If you ever failed to pay a bill that was subsequently sent to a collection agency, it can still hurt you even if you pay it off. That's because any blemish can stay on your credit report for up to seven years.
After you've racked up all those frequent-flyer miles, the last thing you want to do is lose them. But that's what will happen with most frequent-flyer plans when you don't use the miles within 12 to 36 months. One miles-saving option is to get a cobranded airline credit card with American Express, MasterCard, or Visa. With summer-travel season approaching, it's certainly worth considering.
Recently we asked debt-management experts for their best tips on handling debt. Several are certified credit counselors in agencies connected with the nonprofit National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), a group that offers free or low-cost help. Our tips will help you pare down what you owe.
If you're a college student or a young adult, building credit is a smart money move. But finding a credit card with reasonable terms that will help you build credit could be expensive. Many of the cards marketed to young people with little or no credit carry high interest rates and steep setup and annual fees.
Q: You wrote that applying for a new credit card lowers a credit score about five points. How long does that loss in score last? Also, how does canceling a credit card affect a credit score? And how long does that change last?—J.K., Front Royal, Va.
Skeptical consumers, take heed: If you receive a notice that your personal data has been breached, pay attention and take free self-help steps to protect yourself from identity fraud. Data-breach notifications have become an increasingly reliable predictor of identity fraud headed your way, according to the latest annual survey by Javelin Strategy and Research, the California consulting firm that has studied this crime for 10 years.
The household bills and babysitter are paid. Food's in the fridge. So what's the smartest way to allocate the dollars left for savings?
Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, praised the Federal Trade Commission's legal action today against five companies accused of making millions of illegal prerecorded calls to pitch allegedly deceptive offers of reducing credit-card interest rates in exchange for staggering upfront fees.
American Express must refund an estimated $85 million to approximately 250,000 credit-card customers for illegal practices undertaken by three of its subsidiaries, in an enforcement action by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. American Express is also required to pay a $27.5 million civil penalty.
Discover Bank will pay approximately $200 million in refunds to more than 3.5 million consumers for deceptive marketing practices that misled customers about credit card add-on products, such as payment protection, credit score tracking, identity theft protection, and wallet protection.
Finovate Fall 2012's afternoon session today included free e-solutions to two widespread needs that don't get much attention: Managing college loans and helping loved ones--and others--who need extra funds to pay their own bills.
What's fascinating about Finovate Fall, the financial technology showcase presented in New York each year, is how the innovations it features reflect what 's newsworthy and worry-worthy among companies and consumers.
We've often advised folks on dealing most effectively with their banks. Sometimes the answer is to just flee. But I suspect there are a number of consumers who've avoided that avenue because of the perceived hassles of setting up automated bill-paying all over again. Today at Finovate Fall, the New York-based showcase of online and mobile innovations for the financial industry, I saw what appears to be a painless solution.
A lot of back-to-school shopping—and shopping research—is happening on mobile devices this school year, according to the National Retail Federation. Its 2012 Back-to-School and College Surveys found that almost seven of 10 tablet owners will shop for school and college items using their tablets, and more than half of all smart-phone owners will shop via their phones.
Judging from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's amazing output in the past year, you'd think the watchdog agency had been around for years.
Our testers put 100s of products through their paces at our National Testing and Research Center. Learn more about how we test for: