Council Clarifying Its Personnel Policies After Credit-Card Problems Surface …
News from LoanSafe:

ELLETTSVILLE (Source: Kasey Husk Herald-Times, Bloomington, Ind.–— Town employees will likely see some policy changes concerning credit card use, drug testing and the use of cellphones while driving after this week’s meeting.

The Ellettsville Town Council will discuss two proposed amendments to the town’s personnel policy handbook at its meeting at 7 p.m. today at the Ellettsville Fire Station. Officials emphasized that the changes were part of a routine updating of a handbook that hasn’t seen major changes since 2005, rather than a reaction to any personnel problems.

“It’s more routine than anything else,” said Fire Chief Jim Davis, a member of the Personnel Policy Committee. “We’re not ‘Oh my goodness, we have to fix this because we have a problem.’ Nothing like that occurred. It’s just to update what we had and make it current for today.”

One amendment to the policy handbook’s section on use of town property adds a section about credit card use, formalizing policies that were already in place in the county. The amendment states that employees may be issued credit cards for travel-related expenses or work-related expenses, but that they may not be used for personal expenses or for specifically prohibited uses like the purchase of alcohol or entertainment activities. Violations of the policy will result in…………… continues on LoanSafe

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Approved Card is a decent first step in using plastic
News from Chicago Tribune:

Attention parents: Personal finance guru Suze Orman is promoting a new product that could help teenagers ease into the treacherous world of plastic.

The author and television commentator calls her credit card alternative the Approved Card.

It’s actually a prepaid card, which is similar to a debit card except you don’t need a bank account or a spotless credit record.

Prepaid cards in general are simple to use. You can load money onto them and add cash when you’re running low. You can also make ATM withdrawals and deposits. However, these cards typically come with high fees.

Orman is the latest celebrity to endorse and market a prepaid card.

“Start your kids on the right track,” says Orman in her promotional materials. “Teach them to handle money responsibly.”

To that extent, her product is way better than, say, the Kardashian sisters’ prepaid plastic that quickly bombed and was pulled last year after public outcry over its fees.

The Approved Card has some appealing features for teens and college students. It has lower fees than many prepaid cards — as long as you use the card as Orman recommends.

The card comes with free identity theft protection and gives the cardholder free credit reports and scores for a year from TransUnion, one of the three main credit reporting organizations.

The Approved Card all…………… continues on Chicago Tribune

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12 ways to rebuild your credit

Posted by administrator | 22/01/12 | Tagged Credit Card

12 ways to rebuild your credit
News from HeraldNet:

Rebuilding credit should be at the top of the list for 2012. Too many credit scores took fairly big hits during the recession.

“It’s been rough,” said Todd Albery, CEO of Detroit-based Quizzle, a credit information website that’s part of the Quicken Loans family.

Here are a dozen ways to deal with credit in 2012:

No. 1: Get a free credit report to see a listing of credit card debt, loans and liens. Receive a free report every 12 months from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion at www.annualcreditreport.com. You also can call 877-322-8228.

No. 2: Get a free score at Quizzle.com. Another spot for free scores: CreditKarma.com.

No. 3: Give up the notion that if you pay your bills each month you will have a good credit score. John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education at SmartCredit.com, says that paying on time only amounts to 35 percent of a credit score, and 30 percent of your score is based on how much you owe.

No. 4: Tackle debt on department store or specialty store cards, which tend to have rates that exceed 20 percent.

No. 5: Yes, throw extra money at credit card debt first. Your mortgage rate or car loan is far less than most credit card rates.

No. 6: Use cash……………. continues on HeraldNet

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Braintree Scanner Tales: Credit-card fraud and counterfeiting alleged at Target
News from Boston.com:

Man arrested on multiple credit card fraud charges
A Quincy man was arrested at the South Shore Plaza on Thursday afternoon after trying to use several individuals’ credit cards to make purchases.

Braintree police had been investigating the case since a Braintree woman reported that her wallet was stolen from her workplace at Milton Hospital on Dec. 12. Several of her credit cards were used at Target to purchase iPads, iPods, a Nintendo unit, and a PlayStation game system. The total value exceeded $ 3,000.

