LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–January 3, 2014

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–January 3, 2014

January 3, 2014         Written By Lynn Oldshue

Six Credit Card Trends to Watch in 2014
During and immediately after the financial crisis, credit card issuers tightened up lending standards and lowered credit limits to protect themselves. “They had given credit to too many people and approved people that had too low a credit score,” says Bill Hardekopf, CEO of LowCards.com, a free consumer resource on credit cards. “So many of those people defaulted on their credit cards, and issuers were forced to eat that balance.” That’s been gradually changing, and experts predict more changes on the horizon for credit card holders next year. As we prepare to bid the year adieu and welcome in 2014, U.S. News talked to three industry insiders for their predictions on credit card trends to watch. Story by Susan Johnston for U.S. News.

Five Lessons Learned From Target Security Breach
The theft of 40 million credit and debit card records from Target wasn’t the biggest or most damaging data breach ever, but coming right before Christmas, it sure did get our attention–and maybe that’s good. Perhaps we needed a slap in the face to get us to focus on the growing problem of financial data theft. Keep in mind: Target was just one of about 600 publicly disclosed data breaches in 2013. Story by Herb Weisbaum for Today.

Consumers May Start Seeing More Secure ‘Chip’ Cards in 2014
Northwest banks say 2014 may be the year consumers start to see a new generation of credit cards that are less prone to fraud. The cards are already in use in Canada, Mexico, and countries in Europe and Asia. Experts say they could have protected consumer data in the recent security breach at Target stores. Story by Jessica Robinson for Northwest Public Radio.

Top 10 Credit Card Stories of 2013
Identity theft and actions by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau dominated the credit card headlines in 2013. Below are the Top 10 news stories of the year in the credit card industry. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.

Credit Score by Multiple Choice
No credit? No problem–just take a test. That’s the message being delivered to more than 70,000 small-business owners in developing countries where credit ratings are rare and many potential entrepreneurs keep their money in cash rather than bank accounts. Banks in 16 countries are using a psychometric test to predict future behavior–specifically, whether someone will pay back a loan. Originally a Harvard doctoral project, the Entrepreneurial Finance Lab’s test has increasingly won the confidence of risk-averse bankers in places where, many economists believe, credit bottlenecks are severely stunting growth. Now, a new partnership with MasterCard has potential to speed the model’s proliferation. Story by Sarah Wheaton for The New York Times.

4 Things Credit Card Newbies Should Do to Establish Good Credit
So you’re a credit newbie. It’s a good idea to start off on the right foot with your credit. Once you have enough data to generate a credit score, there’s some good news: You won’t start from zero. Contrary to popular belief, consumers with little-to-no credit history–as opposed to a poor credit history–start somewhere in the middle with a fair credit score. (You get the benefit of the doubt.) Here are four moves you can make this year to ensure you take full advantage of that benefit. Story by Bethy Hardeman 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 14.46 percent, identical to last week. Six months ago, the average was 14.32 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.01 percent.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of January 3, 2014. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Lynn Oldshue

Lynn Oldshue has written personal finance stories for LowCards.com for twelve years. She majored in public relations at Mississippi State University.
View all posts by Lynn Oldshue