More baby boomers facing credit-card quandary

Posted by administrator | 24/02/13 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

More baby boomers facing credit-card quandary
News from

Sandy Harsh never expected to find herself with $ 16,800 in credit-card debt and her retirement dreams drifting farther away.

Harsh, an IT professional from Tuscola, Illinois, is 62, around the age at which a lot of people start actively planning to retire to a white-sandy beach with a frozen margarita in hand.

Harsh’s debt snuck up on her as she helped her two daughters with college and living costs. She went back to school after a divorce and dealt with unexpected expenses such as big dental bills. Now she has about $ 300 a month in minimum payments, spread across three credit cards, and the balance never seems to go down because of all the interest she is paying.

“I totally did not think this was what my future held,” says Harsh. “I don’t want to leave debt to my daughters. I guess I’m going to have to work until I die at my desk.”

Harsh is not alone in her predicament. According to new figures from the New York City-based policy research organization Demos, Americans over 50 are struggling with a surprising amount of credit-card debt. Low- and middle-income households of older Americans who owed credit-card companies for three months or more have racked up an average of $ 8,278 in debt, according to Demos.

“What was surprising was older Americans were carrying so much more credit-card debt than younger peop…………… continues on

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Credit card debt falls while delinquencies rise
News from Boston Globe:

LOS ANGELES — Ramped-up holiday season spending typically keeps some borrowers from making timely payments on their credit cards in the last three months of the year, and 2012 was no exception.

The rate of credit card payments at least 90 days overdue jumped to 0.85 percent in the fourth quarter from 0.78 percent a year earlier, credit reporting agency TransUnion said Wednesday.

That’s an increase of about 9 percent. The rate also climbed 13 percent from the third quarter, when it was 0.75 percent, the firm said.

Much of the growth in late payments on credit cards in the October-December period is due to higher spending for the holiday season, said Ezra Becker, vice president of research and consulting for Trans-Union.

When the bills arrive in January, many cardholders who missed payments start taking steps to catch up, which ends up lowering the delinquency rate in the first quarter.

‘‘For people who might have overspent themselves, they might not have the money right on hand to pay, but once they start to get their tax refunds and their year-end bonuses, you see that come back into line,’’ Becker said.

Still, that task is more difficult this year because most paychecks have been reduced since Congress and the White House allowed a two-year reduction in Social Security payroll taxes to lapse at the end of December.

In…………… continues on Boston Globe

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ODU class warns students about credit card use

Posted by administrator | 23/02/13 | Tagged Credit Card

ODU class warns students about credit card use
News from The Virginian-Pilot:

By Philip Walzer
The Virginian-Pilot
© February 23, 2013

It seemed like a wise financial move at the time.

Two year ago, Gelila Mengesha, then 18, came upon a way to save money buying a $ 1,500 laptop. She got a credit card, paid $ 800 for the computer and used the $ 700 credit maximum on the card to cover the rest.

She had a part-time job, but she gave it up to focus on her studies at Old Dominion University in Norfolk. She couldn’t make the minimum monthly payments. The interest rate went up. Her father in Northern Virginia chipped in. But the credit-card balance didn’t seem to go down.

“I wish I never got it,” admitted Mengesha, now a junior majoring in human services.

She offered her tale of woe at a recent class of Monarch Millionaire, a five-week noncredit financial literacy program attended by about 200 ODU students this semester.

Monarch Millionaire, launched in the fall, covers such topics as banking and paying for college. “If Americans had the basic skills we’re teaching in this class, we would not have gone through this recession,” said Robert Romm, a senior biology major who is among the student instructors.

The session Thursday night focused on c…………… continues on The Virginian-Pilot

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All you need to know to apply for a credit card

Posted by administrator | 22/02/13 | Tagged Credit Card

All you need to know to apply for a credit card
News from

Applying for any financial product for the first time can be a confusing and difficult experience, and it’s no different when you apply for a credit card. The majority of applicants will have no problem being accepted, but only if they properly understand the application process.

Step 1 – Choose the right credit card for you

It is important to choose the right credit card. The key thing you should be looking for is low interest rates, but you may also want to look for other features (i.e. contactless payment) that suit your needs. For example, people with debt should be looking for the best balance transfer credit cards, whilst others may want to go for cards which offer rewards such as cash back.

