Warning Signs for Holiday Credit Card Debt

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

Warning Signs for Holiday Credit Card Debt
News from Fox Business:

You might be an overspender when …

Looking for a gift that always fits and doesn’t require wrapping? How about a new year that’s free from lingering credit card debt?

For many, staying out of debt at this time of year is about as easy as losing 10 pounds. But it’s actually quite simple: Know how much you owe. Read your credit card statements. Keep a budget.

Most of all, know when it’s time to keep those credit cards at home.

Still unclear? Here are five signs you may need to cool it with the credit cards this holiday season.

You don’t have a budget

Don’t know how much you can afford to spend for the holidays? Put down that credit card and back away slowly.

A lot of people shop with an attitude of, “If I want it, I buy it,” says Mark Foster, director of education for Credit Counseling of Arkansas. “That’s a recipe for disaster.”

Instead, take a few minutes to figure out what you can safely spend this holiday season, from stamps to decorations to gifts. The amount may be smaller than you’d hoped, but so what?

Among “the people that we see who have the highest credit scores — 750 and above — we do see consistent behaviors in them that drive those scores,” says Anthony Sprauve, spokesman for myFICO.com, a division of credit scoring company FICO. Things such as “not overspen…………… continues on Fox Business

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Debt breakdown: Is being-debt free a realistic goal?
News from SheKnows.com:

We help you understand your debt profile in order to evaluate what balances are realistic and how to best manage large purchases like homes and college educations.

Few of us are debt-free. Depending on how much debt you have, it can loom over your life like a dark cloud. Many financial experts tout being debt-free as a surefire way to financial success but often this bit of advice is too idealistic. Our financial profile is largely based on our credit score, which is solely based on our debt profile. Being debt-free may not be realistic for many and, in many cases, it can actually hurt your financial well-being.

Be mostly debt-free with your credit cards

Not all debt is bad debt. Lenders are interested in your ability to repay — those with higher credit scores are more reliable in terms of the amount of debt they carry and the consistency with which they make repayments. Credit card debt is really the thorn in your side. Take a look at the ratio of your balance-to-limit ratio: This is the amount of debt you carry on a card divided by your total limit. Aim for 7 percent or lower combined and never more than 30 percent on a single card.

For example, let’s look at a fictional case:

    <…………… continues on SheKnows.com

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MAS proposes rules to encourage responsible use of credit cards, unsecured …
News from TODAYonline:

SINGAPORE – The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has proposed changes to credit cards and unsecured credit rules.

The changes, laid out in a consultation paper released today, are aimed at improving financial institutions’ lending and disclosure practices, empowering individuals to make better borrowing decisions, and helping individuals who are at risk of credit problems avoid getting into greater debt.

Among the proposed changes, financial institutions will be required to review the oustanding debt and credit limits for all loans taken by a borrower across different financial institutions before granting a borrower a new credit card, unsecured credit facility or an increase in credit limit.

To make the “cost of borrowing more apparent”, financial institutions will have to disclose clearly to individuals who roll over the debt on their credit cards and revolving credit facilities the potential cost and extent of the debt they will accumulate.

These institutions will not be allowed to make unsolicited offers to customers to increase their credit limits, and have to “expressly” obtain the borrower’s consent for the amount of each credit limit increase.

Individuals whose debts with a financial institution are more than 60 days overdue will not be allowed to charge further amounts to their credit cards, charge cards and u…………… continues on TODAYonline

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Kingsport woman charged with use of stolen credit card
News from Johnson City Press (subscription):

A Kingsport woman was charged by Johnson City police with fraud, theft and other offenses Wednesday, according to a news release.

Police charged Jamie Faye Hicks, 400 Cannon St., Kingsport, with fraudulent use of a credit card, identity theft and forgery.

Police were investigating the use of a stolen credit card at Tri City Wholesale Tobacco in Johnson City. Hicks was identified through surveillance video of the transaction.

She was being held in the Washington County Detention Center on $ 12,000 bond.

Her hearing was scheduled for Thursday in Sessions Court.

