Credit and blame at the MTA

Posted by administrator | 26/03/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Credit and blame at the MTA
News from New York Daily News:

Credit-card crooks were able to buy batches of MTA tickets and monthly passes, some worth hundreds of dollars each, and sell them at discounted prices to unscrupulous commuters.

The MTA — and taxpayers — have been scammed out of more than $ 16 million while the agency and financial giant Visa quibbled over a relatively inexpensive anti-fraud measure.

Everyone looks bad in this tale of the underground where one of the main sports — ripping off the MTA — is constantly evolving.

The MTA said it has been very aggressive in protecting itself against punks who use stolen or forged credit cards from making purchases at automatic vending machines that sell subway and commuter train passes.

Visa said it quickly responded to an MTA request for help.

Yet, somehow the MTA wound up losing a ton of money — although the transit giant and financial giant both considered the loss chump change. Years went by, and each year millions of dollars was pilfered.

A Metropolitan Transportation Authority vendor in 2005 develope…………… continues on New York Daily News

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Ken King column: Comparing debit cards to credit cards

Posted by administrator | 25/03/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

Ken King column: Comparing debit cards to credit cards
News from The Sheboygan Press:

Last week I talked about the recent hype over Suze Orman’s new debit card. I need to follow up on the advantages and disadvantages to both credit and debit cards.

The biggest advantage of using a debit card is that you are not creating any debt. If the money isn’t there, you can’t spend it. Using a credit card is in essence a loan, thus creating debt. The solution is to pay off the credit card in full every month and avoid paying any fees.

There are five major reason a credit card is a better purchasing tool than a debit card:

» You build a credit history and credit score. Responsible use of credit cards is one of the most effective ways to build a good credit record and credit score. We will all need additional credit some day to buy a car or a house and a good credit history and credit score reflect our ability to pay on time. On the other hand, debit cards are simply a substitute for paying by cash and have zero impact on your credit score, mostly because the accounts and transactions are not reported to any of the credit bureaus.

» You get fraud and purchase protection. Credit cards provide fraud protection and limit your personal liability to $ 50. In addition you can dispute any charges on your statement for transactions you didn’t make or if the product is unsatisfactory or the service was not performed as agreed upon.

For examp…………… continues on The Sheboygan Press

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Is College Tuition the Next Bubble?
News from ABC News:

At $ 1 trillion dollars, student loan debt has eclipsed credit card debt for the first time in American history. To make matters worse, come July 1 the interest rate on federally subsidized Stafford student loans will automatically double, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, unless Congressional action is taken to extend the lower rate before then. Depending on which side of the aisle you choose, extending the lower rate will cost between $ 3 billion and $ 7 billion per year (estimates from the center of the aisle hover around $ 5.5 billion).

The problem is not simply the interest rate. Loans for college are often taken out directly by parents, or guaranteed by them, and the debt can easily run into six figures. This could ultimately threaten their credit ratings, retirement funds, and even their homes. All of this boils down to a simple truth that just about anyone who is either actively paying for college or contemplating it already knows. When it comes to financing higher education in the United States, we’ve got a major problem. But if you’re like me, intuition isn’t enough. So allow me to paint you a thoroughly di…………… continues on ABC News

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Use a credit card comparison site to pick the right rewards card
News from Los Angeles Times:

Dear Liz: Should we get a rewards card? We have excellent credit scores. I’m a stay-at-home mom and my husband has a good, steady job. We spend about $ 6,000 a month with our debit card or automatic drafts from our checking account. I think our family should have a rewards card. My husband disagrees and says that for the amount we spend each month, we wouldn’t rack up any points. Is he right? If we should get a card, how do we pick the right one?

Answer: If you’re positive you’ll pay your credit card bill in full every month, you would be great candidates for a rewards card.

Right now, you’re passing up at least $ 720 in rewards annually. That assumes you’d be getting a card that rebates 1% of your purchases. With excellent credit scores, you could qualify for even richer rewards cards, since those are reserved for people with the best credit.

The simplest rewards cards are the cash-back cards, which rebate a portion of the purchases you make. Card comparison site NerdWallet recently named the Chase Freedom card as the best cash-back card with no annual fee. The card gives you a $ 200 sign-up bonus if you spend $ 500 in the first three months. All your purchases earn 1%, and you can earn a 5% rebate on certain categories of spending that change every three months.

NerdWallet also recommends…………… continues on Los Angeles Times

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Margate vice mayor hands over controversial credit card
News from Sun-Sentinel:

March 24, 2012|By Lisa J. Huriash, Staff Writer

The Margate vice mayor accused of using his city credit card for personal use handed it in to city officials last week.

Vice Mayor David McLean, in office since 2004, was accused by a city activist and political blogger of misusing his credit card from April 2008 to July 2011.

In those years, McLean totaled $ 1,598.63 in personal charges, all of which were repaid. McLean said he gave up his personal credit cards in 2008 because they were at their limits.

