LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–January 2, 2015

January 2, 2015, Written By Lynn Oldshue
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Anonymous Hackers Release 13,000 Passwords and Credit Card Details of Amazon, PlayStation and Xbox Users
A hacker group has released a cache of 13,000 passwords, usernames, and credit cards purporting to belong to users of popular web services including Amazon, Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. The group says it is affiliated to the Anonymous internet movement, which has no central leadership, structure, or official membership. Story by Jon Stone for The Independent.

A New Way to Check Your FICO Score
Consumers have a new way to keep an eye on their FICO credit scores, but it comes at a fairly high price. Experian, one of the three major credit-reporting companies, began offering a FICO score Monday as part of a credit-monitoring service that costs $21.95 a month. The FICO score consumers will receive will be based on the information in their credit report with Experian. The company will also alert subscribers to activity such as attempts to open accounts in their name, as well as provide help if they become victims of identity theft. (The price increased from $19.95 last week, but existing customers aren’t affected.) Many credit scores exist and are sold or given free to consumers. But FICO scores matter most because they are used in 90% of consumer-lending decisions. Story by AnnaMaria Andriotis for The Wall Street Journal.

The Hidden Student-Debt Bomb
It is time to re-evaluate how we measure the performance of student-loan programs–particularly whether borrowers are or are not meeting their obligations. The traditional measures of nonrepayment–delinquencies and defaults–might be fine for most types of loans, but not for outstanding student loans, nearly all of which are held or backed by the federal government. Lawmakers have provided students with options that let them punt on repayment without triggering delinquency or default. Lately, students have been availing themselves of those options at rising levels. Story by Jason Delisle for The Wall Street Journal.

The Danger of Maxing Out Your Credit Cards
A consumer with excellent credit who maxes out a credit card will see a credit score drop of 25 to 45 points. In other words, someone with a superb 780 score could see that drop to 735. Ouch! How do I know this? Credit scoring company FICO says so. In fact, the higher your starting score, the more a maxed-out card can hurt you. Someone with a so-so score of 680 stands to lose only 30 points, at most, says FICO. Story by Bob Sullivan for Credit.com.

Users Reporting Apple Pay Problems After Changes in iPhone Security Status
Several iPhone 6 owners on Apple support forums and in MacRumors forums are reporting an issue with Apple Pay after making changes to the their phones that automatically reset the Apple Pay service. These activities include restoring a phone, logging out of iCloud and possibly removing a passcode from the device. Story by Kelly Hodgkins for MacRumors.

4 Ways to Raise Your Credit Score in 2015
When you’re writing out your New Year’s resolutions this year, why not add “improve my credit score” to your list? Boosting your credit score can have positive effects–including getting you better rates on future credit, helping you buy a home or car, and even making you a more competitive job candidate. While erasing major credit blunders, such as a foreclosure or collections account, can take years, you can still take some relatively simple steps to boost your credit score. Story by Abby Hayes for U.S. News.

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report
Based on the 1,000+ cards in the LowCards.com Complete Credit Card Index, the average advertised APR for credit cards is 14.45 percent, slightly lower than last week’s average of 14.46 percent. Six months ago, the average was 14.52 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.46 percent.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of January 2, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.