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Beware of Credit Card Currency Conversion Fees!

As credit card issuers continue to look for additional ways to boost fee revenue in the midst of the credit crisis, consumers traveling overseas should pay special attention to foreign currency-conversion fees. Virtually every credit card charges a transaction fee for processing a purchase made outside the United States. First, Visa and MasterCard charge a 1 percent processing fee for converting your foreign-currency purchase into US dollars. And second, most credit card issuers then add fees on top of the 1 percent fee levied by Visa/MasterCard simply because they can.

on Sun, 2008-06-01 17:00

I never use my first credit card anymore - Should I just close the account?

Closing out your oldest credit card immediately shortens credit history and negatively affects your credit score. Length of credit history accounts for approximately 15% of your credit score, and lenders naturally tend to view borrowers with short credit histories as riskier than those who have responsibly held credit for a longer period of time.

So, you will want to keep that first credit card around forever, and remember to use it from time to time. Some credit card issuers, such as Citibank, will automatically close down an account after a period of inactivity.

on Sun, 2008-05-25 17:00

The Fed Cracks Down on Credit Card Companies - Too Little Too Late?

In early May the Fed issued several new proposals designed to protect consumers by restricting various credit card billing practices and requiring more clarity in disclosure of costs. The Chairman, Ben Bernanke, stated the proposals are "intended to establish a new baseline for fairness in how credit card plans operate.

on Sun, 2008-05-18 17:00

Emergency funds - A personal cure for the credit crunch

Do not rely on credit as an emergency fund. Everyone's personal financial plan should include a goal of having at least six months' worth of living expenses saved in a liquid emergency fund such as an online savings account. If you find yourself in desperate need of credit in this current market, and you have a poor credit score or no credit at all, you may find it quite difficult to get what you want. However, if you already have an easily accessible reserve of cash, you won't need to resort to credit at all in your time of need.

on Sun, 2008-05-04 17:00

There is an error on my credit report - Where do I begin?

Mistakes happen all the time, and it is more important than ever to make sure there are no errors on your credit report. To ensure an error gets corrected as soon as possible, be prepared to write a letter to both the credit bureau and the organization that provided the incorrect information. The Fair Credit Reporting Act holds them responsible for correcting false information in your report, and they will generally investigate your dispute within 30 days.

on Sun, 2008-04-27 17:00

Have trouble making your payments on time?

The best way to prove you are a reliable credit risk is to always make your payments on time. If you find yourself forgetting when your credit card payments are due, take a few moments to set up direct debits for all of your cards from one central checking account. Now you will only have to remember one thing- make sure you have enough in your checking account to cover the payments each month! Your personal bank should be willing to provide overdraft protection in case of an emergency.

on Sun, 2008-04-20 17:00