Archive for February, 2010

Tips for Using Coupons

If you are interested in saving money, you might be interested in starting to clip those coupons you see coming in your mailbox on a regular basis. However, if you do not have a strategy for how to use coupons, you might just end up wasting time on clipping and then forgetting you have the coupon in the first place!

Keep in mind that your home or apartment mailbox is not the only place coupons are likely to show up. Your email inbox as well as different online sites can be great places to scout out deals on your favorite items. Here are a few steps to prepare you for getting the most out of using coupons.

Come up with a strategy. Not every coupon is something you are going to use. One of the biggest pitfalls in using coupons is using them for things you never really wanted in the first place, but think you should buy just because you have a coupon. Of course, this is one of the primary marketing reasons coupons are offered in the first place: to gain new customers. However, coupons are also used to reward loyal customers too. › Continue reading

Thursday, February 25th, 2010 Saving Money No Comments

The Credit Card Act

The Credit Card Act which stands for the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 went into effect yesterday Monday, February 22, 2010, one year after its enactment.

Here are the highlights of the credit card law:

Limited interest rate hikes: Interest rate hikes on existing balances would be allowed only under limited conditions, such as when a promotional rate ends, there is a variable rate or if the cardholder makes a late payment. Interest rates on new transactions can increase only after the first year. Significant changes in terms on accounts cannot occur without 45 days’ advance notice of the change.

Limited universal default: “Universal default,” the practice of raising interest rates on customers based on their payment records with other unrelated credit issuers (such as utility companies and other creditors), would end for existing credit card balances. Card issuers would still be allowed to use universal default on future credit card balances if they give at least 45 days’ advance notice of the change. › Continue reading

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 Credit No Comments

How to Improve Your Credit Score

If you are like most American consumers, you think about your credit score every time you need to open a credit card, or make a major purchase such as a home or vehicle. However, you may also be of the mindset that you are better off not knowing what your credit score is, just in case the news is bad.

 No News Is Bad News

As far as your credit score is concerned, staying in the dark is always the worst option. In fact, the more you know about your credit, the better off you will be. In many cases, consumers find mistakes on their credit reports, due to the huge amount of information that is sent to credit reporting agencies from a wide variety of providers, there are bound to be a few glitches in the system – and you would not want that happening to you. There have even been cases of mistaken identities, as in another name and credit history pops up instead of your own! This is something you absolutely want to avoid and get cleared up as soon as possible. So, remember, step one to improving your score is knowing your score. › Continue reading

Thursday, February 11th, 2010 Credit No Comments

More consumers just say no to credit cards

Emily Maddox, 24, of Knoxville, Tenn., is the kind of customer credit card companies covet. She has a good job as an Internet marketing coordinator, and she lives within her means. But she’s never had a credit card, and she has no plans to apply for one.

Credit cards, she says, “make me really nervous, and I’ve never felt comfortable having one.”

In a country where the average consumer owns five credit cards, Maddox may seem somewhat quaint, like an Amish farmer who drives a horse-drawn buggy. But proponents of a no-credit-card lifestyle say there’s nothing old-fashioned about their choices. And they’re convinced that their numbers will grow as consumers become increasingly disenchanted with credit card industry practices.

Credit card usage is slowing. Revolving credit — largely made up of credit card debt — fell by nearly 20% in November, the largest drop on record, according to the Federal Reserve, reflecting less borrowing by consumers and banks’ tighter lending standards. Through October, the number of new credit card accounts was down 46% from the same period in 2008, according to Equifax.

CREDIT CARDS: Bankrate.com helps you find the one that fits you best › Continue reading

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010 Credit No Comments