Times may have been tough on our wallets over the years, but somehow despite a recession and its ensuing after-effects, Americans have become a lot better at making their credit card payments on time. The amount of delinquencies on credit cards issued by banks is at its lowest level since 2001, according to a new report from a banking group. [More]
Usually very closed-mouth about how it calculates scores, FICO released a whole bunch of data about how being late on your mortgage payments affects your credit score. For instance, being 30 days later on a mortgage payment can chop your 780 credit score down to 670. And a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure will hurt your score just as bad as a foreclosure if the service reports it as having a deficiency amount or an unpaid balance. Yikes! Here’s some sexy tables with more details: [More]
The Mortgage Bankers Association has announced that 9.64% of all mortgages are now delinquent, and this delinquency rate breaks the record set last quarter. The records are based on MBA data dating back to 1972.
Consumers aren’t the only ones looking to save money and gain a little extra cash on the side. Banks are people too, you know! In the face of toxic assets and credit card delinquencies, they’ve come up with a plan to increase their revenue: New fees! Higher fees! Higher minimum balance requirements! Trickier overdrafts!
Bank of America messed up Andy’s credit score by failing to send him credit card statements or giving him online access to an old account he only recently started using again. They also refused to work with him over the phone, telling him each time he called that they had no record of his previous conversations with customer service and therefore no reason to believe him.
If you’ve fallen into a debt pit and can’t make your credit card payments, and now you’re watching them steadily mount with penalties, fees, and steep interest rates, consider negotiating a lower payment. The New York Times reports that while most card companies won’t admit it officially, they know when they’ve got a customer who can’t pay, and they’re much more willing to settle for a lower amount than they were a year ago.
The New York Times looks at the blossoming foreign market for debt collection services, and describes a call center in India where the employees are reminded to bring up the 2008 stimulus checks when they call U.S. households, and where everyone claps three times when the first “deal” of the day is made (“”Rajesh, for $35 a month for three months,” the supervisor yells across the center.)
CardTrack.com says “the percentage of people delinquent on their credit cards is the highest it’s been in three years,” according to CNN. Over the past year, U.S. consumers have charged “more than $2.2 trillion in purchases and cash advances.” The article gives the usual advice: Stop buying stuff!
Last fall, CenterPoint Energy—Minnesota’s largest natural gas supplier—announced it was considering reporting the payment histories of its customers to credit reporting agencies in an effort to reduce delinquencies.