Should you use peer-to-peer lending to pay off your credit cards?
News from Fox Business:

When Matt Jabs compared the interest rates on his three credit cards and auto loan with those offered through a popular peer-to-peer lending site, it was a no-brainer to use the service.

“All were at a higher interest than the interest rate through Lending Club,” he said. “It also simplified my repayments.”

As the founder of websites DIYNatural.com and DebtFreeAdventure.com, Jabs is particular about which products and services he recommends to others. However, he is enthusiastic in his support of peer-to-peer lending.

So much so that after his own loan was funded in three days and paid off in seven months, Jabs turned around and became an investor at Lending Club himself. In the past two and half years, he has helped fund approximately 100 notes and had a net annualized return of about 10 percent last year.

Basics of peer-to-peer lending

Jabs is part of a growing number of people who are leaving the banks behind and instead turning to individual investors for money to consolidate credit card debt, fund business start-ups or even pay for dream vacations.

What started as a financial sideshow in 2006 h…………… continues on Fox Business

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New credit card laws to expose costly fine print
News from The Canberra Times:

Australia’s love affair with plastic has blown out credit card debt to $ 49 billion and borrowers will be slugged with a record $ 1.31 billion in fees, according to last week’s Reserve Bank bank survey.

But new laws, which come into effect on Sunday, aim to improve transparency and help customers understand the fine print and fees charged on credit cards.

Salvation Army’s Moneycare manager Joi Picker said the changes were long overdue. Her service gives free and confidential advice to Canberra families experiencing financial stress and Ms Picker said her staff see about 40 clients each week.

The demand for the financial advice service had increased 25 per cent in the past year.

”It’s usually about credit card debt although electricity bill problems have been increasing,” Ms Picker said.

”Almost every person who comes to us has a credit card.”

Matthew Levey from consumer advocate group Choice said credit card contracts were hard to understand.

”Most people don’t know that in the past, any payment made on a credit card paid off the lowest interest purchases first,” Mr Levey said.

But from next month repayments will first be applied to the most costly aspect of credit card debt (such as…………… continues on The Canberra Times

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