Finance Globe Blog

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

The Credit Card Protection Program

What is a credit protection plan? A credit protection plan - also known as credit insurance - is an optional add-on with many types of loans, meant to protect your credit in the case that you are not able to pay your bills due to death, disability, or unemployment. Auto loans, mortgages, personal loans and credit cards may offer a credit protection plan to consumers. It is illegal to require you to buy credit insurance...
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Looking for a Credit Limit Increase?

Is there something you'd like to do with your credit card, but are held back by the credit limit? Do you have a wallet full of low-limit credit cards, complicating your shopping and bill-payments? Would you like to transfer your balances, but don't have a card with a limit high enough to make it worthwhile? Are you in the market for a high-dollar item, and want to earn rewards on the entire purchase? A credit limit...
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The Student's Guide to Credit Card Use

College is an eye-opening world for many students. While your biggest expense is directly tied to tuition, books, and room and board, you will, no doubt, have quite a few expenses that may not have been figured into the higher education budget. Electronics and gadgets, fashion, parties, and spring break trips will require additional funding. How can you pay for all these extras that are a normal part of college life? Card issuers have the answer...
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The Balance Transferring Act

The credit card balance transfer is popular with credit card users. The balance transfer can offer interest-rate savings on credit card debt. A balance transfer simply means moving debt from one or several credit card accounts to a low or no-interest credit card account. These super-low teaser rates will last for about six months to a year, on average, with most card issuers. A cardholder may be offered a low-interest balance transfer rate by one...
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Good Uses for a 0% Introductory Rate Credit Card

Who can resist the offer for an interest-free loan? If you are offered a new credit card with a zero-interest introductory period, it's a good thing to take advantage of. The introductory period on most credit cards can last anywhere from 6 months to a year, or more. When the promotional period ends, the credit card's APR will go up; you should know what that rate will become to avoid any surprises. It's important to read...
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The Danger of a 0% Introductory Rate Credit Card

A 0% interest credit card can be a valuable money-saver if you play your cards right. The key is not to fall into the trap that credit card issuers have set for you. Used wisely, a generous introductory period can buy you time to pay off debts, keep your money working for you longer, or allow you to finance a major purchase interest-free. But used carelessly, a new credit card with a super-low teaser rate can...
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Stoozing, and its Side Effects

We've all become accustomed to the fact that credit card companies charge us interest fees for the use of credit. That's just how it works. The average American consumer has anywhere from five to nine thousand dollars in credit card debt, depending on which source you get the number from. If we're lucky enough to get an offer for a card with a 0% introductory APR, we often jump at the chance to transfer existing credit...
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Don't Get Caught in the Minimum Payment Trap

Smart shoppers know to look for good deals. We look for ads in the Sunday paper, listen for commercials on the radio, and hear from our friends about our favorite stores having a sale. When you find that perfect item at the perfect price, do you pay for it in cash? Do you use a credit card with a zero percent introductory rate, and then pay it all off before the introductory period ends? Or do...
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Get the Most From Your Credit Card

Credit cards can be a valuable money management tool if used properly. We have many choices in card features, perks, and rewards. Getting the most out of any credit card starts with choosing the one (or several) that best suits your needs. Credit cards offer more than a convenient way to pay, and if you manage your credit card accounts well, you can be sure to get the most out of your credit card while paying...
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Variable Rate vs Fixed Rate Credit Cards

Smart consumers know to shop for credit cards based on the cost of using that credit. The card's annual percentage rate, or APR, is often one of the first factors many consider when choosing a card. All credit cards either have a fixed or variable rate, and understanding the difference between the two can prepare consumers for the possibility of a change in their credit card's current APR. Some credit cards may be a combination of...
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