Legal, regulatory, privacy issues

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

Latest credit card news

 Legal, regulatory, privacy issues

Fed: Card balances jumped by $2.5 billion in January -- Credit card balances were up in January, according to the Federal Reserve?s latest report on consumer credit. ... (See Consumer credit)

Weekly rate report: Average card APR remains at record high of 17.64 percent -- March 6, 2019: The average credit card APR held steady Wednesday after jumping to an all-time high the previous week. ... (See Weekly rate report)

Going cashless: Is your business ready to go cashless? Pros, cons, tips -- If your business is considering going cashless, consider the pros and cons first. Start by knowing your customer base - and learn from experiences of other businesses who've tried to go cashless with mixed results. ... (See Going cashless: Small-business guide)

Credit reporting industry reform: Congress aims to strengthen consumers' rights -- A recent Congressional hearing sought more accountability for the credit reporting industry, and a legislative proposal is also seeking more consumer rights relating to their credit scores. ... (See Credit reporting industry reform)

Card APRs: Powell says Fed will remain patient in setting interest rates -- The Federal Reserve will remain patient in assessing the need for rate hikes this year, according to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. ... (See Interest rates)

Weekly rate report: Average card APR jumps to record high of 17.64 percent -- February 27, 2019: The average credit card interest rate soared Wednesday to another all-time record high. ... (See Weekly rate report)

Swipe fees: Merchants have a big incentive to lure you away from credit cards -- As general market credit cards become costlier to accept, retailers are under pressure to lure cardholders away from premium rewards cards. That could mean discounts for using gift cards, store cards and other payment methods. ... (See Swipe fees )

Weekly rate report: Average card APR inches up to 17.57 percent -- February 20, 2019: The average credit card interest rate ticked up Wednesday to another record high, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Weekly rate report)

Swipe fees: Visa, Mastercard to charge merchants more for card transactions -- Visa and Mastercard are planning to raise swipe fees in April, according to media reports. It could result in higher prices for consumers. ... (See Swipe fees)

J.P. Morgan Chase to launch its own cryptocurrency -- J.P. Morgan Chase is the first major U.S. bank to adopt cryptocurrency. It will test the program on its institutional clients. ... (See JP Morgan Chase cryptocurrency)

Weekly rate report: Average card APR holds steady at 17.55 percent -- February 13, 2019: The average credit card interest rate remained at a record high Wednesday after most major credit card issuers left interest rates alone. ... (See Weekly rate report)

NY Fed: Credit inquiries fell to historic low in Q4 -- A report by the New York Fed shows credit inquiries in the past six months fell to a historic low in the fourth quarter of 2018. ... (See Fed data on consumer credit )

Corporate cards: How to dispute fraudulent charges -- If fraudulent charges were put on your corporate credit card, don't assume the card's automatically covered by zero liability policies. However, you have options. Here's what to do. ... (See Fraud charges)

Fed: Card balances rose by $1.7 billion in December -- Credit card balances increased in December, according to the Federal Reserve. ... (See Consumer credit )

Data security poll: Americans leave their personal info open to thieves -- A new poll finds nearly all Americans get careless with their private information in some way. The most common error: reusing the same password online. ... (See Data security poll)

Weekly rate report: Average card APR hits record high of 17.55 percent -- February 6, 2019: The average credit card interest rate floated higher Wednesday after several lenders tweaked rates. ... (See Weekly rate report )

Data breaches dropped in 2018, but more personal information was exposed -- The number of data breaches dropped 24 percent in 2018, but the number of sensitive records involved in those breaches more than doubled, for a whopping 126 percent increase. ... (See Data breaches)

Weekly rate report: Average card APR advances to a record high of 17.52 percent -- January 30, 2019: The average credit card interest rate inched higher this week, climbing to another all-time record high. ... (See Weekly rate report)

Weekly rate report: Average card APR breaks new record, climbing to 17.51 percent -- January 23, 2019: The average credit card interest rate climbed to another all-time high this week, coming within rounding distance of 18 percent for the first time on record. ... (See Weekly rate report)

Mastercard free trial rule: Merchants must get your permission before charging you -- Mastercard will soon implement new rules that require merchants to get cardholders' permission before charging them when free trials end. ... (See Mastercard free trial rule )

