Tag Archives: credit card

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swipeKeeping a $20 bill in your pocket can seem like an enticement to spend it. That cash can also help you have less credit card debt by not having to swipe a credit card for small purchases.

A recent study by the Urban Institute found that using cash when a purchase is under $20 left the consumer with $104 less in revolving debt, on average. That dropped their credit card balances 2 percent below their baseline average.

For young people, the $20 cash rule led to more savings. People under 40 who were reminded "Don't swipe the small stuff" and to use cash on purchases for less than $20 had $173 less in revolving debt. ...continue reading

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bank accountOpening a bank account should be a pretty straight-forward process. You give the bank some money, provide a photo ID and give it some personal information and then you're done, right? The savings and/or checking account is opened and you can bank like the rest of society.

Not so fast. You're credit score is being checked by a bank before it allows you to open even a simple savings account. The bank wants to make sure you manage your credit well and that you won't cost them money as a customer. It doesn't want new customers, or any customers, to abuse overdraft privileges, have an unpaid negative balance, or have fraudulent activity on previous accounts.

Without at least decent credit, you may be denied service or asked to add a spouse or other family member to your account who has good credit.

Or it may offer you an account and a credit card, but the interest rate on the credit card will be a lot higher than it would be if you had good credit.

But applying for a credit card is another issue entirely. Opening a savings or checking account has its own problems if you don't look out for them. Here are three things to check on before and while opening a bank account: ...continue reading

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credit scoreOur credit score determines a lot of things we are able to do with in our financial lives.

Without a good credit score, we might have problems getting credit cards, get a decent deal on our auto loan and so on.

A good credit score enables us to get a decent mortgage so we can buy a house for ourselves and our families.

But, what if our credit score simply is not good enough to get a deal that is acceptable for our current financial situation?

Credit scores can mean the difference between a mortgage and down payment that we pay with ease, and one we’re going to struggle with.

Financial decisions are the cornerstone of our modern lives. Not handling our finances, the proper way, may cause our credit score (and thus our credit worthiness) to crumble.

This is a vicious circle and we should avoid bad financial decisions not only when considering to buy a house, but every time we use our credit card.

Because this is a very important topic for many of us, we want to break the whole credit score thing down to some basic elements in order to give you a glimpse at what it means to have a “good enough” credit score to buy a house.

...continue reading