Step 2 – Review your finances

Before making a credit card application, you should take a close look at your finances and make sure that you can afford to repay whatever you spend on y…………… continues on

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Indictment: Former Rockwood official used city credit card for personal purchases
News from Knoxville News Sentinel:

KINGSTON — The former director of the Rockwood Public Works Department, accused of using city credit cards to buy 13 guns — including an assault rifle — along with cameras and clothing, surrendered Thursday on a seven-count Roane County grand jury indictment.

Thomas William Pierce, 48, of Rockwood, posted a $ 10,000 bond and is to be arraigned Monday in Roane County Criminal Court.

The indictment stems from allegations, reported last year by the News Sentinel, that Pierce used city Visa and Wal-Mart cards to buy the items — including the $ 6,000 worth of guns. He registered the guns in his name, according to records.

Pierce had been public works director 15 years before quitting his job last year.

When first asked about the weapons purchases, Pierce reportedly told city officials they were needed for protection from vicious dogs while he was working with animal control.

Mayor James Watts said city auditors brought questions about the credit card purchases to his attention in January 2012 as part of their routine city audit.

Watts said Pierce was placed on unpaid leave from his $ 57,000-a-year job last February and resigned in April, minutes before Rockwood City Council was to vote on a recommendation that Pierce be fired.

The indictment, returned Wednesday by a Roane County grand jury, alleges Pierce was involved in a “cont…………… continues on Knoxville News Sentinel

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New retirement hurdle: Credit card debt

Posted by administrator | 22/02/13 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

New retirement hurdle: Credit card debt
News from MSN Money:

This post comes from Matthew Heimer at partner site MarketWatch.

It’s long been a mantra of retirement planning: No mortgage, no debt, no problem. But the combination of rising health care and housing costs, flattening wages and the recent crash and recession has made that goal harder to attain.

Over the last two decades, the share of people reaching retirement with mortgage debt has steadily risen. And according to a new report by the research and advocacy group Demos and the AARP Public Policy Institute (.pdf file), the same appears to be tr…………… continues on MSN Money

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Credit Card Debt Fell While Delinquencies Rose in 4Q: Report
News from American Banker:

Americans racked up less credit card debt in the fourth quarter but more people fell behind on their payments.

Average credit card debt per borrower fell 1.6% from a year earlier, to $ 5,122, while the share of borrowers whose loans were at least 90 days past due rose seven basis points, to 0.85%, the credit agency TransUnion said Wednesday.

That compares with an average 90-day delinquency rate of 1.06% and average credit card debt per borrower of $ 5,389 during the fourth quarter over a 10-year period starting in 2003.

“The fourth quarter traditionally results in higher credit card balances and delinquencies, much of it to do with the holiday shopping season,” Ezra Becker, vice president of research and consulting in TransUnion’s financial services business unit, said in a press release. “Both credit card delinquencies and balances are below historic norms.”

Borrowers in Alaska ($ 7,012), Connecticut ($ 5,820) and Colorado ($ 5,792) carried the highest credit card debt in the nation in the fourth quarter, while borrowers in Iowa ($ 4,048), North Dakota ($ 4,179), and South Dakota ($ 4,30…………… continues on American Banker

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Use of fraudulent credit cards ‘becoming fairly common’

Posted by administrator | 21/02/13 | Tagged Credit Card

Use of fraudulent credit cards ‘becoming fairly common’
News from Gainesville Sun:

Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 9:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 9:00 p.m.

Last week, two men from Tampa tried to use fake credit cards to buy $ 400 worth of gift cards from a Walgreens in Gainesville. After they were denied, and the manager alerted police, Edel Gomez, 25, and Yuneski Perdomo, 31, were arrested in a vehicle near the store.

Gainesville police officers charged Gomez with fraudulent use of a credit card, trafficking in counterfeit credit cards and scheme to defraud. Perdomo was charged with accessory after the fact. Police think they may be part of a larger ring of criminals.

On Tuesday, two more men were arrested, accused of using fake credit cards, this time at the Oaks Mall. Both men, Boris Mauricio Betancourt Hernandez, 26, and Yoandy Cedeno Pena, 30, are also from Tampa. It’s too soon to know, police say, if the cases are related.