A Norwood woman reported to Braintree police on Jan. 11 that her wallet was taken while at her Braintree office, and one of her cards was used at Target to purchase almost $ 2,000 of iPads and iPods.

On Jan. 12, a Brighton woman also reported that she had been shopping at the Plaza when she received an email from Bank of America informing her of suspicious activity on her account.

The woman checked her purse and found her wallet was missing. Later, she discovered almost $ 1,000 of iPads and iPods had been purchased at Target. Two other purchases totaling over $ 1,500 were declined.

Target was able to provide investigators with surveillance video of the same person using the three women’s credit cards, and on Thursday afternoon, loss prevention contacted B…………… continues on Boston.com

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Rein in Credit Card Debt

Posted by administrator | 21/01/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

Rein in Credit Card Debt
News from LoanSafe:

(Source: The Columbian, Vancouver, Wash.) – There’s nothing inherently wrong with debt. It’s what allows many people to buy homes, own automobiles and send their children to college. But debt is like dessert: If moderation is not exercised, all kinds of problems arise.

Washington’s state government has accumulated a per capita debt of about $ 2,626, which ranks seventh among states. That’s a cause for concern, and there’s no moderation seen in the fact that the state’s debt service payments increased 61 percent in one decade (1999-2009). That trend is even more troubling when compared to the 39 percent increase that same decade in spending for education, supposedly the state’s paramount duty.

Those numbers were reported in an op-ed written by state Rep. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake, and published in Saturday’s Yakima Herald-Republic. We agree with her recommendation that long-term solutions must be enacted by the Legislature to make the state’s debt capacity sustainable.

To their credit, legislators last year approved reducing the state’s working debt limit — gradually, through 2020 — from 8.75 percent to 7.5 percent of general state revenues. That’s a good tactic, but the overall strategy must include other steps. Warnick and others want to calculate state tax collections over a six-year period instead of the…………… continues on LoanSafe

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Mortgage professional uses refinance to help family pay down credit card debt
News from San Francisco Chronicle:

Mortgage broker Mary Anne S. Daly

Mortgage broker: Mary Anne S. Daly, senior mortgage adviser, Pacific Mortgage Consultants.

Property type: Single-family residence in Saratoga.

Appraised value: $ 1 million.

Borrowing amount: $ 775,000.

Loan: 30-year fixed jumbo.

Rate: 5.125 percent, zero points, cost of 0.4 percent.

Backstory: Because of a family emergency, Daly’s client, a couple with children, ran up credit card debt of more than $ 140,000, with payments totaling $ 3,400 per month. They had two mortgages with interest rates of 5.5 percent and 6.64 percent, no cash reserves and were in great need of payment relief.

To enable the family t…………… continues on San Francisco Chronicle

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The bitter sweet truth about credit card reward schemes

Posted by administrator | 21/01/12 | Tagged Credit Card

The bitter sweet truth about credit card reward schemes
News from gulfnews.com:

If you are the type of person who can pay off your credit card in full each month, exploit the advantages. If you are not, stay well away as nothing compares to the pain of unpaid debt

Perhaps the biggest allure of credit cards is the ability to spend without having to carry cash. But for some people, part of the appeal is the belief that frequent card use can bring a host of incredible rewards.

In rewards schemes, the cardholder earns a fraction of the amount spent in the form of cash, vouchers and gifts.

Free tickets to a dream destination, weekend stays at a luxury resort, dining and retail discounts are just a few of the freebies up for grabs.

Because the offers often look too tempting to resist, cardholders are increasingly pursuing air miles and points to supplement their expenses. Consequently, as consumers swipe more, spending and debt levels also rise.

A Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago paper published in December 2010 tackled the impact of credit card rewards on spending and debt in the United States.

Authors Sumit Agarwal, Sujit Chakr…………… continues on gulfnews.com

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Who’s to blame for credit card debt?
News from Fox Business:

A judge said that all his experience, both as counsel and judge, had been spent sorting out the difficulties of people who, upon the recommendation of people they did not know, signed documents which they did not read, to buy goods they did not need, with money they had not got.

