LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–June 14, 2013
4 Reasons Excessive Overdraft Fees Just Won’t Go Away
Despite regulatory reform aimed at reining in checking account overdraft fees, the penalty is still a cash cow for banks–to the tune of about $31 billion a year. The CFPB thinks that number is too high because customers who opt into so-called overdraft protection plans end up spending more on checking account fees than those who don’t. Overdraft fees account for at least 60% of fee income on checking accounts. Here are four reasons this problem is so persistent. Story by Martha White for Time.
Consumers Boost Borrowing for Cars, Education
Americans are increasingly willing to take on more debt to buy cars and pay for education. Consumer credit, a measure of lending that excludes home mortgages, rose by $11.06 billion to a seasonally adjusted $2.820 trillion, according to a Federal Reserve Report. Revolving credit, which is mainly credit card debt, rose only $682.3 million to $849.81 billion. Outstanding credit card debt bottomed out two years ago and has only crept ahead in fits and starts since. Story by Jeffery Sparshott for The Wall Street Journal.
40% of Moms Bring Home the Bacon
According to a Pew Research report, 40% of households now receive their primary income from the moms in the family. In 1960, that number was only 11%, showing the significant progress that women have made in the job market over the last few decades. In today’s world, 25% of American households are headed by single mothers with active jobs. That number was only 7% in 1960. 15% of households now have the women making more money than the men of the house, up from 3.5% in 1960. Story by Lynn Oldshue for LowCards.com.
In a Shift, Interest Rates are Rising
It has been a reliable fact of life for investors, corporations and ordinary borrowers: interest rates, for the most part, keep heading lower. But all of that may be about to change. For prospective homeowners, the cost of mortgages has been going up in recent weeks. Over the last few months, investors and banks have been demanding higher payments for their loans, pushing up interest rates and bond yields. Story by Nathaniel Popper and Peter Eavis for the New York Times.
Even The IRS Misuses Credit Cards
Think you’re the only one getting audited? Think again. Even the IRS itself has to go through an audit every few years, and the latest one revealed some not-so-pleasant news about certain government employees. The organization uncovered close to 1,000 cases of misused credit cards, most of which were used for travel expenses. Story by John Oldshue for LowCards.com.
The Best Way to Stick to a Budget
It’s getting easier to track what you spend through any number of free online tools. One of them is short-term shock therapy. Tracking expenses for a few months can jolt people into being more careful with their spending. Many people are shocked to see how much of a bill they ring up on things like restaurants and gifts. After the short program, people can start to plan for goals and know when they need to cut back–without tracking every single expense indefinitely. Story by Rachel Ensign for The Wall Street Journal.
New Scam Asks Credit Card Holders for Security Codes
Boulder’s District Attorney is warning of a new scam that sounds very legitimate because the caller typically has a lot of information already. Officials say if you receive a call from a person identifying himself as an employee of your credit card company stating that your card has been compromised, hang up and call the number on your credit card. Then call your local law enforcement to make a report. Story by Scripps-Media.
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 14.30, slightly above last week’s 14.28 percent. Six months ago, the average was 14.32 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.30 percent.