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Credit Card NewsThe biggest news this week is all about the darker side of the holiday season — scams, homeowner nightmares, and rising credit card balances.

10 States With the Highest Credit Card Balances

Using Experian’s most recent innovation — IntelliView, a Web-based query, analysis and reporting tool that crunches data from the Experian-Oliver Wyman Market Intelligence Reports — we found the 10 states with the highest bank card balance per consumer, excluding accounts with no balance.

The findings showed a trend of Northeast states dominating the list, but it’s not the only region represented. Alaska held the top spot on the list for the past four quarters, and handedly. Overall, Experian experts say the U.S. is getting batter at dealing with their credit card balances, though, with delinquencies  continuing a steady deadline from 2009 until now.

@kgeldis @CreditExperts

Free Tool: Credit Report Card12 Holiday Scams to Watch Out For

‘Tis the season to be jolly, so we spoke to the security experts at McAfee to get the important information about the most common holiday scams and even some new ones to watch for this year. Here are some of the highlights.

Security experts advise consumers to stay on guard for phony online retailers by checking for the “https” in URLs before inputting your credit card information or any other info that could compromise your identity. Also, be on the lookout for phishing scams this season. Phishing is when a scammer sends an email, text or tweet to unsuspecting consumers who then click on a link that installs unwanted software or compromises your identity in another way. Be mindful of only clicking on hyperlinks from retailers and people you know and trust.

Those are just two of the scams to watch out for this year, so read the full article for the other 10!

@jillkrasny @CreditExperts

Holiday Disasters: Homeowners’ Tales of Their Worst Yuletide Nightmares

Owning a home means a whole new set of worries for the holiday season. AOL Real Estate rounded up some of the strangest tales of yuletide troubles that homeowners have encountered and they have some doozies.

One of the most interesting stories is of a homeowner who accidentally brought spiders into the house when she cut down her own Christmas tree with her family. The spiders were just eggs when they cut down the tree, so they went unnoticed. Unfortunately, when they hatched, they wreaked havoc on the house for weeks, then finally left (though not up the chimney like Santa).

@AOLrealestate @woodgra

Image: NS Newsflash, via Flickr

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