I've read mixed comments about the highly anticipated "rebate." For example, on a January 31, 2008 press release, the Financial Planning Association advice consumers to be carefull how they will spend their rebate checks.
One of the strongest observations from the personal finance perspective is that "spending the rebate may not be in the best interest of many Americans. Not setting up a household budget is how many Americans got into financial trouble in the first place." according to Mark Johannessen, CFP®, president of the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®)
The FPA made a point if we consider that the national savings rate is minus 1/2 percent, bankruptcies are increasing, and the average American household credit card debt is $8,400.
"The economic stimulus carries the wrong message, because it is anti-savings and anti debt-reduction," said Johannessen.
In a few weeks the checks will be in the mail, and Johannessen is urging people to carefully consider using the money to pay down their credit card debt or add it to their savings for an emergency fund or retirement.
Another item to consider on this package is HR 5140, which will increased home loan limits in metropolitan areas. This means that HUD will have 30 days or less to come up with the median prices for areas throughout the country, which may then cause an increase to the conforming limit in those markets. Ironically enough, the NAR just publish this data today under the title "Metropolitan Area Existing-Home Prices and State Existing-Home Sales."