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Money Systems That Lead to Success: Automatic Savings

by Luke Landes
Make Savings Automatic

Last month, I wrote about the opinions of Scott Adams on his eventual success as the creator of the comic strip Dilbert. I focused on the failure aspect of the article he wrote for the Wall Street Journal, and I only touched lightly on the success factors. A system, a methodical way of approaching any ... Continue reading this article…

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The Occupy Debit Card

by Luke Landes
Occupy Banks

Can an organization offer mainstream financial products while being ideologically opposed to the mainstream financial industry? That’s the question I began considering when I first heard that the Occupy Wall Street movement was in the process of developing a prepaid debit card product. The Occupy Debit Card is still just a concept, but if the ... Continue reading this article…

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GE Capital Bank Online Savings Account: I Was Declined

by Luke Landes
GE Capital Bank

This article started as a regular review of an online savings account. I’ve written many of these for Consumerism Commentary over the years, and I’ve always followed a similar process: I open a new account in my own name, naturally, I link the account to an existing account of mine, I transfer money into the ... Continue reading this article…

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PerkStreet’s Closing Signals Danger for Rewards Debit Cards

by Luke Landes
PerkStreet Closing

If you have been a customer of PerkStreet, you joined to take advantage of the company’s debit card rewards program, and had accrued rewards as of August 12, you just got screwed, to put it bluntly. PerkStreet is closing, the company canceled their rewards program, and the company will not be paying out any accumulated ... Continue reading this article…

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Capital One 360 Customer Service: Unsolved Issue With Customer’s Mortgage

by Luke Landes
Capital One 360

When Capital One purchased ING Direct and ultimately rebranded the bank as “Capital One 360,” long-time customers of the online bank asked the same questions. Would Capital One continue ING Direct’s tradition of competitive rates and excellent customer service? Not everyone’s experience with ING Direct has been perfect, but overall, the bank was as beloved ... Continue reading this article…

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Debit Card Swipe Fees Could Shrink, But Will Banks Punish Consumers?

by Luke Landes
Debit card swipe fees

It’s the lobby of retailers versus the lobby of retail banks. Retailers claimed a small victory recently when a U.S. District Court struck down a rule that capped debit card swipe fees at about $0.24 a transaction. The original cap proposed by the Federal Reserve was $0.12 but as the Federal Reserve operates more for ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Order Your Free Chex Systems Report

by Luke Landes
ChexSystems - Free Annual Checking Account Report

Chex Systems is a private database that tracks consumers’ behavior with checking accounts. The company that owns the database, Fidelity National Information Services (no relations to Fidelity Investments), is, among other things, a credit reporting agency. Therefore, customers whose activities have been tracked in Chex Systems have some rights, like customers whose credit is reported ... Continue reading this article…

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Many Low-Income Families Can’t Use Mainstream Banking Even If They Wanted

by Luke Landes
Bank

I’ve written previously about many different reasons households, particularly those in locations where families typically have low incomes and those in areas where certain minorities constitute a majority of households, are more likely to take advantage of the high-cost alternative banking system including payday loans and check-cashing storefronts. For example, traditional banks find it difficult ... Continue reading this article…

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