Credit Smart

Latest credit card news

 Credit Smart

Don't fall into the deferred-interest trap -- Pay late by a day and you face a huge penalty ... (See Deferred)

How to cancel a debt settlement contract -- You can escape, but you'll still have to deal with the debt ... (See Cancel)

Rolling card debt into a mortgage? Consider alternatives -- You risk your house when you convert debt from unsecured to secured ... (See Mortgage)

Card account keeps getting hacked. Close it? -- Canceling a card can impact credit score, but it may be necessary ... (See Hacked)

To escape from crummy cards, you need a plan -- Get basic good credit behavior down pat; worry about the nuances later ... (See Crummy)

Make sure loan consolidation improves your credit -- Consolidating your credit card debt into a single loan can help your credit or hurt it. It depends on your actions ... (See Debt)

Who must pay card debt of deceased husband? -- The state where you live determines who has to pay. ... (See Widow)

Card issuers can reduce your credit limit -- Banks monitor credit reports, and make adjustments if it sees signs of risk ... (See Limit)

Pay medical bill before debt goes into collections -- Complex medical billing makes it common for debts to slip past due ... (See Medical debt)

When medical bills lead to deep debt, tough choices follow -- Cut your costs, get credit counseling and accept that bankruptcy may be in your future ... (See Medical debt)

Struggling homeowner reliant on credit looks at raiding 401(k) -- With credit maxed out, car shot, raiding the 401(k) is tempting, but don't do it ... (See Help)

One day late, one dollar short means late fee -- Paying a bit little, a bit late, will trigger a fee ... (See Late fee)

What happens after a debt is charged off -- When the original lender gives up, collection efforts continue, with important consequences ... (See Debt)

Dealing with aggressive debt collector tactics -- A real debt collector must start by sending a validation of debt notice ... (See Debt)

Minimum payments won't cut debt on 16 cards -- If all you can afford is the minimum payments on your debt, you need a game-changer ... (See MInimums)

Risk of lien, garnishment during debt settlement -- If debt negotiations get nasty, you could be sued, so watch out for notices from the court ... (See Garnish)

Which 0-percent card should be paid off first? -- Priority should be given to the card with the closest expiring APR offer ... (See 0-percent)

Removing your name from a joint account after divorce -- You're still responsible if ex doesn't pay. If you're on good terms, and ex has good credit, a balance transfer would work ... (See Divorce)

Selling your home to pay off debt, fund college -- Shedding debt is good, but college costs add up fast and another home won't be cheap ... (See Home)

Credit card issuer can't garnish your Social Security check -- Contact the company and ask about a hardship program ... (See Garnish)

Don't close accounts after paying card debt -- Using a cash-out refi to pay off card debt? Great. Closing the card accounts after? Not great at all ... (See Close)

How to tell if a debt is too old to collect -- Time determines whether a debt can legally be collected, and you have to know the starting and ending dates ... (See Too old)

Big balance transfers may run into limits -- Zero-percent loans are great, but you might not be able to transfer all your debt to one ... (See Balance)

After divorce, ex dies with card debt; am I responsible? -- It's unlikely, but check divorce decree, credit reports ... (See Debt)

Pay off all card debt? Or leave a small balance? -- If you want to keep the card, use it; inactivity can cause it to be closed ... (See Pay off)

Settlement options on an old card debt -- A "paid in full" notation on your credit report will be helpful ... (See Settle)

If buying a home soon, handle old debt with care -- Have a strategy: How you deal with creditors can clean up your credit -- or send up red flags to mortgage lenders ... (See Home buy)

Don't rush to pay very old debt in collections -- After many years, it may be uncollectible due to its age ... (See Old debt)

Paying off multiple 0-percent cards, all with balances -- One good thing: The math is easy since you don't have interest to worry about ... (See 0-percent)