Credit Card Debt Inches Up in August

Posted by administrator | 30/09/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

Credit Card Debt Inches Up in August
News from Opposing Views:

The amount of credit card debt being carried nationwide rose very slightly in August, despite the fact that some of the areas hit hardest by the recent recession continued to slash their balances.

The total combined credit card debt for every borrower in the country climbed 0.2 percent on an annual basis in August to $ 585.3 billion, according to the latest data from the credit reporting agency Equifax. However, the uptick came mostly because of relatively large increases in areas that already carried massive amounts of credit card debt, and despite declines in many areas that were most deeply affected by the recent economic downturn.

For instance, balances in much of Southern California, the Las Vegas area, and a few large cities in Michigan came down appreciably on a year-over-year basis, the report said. The Las Vegas area, where balances dipped 1.88 percent to slightly more than $ 3.69 billion, from more than $ 3.76 billion, led this trend. Further, the areas around Detroit, Ann Arbor and Flint saw balances slide 1.8 percent to nearly $ 9.7…………… continues on Opposing Views

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Experts: Don’t use home equity to pay off credit cards
News from The State:

Neil

Brown

Periodically, The State’s financial columnists, Ashleigh Brooker and Neil Brown, certified financial planners in the Midlands, will offer their views on a question from a reader. This week’s question:

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Should I refinance my home and/or take out the equity to pay off my credit cards?

Ashleigh said…

I heard this question more often during the height of the real estate market, but not in recent years. The primary reason being, many of the same people who had equity in their homes five years ago have significantly less, if any, today. However, with today’s interest rates being at historic lows, refinancing into a lower rate and/or for a shorter term can significantly lower your borrowing costs. While refinancing your home makes sense in many cases, I am not a fan of using the equity in your home to pay off your consumer debt.

I primarily do not recommend it because it often gives the consumer a false sense of their true financial condition. Consequently, debts that have nothing to do with your home, which in many cases is a family’s biggest and only asset, are now associated with that house. Reducing the equity in your home may not seem like a big…………… continues on The State

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Treasurer’s credit card expenses highest among elected Sedgwick County officials
News from Kansas.com:

Treasurer Linda Kizzire used her work credit card more than any other elected Sedgwick County official during the past two years, violated a policy about meals twice and wrote nine memos explaining receipts that she lost or that did not match her credit card statements, records show.

Kizzire charged $ 13,351 to her county credit card from Jan. 13, 2011, through Sept. 11, 2012. The county also reimbursed her $ 2,666 for mileage and other travel expenses during that time, records show.

By comparison, former treasurer Ron Estes put $ 3,282 on his credit card in 2008 and $ 4,478 in 2009.

Kizzire traveled to conferences across the country, ate at steakhouses such as Ruth’s Chris and McCormick & Schmick’s, took employees to lunch, sent 25 staff members to a motivational seminar and treated staff to chocolates and nuts.

After a reporter asked her if she knew she had violated a policy that states that “meals or snacks purchased by county staff for county staff while in Sedgwick County are generally not allowed,” Kizzire last week wrote a check for $ 90.97 to reimburse the county.

“If there was an issue, they should have said something then,” Kizzire said, referring to the finance department. “I did not know that was not acceptable.”

Records show Kizzire signed a “credit card purchase certification” document at least 18 times that stated…………… continues on Kansas.com

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Best (and worst) ways to get cash overseas
News from The Seattle Times:

Ginny Vanderlinde of Federal Way looked forward to treating her son to a trip to Turkey to celebrate his high-school graduation.

She took all the right steps to make sure she had a backup source of cash to get them through a 17-day adventure.

In addition to having enough funds in her Boeing Employees Credit Union account to withdraw cash at ATMs abroad, she loaded $ 1,000 onto a prepaid AAA Visa TravelMoney card, issued by South Dakota-based MetaBank.

Designed to replace traveler’s checks, prepaid cards work like debit cards, meaning you can use them either to withdraw cash from an ATM or make a purchase.

Vanderlinde says the auto club assured her the card would work in Turkey, but when she arrived and tried to withdraw cash, all systems failed.

Turkey, as it turns out, is on a list of “high risk” countries where MetaBank blocks the use of prepaid cards due to government warnings about money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Vanderlinde called the bank, and was told “that card does not work in Turkey.” Luckily, her BECU debit card was working fine. (The restrictions apply only to prepaid cards.)

