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- Credit card types: A comprehensive cheat sheet
Choosing the best credit cards for your wallet is a strategic way to save money, score perks, and build a strong credit profile. But like most things these days, consumers have a ton of choices when it comes to plastic preferences, which is why it's important to evaluate your options. "People don't realize how much credit [...]
- In the military? 5 ways to protect your finances while protecting our freedom
Military families have many worries that other families do not have. And a recent study from National Federation of Credit Counseling of active duty military personnel showed that military families have one more worry on their plate -- financial instability. The survey showed the 77 percent of respondents have financial worries and 55 percent feel [...]
- Processors vs. issuers: What consumers should know
Believe it or not, whenever you use your credit card, there is a lot going on behind the scenes of each transaction. While a lot of it might seem as exciting as reading a legal document, it does benefit you as a consumer to understand the major players involved in your financial business. Here, we break [...]
- What type of credit card user are you?
You may not give much thought to how you use your credit card, but your issuer sure does. Credit companies know that you fit into one of three distinct credit card personality types. Here's a rundown of all three. Type 1: the Revolver Let's get this out of the way first -- if you're a Revolver, your [...]
- How long do I save my credit card statements?
Now that the holidays are over and a new year has begun, many people are using the time spent indoors on chilly winter days to declutter and organize paperwork in preparation of tax season. Before you pull out the shredder, it is essential to understand what papers and statements you need to save and what [...]
- 5 books for a credit-smart 2014
Here's a secret that you may already know but it can't hurt to remember: personal finance is a skill. How you use your credit, where you put your savings, how you invest for retirement or for your children's future -- it all takes knowledge, patience and planning. That said, just about any skilled practitioner will tell [...]
- Can credit cards help you stay on budget?
In the third quarter of 2013, total household indebtedness in the U.S. rose to an astonishing $11.28 trillion dollars, up 1.1 percent from the previous quarter. And, according to government data and Federal Reserve statistics, $4 billion of that increase can be attributed solely to credit card debt. So, what does this tell us? It [...]
- 4 ways to prep your finances prior to retirement
Would you like to retire in about five years? Prepping now will lead to smoother financial sailing during your long-anticipated retirement years. Here are four ways to prepare your finances for your fast-approaching retirement years. Credit cards Don't lose money that could be used for your retirement on high-interest credit card debt, advises Kathleen Campbell, a certified financial planner [...]
- Who's in your wallet?
When you share a credit card with someone, you are effectively giving them access to your wallet and your reputation. You need to be careful about who you grant that access to, and what they are doing with it. On behalf of CardRatings.com, survey company Op4G asked 2,000 adults about their credit cards. The answers give [...]
- Is debt a four-letter word or a good financial strategy?
Many people assume that all debt is bad while other people have a wallet full of maxed-out credit cards. Interestingly enough, debt can be either a positive or negative, depending on the type of debt and your personal financial situation. "Unless you are independently wealthy, win the lottery or live a poor man's lifestyle by choice, [...]
- Plastic youth: When is it too early to give a kid a credit card?
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 [...]
- Mother knows best: Your first personal finance teacher
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 [...]
- 8 tips for better credit and better health
Do you wish you and your family had leaner bodies and fatter wallets? You might think accomplishing either one of those would involve a lot of grueling work, but that's not always the case. The good news is that making some simple changes in your life can improve both your physical and financial health. Here are [...]
- Does your credit pass the stress test?
Since April is National Stress Awareness Month - and Financial Literacy Month too - now is the perfect time to identify the personal finance issues that could cause stress for you and your loved ones. Money problems of all kinds are a major source of anxiety and stress for many Americans. Anxiety and stress can lead [...]
- 7 worst credit card habits
Likely you've done it -- lost your credit card bill under a pile of papers and by the time the bill surfaces, it's past due. Guess what: You've just committed one of the seven deadly sins of credit card use - and the costs will add up. Yes, the best credit cards are a convenient way [...]
- Are you passing bad credit habits on to your kids?
You might think your credit and financial habits are nobody's business but your own. But whether you like it or not, your kids - especially teenagers and college students - watch your financial behaviors and learn a lot from you. For better or worse, our offspring often mimic our financial traits and money-management patterns in ways [...]
- 5 financial Band-Aids that can make the bleeding worse
You've resolved to improve your financial situation this year. Maybe you want to pay off a loan, knock off some credit card debt or boost your credit score. Way to go! As you set out to accomplish your goal, beware and avoid options that seem like quick fixes. Often, they only help at the surface temporarily, [...]
- 6 critical lessons to teach your teen about credit
If you're the parent of a teenager, at some point he or she is going to ask you about two things that may make your heart skip a beat: getting a driver's license, and getting a credit card. Before your son or daughter can get behind the wheel of a car with a license, he or [...]
- Shaky job? 7 ways to manage your credit
Credit cards are never more dangerous than when you're unemployed. Of course, if you're underemployed, they're rather dicey as well. If you don't dread carrying credit card debt and being unemployed, you can always ask someone who's part of the 9.1 percent of the labor force that's out of work. It's simple math. When your income [...]
- Credit in TV land: Are sitcom stars good role models?
Every year at about this time, pretty much since TV was invented, the summer of reruns ends and a new fall programming season begins. Turn on the TV and you'll likely find a variety of new episodes from ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX that present realistic life dramas that sometimes poke fun at that great [...]
- How to teach your teen to handle credit
You've watched as your child took his or her first steps, endured the first haircut and learned to ride a bike. Now your little one has grown into a teenager and you've decided he or she is ready to take on the personal financial responsibility of that first credit card. What's the best credit card [...]
- 5 ways to ruin your credit by age 25
Credit seems like one of those things that should develop slowly--the fine wine of your finances. Those small actions you take every day would collect over time so that, in a few years, your high credit score would help you sail through that new car purchase, apartment lease or mortgage application. That may be true for [...]
- Are you addicted to credit cards?
Carol, a costume designer in Portland, Ore., was addicted to shopping – and buying. While living in Southern California, she racked up more than $20,000 in credit card debt before she realized she was spending so much simply because it made her feel good. "I had a compulsion," says Carol, whose last name [...]
- Celebrities who can't get a credit card
Two Bahamian islands, 13-plus mansions, an English castle, a German estate, more than 50 cars including a $500,000 Lamborghini Miura, a Gulfstream jet, four boats, a $276,000 dinosaur skull--these are only some of actor Nicolas Cage's extravagances. Despite earning big money--$40 million between June of 2008 and 2009, for example--Cage's [...]