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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New Agency to watch for Credit Cards and other financial products

President Obama is expected to unveil a new government agency Wednesday that will watch over financial products offered to consumers such as Credit Cards , Mortgages ...consumer product safety commission ...the last bust in the economy was partially caused by the fact that many people took on mortgages that they could never pay in a million years and they were taking on loans on credit cards that had 25% or 30% interest rates , people should be more responsible but financial companies should be more responsible too , and that's what's this watch dog agency is all about

Monday, June 15, 2009

Credit Card defaults rise to record in May in The US

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. credit card defaults rose to record highs in May, with a steep deterioration of Bank of America Corp's lending portfolio, in another sign that consumers remain under severe stress.

Delinquency rates -- an indicator of future credit losses -- fell across the industry, but analysts said the decline was due to a seasonal trend, as consumers used tax refunds to pay back debts, and they expect delinquencies to go up again in coming months.

"I find it hard to believe that it is really a trend. You need to see stabilization in unemployment before you see anything else," said Chris Brendler, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus. "It is too early to see some kind of improvement."

Bank of America Corp -- the largest U.S. bank -- said its default rate, those loans the company does not expect to be paid back, soared to 12.50 percent in May from 10.47 percent in April.

The bank is paying the price of expanding rapidly in recent years and of holding one of the highest concentrations of subprime borrowers among the top card issuers, analysts said.

In addition, American Express Co , which accounts for nearly a quarter of credit and charge card sales volume in the United States, said its default rate rose to 10.4 percent from 9.90, according to a regulatory filing based on the performance of credit card loans that were securitized.

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Visa Europe Faces Antitrust Complaint From Retailers

Visa Europe Ltd., operator of the largest payment-card network in the 27-nation European Union, faces a formal antitrust complaint from EuroCommerce, a group representing retailers.

A transaction fee paid by retailers, which is set by Visa and its member banks, breaks EU antitrust rules, EuroCommerce, whose members include Carrefour SA and Tesco Plc, said in an e- mailed statement today. The so-called interchange fee is paid by the retailer’s bank to the bank that issued the customer’s card.

“The Visa interchange fee procedure is completely unfair,” said Xavier Durieu, secretary general of EuroCommerce, in the statement. “Retailers are forced to pay for a range of services from which they do not benefit. Bank rates are the only services which retailers, even the largest ones, are not able to negotiate.”

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Get out of debt , Credit Card Clinic

struggling about Mortgage and credit cards debt , get some help , money management , debt consolidations , Americans have 1 trillion in credit cards debt ...A warning about living under a house of credit cards, with John Ulzheimer consumer education president, and CNBC's Carmen Wong Ulrich.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Free Credit Card Tracking tool By Credit Karma

Credit Karma Inc., the Web site that offers free credit scores and financial advice to U.S. consumers, is adding a tool today to help users understand the components behind their credit reports.

The free service requires users to register and give personal information such as their Social Security number and date of birth. Users of the “Credit Report Card” will be able to see how their total debt, payment history and other factors may affect their scores.

“Ninety-five percent of consumers don’t know any of these relationships and how they work in regards to a credit report,” said Ken Lin, the chief executive officer and founder of San Francisco-based Credit Karma, in an interview. “If you’ve ever looked at a credit report you’ve got 8 to 12 pages of data that doesn’t correlate to a credit score.”

