Good Question: You may want to keep credit card accounts

Posted by administrator | 13/05/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Good Question: You may want to keep credit card accounts
News from Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

May 13, 2012 12:15 am

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By Heather Murray

Question: I’m working on improving my credit rating and want to know if I should close my credit card accounts as I pay each one off?

Answer: Closing credit cards accounts is not always the best idea. Before making the decision, first check your credit report and see how much credit you have available. If you have other cards with available credit, closing a newer account that you don’t use likely will not affect your credit score.

There are some instances when you should never close a credit card.

You should never close a card that you’re carrying a balance on. Doing so makes it appear like you maxed out the card. If you want to limit your use of the credit card, cut it up, put it in a block of ice, whatever it takes to keep you from using it. Keep paying your bill on time each month.

You also should never close the credit card that has your only available credit on it. One factor in determining your credit score is the amount of credit available to y…………… continues on Pittsburgh Post Gazette

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Debit cards beat using credit, but it pays to use discipline
News from San Angelo Standard Times:

Dear Dave: I have a problem with impulse spending. I switched to a debit card so that the money comes straight out of my checking account, but I still buy things I know I shouldn’t. Should I stop using the card? — Lauren

Dear Lauren: First, let me say that debit cards are great. You can’t spend money you don’t have with them like you can with a credit card, but you’ve still got to budget carefully and give a name to every single penny of your income. Otherwise, you can still overspend.

When I made the decision to get intentional with my money, I just used cash. It’s hard to spend it when you don’t have any on you. It’s a tough thing, I know, but you have to make a conscious decision to start living differently.

You have to get mad at the things that steal your money a dollar or two at a time, and you have to put your foot down. Enough is enough!

Try looking at your life as a whole, not a moment at time. All the moments you’re living right now will have either a positive or negative effect on your future. I decided I wanted the greater, long-term good, so I gave up on the short-term stuff. No discipline is pleasant when you’re doing it, but as the Bible says, it yields a harvest of righteousness.

Trust me, Lauren. The greater good is worth the sacrifice. But until you make that decision for yourself, you won’t do it.

Dear Dave:…………… continues on San Angelo Standard Times

… Read the full article

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Degrees of debt: Soaring college costs hobble a generation –
News from Degrees of debt: Soaring college costs hobble a generation –

Kelsey Griffith graduates on Sunday from Ohio Northern University. To start paying off her $ 120,000 in student debt, she is already working two restaurant jobs and will soon give up her apartment here to live with her parents. Her mother, who co-signed on the loans, is taking out a life insurance policy on her daughter.

“If anything ever happened, God forbid, that is my debt also,” said Ms. Griffith’s mother, Marlene Griffith.

Ms. Griffith, 23, wouldn’t seem a perfect financial fit for a college that costs nearly $ 50,000 a year. Her father, a paramedic, and mother, a preschool teacher, have modest incomes, and she has four sisters. But when she visited Ohio Northern, she was won over by faculty and admissions staff members who urge students to pursue their dreams rather than obsess on the sticker price.

“As an 18-year-old, it sounded like a good fit to me, and the school really sold it,” said Ms. Griffith, a marketing major. “I knew a private school would cost a lot of money. But…………… continues on Degrees of debt: Soaring college costs hobble a generation –

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Why Is This Decade-Old Debt Still Hurting My Credit?
News from ABC News:

Most negative information can stay on your credit reports for no more than seven years, or ten years in the case of certain types of bankruptcy. Then why is an old collection account still appearing on a reader’s credit reports more than a decade after he stopped paying? Truth is, some debts can haunt you for years to come:

I stopped paying a credit card debt in the middle or end of 2000. In the fall of 2006 a collection agency bought the debt. I was living in another state and did not realize that a judgment was passed until a year or so later. It is now May 2012, and this is still on my credit report, more than 11 years later. What about the seven years from the date that payment stopped?

This reader is correct in his basic understanding of how long collection accounts can be reported. Specifically, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, collection accounts must be removed from credit reports seven years and 180 days after the consumer fell behind on payments on the original account that was later turned over to collections. That’s true whether the debt has been paid or not.

But in this case, it sounds like our reader is not talking about a collection account that’s on his credit report. He’s talking about a judgment, which is a different animal with its own reporting period. The collection agency took him to court, and s…………… continues on ABC News

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