Answers to 10 top money and debt questions

Posted by administrator | 30/04/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

Answers to 10 top money and debt questions
News from KFVS:

By Andrew Housser

When it comes to a topic as important as your finances, it’s smart to ask plenty of questions so you can make well-informed decisions. Here, we have answers to 10 of the most frequently asked money and debt questions.

1. What’s better: Paying off a high-interest debt or a debt with the smallest balance?

In the long-term, you’ll pay less by paying off your highest-interest rate cards first. However, several studies have shown that people have more success getting out of credit card debt if they pay off the debts with the smallest balances first; the sense of achievement from getting rid of a debt keeps people committed to their overall goal of becoming debt-free. 

To work on the debt with the smallest balance first, put as much as you can toward that debt while making minimum payments on all others. Once that small debt is gone, add the amount you were paying on it to the minimum you’ve been paying on the next smallest debt until it’s paid off. Repeat this process until you’re debt-free.

2. Should I borrow from family or a lender?

Generally, a lender may be a better bet, if your credit allows it. Relatives (or friends) and money often don’t mix. If you do choose this route, sign a letter of agreement that spells out a monthly payment plan…………… continues on KFVS

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Master Your Debt


Strategies and tools to live debt free The world of borrowing and debt management has changed dramatically, leaving people confused about how best to secure their financial future. This book is the only guide with detailed advice to help you become debt free or master the debt you have, based on the latest laws and new government programs and policies implemented under the Obama administration. Is the information and advice on debt management different than in years past? Definitely. In this savvy, engaging guide, bestselling financial expert Jordan Goodman will tell you how to Win the mortgage game: avoid foreclosure, obtain the best refi, and modify your mortgage even if it is “under water” Clean up your credit report and dramatically boost your credit score Negotiate new terms and payments for burdensome medical bills, student loans, and credit cards Protect yourself from the devastation of identity theft Master the new credit card rules, and avoid the rate and fee traps Learn a revolutionary strategy that will help you become mortgage free in 5 to 7 years, change the way you pay all your bills, and save hundreds of thousands of dollars Master Your Debt recommends many pioneering strategies as it lays out an innovative plan for achieving the elusive goal of financial success. The book is filled with helpful web sites, toll free numbers, associations and government agencies, and vetted companies and services to help you implement this advice. In today’s volatile economy, getting out of debt is the key to surviving and thriving, and author Jordan Goodman provides you with the strategies and tools to live debt free.
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Prepaid card use is growing rapidly. Is this a good thing?

Posted by administrator | 30/04/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Prepaid card use is growing rapidly. Is this a good thing?
News from Fox Business:

Do you suffer from vertigo (or, more correctly, acrophobia: a fear of heights)? If so, you should probably avoid creating a mental picture of a graph derived from Mercator Advisory Group’s projections for prepaid card usage in the U.S. There’s a real danger you could get a dizzy spell, and bump your head on the x-axis. Mercator reckons that $ 28.6 billion was loaded onto prepaid cards in 2009. It expects that figure to top $ 201.9 billion next year.

Who uses prepaid plastic?

About 13 percent of U.S. households had a prepaid debit card last year, according to research published by Javelin Strategy & Research on April 11. So who lives in those households? Javelin says that this form of plastic is particularly popular among Generation Y and other youngsters, along with those who don’t use traditional banking products (often because they don’t have access to them). In a press release, Beth Robertson, the company’s director of payments research, explained the appeal of prepaid debit cards:

Today’s prepaid features match and even surpass the features of many checking accounts. Functionality that can enable consumers to manage their account using their mo…………… continues on Fox Business

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Does your credit pass the stress test?
News from Fox Business:

Since April is National Stress Awareness Month – and Financial Literacy Month too – now is the perfect time to identify the personal finance issues that could cause stress for you and your loved ones.

Money problems of all kinds are a major source of anxiety and stress for many Americans. Anxiety and stress can lead to headaches, depression, ulcers, high blood pressure, panic attacks, distracted driving accidents and more. And such financial stress affects everyone – single people, married couples, the elderly, even children and teens.

Sometimes the convenience of credit cards can cause financial stress to build up without your being aware of it.

When it comes to your finances, watch out for these six common indicators of credit stress:

1. Operating too close to your credit limit

Are any of your credit cards maxed out or near their limits? If so, you’re likely operating on the edge – financially and physically.

“Not feeling in control of your financial destiny takes an emotional toll,” says Eric Tyson, the author of “Personal Finance for Dummies.” “When you don’t have a handle on your finances, you experience increased stress and anxiety.”

