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It can be tempting, when creating a debt pay down plan, to start with the lowest balance first. This is because you tend to get an emotional boost when you pay off the debt. It can help you keep going. But, if you are looking at matters as they relate to saving money as you pay off your debt, you should consider starting with highest interest rate debt first. In some cases, your highest interest…

One of the big pieces of news recently is that the PlayStation Network was hacked. The end result? A large number of people had their personal information compromised. I’m one of them. I had a credit card stored on the PlayStation Network, and I’m a little bit worried that it is compromised. So, what are my options? Get New Cards Rather than wait to see what happens, I decided to be proactive. I called the…

One of the consequences of the recently enacted Credit CARD Act is that many credit card issuers are changing some of the terms of their agreements. This can include providing you notice that they are changing the fee structure, as well as changing your interest rate. It’s true that credit card issuers aren’t supposed to raise interest rates on existing balances (except in a few cases), but they can up the interest rate on your…

One of the ways that some banks are trying to lure customers is by beefing up their checking account offerings. Rewards checking accounts are becoming more common, including high yield checking accounts that offer a fairly high rate of return. While any return isn’t going to be particularly attractive right now, earning something on your checking account is better than nothing. [ad#Content 300×250] It is important to be careful, though, when you consider high yield…

Your credit card spending may have a bigger impact on your revolving accounts than you might think. Indeed, some credit card issuers and others have admitted that your spending habits may be influencing what happens to your credit card interest rate, or to your credit limits. Of course, the Credit CARD Act passed last year provides some protection against these practices, but even the fact that the issue has come up in recent years offers…

The recession saw a definite drop in the amount of 0% credit card offers seen in the mail. With the credit crunch, it was quite difficult to qualify for any kind of loan — including a credit card. Even though credit is still a bit crunched, issuers are starting to come back from the brink a little bit, offering credit cards again. [ad#Content 300×250] One type of credit card offer you might see in your…

One of the subtle influences on your credit score is the type of credit account you have. For instance, while it doesn’t count that much, it makes a small difference whether you have a department store credit card or a major bank credit card. Normally, I fall firmly into the camp of not having a department store credit card. It seems pointless: The interest rates are often higher and there are rarely rewards programs. But…

Many debit cards are now offering rewards programs when you make purchases. This can be a real money saver as part of your budget if you are earning rewards that can be used for travel — or even cash back. A number of banks, including KeyBank, PerkStreet Financial, Fifth Third and others now offer perks ranging from cash back to travel rewards to warranties on purchases. One of the nice things about reward debit cards…