Detective Matt Goeckel, 31, part of the GPD’s Economic Crimes Unit, is the one who chases these criminals through trails of paper. Along with Detective Dave Cannon, he works backward from the crimes — contacting banks and verifying facts with credit companies — to build stronger cases. He’s been with GPD for about six years, he said, with two years in the unit. While it might not be the most exciting work to an outsider’s eyes, he s…………… continues on Gainesville Sun

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Is your credit card at risk?

Posted by administrator | 20/02/13 | Tagged Credit Card

Is your credit card at risk?
News from Economic Times:

Namrata Dadwal, ET Bureau Feb 18, 2013, 08.00AM IST

(Card frauds are on the rise.…)

Who is your greatest financial foe? The corrupt agent, the con artist or a complacent you? Surprised to see yourself in the list? Don’t be. The truth is that sometimes our own ignorance or negligence leaves a door ajar to our financial lives, an opportunity that a hacker or fraudster is lying in wait to get through to raid us. One of the most susceptible instruments is credit cards and the way we use them.

We flaunt them in the open, sw…………… continues on Economic Times

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Pick a card: How to choose the best credit card for your needs
News from

We owe an average £3,190 in unsecured debts but, for some people, that balance is well into five figures, according to the latest report from Credit Action.

With such large sums, it is absolutely vital that we make sure we are on the best deal and not paying over the odds in interest.

Paying the minimum each month – 3% of the balance – on a debt of £3,190 at the average credit card interest rate of 18.5% APR will take more than 20 years to clear. And it will cost an extortionate £3,075 in interest charges.

A recent survey from shows that 28% of credit card customers have had the same card for 10 years or more, and it is this sort of loyalty that could be proving to be an expensive mistake.

It’s all very well sticking with your favourite card from all those years back, but the market has changed massively over the last decade and many people could be wasting hundreds of pounds purely because they have put the wrong plastic in their wallet .

Most people wouldn’t go 10 years without changing their car, so why stick with a dusty and uncompetitive old credit card? Isn’t it time to give your wallet an MOT?

Despite what people may think, not all credit cards are the same. Each of them has a particular strength or benefit which makes them suitable for certain uses.

The question you need to ask yourself is, what…………… continues on

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Wake up and watch those credit cards, financial officers warn
News from Longview Daily News:

Credit Card Advice

Here are some tips for keeping your debit card safe, thanks to the financial website

• Check your bank statements often for suspicious transactions.

• Protect your PIN number by giving it out to no one, and don’t keep it in your purse or wallet.

• Only use bank ATM’s. Security measures are taken at banks to avoid the placement of “skimmers.” But other cash machines in public locations can be tampered with, allowing thieves to get ahold of your information and rob you.

• Don’t use public wireless access for financial transactions. As tempting as it might be to sip your coffee at Starbucks and use their free wireless to pay bills or check out your bank account, sophisticated thieves can hijack your wireless access and steal your passwords without anyone being aware of it until they start stealing your money or using your information for fraud.

• In addition, find ways to avoid using your debit card online. In the cyber-based world, that amounts to near-blasphemy. But there are ways you can use a credit or debit mechanism without risking your financial future.

Many credit cards offer online numbers that you can use for transactions. These prevent would-b…………… continues on Longview Daily News

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A Concerning Sign for Credit Card Issuers?
News from

The future growth of the credit card market may be impeded by some current trends with young adults.

Young adults, aged 18 to 35, are not as likely to use credit cards as their parents.

According to a recently released study by the Mercator Advisory Group, 59 percent of young adults have a credit card compared to 70 percent of senior adults.

In addition, these young consumers are three times more likely than their senior counterparts to reduce their credit card use in favor of debit cards: 36% of young adults compared to 12% of seniors.

“The anti-credit card sentiment appears to be waning,” stated Karen Augustine, manager of Customer Monitor Survey Series at Mercator Advisory Group. “But, issuers need to address the needs of the young adults in order to stimulate greater credit card volume.”

The study, entitled “Consumers and Credit: 2012: Come Back, Young Cardholders”, was conducted on 1,003 online consumers throughout the country in June 2012.

