Prepaid card use is growing rapidly. Is this a good thing?
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Do you suffer from vertigo (or, more correctly, acrophobia: a fear of heights)? If so, you should probably avoid creating a mental picture of a graph derived from Mercator Advisory Group’s projections for prepaid card usage in the U.S. There’s a real danger you could get a dizzy spell, and bump your head on the x-axis. Mercator reckons that $ 28.6 billion was loaded onto prepaid cards in 2009. It expects that figure to top $ 201.9 billion next year.

Who uses prepaid plastic?

About 13 percent of U.S. households had a prepaid debit card last year, according to research published by Javelin Strategy & Research on April 11. So who lives in those households? Javelin says that this form of plastic is particularly popular among Generation Y and other youngsters, along with those who don’t use traditional banking products (often because they don’t have access to them). In a press release, Beth Robertson, the company’s director of payments research, explained the appeal of prepaid debit cards:

Today’s prepaid features match and even surpass the features of many checking accounts. Functionality that can enable consumers to manage their account using their mo…………… continues on Fox Business

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Does your credit pass the stress test?
News from Fox Business:

Since April is National Stress Awareness Month – and Financial Literacy Month too – now is the perfect time to identify the personal finance issues that could cause stress for you and your loved ones.

Money problems of all kinds are a major source of anxiety and stress for many Americans. Anxiety and stress can lead to headaches, depression, ulcers, high blood pressure, panic attacks, distracted driving accidents and more. And such financial stress affects everyone – single people, married couples, the elderly, even children and teens.

Sometimes the convenience of credit cards can cause financial stress to build up without your being aware of it.

When it comes to your finances, watch out for these six common indicators of credit stress:

1. Operating too close to your credit limit

Are any of your credit cards maxed out or near their limits? If so, you’re likely operating on the edge – financially and physically.

“Not feeling in control of your financial destiny takes an emotional toll,” says Eric Tyson, the author of “Personal Finance for Dummies.” “When you don’t have a handle on your finances, you experience increased stress and anxiety.”

Tyson’s solution: cut back on your spending and credit card usage. Whether it’s…………… continues on Fox Business

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