Controlling A Plastic Spendthrift

Posted by administrator | 30/06/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Controlling A Plastic Spendthrift
News from Investor’s Business Daily:

Finances — lying about them, fighting about them — are the leading cause of marital breakups, says Kimberly Foss, president of Empyrion Wealth Management in Roseville, Calif.

And credit card issues can fuel those financial tensions, especially if one spouse has good credit and the other does not.

Those issues can surface when a couple starts to talk about finances for the first time. That’s typically either as their relationship starts to head toward the altar or shortly after their honeymoon.

A couple can fix some problems related to a spouse’s bad credit rating. But other problems stem from bad habits that are so deeply ingrained that changing them is difficult, Foss says.

Still, you may be able to corral them and work around them.

Here are some steps. Both spouses have to discuss and agree on the measures for them to succeed:

• Refrain from making credit card accounts joint.

A joint account makes both holders 100% liable for liabilities. So if there are debts your spouse or spouse-to-be has not disclosed to you, you would become fully obligated for paying them.

That’s especially painful if you end up getting divorced. The creditor will still demand that you pay them if the creditor can’t collect from y…………… continues on Investor’s Business Daily

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Arrest made in credit card fraud case
News from Virginia Gazette:

YORK — The York Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday that it had made an arrest more than three weeks earlier in the theft and use of multiple stolen credit card numbers.

Chernoh Amadu Bah, a 25-year-old man from Philadelphia, has been charged with seven counts of credit card theft/fraud. He is being held without bond at the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail. Additional charges are pending, as are additional arrests.

In May the Sheriff’s Office began investigating the theft of numerous credit card numbers from a business in York County. Someone remotely accessed the business’s computer system and took credit card information belonging to customers.

The stolen information was then transferred to magnetic strips of gift cards, which in turn were  used to buy cigarettes from convenience, grocery and drug stores throughout Virginia and 13 other states, including California. It is believed the cigarettes purchased were being taken to New York to be resold.


Numerous gift cards have been recovered containing stolen credit card information on the magnetic strips, as well as a computer containing the software necessary to place credit card information on magnetic strips. A thumb drive was recovered as well that contained…………… continues on Virginia Gazette

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What happens to credit card debt when you die?

Posted by administrator | 29/06/12 | Tagged Credit Card

What happens to credit card debt when you die?
News from Boston.com:

If a person dies owing a balance on their credit card, the credit card company will collect the debt from the cardholder’s estate. If the cardholder does not have sufficient assets to cover the debt, the credit card company is generally out of luck. In some circumstances, the credit card company will approach relatives of the deceased and ask them to pay the debt but that practice is rare and the relative has no obligation to pay the outstanding debt.

However, if the account was opened as a joint account, the other account holder will be liable for the debt but this is only the case when the other person is a part of the credit card contract. If the other person using the card is merely an authorized user (but not a joint credit applicant) then they are not responsible for the debt. Along those lines, if you are an authorized user of a card and the account holder dies, the account will be closed and you will have no further access to the credit line. This may seem pretty straightforward but many people think that they can simply transfer the account to their own name. Instead, that person will have to apply (and qualify) for credit based on their own circumstances.

…………… continues on Boston.com
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Ex-Geneva official admits using city card for personal use
News from Chicago Tribune:

  (Tribune illustration / March 15, 2012)

The former head of the streets department for Geneva pleaded guilty Friday to charges that he used a city credit card to buy himself clothes and camping gear, Kane County prosecutors said.

Steven Lemaire, 55, of Elburn, was placed on probation and ordered to do community service. He also must make restitution to the city of Geneva.

Lemaire was fired in February, following his arrest on felony theft and misconduct charges. Authorities alleged that he used a city credit card to make $ 24,000 in purchases for his personal use dating back to 2004.

Most of the unauthorized purchases were made online and then shipped to the Geneva Public Works Department, police said.

