June 23, 2009 |
For small-business owners who rely on business credit cards, the recessionary landscape looks extra bleak these days. OfficeMax Inc. is no longer accepting its own credit cards after the financial company that ran its program and made the loans terminated the arrangement last month. About 100,000 small businesses were affected by the move, the national office supply retailer said. It's the latest blow to a small-business community still stinging from last month's cancellation by Advanta Corp.
October 17, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- A proposed federal rule would make it easier for stay-at-home moms, spouses and domestic partners to obtain credit cards. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said it wanted to correct a problem that arose from a 2009 law that has led some people to be denied credit cards because they did not have their own income or assets. The proposal, announced Wednesday, would allow people to rely on shared-income from a spouse or partner when applying for a credit card.
July 19, 2009 |
Of all the numbers attached to you -- Social Security, cellphone, your lucky one -- few are as important as your credit score. A credit score is a numeric summary of your credit history, ranging from 300 to 850, and it gives lenders an idea of whether or not you're a good credit risk. If your score is 750 or above, the world is your oyster, purchased with a platinum card.
November 22, 2009 |
Dear Liz: My wife and I are planning to have a child in the next couple of years, and I realize that I have no idea how to go about preparing for that financially. How much cash should new parents try to have available? What else should we be considering? Answer: Congratulations in advance on your entry into the great adventure of parenthood. The most important thing to know is that you can't predict what's ahead, financially or otherwise. The U.S. Agriculture Department estimates that it will cost middle-income parents nearly $300,000 to raise a child to age 18. But your costs could be a lot less if you're particularly frugal, or a lot more, particularly if you have a high income, plan to pay for private school or have a child with special needs.
February 25, 1985 |
"My Visa bill had an $18 charge for a breakfast when the receipt said $8," says one California card holder, "so I told the bank I wouldn't pay it till it was corrected, and a few statements later, it was. I figure they should give you that service for your money." Indeed they should. It even says so on most card statements, right along with the finance charge explanation. Unfortunately, even cereal boxes get more readers.
February 2, 2010 |
President Obama's focus, we're now told, is on jobs, jobs, jobs. That's nifty, but it doesn't bode well for other big-ticket policy goals, such as creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency to safeguard us from abusive bank practices. That idea, which Obama championed and leading Democratic lawmakers embraced, is now expected to be a long shot thanks to ferocious opposition by the banking industry, which says no additional regulatory oversight is needed. No? Here's an economic statistic that suggests otherwise: The number of credit card solicitations mailed to consumers rose during the last three months of 2009 for the first time in three years, according to Mintel Comperemedia, a Chicago market-research firm.
January 24, 1995
Before you surf, here are excerpts from "12 Credit Card Secrets Banks Don't Want You to Know," by Edgar Dworsky of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Consumer Affairs & Business: * Interest Backdating: If you don't pay your card in full monthly, most card issuers charge interest from the day a charge is posted to your account. But some charge interest from the date of purchase. Find another issuer or always pay your bill in full by the due date.
September 13, 2009 |
Credit card users with money smarts and discipline can protect themselves better than any legislation can. Initial provisions of the federal Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act took effect in August. They require banks to give cardholders longer notice before increasing the interest rates on their plastic. And cardholders can opt out as long as they stop making charges and pay the balance under existing rates within five years. That's all good, of course.
August 17, 2008 |
"Code?" The cashier at the Danish National Railway station in Copenhagen hand- ed me an alphanumeric keypad and looked at me expectantly. I looked at the keypad, looked at her and tried to figure out what I needed to do. I wanted to pay for three tickets with my Visa card. Simple transaction, breathtaking price ($110). What code? "There is no code," I said. "It's a credit card." "You have to have a code," she said. "It's standard with European credit cards. No code, no tickets.
October 22, 2010 |
Bank of America this week said it's reducing the value of the company by more than $10 billion because of recent financial reform that limits the amount the bank can charge to process debit-card transactions. That's because the reform requires the Federal Reserve to set processing fees at a level that's "reasonable and proportional to the cost incurred by the issuer with respect to the transaction. " Jerry Dubrowski, a bank spokesman, said BofA is required by accounting rules to value its business based on projected cash flow.