…………… continues on Johnson City Press (subscription)
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Wallaby’s Android App Tells You Which Credit Card To Use To Get The Best …
News from TechCrunch:

Wallaby, a startup which had been originally working to develop a universal credit card that optimizes consumers’ credit card points, rewards, airline miles and more, recently launched a more simplified version of that concept via an iPhone application. Instead of routing purchases to the appropriate card after swiping a Wallaby-branded credit card, the new iPhone app instead just tells you which card you should use. Today, the company is launching that same application on Android.

… Read the full article

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Choose the Right Credit Card for Last-Minute Gift Shopping
News from Fox Business:

For shoppers still working on their gift list, they should be selective with their payment methods to avoid carrying massive debt into the new year.

If credit cards are your payment choice, make sure to use the card with the best perks and lowest interest rate.

“People should consider whether they are going to pay off those purchases right away or if they are going to carry a balance,” says Erik Larson, president and founder of NextAdvisor.com, on online product comparison tool. “If they are going to pay if off right away they should use a reward card to get some benefits.”

Before your shopping extravaganza, experts advise being realistic about how much you will spend and how and when you will pay it off so you can best determine what card to apply for or use. If you don’t plan on paying off all your holiday debt right away, experts suggest looking for a credit card with 0% interest.

“I recommend a credit card that has no purchase APR for at least six months,” says Anisha Sekar, the vice president of credit and debit products at NerdWallet.com, which compares credit card offers. “You’ll have some time to pay it off and you’re not racking up interest charges.”

Sekar points to the Discover More credit as a good option because she says it offers 18 months interest free on balance transfers and zero percent interest for six months on new…………… continues on Fox Business

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Five Tips For Managing Credit Card Debt In 2013

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

Five Tips For Managing Credit Card Debt In 2013
News from LowCards.com:

A new year is just around the corner. Undoubtedly, millions of people will be making resolutions to lower their credit card debt in 2013. Here are five tips to help lower and manage your credit card debt in the New Year:

Know Your Credit Report Inside And Out

A wonderful time to check your credit and understand your credit profile is right after the holiday shopping season. Request the free annual copy of your credit report and go over it with a fine tooth comb to understand every little detail. Look for inaccurate information, mistakes, fraud and any sign of identity theft. After reviewing your credit profile, you should know where you stand in terms of credit history and your actual credit score. This is valuable to know as you start the new year, and will help you financially plan the rest of the year.

Improve Your Chances For Success

Are you stuck paying 20% interest on your current debt? If your credit profile will allow for it, consider applying for a balance transfer credit card. These cards will typically have an introductory offer of 0 percent for 12-18 months, which can save you hundreds, even thousands, of dollars in interest penalties. If saving that extra money will help you bec…………… continues on LowCards.com

… Read the full article

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Credit cards are back as preferred way to buy holiday gifts
News from Sarasota Herald-Tribune:

Published: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 6:27 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 7:11 p.m.

Although she budgeted for the holiday season, she is only using one card to pay for all purchases — a Discover credit card.

With one in every three consumers failing to save in advance for the holiday season — and more people feeling confident enough this year to buy big- ticket items like homes and new cars — more consumers are finding themselves strapped for cash.

To bridge the gap and still be able to fulfill holiday purchases, the largest numbers of consumers since before the Great Recession began are turning to credit cards, according to a survey by the credit bureau TransUnion.

“The use of credit cards is fairly common for holiday purchases, and a good percentage of shopping is still done that way, despite how the economy has improved from the lowest point of the financial crisis,” said Sean Snaith, a University of Central Florida economist.

In the wake of the recession, more and more people began using cash to pay for gifts, as credit limits edged up to all-time highs and 2009 regulations left more than 15 million Americans without plastic, according to The Nilson Report, a credit card industry publication.

But the use of available credit has slowly crept back into consumers’ vernacular, leavin…………… continues on Sarasota Herald-Tribune

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Walk Away From Credit Card Debt – and Restore Your Credit In As Little As Three Years
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How to Pay Off Credit Card Debt: With No Pain and Big Gains
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Gum-chewing Smoker Tries to Use Someone Else’s Credit Card
News from Patch.com:

This much we know about one particular credit card thief: He or she smokes and likes to chew gum.