The city public…………… continues on Chicago Tribune

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Should you use peer-to-peer lending to pay off your credit cards?
News from Fox Business:

When Matt Jabs compared the interest rates on his three credit cards and auto loan with those offered through a popular peer-to-peer lending site, it was a no-brainer to use the service.

“All were at a higher interest than the interest rate through Lending Club,” he said. “It also simplified my repayments.”

As the founder of websites DIYNatural.com and DebtFreeAdventure.com, Jabs is particular about which products and services he recommends to others. However, he is enthusiastic in his support of peer-to-peer lending.

So much so that after his own loan was funded in three days and paid off in seven months, Jabs turned around and became an investor at Lending Club himself. In the past two and half years, he has helped fund approximately 100 notes and had a net annualized return of about 10 percent last year.

Basics of peer-to-peer lending

Jabs is part of a growing number of people who are leaving the banks behind and instead turning to individual investors for money to consolidate credit card debt, fund business start-ups or even pay for dream vacations.

What started as a financial sideshow in 2006 h…………… continues on Fox Business

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New credit card laws to expose costly fine print
News from The Canberra Times:

Australia’s love affair with plastic has blown out credit card debt to $ 49 billion and borrowers will be slugged with a record $ 1.31 billion in fees, according to last week’s Reserve Bank bank survey.

But new laws, which come into effect on Sunday, aim to improve transparency and help customers understand the fine print and fees charged on credit cards.

Salvation Army’s Moneycare manager Joi Picker said the changes were long overdue. Her service gives free and confidential advice to Canberra families experiencing financial stress and Ms Picker said her staff see about 40 clients each week.

The demand for the financial advice service had increased 25 per cent in the past year.

”It’s usually about credit card debt although electricity bill problems have been increasing,” Ms Picker said.

”Almost every person who comes to us has a credit card.”

Matthew Levey from consumer advocate group Choice said credit card contracts were hard to understand.

”Most people don’t know that in the past, any payment made on a credit card paid off the lowest interest purchases first,” Mr Levey said.

But from next month repayments will first be applied to the most costly aspect of credit card debt (such as…………… continues on The Canberra Times

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3 Fool Proof Ways To Build A Credit Rating From Nothing

Posted by administrator | 28/06/12 | Tagged Credit Card

3 Fool Proof Ways To Build A Credit Rating From Nothing
News from Business Insider:

orphanjones/Flickr

Picture this: You apply for your first credit card, excited to start building your credit with it. But then, it happens. You’re denied. The reason: Too little credit history.

Rejection has happened to most of us at one time or another. And credit card rejection is just par for the course when you have little to no credit history. But it’…………… continues on Business Insider

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BoCC looks at card use
News from Delta County Independent:

A request by the county sheriff for an expanded use of his department’s credit card prompted a review of the administration’s internal controls on credit card use at the county commissioners’ June 4 regular meeting.

County administrator Susan Hansen carried the request to the BoCC for Sheriff Fred McKee who was away for a training session, commissioners were told.

Hansen said the sheriff has asked for expanded use of his department’s cards because more vendors are requiring equipment and training be paid for with a credit card.

The sheriff was not asking for an increased spending limit, only for increased uses. The sheriff’s department card is issued for use on travel and travel-related expenses, Hansen explained.

Margaret Davey from the county accounting department joined the meeting to explain the county’s credit card policy.

Davey explained the procedures that provide three separate reviews of credit card bills by county personnel before payment is issued on a credit card statement.

She told the commissioners that there are a total of seven county government issued credit cards in use. They are for each of the county commissioners, health department, human services department, information technology department and sheriff’s department.