Tyson’s solution: cut back on your spending and credit card usage. Whether it’s…………… continues on Fox Business

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Wee wisdom: Credit cards can spur valuable lessons

Posted by administrator | 29/04/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Wee wisdom: Credit cards can spur valuable lessons
News from The Coloradoan:

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Become a subscriber today to enjoy these benefits:

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WLC keeps results of investigation into credit card use a secret
News from Nashua Telegraph:

WILTON – Rather than allow residents to review the results of a publicly funded analysis of spending on the school district credit card, the Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative School Board decided to seal an attorney’s report for up to 50 years.

The school board accepted Superintendent Trevor Ebel’s resignation during a nonpublic session Tuesday night. Ebel resigned amid the review of credit card expenses for such things as meals, movies, alcohol and limousines.

School board Chairman Geoff Brock called upon the 35 people in the audience to “trust the people you’ve elected. I think we have some very good, dedicated people.”

The financial analysis by attorney Dean Eggert was requested after an audit of school district expenditures turned up questionable expenses charged to the school district credit card, which was in Ebel’s possession and had his name on it.

A Telegraph review of credit card receipts charged to the district’s Citizens Bank credit card found charges for $ 200-per-night suites and meal tabs of up to almost $ 900. During one trip to San Francisco, Ebel signed two receipts for limousines on the card, one for $ 170 and one for $ 145.

Kristina Fowler, administrative assist…………… continues on Nashua Telegraph

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Man charged with theft, use of credit card
News from Ocala:

Published: Friday, April 27, 2012 at 6:09 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, April 27, 2012 at 6:09 p.m.

OCALA – A man arrested in early April on charges of grand theft after reportedly forging checks was arrested Friday on two counts each of fraudulent use of a credit card, criminal use of personal identification and theft of a credit card.

On April 3, Glenn Gerard Kuntz, 50, was arrested by sheriff’s detective Greg Spicher for more than 50 counts of uttering a false instrument and forgery, residential burglary, grand theft and dealing in stolen property after he admitted breaking into a woman’s home and stealing checks, which he forged and cashed.

Kuntz was released the next day on $ 64,000 bond, paid by an aunt.

He was charged Friday by Spicher with stealing credit cards from two aunts, including the one who bailed him out.

Spicher said the man’s aunts complained about unauthorized charges on their credit cards – $ 613.74 on one and $ 450 on another – so they began investigating.

He said Kuntz was seen on surveillance video entering Lowes at 7575 SW 90th St., where he purchased items with credit cards, concealing the name on each one with his thumb.

During an interview Friday, Kuntz told Spicher he took his aunts’ cards, bought items with them and pawned the items at separate shops, then bought cr…………… continues on Ocala

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National Debt Relief Group Offers Consumers Credit Card Debt Relief Options
News from Sacramento Bee:

/PRNewswire/ — Nationalrelief.com wants to make it easy for anyone to get the debt help they need. Filling out a simple form can get consumers connected to programs customized for their needs. The application is quick, easy and secure. Best of all, it is easy and comes with no obligation.

Consumers who are dealing with credit card debt should consider debt settlement over bankruptcy or a debt consolidation loan. Settling those credit card debts can save the average consumer 50 percent off their principal balances.

Failure to pay credit card bills on time can result in constant contact from creditors. Constant phone calls, letters and harassing messages are often reported by debtors. Consolidating debt through settlement or arbitration can end the creditor harassment. Debtors who use a debt relief service to settle their debts will no longer be contacted by creditors.

Instead, the creditors will be contacting the debt relief service directly. This can lift a heavy burden off those who are struggling with debt. Legal actions may also be halted once a debtor enters a credit relief program. The focus should be on repaying as much of the debt as possible as opposed to litigation.

Those who opt for…………… continues on Sacramento Bee

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How to repay credit card debt
News from Hindustan Times:

Gone overboard on your credit card and finding it difficult to handle the bills? A balance transfer may work for you. However, a word of caution: This is an option, which should be exercised once in a while. If you make a habit of it, it may eventually get you into a debt trap. We join

two friends, Sid and Sam (two fictional characters) in their conversation to know more about credit card balance transfers, how they work and things to keep in mind while using the facility.

