Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.

Dispute Responsibly: Disputes Cost Banks $10 to $40 Per Incident

If you find an erroneous charge on your credit card or bank statement, you have the right to dispute it with your credit or debit card issuer, as long as you do it within 60 days. There’s no charge for you to dispute and you can even avoid paying interest on disputed credit card charges while the issue is being investigated. Banks, however, have to spend time investigating the dispute, contacting the merchant, deciding if the...
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Misconceptions About Prepaid Cards

In the past few years, prepaid cards, sometimes called prepaid debit cards, has risen in popularity. These cards are often advertised as a credit or checking account alternative for people with bad credit or no credit. However, these cards aren’t necessarily what they seem to be. Prepaid cards aren’t credit cards. While prepaid cards look almost just like credit cards and you swipe them the same way you’d swipe a credit card, the cards aren’t credit...
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Watch Out for Merchant Credit Card Minimum Purchase Requirements

Imagine walking to the cash register of a convenience store with a bag of chips and a soda, intending to pay with your credit card, and seeing a sign that requires a minimum $10 purchase for credit card use. If you don’t have cash or an alternate method of payment, what are you going to do? Put the snacks back on the shelf, or pick up a few more items, enough to meet the $10 requirement....
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TIME Predicts More Credit Card Delinquencies This Year

Credit card delinquencies were down in 2012, the lowest in several years, but experts predict that trend won’t last throughout 2013. Credit card users are at risk of losing money on late fees and penalty interest in addition to credit score losses from late payment reporting to the credit bureaus. Credit card, auto loans, and student loans debt balances all continued to increase through the end of 2012. Increased debt balances means increased monthly debt payments....
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6 Assumptions You Can't Make About Credit Cards

Think you know about credit cards? Think again. Credit cards woo you and make you feel special, but certain things about credit cards you can’t take for granted. For example, you can't assume that... You’ll get approved just because you got a pre-approved offer. The credit card offers you receive in the mail are more like invitations to apply. The credit card issuer likely obtained your information from a prescreened list, but they haven’t actually approved...
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Upgrading to a Better Credit Card

When you’re starting out with brand new credit or you’re rebuilding after a bout with bad credit, odds are your current credit cards aren’t the best. People with new credit and bad credit typically have the least attractive credit card offerings, low credit limits, annual fees, and high APRs. You have to start somewhere, right? Once you’ve been using a “starter” or “rebuilder” credit card responsibly for several months, you may be ready to upgrade to...
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Can You Afford a Balance Transfer?

One of the main reasons for taking a balance transfer is to make it easier to pay off a high interest rate credit card balance. By transferring your high interest rate balance to a credit card with a 0% balance transfer rate, you eliminate finance charges for at least a few months and more of your payment can go toward reducing the credit card balance. It's too bad 0% balance transfer rates don’t last forever. By...
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FTC Shuts Down "Cardholder Services" Calls

The Federal Trade Commission says it receives more than 200,000 complaints about telemarketing robocalls each month. Many of the complaints are from “Rachel from Cardholder Services” as part of a credit card rate reduction scam. Thankfully, millions of these calls will cease as the FTC recently gained a court order to stop five companies from making these calls. Rachel's ScamIn this credit card rate reduction scheme, the telemarketer claims to be from cardholder services and says...
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Dodging the Default Rate

Credit cards come with several different APRs: one for purchases, sometimes another for balance transfers, and a higher APR for cash advances. The highest APR of all is the default or penalty rate. The default rate is only charged in certain circumstances and thankfully, there are ways to avoid the expensive APR. Regular APR vs. Default APRTypically your transactions will get the regular rate for that type of transaction, e.g. purchases get the purchases APR, balance...
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5 Reasons to Turn Down Store Credit Cards

These days, you can hardly shop without being asked to sign up for a store’s credit card. Saving 10% may be enticing, particularly on larger purchases, but declining the offer may be a better idea. Here’s why. Just a One-Time Discount You only save 10% the one day you apply for the credit card and only if you get approved for the card. Sure, getting a discount on a purchase is a good thing, but you...
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