Outraged, city commissioners agreed to make it a firing offense. On Wednesday night, they approved the language of an ordinance that will eventually make it city law.

Under the proposed ordinance, using the card for personal use is “grounds for forfeiture of office.” Officials said there would be a process — possibly a hearing or an investigation of the charges — before a commissioner could lose his job.

…………… continues on Sun-Sentinel
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Rate Survey: Credit Card Interest Rates Dip Slightly

Posted by administrator | 23/03/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Rate Survey: Credit Card Interest Rates Dip Slightly
News from Fox Business:

Credit card interest rates dipped slightly this week, according to the Weekly Rate Report. However, consumers hoping for a break on their next credit card may be disappointed, since rates are still near record highs.   

The national average annual percentage rate (APR) on new credit card offers dropped to 15% Wednesday, just one week after rising above 15% for the second time this year. However, consumers who are planning to apply for a new credit card in the near future have little reason to celebrate. This week’s decline — by two hundredths of a percentage point — was tiny and won’t make much difference to new cardholders’ balances.

Citi spurred this week’s rate change by widening the APR range on the Citi Forward card. The bank lowered the bottom end of the card’s APR range from 14.24% to 12.99%, prompting the national average to decline. The bank left the top end of the card’s range alone at 22.99%. Citi did not respond to a request for comment on the change.

New cardholders stuck with higher rates

It’s been a tough six months for new cardholders. Average interest rates hit 15% on Oct. 12 for the first time since C…………… continues on Fox Business

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Man accused of going on $ 5300 spree using dad’s credit card
News from ABC 4:

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – Prosecutors say a 26-year-old Sandy man used his father’s credit card to go on a spending spree because he “needed an escape.”

Charles Chase Iorg was charged in Salt Lake’s Third District Court with one count of Unlawful Use of a credit card (a second degree felony) and 2 counts of Unlawful Purchase using a credit card (third degree felonies).

According to court documents, Iorg took his father’s Mountain America Credit Union Visa card from a drawer at his father’s Sandy home where he’d been living on January 27.

The documents say Iorg called a limousine service and charged $ 450 to his dad’s card as the limo took him to a liquor store.

Once he arrived at the liquor store, court documents say Iorg bought $ 62 worth of booze, then had the limo driver take him to an Apple Computer store, where he bought more than $ 4,100 in electronics.

Prosecutors say Iorg then had the limo driver take him to the Grand America Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City, where he checked in using the same card.

Prosecutors say Iorg charged more than $ 720 at the hotel, including room service, spa services,and pay-per-view movies.

The documents also say that Iorg left behind his own Utah Horizon (food stamp) card at the hotel.

Court documents also show that Iorg admitted to taking his father’s card, using it for the spree, and returni…………… continues on ABC 4

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Nation’s college debt exceeds credit card debt

Posted by administrator | 23/03/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

Nation’s college debt exceeds credit card debt
News from

>> there’s a staggering new number out tonight from the federal government . student loan dent in the country has reached $ 1 trillion. that’s a record. it’s also more than americans owe on credit cards . and the implications here, like the numbers, are enormous. our report from our chief education respondent, rehema ellis.

>> maria recently got a masters in education to improve her job prospects, but at 31, married with one child and another on the way, she said the cost of her degree is a burden.

>> it’s a terrible way to start a marriage with someone, to have those extra stresses on you.

>> with $ 50,000 in student loans , a stack of other bills, and a teacher’s salary of $ 35,000, she said she barely makes ends meet.

>> it’s scary.

>> two thirds of the class of 2010 graduating lowing an average of $ 25,000 in stu…………… continues on

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Student-Loan Debt Reaches Record $ 1 Trillion, Report Says
News from Bloomberg:

Enlarge image

Student-Loan Debt Reaches Record $ 1 Trillion, U.S. Report Says

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

A “Bail Out Schools, Not Banks” protest as President Barack Obama spoke about college affordability at Colorado University in Denver on October 26, 2011.

A “Bail Out Schools, Not Banks” protest as President Barack Obama spoke about college affordability at Colorado University in Denver on October 26, 2011. Photographer: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) — Parents are borrowing record amounts to put their kids through college, jeopardizing their retirements. With the housing crisis, many families can no longer take out a second mortgage, one popular option for financi…………… continues on Bloomberg

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Credit-Card Cos’ Push Into Social Media Draws Criticism

Posted by administrator | 22/03/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Credit-Card Cos’ Push Into Social Media Draws Criticism
News from NASDAQ:

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10 Weird Ways to Use Your Credit Card
News from

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Certain transactions traditionally thought to be reserved for cash only are now available on credit cards, thanks largely to technological advancements. Several companies, including Square, Intuit(INTU) and, most recently, PayPal, have introduced small credit card readers that attach to smartphones, then link to an app so small merchants or individuals can take credit and debit cards just like any other business.

