CreditCards.com Q&A expert Susan C. Keating

Susan C. Keating

Susan C. Keating was the expert columnist for CreditCards.com's "Credit Smart" feature. Keating, the president and chief executive officer of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, would answer a reader's question each week. Prior to joining NFCC, Keating spent 29 years in financial services. She was the highest ranking female CEO of a U.S. bank holding company, serving as president and chief executive of Allfirst Financial Inc., the largest U.S. holding of AIB Group. She currently serves on Bank of America’s National Consumer Advisory Council and is a board member of the Council on Accreditation. Keating also participates in the Financial Regulation Reform Collaborative, a nonpartisan group committed to finding solutions for reforming financial services regulation.

Susan C. Keating's stories on CreditCards.com

Use 0-percent promotions to create an emergency savings account -- Don't rush to pay off card debt that won't incur interest for a while; make calculated monthly payments and use your cash to give your financial health a boost instead. ... (See Saving)

How far can I go over my credit limit before my card gets declined? -- There's no magic formula to guess when a transaction on a maxed-out card will go through, but if it does, it may impact credit limit, monthly minimum payments and/or even credit score ... (See Maxed out)

Can an employer pay salary through a payroll card? -- Receiving salary through a payroll card could help initiate a banking relationship, but if you already have a checking or savings account, direct deposit might offer better perks. ... (See Payroll card)

Know closing date to maximize your interest-free grace period -- Do you hate paying credit card interest? Know your card account's closing date ... (See Grace)

Can I lose my house over credit card debt? -- Probably not, but ignoring debt will just make things worse ... (See Lose house)

Credit counselors don't report you to credit bureaus -- The agencies' debt management plans are credit-score neutral ... (See Report)

Sticking to the long, slow credit rebuilding process -- After bankruptcy, garnishment, find a plan that works for you ... (See Rebuild)

Rebuilt credit, sleep better -- Barely making it? Seek financial help ... (See Rebuild)

Avoid using your IRA to pay card debt -- Wiping out your life's savings will create its own problems ... (See IRA)

Retired, with recent bankruptcy: Should you get a card? -- Proceed with caution and consider a secured card ... (See Retired)

On active military duty? You can't get 6 percent APR cap on cards -- Service members' legal protections apply to older debt ... (See Cap)

Making minimum payments versus closing a card account -- Getting the card out of delinquency, paying on time are the important things ... (See Delinquent)

Yes, rates will rise on closed accounts with balances -- An exception in the federal CARD Act lets issuers pass along Fed rate hikes, and those are coming ... (See Closed )

Son made $6,000 in unauthorized card charges? Report it -- There may be legal consequences for your son, but if you don't, you'll be on the hook for his charges ... (See Unauthorized)

Can't afford monthly card payment? Try these options -- There's no easy way to delete debt, but you do have choices ... (See Debt)

Keep credit utilization low when refinancing mortgage -- Even if you don't carry a balance, high card use can hurt ... (See Refinance)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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Updated: 08-19-2018