AAA’s website (www.aaaprepaidbalance.com) includes a list of excluded countries, so either the clerk who helped Vanderlinde made a mistake or the list changed between the ti…………… continues on The Seattle Times

… Read the full article


Did Your Credit Card Already Put on the Freshman 15? Tips to Avoid Overweight …
News from Huffington Post:

Your first year in college means you have the freedom to eat and drink anything you want without your parents nagging, which is usually what leads to the dreaded Freshman 15. But that same freedom can lead to another more serious issue: an overweight credit card balance. According to a recent study, about 70 percent of college students have credit cards and the average credit debt of those students is $ 3,000, with graduating seniors averaging $ 4,000 in credit card debt. So how can students avoid the Freshman 15 when it comes to their credit? Here are a few tips:

Pick a healthy card to start out with: The new rules enacted by the Credit CARD Act of 2009 say that applicants need to be 21 years-old or be able to prove steady income in order to apply for a credit card, which makes it harder for credit card companies to target college students. But that doesn’t mean that they are any less anxious to lure in the young crowd. When looking for the

… Read the full article
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How To Opt Out Of Pre-approved Credit Card Offers
News from TheStreet.com:

Although you may not be able to shut off the flow of direct-mail ads for credit cards entirely, you can narrow the stream.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act lets insurers and creditors send unsolicited offers based on information they learn about consumers through credit reporting bureaus. Anytime you get pre-approved credit card offers, you can bet the companies got information about your credit history to make sure you fit their target markets.

Get alerts before Link and Cramer make every trade

On the other hand, the law also gives you the right to just say no. Some consumers choose not to receive prescreened credit card offers because they want to protect their privacy, avoid the temptation to run up additional debt, or prevent thieves from stealing pre-approved applications from their mailboxes.

How to opt out of prescreened credit card offers

1. Opt out of credit card offers online Make your request to opt out through the consumer credit reporting industry’s website, continues on TheStreet.com

… Read the full article


Discover 3Q profit slips, but card use rises

Posted by administrator | 28/09/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Discover 3Q profit slips, but card use rises
News from The News Journal:

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Sorting out Credit Card Payment Splits When Deferred Interest Involved
News from Fox Business:

Dear Credit Care,

I asked my credit card issuer to apply a large overpayment to a promotional offer balance that was about to expire instead of to my current higher interest balance and was told it was illegal for them to do that. Is this true? Incidentally, when the promotional offer expires, that interest rate will be higher than the current high interest balance. Thank you. 

– Lori

Dear Lori,

The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 does include a provision that requires card issuers to apply payment amounts above the minimum amount due to the balance with the highest interest rate. The only exception to this rule is for deferred interest rate programs. A deferred interest rate program is typically advertised as “same as cash” by card issuers. If you pay off the entire balance before the deferred interest rate period ends, you are not charged any interest. (As a warning, if you don’t pay off the balance before the deferred interest period ends, you are charged interest from the date of purchase.) So if you have any other balances on your card and also a deferred interest balance, the CARD Act states that the card issue…………… continues on Fox Business

… Read the full article


Got credit card debt? Consider transfer

Posted by administrator | 28/09/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

Got credit card debt? Consider transfer
News from KSAT San Antonio:

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Got credit card debt? Consider transfer

The economy may still be wavering, but not the banks. They’re still sending consumers plenty of credit card offers with enticing rewards, cash-back offers, and low interest rate…………… continues on KSAT San Antonio

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Report: Metro Orlando among leaders in paring credit-card debt
News from Orlando Sentinel:

Despite high unemployment and foreclosure rates and other economic stresses, consumers in the Orlando area have managed to pay down their credit-card debt faster in the past year and a half than cardholders in all but three other large U.S. metro areas, according to figures released Tuesday by Equifax Inc.

Cardholders in the four-county metropolitan area have cut their “plastic” debt load 8.5 percent in the past 20 months through August — fourth-best showing among the 25 biggest metro areas, according to Equifax, the Atlanta-based credit-reporting company.

Orlando trailed only Las Vegas, Detroit and Los Angeles, the survey reported. Tampa-St. Petersburg (8.0 percent) and Miami-Fort Lauderdale (7.6 percent) were ranked sixth and seventh.

… Read the full article


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UPDATE 3-Discover Financial profit beats as card use rises

Posted by administrator | 27/09/12 | Tagged Credit Card

UPDATE 3-Discover Financial profit beats as card use rises
News from Reuters:

Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:29pm EDT

* Third quarter EPS $ 1.21 vs estimated $ 1.03

* Total loans up 9 percent

* Transaction volume up 13 percent

* Shares close up 7.3 percent

Sept 27 (Reuters) – Discover Financial Services’ shares rose more than 7 percent after its third-quarter profit handily beat Wall Street estimates as more Americans used its credit cards, adding to signs of improving consumer sentiment.