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Student loans default are their highest rate in about a decade

Student Loans , College Grads Get 'D' for Debt

student loan debt and interest rates are a burden on student shoulders, how can you start your life with a 100K debt ! defaulting becomes the rule not the exception...diplomas do not come cheap , more and more students need a lending hand , banks , foreclosed home or repossessed car become the norm , loans investing intelligence are a complicated formula especially in a failing economy ,
Graduates are leaving college with a mountain of debt, especially in these turbulent times , with no jobs perspectives and with an unemployment rate at about 8% according to official stats

Sunday, June 7, 2009

How to pay your bills without killing your credit

Americans ownb 950 billion dollars in credit cards debt last year according to the Federal Reserve , we own even more this year and credit cards default are expected to go up ten percent this how should you cope with the bills in this hard economy without killing your credit rating? it can be hard to decid which bill to pay first , credit adviser have some great advices on how to stay afloat without killing your credit : if you are drowning in debt living check to check , you have a big debt to credit cards companies and you do not know which bills to pay first , your utilities bills cable bill phone bill ? credit counsellors say , you should not pay your credit card first , your number one priority is to pay your mortgage or rent ,even if the credit cards company keep calling , your second priority are Utilities because getting disconnected will cost you more money on the long run , because utilities companies often hit you with penalties pricy deposits and connection fees when they restore your service , Your Third priority is to make your car payment especially if that's how you get to work , but never ignore your credit cards creditors and especially do not make empty promises , try to workout an arrangement but remember do not ever give your creditors your bank account information , they will be more than happy to empty it need decipline in order to rebuild your credit

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What is My Credit Score ?

Info about credit score,housing loan,credit check (what's my credit score)
This article is about questions like: the credit score and mortgage, credit score and loan, whats my credit score, how to check my credit score, etc.

In the U.S., every one has a social security number (SSN). This SSN will follow you for your entire life. If you screwed up something, it will be reported to the HOGAN system. This system is so powerful that all the info about a person's debt, credit card number, bank accounts, etc can be inquired from it once a SSN is entered. One thing I need to mention here is the credit card late payment issue. If you have only just one late payment (<90>90 days) made his credit score drop from 708 to 604 in a month. When he found this big mistake he made, he paid his credit card debt immediately. But it still takes a while for him to restore his credit score. Actually, the people paying all his credit card debts every month will not get the high credit score. You credit score will be better if you just pay the minimum payment every month. Because you will need to pay for the interests if you choose to pay the minimum payment of your credit card bills. This is the way the banks and credit card companies like most. It is like a debt which takes forever for the credit card holder. But lots of American people like to pay the credit card bills this way. :-)

About the credit check and credit inquiry: I don't recommend people to apply for too many credit cards in a short period of time. Because you will get a hard credit inquiry every time you apply for a new credit card. You credit score will be affected if you have too many credit inquiries. In the U.S., every one can get a free annual credit report (with no credit score in it) and the web site is: (The website is only accessible through ISPs (Internet Service Providers) located within the United States and its territories.) You can check this web site if you are interested. If you have the question like "whats my credit score?", you can use the free trial from CreditReport Dot COM or MyFICO Dot COM. From CreditReport Dot COM, you can get a 7 day free trail of 3 bureau credit monitoring and credit score tracking. For the MyFICO Dot COM, you can get your free FICO score and credit report, 2 free Equifax FICO scores and credit reports, 90% of the largest U.S. banks use FICO scores. (Score Watch 30-Day Free Trial)

Credit score and financial crisis: I think a very important reason of this financial crisis is the banks' not caring too much about the applicants' credit score. Because of this, the people with very low credit score can still get their housing loans. Even the people who has bankruptcy records in his/her credit report can still get his/her house mortgage. Sometimes they can get the 0% down payment too. This is too risky for the banks. When the housing price drops, these people will not be able to pay their housing loans and the banks will be affected too. Now the banks require the applicants to have a credit score of at least 700 when applying for the housing loans. They also prefer the applicants with a clear credit history. Although the housing price dropped and lots of people think this is a good time to buy houses, to get the house mortgage from the banks is another story now.

