Credit Cards

Holiday Debt On the Increase Are your credit cards still smoking from holiday overuse? Based on a recent MagnifyMoney survey, it wouldn’t be surprising. Consumers who financed their holiday spending averaged $1,325 in holiday spending debt – a sharp increase from 2018’s $1,230, 2017’s $1,054 average and 2016’s $1,003 average. Increases in wages and consumer
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The convenience of modern digital commerce comes with an unfortunate side effect: it makes identity theft more convenient as well. The 2019 Identity Fraud study from Javelin Strategy and Research found that 14.4 million consumers in the U.S. were victims of identity theft during 2018, to the tune of $14.7 billion. “It may seem time-consuming
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MoneyTips Can you avoid a New Year’s Day hangover? We’re not referring to the traditional hangover that comes from too much alcohol, but the financial hangover that comes from too many charges on your credit card. Of course, you can avoid a New Year’s credit hangover – especially with some help. Consider these eleven ways
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Do you have a rewards credit card? If not, now is the perfect time to consider one. The holiday season provides two motivating factors – special rewards offers from credit card issuers and the increased spending necessary to take advantage of those offers. Many cards offer signup bonuses of hundreds of dollars, or the equivalent
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What brightens up your holiday shopping season? You may prefer a quiet Christmas season at home, large family gatherings at the home of the relative who drew the short straw, or hand-to-hand combat on Black Friday at the mall. However, everyone agrees that saving money on Christmas shopping gives the holiday an extra layer of
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Have you ever had a credit or debit card transaction declined for insufficient funds when you thought you had money in your account? You may have a credit or debit card “hold,” reserving funds that you haven’t spent. Merchants and service providers set a credit or debit hold on a purchase when the total isn’t
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By Andrea Woroch The upcoming holiday season may have you feeling joyous and anxious at the same time thanks to all the seasonal expenses, gift purchases and travel costs you will take on in several short weeks. Those who don’t prepare ahead may find themselves relying heavily on credit cards and, ultimately, be in debt
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Do you have a love-hate relationship with your credit card? After all, it brings you both pleasurable purchases and painful bills. Credit cards are valuable financial assets – but cards and the companies that issue them aren’t necessarily your friends. Consider these seven things you may not know about your credit card as you reassess
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You shopped around to find the credit card with the best annual percentage rate (APR) for your qualifications. Maybe you’ve got a lower rate than the average – around 17%. The last thing you want to do is incur a penalty APR that ruins your hard work. If you’ve missed a credit card payment for
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Your marital status doesn’t play any role in calculating your credit score – so why could a divorce harm your credit score? Joint accounts are the reason. Most couples have joint debt like mortgages, credit cards, and loans. A divorce decree may assign responsibility for a joint debt, but the decree doesn’t affect the lender’s
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It’s always best to pay off a loan as soon as you can, isn’t it? Not necessarily. There are several reasons you may not want to pay off your loan early, including the effects on your credit score. The obvious reason for early payoff is interest savings. By paying your loans off early (especially large
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After a long search you’ve finally found out who’s dragging down your credit score. Surprise! It’s you. Your credit score reflects your entire credit history as recorded on your credit report. Lenders and creditors report your account activity to each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) – whether that activity
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It may seem like you have been paying credit card interest since 3500 BC – but you might be surprised to learn that credit actually dates back to those ancient times. Historians believe that the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia (in modern-day Iraq) extended credit to farmers in the rough equivalent of a consumer loan. The
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By Amy Beardsley Are you thinking of applying for a credit card? You’re in good company with over half a million Americans submitting a new credit card application every day according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Applying for a credit card is simple but getting approved isn’t so easy. Both your credit score and
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You prefer the simplicity and the spending limit security of a debit card, but you also like the cash-back rewards associated with credit cards. Zero, a San Francisco financial startup, may have the perfect card for you. The Zerocard is a unique blend of debit and credit card. Zero’s full package is composed of a
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Millennials are supposed to be the cautious generation where credit is concerned. Many were burned during the housing crisis and Great Recession and vowed not to be overextended with credit. However, evidence is growing that millennials are headed down the same dangerous credit path as previous generations. While millennials do have lower average credit card
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Who doesn’t love cash back rewards? We all enjoy the feeling of getting something back with our purchases, and credit card companies know this. They offer rewards programs as incentives – and a recent survey from CreditCards.com shows that cash back programs are the most attractive variety. Almost one-third (31%) of survey respondents chose 3%
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Millennials faced a difficult entry into adulthood. Many came of age during the housing crisis and the Great Recession, facing scarce jobs and crushing student loan debt. It makes sense that Millennials would be wary of taking on more debt – and Experian’s most recent State of Credit Report backs that up. According to Experian’s
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Are your kids ready for the financial challenges of adulthood? The 10th annual Parents, Kids, and Money Survey from T. Rowe Price shows the benefits of early financial education, including both formal schooling and parental guidance. The T. Rowe Price survey typically polls children aged eight to fourteen years old, along with their parents, to
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Debt is no picnic at any age, but it’s particularly rough on senior citizens. Most are nearing their retirement years or have already retired with little time (or money) to pay down debts. Seniors tend to have better access to more credit if they need it. Their average credit score is 745, well above the
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America’s credit card debt is nearly $1 trillion, according to Federal Reserve data. How much of that debt belongs to your kids? The 2019 Parents, Kids, and Money Survey from T. Rowe Price shows that credit card use has skyrocketed among 8-to-14-year-olds over the past seven years – from 4% in 2012 to 17% today.
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How much of your available credit are you using right now? Experts generally suggest keeping your credit utilization ratio – the amount of credit in use compared to your credit limits – below 30% to keep your credit score high. A new study from CompareCards.com shows that many Americans are struggling to meet that goal,
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You see lines on your credit or debit card statement that read “APL*ITUNES.CON/BILL 866-712-7753 CA” or something similar. Where did all those charges from iTunes come from? Maybe it’s your spouse downloading audiobooks. Maybe it’s your kids downloading their favorite songs or inadvertently making in-app purchases while playing online games. Maybe it’s subscription renewals that
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