Now that everyone is so obsessed with their credit reports and FICO scores, credit monitoring services have popped up everywhere. For a modest recurring fee–one that easily adds up to over $100 a year–you can have a company constantly watch your credit report and alert you of any changes in it, so you can always be on top of your creditworthiness. But should you bother? The consumer director of the U.S. Public Interest Research Groups federation (U.S. PIRG) tells BusinessWeek that credit monitoring is a “protection racket” that turns people into “financial hypochondriacs… who are scared of their own financial shadows.” [More]
A perfect credit score of 850 is technically possible, according to FICO spokesperson, Craig Watts but may not be possible for anyone. [More]
Greg wrote to us and said that he’s in the market for a new credit card: “I canceled my Chase card because they raised my interest rate to 29.99% + prime. What credit card companies should I be looking at for a replacement card? What are their perks, their drawbacks?”
I spoke with Samir Kothari, the co-founder and vice president of products at BillShrink.com, to see what he thinks about the CARD Act and how it will change the credit card marketplace.
The downside to responsible lending is that the lenders will need more information about you, says the WSJ. [More]
Reader Mat has a question. His uncle passed away a few days ago and his credit card company is telling his grandparents that if his bank account can’t pay the balance — they’ll have to. He’s wondering if this is true. [More]
Under new rules issued by the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Reserve Board, lenders will be required to tell consumers why they’re sticking them with high rates or other lousy terms. How will creditors perform this incredible feat? By lying, of course. No, just kidding. They’re going to give you a free credit report and a note explaining their decision. [More]
Yesterday, President Obama spoke at the Brookings Institute about his administration’s plan for spurring job growth in our not-quite-a-recession-anymore-but-still-pretty-much-a-recession. Now they’ve invited Consumerist to bring our readers’ questions about the program to Austan Goolsbee, the staff director and chief economist on the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. [More]
Despite the passage of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (“Credit CARD Act”), there are still fee traps out there waiting to snare you. [More]
Frugal Travel Guy has a story of how he was able to get a credit card for his son after the company first denied him. The magic bullet was a well-crafted “reconsideration letter.” What’s that?
Now that we know all the unexpected places our credit score is being used, is there anyway to turn this to our advantage? How do you cash in on your good name?
Once upon a time, credit reports were used only for credit. Now, companies use it for a lot of decisions. Find out what is legal and what is not.
Don’t buy a credit score from anyone other than the credit bureaus or Fair Isaac, makers of the FICO score equation, and don’t buy a credit report from anyone, you can get your credit report for free by law.
Michael is in a situation that we anticipate will become very, very common in the coming months. His credit card company has imposed a $99 annual fee. He can accept the fee, or close his account. Not only is this his only credit card, but it’s the oldest credit line he has, so closing it would hurt his credit score. What would you do?
Be very careful about activating any sort of over-the-counter prepaid debit card, reports the New York Times. They looked at a handful of prepaids currently on the market and discovered ridiculously high hidden fees—the first two months of use can cost you up to $80.
John’s fiancee bought an Apple computer earlier this year, financing it with a Juniper Visa account, then paying the account off early. That’s the responsible thing to do, right? Not according to Juniper, which branded her as a filthy, filthy deadbeat. The bank marked the payment she sent in as “late” for arriving three hours before the end of the billing cycle.