So you recently lost your job? Becoming unemployed is scary, to say the least. You’re not sure when you’ll find employment, and you may not receive unemployment insurance payments for weeks — or even months — after you first apply. It’s easy to mishandle your credit cards during this stormy season. You may be tempted to keep… Read More
Borrowers’ credit card habits have changed drastically since the end of the recession, but as they’ve started carrying slightly more debt in recent months, default rates for some of the nation’s top lenders crept upwards in November. Capital One Financial, Discover Financial Services and American Express all saw higher rates of charged off credit card… Read More
With holiday spending expected to soar this year and some consumers using their favorite piece of plastic to front the cash, credit card balances are on the top of everyone’s mind. Since a higher credit utilization ratio (total balances to total credit limits) can hurt your credit score, balances do matter. To see if your… Read More
Instances of consumers falling so far behind on their credit card payments that the lenders controlling the accounts had to write off the debt altogether fell once again in the second quarter of the year. Credit card loss rates, which are an indicator of the severity of charge offs across the lending industry, slipped to… Read More
Millions of Americans have been able to successfully reduce the amount of money they owe to credit card lenders in the last few years, but those balances still remain a major concern to many. In all, 40 percent of consumers say that their ability to pay their credit card bills, as well as their mortgage… Read More
Credit Question: I have a balance on a credit card with two different APRs. If I pay more than the minimum, does my whole payment reduce the balance with the higher APR? – Ken Answer: Hi Ken, Paying more than the minimum is a smart strategy. You’ll get out of debt faster and save money on interest… Read More
Hot off the presses! Here is the summary of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (The CARD Act) from the Senate Banking Committee. Strengthens Credit Card Industry Regulation and Supervision Requires banking regulators to evaluate the policies and procedures of card issuers to ensure compliance with card requirements and prohibitions
What stunned me most was the answer that the mortgage company gave me about getting help, “in order for us to help you, you need to default and go into foreclosure on your loan” I asked her to repeat what she said; I was flabbergasted.
In “days of yore,” minimum payments were pretty straightforward, averaging about 5% of the outstanding balance. But over the last decade or so, that has dropped to around 2%, and most recently, to even less than that on many credit cards. In fact, Consumer Action’s recent survey on the credit card industry found quite an assortment of minimum payment calculation methods, with some lenders now only requiring 1% plus fees and interest rate hikes.
My father-in-law says that making your credit card payments early helps improve your credit score. I disagree with him and say that paying early could help you avoid late payments, which can be damage your score. However, just making payments early would not have a positive impact on your score on its own. Who is right?!