Credit score and microfinance: I once had a intern in Grameen Foundation and my work is about the loan applications from Get $50 Cash Back from Discover!the poor people. In the U.S., the poor people will not get a very good credit score. (or don't have any credit score) Because of this, the banks do not want to lend them money. All they can ask is the microfinance organizations. I saw lots poor people, they really need money from the banks. But they are not able to get loans from them because of their bad credit score and credit report. The good thing about this microfinance is that they will not consider things like credit score or credit report at all. It cares more about the applicants' personality. If the applicant is poor but he/she is honest and confident about his/her future, he/she can still get loans from these microfinance organizations. In my point of view, this is not just about money. This is about giving hopes and chances to the poor people. Although it is not smart to lend money to the poor people with band credit score in most American people's mind, the poor people still need a chance to pursuing better lives in the realistic capitalism system.

By Shane Lee. Date: 06/02/2009.


Pre-Paid Credit Cards Popularity on the Rise

Visa Master Card Pre-Paid Credit Popularity on the Rise no credit check no credit history needed , bad credit no credit , but watch out for any hidden fees and charges and read the fine print for all set of rules coming with the card...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Credit and Credibility , The Credit Crunch

With the economy in a downward spiral, more and more people are taking advantage of credit card offers to make ends meet, but are the credit card companies actually taking advantage of their customers? In the week in which federal regulators adopted sweeping new rules for the credit card industry, NOW meets families struggling to pay off their credit card debt. Such debt has become significantly larger thanks to questionable industry practices like doubling and tripling interest rates, increasing fees and penalties, and shrinking credit limits. We meet people like Andrew Spurlock and his wife Michelle, who are raising three children while watching the interest rates and fees on their credit cards skyrocket. Michelle was horrified when her interest rate jumped from seven percent to 30 percent from one day to the next, despite claiming she always paid her monthly minimum. Michelle and her husband are fighting off financial ruin as they struggle to pay off their debt. Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren, an expert on debt and the middle class, says credit card companies are deceiving customers in order to maximize profits. "You would think that if you upheld your end of the contract that the contract would be binding. But in the case of credit cards, you would be wrong," Warren, tells NOW. This week, NOW takes a hard look at the small print in credit card offers, and at Congressional legislation aimed at regulating the industry. Are you getting the credit you deserve?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Debt Negotiators May Give Little Relief to Consumers

By Jamie McGee

May 29 (Bloomberg) -- Ulish Hopkins, a former bus- dispatcher from Chicago, turned to a debt-settlement company last year after piling up about $30,000 in credit-card bills. Seven months later, he owed close to $40,000.

Hopkins says the company told him it could reduce his bills by about 50 percent through negotiations with lenders. He was told to stop paying creditors and to put monthly payments in an escrow account, which the firm used to cover its fees. Instead of reducing his bills, interest and late fees raised his indebtedness and damaged his credit score.

“They never told me that the money I was paying wasn’t going to my debt, it was going to them,” said Hopkins, 59, who quit work in January 2008 after a brain tumor led to surgery. He now receives $1,539 a month in disability checks. “You are better on your own.”

Credit-card delinquencies are at record highs, according to Fitch Ratings, and the U.S. unemployment rate of 8.9 percent is the highest since 1983. As more consumers fall behind on bills, settlement companies often end up adding to the debt burden rather than offering a cost-saving solution, said Gail Cunningham, a spokeswoman for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling in Silver Spring, Maryland.

“There has been significant growth in the debt-settlement industry based on the economic decline,” Cunningham said. “People are financially distressed and when that happens, the unscrupulous among us seem to come out in droves.”

Sued for Fraud

Wesley Young, legislative director of the Association of Settlement Companies, a Madison, Wisconsin-based lobbying group, said there are probably more than 500,000 customers of as many as 1,000 debt-settlement companies. The association, which includes about 30 percent of the industry, requires members to disclose payment plans and credit-score risks upfront, he said.

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has begun a national investigation of settlement companies, and has sued two for fraud and false advertising. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has also filed two lawsuits against debt-settlement companies, alleging they “engage in deceptive marketing practices” and “do little or nothing to improve consumers’ financial standings.” Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott sued a debt settlement company in March, saying it engaged in “deceptive and misleading acts,” according to court documents.
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