– Gilbert Harding

Wow. Can you think of a quote that better distills the zeitgeist of 21st-century America? Could it have been written at any other time about any other place?

Well, yes, actually. Gilbert Harding was a journalist who died in 1960, and the judge he was quoting was British. We may think of problem debt as a relatively recent social ill, but writers have been warning about its effects since Old Testament times, through Publilius Syrus in the first century BCE and Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, to what feels like every politician today.

Credit card debt rising again

And, of course, we continue to ignore them all, just as humanity always has. On Jan. 9, the Federal Reserve published its consumer credit data for November 2011. That month, the total amount outstanding rose at an annualized rate of 9.9 percent, or more than $ 20 bil…………… continues on Fox Business

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Suspect wanted for alleged fraudulent credit card use

Posted by administrator | 20/01/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Suspect wanted for alleged fraudulent credit card use
News from Daily Californian:

Suspect wanted for alleged fraudulent credit card use – The Daily Californian

Friday, January 20, 2012

News

Complete coverage of Occupy Cal

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Approved Card is a decent first step in using plastic
News from Kansas City Star:

By STEVE ROSEN

The Kansas City Star

The Kansas City Star

Updated: 2012-01-20T16:16:48Z

Attention parents: Personal finance guru Suze Orman is promoting a new product that could help teenagers ease into the treacherous world of plastic.

The author and television commentator calls her credit card alternative the Approved Card.It’s actually a prepaid card, which is similar to a debit card except you don’t need a bank account or a spotless credit record.Prepaid cards in general are simple to use. You can load money onto them and add cash when you’re running low. You can also make ATM withdrawals and deposits. However, these cards typically come with high fees. Orman is the latest celebrity to endorse and market a prepaid card. “Start your kids on the right track,” says Orman in her promotional materials. “Teach them to handle money responsibly.”To that extent, her product is way better than, say, the Kardashian sisters’ prepaid plastic that quickly bombed and was pulled last year after public outcry over its fees.The Approved Card has some appealing features for teens and college students. It has lower fees than…………… continues on Kansas City Star

… Read the full article


Credit card use down, now up?

Posted by administrator | 19/01/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Credit card use down, now up?
News from Richmond County Daily Journal:

by Kelli Easterling Richmond County Daily Journal

1 day 17 hrs ago | 587 views | 0  | 2  |  | 

After knocking down credit card debt by 11 percent last year, are consumers finally ready to spend a…………… continues on Richmond County Daily Journal

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Suspect tried to use stolen credit card, deputies say
News from Tbo.com:

Hillsborough County deputies need help locating a suspect who tried to make a purchase with a credit card from a stolen purse.

About 5 p.m. Jan. 10, a man tried to use a victim’s credit card at a CVS at 8603 W. Hillsborough Ave., deputies said. He was accompanied by a young boy, aged 3 to 5.

The suspect is described as a black male, 6 feet tall, 200 pounds, with black hair and a partial beard.

The victim’s purse was stolen from the Bilmar Station Bar, 8501 W. Hillsborough Ave., on Jan. 9

Anyone with any information is asked to call the sheriff’s office at (813) 247-8200. To be eligible for a reward, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477) or report information anonymously online at www.crimestopperstb.com or text “CSTB” with your tip to CRIMES (274637).

…………… continues on Tbo.com
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Arizonans among quickest in US to get out of credit card debt
News from KTAR.com:

by Taylor Summers/KTAR (January 18th, 2012 @ 1:22pm)

According to report from the consumer advocate group Credit Karma, Arizonans are getting out of credit card debt faster than the national average.

Credit card debt fell 12 percent when comparing 2010 to 2011. The national average was 11 percent.

The amount of debt has been falling nationwide for the past three yeasr. However, it might not be because of consumers spending less.

“Credit card companies are making it more difficult to get credit, they are decreasing the amount of credit that credit-worthy people can get, and they are simply keeping the amount that’s owed to them lower so they have less risk,” said Mike Sullivan, the education director of Take Charge America, a credit counseling company.