Weekly rate report: Average card APR climbs to all-time high of 17.47 percent -- January 16, 2019: The average credit card interest rate soared to another all-time high Wednesday after several card issuers pushed up rates. ... (more)

Credit freeze versus credit lock versus credit monitoring: How to protect yourself -- Credit freezes, which keep lenders and other companies from viewing your credit, are now free. We compared them to other credit protection tools, including locks and monitoring services. Here's how to use them all to protect yourself. ... (See Credit freeze versus locks versus monitoring)

Employer credit checks: Who does them, how they work and what laws apply -- If you're applying for a new job, a credit check could determine your fate, depending on the position and where it's based. Here's how they work and what to expect. ... (See Employer credit check)

My card issuer of 25 years suddenly wants to know more about me -- Under the Patriot Act, banks are required to verify the identities of their customers and maintain accurate information on them. But my bank's demand to know how I earn my income is an invasion of my privacy. ... (See Consumer privacy)

Credit or debit card posted online? What to do? -- Once posted, the question is not so much what were you thinking, but what happens if you do find yourself in this plastic pickle? ... (See What to do if your card is posted online?)

Weekly rate report: Average card APR remains at record high of 17.41 percent -- January 9, 2019: The average credit card interest rate stayed put Wednesday, remaining at an all-time record high. ... (more)

Fed: Card balances jumped by $4.8 billion in November -- Credit card balances rose to a new all-time high in November, according to the Federal Reserve. ... (See Consumer credit )

Using authorized-user card after primary cardholder dies: Dos, don'ts -- If the primary holder of a credit card on which you're an authorized user dies, you can't continue to use the card as it is illegal. If you have, these are your options. ... (See Debt on dead spouse's card)

New Democratic Congress: How will it affect consumers? -- The incoming Democratic House majority will be emboldened to push pro-consumer legislation and will likely ratchet up their scrutiny of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. ... (See Consumer law)

Weekly rate report: Average card APR soars to all-time record high of 17.41 percent -- January 2, 2019: The average credit card interest rate began the New Year at another all-time record high, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Weekly rate report)

Credit card APRs heading upward again as Fed hikes rates -- The Federal Reserve voted to raise its federal funds rate by a quarter point for the fourth time this year ? all but ensuring credit card APRs will soon climb to a new record. ... (See Fed hikes rates)

Weekly rate report: Average card APR climbs to 17.21 percent -- December 19, 2018: The average credit card interest rate climbed to another record high Wednesday, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (more)

Weekly rate report: Average card APR remains at 17.15 percent for second week -- December 12, 2018: The average credit card interest rate held still Wednesday, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Weekly rate report)

Switching to EIN from SSN: Implications, benefits for your business -- Switching to an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from a Social Security Number (SSN) can have security, tax and business implications. Here's what you need to know. ... (See Switching to an EIN from a SSN)

Fed: Card balances jumped by $9.2 billion in October -- Credit card balances increased in October, according to a report by the Federal Reserve. ... (See Consumer credit report )

Weekly rate report: Average card APR climbs to 17.15 percent -- December 5, 2018: The average credit card interest rate broke another record Wednesday, inching up to 17.15 percent. ... (more)

Marriott data breach exposes 500 million guests? information -- Marriott announced on Nov. 30 its Starwood reservation database has been hacked, exposing the personal information of 500 million guests. Millions of guests' credit card information may have been stolen. ... (See Marriott Starwood data breach)

Weekly rate report: Average card APR remains at 17.14 percent for fourth week -- November 28, 2018: Interest rates on new credit card offers remained unchanged this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Weekly rate report)

Weekly rate report: Average card APR sits tight at 17.14 percent -- November 21, 2018: Average rates on new credit card offers remained at a record high Wednesday, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Weekly rate report)

Credit card theft: Most stolen card numbers come from EMV-enabled plastic -- A new study shows that the majority of stolen card numbers for sale on the dark web are still coming from "card-present" transactions, and almost all of them involve chip cards. ... (See Credit card theft )

Weekly rate report: Average card APR remains at record high of 17.14 percent -- November 14, 2018: The average APR for new credit card offers stayed put Wednesday, remaining at an all-time record high for the second consecutive week. ... (See Weekly rate report )

Card-not-present fraud: How card brands, merchants are fighting it -- Issuers innovate to thwart cybercriminals, but the shift to mobile puts the onus on merchants to step up against card-not-present fraud. ... (See Fraud)

