

Best Egg Pre-Approved Loan Offer

Best Egg Pre-Approved Loan Offer

After all these years, I can't believe that lenders are still allowed to use this language:


I'm old, and I've done plenty of borrowing in my time, so I know that the phrase "you're pre-approved" is a very unethical trick lenders use to make you think that your financial background has already been vetted, and your loan application is virtually guaranteed to get a green light. I know better.

But what about the young, first-time borrower with a limited or nonexistent credit history?  They see the "pre-approved" hook, they apply, they get turned down, and the lender ends up getting something very valuable: all of the rejected borrower's most sensitive, identifying information (name, address, Social Security number, age, etc.) Not good.  Not good at all.


OK, so here's an explainer of a mortgage "pre–approval letter," by the good folks at TheMortgageReports.com:

"...Having a pre–approval letter gives your offer a lot more clout, because the seller has solid evidence you’re qualified for a loan to purchase the home.

Realtors generally prefer a pre–approval letter over a pre–qualification letter, because a pre–approval has been vetted to prove your eligibility.

Note: getting “pre–qualified” is different from getting a pre–approval.”

Both terms mean a lender is likely willing to loan you a certain amount of money. But Realtors generally prefer a pre–approval letter over a pre–qualification letter.

That’s because pre–qualification letters are not verified. They’re just an estimate of your budget based on a few questions.

A pre–approval letter, on the other hand, has been vetted against your credit report, bank statements, W2s, and so on. It’s an actual offer from a mortgage company to lend to you – not just an estimate.

You are NOT required to stick with the lender you use for pre–approval when you get your final mortgage. You can always choose a different lender if you find a better deal..."

And this is exactly what ALL banks should do: use the term "pre–qualified" instead of "pre-approved," and include a detailed explanation of what it means, not in tiny, eye-straining text and the end of the last page, but in bold, and right next to the first use of the term.  Amen.

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Friday, December 10, 2021

Latest Norton Antivirus Protection Renewal Scam In My Inbox

www.FedPrimeRate.com: Latest Norton Antivirus Protection Renewal Scam In My Inbox
Email Scam Alert
OK, so here's another stupid and very lame attempt to scam the world, received in my main Gmail account today:


Subject Line: Invoice Id : NJ7834H78EH39

Email Body: Dear ******* ,

Invoice Id : NJ7834H78EH39

Thank you  for connected with our norton anti-virus protection. This email is to notify you that your membership for your computer security & protection has been renewed

User Id : ********@gmail.com

Congratulations, you have successfully renewed your Norton Anti-Virus Protection membership.

You have been charged the payment of  $107.93 for 01 year Norton Anti-Virus Protection service from your bank account, via Debit/credit card.  If you didn’t authorize the charges or if you want to continue this service.

Kindly reach us immediately at      

1     8   0   6     4   5   4     5   7   3   7

Product                                       Unit Price                             Qty.                                            Total Amt.
Norton Anti-Virus Protection         $107.93                              

This Deduction will be reflected in 2-3 business days in your bank statement.

Note- This is a system generated mail.  Please do not reply to this mail ID. (1)  Call our 24-hr customer care.

Thank You


How lame is this scam attempt?

1)  Well, the email address of the sender is: <alinasmith6254@gmail.com>

Hmmmm.....Not sent from Norton, me thinks: DERP!

You see how the phone number is spaced out?  That's a giveaway too.  The scammer has formatted it like this in the hope that it will trick the email spam filter.  If the scam email goes to the spam folder, it's done.

For this particular scam email, it worked!  Gmail didn't send it directly to my spam folder.  I found it in my inbox.

3) I don't use Norton Antivirus.  I used to, a long time ago, with Windows XP, but I gave up on it as it consumed too much cpu time -- my computers got a lot slower -- and it was too expensive.  I find that Microsoft's built-in Windows Defender antivirus / anti-malware / anti-spyware works great.  Of course, because I'm a total Nazi about these things, I run Windows Update every time I rest and massage my hands (to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome), which is about every 10-15 minutes.

I also run a Windows Defender Offline Scan often, because most experienced malicious coder / hacker deviants know how to hide their BS in places that are hard to clean.


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Monday, November 15, 2021

My Uncle Got Sucked Into A "Home Depot" Phishing Scam

So, I am on WhatsApp, checking out some family conversations, when I receive a message from my uncle.  Message reads:

"The Home Depot 40th Anniversary.  Click to enter to participate in the survey.  Have a chance to win $ 8,000! BeneficialYear.TOP"

Right away, red flags go up.  Looks extremely suspicious, but I click the link anyway, because I want to see what the scam looks like, so that I can warn others.

Here's a capture of the URL, and the page it took me to:

www.FedPrimeRate.com: Phishing Scam 1

www.FedPrimeRate.com: Phishing Scam Image 1


When I reloaded the page, I was taken to a totally different URL:

www.FedPrimeRate.com: Phishing Scam 2

www.FedPrimeRate.com: Phishing Scam Image 2

First of all, if this is a survey from The Home Depot, then why on Earth would I be redirected to 2 different URLs? And why would one of the domain names use a .CN top level name, meaning it's registered in China?

Moreover: all the navigation links don't work, and the same if you try to "up" or "down" vote in the comments section.

As I investigated further, I found that Firefox is aware, and warning folks:

www.FedPrimeRate.com: Mozilla FireFox Warning - Deceptive Site Ahead

Mozilla FireFox Warning
- Deceptive Site Ahead


Please people: don't forward suspicious messages to friends and family without checking them out.  You could end up doing serious harm to people you care about.

