Why Consumers are Choosing to Pay Credit Card Bills Before Mortgage
News from Fox Business:

Based on recent headlines warning about a jump in consumers’ credit card use, you might think we have completely forgotten the painful lessons of the recession and have relapsed to our spending spree roots.  Thankfully, you’d be wrong.  In fact, according to Charlie Wise, research director at credit reporting firm TransUnion, there’s been a radical shift in our society’s credit priorities.

At the end of last year, TransUnion’s Credit Risk Index (CRI), which measures the amount of credit risk consumers have taken on, registered an uptick for the first time since peaking in 2009.

According to Wise, mortgage delinquencies were a key factor for the rise.  The number of homeowners at least 60 days late in making their mortgage payment rose slightly in the second half of last year.  In addition, he says credit card issuers have returned to reaching out to non-prime consumers, offering to open new accounts, albeit at premium interest rates.  “That’s affecting the risk profile of the overall group.”  And, of course, we were in “holiday” mode, a time when folks traditionally ramp up their credit card use.

But Wise cautions that three months don’t make a trend.  What’s most significant is that when mortgage delinquencies began to skyrocket back in 2008, credit card delinquencies moved in the opposite direction.  “That’s the reverse of the traditional payment…………… continues on Fox Business

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Pay taxes with credit card? Fees may eat rewards
News from USA TODAY:

Like extreme couponers who dive into dumpsters in search of newspaper circulars, credit card rewards chasers will go to great lengths to earn points. A $ 100 gas fill-up? Whoo-hoo, double points! An emergency appendectomy? Doctor, do you accept American Express?

Your Money

By Sandra Block

Damian Dovarganes, AP

Many consumers use credit cards to maximize the benefits of rewards.

The last few months have been particularly lucrative for rewards chasers. Credit card issuers have sweetened their offers, showering big spenders with airline miles and cash. Perhaps you’re wondering if the upcoming tax deadline presents an opportunity to add to your stash. The

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