Our Credit Card Debt Just Got Worse

Posted by administrator | 22/11/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

Our Credit Card Debt Just Got Worse
News from Newser:

(AP) – Americans cranked up their use of credit cards in the third quarter, racking up more debt than a year ago, while also being less diligent about making payments on time, an analysis of consumer-credit data shows. The average credit card debt per borrower in the US grew 4.9% in the July-to-September period from a year earlier to $ 4,996, credit reporting agency TransUnion said today. At the same time, the rate of credit card payments at least 90 days overdue hit 0.75%, up from 0.71% in the third quarter of last year, the firm said.

One likely contributor to the rise in card balances: Banks have been issuing more cards to borrowers, including those with less-than-sterling credit. In Q2 of this year, the number of new cards issued by banks rose 3.1% from a year earlier, with more than a quarter of the cards going to consumers with a nonprime credit score, according to the VantageScore credit scale. A nonprime score is anything below a 700 on the scale, which ranges from 990 to 501. The lower the score, the more of a credit risk a borrower represents to banks.

…………… continues on Newser
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Debt settlement industry wants to operate in Ohio
News from Arkansas Online (subscription):

— Companies that charge up-front fees for working with consumers to settle tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt are pushing for a bill in the lame duck legislative session that would allow them to operate in Ohio.

The ”debt settlement” industry has been advocating for legislation in Ohio for five years and hopes to be successful this time around, said lobbyist Rick Oxender, who represents the 40-member American Fair Credit Council.

”They want to be licensed. They want to keep bad apples out. They want regulations and they want consumer protections in place,” Oxender said.

But opponents, including the Ohio Poverty Law Center and Policy Matters Ohio, are warning that what the debt settlement industry wants is permission to operate in Ohio outside the state’s consumer protection laws already in place.

”They want to legalize a loophole and be able to charge a lot up front,” said David Rothstein of Policy Matters Ohio, a non-partisan, left-leaning think tank in Cleveland.

State Rep. Richard Adams, R-Troy, chairman of the House Financial Institutions Committee, said he will hold another hearing on House Bill 542 on Wednesday and will have a better idea then whether the legislation will gain momentum needed to clear both the House and the Senate by the end of the year. A…………… continues on Arkansas Online (subscription)

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Calif. supervisor fires back over credit card use

Posted by administrator | 21/11/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Calif. supervisor fires back over credit card use
News from San Jose Mercury News:

SAN JOSE, Calif.—A Santa Clara County supervisor under fire for his use of a county-issued credit card is firing back.

George Shirakawa told fellow supervisors at a board meeting on Tuesday not to be distracted by what he characterized as a “political lynching.”

The 50-year-old Shirakawa—the board’s president—has been criticized for charging taxpayers more than $ 36,000 over the past four years. The charges include more than 180 meals, often at high-end restaurants, a high-definition television and trips to luxury resorts and casinos.

The San Jose Mercury News reports (http://bit.ly/QX32Ue) that Shirakawa’s remarks preceded a discussion about policies surrounding use of so-called “Procurement Cards,” the credit cards issued to hundreds of county employees and a handful of elected officials.

———

Information from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com

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Calculate The True Cost Of Credit Card Purchases Before You Buy
News from The Consumerist:

(Spidra Webster)

This is good advice any time of the year, but since many of us are about to launch into spending sprees in the oncoming days, it’s as good a time as any to remind shoppers to think long-term about how much they are actually going to pay for an item purchased with a credit card.

Yes, we know that you always pay your credit card bill off in full and on time. But there are many millions of people out there who use their credit cards to finance purchases and pay down their bill over time.

According to Equifax, high outstanding debt accounts for 30% of your credit score. That’s why it helps to know exactly what sort of interest you’ll have racked up by the time you finish paying for the purchase.

None of this is to say that you should not use a credit card, especially since credit cards offer significantly more consumer protections than debit cards or cash. It’s just a suggestio…………… continues on The Consumerist

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Credit Card Use Up From Last Year

Posted by administrator | 21/11/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Credit Card Use Up From Last Year
News from KCEN-TV:

(KCEN) — Americans are getting ready to crank up the use of their credit cards.