. Bookmark the


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FORMER GOLDMAN BANKER: You Should Know The Ugly Math Behind Your …
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South Florida Mortgage, Credit Card Debt Balances Drop Sharply
News from Huffington Post:

South Floridians are taking their New Year’s resolutions seriously when it comes to reducing their debt. Average credit card balances dropped a whopping 12 percent in January compared to a year ago, according to the consumer website

The average credit card debt was $ 5,410 in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, down $ 746 from January 2012 when it averaged $ 6,156, Credit Karma reported.

Average mortgage balances also fell during the same time — dropping $ 10,862, or 5 percent. The average home loan in South Florida plunged from $ 205,809 to $ 194,947 in a year as some owners paid down the principal on their mortgages, Credit Karma found.

Recession-toughened South Floridians are still focusing on paying down debt — even as the economy improves, said Credit Karma CEO Kenn…………… continues on Huffington Post

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Got two minutes to spare? Can afford $ 5 without it affecting the rest of your day? Then you have all that is needed to pay off y…
Debt-Free Forever: Take Control of Your Money and Your Life
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Credit card use brings probation

Posted by administrator | 17/02/13 | Tagged Credit Card

Credit card use brings probation
News from Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette:

URBANA — A Chicago man who admitted using fake credit cards to obtain goods from a Champaign store has been sentenced to probation.

Judge Harry Clem on Thursday sentenced Charles Tucker, 27, to 30 months of probation and 50 hours of public service.

Tucker pleaded guilty in December to unlawful use of credit card, admitting that on Dec. 30, 2011, that he was with two other men who were in the Walmart store on North Prospect Avenue using credit cards to obtain an iPad and gift cards totaling more than $ 300.

Assistant State’s Attorney Scott Larson said at the time of Tucker’s plea that the men were stopped by police that day after having tried to use five different credit cards — all of which were declined — at the Target store to buy gift cards.

Police found several credit cards with Tucker’s name on them as well as iPhones, iPads and gift cards, including one iPad that had been purchased earlier in the day from Walmart.

Larson said the men told police they bought the fake credit cards in Chicago.

Co-defendant Derrick Boyd, 26, of Chicago, earlier pleaded guilty to obstructing justice in return for a sentence of 18 months of probation.

Bobby Morton, 37, of Chicago, was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to burglary.

…………… continues on Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette
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Without witness, charges dropped regarding stolen credit card use in Charleston
News from Journal Gazette and Times-Courier:

CHARLESTON — Charges accusing a woman of using another person’s credit card at a Charleston store were dismissed because the only witness to it couldn’t be located.

Denise M. Miller, 21, of Fairview Heights was accused of using the stolen credit card for a purchase at the Charleston Walmart on Aug. 26, 2011.

The only eyewitness who claimed seeing Miller use the stolen card could not be located and the store’s video surveillance couldn’t positively identify the person who used it, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Rob Scales, who prosecuted the case.

Miller was charged with burglary for allegedly entering the store planning to steal as well as with unlawful use of a credit card. Scales said the stolen card belonged to an Eastern Illinois University student and Miller was visiting Charleston at the time.

Circuit Judge Mitchell Shick dismissed the charge at Scales’ request. Attorney Jeannine Garrett represented Miller.

In other cases in court recently, Shick accepted guilty pleas from:

— Andrew S. Lietard, 23, whose address on record is an apartment at 24 W. Buchanan Ave., Charleston, to a charge of possession of cannabis with intent to deliver alleging he had marijuana he planned to sell on Feb. 29.

A possession of a controlled substance charge alleging Lietard also had cocaine was dismissed and he was placed on pro…………… continues on Journal Gazette and Times-Courier

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Man arrested for fraudulent use of credit card

Posted by administrator | 16/02/13 | Tagged Credit Card

Man arrested for fraudulent use of credit card
News from Gadsden Times:

Times Staff Report

Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 1:54 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 1:54 p.m.

A Gadsden man was arrested Wednesday on three felony warrants for fraudulent use of a credit or debit card, according to a news release from the Gadsden Police Department.

David Yarbrough, 38, is in the Etowah County Detention Center on a $ 7,500 bond.

According to the release, an elderly woman believed Yarbrough stole her checkbook and forged her signature on at least two different checks between October and December 2012. She reported this to police Jan. 2.

…………… continues on Gadsden Times
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