Finance Globe

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

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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Calm Your Fears About Marriage and Credit

Marriage affects many aspects of your life, but credit isn't necessarily one of them. Marriage itself does not affect your credit. Contrary to a common myth, your credit report doesn’t merge with your spouse’s once you get married. Nor does your marital status affect your credit rating. Single, married, separated, or divorced, your credit rating is based strictly on your credit history. So, the mere act of saying “I do” and signing a marriage license won’t...
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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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Can You Return From the Brink of Bankruptcy?

The effects of bankruptcy are devastating and long-lasting. So, if you’ve decided to file bankruptcy, chances are the situation is pretty bad. You’ve likely considered all your options, but before you head to attorney’s office to complete the paperwork, consider them all again. Have you considered debt settlement? Debt settlement has almost as bad a reputation as bankruptcy, but that’s mostly because of the companies who sell debt settlement services, not because of debt settlement itself....
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It's Ok to Check Your Credit Score

One of the biggest misconceptions people have about credit scores is that checking their own credit scores is damaging. And of course, if consumers think they’ll be hurting themselves by checking scores, then they’re also more likely to remain in the dark about where their credit truly stands. Living without a clue of your credit score is dangerous, especially if you plan to apply for any type of financial product or service. You never know whether...
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Why You Should Avoid a Payday Loan

Statistics for payday loans are mind-blowing. According to the Center for Responsible Lending, the average payday borrower has nine transactions each year and is in payday loan debt for 212 days of the year. Even though the cost of borrowing a payday loan seems cheap, often $10 for every $100 borrowed, the loans get expensive when they’re not paid off immediately. The CRL cites that flipping a typical $325 payday loan eight times leads to $469...
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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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Consumers' Top Debt Collection Complaints

Year-after-year, the debt collection industry tops the FTC’s complaint list. In 2011, the FTC received 117,374 complaints against third-party debt collectors. The complaints the FTC receives may not represent the true number of debt collector complaints since consumers may not realize they can go to federal agency with these types of complaints. Many of those complaints fell within just a few categories. The biggest complaint category was with harassing phone calls. This includes collectors calling continuously,...
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Unpaid Medical Bills Can Hurt Your Credit Score

Most people realize that credit cards and loans affect their credit score. Even the occasional blemish from an unpaid utility bill won’t surprise many people. But who’d expect medical bills to affect credit scores? To clarify, not all medical bills will hurt your credit score. Particularly, if you receive a medical bill and you pay it off within a few days or weeks, your credit score is usually safe. However, unpaid medical bills that wind up...
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Some Lenders Must Provide You a Free Credit Score

While you can get a free credit report through AnnualCreditReport.com, your credit score isn’t included in the deal. But, you may be entitled to a free credit score after certain credit and loan applications.Credit Score Disclosure Requirement Lenders are required to send credit score disclosure notice to all applicants who are denied credit or who are given unfavorable terms because of their credit score. That’s if your credit score was a factor in the decision. The...
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