Authorities bust woman trying to use credit card stolen from gym locker
News from WPXI Pittsburgh:

COLLIER TOWNSHIP, Pa. —

A Bridgeville woman is facing theft charges after police said she stole a wallet out of an unsecured gym locker and tried to use a stolen credit card.

Authorities in Collier Township said Tiffany McCall, 28, went into an unsecured locker at LA Fitness and took another club member’s makeup bag and wallet.

Investigators said McCall then went to a nearby Walmart, where she used one of the credit cards to make a small purchase.

“She used one of the credit cards to see if the charge would be processed, and it was,” Collier Township Police Sgt. Eric Davis said.

According to police, McCall then tried to use the stolen credit card to buy $ 900 worth of items. Davis said two different credit cards from the stolen wallet were both declined.

“Normally with credit card companies, if there is a small purchase and then a larger purchase within a certain period of time it will be flagged as fraudulent,” Davis said.

Authorities said once the stolen credit cards were declined, McCall purchased the items using her own credit card.

Investigators told Channel 11’s Jodine Costanzo that they were able to identify McCall through the store’s surveillance video.

Police said she confessed to the crime and told police she didn’t know why she stole. She then said she’s getting a divorce and wanted to buy things f…………… continues on WPXI Pittsburgh

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Reasons You Should Use Your Credit Card For Purchases
News from San Francisco Chronicle:

To a child’s or young adolescent’s mind, credit cards sound like the greatest deal in the world. You buy something today and get to enjoy it immediately, but you don’t have to pay for it for weeks. Where’s the downside?

Only an adult could complicate the situation by knowing that the due date for paying the bill without incurring interest is coming. Adults also know that letting that date pass will allow the interest to start building and the foundation to be laid for a future four- or five-digit credit card balance.

Let’s assume that you’re a responsible credit user who understands that a $ 20 scarf bought with a credit card on January 1 remains a $ 20 scarf if paid for by February 1, but can magically transform into a $ 20.29 scarf if paid for on February 2. If so, then there’s a surprising credit card strategy you should employ as a consumer – use your credit card for everything.

If an establishment takes cards, use yours. Keep the cash transactions to a minimum. Let’s examine why.

The Time Value of Money

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Control your credit card debts

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

Control your credit card debts
News from Cincinnati.com:

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News from Pueblo Chieftain:

LINK : http://www.krdo.com/news/Springs-Pueblo-In-Top-5-For-Credit-Card-Debt/-/417220/18522008/-/lyvr7h/-/index.html

Colorado Springs and Pueblo rank 5th in the nation for the highest credit card balances.  It’s according to a study done by a leading website that helps consumers manage their money.

According to Manilla people who live in these two Southern Colorado cities have an average credit card balance of $ 2,100.

On top of that, they pile on mortgage payments, car payments and student loans.

“That’s how people get in trouble,” said financial planner Jane Young.

Young also write the blog, Your Money and Your Life.

Young said it’s easy to spend more than you realize and rack up credit card debt.  “The best thing you can do for yourself is understand your situation and live within your means,” she said.

If you are an impulse shopper, Young suggests putting yourself on a cash budget and only use your credit cards for emergencies.

“Take your credit card and put it in a bowl in the freezer,” said Young.  That way…………… continues on Pueblo Chieftain

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credit card and debit card use boost australian gdp

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

credit card and debit card use boost australian gdp
News from Mozo.com.au:

A global study of electronic payments released by Visa shows credit card and debit card usage in Australia added almost $ 20 billion to the countries GDP from 2008 to 2012.

Card usage in Australia increased from 50 percent to 58 percent in 2012, growing GDP by 0.47 percent and adding $ 20 billion to the Australian economy, claims the report under taken by Moody’s Analytics. 

“It demonstrates that card usage makes the economy more efficient, yielding a meaningful boost to economic growth,” says Visa Country Manager Vipin Kalra.

Kalra also stated that Visa has much higher goals for the future. It’s estimated that around 21 percent of Australians do not have a debit card, 36 percent don’t have a credit card and more than 24 percent of transactions in 2012 were made in cash.

“Imagine the economic benefit if we connected more Australians to electronic paymenys, giving them secure and immediate access to all their financial resources,” Mr Kalra said.

Globally the impact of electronic payments is estimated around US$ 983 billion or the equ…………… continues on Mozo.com.au

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Firms use evolving technology to keep credit card information safe
News from Scottsbluff Star Herald:

Longtime Omaha florist Frank Piccolo remembers taking orders for bouquets by hand, writing down all the customer’s information — including the customer’s credit card number.

“Looking back at those days, at how insecure credit card privacy was, it’s amazing,” Piccolo said. “You had all kinds of people having access to orders with these numbers on them.”

Today, Piccolo’s flower shops use Teleflora’s secure point-of-sale network to process sales, and customers’ credit card information is no longer kept at the shop or on its computers, Piccolo said.

“It’s not in anything that anybody could come back a few hours later and get their hands on,” Piccolo said.