Limits on the cards’ use have mainly been for travel and travel-related expen…………… continues on Delta County Independent

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RATEGRAM’S BEST CREDIT CARD DEALS, For immediate release

Posted by administrator | 27/06/12 | Tagged Credit Card

RATEGRAM’S BEST CREDIT CARD DEALS, For immediate release
News from Chicago Tribune:

 These are nationally available credit cards offering the lowest interest rates on purchases as of June 27. If you typically pay off the entire balance monthly, look for a zero-annual fee card that allows the most interest-free or grace days. Some cards listed below feature special introductory or "teaser" rates for a specified time before regular rates apply.  Additional fees and residency restrictions may apply. Rates are subject to change. Rebates and other benefits may be available.
 National avg.  APRs as of June 27     Standard   Gold    Platinum
                       8.20        8.88    12.75

Low APR Standard Cards

                               Reg.  Ann.  Grace Intro
 Card Name                 Phone         APR(%) Fee($  )Days APR/mos
 1  First Federal Card                  (843)529-5800  07.15    0  25   na
 2  IberiaBank Visa(R) Classic Card     (800)968-0801  07.25    0  25   na
 3  First Federal CashBack ScoreCard    (843)529-5963  08.15    0  25   na
 4  Simmons First Visa(R) Classic       (800)272-2102  10.25    0  25   na

Low APR Premium Cards

Note…………… continues on Chicago Tribune

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Holds on debit cards can derail travel plan of spending wisely
News from USA TODAY:

Who wants to return from vacation this summer to a stack of credit card bills? I know; it’s sort of like asking who wants to stay one more night in a motel room with more than a hint of mildew.

  • Thinkstock

Plenty of people are packing their debit cards instead of credit cards as the plastic of choice this summer because they want to avoid digging themselves deeper into debt.

Consumers need to watch for fast curves in the road, though, when it comes to using debit cards on vacation. There can be onerous holds placed on your cash, unwanted ATM fees and even debit-card-related fraud.

  • STORY: College deals for student ID debit cards draw criticism

  • COLUMN: Money Wat…………… continues on USA TODAY

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FBI sting nabs about 24 alleged online credit card scammers

Posted by administrator | 27/06/12 | Tagged Credit Card

FBI sting nabs about 24 alleged online credit card scammers
News from Los Angeles Times:

U.S. and international law enforcement officials arrested dozens of suspects around the world in what they called the largest ever such action against online credit card scammers.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said that the two-year investigation resulted in close to 24 arrests Tuesday for crimes related to alleged theft, sale and illicit use of credit card information.  The FBI said that these so called “carding” crimes often include hackers stealing credit card data from bank and retail databases and selling it to fraudsters and counterfeiters.

Investigators uncovered 411,000 compromised credit and debit card numbers, they said, adding that they believed the bust prevented economic losses of more than $ 200 million.

“Hackers and fraudsters cannot count on being able to prowl the Internet in anonymity and with impunity, even across national boundaries,” Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement. “Clever computer criminals operating behind the supposed veil of the Internet are still subject to the long arm of the law.”

The report reads like a book report on a cyber-mystery novel, with colorful hacker names including “xViscera…………… continues on Los Angeles Times

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Police hope credit card use leads to arrest of auto burglar
News from KLTV:

TYLER, TX (KLTV) –

Tyler Police are hoping the quick usage of a stolen credit card will lead to the arrest of an auto burglar or group of auto burglars.

Tuesday morning at 10:30, two women went to exercise at Rose Rudman Park in Tyler. They left their car, locked, with valuables in the trunk.

When they returned 30 minutes later, the back window of the car had been smashed.

The owner of the car, Denesha Session, says she thought she’d done everything right, by leaving her valuables out of plain sight.

Copyright 2012 KLTV. All rights reserved.

…………… continues on KLTV
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5 Early Warning Signs of Financial Disaster

Posted by administrator | 26/06/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

5 Early Warning Signs of Financial Disaster
News from Huffington Post:

Whether you realize it or not, noticing early warning signs of financial distress can make or break your future. I’ve been in your shoes, and I know what it feels like.

