I am positive that I had a puzzled expression on my face as I looked at my online credit card statement. I was relatively certain that I hadn't bought Farmville credits for Facebook or registered for an online genealogy website. And I was positive that I hadn't recently purchased a pre-designed website. But what had [...]
America's love-hate relationship with credit continues: it seems people love to borrow, but hate the consequences. Still, as the amount of outstanding consumer credit continues to reach new highs on a national basis, it's important to recognize that credit conditions vary radically from one part of the country to another.
To pinpoint where the trouble spots [...]
The annual list of best and worst states for credit conditions is based on an analysis of the unemployment rate, bankruptcy rate, foreclosure rate, average credit score and credit card delinquency rate of each state.
Going from best to worst, here is how all 50 U.S. states ranked for 2013:
1. North Dakota2. South Dakota3. Vermont4. Montana5. Iowa6. Nebraska7. Hawaii8. [...]
Your flight overseas has been booked for months, you drafted the perfect itinerary for your dream trip, and you have even brought your suitcase down from attic to start packing. But many travelers miss an important step in planning an overseas trip -- determining the most cost-effective way to pay for expenses and access cash [...]
So you have excellent credit?
Good for you. A credit score of 700-and-above makes it easier and less expensive for you to buy a home, lease a car, start a business, or obtain any other type of financial credit.
But you can degrade or even ruin that credit -- or take a big hit in the pocketbook [...]
You've got a low-interest rate credit card, pay at least your minimum due, and you've never left your credit card sitting in an unlocked car. So, you're covered, right? Wrong. Even the smartest among us are guilty of some of these common credit card mistakes. Improve your credit card IQ by avoiding these common mistakes.
Americans are obsessed with protecting our credit scores, and many of us will go to great length to keep that number as high as possible. But even financial behaviors that don't directly affect your credit score can be a red flag that you are headed towards serious financial issues.
Liz Weston, personal finance expert and author [...]
Kids and credit cards. Does that seem like a dangerous mix to you, or simply a normal part of the modern world? Parents have very different views on the subject.
An exclusive survey of 500 parents with children under the age of 12, conducted for CardRatings.com by Op4G, found that some parents believe it's best to [...]
While the costs of college continue to rise, another financial side to the campus equation is in decline -- the use of college credit cards. According to Sallie Mae, the leading student loan provider in the U.S., college credit card use is down from 42 percent from 2010 to 35 percent in 2012. College credit [...]
As you plan your summer vacation, you most likely check out reviews of restaurants near your hotel, print out your confirmation information and make sure that everything you will need for your trip is packed in your suitcase. A little bit of planning will go a long way to ensuring a more enjoyable trip with [...]
Whether they intended to or not, Mom and Dad gave you your first lesson in personal finance. Hopefully, one or both of them took an active role in teaching you about money. And let's go one further and hope that the experience was a positive one that you chose to model later in life.
According to [...]
Identity fraud has become so widespread, it seems hardly anyone is immune to it.
Recently, the Federal Trade Commission found 5 percent of identity theft cases are targeting children, while the Carnegie Mellon Cy Lab noted that in over half those cases (54 percent), the child was younger than 14. Adults themselves are no stranger [...]
Not paying as much money for gas can feel like a game at times. You can try and work from home to save on your commute. You can reduce your idling or keep your tires properly inflated, which can help improve your gas mileage (up to 3.3 percent, say some experts). But, of course, no matter [...]
Gonna get married? The average wedding these days costs more than $28,000, according to TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com's annual survey.
Between the wedding and the reception, it can add up to a big chunk of change. While moms and dads are likely to help, you still could end up paying for a good deal of your big [...]
Free trips, free stuff and cheap gas. You know you can get it, and you want it. That's perfectly understandable, and it may be why you signed up for a particular credit card in the first place.
But as many long-time credit card holders know, just because you have a credit card that offers rewards, it [...]
We've all heard about the platinum cards with VIP benefits. And most of us know how to play the credit card and airline miles game. But you most likely have a credit card right now in your wallet with perks and benefits available that you are not using. Many cards available with no annual fee [...]
You have spent the last few years working hard to increase your credit score. And you finally have reached the magic credit score number of at least 760. But instead of just resting on your accomplishments, take this opportunity to turn your high score into more money in your pocket. By leveraging your credit score [...]
At least once a year, you should take a look at your credit cards and see whether you're getting the best deals you can for your spending patterns. Is that a groan I hear? Don't worry, this review won't take weeks of research, or even a day! Beverly Harzog, a credit card expert and consumer [...]
Most of us reach into our wallets to pull out a credit card to buy a plane ticket or a pair of shoes we found online without even thinking about it. But for millions of people without a credit card, each of these purchases isn't as simple. People opt to not have plastic in their [...]
According to a 2012 financial literacy survey conducted by Harris Interactive, fewer than half of Americans track their expenses as part of a monthly household budget. Researchers from Rasmussen Reports reported similar findings in their own survey, adding that many of us without personal budgets rely on credit cards or personal savings when our paychecks [...]
Your credit score is something every smart consumer should know, but with so many credit scoring models to choose from, it's hard to decide which to use. To help you make sense of the credit-scoring industry, we spoke with four major trackers to find out what sets them apart. Some models, like FICO, include anything [...]
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If you are still looking for the perfect Valentine's Day present for your sweetheart, look no further than your credit card perks to express your love. But if you are wondering if using perks will diminish the gift in your [...]
With the upcoming release of the movie "Identity Thief," starring Jason Bateman, this all-too-common crime is once again brought into the mainstream media.
"While the movie looks very entertaining from the previews, the film also puts identity theft on the front page again and keeps the crime in the front of people's minds. This crime really [...]
Paying bills is a task that most people dread. With many companies, such as utilities and cell phone companies offering a monthly automatic credit card billing option, it can be tempting to sign up for this service. But while we are all looking to save time and hassle, is this actually a smart financial move?
This year's editor's choice awards illustrated so much of the positive change sweeping the personal finance business. With banks competing on price and service, consumers enjoy access to affordable, useful tools to manage their credit and make secure shopping decisions. Still, a handful of companies keep trying to cash in on your worst fears about [...]