Finance Globe

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

Many American Families Still Rely on Credit Cards

The average amount of credit card debt has declined over the past several months, but many families are still struggling to pay basic necessities. Based on a recent survey, 40% of low- and middle-income families have used credit cards to pay for basic living expenses this past year because they didn’t have enough money on hand to pay for those expenses. Basic living expenses include things like mortgage payment, utilities, groceries, and insurance. The statistic come...
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Why You Should Always Read Your Credit Card Statement

The two most important pieces of information on the credit card statement are the minimum payment amount and the payment due date. We have to know this so we can make payment and avoid the consequences of a late payment. But, your credit card billing statement has a lot of other details that are equally important. To confirm your transactions Your credit card statement will include a list of all the transactions made to your account...
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Three Times a Balance Transfer Makes Sense

One of the benefits of having good credit is that other credit card issuers want your business. If you haven’t opted-out of credit card offers, there’s a good chance you receive several balance transfer offers each month. As enticing as these offers are, make sure you evaluate whether taking the offer is a good idea. Take Advantage of a Better Interest Rate The best reason to take advantage of a balance transfer is to take advantage...
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Using Your Credit Card for Cash? Bad Idea

Most credit cards give you the ability to withdraw cash from an ATM the same way you would with a check card, except the money detracts from your credit line instead of your bank account. When you’re in a pinch and you must have cash, a cash advance on your credit card may seem like the perfect solution. But, be careful because it’s an expensive one. When you use your credit card for a cash advance,...
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Applying for Credit Cards Could Impact Your Score

If you know how credit scores are calculated, then you probably already know that applying for a credit card has the potential to impact to your credit score. But is the impact high enough to put off your credit card application for later? Inquiries are placed on your credit report whenever you make a credit-based application. In other words, if a business checks your credit report to process your application, then a record of that inquiry...
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Get the Most From Your Balance Transfer

A balance transfer can be a tricky transaction. You might start out fully intending to pay off the balance while you still have a great interest rate. But if you’re not careful, you could end up still owing a big balance after your promotional rate has expired. If you want to get rid of your transferred balance quickly and at the lowest cost, you’ll have to be diligent about paying off the balance and avoiding costly...
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Dealing With a Declined Credit Card

Few things are more embarrassing than having your credit card declined, but try not to overreact if it happens to you. Keep a cool head and try to figure out what’s going on.What to Do First Make sure you’re using the right card and that’s still valid. For example, if your credit card issuer recently sent you a new credit card, you may have gotten them mixed up. You could be using an expired card by...
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Keep Credit Cards in Perspective

As a credit card user, having the right understanding of credit cards is necessary to stay out of credit card trouble. The credit card agreement doesn’t spell out responsible credit card use and unfortunately, many people learn these lessons the hard way. It’s not free money. Having available credit feels like you have extra money to spend. With $1,000 in your checking account and $2,000 credit limit, you might think you can spend $3,000. Technically, you...
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Using a Credit Card in an Emergency

An emergency fund is the best way to pay for unexpected expenses. But, even if you do have an emergency fund, you may not have enough time to get the money out of your savings account. That’s one of the times that having an emergency credit card can come in handy. You might also have to turn to credit for an emergency expense if you don't have an emergency fund at all. Here are some tips...
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What You Should Know About Adding an Authorized User

Most credit cards let you add another user to the account, an authorized user who receives a separate credit card with their own name on it. This person is able to use their credit card just like you can and, in many cases, the full account history is listed on the other person’s credit report. You might add a spouse, significant other, or child or sibling as an authorized user to your credit card. Perhaps you...
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