Credit Card Debt Nears Toxic Levels

Posted by administrator | 26/02/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

Credit Card Debt Nears Toxic Levels
News from MyFox Memphis:

Updated: Sunday, 26 Feb 2012, 3:19 PM CST
Published : Sunday, 26 Feb 2012, 3:19 PM CST

(New York Post) – More American households are falling back into the debt hole, this time without the safety net of home values to help bail them out, the New York Post reported Sunday.

Last year, total US consumer debt reached its highest point in a decade, according to a credit card industry observer.

“Now more than ever, families need to work at saving and paying off any outstanding debts,” said Howard Dvorkin, a certified public accountant and founder of the credit counseling service Consolidated Credit.

After a few months of reducing credit card debt levels, Dvorkin said, Americans are starting to return to their reliance on debt.

“People made some progress in reducing card debt earlier in the year, but in the last few months, as the stock market started to rise, they started to return to their old ways of charging things,” he explained.

In December 2011, the total consumer debt — which is the combination of non-revolving and revolving debt — rose by some 9.3 percent to $ 2.498 trillion, according to the latest Federal Reserve Board numbers.

Both revolving debt and non-revolving debt increased. Revolving debt, which is credit-card debt, went up by 4.1 percent. Non-revolving debt, which includes loans for cars and education, ro…………… continues on MyFox Memphis

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Credit card debt easing in county
News from Santa Rosa Press Democrat:

Published: Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 1:28 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 1:28 p.m.

Judi Krug’s credit card crisis came to a boil two years ago.

With alimony payments ending and expenses from her son’s wedding looming, Krug sought help from an agency that promised to consolidate her mountainous debt.

Instead, the company did nothing — a fact made clear when American Express served her with papers, Krug said.

The shock of that ignited her into action, forcing her to approach her six credit card companies, form payment plans and end the shopping habit that fueled the problem.

A year and a half later, the 51-year-old Krug has whittled her debt from more than $ 50,000 to $ 15,000 and it’s still shrinking.

“Each time I pay off another credit card bill, it’s such a huge accomplishment for me,” said Krug, a property manager in Petaluma.

Krug may make an extreme example, but one way or another more Sonoma County residents appear to have lightened their credit card load.

At the end of 2011, the average county household owed $ 5,683 on their charge cards, down 7 percent from the end of 2010, according to Equifax Inc.

As a percentage of income, the credit reporting agency listed Sonoma County as having the 23rd biggest drop in credit card debt in the nation last year. continues on Santa Rosa Press Democrat

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The Ultimate Cash Back Credit Card Strategy

Posted by administrator | 26/02/12 | Tagged Credit Card

The Ultimate Cash Back Credit Card Strategy
News from The Dough Roller:

Recently I published a review of the Blue Cash Everyday from American Express credit card. With the preferred version of the card, you earn 6% cash back at the grocery store. That’s a huge return, and it got me to thinking–could a typical family earn $ 1,000 a year or more in cash rewards simply by using the right credit cards?

I call it the Ultimate Cash Back Credit Card Strategy.

The trick is to use the right card for the right purchase to maximize your cash back. The approach takes some effort. You can’t maximize your rewards by using just one card. But you can get excellent results with just a few credit cards. To get you thinking along these lines here are a few things to consider:

  • Understanding how the rewards program works: Understanding how the rewards program works is a must. Many of the programs have limitations or caps on how much you can earn. For example, some cards might offer 5% cash back, but it’s on rotating categories that change every three months and there are caps on the amount you can earn.
  • Seek out cards with double or triple points: The standard cash back reward is 1% or 1 point per $ 1 spent. But there are cards that do much better. Go for the cards that…………… continues on The Dough Roller

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Inference For Profit: How Credit Card Companies Can Predict the Future
News from Technorati:

Who have you told you are pregnant? Who have you told you are having marriage problems? Well you should add to that list your credit card company, Target and many others. These companies have gone beyond just using your data for basic trend lines of sales, to a point where they can predict your future.

That’s right, predict the future. No, your credit card company is not psychic, scary as that thought would be, with enough data a company can predict what is going on in your life. From the Huffington Post: “According to Marissa Meyer at Google, some credit card companies can now use your purchasing decisions to predict whether you’re going to get a divorce with 95% accuracy — two years out.”

That’s right, two years out. Why a credit card company would want that information is for them to know and us to ponder (increased risk of credit issues?), but what it shows is that we spend so much of our lives filling vast warehouses with data about ourselves, and big companies have finally started connecting the dots. Quite literally it seems. Purchase A + Purchase B = Divorce in two years time.

This opens up all sorts of ethical issues that we as a society have yet to deal with. For example, we generally have a right to privacy, but do we have a right to the privacy of t…………… continues on Technorati

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