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Credit

Once Again: Credit Cards at Fault? A Compelling Argument

by Luke Landes

Through some discussion about placing blame for poor money management, we managed to gather several differing opinions about the source of the problem. Kids with no skills and parents who don’t teach seemed to be the biggest culprits, followed by schools without money management classes (which, when attempted, do more harm than good), and finally ... Continue reading this article…

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Money Magazine: 7 Shortcuts for Major Money Hassles

by Luke Landes

Money Magazine is running an extended feature targeting 7 of the most annoying money problems, and proving some easy solutions. Here is a shortcut to the seven shortcuts: 1. Ace your retirement. Buy a target-retirement fund in your 401(k). If you believe you’ll be retiring in 2030, you can buy a fund that targets that ... Continue reading this article…

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The Blame Game: Poor Money Management, Part 2

by Luke Landes

Before reading on, if you haven’t participated in this week’s giveaway, open up this article in a new window or tab and add your comments about asset allocation. You can win two interesting books just by leaving a comment. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the discussion about who is to blame for poor money ... Continue reading this article…

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The Blame Game: Poor Money Management, Part 1

by Luke Landes

There’s a discussion at StopBuyingCrap about credit card companies’ evil tacticts. In fact, Cap comes clean with this humble admission: No body forced me to buy the mountains of Japanese comic books, computer hardware, and automotive parts. Sure, the credit card made it easier for me to spend money I didn’t have — but the ... Continue reading this article…

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Credit Score Question From a Reader

by Luke Landes

Hi, faithful readers. I received a question through e-mail from Brian. He’s looking for some advice for managing his credit score. Here is what he asked: If I pay off my minimum balance due, and say my remaining outstanding balance to credit ratio is 0.75, is this very bad for my credit score? I don’t ... Continue reading this article…

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Capital One Credit Cards Hurt Your Credit Score

by Luke Landes

If you have a credit card with Capital One, chances are your credit score is lower than it would be with a different credit card. This is because Capital One (and possibly other companies) don’t report your true credit limit. Part of the calculation for your credit score is your ratio of used credit to ... Continue reading this article…

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Today is National Get Out of Debt Day

by Luke Landes

Did you know that today, Tuesday, September 12, 2006 is “National Get Out of Debt Day?” Neither did I. Today, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling is taking questions online and over the phone… and answering those questions, free of charge. So, who are these people answering questions, and will they be trying to sell ... Continue reading this article…

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CitiBank Discontinuing Dividend Platinum Select Cash Back Rewards Credit Card

by Luke Landes

Editor’s Note:  These limited-time offers have expired.  This rumor has been making the rounds: CitiBank is discontinuing your favorite cash-back rewards credit card and mine, the Citi Dividend Platinum Select. Hopefully, I’ll max out the year’s $300 limit before switching to a new cash-back rewards card. The replacement program will include 2 percent cash back on ... Continue reading this article…

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The Age of Credit

by Luke Landes

I’ve been talking with J.D. of Get Rich Slowly about the rise of (the social acceptance of) personal debt in the twentieth century, which was somewhat spurred on by my MoneyBloggerPodcast interview. J.D. has included a passage from a book, Ain’t We Got Fun, in his recent post, The Dawn of the Age of Credit. ... Continue reading this article…

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0% Balance Transfer: You May Be a Terrorist

by Luke Landes

If you deviate from your banking habits by initiating a transaction more than $5,000, your bank will help the government spy on you. The federal government wants to catch terrorists and money launderers, and banks are required to assist. Since 1996, banks have been required to file a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) whenever they detect ... Continue reading this article…

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The End of Credit Card Rewards?

by Luke Landes

An article on CNN Money seems to imply that Credit Card rewards programs will be decreasing. I mentioned at the beginning of the month that American Express would be changing their reward program. This may be a sign of things to come; it’s possible that more card companies will follow suit. Today’s article says programs ... Continue reading this article…

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American Express Raising Fees and Changing Their Rewards Program

by Luke Landes

Editor’s Note: Thank you for your interest, the information in this article is no longer current and the offers mentioned have expired and are no longer available. The annual fee for holding certain American Express cards is going to increase by $35 to $125, while other card holders might see fees decline. Are these fees ... Continue reading this article…

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Cash Back Rewards for Paying Rent

by Luke Landes

Editor’s Note: Thank you for your interest, the Citi rewards credit card discussed in this article expired and is no longer available. Thanks goes to Her (from Make Love, Not Debt) for reminding me about this. When I went to sign my lease renewal earlier this month (grumble), I noted that my rent would be ... Continue reading this article…

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Deceptive Credit Card Offers, Part 4: Due Times

by Luke Landes

As you may know, I’ve been running a series this week, looking at several deceptive practices credit card companies have begun to use in the past few years. As credit issuers have been making less money on the spread between their borrowed cash and the interest they charge their customers, the companies look for new ... Continue reading this article…

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Deceptive Credit Card Offers, Part 3: Over-Limit Fees

by Luke Landes

Over the past few days, I’ve written a few posts about how credit cards have instituted new penalties in the past few years. They’re deceptive because you often don’t find out these terms until your application for credit has been accepted. Many long-time credit holders don’t even realize these newer practices exist! So far, we’ve ... Continue reading this article…

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Deceptive Credit Card Offers, Part 2: Universal Default

by Luke Landes

This is a short series in which we look at some of the deceptive practices favored by credit card companies. These are terms that are often not discolsed until after you’ve already applied and the company has checked your credit report. The items have been mentioned in an article on MSN, and I’m expanding a ... Continue reading this article…

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Deceptive Credit Card Offers, Part 1: Two-Cycle Billing

by Luke Landes

Although it’s common to recieve mailing from credit card companies offering credit cards with attractive terms, like 0 percent APR balance transfer offers or offers on small business credit cards they won’t tell you all the terms of the agreement until you actually apply for the card. This is often the case regardless of your “pre-approved” ... Continue reading this article…

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Americans Are NOT In Bad Shape With Credit, Sort Of

by Luke Landes

I like Liz Pulliam Weston’s latest article, The Truth About Credit Card Debt because she cites some statistics that fly in the face of conventional thought regarding credit behavior of Americans. We’ve all heard this before: Americans are in an unparalleled level of revolving credit card debt. The average American household carries more than $9,000 ... Continue reading this article…

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Raising Interest Rates

by Luke Landes

Everyone is affected by raising interest rates, but different people are affected in different ways. CNN Money describes how a typical American (homeowner, spender, etc.) is affected by interest rates. Interest rates are simply the cost of borrowing money; the prices paid by institutions trickle down to the consumer. So if you’re in the market ... Continue reading this article…

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You Get Three Free Annual Credit Reports

by Luke Landes

Since September 1, 2005, people in my area of the country have been entitled to three free credit reports each year, one from each credit reporting agency. Last year, I got my report a few days early, avoiding the “rush.” I had planned to space my requests evenly throughout the year, by getting one every ... Continue reading this article…

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