How to use your credit cards to get free stuff

Posted by administrator | 04/11/11 | Tagged Credit Card

How to use your credit cards to get free stuff
News from ABC15.com (KNXV-TV):

They’re in your mailbox, online and on television. Credit card offers promise big rewards, but which ones are really the best?

We found the best three cards for travel, cash back, and gas or restaurant rebates.

Michele Putman, from Phoenix, is an avid traveler who doesn’t pay for airline tickets.

Putnam scores free travel using her American Express card. She has traveled to South Africa and Spain by using the rewards points she earned from her American Express Green Card.

Bill Hardekopf is the owner of Lowcards.com , which reviews the best cards with the best benefits.

Hardekopf suggests consumers find a card that will fit their needs.

There are airline rewards cards geared toward people who like to travel.

If you like to work in the yard, there are cards that can help you earn points toward home improvement expenses.

You can earn points toward hotels, too. There are even ca…………… continues on ABC15.com (KNXV-TV)
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Student debt surpasses credit card debt

Posted by administrator | 04/11/11 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

Student debt surpasses credit card debt
News from The Beacon-University of Portland’s student-run newspaper:

The total loan amount of students attending a college or university this year exceeded $ 1 trillion, making student loan debt greater than credit card debt for the first time. This is up from last year, when total loans exceeded $ 100 billion.

According to Janet Turner, head of financial aid at the University of Portland, the average amount of undergraduate debt for the 2010-2011 graduation class was $ 20,310 per student. The total student loan debt for UP undergraduate students for the 2010-2011 academic year was $ 10,769,045.

The devastating combination of high student loan debt and job unavailability is an economic detriment for students and families across the U.S.

“There’s a lot of outcry on student debt because nationwide the economy has made finding a job difficult,” Turner said.

On Oct. 26, President Barack Obama announced his plan to enact a law to ease the burden of student loan debt starting next…………… continues on The Beacon-University of Portland’s student-run newspaper
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Federal student loan debt now exceeds credit card debt
News from Hilltop Views:

Students are borrowing double what they did 10 years ago, even after adjusting for inflation, according to the College Board. Total student loan debt now exceeds credit card debt.

With more than half of students at St. Edward’s University covering all or part of their tuition with student loans, accruing debt is a major concern.

About 58 percent of students at St. Edward’s rely on student loans to pay for tuition, according to Doris Constantine, associate vice president of Student Financial Services. Most take advantage of scholarships, grants and assistance from their parents in addition to student loans, she said.

“By the time I graduate from St. Edward’s, I will have accrued about $ 40,000 of student debt,” sophomore Mari Serna said. “I know that this number isn’t the highest I have seen students carry, but it also isn’t the lowest.”

The avera…………… continues on Hilltop Views
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Debt for Sale: A Social History of the Credit Trap


Credit and debt appear to be natural, permanent facets of Americans’ lives, but a debt-based economy and debt-financed lifestyles are actually recent inventions. In 1951 Diners Club issued a plastic card that enabled patrons to pay for their meals at select New York City restaurants at the end of each month. Soon other "charge cards" (as they were then known) offered the convenience for travelers throughout the United States to pay for hotels, food, and entertainment on credit. In the 1970s the advent of computers and the deregulation of banking created an explosion in credit card use–and consumer debt. With gigantic national banks and computer systems that allowed variable interest rates, consumer screening, mass mailings, and methods to discipline slow payers with penalties and fees, middle-class Americans experienced a sea change in their lives. Given the enormous profits from issuing credit, banks and chain stores used aggressive marketing to reach Americans experiencing such crises as divorce or unemployment, to help them make ends meet or to persuade them that they could live beyond their means. After banks exhausted the profits from this group of people, they moved into the market for college credit cards and student loans and then into predatory lending (through check-cashing stores and pawnshops) to the poor. In 2003, Americans owed nearly trillion in consumer debt, amounting to 130 percent of their average disposable income. The role of credit and debt in people’s lives is one of the most important social and economic issues of our age. Brett Williams provides a sobering and frank investigation of the credit industry and how it came to dominate the lives of mostAmericans by propelling the social changes that are enacted when an economy is based on debt. Williams argues that credit and debt act to obscure, reproduce, and exacerbate other inequalities. It is in the best interest of the banks, corporations, and their shareholders to keep consumer debt at high levels. By targeting low-income and young people who would not be eligible for credit in other businesses, these companies are able quickly to gain a stranglehold on the finances of millions. Throughout, Williams provides firsthand accounts of how Americans from all socioeconomic levels use credit. These vignettes complement the history and technical issues of the credit industry, including strategies people use to manage debt, how credit functions in their lives, how they understand their own indebtedness, and the sometimes tragic impact of massive debt on people’s lives.
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