It’s daunting to face the truth: the fact that you’re on the brink of financial disaster. You’ve worked so hard to maintain your credit score, tried to pay off your debts as fast as possible, but everything seems to be falling apart.

The five early warning signs I’m about to mention are not compiled from financial experts or personal finance books, but instead my own personal experience dealing with credit card debt.

Not checking your statements— As soon as you get your monthly statements, you throw them in the pile of mail because you’re afraid of checking your balances. You wait until the very last-minute to check the due date or login to your online banking to pay your bill. I don’t blame you. As soon as I realized exactly how much credit card debt I had, it turned my day upside down. We all know that your debt isn’t going to disappear overnight, so the sooner you face the truth, the sooner it’ll be over!

Recycling Available Credit— Admittedly, this is something I was guilty of. As soon you pay your monthly minimum payment, you’ll immediately notice that you have a little more available credit a…………… continues on Huffington Post

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Experts recommend reasonable approach to credit card debt
News from Debtmerica Relief:

With millions still struggling with large outstanding balances, consumers who are trying to reduce their credit card debt should do so responsibly by exploring all their available options.

Many consumers are now attempting to get out from under their large credit card balances, and experts generally recommend that they do so as responsibly as possible by first reviewing all aspects of their finances to ensure that they are making wise decisions which they can afford, according to a report from USA Today. For one thing, it may be helpful to first try to get a lower credit card rate, either by calling their lender and negotiati…………… continues on Debtmerica Relief

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Discover says credit card use rose in 2Q

Posted by administrator | 26/06/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Discover says credit card use rose in 2Q
News from MiamiHerald.com:

Despite concerns about the economy, Discover’s customers are using their cards more often and paying their bills on time at record rates.

The company’s profit fell 10 percent in its March-May quarter, as the credit card issuer freed up less money from reserves set aside to cover customers’ unpaid bills than a year earlier as its loans increased.

But credit conditions are improving. Late payment rates and customers’ loan defaults dropped sharply, reaching historic lows. Discover’s management expects that charge-offs, or loans written off as unpaid, will modestly increase over the next 12 months as the company widens its pool of borrowers.

The economic shakeout of the last few years has left credit cards in the hands of more affluent consumers who are better able to pay their bills in full each month, while those with lower credit scores and presumably less ability to pay are now less likely to use credit. Tighter underwriting standards also have pushed loss rates lower.

Discover Financial Services said sales volume on its namesake cards rose 5 percent during the March-to-May period to $ 26.1 billion, reflecting more card use by customers, as total retail sales rose 5.7 percent in the same period according to government figures. Credit card balances also grew nearly 4 percent to…………… continues on MiamiHerald.com

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Credit card meters in place in Ocean City
News from NBC40:

OCEAN CITY — Parking in Ocean City may become more accommodating as the city has installed new meters that allow people to use credit or debit cards instead of change.

“Change” has come to Ocean City, as new parking meters have been installed that do not require people to dig around looking for loose coins.

“Actually it’s a cap for a curb meters you can still do quarters or change or you have the option to use a credit or debit card right there on the spot without having to walk to a kiosk which is important to us,” Councilman Michael Allegretto, Ocean City council president. “So, I think it’s kind of the best of both worlds.”

The new meter heads were installed free of charge by a company based in San Diego.

They are allowing ocean city to use this summer season as a trial period to test the meters and see if they are a viable option for the future of parking in the city.

“We hear the complaints about the availability of change especially in the beach and boardwalk areas where the rates are a little higher so this gives the customers a nice option,” said Frank Donato, Ocean City finance director.

A total of 69 meters have been installed throughout the city, 57 on Ocean Avenue between 11th and 13t…………… continues on NBC40

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Standard Chartered Bank goes digital, introduces India’s first instant …
News from Economic Times:

MUMBAI: Standard Chartered Bank, India’s largest international bank has gone digital, launching India’s first instant online Credit Card approval solution, which will enable a customer to apply for a card online and receive an ‘Approval In Principle’ (AIP) almost instantly.

