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News Tips & Updates on Finance

WARNING: Medical credit cards can seriously damage your wealth

Monday,28th July, 2014
Last year, warned about the risks posed by medical credit cards in "Dangers of medical credit cards enough to make you sick." This followed a consumer alert issued in November 2013 by New York attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman, who advised patients not to be rushed into committing to agreements for these products. Some doctors' and dentists' offices use high-pressure sales techniques to push consumers to sign up on the spot to terms and conditions they don't fully understand. In the words of the alert: "Give yourself time to understand the terms of financing. Take the time to read .......

Retired? How to pick the best credit cards for you

Monday,21st July, 2014
For most advertisers, retired folk are all the same: They're fit, have deep tans, dazzlingly white teeth and perfect hair, and spend their lives on cruise ships, golf courses or the terraces of ocean-front fine-dining restaurants. If you're retired, you may well fit that stereotype, but the chances are you don't. Seniors are individuals, just like everyone else, and each has different wants, needs and challenges. So there's no such thing as "the best" credit card for retirees. Just as at every other stage in your life, you have to pick the plastic that suits your particular circumstances best. Credit cards .......

More credit cards, more offers, higher limits. Plastic's back!

Monday,14th July, 2014
When it comes to plastic, Americans are partying again -- like it's 2008. The number of new credit cards issued in the first quarter of this year topped 11.3 million, according to the latest Equifax National Consumer Credit Trends Report, published early in July. That's the highest number for six years, and represents an increase of 17.2 percent over the same three months in 2013. Meanwhile, the amount of credit originated on cards shot up too, by $57.1 billion in the first quarter of 2014, also a six-year high and an increase of 24.4 percent over the rise during the .......

What happens to card debt when someone dies

Monday,07th July, 2014
If family births are the most joyous occasions for almost all of us, family deaths are the polar opposite. Especially if they involve a spouse, parent or grandparent, they're times of immense sadness and trauma. The last thing you want to think about in the midst of such grief is sorting out the deceased's financial affairs. However, all too soon, the pressure from creditors to do this is going to become intense, and someone must take over the reins. Who takes the reins? When people die, their assets (cash, real property, investments, savings, car and so on) become the property of their .......

Correcting credit report errors could get easier

Monday,30th June, 2014
For decades, consumer advocates have accused the Big Three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) of operating unlawfully. The campaigners' main objection has been that these companies have signally failed to meet their obligations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act to maintain accurate information in the credit reports they compile. In particular, it is alleged that these credit bureaus do not respond appropriately when consumers report errors, and that, as a result, many Americans are wrongly having their life-chances stunted through absolutely no fault of their own. Last year, the Federal Trade Commission published the results of a survey that .......

Ready for credit? Consider one of these student cards

Sunday,22nd June, 2014
If your reason for going to college is to have a more financially comfortable future, then you should have two goals in mind when you unpack your clothes, electronics and toothbrush (try to remember your books, too) in your dorm room: To graduate with the best degree you can, ideally summa cum laude. To leave with as high a credit score as possible -- or with no credit report at all. Of course, the first is the more important. But messing up financially at college is likely to make your life tougher than necessary for at least seven years, which is the minimum .......

Credit card debt not a sign of irresponsibility

Monday,16th June, 2014
Last month, asked, "Are you embarrassed by your credit card balances and credit score?" The question was prompted by a survey from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling that found three times more consumers being ashamed of their card balances than their weight. Now, think tank Demos has published a new study, "The Debt Disparity: What Drives Credit Card Debt in America," that suggests embarrassment is far from the apposite emotion for many of those who have to carry forward these balances every month. Resentment or even rage might be more appropriate. 'Responsible' credit card use The Demos researchers selected two .......

Petrol picks: Our favorite gas cards

Sunday,08th June, 2014
After a winter of freakish weather, you may well be looking forward to a warm and sunny summer vacation. If your travel plans involve a lot of driving, now could be a great time to apply for a card that gives attractive rewards for gas station purchases. But, if you or your family have a high annual mileage, it's worth reviewing your gas credit cards regularly -- even if you're going to be taking a staycation this year. While gas prices may no longer be at their peak, they're still painfully high. In the last week of April 2014, they averaged .......

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