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 8, 2013 |
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 |
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 |
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.