Finance Globe Blog

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

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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Your Credit - Creditors Aren't the Only Ones Looking

We are all aware that lenders routinely consider our credit report when we apply for credit. We would only expect them to. But do you realize that your credit report can be seen by others without you even being aware of it? According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), anyone with a "legitimate business need" can see your credit report. Who looks at credit reports Lenders need to know the financial risk in granting credit;...
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Your Credit Score

Your credit score is the three-digit number that lenders obtain from a credit bureau in an attempt to sum up your credit risk. Your credit score gives lenders a snapshot of your credit and debt situation and plays a big part in whether or not credit will be granted, as well as the terms and conditions of your loan or credit card. Your credit score is determined solely by the information found in your credit report...
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Chase Credit Cards, Something for Everyone

Chase Bank History Chase Bank is the consumer and commercial division of JP Morgan Chase, and has a history in the banking business of over two hundred years. The first predecessor in Chase’s history was The Bank of The Manhattan Company, formed in 1799. Chase National Bank, formed in 1877, merged with The Bank of The Manhattan Company in 1955, and became known as The Chase Manhattan Bank. Many other companies over the many years...
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Teach Your Kids About Smart Money Management

It’s funny that many of us moved out of our parent’s home and proceeded to live our grown-up lives without ever learning much about financial responsibility and money management. I remember taking a semester in high school about budgeting, opening a bank account, and balancing a checkbook. We learned about it from a book, without the experience to go with it. With that very little bit of money education, we were expected to have all the...
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Choosing a Mutual Fund

There are thousands of mutual funds to choose from, with different investment styles, risk factors, and expenses. How do you choose the one that's right for you? There's no one size fits all with investing, that's why we have so many choices. Choosing a mutual fund is similar to buying a vehicle; you need to know what your vehicle should be able to do for you and what you're using it for, and you research until...
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The History of Credit and Credit Cards

The ancient credit and debt system Merchants have been extending credit to buyers since ancient times. Credit was commonly used in Assyria, Babylon, and Egypt thousands of years ago. Since the days when people traded in grains and cattle, merchants have been able to increase sales by allowing consumers to buy now and pay later. Even before the written word, about 9000 years ago, people kept track of debts with tokens. Written language was encouraged...
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Joint Credit Card Accounts

Many happy couples want to share everything…share a meal, share a home, share a credit card. Wait! Share a credit card? Consider the risks and rewards of opening a joint account with someone, before you sign your name on the dotted line. A joint account can be convenient if both people agree on how to handle credit and finances. Unfortunately, the decision to open a joint account may lead to trouble for some, when differences in...
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