Guess what state leads the nation in the highest average credit awarded to tax filers under the Child Tax Credit? If you guessed Massachusetts, you would be wrong. The child tax credit, it turns out, is a boom for red states in the West, particularly those that are largely rural. The leader, not surprisingly, is Utah. In Utah, the average credit was $342. Lowest? The District of Columbia, at $104. Why the large discrepancy? There are two factors. First, states with higher family sizes have a big advantage. Idaho was second, Wyoming was third, followed by Nebraska and Alaska . As well, it hurts if incomes are generally higher. Northeastern states lagged.
Payday lenders are doing very well lately. At EZCorp, outstanding loans went up 23 percent in just the last month. They reported a 30 percent surge in income over the results for March. At Cash America, revenues from cash advances rose 40 percent last quarter. That stoked a 34 percent increase in profit.
Word is that Sears wants to get in on pawn lending. Sears is not interested in taking back your old Craftsman tool set, though. They want silver and gold. Sears ProKits are available in jewelry departments. Sears won't be running a pawn shop on its own floors. Customer have to mail in their heirlooms, with up to $750 in insurance, to Pro Gold Network. Call it brand liquidation.