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Surprise! Credit Card Issuers Can Still Jack Your Rates

[caption id="attachment_1486" align="alignleft" width="312" caption=" "]Photo by Kevin Zheng Li[/caption]

It amazes me that a lot of people haven't heard of the CARD Act yet. Perhaps I'm just biased because I spend a lot of time reading financial sites, but it seems like the CARD Act is one of those laws that's received an extensive amount of media hype since it was passed last year. How could anyone completely miss it?

I do happen to come across a friend or relative who knows what the CARD Act is from time to time, and when I do I like to ask them what change they think will matter the most to their wallets. Surprisingly, the general response is the same in almost every case—"no more interest rate increases on existing balances."

DebtGoal: Jenny Craig for Debt Junkies

  I hear an ad for a new debt settlement company almost everyday. Frankly, most are pretty shady, and I would never recommend their services to someone looking for debt help. The last thing people in debt need is to give their hard-earned cash to someone else to "hopefully" make their problems go away. I mean, even if the company is legitimate, what does anyone learn from that? What's to stop the person from making the same mistakes again in the future?

Fed's New Site a Flop

The Fed recently launched a new site that provides consumers with online access to credit card agreements from hundreds of major credit issuers. When I first heard about it, I thought this could turn out to be a pretty useful tool.

Any Blippers Out There?

[caption id="attachment_1441" align="alignleft" width="120" caption=" "][/caption]

I've yet to actually meet someone who regularly uses Blippy.com, the twitter-esque social networking site that allows users to share their credit card transactions online.

Apparently there are still thousands of you, but I can't for the life of me figure out why. Where are you? Who are you? If you're out there reading this, please enlighten me!

Credit vs. Debit: Protecting Yourself from Fraud

‘Credit or Debit?’ You’re used to hearing this question when checking out at the grocery store, but have you ever stopped to think about what your choice means in terms of your financial security?

Ask Creditnet: Best Hotel Rewards Card for Newbies

Dear Creditnet: My fiancé and I are new to credit cards (we've only used debit cards in the past), and we're looking to get one that will give us hotel reward points. Any idea which card would help us better our credit scores while banking hotel points as well?

Should We Get A Free Credit Score Each Year Too?

We can already get our "free" credit reports through annualcreditreport.com—one from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax each year. Now, a lot of people think consumers should be entitled to a free credit score too? Not a fake one that lenders wouldn't ever use to asses our risk, but a real credit score that matters. You know, one that lenders will actually consider when determining how much credit to offer, at what rate, and under what terms and conditions.

Ask Creditnet: Interest Rate Jacked on Existing Balance

Dear Creditnet: The issuer of my primary credit card just sent me notice saying they're raising the rate on my existing balance to 30 percent. My account is already into the thousands and I can barely make payments as it is! I have been a little late in the past, for which I will now be massively penalized. Is there anything I can do? Any recourse?

Hurts So Good

Dollar bills

At its most basic level, economics is really the science of trying to explain and predict human nature. Everything we do throughout a day, every decision we make, is based on supply, demand and price.

Even things we do that seemingly have nothing to do with money can be boiled down to these principles. Where you sit at lunch, the friends you choose and even whom you married can be explained through economic terms. (A word of advice—don’t tell your spouse you married him/her because of supply, demand and price. Trust me, that conversation doesn’t go over well.)

No More "Free" Reports from FreeCreditReport.com

big_freecreditreport

I checked out FreeCreditReport.com today because I was interested to see what changes have been made in light of the new rules that take effect this week.

As you might recall, new regulations that were part of the CARD Act of 2009 require free credit report advertisers to clearly state that there's only one authorized place to get a truly free credit report—AnnualCreditReport.com. The deadline to make this change for online advertisers is April 2nd, while the same requirement for TV and radio ads doesn't take effect until September.

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