Police may know more. Presuming the Upper Milford Township mini-market where fraudulent purchases recently were attempted had a surveillance camera, they may even have the suspect’s description. But for now, we’re likely just talking about a gum-chewing smoker.

According to state police at Fogelsville, someone attempted to make a credit card purchase at 5:01 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Hess station, 4002 Chestnut St. The person wanted to buy two cartons of cigarettes and a pack of gum totaling $ 121.84. However, the transaction was rejected because it was determined the card had been stolen.

The customer fled without the merchandise, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 610-395-1438.

…………… continues on Patch.com
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Ex-aide to Sacramento mayor arrested, accused of theft of public funds
News from Sacramento Bee:

An investigation into the misuse of credit cards at Sacramento City Hall culminated in the arrest Tuesday of Lisa Serna-Mayorga, a former aide to Mayor Kevin Johnson.

With bail set at $ 50,000, she was booked into the Sacramento County jail on various felony counts, including the misappropriation and grand theft of public funds. She was released late Tuesday.

“As I said when this issue came to light last summer, I am saddened by this news,” Johnson said in a written statement. “The city moved swiftly to investigate and also conducted an audit of credit card use citywide. As charges have been filed, it would be inappropriate for me or my office to comment on any of the details. As the judicial process takes its course, our thoughts are with her family.”

Serna-Mayorga, 40, is the daughter of the late Mayor Joe Serna Jr. and is the sister of Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna.

“I loved my sister before this incident, I love her now, and I will continue to do so as she deals with this,” he said in a statement issued after her arrest.

The arrest followed a Sacramento Police Department investigation, requested in August by City Manager John Shirey, into possible criminal misconduct by Serna-Mayorga.

As council operations manager from December 2008 to July 2012, she served as office manager for the mayor and counc…………… continues on Sacramento Bee

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Check credit card perks before you shop

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

Check credit card perks before you shop
News from CBS News:

(MoneyWatch) There’s only about a week left to do your holiday shopping, which means that many of us — especially me — will be busily making up for lost time over the next few days. Recently, though, I got a good reminder about why it’s important to use the right credit card for your holiday purchases.

On the personal finance blog WiseBread, Elizabeth Lang recently recounted the tale of her two-year-old microwave oven purchase. Apparently, despite due diligence on the research front, the oven stopped working nearly a year out of warranty.

After researching the fix and discovering it was too costly to be worth doing, she was ready to give up on the purchase. But then she remembered that her credit card offered an extended warranty on purchases made with the card.

Lang had used an American Express card to buy the microwave, a card which includes this special feature:

Extend Your Warranty — Extended Warranty can extend the terms of the original U.S. manufacturer’s warranty for up to one additional ye…………… continues on CBS News

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Consumers Incur Less Debt

Posted by administrator | 18/12/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

Consumers Incur Less Debt
News from KELOLAND TV:


For the majority of this year, consumers have charged less on their credit cards than expected.  That’s according to a study by CardHub.com.  We’re still expected to end the year with $ 36.4 billion dollars more in credit card debt than when it started, but that’s some $ 7 billion less than expected.  But that number could rise if people overspend during this holiday season. 

With the pressure on to buy gifts, many people just whip out the plastic and don’t think about those bills rolling in come January. 

“You always want to think about what is the value of this gift and how does that relate to my long-term goals?  Is my long-term goal to have a house, or to be able to go on a family vacation? What is it costing me in the short term for those holiday gifts, in order to get there?” Marley Prunty-Lara with Consumer Credit Counseling said.

The average household carries $ 6,747 in credit card debt.  If your balance is high, you may want to consider a zero percent transfer. It can save you up to $ 1,000 while you pay it off, unless there are fees that go along with it.

“Not only are there fees to put it on the new, zero-percent credit card, but there can be fees to move it from your…………… continues on KELOLAND TV

… Read the full article

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Facebook Use Linked To Increased Weight, Credit Card Debt New Study Finds
News from CBS Local:

MENLO PARK (CBS SF) — Spending time on Facebook could leave users with an increased waistline and decreased self-control, according to a new study.

The Columbia Business School and the University of Pittsburgh studied the effects of heavy use of the social media site, finding that social networking sites like Facebook may increase self-esteem, but that could lead to users “rewarding themselves with something hedonic and indulgent.” according to the study.

Social media was linked with higher body mass index, and higher credit card debt.

“Even after just five minutes of Facebook use, people showed higher levels of self-esteem and a reduction in observable self-control,” said Andrew Stephen, assistant professor of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh Business school.

The research will be published in the June 2013 edition of the Journal of Consumer Research.

…………… continues on CBS Local
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Credit scores lean heavily on use of plastic

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

Credit scores lean heavily on use of plastic
News from Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:

– Anyone who has ever applied for a loan or tried to rent an apartment knows the importance of having a good credit score. Yet there is little understanding of how those scores are devised.

A new paper released Thursday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau lifts the veil off of credit reporting, revealing that the way consumers use the plastic in their wallets weighs heaviest on their scores.

While that’s not too surprising, considering that Americans own nearly 610 million credit cards, the finding does cast new light on the gravity of failing to keep up with those accounts.

Researchers at the government’s consumer watchdog analyzed hundreds of millions of files submitted by the three largest credit agencies – Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.

Each agency receives updates on more than 1.3 billion individual accounts from some 10,000 companies in a typical month.

More than half of the information on the average credit rating report is supplied by the credit card industry. Credit scores are calculated from the information in the report and then used to measure the likelihood of a consumer repaying his or her debts.

“Credit cards are given great weight in credit profiles – a lesson that consumers could end up learning the hard way,” said Richard Cordray, director of the CFPB, during…………… continues on Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

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No change? Use a credit card at meter
News from WDTN:

Updated: Wednesday, 12 Dec 2012, 9:48 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 12 Dec 2012, 9:48 PM EST

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The City of Dayton is making it easier for you to park downtown.

The city announced Wednesday that about 500 permit parking meters that accept credit cards are being installed.

30 to 40 percent of the meters in the downtown area will now be credit friendly.

Most will be around Sinclair Community College.

Officials say it could help bring people downtown.

“They actually put these meters in Columbus and Cincinnati and both cities have experienced a large increase in usage,” said Steve Finke, Asst. Director of Public Works.

Adding the meters will cost the city $ 200,000.

Officials say it will be a couple months before the meters are all installed.

…………… continues on WDTN
… Read the full article

Identity Stronghold Secure Sleeve / Case for Id & Credit Card – Pack of 10
Protect yourself from payment fraud and identity theft. Many credit cards, drivers’ licenses, transit cards, school, and company i…

As credit card use rises, many face red Christmas

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

As credit card use rises, many face red Christmas
News from MarketWatch:

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) — Here comes the credit-card crunch again. Consumers, and increasingly subprime borrowers, are taking on more debt and could find themselves slipping back into the black — or rather the red — hole of financial distress.

“Banks want to lend,” says Steve Chaouki, group vice president for the financial services business unit of TransUnion, the credit-rating bureau. “And there isn’t much demand for credit from prime consumers.”

Credit-card solicitations have fallen from their sharp increases a year ago and mailings to high credit scorers are dropping far faster than they are to those with below-prime scores, according to Ipsos, an international research firm.

“The higher-end FICO groups appear saturated or tapped out, leaving the appeal of direct mail to these groups less enticing,” says Roy Persson, the director of competitive tracking services for Ipsos.

Revolving credit, the bulk of which is credit cards, peaked in 2008 at $ 1.01 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. That debt had recorded steady drops up until the beginning of this year when it started a slow upward crawl. In October, credit-card debt rose $ 3.38 billion, after a $ 2.19 billion decrease in September, to stand at $ 857.6 billion. That’s $ 6.2 billion more than the fourth quarter…………… continues on MarketWatch

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Woman charged with theft, fraudulent use of credit card » Local News » The …
News from News Courier:

December 15, 2012

Woman charged with theft, fraudulent use of credit card

— An Athens woman was arrested Thursday after she allegedly used a stolen credit card at Walmart.

Athens Police said Misty Dawn Stults, 35, of 1500 U.S. 72, Athens, took the card from an acquaintance on Swan Drive, which she then reportedly used to purchase a laptop computer at Walmart.

Aft…………… continues on News Courier

… Read the full article

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