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How Credit Cards Work

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 [...]

Categories: Financial Literacy, How Cards Work
Handing your credit card to someone else? Be smart about it

It can happen in an instant. Employees at your local department store, repair shop or supermarket just have to turn their backs to you for a fraction of a second to swipe your credit card with skimmers connected to their belts. Once they do, they have your credit card information. They can then do with [...]

Categories: ID Theft / Fraud , How Cards Work
Should you get a credit card after bankruptcy?

If you've recently had a bankruptcy discharged, your mailbox may be filling with new credit card offers. Although it seems counterintuitive, some companies actually seek out and market their cards to recently bankrupt individuals. That may be due in part to the fact that once you've declared bankruptcy, the law limits how quickly you can [...]

Categories: How Cards Work , Building Credit
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 [...]

Categories: How Cards Work , Financial Literacy
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, based on what you've told [...]

Categories: How Cards Work , Build / Rebuild Credit
When (and how) to ask for a lower interest rate

Even though we're experiencing some of the lowest credit card APRs from the past few decades, you might still be able to save money on finance charges by asking the right question at the right time. Despite competition among banks, it's not always easy to qualify for a balance transfer offer. Besides, you might love [...]

Categories: How Cards Work , Interest / Fees
What happens when someone dies with credit card in their name and an authorized user continues to use credit card?

That's not good. Are you doing that? Please stop. If someone in your life is doing that, please tell them to stop. The consequences could be dire. In most cases, the credit card debt of a deceased American becomes an issue for their estate. If that debtor lives in a community property state (Arizona, California, Idaho, [...]

Categories: How Cards Work , Miscellaneous
Can I include my spouse's income on a credit card application?

For most of the past few years, I would have had to tell you "no." After the credit crunch of 2008 inspired a tighter set of federal banking regulations, lawmakers forced banks to get strict about offering new credit only on the basis of a customer's ability to repay a balance from their personal assets. In [...]

Categories: How Cards Work , Credit Card Approval
6 secrets to managing multiple credit cards

For Louis DeNicola, it started in college with a student Visa credit card. That was followed by two store cards. Then came the realization that credit card rewards points could hold the key to free travel. One free flight to Europe and a couple free hotel stays later, the New York City resident was hooked. Today, [...]

Categories: How Cards Work , Tips
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 [...]

Categories: How Cards Work , Financial Literacy
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