Quarterly finances reflect iron slump

by Shelton on December 4th, 2014

filed under Finances

The West Australian budget appears on track for an unavoidable full year budget deficit as the ongoing slump in iron ore prices trims government revenue.

A day after Premier Colin Barnett conceded a deficit could not be avoided, Treasurer Mike Nahan released the September quarter financial report showing an operating deficit of $347 million for the period.

That compares with a deficit of $343 million for the same period last year, although the state government still managed to achieve a surplus of $183 million for the full 2013-14 financial year.

But Mr Barnett has flagged a grim mid-year review, which will be handed down next month.

He said on Wednesday that the states finances were not pretty and foreshadowed higher fees and charges for households.

General government sector revenue for the September quarter fell 1.4 per cent to $6.4 billion, reflecting lower royalty income and the states shrinking GST share.

Mr Nahan said the continuing fall in the iron ore price, driven by surging supply and weak demand, would dent general government revenue in coming quarters.

Iron ore prices have hit a fresh five-year low, falling below $US70 a tonne.

9 questions about credit scores you were too embarrassed to ask

by Shelton on December 4th, 2014

filed under Credit Scores

Imagine trying to lose a few pounds without ever stepping on the scale or trying to cut your cholesterol without ever getting it checked. Tens of millions of Americans are taking a similarly blind approach to their money. Everyone wants their finances to be in good shape, but less thanĀ half of all Americans even know their credit score. Thats not good — a bad credit score can mean a high-interest loan that costs you thousands and thousands of dollars over the course of a lifetime.

But its not just laziness. Private companies own the math behind calculating credit scores, so often you cant get your score without paying for it (and theres no way you can calculate it on your own). The scoring system doesnt always make sense, either — even seemingly responsible decisions can dock your score. To learn more, read our nine questions about what goes into a credit score.

Default Risk Is ‘Tolerable’ for Borrowers with Middling Credit Scores: Report

by Shelton on December 4th, 2014

filed under Credit Scores