Sullivan said much of the trend we’ve seen with lower amounts of debt is not because consumer behaviors have changed. It’s more because banks and credit card companies are playing it safer than before.

“People who still have credit still feel like they need to use credit to maintain their standard of living,” said Sullivan. “People aren’t getting raises and making more than they used to. It’s only when they run of credit, or run out of money to make the pa…………… continues on KTAR.com

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Credit Card Debt and Emotions Can Be a Bad Mix
News from Credit Card Guide News:

What’s the best way to pay off credit card debt?

The traditional formula generally goes something like this: pay down the debt with the highest interest rate first. Once that is paid off, proceed to the debt with the next highest interest rate and so on. However, that’s not the way most people go about paying off debt.

Picking battles
According to a recent study headed by Israeli marketing professor Moty Amar and Duke University’s Dan Ariely, when it comes to paying down debt, we often don’t act logically. If we are saddled with multiple debts, we tend to prioritize paring back the total number of loans, rather than reducing the total debt. In other words, we’ll tackle smaller debts first so that we have the peace of mind that comes with checking them off the list — even if it means paying more in interest charges in the long run.

The study’s researchers use the term “debt account aversion” to describe the phenomenon of doing what makes the most the most sense emotionally rather than opting for the lowest-cost strategy.

“When it comes to paying off debt, 90 percent of people pay off on emotion,” says Chad Gentry, executive director of the Colorado-based Community Credit Counseling Services. “There are so many emoti…………… continues on Credit Card Guide News

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Is It Time To Move To A Zero Per Cent Balance Transfer Credit Card?
News from Money High Street:

Published: 16 January 2012 By Peter Thompson
Updated: 16 January 2012

As many look to consolidate debts, there’s the opportunity to save hundreds of pounds by moving to the best zero per cent credit card deal.

With Christmas and other debts proving impossible to clear for some, spreading the repayment costs over a period of time using a new zero per cent balance transfer credit card is attractive and can save hundreds of pounds in interest.

For example, by moving an existing £3,000 debt to the market leading 24 month balance transfer card from Barclaycard and repaying £125 per month over the interest free period, a huge £702 can be saved in interest compared to sticking to an existing card with a market average rate of 18.41 per cent APR and paying the same £125 a month.

As Tim Moss, head of loans and debt at MoneySupermarket.com comments: “Moving onto a zero per cent interest product is a no brainer – it allows you to pay off your existing balance over time without accruing additional interest.

“It is important to think about how you plan to pay off the debt and budget accordingly otherwise you could find yourself still paying off your debts when the promotional offer comes to an end. Also make sure you set up a direct debit for at le…………… continues on Money High Street

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Big growth in consumer credit card debt propels overall debt higher, Fed says
News from CreditCards.com:

Big growth in consumer credit card debt propels overall debt higher, Fed says

By Kelly Dilworth

Consumer debt saw its biggest growth in a decade in November, according to new data from the Federal Reserve, as consumers headed into the holidays ready to spend.

CONSUMER CREDIT CARD DEBT JUMPS IN NOVEMBER
Americans’ credit card debt shot up by more than $ 5 billion in November — the third straight monthly increase and the biggest jump in four years. Still, credit card debt is far below record highs set a few years ago. The chart below graphs Americans’ credit card debt totals from their peak of $ 972.2 billion in September 2008 through November 2011, when it rose to $ 798 billion.


The Federal Reserve’s latest G.19 consumer credit report showe…………… continues on CreditCards.com

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Boom in credit card use

Posted by administrator | 16/01/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Boom in credit card use
News from Famagusta Gazette:

Cypriots� domestic transactions using credit cards amounted to 256.078.244 euro in December 2011, presenting an increase of 12%, compared to December 2010, according to data released by JCC.

During December 2011 the value of purchases and withdrawals carried out by Cypriots abroad, using credit cards, totaled 110.771.847 euro, presenting an increase of 7% compared to December 2010.

