Credit Center Archives

Fed Targets Gift Card Abuse
By: The Associated Press
By Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve on Monday proposed new rules to protect consumers from unexpected costs or restrictions on gift cards. More than 95% of Americans have received or purchased gift cards, the Fed said. Under the proposed rule, consumers must have at least five years to use the gift cards before they expire. The Fed also said service or inactivity fees can be imposed only under certain conditions. Read more»
Are Big Banks Lending Enough?
By: The Associated Press
By Stevenson Jacobs, AP Business Writer NEW YORK (AP) — The head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Tuesday she's "very worried" that the nation's biggest banks aren't lending enough and warned the economy could take another turn for the worse without increased access to credit. Read more»
Dodd Wants Credit Card Rates Frozen Now
By: The Associated Press
By Anne Flaherty, Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, who is fighting for his political survival, proposed Monday an immediate interest rate freeze on existing balances for the estimated 700 million credit cards in circulation. The legislation is unlikely to go anywhere in the Senate, where business-minded Democrats would join Republicans in casting the measure as draconian and unnecessary. Read more»
In Debt? Beware These 5 Scams
By: Brian O'Connell
Consumer complaints about debt relief providers have doubled since 2007. And the Federal Trade Commission has sued more than a dozen debt relief providers for bilking consumers in the past few years. The cases are diverse. Some involve for-profit companies posing as non-profits operating with Uncle Sam’s seal of approval. Others are on the legal docket for pumping up fees. Read more»
Gift Cards Get a Makeover
By: Brian O'Connell
With new laws on gift cards targeting expiration dates and under-the-radar fees, gift cards have a fresh new look. It’s a look that consumers should like. Read more»
Chase (Stock Quote: JPM) is out of the gate with four new credit cards aimed specifically at small businesses, thus reversing a trend where banks were throwing nickels at smaller companies like manhole covers. Read more»
Both consumers and credit card customers scratched their heads over the timing of the Credit Card Reform Act – it doesn’t kick in until February 2010. Why the delay? Nobody seems to know for sure. Now, Congress is revisiting the issue – and is exploring the notion of triggering the new law in December. Read more»
BofA Lines Up Meeting On Disclosure
By: Laurie Kulikowski
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Bank of America did not provide the information sought by a congressional probe into its Merrill Lynch deal by a deadline on Monday, but will meet with a committee chairman on Tuesday to address the issue. Read more»
5 Debt-Driving Habits to Avoid
By: Brian O'Connell
Good debt or bad debt, borrowing money has its consequences. But at least with so-called good debt (i.e. buying an affordable home, going to college), you stand a good chance of getting a better financial deal coming out than you did going in. Read more»
Times are tight, and often the quickest path to some much needed cash is through a loan from a friend or a family member. Do what you must, just go into such arrangements with your eyes open (and, if you’re a potential loan target, maybe with your wallet closed). Read more»
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