Tag Archives: credit cards
The recession and its hangover may have turned bill-paying habits upside down. Cash-strapped Americans are paying off their car loans before they pay credit card bills and make mortgage payments, a study finds. Read More
Americans have been working hard to pay off their debt in the last few years. The average total owed on major credit cards dropped to $4,699 toward the end of last year, from $5,776 in early 2009, according to credit reporting agency TransUnion. Read More
It seems like common sense: Don’t take on more debt to pay off your bills. Yet debt-laden consumers routinely do just that, even as they criticize the federal government for efforts to raise the debt ceiling. Read More
It’s not just mortgages that are upside down. People are staying current with their credit card payments even when they are behind on their mortgage, continuing a trend first seen three years ago. Read More
“I’m OK as long as there’s money left at the end of the month,” is not a long-term financial strategy. It may be tempting to believe that setting aside what little extra is left is all that’s necessary. But the truth is that a well-devised plan is the surest way to make dreams become reality.
And that holds true at any age, whether your dreams involve traveling the world, starting a business or being able to put kids through college without compromising your retirement. Read More
Credit card customers are facing fewer interest rate hikes and forking over sharply less in late fees.
A year after new regulations curbed a spate of questionable billing practices, federal officials say over-the-limit penalty charges have also been dramatically curtailed. The findings were released by the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which will administer the regulations once it’s officially up and running this summer. Read More
Don’t like the terms on your credit card? It could be time to take your business elsewhere.
Balance transfer offers are getting a whole lot sweeter for those with good to excellent credit. Introductory rates of 0 percent are now as long as 18 months, more than double the average time offered at the height of the recession. The newfound generosity comes as banks compete to land the top spenders with clean credit records. Read More
Americans are putting more money on their credit cards after more than two years of cutting back, a sign that they are gaining confidence in the economy.
The first increase in credit-card debt since the financial crisis hit helped to boost overall consumer borrowing 3 percent in December, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $2.41 trillion, the Federal Reserve said Monday, February 7. It was the third straight monthly gain. Read More
Is there a shadow cast over your financial life? Maybe that’s because you’re stuck in a seemingly endless cycle of paying too much in taxes, fees, and penalties.
Many of us are like Bill Murray’s weatherman in the movie “Groundhog Day,” when it comes to managing our own money. We’re searching for a way to break through repeating the same financial mistakes and reckless habits. Read More
A new breed of credit cards is on the way for 2011. Tighter regulations, cutting-edge technologies and a growing willingness by banks to lend again are just some of the factors reshaping the credit card industry. For sharp-eyed consumers, the changes could present an opportunity to significantly lower monthly expenses.
To make the most of your plastic, here are the key trends to watch… Read More
Filling out an application for a credit card is a bit like financial roulette; you never know what interest rate you’ll get. Under a regulation that went into effect Jan. 1, at least now you’ll know if you didn’t get the best offer.
The amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires any lender to tell applicants if they’re given less-than-favorable terms because of their credit history. Another regulation later this year will further strengthen the rules on what disclosures are required…read more Read More
Layaway, once the province of the poor, has gone mainstream. At the Mall of America in Minnesota, shoppers dart in for just one or two things. In New York, socialites do the unthinkable: They wear the same ball gown twice.