According to credit reporting agency Trans-Union, the average credit card debt per borrower was up from July to September.

In fact, it grew 4.9 percent compared to the same period last year.

The agency’s analysis of consumer-credit data also showed credit card payments at least 90 days overdue were also up.

Americans are also carrying higher card balances, but that could be due to the upcoming holidays.

Card holders tend to use their cards for the holidays and pay down the balance in the spring.

…………… continues on KCEN-TV
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Diamonds used as credit cards…
News from fox5sandiego.com:

SAN DIEGO – Even as the economy starts to recover, people are still struggling to pay the bills, and after the cash is gone many people sell  the family jewelry to get by.

Diamonds have always been a questionable asset. The jewels are worth only what someone is willing to pay.  The going rate is 40 percent of the original price, according to Cashco Pawn Shop in City Height.

“People should hold on to their diamonds,” said Moris Adato CashCo’s gemologist.  “If people sell their jewelry they get the cash but could end up in the same situation in a few months. But they won’t have a diamond.”

Adato said if people pawn their gems, they will pay an interest rate of 4 percent. If they buy the gem back, the diamond can be used time and again. The system if used correctly, works almost like a credit card, he said.

…………… continues on fox5sandiego.com
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Eliminate Credit Card Debt for Good

Posted by administrator | 20/11/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

Eliminate Credit Card Debt for Good
News from NASDAQ:

The easiest way to handle credit card debt is never to let yourself get into debt in the first place. But if you’ve gotten yourself in over your head, never fear: you can still eliminate credit card debt once and for all if you can follow a few simple steps.

Later in this article, I’ll give you my simple four-step plan to getting rid of your debt. But first, I want to warn you about some of the things that credit card companies do that make it harder than you might think to get your debt paid off .

It’s a money game
If you’ve ever wondered why you get so many credit card offers in the mail, the answer is simple: credit cards are a huge moneymaker for the entire industry. On one hand, Visa ( V ) and MasterCard (

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Credit card debt increases, Coloradans rank second
News from Denver Post:

As the tight economy eases and consumer spending thaws along with it, credit-card debt is climbing again — and Coloradans are among the nation’s leaders — according to a report issued Monday by Trans-Union, one of the three main credit-reporting bureaus.

The average credit-card debt per American borrower jumped up to $ 4,996 — a 4.9 percent increase — in the third quarter of the year, and Coloradans ranked behind only Alaska for the most card debt per consumer, at $ 5,696, the report found.

That’s down slightly from the previous quarter, when Coloradans on average carried $ 5,728 in credit-card debt. But, experts say, the upcoming shopping season means debt is likely to get even deeper.

“The increase in credit-card debt may reinforce the latest research from the Federal Reserve that shows bankers have eased up slightly on lending standards and demand is increasing for credit cards,” said Bill Hardekopf at LowCards.com.

The Federal Reserve recently reported that 17 percent of all banks and 26 percent of large banks reported moderately stronger demand for credit-card loans over the past three months.

…………… continues on Denver Post
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Consumer Credit, Debt and Bankruptcy


After a long period of prosperity and steady economic growth, the world's leading economies are now in crisis, and although there will be debate about its origins, the scale and seriousness of the crisis is in no doubt. There is also no doubt that excessive amounts of consumer credit, allied to a weak understanding of how globalised credit markets might react to a crisis, have played a significant part. This book, which is primarily about credit, debt and the trouble they have led to, is written by authors who have specialised in researching into over-indebtedness, that is, situations in which an individual's debt burden has become overwhelming. For these authors the plight of individuals is a primary concern, but the wider issue is how credit is used and how it changes societies. The essays in this volume, addressing topics which are fundamental to our understanding of the current crisis, range widely across the whole sector of consumer finance, including mortgages, 'credit-binges', the regulation of consumer lending, insolvency, repayment plans, debt counselling and much more besides. The conclusions drawn from the book are equally wide-ranging, but above all the lesson learned from these essays is that the financialisation of contemporary life ensures that issues of the appropriate role of credit remain of critical importance in society.
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Starwatch Consumer | Credit card use increases