“[These readers] are changing the landscape a bit,” says Ben Woolsey, director of marketing and consumer research with “It’s really lowering the barrier to entry.”

Politicians have long accepted credit card donations via their campaign Web site, but thanks to plastic card readers they can accept funds on the trail too.

Woolsey adds that electronic payments for public services can also save states and municipalities time a…………… continues on

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Credit-card use lifts Discover Financial in 1Q

Posted by administrator | 21/03/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Credit-card use lifts Discover Financial in 1Q
News from Chicago Tribune:

Increased credit-card use helped Discover Financial’s first-quarter profit rise 36 percent. (Scott Eells/Bloomberg)

Discover Financial Services says its profit jumped 36 percent in its fiscal first quarter, as use of its namesake credit card increased, helping driving higher sales balances.

The Riverwoods company reported Wednesday that its net income after paying preferred dividends climbed to $ 624 million, or $ 1.18 a share, in the three months ended Feb. 29.

That compares with net income of $ 459 million, or 84 cents a share, in the prior-year quarter.

Revenue net of interest expense rose to $ 1.84 billion.

Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting a profit of 94 cents a shar…………… continues on Chicago Tribune

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Milne Says Dwolla Replaces Credit Cards
News from Washington Post:

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Durbin targets private student loan defaults

Posted by administrator | 21/03/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

Durbin targets private student loan defaults
News from Washington Post:

A top Senate Democrat took aim at the private student-loan industry on Tuesday, calling for new rules that would allow the educational debts to be wiped away during bankruptcy.

Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) convened a Senate judiciary subcommittee hearing Tuesday to address what one consumer group has called the nation’s next potential “debt bomb.” Research by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that Americans owe about $ 870 billion in student loans — surpassing the amount of outstanding credit-card debt or auto loans. More than a quarter of borrowers had past-due balances, a higher figure than previously reported, the study found.

Of particular concern to lawmakers is the high rate of default on loans by students at private institutions, many of them for-profit colleges. Government data show that roughly 15 percent of students who attended for-profit schools defaulted on their loans in 2009, the most recent year available, more double the rate at public c…………… continues on Washington Post

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Susan Tompor: Debts May Be Forgiven, But Not Forgotten to IRS
News from LoanSafe:

(Source: By Susan Tompor Detroit Free Press (MCT) — Reminders of the financial crisis — little slips of paper called 1099-Cs, the Cancellation of Debt form — have been hitting mailboxes in time to create a few more headaches during tax season.

How could anyone possibly owe more taxes if they couldn’t pay their bills in the first place and needed to have a debt forgiven by a lender?

Well, that’s exactly what some consumers are asking.

Many people who found themselves overburdened by debt are now looking at some complex tax rules when they receive a 1099-C, a tax document issued by lenders when a car loan, credit card bill or other debt of $ 600 or more is forgiven or canceled.

The good news, though, is that there continues to be a limited tax break now related to foreclosures.

The Internal Revenue Service projects 6.3 million 1099-Cs will be issued for the 2011 tax year. T…………… continues on LoanSafe

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PayPal Expands To Offline Payments (Credit Card Swipe): What Does It Mean For …
News from Business Insider:

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How To Choose Between Corporate And Consumer Credit Cards
News from Business Insider:

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Credit Card Debt Loan Consolidation 4 Step Process To Eliminate Bad Debts
News from Albany Times Union:

The popular bad credit online resource has announced their recommended debt consolidation service designed to help consumers eliminate credit card debt, stop collection calls and lower monthly bills through refinance.

(PRWEB) March 17, 2012

People being hounded by debt collectors and struggling with high interest credit card bills have a new resource to turn to for help. The trusted online resource,, has recommended a new loan consolidation company that can help refinance and eliminate high interest debts crushing American families.

Visitors to the site can now get approved for a bill reduction refinance loan. The approval process can be completed in less than 5 minutes and can reduce bill payments by as much as 60% for qualified applicants.

“People want help, finding it can make all the difference,” said

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When Debt Collectors Call: What You Need to Know
News from ABC News:

With many Americans struggling to pay their bills one business is booming: debt collectors.

But many consumers say the collectors are taking their tactics too far. The Federal Trade Commission received a record number of complaints about debt collectors last year — nearly 181,000. second only to complaints about identity theft.

In response to the complaints, the FTC has been cracking down on collectors who don’t follow the rules.

As Tim Bond of Montgomery, Ohio, learned, consumers have to be very careful.

Bond, 56, said he was shocked one day to open his mail box and find a letter saying he was being sued by Asset Acceptance over a debt he wasn’t even sure was his.

“I received a certified letter from the courthouse that said I was being sued for over $ 7,000,” Bond said. “I felt really suffocated and trapped.”

Bond said he wasn’t even sure he owed the credit card debt, and if he did, it was 14 years past due.

“My fiancé and I did a lot of research,” he said. “What we found out — if you said anything at all, just a wrong phrase or anything, it would start statute of limitations over again.”

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