LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–August 16, 2013
Judge is Open to Repayment of Swipe Fees
A federal judge threatened to further crimp a once-lucrative profit center for banks and credit card companies, saying they may need to reimburse retailers billions of dollars in debit card transaction fees he previously ruled were set too high. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon suggested banks would not only collect lower debit fees going forward but may have to reimburse “funds that have been collected but shouldn’t have been.” Story by Michael Crittendon for the Wall Street Journal.
Millions Without Credit Scores Not So Risky After All
Millions of Americans don’t have credit scores but it turns out they aren’t always as risky as banks think. There are at least 64 million “unscoreable” consumers out there, estimates Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus. These consumers are often immigrants or recent college grads who have little to no credit history or are people who haven’t had an active credit account for at least six months. The largest groups of unscoreable consumers hold professional jobs or are retired, more than 40% are homeowners, and income distribution is in line with the consumers who do have scores, according to VantageScore’s research. Story by Blake Ellis for CNN Money.
US Airways-American Airlines Merger Bad for Travelers, U.S. Says
The proposed merger between US Airways and American Airlines would undoubtedly lead to higher fares and fewer services and remaining airlines would cooperate on other prices, Assistant U.S. Atty. Gen. William Baer said. The Justice Department said that in a post-merger world, the remaining airlines would probably cooperate in setting ancillary fees, such as those for checked bags or to change flights. Story by Ricardo Lopez for the LA Times.
Credit Card Offers by Mail on the Rise
Does it seem like you are getting more credit card offers in the mail? It is not your imagination. According to the research company Mintel, direct mail credit card offers are on the rise, and the perks they come with continue to be attractive. Mintel’s research reveals a 22% increase in direct mail credit card offers between 2011 and 2012. In the second quarter of 2012 alone, there were over 1.1 billion offers sent through the mail in America, the highest volume since 1.3 billion offers were sent in the fourth quarter of 2011. Story by Lynn Oldshue for LowCards.com.
3 Ways to Build Credit–Without Using Credit Cards
It’s a common belief that it is important to have a credit card or two and to use them responsibly if you want a high credit score. Your credit score is the number credit bureaus offer up as a symbol of your ability to repay a loan. But what if you would like to see your credit score climb but you’re not crazy about having a credit card? Here are some somewhat under-the-radar ways to build credit for those who prefer the road less traveled. Story by Geoff Williams for U.S. News.
Retirement Living: Borrowing from Your 401k?
There’s a pile of money in your 401(k). It’s a tempting solution to your money problems. While financial planners certainly don’t promote raiding your 401(k), most say that sometimes it can’t be avoided. Their advice: if you do have to go that route, make sure you have exhausted all other avenues first. And if you are disciplined enough to repay the loan, they see nothing wrong with it. Story by Rodney Brooks for USA Today.
Confident Consumers Step Up Their Borrowing
Americans are finally gaining enough confidence in their finances to step up borrowing for autos, homes and other goods–a shift that could boost the economic recovery. Americans also increased their credit card balances and took out more mortgages. At the same time, total consumer debt declined by $78 billion last quarter to $11.15 trillion, putting it 12% lower than its peak in the fall of 2008 during the recession and at its lowest level since 2006. Story by Eric Morath for the Wall Street Journal.
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 14.36 percent, slightly higher than the 14.35 percent average from last week. Six months ago, the average was 14.36 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.35 percent.