Keeping credit card numbers off retailers’ servers is just one strategy in an escalating fight against hackers who break into retail sales networks and sell credit card numbers on the black market.

A number of firms with operations in Omaha, including First Data and PayPal, are at the front line of fighting hackers, not an easy game to win.

When the payment processor says, “I’m going to build a bigger wall,” the hacker says, “I’m going to build a bigger slingshot,” said Cliff Gray, who consults on payment data security for an Omaha-based company, the Strawhecker Group.

The stakes are high for merchants whos…………… continues on Scottsbluff Star Herald

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Stolen Credit Card Use at Brentwood Promenade

Posted by administrator | 10/02/13 | Tagged Credit Card

Stolen Credit Card Use at Brentwood Promenade
News from Patch.com:

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Americans Borrow More for Cars, School, but Cut Back on Credit Cards
News from Moneynews:

Americans stepped up borrowing in December to buy cars and attend school. But they cut back sharply on credit card use, continuing a trend that could hold back growth this year.

Consumer borrowing rose $ 14.6 billion in December from November to a total of $ 2.78 trillion, the Federal Reserve said Thursday. That’s the highest level on record.

The increase was driven entirely by gains in student and auto loans. Borrowing in the category that measures those loans increased $ 18.2 billion, the biggest monthly gain since November 2001.

But credit card debt fell $ 3.6 billion. Americans have been relying less on credit cards since the Great Recession. Total credit card debt has fallen roughly 17 percent since the July 2008.

The December decline could also be a signal that consumers were worried in December about tax increases that kicked in last month and are reducing take-home pay.

While credit card debt has fallen since the recession, student loan debt has surged. It has risen 63 percent since mid-2008 to total $ 956 billion as of September of 2012, according to quarterly data compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The increase partly reflects high unemployment, which has led many Americans to seek better education and skills in a more competiti…………… continues on Moneynews

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Credit and Debit Card Use Adding Billions to Canada’s GDP

Posted by administrator | 09/02/13 | Tagged Credit Card

Credit and Debit Card Use Adding Billions to Canada’s GDP
News from The Epoch Times:

By Justina Reichel
Epoch Times Staff
Created: February 8, 2013 Last Updated: February 8, 2013

People walk by a window sticker advertising Visa and MasterCard credit cards Feb. 25, 2008, in San Francisco, Calif. A new study found that the growth in the use of electronic payment products like credit and debit cards added US$ 9.7 billion to Canada’s GDP over the past four years. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Rarely use cash to pay for purchases? You may be helping to boost Canada’s GDP, a new study has found.

The growth in the use of electronic payment products, such as credit and debit cards, added US$ 9.7 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) over the past four years, according to the study, conducted for Visa by Moody’s Analytics.

“We can see from the data that the positive impact in economic growth is a direct result of card usage and is tied to the benefits electronic payme…………… continues on The Epoch Times

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Not safe to use cards in southeast Asia: Travel agents
News from Times of India:

CHENNAI: Credit cards may be the most convenient way to pay, but in some countries it is unsafe to use them. It is riskier to swipe cards in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia than in Europe, warn travel agents.

Many agents have an informal list of countries where it is risky to use credit cards because information can be stolen. Thieves often target tourists who buy electronic products, or visit pubs and clubs.

“We tell travellers not to use credit cards at clubs, pubs, casinos, department stores or small shops abroad. It is a risk to use ATM machines in Malaysia. There is no advisory available, but we get feedback from other agents,” said Basheer Ahmed of the Travel Agents’ Federation of India.

Reports suggest that top card issuing banks have been hit by a series of unauthorized transactions totaling Rs 30 crore by an international syndicate, which bankers believe steal information from retail outlets. Banks are on the look out for suspicious transactions and alert customers.

Soon after Imran Khan, a dealer of ceramic tiles, swiped his credit card to fill fuel for his car in Chennai, his bank called to tell that his card was used in Manila, Philippines, half an hour earlier to make a pu…………… continues on Times of India

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What Age Group Has the Most Credit Card Debt?

Posted by administrator | 09/02/13 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

What Age Group Has the Most Credit Card Debt?
News from Opposing Views:

by Van Thompson

Interest can cause credit card debt to double over time.

Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Credit card debt has been increasing steadily, and the average credit card debt in 2012 hovered around $ 15,799, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve. But credit card debt is not distributed equally, and older Americans tend to have higher credit card debt than other groups. A number of factors play a role in this debt, including income and the total time a person has had to accrue debt.

Debt and Age

Americans over the age of 65, on average, owe the most in credit card debt. Policy research firm Demos puts the average debt for this age bracket at $ 9,283 in 2012. The 45 to 54 age group has the second-highest credit card debt, with an average of $ 8,408. The youngest Americans — those aged 18 to 24 — have the lowest debt at an average of $ 2,982.

continues on Opposing Views

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Rolling Card Debt Into Home Refinance
News from Fox Business:

Dear To Her Credit,

My husband and I have a huge credit card debt of $ 65,000. We also need to refinance our mortgage loans. Our first mortgage balance is $ 118,000 at 5.78%. Our payment is about $ 1,600 a month. We also have a second mortgage with a balance of $ 18,000 at 7.25%. The payment on that is $ 235 a month. Our total mortgage is $ 1,835 month. Should we refinance our mortgage and add in our credit debt, so we’re only making one payment each month? Or is there a better way? 

