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Thursday, April 17th 2014

Legal, regulatory, privacy issues

Credit card issues have become more complicated. Read about the latest legal, regulatory and privacy issues related to credit.

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Latest credit card news

Legal, regulatory, privacy issues Legal, regulatory, privacy issues

Debt settlement vs. bankruptcy: Which damages credit score worse? -- Debt settlement means the creditor gets at least something back, so it damages credit scores less than bankruptcy, which wipes out debt ... (See Credit damage)

Bank of America to refund $727 million in add-on fees -- Bank of America becomes the fifth card-issuing bank to pay a hefty fine for over-hyping debt protection and credit monitoring services ... (See Refund)

Secure, or not? Assess the risk before sending credit card info -- We asked Internet security experts to rate the common methods of sending credit card information to see which pose the greatest risks ... (See Data risk)

Card debt falls in February -- Credit card users cut their balances sharply in February 2014, even as personal income rose, says the Federal Reserve's monthly consumer credit report ... (See Fed consumer credit report)

Take care before giving a debt collector your bank account information -- In some cases, debt settlement may be the right option, but verify first that you owe the debt, and then dole out the dough yourself ... (See Bank account)

10 tips for dealing with debt collectors, collection -- First, pull your head out of the sand. Next, educate yourself on your rights and on who to reach out to for help or to register a complaint ... (See Debt collection tips)

Don't be fooled into falling for these 8 scams -- Here's the lowdown on eight hot scams, cons and swindles that criminals are employing to separate you from your money, along with tips for avoiding them ... (See 8 hot scams)

Is it OK for merchants to accept credit cards from minors? -- If a parent has formally authorized a minor to use a credit card, accepting it isn't a problem. But getting some reassurances in writing is best practice ... (See Cards and minors)

Wal-Mart sues Visa over swipe fees -- Wal-Mart has sued Visa for anticompetitive practices, targeting Visa's interchange fees or "swipe fees" that help support credit card rewards programs and cash-back deals for cardholder ... (See Wal-Mart sues Visa)

3 who bounced back from bankruptcy to millionaires -- Bouncing back after a bankruptcy may not be easy, but it can be done. The most prosperous of the rebounders analyze their past shortcomings, chart a better route, then march full force into the future ... (See Bankruptcy to millionaire)

On disability, facing interest rate creep -- She was on her card's hardship plan to keep her APR low, but then the company changed ownership and her rates keep rising. Is there any recourse? ... (See Hardship rate)

Can I use my credit card after bankruptcy? -- There is no specific amount of time you have to wait before you can start charging again after bankruptcy. In fact, it can even help rebuild your credit ... (See Bankruptcy)

Fed holds course toward higher interest rates -- In the first policy meeting under its new leader, the Federal Reserve affirmed that short-term interest rates will begin rising next year ... (See FOMC meeting)

Student loan payments choking new grad -- With student loan payments taking up 57 percent of her income, a new grad ponders defaulting as she can't see how she can keep up ... (See Default)

What an interest rate increase will cost cardholders -- Interest rates, at historic lows since 2008, are expected to start rising as soon as spring 2015, and a single 1 percentage point increase will cost U.S. credit card holders an estimated $7.6 billion a year ... (See Rising rates)

Medical card pays for endorsements -- GE Capital's CareCredit card pays dozens of professional societies to help market its high-rate health care credit card, raising questions that could cloud the doctor-patient relationship ... (See Medical card endorsements)

Who's responsible for kids' unauthorized card charges? -- You're not responsible for unauthorized purchases, but when the unauthorized purchaser is right under your own roof, things can get fuzzy ... (See Unauthorized kids)

Stop paying your late mother's credit card debt -- Some advice for a daughter who has continued to pay her deceased mom's card bills for five years, and still owes $3,000: Stop. Now ... (See Death and debt)

Familiar fraud: When family and friends steal your identity -- When identity fraud victims know their imposters, it can rip apart relationships as it ruins finances, making it a tough crime to overcome ... (See Familiar fraud)

Don't default on a stipulated judgment -- When you agree to pay a creditor a reduced, but fixed amount each month to satisfy an old debt and then default, you risk having to pay the full balance ... (See Stipulated judgment)

Card fees, not interest, dominate revenue -- Credit card fees, and not interest, continued to dominate card issuers' revenue in 2013. ... (See Card fees)

Q&A with security expert Slava Gomzin on the safest way to pay -- What's being done to protect cardholders at checkout -- and what can we do in the meantime to protect ourselves? We asked Slava Gomzin, security and payments technologist at Hewlett-Packard and author of "Hacking Point of Sale" ... (See Slava Gomzin)

Card debt falls in January -- Card balances reversed direction and fell in January, as consumers got hit by harsh weather and expiring jobless benefits ... (more)

Property liens shouldn't be a surprise -- Property liens can be an effective way to get repayment on debts owed, but they're not easy to get and often involve a court judgment ... (See Lien)

Cards with free credit scores -- Cards are under regulatory pressure to provide free credit scores to customers. Here is a snapshot of programs at major card issuers ... (See Free scores)

Son uses dad's card after he dies -- Believing the card he shared with his dad was a joint account, the son kept using the card after Dad's death. But he was just an authorized user, so who's to pay the bill? ... (See Debt)

Disabled? How to discharge federal student loans -- After taking out student loans to earn a degree, medical issues kept her from pursuing her career. Now 65, she owes big, and a discharge may be her best bet. Here's how to win one ... (See Discharge)

CFPB calls for free credit scores -- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has urged credit card issuers to make credit scores available to customers for free ... (more)

Making sure bad debts are gone from your credit report -- Still paying a collector for an old debt? It should eventually fall off your credit report. But take care or it could linger longer ... (See Old debts and credit reports)

Attorney General Holder calls for national data breach disclosure law -- U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Congress should require businesses to tell customers promptly after hackers steal information ... (more)

Old debts come back to life with 1099-C -- When an old, unpaid debt gets written off, chances are that you'll receive a 1099-C cancellation of debt notice, meaning Uncle Sam wants his cut ... (See 1099-C)

'Jamming' cleans your credit -- temporarily -- Some credit repair clinics clog the dispute system with bogus paperwork, challenging everything on clients' credit reports. The tactic works -- temporarily ... (See Jamming scam)

Data breaches: Who's to blame? -- With breaches at major retailers allowing infiltration of shoppers' financial data, the question arises: Who's responsible? ... (See Data breaches)

GAO urges changes in college-provided debit cards -- A federal report questions the fairness of a new breed of college-provided debit cards and urges transparency on the deals -- and the fees charged students ... (See College debit cards)

Capital One backs away from invasive debt collection policy -- Capital One will modify controversial terms saying it can visit cardholders, and denied spoofing its number on caller ID systems ... (more)

Surprise! Many credit card agreements allow repossession -- An analysis of the federal database of credit cards finds dozens include a 'security interest' clause that leaves the door open to the repo man ... (See Repossession)

Can my business add a surcharge for card-paying customers? -- Swipe fees can weigh on a business's bottom line. But examine your business contracts and state law before passing them on to customers who pay with debit or credit cards ... (See Surcharges)

Military families remain easy prey for ID theft -- A move to strip Social Security numbers from military IDs is underway, but millions of old cards will leave soldiers vulnerable to ID thieves for years to come ... (See ID theft)

After divorce, ex leaves joint debts unpaid -- You're never really free of an ex-spouse as long as you have credit card and other debt together. When one stops paying, what recourse do you have? ... (See Ex's debts)

Fed: Card balances leap in December -- Credit card balances rose even more than usual for the holiday season, posting a third month of growth ... (See Fed: Card balances rise a 3rd month)

Wife finds another woman's credit card under bed -- Her husband doesn't know whose it is, so what's a perplexed wife to do when she finds, under her bed, a credit card belonging to another woman? ... (See Lost card)

Data breaches turn spotlight on EMV cards -- Data breaches lead to a renewed push toward chip-enabled cards, but experts warn they are not the ultimate cure ... (See EMV)

Discover expands free FICO credit score program -- Discover cardholders will not only get a free credit score on their monthly statements, they'll have it explained to them, the company announced ... (See Free FICO)

Fed: banks keep tight grip on card loans -- Senior loan officers survey says demand for credit cards is greater than supply ... (more)

ID theft disconnect: We fear it but still engage in risky behavior -- A survey conducted by Experian's ProtectMyID found that consumers are increasingly worried about the threat of identity theft, but are not doing much to protect themselves ... (See ID theft: Fear vs. actions)

While hiding from abusive ex, she falls behind on loan payments -- A mom and her kids went into hiding to escape an abusive husband last year, but now she's worried how to make good on her lapsed car payments ... (See In hiding)

Mid-Atlantic complains most about credit card problems -- Washington, D.C., and neighboring states file the most complaints per capita about credit cards with the federal consumer financial regulator ... (See Complaints)

Fed holds off on rate increases -- The Federal Reserve announced no change in the short-term rates that affect credit card APRs and signaled that hikes will start beyond 2014 ... (See Federal Reserve)

Do you have what it takes for DIY debt settlement? -- Settling your own debts instead of hiring someone else can save you money and put you in the power seat, but it's not for the fainthearted ... (See DIY debt)

CFPB: Credit card complaints decline in 2013 -- Consumers filed fewer complaints about credit cards with the federal consumer watchdog in 2013, but two big card issuers saw an increase in grumbles ... (See Complaints)

Ex's ID theft thwarts new couple's finances -- His ex-wife racked up debt in his name on a secret credit card, but agreed to pay if off in the divorce. But how does he clear the debt off his credit reports? ... (See Ex-debt)

How long can a judgment impact your credit score? -- Once you have a judgment against, you, it's bad: Some state laws allow them to be in force for decades. But it may fall from your credit report sooner ... (See Judgments)

Credit cards: our moral guardians -- When it comes to arbiters of morality and integrity, we look toward the Ten Commandments, our moms and -- in a strange and largely unnoticed new trend -- the corporate behemoths that issue our credit cards ... (See Guardians)

As online gambling booms, credit card acceptance lags -- States turning to online gambling find the credit card industry is reluctant to join the game, leaving gamers scrambling for alternate ways to ante up ... (See Online gambling)

Erroneous loan default report won't affect other credit accounts -- When a large error claiming you defaulted suddenly appears on your credit, you have to fight to remove it, but it won't impact other loans ... (See Not my debt)

Lessons from abroad on financial education -- The U.S. is not alone in its attempts to address financial literacy in public schools. An international push is on to teach kids the money skills they need to navigate today's increasingly challenging financial landscape ... (See Financial literacy)

Next steps if your settlement offer to a debt collector is rejected -- Once negotiations over a debt stall and collection efforts reach the legal threat stage, it is better to have your own attorney ... (See Debt collection)

Why Johnny can't save money -- and what schools should do about it -- As the feds push for more financial education in public schools, questions linger about how financial subjects should be taught -- and whether they're even teachable for school children ... (See Literacy)

Fed: Card balances rise again -- Credit card balances bulged in November for a second month, as consumers' spending increased faster than their paychecks rose, the Federal Reserve said ... (See Card balances rise)

9 credit-buildings tips for US immigrants -- The land of opportunity requires newcomers to establish credit anew once they arrive in the U.S., but you can go from nothing to good credit in a short time ... (See Immigrant credit)

Credit card late fees could rise in 2014 -- The CFPB has added $1 to the amount that first-time offenders can be charged for a late credit card payment, raising it to $26 ... (more)

She took cash advances on his card, then he died. Does she owe? -- A woman worries that the cash advances she made as an authorized user on a now-deceased man's card will raise the ire of his family ... (See Liability)

Curses! Foiled again! FBI warns of tinfoil 'feed horn' scheme -- Federal officials are warning merchants -- and credit card customers whose cards have been stolen -- of a new, decidedly low-tech scam called the "Feed Horn Scheme" ... (See Feed horn scam)

How to undo unauthorized card charges -- When you provide a merchant with your card for one item but other items get added to the bill without your permission, it's time to file a dispute ... (See Dispute)

Need a last-minute tax deduction? Try a credit card charity network -- By donating through a major credit card's charitable giving network, you can pledge (and get the deduction) today, pay the bill next year ... (See Taxes)

AmEx makes refunds for add-on products -- Regulators ordered American Express to pay back customers for deceptive marketing and unfair billing of ID theft and identity protection products ... (more)

Mississippi sues Chase Bank over debt collection -- Mississippi's attorney general sued Chase Bank for making false demands for debt against credit card customers ... (more)

Parent with dementia and a $40,000 debt: Who's liable? -- The cost of an assisted living facility has left no room for even the minimum payments on mom's credit cards. What's an adult daughter to do? ... (See Dementia and debt)

Data breach protection: 10 tips -- When your card data may have been stolen by hackers in a data breach, it's no time to panic, but do be vigilant and ready to take action if unauthorized charges show up ... (See Data breach protection)

Fed payments study: Signature cards more prone to fraud -- Credit cards and signature debit cards are the payment methods most susceptible to fraud, with online transactions at highest risk, the Federal Reserve said ... (See Fraud)

CFPB report: On-campus credit card deals fading away -- The lucrative, once-secret bank deals with colleges for on-campus access to students are fading, but on-campus debit card deals are rising to take their places ... (See Campus credit card deals)

Fed starts 'taper,' begins weaning off support for low rates -- The Federal Reserve voted to pump less cash into low long-term rates, but held constant the short-term rates that set credit card APRs ... (more)

Some frequent flier miles, reward points can be inherited -- You aren't going to be able to take those frequent flier miles with you on that trip to the great beyond, but you might be able to pass them on to your kids ... (See Inheriting points)

Despite settlement, demands to repay old debt resurface -- A collector's new demands you pay an old debt should go away if you got written verification of the settlement agreement. If not, take these steps ... (See Written verification)

CFPB report: Biggest card issuers push consumers into arbitration -- Few consumers use the dispute resolution format favored by banks, says a new report by the federal consumer watchdog ... (See Arbitration report)

How soon after bankruptcy can you get new credit cards? -- With a Chapter 7 bankruptcy almost behind you, how soon is too soon to start applying for new credit? And will you be approved? ... (See Post-bankruptcy)

CareCredit ordered to refund $34 million to cardholders -- GE Capital and its CareCredit unit agreed to refund $34.1 million to medical patients who got faulty information when they signed up for deferred interest cards ... (See CareCredit)

Fed: Credit card balances shot up October -- Consumers "tuned out the drama in DC" and went shopping in October, boosting credit card balances at an annualized rate of 6 percent, the Federal Reserve reported ... (See G.19 consumer credit report, October 2013)

Husband's secret debt destroying marriage -- He opened new cards without his wife's knowledge, racked up debt and now can't afford the minimum payments. Should she leave him or give him another chance? ... (See Secret debt)

Lending to friends and family: Your 4-step guide -- Lending to people you know can be fraught with risk. If you're going to do it, follow this 4-step guide to check expectations and improve your chances of success ... (See Family loans)

Card issuers soften mandatory arbitration rules -- Signing away your right to go to court is part of most credit card agreements, but the CFPB is taking a look at mandatory arbitration requirements ... (See Arbitration)

What to do when you find a lost credit card -- Good Samaritans can actually make things worse if they take the wrong action. Read our surprising list of do's and don'ts for handling lost credit cards ... (See Lost credit card)

Resolve medical debt before marriage -- A young couple wants to tie the knot, but his unpaid medical debt looms over them. Should they go ahead with their wedding plans or put them off until the debt is cleared? ... (See Medical debt)

Gift card scammers skirt security with new tricks -- With security surrounding gift cards improving, scammers are resorting to new tactics, including old-fashioned trickery and new technology ... (See Scams)

Death, wills, remarriages can all change inheritances -- State law governs what happens when a person dies without a will. Typically they assume that any assets of the deceased should go to a surviving spouse before going to a child ... (See Lost inheritance)

Is family responsible for mom's debt? -- An 89-year-old mom is carrying $20,000 in card debt from purchasing gifts for loved ones. Will the family be liable for the debt when she dies? ... (See Mom's debt)

FICO credit-score giveaway coming to Discover cardholders -- Discover's the latest bank to add free credit score access as a routine service, completing the route of the once-secret three-digit number to full public view ... (See Credit scores)

GAO: Information resellers quickly invading personal lives -- Data collectors know and resell your buying preferences, investments, ailments, favorite sports, hobbies and political leanings -- and need to be reined in, the government agency says in a report ... (See Information resellers)

Debt judgment puts inheritance at risk -- When expecting an inheritance after you've had a judgment against you for unpaid debt, don't worry -- that money doesn't automatically go to creditors. But worry: They'll come looking ... (See Inheritance and debt)

NY Fed: Household debt rise marks a 'turning point' -- Households increased their debt load in the third quarter by the largest amount since early 2008, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York ... (See Fed report: Borrowing returns)

How to use the grace period to avoid paying interest -- Taking advantage of the grace period's break on interest charges can save the typical card user a couple hundred bucks a year, but the savings aren't automatic ... (See Grace period)

Can a doctor's office charge a credit card surcharge? -- Like other merchants, doctors' offices are allowed to charge a fee for accepting credit cards, but at the risk of aliening patients ... (See Credit card surcharge)

Forging hubby's signature on a card application -- Forging a spouse's signature here and there may be OK, but never on a credit card or loan application, and not if it's done secretly ... (See Forgery)

Credit card balances extend their slide -- Credit card balances fell for a fourth month in a row in September, according to the Federal Reserve's monthly report on consumer credit ... (See G.19 consumer debt report, September 2013)

Can card issuer send bills just 11 days before due date? -- The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 says consumers should get 21 days from the time the bill was sent until it's due ... (See Due dates)

Fed: banks loosen credit limts -- Banks aren't rushing to grant more credit cards to new applicants, but they are being more generous about expanding credit limits ... (more)

Don't be a victim of home burglaries -- Home robbers prize homes easy to rob and hard to get caught robbing. These steps will prevent them from seeing your house as being on either list ... (See Preventing home burglaries)

New complaint data zings credit bureaus -- Federal complaint data shows that consumers are often dissatisfied -- even when credit bureaus say they have addressed the problem ... (See Credit bureau complaints)

Ex-wife racks up debt on joint accounts -- When a marriage is over, joint accounts should be severed. If not, an ex's financial misbehavior can come back to haunt you ... (See Divorce debt)

Buy lottery tickets with a credit card? Maybe -- Some states' laws and card issuers' policies ban purchasing lottery tickets with credit cards. That may be changing, however, as online lottery sales slowly spread ... (See Lottery tickets and credit cards)

Fed keeps its foot on the gas -- The Federal Reserve's interest rate setting committee decided to maintain its measures aimed at keeping interest rates at historic lows ... (See Fed leaves rates alone)

Is a widow liable for using dead husband's card? -- After the death of a spouse, continuing to use his or her plastic can be considered fraudulent. And if you can't make the payments, the issuer can come after you ... (See Debt)

Mom co-signed, now stuck with student loan payments -- When a parent co-signs a student loan for a child, the assumption is usually that the child will make payments after they graduate. But sometimes, things backfire ... (See Co-signing)

FTC to Aaron's: Shut down your rental computers' peephole webcams -- Consumers who rented Aaron's Inc. computers were subject to a nasty privacy invasion: spyware that captured their every activity at home, including what the FTC terms 'intimate activities' ... (See Spycams)

Getting rid of old medical debt -- When old medical debt is keeping you from moving ahead with your life, it's time to take action. Either pay it off or work out a debt settlement with collectors ... (See Medical debt)

2013 bankruptcy filings continue decline -- 2013 is on track to be the third straight year of reduced filings since 2010, when the aftermath of the recession pushed personal bankruptcies to about 1.53 million ... (See Bankruptcy)

Chronic late credit card payments: How bad can fines, fees get? -- Occasional tardiness won gentler treatment under a 2009 reform law, but repeat offenses bring heavier penalties ... (See Late fees)

Who pays card bill after parent dies? -- Once a parent passes, all bills should go through his or her estate. Even if you used the card with permission prior to death, if it's not your card, it's not your bill ... (See Liability)

Becoming disloyal: 6 reasons to quit a loyalty program -- Yes, you love your perks and discounts, but at some point, your loyalty may cost you too much time and headaches to be worthwhile ... (See Loyalty programs)

How much can collectors legally boost charged-off debts? -- Courts are setting higher standards for debt buyers to prove their right to charge you interest after a bank has written off your debt ... (See Charged-off debt)

7 jobs that require great credit -- Before applying for that dream -- or even interim -- job, you may want to pull your credit report and deal with any problems first ... (See Jobs requiring credit check)

Controversy erupts over credit card payments for guns -- A credit card processing company's decision to stop authorizing legal gun sales from a large North Carolina gun shop has ignited a full-bore controversy over firearms and freedom ... (See Guns)

Yes, debt collectors have the right to collect, and sue -- Some people mistakenly believe that when a debt is charged off, the obligation to pay disappears. Not so. Debt collectors have the legal right to pursue, and sue, you ... (See Debt)

Government shutdown obstructs credit card applications -- The government shutdown has cut off IRS income verification services that lenders use to approve loans, including some credit cards ... (See Shutdown hits card apps)

Banks soften due dates, offer help to furloughed federal workers -- Banks are offering special help for victims of a man-made disaster -- the federal government shutdown that has furloughed federal workers and forced them into economic hardship ... (See Furlough)

Card debt fell in August -- Credit card balances were down in August for the third straight month, according to the Federal Reserve ... (more)

CFPB widens its debt settlement crackdown -- The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined a service provider for handling illegal debt settlement fees, marking an expansion in its crackdown on scammers ... (See CFPB)

Paperless ticket trend leaves unbanked outside the gate -- Swiping a credit card has replaced tearing a ticket stub as the mode of entry to a growing number of entertainment events. No card? No entry ... (See Fans)

12 creepy details data collectors know about you -- Think you can keep your rendezvous to Montreal a secret between you and your sweetie? Not anymore. Personal data is no longer considered your own private business ... (See Data)

Fiancee leaves ex with big pre-wedding debts -- He gave her his credit card to buy a $3,600 dress and financed a $9,000 ring. Then she left the country, taking it all with her. What's a jilted lover to do? ... (See Wedding debt)

Credit CARD Act: Round 2 coming? -- A report from the federal consumer financial regulator says the CARD Act has cut gotcha-type fees, but other problems continue, and need to be addressed ... (See CARD Act report)

Study: CARD Act cut fees $20 billion -- A study of 150 million credit card accounts found that the CARD Act of 2009 cut fees sharply for cardholders, and subprime borrowers saw the most savings ... (See CARD Act study)

Landing and maintaining an unsecured line of credit for your business -- For small businesses with few assets seeking the flexibility of on-demand funds, an unsecured line of credit can be an ideal option. Keep these pointers in mind when considering one ... (See Unsecured)

Is the primary cardholder for nonprofit personally liable? -- If you're named on the agreement as the primary cardholder, you are personally liable for any debt your organization incurs. A written contract with the nonprofit might lower your risk but won't eliminate it ... (See Nonprofit)

Wage garnishment laws differ by state -- If you're served with a summons for unpaid debt, where you live will determine whether a creditor can recoup funds through wage garnishment ... (See Garnish)

Report: We've learned our lesson about using credit cards -- We've learned a lesson from the recession, says a report from a bankers' trade group, with cardholders paying lower interest, carrying lower balances ... (See Lesson learned)

FTC says :( to debt collection text messages -- The FTC has brought its first case against a debt collector for using text messages, sending a message of its own about what collectors can and can't do ... (See FTC)

4 ways to build credit without a credit card -- If you want to start building credit but don’t want to get a credit card -- or simply can’t -- don’t give up. There are other options, including passbook or CD loans, credit builder loans and alternative credit scores ... (See Cardless credit)

Feds fine Chase, order $309 million refund for credit card add-ons -- The megabank took the money for, but did not deliver, the credit monitoring add-on product it sold to its credit card customers, federal regulators say ... (See Chase refund)

Subprime borrowers have easier time getting car loans -- Unlike with credit cards, auto loans are becoming more available for borrowers with blemished credit ... (See Auto loans)

Mom illegally adds daughter to joint card -- A recently married daughter finds out her mom used her name to open a joint account without her permission or knowledge ... (See ID theft)

Fed maintains support for low interest rates -- The Fed left short-term rates that govern credit card APRs unchanged at near-zero levels. It also voted to maintain current support for low long-term rates such as mortgages, defying analysts' expectations ... (See FOMC)

Are squiggly finger signatures legally binding? -- As more retailers move to hand-held payment systems, signing with your finger is the new norm. But is that squiggly, often illegible, scribble really legally binding? ... (See Finger signatures)

Protecting your business from credit card fraud -- If your business makes a sale to a fraudster, you could lose the cost of the goods in addition to a charge-back fee. Know-how and technology make the best defense ... (See Charge-backs)

Can a minor be sued for using an adult's credit card? -- When a young person is given an adult's card to make purchases, but then the adult cries foul and threatens to sue, is the child liable for the charges? ... (See Minor)

You can now #buy through social media -- but do you really want to? -- In-stream purchasing lets you buy products through social media by posting a simple hashtag or set of words. It's quick, convenient -- and potentially dangerous ... (See Social media)

Pre-screened offers don't guarantee card approval -- All those enticing zero percent card offers that come in the mail don't mean that you'll be approved for them, and can even hurt your credit score ... (See Offers)

Steps to protect finances of those with Alzheimer's -- If a loved one is having trouble remembering to pay the credit card bill or spending money recklessly as a result of Alzheimer's disease, there are steps you can take to protect his or her credit and financial security ... (See Alzheimer's)

Can I impose a max on credit card customers? -- If your business sells high-ticket items, credit card swipe fees can add up. The law won't keeping you from imposing limits on card spend but consider other options before you take that route ... (See Limits)

Don't let a rental scam spoil your vacation -- Rental scams are becoming increasingly common. Recognizing the warning signs is essential to prevent a scam from ruining your next vacation. ... (See Vacation rental scams)

Can you negotiate medical debt with collectors? -- Yes, you can negotiate over delinquent medical bills with a collection agency, but paying less than what is owed has consequences ... (See Medical debt)

CFPB: Consumers' side of credit disputes must be considered -- Federal regulators issued a stern warning for information furnishers to investigate disputed credit report data: Look at a consumer's side of the story ... (See CFPB)

Buying legal marijuana with a credit card still banned -- The new easing of federal enforcement of marijuana laws doesn't lift a ban on credit cards being used at legal pot dispensaries ... (See Marijuana banking)

Can my business require a minimum purchase for credit card customers? -- Merchants can impose on their credit card customers a minimum purchase requirement of up to $10 -- but that doesn't mean you should. And debit cards are a different story ... (See Payment minimums)

Is sharing your credit card ever OK? -- Have you ever lent your credit card to a relative or friend to make a purchase on your behalf? Most times, these actions are harmless, but sometimes they can backfire ... (See Sharing credit cards)

Student loan repayment troubles? Don't delay -- If a student loan ends up in default, your options for repayment become limited, and get worse after wage garnishment ... (See Student loans)

Your map through Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy -- If you've decided that bankruptcy might be the solution for you, you need to be prepared for the stops along the way for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies ... (See Bankruptcy map)

It pays to know these 5 things about payroll cards -- More employers in the U.S. are offering their employees reloadable payroll cards in lieu of issuing checks or direct deposits. There are, however, a wide variety of costs and risks associated with payroll cards ... (See Payroll cards)

Many pay an unexpected price for deferred-interest deals -- About one in five people who sign up for "no interest" deals on big-ticket items actually wind up owing finance charges on their store credit card ... (See Deferred interest trap)

I'm buried in debt. Can I just stop making payments? -- If you're swamped with credit card debt, it may be tempting to stop making payments and hope the problem goes away. Sorry. It won't ... (See Stop paying)

Survey: Card satisfaction hits 7-year high -- Though impenetrable financial terms and opaque rewards programs still plague cardholders, we are increasingly satisfied with our plastic ... (See J.D. Power)

How 'authorized user' status can help build US credit -- New to the U.S.? There are several ways to start building a good credit history, most notably by becoming an authorized user on another's credit card ... (See Authorized user)

Certegy fined $3.5 million for violating Fair Credit Reporting Act -- The FTC has accused credit reporting agency Certegy of maintaining and reporting inaccurate information about thousands of check-paying customers, resulting in a $3.5 million fine. ... (See Certegy)

Don't share accounts with elderly parents -- Having a joint account with an elderly parent can have serious consequences, including being liable for debts, lawsuits and collection efforts ... (See Joint accounts)

NY Fed: debt squeeze eases on households -- While borrowing on cards increased, credit limits grew faster in the second quarter, leaving cardholders with more available spending power ... (See Debt and credit report)

Credit score impact of settling past-due accounts -- When you have numerous credit accounts that are seriously past due, is the best solution to settle the accounts or try to pay them in full? ... (See Settle or pay in full?)

How to dispute unauthorized credit report inquiries -- If a negative item on your credit report isn't true, you dispute it. But did you know the same goes for credit report inquiries you don’t recognize or didn’t approve? ... (See Credit inquiries)

Point-of-sale pioneer Ron Klein looks back -- Ron Klein was heralded as the inventor of the mag stripe in a recent news article. Klein, now 78, is willing to cede credit for that but is keen to tell the story of how he pioneered credit card validation systems back in the 1960s. ... (See Ron Klein)

Fed: Card balances fell in June -- Credit card balances were down in June, pulling back from a strong upward surge the month before, despite an increase in consumer spending ... (See G.19)

Historic newspaper archive reveals earliest mentions of credit cards -- Consumer credit in the U.S. has its roots in the late 19th century, and the earliest printed mentions of credit shows we confronted today's challenges then ... (See Credit in U.S. history)

Fed: banks ease up on credit limits -- Banks remain wary about issuing new cards but are easing their grip on credit limits, the Federal Reserve's survey of bank loan officers reported ... (See Credit limits eased)

Daughter racks up debt on deceased dad's card -- Not knowing she was just an authorized user, a daughter continued to use her dad's card after he died. Now the issuer closed the card and wants quick repayment ... (See Authorized user)

Swipe fee battle renewed after court ruling -- Merchants won a victory in their long-running battle with banks over debit card swipe fees, potentially raising consumer costs for checking-related services ... (more)

How to protect a foster child from ID theft -- Foster kids are even more at risk for identity theft than the general population. Help protect yourself or a young person you know by following these tips ... (See Tips)

Foster children get help in combating ID theft -- A 2011 federal law says when foster children turn 16, child welfare agencies must help them get annual credit reports and clear up any mistakes. States are now implementing programs to do just that ... (See Foster kids and ID theft)

Have I fallen prey to identity theft? -- It's relatively easy to find out if you've fallen victim to identity theft, given the availability of credit reports and online billing statements. Clearing up an identity theft issue, however, is more difficult and may require contacting local authorities or placing a freeze on your credit report. ... (See Fraud)

Fed keeps interest rates low -- As expected, the Federal Open Market Committee voted Wednesday to keep short-term interest rates low ... (See FOMC)

Will a debt management plan hurt your credit score? -- When you enter a debt management plan, one of the requirements is to close open card accounts. How will that action affect your credit score? ... (See DMP)

Congress aims to level the online gambling playing field -- Two bills being considered in Congress would regulate poker and other forms of online gambling, and could impose consistency on a patchwork of state laws. But it's a complex subject that blends gaming, morality, money-laundering and credit cards ... (See Online gambling)

Husband won't stop charging on joint card -- Sharing a joint credit card can be hard if one spouse uses the card too often and can't pay off the balance. Do they kill the card or get will that make things worse? ... (See Joint credit)

Bankruptcies continue to fall -- As the eighth anniversary of a bankruptcy reform law approaches, filings in the first half of 2013 have fallen 14 percent from the same period one year ago ... (See Bankruptcy filings)

Credit reports now show your credit card bill-paying habits -- Credit bureaus add a new section to credit reports showing whether you carry a credit card balance, giving card issuers and others a more detailed portrait of your financial habits ... (See Credit reports)

Found your lost purse? Good, but don't use those canceled cards -- If that lost purse or wallet turns up and you've already reported the cards missing, it's too late. Wait for the new ones, and next time, don't carry so many ... (See Lost purse)

Getting your deposit back when a company goes bankrupt -- Your catering company has gone belly-up just before your wedding, taking your deposit with it. All's not lost, if you used a credit card, but beware -- those refunds can be time-consuming and tricky to reclaim ... (See Post-bankruptcy deposit refunds)

How employee salary advances work -- Occasional emergency bridge loans from an employer can be OK, but regular pay advances are fraught with perils that can spill into the workplace ... (See Salary advances)

Help! My husband's ruining my credit -- They opened a joint credit card together and then her husband went "crazy" charging things they couldn't afford. To make matters worse, he stopped paying the bill ... (See Joint credit)

Divorce and card debt in community property states -- She's an authorized user on her ex-husband's card, but since they live in a community property state, she's not off the hook ... (See Divorce debt)

CFPB provides debt collection sample letters -- The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issues five sample letters to help consumers practice self-defense against unfair debt collection practices ... (See Debt collection sample letters)

Watchdog agency opens doors to complaints about debt collectors -- The government's consumer watchdog issued warning notices to the collection industry about illegal tactics on the day it began taking complaints about collectors ... (See Debt collection)

4 signs your teen isn't ready for credit cards -- Getting your teen behind the wheel of a car was scary enough, so do you think your kid is ready to handle the responsibility of a credit card? ... (See Teens and credit)

Is daughter liable for shared card debt with Mom? -- Mom tried to boost her daughter's credit by putting her on several credit cards, but then Mom passed away. Who has to pay the balances? ... (See Shared credit)

FTC penalizes world's largest debt collector -- The Federal Trade commission accused collection company with global reach of calling people repeatedly and failing to verify debts. ... (See FTC )

CFPB steps in to save service members money -- More than 50,000 active-duty service members who participated in a big bank's specialty auto loan program are due a refund ... (See Military auto loan refund)

Fed: Credit card balances spike in May -- Balances on credit cards were up in May, the Fed reported, as jobs and home values showed strength ... (more)

Why not leave country and bail on student loans? -- Sure, you can leave your debts behind -- and your family and friends, too. But there are repayment options that can help ease your burden. ... (See Student loans)

Servicemembers Act helps, but soldier, straighten up your debt -- The Servicemembers Act limits rates for loans to active-duty military personnel, but controlling debt should be a soldier's first financial duty ... (See Servicemembers Act)

Jaron Lanier Q&A: Consumers, take back your data -- The computer visionary and influential thinker sees individual and widespread economic risk in turning details of our lives into commodities ... (See Jaron Lanier Q&A)

Using plastic to pay off student loans: A bad idea -- Using one or more credit cards to get out from under the burden of student loan payments can seem tempting, but it's a step in the wrong direction ... (See Student loans)

Sister opens cards using Mom's identity -- One sister abuses Mom's trust by charging thousands to cards opened using Mom's Social Security number. The other sister keeps it a secret ... (See Stealing Mom's ID)

Settling a debt? Verify it, and get everything in writing -- If you want to settle a debt with a collector for less than owed, do it safely and permanently by following these steps ... (See Settling debt the right way)

Bill to curb employer credit check passes N.Y. Assembly -- Afraid your bad credit may be holding you back from a great job? That may soon not be a concern for job-hunting New Yorkers, as the Credit Privacy in Employment Act passed the New York Assembly on June 24. ... (See Credit checks)

DOMA ruling cuts both ways financially -- The Supreme Court's ruling may spur same-sex couples toward marriage, but the financial consequences of such unions aren't all favorable ... (See DOMA and dollars)

5 bankruptcy myths busted -- Only deadbeats, cheats and crooks file for bankruptcy, right? Nothing could be further from the truth, say the folks who deal with bankruptcy day to day ... (See Bankruptcy myths)

Old car debt hounds ex-wife -- What do you do do when your wages are garnished to pay for a repossessed car that was jointly owned by you and your ex? ... (See Joint debt)

Fed signals that rate hikes remain in distant future -- The Federal Open Market Committee voted to keep interest rates at ultra-low levels amid speculation that stimulus measures are nearing a turning point ... (more)

Credit CARD Act: The next generation -- The federal watchdog agency is reviewing the 2009 law's impact; consumer groups are urging a host of fixes, enhancements ... (See Post-CARD Act)

Credit dispute process fix coming soon -- Disputing a credit report error? The bureaus will no longer discard your evidence; it will be scanned in and forwarded to the lender or debt collector ... (See Disputes)

Dealing with $8,000 card debt hidden from husband -- Whether you reveal the hidden debt to your husband is up to you, but you need to change habits to stop it from growing and get a plan to pay it off ... (See Hidden debt)

Foreign exchange students can build a US credit score -- A 20-year-old Chinese student living in the U.S. wants to build an American credit score, and she can: Scores aren't just for U.S. citizens ... (See Foreign student scores)

Old debt, new collector: Negotiate? Ignore? Or pay up? -- When an old debt resurfaces as you're trying to make a credit comeback, getting it listed as paid in full does the most benefit to your credit, but the most harm to your cash flow ... (See Old debt, new collector)

Beware: Risk of data breaches rises when you travel -- The odds your card's data will be taken rise when you're on holiday for an obvious reason: You like to hang out at the same places the cyberthieves do ... (See Data breaches)

Fed: Card balances ticked up in April -- Balances on credit cards rose in April, marking a rebound from March, amid signs of improvement in jobs and housing. ... (more)

Divorcing? Your kids don't need a money martyr -- Sally sharply arches her eyebrow at a one-sided divorce settlement that gives him the house, her the debt -- and a self-imposed college fund obligation on top of it all ... (See Divorce and debt)

Wife of inmate worries about his card debt -- Her husband is in prison for five years, and he left behind $7,000 in card debt that she can't pay. Will she be pursued for the debt by collectors? ... (See Debt and prison)

IRS' oversight of credit counseling fails -- The IRS unit under fire for Tea Party scrutiny has been unable in more than eight years to strip nonprofit status from the puppet of a for-profit company ... (See Nonprofit dodge)

Congress considers relief for credit damage from medical bills -- Debt caused by medical bills is special and should wait 120 days before it's reported late on credit reports, according to legislation introduced in Congress ... (See Medical debt)

Credit report complaints highlight errors -- One out of five people who complained about their credit reports said they contain information that does not belong to them, according to newly released figures ... (more)

Stuck with card debt with no job, assets -- She has no work or personal property and cannot afford to pay her card bill. Can she still be pursued for the debt even if she has nothing? ... (See Card debt)

People are managing cards better, survey finds -- Americans are getting better at paying off their credit card bills and avoiding interest charges, but about a third are still struggling to pay more than the minimum ... (See Financial survey)

Same-sex marriage means gay couples get joint custody of debt -- As more states allow same-sex marriage, gay couples discover they must take on one of matrimony's biggest legal burdens: a partner's debt ... (See Same-sex marriage)

Q&A with author Frank Ahearn on the art of disappearing -- This skip-tracer turned skip-maker charges $42,000 minimum to help people disappear. He doesn't take credit cards. In fact, his first move will be to destroy yours ... (See Frank Ahearn)

Credit-building tips for new US citizen -- He opened a U.S. card with a passport and business account. Now that he's moved here and has an SSN, he wants to know how to build a good credit score ... (See Credit tips)

FTC targets cash-reload code scams -- The FTC has proposed banning telemarketers from taking payments via cash reload codes that are used to fund prepaid cards. The codes make it too easy for fraudsters to take cash without leaving a trace ... (See Cash reload)

Should you charge that new pet? -- Pet regret? If you put that new furry friend on plastic, you may be able to get a refund, but it all depends on exactly where you bought it and what went wrong ... (See Pets)

Co-signer, joint account holder, guarantor: Know the difference -- Thinking about sharing a card account with someone? Take heed. Your liability for the debt could vary greatly depending upon the type of account you choose ... (See Shared accounts)

Student loan co-signer on the hook for delinquency -- A wife co-signed her husband's student loans, which he defaulted on when he lost his job. Should she pay off the balance or not? ... (See Student loan)

How to pick a bankruptcy attorney -- That’s it, you’re done. After struggling to pay your debts, you’re ready to consider bankruptcy. It’s time to contact a lawyer to represent you, but which one? ... (See Bankruptcy attorney)

Proposed rule could help kids replace stolen Social Security numbers -- The Social Security Administration is considering easing the process for replacing stolen SSNs for children 13 and younger, who are increasingly targeted by identity thieves ... (See New SSNs for kids)

Two balance transfers means payment dilemma -- The federal CARD Act of 2009 created rules about how payments should be allocated when there are multiple rates, but not for multiple balances ... (See Payment allocation)

NY Fed: Credit card balances reach new low -- Consumers resumed paying down their card balances in the first quarter of 2013, the New York Fed reported, and delinquencies improved ... (See NY Fed)

Survey: Consumers still don't understand credit scores -- Women have more credit knowledge, says a study released Monday, but few of us really understand what makes us creditworthy ... (See Credit survey)

California blasts Chase for robo-signing -- California's attorney general accused Chase Bank of using false documents in court cases to collect credit card debts ... (See Chase robo-signing suit)

Infographic: How Robo-signing works in credit card debt -- When creditors mechanically and automatically certify that credit card debt is real without any documentary evidence, it's called robo-signing, and the practice is both widespread and controversial ... (See Robo-signing credit card debt)

$45 million heist shows vulnerability of prepaid cards -- Prepaid debit cards are quickly growing in popularity among consumers, but the global conspiracy that stole $45 million from two Middle Eastern banks shows that they’re also attracting attention from another element: criminals ... (See Heist)

7 tips for saving time, money when shopping online -- As online shopping has evolved, so have the ways in which you can use the tool wisely. These seven tips will keep time on the clock and money in your wallet ... (See 7 online shopping tips)

Debt lingers on credit report even after garnishment, repayment -- Through garnishment, an old debt has been repaid, but the credit damage can linger for years. The good news? It fades with time ... (See Old debt and credit reports)

Fed: Banks modestly lower barriers to credit cards -- Banks are swinging open their vault doors wider for businesses, but consumers are seeing only slightly easier access to loans -- including credit cards ... (See Credit cards)

Credit card balances fall in March -- Consumers used plastic less in March amid gloomy reports from the job front and a deceleration in spending ... (See G.19)

Is wife liable for ex's card debt? -- When a spouse has thousands in secret card debt and then files for divorce, exactly who is responsible for repaying that debt? ... (See Ex's card debt)

Scared of Big Brother? Too late, says 'Big Data' co-author -- As more companies tap into the huge amounts of data to measure consumer behavior, "Big Data" co-author Viktor Mayer-Schonberger says it's not really a bad thing ... (See Big Data)

Help! My sneaky sis used my credit card, damaged my credit -- When family is involved in fraudulent card use, the choice is tough: Silently suffer the credit consequences or rat out a relative ... (See Fraud)

Fed holds line on interest rates -- The Federal Reserve's rate-setting committee voted to continue its low-rate policy in the face of stubborn unemployment ... (more)

