More consumers putting medical bills on their credit cards
News from Debtmerica Relief:

These days, millions of consumers remain uninsured or have healthcare plans that do not cover certain expenses, and these must be covered out of pocket. However, many are choosing to put the resultant bills on their credit cards, leading to more credit card debt.

A recent survey by Demos found that close to half of all low- and middle-income households in the U.S. are carrying debt from the out of pocket medical expenses they’ve faced, according to a report from the New York Times. As a consequence, the average amount of medical debt carried on their credit cards stood at $ 1,678.

In all, about 75 percent of households that carried debt faced some kind of out of pocket medical expense in the last three years, and 62 percent of those who did said they took on credit card debt to cover it, the report said. The median amount of these accumulated balances was $ 800.

Consumers who face significant medical bills may end up having to seek out

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College kids paying credit-card rates for private student loans
News from InvestmentNews:

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) charges Mirella Tovar as much as 10.25 percent annual interest on her student loans — a rate as high as a credit card.

Wait until they see the bill

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The 24-year-old aspiring graphic designer, the first in her family to go to college, is among millions of former students paying off high-interest loans to private lenders, among them JPMorgan, SLM Corp. (SLM) and Discover Financial Services. In a good month, Tovar earns $ 730 as a part-time hostess in a pizza parlor, and most of that money goes toward her debt of $ 98,000.

Unlike the federal student-loan program, which lets consumers borrow at fixed rates directly from the government, these loans from at least 30 banks and other private lenders feature mostly variable rates that can be more than twice what some people pay in the U.S. program. With college costs spiraling, the marketing and interest rates of these loans are drawing increasing complaints from borrowers and regulators, who say teenage consumers often don’t understand their terms.

“It was like signing up for iTunes,” said Austin Bousley, 25, who applied on the Internet for a private loan from SLM, known as Sallie Mae, as a student at Suffolk University in Boston……………. continues on InvestmentNews

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Use Caution When Making Political Donations With Credit Cards
News from Fox Business:

This election season, it’s easier than ever to use your credit card to give to your favorite candidate or cause. But don’t let the bunting and balloons dull your senses. Take appropriate precautions or your credit can fall in value faster than last year’s campaign promise.

Experts warn you’re particularly vulnerable to having your card information stolen and your identity hijacked by political donations because:

  • You’re emotional. Your passion for a cause could allow you to let your guard down.
  • New technology has made giving political donations by credit cards an any time, anywhere activity for the campaigns.
  • A campaign has one overwhelming focus — winning. Credit card security is at best one of many secondary concerns.
  • The same old crooks are out there, looking for weak spots where they can dip their sticky fingers. 

Donate anywhere

You can go to your candidate’s website, of course, and use your card to make an easy point-and-click donation. Or in the latest twist, a growing number of campaigns — including those of President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney — are using mobile card reading devices that can take your donation instantly on the spot with a smartphone.

That means no more fumbling for cash at a political rally or having to find the checkbook and a stamp when the giving m…………… continues on Fox Business

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Action Line Consumer Alert: Credit card machines
News from KHON2:

Think about every time a cashier swipes your credit card.

Local businesses that use credit card processing machines are being targeted in a scam in which thieves try to gain access to your personal information.

Recently, the Hawaii Better Business Bureau has been receiving complaints from business owners about people going door to door claiming to fix credit card processing machines.

“They say that they need to look at the machine and that they’re from the company for whatever they have that machine for and they need to replace it,” said Timothy Caminos of the Hawaii Better Business Bureau.

Caminos says they try to convince the owner to let them take the machine, hoping to get the personal information stored inside.

“They’re just trying to get in and get access to the data,” said Caminos.

Fortunately, no local business owners have given into the scam.

“If someone is coming around saying that they’re from a company and they need to replace your machine or look at your machine, get their credentials…………… continues on KHON2

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