Sid is sitting dejected, staring at his credit card bill, when Sam walks in.
Sam: What’s up?
Sid: My credit card statement.
Sam: What does it say?
Sid: I went overboard on my card, due to that foreign trip, the digital camera I bought and that iPad I could not resist. I don’t know what I was thinking then.
Sam: Well, you were not thinking. Anyway, can I help?
Sid: I am not sure how I will manage to pay this huge bill. It’s over R1 lakh now. And the company charges an interest rate of 40% per annum.
Sam: 40% per annum is a lot. Maybe you should consider a credit card balance transfer.
Sid: What’s a credit card balance transfer?
Sam: It’s a facility offered by banks on credit cards, wherein you can transfer outstanding balance from one credit card to another.
Sid: What’s the benefit?
Sam: When you do a balance transfer, usually you pay a much lower int…………… continues on Hindustan Times

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Credit counselors answer questions about credit and debt – USA TODAY
News from Credit counselors answer questions about credit and debt – USA TODAY:

Financial literacy is sort of like the weather: everybody talks about it. But are we becoming smarter about our money? Recent surveys suggest that we’re not: Young adults fare poorly on financial literacy tests, and their parents don’t do very well, either. As Financial Literacy Month comes to a close, USA TODAY teamed up with members of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling to answer some frequently asked questions about credit cards, credit scores, student loans and other types of debt.

  • Thinkstock

Q: I have some retail store credit cards I haven’t used for years. Is it better to close the account with the store or simply cut up the card?

A: This is a quite common question, especially among consumers who do not carry a balance on their retail cards. It’s natural to want to close an account that is no longer in use. However, if…………… continues on Credit counselors answer questions about credit and debt – USA TODAY

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Susan Tompor: Do the math before you borrow the money for college
News from Detroit Free Press:

One trillion dollars.

If you’re a parent or a student, dwell on that number like it’s one of the worst report cards ever. Student loan debt has hit $ 1 trillion, and it’s bigger than credit card debt and auto-loan debt.

By contrast, about 40 billionaires worldwide control a little more than $ 1 trillion in assets, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.

So what does everyone else do?

College acceptance letters are hitting households now, and it’s essential to carefully read what’s being promised where and compare the real costs.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently created a student debt calculator as part of its “Know Before You Owe” initiative. See www.consumerfinance.gov/payingforcollege.

The new calculator is in the draft stage but can be a big help when trying to work through the loan amounts, scholarship offers and savings needed to attend a specific college.

Odd as it seems, some college grads have absolutely no idea what they owe.

“The typical conversation I have with a borrower who is in trouble with their loans is as follows: ‘How much do you owe?’ ‘I dunno,’ ” said Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid.org and FastWeb.com.

What are the interest rates? What are the monthly payments?

Again, Kantrowi…………… continues on Detroit Free Press

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Student loan debt traps parents, too
News from Baltimore Sun:

Just as parents and their high school seniors are about to sign those college acceptance letters, there is news that unless Congress acts by July 1, the interest rate on federal student loans will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

President Barack Obama has been touring college campuses (in swing states) and chatting up Jimmy Fallon to show his support for keeping interest rates on new loans low, and he talks about “the mountain of debt” he and his wife were under after law school. Republicans, of course, demand to know how he plans to pay for it.

The better question might be, how do students and their parents plan to pay for college?

Student loan debt in this country is higher than credit card debt — $ 867 billion versus $ 704 billion for credit cards, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. And while the a…………… continues on Baltimore Sun

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Police: 2 sought in stolen credit card use

Posted by administrator | 25/04/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Police: 2 sought in stolen credit card use
News from Newsday:

Photo credit: NCPD | Nassau police officials are seeking the public’s help with identifying suspects wanted in connection with a burglary that occurred Jan. 25, 2012, at the Source Mall in Westbury.

Crime Stoppers and First Squad detectives are looking for two suspects wanted in the use of a stolen credit card last month to buy merchandise at a Westbury mall, Nassau County police said Wednesday.

Police released photographs of the suspects from video surveillance taken at the Old Navy store at the Source Mall on Old Country Road.

The two used the stolen card to buy $ 842.91 worth…

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Pasco deputies: Publix cashier pocketed man’s credit card
News from Tampabay.com:

By Alex Orlando, Times Staff Writer
Alex OrlandoTampa Bay Times In Print: Thursday, April 26, 2012

HUDSON — The last place the man remembered seeing his credit card was at Publix. He checked his account and saw $ 411.90 in unexplained charges.

Deputies said a cashier at the Publix at 14851 State Road 52 saw that the card had been left behind April 14 — so she decided to use it.

The 16-year-old started out small to test the card, a sheriff’s report says, with a 49-cent Butterfinger. Then she bought several gift cards, the report says.

Deputies say she later told them she was using the card for gas and car insurance.

