Finance Globe

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

Mary Tomkins is a freelance writer located in Spartanburg, SC, with emphasis on economic news and research on the financial industry.

Avoid Falling Prey to a Credit Card Scam

If you have limited credit or a rocky credit history, rest assured that there are credit card lenders that will consider you for a credit card.It’s true that you will pay more for financing than someone who has a good to excellent credit history. Your interest rates will be higher, you’ll be unlikely to qualify for credit card benefits such as rewards or low-interest introductory rates and balance transfers, and you may even be required to...
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29% of U.S. Households Don't Have a Savings Account

29% of U.S. Households Don't Have a Savings Account
More than one in four American households do not have a savings account and one in ten don’t have a checking account, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found in a 2011 survey released on Thursday. Roughly two-thirds of U.S. households have both a checking and savings account. The findings are the result of the second National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households, sponsored last year by the FDIC and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The...
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U.S. Median Income Falls But Fewer Are Without Health Insurance

Americans continued to feel the pinch in a sputtering economy and saw their incomes decline for the second year in a row - but fewer people are going without health insurance, according to a report released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Wednesday.The U.S. median household income fell 1.5 percentage points to $50,054 in 2011 - falling the most for blacks, who experienced a 2.7 percent decline in their incomes from 2010 to 2011, while the...
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12.5 Million Unemployed in August

The national unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent in August, according to Labor Department statistics released on Friday. The economy added 96,000 jobs last month - mostly in food services and drinking places, in professional and technical services, and in health care.The number of long-term unemployed (jobless for 27 weeks or more), 5 million, changed little in August and account for 40 percent of the unemployed.Of the major worker groups as defined by...
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Consumer Confidence Up Slightly in July

Consumer confidence rose slightly in July after declining for four straight months - but consumers still remain cautious due to the job market, a private research group reported on Tuesday.The Conference Board reported that the consumer confidence index rose 65.9 in July from 62.7 the previous month, surprisingly higher than the 61.5 that economics had predicted. The index that measures expectations rose improved to 79.1 from 73.4, but the present situation index fell slightly to 46.2...
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FTC Supports New Protections for General Purpose Reloadable Card Users

In a comment to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Monday, the Federal Trade Commission expressed its support of new protections for users of general purpose reloadable (GPR) cards. GPR cards are a type of prepaid card that can be “reloaded” with a payment. GPR cards have been gaining in popularity in recent years - especially among consumers who are under-banked or those who don’t meet creditor standards for a traditional credit card.Many parents also believe...
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Credit Card Spending

Consumers started racking up their credit cards again in May as revolving credit increased by a whopping 11.2 percent - or $8 billion - for the largest one-month gain since 2007, according to data released by the Federal Reserve on Monday. Overall, consumer credit grew at an annualized rate of 8% as consumers added $17.1 billion of credit in May for the largest jump in five months, and is close to levels from before the recession....
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June Unemployment Unchanged at 8.2%

The economy gained a mere 82,000 jobs and the number of unemployed remained virtually unchanged at 12.7 million in June, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday. The jobs gain came predominantly from professional and business services, and most other major industries changed little over the month, the Bureau said.The 8.2 percent national unemployment rate also remains unchanged from the previous month and has hovered between 8.1 percent and 8.3 percent for all...
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FTC: Latest Scam "Free Money from the Government

Con artists have no qualms about taking advantage of people during hard times. You may have heard or seen ads that promise the government has free money to help you pay your bills, but the Federal Trade Commission warns consumers that it is a scam:"There is currently money available NOW right here in your area, to help pay your bills.""NO lines, NO waiting, NO credit needed. This is YOUR money and will be sent back to...
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Census Bureau: 2010 Employers Declined Less Than Year Before

The total number of employers fell in the U.S. in 2010 for the third consecutive year in a row - but at a slower pace than earlier years, according to a government report released on Tuesday.There were 7.4 million U.S. businesses with paid employees in 2010 - a decline of 36,800 establishments from the year before, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. From 2008 to 2009 there was a decline of 168,000 establishments.In 2010, total employment...
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