Standard Chartered will extend this process to several other Consumer Banking products over the next few months, making the more convenient for millions of customers.

“The online Credit Card AIP is poised to revolutionise customer experience with its instant feedback feature,” said Sanjeeb Chaudhuri, Regional Head, South Asia & Chief Marketing Officer, Consumer Banking. “Digital solutions are the future of banking and Standard Chartered is leading the way in making digital channels an important and integral part of the way customers bank.”

With the digital application process, the customer can apply for a credit card online at his or her convenience. From a customer-friendly dedicated internet page accessible directly or through our website https://apply.standardchartered.co.in/credit-card, the customer can browse through various options available and apply for his or her preferred card.

The online application process involves verific…………… continues on Economic Times

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Discover Financial 2Q net income falls, revenue up
News from Lexington Herald Leader:

— Despite concerns about the economy, Discover’s customers are using their cards more often and paying their bills on time at record rates.

The company’s profit fell 10 percent in its March-May quarter, as the credit card issuer freed up less money from reserves set aside to cover customers’ unpaid bills than a year earlier as its loans increased.

But credit conditions are improving. Late payment rates and customers’ loan defaults dropped sharply, reaching historic lows. Discover’s management expects that charge-offs, or loans written off as unpaid, will modestly increase over the next 12 months as the company widens its pool of borrowers.

The economic shakeout of the last few years has left credit cards in the hands of more affluent consumers who are better able to pay their bills in full each month, while those with lower credit scores and presumably less ability to pay are now less likely to use credit. Tighter underwriting standards also have pushed loss rates lower.

Discover Financial Services said sales volume on its namesake cards rose 5 percent during the March-to-May period to $ 26.1 billion, reflecting more card use by customers, as total retail sales rose 5.7 percent in the same period according to government figures. Credit card balances also grew nearly 4 percent to $ 46.6 billion, while t…………… continues on Lexington Herald Leader

… Read the full article


Steps to pay down debt credit card faster

Posted by administrator | 24/06/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

Steps to pay down debt credit card faster
News from AZ Central.com:

Jun. 24, 2012 01:04 PM
USA Today

Q: I am 27, married and about to have my first child. I have $ 10,000 sitting in a 401(k) plan at a previous job. I owe $ 20,000 in credit card debt, with a 9.5% interest rate that is killing me. Should I take out some or all of my 401(k) saving to pay off my debt?

A: I generally would not recommend withdrawing money from your 401(k) savings plan to pay off your credit card debt.

First, there is a steep immediate cost: You will have to pay ordinary income taxes on the 401(k) withdrawal, plus a 10% penalty. This will likely reduce your balance by at least 25%, turning your $ 10,000 into $ 7,500 or less. Using this money to pay down your credit card would still leave you with a balance of $ 12,500 and if you have no other retirement account you will have zero retirement savings.

Second, there is a much larger long-term cost. By withdrawing the money now, you will not be able to take advantage of the long-term growth of your 401(k). For example, say your $ 10,000 was to grow at an average rate of 6% per year for 35 years. At the end of the 35 years your 401(k) would be worth $ 76,861.

So for every $ 1,000 you withdra…………… continues on AZ Central.com

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Worst Case Scenario For Credit Card Debt
News from San Francisco Chronicle:

According to The Christian Science Monitor, the average American household has about $ 14,500 in credit card debt. That’s actually down compared to the high of $ 18,000 in 2006. This may seem like a lot of money, and it is, but some people have much more than this and end up struggling to pay back the debt they’ve accumulated.

In the old days, you may have faced debtors prison as your worst-case scenario, these days you’re going to face the law too, just in a different way.

Garnished Wages and Seized Assets
After you’ve stopped paying your credit card payments for more than three months, your credit card company may contract with a debt-collecting agency to get their money. If the debt-collector doesn’t receive pay…………… continues on San Francisco Chronicle

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