LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–November 26, 2014
Disconnected: Millennials Talk Big, Do Little About Money
Surveys continue to show a major disconnect between how optimistic many millennials are about their financial future and what they are actually doing to make sure they achieve their goals. In a survey, the majority of millennials say they are good at living within their means–paying off credit cards in full each month and limiting spending. Yet more than half admit to living paycheck to paycheck–and many are still living with or living off their parents. Story by Sharon Epperson for CNBC.
5 Credit Card Predictions for 2015
This year Apple Pay launched and several major security breaches put consumers on edge. As we prepare to usher in a new year, here are the thoughts of several credit card experts about what to expect from credit card issuers in 2015. These industry insiders predict more free credit scores and expanded credit access in the coming year. Story by Susan Johnston for U.S. News.
Dinged Credit? Card Issuers are Happy to Lend
Consumers with dinged credit are back in a borrowing mood, and lenders are more than happy to give them new credit cards. Since the Great Recession ended five years ago, consumers have been gradually taking on more debt and lenders have been accommodating them, easing up on tighter standards. Revolving credit–mainly in the form of credit cards–is picking up. And the biggest growth in new credit cards is coming from so-called subprime borrowers whose credit scores are less than 660, according to the latest Equifax data. Through July of this year, banks handed out cards to 9.8 million subprime consumers, a six-year high and an increase of 43 percent from the same period last year. Another 7.8 million cards have been issued to subprime borrowers by retailers this year, up 13 percent from 2013 to an eight-year high. Lenders are also giving subprime borrowers higher credit limits. Story by John Schoen for CNBC.
Federal Site Helps Consumers Avoid Financial Fraud
Perhaps it’s a caller urging you to invest in precious metals like gold or silver, and even offering to arrange a loan to help you do so. Or perhaps it’s a radio advertisement, offering fast profits from investing in exotic foreign currencies. Financial fraud is thriving. So the Commodity Futures Trading Commission unveiled a national consumer education campaign and website aimed at helping investors avoid becoming victims. Named SmartCheck, the program’s crucial feature is an online tool that consumers can use to check the registrations and disciplinary histories of brokers and other financial professionals. Story by Ann Carrns for The New York Times.
How Will Data Breaches Affect Holiday Shopping?
Holiday shopping is just around the corner. Americans are clearing the balances from their credit card accounts, making their gift lists, and waiting for the sales to start. But the slew of retail data breaches over the last year may have some shoppers concerned about where to spend their money. How will data breaches affect holiday shopping? A recent study showed many consumers are hesitant to shop at stores that have reported data breaches. The survey indicated 45% of consumers will “probably not” or “definitely not” shop with a retailer that has been recently hacked, even if that store is one they go to on a regular basis. Story by Justin Hefner for LowCards.com.
Federal Reserve Could Add to Toolkit for Raising Rates
Federal Reserve officials discussed at their October meeting a new tool to use when it comes time for them to start raising short-term interest rates from near zero, according to minutes of the meeting. In the past, the Fed adjusted rates by moving its benchmark federal funds rate, an overnight rate on interbank lending, by adding or withdrawing reserves out of the banking system. Raising the fed funds rate would cause other borrowing costs to rise throughout the economy, such as those for mortgages, credit cards and business loans. Lowering it had the opposite effect. By Pedro Nicolaci Da Costa for The Wall Street Journal.
5 Store Credit Cards That Are Worth It
In some cases, store credit cards are not a good deal. Sure, you might get a small discount off of your first purchase after being approved, but you often end up with a card that has inferior rewards and a higher interest rate compared to conventional credit cards. However, these cards are some of the easiest credit cards to get, which make them attractive if you’re trying to build or rebuild credit. Fortunately, there are some store cards that do make sense. These are the cards that can offer impressive discounts, competitive rewards, or both. Story by Jason Steele for Credit.com.
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 14.49 percent, identical to last week. Six months ago, the average was 14.45 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.42 percent.