CFPB changes stay-at-home spouse rule -- The federal government's consumer agency has finalized a rule change to make it easier for nonworking, stay-at-home spouses to get their own credit cards ... (See Stay-at-home spouses)

Why stealing your dead BFF's identity is wrong -- Her best friend dies, so she "offers" to help the widower out by doing his finances. Then she applies for credit in her deceased friend's name as an "experiment." Hmmm. ... (See Fraud)

Card add-on products stage a comeback -- Add-on services like payment protection are expected to rebound from regulators' smackdown ... (See Card add-ons)

Feds crack down on payday loans, deposit advances -- Banks and storefront lenders will face new rules on small-dollar loans to protect borrowers ... (See Payday loan rules)

When does bad debt fall off credit reports? -- If you have debts that went into collections and were later discharged in bankruptcy, when can you expect those marks to be erased from your credit reports? ... (See Debts)

Fed study: Recession really changed our spending habits -- We didn't just have our credit cards taken away during the recession, we gave them up. So says a new New York Fed study, which says the historic drop in debt was at least partly the result of households tightening their belts ... (See Fed study)

FTC fraud survey: 1 in 10 American adults swindled -- Weight-loss scams, prize promotions, membership rip-offs lead the phony pack in the Federal Trade Commission's survey of swindles ... (See FTC fraud survey)

Chapter 13 bankruptcy: How it works -- Unlike Chapter 7 liquidation plans, Chapter 13s give filers a chance to pay off debts over three to five years -- but they rarely turn out as planned ... (See Chapter 13 bankruptcy)

Robo-signed collection cases under fire -- Practices that let debt buyers win collection judgments with just hurriedly signed affidavits appear headed for a major overhaul ... (See Robo-signed debt collection)

Late fees inflate balance of forgotten card -- She opened a card, charged $100 and then Hurricane Sandy hit and she forgot all about it. Now it's in a collector's hands and the balance is $300 ... (See Card default)

Deceased husband's debt haunts wife -- Three years after he passed, his wife receives a 1099-C form for his credit card debt cancellation. Does she have to report this on her income tax return? ... (See 1099-C)

GAO: ATM surcharges climbing -- The average ATM surcharge at banks and credit unions is up 20 percent since 2007, not counting inflation, a GAO report says ... (See GAO study: ATM surcharges up 20%)

Bankruptcy filings plunge in first quarter of 2013 -- Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy fillings fell the most in states hard hit by the recession, including Nevada and California ... (See 1st quarter bankruptcies)

AirTran, Hilton HHonors cards change; how it affects you -- An airline merger and reshuffle of Hilton's loyalty program bring changes for frequent travelers. If you have credit cards that earn rewards for those programs, here's what to expect ... (See AirTran, Hilton changes)

6 wedding expenses you should always charge on credit -- Wedding-related mishaps can turn any mild-mannered bride into a bridezilla, but sometimes your credit card can come to the rescue ... (See Wedding charges)

How long does old debt stay on credit reports? -- If a debt is reported as being charged off and passes the state statute of limitations, when does it drop off your credit report? ... (See Old debt)

Fed: Card balances rise in February -- Credit card balances rose in February as consumer spending increased, despite the specter of pending budget cuts ... (more)

Damaged credit: Can you sue? -- While holding others accountable for inaccurate and costly credit hits is a recent legal phenomenon, courts are recognizing that good credit is a valuable asset ... (See Suing for damaged credit)

When to pay off old debt -- There can be good reasons to repay a debt even after it is too old for you to be sued over -- but you could create a new headache if you're not careful ... (See Old debt)

Cash-now promise of lawsuit loans under fire -- Lawsuit loans -- cash advances given to lawsuit filers before a case is settled -- are the latest fast-growing, high-fee lending industry to draw controversy and attempts at regulation ... (See Lawsuit loans)

How to clear a judgment from your records -- She repaid the collector after a judgment was placed against her, but the judgment remains after the collector folded. How does she clear the record? ... (See Judgments)

How to check whether your parents left you an inheritance -- Emotions, time and distance can cloud memories, so if you think you may be missing out on an inheritance, go for the records ... (See Inheritance)

Who pays your expenses if your company goes bankrupt? -- Technically, you could be on the hook for unpaid expenses you charged if the company goes belly up, but in practice, employees are pretty safe ... (See Company expenses)

How old debts can lead to seized assets -- Just because you think a debt is beyond the statute of limitations doesn't mean you can ignore a court summons or bill collector lawsuits ... (See Old debts)

Expiration dates fuzzy on old card debt -- Card issuers' rules and conflicting legal rulings laws make it tough to tell when a consumer's debt ages past the statute of limitations ... (See Uncollectible debt)

How to tell when card debt legally expires -- The statute of limitations in your state is a starting point to tell if a debt is too old to be dragged in front of a judge ... (more)

Medical credit cards: Treatment today, payment headaches tomorrow -- Some say they're a savior in a medical crisis, while consumer advocates decry their high interest rates and few protections ... (See Medical cards)

Federal Reserve stays the course on interest rates -- The Federal Open Market Committee reaffirmed that ultra-low interest rates will continue in an effort to spur job growth ... (more)

Debt vs. savings: Who gets paid first? -- When facing student loans and other debts, saving for emergencies may seem counterproductive. But without a cushion, you're more likely to face financial peril ... (See Debt vs. savings)

Consumer bureau faces court challenge -- A court ruling calls into question the recess appointment of CFPB director Richard Cordray, but experts expect a political solution ... (See Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)

Funding dreams on credit: Film financing -- Kenny Golde maxed out multiple credit cards and took out a business loan to finish a movie that went over budget, for total debt of $220,000 ... (See Film financing)

Funding dreams on credit: Bike champ -- Gene Hamilton charged as much as $10,000 every year during mountain bike racing season for gas, hotels and airfare and spent the rest of the year paying it off ... (See Bike champ)

Emancipated minors may get freedom, but don't count on credit -- Emancipation is a rare legal course followed by youthful celebrities and a few regular youths. You gain independence, but not credit ... (See Minors and credit)

Out of cash, out of work and in debt -- An unemployed couple can't find work in their new state of residence, keep using plastic to get by, but can't keep up with their credit card bills ... (See Unemployed)

What merchant information is required on receipts? -- Small business owners don't have to print their contact details on receipts, but it's good practice from a tax and marketing standpoint ... (See Receipts)

Taken to court for card debt? What to expect -- If you have been served a summons to appear in court over unpaid card debt, the legal journey will unfold in six stages. Know what they are ... (See Court judgment)

Fed: Card balances rise in January -- Credit card balances rose in January, as a fiscal cliff cut in take-home pay and higher prices at gasoline pumps caused consumers to lean more on their plastic ... (more)

5 steps to prevent your debt from haunting your heirs -- If you’ve got debt and die tomorrow, don’t assume it will disappear. Chances are, it will eat into the assets you’re planning to leave for your heirs and may even wipe out your estate. ... (See Debt and death)

Disabled son charges card to the max, then gets sued -- He can't work and lives off of $712 a month and maxed out a credit card. Now he's being sued. His mom worries the court will garnish his disability payments ... (See Sued for debt)

Has your credit report been viewed illegally? -- Though most credit report inquiries are legitimate, some aren't. The information contained there can be used to steal your identity, damage your credit or breach your privacy ... (See Credit reports)

Credit card complaints zing companies -- Newly published complaint data give a look at card issuers' relationships with customers -- and which companies are likely to pay back a customer with a gripe ... (See Most complaints)

NY Fed: Consumer debt market shows signs of 'healing' -- As 2012 drew to a close, the overall consumer debt market showed signs it is finally on the mend, says research from the New York Fed ... (See Consumer debt )

Tax refund theft surges in FTC's list of consumer complaints -- A surge in tax refund ripoffs solidified identity theft as the top consumer complaint in the Federal Trade Commission's annual list ... (See Tax refund theft)

Infographic: Issuers stingier with credit post-CARD Act -- Since the CARD Act went into effect in early 2010, you need a higher credit score to get more measly credit limits, according to the American Bankers Association ... (See Credit after CARD Act)

2012 credit card complaints reveal trouble hot spots -- Complaints sent to new federal database paint a nationwide mosaic of misery, and the complainingest people tend to have comfortably high incomes ... (See Card complaints)

Getting business tax information from a closed credit card account -- Banks can close your credit card account for any number of reasons. But you are entitled to get the information you need to file tax returns for your small business ... (See Closed account tax data)

Credit score impact of settling a debt or paying it in full -- A debt collector can wipe its hands of you if you accept the settlement offer on a delinquent debt, but how does that impact your credit score? ... (See Settling debt)

Danny Singh talks about early money management skills -- At 11, he took over paying his mom's bills and managing her financial affairs. At 19, he published his second book, this one on fighting foreclosure. Singh dishes on his money lessons ... (See Whiz kid)

Bankers' group says CARD Act raised rates, lowered credit access -- The 3-year-old federal credit card reform law is a mixed bag, banking lobby group says, but hurt consumers access to credit and raised rates ... (more)

10 ways loan co-signers can protect their assets -- Despite warnings from experts, people still co-sign loans for their loved ones. If you must, or already did, at least take these steps to protect yourself ... (See Co-signing protection)

Prepare for paperless Social Security benefits -- As of March 1, 2013, paper checks for Social Security and other federal benefits disappeared, replaced by direct deposit or, for those with no bank accounts, prepaid debit cards. Here's how the check-less system works ... (See Federal benefits go digital )

After a debt judgment, inheritance may be at risk -- She's being sued for past due credit card debt. Can her creditors go after any inherited property or cash down the road? ... (See Debt judgment)

American, US Airways merger could launch credit card battle -- While American Airlines and US Airways struck notes of love and harmony when announcing their merger, the union could set up a battle between two major banks over who can offer credit cards to customers of the world’s largest airline ... (See Airline merger rewards fallout)

9 smartphone apps to help with taxes -- Paying Uncle Sam may be a little easier this year, thanks to a flood of new and improved tax apps for your smartphone ... (See 9 tax apps)

FTC report: 1 in 5 Americans has a mistake in credit report -- If applied to the 200 million Americans with credit reports, the Federal Trade Commission's findings would mean 40 million have a credit report mistake ... (See Credit report mistakes)

Pay As You Earn helps some student loan borrowers -- If you're a college grad who used federal student loans to pay for college, you may be eligible for a new income-driven repayment tool: the Department of Education’s Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan ... (See Student loans)

'Identity Thief' screenwriter Jerry Eeten has identity issues, too -- By the time Jerry Eeten's screenwriting career took off with the new Jason Bateman-Melissa McCarthy movie, he'd already left Hollywood to fashion a new identity as a Florida teacher ... (See Thief)

On disability, can't pay high card debt - is home at risk? -- Coping with a major illness and massive credit card debt, a woman wonders if the card issuers can take her house if she stops payments ... (See Illness and debt)

Costly tax refund loans not really gone -- While RALs have effectively been banned, consumers are still being pitched to pay big on costly tax refund advances ... (See Refund anticipation loans live on)

11 options for filing tax returns for free -- Want to file your taxes for free? Depending on how much money you make and other factors, you might have several choices for free filing online or in-person with volunteer help. ... (See 2013 tax filing)

Executive pay at credit counseling agencies -- Their clients are at the brink of bankruptcy, but executives at some of the largest nonprofit credit counseling agencies are in the top 1 percent of U.S. earners ... (See CEO salaries at credit counseling agencies)

Feds bust sophisticated credit card ring that stole $200 million -- In a massive manipulation of the credit card system, a New Jersey-based fraud ring stole more than $200 million by creating 7,000 false identities and 25,000 bogus cards ... (See Credit card fraud)

Choosing a credit counseling agency: 6 tips -- Nonprofit credit counseling agencies are bound by rules that guard against abuses. But some agencies can work better for you than others ... (See Credit counselors)

Credit counseling agencies get bigger, but are they any better? -- A wave of consolidation is rapidly transforming credit counseling from locally based agencies to national call centers ... (See Big credit counseling agencies get bigger - but better?)

Compare 4 choices for debt relief -- People who need help getting out from under debt have a number of choices, each with some advantages and pitfalls. Here's an overview ... (See 4 debt relief choices)

Top 10 consumer credit counseling agencies -- Slideshow lists the 10 largest nonprofit consumer credit counseling agencies in the U.S. by revenue; their top executives, and executive pay ... (See Credit counselors)

The business of credit counseling -- Nonprofit credit counselors benefit from a solid reputation but clients face high dropout rates and difficulty getting information ... (See Credit counselors)

Fed: Banks remain reluctant to ease terms on new cards -- Banks have made it somewhat easier for consumers to get a new card or qualify for a credit limit increase. However, the pace of change remains glacially slow ... (See Fed: Banks reluctant to ease credit card terms)

1099-Ks: Small businesses face new penalties, paperwork for tax reporting -- Credit card issuers and third-party settlement organizations like PayPal are now required withhold 28 percent of gross receipts from merchants who have not given them the company’s correct information ... (See New 1099-K form)

BBB, NFL warn: Super Bowl scams can injure unwary 49er, Ravens fans -- This year's Super Bowl is a hot ticket, but the BBB and NFL merchants warn of rip-offs that can put a big hit on your wallet ... (See Beware Super scams)

FTC: Debt collectors go hunting with skimpy info for debtors -- About 1 million U.S. consumers a year dispute debts, says a new FTC report, and no wonder: Collectors often have little info on what is owed ... (See Collectors' skimpy info)

Fed: As long as unemployment is high, rates will remain low -- If, after all these years, you still haven't taken advantage of today's historically low interest rates, don't worry. Today's record low rates aren't going to disappear any time soon ... (See FOMC)

Why your traditional credit score may be becoming obsolete -- As millions of Americans recover from the sharpest downturn since the Great Depression, a growing number of credit card issuers are quietly testing new, more comprehensive ways to evaluate customers' creditworthiness ... (See Alternative credit scores)

Credit card surcharges now allowed, but retailers hesitate -- A court settlement gives retailers the right to recover "swipe fees" by charging extra for credit card use starting Jan. 27, but will they? ... (See Credit card surcharges)

Credit report marred by multiple collectors' marks over one loan -- If a delinquent debt is finally settled, can you get the multiple collectors' notations on your credit report removed? ... (See Credit reports and bad loans)

FTC broadens case in $275 million 'BadCustomer.com' scam -- Agency goes after relatives, mansion, $1 million in silver, alleging that ill-gotten gains scammed from credit card holders were shielded from seizure ... (See BadCustomer.com)

Emancipated minor wants to start building credit -- Just how does a recently emancipated soon-to-be 17-year-old go about building his credit without parental consent? ... (See Emancipated minors and credit)

Quick ways to create a credit history for lenders -- With down payment in hand to buy her first home, but no credit history, a young woman is frustrated by repeated rejections from lenders ... (See Credit history)

4 high-cost desperation loans to avoid -- Overspend on the holidays? A short-term loan may seem like manna from heaven, but some loans may leave you in worse shape than before ... (See Last-ditch loans)

States limit welfare debit cards to ban tobacco, alcohol, lottery, porn purchases -- Prodded by abuses, states pass laws preventing food stamp and welfare debit cards from being used to buy tobacco, alcohol, lottery tickets and porn ... (See Benefit cards)

Bankruptcies fell 14% in 2012, continuing 2-year decline -- Bankruptcy filings for 2012 year show a 14 percent fall, following a 12 percent decline the prior year, as America continues its shaky economic recovery ... (See Bankruptcies fall)

Business card benefits outweigh limitations for most businesses -- Credit cards aimed at small businesses don't come with many of the protections found in consumer cards. But companies still tend to find them better for business expenses than consumer cards. ... (See Business vs. personal cards)

How to handle collection calls after a loved one dies -- A widow is being hounded by debt collectors over her deceased husband's unpaid card debt. What are her rights and how can she stop the calls? ... (See Card debt after death)

He's new to credit, behind on bills, worried about job hunt -- He started off on the right foot by getting credit and paying bills on time, and then he moved, lost his job and fell behind on payments ... (See Missed payments)

Beware of co-signing student loans for your kids -- A mom co-signed for her kids' student loans, and now payments are way overdue. Mom's credit score is tanking as result. What are her options? ... (See Co-signer risks)

Military gets tougher protections against high-rate loans -- Congress creates new enforcement powers for law that protects soldiers from high-rate loans ... (See Military)

What lump sum offer will debt collectors settle for? -- With $80,000 of student loan debt in default, he wonders if there are any industry standards for settling for less than he owes with the collection agency ... (See Debt settlement)

Consumer bureau begins new look at credit card rules -- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched a call for comments as part of a study on the Credit CARD Act of 2009 ... (See CARD Act review)

Are overdrafts on prepaid cards a good deal or a debt trap? -- Overdraft programs on prepaid cards are sneaky, high-cost loans that should be outlawed, consumer advocates say. But some customers of the card company NetSpend couldn't disagree more ... (See Prepaid card overdraft)

When a cardholder dies, is the authorized user liable for any balance? -- When a primary account holder for a credit card dies, an authorized user on the card wonders if he is now responsible for the card's balance ... (See Authorized users)

Can debt collectors call relatives? Who and when? -- She owes a debt, but has been avoiding the debt collector's calls. So the collector calls her mother and shares private information. Is this legal? ... (See Debt collection)

Consumer watchdog report details credit bureaus' work -- Every wonder what the credit reporting agencies actually do with your credit information before selling it to lenders? You're in luck. The CFPB has issued the first ever comprehensive public report on the big three credit bureaus ... (See CFPB report on credit bureaus)

Fed: Rates will remain low until unemployment improves -- If you're thinking about refinancing your home or buying a new car sometime next year, you still have plenty of time to do it. The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it will continue to keep the federal funds rate target near zero ... (See FOMC)

FTC cracks down on mobile apps for kids -- Games and other mobile apps aimed at kids have come under fire for sharing information and allowing in-app charges without adequate disclosure ... (See Kids' mobile apps)

Some credit reports falsely tag consumers as terrorists, drug traffickers -- Credit bureaus are selling lenders special notations on credit reports called OFAC alerts. But some bureaus aren't telling consumers about the alerts -- and aren't allowing them to dispute it ... (See False credit report alerts)

Consumers' credit card refund checks may be in the mail -- From now through early 2013, millions of credit card and debit card users should get refunds -- some in the hundreds of dollars -- due to settlements over the issuers' misdeeds ... (See Consumer refunds)

How to rebuild credit after defaulting on several cards -- She defaulted on several credit cards years ago, and was even sued for payment on one of them. Now she wants a new credit card. Will she qualify? ... (See Card default)

What happens, what to do after a card data breach -- If your card data has been breached, your vulnerability -- and the right self-defense actions -- can vary widely ... (See Coping with a data breach)

Antidepressant use can spur spending sprees -- An unexpected and financially devastating side effect of antidepressants: irrational shopping sprees, gambling jaunts and reckless investments ... (See Antidepressants and spending)

Co-signed loans and your credit history -- A mom co-signed her son's student and car loans. Now that he's employed, she wonders if she can get those loans off her credit reports ... (See Co-signed loans)

Your fiscal cliff: What to do now to prepare for a financial fall -- If we fall off a 'fiscal cliff,' do you know where you would land? Here's what to do now to prepare and soften the impact of expiring tax breaks, spending cuts ... (See Fiscal cliff)

Consumers boost credit card spending, N.Y. Fed report says -- Consumers are more open to using their cards than they have been in the past. But they're relying on the cards they've got, rather than applying for new ones, according to new Federal Reserve data ... (See Consumer credit)

Credit cards and Asperger syndrome -- A 29-year-old with Asperger syndrome and under her mother's guardianship wants more freedoms, including a credit card of her own ... (See Asperger syndrome)

Once you reaffirm an old debt you can be sued -- Debt that has passed the statute of limitations should prevent debt collectors from suing you -- unless you mistakenly reaffirmed that the debt is yours ... (See Re-aging debt)

CFPB begins working with bank alternatives -- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced an initiative to gather information from companies such as Web-based bank alternatives, signaling the expansion of its watchdog role into emerging financial services ... (See Project Catalyst)

'Welcome to the US; show us your papers -- and your cards -- In a move to thwart money laundering and terrorists, proposed U.S. border-crossing rules would include a new intrusion: travelers would have to declare prepaid cards' value ... (See Prepaid cards)

How federal 'Show us your cards' rule would work at the border -- A proposed rule to fight money laundering and terrorists would require people entering the U.S. to disclose their prepaid cards' values. Here's how it would work ... (See Prepaid cards)

Veterans face fiscal cliff -- In addition to the loss of pay, service members coming off active duty as the military shrinks will no longer be eligible for interest rate caps under the Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act ... (See Veterans)

Reduction seen in lawsuits against debt collectors -- For the first time since at least 2004, consumers will bring fewer lawsuits in federal courts this year alleging debt collector abuses ... (See Debt lawsuits)

How to successfully sue a debt collector -- The same law that sets boundaries on collectors' behavior gives you the right to sue them when they ignore the rules. Follow these tips from lawyers to help prove that you were wronged ... (See Debt collection)

Syracuse study: Consumer credit problems easing -- Consumer lawsuits about a grab-bag of credit-related problems are falling this year for the first time since the financial crisis began in 2008, according to a report by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. ... (See Consumer credit)

How does settled debt impact your credit score? -- With four credit cards in collections, she wonders about the impact of paying less than what she owes ... (See Settled credit card debt)

Election results strengthen consumer protection -- Election wins by President Barack Obama and consumer rights firebrand Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts strengthen the hand of the fledgling Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, policy analysts said ... (See 2012 election)

Consumer credit card balances fall in September -- Consumer credit card balances fell in September after surging the previous month, according to new data from the Federal Reserve ... (See G.19)

Is student loan co-signer at risk if bankruptcy looms? -- With shared responsibility for a student loan, a mom worries that when her daughter files for bankruptcy, the mom's credit will be at risk ... (See Student loan co-signer)

FTC takes aim at 'robocall' scams -- The FTC announced a crackdown on robocalling violations amid a surge in complaints about the annoying and sometimes costly practice ... (See Telemarketing robocalls)

5 mistakes people make when disputing credit report errors -- Many people get tripped up by a confusing number of pitfalls that sometimes begin before they even submit their first dispute. Here are five of the most common mistakes made when disputing credit report errors ... (See Credit report disputes)

Fed: Credit cards are slightly easier to get, but consumers remain cautious -- If you've got less than stellar credit, you have a better chance at getting a new card with favorable terms. But if you're like many consumers these days, you may not want one ... (See Fed report on credit)

Disasters bring out charity scams -- Every disaster will bring in its wake tugs at your heartstrings and appeals for your generosity. History says some of them will be bogus; here's how to make sure your good deed reaches the right place ... (See Post-disaster charity scams)

New mobile technology leads to new fraud techniques -- Scammers are always trying to stay a step ahead, so it's no surprise they're finding ways to use QR codes and other forms of mobile malware ... (See New fraud)

Q&A With Daniel J. Smith: What's an honest Nigerian to do? -- Q&A with Daniel J. Smith, whose book 'A Culture of Corruption' describes a country whose best-known export includes millions of scam emails ... (See Nigerian email scams)

Charge-backs: How to win disputes over services you didn't receive -- There are steps to follow when disputing a charge on your credit card, including keeping a paper trail of receipts and promises made by merchants ... (See Credit card charge-backs)

The demographics don't lie: Social Security is slowly going broke -- There are plenty of solutions available, but America's demographics and the law don't lie: Social Security, without changes, will go broke ... (See Social Security)

Does co-signing a mortgage put house at risk for unpaid credit card debt? -- A disabled mom co-signed for her son's home loan, but now she's being sued for credit card debt. Is her son's house in jeopardy? ... (See Co-signer risks)

Fed opts for status quo, leaves rates at record-lows -- If you're still several months away from being able to afford a down payment on a house or replace your aging car, relax. Today's record low rates are unlikely to change until at least 2015, says the Fed ... (See FOMC)

Consumer board (CFPB) begins federal supervision of debt collectors -- Under a final rule issued Wednesday, the federal consumer watchdog will routinely inspect the operations of the 175 biggest debt collectors beginning Jan. 2, 2013 ... (See Debt collectors)

Bankruptcy filings continue to slip in third quarter of 2012 -- Filings are down 14 percent in the first nine months of the year, although experts expect them to resume an upward climb soon ... (See Bankruptcy filings Q3)

Q&A with 'The Fine Print' author David Cay Johnston -- The print may be tiny when it dings you for a few cents or tilts the balance of power toward a big company, but the personal and societal consequences aren't ... (See 'Fine Print')

Financial watchdog is now accepting complaints about credit reports -- The financial watchdog is now accepting complaints related to consumers' credit reports -- and demanding answers from the credit bureaus ... (See Credit report complaints )

Using and signing spouse's credit card is fraud -- An ex-wife is saddled with the credit card debt that caused her divorce, but now her ex wants to sue her for fraud for using his credit cards ... (See Credit card fraud)

Feds soften rules to let stay-at-home parents qualify for credit cards -- A rule intended to keep credit cards out of the hands of irresponsible youths had also prevented stay-at-home parents from getting them ... (See Stay at home moms)

Disputing errors on credit reports: A broken process -- By law, credit bureaus are required to investigate credit report errors -- and fix them. An investigation by CreditCards.com shows the process is broken. It disposes of the consumer's side and automatically rubber-stamps what creditors say ... (See Credit report disputes)

Can't get credit after bankruptcy? 3 reasons -- After you emerge from bankruptcy, getting credit can be tricky if you still have certain debts, aren't earning enough or apply with the wrong bank ... (See Credit after bankruptcy)

4 ways your signature can cause financial trouble -- Chances are your spouse won't bust you for signing your name on a purchase using his card, but it's still illegal. And whatever you do, don't use red ink ... (See Don't sign that!)

Authorized card users don't have to pay up -- If you're an authorized user on your ex's credit card, you're not legally liable to the card issuer, but he could file a lawsuit for repayment ... (See Authorized users)

Spouse isn't immune to bankruptcy's impact -- When one spouse files for bankruptcy, the other spouse could still be on the financial hook ... (See Bankruptcy)

Deceptive gray charges trap consumers into debt -- Small, unwanted charges on credit cards often go unnoticed by consumers. But they can quickly add up ... (See Deceptive charges)

With federal law vague, online gambling advocates try to find wild cards at state level -- For online gambling advocates, the federal landscape has become cloudy, so they're turning to states, hoping to rack up smaller wins there ... (See Online gambling)

Considering bankrutpcy? Steps to take to protect your home -- Whether you keep your home in bankruptcy depends on which type you file, and in which state, so seek legal advice ... (See Protecting home during bankruptcy)

Can an executor use deceased's credit card to pay for expenses? -- A sibling asks whether it is appropriate for the executor of her sister's estate to use her dead sister's credit card to pay the interment costs ... (See Credit card use after death)

Consumer credit card balances rise -- Consumer credit card balances rose in August after falling two months in a row, according to new data from the Federal Reserve ... (See G.19)

Online fan sites of Bieber, Rihanna, others fined $1 million by feds in privacy case -- Young people with Bieber Fever were encouraged to 'grab a parent with a credit card,' join a fan club and improperly share personal information, feds say ... (See Bieber fan site fined)

10 surefire steps to get errors off your credit reports -- If you've already spent months, or even years, trying to scrub errors from your credit reports, it may feel like you have no choice but to live with them. However, don't give up too soon. You can get those errors fixed ... (See Tips for clearing credit errors)

American Express to refund $85 million for marketing, debt collection violations -- Federal regulators have forced American Express to refund $85 million to 250,000 customers over its marketing and collection practices ... (See AmEx refund)

What to do to keep debt from re-aging -- When debt collectors try to revive, or "re-age," old debt, know your rights and keep your wallet -- and your mouth -- shut ... (See Avoiding re-aged debt)

Study: Domestic violence victims also often endure 'coerced debt' -- Victims of domestic violence are often controlled by their abusers, and a new study says destruction of their credit is one method ... (See 'Coerced debt')

Tips: How to protect yourself from financial abuse, coerced debt -- Knowledge is power if you’re a victim of a partner's financial abuse that has led to debt. These tips from experts can help halt or reverse the abuse ... (See Financial abuse)

What qualifies as a 'good' FICO credit score? -- Even if you screwed up big time just once, you can still have a good credit score. And if you fix the mistake, it can be even better ... (See Good credit score)

Chased by zombie debt? 7 steps to take - fast -- Old debt coming back to haunt you? These seven steps may not all kill off 'zombie debt' but they'll sure keep you ahead of it ... (See Zombie debt)

Zombie debt business booms; consumers at risk -- Do you have a debt from years ago that you never paid? If so, beware: that old account could come lurching back to life when you least expect it ... (See Zombie debt)

Discover agrees to pay $214 million to settle payment protection case -- Discover Bank's tentative agreement with federal regulators includes $200 million in refunds to consumers who bought the high-priced add-on plans ... (See Discover settlement)

Telephone scam artists pay up -- Three men are settling charges for selling credit cards that could only be used to purchase items such as "play flutes." ... (more)

CFPB takes over regulation of major credit reporting agencies -- As of Sept. 30, 2012, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau began supervising the biggest credit reporting agencies ... (See CFPB begins overseeing credit bureaus)

Attention boomers: 8 don'ts (surrounded by 2 do's) for retirement planning in your 50s -- Boomers eyeing retirement confront a changed, post-recession landscape and need to deal with some new realities -- and avoid some common mistakes ... (See New retirement do's and don'ts )

'Innocence of Muslims' filmmaker's credit card crime connection -- The reputed creator of the anti-Muslim video that incited mob violence in the Middle East is a convicted credit card con artist and bank fraudster, court records show ... (See 'Innocence' filmmaker's credit card crimes)

Steps to take to stop debt collection robocalls -- There are steps you can take to stop those annoying debt collection agency robocalls from calling you nonstop for days on end ... (See Debt collection robocalls)

Another 401(k) risk: Employer bankruptcy -- It's rare, but the transfer of 401(k) money from liquidating companies doesn't always go smoothly, leaving ex-employees with new fees, tax woes ... (See 401(k)s at bankrupt companies)

Fed pledges low rates through 2015 -- If you've been holding off on buying a new car or refinancing your mortgage, you've still got plenty of time. The Federal Reserve announced Thursday that it will continue to leave the federal funds rate target at rock bottom ... (See FOMC)

Fed report: Consumer credit card balances fall again -- Consumer credit card balances fell for the second straight month in July, according to new data from the Federal Reserve ... (See G.19)

Canadian immigrant finds credit record doesn't cross U.S. border -- Auto traffic may flow smoothly over the U.S.-Canada border, but a new immigrant from the north to America finds credit ratings don't cross the border ... (See Cross-border credit)

Do you have to tell credit card companies a parent in debt has died? -- A daughter doesn't plan to tell her dad's creditors of his death when he passes, and plans on cleaning out his bank accounts without going through probate ... (See Credit card debt and death)

A primer on Libor, the federal funds rate and the US prime rate -- Confused by the difference between Libor and prime? Here's all you need to know about the benchmark interest rates that help set your loans ... (See Interest rates)

What to do when a friendly loan goes unpaid -- Lending money to family and friends is risky, especially if you charge that loan to your credit card. What do you do when the bills go unpaid? ... (See Loans to friends)

Consumers slash card debt, N.Y. Fed report says -- Consumers are still furiously paying down their credit card balances, and are paying them on time, according to data released Wednesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York ... (See Consumer credit)

'Jury duty' phone scam makes the rounds, attorney generals warn -- Scam artists' latest trick, authorities warn, is to say you've missed jury duty and face jail -- unless you give up your credit card information ... (See Credit card scam)

After much scrutiny, banks pull back on credit protection plans -- Credit protection plans, lucrative add-ons for credit card companies but panned by critics for their dubious value, are on their way out, a CreditCards.com survey of major card issuers shows ... (See Credit protection plans pulled)

Debt collectors have to prove the debt is yours -- Not sure that debt is yours? When pursued by collectors, you have the right to ask them to prove that the debt they want paid is truly yours ... (See Debt validation)

American Express, Discover lead J.D. Power credit card satisfaction survey -- It's been four years since a recession-and-regulation racked card industry smacked down its customers. Now, a survey says, satisfaction is creeping back up ... (See Satisfaction)

Apps begin to fill gaps in giving blind access to touch screens -- While America's love affair with touch-screen payment devices continues to leave the blind and visually impaired in the dark, prospects for a hassle-free checkout in the near future are finally looking up. ... (See Apps for the blind)

Sued for debt, harassed by debt collectors -- A single and unemployed mom was sued for debt she owed two years ago. Now she's being harassed by collectors and wonders how to get them to stop ... (See Debt collection)

Supreme Court case could chill debt collection lawsuits -- In a case before the Supreme Court, consumer agencies argue debtors shouldn't have to pay costs of suing debt collectors ... (See Supreme Court debt collection case)

Removing yourself from a spouse's credit cards -- Authorized user or joint account holder? Depending on your status, there are different rules for getting your name off a credit card ... (See Joint credit)

American shoppers emphatically say 'no' to credit card surcharges -- Nearly two in three Americans say they would stop using their credit cards if retailers start tacking on extra fees for paying with plastic, according to a new CreditCards.com poll ... (See Credit card surcharges)

When a debt is 'written off' what does that mean? -- When a debt is 'written off,' that's just an accounting term that means one -- and only one -- creditor has given up on it. You can be sure another will follow ... (See Written-off debt)

5 steps to take to overcome financial trauma -- You hit bottom financially, now what? If you're struggling with fear, guilt or shame, it's time to pull up those bootstraps and move forward ... (See Financial trauma)

Your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act -- It's not always easy to get errors corrected on your credit reports. However, don't give up yet: You have a 1970 law on your side that can help ... (See Fair Credit Reporting Act)

Steps to contest, end wage garnishment - Tanisha Warner -- Even after you have a civil judgment against you and wages are being garnished, you have options to try and limit or end the taking of your wages ... (See Ending wage garnishment)

Steps to take to clear credit reports of fraudulent card account -- Getting an issuer and the credit bureaus to clear your record of a fraudulent account takes time and patience -- as well as a little know-how ... (See Credit bureau dispute)

2012 Olympic parents' financial struggles -- What do Olympic athletes Gabby Douglas, Ryan Lochte and Lolo Jones all have in common? Parents who are struggling financially ... (See 2012 Olympics)

Financing your small business with credit cards: A capital idea? -- In this economy, small business loans are tough to get, so credit cards may be the solution for keeping operations afloat ... (See Small-business funding)

Credit card interest rates remain unchanged: CreditCards.com Weekly Rate Report -- August 8, 2012 -- Credit card interest rates held steady for the second straight week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See Rate Report)

5 credit mistakes expatriates can avoid -- Moving abroad? Don't make these common money and credit mistakes as they will make your return to the U.S. a lot less welcome ... (See Expat credit goofs)

Fed report: Reversing course again, consumer credit card balances fall in June -- Consumer credit card balances tumbled in June, after shooting up the previous month, according to new data from the Federal Reserve ... (See G.19)

Americans slightly hungrier for credit cards, banks dole them out cautiously -- A slightly larger number of U.S. consumers applied for credit this summer, but banks aren't making it much easier for them to borrow ... (See Fed report on credit)

How much income tax do you pay on canceled credit card debt? -- If you settled to pay less than you owe on credit card debt, the IRS will consider the forgiven amount as income, which may impact your taxes ... (See 1099-C)

4 credit card choices for college-bound students -- In addition to a mini fridge and extra-long twin sheets, have you thought about what type of plastic to send with your child to college? ... (See College credit)

Congress probes whether data brokers invade consumers' privacy -- Congress and regulators are taking a look at data brokers and the privacy concerns raised by the huge volumes of consumer data they amass in the shadows ... (See Data brokers)

As expected, Fed keeps rates at rock bottom -- If you have good credit and are ready to buy a new fridge or even a new house, now is a good time to do it. The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it will continue to leave today's record low interest rates near zero ... (See FOMC)

Canadian, US credit scoring systems similar - as are ways consumers can improve scores -- While the details differ, credit scoring systems in the neighboring countries are similar -- and so are the ways to boost a score ... (See US, Canadian credit scoring systems)

Bankruptcy's effect on marriage -- A single woman in Florida, whose house is underwater, is considering bankruptcy. She worries how that will affect her chances at marriage ... (See Bankruptcy and marriage)

Credit card interest rates rise: CreditCards.com Weekly Rate Report -- July 25, 2012 -- Credit card interest rates rose for the first time in nearly two months, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See Rate Report)

Chase agrees to $100 million settlement over minimum payment hike -- The giant credit card issuing bank agreed to pay for its 2009 decision to suddenly boost its "fixed' minimum card payments from 2 percent to 5 percent ... (See Settlement)

Students shedding credit cards as recession, new law sink in -- The nation’s college students finally may be absorbing a lesson that won’t count in class but will improve their life skills: how to responsibly handle credit cards ... (See Students cut cards)

A credit crunch consequence: Bankruptcy filings decreasing -- The tightening of consumer credit during the economic downturn may be paying off: Consumer bankruptcy filings again plunged in the second quarter of 2012 ... (See Bankruptcies fall)

Servicemembers Act 6 percent interest rate not always easy to claim -- The law meant to protect military personnel can reduce interest rates and even refund payments, but there are limits and hoops to jump through ... (See Servicemembers Act)

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau watchdog turns 1 -- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau opened for business July 21, 2011. One year later, the watchdog still has political enemies but has won allies ... (See CFPB turns 1)

Capital One to refund $150 million to credit card customers -- The bank marketed its "add-on" credit protection, credit monitoring products deceptively, say federal agencies in announcing the consumer refunds and fines ... (See Capital One)

Credit card interest rates remain unchanged: CreditCards.com Weekly Rate Report -- Credit card interest rates stayed put for the second straight week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See Rate Report)

Though bad debts fall, lawsuits over collection practices rise -- Consumers are paying credit card bills on time more often and filing fewer bankruptcies, so why are lawsuits over debt collection soaring? ... (See Collection lawsuits)

Different rules apply to last two months of deferred interest payment plans -- An exception written into the Credit CARD Act directs more of a consumer's payments be applied to a deferred plan's balance during its final months ... (See Deferred plan payments)

Huge settlement allows retailers to surcharge for credit card use; will they? -- Multibillion 'swipe fee' case tilts balance of power from card issuers to merchants, but whether consumers will benefit is unclear ... (See Credit card surcharges OK'd)

FICO introduces new, less traditional credit score -- Some consumers may hail Tuesday's release of the new FICO mortgage core powered by CoreLogic as a blessing. Others may see it as an unwanted invasion into their privacy that could make it even harder for them to secure a home loan ... (See Mortgage score)

Credit card interest rates stay flat: CreditCards.com Weekly Rate Report -- Credit card interest rates remained untouched this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See Rate Report)

A minute detail: The time of day your credit card bill is due can vary -- Legal changes prevented issuers from playing games with credit card due dates. But the time of day can vary -- and minutes matter to those with online, just-in-time payment habits ... (See Credit card bills)

Fed report: Consumer credit card debt reverses course, rockets up in May -- Consumer credit card balances rose in May after tumbling the previous month, according to new data from the Federal Reserve ... (See G.19)

The high cost of rehab: expensive, but attainable -- Not every recovering addict can afford a swank rehab clinic, but everyone who needs help with substance abuse can find an affordable solution ... (See Rehab costs)

Is inheritance threatened by bankruptcy filing? -- Courts don't like people filing for bankruptcy shortly before they get an inheritance, so there are rules about when those funds are truly yours ... (See Inheritance at risk)

Credit card interest rates fall: CreditCards.com Weekly Rate Report -- Credit card interest rates dipped this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See Rate report)

Drug-related debt: A debilitating descent into financial ruin -- Substance abuse results in more than health and relationship wreckage: Financial disaster often follows, leading to financial ruin ... (See Debt and substance abuse)

If layoff looms, don't touch your 401(k) plan money: Gary Foreman -- With your head on the chopping block at work, that retirement nest egg may tempt you now, but so much can go wrong and you're sure to regret it later ... (See Nest egg)

Indicted online poker kingpin returns to US to face beefed-up charges -- Arrested in N.Y., Full Tilt Poker CEO Raymond Bitar is accused in a new federal indictment of miltimillion-dollar credit card-based Ponzi scheme ... (See Online gambling CEO arrested)

8 ways to keep your cards safe during vacation travels -- Travel season is theft season, so here are eight ways to safeguard your cards from Australian spielers, German langfingers, Brazilian ladrãos or not-so-good ol' American crooks ... (See Keeping cards safe)

IRS to tax-exempt hospitals: Go easier on medical debt collection -- Low-income Americans who fall behind on their medical bills will be spared the worst debt collection tactics under new IRS rules that grew out of the health care law ... (See Affordable Care Act)

Credit card issuers vary wildly on how they verify income, cardholders' ability to pay -- Some banks ask a lot, some very little in enforcing the Fed's 2011 rule requiring card applicants show an ability to repay what they borrow, CreditCards.com research shows ... (See Ability to pay)

CreditCards.com Weekly Rate Report, June 27, 2012: Credit card interest rates stay put -- Credit card interest rates held steady for the third consecutive week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See Rate report)

True debt collection horror tales -- Even a polite call from a debt collector can ruin your day, but what would you do if he threatened bodily harm and started to stalk you on Facebook? ... (See Debt collector horror tales)

Erica Sandberg: Does rehabilitating a student loan require a fee? -- If your federal student loan is in collections and you want to start paying again, beware of collectors who want to charge you an upfront fee ... (See Rehabbing student loans)

Erica Sandberg: Student loan default squeezes broke mom -- His mom co-signed on his student loan, which went into default and she's now destitute. Our expert sternly outlines what he has to do to fix things ... (See Student loan default)

Fed votes again to keep borrowing costs down -- Today's record-low interest rates aren't going anywhere any time soon. The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it's unlikely to raise interest rates until at least 2014 ... (See FOMC)

Federal agency opens credit card complaint database to public -- The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is opening credit card complaints to public scrutiny for the first time. As of June 19, anyone with a Web browser can search the database to sift through cardholder complaints ... (See Credit card complaints)

Tanisha Warner: Should a judgment-proof debtor pay card debt anyway? -- An elderly couple with few assets but a Social Security and a military pension probably are untouchable by credit card collectors and the courts ... (See Judgment-proof debtors)

Financial education program for military families launched -- Citi and a leading nonprofit credit counseling and education agency team up with veterans' service organizations to help solve financial issues for military families ... (See Financial education)

Sally Herigstad: How to fix surprise credit report errors -- You're ready to buy a home, pull your credit reports and find mysterious negative items on them, hurting your chances for the best interest rates. What do you do? ... (See Fix credit report errors)

7 smart money moves to make before you marry -- Getting married is exciting -- but with money as the source of so much marital discord, consider these 7 smart money moves before you say "I do" ... (See Premarital money moves)

Federal officials challenge payday lending from tribal sovereign entities -- Native American tribes have long had rights of sovereign immunity -- but are those rights being abused in the case of payday loans and extreme interest rates? ... (See Tribal-based payday lenders)

