Credit Cards

How to Dispute a Charge on your Credit Card Bill

It’s often hard to believe your credit card bill actually reflects the amount of money you’ve spent. “How did I spend so much?” you ask yourself. While unrecognized charges may very well be forgotten shopping sprees, that’s not usually the case. If something looks fishy on your bill, it’s worth investigating. Perhaps that $400 dinner …

Categories: Credit Cards

Taking Charge of your Finances through Financial Literacy

While many of us are working harder to pay down debt, stick to a budget, and boost our savings, a better strategy would be start on the path to financial health earlier – before we got ourselves into a right mess. According to government data, consumer debt in the U.S. totals out at an alarming …

Categories: Credit Cards

Credit Card Guide to Your Consumer Rights

You take that credit card out of your wallet…and hesitate. Does using it put you at the mercy of unscrupulous lending practices or hidden fees? Will you become a victim of fraud, ruining your credit rating for years to come? Although credit cards come with concerns, the good news is that there are laws to …

Categories: Credit Cards

Credit Card Fraud Protection Tips

Using a credit card has become second-nature for most Americans. Who carries cash, anymore? But thanks to the popularity of plastic, fraud has flourished. Ten percent of all U.S. citizens have been a victim of credit card fraud, according to the Department of Justice. Worldwide, it’s a crime valued at more than $5.5 billion. With …

Categories: Credit Cards

Compulsive Shopping and Credit Card Addiction

Let’s cut to the chase: compulsive shopping and credit card addiction are genuine problems, and they’re more common than you may think. If you suspect that you suffer from a compulsive shopping and/or credit card addiction, it’s important that you understand two things: You are not alone. There is a way out. This article isn’t …

Categories: Credit Cards

How Do Credit Cards Really Work: Debunking the Myths

Credit cards account for 20% of grievances (second only to mortgages) filed with The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the federal agency committed to consumer financial protection. Billing disputes, interest rate charges, and credit reporting top the list of issues consumers submit to the CFPB on a regular basis. Credit cards seem simple enough: buy now, …

Categories: Credit Cards

Tips for Choosing Your Second Credit Card

You’ve had your first credit card for a while now and you’ve been using it responsibly. You’re thinking it’s time to add a second one. This might be a good idea, but whether you should – and which one you should choose – depends on many factors. Taking out a second credit card can help …

Categories: Credit Cards

Common Credit Card Fees to Watch For

Before you finalize that credit card application, stop to read the fine print. Remember, credit card companies are businesses first and foremost. No matter how customer-friendly they are, their prime objective is to make a profit. Part of the way they do that is through fees. Does your credit card charge any fees you don’t …

Categories: Credit Cards

Examining Two Credit Card Repayment Strategies

Kim writes in: My dad told me that the best way to pay off a credit card is to pay it all off at once so I have been saving up the money to do that. My boyfriend argues with that saying that the best way to do it is to make the biggest possible …

Categories: Credit Cards, Debt

A Seven Year Old Learns About Credit Cards

Here’s some food for thought for those of you out there raising children and hoping to teach them good lessons about money. I was at the store recently with my seven year old son. When it’s just the two of us, he’s very quiet and observant of what’s going on around him (he can be …

Tips To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

A few days ago, one of my close friends shared a harrowing story with me regarding identity theft. The person had their checking account compromised and found themselves spending a great deal of time working closely with their bank to resolve all of the issues. That person was not entirely sure whether everything was cleaned …

Good Credit Card Basics

I am frequently asked what my views are on credit cards and their usage. Do I need to have a credit card? Is it okay not to have one? How does one use a credit card in a financially responsible lifestyle? How does a credit card help my overall credit rating? What are some good …

Categories: Credit Cards

Some Thoughts on Rewards Cards

Almost every day, I’ll get an email or two from a reader wanting me to evaluate a particular credit card with a rewards program associated with it. “Is the Chase Amazon card a good deal?” “Does that Target Visa really pay off?” “Is the points program on this card better than the points program on …

Categories: Credit Cards

Why Was My Credit Limit Lowered?

Jennifer writes in: Yesterday, I received a notice from [my credit card company] that my credit limit had been lowered from $10,000 to $4,000 on my primary credit card. I was immediately worried that my credit had been damaged by identity theft, so I checked it on annualcreditreport.com and there was nothing there at all. …

Categories: Credit Cards

Interest Rates Don’t Matter If You Don’t Carry a Balance: Some Thought on the Cash-Only Debate

Earlier today, I read with interest the comments on this Get Rich Slowly article about Suze Orman and the “cash only” movement. In a nutshell, the article advocated (as Suze apparently does now) that people should abandon credit cards because the credit card issuers have been raising interest rates. To put it simply, the raising …

Categories: Credit Cards

Should I Cancel a Credit Card That is Paid-Off?

You’ve finally paid off that credit card. It’s sitting there with no balance on it and you regret ever owning it. It’s got a high interest rate and no rewards program and you will never use it again. But should you close it? This is an interesting debate that often comes up in personal finance …

Categories: Credit Cards, Debt

Personal Finance 101: Why Do I Need Credit At All?

Samantha writes in: I don’t understand why I need credit at all. Credit just gets you into debt and you wind up paying interest to other companies. What’s the point of throwing my money away like that? Samantha asks a really good question here – and in some respects, she’s spot on. Poor use of …

Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act of 2009

On Tuesday, the Senate passed the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act of 2009, an act that will quickly be passed into law with the signature of President Obama, likely within the week. This bill has a huge number of ramifications for credit cards – for users who are late on their payments, for those …

Categories: Credit Cards, Debt

The Facts About Credit Cards For Teenagers

A reader recently pointed me towards an interesting article at MSN MoneyCentral on the topic of restricting the access that teenagers have to credit cards. Much of the article discusses the proposed Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act of 2009 (S. 414, sponsored by Chris Dodd, and often called the Credit CARD Act of …

Categories: Credit Cards, Parenting