The Times is withholding the girl’s name because of her age.

She was arrested on a charge of fraudulent use of a credit card. She was taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center in Land O’Lakes.

Representatives from Publix did not immediately return a call to confirm her employment status.

…………… continues on Tampabay.com
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The Skinny On Credit Cards: How to Master the Credit Card Game
The Skinny on Credit Cards is the story of Billy and Beth, a typical American couple, as they struggle with the use (and abuse) of…

Margate tightens credit card policy after questionable charges
News from Sun-Sentinel:

Margate Vice Mayor David McLean angered city commissioners last month when it was revealed that he spent almost $ 1,400 on what he called city business – including boarding his dog, grocery shopping and taking residents to bars.

The City Commission publicly reprimanded McLean for the charges, which he still defends as all part of city business.

The commission acknowledged that he did nothing illegal because he ultimately reimbursed the city for all of the purchases, but the incident led to changes in the city code to prevent future credit card misuse.

“I don’t like public servants who abuse power, and I believe he abused his power,” Commissioner Lesa Peerman said. “That’s not what the credit cards were for. We can’t use them for our own personal use. If they were city expenses, then why did he pay them back?”


Surveillance Video: Check out these videos of crimes caught on camera


He paid them back, McLean says, because even though he believed taking a resident out to discuss city issues over a meal and boarding his dog while he was traveling on Margate busines…………… continues on Sun-Sentinel

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ZweenaHealth.com Expedited Credit Card Processing System Improves Monthly PHR …
News from Albany Times Union:

Award-winning online PHR provider ZweenaHealth.com has launched new updates to its credit card processing system which provide faster, easier and safer web-based payments for customers.

Skillman, NJ (PRWEB) April 24, 2012

Patients and caregivers who use the ZweenaHealth.com online PHR service will now be able to access faster and easier monthly PHR payments via the new expedited credit card system. ZweenaHealth.com is a provider of online PHR (Personal Health Record) and health information management services. Zweena collects patient medical records directly from doctors’ offices, organizes and digitizes them to create an electronic health record that provides updated health information and is accessible online. Zweena also collaborates with Microsoft HealthVault by updating patients’ personal HealthVault accounts.

In an effort to provide a more convenient and secure payment option for customers, the team at Zweena has rolled out new updates to the credit card processing system. ZweenaHealth.com…………… continues on Albany Times Union

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How to pay down your credit card debt

Posted by administrator | 24/04/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

How to pay down your credit card debt
News from ABC Action News:

TAMPA – Paying with plastic is a convenience that has led many buyers into massive debt. Making the decision to pay down your credit card debt is a step in the right direction, but it isn’t always easy to know how to begin. Which debt do you pay off first? How much do you need to pay each month?

When you’re serious about paying down your credit card debt, the first step is to stop charging. If you keep adding to the amount you owe, you will only dig yourself deeper into debt. To help bring your spending in line with your current income, create a monthly budget and make a commitment to follow it.

Even if you cut up your credit cards, you won’t get out of debt by making just the minimum payments each month. Those small payments go toward paying the interest of your debt, but they won’t make a dent in the actual balance. Once you begin spending within your monthly budget, you can use some of your savings toward making larger payments on your credit card debt.

If you have multiple credit cards, you will have to decide which ones to pay down first. Start by making a list of all of your credit cards, the balances you owe and the interest rate on each card. Generally speaking, it’s best to pay off credit cards with the highest interest rates first.

When making a plan to pay down your credit cards, you should also look at any other debts you may hav…………… continues on ABC Action News

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Credit Card Debt: The #1 Deal Breaker for Mortgage Loans?
News from Home Buying Institute:

Home buyers with a lot of credit card debt may find that a mortgage loan is out of reach, even if they make enough money to afford the payments. Based on our ongoing surveys of mortgage lenders in the United States, we are seeing a rise in the number of borrowers being turned down for having too much credit card debt.

Further evidence of this trend comes from the home buyers themselves. We receive about two-dozen questions every week, mostly from first-time buyers. Many have shared stories about being pre-approved for a mortgage loan, only to see the deal fall through later due to their debt ratios. The frequency of such stories has risen sharply over the last couple of years.

Make no mistake. Mortgage lenders today are very concerned with how much credit card debt a borrower has. In fact, debt levels are one of the top factors that can make or break a person’s chances of getting a loan. Credit scores and down payments are also high on the list.

Credit Card Debt Statistics

How much credit card debt do you have? More importantly, how much of your income does it eat up every month? These ar…………… continues on Home Buying Institute

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