How to Use Chip-Enabled Credit Cards Safely During Holiday Season


This holiday season, more customers than ever have debit and credit cards with EMV chips. While this may cut down on fraud, shopping may be a slower process.

With these cards, consumers don’t swipe, but insert the card into the machine instead.

“This will be the first holiday season after the transition,” said Rob Nichols, incoming president and CEO of the American Bankers Association. “It will be an instructive holiday season for our industry.”

Image via Flickr/frankieleon

Continue to original source.

Common Credit Card Mistakes to Avoid


High credit scores are really valuable, so it’s important that you realize how to keep your score as high as possible.

Don’t close old credit cards. Even if they are unused, keeping credit cards open helps your utilization remain low, which is an important part of your credit score.

When you’re looking for an auto loan or mortgage, don’t take too long to find the best interest rate. There is a 45-day shopping period, during which all credit inquiries count as just one inquiry. But if you take much longer, those inquiries can start to impact your credit score.

Image via Flickr/GotCredit

Continue to original source.

Why Your Mail is Full of Credit Card Offers


A new Federal Reserve working paper is shedding light on credit card companies’ solicitation strategies.

Companies prefer to target potential borrowers based on credit score, however other data, like the amount of time since a personal bankruptcy filing, are also taken into account.

“Interestingly, several socioeconomic characteristics also appear to influence lenders’ offer decisions, even after controlling for credit histories,” the authors of the paper write.

Image via Flickr/Jon Parise

Continue to original source.

Avoid Credit Card Traps During the Holidays


Credit card companies make it easy for consumers to borrow money for the holiday season, but there are a few things you should be on the lookout for.

Many store credit cards provide a discount on the purchases you make on the day you open up the card. But interest rates are usually very high on store credit cards.

Also, a discount with an expiration date, such as the one that is only good on the day you open the card, means you’re more likely to spend more that day than you normally would.

Image via Flickr/Nicu Buculei

Continue to original source.

Switch to Chip Technology Leaves Credit Cards Vulnerable to Thieves


With all the confusion and delays over the switch to chip credit and debit cards, identity thieves are pouncing on the opportunity.

Many have not yet received their new secure cards, and with so much news coverage, people are waiting anxiously for their new cards to arrive.

“This creates a golden opportunity for identity thieves to attack and steal people’s personal information,” said Adam Levin, chairman of IdentityTheft 911. “Scammers thrive when there’s confusion and anxiety because that’s when people are most vulnerable.”

Image via Flickr/Claran McGuiggan

Continue to original source.

Is Your Love Life Affecting Your Credit Score?


New research from the Federal Reserve Board reveals that your credit score may help you predict how successful in love you will be.

One of the findings was that the higher your credit score, the more likely you are to commit to a long-term relationship. Looking to settle down soon? You might want to find out their credit score first.

Another indicator of success is how well-matched your credit score is to your partners. Those with similar credit scores are more likely to stay together.

Image via Flickr/Tristan Schmurr

Continue to original source.


How To Make Your Credit Score Better


Want to boost your credit score? There are a few simple things you can do to get the number where you need it to be.

Keep track of your utilization ratio. This shows how much of your available credit you’re using. Aim to keep that ratio under 30 percent.

The most important thing you can do for your credit score is to make payments on time. Go automatic to avoid any late payments or set up alerts to remind yourself when it’s time.

Image via Flickr/ 401(K) 2012

Continue to original source.

Is Your Credit Prepared for Holiday Shopping?


Holiday shopping is just around the corner, and if you’re not properly prepared, your credit score could take a hit.

Start by checking your credit score now. It may be a good idea to sign up for a new credit card before the season begins, but not if you have a high number of credit inquiries.

Your spending is going to spike during the holiday season, but don’t spend more than you can afford. If necessary, increase your credit limit to counteract your increase in spending.

Image via Flickr/meridican

Continue to original source.

Are Chip-Enabled Credit Cards Really Safe?


EMV technology is just being introduced in the U.S., but the FBI wants to stress that consumers could still be susceptible to criminals.

Chip-enabled cards do offer an edge over older cards, but there are still ways that criminals can access your information and make fraudulent charges.

Last week, the National Retail Federation the new cards to create roadblocks for criminals, but they can’t prevent numbers from being stolen.

Image via Flickr/frankieleon

Continue to original source.

Borrowing Increases – But Barely – for U.S. Households in Q2


The New York Fed revealed on Thursday that the amount of borrowing increased for households nationwide in the second quarter of 2015 – but just barely.

According to Bloomberg, “increases in auto loan debt and credit card balances offset a decline in mortgage debt to leave total borrowing of U.S. households roughly unchanged.”

The small increase – which measured in at 0.02 percent – works out to about an extra $2 billion worth of borrowing.

Image via flickr/Morgan

Continue to original source.