Digital Self Service to Target Credit Card Debt in Canada
News from Sacramento Bee:

/PRNewswire/ —

Digital payments specialists, Telrock have launched a self service payments application, SmartCollect in Canada this week, offering customers a range of quick and discreet ways to make payments on current and overdue accounts, through a choice of digital channels.

As ‘Standard and Poor’ recently cut their outlook from “stable” to “negative” on seven Canadian banks, there is a requirement for new thinking on the intelligent management of consumer debt. SmartCollect is set to take on the challenge, having previously helped European financial institutions, such as Nordic Credit Card Company, EnterCard owned by Barclays. The software application has improved collection rates and reduced costs while supporting customers who fall into arrears. It allows customers to set up and manage final settlement payments, promises to pay and payment plans through their choice of seven different interactive communication channels including smartphone apps, social media, web portals and SMS, acting as a virtual agent for lenders.

According to Ipsos research, “83% of Canadians use their mobiles ‘on the go’,” giving lenders the ability to alert customers straight to ‘their pocket’ and reminding them to pay. Self service is also becoming increasing important as “82% of Canadians sa…………… continues on Sacramento Bee

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Handling Credit Card Debt After the Death of a Spouse
News from TheStreet.com:

NEW YORK (LowCards.com) — When a spouse dies, the surviving mate may be burdened with more than just grief and loneliness. Credit card debt may also haunt the partner that is left behind.

The responsibility for the credit card debt of a deceased spouse will depend on the type of account it was and, in some cases, where you live.

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When the Estate Pays

If a credit card was just in your deceased spouse’s name, the debt only belongs to your spouse (there are exceptions to this in community property states). The estate, not family members, is responsible for paying off the balance. The executor of the estate will use the assets to pay off the debt. If the estate doesn’t have the money to pay the card’s balance, then the credit card company must write off the balance and the account is closed. A card company can’t legally force someone else to pay.

Neither an authorized user on the account nor a second cardholder who has charging privileges is responsible for the remaining debt when it is not a joint credit card account. When the Survivors Pay

If the card is a joint account, then the surviving spouse is liable for the…………… continues on TheStreet.com

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CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report: Credit card interest rates …
News from Sacramento Bee:

/PRNewswire/ —¬†Interest rates on new credit card offers held steady for the third straight week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090210/CCLOGO)

The average is comprised of 100 of the most popular credit cards in the country, including cards from dozens of leading U.S. issuers and representing every card category. Introductory (teaser) rates are not included in the calculation.

Rates for card categories tracked by CreditCards.com are listed below:

Credit Card Averages

Avg. APR Last week 6 months ago
National Average 14.97% 14.97% 14.91%
Low Interest 10.40% 10.40% 10.40%
Balance Transfer 12.62% 12.62% 12.60%
continues on Sacramento Bee

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Ask the Expert: Grads and credit cards
News from Newsday:

Other Columnists

My son graduated from college this spring. He got a good job with a $ 72,000 salary at a consulting firm but has no credit history. Will that hurt his chance of getting a credit card? If his applications are rejected, will it damage his credit score?

Advise him to apply for just one card. He’ll probably get it, thanks to his income. If not, one rejection won’t hurt him.

If possible, he should apply for a MasterCard or Visa card at a credit union, where membership status will outweigh his lack of credit history. If he doesn’t qualify to join a credit union through his former college or his job — or through yours — and his application at a bank is rejected, he can still get a “secured” card: He depo…………… continues on Newsday

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