Consumer confidence in the United States jumped to its highest level in seven months in September, a private sector report showed earlier this week.

Discover Financial said credit card loans rose 4 percent to $ 48.1 billion in its fiscal third quarter ended Aug. 31, on top of a similar rise in card sales volumes.

“Card sales and receivables grew in a challenging environment while credit quality continued to improve,” Chief Executive David Nelms said in a statement.

The strongest sales growth came in August, the last month of…………… continues on Reuters

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CTA, Pace will share new fare card, beginning next summer
News from Chicago Tribune:

Starting next summer CTA and Pace riders will have the option to pay fares with credit and debit cards as well as a new smart card system called Ventra, transit officials announced Thursday.

The new Ventra cards and tickets will be used for single-ride and 1-day passes.

CTA and Pace riders will also have the option to use personal debit and credit cards equipped with a microchip.

The process is intended to be more convenient and speed up boarding, particularly on buses.

Passengers will tap their contactless payment card against the fare reader. It’s similar to the CTA Chicago Card and Chicago Card Plus smart cards that have been in use for years.

In 2014, all CTA and Pace fare media, including the Chicago Card and Chicago Card Plus, will be replaced with Ventra.

Customers will eventually be able to use mobile phones to pay transit fares.

The CTA and the Regional Transportation Authority are leading an effort to create an open fare system in which bank-issued cards and universal transit cards will be accepted on CTA, Pace and Metra.

The RTA system faces a 2015 deadline to fully implement an integrated fare system. Part of the challenge is including Metra, which is slowly modernizing its antiquated fare-collection system that still involves conductors punching paper tickets and passes.

In addition, Metra…………… continues on Chicago Tribune

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When Debt Consolidation is Legitimate

Posted by administrator | 26/09/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

When Debt Consolidation is Legitimate
News from Opposing Views:

Does the phrase “debt consolidation” mean anything to you? For some, it brings to mind the idea of financial scams and disreputable companies trying to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers.

But is that really the case?

Well, yes and no. Debt consolidation, at its most basic level, is simply the action of grouping all your debt into one combined debt. For example, say you have three student loans and decide to use debt consolidation to combine all three into one larger consolidation loan. In that case, the new loan would have a balance equal to the sum of the other loans.

Sounds pretty simple, right? Unfortunately it gets complicated by the fact that certain companies advertise themselves as “Debt Consolidation Providers” when in reality they actually do something called debt management, which is different.

Why do they call themselves something that they’re not? Because they know people are out there looking for debt consolidation loans and they believe people won’t recognize the difference between debt consolidation and debt management.

The reality is that debt consolidation is a legitimate tactic for managing your debt — but only under the right circumstances.  Here’s what you need to know be…………… continues on Opposing Views

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Consumers Forgo Credit Card Debt in Favor of Expensive Car Loans
News from http://www.totalbankruptcy.com:

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Police: Man stole, tried to use credit card

Posted by administrator | 26/09/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Police: Man stole, tried to use credit card
News from Idaho Mountain Express and Guide:

Police: Man stole, tried to use credit card

Suspect charged with felony


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Michael A. Rodman

A 36-year-old Blaine County man has been charged with a felony for allegedly stealing another man’s credit card and attempting to use it up to 26 times at ATMs and retail stores in the Ketchum area.

Michael A. Rodman is also being investigated by Sun Valley police for car theft.

Ketchum police arrested Rodman the afternoon of Thursday, Sept. 20, after he was detained by Hailey police who were told that he was at the Farmer’s Market on Main Street in Hailey.

“When we heard he was in our area, we wanted to catch him before he committed a crime in our area,” Hailey police Lt. Steve England said Monday.

Rodman was formally charged with the felony crime of “criminal possession of a financial transaction card” at an initial court appearance Friday in Blaine County Magistrate Court. Hailey attorney Christopher Simms was appointed public…………… continues on Idaho Mountain Express and Guide

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Steps to Build Good Credit With Your First Credit Card
News from Fox Business:

Dear Opening Credits,

Hi, I recently got my first credit card about three months ago with a limit of $ 1,000. I am planning to get a second credit card to boost my score. Since I have not had a credit card for long, my score would not be so high right now. So I am confused. Should I apply for a card right now or wait for some time when my credit score improves and my chances increase of getting accepted for a second credit card? Also, if my application gets rejected, does it harm my credit score? (I am not a U.S. national; however, I have an Social Security number and pay taxes.) 