Posted by administrator | 20/11/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Starwatch Consumer | Credit card use increases
News from Kansas City Star:

Credit card use

Americans cranked up their use of credit cards in the third quarter, racking up more debt than a year ago, while also being less diligent about making payments on time, an analysis of consumer credit data shows. The average credit card debt per borrower in the U.S. grew 4.9 percent in the July-September period from a year earlier to $ 4,996, credit reporting agency TransUnion said Monday. At the same time, the rate of credit card payments at least 90 days overdue hit 0.75 percent, up from 0.71 percent in the third quarter of last year, the agency said. While higher, the late payment rate is rising from historically low levels. The lowest late payment rate on TransUnion records going back to the mid-1990s was 0.56 percent, set in the third quarter of 1994. More recently, it was at 0.60 percent in the second quarter of last year. Mortgage settlementsThe five largest U.S. mortgage servicers have provided about $ 26.1 billion for borrowers so far under a $ 25 billion settlement over abusive foreclosure practices, according to a court-appointed monitor. The aid included $ 2.6 billion in principal relief for about 22,000 borrowers, the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight said in a report released Monday. Lenders, including Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co.,…………… continues on Kansas City Star

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When Good Credit Marries Bad Credit
News from Fox Business:

Your new spouse has many wonderful qualities, but soon after the wedding you learn that a high credit score is not among them. What should you do?

Take steps now to manage credit cards well so you both have good credit when it comes time to apply for car loans or a mortgage. Here’s how:

1. Credit score: how bad is it?

Get copies of your credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com and get your FICO or VantageScore credit scores to learn where you stand. You’re entitled to free copies of your credit reports once a year from each of the credit reporting bureaus, but you might have to pay a small fee to learn your credit scores. Check reports for accuracy, and follow credit bureau instructions to correct any factual errors.

2. Keep credit in your name

You each maintain individual credit scores when you’re married, but both scores factor into a lender’s decision if you apply for…………… continues on Fox Business

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Average US Credit Card Debt Per Borrower up in 3Q

Posted by administrator | 19/11/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Average US Credit Card Debt Per Borrower up in 3Q
News from ABC News:

Americans cranked up their use of credit cards in the third quarter, racking up more debt than a year ago, while also being less diligent about making payments on time, an analysis of consumer-credit data shows.

The average credit card debt per borrower in the U.S. grew 4.9 percent in the July-to-September period from a year earlier to $ 4,996, credit reporting agency TransUnion said Monday.

At the same time, the rate of credit card payments at least 90 days overdue hit 0.75 percent, up from 0.71 percent in the third quarter of last year, the firm said.

While higher, the late payment rate is rising from historically low levels. The lowest late payment rate on TransUnion records going back to the mid-1990s was 0.56 percent, set in the third quarter of 1994. More recently, it was at 0.60 percent in the second quarter of last year.

During the last recession, many Americans reined in spending in favor of paying off debt, particularly credit card balances. The housing downturn also prompted many homeowners to make paying their credit card accounts on time a priority at the expense of other financial obligations, such as their mortgage payments.

And there are no indications that trend has changed, even with the slight uptick in the late payment rate, said Ezra Becker, vice president at TransUnion’s financial services busine…………… continues on ABC News

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Online shoppers’ privacy must be protected
News from San Francisco Chronicle:

Should the privacy rights and protections made state law in 1971 still apply to credit card purchases in a digital age?

Under state law, a sales clerk may ask to see a driver’s license or other identification when a customer wants to pay with a credit card but will face up to a $ 1,000 fine if the information is recorded. There is an exception if an address is needed to deliver the good.

Apple, eHarmony and Ticketmaster claim in a lawsuit that the law, written before online shopping was even imagined, only applies to brick-and-mortar stores.

But why shouldn’t online shoppers have the same privacy protections? Should you really need to hand over your phone number, e-mail address and photo to use an intermediary like Square Wallet to pay for a Starbucks coffee?

If you buy an iPad or iPod, you pay plenty for a device that is worthless unless you give up personal information to activate it – this in a state where privacy is so highly valued that protections are written into the California Constitution.

