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Credit Cards

One in Five Could Not Maintain Lifestyle Without Credit Cards

By Gail Cunningham The ability to put away the plastic and successfully live on a cash basis is an indicator of financial stability, as it proves a person’s lifestyle is in line with their income. However, the recent NFCC online poll revealed that one in five people could not make ends meet without the use of credit. Another twenty-two percent of respondents said that if asked to live on a …Read More

Ten Reasons Credit Card Applications May be Declined

By Gail Cunningham People apply for a credit card for many different reasons. Some are new to the world of credit and just getting started, while others are hoping to expand their access to credit. Regardless of the reason, no one applies for a card hoping their application will be rejected. To improve the likelihood of approval, consumers need to understand the credit decisioning process. Each lender has different criteria …Read More

Tips to Settle Credit Card Debt

By Melinda Opperman Settling debts is not easy. Many individuals ask us for tips to settle credit card debt. Settling your debts may be possible when a verifiable hardship exists, such as medical problems, unemployment, underemployment, divorce, or death of a family member. Recent credit card debt is more difficult to settle than other kinds of debt (medical debts in particular are generally a good candidate for settlement). The customer …Read More

Demystifying Credit Scores

By Jason Alderman One of the few positive outcomes of the 2008 financial crisis was that it helped shine a light on the importance of understanding and staying on top of your credit profile. Along with that heightened visibility, however, has come a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding – particularly around the all-important credit score. “The consequences of not maintaining a sound credit score can be very costly,” says …Read More

How Do I Pay Off My Credit Card?

By Melinda Opperman When seeking financial help one common question asked more than any other is “How do I pay off my credit card?” There are as many answers to that question as there are credit cardholders. Each person’s finances and debt situation is unique, however there are some basic principles that can serve anyone who is seeking to pay off credit card debt: Stop borrowing. You’ll never make serious progress …Read More

Have Residency, but No Credit?

By Erica Sandberg Dear Erica, I am a permanent resident with a Social Security number, but no credit. How can I start or build credit? – Mario  Dear Mario, Almost everyone has to jump over a hurdle or two to get their very first unsecured credit card. Issuers are sensible for being discriminating — wouldn’t you be? Imagine letting a person you don’t know borrow money from you. If he or she …Read More

Credit Cards Can Be Friend or Foe
to College Students

 By Gail Cunningham While parent’s mail boxes are filling with credit card bills from summer vacations and back-to-school shopping, their college-aged child is likely receiving offers for credit cards of their own. Due to the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CARD Act), young adults under the age of 21 applying for credit now must demonstrate the ability to pay or have a co-signer in order to …Read More

The Value of Credit Counseling in Everyday Life

By Lauralynn Schueckler Credit counseling is often an overlooked free financial tool in our busy everyday lives. We need good credit for everything these days as we transition to less and less cash in our lives. The truth is good credit is not only for financing, but it’s also essential in setting up utilities, getting a cellular phone, or even landing a job. Unfortunately, most people only really think about …Read More

Can Old Debt Threaten a Great Credit Score?

By Erica Sandberg Dear Erica, Do I need to be concerned about my credit score being affected in the future if I ignore attempts to collect from an agency after the statute of limitation for my state has expired? Currently I am in the mid-700 range because I have “bitten the bullet”, and paid a higher interest rate on my auto purchase that I later refinanced at a much lower …Read More