– Harpreet
 

Dear Harpreet,

Baby steps, my friend, baby steps! This is not the time to start trying to run the credit race, but to learn how to walk gracefully with the plastic you have.

Now, I’m not implying that you can’t manage a credit card perfectly from the get-go. You may be a natural wiz and will never make a mistake. However, this is your opportunity to prove that you are an awesome borrower to your current card issuer and to future lenders. You have a grand to play with and if you’re like most people, that line should be more than enough to buy what you need and repay with ease.

First, know how much money you have coming in and how much is going out in expenses. All sort…………… continues on Fox Business

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Traveling out of state and hope to use your credit card? Here’s what you …
News from Plain Dealer:

When you expect to travel, it would be wise to contact your credit card company to alert them.

I was visiting my mother in Dallas recently. I tried to use my Citibank Visa credit card at Lowe’s to purchase $ 650 worth of items for her house. My card was declined. Annoyed, I used my debit card instead.

After I left the store, I received a text message from the fraud department at Citibank asking if I tried to make the noted purchase. I called Citibank immediately and expressed my dissatisfaction about having my purchase declined. They apologized and asked how long I plan to be in Texas. I found this to be overprotective. Are they protecting me or themselves?

— D.H., Cleveland

It is becoming more and more common for credit card companies to flag out-of-state purchases, especially large ones, as possible fraud.

There are plenty of reasons to be annoyed with credit card issuers, but this isn’t one of them. They are protecting themselves, and they are protecting you.

Obviously, if a bad guy fraudulently…………… continues on Plain Dealer

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4 Things to Know: Credit Card Insurance
News from ABC News:

It sounded like such a good idea at the time. It was 2009, the nation was in the middle of the Great Recession, the housing market was taking a serious blow, and Janet Summers* decided she needed a little protection from life’s big changes.

Her husband still had work renovating homes in the Charlotte, N.C., area, and Summers had a job, too. But when a nice woman called from Sears to ask if Summers would like to sign up for an insurance policy on her Sears credit card, it sounded like a good precaution to take. And at about $ 80 a month, it seemed like a reasonable expense.

The caller said the insurance “would cover my balance up to $ 10,000.00 in case I lost my job, had to take care of a family member, or my husband became unemployed and I was the only one working,” Summers said in a recent email. “So I took out the insurance believing that this is a good deal.”

Over the next three years, Summers paid Sears $ 3,000 for the insurance. Even in the midst of the recession, her husband’s company continued to profit, as many people who had planned to buy new homes decided instead to renovate the ones they already owned.

Then, this March, her husband lost his job. The financial impact hit immediately.

“It was booming there for a while, and all of a sudden it just stopped,” Summers writes. “And that’s when I had to use my credi…………… continues on ABC News

… Read the full article


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Plastic’s Problem: Falling Credit Card Debt

Posted by administrator | 22/09/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

Plastic’s Problem: Falling Credit Card Debt
News from Investorplace.com:

   

Investors all around have been pretty bullish on credit-card companies as of late. There’s plenty of reasons behind their success, but one of the biggest drivers is one of the simplest: More and more people are paying using plastic.

Banking and payment services outfit Discover Financial (NYSE:DFS) has been t…………… continues on Investorplace.com

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.

Related News:

Important Things to Know About Credit Card Insurance Plans
News from Opposing Views:

It sounded like such a good idea at the time. It was 2009, the nation was in the middle of the Great Recession, the housing market was taking a serious blow, and Janet Summers* decided she needed a little protection from life’s big changes.

Her husband still had work renovating homes in the Charlotte, N.C., area, and Summers had a job, too. But when a nice woman called from Sears to ask if Summers would like to sign up for an insurance policy on her Sears credit card, it sounded like a good precaution to take. And at about $ 80 a month, it seemed like a reasonable expense.

The caller said the insurance “would cover my balance up to $ 10,000.00 in case I lost my job, had to take care of a family member, or my husband became unemployed and I was the only one working,” Summers said in a recent email. “So I took out the insurance believing that this is a good deal.”

Over the next three years, Summers paid Sears $ 3,000 for the insurance. Even in the midst of the recession, her husband’s company continued to profit, as many people who had planned to buy new homes decided instead to renovate the ones they already owned.

Then, this March, her husband lost his job. The financial impact hit immediately.

“It was booming there for a while, and all of a sudden it just stopped,” Summers writes. “And that’s when I had to use my credit card to pay some…………… continues on Opposing Views

… Read the full article


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