CreditCards.com Weekly Rate Report, June 13, 2012: Credit card interest rates don't budge -- Interest rates on new credit card offers stayed put this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See Rate report)

'The Lost Bank' - How WaMu became largest bank failure in US history -- 'The Lost Bank' author Kirsten Grind watched Washington Mutual, go from regional bank famed for friendliness to spectacular failure ... (See "The Lost Bank")

Fed survey: Recession shrank card debt, but crushed household wealth -- Card debt dropped after the recession, according a Federal Reserve survey of consumer finances, but net wealth plummeted ... (See Finances)

Sally Herigstad: Protect against credit card debt liability when serving as power of attorney -- Her brother stole her elderly mom's credit cards, so she now has power of attorney and canceled the cards. But will doing so damage her credit in any way? ... (See Elderly credit card debt)

CreditCards.com Weekly Rate Report, June 6, 2012: Credit card interest rates down slightly -- Credit card interest rates dipped slightly this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See Rate report)

Why open credit card complaints to public scrutiny? -- The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is considering plans to make credit card complaints available for public scrutiny. Banks want to limit access because complaints are a skewed picture of how they operate. Consumer groups want open access. ... (See CFPB)

Tanisha Warner: Old, old debt brings new collection effort: Legal? -- Federal, state laws limit collectors in chasing you over a car loan debt more than a decade old ... (See Old debt, new collection)

Hush their mouths! Use credit card privacy statements to opt out of sharing personal information -- This one's not junk mail, so open and act on your annual credit card privacy statement. With it, you can (partially) control how your personal information is shared ... (See Credit card privacy statements)

Sally Herigstad: Protecting funds from garnishment when disabled -- Being sued for uncollectable credit card debt when you are disabled seems cruel, but you still need to take the steps to defend yourself ... (See Disabled, in debt)

Consumers are cooling on credit, N.Y. Fed Report says -- Fewer consumers applied for credit in the first quarter of 2012, according to new data from the Federal Reserve, while many remained shy about piling on debt ... (See Consumer credit)

Use caution when making political donations, especially with credit cards -- It’s easier than ever to give to a candidate or cause by credit card, but be wary: Candidates aren't always security savvy, and crooks abound who aren't honest as Abe ... (See Credit card political donations)

Erica Sandberg: Don't co-sign a loan while in bankruptcy -- If you filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the last thing you should consider is co-signing a car loan for anyone, including your partner ... (See Co-signing loans after bankruptcy)

7 tips for dealing with college debt -- Now that you have your degree, put those smarts to use to figure out how to get out from under your huge student loan debt ... (See 7 tips to pay off college debt)

Q&A with Holly McCall, champion of the stay-at-home parent -- Turned down for a Target card because issuers cannot consider household income anymore, McCall got so mad she's campaigning for change ... (See Holly McCall)

Prepaid cards set to get federal consumer protections -- The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking public comments on beefing up consumer protections in the prepaid card industry ... (See Prepaid cards)

Winners and losers 3 years after Credit CARD Act -- Three years after President Obama signed the Credit CARD Act of 2009, consumers are better off, there are fewer complaints and huge interest rate hikes haven't come to pass ... (See CARD Act 3rd anniversary)

Tanisha Warner: Fight back against husband who opens credit cards in wife's name -- He signed her name to credit card applications and had the bills sent to a secret address; now he needs to surrender control of the accounts -- or else! ... (See Secret credit cards)

Erica Sandberg: 2 ways to start building a credit history -- You want your first credit card, but no bank will give you one without an established credit history. How do you go about proving you're a good credit risk? ... (See First credit card)

The latest privacy invasion: retailer tracking -- Credit and debit card purchases leave a surprisingly detailed purchase trail. What can you do to protect your privacy? ... (See Consumer privacy)

Child identity theft rising quickly, report says -- According to an identity protection company based in Austin, child identity theft is on the rise and moving fast. Very fast. ... (See Identity theft)

Government seizes websites selling stolen credit card info -- The federal government slammed the virtual doors on 36 websites participating in illegal behavior in April. Their crime? Selling and distributing stolen credit card numbers. ... (See Credit card fraud)

Tips to avoid problems with prepaid calling cards -- The Federal Communication Commission and Consumer Reports offer tips to prepaid calling card purchasers before they buy, plus where to turn if something goes wrong ... (more)

FCC: Prepaid calling cards remain 'a trap' -- PINs that don't work, murky fees, short fuse expiration dates and higher-than-advertised rates are among the prepaid calling cards' continuing flaws, says the federal agency ... (See Prepaid calling cards)

6 reasons to avoid payday loans -- With all the bad press payday loans get, you'd think people would steer clear of them. But the lure of fast cash keeps them coming ... (See Payday loans)

Consumer credit card balances shoot up -- Consumers' card balances surged in March, breaking a two-month streak of declines and helping boost overall consumer credit card balances by 10.2 percent -- the single biggest increase in more than a decade ... (See Consumer credit)

Survey: Costs of prepaid cards vary widely -- As more consumers turn to prepaid cards for budgeting and flexibility, our 2012 survey reveals that fees for these cards vary greatly ... (See 2012 prepaid card survey)

Is your doctor checking your credit report? -- A growing number of health care providers, including hospitals, surgeons, dentists' offices and fertility clinics, are checking patients' credit. And some consumer advocates are crying foul ... (See Medical credit checks)

Federal regulators scrutinize banks' 'advance direct deposit' loans -- Though banks tout them as superior to payday loans, their short-term lending alternative is drawing fire from consumer advocates and scrutiny from regulators ... (See Direct deposit advances)

CreditCards.com poll: About 6 million in US hid bank accounts from spouse, partner -- Call it financial infidelity: A CreditCards.com poll found that about 7 percent of people are hiding a credit card, checking or savings account from their partners ... (See Financial infidelity)

Study: Despite new law, credit cards finding their way to students -- A 2009 law aimed at curtailing access of students under 21 to credit cards hasn't worked, a study says, as card issuers found ways around the restrictions ... (See Student credit)

Federal watchdog gives consumers a chance to speak on arbitration -- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is giving consumers and banking industry representatives a chance to speak their minds about the long-disputed matter of arbitration ... (See Credit card arbitration)

Fed says no to raising interest rates -- The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it would continue to leave today's record-low interest rates unchanged ... (See Fed interest rates)

Tanisha Warner: Collectors calling for a 12-year-old debt? Know and assert your rights -- A collector calling on a 12-year-old debt needs to prove you really owe it, and be told it's too old to be legally collectible. Just don't ignore it ... (See 12-year-old debt)

Sally Herigstad: How to help elderly mom get out of credit card debt -- When fixed income seniors are faced with insurmountable credit card debt, what can family members do to help? ... (See The elderly and credit card debt)

'Forgiveness ratings' finds credit card issuers unforgivable -- If something goes wrong, Americans are willing to forgive their grocers and auto dealers. Their credit card issuers? Nah. The credit card industry is dead last in a new 'forgiveness' survey ... (See Card issuers unforgivable)

State by state bankruptcy statistics, 2005-2012 -- Bankruptcy filings for the third quarter of 2012 show the number of filers continuing to decline, after a long series of increases that followed the 2005 bankruptcy law reform ... (See State bankruptcy statistics)

Tennessee surpasses Nevada to claim sad crown: State where bankruptcies are most likely -- Bankruptcy filings continued their decline nationally in the first quarter of 2012, nowhere more sharply than the Silver State ... (See Bankruptcy filings)

The truth about 7 common credit report myths -- Credit bureau experts detail the most common misconceptions consumers have about their credit reports and clarify them ... (See Credit report myths)

Fed watchdog backs down, OKs credit card fee before you even get the card -- Reversing position, the agency will allow application and administrative fees to be charged before accounts are opened and with no limit on the amount ... (See Credit card fees)

States, feds target debt settlement legal firms over upfront fees -- When the Federal Trade Commission banned upfront fees for debt settlement firms, a funny thing happened: More law firms suddenly began offering debt settlement services -- and charging upfront fees ... (See Debt settlement legal firms)

Erica Sandberg: Issuer increases your interest rate, do you cancel credit card? -- When a card issuer notifies you of a interest rate change, you have several options, including canceling the card. But is that the best choice? ... (See Canceling a credit card)

Convenience fees: When is it OK to charge extra to use a credit card? -- Paying with a credit card often yields rewards. But in certain situations those benefits come at a cost, not just through interest, but in the form of convenience fees ... (See Convenience fees)

American Express, others yank retail gift cards from New Jersey -- A fight has erupted in New Jersey over who should be able to hold onto unclaimed gift card money, and American Express and other companies say they're pulling their cards from distribution in the state as a result. ... (See Unclaimed gift card money)

Sally Herigstad: Defaulted car lease can lead to wage garnishment? -- If you stop paying your car lease, expect to be sued for the balance, and if you don't pay up, wage garnishment might be next ... (See Wage garnishment)

Survey: We'll put refunds into savings, pay off debt, or buy electronics -- A survey says most of us will dutifully save this year's refunds or pay off debts, but another big chunk of us will head to the mall to satisfy our cravings for electronics ... (See Tax refunds)

Renting a car? Beware of phantom toll fee charges -- When renting a car, be aware that if you hit a boothless toll road, mysterious and expensive charges might be added to your final bill ... (See Toll booth charges)

How business cards can impact your bottom line; compare to find the best -- Business credit cards nearly disappeared during the recession, but have come back -- but without the safeguards consumer cards offer ... (See Compare business credit cards)

Sally Herigstad: Old, unpaid debts can resurface at any time -- You can change your name and move to another state, but old, unpaid debts have a sneaky way of finding you and ruining your credit ... (See Old credit card debt)

5 reasons you don't really want to win all that lottery money -- While it's fun to daydream about it, winning a lottery fortune comes with risks, responsibilities and a flood of moochers, fakers and false friends ... (See Winning the lottery)

Survey: Fear keeps consumers from making mobile payments -- Despite the rise of mobile payment technology, a March 2012 Federal Reserve study says consumers remain skeptical about the safety of mobile payment transactions ... (See Mobile payment security)

Erica Sandberg: How to move student loans out of default -- Hollywood is missing out on a blockbuster horror movie: Student loans gone bad. Getting defaulted student loans back on track can drive you mad ... (See Student loans)

FTC privacy report backs a 'Do Not Track' Web option, better credit data access -- In backing a 'Do Not Track' option online, the agency also says high-tech data mining companies must abide by the Fair Credit Reporting Act ... (See FTC privacy report)

Tax ID theft skyrockets; thieves feasting on a refund bonanza -- Filing false tax returns with stolen Social Security numbers to obtain refunds is booming. If you're not wary, they'll end up with a refund debit card meant for you ... (See Tax ID theft)

9 tips for protecting your tax return from identity thieves -- Fraudulently filing a tax return to get a refund has become a popular crime. You may not be able to thwart a determined thief, but these tips will tilt the odds in your favor ... (See Tax return tips)

Sally Herigstad: Reduced payment plans not offered by all credit card issuers -- Need help getting your credit card payments reduced for a while? Be prepared to get different answers from your card issuers ... (See Reduced credit card payment plans)

7 times when it's OK to check someone's credit report -- Is it ever OK to pull someone else's credit file? It depends. If you suspect elderly or minor fraud or even infidelity, you can if you obey the rules ... (See Checking credit reports)

Erica Sandberg: Will banks lend again after your bankruptcy? -- A series of unfortunate events can suddenly lead to bankruptcy, but is the hit to your credit one that marks you for life? ... (See Getting a loan after bankruptcy)

Q&A with FTC's scam-spotting enforcer, Lois Greisman -- Some of the scams she focuses on target those down on their luck, and the technique is no more high-tech than a knock on the door ... (See Bottom dollar scams)

Student ID/debit card combos bring high fees, controversy to college campuses -- Thought marketing plastic on campus was a thing of the past? Not so fast. Two years after the Credit CARD Act went into effect, banks are still on campus but are luring new customers with college ID cards that double as debit cards ... (See Student IDs and debit cards)

Erica Sandberg: What to do when a family member uses your credit card without your permission -- When family members help themselves to your credit cards without your knowledge, you have every right to report that as a theft to the police ... (See Family credit card theft)

Sending remittances: more options, more protection -- Thanks to a new regulation taking effect in 2013, those who need to send remittances abroad will have more protections and more fee transparency ... (See Remittances)

Economy brightens, but not enough for Federal Reserve to raise rates -- A good jobs report isn't enough to make the Fed's rate-setting committee veer from its low-rate course ... (See FOMC)

How to prevent ID theft after death -- Identity thieves respect no one -- not even the recently deceased. In fact, a person's identity may be more susceptible to theft in the months following death than when they were living ... (See ID theft after death)

Public schools get mixed grades on financial literacy -- Efforts to get schools to teach financial literacy to children are stalling, and there is debate about whether such education even works ... (See Financial education)

Erica Sandberg: Can you sue an authorized user for nonpayment? -- Protect yourself from authorized users on your credit card charging up a storm on your card and then leaving you with a huge unpaid balance ... (See Authorized users)

Tanisha Warner: How to remove an authorized user from a credit card account -- If you've made a mistake with your credit card and screwed up your own credit, authorized users on that card shouldn't have to take a credit hit, too -- assuming you take action ... (See Authorized users)

Financial watchdog begins accepting banking-related complaints -- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launches a website and toll-free number for consumers to file complaints about banking-related financial services, including debit card and ATM problems ... (See Debit, checking complaints)

Pros and cons of paying taxes with a credit card -- A multitude of IRS tax payment options exist, including using plastic. Before you boost your balance to pay your taxes, know exactly what to watch out for ... (See Paying taxes with credit cards)

FTC: ID theft, debt collection top consumer complaint list in 2011 -- Credit cards and debt issues are tied in with many of the most-griped-about categories, but complaints about credit cards themselves fell in rank ... (See FTC consumer complaints)

Poll: 2 out of 3 would stop using their card if iRS starts taxing rewards points -- A CreditCards.com poll shows consumers really hate the idea of having their rewards points taxed -- a possibility card and tax experts are starting to debate ... (See Taxing miles, points)

Consumers hungry for new credit cards, N.Y. Fed report says -- Consumers are hungry for new credit and are running up more card debt, according to new data from the Federal Reserve. But they're still paying down other types of debt, such as home and auto loans ... (See Credit card debt)

Tanisha Warner: Can a never-activated card still hurt your credit? -- If you get buyer's remorse after applying for a new credit card, don't panic. Canceling the card before you activate may impact your credit, but not much and not for long ... (See Cancel a card)

Sally Herigstad: Laid off, but still liable for ex-employer's card debt -- An employee opened an AmEx business card in her name for her company, got laid off, and is now being held liable for the debt ... (See Small business debt)

How credit cards can help -- or hurt -- you at tax time -- Are credit card rewards taxable? When should and shouldn't you put taxes on a card? Our tax package answers these questions and more ... (See Credit cards and taxes)

CreditCards.com Weekly Rate Report, Feb. 22, 2012: Credit card rates' holding pattern continues -- The average interest rate on a new credit card offer remained unchanged at 14.91 percent, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See Rate report)

More issuers offer credit cards with no foreign transaction fee -- Competing for well-heeled travelers, several credit card issuers have reduced or even dropped foreign transaction fees ... (See Foreign transaction fees )

Sally Herigstad: Don't restart the clock on expired debts -- If a collector attempts to contact you on a debt that has passed the statute of limitations, don't ignore him, but also don't reaffirm the debt ... (See Time-barred debt)

Watchdog agency proposes rules to supervise debt collectors, credit bureaus -- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Thursday announced the first-ever plans to oversee the nation's largest debt collectors and credit reporting bureaus ... (See CFPB oversees credit bureaus, debt collectors)

Why mortgage rates are so low while credit card rates are so high -- Mortgage rates are near all-time lows while credit card rates are near all-time highs, and the gap between the two is wider than ever. What gives? ... (See Interest rates)

Canceled debt tax notices riddled with problems, advocate says -- The rules under which creditors report forgiven debts as income are so confusing and problem-prone that taxpayers are both burdened and frustrated ... (See Canceled debt tax notices)

Many people fail to claim exemption from canceled credit card debt income -- Frustrated by the complexity of the form and frustrated by debt, many people do not take advantage of their right to to cut taxes on forgiven debt ... (See Canceled debt 1099-C)

Sally Herigstad: Ex racks up $40,000 on joint credit cards -- After finally becoming debt-free, an ex-wife is dismayed to find her ex has racked up card debt on two old credit cards in her name ... (See Divorce and credit card debt)

Late on your credit card bill? Your auto could be seized -- Credit unions are especially fond of a clause that lets an financial institution seize cars or deposits if loans at the same institution go bad ... (See Cross-collaterization)

Erica Sandberg: You can pay someone else's debt and not be liable for it -- A daughter elects to help her dad with his collection payments, but he wonders if she will then be held responsible for the debt ... (See Paying someone else's debt)

Refund anticipation loans coming to an end -- After years of soaking consumers with high fees for tax refund anticipation loans, tax preparers are finally closing them down ... (See RALs)

Tanisha Warner: Failing to pay the minimum can get you sued -- It's a common question: Can credit card companies sue you if you pay, but don't pay enough. Unfortunately, if you have to ask, you probably won't like the answer ... (See Minimum payment failure)

Debit card fraud can leave you in the lurch -- While consumer protections exist in case your debit card's been hijacked, you can still end up on the hook for fraudulent purchases ... (See Debit card fraud)

Sally Herigstad: Can bankruptcy tap surprise inheritance? -- Having filed for Chapter 13, a woman discovers a surprise inheritance and worries whether she has to turn over the funds to her trustee ... (See Inheritance and bankruptcy)

6 budget-blowing international travel mistakes to avoid -- With a little pretrip planning, you can prevent hundreds of unnecessary dollars from being added to the final cost of your trip abroad ... (See International travel money mistakes)

CreditCards.com Weekly Rate Report, Feb. 1, 2012: Credit card rates hit lowest levels in 5 months -- Interest rates on new credit card fell to their lowest levels since August 2011 this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See Rate report)

Erica Sandberg: Dad racks up charges on son's credit card -- A father fraudulently opened a credit card in his son's name and charged $5,000. Now he can't pay more than the minimum. What are his son's options? ... (See Credit card fraud)

Reward point 'gifts' are taxable, says the IRS -- As sign-up bonuses for bank accounts and rewards cards have become more generous, someone new took interest -- Uncle Sam. Those sign-up bonus points are taxable, he says ... (See Card rewards taxable)

CreditCards.com Weekly Rate Report, Jan. 25, 2012: Credit card APRs unchanged for 2nd straight week -- Interest rates on new credit card offers held steady for the second straight week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See Rate report)

Erica Sandberg: What happens when you're sued for a credit card debt -- If a court summons over an unpaid debt arrives, the worst thing you can do is ignore it because if you don't show up, they'll win by default ... (See Sued over credit card debt)

Infographic: Bankers predict more credit cards, more delinquencies -- The next six months will likely see more people becoming delinquent with their credit -- and seeking more credit at the same time, according to a January 2012 survey by the Professional Risk Managers' International Association ... (See Bank predictions)

Tanisha Warner: Discharging student loan in bankruptcy requires major hardship -- Want to declare bankruptcy and wash your hands of that troublesome student loan? Our expert says that it's not that easy ... (See Bankruptcy and student loans)

Sally Herigstad: Do you marry someone who has big debt? -- He may be Prince Charming, but marrying someone who is carrying a lot of debt can put a serious crimp in your ability to plan for the future ... (See Marriage and debt)

Meet fee-fighting vigilante Molly Katchpole -- If it weren't for Molly Katchpole, we might all be paying a fee for using our debit cards. She's the force behind the petition that helped kill Bank of America's debit card fee and, most recently, the Verizon payment fee ... (See Molly Katchpole)

Erica Sandberg: How settled card accounts impact your credit report -- Settling a delinquent account for less than you owe may be good for your wallet, but it's not so good for your credit reports and score ... (See Settled accounts, credit reports)

Tanisha Warner: Be wary of closing credit cards when applying for mortgage -- Considering closing some credit cards? Our expert says you better think twice about it if you're planning to get a mortgage loan soon ... (See Mortgages and closing credit cards)

Sally Herigstad: Dealing with unethical debt collectors -- If a collector threatens to throw you in jail over an unpaid debt, it's time to read him your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ... (See Fair Debt Collections Practices Act)

Survey of top credit card issuers' minimum payment policies -- A survey of the minimum payment requirements of top credit card issuers shows they're keeping their low-payment, lengthy-debt policies ... (See Minimum payment policies)

Erica Sandberg: Mom's on hook for daughter's card debt -- A daughter uses bankruptcy to delete debt only to discover her mom is responsible for $24,000 on a credit card she co-signed more than 20 years ago ... (See Co-signers and card debt)

Supreme Court backs credit card binding arbitration -- The court's 8-1 ruling is a setback for consumer groups, who see arbitration as a contract clause that gives card issuers an unfair edge in disputes ... (See Credit card binding arbitration)

Don't play around with card phone scams -- When a telephone caller promises a lower credit card rate, but needs your card number for confirmation, hung up fast ... (See Phone scam)

Consumer watchdog begins supervising nonbanks -- A day after his appointment as the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray launches closer federal scrutiny of nonbank financial services companies, such as payday lenders, debt collectors and credit bureaus. ... (See CFPB)

Obama uses controversial recess appointment, names Ricahrd Cordray to head consumer financial watchdog -- President Obama appoints former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The recess appointment thwarts -- for now -- efforts by Republican senators to block the nomination ... (See CFPB recess appointment)

Erica Sandberg: Who do you pay when a debt goes into collection? -- When an unpaid debt is charged off and sold to a collector, who do try to negotiate a settlement with: the original creditor or the collector? ... (See Debt collection)

CreditCards.com survey: Penalty rates creep higher, but become rarer -- In the wake of the Credit CARD Act's restrictions, many card issuers no longer bother with penalty rates. But CreditCards.com research finds for those that retain them, the rate is even higher ... (See Penalty rates)

Tanisha Warner:Take these steps when a minor's identity is stolen -- If your identity was stolen when you were a minor, clearing your name won't be easy, but it can be done. Here's how ... (See Minor ID theft)

How to handle money when married, but living apart -- When a couple decides to live in different states, what is the best way for them to handle previously conjoined financial matters? ... (See Money and separation)

Annulment vs. divorce: How it impacts finances -- The Kardashian-Humphries impending annulment raises the question of how assets and debts are handled in this atypical marriage dissolution agreement ... (See Annulments and debt)

Can your social network protect against fraud? -- Social network authentication -- it's the latest tool banks and merchants will be using to verify that you are who you really are before they hand over the goods ... (See Social network authentication)

Sally Herigstad: Will bankruptcy stop wage garnishment? -- Before you even think of filing bankruptcy, make sure you've explored all the wage garnishment exclusions that you may qualify for ... (See Wage garnishment)

Helping military families avoid financial troubles -- Experts offer advice to troops on guarding their IDs, avoiding scams ... (See Military money)

5 holiday scams to watch out for this season -- You may be filled with a joyous spirit, but don't let your guard down. This is the high season for scammers, too ... (See Holiday scams)

Don't toss out that expired Groupon -- Deals from Groupon and other daily deals sites aren’t so great when they expire before you can use them. Luckily, there’s some good news for procrastinators: Just because your Groupon expired doesn’t mean you lose all your money on it ... (See Expired Groupon)

Sally Herigstad: When does a debt get too old to collect? -- Hoping that your debt will get too old to be collectible is a risky proposition, not to mention a bit unethical ... (See Statutes of limitations on card debt)

6 things to know about virtual credit card numbers -- Also called 'temporary' or 'disposable,' these one-time-use card numbers can help keep your 'real' card safe ... (See Disposable credit card numbers)

Federal Reserve's rate-hike holiday continues -- The Federal Reserve's three-year holiday from changing interest rates continued on Tuesday, meaning that most Americans won't have to worry about a sudden credit card rate hike putting a crimp in their shopping plans ... (See Federal Reserve)

'Continuity billing' scams cause continuous credit card pain -- It's an increasingly common credit card scam: You agree to one small purchase and then get billed over and over ... (See Continuity billing scams)

Sally Herigstad: Steps to recover from financial infidelity -- Giving one spouse full financial control can open the door to fraud -- and you won't know about it until the damage is done ... (See Financial fraud)

Financial watchdog unveils prototype of simpler credit card agreement -- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is taking steps to make those confusing credit card agreements easier to read and understand. The agency released a prototype of a simpler agreement and is seeking public input on its design ... (See Credit card model agreement)

Review asked of rule that hurts access to credit of stay-at-home moms -- A rare, bipartisan congressional group has challenged the fairness of an 'independent income' test for those who apply for credit cards ... (more)

CreditCards.com Weekly Rate Report, Dec. 7, 2011: Credit card interest rates dip for 1st time in a month -- Interest rates on new credit card offers dipped slightly this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See Rate report)

Consumer credit card debt grows in October -- Consumer credit card balances edged higher in October, defying experts' expectations, according to new data from the Federal Reserve. ... (See Consumer credit)

Secrets of professional pickpocket Bob Arno -- Time magazine called Bob Arno the world's foremost expert on pickpocketing. Arno shares some secrets on how best to protect your wallet this holiday season ... (See Bob Arno)

Infographic: ID theft reports jump 33 percent in 5 years -- Identity theft reports jumped by a third (33 percent) in five years, according to a report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Most of that growth comes from the misuse or attempted misuse of an existing credit card account. ... (See ID theft)

Q&A: Skip Humphrey takes role as federal financial watchdog for elderly -- The eldest son of the former vice president sees credit card debt among the elderly as one of the issues he'll tackle in his new job with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ... (See Skip Humphrey Q&A)

Sally Herigstad: Divorce, debt and community property states -- Dividing up assets and debt in divorce is complicated enough, but even more so when you've lived in states with different property laws ... (See Community property laws)

Hackers claim to steal credit card data to give to poor in Operation Robin Hood -- Two big hacking groups say they've teamed to steal credit card data to make charitable donations and support the '99 percent' popularized by the Occupy Wall Street movement ... (See Credit card fraud)

Financial watchdog logs 5,000 credit card complaints in first 3 months -- In its first report about a new consumer complaint system, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says it received more than 5,000 complaints about credit cards during the first three months of operation and the majority of them were resolved. ... (See CFPB complaints)

8 tips to keep your cards safe while shopping online -- There are a few Webby tricks to learn, but the basic ideas for shopping online safely are the same as at the mall: Keep your wallet safe, don't talk to strangers and stick to places you know and trust ... (See Online shopping safety tips)

Bankrupt American Airlines says your frequent flier miles are safe -- In a move to retain its most loyal customers, American assures customers their AAdvantage rewards miles are 'yours and will remain yours' as the airline goes through Chapter 11 bankruptcy ... (See American frequent flier miles)

Debit vs. credit card: The battle is on for your wallet -- Pay with a debit card and retailers are happy because it has the least costly card processing fees. Bankers, on the other hand, may be hoping you choose a credit card to pay for your next purchase because they maximize profit potential for card issuers. ... (See Debit or credit?)

Credit Card Help: Why your credit report matters more than your credit score -- Focusing only your credit score is like focusing only on your cholesterol number or your age – the number’s important, but not as important as how you got there. That’s why the real key to credit is your credit report ... (See Credit reports versus scores)

Sally Herigstad: Can wages be garnished before court date? -- If you've been served for past-due debt, don't wait until the official court hearing to respond or you may find your wages garnished before you're prepared ... (See Wage garnishment)

Erica Sandberg: Can I go back to college if student loans are in default? -- Unpaid student loans can haunt you for the rest of your life, but shouldn't keep you from pursuing your dreams of finishing college ... (See Unpaid student loans)

Kim McGrigg: Canceling a credit card is OK -- if done wisely -- When your credit improves, it can be tempting to dump your old, bad-credit credit cards in favor of newer cards. But, our expert says, drop too many cards and your credit could pay the price again ... (See Cancel a card)

Sally Herigstad: Who pays secret debt in divorce? -- When a spouse living in a community property state has secret debt that comes to light during a divorce, just who has to pay for it? ... (See Secret debt in divorce)

Tales of credit card crooks' quirky charges -- Some credit card crooks rack up the most unusual charges on stolen cards -- often leaving themselves wide open for being busted ... (See Credit card crooks)

Debtors to collectors: Show proof the debt is really owed -- With legislation and regulation aimed at leveling the playing field, a growing number of states are requiring collectors to prove a debt is really owed ... (See Debt collection rules)

Kim McGrigg: Want to cancel your card? Bank must comply -- Whether you've just applied for a preapproved credit card or you've had the card for 20 years, you can cancel the card whenever you want ... (See Cancel a card)

Sally Herigstad: Tying up card debt when death's near -- A reader with cancer has only a few months to live and worries that the balance on her unpaid card debt will fall to her husband ... (See Credit card debt and death)

8 ways to protect against ATM skimming -- Thieves have discovered that taking money from a bank doesn’t have to involve a risky life-or-death bank robbery -- not when ATMs (and innocent victims) abound. ... (See ATM skimming)

Erica Sandberg: Make sure your payments make a dent in your debt -- Debt payments that don't seem to diminish your total debt can get frustrating. You have three options: pay more, seek help or bail ... (See Debt repayment tips)

Card suspended? Why your credit's been curbed -- Card been declined? Before panicking, know why your card might be in time out, how to bring it back and how it affects your credit ... (See Credit card suspension)

Fed: Consumer credit demand up, even as debt falls -- Consumers may have increased access to credit cards, but they nevertheless continue to cut debt levels, a pair of new Federal Reserve reports show ... (See Consumer credit)

Bust a cheater by checking his (or her) card activity -- Sooner or later, most cheaters get caught, but not all are tripped by lipstick stains on collars, but their fishy charging and spending habits ... (See Credit cards and infidelity)

Sally Herigstad: When bankruptcy makes sense -- With a sick spouse, $20,000 in credit card debt and a small salary, a woman wonders just how she is going to make ends meet.You probably can't, says Sally ... (See When bankruptcy makes sense)

Downbeat Federal Reserve leaves rates alone -- The Federal Reserve kept interest rates as-is on Wednesday, as the central bank weighed other options for stimulating a weak U.S. economy ... (See Fed rates)

Erica Sandberg: How low can an authorized user go? -- What's wrong with this picture when a reader asks if an authorized user on a credit card wants to open other accounts in the primary card holder's name? ... (See Authorized users)

Bowing to pressure, BofA drops controversial debit card use fee -- After weeks of negative publicity and customer anger, Bank of America announced Tuesday it will drop plans for a controversial fee for using debit cards ... (See Debit card fees)

7 reasons why your next cellphone should have an NFC chip -- After years of promises, contactless mobile phone payment technology is finally here. Here’s why you might want it for your next -- or current -- smartphone ... (See Contactless payments)

Great American financial failures: From Jefferson to Disney -- It’s easy to scoff at millionaire celebrities who declare bankruptcy, but overextended credit is a time-honored American tradition. Some of our greatest heroes have fallen victim to bad investments and living beyond their means. ... (See Great American financial failures)

Sally Herigstad: What benefits are exempt from garnishment? -- An unemployed Oregonian worries that her unemployment and Social Security will be garnished for unpaid credit card bills ... (See Wage garnishment)

TransUnion asked to stop selling credit reports to employers -- A coalition of consumer advocacy groups has called on credit bureau TransUnion to end the sale of credit reports to employers. ... (See Credit scores and employment)

6 things to know about reloadable prepaid cards -- They're different from either traditional credit or or debit cards, so it pays to know how they work ... (See Reloadable prepaid cards)

Gift card survey 2011: E-gift cards take center stage -- Though the economy may be struggling, a CreditCards.com/Bankrate.com survey of gift card issuers shows that the gift card industry continues to innovate, with digital gifting offerings breathing new life into an already strong segment of the retail market ... (See Gift card survey 2011)

Mobile gift cards: the 'cooler' gift card -- Mobile gift cards are the cooler, more sophisticated and smarter cousin to the plastic gift card -- and retailers are jumping on the bandwagon ... (See Mobile gift cards)

Gift card scams: How to spot them, how to avoid being a victim -- As gift cards have become popular, they've attracted the attention of unsavory characters who use both simple and complex techniques to drain their values ... (See Gift card scams)

6 money tips for late-in-life divorces -- Few leave marriages of any length unscathed, but the financial impact is often more extreme for those who've been together for decades ... (See Divorce money tips)

Kim McGrigg: What to do when collectors pursue your time-barred debt -- Your debt may be really old, but that may not stop debt collectors from trying to get you to pay. Our expert lays out what to do if this happens to you ... (See Time-barred debt)

5 scariest things on your credit card statement -- Although credit card statements can send chills up your spine, it’s important that you face your fears and look them over ... (See 5 scariest credit card statement items)

Q&A with Don Peck, author of 'Pinched' -- In a succinct 188 pages, Peck surveys more than 100 years of economic recessions, depressions and recoveries to arrive at something of a bird's-eye view of our current economic discontent. ... (See Don Peck)

Gary Foreman: Common tricks and traps in credit card fine print -- The appealing big headline in the credit card promo is often hedged and limited by the fine print -- so you had better understand it ... (See Beware credit card fine print)

Jeremy M. Simon: In U.K., unheeded court order can clobber your credit -- A U.K. reader learns that a county court judgment that wasn't repaid within one month can tarnish his credit for years ... (See UK credit)

Cathleen McCarthy: Sharing or selling airline miles can be risky, pricey -- Giving your miles away may be noble, and selling your miles may sound wise, but it's important to know that neither move is free of risk and cost. Our expert lays out the details ... (See Selling, sharing frequent flier miles)

10 things you can't (easily) buy with credit cards -- From mutual funds to lap dances, there are some things your credit card company just won't let you put on your plastic ... (See 10 things you can't buy with credit cards)

Sally Herigstad: Is an heir liable for her parent's credit card debt after death? -- A daughter inherited $70,000 from her father's estate, but it turns out he owes $400,000 in credit card debt. Will she have to forfeit her cash? ... (See Death and card debt)

Big banks get into the payday loan business -- It's the end of the month and money's tight, but instead of going to your local payday loan shop, some banks are offering their version of high-interest payday loans ... (See Banks and payday loans)

Your Wallet Recovery Kit -- Use this interactive tool to safely store important credit card and other data you carry with you, so you'll be able to recover quickly from having a wallet lost or stolen ... (See Wallet recovery kit)

Jeremy M. Simon: Divorce doesn't dissolve credit card contracts -- A reader who shared a credit card with her ex-husband finds out the existing card contract means divorce isn't enough to get her name taken off that account ... (See Credit cards and divorce)

Consumer credit card balances fell in August -- Credit card balances fell in August, new data from the Federal Reserve show, as consumers kept their cards in their wallets for the second straight month ... (See Consumer credit card debt)

Sally Herigstad: Can debt judgments follow you overseas? -- If you leave the country -- and your debts -- behind, what are the chances that collectors and the law will find you to make you pay up? ... (See Leaving debt in U.S.)

Experian gets personal to teach about credit, but it'll cost you -- Got a question about your credit report? A major credit bureau is now offering consumers the chance to have their questions answered over the phone by a real, live person -- for a price ... (See Experian Credit Educator service)

Senate Banking Committee OKs Richard Cordray as financial watchdog agency director -- Former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray moved a step closer to becoming the first director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Senate Banking Committee voted 12-10 along party lines to confirm Cordray's nomination for the job ... (See CFPB and Richard Cordray)

Erica Sandberg: The pitfalls of shared card accounts -- Our expert clarifies the differences between authorized users, co-signers and joint account holders, along with who shares payment responsibilities ... (See Shared card accounts)

Buying online with a credit card? FTC proposes quicker refunds rule -- Rules written before the Internet existed are due for an update, the agency says, including a change that will get credit card users faster refunds for merchandise ... (See Quicker credit card refunds)

9 ways to avoid debit card usage fees -- Experts say consumers can avoid paying big banks' new monthly debit card fees by switching to a smaller bank, using credit cards or mobile payments, or pulling out that old-fashioned green paper -- cash ... (See Debit card use fees)

Cathleen McCarthy: Bankruptcy and frequent flier air miles - are they an asset, or protected? -- With 300,000 miles and $60,000 in debt, a reader fears his air miles might be seized if he files for bankruptcy. Our expert says his concerns are justified ... (See Bankruptcy and frequent flier miles)

Sally Herigstad: Protect elderly parent's credit card from others -- Unfortunately, some adult children feel no guilt about using their elderly parents' credit cards and racking up debt in their names ... (See Elderly financial abuse)

Discover expects U.S. 'enforcement action' over its marketing practices -- How the card issuer sold to consumers its fee-based add-on programs such as ID theft protection to consumers has drawn fire ... (See Discover and FDIC)

Q&A with Mark Neeb, new head of debt collectors' association -- WIth the economy remaining in shambles, you might think these would be plush times for debt collectors. You'd be wrong, says the new head of the collectors' association, who says his industry is smarting from fewer bad debts and more regulation. ... (See Q&A with Mark Neeb)

Study: ID protection tools work, but you'd better comparison shop -- Looking to purchase ID protection services? Rather than go with the products sold by banks and credit bureaus, a recent report suggests consumers may want to choose offerings from less-known, third-party vendors ... (See ID protection)

Federal Reserve leaves rates alone, but with a twist -- The Federal Reserve didn't change interest rates on Wednesday, but it did say, "Come on, baby, let's do the Twist" ... (See Fed rates)

MCC codes unveil consumer shopping habits -- Merchant Category Codes reveal where you use your plastic and are tracked by your card issuers. Want to keep your purchases secret? Use cash ... (See MCC codes)

Erica Sandberg: Steps to starting over after losing everything -- Re-entering the workforce after a long-term illness in which you lost everything can seem daunting, but starting somewhere can make all the difference ... (See Starting over)

How to avoid credit card security overkill -- While protecting your credit and money is important, it’s also possible to go to unnecessary extremes, causing undue stress and hypervigilance ... (See Overprotecting your credit)

Sally Herigstad: Some spend lavishly right up to bankruptcy court -- A reader is miffed that his brother continues to spend on lavish vacations and purchases, even though he has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy ... (See Spending prior to bankruptcy)

As regulators hover, Some banks simplify credit card contracts -- Some U.S. banks are rewriting credit card agreements to make them easier to understand and reader friendly for consumers ... (See Credit card contracts simplified)

Gary Foreman: Losing a job can be a big downside of 401(k) loans -- Unemployment triggers a swift demand for repayment, and you better have the money or be ready to face financial consequences ... (See 401(k) loans and lost jobs)

Kim McGrigg: How to prioritize debt payments when your income falls -- It's all too common these days: A down-on-his-luck cardholder struggling to make ends meet confronts more bills than he can pay, and needs help prioritizing them ... (See How to prioritize debt)

Can you get a credit card after bankruptcy? -- While the days of easy credit are over, credit card issuers still have products for bad credit customers to use to rebuild their credit profiles ... (See Credit after bankruptcy)

Sally Herigstad: Who pays fiance's credit card debt if he dies? -- If your intended carries a lot of credit card debt, make sure that your name is not on any of the accounts until after you marry ... (See Credit card debt and death)

Sally Herigstad: When good gift cards go bad -- Retailers, like people, go bankrupt, leaving creditors holding the bag. So when it comes to gift cards, limiting your exposure may be best ... (See Gift cards and bankruptcy)

New federal credit card complaint system off to a rocky start -- Complaints about complaint system: Banks say gripes to new consumer watchdog bureau's centralized system sometimes don't get through ... (See Credit card complaints)

5 ways to rebuild credit after bankruptcy -- More than a million people filed for bankruptcy last year, and though it stays on your credit report for years, you can start turning your credit around in as little to 12 to 18 months ... (See Build credit after bankruptcy)

Kim McGrigg: Your credit card agreement trumps your divorce decree -- Even if your divorce decree says your ex takes responsibility for all your joint debts, it may not matter. That's because your credit card agreement takes precedent over your decree ... (See Debt and divorce)

Sally Herigstad: Help! Ex-spouse won't pay on co-signed car loan -- Even if your divorce decree says he has to pay, the bank doesn't care and has every right to go after the co-signer for payment ... (See Divorce and co-signed loans)

9 steps to take if your credit card data is hacked -- When it comes to protecting customers, all banks are not alike -- but what can you do if your bank's database gets hacked? ... (See Credit card hacked? 9 steps to take)

Erica Sandberg: Set up charging rules on co-signed card -- A financially reformed mom co-signed on a card for her college-bound son, but worries that he may return her to financial ruin ... (See Co-signed credit card)

Infographic: Credit card issuers still paying big bucks to colleges -- The Credit CARD Act of 2009 changed the rules of the game, but credit card companies are still paying colleges and alumni groups big bucks to market to their students ... (See Colleges and credit cards)

It's the law: Merchants may require up to $10 minimum payments on credit card purchases -- A little-noticed passage within the Wall Street reform law gives federal blessing to those handwritten "$10 minimum" signs we all see at convenience stores ... (See $10 minimum purchase OK on credit cards)

Sally Herigstad: How likely is it you'll be sued for unpaid debt? -- The likelihood of being sued for not paying outstanding credit card debt depends on a variety of factors, but take action before that happens ... (See Odds of being sued for debt)

J.D. Power survey finds consumers happier with their credit cards -- American Express, Discover once again top the annual survey of consumer satisfaction with their cards ... (See 2011 credit card satisfaction survey)

A new fee for accessing your own money: Banks debut debit card activity fees -- Wells Fargo has sent notices to customers that starting Oct. 14, it will cost them $3 a month to use a debit card. The activity fees are a way for banks to recoup lost revenue from new caps on "swipe fees" ... (See $ fee for debit use)

Jeremy M. Simon: Beware of interest charged on closed accounts in debt collection -- Collection agencies are allowed to charge you interest on debts in closed credit card accounts -- unless your card contract or state law says otherwise ... (See Interest on debt)

Kim McGrigg: New rules force banks to protect funds from garnishment -- At least part of Social Security income is protected from wage garnishment, and a new rule means banks must take steps to safeguard it ... (See Garnishment rule)

Sally Herigstad: Keep creditors at bay during bankruptcy filing -- Her lawyer went on vacation before her filing was finished, and now she's being sued by a creditor. What are this reader's options? ... (See Bankruptcy filing)

How Capital One buying HSBC credit card accounts affects consumers -- Some 27 million U.S. cardholders awoke Wednesday to a new bank when Capital One bought HSBC's card portfolio. Here's what they should expect ... (See Card deal)

Erica Sandberg: Retirement funds off limits for debt repayment -- At 29, a reader proposes dissolving some or all of his 401(k) to pay off $37,000 in debt. Our expert says there are other, much safer, options available ... (See 401(k) debt solution?)

