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Buyers' guide for gift cards

Buyers' guide to gift cards: 5 key questions

Want to save money on gift card purchases? Ask questions, do your homework -- and leave cash in your pocket.

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Card borrowing lags while student, auto loans soar

In just four years, debt for student loans and cars has rocketed past credit card debt and continues to rise, while Americans' total card debt is stuck back at levels from a decade ago, a Federal Reserve Bank of New York report shows.

As of the third quarter of 2014, Americans' total debt for student loans was at $1.13 trillion, up 10 percent when compared to the previous year. Auto loan debts totaled $934 billion, 11 percent higher. Credit card balances were up 1 percent for the year, to $680 billion, but far below their peak in 2008, when they hit $866 billion.

The figures were from a nationally representative random sample of 40 million credit reports drawn from credit bureau Equifax's consumer credit report data.

America's borrowing habits

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Expert Q&A

Suspect card fraud?
Don't be a hero


Elaine Pofeldt
No merchant wants to offend honest customers with accusations, but you can't afford to turn a blind eye to fraud ... See Expert Q&A

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Credit Card Help

Credit Card Help Understanding
your card debt

Did you know you can use a credit card and not pay a penny in interest or fees? Here are seven other things you should know about card debt.

Credit card glossary terms

Credit card glossary

Medical identity theft is the theft or fraudulent use of personal information to obtain unauthorized medical goods and services.

Credit card quiz

Do you know these facts?

Sure, you use your card well, but do you really know the facts about it? Take this test and find out just how much you know.

Credit card calculators

Try our easy-to-use financial calculators.

Find out what it would take to pay off your balance, the true cost of making minimum payments, whether a cash-back or low-interest card is better for you -- and more.

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'Taking Charge' blog

Fred O. WilliamsCheck if a
collector is
legitimate

Fred O. Williams | 12/19/2014

Can a data warehouse help consumers check out debt collectors when they demand payment on an old bill? A new company is taking aim at one of the big problems with debt collection ... See more

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See related: Jobless grad with student loans, $29,000 card debt ponders bankruptcy

Credit card tip of the day

If you impulse shop, mindfulness-based meditation might help you identify your triggers and overcome them. It just takes a little patience and time to sit with your thoughts.

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