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Founded in 1951, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling is the largest serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. Find various topics in this blog, including personal finance, credit counseling, housing, budgeting and student loan help. Click here to speak with an NFCC-certified Consumer Credit Counselor.

Tag Archives: Credit Cards

4 Things Small Business Owners Should Do Before Fiscal Year End

By Odysseas Papadimitriou, CEO of WalletHub It might seem like the year’s just getting started, but it’s time to start thinking about the end, fiscally speaking, if you’re a small business owner. Most companies follow the general calendar and use December 31 to mark the end of a fiscal year. But many small businesses – plus nearly 25% of the S&P 500, according to company disclosures – stray from this norm, …Read More

Credit Card E-Statements: If You Go Paperless, Do It Right

By Ellen Cannon of NerdWallet You do everything electronically and rarely get anything you want by snail mail. You do your banking from your smartphone. Now your credit card issuer is urging you to opt out of receiving paper statements each month and switch over to electronic statements entirely. Should you? American consumers have embraced online banking since banks began offering it in the early 2000s. Electronic statements appeared shortly …Read More

How to Dispute a Billing Error

By Jesse Campbell It’s the end of another billing cycle for your credit card. You get your latest statement in the mail (or via email if you prefer the paper-free approach). As you do every month, you take out the statement and carefully examine its contents. And you see something that’s not quite right. There’s a charge on there that you don’t recall. You review your receipts. You wrack your brain. …Read More

Beware of These Financial Tricks or Treats

By Drew Kessler Halloween tricks or treats come along only once a year, but the consequences of financial decisions usually last far past the next spooky holiday. Options that seem good on the surface, if not handled properly, can have long-lasting negative consequences.To understand how a seemingly good financial move can work against you, the NFCC encourages consumers to review the following to see if their actions are resulting in …Read More

Is a Credit Card a Must for College Students?

By Drew Kessler The CARD Act requires a person less than 21 years of age to either document their ability to repay the debt, or have a co-signer before being granted credit. The new law will also regulate aggressive credit card marketing to college students. In years past, issuers enticed students to apply for cards by making offers of free t-shirts, beach balls, or even chances for an iPod. Some …Read More

Tips for Your Credit Smart Team

By Drew Kessler What could be scarier than your teen driving for the first time? A teenager with a credit card! As vulnerable teens increasingly obtain credit cards without really knowing how to responsibly use them, the NFCC recommends parents take action now to show teens the value of a good credit history and smart credit tips. Consider starting your teen off with a credit card tied to your account. Not …Read More

Poll Results Show Credit Cards Stay Home This Summer

By Bruce McClary The June online poll conducted by the NFCC revealed how consumers intend to pay for their summer vacations this year. Among the available choices, the credit card seems to be the one most likely to face the same fate as Kevin from the movie Home Alone. According to the survey responses, people preferred to enjoy vacation with their own cash or debit cards. Sorry credit! It is natural to be …Read More

What Does Your Credit Card Statement Say About You?

By Lindsay Konsko That credit card statement you get every month may contain some surprises, but not the kind you might expect. While you’re looking for unauthorized charges or mulling over whether that outfit you bought was really a necessity, take a few minutes to look at the big picture of how you spend. Assessing what type of credit card spender you are could be the key to unlocking a treasure trove …Read More

Pros & Cons to Paying Off Credit Card Debt

By Melinda Opperman It might seem strange to weight the pros and cons of paying off credit card debt. Intuitively, there are no negative consequences to paying off debt, and no positive consequences when debt is left unpaid. But this applies only to debts that are current or very recent. When it comes to old debts, there are definitely pros and cons to paying off old credit cards. If a …Read More

Dealing With Negative Credit Report Information

By Lauralynn  Schueckler Federal law specifies how long negative information may remain on your credit report. To prevent you from being penalized for past credit mistakes forever, the Fair Credit Reporting Act regulates that negative information, so it can only be reported for seven, ten, or fifteen years at the most. This includes bankruptcies, late payments, accounts that a creditor turned over to a collection agency, tax liens, and judgments …Read More