Fed pledges no interest rate hikes for at least 2 years -- Worried by all those headlines about higher credit card interest rates coming? If your rates do increase, it won't be because of the Fed -- at least for now ... (See Interest rates)

5 credit score secrets of the young and FICO-savvy -- Today's 20-somethings face a stiff lending environment that looks down on short credit histories. Find out how some broke through barriers and build a solid foundation early ... (See Credit score secrets)

Jeremy M. Simon: Unfamiliar names on credit report could signal ID theft -- The presence of unfamiliar names on your credit report could have a simple explanation, such as your use of a nickname or some type of error -- or it could be the result of identity theft ... (See Check your credit report)

The Money Talks: Money Q&A with Ben Mezrich, author of 'Sex on the Moon' -- The tale of Thad Roberts' ill-fated moon rock heist is the latest from the gonzo journalist, whose prior works chronicled the rise of Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and the fall of the MIT students who learned to beat Las Vegas ... (See Ben Mezrich)

Kim McGrigg: Can't pay your debts? Why you should still care about your credit -- As appealing as it may seem to put your fingers in your ears and not worry about debt, there are lots of reasons that's unwise ... (See I can't pay and I don't care)

Sally Herigstad: Will bankruptcy impact an authorized user? -- Without a job and in debt, a wife considers bankruptcy, but asks if her husband is liable for debt on a credit card on which is an authorized user ... (See Authorized user, bankruptcy)

How to detect and prevent elderly financial abuse -- Tragically, there are those who take economic advantage of the elderly. Be aware of the warning signs and the profiles of these perpetrators ... (See Elderly financial abuse)

CreditCards.com Weekly Rate Report, August 3, 2011: Card APRs unchanged as run of declines stalls -- Credit card interest rates held steady this week, ending a two-week run of declines that brought APRs down from record levels ... (See Rate report)

Erica Sandberg: Getting a credit card at age18 presents challenges -- It's not impossible, but qualifying for an unsecured credit card at the age of 18 presents unique challenges ... (See Qualifying for credit at age 18)

Debt collectors' use of social media raises concerns -- The use of social media by debt collectors to track debtors prompts government, consumer groups to ponder the need for new guidelines ... (See Debt collectors, social media)

Jeremy M. Simon: Can you remove a bankruptcy from your credit report? -- If you do a strategic bankruptcy filing -- but the move is never completed -- you may be able to have any mention of it removed from your credit report, but it won't be easy ... (See Bankruptcy)

No more 'no receipt, no return'? -- In an era of paperless billing and smartphone payments, a paper receipt seems passe. While some companies embrace no-receipt returns, others staunchly hold to their “no receipt; no return” policies ... (See No-receipt return policies)

Kim McGrigg: Are you liable for your late spouse's card debt? -- The death of a spouse can bring with it many financial questions, including whether you are liable for paying his or her debts. The answer, sadly, isn't so simple ... (See Debt and death)

It's not fibbing, it's fraud: legal consequences of lying on a credit card application -- Telling a lie about your income on a credit card application isn't fibbing, it's fraud, and you can be jailed for it, as a Rochester, N.Y., man discovered ... (See Credit card application fraud)

Kim McGrigg: Don't worry if resold loan appears twice on credit report -- The same loan may appear multiple times on your credit report -- once with the original lender and again with the collector -- but it only impacts your credit once ... (See Credit report)

New medical FICO score sparks controversy, questions -- Within the next 12 months, like it or not, about 10 million Americans are expected to be scored -- much like a credit score -- on how likely they are to fill a prescription and take all the pills, on schedule ... (See Medical score)

First Premier sues Fed, watchdog agency over new credit card rules -- Subprime issuer First Premier and its marketing arm are suing the Federal Reserve and the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over new credit card rules slated to take effect in October ... (See Lawsuit)

CreditCards.com Weekly Rate Report, July 27, 2011: Credit card APRs take 2nd straight dip -- Credit card interest rates dipped for the second straight week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Rate Report ... (See Rate report)

Auto repair, credit and debt issues top consumer complaint list -- A survey of government consumer agencies puts auto repair and credit and debt issues at the top of the complaint list, and budget cuts mean the agencies can't keep up with the volume ... (See Consumer complaints)

Feds lay down rules for contacting relatives of deceased debtors -- Collecting money from the relatives of deceased debtors is fine, new federal guidelines say, but debt collectors must be transparent about what they do ... (See Death and debt colletion)

Nonprofits innovate to help low-income people establish credit -- With good credit increasingly important to living a mainstream life, the agencies are finding ways to step into the gaps that prevent people from starting and building credit ... (See Credit help)

Sally Herigstad: How to deal with a debt limit meltdown -- For those dependent upon government assistance, the threat of suspended payments as a result of the current U.S. budget stalemate causes panic ... (See Debt meltdown)

Day 1 for new consumer financial protection watchdog -- On its first day of existence, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau began policing large banks for consumer protection and launched a website to collect consumer complaints about credit cards ... (See CFPB)

5 signs of a rip-off beauty pageant -- Not all beauty pageants are legitimate enterprises. Heed these 5 warning signs before you hand over big bucks for nothing in return ... (See Beauty pageant scams)

10 financing options for cosmetic surgery -- Tummy tucks, facelifts and nose jobs don't come cheap and are rarely covered by insurance. So just how do you come up with the cash to get the look of your dreams? ... (See Paying for plastic surgery)

Report highlights consumer confusion about credit scores -- In a report released Tuesday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau protection agency acknowledged that consumers have good reason to feel confused about their credit scores. ... (See Credit report confusion)

New consumer watchdog opens for business amid controversy, questions -- A new federal agency charged with protecting consumers from unfair financial products debuts July 21, but it's a watchdog some want to keep on a short leash ... (See Consumer watchdog agency opens)

White House nominates former Ohio attorney general new consumer financial czar -- Amid growing criticism that the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will open Thursday without a director, President Obama has announced that former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray will head the agency. The U.S. Senate must confirm the nominee. ... (See Richard Cordray)

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, your new watchdog: What it can do -- Now that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has come to life, the new federal agency has a host of issues it can act upon. Here's a closer look at some of them ... (See Topics for the new financial watchdog)

Kim McGrigg: How much can a debt collector take from your paycheck? -- If you have a written deal with a debt collector to withdraw a set monthly amount from your bank account, the collector can't take a penny more. If he does, spring into action ... (See Debt collected from your pay)

Sally Herigstad: Duped by son, mom stuck with $20,000 debt -- What is a 76-year-old woman to do when she co-signs on credit cards and a car loan for her adult son and then he files for bankruptcy? ... (See Co-signing dangers)

State by state bankruptcy statistics, 2005-2011 -- Bankruptcies reversed course and fell in 2011, but it's not just due to debt aversion. We may just be running out of people who benefit from filing ... (See State bankruptcy statistics)

10 million bank customers may see free money coming from overdraft lawsuit settlement -- Bank of America's $410 million settlement is 1st of 30 lawsuits filed over 'biggest to smallest' debit posting practice that maximized fees; refunds are sought for 10 million customers ... (See Bank of America settlement)

How to get a refund if your airfare drops after you buy -- You book your flight early and then the price plummets. But, if you know how, you may be able to recoup at least some of the cost difference in the form of a voucher for a future flight ... (See Airfare refund)

Sally Herigstad: Stopping an adult daughter abusing mom's credit -- What steps do you take when your sibling won't stop racking up charges on your elderly mom's credit card without approval? ... (See Elderly abuse)

Fed report: Credit card payments to college schools, alumni groups still lucrative -- With scrutiny up on once-secret credit card marketing deals with college groups, the payments are down, a Fed report said Thursday ... (See College card marketing deals)

Gary Foreman: Credit card rate too high? How to negotiate a lower one, how to leave if you don't get it -- Credit card rate too high? Here's how to ask for a lower one -- and how to leave if you don't get it ... (See Negotiate your credit card rate)

New Fed, FTC rules mean more free credit scores for consumers -- Final rules issued by the Federal Reserve and Federal Trade Commission mean more credit applicants will be receiving free credit scores starting later this month. ... (See Free credit scores)

Credit court: TV judges' best cases and advice -- Three top celebrity gavel-wielders reveal their most unforgettable credit and debt cases -- and give some free legal advice to boot ... (See TV judges)

Kim McGrigg: Declared bankruptcy? You can still be an authorized user -- A reader wonders if he can still be listed as an authorized user on his wife's credit card account if he declares bankruptcy ... (See Credit after bankruptcy)

Fed sets debit 'swipe fee' cap at 21 cents -- An outcry from bankers wins them a break, but their so-called interchange fees will still be halved ... (See Swipe fee cap)

Erica Sandberg: Will student's credit suffer if mom doesn't pay school loans? -- A mom wants to know if if her son's credit will be in jeopardy if she cannot make the payments on a Parent PLUS college loan ... (See Student loans)

Jeremy M. Simon: Want accurate, negative info off your credit report? Good luck -- A reader wonders if she could request that she could have some negative information removed from her credit report. Not likely, if the data is accurate. ... (See Credit report)

7 tips for maximizing use of a digital gift card -- The market for digital gift cards has tripled in three years. While similar to their plastic counterpart, there are some differences you need to be aware of ... (See Digital gift cards)

Kim McGrigg: Bank must shield your Social Security money from garnishment -- A reader's bank account, which only contains Social Security funds, has a levy against it. Our expert says a new law requires bank to make sure those funds aren't touched ... (See Social Security funds)

Sally Herigstad: Collectors can refuse partial payments -- Our expert dispels the myth that submitting a partial payment on an old debt will prevent a collection agency from taking you to court ... (See Debt collection myth)

Cardholders, relax: Fed leaves interest rates unchanged -- Credit card holders concerned about a sudden increase in their APRs can breathe easy following the latest Federal Reserve announcement on monetary policy. ... (See Interest rates)

Government ramps up effort to educate parents about kids' ID theft -- A recent study shined a light on the growing problem of child ID theft. Now, the government is stepping up its efforts to educate parents on preventing the crimes and resolving the damage already done ... (See Child ID theft)

Erica Sandberg: Beware of debt relief phone call promises -- A woman wonders if those debt relief phone callers can help cut her $20,000 in credit card debt in half ... (See Debt settlement)

How your FICO credit score is calculated: Payment history -- In the calculation of your FICO credit score, no factor is more important than your payment history. That history's comprised of many complex components, but ultimately, it comes down to paying your bills on time, every time ... (See Credit score payment history)

Sally Herigstad: Computer stolen? What to do now to prevent ID theft -- If you act quickly once your computer is stolen, protecting your identity can be like putting out a small fire, instead of having to call the fire trucks ... (See Identity theft)

FTC: BadCustomer.com was $275 million ripoff. Site shuttered, multimillion dollar con alleged -- BadCustomer.com allegedly served as the enforcer for other dishonest websites in a multimillion dollar scam. Its business model: to shut up ripped-off credit card holders by threatening them with blacklistling ... (See BadCustomer, big scam)

7 questions to ask before opening an online bank account -- If brick-and-mortar bank fees and lackluster interest rate are pushing you to consider an online-only bank, how do you decide if branchless banking is right for you? ... (See Online banking)

Kim McGrigg: How to revive your credit score after foreclosure -- A reader who recently suffered a foreclosure wonders how she can raise her FICO score and how long she'll have to wait to get her next mortgage ... (See Credit after foreclosure)

Sally Herigstad: How many times can creditors buy old debts? -- Negative credit information should fall off your credit report after seven years, but sometimes collectors disregard the rules ... (See Get rid of old debt)

Debit card swipe fee limits survive U.S. Senate vote -- After a Senate vote to delay them fails, new caps on fees that banks and credit unions charge merchants when customers make debit card transactions are expected to be implemented as planned by July 21, 2011 ... (See Swipe fees)

7 big post-divorce money mistakes -- Breaking up is not only hard to do, it can be brutal on your finances -- especially if you commit one of these big financial goof ups ... (See Divorce and money)

Found a lost credit card? 4 safe ways to be a Good Samaritan -- If you find someone's credit card, your first thought is probably to do the right thing by making sure it doesn't get into the wrong hands. But there is some risk involved in being a Good Samaritan, depending on the option you choose ... (See Lost credit card)

Kim McGrigg: To raise credit score, pay delinquent debt? Or declare bankruptcy? -- A reader so deep in debt she's weighing bankruptcy wonders how to get good credit in a year. Years plural, says our expert. ... (See Bankruptcy)

Sally Herigstad: Inheritance rules after you've filed for bankruptcy -- A reader wants clarification of the 180-day rule about inheriting money after you've filed for bankruptcy ... (See Bankruptcy and inheritance)

Gary Foreman: Tips for getting grown children out of the nest -- Yes, jobs are tough to find, but kids need to stand on their own financially and leave the nest. It's a parent's job to know how to help them learn to fly ... (See Financial independence)

Survey: Annual fees kept at bay despite credit card reform law -- Dire predictions from card issuers that a 2009 reform law would boost fees has not come to pass, our fee survey shows ... (See Credit card fee survey)

Want a secured card? Experts offer advice on managing secured card accounts -- Secured cards have higher rates and fees, but their terms vary, so it pays to comparison shop and ask questions ... (See Secured credit cards)

CreditCards.com/Bankrate.com credit card fee survey 2011: Find your bank's card fees -- Find your card's fees: This table links to information showing the credit card fees from the 50 largest credit card issuing banks and credit unions ... (See Credit card fees)

Kim McGrigg: Will card debt hold up my Australian visa? -- A reader ran up credit card debt in Australia, left, and now wants to move back. Will the debt jeopardize his return? ... (See Card debt and visas)

Sally Herigstad: How canceled debt can come back as a tax bill -- After her debt was written off in 1998, a reader is socked with a tax bill for $1,392 for the debt cancellation. She wonders if this is legal and if she really has to pay it ... (See 1099-C tax for canceled debt)

Kim McGrigg: Debunking a myth about wage garnishment and student loans -- A reader who defaulted on her student loan has heard that paying any amount of money on a debt can help stave off wage garnishment. Our expert debunks the myth ... (See Student loans)

Gary Foreman: Inflation is coming; here's how it will hurt -- Before inflation returns in force, there are steps you can take to readjust your investments and loans to minimize its impact ... (See Adjusting for inflation)

Erica Sandberg: Digging out of the depths of divorce debt -- It's not uncommon to be saddled with debt post-divorce. But when you're too depressed to deal with it, asking for help is your first priority ... (See Divorce and debt)

Jeremy M. Simon: Lost a court case? Your credit score could take a hit -- A reader facing a lawsuit after a car accident needs to protect herself from the credit score impact from any resulting judgment against her ... (See Lawsuits and credit scores)

Kim McGrigg: How to protect yourself from email phishing attacks -- Scammers are after your personal information. Armed with these tips, you won't make it easy on them ... (See Fend off phishing)

Sally Herigstad: Seek help for unexpected medical bills -- After being mugged, an uninsured reader is socked with a huge ambulance bill she can't afford to pay. Ignoring the bill will only make things worse ... (See Medical bill help)

Jeremy M. Simon: Settling delinquent debt won't remove it from your credit report -- A reader wants to get old delinquent debt off his credit report. Our expert says that unless the debt isn't really his, he's out of luck and debt will stay there for seven years ... (See Delinquent debts)

What info can you be asked for when using a credit card? -- When you pay by credit card and a merchant asks you for personal information, do you have to show it? In most cases, no. In some instances, asking for personal information may violate store policy, credit card merchant agreements, and even state law. ... (See Personal info)

How to rent property when you have bad credit -- A frustrated reader keeps getting rejected when applying to rent property. Our expert tells him to improve his score -- and how to land a place now with his current bad credit ... (See Renting with bad credit)

Representatives ask for review of rule limiting credit cards to stay-at-home spouses -- A Fed rule limiting credit availability of stay-at-home spouses should be studied to see if it hurts them, a quartet of U.S. representatives said in a letter Friday ... (See Independent income rule)

Sally Herigstad: Government benefits protected from garnishment -- A disabled woman is being harassed by collectors for an unpaid $300 credit card bill. A new law protecting government assistance funds is on her side ... (See Protected from garnishment)

QA: Holly Petraeus tackles those who prey on military families -- As the daughter of one general and wife of another, Holly Petraeus gets fighting mad at those who prey financially on soldiers. Now she can do something about it ... (See Holly Petraeus)

Jeremy M. Simon: Scheming to ruin an ex's credit score isn't wise -- A woman with lousy credit wants to ruin her ex-boyfriend's good credit by adding him as an authorized user on her card account. But should she reconsider her plan? ... (See Piggybacking scheme)

New rule protects exempted funds from garnishment orders -- For debtors who face frozen bank accounts due to a garnishment order, a new rule prevents exempted funds from being temporarily seized ... (See Wage garnishment)

Travelers to U.S. may face credit card compatibility hurdles -- If European card issuers remove the magnetic stripe from their chip-and-PIN cards, then how would international travelers use their cards here? ... (See Chip-and-PIN cards)

Federal Reserve leaves interest rates alone again -- The Federal Reserve once again left interest rates unchanged, protecting most consumer credit card holders from sudden increases in their annual percentage rates. But that doesn't mean the Fed has nothing new to offer. ... (See Federal Reserve)

6 myths about credit report checks by employers -- Are employers truly weeding out applicants by checking potential employee credit reports? The reality may surprise you ... (See Employee credit checks )

Sally Herigstad: 5 steps to take when debt collectors threaten to put a lien on your home, property -- The FTC prohibits collectors from threatening to put a lien on your property for unpaid debt -- unless they really intend to follow through ... (See Property liens)

True or movie myth: Can police trace a phone call in 60 (but not 59) seconds? -- So a mad bomber calls you, threatens to blow up the world, and police are on the line. If you keep MB on the line for 60 seconds, can the call be traced? ... (See Phone call tracking)

Bankruptcy filings fall in first quarter of 2011 -- The economy has improved and tight credit means there's less debt to file over, but it's not clear that the decline in bankruptcy will last ... (See Bankruptcy filings)

Lawsuits over credit card debts spike in California, Nevada, Florida -- Courts officials in Nevada, Florida and California -- the states hardest hit by recession -- report they're seeing a parade of credit-card debt cases ... (See Credit card debt lawsuits)

Kim McGrigg: Why families shouldn't share credit accounts -- An adult daughter who shared a credit card with her mother wonders if she is liable for the $10,000 balance on the account ... (See Family credit cards)

Government shuts down 3 largest poker websites, indicts founders -- Dramatically raising the stakes in its battle against online poker and the credit card transactions that have fueled it, the U.S. government has indicted the founders of the three largest poker websites and shut down the sites ... (See Credit cards and online poker)

Sally Herigstad: Why co-signing on a card for an ex is a mistake -- An elderly divorcee co-signed on a credit card to help her ex-husband. Then he died, leaving her to deal with the collection calls and debt ... (See Credit card co-signing)

Debit card swipe fee debate pits banks against retailers; consumers in the middle -- Bankers and merchants are fighting hard over the billions in 'swipe fees' charged each time you use a debit card to buy something. But what's in it for consumers? ... (See Debit swipe fees)

Money disorders: Financial dependency means losing self-worth -- Having someone else pay your bills may sound nice, but not being in control of your finances can lead to feelings of helplessness and depression ... (See Money disorder: financial dependency)

QA with David Sirota, 'Back to Our Future' author -- The financial excesses of the '80s, epitomized by the fictional character Gordon Gecko, came horribly true in this century with characters such as Bernie Madoff, author says ... (See QA with David Sirota)

Banks cut, cancel their debit rewards programs -- With banks cutting back or entirely scrapping their popular debit card rewards programs, what's a consumer to do? Here are your options ... (See Debit rewards)

Sally Herigstad: Charged interest after your card is paid off? -- Don't be surprised if you are billed for "residual interest" on your next billing statement -- even after you finally paid the card off ... (See Residual interest)

Jeremy M. Simon: What to expect when you're made an authorized user on a credit card -- A mother wonders whether making her teenage son an authorized user on her credit card will help pass on her good credit score to her teen ... (See Authorized users)

Sally Herigstad: Paying the IRS back for its mistakes -- When the IRS sends you a check by mistake, don't think you can cash it and spend the money without the IRS catching up to you later ... (See IRS mistakes)

Jeremy M. Simon: What to do with an inaccurate address on a credit report -- A reader whose credit reports list addresses associated with her ex-husband shouldn't worry, but she should take action. Our expert lays out what she should do ... (See Credit report)

New Fed rule limits credit cards for stay-at-home parents -- As of Oct. 1, 2011, only individual income, not household income, can be considered when issuing credit cards, a new regulation says, which will cut into stay-at-home spouses' ability to get credit on their own ... (See Household income )

Sally Herigstad: Protecting your credit during a divorce -- When faced with divorce, it's important to seek the advice of an attorney before agreeing to leave your home or trying to pay off joint debt ... (See Divorce and debt)

After disasters, beware credit card frauds and scams from fake charities -- In the wake of a disaster, emotions can run high and people want to help. Fraudsters know it, and pose as phony charities to steal credit card information ... (See Disaster scams)

6 financial mistakes to avoid in divorce -- If you're not careful, a divorce can wreck your credit and your financial future. Protect yourself against these common financial mistakes ... (See Money and divorce)

Federal Reserve leaves interest rates unchanged again -- The Federal Reserve kept interest rates at record lows on Tuesday, once again sparing American credit card holders an abrupt increase in their annual percentage rates. ... (See Interest rates)

Using credit, debit card to buy gas now a major financial decision -- 'Blocks' or 'holds' on your debit or credit card funds, along with spiking high prices, can drain an account faster than a gashog drains a tank ... (See Cards and high gas prices)

Todd Ossenfort: The Credit Guy's top 5 money tips -- After writing his column for the past three years, columnist Todd Ossenfort leaves his readers with these top five financial lessons ... (See Top 5 money lessons)

Disabled and in debt: Three choices -- A woman living on disability with credit card debt wants to stop paying the $5,800 she owes. Our expert outlines her choices. ... (See Disabled and in debt)

CARD Act interest rate reductions kick in for some -- Thanks to the Credit CARD Act, some cardholders are getting a surprise in the mail: an interest rate reduction ... (See Credit card rate reductions)

Erica Sandberg: Card account closed? You still may be charged some fees -- A reader carries a balance on a closed credit card account and wonders why she's still being charged a maintenance fee. Our expert tells why that's not only legal, but common. ... (See Credit card maintenance fees)

FTC report: credit card complaints nosedive in 2010 -- Consumer advocates say the sharp drop in complaints proves the credit card reform law is working, but the FTC isn't convinced ... (See Credit card complaints)

Tipping your waiter or waitress? Ditch the credit card, pay with cash -- Although tipping with either cash or credit cards offers advantages, restaurant and hotel experts say that to make sure your generosity swiftly reaches its intended target, tip with cash ... (See Tips with cash)

Jeremy M. Simon: Angry about the credit scoring system? Here's who to complain to -- Consumers with complaints about the U.S. credit scoring system -- and there are many -- will soon be getting a powerful new ally in the form of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Just don't expect a miracle overnight ... (See Credit scoring system)

How to react to these 7 cringe-worthy credit moments -- Your card's been declined, an employer wants to run your credit report and your landlord laughs when he runs your credit. How to handle these embarrassing situations with aplomb ... (See Cringe-worthy credit moments)

Todd Ossenfort: Can collectors come after your inheritance? -- Public records are perused by debt collectors. If they find out you've inherited a chunk of cash, don't be surprised if they come out of the woodwork ... (See Debt collection)

Credit cards magnetic stripes get smarter -- The humble credit card is about to get smart with buttons and displays to keep you on a budget and protect you from fraud ... (See Magnetic stripes)

Sally Herigstad: Using a deceased spouse's plastic is illegal -- Once a spouse dies, card accounts in his name only need to be closed immediately. Using that plastic in his name is considered fraud ... (See Credit cards and death)

Jeremy M. Simon: Requesting a teen's credit report isn't child's play -- A mom looking to get a copy of her teenage son's credit report finds that the process can be quite a challenge ... (See Obtaining a teenager's credit report)

Sally Herigstad: Bankruptcy can steal inheritance, even if it hasn't yet been received -- A reader wants to file for bankruptcy, but worries the judge will tap her deceased father's lawsuit settlements bequeathed to her to pay off her debts ... (See Bankruptcy and inheritance)

Gary Foreman: Renters: How to protect yourself if your landlord faces foreclosure -- A federal law temporarily provides some protection against instant eviction, but check to see if the mortgage is being paid ... (See Renters face foreclosure, too)

Credit monitoring services: Pros, cons and how to pick one -- Experts are divided about whether these services are worth the cost, but if you've been a ID theft victim, they can help raise red flags ... (See Credit monitoring)

Erica Sandberg: What to do when a family member steals a minor's identity -- A woman's minor stepson is facing collections for fraudulent debt rung up by a family member. Our expert offers steps to help clear the boy's name and, potentially, take the perpetrator to court ... (See ID theft)

Debt collectors seek right to 'robocall' cell phones -- The next debt collection battleground is your cell phone. Debt collectors say autodialing debtors is good for consumers, but the move may add to its image as a pest ... (See Debt-collection robo-calls)

Federal consumer watchdog says CARD Act has helped consumers -- One year after sweeping credit card reforms took effect, credit card holders are better off, but confusion still lingers, says the federal Consumer Financial Protection Board ... (See CARD Act's impact)

Todd Ossenfort: Merchants shouldn't add processing fee, surcharge for accepting credit cards -- A business can't charge you more for a product or service if you pay with plastic, but they can offer a discount to those who pay with cash or check ... (See Credit card fees)

8 tips to stop banking app fraud -- Having an app from your bank on a smart phone or tablet computer is incredibly convenient, but is it safe? Learn how to protect your mobile device ... (See Mobile banking app tips)

Sally Herigstad: Jobless adult children rack up debt on mom's cards -- Three grown sisters have defaulted on $40,000 they racked up on their mother's plastic and wonder what they can do to fix the situation ... (See Charging on mom's plastic)

Study: U.S. credit cards more transparent since new law kicked in -- A study marking the one-year anniversary of the reforms enacted by the Credit CARD Act finds they haven't raised prices, and have increased transparency ... (See CARD Act study)

QA with bankruptcy lawyer Ted Connolly, author of 'Road Out of Debt' -- Just how bad should debt be before bankruptcy makes sense? What can you do to avoid it? We asked finance and bankruptcy attorney Theodore W. Connolly, author of "The Road Out of Debt: Bankruptcy and Other Solutions to Your Financial Problems." ... (See "Road Out Of Debt")

Consumer credit card ownership sees 1st jump since 2008, Fed says -- The number of credit cards held by consumers increased for the first time since early 2008, according to data released by the Federal Reserve on Monday ... (See Credit card ownership jumps)

Todd Ossenfort: Be vigilant if you suspect ID theft -- A reader questions whether he should be concerned about a credit card offer sent to his home, but directed to a distant family relative ... (See Identity theft)

6 exceptions to paying tax on forgiven debt -- Before you write a check to the IRS for forgiven debt, see if you qualify for one of these six exceptions to paying tax on that debt you didn't have to pay ... (See Forgiven debt exceptions)

When you marry Mr. Debt, be prepared to pay -- Exchanging vows with a debt-laden spouse doesn't make his debts yours, but it puts your relationship on high alert from the get go ... (See Marrying into debt)

Erica Sandberg: The truth about Social Security benefits and wage garnishment -- Social Security benefits, in most cases, can't be taken as part of a wage garnishment. But a reader wonders how can tell those funds apart from other types of monies ... (See Social Security)

Todd Ossenfort: Ignoring debt lawsuit can lead to wage garnishment -- When a court summons appears about an unpaid debt, it is best not to ignore it. Creditors can get orders to garnish your wages and seize funds from your bank account ... (See Wage garnishment)

Sally Herigstad: Retiring mom stuck with daughter's college debt -- A 60-year-old mom wants to retire this spring, but wonders if she can afford to as she co-signed on her daughter's unpaid student loan debt ... (See Co-signed student debt)

Prepaying your auto loan: How to see if you can, how to do it -- If your car loan doesn't include prepayment penalties, it's good to pay down car debt quickly. Here's how ... (See How to prepay an auto loan)

How your age affects your credit -- Whatever the stage of your financial life, see how these age-specific credit tips can help you manage your money ... (See Your age and your credit)

Your identity's price list: How credit card data sells cheaply on the black market -- The increasingly sophisticated credit card black market has grown to resemble a legitimate one, with specialty niches for workers, cheap prices and even money-back guarantees on their ill-gotten merchandise, says a new report ... (See Credit card black market)

Jeremy M. Simon: Business card debt may hurt credit, even after the company is sold -- A former business owner wonders whether his old company's unpaid debt could show up on his personal credit report ... (See Business credit cards)

Consumer Reports urges consumers to write Congress about unreadable credit card agreeements -- Consumer Reports launched a campaign urging consumers to write or call their U.S. Senators with this message: Make credit card contracts simple, clear and short ... (See Credit card agreements)

Todd Ossenfort: Stop paying or file bankruptcy: Which path is less painful? -- A low-income senior citizen read advice that instead of filing for bankruptcy protection, he should just stop paying his credit card bills ... (See Bankruptcy protection)

Sally Herigstad: Put off marriage until after bankruptcy -- A reader wants to get married and then file for bankruptcy. Our expert warns her of starting off a marriage on such uneven financial footing ... (See Marriage and bankruptcy)

Cookies and credit: Card issuers watch how you shop for credit cards, customize offers -- Shopping online for a credit card? Some issuers have begun to use high-tech marketing techniques to vary their offers based on what they think they know about you from your online behavior ... (See Card issuers' online techniques)

Federal Reserve leaves interest rates alone in first meeting of 2011 -- The Federal Reserve decided Wednesday to start 2011 in the same place it has spent the past two years -- on the sidelines. Its rate-setting committee voted to leave interest rates alone ... (See Interest rates)

Erica Sandberg: The pros and cons of debt management plans -- A reader says he regrets entering into a debt management plan because of its impact on his credit. Our expert says his old, free-spending ways, not the plan, caused the damage ... (See Debt management plan)

8 people you trust with your credit card, but shouldn't -- It's amazing how blind trust can get you into trouble -- especially when it comes to your credit card. Here are 8 people you should be wary of sharing your plastic with. ... (See Credit card trust)

Jeremy M. Simon: Apartment security deposit dispute stains renter's credit report -- A renter learns that removing apartment damage fees from his credit report will require a solid case and good negotiating skills. ... (See Credit report damage)

Todd Ossenfort: When is a debt too old for collection? -- A reader is being pursued for a debt that is 13 years old and wonders if the debt is really his. Lucky for him, the debt is too old to collect on ... (See Old debt)

Credit card balance transfers: How to find the best deals -- Those 0 percent credit card balance transfer offer dwindled during the recession. Now, they're making a comeback -- but you have to watch for the fees and fine print ... (See Find the best deals on credit card balance transfers)

0 percent balance transfer offers stage a comeback -- If you've noticed a fresh spate of 0 percent balance transfer offers in your mailbox lately, you're not alone, experts say. However, the latest offers come with some new terms and conditions that could trip up unsuspecting consumers ... (See 0 percent balance transfer offer)

Retirement in sight? Balance your risk tolerance, need for growth -- As retirement age approaches and a recession ends, it's natural to be skittish about taking risk with your nest egg, but some may be necessary ... (See Retirement nest egg)

QA: Liz Weston's new money commandments -- To help consumers navigate through this new financial climate, money expert Liz Weston talks about her new book, “The 10 Commandments of Money: Survive and Thrive in the New Economy.” ... (See Liz Weston)

Free, public Wi-Fi can be dangerous to your credit card, bank accounts -- If you use a free Wi-Fi connection in an airport, cafe or some other public space, you may be taking a big risk with your credit card information. But the good news is there are steps you can take to secure your data ... (See Wi-Fi card threats)

Erica Sandberg: How to handle unethical debt collectors -- Our expert tells a reader that he has some recourse against the debt collector that is using some questionable tactics in pursuit of his defaulted student loan ... (See Debt collectors)

QA with Matt Taibbi, author of 'Griftopia' -- Gonzo Rolling Stone writer Matt Tiabbi doesn't just pick a bone with Wall Street in his latest book, "Griftopia." He dissects the entire rotting carcass ... (See Matt Taibbi)

Jeremy M. Simon: How late is too late for a credit card payment? -- A one-day late payment shouldn't appear on a borrower's credit report, but the bank may not be so forgiving of future delinquencies ... (See Late payment)

Todd Ossenfort: Credit card use rights die with the account holder -- Family members want to keep using their dead mother's credit card -- even though the issuer has closed the account. There are legal -- and moral -- issues here ... (See Credit card use after cardholder's death)

Watch what you post! Collectors turn to social media -- Social networking websites are becoming hotspots for collection agencies wanting to track down elusive debtors ... (See Debt collection, social media)

Gary Foreman: Save 401(k) hardship withdrawals for true emergencies -- You gave up total control over the account when you agreed to take the tax breaks, so weigh other choices before robbing your own retirement ... (See 401(k) hardship withdrawals)

Personal bankruptcies rose 8 percent in 2010 -- Housing bubble states led the pack in bankruptcies, with California and Florida having the most people file. Hawaii had the largest percentage increase and Nevada the most per capita ... (See 2010 bankruptcies)

Erica Sandberg: What authorized users can and can't do with your credit card -- Our expert reminds a reader that authorized users on a credit card account can't successfully request an increase to that card's credit limit. And, she says, that's a good thing ... (See Credit card authorized user)

Debt settlement industry in flux as new rules start -- For-profit companies can no longer charge clients upfront fees for debt negotiations, so the industry is undergoing a shakeout. What's that mean for consumers in debt? ... (See Debt settlement changing)

Issuers use incentives to push paperless billing -- While more consumers pay bills online, far fewer have given up on paper bills and statements entirely. As a result, card issuers are dangling incentives as sweepstakes and extra features to get consumers to switch off the paper ... (See Paperless billing)

The Magnificent 7: Where state laws get you extra free credit reports -- Everyone loves a freebie, so residents of seven states may be happy to know that state law grants them a free extra copy of their credit report every 12 months. ... (See Extra free credit report)

Sally Herigstad: Foreclosure's impact on married couples -- When a mortgage is in one spouse's name, if you choose to foreclosure, the impact to the other spouse's credit can depend on whether you live in a community property state ... (See Credit and foreclosure)

Dan DeFelippi: Secrets of a former credit card thief -- What would a real credit card thief tell you if he had the chance? Dan DeFelippi, convicted of card fraud, says you can't be too careful ... (See Credit card theft)

Issuers may freeze, seize your bank account if you pay late on credit card -- Can you have your bank accounts frozen and money taken from them by an issuer if you don't pay your credit card bills on time? Depends on where you live ... (See Freeze, seize bank accounts)

Todd Ossenfort: Harassed for debt that's not yours? Here's how to make it stop -- A flustered woman is sick of getting calls from collectors about debt that isn't hers. The good news, our expert says, is that she can make it stop. ... (See Debt harassment)

Free credit scores become more available to borrowers -- On Jan. 1, 2011, federal law changed, broadening access to credit scores for consumers who have been turned down for a loan or get one at less-desirable terms ... (See More free credit scores)

Erica Sandberg: Her best money advice of 2010: Excesses of youth -- Letters from a pair of ethically challenged youths gave our 'Opening Credits' columnist her two favorite questions of 2010 ... (See Money advice questions)

Todd Ossenfort: Getting out of high-interest credit card debt -- A disabled wife's $14,000 high-interest card debt is crippling her husband's ability to continue to pay the minimum amount due ... (See High-rate card debt)

Experts' credit card and debt predictions for 2011 -- Debit cards cool off, mobile payments soar and we return to some of our old habits, say our prognosticators of plastic payments ... (See Credit card 2011 predictions)

Sally Herigstad: Will bankruptcy filing hurt ex-spouse? -- A divorced woman is ready to file for bankruptcy in a community property state, but is worried that her ex-husband may be pursued for her unpaid debts ... (See Bankruptcy and divorce)

Discover test credit card offers draw criticism -- The test offers Discover made skirt the edges of federal regulations requiring complete disclosure of terms, say consumer advocates ... (See Discover)

Jeremy M. Simon: Running up credit card debt, declaring bankruptcy a bad idea -- A reader's plan to max out his credit cards before declaring bankruptcy has some serious problems, our expert says. ... (See Bankruptcy fraud)

Sally Herigstad: Avoid sharing credit with elderly parents -- A reader, whose elderly mom can't get credit in her own name, wonders if it's OK to add mom as an authorized user on her credit card ... (See Authorized user)

Stolen: True tales of identity theft -- Identity theft happens when you least expect it -- and often committed by the people you least suspect. Read how victims worked to restore their good names and credit. ... (See Identity theft)

Federal Reserve leaves interest rates unchanged again -- In its final meeting of the year, the Federal Reserve again left its lending rates unchanged, and experts say to expect more of the same through 2011. ... (See Fed)

Sometimes bankruptcy is the ONLY way out -- If you've been out of work for a long time and sold everything you own to get by, paying your creditors and worrying about your credit rating takes a back seat ... (See Bankruptcy)

Careless-spending celebrities lose sympathy with American public -- High-spending celebrities take note: If you’re in debt because of your poor money choices, don’t look for much empathy from the rest of us. ... (See Celebrity spending)

Debit card payments surpass checks, credit cards -- New Federal Reserve Board study of noncash payment methods shows debit cards are Americans' first choice when buying retail items. Writing paper checks continued a steady decline and is no longer the No. 1 noncash payment method. ... (See Debit card payments)

Jeremy M. Simon: Relocating overseas can cause major credit headaches -- After returning to India, a cardholder wants to maintain his credit history in the States with some new U.S. plastic ... (See U.S. credit history)

Unemployed? You can get an extra free credit report -- Federal law guarantees unemployed U.S. workers the right to an extra free credit report to assist in their job search. The problem? Nobody seems to be telling out-of-work consumers ... (See Unemployed credit report)

Todd Ossenfort: When does debt get too old to collect? -- Each state has a statute of limitations on credit card debt, which prevents collectors from taking you to court after a certain period of time ... (See Statute of limitations)

Sally Herigstad: You can run from debt, but you can't hide -- A woman who left an abusive relationship also left her debts behind. Our expert asks her to face the music as she can't hide forever ... (See Leaving debt behind)

How to solve credit card problems through Twitter -- Why wait on endless hold to dispute a credit card fee over the phone when can post your complaint on Twitter and often resolve the problem more quickly and with fewer hassles? ... (See Twitter customer service)

9 hot credit card scams to watch out for -- Scammers love credit cards, and they have a host of ways to prey on yours. Here's what to watch for and how to avoid problems ... (See 9 credit card scams)

Jeremy M. Simon: Is a widow responsible for late husband's debt? It depends -- A widow living in Minnesota wonders whether her credit report should reflect her deceased husband's charged-off credit card account. ... (See Debt and death)

Todd Ossenfort: Disputing, removing joint-account holder causes headaches -- Whether you're an authorized user or a joint account holder, mistakes and confusion may reign when trying to sever a credit relationship ... (See Shared credit accounts)

Sally Herigstad: Retired, deep in debt. Is bankruptcy the answer? -- After years of borrowing, a retired couple is drowning in credit card debt. Is bankruptcy the only way out? ... (See Retired, in debt)

Interchange fee changes coming, and what that means for consumers -- Cash payers had been subsidizing card users at stores, but that system's under fire; if it changes, so could rewards and prices ... (See Interchange fees and consumers)

Credit card agreements still mostly unreadable -- A few months ago, we analyzed all the credit card agreements posted on a new public database and found them unreadable to four out of five American adults. We looked again at the worst offenders and find little improvement ... (See Unreadable card agreements)

Jeremy M. Simon: Can you freeze an individual credit card? -- While a credit freeze will restrict the opening of new accounts in a borrower's name, it takes a different approach to temporarily prevent the use of an existing accoun ... (See Credit freeze)

When a credit card minimum payment increase becomes unaffordable -- A reader's credit card minimum payment skyrocketed to the point where some months he can't afford to pay it. What are his options? ... (See Minimum payment increase)

The Credit Card Hall of Shame: All-time worst credit crimes -- What's it take to make our list? A fast-buck scheme. A willingness to wreak widespread financial havoc for personal gain. And a taste for larceny -- and prison ... (See Credit card crime)

Sally Herigstad: You found someone's lost debit card. Should you pick it up? -- What do you do when you find a lost debit card on the sidewalk? Some experts say you're in for a host of trouble if you pick it up ... (See Lost debit card)

Goodbye, checks: State governments move to paying by debit cards, direct deposit -- More state programs are switching to paying benefits via via debit cards, but programs vary widely. Here are nine things to know ... (See State debit cards)

Erica Sandberg: Wondering who holds your delinquent debt now? Check your credit report -- A reader wants to know which company currently holds his delinquent debt. The answer, our expert says, can be found in his credit reports ... (See Delinquent debt)

Todd Ossenfort: When debt collection makes your life miserable -- A reader reduced a regular payment to her creditor by half and wants to know how much worse things are going to get ... (See Credit card debt collectors)

How a Supreme Court ruling threw out usury laws for credit card rates -- How a 1978 court case changed the credit card industry and put cards in everyone's pockets, but erased state laws that limit interest rates ... (See Credit card usury laws)

Sally Herigstad: Is a wife liable for her husband's student loans? -- A concerned wife is worried about her liability for her husband's student loan debt in the event that he passes away ... (See Student loan debt and death)

2011 brings expensive changes to FSA, HSA use -- Unless you have a prescription, that card you've used to buy drugs could have a surcharge tacked on ... (See Health care law)

Jeremy M. Simon: 20-year-old debt should not come back to haunt you -- While credit histories typically benefit from repaying debts, in the case of 20 year old credit card account, it may be better to ignore a creditor's request for payment ... (See Old debt)

Debt's most tragic toll: murder-suicide -- While a poor economy doesn't make someone abusive, financial hardship can turn someone already on the edge into a violent criminal ... (See Debt and murder)

Job hunting? 7 tips for adding a 100-word explanation letter to your credit report -- Many potential employers check credit reports today, so if your credit is dinged, adding a 100-word letter of explanation to your credit report can set the record straight ... (See Credit report general statement)

Federal Reserve's policy changes won't impact cardholders -- The Federal Reserve announced steps Wednesday to support a fragile U.S. economy, but unlike more traditional changes to monetary policy, those moves won't directly impact credit cardholders. ... (See Fed)

Gift cards 2010: More consumer-friendly -- New gift card regulations, incentives and conveniences give consumers more reasons than ever to jump on the gift-card wagon ... (See Gift cards 2010)

Todd Ossenfort: Divorce doesn't dissolve joint card debt -- If you don't close joint card accounts after a divorce, then you're still responsible for paying any balances -- no matter who used the card ... (See Credit card debt, divorce)

Sally Herigstad: When nonpayment lands you in court -- A woman is being sued by her credit card company for nonpayment, and she wonders if it makes any difference if she shows up for a court date or not ... (See When card issuers sue)

