When I was a child, I remember going to the bank every Friday with my mom. She’d run inside to deposit her paycheck, or pull up to the drive-thru window where the teller would sometimes put a candy in the cash envelope if he or she saw me or my siblings sitting in the car. It’s all very quaint and rose-colored now, but that notion of going to the bank on a regular basis appears to be a thing of the past. [More]
I have a card with one bank (that I am trying my hardest to pay off ASAP) that is 24% APR. It is killing me. A week or two ago, you had an article about a woman who paid off all her credit card debt over the course of 20 months or so. Good for her and it was a good story. One thing about it had me wondering though. She said that she negotiated with her lenders to get lower interest rates on her cards. How do you suggest I do that?
Like candy canes and drunken family dinners, gift cards have become a Christmas staple. Bankrate has reviewed a wide number of them and published the results to help you pick the best one for your needs. To avoid fees, you should stick with “closed-loop” cards—that is, a card issued by a specific retailer for use only with that retailer. Almost all retailers now offer cards that don’t expire and don’t charge maintenance fees, with the notable exceptions of Macy’s and Bloomingdales, whose cards both expire two years after purchase. However, several retailers—CVS, for example—still charge “dormancy” fees on cards that have been inactive for anywhere from 6 to 24 months, so be sure to check the fine print to see how this is addressed.
To creditors, you are a walking, talking, three digit number. Creditors use that number, your FICO score, to judge your credit worthiness. A good FICO score can lead to favorable terms, but unless you pay a fee or sign up for a free trial, your score is cloaked in a shroud of secrecy. Until now.