The online retailers’ suit, heard before the state S…………… continues on San Francisco Chronicle

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When Good Credit Marries Bad Credit

Posted by administrator | 17/11/12 | Tagged Credit Card

When Good Credit Marries Bad Credit
News from TheStreet.com:

Your new spouse has many wonderful qualities, but soon after the wedding you learn that a high credit score is not among them. What should you do?

Take steps now to manage credit cards well so you both have good credit when it comes time to apply for car loans or a mortgage. Here’s how:

1. Credit score: how bad is it?

Get copies of your credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com and get your FICO or VantageScore credit scores to learn where you stand. You’re entitled to free copies of your credit reports once a year from each of the credit reporting bureaus, but you might have to pay a small fee to learn your credit scores. Check reports for accuracy, and follow credit bureau instructions to correct any factual errors.

2. Keep credit in your name

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Girl Scouts go high-tech with credit card reader to sell more cookies
News from Buffalo News:

The Girl Scouts are diving into the digital age to make it easier for you to get your fix of Thin Mints, Thanks-A-Lots and Caramel deLites.

For the first time, this fall Girl Scout troops here are using readers that attach to smartphones and tablet computers to accept credit card payments for their cookies.

“We jumped on it right away,” said Stephanie Miller, troop leader of Troop 714 in Cheektowaga, which has Daisies and Brownies in kindergarten, first, second and third grades and began using a Sage Mobile Payments reader this month.

One hundred fifty troops from the Girl Scouts of Western New York have signed up to use the card readers, and leaders say they hope the devices will boost cookie sales by offering prospective customers another way to pay for their cookies.

Local Girl Scout officials also say deploying the new sales technology allows them to meet the older girls on their own, high-tech level and to introduce the younger girls to modern means of conducting business.

“Our girls are very technology-savvy, and it’s important for us to be where the girls are,” said Cindy L. Odom, chief executive officer of the Western New York Council of Girl Scouts.

Girl Scouts have embraced technology. In addition to the readers, the Girl Scouts have introduced a searchable database on their website and GPS-based smartphone apps to help peo…………… continues on Buffalo News

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Wallaby’s iPhone App Tells You Which Credit Card To Use To Maximize Your …
News from TechCrunch:

When reviewing a new iPhone application called Glyph earlier this week that tells you which credit card to use in order to earn the best rewards, we mentioned that a competitor in this space, Wallaby, was doing something similar. As of this morning, however, it’s not just doing something similar – it’s doing the exact same thing. Today, Wallaby is also introducing its own iPhone application which also tells you which card to use at checkout in order to earn the best rewards, whether that’s travel or hotel points, cash back, loyalty points, or any other supported rewards program.

Despite the timing, the launch of Wallaby’s app isn’t a reaction to Glyph’s debut. iPhone apps like this aren’t coded overnight, and Wallaby’s app has been in the approval queue with Apple since November 5th. Instead, it’s as Wallaby CEO Matthew Goldman explains: there aren’t really that many original ideas, it’s all about how well you execute and grow, and a lot of other factors.

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Stolen credit card use brings theft charges, police say
News from Wisconsin State Journal:

A Madison woman was arrested after allegedly charging more than $ 1,200 in merchandise on a stolen credit card, Madison police reported.

Myisha Britt, 31, was tentatively charged with theft of a credit card, fraudulent use of a credit card and forgery-uttering documents, police said in a news release.

Britt was arrested on Thursday after police looked at surveillance video on Tuesday from different Madison-area stores and saw a woman later identified as Britt using the card, according to the release.

The credit card company notified the card owner, a 43-year-old Stoughton woman, about the charges and that gave them a lead to Britt.

…………… continues on Wisconsin State Journal
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Raika ST 228 PINK Credit Card Wallet Pink


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Avoiding credit card debt this holiday

Posted by administrator | 16/11/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

Avoiding credit card debt this holiday
News from WWLP 22News:

Updated: Thursday, 15 Nov 2012, 7:39 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 15 Nov 2012, 6:32 PM EST

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The season of spending is here–which for some–brings an onslaught of financial stress. Every year, shoppers are warned about what can happen if they go too far with their gift-giving.