Using PayPal? 10 tips to stay safe -- More than 153 million people worldwide use PayPal for online purchases and sales. Just how safe is it? ... (See PayPal)

Banks paid out $83 million in '09 to schools, alumni groups to market credit cards -- Once-secret agreements, forced into view by the 2009 credit card reform law, reveal the vast scope of student, alumni marketing ... (See College marketing deals)

5 scary credit card situations -- and how to deal with them -- Even if you're too old for the usual Halloween thrills and chills this year, there's still potential for plenty of spookiness ... lurking right inside your wallet ... (See Credit scares)

Jeremy M. Simon: Correcting credit report errors is crucial, but not always easy -- A reader vents about his struggles to get some errors fixed on his credit report. While fixing these mistakes can be burdensome, doing so will pay dividends in the long run ... (See Fix credit report mistakes)

Learn your credit card billing cycle to avoid late charges -- The Credit CARD Act has changed the rules for billing and how payments are applied; know them to avoid surprises -- and trouble ... (See Credit card billing cycles)

Erica Sandberg: The dark side of credit piggybacking -- A mom who has fallen on hard times laments that her struggles are hurting her son's credit, since he's an authorized user on her card. Our expert tells her how to clean up the mess ... (See Piggybacking)

Fed moves to close credit card application fee loophole -- Some card issuers had ducked a cap on fees on new accounts by charging a fee before the account was open. Not so fast, says the Fed ... (See Credit card fees)

Nevada's residents remain most likely to file for bankruptcy -- Nevadans, hard hit by the recession, hold the dubious distinction of being most likely to file for bankruptcy, court records show ... (See Bankruptcy)

How to prepare financially for time in prison -- Experts say few people serving time take steps to safeguard their finances while behind bars. Doing so helps them avoid piling on more debt from interest, fines and fees ... (See Money and prison)

Going to jail? 10 tips for reducing the financial damage -- Credit counselors, attorneys and ex-convicts offer 10 pieces of advice on safeguarding your finances if you're going to jail ... (See Prison and finances)

Sending money to jail, managing it while in prison pose challenges -- Need to send money to someone in jail or prison? Restrictions abound, rules vary and jails are their own mini-economies ... (See Prison and finances)

Gary Foreman: How to deal with debt after a divorce when ex won't pay -- Even if there's a court order, getting money out of a deadbeat ex isn't easy ... (See Divorce and debt)

5 credit card urban legends and why we fall for them -- A magical way to erase debt, the debt collector who wants $0 and battling Osama with your plastic -- all urban legends that prey on our weaknesse ... (See Credit card urban legends)

Credit card issuers required to 'cure' penalty rates -- Missed a couple of credit card bills and get socked with a penalty APR? New rules give you an opportunity to get your old rate back ... (See Penalty rate cure)

Sally Herigstad: There's no easy way to make debt disappear -- A couple facing wage garnishment wants to know where to turn to get rid of debt. Our expert warns against believing those debt elimination scams. ... (See Debt elimination)

Act fast when hit by credit card fraud, even if mom and dad were to blame -- A student had her credit ruined several years ago when her parents stole her identity and ran up debts. Now the collectors are coming after her. Our expert helps steer her toward clearing her name and credit. ... (See Parental ID theft)

All in the family: Parents stealing kids' identities -- It's a crime that can go undetected for years and appears to be happened more often. How do you detect, fix identity theft by a parent? ... (See Parental identity theft)

Todd Ossenfort: Student loans in default: What are your options? -- A reader has amassed huge student loans, but dropped out of college and is making only $200 a week. She wonders what her options are. ... (See Student loan default)

What happens to unpaid credit card debt if you move abroad? -- Unpaid credit card debts may be tougher to collect if you leave the country. But there are still reasons you should pay up. ... (See International credit card debt)

Todd Ossenfort: After a breakup, who's responsible for card debt? -- If you allow your significant other to become an authorized user on your card account, you're stuck with the bill, no matter what happens ... (See Authorized user)

Want to volunteer? Be sure your credit's good -- Volunteerism is on the rise, thanks in part to the recession. And more and more, volunteers are being asked to submit to the same background screening techniques that employers use to vet job candidates. ... (See Volunteer credit checks)

The good, bad and the ugly of credit card offers -- Credit card offers are back from the dead, so if you've got a high credit score, you're in demand and are likely to have a mailbox stuffed full of offers. If you've got average or bad credit, however, the story's likely quite different. ... (See Credit card offers)

4 ways to avoid debit card overdraft fees -- and 3 times when you should consider opting in -- The rules have changed on debit card overdraft fees; we offer four cheap ways to avoid them and list three cases in which you should consider opting in ... (See Overdraft protection)

Federal Reserve's FOMC again leaves interest rates alone -- The U.S. central bank's Federal Open Market again left interest rates alone, meaning most cardholders are safe from APR increases in the immediate future ... (See Fed)

8 things cardholders should know about community property laws -- If your marriage ends in death, annulment or divorce, what happens to debts and community property depends greatly on where you live ... (See Community property states)

Compare states' community property laws in divorce -- Detailed information on how assets and debts are divided in marriage and divorce in the 10 states with community property laws ... (See Divorce and state community property laws)

Jeremy M. Simon: F-words foul up the process of getting a FICO score -- A reader may be lost in a sea of acronyms when he confuses the Freedom of Information Act with FCRA, FACTA and FICO. ... (See FICO score)

On a fixed income with debt collectors calling -- A reader's parents are being pursued by debt collectors wonders how they can pay when they have no assets and are living on fixed incomes ... (See Debt collection)

Smart credit card strategies before and after a job loss -- If you've gotten a pink slip -- or expect that you soon will -- it's time to upend everything you thought you knew about using your credit cards ... (See Credit cards and job loss)

Sally Herigstad: Don't allow debt collectors bully you -- Debt collectors can be intimidating, but don't let them coerce you to making payments that leave you flat broke ... (See Debt collection bullies)

Prepaid cards a new way to bank? -- Though they don't carry the same protections as credit or debit cards, reloadable prepaid cards are how a growing number of Americans are doing their banking: ... (See Prepaid cards)

Been 'preapproved' for a credit card? The offer's not a binding contract - you may not get it -- A reader who's never had a credit card in her own name wonders why she's getting rejected for preapproved credit cards. Our expert explains that preapproved doesn't always mean that you're a cinch to get the card. ... (See Preapproved)

Retail credit cards 2010: Higher APRs, reduced rewards -- 2010 was not kind to retail credit cardholders. However, as the economy stabilizes, relief from higher APRs could be in the cards. ... (See Retail credit cards)

Jeremy M. Simon: Cardholders must fight to correct credit report errors -- Consumers need to take advantage of consumer protection law by disputing credit reporting errors with both the bank and credit bureau. ... (See Credit report errors)

Todd Ossenfort: When the CARD Act backfires on you -- A reader with multiple low-rate promotional card balances has found that the new CARD Act is thwarting her attempt to pay down several balances ... (See Credit CARD Act)

U.S. looks to create a financial literacy pyramid -- Like the food pyramid, the Treasury Department wants to create a financial literacy pyramid to help make financial education concepts more memorable and accessible. ... (See Financial literacy pyramid)

Video: Should you enroll in overdraft protection? -- New federal rules require banks to get your permission before they enroll you overdraft protection. Should you opt in? Before you decide, watch this video explaining the ins and outs of overdraft protection and the advantages and disadvantages of opting into it. ... (See Video)

CreditCards.com survey: 1 in 4 credit cards have annual fee, but issuers may waive it for you -- One in four U.S. credit cards has an annual fee, but that doesn't mean borrowers have to pay them ... (See Annual fees)

Going mobile to make payments? You could be losing protection of consumer laws -- When it comes to mobile commerce, all payment methods are not created equal. Transactions linked to prepaid cards offer the least protection against unauthorized use and billing disputes ... (See Mobile payment protections)

Consumer credit card debt shrinks again in July -- Consumer credit card debt fell by more than $4 billion in July, a record 22nd straight monthly drop, according to the latest Federal Reserve data. ... (See Consumer credit)

Vending machines that take credit, debit cards catch on -- Newfangled machines take plastic and sell everything from fancy electronics to wine -- and yes, they can check your ID, too ... (See Credit card vending machines)

3 steps to take when disposing of your computer -- Millions dump their old computers without much concern about all the sensitive information still stored on the hard drives, making them ripe for theft ... (See Dispose your computer safely )

Save money with online coupon services -- Traditional paper coupon-clipping is fine, but as long as you steer clear of the too-nosy ones, online coupon sites have advantages, too ... (See Online coupons)

Put your credit report on ice with a credit freeze -- Credit freezes can be great tools for protecting yourself against identity theft, experts say, but they're not for everyone ... (See Credit freeze)

You're eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but should you file? -- A reader who has fallen on hard times wonders if Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for her. Her lawyer says yes. Our expert says she's not so sure. ... (See Chapter 7 bankruptcy)

Ex-offenders face big debt challenges after prison -- Most ex-offenders, once they are free, face overbearing debt obligations and job barriers, often forcing them to return to a life of crime ... (See Out of jail, in debt)

Airline cards for frequent flier cards remain popular, despite CARD Act -- Predictions that the Credit CARD Act of 2009 would cause airline rewards to dry up have proven untrue ... (See Airline rewards cards)

How to transform a good credit score to great -- Each day this week, our columnists will answer one of our readers' most frequently asked questions. Today, we focus on how to boost your credit score. ... (See Great credit scores)

Credit Card FAQ: Gary Foreman: Should you co-sign a loan? -- Each day this week, our columnists will answer one of our readers' most frequently asked questions. Today, 'New Frugal You' columnist Gary Foreman ponders, should you co-sign a loan? ... (See Co-signing)

Tips for minimizing danger of using an ATM card abroad -- Problems at ATMs are a rarity in America. But if traveling abroad, you may need to be wary ... (See Foreign ATM use)

Credit Card FAQ: Erica Sandberg: What sort of credit card debt help is best for you? -- Each day this week, our columnists will answer one of our readers' most frequently asked questions. Today, we focus on getting debt help. ... (See Debt help choices)

Divorce and debt: Advice on dividing up, paying off debt -- Divorce is stressful enough. When jointly held debt is involved, things get a lot more complicated. Check out the advice in these stories ... (See Divorce and debt)

Credit Card FAQ: Jeremy M. Simon: Will canceling a credit card hurt your credit score? -- Each day this week, our columnists will answer one of our readers' most frequently asked questions. Our series continues with a focus on credit scoring. ... (See Cancel a credit card)

Credit Card FAQ: Todd Ossenfort: How do you get debt collectors off your back? -- Each day this week, our columnists will answer one of our readers' most frequently asked questions. Our series begins with a focus on debt collectors ... (See Debt collectors)

How credit card debt delays retirement dreams -- The dream of retirement is being clouded -- and delayed -- as more workers approach the golden years saddled with credit card debt ... (See Card debt and retirement)

Video: Why you don't understand your credit card agreement -- A CreditCards.com study found that the average U.S. credit card agreement is written on a 12th grade level. That means 4 in 5 Americans can't understand their agreement, since the average adult reads at a ninth grade level. Why are they so hard to read? Senior reporter Connie Prater explains. ... (See Credit card agreement)

Credit CARD Act begins final phase -- Gift card protections, requirements for reasonable fees and mandatory account reviews when interest rates are hiked are among the new consumer protections in Phase III of the Credit CARD Act of 2009. ... (See Credit CARD Act of 2009)

Sally Herigstad: Best to clean up debt in your home country -- When moving to Canada, it's in your best interest to make sure all your debts are paid back home. Here's why ... (See Moving to Canada)

5 steps to prioritize debt payments when cash is tight -- Owe numerous creditors but don't have enough money to send each a complete payment right away? Prioritize. Here's how ... (See Debt repayment)

FTC proposes changes to credit reporting summary of rights documents -- When you get a copy of your credit report, it comes with a document that lists your rights. Now, the Federal Trade Commission is working to make those disclosures much easier to read. ... (See Disclosure)

4 steps to settling privately funded student loans -- A reader has defaulted on private education loans and wonders what his options are. Our expert offers some key steps he can take to ease his burden ... (See Student loans)

Help for bad credit: Jobs -- It's important to know the costs of negative marks on your credit history and how you should handle a potential employer who requests to see your credit report. ... (See Help for bad credit: Jobs)

Help for bad credit: Relationships, marriage and divorce -- Just as bad credit can fragment your relationships, some relationships -- especially those in which joint accounts or co-signed loans are involved -- can rip apart your credit score. ... (See Help for bad credit: Relationships, marriage and divorce)

Help for bad credit: Young adults -- Young people make lots of mistakes. Unfortunately, credit mistakes don't fade into obscurity after college graduation in the way that embarrassing party stories do ... (See Help for bad credit: Young adults)

Credit card lending standards loosen for 1st time in 3 years -- It got easier to get a credit card in the second quarter of 2010, according to data released by the Federal Reserve on Monday ... (See Survey)

Alleged cybercriminal, CarderPlanet founder, cartoonist 'BadB' arrested in France -- An alleged founder of an international website used to traffic stolen bank card data has been arrested in France, according to an indictment unsealed Wednesday ... (See Credit card fraud)

Mine, yours and ours: Marriage and your money -- When you say "I do," it's not just your lives that are forever linked, it's your funds too. For the sake of connubial contentment, is it better to intermingle your money or maintain your financial independence? ... (See Marriage and money)

Bad credit can hinder job search, but doesn't always -- A reader is concerned that her poor credit -- which went south during her current bout of unemployment -- is wrecking her chances of getting her next job. ... (See Credit score)

Amid economic uncertainty, Federal Reserve leaves interest rates alone -- Amid signs that the economic recovery is in doubt, the Federal Reserve on Tuesday kept interest rates unchanged, leaving the majority of credit cardholders protected from sudden increases in their annual percentage rates ... (See Fed)

8 reasons to ignore your credit score and rating -- You know how important having and maintaining a great credit score is, but there are times when concentrating on something else makes more sense ... (See Ignore your credit score)

Credit CARD Act doesn't prevent new fees -- While the new law does regulate a lot, what it doesn't do is prevent card issuers from imposing creative new fees, such as "maintenance" fees. ... (See Credit CARD Act)

Consumer credit card debt shrinks further in June -- Consumer credit card debt slumped by $4.5 billion in June, marking a record 21st straight monthly drop, according to the latest Federal Reserve data. ... (See Consumer credit)

7 reasons your credit card gets blocked and 7 tips for handling it -- When your credit card company stops a thief from charging fraudulent expenses to your card, you're thrilled. But what happens when they mistake you for the thief? We can help ... (See Blocked)

Sally Herigstad: Do you marry someone who's deep in debt? -- A woman wonders if she'll ruin her credit by marrying a man who has $150,000 in debt. Our expert says no, but be careful to keep romance and finances separate. ... (See Debt and marriage)

Don't fall for the 'Obama government debt bailout program' scam -- Rip-off alert: There's no government program to relieve you of credit card debt, despite the hordes of Internet scammers who say there is ... (See Debt bailout)

Jeremy M. Simon: What exactly is a 'pre-screened' or 'pre-approved' credit card offer? -- The term "pre-screened" describes card offers that banks have targeted to certain consumers based on their borrowing histories and other personal information ... (See Pre-screened)

Todd Ossenfort: Can a credit mistake caused by co-signing keep me from renting a home -- A reader co-signed a loan, which was defaulted upon. Now she needs to rent a home. Are her options as bleak as she thinks? ... (See Bad credit and renting)

Sally Herigstad: Don't pay a collector's dubious old debt without proof -- If a collector calls wanting payment on a very old debt that you don't remember, odds are that you are being scammed ... (See Dubious debt)

Nevada still king, Georgia jumps Tennessee in bankruptcies per capita -- Nevada is still king, and Georgia jumps Tennessee in bankruptcies per capita. Indiana, Colorado and Utah all jump up in the rankings, while Tennessee and Michigan see small decreases. ... (See Bankruptcy)

FTC bans upfront fees for debt settlement firms -- Those who owe on credit cards, other loans were often soaked, federal agency says in banning upfront fees for debt settlement ... (See Debt settlement fees)

Is Dad responsible for stepmom's credit card debt after her death? -- Responsibility for debt after the debtor's death comes down to who signed the contract and what state they're in ... (See Credit card debt after death)

Video: How a credit card is processed -- Find out what happens after you swipe your plastic with this animation showing the complex, multi-party operation that is credit card processing. ... (See Card processing)

Bill allowing online gambling - but not by credit card - passes House test -- Online gambling may make a comeback: A law that would permit it passed a House panel, but credit cards are still barred from the poker table ... (See Online gambling bill)

3 steps to take after destroying mom or dad's credit -- A son who did major damage to his father's credit wants to make things right. Our expert gives advice on how to get his credit -- and his relationship with his dad -- back on track. ... (See Repairing credit)

7 places to safely stash your plastic at home -- Think a thief won't look in your Bible, freezer or underwear drawer for credit cards? It's time to find more creative hiding places. ... (See Credit card hiding places)

Bank of America stops disclosing default APRs -- Despite regulations aimed at making credit card agreements more consumer friendly, new cardholders carrying plastic from the No. 2 U.S. bank won't know the exact cost of making a borrowing mistake until it's too late. ... (See Penalty rates)

Refinancing won't do lasting credit score damage -- A responsible borrower who refinances his properties is unlikely to see lasting credit score damage ... (See Refinancing)

Pros and cons of paying off old debt -- Yes, paying it off will look good to lenders, but you may not want to restart the clock on debt that has passed the statute of limitations ... (See Paying off old debt)

Consumer financial protections at least a year away -- Long ramp up time for new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau means consumers will have to wait for credit card protections ... (See Consumer financial protection)

Credit card contracts unreadable for most Americans -- A CreditCards.com analysis of the contracts filed in a federal database shows most can't comprehend the agreements their credit card issuers send them ... (See Unreadable card agreements)

New federal credit card agreement database shows potential, isn't user-friendly -- A new federal database of credit card agreements contains a wealth of information, but it isn't presented in a user-friendly way, critics say ... (See Credit card agreement database)

10 wordiest credit card agreements -- Of all the credit card contracts posted online in a new Federal Reserve database, these droned on the longest, according to a CreditCarsds.com analysis ... (See Credit card agreements)

Video: Consumers try in vain to read credit card agreements -- CreditCards.com took to the streets of Austin, Texas, armed with a credit card agreement. Then we asked the people we met to read it. It wasn't pretty. ... (See Video)

Quotable: What lawmakers, experts say about CreditCards.com's readability study -- Lawmakers, consumer advocates, banking industry officials and financial literacy and readability experts react to the CreditCards.com analysis of the readability of U.S. credit card agreements ... (See CreditCards.com readability study)

Readability of the credit card agreements from 20 largest issuers -- Large national banks issue more than 90 percent of the cards in the United States. Here's how their credit card agreements compare for readability ... (See Credit card agreements)

3 language experts try to make sense of a credit card contract -- No joke: An ex-spy, a rocket scientist and an etiquette expert wade into a credit card agreement and try to make sense of it ... (See Credit card agreements)

How your credit card agreement compares in readability to familiar documents: the Bible, 'Twilight,' nursery rhymes -- According to a CreditCards.com analysis, the average credit card agreement is harder to read than a Bible verse, and more challenging than a real estate purchasing contract. But how do they compare to other works, such as the first Twilight book or even 'Itsy Bitsy Spider'? ... (See Credit card agreement)

10 most unreadable credit card contracts -- Of all the credit card contracts posted online in a new Federal Reserve database, these were the 10 most unreadable, according to a CreditCards.com analysis ... (See Unreadable card contracts)

10 most readable credit card agreements -- Of all the credit card contracts posted online in a new Federal Reserve database, these were the 10 most readable, according to a CreditCards.com analysis ... (See Credit card agreements)

Take these steps to repair your credit after ID theft by parent -- A parent steals a kid's identity. It's an all-too-common story, but with patience and discipline, it can be overcome if it happens to you. ... (See Identity theft by parents)

Can your credit score be too high? -- Responsible cardholders don't generate a whole lot of revenue for issuing banks. But does that mean the bank has the right to refuse you plastic? ... (See Good credit score)

Authorized user can't be legally responsible for tax payment -- Though it may be a noble idea, an authorized cardholder who got into debt trouble can't take on the tax burden for the friend whose credit he damaged. ... (See 1099-C)

6 credit card fees you might not know about -- In the aftermath of new regulations that cracked down on some of their most lucrative practices, credit card companies are looking for new sources of revenue. If you're not careful, you may get hit with a broad array of old and new fees ... (See Obscure credit card fees)

How to control elderly dad's financial blunders -- A reader wonders how to get her 84-year-old father to rein in his frivolous spending out of fear that he'll eventually get scammed ... (See Elderly finances)

FTC: Fix 'broken' debt collection system -- The federal agency says the common ways consumers confront debt collection -- arbitration and litigation -- just don't work ... (See FTC: Debt collection 'broken')

Co-signing your kid's credit is great, unless it endangers your credit -- A mom is considering co-signing on a credit card for her 18-year-old daughter. Our expert says that while helping your family is noble, it's important to do so with great caution ... (See Co-signing credit for a child)

Small-business credit cards stage a tentative comeback -- Small-business owners, whose credit choices evaporated amid the recession and new regulations, have seen a modest return of credit cards aimed at them ... (See Business credit)

Pay off your balance each month? Your credit report may not show it -- A family's conscientious but high-charging ways could be bad for their credit scores. ... (See Credit scores and balances)

The high cost of opting in to overdraft fees -- Choosing to opt out of your bank's overdraft program can save consumers a lot of money in fees and charges. ... (See Credit CARD Act)

Minimum payments won't dent high-interest debt -- When only making minimum payments on card balances with varying APRs, the higher-interest debt is only going to go up until you pay more than is required ... (See Credit card minimum payments)

Losing your job doesn't mean you have to file for bankruptcy -- A reader just lost her job and has $60,000 in credit card and student loan debt. She's considering going bankrupt, but our expert says that's not going to solve her problems ... (See Lost job and bankruptcy)

When must you start to make 401(k) withdrawals? -- A 70-year-old is about to retire and wonders if he'll soon be forced to start making withdrawals from his 401(k). Our expert has the answer. ... (See 401(k) withdrawal)

4 key questions to ask when considering a cash advance -- Recession-bitten consumers are stepping away from credit card cash advances with a vengeance. That's a good thing, financial experts say. Cash advances are a bad financial idea, except in the most dire of emergencies. ... (See Cash advance)

Widow likely isn't liable for late husband's debts -- A widow from California is still unclear if she's liable for her late husband's card debt. Now she's received a 1099-C Cancellation of Debt form. Our expert says she shouldn't worry. ... (See Credit card debt)

Husband's card defaults don't need to weigh on wife's credit -- Although a husband's debt defaults show up on his wife's credit report, she should be able to clear those negative items ... (See Ex-spouse's credit default)

Financial reform opens access to free credit scores -- Financial reform rules now require lenders that turn you down or give you a higher rate to provide you access to a free credit score ... (See Free credit scores)

Tips to handle online debit card theft -- Your physical card doesn't have to disappear to be stolen. Online card thieves just need your card's number for signature-based transactions ... (See Online debit card theft)

Financial role reversal: Adult children increasingly co-sign for parents' loans -- In a case of financial role reversal, more parents are turning to their children for loans due to the parents' rising debts, falling retirement funds ... (See Co-signing for parents)

International card theft targets U.S. consumers -- More than a million American consumer card accounts were compromised in an international card scam. ... (See Card theft)

Travel tips for countries where cash, not credit, dominates payments -- Going to a country where cash and coin, not plastic cards, must be used? These tips will help you minimize the risks that ATMs and carrying cash can bring ... (See Tips for traveling with cash)

Is bankruptcy right for you? Our 7-point checklist will tell you -- A reader is fed up and is considering bankruptcy, but she doesn't know if it's wise for her. Our expert offers a 7-point checklist to help her make the right choice. ... (See Bankruptcy checklist)

Proposed Treasury rules take hard line against prepaid card fraud -- New rules aimed at fighting crime and terror financing could impact gift card buyers, experts warn. ... (See Prepaid cards)

Transferring mom's balances to your cards? Not so fast -- Yes, you want to help, but if you allow a family member to transfer a balance to your credit card account, you are legally liable for that debt ... (See Credit cards)

Nervous Fed continues to hold interest rates steady -- The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged once again Wednesday, meaning the bulk of credit cardholders can rest assured that their credit cards' APRs won't be going up anytime soon. ... (See Interest rates)

3 reasons not to co-sign for college students' credit cards -- The Credit CARD Act makes it harder for students under 21 to get credit cards. Thus, a 21-year-old student wants to charge his classmates to have him co-sign on a credit card. Our expert explains why this is a really bad idea ... (See Co-signing student)

How to find your credit card security code -- Every credit card has a card security code printed on it. It may be called a CSC, a card verification value (CVV or CV2), card verification code (CVC) or card code verification (CCV), but you need to know what -- and more importantly, where -- it is ... (See Credit card security code)

Free FICO scores exist, but aren't easy to come by -- Free credit scores do exist and are relatively easy to find, but the tricky part is getting the scores lenders actually use ... (See Free credit score)

Credit lessons from the soap operas: General Hospital -- Part V: If you're financially honest with your mate, no need for a 'General Hospital' style paternity test; you'll always know who's the real parent of a debt ... (See Credit lessons from soap operas: 'General Hospital')

5 steps to dispute a debt that's not yours -- Identity mix-ups are common, but if you're being tagged for debt that is not yours, you need to fix the problem instead of ignoring it. ... (See Not my debt)

Ignoring delinquent debt can lead to wage garnishment -- The longer your debt goes unpaid, the more likely you'll be forced to pay through a court order to garnish your wages. ... (See Wage garnishment)

Premeditated card default for ailing father? -- A reader with a poor, ailing father wants to know if she'll be liable for racking up debt on his credit cards -- knowing full well he has no assets to pay ... (See Credit card default)

QA with 'Paying With Plastic' author David Evans -- In this book author Q&A, 'Paying With Plastic' author David Evans argues we're going through two payment revolutions: paper to plastic, then plastic to "virtual" payments ... (See 'Paying with Plastic' by David Evans)

Feds cap credit card late fees at $25 -- The fee limit is among several new protections from Credit CARD Act that were finalized Tuesday ... (See Card fee caps set)

How to accept credit cards at your next garage sale -- Garage sales have always been relatively low-tech affairs, but if you want to sell a higher-priced item, such as a flat-screen TV or that barely used elliptical machine, cash or checks might not be good enough anymore ... (See Garage sale)

Deceased cardholder's debts can hurt authorized user's credit score -- When a credit cardholder passes away leaving unpaid debt, authorized account users can be left facing the credit score impact ... (See Authorized users, death and debt)

13 ways to beat bank fees -- Americans pay billions in bank fees every year, but you don't have to be one of the people forking over fees ... (See Beat bank fees)

Get angry at your overdue debt, not your lender -- You've fallen behind on your payments and you're angry at the carmaker who's asking for the payment you agreed to make? Get real ... (See Get angry at debt)

6 ways to protect your credit cards when traveling -- Vacation should be about one thing: relaxing. If your credit cards are stolen, though, you'll spend more time fretting in your hotel room undoing fraud than lying on the beach sipping a drink decorated with a tiny umbrella ... (See Vacation credit card protection)

Elderly father's Social Security income likely safe from garnishment -- A reader worries that her elderly father's Social Security income will be garnished to pay back a credit line from the bank. Our expert says she probably doesn't have to worry ... (See Social Security and garnishment)

Consumer credit card balances plummet in April -- Consumer credit card balances plummeted by $8.5 billion in April, marking a record 19th straight month of decline, according to data released Monday by the Federal Reserve. ... (See Consumer credit)

Your credit card's Da Vinci Code: How the 'Luhn formula' evaluates credit card numbers -- Think of it as your card's Da Vinci Code: A little known, low-tech mathematical sleight-of-hand is used to see whether numbers on credit and debit cards are real or fake ... (See Luhn formula)

Not signing your credit cards has its hazards -- Contrary to popular myths, not signing your credit card or writing "See ID" in the signature place does not prevent identity theft. ... (See Credit card signature)

Will reducing merchant card fees help or hurt consumers? -- Legislation could limit the costs retailers incur when letting customers pay by credit or debit card. But whether consumers will see the benefits is unclear ... (See Interchange fees)

4 keys to credit, debit card zero-liability policies -- So you found some suspicious-looking charges to your credit card or bank account. No big deal. You're covered by the bank's zero-liability policy, right? Not always, so know the rules ... (See Zero liability policies)

Even barely late payments can impact your credit score -- If you're late with a payment -- but fewer than 30 days late -- does your credit score take a hit? The answer's not so simple. ... (See Late payments and credit scores)

Don't fall prey to aggressive debt collection tactics -- Debt collectors know what buttons to push, so if you've never dealt with them before, you may agree to a repayment plan that you can't afford ... (See Debt collection tactics)

Fed: Credit companies admit profiling credit card users -- What you buy and where you buy it can sometimes be held against you by your credit card issuer, a Federal Reserve report to Congress Friday reveals ... (See Credit card profiling)

4 things you must know about emergency credit card replacement -- Losing a credit card while traveling can be a disaster. The good news is that if you prepare in advance and take a few precautions while you're on the road, the damage will likely be minimal. ... (See Emergency card replacement)

Credit card interest rates remain unchanged -- Interest rates on new credit card offers were unchanged this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report, after banks largely refrained from adjusting their card offers. ... (See Rate report)

Seven easy tricks to remember numbers, codes, passwords -- In today's digital society, everyone from your bank to your office to your parents in their new ZIP code, want you to memorize numbers and codes. Here's how ... (See Password tricks)

8 steps toward recovering from youthful money mistakes -- A reader wants to pay off her card debts before going back to school. Our expert lays out an eight-step plan to help her do just that ... (See Pay off debt)

GAO report shows non-English speakers have it rougher financially -- A federal report chronicles how limited English proficiency also limits people's ability to get by in the complex financial world ... (See Financial literacy and English)

Be careful not to start the clock on time-barred debt -- A reader whose debt has run past the statute of limitations in her state wonders if she should still pay what she can. ... (See Old debt)

Wall Street reform bill taking shape for consumers -- Although there are still a few steps to go before the massive Wall Street Reform legislation becomes law, one thing is certain: Consumers will have a new watchdog agency looking out for their interests in credit card agreements, debt collection and debit card fees, to name a few. ... (See Wall Street bill and consumers)

Poll: 3 in 4 say their credit card accounts are better off today than a year ago -- A year after landmark credit card reforms became law, three in four cardholders say their accounts are better off. Consumer groups say more protections are needed to combat new, questionable practices launched by lenders. ... (See CARD Act poll)

Credit card interest rates end record run of declines -- Interest rates on new credit card offers rose this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report, ending a record string of declines. ... (See Rate report)

Without co-signer, minor's debt likely off-limits to collectors -- A reader could no longer make payments on a card he got when he was a minor and is now dealing with collections and even a possible wage garnishment. But given his age when he signed, is the debt his responsibility? ... (See Minors and credit)

Cell phone payment system options multiply -- The trend of paying by cell phone, slow to catch on in the U.S., is finally gaining traction with the big players showing interest ... (See Cell phone payment systems)

The Credit CARD of 2009 turns 1: A year-long look at the landmark legislation -- What a difference a year makes. One year ago this week, President Obama signed historic legislation revamping how Americans acquire, use and pay for credit cards. Use this time line to view key developments affecting credit card users and their accounts. ... (See CARD Act)

Responsible borrowing can protect credit score from limit cuts -- When the bank cuts a cardholder's line of credit -- a common occurence in recent years -- a history of responsible borrowing can protect against credit scoring damage. ... (See Credit scores)

Does credit card interest accrue after death? -- When a cardholder dies, a variety of factors come into play in determining how, when and if a balance and interest gets paid. ... (See Debt and death)

Credit scoring, reporting Q and A with Experian, part 1 -- The first in a six-part series replaying a credit scoring and reporting question and answer session CreditCards.com held with Experian. ... (See Credit)

Credit scoring, reporting Q and A with Experian, part 2 -- The second in a six-part series replaying a credit scoring and reporting question and answer session CreditCards.com held with Experian. ... (See Credit reporting)

Credit scoring, reporting Q and A with Experian, part 3 -- The third in a six-part series replaying a credit scoring and reporting question and answer session CreditCards.com held with Experian. ... (See Credit reporting)

Credit scoring, reporting Q and A with Experian, part 4 -- The fourth in a six-part series replaying a credit scoring and reporting question and answer session CreditCards.com held with Experian. ... (See Credit reporting)

Credit scoring, reporting Q and A with Experian, part 5 -- The fifth in a six-part series replaying a credit scoring and reporting question and answer session CreditCards.com held with Experian. ... (See Credit reporting)

Credit scoring, reporting Q and A with Experian, part 6 -- The last in a six-part series replaying a credit scoring and reporting question and answer session CreditCards.com held with Experian. ... (See Credit reporting)

Credit card charge-backs can land consumers on blacklist -- A customer database servicing retailers is blacklisting consumers seeking charge-backs for credit card purchases. ... (See Blacklist)

Congratulations, graduate! Now, do you have a post-graduation debt plan? -- Graduating from college this spring? You're probably taking more with you than your diplomas and a futon. The class of 2010 has debt, and a lot of it ... (See Graduate from student debt)

Credit card interest rates' slide continues -- Interest rates on new credit card offers declined for a record fifth straight week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report, after Citi lowered rates on a card product. ... (See Interest rates)

Look to credit reports to understand loan denials -- A reader wondering why he was rejected for a credit card loan should turn to his credit report to understand why the lender made the move ... (See Credit reports)

Only credit card payments over the minimum go to high APR balances -- If you are only paying the minimum payment for a card with multiple APR balances, then the new law doesn't cover how the issuer applies that payment ... (See CARD Act)

9 best practices for debit card use -- Debit cards don't let you rack up debt, but they can still lead to trouble if not used wisely. Here are tips from the experts. ... (See Debit cards)

FTC report on ATM 'emergency' PIN numbers throws up its hands -- Congress mandated a year ago that the FTC study whether it's feasible to create ways for people to summon emergency at ATMs. Dunno, the long-awaited study says. ... (See Emergency ATM PIN)

How to rent a home if you have bad credit: In recession, landlords become flexible -- Your landlord might not care about your bad credit as much as you think. With the recession and high vacancy rates, these steps can help you persuade the manager to overlook your score and let you rent ... (See Renting with bad credit)

Credit card interest rates fall for record 4th straight week -- Card rates continue to be volatile, with cards entering and exiting the market as the industry -- faced with the recession and new regulations -- rapidly changes ... (See Rate report)

5 steps to tackling debt while unemployed -- An unemployed reader is deep in debt and desperate. Our expert offers five tips for getting herself back on track ... (See Paying off debt)

Credit card lending standards keep tightening, Fed report says -- It became tougher to get a credit card in early 2010, according to the latest data from the Federal Reserve, even as banks were more willing to offer other types of loans. ... (See Lending)

Plastic love: How to protect your credit while online dating -- Use online dating services? Your credit and other financial interests may be at risk if you don't guard yourself from those falsely fishing for companionship. Here's how to protect more than just your heart when seeking a mate via the Internet ... (See Online dating)

Comparing desperate options: bankruptcy vs. debt negotiation -- With savings spent, deep in debt and jobless, a reader's choices are all unpleasant. Go in with eyes open ... (See Desperate money choices)

Bankruptcy protects against wage garnishment -- A reader who filed bankruptcy is contacted by an old creditor who threatens wage garnishment. Does she have to pay the debt or not? ... (See Wage garnishment)

Shredded bliss: 5 steps to choosing the perfect paper shredder -- Protect yourself from identity thieves with these five steps to paper shredder perfection. ... (See Paper shredders)

Federal Reserve leaves interest rates unchanged again -- Credit cardholders in good standing likely won't see their interest rates go up anytime soon, thanks to a key decision by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday. ... (See Fed)

States stepping up to limit pre-employment credit checks -- If you're unemployed and suffering from bad credit, a growing number of states' lawmakers want to remove one barrier between you and a new job: a credit check ... (See Credit checks)

Visa tackles deceptive online 'data pass' marketing -- In an effort to tone down aggressive sales tactics used by some Internet-based businesses, Visa announced it will require its merchants to more actively warn their customers of external offers made during online transactions ... (more)

Keeping currency: U.S. dollar bills could change size, shape, texture to help the blind -- Most of the Western world helps the visually impaired by altering bills to make denominations different. The U.S. is now studying the same idea ... (See Blind currency)

Blippy's blooper: Social networking site leaks consumers' card data -- The social networking site's goof rekindles a debate over how much private data should be public ... (See Credit card data breach)

How to read, understand your credit card statement -- A lot of work goes into something no one likes to see: a credit card bill. This interactive guide breaks down how yours should look and what it must contain ... (See Card statements' new look)

Authorized users aren't liable for card debt -- Collectors trying to collect outstanding card debt from an authorized user are barking up the wrong tree. Here's what to do. ... (See Authorized user)

5 questions to ask before getting a credit card with an annual fee -- More credit card issuers are adding or increasing annual fees, but there are still plenty of no-fee options. Before you get a new card with an annual fee, make sure the benefits are worth the costs ... (See Annual fee questions to ask)

Citi's moves send interest rates down for 2nd straight week -- Interest rates on new credit card offers fell for the second straight week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report, amid signs the consumer lending environment may be improving. ... (See Rate report)

Spotlight falls on political parties' use (and misuse) of credit cards -- Party-issued credit cards give politicians and operatives direct access to political funds. But such access can cause problems ... (See Party cards)

Which of the 4 types of debt-help companies is right for you? -- Deep in debt but not ready for bankruptcy? Consider these types of companies, but beware: credit help comes in many forms, and not all of them are good for you ... (See Debt help)

CARD Act didn't stop flow of credit card offers mailed to young adults -- Parents and young adults around the country may wonder why they are still getting mail offers nearly eight weeks after major portions of the CARD Act took effect. ... (See CARD Act)

Chalk one up for the credit card bank lobbyists! -- The CARD Act requires monies paid only ABOVE the minimum payment to be applied to higher interest rate balances ... (See CARD Act)

How to get a job when you have bad credit -- A blemished credit report can hurt your job chances. Learn which financial mistakes are most costly. ... (See Bad credit)

FICO's 5 factors: The components of a FICO credit score -- How does FICO come up with its widely used credit score? While the inner workings of the FICO scoring system are a closely guarded secret, the company is open about the five basic components of a score. Here's what they are ... (See FICO parts)

Interest rates fall as issuers modify credit card offers -- Interest rates on new credit card offers fell this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report, after issuers tweaked the rates on several card products. ... (See Rate report)

Nevada, Tennessee remain highest per capita bankruptcy states -- California and Illinois jump near the top, according to data for the first quarter of 2010; Alaska, South Carolina remain at the bottom ... (See Bankruptcy filings)

Minors likely bear moral -- not legal -- responsibility for fraudulent debts -- Legally, minors likely bear no responsibility to repay credit card debts -- even if built up fraudulently. Morally? That's an entirely different matter. ... (See Minors and credit)

Bankruptcies resume climbing, aided by tax refunds -- Bankruptcy filings rose 17 percent over a year ago; once-available cushions of credit and home equity have vanished ... (See Bankruptcies rising)

5 Earth-friendly credit card moves you can make now -- You may not be able to immediately ditch your plastic card, but there are several moves you can make to soften its eco-impact ... (See Eco-friendly credit card moves)

Credit card interest rate relief applies to joint accounts for military couples -- If credit card accounts are held jointly by military spouses, then they qualify for interest rate relief under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act ... (See Active duty credit)

New rules could provide millions with free credit scores -- Rules announced by the Federal Reserve and FTC mean that, starting in 2011, millions of U.S. borrowers could get free copies of their credit scores. ... (See Credit scores)

DIY, credit card style: Issuers roll out 'do it yourself' cards -- More companies are rolling out tools on the Internet that give consumers greater control over the features of their cards ... (See DIY cards)

Collectors can try, but can't legally collect a minor's debts -- Handle with care demands for payment on old, forgotten amounts, and don't pay what you don't owe out of fear or ignorance ... (See Old debt)

Credit card balances free fall in February -- Americans resumed their efforts to trim card balances last month according to newly released Fed data ... (See G.19)

Meet those who seek a perfect credit score -- and learn how they achieved FICO perfection -- We introduce you to credit score superstars -- and learn why and how they keep those precious three digits so high ... (See Credit score)

Late credit card payments don't justify rate hikes anymore -- With the passage of the Credit CARD Act, if you're a little late with a payment, you're protected against an instant interest rate hike. ... (See Rate hike)

Consumer groups to Fed: Stop debit card overdraft opt-in 'scare' tactics -- Federal regulators got an earful from banks and consumers on its proposed rules to change overdraft protection to an opt-in feature, including complaints that banks are using scare tactics to get customers to sign up ... (See Overdraft opt in)

Avoiding new rules, 'free' credit report sites switch to offering 'free' scores -- On the eve of new rules sharply restricting offers of 'free' credit reports, companies switch to offering 'free' credit scores ... (See Free credit report)

Bad credit card issuer's moves send interest rates lower -- Interest rates on new credit card offers fell this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report, after subprime issuer Credit One tweaked some of its card offers ... (See Rate report)

How the Credit CARD Act will affect types of credit cards -- The Credit CARD Act has pushed card issuers to make big changes -- and some types of credit cards will be impacted more than others. We look at each type. ... (See Card law impact)

Lost your credit card? Your credit report can help -- If you lose all your information about one of your credit cards, don't panic. All the answers you need likely can easily be found in your credit report. ... (See Lost credit card)

High balance on just one card can hurt credit score -- Check your credit score and keep all your cards' balances low or you could upset your attempt to refinance a home ... (See Balance hurts refi odds)

Parents' 5 other card choices for college-age children -- The plastic payment card choices for parents of young adult children changed since new law shuffled the deck. ... (See College)

Beware of phone calls offering credit card relief -- New telephone scams are targeting consumers with promises of lowering credit card interest rates, fixing damaged credit reports. ... (See Beware)

What types of income are protected from wage garnishment? -- Typically, retirement and disability income are exempt from being tapped for the repayment of unpaid debt. ... (See Protected.)

