Home > Personal Finance > Follow Friday: Weekly Web Roundup (2/25/11)

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This week we’re bringing you the best of the web and focusing on credit’s past, present and future. We’re looking back at the CARD Act, measuring its results along with our healthier relationship with credit, to give us a better view of what’s working. Of course, we’re not out of the woods yet so we have great advice for deciphering credit card offers and the difference between a charge card and a credit card. If you like any of our weekly favorites, we encourage you to follow them on twitter for regular updates.  And don’t forget to follow Credit.com at @CreditExperts.

Credit Card Rules 1 Year Later: Hits and Misses
The CARD Act has accomplished many of its consumer protection goals. Penalty charges for late payments and over-drafting accounts are down. Also, issuers are no longer allowed to raise rates on past purchases. Transparency is on the rise, but could still use improvement. @USATODAYmoney

4Q Credit Card Data Shows Use Returning to Normal
TransUnion reported a positive response to consumer credit use from the last quarter of 2010. Credit cards are being issued at a higher rate and consumers are using them more without run-away debts. @ABCNewsNews

Deciphering Credit Card Offers
Jean Chatzky offers options and advice for those who are trying to make sense of the credit opportunities in front of them. Wisely critical and diversely personal information included. See what works best for you. @JeanChatzky

Looking For a Credit Card: It Pays to be Rich
Banks have been turning up the charm with big spenders with sterling credit. Between the perks and rewards, the well-off are doing even better with credit. However, those less fortunate have had their limits slashed or have been cut off altogether. Many are now turning to secured cards to repair their credit. @mainstr

What You Need to Know About Pay-As-You- Go Plastic
John Goldwasser at Kiplinger explains the benefits of a charge card rather than a credit card. He also gives advice and suggestions regarding debit, prepaid and secured cards. @KiplinerMedia

Image by Paul Snelling, via Flickr

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Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

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Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

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- The Credit.com Editorial Team