– Laurie

Dear Laurie,

If you bundled all your mortgage and credit card debt together and got a $ 201,000 30-year loan at this week’s average rate of 3.66%, your payment would be $ 921 — not including insurance and property taxes. That’s about half the amount you are paying on two mortgages right now, and it includes your current credit card debt.

Besides lowering your monthly payments, such a move would save you a bundle in interest. Right now, you are probably paying more interest on your credit cards than you are on your house! Before you run out and refinance, however, there are a few things you need to consider.

First, do you qualify to refinance your home at a competitive rate? Home values have dropped, as you know, and lenders are requiring borrowers to have more equity in their hom…………… continues on Fox Business

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Jensen Beach man charged with grand theft, fraudulent use of credit card
News from TCPalm:

Harry Barbour

A Jensen Beach man has been accused of selling stolen jewelry and using a stolen credit card to buy gift certificates, according to arrest affidavits

Harry G. Barbour, 28, who lives in the 2400 block of Northeast Rustic Way in Jensen Beach and also is identified as Harry Gray Barbour Jr. on an official record, used a credit card taken from a Jensen Beach home in January to buy two gift certificates at a Winn-Dixie, one affidavit said. A third attempt to use the card at Walgreen’s failed, arrest affidavits said.

Then, on Jan. 31, Barbour allegedly sold jewelry stolen from a home in the 1200 block of Mossy Oak Way in Jensen Beach sometime between Jan. 20 and Jan. 27, according to a second arrest affidavit. Several of the pieces were located Monday at a Stuart jewelry store, according to reports.

Barbour remained at the Martin County JailFriday, charged with two counts of grand theft, two counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, and one count each of giving false verification of ownership and dealing in stolen property. His bond was $ 45,000, according to jail records…………… continues on TCPalm

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Cautious Credit Card Consumption Traps
News from CRIENGLISH.com:

Credit cards allow people to buy first and pay later. Consumers consider them a convenient way of paying for large purchases. In recent years, many people in China have gotten more than one credit card. But many of them have also found credit card promotions that may appear to be good deals could actually tempt them into falling into a credit card consumption trap.
Zhang Wan takes a closer look.

 

In recent years, various banks have been competing to issue credit cards, whose numbers have been increasing sharply in China. Such a high increase in the number pf credit cards has created a situation with some people holding a number of credit cards, some of which remain unused.

When answering the question of how many credit card they had, some said they had two or three, while others said they had dozens.

“You’ll be surprised by the number of credit cards I have. I’ve got more than 20 credit cards. As for these cards that I never get a chance to use, I only keep them in a…………… continues on CRIENGLISH.com

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Credit card surcharges: Why not to worry

Posted by administrator | 06/02/13 | Tagged Credit Card

Credit card surcharges: Why not to worry
News from Boston.com:

By now you’ve probably heard a lot about the recently permitted use of surcharges for consumers who use credit cards. Not a big problem. At least not in these parts.

There are a lot more reasons not to worry at this point than be concerned. Live in Massachusetts? The state law that prohibits surcharges is still there. Nine other states have restrictions on surcharges, too : California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, New York, Oklahoma and Texas.

Plus, retail behemoths Walmart and Target both have said they’re not going to assess the fees. It would take a lot of guts – and perhaps a dose of foolishness – to be a competitor of one of those stores and tack on a credit card surcharge, risking giving those two an even bigger price advantage.

If you see the surcharge being assessed online, consider sending a message by buying on a competing site. At a minimum, factor in that added 2-4 percent when compariosn shopping.

So, at least in the Bay State, we’ll still have our quirky cash discount at gas stations instead of credit card surcharges and we can’t be charged more at a store if we want to use a credit card…………… continues on Boston.com

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BBB accepting complaints against retailers charging credit card fees without …
News from Michigan Business Review – MLive.com:

 

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Consumers are being urged to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau of Western Michigan or the Federal Trade Commission if a retailer charges a surcharge for using a credit card without proper warning.

The warning must come in the form of a sign near the entrance of the business and a receipt explaining the percentage and cost.

“Our goal is to educate people before something bad happens,” said Phil Catlett, CEO of the BBB of Western Michigan,

Just over a week since the new credit card rules went into effect, Catlett’s office hasn’t logged any complaints.

“I think businesses in general are going to be pretty cautious about charging (the fee),” Catlett added.

West Michigan businesses – along with brick-and-mortar and online ones in most other states – are now allowed to pass along credit card interchange fees of up to 4 percent of the total purchase price to their customers.

But businesses in Michigan and 39 other states can only pass along the “exact amount” being charged…………… continues on Michigan Business Review – MLive.com

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

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 OregonLive.com

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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/AbleStock.com/Getty 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.

Default

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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