QA with Manisha Thakor, author of personal finance book 'Get Financially Naked' -- 'Get Financially Naked' with your honey -- or face big money woes, book author says. ... (See Naked)

Capital One's business card moves send interest rates higher -- Interest rates on new credit card offers rose this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report, spurred by changes in Capital One's business card offerings. ... (See Rate report)

10 financial spring cleaning tips -- Taking these 10 steps will help you to renew, review, refresh and regrow your finances. ... (See Financial spring cleaning)

Want to boost your credit? Co-signing with parent still an option -- Young people looking for a credit boost can still co-sign with their parents, even with the passage of the Credit CARD Act. In fact, if the young adult doesn't have his own source of income, it might be his only choice. ... (See Credit)

Gift card rules mean fewer fees, more time to use cards -- Concerned that your old gift cards may become little more than worthless plastic before you get the chance to use them? Exhale. That's much less likely than it used to be. ... (See Gift card rules)

Credit card law compels speedy estate settlement for debt after death -- A little-noticed provision of the Credit CARD Act of 2009 makes it easier for the estate's administrator to settle the account in a timely fashion. ... (See Death)

Canceling a card can hurt your credit score -- Forced to choose between paying a new fee on your credit card or closing the account? Consider the impact on your credit score. ... (See Canceling a card)

Senate committee passes reform including consumer financial agency -- A wide-ranging Wall Street reform bill that passed a key Senate committee Monday includes a consumer financial protection bureau under the Federal Reserve. ... (See Consumer financial protection)

What to ask before getting a lawsuit settlement loan -- You may have seen the ads on TV -- "Cash for injury and employment cases!" These lawsuit loans should be a choice of last resort. But if you're considering one, asking yourself these key questions first can help keep your costs down. ... (See Cash)

Credit card agreement from your issuer -- Federal law now requires credit card issuers to post their agreements; find yours from this list. ... (See Agreements)

Credit card interest rates fall after Wells Fargo cuts APRs -- In what it called a "competitive pricing" move, Wells Fargo drove down the average rates on new credit cards this week by lowering the rates on four of its credit cards. ... (See Rate report)

Putting off dealing with debt problems will only make them worse -- Our expert tells a struggling college student to stop avoiding her debt problems or they will only get much worse. ... (See Debt)

10 places NOT to use your debit card -- They may look just like credit cards, but debit cards have different protections and uses. Sometimes they're not the best choice ... (See Debit)

Federal Reserve leaves interest rates at historic lows -- Smile, credit cardholders. A decision Tuesday by the Federal Reserve means that, barring a big mistake on your part, your credit card's interest rate won't be increasing anytime soon. ... (See FOMC)

Conservatorships: Stepping in for those who can't help themselves -- Watching a family member lose his grip on his finances can be maddening. However, in some cases you can take control by going to court to set up a conservatorship, a legal relationship that makes you the custodian of another adult's finances. ... (See Conservatorship)

Piggybacking's just one step en route to a better credit score -- Borrowers who want to boost their credit scores need to examine their own credit reports first before becoming authorized cardholders on other accounts. ... (See Piggyback)

What records to keep and how long to keep them -- Keep too little paper and you'll be stammering at the IRS agent at audit time. Too much and paper can take over your house. How much is just right? ... (See Keep or discard?)

New card statements may elicit fear, anxiety about debt -- New information-packed credit card statements could increase your anxiety. Find out why that's a good thing. ... (See CARD Act)

Credit card charges made by children are invalid -- When minors use your credit card without your knowledge, the law protects them -- and you -- from having to pay for their mistakes. ... (See Minors)

Credit card interest rates jump, approach record highs -- Credit card interest rates reached their second-highest level on record after U.S. Bank raised rates on several of its cards. ... (See Rate report)

When refinancing, closing credit card accounts can cost you -- When in the midst of a home refinancing and considering an account closure, experts say the price of credit score damage is likely to outweigh the cost of any potential annual fees. ... (See Loan)

Credit card issuers' financial cell phone apps -- Back when, your cell phone was just for talking on the go. Now, mobile banking applications let you manage your finances, and include tools for credit cardholders. ... (See App)

Forgiven debt resurfaces at tax time -- The IRS is one creditor you cannot ignore. If you receive a 1099-C in the mail for forgiven debt, you have to declare it as income. ... (See IRS)

Can a magnet really make your credit card not work? -- Will your card become unreadable if it's exposed to magnets? In a previous story, we said yes, but many of you begged to differ. Seeing that, we took the challenge of clearing things up once and for all. The results surprised us. ... (See Magnet)

Fed proposes rules to limit credit card fees -- Credit card fees would have to be 'reasonable' and 'proportional' to the offense under new rules proposed by the Federal Reserve. ... (See Fees)

Interest rates fall as 59.9% APR credit card goes away -- Interest rates pulled back from record levels this week, although cardholders may not have much reason to cheer. ... (See Rate report)

White House online town hall credit card reform transcript -- This transcript chronicles the conversation between administration officials and CreditCards.com readers on Feb. 22, 2010, the day a federal credit card reform law took effect. ... (See White House credit card town hall)

3 ways to rebuild your credit after wage garnishment -- Consistent, timely student loan payments made via wage garnishment don't reflect positively on a credit report. But there are a few steps you can take to improve your standing. ... (See Rebuild)

Consumers gain right to dispute credit report errors directly with merchants -- As of the summer of 2010, if a merchant puts inaccurate information on your credit report, you can force them to investigate the problem. But you have to do it right ... (See Fix credit report errors)

Protecting the elderly from credit card collections -- Credit cards and their associated terms and conditions can get very confusing for the elderly who also suffer from dementia. Here's what you can do to help. ... (See Dementia)

Interest rates surge higher as credit card reform arrives -- Banks jacked interest rates to record levels this week, getting in their final licks against consumers ahead of the new credit card regulations. ... (See Rate report)

When you should, shouldn't give out your Social Security number -- Some who you do business with legitimately need that nine-digit number, others don't. Give it out too often and you invite identity theft ... (See Social)

How to clear a minor of responsibility for card debt in 5 steps -- A worried grandparent wants to know how she can make sure that her grandson isn't held liable for debt on a credit card that his mother got in his name. ... (See Fraud)

Video: White House town hall on credit card reform -- Austan Goolsbee of the President's Council of Economic Advisers answered questions on Feb. 22 about credit card reform and what it means to you. The questions were both submitted live and in advance through CreditCards.com. ... (See Town hall)

FTC issues new rules for those that offer (NOT) free credit reports -- The Federal Trade Commission issues new rules forcing those offering not-really-free credit reports to disclose that they're not really free. ... (See Free? Well, not so much)

White House answers credit card questions -- Austan Goolsbee, an economist and White House credit card expert, answered consumer questions about the new credit card reform law during a live town hall webcast on CreditCards.com. ... (See Town hall)

You can be sued for nonpayment of credit card debt -- The road of not paying your credit card accounts is not a pretty one. Expect late fees, higher APRs and, eventually, collections. ... (See Debt)

New credit card era begins with latest CARD Act provisions -- It's a new day for credit cards. As of Feb. 22, new consumer protections within the Credit CARD Act of 2009 take effect. ... (See Era)

Video: New card law changes relationship between colleges, issuers -- The Credit CARD Act changes the once-secret agreements between card issuers and colleges by requiring schools to report any deals they make with card companies to the Federal Reserve Board. ... (See Campus)

Cost of bad-credit credit cards rising due to reform law -- The passage of federal credit card reform means big changes for those with bad credit. Subprime credit will be available, but expensive and harder to find. ... (See Subprime)

Tips for rebuilding your credit after divorce -- A disabled domestic violence survivor and divorcee not only needs to rebuild her life, but also her credit. ... (See Rebuild)

What's NOT covered by the credit card reform law -- The sweeping credit card reform act's regulations omit several types of cards and many practices consumer groups find objectionable. ... (See Untouched)

Interest rates edge lower just ahead of CARD Act implementation -- With the Credit CARD Act's implementation just days away, experts say competition for prime borrowers may help keep rates steady. ... (See Rate report)

Want to avoid a rate hike? Don't carry a balance -- The best way to deal with a looming credit card interest rate hike is to not carry a balance on your credit card. ... (See APR)

Once secret credit card-college marketing deals to be revealed -- The credit card reform law requires disclosure of the highly lucrative agreements under which colleges were paid to let card issuers market their wares to students, alumni. ... (See Deals)

Era of readily available credit cards for young adults ends -- Students, once coveted by card issuers, now have fewer choices for obtaining credit. ... (See Era)

Do non-English-speakers have a chance in today's banking system? -- How much does the ability to speak English affect desire or ability to participate in the American banking system? That's what Congress aims to find out with a new study that was mandated by the Credit CARD Act. ... (See Study)

No payments, no interest -- not anymore! -- Traditional 'no interest, no payment' plans are going the way of the cassette tape, done in by a change in federal law that went into effect Feb. 22, 2010 ... (See Interest)

Video: Big changes coming to bad-credit credit cards -- The new credit card law -- much of which takes effect on Feb. 22 -- has provisions that protect people with bad credit. Specifically, the law limits fees on subprime credit cards. What other changes will the law bring for those with poor credit? ... (See Bad credit)

White House to answer consumer questions about Credit CARD Act -- The White House will answer Americans' questions about the new credit card reform law during a live online town hall at 2 p.m. EST Feb. 22. ... (See White House credit card town hall)

1 in 10 Americans has given up or had taken away credit cards in past 8 months -- A CreditCards.com poll shows that consumers' newfound frugality and card issuers' punitive actions have caused a mass migration away from credit cards. ... (See Give up)

Video: 5 smart moves to make before Feb. 22 -- Sweeping new credit card laws arrive on Feb. 22, 2010. But before that day, you might want to make one of these smart credit moves. ... (See Moves)

When even the minimum payment on your credit card is too much -- When making your credit card's minimum payment becomes impossible, you have options. One of those options does NOT include paying less than the minimum. ... (See Too much)

Visa expands 'no signature' credit card transactions program -- That once-familiar credit card ritual -- signing for your purchases -- will become a rarity for purchases under $25 once Visa expands its no-sign program in July. ... (See Credit card signatures)

Major subprime marketer, CompuCredit, leaves credit card marketing business -- Subprime lender CompuCredit says it no longer markets its 'fee-harvesting' cards, which drew criticism from consumers, fines from regulators and soon will be outlawed. ... (See Fees)

Young adults slow to spot ID theft, survey shows -- The latest identity theft poll from Javelin Strategy & Research shows that despite their Web savvy, so-called millenials -- young adults between 18 and 24 -- take longer than other age groups to identity and resolves instances of ID fraud. ... (See Fraud)

3 common credit mistakes -- and how to fix them -- One credit mistake can easily lead to another and to another, as one reader found out the hard way. Her mistakes were common -- and easily avoidable. ... (See Mistakes)

Poll: On eve of credit card reform, few understand what new law holds -- Significant numbers of consumers are unaware of the most important elements of the new package of credit card rules. Worse, many have erroneous assumptions about what the new rules do address. ... (See Credit CARD Act of 2009)

Credit card revenge spending: When love goes wrong, the hurt go shopping -- Getting burned by the one you love can inspire the desire to get back by charging up credit accounts. The ultimate cost, however, may be borne by you. ... (See Burned)

7 ways to protect against being a victim of credit card revenge -- Just suffered a break-up from a revenge-seeking ex? Here's how to make sure your credit is safe. ... (See Revenge)

Spiderlabs Study: Hotels a hot spot for credit card fraud -- Hackers looking to steal card data checked into the hospitality industry more than any other -- even more than financial service companies -- according to a study by Trustwave's SpiderLabs, an information security company. ... (See Credit card fraud)

'Emergency PINs' to summon help at ATMs: Law could bring urban myth to reality -- It's not true: Punching your ATM's PIN in reverse won't summon the cops. But Congress liked the urban myth enough to mandate a study of the idea. ... (See Reverse PIN)

5 smart moves to make before the new credit card law takes effect -- For some, swift action is called for to lock in a deal before the law's provisions kick in Feb. 22. For others, the best move is to wait. ... (See 5 smart moves)

Credit card interest rates soar; bad-credit borrowers hit hardest -- If you've got bad credit, brace yourself: The average interest rate for a new subprime credit card just shot sky high ... (See Rate Report)

Are you liable for late spouse's card debt? -- A widow being pursued by debt collectors wants to know if she is legally responsible for her late husband's credit card debts. The answer's not so simple. ... (See Liable)

Feds plug loophole in credit card law that prevented rates from instantly falling -- The Federal Reserve fixed a problem in the wording of the Credit CARD Act that would have made consumers wait 45 days if they wanted reduced interest rates. ... (See Credit card interest rates)

Piggybacking is still an option, but proceed with caution -- If you're looking to help boost a FICO score, piggybacking as an authorized user on a spouse's credit card account remains an option. But if you're looking to pay to do it, you might be out of luck. ... (See Piggybacking)

Lending standards show signs of easing, Fed report says -- Having spent much of 2009 making it tougher for consumers to get credit, banks largely stood pat in the final three months of the year, according to data released Monday by the Federal Reserve. ... (See Lending)

6 common money mistakes women make -- After more than two years writing for CreditCards.com, "To Her Credit" columnist Sally Herigstad recaps the most frequent financial errors women make ... (See Mistakes)

Survey: Debt collection calls growing more frequent, aggressive -- A new survey reveals that debt collection calls have become more aggressive, and collectors are abusing laws that protect debtors. ... (See Collectors)

No change in credit card APRs this week -- Credit card interest rates were unchanged this week, as banks paused after pushing rates to heights not seen in more than two years. ... (See Interest rates)

Federal Reserve leaves interest rates unchanged again -- The Federal Reserve once again kept lending rates unchanged on Wednesday, as the central bank waits for clear signals the U.S. economic recovery has begun to accelerate. ... (See FOMC)

Affluent are more often victims of ID theft, report shows -- Wealthy consumers who enjoy leisure activities such as tennis, skiing and international vacations are top targets for identity thieves, according to a new report. ... (See Theft)

Credit card penalty rates can top 30 percent; how to avoid them -- Think it costs a lot to use your credit card now? Make a late payment and your interest rate could jump to more than 30 percent. ... (See Rates)

Your options when paying the minimum isn't possible -- When living from paycheck to paycheck, any disruption in income can have immediate effects on your financial situation, including not being able to pay the minimum on your cards. ... (See Help)

Looking to disappear? Deleting your credit history is far from easy -- Erasing your existing credit report is nearly impossible, although you can try to delete parts of your borrowing history. ... (See Erase)

Credit card reform arrives in the form of the Credit CARD Act -- The most sweeping credit card changes ever are being imposed on credit card issuers, which in the course of complying, are making dramatic changes in consumers' credit card accounts -- not all of them welcome ... (See Credit card reform law goes in effect)

Credit CARD Act of 2009 article archives -- All the CreditCards.com coverage of the credit card reform law ... (See CARD Act)

Applying for a credit card after Feb. 22? Issuers will be checking income -- Starting Feb. 22, credit card issuers will do financial checkups on potential customers and anyone getting increased credit limits. ... (See Worthy?)

What credit card reform will mean to consumers -- It's becoming clear the new law will have pluses and minuses to consumers. While the most unfair or deceptive practices are banned, card issuers have been quick to create new ways to maintain their profits ... (See Credit card act's consumer impact)

How the Credit CARD Act affects gift cards -- Americans -- and retailers -- have grown to love the convenience of gift cards. Their terms have not always been consumer-friendly, though, and the law takes aim at some of them. ... (See Credit CARD Act of 2009)

How credit card reform impacts young adults under 21 -- Card issuers won't be able to pounce on young adults any longer with offers of freebies for a credit card application. There's a trade-off, though -- young adults will see their access to credit sharply curtailed. ... (See Credit CARD Act of 2009)

Interest rates keep rising as credit card reform looms -- As new credit card legislation draws closer, interest rates continue to rise, according to CreditCards.com's Weekly Rate Report. ... (See Credit card interest rates)

New credit card fee: Pay $1 to get your own monthly billing statement -- Pay a buck to get a bill sent to you? That's what users of credit cards from Ann Taylor, Victoria's Secret, Beall's and some 90 other retailers will have do. ... (See $1)

Think twice before lending your credit card -- or it will cost you big -- If you let someone -- such as your underage daughter -- borrow your credit card, watch their spending carefully. If they go overboard, you're likely responsible. ... (See Beware)

5 tactics of bad debt collectors -- and what you can do about them -- The recession has put debt collectors under added pressure, too. Some are reacting by cutting legal corners. ... (See 5 collection tactics)

After medical bills lead to wage garnishment, consider bankruptcy -- When a wage garnishment cuts your living expenses substantially, prioritize what's left, buy time and consider bankruptcy. ... (See Wage)

Fed knocks the 'floor' out of variable credit card interest rates -- It's good news for consumers who have variable rate credit card accounts that set floors on how low their rates could drop, but no ceiling on how high they could climb. ... (See Floors)

Resist racking up debt to get back at cheating spouse -- You think hitting where it hurts -- his wallet -- will satisfy your hurt? Don't go there as you may end up paying dearly for your revenge. ... (See Revenge)

Haiti disaster brings out charity scams -- Disasters ignite donations from generous Americans, but it also brings scammers out from under their rocks. How to tell legitimate charities from the con artists. ... (See Scams)

Credit card interest rate protections already in effect -- With fewer than 45 days to go before major provisions of the new Credit CARD Act take effect, interest rate protections are already in effect for consumers. ... (See Rate hikes)

Credit card interest rates hit highest level since 2007 -- The holiday from rate hikes has ended -- in a big way. Interest rates on new credit card offers skyrocketed this week to their highest levels since October 2007, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

Bulk up your thin credit in 4 easy steps -- When getting started with credit, the key is to start small, then build up gradually over time. These four easy steps can get you on your way. ... (See Thin credit)

Social networking: Your key to easy credit? -- In their quest to identify creditworthy customers, some creditors tap into the information you and your friends reveal in the virtual stratosphere. ... (See Credit)

Fed issues final Credit CARD Act rules -- The Federal Reserve issued final rules implementing the second phase of the credit card reform law. They are the most significant changes in credit card laws in decades. ... (See Credit CARD Act of 2009)

New arrivals to U.S. need to rebuild credit history -- Credit history from a foreign country won't follow you to the United States, although existing financial relationships can help you begin to build a U.S. credit history. ... (See Rebuild)

Compare debt-free plastic payment options: debit, charge cards -- Charge cards and debit cards can help you manage cashflow and stay out of debt, but they each come with a risk. Here's how to make them work for you. ... (See Budget tools)

Fed report: Credit card balances plummet by nearly $14 billion -- Americans dumped a record $14 billion in credit card debt in November, according to Federal Reserve data, and experts say the debt shedding won't end anytime soon. ... (See G.19)

Nevada surpasses Tennessee as highest per capita bankruptcy state -- The average resident of the Silver State was eight times more likely to file for bankruptcy than the average Alaskan, 2009 bankruptcy data show.How does your state rank? ... (See Bankruptcy filings)

Bankruptcies soared 32% in 2009 -- A 'perfect storm' of unemployment and plunging house values sends filings up to highest level since a 2005 reform law went into effect. ... (See Bankruptcy)

Credit card interest rates drop once again -- Interest rates on new credit card offers fell again this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report, but the typical borrower may not benefit. ... (See Rate report)

Come clean about debts before they damage your relationship -- Our expert advises a young man to tell his fiancee of his credit woes now -- or risk doing a world of damage to his relationship with the most important person in his life. ... (See Secrets)

A consumer's guide to reading junk mail -- You may think you're already a pro at sorting out junk mail, but today, with the stakes higher, the rules changing and some bills arriving in disguise, you may need a refresher on recycling, a crash course on trash. ... (See Junk mail)

Cardholders' mistakes can bring down authorized users' credit score -- When you're an authorized user on someone else's credit card account, you pay the price for other's credit mistakes. Luckily, you can take steps to minimize the damage. ... (See Piggybacking)

How to resolve a bogus medical bill -- There are steps to take to prevent a bogus medical bill from appearing on your credit report and to deal with it once it shows up. ... (See Bogus)

Don't hide debt problems from collectors, friends or family -- Secrecy about financial troubles only makes them worse. Being more open and building a support system can help you get through the tough times. ... (See Honest)

Personal finance predictions for 2010: Your credit card -- Expect dramatic change in an industry roiled by recession, reform. Whether the net is good for consumers is unclear. ... (more)

Personal finance predictions for 2010: consumer spending -- In experts' views, the worst of the recession is behind us. But so, too, is America's nonchalance toward spending willy-nilly. ... (See Predictions)

Giving charity gift cards? Mind the fine print -- Whether you're looking for a tax write-off, a meaningful gift for a loved one or just a way to do a good deed, you may want to consider a charity gift card. But be warned: These cards' fine print can hold terms that are, well, less than charitable. ... (See Charity cards)

Personal finance predictions for 2010: Your debit card -- As credit cards continue to retreat, debit cards will evolve, advance ... (more)

Personal finance predictions for 2010: Rewards cards -- For years, card companies footed the bill for these expensive programs. In 2010, rewards will go on a diet of fees and frugality. ... (more)

Personal finance predictions for 2010: Phones become payment tools -- We may look back on 2010 as the year our cell phone became a pay phone. ... (more)

Personal finance predictions for 2010: Your paycheck -- One day, perhaps this year, your paycheck may disappear -- replaced by a prepaid card. ... (See Predictions)

Personal finance predictions for 2010: Housing's comeback -- Delinquencies predicted to level off, finally ending the bleeding that took us into a steep recession. ... (more)

Personal finance predictions for 2010: Your mail -- Credit card offers fell precipitously in the recession, but experts see a renewed flow in 2010. ... (See Predictions)

Personal finance predictions for 2010: ID theft -- Like wolves to injured prey, identity thieves are out to turn the recession struggles of average Americans to their own advantage. ... (more)

Personal finance predictions for 2010: Your kids -- The CARD Act crackdown on campus card promotions will likely have a chilling effect on how young adults obtain credit. ... (See Predictions)

New Year's personal finance predictions for 2010 -- You'll change the ways you and your family will spend, borrow and save, experts predict. ... (See 2010)

Keeping New Year's resolutions: experts' tips -- Three in four Americans will make a financial-related New Year's resolution for 2010, a survey says. But will they keep it? We speak with four experts who offer tips for making -- and sticking to -- your goals for the new year. ... (See 2010)

How to read FICO's explanations of what's hurting your credit score -- Those recommendations you see on a credit report about how to improve your score are sometimes nothing more than stock responses and shouldn't be taken so literally. They aren't actually personalized to your exact situation. ... (See FICO)

More credit card issuers ditch mandatory binding arbitration -- With legal pressure rising against the often-criticized way to resolve disputes, card issuers are abandoning compulsory arbitration and recasting their agreements with consumers. ... (See Arbitration)

Hold collectors at bay by keeping accounts current -- When faced with multiple bills, it's better to pay a little on all of them rather than paying down one bill first and making the others wait. ... (See Debt)

How fast does your credit score recover from your goofs? -- If you make smart decisions, those old credit goofs will hurt your score less and less over time. How much less? Well, that's still a bit of a mystery. ... (See Recovery)

Instant in-store credit card offers in jeopardy -- Retailers say instant credit card offers won't be possible if consumers have to provide paycheck stubs or other income information at the cash register. ... (See Instant cards)

Issuer of 79.9% interest rate credit card defends its product -- Subprime credit card marketers are looking for ways around new restrictions on sky-high fees for bad credit cards. One option they're testing: sky-high interest rates. ... (See 79.9 percent)

Interactive: Life cycle of a delinquent credit card account -- The longer your debt goes unpaid, the more it changes hands. Learn the ins and outs of the delinquent debt cycle in this interactive presentation. ... (See Cycle)

Adult son racks up $20,000 on mom's cards -- When an adult child abuses a parent's trust and charges more than $20,000 on joint cards, it's time to get tough and start selling his stuff. ... (See $20,000)

Federal Reserve again leaves interest rates unchanged -- The Federal Reserve left its lending rates unchanged again on Wednesday, and experts say it's likely to continue that plan until sizable numbers of unemployed Americans begin finding work. ... (See Fed)

U.S. seeks clear path to (really) free credit reports -- Ever try to claim one of your "free" credit reports and get sidetracked or charged a fortune? The Federal Trade Commission wants new rules that clear the clutter. ... (See Ads)

'No payment, no interest' credit card deal? No way -- Make no mistake: If you've got a credit card with a balance, you've got a minimum payment to make each month. If you don't make it, you're asking for trouble. ... (See Minimums)

Creative new fees escape CARD Act rules, surprise consumers -- The Credit CARD Act of 2009 puts the lid on some longtime charges levied against cardholders, but a new report shows that a crop of fees are quietly taking their place. ... (See Report)

U.S. House approves credit card watchdog agency -- The U.S. House approved sweeping new reforms that include creating a watchdog agency to safeguard consumers from abuses and deception in credit cards, mortgages and other financial products. ... (See Protection)

The mystery of multiple opt outs explained -- Your rate's jacked, so you opt out and continue to pay off your balance at the old APR. But then your rate increases again. What gives? ... (See Opt-out)

Don't be 'breakage' -- 8 tips to avoid losing gift card value -- About $5 billion worth of gift cards go unused yearly. The industry calls that lost value 'breakage,' and it means big profits for them and lost money for you. ... (See Cash)

Don't expect to see cell phone payment history on your credit report -- Don't look for your cell phone provider to report your payment history -- good or bad -- to credit bureaus, unless you're so late with payments that they opt to close your account. ... (See Cell phone)

Consumer credit card balances fall again in October, Fed says -- Credit card balances fell again in October, according to Federal Reserve data, leaving the average card-carrying American household with nearly $1,000 less in credit card debt than it had a year ago. ... (See g.19)

Can debt collectors garnish Social Security? -- Social Security benefits are usually protected from debt collectors, but you need to take certain steps so those funds are never frozen. ... (See Garnish)

Sending remittance money to friends, family abroad? Options abound -- Sending money across the country or to a foreign land used to be costly and time-consuming. Today it may be neither, but there are still tricks to it. ... (See Payments)

Decade-old credit mistakes shouldn't appear on your report -- A delinquent loan should no longer appear on your credit report if the loan's more than seven years old. But if it does, take steps to remove it ASAP. ... (See Mistakes)

Frugality: Just a fad? Or will consumers keep saving after the recession? -- The tanking economy brought us recession chic. It became cool to clip coupons, throw potlucks and swap used items, but how long will it last? ... (See Spendthrifts)

Forecasters weigh in on new frugality -- Is the new frugality here to stay? Two economic forecasters debate whether American consumers will continue to cut corners or return to big spending. ... (See Frugal)

When your credit's still married and you're not -- Jointly held credit card accounts can still haunt you years after you divorce. Make sure your ex is off and stays off your credit report. ... (See Divorce)

Enforcement delayed on Internet gambling ban -- Federal regulators gave credit card-wielding gamblers -- and the banking industry -- six more months before an Internet gambling ban goes into effect. ... (See Delay)

Buyers' guide to gift cards: 5 questions to ask before buying -- Want to save money on gift card purchases? Ask yourself some key question and do a bit of homework; your extra effort can mean cash left over in your pocket. ... (See Guide)

5 key federal laws help protect credit cardholders -- There are many federal laws that are in a credit cardholder's corner, and it's important that prospective and current cardholders are knowledgeable about their legal rights. Here are the top five laws covering consumer credit that you need to know. ... (See Laws)

How going to jail impacts your credit -- Having zero-balance credit cards go unused during an 18-month prison sentence shouldn't cause a cardholder's credit to suffer -- unless the issuer decides to close the idle account. ... (See Jail)

Explore all options before declaring bankruptcy -- You may think bankruptcy will solve all your debt problems, but it also creates a whole new, lasting set of issues that will take a long time to recover from. ... (See Bankruptcy)

Debit card users now more protected from fraud, study says -- Debit card users at the nation's 25 largest banks have fraud protection that's long been reserved just for credit cardholders, a new study reveals: They no longer have to pay a cent if fraudulent charges are made on their debit card. ... (See debit cards, liability)

Agencies release new models for consumer privacy rights notices -- Federal agencies released samples of model privacy rights notices that are simpler and easier to understand. But banks are not required to use the forms. ... (See Privacy)

Fed issues rules restricting gift card fees, expiration -- Clearer disclosures of gift fees terms and conditions are also included in the rules that take effect in August 2010. ... (See Gift cards)

In default on car loan: What to do? -- If you are in default on a car loan, but want to make amends, it might help to sit down with the lender and discuss possible payment options. ... (See Default)

FICO reveals how common credit mistakes affect scores -- For the first time, the credit scoring firm discloses how many points a score will fall due to late payments or other errors. ... (See FICO score)

Fed: Consumers must opt in to debit card overdraft fees -- Consumers must opt-in to debit card overdraft fees, new Federal Reserve rules say. Congress is still pushing ahead on a more-sweeping overdraft law. ... (See Opt in)

Identity theft booms, even as thieves rely on old-fashioned methods -- Identity theft is booming again for the first time in years, and fraudsters are staying old fashioned and opting to go after your wallet or laptop, insurance giant Travelers reported. ... (See identity theft)

Stipulated judgments: the 'secret' savior -- If you've been sued due to nonpayment, getting something called a stipulated judgment can save you from having your wages garnished or your property seized. ... (See Savior)

Minors seeking a credit card will need a helping hand from mom and dad -- A 16-year-old reader wants to know how she can get her own credit card. The answer: with a little help from mom or dad. ... (See 16)

Banks continue to tighten credit card lending standards, Fed report says -- When it comes to tightening lending, the Fed survey of senior loan officers shows credit card issuers have gone from death grip to light squeeze. ... (See Survey)

Credit card balances fall sharply again -- Consumers have spent the past year living frugally, new Federal Reserve data shows -- and analysts say an anti-debt mindset isn't likely to change anytime soon. ... (See G.19)

Credit cardholders 'Discover' new terms in fine print -- Discover is the first of the major credit card issuers to give cardholders details of new terms under credit card law provisions ... (See Compliance)

Fed leaves rates unchanged again, stays positive about economy -- The Federal Reserve left its lending rates unchanged again on Wednesday, even as the central bank reiterated that the economy is on the mend. ... (See Fed)

Rise in delinquencies signals prolonged credit card woes -- Though charge-offs decreased during September, the credit card industry braces for an increase in noncollectable debt as delinquencies rise. ... (See Woes)

5 credit card opt-out oopses to avoid -- Even if you’ve opted out of a credit card interest rate increase, these costly mishaps can trigger an unwanted rate hike. ... (See Oops!)

Convenience (checks) comes at a price -- When it comes to convenience checks, your best bet is to proceed carefully. The fees and interest on convenience checks can quickly escalate, and they can be potential targets for identity thieves. ... (See Costly)

Don't blow first-time home buyer tax credit with credit card bills -- Running up credit card bills before closing can jeopardize that $8,000 tax break you were hoping would make you a first-time home buyer. ... (See Sprees)

Credit card interest rates push higher again -- APRs on new credit card offers inched up to 12.64 percent this week, says the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. This continues recent trends of rising interest rates this year, as banks continue to make moves ahead of a new card law. ... (See Rate report)

Uncle Sam wants you ... unless your credit stinks -- You may be ready to serve your country, but if your finances aren't in good shape, you might get washed out. ... (See Military)

Avoid headaches with this 5-step plan for traveling with credit cards -- Most people don't consider their credit cards when they're traveling overseas. That's a mistake. These 5 steps will get you and your cards abroad and back safely. ... (See Travel)

Credit card rates flat as banks look for other ways to boost profits -- Interest rates may be flat, but don't cheer yet: Banks are simply shifting their money-making strategies, experts say. ... (See Rate report)

House committee: Move up credit card law -- A key U.S. House committee voted to move up implementation of interest rate restrictions in the Credit CARD Act by nearly three months to Dec. 1, 2009, to fast-track consumer protections. ... (See Reform)

What to do when debt triples your income -- When your debt load is more than triple your income, it's time to seek a solution. Debt counseling, debt settlement and possible bankruptcy can set you free. ... (See Debt and disability)

Will cash gifts, inheritance go to creditors after bankruptcy? -- If you recently filed for bankruptcy and are now looking at an inheritance, it's best to make other arrangements for that cash or it could end up going to your creditors. ... (See Cash)

Credit card APRs fall slightly, reversing recent rate-hike trend -- Credit card interest rates dropped slightly this week, after several banks made a commitment to abstaining from additional rate hikes. ... (See Rate report)

CreditCards.com's guide to online holiday shopping 2009 -- The sour economy will push more people online to do their shopping this year; these steps will help keep your experience free of cybergrinches. ... (See Shopping)

Act fast to remove authorized users when your credit goes south -- Authorized users on your credit card account suffer when your credit hits the skids. Our expert shows how to remove those users to minimize the damage. ... (See Bad credit)

Under new management: Your credit card -- As more Americans resort to plastic to survive, major banks are shedding their credit card portfolios. What happens when your issuer dumps your credit card? ... (See Dumped)

Bankruptcy filings on track to hit 1.4 million in 2009 -- Spurred on by high unemployment, bankruptcies have steadily climbed toward the level present before a 2005 reform law that was supposed to hold down filings. ... (See Bankruptcies)

Mystery debt: A collector's goof becomes your recurring problem -- Prepare for a hassle if a collection mistake has your name on it -- phone calls and certified letters are in your future. ... (See Goof)

Nevada holds onto 'top spot' for U.S. bankruptcies in 3rd quarter -- Residents of Nevada, Tennessee and Georgia remain most likely to file bankruptcy, according to third quarter 2009 statistics. How likely are the neighbors in your state to file for protection from debts? ... (See Bankruptcy filings)

Debt collectors must prove the debt is yours -- A reader is being harassed for debt that she doesn't think is hers. Take these steps to take to prevent debt collection abuse. ... (See Proof)

As Americans tighten their belts, they adjust attitudes toward credit -- If buying on credit today were a card game, it would be Texas Hold 'Em. Consumers keep their credit cards close to their vests, leaving merchants to wonder if the newfound frugality is a fad or a bluff. ... (See Consumers)

Major issuers' rate hikes send national average card APR higher -- Several credit card issuers raised interest rates this week, driving the national average annual percentage rate on new credit card offers upward for the third straight week to 12.64 percent, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

Paying off a child's debt involves money and emotions, dollars and sense -- Paying off a child's debt is a lot more than writing a check. It involves money and emotions, dollars and sense. ... (See Strain)

Nearly 100 charged worldwide in massive phishing scam bust -- The FBI has charged more than 50 defendants -- the most ever charged in a cybercrime case -- for allegedly conspiring to steal the identities of hundreds, possibly thousands, of Americans, the bureau announced Monday. ... (See Phishing)

BofA pledges moratorium on credit card interest rate hikes -- Bank of America has pledged not to increase credit card interest rates until February 2010. Congress wants other card issuers to make the same pledge. ... (See Rates)

10 ways to protect yourself from data breaches -- Massive breaches of personal data can leave you feeling helpless, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself and prepare for the worst. ... (See ID theft)

The risks you incur when you co-sign -- Once you co-sign on a credit card, your rights to get out of the deal are limited, but you are still completely liable if the original account holder defaults. ... (See Risky)

Beware of 'fake' grandkids calling for cash -- Be warned! A popular scam is proliferating where a "grandchild" calls a grandparent asking for emergency cash or credit card info. ... (See Scam)

States with laws requiring consumer notification of ID theft -- Until recently, if ID thieves stole your credit card data, you were kept in the dark. But a host of new state laws force firms to reveal what they used to keep secret ... (See Data breach notification)

American Express boosts national average credit card interest rate -- American Express this week raised annual percentage rates on several of its card offers, pushing the national average APR higher for the third time in four weeks. ... (See Rate report)

Credit card marketers drop out of college campuses -- Fall 2009 is card issuers' last unfettered chance to sign up students. Rather than give an all-out marketing blitz in its last chance, issuers pulling back. ... (See College)

When is it not a good idea to piggyback on Mom or Dad's credit? -- Becoming an authorized user on a parent, guardian or other adult's credit card account can have rewards as well as pitfalls. Bad payment habits of the account holder can ruin the authorized user's credit score. ... (See Authorized user)

College students love, hate new credit card law -- College students across the country praise and condemn a new law that will restrict issuing credit cards to anyone under 21 beginning in February 2010. ... (See Credit CARD Act of 2009)

See what students across the U.S. say about changing credit card rules on campus -- Young adults will see their access to credit due restricted due to the Credit CARD Act of 2009; we surveyed campuses to see how students say it will affect them. ... (See Credit CARD Act of 2009)

Credit cards and college students: How new law changes marketing, access -- Credit cards and college students: How new law changes marketing of, access to credit cards for young adults. ... (See Credit CARD Act of 2009)

Fed: Credit card issuers, stay far away from college campus -- Under newly issued federal regulations, card issuers have to stay at least 1,000 feet away from campus. ... (See College)

Alternative ways for students to build a credit history -- The minimum age to qualify for a credit card will soon increase, requiring that students under 21 find new ways to develop positive credit histories. ... (See Student credit)

FAMU students sound off about new credit card law -- Credit cards are necessities for many on campus, students at Florida A&M University say. But others say they don't want the temptation the plastic can bring. ... (See FAMU)

Penn State students speak out about new credit card law -- Most students interviewed at Penn State University think the new laws will benefit people under 21 years of age, though some wondered whether there were exceptions to the rules. ... (See Penn State)

University of Texas students differ on new credit card law's worth -- Opinions on the new credit law varied among University of Texas students. Co-signers shouldn't be needed, some say, though others applauded the new law's restrictions, saying it would make students more responsible. ... (See Texas)

Arizona State University students sound off about new credit card law -- When asked about the new credit card law and how they manage their own credit, some students at Arizona State University said see credit cards as a step toward full adulthood. Others, however, worry about responsibility and debt. ... (See ASU)

University of Missouri students sound off on new credit card law -- Some welcome the added oversight the law gives young adults, others say show me the benefits to giving up financial independence. ... (See Mizzou)

Southern Cal students opine on new credit card law -- USC students have seen parents and friends handle, and mishandle, their cards. Those students say that if the law means fewer people get in trouble with their cards, all the better. ... (See USC)

Emory students debate new credit card law: Helpful or just intrusive? -- Emory University students are split on the Credit Card Act. Some say that it'll help students be more responsible, but one says they don't want or need anyone to 'play mom.' ... (See Emory)

Butler University students give views on new credit card law -- Butler University students say the new credit card law is a double-edged sword. It limits students' financial choices while attempting to save students from themselves. ... (See Butler)

IUPUI students see good and bad in new credit card law -- Credit card law's limitations sets some students at ease at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, though some are wary of those restrictions. ... (See IUPUI)

Notre Dame students' opinions vary on new credit card law -- Students from the University of Notre Dame see both good and bad in the new law limiting young adults' access to credit cards. Some say it promotes responsibility, while other college students say it just treats them like kids. ... (See Notre Dame)

University of Miami students discuss new credit card law -- Students from the University of Miami give their views on the 2009 credit card law that will restrict young adults' access to cards. Some say it'll help keep young people out of debt. Others say it'll just make things harder on them. ... (See Miami)

Videos: Students react to new laws limiting their access to credit cards -- We talked to college students at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Missouri to get their reaction to new laws restricting their access to credit cards. Their opinions varied widely. Click through to see their reactions. ... (See Videos)

Fed: Want a credit card? Prove you can pay the bill -- In an 800-page document released Sept. 29, 2009, the Fed lays out rules that require credit card issuers to confirm borrowers' ability to pay ... (See Fed: prove ability to pay credit card )

Credit card video: College students react to new credit card laws -- Portions of a new law will affect how young adults get credit cards. The law, which will put age restrictions on credit cards and ban certain types of marketing from college campuses, takes affect February 2010. Our reporter talked to students at the University of Missouri and got their reactions. ... (See Students)

Reform law, recession lead to 'retro' credit card offers -- New card programs offer payment control, plain vanilla features, but consumers still face a rocky road. ... (See Retro)

Protect yourself from estranged husband poaching your good credit -- If an estranged spouse uses your identity and 'poaches' your good credit, he may have committed fraud. Protect yourself first then decide whether to put the screws to him ... (See Really estranged)

APRs rise, even after Fed leaves rates unchanged -- The Federal Reserve chose to leave lending rates unchanged earlier this week, but credit card issuers didn't follow suit. ... (See Rate report)

Banks' checking and debit overdraft policies draw scrutiny -- Banking overdraft fees are the subject of studies and scrutiny as consumers, legislators and industry officials weigh in on the controversial practice. ... (See Fees)

Fed keeps rates steady again, waits for stronger economic recovery -- The Federal Reserve once again left interest rates unchanged, as the central bank waits for the economic recovery to become more pronounced before taking up the battle against inflation. ... (See Fed)

Think you can't use that not-yet-activated credit card? Think again -- Until you call your issuer to officially activate it, your new credit card is useless and secure, right? Not necessarily. The startling truth is that many sail through a purchase without a problem. ... (See Activating)

FTC eyes new rules on (not-so) free trial offers -- So-called 'negative option' deals mean unless you act, the free trial morphs into a permanent debt. ... (See FTC)

The risks you face when co-signing a loan -- When you co-sign on a loan and the original borrower stops paying, your credit report and credit score take a hit, too. ... (See Co-signer)

Does credit card debt follow you if you move overseas? -- Moving overseas doesn't mean you strand credit card debt acquired in the States -- especially if you ever plan on returning home ... (See Abroad)

Credit card rates steady as banks struggle with uncertain economy -- Amid mixed economic signals, banks kept interest rates unchanged on credit cards offers this week at 12.28 percent, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

Helping aging parents dig out of debt -- With credit card debt among seniors up 26 percent, experts tell you how to help aging parents get back on track without compromising your own financial future. ... (See Retirement and debt)

Credit card video: New rules for credit cards on campus -- CreditCards.com talked to students at the University of Texas at Austin to get their reaction to upcoming laws that limit credit card access for people under 21 years of age. ... (See Video)

Going to your parents for a loan? Hit up Dad first, poll says -- According to a new poll conducted by Gfk Roper for CreditCards.com, male parents are 15 percent more likely to pay off $20,000 or more of their kids debt. ... (See Dad)

Options for dealing with a minimum payment increase -- As issuers try new ways to bring in cash, cardholders may face boosted minimum payment requirements. If you can pay the new minimum, you should, and stop carrying a balance in the future. ... (See Hike)

How cell phone technology is helping combat credit card fraud -- Mobile phone technology is fast becoming the latest crime-fighting tool against credit card fraud ... (See Mobile detective)

What you stand to lose if you don't pay your credit card bill -- A reader wonders just what would happen to her if she just stopped paying her credit card bill. Legal action, garnishment and property liens, our expert warns. ... (See Pay up)

After a pause, credit card interest rates resume upward march -- After staying flat the previous week, the national average interest rate on new credit card offers rose to 12.28 percent, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

How to safely, securely destroy a credit card: 6 tips -- With credit card fraud and identity theft on the rise, a single scissor snip won't cut it anymore. ... (See Destroy)

Spouse's passing doesn't absolve widower of joint card debts -- Grief over a spouse's death and the need for money to get a new place to live after her passing doesn't absolve a widower of the obligation to pay down joint debts.. ... (See Widower)

Consumer credit plunges record $21.5 billion in July -- Consumer debt fell by an unprecedented $21.5 billion in July, according to new Federal Reserve data, as consumers continued to shy away from borrowing in the recession. ... (See G.19)