Steve Curylo of Chicopee knows firsthand. “I maxed out a couple of times, some years ago, and it wasn’t a good scene”, said Curylo.

Holiday debt is something many end up paying for later. But there are things you can do to keep yourself in-check.

Before you head to the store, and start working on that Christmas list, make sure you set a budget for yourself–and stick it it. Don’t wait until the New Year to see if you stayed within your limit.

Also, be cautious of those store credit cards they offer you at check-out. “The positive that they try to sell you on at the register, is that you can get 10 or 15% off right away…and that is very enticing”, says credit card expert Beverly Harzog. But shoppers should read the card agreement first, and make sure to find out what the interest rate is. If you don’t plan on pay ing off your balance right away, high interest rates can run you into trouble.

On the other hand, if you don’t want to take on another charge card, you can always save with coupons. That’s how Lisa Sebastyn of Granby lik…………… continues on WWLP 22News

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Credit cards for stay-at-home spouses
News from Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

A change in the way credit card companies operate that was intended to keep young people from running up debt has had the unintended consequence of making it harder for stay-at-home spouses to get plastic in their own names.

One of the fine points included in the Credit Card Act of 2009 was an ability-to-pay provision that requires credit card issuers to evaluate whether applicants will be able to make monthly minimum payments in light of their independent income and debt obligations. This specifically impacts 16 million stay-at-home spouses who do not have any personal income to report.

“This provision in the Card Act was originally intended to stop college kids and young adults from using their parent’s income to get a credit card and charge lots of debt in their own name,” said Bill Hardekopf, CEO of Lowcards.com in Birmingham, Ala.

“The provision says you have to show your own income to get a card. It was done because college kids were ringing up way too much debt.”

What lawmakers did not realize is that the rule requiring independent income penalized stay-at-home spouses, and it wasn’t long before there was an outcry from that population.

Now the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has proposed new legislation to reverse that part of the Card Act and allow the stay-at-home spouse or partner to rely on shared income when applying…………… continues on Pittsburgh Post Gazette

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Study Credit Card Rates Before Choosing A Credit Card

Posted by administrator | 15/11/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Study Credit Card Rates Before Choosing A Credit Card
News from TheStreet.com:

You’ve made up your mind to shop around for a new credit card. But what should you look for when comparing credit card deals? Use the following guide to decipher the fine print found in credit card terms because not all cards are created equal.

Look at all credit card rates

The first thing most people want to know when comparing credit card deals is what is the interest rate? When looking at credit card rates, it’s important to get the annual percentage rate (APR). The APR is the interest rate you pay on an annual basis when carrying over balances from month to month. The APR may vary based upon the prime rate.

When reading the credit card terms you may see several APRs listed. The APR you actually receive depends upon things such as your credit score, income, and current debt. You also may see an introductory APR that only lasts for a few months, a balance transfer APR, and a rate for cash advances.

continues on TheStreet.com

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Card Stocks Tumble on Fears Over Consumer Stress
News from Fox Business:

Increasing worries over consumer-loan performance sent credit-card stocks tumbling Wednesday, with Discover Financial Services (DFS) leading the group lower as one of the biggest decliners in the S&P 500.

While the rate of late payments and net charge-offs–loans that are so far behind lenders don’t expect to collect on them–remain at or near historic lows for many of the biggest banks, recent upticks have fanned fears that consumers are once again struggling to pay their bills.

Those concerns have been exacerbated in recent weeks by discussions over the impending “fiscal cliff,” which refers to government tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect after the year’s end barring Congress’s intervention. The fear is the spending changes could send the U.S. economy back into recession, drive up unemployment and result in a new wave of loan losses for lenders.

“If you are worried about the fiscal cliff and you think GDP…could be negatively impacted by several percentage points, what you probably don’t want to own is a consumer-driven card issuer,” said Donald Fandetti, an analyst who covers consumer-finance stocks for Citigroup Inc.

However, Mr. Fandetti says he sees no signs that there has been a fundamental shift in the performance of large credit-card issuers’ portfolios, despite some recent gains in delinquency and net charge-o…………… continues on Fox Business

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