September 20, 2010 |
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 PaymentMaven.com. "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.
August 15, 2010 |
Dear Liz: My 74-year-old mother was laid off from her full-time job in May. My siblings and I were horrified to learn that she owes $41,000 on 12 credit cards with interest rates ranging from 9.9% to 29.9%. None of the issuing banks is willing to lower her interest rates. With her Social Security benefits and unemployment, she is just barely getting by, but unable to afford more than her minimum payments on the credit cards. She does not own a home and rents a duplex for $650 a month.
July 1, 2011 |
Are high credit card fees pricing plastic out of the market? Some businesses are putting the kibosh on credit cards to avoid paying processing fees that run about 2% of the transaction amount. In other words, every time you buy something for $100 with plastic, it costs the merchant nearly $2 in processing fees. Multiply that by hundreds or even thousands of daily transactions, and that can add up to some serious coin. Typically, those costs are passed along to customers in the form of higher prices.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 16, 2010 |
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.
July 15, 2003
Re "Going Hog Wild Using Federal Credit Cards," July 12: Are you kidding me? The Agriculture Department has no policy on disciplining employees for the misuse of government credit cards. Some of these users were suspended for a few days or had a letter of reprimand put in their file. A spokeswoman said she wasn't aware of whether any of the employees were fired. Instead, they are going to be advised how to use the cards properly. I sometimes watch the Sci Fi cable channel on TV, but this is the best episode ever.
November 8, 1991 |
People with major credit cards--Visa, MasterCard or Discover--can now run into some local supermarkets and charge a quart of milk. This is a big advance for both consumers and supermarkets, say the credit card networks, which are pushing more grocers to sign up. The consumer gets yet another payment system, the more the merrier. The markets get yet another chance to make a sale. Actually, the credit card industry may benefit most of all, perhaps to the detriment of consumers.
November 1, 2009
Re: David Lazarus' consumer column "Consumers need credit card laws, fast," Oct. 25: I'm beginning to think that David Lazarus and I live in different universes. He relates a story of how a man got a notice from Citibank that his rate was increasing dramatically and is now planning to switch cards. To me, this shows that our free enterprise system works: Customers are free to go elsewhere when they feel a business doesn't treat them well. In Lazarus' universe, this makes it clear that we need government protection.
September 19, 2013 |
As home values plunged last decade, troubled borrowers started stiffing their mortgage company in favor of using limited cash to pay down credit cards. The financial math made sense: When forced into hard choices, why continue to pile money on the deck of a sinking ship? But that's changing, a study released Thursday found. It's the latest sign of an improving housing market and economy that has homeowners again seeing long-term value in their homes. Financially strapped Americans are now about as likely to fall behind on their credit cards as they are on their mortgage, personal credit-rating company TransUnion said.
June 2, 1989 |
People are attacking banks again over their credit cards. Consumer advocates complain that some banks apply finance charges from the date of a purchase rather than the date it's posted to a cardholder's account, thus getting some extra days of interest. A California state court recently ordered Wells Fargo Bank to refund $5.2 million to cardholders who were illegally overcharged for paying late or exceeding their credit limits. In Alabama, there's even a move to tax the profits that out-of-state banks make from Alabama cardholders.
November 20, 2013 |
The delinquency rate on credit cards and the average debt owed by consumers dropped in the third quarter from a year earlier, according to a report released Wednesday by TransUnion. The credit reporting firm found that credit-card debt per borrower fell to $5,235 in the third quarter, down 1.3% from the same period last year. Fewer Americans also fell behind on payments, TransUnion reported. The delinquency rate dropped to 1.36% in the third quarter, down from 1.5% last year. "Our data show that consumers continue to deleverage, with balances dropping in the past year and remaining near historical lows," said Ezra Becker, vice president of research and consulting in TransUnion's financial services business unit. TransUnion's report found that the declines were recorded in every state. In California, average credit-card debt declined 2.6% to $5,332. Overall, the number of open credit-card accounts rose to 334.2 million in the third quarter, up from 327.4 million a year earlier, TransUnion said. But the figure is down sharply from 408.4 million in the third quarter of 2008. The percentage of non-prime borrowers -- those with credit scores lower than 700 -- fell to 29% last quarter, down almost one percentage point from a year earlier.