Creditors care about original loan documents, not court agreements -- In divorce, lenders will go after all who agreed to pay, no matter what a court decree says about who should pay. ... (See Divorce)

'Pay for grades' movement stirs passions among teachers, parents -- The 'pay for grades' movement has spread from urban cores to affluent middle-class cities around the country, with supporters and opponents squaring off in equal measure over its effectiveness. ... (See Students)

Credit card APRs steady, though banks are tweaking other terms -- Even as banks continue to tinker with their business models in reaction to new credit card legislation, the national average annual percentage rate on new credit card offers was unchanged this week at 12.17 percent, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

How foreclosures, short sales, other mortgage defaults affect your credit -- How big a bite does a home foreclosure, short sale or other mortgage default take out of your credit score? ... (See Hit)

You have new rights to keep your old rate -- Under the new credit card law, you can cancel your card and pay off your balance at the existing APR if the issuer hits you with a rate increase ... (See CARD Act)

FTC settles prepaid card misrepresentation case -- A company settled with the Federal Trade Commission after allegedly charging unaware consumers, who thought they were filling out loan applications, for a prepaid card. ... (See Prepaid cards)

After run of rate hikes, banks leave APRs unchanged -- Banks paused this week following a recent run of interest rate increases, leaving the national average annual percentage rate on new credit cards unchanged at 12.17 percent, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

7 signs Americans are getting smarter with credit -- Lately there have been a handful of signals that consumers are getting a lot smarter when it comes to the cards. Here are seven. ... (See Wiser)

Credit card reform law quirk: 45 days' notice becomes 14 -- Yes, the new credit card reform law requires 45 days' notice of rate hikes, but if you use the card after 14 days, the new rate applies. ... (See Quirk)

Study: Prepaid cards full of hidden dangers -- Though touted as a way to stay debt-free, the use of prepaid cards may subject consumers to high fees -- and the money may not be safe. ... (See Fees)

Learn your options when dealing with crushing medical debt -- Communicate, and secure your housing and transportation first, says The Credit Guy. ... (See Medical)

Help with credit card debt -- Whether you're trying to dig out from under debt or just avoid it in the first place, our Credit Card Help section can help you make better decisions ... (See Debt)

How to cancel a credit card - and close it without hurting your score -- Anyone can take scissors to a credit card, but it takes skill to cancel a card without nicking your credit score ... (See Cancel a credit card)

11 tips for dealing with debt collection, collectors -- Deal with it, experts say. Otherwise, matters can only get worse. CreditCards.com has compiled tips to make this process easier. ... (See Debt collection)

Know your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act -- Experts say consumers should face the facts and deal with debt collectors, but also know and understand their consumer rights and protections ... (See Debt collection)

Debt collectors' ethics codes -- Associations of debt collectors try to curb abuses in the collections industry ... (See Ethics)

Dividing credit card debt in divorce -- In a divorce, you can still dicker over your credit card debt and work out better terms, but expect a marathon, not a sprint ... (See Divorce)

Credit card reform law's first phase kicks in Aug. 20 -- The first phase of the new credit card reform law kicks in Aug. 20. Use these helpful links to navigate through what the new law means to you. ... (See Credit CARD Act of 2009)

Got a beef with a credit card issuer? Here's how to file a complaint -- Can't resolve a problem you're having with your credit card issuer? You can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal watchdog agency that oversees large banks, credit union or savings institutions. ... (See Complain about your credit card issuer)

Q and A on first phase of new credit card law -- Consumers get the right to opt out of rate increases, notification and billing requirements become clearer. ... (See Law)

A guide to navigating through bankruptcy -- If you're among the growing number of people considering bankruptcy, this package of news articles, tips and statistics will help to get you through ... (See Bankruptcy)

Firsthand lessons from dealing with my parents' credit card debt after death -- After her parents' sudden demise, a daughter shares hard-won lessons learned from having to cope with their finances. ... (See Lessons)

Credit card video: Credit CARD Act to bring big changes -- Connie Prater, senior writer for CreditCards.com, discusses a few of the major provisions in the Credit Card Act of 2009. ... (See Video)

Fed report: Lenders again tighten credit card loan standards, but not as much -- Credit card issuers again cut credit in the second quarter of 2009, as did lenders of many kinds, according to the latest data from the Federal Reserve. ... (See Tighter)

Credit card charge-offs, delinquencies hit all-time high -- The second quarter closed with the highest consumer credit card delinquency and charge-off rates since the Federal Reserve began tracking data on the subjects. ... (See Record)

Have card, will travel: A guide to traveling with a credit card -- You need to take steps before, during and after the trip if you want your travel to be enjoyable for you and your credit. ... (See Travel)

Consumers gain right to opt out of credit card rate increases -- The first phase of the new Credit CARD Act of 2009 kicked in Aug. 20, lengthening notice requirements to 45 days and giving consumers the right to opt out of rate increases. ... (See Law)

Fed again leaves interest rates at historic low -- In an effort to preserve what analysts deem a fragile recovery, the Federal Reserve has again left interest rates unchanged. ... (See Fed)

When your spouse's debt collection becomes your nightmare -- If your spouse's credit card debt is headed south and the debt collectors are calling, there is a good chance that your assets are at risk, too. ... (See Debt)

States weigh limits on credit checks for employment -- In July 2009, Hawaii became the second state to limit the practice of allowing all employers to make hiring decisions based on a job applicant's credit score. ... (See Score)

Killing off the credit card balance that refuses to die -- Late charges, over-the-limit fees, interest rate hikes and cash advance fees can all prevent you from paying down that previously unrelenting credit card balance. ... (See Balance)

Consumer credit card balances plummet -- Credit card balances fell once again in June, according to the latest data from the Federal Reserve, as consumer spending and access to credit remained under pressure. ... (See G.19)

Will there be a global credit score someday? -- Imagine all the people of the world united -- under a single credit scoring model. Depending on whom you ask, the concept of a global credit score is either a far-fetched pipe dream or an eventual reality. ... (See Global)

How credit scoring varies around the world -- Dominant in the U.S., the FICO credit score doesn't hold the same status worldwide. That leaves many international lenders looking to local versions of credit scoring models to help judge risk. And the differences from nation to nation can be great ... (See Scoring)

What are your rights when opting out of a rate increase? -- You can't opt out of a rate increase after the stated deadline, but you may be able to freeze the account at the old rate. ... (See Opt out)

Decline in credit card mailings slows -- After months of decline, recent data show banks have begun reconsidering card offers. Synovate, which tracks credit card direct mail, reports that U.S. households received 349.1 million offers in the second quarter -- down just 6 percent from the first quarter ... (See Credit card mailings)

U.S. magnetic stripe credit cards on brink of extinction? -- Europe is considering an all-out ban on magnetic stripe credit cards, favoring chip-and-PIN transactions. Will U.S. plastic be left in the dust? ... (See Ban)

Active military personnel protected from interest rate hikes -- The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act offers interest rate limit protections for active duty military personnel. All you have to do is ask, and prove that you've been called to serve. ... (See SCRA)

Can one spouse's bankruptcy destroy the other's credit? -- If your spouse files for bankruptcy, your credit score may or may not be impacted, depending on where you live and what you owe. ... (See Bankruptcy)

Credit card APRs jump for 4th time in 5 weeks -- Following a brief pause last week, the national average annual percentage rate on new credit card offers rose for the fourth time in the past five weeks to 12.06 percent, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

Survey: Credit card, collection complaints growing quickly -- The nation's fastest growing consumer complaints involve aggressive collection tactics for credit card and many other debts, says a survey released Thursday. ... (more)

Poll: Credit card issuers punish cardholders, but pursue a few -- Credit card issuers have punished two of every five cardholders by acts such as rate increases, but a few have been rewarded, says a CreditCards.com poll. ... (See Whacked)

Proving your worth: How entrepreneurs can qualify for credit -- As credit lines tighten, or even disappear, small-business owners are turning to credit cards for survival. But getting approved for plastic is harder than ever. ... (See Qualify)

Create a separate credit identity after divorce -- If you are still an authorized user on an ex's credit cards, your credit score is dependent on their payment behavior. Your best bet is to get your own credit. ... (See Divorce)

Consumers cash in on credit card scam -- The FTC mailed refund checks to victims of a Florida-based telemarketing credit card scheme. ... (See Credit card fraud)

After weeks of increases, credit card APRs finally stand still -- Ending a streak of three straight weekly APR increases, the national average interest rate on new credit card offers held steady this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. Just don't expect it to last. ... (See Rate report)

Credit card binding arbitration system crumbling -- A controversial, but common practice in the credit card industry -- requiring consumers to go to arbitrators rather than the courts when disputes arise -- appears on the verge of collapse. ... (See Credit card arbitration)

9 tips for job seekers with bad credit -- As the recession drags on, times are getting tougher for job hunters. The good news is you can still find a well-paying job even if you have lousy credit. These nine tips can help. ... (See Jobs)

Fed bank regulator's report says national banks still tightening lending standards -- A report from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency shows shows no banks easing credit card standards while 68 percent are tightening up. ... (See Credit card lending)

Bankruptcies per capita, all 50 states, 2007-2009 -- Nevada jumped Tennessee to become the leader in per capita bankruptcy for 2009. Where does your state rank? ... (See Broke)

Leading arbitration firm abruptly quits the business after lawsuit -- A lawsuit by Minnesota's attorney general caused a quick retreat by the leading firm that provides binding arbitration services to millions of credit cardholders. ... (See Credit card arbitration)

5 post-bankruptcy myths -- While bankruptcy may offer a fresh start, many consumers worry about how it will ultimately impact their financial future. Recovery takes time, but it's not as bleak as you may think. ... (See 5 bankruptcy myths)

Bankruptcy filings return to pre-reform-law pace -- Largely due to the recession, a 2005 law clamping down on filing had only temporary impact. ... (See FIlings)

Variable interest rate cards replacing fixed rates -- Seven months in advance of the new rules that would limit an issuer's ability to alter a fixed rate account, credit cardholders are being moved to variable rate cards. ... (See APRs)

Credit card APRs rise for third straight week -- Borrowing money on a new credit card continues to become increasingly expensive, as banks work to protect themselves from a weak economy. ... (See Rate report)

Minnesota Attorney General files lawsuit against National Arbitration Forum -- Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the National Arbitration Forum of Minnesota is unfair to consumers. ... (See Credit card arbitration)

The greatest gift of all: free travel -- When offered someone else's frequent flier miles for travel, there are some rules of the road that you should follow. ... (See Free!)

Let's talk credit: 8 must-have couple conversations -- Attitudes about using credit cards vary dramatically, and learning a partner's outlook can avert all-too-common money disputes. Here are the eight top credit issues every couple should tackle. ... (See Talk to me)

Your options when credit card minimum payments skyrocket -- Credit card issuers can change conditions on short notice, including the minimum payment. ... (See Payment )

Starting a credit life after a spouse's death -- A widow wants to know what she needs to do to keep her mortgage and lines of credit after her husband's death. ... (See Death, debt and credit)

Credit card interest rates keep moving higher -- The cost of using credit cards continues to rise, giving consumers yet another reason to keep their plastic in their wallets. ... (See Rate report)

Credit card balances keep falling, Fed says in May's G.19 report on consumer credit -- Credit card balances continued their downward spiral in May, according to the latest data from the Federal Reserve, as cardholders remained hesitant to carry any unnecessary debt during the ongoing recession. ... (See G.19)

Time for the big credit card talk with college students -- The new Credit CARD Act of 2009 limits issuing and marketing credit cards to people under 21. It may mean more parents will have to discuss managing credit with their children. ... (See The big talk)

Download a sample credit card contract for parents, young adult children -- This downloadable contract between parents and their young adult children about credit card use can be a starting point for talk about co-signing for a credit card. ... (See Sample credit card contract)

Your rights when dealing with canceled flights -- When your flight is canceled, you might be surprised to find that the airlines aren't legally required to do much to accommodate you. ... (See Canceled)

24 hours of credit card tweets on Twitter -- To find out what Internet users think about plastic, CreditCards.com read and evaluated 24 hours' worth of tweets about credit cards on the social networking site Twitter. ... (See Twitter)

Credit card issuers dip a cautious toe into social media -- Credit card companies have made only tentative steps into the social media fray. But while you’re talking on sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, they’re listening in -- and planning their next steps. ... (See Antisocial)

John Grund: A look at the future of credit cards -- Credit card expert John Grund analyzes what consumers can expect to pay for credit in the near future and whether the days of easy credit are over. ... (See Future)

Credit card interest rates rise ahead of new law -- Regulations plus recession make card issuers pull the APR trigger and hike cardholders' rates. ... (See Rates rise)

New federal guidelines help consumers dispute credit report errors -- Under a set of newly introduced guidelines, consumers gain the right to take up disputes over credit report inaccuracies diirectly with the businesses that supplied the faulty data. ... (See Disputes)

CreditCards.com's Weekly Rate Report: Rates barely lower -- The national average annual percentage rate on new credit card offers edged barely lower this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report, but analysts expect interest rates to rise in the not-too-distant future. ... (See Rate report)

Fed again holds rates steady, but change may come soon -- Although, as expected, the Federal Reserve didn't boost interest rates with its latest monetary policy announcement, analysts say it is only a matter of time before the Fed hikes its key lending rate. ... (See Fed)

Credit cards around the world -- Credit cards have spread around the globe, but the differences in how they're offered illustrate differences between cultures. ... (See World)

Allowing friends to use your credit card = mistake -- After the charges, it may be too late to hold someone else responsible for debt run up on your card with your permission. ... (See Friends don't let friends charge)

Does it matter who is the primary account holder? -- In times past, creditors may have only reported credit history for the primary account holder -- usually the man. Times have changed. ... (See Primary)

CreditCards.com's Weekly Rate Report: Rates unchanged -- Credit card interest rates didn't move this week, but experts say recently introduced laws and an eventual economic recovery likely mean higher credit card APRs in the not-too-distant future. ... (See Rate report)

Obama proposes new consumer protection agency for credit cards, other financial services -- The Obama administration proposes creating a Consumer Financial Protection Agency as a consumer watchdog for credit cards and other complicated financial products. ... (See Watchdog)

Summary: What a Consumer Financial Protection Agency would mean to credit card users -- This table summarizes how credit cardholders would be affected by President Obama's sweeping financial reform proposal. ... (See Consumer financial protection)

New law bans card payment allocation trickery -- If you use your credit cards for balance transfers or cash advances in addition to making purchases, your credit card payments will soon go further, starting in February. ... (See Payments)

A guide to the Credit CARD Act of 2009 -- The federal government has enacted sweeping reforms into how credit cards work; learn what they mean to you through this interactive guide. ... (See A guide)

Videos: What people are saying about the Credit CARD Act -- A lot has happened since the Credit CARD Act of 2009 was introduced, and much of it recorded on video cameras. ... (See Credit CARD Act of 2009)

What you buy and where you shop may affect your credit -- The new Credit CARD Act calls for a probe of whether shopping at certain merchants or buying certain items affects your creditworthiness. ... (See Credit card purchases)

How to shop your way to a better credit score -- Credit card issuers increasingly use complicated formulas to analyze their cardholders' purchasing patterns for signs of increased risk. ... (See Score)

European Trade Commission: U.S. overstepping bounds in enforcing onling gambling ban -- The European Commission ruled this week that U.S. laws that ban most forms of online gambling discriminate against European companies and violate international trade agreements. ... (See Gambling)

Are you responsible for your late parent's debts? -- One nervous reader asks whether a credit card company can come after her to pay for her father's debts after he passes away. ... (See Debts)

Experian: High credit score increases likelihood of ID theft -- Having a high credit score makes it easier -- and cheaper -- for you to borrow money. But according to a new report from credit bureau Experian, that high score also makes it easier for identity thieves to secure stolen credit in your name. ... (See ID theft)

Fed G.19 consumer credit report shows spending falls again -- As the recession and layoffs continue to take their toll, consumers respond by ditching debt. ... (See Credit)

Protecting your credit score when paying down debt -- It's a Catch-22: you opt to pay down your credit card debt, but then your credit limit gets cut. What's a cardholder to do? ... (See Cut)

New phone phishing scam on the rise -- Thousands of bank customers are being targeted by a new phishing scam where they are asked to enter their credit card information over the phone, police say. ... (See Theft)

'Free trial' offers can bring unwanted credit card charges -- Ever fall for the "order now and receive a free trial offer" on the latest energy booster or anti-aging cream? You're not alone. Here's how to avoid getting scammed. ... (See Scams)

Credit card mail offers with annual fees on the rise -- Once nearly extinct for people with good credit, card offers with annual fees are rebounding, research firm Synovate says. ... (See Fees)

The ugly side of debt collection -- Debt collectors would much rather settle for less than the full amount and get it all at once than receive a small amount each month. ... (See Collection)

Obama signs credit card reforms into law -- His signature starts the enactment clock ticking on new consumer protections. ... (See Law)

Credit card reform legislation time line -- This interactive time line shows how the sweeping credit card reform bill became a law, and when its different provisions take effect. ... (See Credit CARD Act of 2009)

A practical guide of what to expect when filing for bankruptcy -- American bankruptcy laws were created for catastrophic events, where debt resolution can give you a fresh start and let you become a productive, contributing citizen again. ... (See Bankrupt)

No more free pizza? Law will alter cozy relationship between credit card issuers, colleges -- New credit card legislation will change the cozy relationships between banks and colleges -- and mean less free pizza for students. ... (See Students)

Will credit card law will hurt more people than it helps? -- Card issuers say the new law will hurt consumers; consumer advocates say the card issuers are bluffing. ... (See New law)

House easily passes credit card reform bill -- Following today's 361-64 House vote, President Obama is poised to sign credit card restrictions into law. ... (See Vote)

Your keys to getting in the 700+ credit score club -- Having good credit pays -- in dollars and cents. In an ever-tightening credit market, having a solid credit history with a credit score well over 700 will open doors to money-saving opportunities ... (See Club)

U.S. Senate votes for credit card reform bill -- Riding on a wave of anti-bank and pro-consumer sentiment sweeping the country, the U.S. Senate today passed unprecedented credit card industry reforms designed to help millions of families struggling to pay credit card debt. ... (See Vote)

What the new credit card law means for you -- Now that landmark credit card reforms have taken effect, here's how its provisions will affect you. ... (See Protections)

How to cope until new credit card law takes effect -- Consumer advocates say cardholders should wean themselves off of credit cards, pay down debt and pay on time during this period before new protections kick in. ... (See Advice)

Obama to hold town hall meeting on credit cards this week -- President Barack Obama will hold a town hall meeting on credit cards in Albuquerque, N.M., May 14. ... (See Meet)

Your credit card has a carbon footprint -- A credit card's footprint is roughly the CO2 equivalent of five bank checks, 13 dollar bills -- or the gas to drive a Hummer 150 feet. ... (See Carbon)

What's the best way to pay the IRS? -- When faced with a tax bill, it's important to weigh all payment options carefully or you'll end up paying a lot more than you owe. ... (See IRS)

Job fears keep credit card balances falling -- Credit card balances fell further in March, based on the latest data from the Federal Reserve, as cardholders opted to save their money rather than spend on plastic. ... (See G.19)

Feds: Close rate-hike loopholes in credit card rules -- Feds propose rule amendments to close loopholes that would have allowed interest rate hikes by credit card issuers; the public can comment on them until June 4. ... (See Loopholes)

Rep. Frank introduces bill to allow online gambling -- Don't bet on it quite yet, but you soon might be able to use your credit card to place online wagers, legally and without giving your card numbers to -- and funneling your money through -- a foreign company. ... (See Gambling)

Authors explain how to duck debt reaffirmation traps -- When seeking bankruptcy protection, some unwary consumers may be cajoled or outright conned by their creditors into remaining on the hook for a car loan or home mortgage through a process known as reaffirmation. ... (See Traps)

American Express, U.S. Bank contend for rewards card customers -- In the wake of Delta's merger with Northwest Airlines, American Express announced April 27 it will be taking over Northwest's WorldPerks rewards program. Meanwhile, WorldPerks' former provider, U.S. Bank, sought to stay competitive by introducing its own expansive rewards card. ... (See Fliers)

U.S. House passes Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights -- With strong backing from President Obama, a measure reining in credit card issuers passed the House of Representatives -- and even got stronger. ... (See Bill)

Bulletin: U.S. House easily passes cardholders' bill of rights -- The U.S. House of Representatives again passes tough consumer credit card protections, but this time with presidential backing. ... (See Bill)

Latest Fed statement offers little relief to credit cardholders -- The latest Federal Reserve announcement provided little fresh support to cardholders hoping for a break from higher interest rates and fees. ... (See Fed)

Laid off, stuck with company credit card bill -- If you are an authorized user on your company card, then you aren't responsible for payment, but that might not stop collectors from harassing you for it. ... (See Company card)

Why do credit cards have expiration dates? -- When your credit card renews, it's important to re-evaluate and renew any automatic payments. ... (See Expire)

Senators seek 'emergency freeze' to rate hikes on credit card balances -- Sens. Dodd, Schumer want to ban rate increases on credit card balances. ... (See Rate freeze)

Sample credit card interest rate increase opt-out letter -- New credit card law requires issuers to give consumers the right to opt out of interest rate increases. This sample opt-out letter will help you decline them. ... (See Rate-increase opt-out letter)

How to react to a 'rate-jack' attack -- The bad news is in. Your credit card issuer has sent a change in term notice of an impending interest rate hike on your account. But you have options. ... (See How to handle credit card rate increases)

FTC helps nonbank cardholders figure true cost of credit -- Nonbank credit cardholders who want to figure out how long it will take to pay off their credit card balances by only making the minimum payment can now just call the FTC. ... (See FTC)

Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights passes House committee -- On the eve of a key meeting between President Barack Obama and top credit card industry executives, the House Financial Services Committee passes the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights ... (See H.R. 627)

Egg or sperm donation, medical experiments: Struggling consumers go to extremes to tackle debt -- You've given blood, sweat and tears to pay off those credit card bills, but what about your sperm and eggs? In tough times, some consumers see cash offered by participation in medical tests, sperm and egg donation as a viable way to attack card debt. ... (See Extreme)

In bad economy, demand rises among crooks for ID data -- In the midst of a struggling economy, the supply, demand and prices for stolen credit card data in the black market remains high, according to a new study. ... (See Theft)

Coalition takes battle over credit card practices to issuers' boardrooms -- Religion-oriented investors, consumer groups file shareholder proposals asking major credit card corporations to examine their own practices and excise any that are predatory. ... (See Shareholders)

Study: 'The war on phishing is far from over' -- More consumers were victims of phishing attacks in 2008 -- a 39.8 percent increase from a year earlier -- but the average amount lost decreased, according to a survey conducted by technology research company Gartner. ... (See Fraud)

Top credit card issuers back new debt management plan (DMP) repayment relief program -- In partnership with a major consumer credit counseling accrediting agency, 10 of the nation's largest credit card issuers have agreed to provide additional relief to consumers struggling to repay their debts. ... (See Debt payback relief)

Ex-wife maxes out joint cards: Who pays? -- Divorce is at best unpleasant and at worse very painful. Plus, the lingering separation of finances can add to the pain for years. ... (See Maxed out)

Hybrid credit, prepaid cards may offer crunch relief -- Consumers trapped in the credit crunch may soon have another choice when hybrid credit/prepaid card combos become more widespread. ... (See Hybrid credit, prepaid cards)

Study: Credit card fraud Americans' biggest fear -- New data say credit card and debit card fraud is the No. 1 fear of Americans, outweighing those of war, terrorism, computer hacking and epidemics. ... (See Fraud)

How -- and when -- to use credit cards to pay income taxes to the IRS -- Going into debt to pay taxes may not be the wisest call in the financial playbook, but some people may not have a choice. Here's how to do it wisely. ... (See Here's how)

IRS rules that fee for paying taxes with credit, debit card is deductible -- New ruling creates a break for paying tax by plastic -- but only for some ... (See IRS)

Card issuers more willing to make concessions in debt deals, but fewer consumers qualify -- Realizing something's better than nothing, card issuers are OKing more generous debt management plans -- but they're still too costly for many consumers. ... (See Debt)

Group issues standards for fair credit cards -- Raised interest rates on nearly one-quarter of credit cards cost consumers more than $10 billion in 2008, one of the many damages of unfair credit practices the Pew Charitable Trust said it hopes to prevent through a list of standards the company released March 31. ... (See Pew)

Credit Card Help: 10 worst credit card mistakes -- Making these 10 mistakes will turn good credit into bad and bad credit into lenders-won't-go-near-you credit. ... (See Mistakes)

Credit Card Help: 7 things you must know about credit cards -- Forge a positive and fruitful relationship with credit cards by learning the basics before you apply for an account ... (See 7 things)

Credit report sample: How to read, understand your credit report -- This interactive guide displays an example of a personal credit report and explains how each part works ... (See User's guide to credit reports)

Credit Card Help: What the credit card reform law means to you -- The Credit CARD Act of 2009 included the most sweeping changes in credit card laws ever. Here's a summary of what they are and how they have affected consumers ... (See Credit card law's impact)

Survey: 28% of ID theft victims know crime source -- More than one out of four victims of identity theft know how their personal information fell into the wrong hands. The remaining 72 percent are left wondering just how their identity was compromised ... (See Theft)

Using frequent flier miles for tax-deductible business trip? Figure fair market value -- Using frequent flier miles for a tax-deductible business trip? Careful: There are two ways to determine their value. ... (See Miles)

Cardholders' Bill of Rights passes 1st legislative hurdle -- The 2009 version of the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights passes its first legislative hurdle, but quick implementation was stripped out. ... (See Bill)

Credit card authorized users, joint account holders: Know the difference -- The differences are significant between authorized users and joint account holders -- especially in payment responsibilities. ... (See Opening Credits)

Heartland data breach damages still mounting -- More than two months after the announcement of the Heartland Payment Systems security breach, the processor has continued to draw fire from merchants and issuers. ... (See Breach)

Ad campaign fights credit card interchange fees -- American households pay hundreds of dollars a year in hidden credit card fees called interchange fees each year, a practice that a business coalition has vowed to fight to eliminate. ... (See Interchange fee ads)

Federal Reserve's public comment period ends on automatic overdraft protection -- Almost 2,000 consumers and financial institutions answered the Federal Reserve's call to voice their opinion on overdraft fees. Consumers want see change; banks want little change if any. ... (See Fed)

Fed invites comments on banks' automatic overdraft programs -- The Federal Reserve Board is asking consumers to comment on potential changes to regulations governing banks' controversial overdraft protection programs. ... (See Overdraft)

Are credit card rewards taxable? Probably not, but ... -- The IRS has indicated that it does not presently view rewards such as frequent flier miles as income, and therefore they're not taxable. ... (See Taxable?)

Stuck with a tax bill? Here are your payment options -- If you're one of those who owe and don't have the dough, you may be tempted to pull out a credit card -- but is that the wisest choice? ... (See Tax payment options)

10 grandchildren + $100,000 in card debt = bankruptcy? -- Even though bankruptcy may seem like the answer to clean the debt slate, if you don't change your situation, it won't help at all. ... (See $100,000)

'Contactless' credit cards spark concerns for data privacy -- The credit-card swiper you now use at the checkout counter may eventually be obsolete, but privacy advocates question whether contactless cards are more for convenience and less about keeping customers' data safely protected. ... (See RFID)

New survey finds most common ID theft victims -- The most common identity theft victims are middle-aged married females, divorcees, or those who make more than $75,000 a year, according to a December 2008 survey released by Nationwide Insurance. ... (See ID theft)

Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights gets 1st House hearing of 2009 -- Federal legislative would codify pro-consumer card regulations; opponents say it would go into effect so fast it would wreck the system. ... (See Bill)

Latest Fed moves won't have much impact on cardholders -- Unable to further reduce interest rates, the Federal Reserve's latest meeting focused on other tools to encourage borrowing and, in turn support a weak economy. ... (See Fed decision)

FTC charges seven credit repair companies with deceit -- The Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint today with the U.S. District Court of New Jersey accusing seven companies and their principals of violating federal law by falsely promising to erase all negative information from a consumer's credit report. ... (See Credit)

What happens to prepaid cards when a business is sold? -- Most business owners follow both logic and good business sense and honor prepaid cards. Sometimes, however, you run into someone who doesn't. ... (See Prepaid)

Credit card video: 6 tips to protect yourself from ID theft -- Identity theft is a huge problem these days. Gail Cunningham, spokeswoman for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, offers helpful, practical tips to keep yourself safe. ... (See ID theft video)

Credit card glossary terms to know for identity theft -- The most proactive step consumers can take to detect fraud is to monitor closely their bank and credit card statements. ... (See Credit card glossary terms)

Credit card glossary terms to know for first-time card users -- Ready for your first credit card? Before you start charging, here are credit card terms that will help you become a responsible credit card user. ... (See First credit card)

What to do if your retail credit card issuer goes bankrupt -- Millions of private label cardholders are seeing retailers go into bankruptcy, or worse, go under. The question then is to whom do you pay, and do you have to pay at all? ... (See Retailers)

Federal Reserve's January 2009 G.19 report on consumer credit shows jump in spending -- Credit card balances rose in January, according to the latest data from the Federal Reserve, as workers saved their incomes and the unemployed were forced to live on plastic. ... (See G.19)

Good credit cardholders lumped in with bad -- Banks are pulling back more than ever before to limit the amount of risk they have, so even perfect payment clients are compromised ... (See AmEx)

Credit card issuers beware: Feds will be watching -- Federal regulators will use federal law against unfair or deceptive trade practices to judge future credit card practices. ... (See FDIC)

Credit card fraud victims more likely to recover losses -- Five percent of Americans were victims of financial fraud in 2008, but those who had money stolen from credit and debit cards were more likely to recover their losses. ... (See Fraud)

ACA proposes changes to debt collection law -- The responsibility of notifying creditors they have filed for bankruptcy should be more in the hands of consumers, according to the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals. ... (See Notify us)

$200 billion in 'TALF' funds ready to revive consumer lending -- Loans for credit cards may soon be a little easier to get as $200 billion in the TALF program will be injected into the frozen lending sectors. ... (See TALF)

When credit card debt ruins retirement -- When credit card debt dulls the glow of your golden years, you have options: reverse mortgages, bankruptcy or credit counseling. ... (See Retirement)

Credit card biometrics making its way from the movies to the marketplace -- Credit cards with biometric security features may no longer be the stuff of spy movies, but a mainstream alternative to sloppy signatures and forgotten passwords. ... (See ID theft)

FTC urges changes to Fair Debt Collection Practices Act -- The FTC announces in a Feb. 26, 2009, report that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act be updated to reflect changes in technology and to improve consumer protections. ... (See Laws)

'Tokenization' touted as a new way to increase credit card data security -- Rather than spend more making credit card data hackproof, a new concept would prevent ID theft by never having merchants store the data in the first place. ... (See ID theft)

Commercial, business credit cards not covered by new federal regulations -- New credit card rules approved by federal regulators in December 2008 give greater protections to consumers and families with credit cards -- but not to corporate or small business cardholders. ... (See Protection)

How the IRS treats frequent flier credit card rewards -- are they taxable income? -- When cashing in frequent flier miles, it's important to know whether the IRS considers them gifts or taxable income. ... (See IRS)

Average credit card balances rose to $7,300 in 2007, Fed survey says -- The Federal Reserve released its triennial look at Americans' finances. Seven in 10 households have credit cards, but nearly half carry balances each month ... (See Balances)

6 ways to protect your identity in a data breach -- As data breaches become more prolific, it's important to be more proactive in protecting yourself from identity theft. ... (See Theft)

Lessons in paying off delinquent debt -- Settling an old debt won't necessarily improve your credit score, but it can free you of the collection process and to know that you made good on your obligation ... (See Old debt)

Federal Reserve's December 2008 G.19 report on consumer spending -- Consumers sharply reduced their credit card balances in December, according to monthly data from the Federal Reserve, as even the holidays weren't enough to drive spending on plastic. ... (See G.19)

Federal Reserve's December 2008 G.19 report on consumer spending -- Consumers sharply reduced their credit card balances in December, according to monthly data from the Federal Reserve, as borrowers paid for fewer expenses with plastic. ... (See G.19)

Q&A with credit card and debt expert Amelia Warren Tyagi -- Why aren't credit card contracts tested for product safety just like toasters? That's exactly the sort of fundamental common sense asked by author and debt expert Amelia Warren Tyagi. ... (See Q&A)

How to avoid debt collectors' fees -- Debt collectors often try to tack on a separate fee to your debt, which is governed by law and has to be reasonable. ... (See Collectors)

Research: Direct mail credit card offers plummeted in 2008 -- Those offers that did go out went mainly to the wealthy, according to Mintel Comperemedia research. ... (See Card offers)

Couples should debt plan when estate planning -- Avoid headaches for surviving spouses by taking responsibility for debt balances into estate planning. ... (See Debt plan)

Fed report: Banks continue to tighten lending standards -- Banks remain hesitant to extend credit to consumer borrowers, according to the results of the latest Federal Reserve survey of senior loan officers, with more than half of lenders saying they tightened their credit card lending standards in the last three months of 2008. ... (See Lending)

When medical problems hit, bankruptcy can make sense -- Bankruptcy laws were created for catastrophic situations, not for carelessness. However, filing should be done only when other options have been considered. ... (See Last resort)

Unable to cut interest rates, Fed seeks new economy-boosting tools -- Unable to lower interest rates further, the Federal Reserve today announced plans to instead use other means to kick-start a stalled economy. ... (See Rates unchanged)

Out of ammo, Federal Reserve invents new guns -- With no room to lower interest rates further, the Federal Reserve today announced plans to instead invent alternate means to prop up the economy. ... (See Fed statement)

Don't take the bait when you receive a 'phishing' e-mail -- Legitimate companies don't ask for your private, personal information via e-mail. Don't let a logo lure you into a 'phishing' scam or in can cost you. ... (See Fraud)

Bankruptcies surge in 2008, passing 1 million mark again -- Personal bankruptcies surged to more than 1 million filings in the United States in 2008 -- the most since a rewrite of bankruptcy laws took effect in 2005. ... (See Bankruptcy)

Canceled debts will lead to IRS tax -- When collectors discharge old debts, they will report that to the IRS as income to you, leaving you with what could be a hefty tax bill. ... (See Discharged debts)

Unlawful Internet Gambling Act regulations finalized for credit card issuers -- New federal regulations take effect Jan. 19, 2009, that require credit card issuers to enforce a bewildering set of federal regulations aimed at stopping online gambling. ... (See Regulations)

Online gambling a multibillion dollar industry -- Internet gambling started around 1995 and has grown into a multibillion dollar industry. ... (more)

Suspect identity theft? How to check for, fix ID theft or fraud -- You can opt out of unwanted mail solicitations, but a sudden flurry could be a hint that new credit has been opened in your name. ... (See Credit reports)

How to keep debt collectors at bay -- No matter what your circumstances, you have the legal right to ask collectors to stop harassment ... (See Collectors)

More Americans getting free FICO scores -- Fair Isaac inks deal to let credit union members see once-secret score at no charge. ... (See FICO)

How to replace a lost, stolen gift card (or return an unwanted one) -- The reason so many of us love gift cards -- they're a lot like cash -- is also the reason they can be hard to replace when they're stolen or lost. However, there are steps you can take to reclaim that moolah ... (See Returning, replacing gift cards)

Round 2 for Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights -- Two New York Congress members are reintroducing the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights. Will the second time around be a winner for credit card practices law? ... (See Card law)

Your credit card is a tattletale: With electronic payments, little is private -- Credit card issuers have access to a wealth of information about where you shop, how much you spend and how often. Increasingly, they use that data to change your access to credit. ... (See Privacy)

Credit card statistics, debt statistics, industry facts -- Credit card statistics, surveys and research from a variety of sources, all cited, making fact-checking and research easy ... (See Credit card statistics)

Financial steps to take when you're sinking in debt -- When you're behind on your mortgage and credit card bills, figuring out how to stay afloat may seem impossible, but there are drastic measure you can take to keep from sinking. ... (See Sinking)

Federal Reserve's November 2008 G.19 report on consumer spending -- Credit card balances plunged in November, as consumers strongly reined in their borrowing. ... (See G.19)

Breaking news: Federal Reserve's November 2008 G.19 report on consumer spending -- Credit card balances shrank in November, as concern over banks' strict lending standards caused consumers to rein in their spending. ... (See G.19)

Statutes of limitation for credit card debt collection, all 50 states -- Creditors have a limited time in which to file suit over unpaid credit card debt. Here are the statutes of limitation for all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia ... (See Statutes of limitation for credit card debt)

7 irrational credit card fears (and 7 REAL worries) -- Are you or someone you know afraid to use -- or even obtain -- plastic? Sure, credit cards come with a series of essential cautions, but overall they are safe and useful financial management tools. ... (See Fears)

Best credit card stories of 2008 -- The year 2008 saw unprecedented change in the credit card industry, turning card debt from convenient friend into everyone's enemy. These are the top 10 stories that helped chronicle it. ... (See 2008 review)

9 predictions for credit cards in 2009 -- This has been a tumultuous year for credit cardholders and issuers. What does 2009 hold? We'll take a look. ... (See '09 card predictions)

Medical identity theft: what it is, how to prevent it -- Treat your health insurance card as you would a credit card or driver's license, because like the other forms of identification, great harm can be done if it falls in the wrong hands. ... (See Med ID)

The pros and cons of credit union credit cards -- Credit unions -- banks' nonprofit competitors -- can offer cards with low APRs and late fees and often beat banks in customer service surveys. But they aren't for everyone ... (See Credit union credit cards)

Your monthly credit card statement gets a makeover -- Credit card issuers have begun to roll out new monthly statements to their customers. The makeovers were required by new federal rules that take full effect July 1, 2010. ... (See Changes)

Credit card marketer must repay customers $114 million -- The Federal Trade Commission has ended its suit against subprime credit card marketer CompuCredit Corp. with an agreement for the company to repay card users $114 million. ... (See Lawsuit)

How to manage credit card accounts until new rules kick in -- Even though regulators have approved tough new credit card rules, consumers still must watch out for tricks and traps of the credit card game. Here's a checklist of what to do. ... (See Coping)

What the new credit card rules don't cover -- New credit card industry rules are the most significant in three decades, but they don't go far enough to protect consumers from credit card abuses, lawmakers and advocates say. Here's what's missing. ... (See New rules)

Federal banking agencies finalize new credit card regulations to take effect starting July 2010 -- Federal regulators approved the most sweeping credit card industry reforms in nearly three decades, limiting interest rate hikes on existing credit card balances, giving cardholders a reasonable amount of time to pay bills and requiring better disclosure of key credit card terms. ... (See Reforms)

Credit union regulator approves new credit card rules -- New rules will fundamentally change the way credit cards operate, but won't take effect until July 1, 2010. Consumer advocates say that's too long to help families struggling with debt in today's economy. ... (See Card rules)

Thrift group approves new credit card rules -- One of three federal regulatory agencies approves sweeping new credit card rules. Fed and credit union group expected to follow suit. ... (See Card rules)

Understanding credit card minimum payments -- Your credit card's minimum-payment-due amount can be a mysteriously shifting figure that makes a significant impact on the monthly budget. We'll help you solve the riddle. ... (See Minimum)

Fed slashes benchmark interest rate to record low -- It was largely a symbolic move, but the Federal Reserve today cut a key short-term interest rate to its lowest level in history. Just don't expect it to have much impact on your credit card's APR. ... (See Rate cut)

Fed cuts key interest rate to record low -- In what was largely a symbolic move, the Federal Reserve today cut interest rates to their lowest level in history. That decision is not expected to have much impact on annual percentage rates for credit cards. ... (See Rate cut)

Consumers to get $150 million in Wachovia settlement -- Beginning Thursday, Wachovia Bank will mail out checks totaling over $150 million to more than 740,000 consumers. The payout stems from a settlement between the bank and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency regarding acts committed by telemarketers that had relationships with Wachovia. ... (See Settlement)

Regulators will vote on new credit card rules -- The Federal Reserve Board will meet in Washington, D.C., this week to vote on sweeping new credit card industry regulations. ... (See Credit card regulations)

FTC settles 'Tele-PHONEY' case against fee-harvesting credit card -- Florida-based company used fast-talking computerized voice to deceive consumers, federal agency alleges. ... (See Settle)

Federal Reserve's October 2008 G.19 report on consumer spending -- Credit card balances shrank in October, as the tightening of credit by banks and limited consumer budgets made it more difficult for cardholders to put charges on their plastic. ... (See G.19)

Breaking news: Federal Reserve's October 2008 G.19 report on consumer spending -- Credit card balances shrank in October, as the tightening of credit by banks made it more difficult for consumers to put charges on their plastic. ... (See G.19)

When collectors come after you for ex's unpaid debt -- It's an all-too-common problem: Your ex defaults on credit card debt on a joint account, so collectors are coming after you. What are your options? ... (See Ex-spouse)

If dear old dad steals your identity, turn him in -- When a parent commits identity fraud against a child, emotions can run high. But given the choice between protecting your parent or your good name, choose the latter. ... (See Parental ID theft)

13 tips to protect yourself on Black Friday, Cyber Monday -- Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren't just big days for shoppers -- ID thieves look forward to them, too. We'll give you tips to make sure that your identity is safe and secure when you shop online or in the stores. ... (See Shopping safely)

$5.3 billion in stolen credit card info up for grabs -- Despite tough economic times on Wall Street, the economy of stolen credit cards and bank account information is booming. According to a report released Nov. 24 by Symantec, stolen credit card info with a potential value of $5.3 billion was available on web forums and chat ... (See Stolen cards)

Protecting your children from identity theft -- Since years can pass before their crime is detected, identity thieves increasingly target children. ... (See Child ID theft)

Step-by-step guide to checking your minor child's credit -- If there are indications your child's identity has been stolen, these steps will help you successfully contact the credit bureaus to check. ... (See Identity theft)

Paying less than minimum won't ward off garnishment -- Paying less than the minimum amount won't ward off garnishment. It's best to contact creditors directly to work out a payment plan. ... (See Small payments)

Pros and cons of various sources of home down payments -- Down payments are once again a must to qualify for a mortgage. There are many sources, each with its own advantages and drawbacks. ... (See Sources)

Consumer credit report 100-word statement sample letters -- These sample 100-word letters -- tailored to satisfy each of the Big Three credit bureaus and fit several situations -- can help you plead your case on your credit report ... (See 100-word statement sample letters)

Fed: Delinquency rates edged downward in Q3 -- Credit card delinquencies were down and charge-offs up slightly during the third quarter of 2008, according to the latest banking industry figures released Tuesday by the Federal Reserve Board. ... (See Report)

Ruling: Prepaid stored-value cards qualify for $250,000 FDIC deposit insurance -- The FDIC has ruled that money held on prepaid or stored value cards can qualify for deposit insurance if banks set up the accounts. ... (See FDIC)

Behind on car lease payments: What to do? -- When facing repossession of your car for falling behind on lease payments, it's best to try to ask for more time rather than steal the car. ... (See Behind)

Credit card debt forgiveness? Forget about it, OCC says -- The Office of the Comptroller of Currency issued a response to a proposal to forgive some borrowers' credit card debts. No way, OCC says. The plan was supported by the banking industry and consumer groups. ... (See No way)

Latest bailout beneficiary: Treasury wants to jump-start stalled credit card securities market -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said regulators are considering a plan to boost investor confidence and help credit card asset-backed securities markets. ... (See Bailout)

Disabled vet seeks relief from credit card debt -- A disabled veteran living on a fixed government income is overcome by credit card debt and seeks a way out. ... (See Help!)

