LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–February 22, 2013
The FTC has added a new alert about a fraud called cramming where small charges of $10, $20, or $30 are secretly inserted onto your credit card bill. These small charges add up to millions of dollars. Tens of thousands of Americans were hit with what the FTC calls fake fees, that are buried so deep in your bill that you may not notice it. They are charged by vague financial services. Story by Cecelia Vega for ABC News.
The rate of credit card payments at least 90 days overdue jumped to 0.85 percent in the fourth quarter from 0.78 percent a year earlier. The rate also climbed 13 percent from the third quarter, when it was 0.75 percent. Ramped-up holiday season spending typically keeps some borrowers from making timely payments on their credit cards in the last three months of the year. Story by Alex Veiga for the Associated Press.
According to new figures from the policy research organization Demos, Americans over 50 are struggling with a surprising amount of credit card debt. Low- and middle-income households of older Americans who owed credit card companies for three months or more have racked up an average of $8,278 in debt. Those under 50 who had debt for at least three months had accumulated an average of $6,258. Story by Chris Taylor for Reuters.
One in twenty Americans were victims of identity fraud in 2012. According to a report released by Javelin Strategy & Research, 12.6 million people in the United States were victims of ID theft. This was an increase of nearly one million people versus 2011 figures. The cost of identity fraud also jumped significantly in 2012, totaling $21 billion, a $3 billion rise from a year ago. Social Security numbers, credit cards and online banking information were the most common items used by criminals in identity fraud. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.
Citigroup said it will start issuing Best Buy branded credit cards from Capital One. Financial details on the transaction were undisclosed, but Capital One said its proceeds from the sale would roughly equal the book value of the accounts, so it expects no significant loss or gain on the sale. Story by the Associated Press.
Americans under the age of 35 are carrying less debt than before the start of the 2008 recession, primarily because they are putting off high-dollar purchases like automobiles and houses. The median debt of households led by an adult under 35 fell by 29 percent from 2007 to 2010. For households led by adults 35 and older, the decline was only 8 percent. The share of younger households with debt of any kind dropped to 78 percent, the lowest level since the government began collecting this data thirty years ago. The share of young adults with credit card debt dropped to 39 percent in 2010 from 48 percent in 2007. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.
Square is launching “Business in a Box,” a package that includes a cash drawer, an iPad stand, card readers and an optional printer for printing receipts. It costs $299 for the readers and cash drawer, and $599 if you include the printer. Square takes 2.75% of each transaction as a fee. Alternatively, businesses can pay $275 a month. Story by Matthew Lynley for the Wall Street Journal.
Based on the 1000+ cards in the LowCards.com Complete Credit Card Index, the average advertised APR for credit cards is 14.35 percent, slightly below last week’s average of 14.36 percent. Six months ago, the average was 14.35 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.27 percent.