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November 24, 2013 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: I'm a single mom with three kids. My mortgage is $1,700. My other monthly bills include $355 for a car loan, $755 for school tuition, $350 for utilities, $790 for credit cards, $200 for gas, $208 for braces and $235 for a 401(k) contribution. This leaves no money for food. I get no child support. How can I pay down my credit card debt? I don't have any money for a baby sitter or I could get a second job. Answer: The way you pay down credit card debt is by reducing expenses and increasing income to free up extra cash.
July 8, 2009 | DAVID LAZARUS
Banks are quietly changing the terms of millions of credit card accounts as they brace for a tough new law that will limit rate hikes. The law would restrict interest rate increases unless a credit card has a variable rate. So at least two major lenders are switching their cards with fixed rates to -- you guessed it -- variable rates. "It's completely unfair," said Linda Sherry, a spokeswoman for Consumer Action. "It's an end run around the intent of the new law."
May 12, 2009 | Nancy Trejos
The top senators on the Senate Banking Committee have reached a compromise on a bill designed to protect consumers from abusive credit card industry practices, increasing the likelihood that the measure will become law. Debate on the bill, co-sponsored by committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), began on the Senate floor Monday afternoon.
August 22, 2013 | By Walter Hamilton
Add credit cards to the list of important financial services that confuse Americans. A large number of consumers don't understand the terms and reward programs of their cards, according to a new survey of 14,000 card users by J.D. Power. Though people know the basic workings of credit cards, the survey revealed a surprising lack of awareness about critical elements, such as interest rates and late fees, that could affect their indebtedness. Talk to the L.A. Times: Share your thoughts on the economy Only 47% of survey respondents said they completely understand the terms of their credit cards, according to the survey.
July 8, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Consumer borrowing jumped more than expected in May as Americans charged away on their credit cards, the Federal Reserve reported Monday. Total installment credit, including auto and student loans, increased at an 8.3% annual rate in May, the fastest pace in a year, the Fed said. The borrowing increased at a 4.6% annual rate in April. Total consumer credit debt, which does not include mortgages, rose by $19.6 billion in May to a record $2.84 trillion. Analysts had projected an increase of about $12.5 billion.
September 10, 2012 | By E. Scott Reckard
Are Americans falling out of love with their credit cards again? Consumer borrowing unexpectedly fell $3.3 billion in July, driven entirely by a drop in revolving credit, the category that includes purchases made with plastic, according to a Federal Reserve survey released Monday. The decline was a big surprise - estimates in a Bloomberg survey of 37 economists had been for gains of $5 billion to $15 billion. It follows some conflicting reports on consumer confidence, underscoring the slow pace of the economic recovery.
September 20, 2010 | By Karen E. Klein
Dear Karen : My home-based business sells $25,000 annually. My clients want credit card payment options, but is that financially viable? Answer: Here's the real question: Can you afford to lose current and prospective clients because you don't accept credit cards? Fees, which will probably run 2% to 4% per transaction, can be built into your pricing structure, says Paul Nisenbaum, a credit card consultant with "Setting up your business to receive online credit card transactions will involve some initial paperwork, but once your system is in place, it is not complicated for you or your clients," Nisenbaum said.
December 27, 2009 | Kathy M. Kristof, Personal Finance
In a world where shopping online and booking a hotel or a rental car usually demands plastic, few people can survive without a credit card. But vast changes in credit regulation coupled with a souring economy turned 2009 into the most turbulent credit year in decades, with a record number of rate hikes, consumer cancellations and changes in fees, terms and credit limits. And experts say there's more in store for 2010. "2010 is going to be the year of accountability," said Adam Levin, chairman and co-founder of Credit.
August 18, 2009 | Cyndia Zwahlen
Think twice before slapping down that credit card to cover costs at your new business. The high cost of plastic credit can drag down growth at a young firm and increase the chance that it will fail in its first three years, according to a study conducted for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. For every $1,000 in unpaid credit card debt, a start-up business increases the probability that it will close by 2.2% on average compared with having no such debt, economics researcher Robert H. Scott said in a report released this month.
June 16, 2010 | Steve Lopez
As someone who makes a living reporting on the foibles of local newsmakers, there's something I just don't say often enough: Thank you. Thank you, Frank and Jamie McCourt, you quarreling crackpots, for hiring a Russian scientist to sit in his Boston home and send positive energy to the Dodgers 3,000 miles away. (And let me remind you, Jamie, that I've been sending positive vibes your way since you split with Frank. I stand ready — with my wife's permission — to marry you, and I'm just as capable of blowing your money as the Russian guru.
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