Joe Taylor's Contribution on CardRatings.com

Joe Taylor

Joe Taylor

Contributor

Joe Taylor Jr. has covered personal finance and business for over two decades, and has written and researched for CardRatings.com for over three years. His work has been featured on NPR, CNBC, Financial Times Television, Fox Business, and ABC News. Previously, Joe worked as a marketing and customer service training advisor for three of the country's leading consumer lenders. He recently completed a personal finance book entitled The Rogue Guide to Credit Cards; (Rogue Guide Books, 2012). When not writing about business, Joe serves as a corporate communications advisor for a Fortune 500 company.

Recent Contributions by Joe Taylor

Best credit cards for the annual fee

Even though it sometimes sounds absurd to pay money for the privilege of borrowing money, a handful of major credit cards add enough value for cardholders to justify the cost of their annual membership fees. $: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card If you spend more than $3,000 per year on your

Deal of the Month: Capital One Spark Cash for Business adds up to $300 in bonuses to its 2 percent rebate

While most Americans think about overhauling their personal finance systems at the start of the new year, business owners get focused on streamlining expenses every April. That's because -- despite everyone's best efforts throughout the year -- the process of gathering receipts and verifying purchases during tax time hammers home

5 best low-interest credit cards

Even though many zero-percent-APR introductory offers have been getting longer lately, a low-interest credit card can help you prepare for an emergency expense or for a moment when you might not qualify to surf your balance interest-free. PenFed Promise Visa Card Although credit unions don't have to ramp up interest rates to

I keep being denied a credit card so what do I do? I'm full-time college student and work one full-time job so I have income, but I need a credit card to build up my credit so I can buy a car.

Years ago, you wouldn't have been shocked to see first-year college students get starter credit cards just for setting foot in the nearest dining hall. Banks assigned lower-risk categories to students, assuming they'd earn higher-than-average incomes after graduation. But, the realities of a post-recession economy and pressure from consumer advocates

If I stop paying my credit card, will the credit card company write off my balance?

Maybe, but there's no hard and fast rule about when or why a bank might "charge off" your credit card balance. Under typical conditions, most banks classify an unpaid balance as bad debt after a borrower misses four or five consecutive monthly payments. Some lenders will also shut down an account

Will going from a secured credit card to an unsecured credit card improve my credit?

That depends on how your bank reports your account to the credit bureaus. Many credit-scoring algorithms assign points based on the length of your overall account history, the age of your oldest open account, and the number of lenders reporting positive status. Because most banks treat unsecured and secured credit cards

My credit score is 743. Every time I apply for a credit card I'm denied. I'm told I have too many balances on cards. I have two credit cards only totaling less than $2,000. I'm not sure what the problem is. I own a home, I make $85,000 on my own and I also have income coming in from my husband. What am I to do? Good credit, almost no credit cards, and I'm never late with anything. Any suggestions?

Welcome to the credit card marketplace's new normal. Before 2008, a credit score of 720 or higher would have guaranteed you access to most of the best credit cards on the market. Today, you'll need more than 800 points on most credit-scoring systems to get your pick of the best deals.

How long should I wait before applying for another credit card?

The answer can vary, depending on a variety of life events you can expect to happen over the next few months or years. Home or car purchase on the horizon? Wait until you lock in your loan. Your credit score plays the biggest role in your financial future when you're about to

Best balance transfer credit cards for 2014

According to data collected by the Federal Reserve, many American households carry between $7,000 and $15,000 in credit card debt. Finance charges on that kind of balance can sap some serious cash from your household budget every year. Fortunately, stronger competition among credit card issuers has led to a resurgence

If I just filed for bankruptcy at the beginning of the year, when can I get another credit card to start building back my credit?

Nearly two out of three bankruptcies in the United States happen because of medical bills, unexpected job losses or other reasons outside consumers' control. If you managed credit cards effectively before you were forced to declare bankruptcy, you don't have to give up their security or convenience for long. A

How much does your credit score go down when your credit is checked?

That really depends on how you're managing your current credit and who's checking your report. According to our contacts at FICO, the company that helped originate the credit scoring process, inquiries on your credit report fall into two broad categories: A "soft pull" happens when a company you're already dealing with wants

I used my credit card at Target during the holidays and am worried the hackers got my card information. What can I do to protect myself?

Like me and millions of other consumers, it sounds like you used a credit card at Target sometime between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, 2013. During that time, one or more fraudsters gained access to Target's point-of-sale database and collected payment card details from as many as 40 million customers.

My ex-wife took her maiden name back. She has opened new credit cards with my last name and address on them but hasn't lived at my address for three years. What can I do?

Getting new credit cards after a divorce can be tremendously difficult, especially if your wife didn't maintain any lines of credit under her maiden name. Not knowing the details of your breakup, I'll can only assume positive intent here. Like many other women in the same situation, your ex-wife may

If I buy jewelry online with a credit card, is the purchase insured if the jewelry does not arrive?

There's an important distinction between the "insurance" you can purchase from a shipping carrier and the purchase protection you get automatically from your credit card. Shipping insurance provides a cash payout if your order arrives damaged, and it's especially useful if you're purchasing one-of-a-kind items on auction sites or from

Does 'platinum' really reflect a dollar amount or superb credit anymore?

Not so much, unless you carry the original. Editor's Note: This offer expired and is no longer available. American Express "invented" the Platinum Card in 1984 as an attempt to fight off competition against its premium Gold Card. Instead of letting other companies poach their most valuable customers, executives at AmEx loaded

I am looking to establish good credit so I can buy a home for my family. What kind of credit card should I start out with?

Building a solid credit history now can help you qualify for a pre-approved mortgage at some of today's lowest rates. In our current, bizarre real estate market, having your financing squared away before you make an offer is pretty much essential. However, with a thin credit file, lenders may require

If my debt has passed the statute of limitations in my state, how do I get the debt off my credit report?

Ever since the recession caught consumers at all income levels by surprise, state officials have taken stronger stances to ensure their residents don't get crushed under the burden of old debt. However, just because a lender can no longer pursue a "time-barred debt," that doesn't mean it can't haunt your

I'm a 22-year-old female who makes about $1,000 a month. I have a credit union credit card with credit line of $500. I recently applied for a Lowe's credit card and was denied. I'm always on time with my credit card payments. What would be the reason?

In this era of instant-approval credit card offers, it's easy to overlook the rule that a bank must supply you with a specific reason for declining your application in writing. You'll probably receive a letter from them in a plain envelope that most people might mistake for junk mail. However,

I need to pay off a line of credit and a couple credit cards. What's the best way -- balance transfers or loan or just pay off one at time?

That depends on your financial situation and your short-term goals. Your question gets a very different answer if you're trying to save cash right now than if you're trying to purchase a home in the next few years. Goal: Long-term credit score boost With a line of credit and a few credit

Banks boost balance transfer deals in time for holiday spending

CardRatings.com reviewed balance transfer offers from a selection of prominent lenders, reflecting the options a typical American consumer might find when shopping for the best credit card deal online. Of the 17 credit cards we surveyed, 15 offer a promotional APR of zero percent on balance transfers, a slight improvement