Taking Debt Too Lightly

Why is it so easy to go into debt and so hard to get out of it? I think for modern generations, there has been a culture of taking debt too lightly. Fortunately, for some of us, that culture is changing toward one of getting rid of debt or not getting into it in the first place. Meanwhile, there is still a more corporate culture that encourages debt, and it is one, as individuals, that we have to fight against in order to be solvent and live a good life. Being offered a loan, whether it is a home mortgage, … Continue reading

The Best Way to Pay Off Credit Cards

Credit card debt is at an all-time crisis. With compounded interested levels of up to 20 percent, it can quickly spiral out of control. Getting the credit cards paid off should be every family’s number one financial goal. It is the first step in living debt free. The are right ways and wrong ways to pay off your credit cards. Taking out a second mortgage or home equity loan is probably not the best idea, although some others may advise such actions. The same goes for borrowing from your life insurance policy or from friends and family. The key is … Continue reading

Bills, Bills, Bills!

This time of year it seems like the bills really start to pile up. There are normal bills like rent, utilities, and food, but now you have the additional Christmas bills as well. As a single mom who is barely making it as it is it can really put a damper on your holiday spirit. If you’re wondering how you are possibly going to make it this Christmas season, you may be tempted to pull out the credit card. Before you resort to plastic look around and see if there might be some other options, rather than spending all that … Continue reading

College Students and the CARD Act

College students all across the nation are getting ready to head off to school, and start a new semester. However, students who are under the age of 21 might not be leaving home with a credit card in hand. This could be a good thing, or a big inconvenience, depending on your point of view. This is one of the effects of the CARD Act. The CARD Act is the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act, which was signed in 2009. This Act provided a series of protections for consumers, and prevented credit card companies from continuing to do … Continue reading

Fighting Credit Interest Rate Increases

With the struggles in the banking industry, many financial institutions are looking to their credit card branches to help them recoup losses. Traditionally, credit cards are the most profitable venture a bank or lending institution offers. With the high rates they charge both consumers in interest and the merchants in fees, this is usually a win-win for the company. Unfortunately, consumers are being hurt by this crunch. Many credit card companies are now increasing interest rates to help drive up the profits. Even good customers, with strong credit scores and payment history, are receiving letters notifying them their interest rates … Continue reading

DIY Credit Card Debt Reduction

Is most of your debt with credit cards? Do you have lots of cards with large balances? Are you having trouble making your minimum payments? Credit card debt is one of the worst kinds of debt. It is considered empty debt, as you often have little to show for it. With a mortgage or car loan, at least you have the house or car. Credit card debt tends to sneak up on you with lots of little purchases. This is especially true these days where almost all businesses accept credit cards. If you want to get out of credit card … Continue reading

How to Cancel a Credit Card

If you read my blog entry yesterday, you may be deciding which credit cards you would like to cancel. I thought it might help to offer up a few tips on how to cancel a credit card. First, there is no wrong way to cancel a credit card account. Still, there are some important steps to follow in the process. 1. Make sure you have paid off every cent on your account before you attempt to cancel. Even if you have a small balance, if you try to cancel the card it can wreck havoc with the credit card company. … Continue reading

Closing Credit Accounts

Many years ago, I cleaned up my credit. I had paid off all my debts (minus our mortgage) and wanted to simplify my credit assortment. Back then, I had no awareness of credit scores. All I knew was I didn’t want to have so many accounts to keep track of. Today, the talk of the town is about improving credit scores. What I didn’t realize back then, was that closing off most of your credit accounts can actually hurt your score. Still, if you want to simplify, there are ways to do that and still maintain a decent credit report. … Continue reading

What to do if you Have a Mistake on your Credit Card Statement

Ideally, you are checking your credit card statement each month to verify all charges. What should you do if you find a mistake? The following are the critical steps. First, was the mistake from a merchant you actually purchased an item from? Sometimes the amount on your receipt is different from the amount on your statement. Sometimes a merchant will accidentally run your amount through more than one time. If it was an error by the merchant, the best step is to contact him first. You can visit the business directly if possible and get a correction documented. If that … Continue reading

Pre-approval Offers

Are you getting pre-approval credit offers in the mail? Try not to let them tempt you! The best thing to do with these is shred them quickly and toss them in the recycling bin. Many people falsely believe if they receive many pre-approved offers of credit that their credit scores must be high. Many of these junk mail offers are simply fishing scams, as most companies don’t check your credit history until after you actually say “yes” to their offer. Generally, credit card companies get your name from marketing lists. While they do look for certain criteria, an outstanding credit … Continue reading