Americans step up credit card use sharply in May

Posted by administrator | 16/07/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Americans step up credit card use sharply in May
News from Southeast Missourian:

Lindsay Heres swipes her credit card for a purchase Friday at Schuncks in Cape Girardeau.
(ADAM VOGLER) [Order this photo]

WASHINGTON — Americans put more on their credit cards in May than in any single month since November 2007, one month before the recession began.

But overall credit card use is still well below where it was just before the downturn. Economists say May’s increase was likely a temporary response to weaker hiring and poor wage growth and not a sign of sustained confidence in the economy.

“We might see additional increases in credit card debt in the coming months,” said Paul Edelstein, director of consumer financial economics at IHS Global Insight. “But they won’t match the May surge.”

Consumer borrowing rose by $ 17.1 billion in May from April, the Federal Reserve said J…………… continues on Southeast Missourian

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Keyser adopts policy for city-issued credit card use
News from Cumberland Times-News:

KEYSER, W.Va. — Keyser City Council on Wednesday approved a policy for city-issued credit card use.

The purchase card (P-Card) policy was needed in order to rectify one of the state auditor’s findings. When the state conducted its audit, they found that a policy wasn’t in place, according to Mayor Randy Amtower.

“This policy has been put together based off of the guidelines of the state auditor’s office,” said Amtower. “This is the design of the policy to basically get rid of one of our audit findings.”

The guidelines state that anyone using the card must have training; must surrender the card upon request or upon termination from the city; they can only be used for official city business and cannot be used for personal reasons.

The cards cannot be used for cash, cash advances or gift cards, according to the policy. At a previous council meeting, Amtower said the state auditor found three fraudulent charges, some of which stemmed from employees utilizing the P-Card to purchase gift cards.

Former Mayor William “Sonny” Rhodes used a P-Card to purchase three separate gift cards — for $ 75, $ 100 and $ 400, according to Amtower.

During a council meeting in May, the council voted to pay the card statements when they arrive.

“All charges will be billed and paid directly by the city of Keyser,” said Amtower during the Wednesday meeting……………. continues on Cumberland Times-News

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Consumers Take On More Debt

Posted by administrator | 16/07/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

Consumers Take On More Debt
News from New York Times:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans stepped up their borrowing in May, helped by the largest one-month gain in credit card debt in well over four years. But overall credit card use is still well below where it was just before the recession began.

The Federal Reserve said on Monday that consumer borrowing rose by $ 17.1 billion in May from April.

The increase took total borrowing to a seasonally adjusted $ 2.57 trillion. That is just below the record high of $ 2.58 trillion reached in July 2008, seven months after the recession began.

Borrowing has increased steadily in the last two years. But most of the gain has been driven by auto and student loans. The category that measures activity in auto and student loans increased by $ 9.1 billion in May to a record $ 1.7 trill…………… continues on New York Times

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College students have credit card options
News from The Durango Herald:

CHICAGO � Parents of college-bound students have a decision to make as offers stream in for their soon-to-depart teenagers.

Should they send their green freshmen off to campus armed with a debit or credit card to learn how to handle money? Or is it better to keep firm control through the Bank of Mom and Dad?

The �correct� answer will vary by family and personal preference.

The Credit Card Act that took effect 2� years ago made it much harder for anyone younger than 21 to get a card. Gone are the days of card issuers racking up scads of new customers on campus by handing out free T-shirts or rewards points for spring break.

�In the old days, if you could fog a mirror, you could get a credit card,� says Adam Levin, chairman and founder of Credit.com, a San Francisco-based company that provides information about credit products.

Under-21s can still obtain a credit card if they have a qualified co-signer or proof of sufficient income to repay the debt. And card issuers still market aggressively to college students, targeting them with pre-screened mail offers.

That makes…………… continues on The Durango Herald

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