According to JCC, in December 2011 the use of credit cards in supermarkets reached 31.81% and for clothing 16.11%. In other retailers the use of credit cards reached 15.78%, while for petrol reached 9.98%. Credit card usage reached 6.05% in DIY and Household Stores, 5.73% in department stores and 4.36% for entertainment.

Moreover, in 2011 Cypriots� domestic purchases by the use of credit cards amounted to 2.205.535.632 euro. An increase of 11% was recorded compared to 2010.

In 2011 purchases and withdrawals of Cypriots by the use of credit cards abroad, reached 1.284.903.167 euro, presenting an increase of 10% compared to 2010.

The total value of transactions made by tourists in Cyprus, during December 2011, reached 22.585.050 euro, presenting an increase of 12% compared to 2010, while du…………… continues on Famagusta Gazette

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Credit Score Zealots Pursue Fool’s Errand for Scores
News from Bloomberg:

Sept. 1 (Bloomberg) — Sweeping lesgislation has changed the fine print in the cardholder agreements that come with your credit card. Find out how the law affects you. (Source: Bloomberg)

Sept. 2 (Bloomberg) — Sweeping legislation has changed the fine print in the cardholder agreements that come with your credit card. Find out how the law affects you. (Source: Bloomberg)

Jeff Rose, a 33-year-old financial planner, is trying to improve his credit score even though it’s 780, which is 69 points above the median score.

Rose, who lives in Carbondale, Illinois, said he opened up a second credit card last year to establish another line of credit and help boost his score. He said he doesn’t know exactly what actions will help or hurt his score, so wants to get it above 800 to ensure he gets the best rate if he refinances his mortgage.

Three years after the credit crisis when lenders abruptly closed a…………… continues on Bloomberg

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Police: Two arrested for trying to use stolen credit card

Posted by administrator | 15/01/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Police: Two arrested for trying to use stolen credit card
News from Glens Falls Post-Star:

GLENS FALLS — Two men were arrested late Friday after they allegedly tried to use a stolen credit card at a Glens Falls bar, police said.

Police believe the two used the credit card at a variety of businesses in Warren and Saratoga counties, according to police.

Their luck ran out shortly before 10 p.m. Friday when they tried to use it at The Bullpen on Glen Street, where an employee knew the rightful owner of the credit card and knew that the men trying to use it were not that person, Glens Falls Police Sgt. Keith Knoop said.

Charged with felony counts of second-degree forgery and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property were Jason A. Naja, 39, of Landmark Motel, Moreau and Philip Lyons, 41, of Old Mill Lane, Lake George, police said.

Police believe the men used the card to make hundreds of dollars in cash withdrawals before they were caught, Knoop said. Additional charges are likely.

Both men were being held in the Glens Falls Police lockup pending arraignment Saturday. Glens Falls Police Officer James Galante made the arrest.

…………… continues on Glens Falls Post-Star
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Tampa Bay businesses find savings in new fingertip, credit card technology
News from Tampabay.com:

ST. PETERSBURG — People usually have three reactions when they use a credit card at Marina Williams’ art gallery and vintage shop on Central Avenue.

Bewilderment. A gasp. Then a squeal.

Paying with plastic at Williams’ shop, ARTpool Gallery, is futuristic and a little weird.

Williams and a growing number of other Tampa Bay area businesses are embracing a growing trend in business that can save them money on credit or debit card transaction fees while amusing their customers.

Using technology developed by Square, a California-based startup, merchants “swipe” credit and debit cards with a quarter-sized device that plugs into any iPod Touch, iPad, iPhone or Android phone.

All customers have to do is sign the screen — with their finger.

“They’re all like, ‘Oooh, I get to sign my name with my finger?’ ” said Williams, who has been using Square for about two months. “Some of them try to get really precise. Others just go for it.”

After the transaction is done, the customer can have a receipt sent to her or his phone or email. No paper needed.

“They always say it’s the coolest thing they’ve ever seen,” said Dave Ward, who owns Buddy Brew Coffee in Tampa.

Ward and his wife, Susan, have been using Square at their business since it came out in October 2010. The couple also incorporate iPads into their point-of-sale p…………… continues on Tampabay.com

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