Compare credit card rental car insurance coverage: Policies vary widely -- Credit card companies' policies vary sharply, so don't always be quick to turn down rental car agencies' optional coverage. ... (See Rental car)

September 2008 G.19 report from Federal Reserve on consumer spending -- Credit card use unexpectedly rose in September, as cardholders appeared to be increasingly reliant on plastic in the face of economic threats. ... (See G.19)

How will the Obama administration affect your pocketbook? -- The 2008 election of Barack Obama as president was heralded by consumer advocates as harbinger for change. ... (See Obama)

Credit card securities facing difficult times -- Securitized credit card debt portfolios of major card issuers are experiencing greater losses as economy slows and job losses increase. ... (See Delinquencies)

Authorized user piggybacking: When should the credit ride end? -- Young people who ride their parents' credit scoring coattails through 'piggybacking' eventually need to go out on their own credit paths -- but carefully, experts say. ... (See Piggybacking)

Sinowal trojan compromises 500,000 bank accounts -- The details of roughly 500,000 online financial accounts were stolen by malicious software deemed the "most pervasive and advanced pieces of crimeware ever created by fraudsters." ... (See Hacked)

Fed report: Banks tighten lending standards even more -- Lenders are sharply tightening standards, by cutting credit limits and increasing minimum payments and required scores. ... (See Cuts)

Leaving country won't avoid wage garnishment -- Leaving the country to escape credit card debt doesn't guarantee that it will be gone if and when you come back. ... (See No escape)

Consumer, lender groups join to ask Feds for credit card debt forgiveness -- Many consumers can no longer qualify for traditional debt reduction plans, two groups have asked to test a more generous debt-reduction plan. ... (See Debt plan)

Consumers, credit bureaus grapple with 'thin file' credit score problem -- Thin is good -- unless it's your credit file. There it can be a problem, since lenders are wary of consumers who haven't already taken out loans. ... (See Thin file)

Money and credit lessons from the past -- Experts are telling us to pay off debt and stop charging. Here are some money management lessons from the past that can help break the credit card debt cycle. ... (See Save)

Fed cuts rates, but card issuers unlikely to follow suit -- The Federal Reserve lowered interest rates yet again, but most credit cardholders shouldn't expect much relief on their annual percentage rates. ... (See Rate cut)

When family members use 'secret' credit cards -- Just who is responsible for the debt racked up by a spouse's secret credit card cache? 'Maturing Loans' columnist Klayman says it depends on several factors. ... (See Cards)

How wage garnishment works -- and how to avoid it -- Garnishment, a last-ditch effort to collect debt, can result in a court order seizing part of your wages freezing and then draining your bank accounts. Here's how it works -- and how to avoid it ... (See How garnishment works)

Learn the ABCs of credit scores, credit scoring -- Credit scores are intriciate, but increasingly important for consumers to know about. We'll break down the credit scoring basics. ... (See Credit scores)

PNC to acquire National City banking, credit card interests -- PNC Financial Services Group Inc. will acquire banking and credit card issuer National City in a deal to be finalized by year's end. ... (See Merger)

Opting out of credit card affiliate marketing: 4 tips -- A law that went into effect Oct. 1, 2008, says businesses can't let its affiliates market to you without telling you first, and without giving you a simple way to opt out. ... (See Opt out)

FTC cracks down on 'credit repair' scammers -- The Federal Trade Commission today announced the forced closure of a number of businesses that targeted consumers with false claims of boosting their credit scores. ... (See Credit repair)

New America Foundation paper seeks to avert next financial crisis -- A new paper offers ideas for regulating credit card industry practices. ... (See Credit card regulations)

Debt collection goes virtual -- Companies are trying new ways to get delinquent borrowers to pay up. One firm recently launched a 'Virtual Collection Agent' that's being rolled out by several major issuers. ... (See Virtual collections)

Senate committee to address credit card, bankruptcy measures -- The U.S. Senate Banking Committee may review key credit card industry and bankruptcy reform measures during November 2008 hearings. ... (See Senate)

5 tips for those considering bankruptcy -- Bankruptcy experts, attorneys and consumer credit counselors offer advice to those thinking of filing for bankruptcy ... (See 5 basic bankruptcy tips)

Three years later, bankruptcy law fails to quash filings -- On the third anniversary of bankruptcy reform law, critics wonder how much bankruptcy filings will grow in economic downturn. ... (See Bankruptcy)

Government workers sometimes abuse credit cards, p-cards -- A host of examples of credit card abuse by public employees shows that proper policies and regular scrutiny are needed to avoid draining public coffers and ruining public confidence. ... (See P-cards)

Bankruptcy filings, state by state, 2005-2010 -- Interactive map shows rate of each state's bankruptcy filings, and how the pace fell off a cliff in 2005, then rebounded. ... (See Bankruptcy map)

4 tips for negotiating for better credit card terms -- Know your own value, do your research and you'll come out ahead in negotiations with your credit card issuer. ... (See 4 tips)

Advocates for the blind take aim at touch-screen terminals -- For the blind, it's tough enough already to tell a $5 bill from a $20. New payment technologies such as touch-screen point of sale terminals now pose new challenges. ... (See Screens)

In an emergency move, the Fed cut a key interest rate by half a point -- Not waiting until its regularly scheduled meeting, the Fed cut a key U.S. interest rate by half a point in order to try to stave off the worst financial crisis since the Depression. ... (See Emergency cut)

August 2008 G.19 report from Federal Reserve on consumer spending -- The Federal Reserve's G.19 report, a key measure of consumer spending, showed consumers slowed their spending for the first time in a decade. ... (See G.19)

Changing your name on credit cards after marriage -- Marriage brings plenty of change, and for many women (and a few men), the first one is your name. Tips for how to change your name on your credit cards. ... (See Surname)

Auditor will review 650,000 Cap One credit card accounts to ensure money is returned -- Capital One must repay $340,000 to credit card users because the company collected old debts that had been discharged in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. ... (See Cap One)

Wachovia-Wells Fargo merger announced -- Four days after Citi announced a government-backed purchase of some Wachovia Bank assets, Wells Fargo Bank has announced a deal to merge with Wachovia. ... (See Wells Fargo)

Plastic and terror: Study describes how terrorists use credit cards -- Terrorists are increasingly turning to credit cards, according to a study written by an expert on terror financing. ... (See Terrorism)

What credit card users need to know to survive the 2008 credit crunch -- Experts advise credit card users to pay down credit card debt and wean themselves off of credit card spending. ... (See Cash only)

US credit cards outdated, less useful abroad, as 'chip and PIN' cards catch on -- Sure, you can swipe to heart's content here in the United States. But bring that mag-stripe card to Europe and chances are it won't work as the credit card technology there is years ahead. ... (See PIN)

Citi acquires Wachovia -- FDIC and the Federal Reserve back Citi's purchase of Wachovia Bank's retail banking assets. ... (See Acquisition)

As private college loans dry up, students may turn to credit cards -- Students facing a 'perfect storm' of tight job market and fewer available loans may have to turn to credit cards to fund their studies. ... (See Charge it)

Pre-disaster financial preparedness checklist -- When natural disaster strikes, you have to react quickly to make sure your important financial records remain safe. This checklist will show you how ... (See Financial preparedness)

WaMu is largest bank failure ever -- JP Morgan Chase says people with WaMu credit cards and ATM cards should continue to use them and pay their bills on time to the same payment addresses. ... (See WaMu cards)

False debt reduction claims unfair, deceptive -- The Federal Trade Commission has reached a settlement with four companies for allegedly claiming they could reduce consumers' debts by up to 60 percent. ... (See Debt negotiators)

Deadline passed for free TransUnion credit monitoring -- Sept. 24 was the final day for members of the public to sign up for free credit monitoring. ... (See Lawsuit)

Pro-consumer credit card bill passes in U.S. House vote -- The U.S. House of Representatives voted 312-112 to pass a controversial bill that would give credit card users more consumer protections. ... (See House vote)

Key vote on Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights comes today -- The full U.S. House of Representatives is expected to consider the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights bill today. ... (See Vote)

Despite early controversy, payment cards for immigrants continue to roll out -- Issuing credit cards that didn't require Social Security numbers sparked controversy in 2007. In 2008, banks go after immigrants' business with reloadable prepaid cards instead. ... (See Card programs)

Job losses pushing up credit card debt delinquencies -- The American Bankers Association's Economic Advisory Committee predicts a mild recession during the closing months of 2008; job losses are fueling credit card debt delinquencies. ... (See Jobs)

Compare today's 0 percent balance transfer offers -- Comparison chart shows that 0 percent introductory periods are shorter, fees tougher to dodge. ... (See 0% offers)

Are 0 percent APR balance transfer credit cards doomed? -- Consumers' mailboxes used to be flooded with offers for balance transfer credit cards with lengthy introductory interest periods of 0 percent. Not anymore. ... (See Vanishing zeros)

Australian credit cards and statistics -- Our ongoing series heads Down Under for a look at credit card use and credit card statistics in Australia. ... (See Australia)

Federal Reserve leaves key interest rate unchanged -- Despite recent stock market weakness and trouble in the financial sector, the Federal Reserve left a key short-term interest rate unchanged Tuesday. ... (See Interest rates)

10 questions to ask about layaway plans -- Looking to layaway? Here are 10 questions to ask that will help you find a good layaway plan -- and avoid those that should be thrown away ... (See Layaway)

Electronic voting by ATM idea hasn't caught hold -- After 2000s contentious election fades into the chaddy past, so does the call to use the banking system's ATM networks as voting machines. ... (See Paper rules)

Prepaid cards need safeguards against bank failures, groups say -- A coalition of consumer groups is asking for emergency provisions to protect funds held on prepaid debit cards. ... (See Prepaid debit protections)

Should you sign your credit card or write 'See ID' on it -- Writing 'See ID' in lieu of a signature is supposed to make a credit card invalid, but the reality is different. ... (See Sign here)

Court orders halt to Texas couple's credit repair operations -- The Federal Trade Commission has filed a complaint against a Texas couple for falsely claiming to repair credit records. ... (See Scam)

Witnesses call for federal legislation at Senate hearing on prepaid calling cards -- Got a minute? Too many prepaid cards don't deliver the ones they promise, witnesses told a U.S. Senate committee. ... (See Prepaid cards)

FTC wins suit against debt management company -- AmeriDebt Inc. and DebtWorks Inc. allegedly scammed consumers by claiming to be nonprofit organizations and keeping money that should have gone to pay off consumers' debts. ... (See Scam victory)

What is debt reaffirmation? -- Reaffirming a loan can be necessary, but too many consumers say debt collectors tricked them into doing it accidentally. ... (See Old debt)

6 bad reasons debtors reaffirm debt -- Emotions, lack of knowledge and even deception can play a role in a debtor's decision to reaffirm a debt. ... (See Old debt)

9 questions to ask before you reaffirm an old debt -- You need facts to decide whether to reaffirm a debt. These questions will ferret them out. ... (See 9 questions)

5 steps to avoid identity theft at the register -- Here are some steps you can take to make sure that you aren't victimized by credit card fraud when using your card in person at a retailer. ... (See Data protection)

Identity theft sample letters -- If you've been a victim, this step-by-step guide and set of printable letters can help retrieve your name. ... (See ID letters)

Credit card scam: credit card shaving -- Forget high-tech hacking. This credit card scam relies more on X-Acto knives and glue sticks than wi-fi and laptops but can help criminals steal your money just the same. ... (See Card shaving)

It's fraud when an ex opens credit cards in your name -- It's theft when an ex uses your Social Security number to open credit cards in your name, and should be reported to the police and credit bureaus. ... (See Fraud)

Opting out of a credit card rate increase? Keep records! -- When opting out of a credit card interest rate increase, it is critical to keep copies of your letter and mail receipt in case the issuer decides to up the rate again. ... (See Opting out)

Protect your computer -- and your identity -- on campus -- Students heading to college need to take precautions to protect their computers and the sensitive information they contain. ... (See Laptop theft)

10 ways students can protect against identity theft -- Campuses are often a young adult's first step away from the safety of home, so they need to raise their technological guard. ... (See Protect thyself)

Tinsel meets plastic: Top 10 Hollywood credit card movies -- Plastic plays a key role in these films -- and teaches money lessons, too. ... (See Top 10 card movies)

Taking Charge poll: Nearly 3 of 4 Americans favor government regulation of credit cards -- The second annual CreditCards.com 'Taking Charge' survey says Americans mistrust but need credit cards. ... (See 2008 poll)

Tips for uncovering, dealing with hidden credit card debt -- If you find a loved one has hidden debt, you could scream, fight or even ask for a divorce. Experts, however, say there are better choices. ... (See Hidden debt)

Surprise! Unexpected items can appear on a credit report -- Hoping to keep your credit score up? You’ll not only want to stay current with your credit card bills, mortgage payments and student loans -- you may also need to pay any outstanding library fines. ... (See Credit report)

Buying investments with credit cards? It's unavailable, and unwise -- Laws and regulations exist that determine and limit how much you can use borrowed funds (including credit cards) to purchase investments. ... (See Investing on credit)

Fed leaves rates unchanged; card rates to stay put -- The Federal Reserve, as expected, left a key interest rate unchanged. ... (See FOMC)

Steps to take when collectors violate your rights -- As a credit card account authorized user, you have no financial responsibility for this account, and the bank knows it. That doesn’t stop unscrupulous companies from trying to collect, however. ... (See Collections violations)

Key Congressional committee passes Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights -- The House Financial Services Committee voted along party lines to pass a bill to rein in the credit card industry. ... (See Credit card bill)

What to do when a family member forges credit card applications in your name -- When a family member forges your name on credit card applications, you have two choices: Pay the bill or prosecute, says Maturing Loans columnist Alan Klayman. ... (See Family forger)

Lending crisis leads to cutting credit limits, hurting consumers' scores -- Cowed by the lending crisis, card issuers are quick to cut credit limits, an act that lowers the ratio of used to available credit, which hurts credit scores. ... (See Card limits)

Understanding debt protections of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act -- Active duty service members and their loved ones should know the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and its umbrella of financial protections, including a 6% cap on interest for credit cards, mortgages and auto loans ... (See Servicemembers Civil Relief Act )

Credit card issuers' policies for active military service members -- While federal law guarantees some debt relief for soldiers, many top credit card issuers ease the burden of debt for active military by offering protections significantly beyond what the law requires. ... (See Credit card protections)

What happens to credit card debt if a bank fails? -- If a card-issuing bank were to fail, consumers would still owe the money and have to pay it -- but to someone else. Terms might change, too. ... (See Keep paying)

When is a debt too old for collection? -- Saddled with an 8-year-old credit card debt, a senior citizen living on just Social Security wants to know what her rights are. ... (See Old debt)

Proposed credit card rule changes draw massive public comment -- Consumers have turned out in force to support proposed Fed rules reining in the practices of credit card issuers. ... (See Credit card rules)

Foreign transaction fees and rules for the top credit card issuers -- Here are the foreign transaction fees, also known as currency conversion fees, charged by top American credit card issuers to consumers who travel abroad. ... (See Foreign transaction fees)

How to dispute a credit card bill with a merchant -- Dissatisfied with a merchant's product or service? If you do it right, your credit card issuer may step in to help ... (See Dispute merchant credit card charges)

Fed's G.19 report shows credit card use rebounded in May -- The Fed's latest G19 data shows revolving credit (of which about 98 percent is comprised of credit card debt) edged upward/downward in May 2008. ... (See G.19)

To detect fraud, credit card issuers monitor all your purchases -- Credit card company fraud departments monitor their cardholders purchases to detect unusual patterns or purchases. ... (See Credit card fraud)

Credit repair good guys: How to find legitimate reselling and rescoring firms -- Credit repair firms say they can boost your credit score, but it's credit resellers who do the job for less hype, less money and less mystery. ... (See Credit resellers)

Adulthood, legal rights and credit cards: Turning 18 with a credit card -- At 18, young adults can apply for credit. Can you -- or your teenage son or daughter -- handle it? ... (See Student credit)

When a family member steals your identity -- Here are the steps you can take when a family member steals your identity to open credit accounts in your name. ... (more)

Evils of 'fee harvesting' credit cards known for a long time -- Consumers should beware of cards that charge upfront fees and carry low limits. ... (See Fee harvesting credit cards)

5 sneaky credit card tricks -- and how to beat the bank -- Just like Three-Card Monte, these tricks can clean out your wallet faster than you can pick a card, any card. ... (See Magic tricks)

Charging up a storm before filing bankruptcy is considered fraud -- Thinking of loading up your credit cards before you file bankruptcy is considered fraud. ... (See Credit card fraud)

Consumers could see refunds from $200 million for 'fee harvesting' credit cards -- Federal regulators are seeking $200 million in restitution for consumers from a major credit card marketer and two banks for how they marketed and issued subprime credit cards. ... (See Fee harvesting credit cards)

Credit card issuance a matter of black and white? -- Do all Americans really have equal access to credit cards or are some groups more likely to be granted credit than others? A study found where you live may play a key role in whether you're granted a credit card. ... (See Credit card approvals)

9 tips for dividing credit card debt -- Got credit card debt? Going through a divorce? These steps will help you cope -- and not get stuck with your ex's tab. ... (See Debt and divorce)

Credit cards and terrorism: How terrorists use cards -- Interviews with terrorism experts and readings of case studies from around the world reveal that the credit cards have become a favored tool of terrorists. ... (See Credit cards and terrorists)

Cashless campus 2.0: Student IDs evolve into multiuse payment systems -- Today's student ID cards open doors to dorms and labs, earn discounts with local merchants, sub-in for loose change at vending and copy machines, and even help with the laundry. ... (See Cashless payments)

Free credit report and notice of potential interest rate hikes could be required in proposed new rules -- New proposed rules would require credit card issuers to send notices and provide free credit reports when consumers are subject to interest rate hikes based on credit reports. ... (See Credit card APRs)

Vacation, travel plans: Charge to credit card, easier to recoup losses -- Recouping your money if your trip is canceled is much easier with credit cards than if you paid with cash or by check. ... (See Traveling with credit cards)

Fed backs rules to curb deceptive credit card practices -- Federal banking regulators are taking unusual steps to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive trade practices in the credit card industry ... (See Credit card rules)

Fed cuts rates; will your credit card bill fall, too? -- The Federal Reserve's rate-setting committee, in an effort to rejuvenate the economy, trimmed a key short-term interest rate Wednesday, this time by one-quarter of a percentage point. ... (See FOMC)

Credit card securities may be in for rough times ahead -- Securitized credit card receivables -- the fuel that drives credit card issuance for major banks -- may falter as credit card defaults rise. ... (See Credit card securities)

How credit card securities work -- Major credit card banks sell millions of accounts to special trusts that issue bonds repaid with monthly credit card payments from account holders. ... (See Credit card securities)

Credit issuers becoming less willing to cut deals with debtors -- Credit counseling agencies could once negotiate lower interest rates on behalf of debt-ridden clients. But credit card issuers are no longer willing to be as forgiving. ... (See Credit card APRs)

Environment survey: Americans not so eco-friendly with credit cards -- Americans may well be more environmentally conscious these days, but not if it means making major changes in how they use their credit cards, a CreditCards.com national survey shows. ... (See Credit cards and the environment)

6 tips for dealing with binding mandatory credit card arbitration -- You're probably stuck with binding mandatory credit card arbitration. But these tips will help you cope. ... (See Credit card arbitration)

Credit card arbitration: What it is, how it works -- Many large credit cards and most store cards require you to bring disputes to an arbitrator, an alternative to court, if you can't reach a solution with the company ... (See Credit card arbitration)

Being 'green' with credit cards -- Opting out of paper credit card statements is one way to protect the planet for Earth Day. ... (See Credit cards and the environment)

A 'green' snapshot: How some U.S. banks are making environmental eco-friendly moves -- A 'green' snapshot: How some U.S. banks are making environmental eco-friendly moves. ... (See Credit cards and the environment)

How to handle collection calls for a dead person's debt -- After a death, creditors may come calling. Here's a checklist what to ask, say ... (See Handling debt collection calls for a deceased relative or friend)

What happens to credit card debt after death -- When someone dies with credit card debt, state laws and the original contract terms dictate who owes, and what must be paid ... (See Debt and death)

Credit card spending slows -- U.S. consumers slowed their credit card spending in February, according to the latest Federal Reserve release on consumer credit. ... (See G.19)

Deep in debt? You may be able to cut a better settlement deal -- A recent drop in prices that debt buyers pay for bad credit card debts may give consumers negotiating settlements more room to negotiate. ... (See Debt settlement)

4 ways to safeguard personal information online -- As Internet criminals grow smarter and sneakier, it's increasingly difficult to keep your credit card and personal information safe. Here are four fundamental tips. ... (See Credit card fraud)

Trying to thwart recession, Fed cuts rates by 0.75% -- The Federal Reserve, as expected, slashed a key interest rate, but whether that cut will be passed along to individual cardholders depends on the bank, the card agreement and the credit standing of the consumer. ... (See FOMC)

Don't let a disability ruin your credit -- An unexpected illness or injury can send you into debt and sink your credit rating faster than you can say, 'I need disability.' ... (See Debt and disability)

Credit card thieves 'skimming' pay-at-the-pump gasoline buyers -- As if the high cost of gas wasn't enough, credit and debit card users who pay at the pump have to face a new way to be gouged at the pump: skimmers. ... (See Credit card fraud)

Obama, Clinton offer credit card reform plans -- Presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are courting voters with reform policies to tackle predatory credit card industry practices. McCain? Not so much. ... (See Credit card reform)

Recession-proof your credit and finances -- Economic downturn. Temporary slump. Whatever you want to call it, you need to be prepared financially for economic ups and downs. ... (See Managing credit during a recession)

Poll: Half of America won't spend their 'stimulus' rebate -- The president wants us to spend it, but most say saving and paying off debt are higher priorities for their economic stimulus rebate checks. ... (See Stimulus rebate)

Buying pirated music with credit cards: potentially risky -- Those who use their credit cards to buy songs from controversial Russian-based Web sites may be engaging in international piracy. ... (See Charging pirated music )

Despite lingering online fears, virtual credit cards stall -- Although the paranoia that spawned them and the hoopla that accompanied their birth have died down, virtual credit cards are still available for those who want extra assurance ... (See Virtual credit cards)

Forgiven credit card debt is often taxable: 1099-C forms follow debt settlement -- Tax attorneys and consumer advocates say many consumers aren't aware that forgiven credit card debt may be taxable income on a 1099-C form ... (See 1099-C form: Forgiven debt)

Card issuers' bad earnings reshape credit card offers -- The awful annual results reported by credit card issuers may not be felt only by shareholders. They have begun to cause pain to some credit cardholders, as well. ... (See Credit card offers)

Consumer credit woes mean boom in debt collection -- If you've never been contacted by a debt collector before, chances are growing you will. Collection activity has increased sharply as the economy swoons, and it's more important than ever for consumers to know their rights. ... (more)

Q&A: Credit counselor urges consumer education -- Too few people know about or talk about debt, says the head of one of the major counseling accrediting agencies. ... (more)

Visa sets IPO date -- Visa announced details of its impending IPO stock sale, and it's a doozie: Even at the low end of its projected price, it would by far become the largest initial public offering in U.S. history. ... (more)

Keeping up credit while in jail may not be possible -- It's noble to want to help a jailed friend keep up his credit score while serving time, but unless you want to pay his bills, some things just aren't possible, says The Credit Guy. ... (more)

Tips for immigrants building a U.S. credit history -- America lures many who dream of living better. But when immigrants arrive, their credit histories rarely make the trip. ... (See See 'Tips for immigrants rebuilding credit')

10 wacky ways to spend 'stimulus' money -- Anyone can be responsible with the windfall from the economic stimulus package. But can you creatively blow the money? We could. Here are 10 ideas. ... (more)

10 wise ways to spend 'stimulus' money -- Here's 10 suggestions from experts for smart ways to spend the windfall from Uncle Sam's economic stimulus package. ... (more)

Americans say they'll take rebate money and pay off debt -- The economic stimulus windfall is on its way and Americans tell pollsters they'll use it pay off debt. Yeah. Sure. ... (more)

Banks may cut slack for tornado victims -- After dozens of tornadoes whipped through the South, killing at least 57 people, the federal government, banks and credit card issuers offer relief. ... (more)

Health care credit cards rise to fill insurance gap -- As the ranks of the uninsured soar and medical costs rise for those with insurance, a new generation of health care cards is emerging on the market, but not everyone is cheering their arrival. ... (more)

CreditCards.com poll results: Credit and health care costs -- A CreditCards.com poll finds a majority of Americans realize that inability to pay their share of health care costs has the potential to wipe them out financially. ... (more)

How to opt out of credit card rate increases -- If you've been notified that your interest rate is going to jump, you may be able to pay your credit card off at the old rate, but you lose use of the card. ... (more)

Fed rate cuts and your credit card -- The Federal Reserve's rate-setting committee, trying to give a flagging economy an adrenaline boost, again lowered a key short-term interest rate Wednesday. ... (more)

How young is too young for credit cards? -- Preparation for wise credit card use should begin early to help children avoid trouble when they can legally apply for cards at 18. ... (more)

Bankers, poker players oppose Feds' online gaming rules -- The legality of online gambling has long been debated by U.S. officials, but the latest regulation efforts have tried to shut down the money conduit -- payments systems that enable online bets. ... (more)

Disclosures would increase on subprime credit card fees -- Subprime cards carry upfront fees that the Federal Reserve board contends are not clearly disclosed to customers. ... (more)

Regulation Z proposed changes for minimum payments -- Credit card companies and credit issuers would have to tell account holders how long it would take to repay loans if they make minimum payments. ... (more)

Regulation Z amendments would require changes in credit card terms -- Regulation Z amendments would require changes in credit card terms to be displayed in a table for easy reading. ... (more)

Rules for credit card periodic statement disclosures -- Under proposed federal rule changes, monthly credit card statements would include tables to clearly disclose fees, interest, purchases and other details. ... (more)

Credit card reform: The fine print of proposed changes to Regulation Z -- Regulation Z requires creditors to disclose all costs and terms before a new credit card's first use. However, according to the board, "Currently, there are few ... (more)

Regulation Z rules proposed for credit card fee disclosures -- Credit card companies would have to clearly disclose fees charged to credit cardholders. ... (more)

Regulation Z would require credit card APR disclosure rules -- Regulation Z would require credit card companies to clearly disclose APRs. ... (more)

Regulation amendments propose fixed rate credit cards -- Fixed credit card rates would actually be fixed under Regulation Z amendments. ... (more)

Reg Z proposes credit card notice of term changes to 45 days -- Changes in terms of credit card contracts would need 45 days' advance notice. ... (more)

'Regulation Z' overhaul to change credit card fine print rules -- The Federal Reserve Board has proposed the most sweeping changes in nearly 30 years to credit card disclosure rules, known as Regulation Z. ... (more)

Regulation Z: Feds move to change credit card rules -- The Federal Reserve Board is likely to decide on final credit card disclosure rules in 2008. ... (more)

How the public feels about Regulation Z proposed changes to credit card disclosure rules -- Comments from consumers, credit grantors, payment processors and others on proposed changes to credit card disclosure rules ... (more)

The history of credit cards -- A history of credit cards, including the first general use credit card and the first charge card. ... (more)

The short, unhappy life of a credit card -- On average, a card lasts must three years before delamination, degaussing or (ulp!) scissors, so CreditCards.com asked one credit card to reminisce about its short unhappy life. ... (more)

Identity theft: Credit card dangers lurk on smaller websites -- Credit card dangers, such as identity theft, can pose a greater threat on smaller websites. ... (more)

Anatomy of a credit card -- Ever wonder what all those numbers mean, or what's on that black stripe? Find out here. ... (more)

Consumer rights for credit and debit cards -- U.S. Central Bank interest rates have been raised on variable-rate credit cards and home equity lines of credit. ... (more)

Credit card industry: The Senate weighs in -- Is the credit card industry heading toward the same debacle as the subprime mortgage industry? If unfair and deceptive trade practices continue -- and more ... (more)

Credit cards quickly fund charities, deliver tax deductions -- The end of the year is the time to consider wrapping up your charitable donations to qualify for the current year's tax deduction, and there's no quicker way to donate than with a credit card. ... (See Cards and charitable deductions)

Feds propose new right for consumers in credit disputes -- It will become a bit easier for consumers to dispute changes in their credit reports directly with banks or companies, according to a newly published federal regulation. ... (more)

Time's running out to claim currency conversion fee refund -- Consumers need to act fast in order to claim their share of a court-ordered multimillion dollar settlement with credit card giants over poorly disclosed fees on foreign transactions. ... (more)

CreditCards.com survey of leading gift card providers -- CreditCards.com surveyed leading gift card providers to compare popular gift cards. ... (more)

Moving abroad? Your credit history in the U.S. won't follow -- No matter how good your credit in the U.S., if you need to establish credit in a foreign country, expect to start over. ... (more)

Credit card fraud monitoring creates 'false positives' -- Stopping crooks is a good thing, but overactive anti-fraud programs create false positives that prevent cardholders' legitimate transactions ... (more)

Credit card fraud and online shopping -- Learn the credit card fraud dangers of online shopping and how to avoid them. ... (more)

Credit freezes go national, get chilly welcome -- All three major credit bureaus have rolled out credit freezes as an identity theft fighting tool, but consumer rights groups say the changes don't go far enough. ... (more)

Disaster preparedness: Using credit cards wisely after catastrophes -- These nine questions and answers will help you use credit and credit cards wisely after a catastrophe ... (See Financial FAQs)

Cardholders in Wildfire Stricken CA Aided by Banks -- Banks are working with victims of the California wildfires. Learn how at CreditCards.com. ... (more)

Details of credit freeze laws in all 50 states -- Most states have passed credit freeze laws to combat identity theft and fraud. Here are the details for each state. ... (more)

Establishing credit for your children -- The demise of so-called 'piggybacking' has closed one avenue to getting kids a credit head start, but there are others. ... (more)

Bail yourself out of jail -- with a credit card -- The difference between spending a night in jail and getting out on bail may depend on whether your wallet contains a credit card. ... (more)

Interest rate cut won't reach credit card rates (Aug 2007) -- Federal interest rate cut may not affect the federal funds rate for some time. (Aug 2007) ... (more)

Prepaid Credit Card Company: EDP gets blocked by FTC -- The FTC has blocked prepaid credit card company EDP after complaints of unauthorized withdrawals. ... (more)

National Consumer Law Center report advises credit card industry changes -- A National Consumer Law Center report contends the credit card industry pushes consumers to borrow beyond their means, and recommends new regulations. ... (more)

Thieves use charitable donations to enable credit card scams -- Crooks who want to see whether stolen card numbers are valid use charitable donations to check. ... (more)

Travel credit card insurance concerns finds American Express in legal battle -- American Express could face a class action suit on charges it billed cardholders for travel insurance unnecessarily. ... (more)

Higher gas prices bump pump limits -- Higher gas prices have credit card users bumping up against limits on pay-at-the-pump charge amounts. ... (more)

Major credit cards may deny purchase of lottery tickets -- Can you buy lottery tickets with your credit card? Perhaps not, as reported by CreditCards.com. ... (more)

Canadian gets 11 years for bad credit credit card scam -- A Canadian man was sentenced to 11 years in jail for a scam that fraudulently promised bad credit credit cards to U.S. consumers. ... (more)

Credit card companies might have a liability risk -- An article in the University of Illinois Law Review charges that a case of products liability could be leveled against credit cards. ... (more)

Credit card study shows Americans' feelings toward credit cards -- A new credit card study shows many people think credit cards are an easy way to fall into debt ... (more)

Know your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act -- The act and its amendments give consumers powerful rights in credit reporting, guaranteeing free access to the credit data and the right to fix errors ... (See Fair Credit Reporting Act)

Credit Card Information: Federal Reserve proposes new guidelines for terms -- The Federal Reserve has proposed new rules that would require credit card issuers to communicate rates and fees through credit card disclosures more clearly. ... (more)

Predatory lending often targets consumers with bad credit or low incomes who may have fewer options when borrowing money -- Predatory lending involves unfair interest rates and fees and often targets consumers with bad credit or low incomes who may have fewer options when borrowing money. ... (more)

Hidden credit card 'currency conversion fees' for overseas purchases may be returned -- Hidden credit card 'currency conversion fees' may be returned -- if you file soon. ... (more)

Unemployed? Poor credit can leave you jobless -- Poor credit could affect whether you get hired for a job, since many employers look at applicants' credit reports. ... (more)

ABA says card industry responding to criticism -- The head of the American Bankers Association told lawmakers that the credit card industry is responding to criticism. ... (more)

Mastercard sponsorship of World Cup in question. -- Swiss panel influences Mastercard sponsorship battle over World Cup. Read more at CreditCards.com ... (more)

Pocket-sized devices enable credit card skimming -- Pocket-sized scanners allow crooks to skim credit card information when consumers hand over their plastic at stores, restaurants, and gas stations. ... (more)

Bank of America sued over "Keep the Change" program -- Bank of America is being sued for allegedly infringing on another company's patent with BofA's "Keep the Change" program for debit card purchases. ... (more)

Minimum credit card payments rise -- The increase in minimum monthly payments for credit cards issued by major banks has both positives and negatives for consumers. ... (See Minimum payments rise)

Identity Theft: Fraud targeting small businesses over the telephone -- Identity theft over the phone has merchants revealing shopper's credit card information. ... (more)

Beware of unsolicited First National 'credit cards' in the mail -- Consumers who activated what appeared to unsolicited credit cards from First National may have found out too late that these mailings instead contained merchant cards. ... (more)

Credit card privacy: Credit cards offer better fraud protection than debit cards -- Paying with a credit card offers greater fraud protection. Learn why they're safer than debit cards. ... (more)

Credit card security law holds retailers accountable in Minnesota -- Learn how a credit card security law holds retailers accountable for storing account numbers stolen for fraudulent purposes. ... (more)

Card issuers to pay $336 million for currency conversion fees -- Credit cardholders could get back the additional 2 percent in foreign transaction fees after major U.S. credit card issuers agreed to pay $336 million in claims for charging undisclosed currency conversion fees to Americans who used their credit cards and debit ... (more)

Financial literacy programs promote credit responsibility -- Lenders and universities are creating programs to help students avoid credit card debt by giving them the opportunity to gain financial literacy. ... (more)

Vishing: Credit card fraud that starts on the phone -- A type of credit card fraud called 'vishing' starts with fraudulent inquires about personal information over the phone. ... (more)

Learn how to avoid the latest credit card identity theft scam -- Learn how to avoid a possible identity theft scam. ... (more)

Your credit card may provide rental car damage coverage -- Your rental car may already be insured with credit card coverage. Learn more at CreditCards.com. ... (more)

Credit card issuers respond to Senate inquiry -- Credit card issuers Bank of America, Citi, and Chase responded to a U.S. Senate panel's tough look at their industry. ... (more)

Credit Card Offer: Pilot program doesn't require Social Security number -- A pilot credit card offer doesn't require Social Security numbers, fueling controversy over illegal immigration. ... (more)

Your credit card, Social Security numbers: Are they online? -- Are your credit card and Social Security numbers online somewhere? A new tool lets you find out. ... (more)

Citi Cards stops practice of universal default -- Does universal default affect you? Citi Cards stops universal default on its Citi-branded credit cards. ... (more)

Boston meters stop taking credit cards -- Boston discontinued credit card and debit card payments at its new parking meters, after city officials learned that their minimum purchase requirement of $2 with plastic violated Visa and MasterCard rules. ... (more)

Tax season is a popular time for mail thieves to steal W-2s from mailboxes -- Tax season is a popular time for mail thieves to steal W-2s, which can allow them to open credit card and other accounts in the victim's name. ... (more)

Senate considers credit card industry reforms -- Critics are focusing on credit card industry practices they believe are a danger to consumers, although Capital One and others have risen to the credit card industry's defense. ... (more)

Credit card lawsuit: Visa and MasterCard penalized over debit card fee -- Visa and Mastercard to pay government in a lawsuit settlement. ... (more)

Plan requires NYC taxis to accept credit, debit cards -- New York City Council is evaluating the costs and benefits of a new plan that would require city taxi drivers to accept payment by credit ... (more)

Steps to take to protect yourself from identity theft -- There are a number of steps credit card users can take to avoid becoming the victims of identity theft. ... (more)

Identity theft scam: Magazine inserts give identity thieves new opportunities -- Consumers need to be aware of the danger to their personal information from preprinted, preapproved credit card applications included in magazines and catalogs. ... (more)

Boston parking meters require minimum charge in violation of Visa, MasterCard rules -- Boston's new parking meters have a minimum charge requirement for payment cards, in violation of rules set by credit card associations Visa and MasterCard. ... (more)

Credit card rate: The connection with Federal Reserve rates -- Your credit card rate is closely tied to the Federal Reserve's targeted interest rate. ... (more)

Online gambling: Law bars processing credit card bets -- The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act calls on credit card companies and banks to stop processing online gambling transactions. ... (more)

Visa, MasterCard take new steps to stop credit card fraud -- Visa and Mastercard are fining merchants with unsecured credit card transactions. Read more at CreditCards.com. ... (more)

Visa, MasterCard suspend credit card transactions on illegal music site -- Visa and Mastercard cancel credit transactions on illegal music sites. ... (more)

Visa blocked from helping to challenge MasterCard for World Cup sponsorship -- Visa sponsorship in question due to MasterCard and FIFA lawsuit. Read more at CreditCards.com. ... (more)

Credit card privacy concerns: Identity thieves can find your information -- Your credit card privacy may not be as secure from identity theft as you think. ... (more)

Credit Report Freeze Laws: Selecting who views your credit history -- Florida passes a law allowing consumers to freeze their credit report and limit who sees their credit report in an effort to reduce identity theft. (July 2006) ... (more)

Credit card spam charges involve smaller, less noticeable theft -- Credit card users need to look out for spam charges -- smaller unauthorized transactions which thieves hope to sneak by on credit card bills. ... (more)

Secure Credit Card - Companies unite to make your information safer -- Major credit card companies come together to help give consumers an even more secure credit card. ... (more)

Identity theft techniques and protection tips -- Learn the latest identity theft techniques in order to protect your finances. ... (more)

New $1 scam for credit cardholders -- Article alerting credit card holders to the danger of the new one dollar scam, which can be avoided by careful examination of credit card statements. ... (more)

Throwing away old computer? Beware unerased old online credit card data -- Throwing away your old computer? Ensure you remove valuable information left from online credit card transactions. ... (more)

New York governor vetoes bill to protect credit card debtors -- New York Gov. George Pataki vetoed a bill that aimed to protect consumers from having their credit card interest rates increased under so-called universal default -- which allows card issuers to boost APRs for failure to pay an unrelated bill on time. ... (more)

Credit card comparison: Consumers warned to read fine print -- With some work, you can understand and compare the fine print of credit card offers. ... (more)

Visa credit card company announces plans to restructure -- Visa credit card company will become a global corporation with public stock ... (more)

Credit card digits: Understanding numbers on a credit card front and back -- American Express, MasterCard, Visa and Discover all have 16 numbers -- but all those numbers have different meanings ... (more)

Visa security keeps your identity safe when using credit cards -- Want a secure credit card? Find out how Visa Security keeps you safe. ... (more)

Top credit card companies show growth as consumer debt surges (2006) -- A rise in consumer debt has led to top credit card companies posting high second-quarter earnings (2006). ... (more)

Credit card debt information (2006-2007) -- Listing of facts and statistics related to the credit card industry and personal debt. ... (more)

Credit card receipt rules change: Is your card receipt safe? -- Laws attempt to keep credit card and debit card receipts safe from criminals looking to use account information, but consumers must also keep an eye on their card receipts. ... (more)

Identity theft: Phishing alerts issued by Chase, Bank of America -- While many banks have been victims of phishing, online fraudsters have recently used the technique to target Chase and Bank of America credit card and bank account customers. ... (more)

Online gambling: Credit cards could be banned as payment -- A bill was passed banning the use of credit cards for online bets. Does this affect you? ... (more)

Credit card fees hurt merchants and consumers -- Should Congress take control and manage credit card fees charged on every transaction? Retailers say yes. ... (more)

Fed increases interest rates -- The Federal Reserve increases interest rates on variable-rate credit cards and home equity lines of credit: June 2006. ... (more)

Federal Reserve interest rates increased in May 2006 -- The Federal Reserve has announced another interest hike while fighting inflation (May 2006). ... (more)

Tax refund: Use it to pay off credit card debt -- If you are one of the lucky Americans getting a tax refund this year, instead of buying that new big-screen TV, you may want to pay off card debt instead ... (See Refund)

No fee tax payment with MasterCard -- Learn how you can make a no fee tax payment with your MasterCard debit or credit card. ... (more)

Credit card minimum payments rise -- Credit card minimum payments are increasing. ... (more)

Bank of America to issue American Express credit cards -- Now that the Visa and MasterCard stranglehold has been broken over which bank can issue which card, Bank of America has announced its plans to issue American Express cards. ... (more)

American Express cards coming to a bank near you -- American Express is now able to issue cards through banks and partner with national retailers. ... (more)

Identity Protection Tips: What to do when your card is lost or stolen -- Losing a debit or credit card can have drastic repercussions. Learn what to do at CreditCards.com. ... (more)

Credit card phishing scam: How it works, how to prevent it -- What 'phishing' means and how consumers can prevent being a victim of the scam. ... (more)

Credit card skimming information and prevention -- Learn about credit card skimming and find out how you can protect yourself from fraud. ... (more)

Bankruptcy law updates close loopholes in repaying debt -- A new bankruptcy law update has closed loopholes that previously left people unaccountable for repaying all debt. ... (See Bankruptcy law provisions)

How to opt out of junk mail, e-mail and telemarketing solicitations -- Read tips on how to cut down on the number of unnecessary credit card applications. ... (See Opt out of junk mail)

Online credit card applications: FAQ about CreditCards.com and your card application -- If you're wondering whether it's safe or smart to apply for a credit card here at CreditCards.com, it's both. Here are answers to frequently asked questions ... (more)

 
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