Finance Globe

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

9 Things You Should Know About Credit Reporting

Credit reports play a big part in your financial life, but they’re still a mystery to many people. Here’s a complication of some basic things you should know about credit reporting. There are more than three credit reporting agencies. While Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are the most mentioned (and largest) credit reporting agencies (better known as credit bureaus), they aren’t the only companies in the United States who compile and distribute credit reports. There are dozens...
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One Credit Card, Multiple Interest Rates

The interest rate, or APR (annual percentage rate), is one of the most important credit card features because it impacts what you pay for carrying a credit card balance from one month to the next. But, credit cards have more than one APR that you should know about. Five Types of Credit Card APRs Purchases APR: The purchases APR will apply to most of your transactions. This is the APR that applies when you swipe your...
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Checking Your Credit Report - What Are You Looking For?

Experts say that you should check your credit report at least once a year. Do you know what you’re looking for when you check yours? Your credit report won’t read like an epic novel, especially if you’ve had numerous accounts over several years. Reading your credit report might confusing at first and possibly a little boring. But you don’t have to read it all at once. Go over a few pages at a time, keeping an...
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Before You Pay a Collection, Make Sure It's Not Fake

Not every debt collector who contacts you is contacting you about a real debt. Even though it’s against the law, debt collectors have been pursuing so-called phantom debts for years. These are debts that are completely fabricated with the intent of scamming consumers out of money. Surprisingly, collectors have been good enough to convince consumers to pay. Or perhaps too few consumers are aware of their rights with it comes to debt collectors. The FTC recently...
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Four Things You Can Do With a Salary Increase

One of the best things you can hear from your boss is that you’re getting a raise. You might start making plans for the money as soon as you hear the good news. But, make sure your plans include a few things that will improve your overall financial well-being. Put it toward your debt. A pay raise is perfect to accelerate your debt payoff. If you haven't been able to pay more than the minimum, a...
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What to Know About Debt Collectors

A phone call or letter is often the first sign that you have an account with a collection agency. These bills collectors don’t go away easily and some of them have been known to cross the line to get consumers to pay up. How Debt Collections Happen As an adult, you probably have several accounts with various companies: credit card issuers, a mortgage lender or landlord, a cell phone service provider, and other utility companies. As...
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When Applying for a Credit Card is a Bad Idea

“Should I apply for this credit card?” is a question that should go through your mind every time you think about clicking submit on a credit card application or to applying for a credit card over the phone or by mail. If you apply for a credit card that you’re unable to handle, the resulting problems could be more than you’re able to deal with. Here are a few times that applying for a credit card...
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Is the Minimum Payment Ever Ok?

The minimum payment is the lowest monthly credit card payment you can make and remain in good standing with your credit card issuer. The minimum payment is just a small percentage of your balance, often 3% to 5%, and paying just that amount means you can use the rest of your money for other things. And while your minimum payment is cheap, it’s actually the most expensive way to repay your credit card balance. Consider a...
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Job Search Scams Threaten Your Identity and Your Wallet

One thing you can be certain of with identity thieves and credit card fraudsters, they don’t discriminate with victims. As if job hunting wasn’t hard enough, you have to beware of scams that could lead to credit card fraud or identity theft. Posting your resume online or even just responding to job ads makes you a target for job search scams. There are a few of them to watch out for. Examples of Job Search Scams...
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Banks Offer Protection From Overdrafts, Not From Fees

When your bank receives a transaction that exceeds your checking account balance, the bank will do one of two things. They can either process the transaction or they can return the transaction to the merchant. Many people would like the bank to go ahead and process the transaction and banks will give you this courtesy, if you’ve opted-in to having overdraft transactions processed. However, you’ll pay a fee if the bank pays a transaction when you...
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