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Credit Cards

#AskanExpert: Why is a Home Equity Loan so Hard to Get?

Q. We’ve used our credit cards too much and gotten ourselves into a stressful situation. We make a decent income, but the monthly payments are putting financial strain on our budget. We would like to get a home equity loan to pay off all these cards and just have one payment, but we do not qualify for a new loan due to our debt-to-income ratio. Not too long ago, my …Read More

The Ups and Downs of Student Credit Cards

For many students, college is the ideal time to try new things and take on new challenges. One important challenge to consider taking on while in college is that of establishing and building your consumer credit profile.   Not only will most people benefit from having a solid credit history when they enter the workforce, but college students are eligible for student credit cards, which can be one of the …Read More

#AskanExpert: I Can’t Afford My Credit Card Payment. What Should I Do?

Q. I can’t pay my credit debts. My job got eliminated and my husband had a stroke and  is permanently disabled. Interest rates are horrible and I’m over my limit on all my cards because of them. I can’t afford the full payment, so I have been sending them half. What should I do?   Dear reader, Sometimes difficult situations beyond your control can land in you in tough financial …Read More

#AskanExpert: Should I Consolidate All My Credit Card Debt?

Q. Can the NFCC help consolidate all credit cards, even ones under $500? Dear Reader, If you are considering loan consolidation to repay your credit cards, we encourage you to think about it carefully. We can also connect you with NFCC-certified credit counselors that can help you explore this strategy. But, just like a credit counselor, we can only offer advice, guidance and education.   Loan consolidation usually works best …Read More

#AskanExpert: What Happens If You Pay All But One Credit Card?

Q. What will happen if I do not pay off one American Express credit card? I have three other credit cards that I am currently paying off, but American Express wants $5,000 paid all at once. Dear Reader, It is hard to adequately predict what will happen if you do not pay your American Express card. However, I can tell you what to expect in general terms. If your American …Read More

Saving on Your Summer Vacation with Smart Credit Card Use

For many people, it takes all year long to save up for that special summer vacation, be it a romantic trip for two or an adventure for the whole family. But a lot can happen before summer comes, and that vacation fund can often get trimmed to take care of other necessities. Thankfully, there are ways to save on your summer vacation — and your favorite credit card may be …Read More

The Truth About Business Credit Cards

It’s no secret that when you are starting a small business, your personal and business finances quickly become intertwined. One area of common confusion is business credit cards. How are they different? Do they have the same protections? How will they affect your personal credit? How do you choose one? In this blog post, we explore these questions and more so you can make an informed decision for your small …Read More

“Spring Cleaning” Your Wallet

From the birds tidying up their nests to the gardeners preparing their land, spring is the time that we clean away the cobwebs of winter and get ready for the year ahead. But while many of us take part in an annual spring cleaning of our homes, few of us extend that same principle to one of our messiest places: our finances.   Cleaning Up Your Finances The idea of …Read More

Credit Card Rewards Cannot Offset Rising Interest Rates

The financial crisis that started in 2007 caused interest rates to plummet as the Federal Reserve lowered its federal funds rate to encourage more borrowing. Banks use this rate to base all short-term interest rates and the prime rate—every product involving interest is based on the  Fed funds rate. Credit cards are one of those products, and while interest rates have been low since 2008, they’re now on the rise. …Read More

Can I Pay My Taxes with a Credit Card?

As the holiday haze starts to lift and spring begins peeking over the horizon, the realities of being in a new fiscal year start to hit us all — right in the pocketbook. Somewhere between Valentine’s Day and Easter, the commercials for tax preparation providers take over the airways, and we start keeping watch for the W2s and 1099s soon to be hitting our mailboxes. For some consumers, tax time …Read More