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6 Common Credit Card Myths

That little rectangle of plastic burning a hole in your wallet is one of life's trickier essentials.

You can't make it much past your mid-twenties without some kind of credit line attached to your name. On the other hand, though, credit cards can get you into a lot of trouble – and by trouble, I mean debt.

Four Lies That Crush Our Credit Scores

I believe that all of us can conquer our credit scores. And while an 800+ credit score might not be on the immediate horizon, a “good” credit score on the other hand is certainly attainable. Unfortunately, most of us have all lied to ourselves once or twice about getting out of debt and improving our credit, even though we know that honesty is the first step to financial security. Here are some of the most common lies I've heard over the years that can crush our fragile credit scores, many of which I've been guilty of myself:

Why FAFSA Denied Me Over $9

I'm sad to say I was immediately rejected when I applied for a student loan through FAFSA a few months ago. The reason: I had a credit card bill that was beyond 180 days late. And just what was my unpaid balance? A skimpy $9...ugh! Unfortunately, I had completely forgotten about a small purchase I made on eBay several months prior. I had racked up interest in the amount of $4 and some change, a bunch of negative marks on my credit reports, and then I was forced to deal with the whole hassle of getting denied for a graduate school loan I really needed. All of that pain for 9 bucks.

Banks and Credit Unions: What's the Difference?

Is it time to give up on that large national bank and find a local credit union to take care of your hard-earned money? Understanding some of the subtle differences between banks and credit unions can help you make a more educated decision, so here are a few important things to keep in mind before making up your mind.

Card.io - Scan and Charge Credit Cards on Your Smartphone

Leaps in technology generally don't obliterate older methods overnight. As you might imagine, there are often transitional developments which help to act as bridges from one generation of technology to another. We're currently seeing this take place in the auto industry as we work to move away from fossil fuels and into something more sustainable. Likewise, we're seeing a huge transition take place in the credit card industry. Soon, NFC chips will most likely replace our current standard wallets. But until that shift actually occurs, we’ll continue to see technologies like Square and Card.io become transitional players in the industry.

How to Get More from Your Credit Cards via Social Media

 Anyone who has ever tried to choose between dozens of rewards credit cards knows just how confusing it can be. There are different amounts of points given, different types of points given, and different rewards given.  Figuring out which card is best for your situation can be a time consuming, never-ending process! But what if I told you that some of the best credit card perks don't even come from the rewards program you pick?  In fact, credit card companies are actually giving away some of the most valuable benefits just for being their friend.

Top Three Holiday Credit Mishaps

The holiday season is in full swing, and regardless of which holiday(s) you celebrate, gift giving is exciting, expected, and expensive. While it's certainly ok to share your hard-earned cash with loved ones through gift giving this holiday season, keep in mind the three most common credit mishaps as you fit in your last-minute shopping. After all, 'tis the season to be jolly! 'Tis not the season to be tricked, scammed, or sold into destroying your holiday and your credit for years to come.

Credit Card Debt and Your Retirement

I read an article recently which provided an extremely alarming statistic. Apparently the average retirement savings held in 401Ks for individuals between the ages of 55 and 65 in the United States is only $100,000.

The Top Five Myths About FICO Scores

We're all aware of the importance of having great credit scores, but sometimes figuring out how to get that stellar credit score is like cracking the code to the secret sauce at your favorite burger joint. The result is that over the years, dozens of credit scoring myths and misunderstandings have popped up as people have attempted to get their financial lives in order. Here are my top five in descending order.

Bobber Users Gamification to Promote Saving

A new Seattle-based company is using gamification via Facebook to help encourage young people to save and practice proper financial management skills. The company, BobberInteractive, allows users to set goals, measure their progress and engage/interact with friends via a Facebook app that uses the social media site as a gaming and goal-sharing platform. The hope is that those using the social platform will use gaming to solidify and enhance their ability to save and invest. Sounds just like Farmville, right? Er...no. This game actually teaches something of value.