Cutting Up the Card

Credit card issuance was down significantly in 2009.  In hard numbers, through October issuance was down 46%.  Simultaneously, debit card usage was up between 10 and 20% worldwide according to Visa and Mastercard's Results.  The trend is evident; consumers are moving away from debt and trying to make purchases out of funds they already have. The … [Read more...]

Revolve Debt to Fund an Emergency Fund?

CNN's Walter Updegrave fielded a question this weekend which, simply, sort of shocked me.  A reader wanted to know if he and his wife should temporarily stop paying the full balance on their credit cards in order to build up an emergency fund.  Is this really an option that some people are considering? What To Do! As Walter states, the only thing … [Read more...]

Reactions to Credit Card Laws: ‘Consumer Friendly’ Offerings

Even though I lifted the moniker from this article on CNN Money, the scare quotes are appropriate.  I've written about the Credit Card Act of 2009 and its unintended consequences.  Lucky for you, the law is starting to bear fruit.  We've seen issuers who offer cards with 79.9% interest rates, at least this article features a few cards with … [Read more...]

Charge Cards: How They Compare to Standard Credit Cards

Merry Christmas Eve to all my Christian readers, I've got a gift for you a day early.  What if you could take your credit card now, make it so you can't run a balance, and add an annual fee?  Sound like something you might be interested in?  Me neither.  However, that's exactly how a charge card compares to a traditional credit card. The … [Read more...]

The Truly Free Credit Report

There's no such thing as a free lunch.  Maybe you can think of an exception, but the only free lunches I've been on were for interviews or retirement seminars.  How about free credit reports? Surprisingly, yes, there is a way to get a free credit report.  You can get a free credit report from each credit agency every year, to boot.  How to do it?  … [Read more...]

Lending to Friends

Yesterday there was an interesting topic on CNN Money, one which gets touched on at most major personal finance sites: should you loan money to friends?  The answer most often given, is no.  There are some caveats, however: this specific article mentioned securing the loan in some way.  What's the best way to structure such a loan, assuming you … [Read more...]

What’s Your Limit?

Yes, the title has a double meaning.  New credit card rules to be enacted with the Credit Card Act of 2009 will shake up the agreements you have with your credit card company.  Because of new rules which will make it harder to increase fees and APRs after cards are issued, issuing companies will be forced to make terms more onerous up front.  How … [Read more...]

Changing the Rules: Side Effects of the Credit Card Legislation

There's nothing worse than having something taken from you that you once had.  As Alexis de Tocqueville remarks so elegantly in [amazon-product text="Democracy in America" type="text"]0140447601[/amazon-product], "The heart of man is not so much caught by the undisturbed possession of anything valuable as by the desire, as yet imperfectly … [Read more...]

Uncle Sam’s Real Time Debts

First for some good news: the United States still has a debt rating of AAA, according to Moody's.  However, it's probably in the country's best interest to keep an eye on increasing deficits before they get too large.  That's what the site I'm linking you today helps you do - keep an eye on the real time US deficit, and some of the unfunded … [Read more...]

Milton Friedman’s Permanent Income Hypothesis

Milton Friedman’s Permanent Income Hypothesis Revisited Milton Friedman is most certainly the most influential economist of the last fifty years and, perhaps with John Maynard Keynes, the most influential of the entire 20th century.  His theories and research continue to shape public policy debates even to today. One of Friedman’s most influential … [Read more...]

Debt: Invest in Yours

Another Place to Invest... If you come into money, don't ignore paying down debt as an option.  Oftentimes paying down debt can save you much more money than you can earn with another option.  Additionally, paying off a loan in full will increase your future cash flow.  Read on for a look at debt as an investment and a closer look at … [Read more...]

Seeing Green? Where to Put It…

So You've Got Some Cash... However you got it, you've got it now.  Cash, and a good chunk of it at that.  The big question for you now...  Where are you going to put it?  When you realize the mattress isn't a good place to stash it, read on for some ideas! A Question of Safety and Duration Don't Stick it Here... Courtesy of bedzine Before … [Read more...]