Weekly Tips

Weekly Tips

What's the CROA?

2008 was a tough year for credit repair agencies. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission shut down more than 30 businesses for violations of the CROA - The Credit Repair Organizations Act - which defines how credit repair agencies must operate. The trend has continued into 2009 as various state agencies and the FTC are on a mission to find those companies who continue to prey on unwary consumers and put a stop to their unlawful business practices.

on Sun, 2009-12-06 16:00

Don't Forfeit Your Credit Card's Rewards Miles

Banks are sending a clear message to those who enjoy racking up airline miles and hotel points for credit card purchases—pay your bill on time, or forfeit those coveted rewards.

on Sun, 2009-11-29 16:00

How ChexSystems Works

If there's one report in the financial world you definitely don't want your name on, it's ChexSystems. Utilized by U.S. Banks and credit unions as a way to determine if potential customers are too great of a risk to simply hold a checking account, ChexSystems is essentially a database that tracks when banks close customers' accounts for "cause". Such reasons might include closure due to multiple overdrafts, non payment of fees, or providing false information when opening the account.

on Mon, 2009-11-23 16:00

What's the FCRA?

The three big credit reporting agencies—Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion—gather an enormous amount of personal data about consumers, compile their credit reports, and disseminate information to third parties such as credit issuers or employers. The FCRA, or Fair Credit Reporting Act, was enacted in 1970 to protect this credit information and regulate not only when the credit bureaus can disclose it, but also under what circumstances.

on Sun, 2009-11-15 16:00

Do I Qualify for the Homebuyers Tax Credit?

If you didn't qualify before, your chances just got much better. The first-time homebuyers tax credit, which was scheduled to lapse on December 1, will now live on until at least June 30, 2010. And the good news is that President Obama not only signed an extension of the law, but also expanded the rules to include more eligible homebuyers.

on Sun, 2009-11-08 16:00

Give Your Holiday Budget a Boost

If there's any time of year when we could all use a few extra bucks in our budget, it's the holiday season. Let's face it, all those gifts, parties, expensive dinners and extra travel to visit friends and family can add up fast.

However, setting aside some extra cash over the next few months doesn't have to mean giving up your favorite shows on HBO or those Eggnog Lattes you've been longing for all year. Giving your budget a boost in time for the holidays can often be as simple as taking a closer look at your tax return.

on Sun, 2009-11-01 16:00

Beware of POS Overdraft Fees

Many consumers, in an effort to avoid ATM fees, take cash withdrawals during point-of-sale transactions at grocery stores or other retail establishments. While this may be a savvy way to avoid withdrawal fees, you should know that point-of-sale terminals generally won't warn you if you're about to overdraft and trigger an even larger fee on your account. Unlike an ATM fee of just a few dollars, overdraft charges can often be as high as $39.

on Sun, 2009-10-25 17:00

Under 21? 3 Reasons to Get a Credit Card Today

I got my first credit card when I was a 19-year-old student, but I wasn't new to credit.

In fact, I had already established a solid credit score and a clear understanding of how to responsibly manage credit cards. I took this for granted at the time, thinking it wasn't that big of a deal, but now I have a much different perspective on things. I realize just how lucky I was.

on Wed, 2009-10-21 17:00

Holidays are a Hotbed for ID Theft

The Holiday season means more shopping than usual for most of us. Whether you like it or not, you'll probably spend more time than any other season of the year searching for the perfect gifts in crowded shopping malls and on your favorite e-commerce sites.

on Mon, 2009-10-19 17:00

Right to Opt Out Excludes Minimum Payment Increases

Consumers have the right to opt out of significant changes to their credit card accounts, such as increases in interest rates and other unwanted fees. What's this mean?

Opting out basically means you choose to cancel your credit card, make no further purchases, and pay off whatever balance remains at the old interest rate. However, there are exceptions to the opt out rule.

on Mon, 2009-10-12 17:00