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Tuesday, November 02, 2021

FRONTLINE: The Power of The Fed

FRONTLINE: The Power of The Fed

>> https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/the-power-of-the-fed/ <<

>> https://twitter.com/FedPrimeRate/status/1455635748217044994 <<

via @frontlinepbs

#TheFed #Fed #Money #MonetaryPolicy #FedPrimeRate #USA #FederalReserve #HowTheFedWorks #HowTheFedReallyWorks #Rates #InterestRates #FedFunds #FedFundsRate #Frontline #PBS

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Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Pandemic Prepared: My COVID-19 Pandemic Diary

Pandemic Prepared: My COVID-19 Pandemic Diary
Pandemic Prepared
Pandemic Diary
Just bought a bunch of supplies from Walmart:  Lysol, 91% isopropyl alcohol and toilet paper.

I order from Walmart so often that I decided to join their Walmart+ program.  Free (and faster) shipping, special discounts and other very nice perks.  There was a Walmart+ new signup promotion so I am paying an introductory $9.99 per month to be a Walmart VIP.

I live in a house with 3 strangers and 2 relatives.  My aunt, and her 22-year-old son, both got COVID last year, and both recovered.  I don't have it, and I never contracted it. So both of my housemate relatives have beautiful antibodies coursing through their bodies.  I don't.  Moreover, since I have a long history of bad reactions to vaccines. I am not inoculated. 

So I am quite obsessed with keeping everything -- and I mean everything -- 100% germ-free.  I spray / wipe doorknobs, refrigerators (we have 2 here), toilet seats, toilet bowls, faucets,  desks, chairs, tables, etc.  If I make any kind of contact with it, it suffers the full brunt of my germicidal ways, all day, every day.

My mother was taken by COVID early last year.  It was fast.  From diagnosis to death took 5 days.  She was in East Africa at the time.


What makes me really mad is that all too many are not taking this pandemic seriously.

I attended my nephew's wedding a few weeks ago.  Not only did I wear a mask, I also brought a brand new box of masks as backups, and to give away to anyone in need.

Out of all who attended, only 2 people wore a mask: me, and one other guest.  Some guests even looked at me like I was being ridiculous.  Yup.


And here's another reason why I shop at Walmart.com so often: I earn free gift cards in return for using the Microsoft Bing search engine.  I make my living online, and I'm searching all the time, so this is simply perfect for me.

>>> https://rewards.microsoft.com/ <<<


Masks and Gloves

Masks and Gloves


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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

This Is How Much It Costs To Drive A Car

This Is How Much It Now Costs You To Drive A Car
This Is How Much
It Costs To
Drive A Car
This story originally ran on >> KBB.com. <<

Owning a car in 2021 costs nearly $10,000 a year, according to AAA.

Driving is getting more expensive. This year, the average driver will spend $9,666 to own a car. That translates to $805.50 a month. The annual figure is $105 higher than 2020’s number, largely because cars are more expensive.

Americans Are Choosing More Expensive Cars

The average cost of the new vehicle studied is $32,903, nearly 5% more than last year. The change reflects a change in buying habits. AAA explains, “Models in the small sedan, medium sedan, medium SUV and hybrid categories averaged an increase in vehicle price of $3,064, led by hybrids as consumers opt for larger (hence more expensive) models in this category. Pickup trucks saw an increase of $4,684 (an average of 11%).”

The motoring club’s annual Your Driving Cost study reviews the cost of ownership for 45 car models. It includes the five bestselling vehicles of each of nine types. AAA then examines fuel, maintenance/repair/tire costs, insurance, license/registration/taxes, depreciation, and finance charges for each vehicle to find the average cost.

Depreciation Costs Most; EVs Save On Fuel and Maintenance

Depreciation is the largest cost buyers face, accounting for 40% of the total.

Fuel costs an average of 10.72 cents a mile, though that expenditure varies widely based on the vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Electric vehicle owners pay an average of 3.66 cents a mile traveled, compared with 15.81 cents a mile for pickup truck owners.

Maintenance and repair costs work out to 9.55 cents a mile. EV owners again pay less, averaging 7.77 cents a mile in maintenance and repairs. Medium sedans, somewhat surprisingly, have the highest average maintenance and repair costs, at 10.43 cents per mile.

It’s not all bad news. The cost of financing a car is down slightly, thanks to a drop in the prime lending rate. The average interest rate in 2021 is 4.12%, 1.056 percentage points lower than in 2020.

Minivans Dropped From Study, Subcompact SUVS Added

Americans’ car buying habits have changed, necessitating a change in the study. AAA dropped two categories of car – large sedans and minivans – “both of which no longer offer enough new models to be tracked.” In their place are subcompact SUVs and midsize trucks for the first time.
Car shopping recommendations

The rising costs led AAA to make a few recommendations to its members. Among them, it cautions against signing up for longer-term loans, even though these are growing in popularity. Recent research from credit rating agency Experian shows that auto loan terms are getting longer.

“Initially, a loan like this may be attractive to a buyer since it helps lower the monthly payment. However,” AAA warned, shoppers “should know that with long-term loans comes a period when the vehicle will hold less value than what is owed due to depreciation.”

They also recommend that shoppers consider buying a slightly used vehicle rather than a new one so that “the original owner has absorbed the majority of the depreciation cost, while the vehicle still has quite a few of the latest features and a manufacturer’s warranty.” Sales of certified preowned cars are growing even as overall used car sales have begun to slow.

Finally, AAA reminds consumers that a car purchase can be as many as three separate negotiations – one for the price of the new vehicle, another for the trade-in value, and possibly a third over financing cost. “Consumers should take their time and negotiate them individually,” the organization said.

This story originally ran on >> KBB.com. <<

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