Put a cap on credit card debt

Posted by administrator | 02/09/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

Put a cap on credit card debt
News from Fraser Coast Chronicle:

Paul Clitheroe

IT looks like the sun could be setting on our love affair with credit cards.

The nation’s level of outstanding card debt has barely risen over the past year as Australians make a return to using their own money rather than relying on high interest debt.

Not so long ago our collective credit card debt was growing by around 20% annually. Put simply it meant someone starting out the year with a card balance of $ 5,000 could expect to rack up a tab of $ 6,000 by year’s end. According to comparison site RateCity, these days that same $ 5,000 balance would be more likely to grow by just $ 6 over the course of a year.

The slowdown in credit card debt reflects a growing trend to make purchases using our own funds, and this has seen ongoing growth in the use of debit cards.

This is all good news, however the fact is that our national card debt is substantial – close to $ 37 billion in total. Reserve Bank of Australia figures show the average balance per card is around $ 3,300 and plenty of people own more than one credit card.

Part of the problem here is that credit card interest rates remain stubbornly high. The average card rate is around 17% but many charge 20% or more. Monthly interest charges continue to eat away at household budgets making it…………… continues on Fraser Coast Chronicle

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Personal Finance: Lesson 1: Handling your credit
News from Philadelphia Inquirer:

The hunt for extra-long sheets for the dormitory bed is over. You’ve packed your child off to college, equipped with all the gear needed for campus life.

But there’s still time to talk with your student, however remotely, about money – especially credit cards.

Students typically are naive about high interest rates, penalties from missing payments, and the lousy credit scores that will hound them for years if they don’t give such matters proper attention now. Many adults in money trouble today started burying themselves with credit-card debt in college.

In the past, banks spent college welcome weeks in booths peddling cards with killer interest rates to students with no income. Now, federal rules keep them off campus and prevent them from giving credit cards to students without jobs or assets.

Still, cards find their way to college students, often through their Facebook profiles. Banks entice students through games and prizes, said Odysseas Papadimitriou, chief executive of CardHub.com, a site that compares credit cards.

Have cards, use cards. About 35 percent of college students have credit cards, and three-quarters of those have them in their own name, according to a recent survey by lender Sallie Mae. Only a third pay their cards off each month; 42 percent carry balances of $ 500. Three percent carry $ 4,000…………… continues on Philadelphia Inquirer

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Alonso showed poor judgment in credit card use

Posted by administrator | 02/09/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Alonso showed poor judgment in credit card use
News from Baltimore Sun:

Regarding your story about Baltimore City school administrators’ credit card expenses, I propose that schools CEO Andrés Alonso be sent to the principal’s office — in another state (“City school officials play loose with credit,” Aug. 26).

The reports of ongoing financial irregularities should outrage all taxpayers. Mr. Alonso has chosen to minimize the seriousness of the problem but he simply doesn’t get it.

He came to Baltimore with sterling credentials and a vision for improving a seriously distressed school system. Unfortunately, his poor judgment presents a significant stumbling block in the quest for improvement.

I don’t see that Mr. Alonso has any more to offer now. He has had too many free meals at high end restaurants at taxpayer expense, and he has shown little concern for the financial responsibilities inherent in his job.

Follow @BaltSunLetters for the latest reader letters to The Sun.

Baltimore needs a superintendent who is less…………… continues on Baltimore Sun

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Sacramento police check officials’ unusual credit card purchases
News from Sacramento Bee:

In a sign that the city’s credit card scandal could broaden, Sacramento police are examining suspicious credit card transactions within the offices of the city’s elected officials, Police Chief Rick Braziel told The Bee.

Those transactions are in addition to the purchases made by former mayoral aide Lisa Serna-Mayorga, who resigned in July after it was alleged that she had used her city-issued credit card to make personal purchases. Sources have told The Bee that Serna-Mayorga reimbursed the city for $ 9,000 in credit card purchases that included a trip to Disneyland, gasoline and groceries.

Serna-Mayorga – the former City Council operations manager who later worked briefly as Mayor Kevin Johnson’s director of constituent affairs – is under criminal investigation by the Police Department. So far, she is the only city employee under investigation, although police are looking at other credit card accounts, Braziel said.

“There are transactions that are suspicious in the mayor and council offices that we just need to look at,” Braziel said.

Police officials have declined to release credit card data for the council and mayor offices as the criminal investigation of Serna-Mayorga unfolds. Braziel said investigators were waiting to receive data from vendors whose goods were purchased by those credit cards before determining which t…………… continues on Sacramento Bee

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