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New Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: 40,000 Sign-up Bonus

I mentioned in a January blog post that the 50,000 point sign-up bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card would likely get the axe before the 2nd quarter of 2012. Well, it was axed as I expected, but the card offer that took it's place is surprisingly not as bad as I originally thought it would be.

Ask Creditnet: Is an 800+ Credit Score Worth the Extra Effort?

Dear Creditnet: I already have pretty good credit scores in the 790's, but it kind of bothers me that I can't seem to break the 800 mark. I've tried for years and I just seem to be stuck where I am. Is it really worth the extra effort to try and raise my credit scores above 800? - Megan from TN

FICO Scores Don't Care if You're Unemployed

FICO scores consider a lot of different personal information found in your credit reports, but employment history isn't one of them. In fact, according to FICO, "your salary, occupation, title, employer, date employed and employment history" are never considered by its credit-scoring model. It seems logical, right? Your employment history, income and job title don't necessarily indicate what type of credit risk you are, so why should they matter to FICO?

Citi Simplicity Credit Card Review

Citibank finally "got the memo"—credit card users hate fees! In response, they've given us the Citi Simplicity Card, which is definitely the best credit card on the market right now for those that have a severe aversion to fees, want a 0% interest credit card, and like to keep their finances simple. Here are my top 4 things to love about the new Citi Simplicity Card:

IRS Offers New Penalty Relief for Unemployed & Self-Employed

Uncle Sam is usually a pretty unforgiving guy, but if you were unemployed in 2011 he might be willing to cut you some slack on your taxes this year. While Uncle Sam will of course want the full amount of taxes you owe at some point in time, you may be eligible to receive extra time to pay your 2011 tax bill without incurring additional failure-to-pay penalties (.5% to 1% of your unpaid taxes for each month up to 25 percent of your unpaid taxes). That could save you as much as $500 per month!

American Express Prepaid Debit Card Now Allows Direct Deposit

The American Express Prepaid Card hit the market in 2011 and garnered a great deal of attention since it had a very low fee structure compared to competing prepaid debit cards. Unfortunately, the card offer was quickly criticized by a lot of consumers as well because it lacked a key component— the ability to direct deposit paychecks onto the card. For consumers without bank accounts who might have been interested in the American Express Prepaid Card because of its low fee structure, the inability to set up direct deposit from their employers was often a total deal killer. Amex's $200 limit on ATM cash withdrawals wan't that appealing to potential cardholders either.

Ask Creditnet: Pay Off Credit Cards vs. Installment Loan

Dear Creditnet: Will it be better for my credit scores if I pay down my credit card debt (I have about $8000 in balances) or pay off an installment loan of $10,000? I am looking to buy a home in the next year and I need to improve my credit score about 50 points. - Pete from GA

To Sign or Not to Sign? Does the "See ID" Practice Really Work?

ID There's a lot of confusion among consumers about whether writing ‘See ID” on the back of a credit card is a smart move. I can certainly understand why, since there's a great deal of conflicting information available on the web. While it’s tough to prove this practice will actually prevent identity theft, I personally find it hard to believe it hurts. However, as far as Visa and Mastercard are concerned, a credit card is technically not valid unless it's signed. Merchants are even instructed to not accept credit cards without signatures.

SimplyCash Small Business Card from American Express Review

Access to a revolving line of credit can make or break a small business, especially during the start-up stage when cash flow can be so difficult to predict. However, finding a bank that's willing to lend to small businesses these days is not an easy task! The reality is not many are left. Fortunately, there are still a few credit card companies that remain committed to providing business owners with small business credit cards, which can serve as an excellent alternative to traditional lines of credit. American Express is not only one of those credit issuers that still offers a suite of small business credit card options, but they also happen to offer one of my favorite no annual fee credit cards for business— the SimplyCash® Business Credit Card. Here's a brief overview of the top things I like, and don't like, about AmEx's SimplyCash® Card:

Ask Creditnet: How Long Will a Bankruptcy Last on Your Credit Reports?

Dear Creditnet: I filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy on April 1, 2009, and I've avoided any type of credit since then. I haven't even checked my credit scores in years. When will the bankruptcy fall off my credit reports, and will it happen automatically? If it doesn't happen automatically, what do I need to do to convince the credit bureaus to remove it? - Jake from WI

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