Banks win, merchants lose when consumers use debit and credit cards (guest …
News from

Walt Hellman  

By Walt Hellman, Argus Community Writer

I still remember the first time I learned that credit cards were taking over.  My wife and I were young, living in Corvallis in the late ’70s and doing our first car rental. I remember being utterly astounded — and angry — when the desk clerk said they didn’t take cash, but only credit cards. Didn’t take cash? How could that be?

Now many people carry virtually no cash. Checks are more and more a rarity. Debit and credit cards are used for a tremendous portion of transactions, even small ones under $ 5.

The use of plastic money and credit is tremendously convenient for the consumer and assures the merchant that the sale is paid for. There are no bounced checks and the bookkeeping is done automatically. I don’t know anyone who would want to go back to the old system.  

But when you talk to local merchants about the fees they have to pay to cover your bank card usage, a different side of the story emerges.

Most consumers have no idea of the large costs of the new system, which are largely borne by the merchants and which probably raise prices 2 to 4 percent on most everything we buy. A Federal Reserve study found that in 2009 roughly $ 18 billion in fees were collected…………… continues on

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Extra credit card fees may not be as widespread as anticipated
News from Deseret News:

In this Dec. 12 photo, Lana Nguyen, right, holds up a shirt while helping friend Chris Ghiathi, left, shop in an H&M store in Atlanta. Thanks to a recent settlement, using credit cards could cost consumers an extra 4 percent, but one consumer group says it’s

…………… continues on Deseret News
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Is Including Credit Card Debt in Mortgage Refinancing Smart?
News from Opposing Views:

by Ciaran John

You can cash out home equity to pay off your credit cards.

Hemera Technologies/ Images

When you refinance your home, you can often take out some equity and use it to pay down your credit card debt. When you do so, you simplify your monthly budget by replacing several bills with one, and you can potentially save money. However, there are both advantages and disadvantages to paying off credit card debt with a mortgage loan.


Credit cards are unsecured, which means your lender has no claim on your home, your car or any other collateral if you default on the debt. Creditors’ rights vary greatly among states but in many instances credit card companies have the right to garnish your paycheck or bank account in order to collect past due debts. If you pay off your credit cards with a home loan, your home is on the lin…………… continues on Opposing Views

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How’s your financial fitness?
News from Scottsbluff Star Herald:

Valerie Salazar and her mother, Esther, were in trouble.

The two had about $ 10,000 in credit card debt, no savings and seemingly no way out.

Salazar said it was a dark time for the family because the money problems were eating at their savings and family ties.

“We did not have a comfortable relationship because of the financial troubles,” she said. “We could hardly sit down and eat dinner together without fighting over it.”

The Salazars are not alone. A job loss or health crisis could spell disaster for many Nebraskans. More than one in four Nebraskans live on the edge of financial ruin with debt and almost no savings to fall back on in the event of an income-depleting emergency.

According to a new report by the Corporation for Enterprise Development, 29 percent of Nebraskans have almost no money saved for the future or to cover emergencies. The state ranks 19th overall for financial stability amongst its residents, the report stated.

 This report, the 2013 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard, defines these residents as “liquid asset poor,” meaning they lack adequate savings to cover basic expenses at the federal poverty level for three months if they suffer a loss of stable income.

Included in this group are many who would consider themselves middle class…………… continues on Scottsbluff Star Herald

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