Fed: Card balances fell by $300 million in September -- Credit card balances decreased in September, according to a federal government report released Tuesday. ... (See Consumer credit report )

Weekly rate report: Average card APR breaks new record, climbing to 17.14 percent -- November 7, 2018: The average credit card interest rate continued its record-setting streak on Wednesday, climbing to another all-time high. ... (more)

Can your issuer close your card based on your reputation? -- Your credit card issuer can cut off your account because you haven't used it in a while or you've racked up too many late payments. But there are also reports of cardholders' accounts being closed due to negative news about them. ... (See Card account closed due to negative news )

Immigrants may need good credit to stay in the U.S. -- Under a new proposal, the government would review the credit histories and credit scores of immigrants seeking visas or other status changes. But achieving a high U.S. credit score is an obstacle for many immigrants. ... (See Immigrants' credit scores )

Weekly rate report: Average card APR keeps climbing to record 17.11 percent -- October 31, 2018: The average credit card interest rate shattered another record this week. For the first time in at least a decade, the national average APR for new card offers hit 17.11 percent. ... (See Weekly rate report)

Child identity theft on the rise -- Young adults often struggle to obtain credit due to a lack of borrowing history, but many are also hindered by identity theft that happened when they were kids. ... (See Child identity theft)

Average card APR breaks new record, climbing to 17.08 percent -- October 24, 2018: The average credit card interest rate for new card offers climbed to another all-time high on Wednesday, hitting 17.08 percent. ... (See Weekly rate report)

Same customer, multiple unsigned cards, different names: What to do -- If you have a recurring customer who pays with multiple unsigned cards under different names, there are ways to protect yourself from possible fraud. Here's how to proceed. ... (See Multiple unsigned cards, different names)

Credit card billing cycles: How long can they be? -- There's not a limit to the number of days a monthly billing period can have, so you may end up having unusually long billing cycles. However, that doesn't mean you'll pay more interest in a year. ... (See Long billing cycles)

Zelle guide: How it works, how to protect your account -- Zelle, the easy-to-use person-to-person payment service now used by more than 100 banks in the U.S., is becoming increasingly popular -- but its simplicity may also make it vulnerable to fraud. ... (See Zelle guide)

Weekly rate report: Average card APR remains at record high of 17.07 percent for second week -- October 17, 2018: The average credit card interest rate held steady at a record high this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (more)

Holiday shopping: Many consumers would give up their data for discounts -- A new survey shows the share of U.S. consumers who are reluctant to give up their data to a store for a holiday discount has fallen since last year, despite high-profile data breaches. ... (See Holiday shopping security)

Cash advance: Can interest charges continue indefinitely? -- If you don't want to pay interest on a cash advance indefinitely, make sure to pay the cash advance balance on your monthly statement in addition to the minimum payment. ... (See Cash advance interest charges)

Identity theft insurance: Should you buy it from your home insurer? -- Identity theft protection from your home insurer can help you recover from fraud damage, but there are preventive measures you can take for free ... (See Identity theft insurance )

Venmo guide: How to send, receive money using Venmo -- Venmo is a peer-to-peer payment app owned by PayPal. Whether you're a Venmo aficionado or considering opening an account, here's what you need to know, including fees, security, privacy and card use options. ... (See Guide to Venmo)

Weekly rate report: Average card APR climbs to all-time record high of 17.07 percent -- October 10, 2018: The average credit card interest rate smashed another record this week, climbing to 17.07 percent ? an all-time high. ... (more)

Crowdfunding credit card debt: Pros, cons -- You can crowdfund your credit card debt online, but the success rates are low and there are quite a few rules and risks to consider. ... (See Crowdfunding credit card debt)

Credit card delinquencies fell in Q2 2018, ABA says -- Late payments on bank-issued credit cards edged below 3 percent of accounts in the second quarter of 2018, the American Bankers Association said. ... (See Credit card delinquencies down)

Weekly rate report: Average card rate climbs to 17.01 percent -- October 3, 2018: The average credit card interest rate climbed past 17 percent Wednesday for the first time since August, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (more)

Credit freeze: Less hassle than you may think -- If you feel daunted by financial tasks, you may put off freezing your credit, even though it's now free. But a credit freeze is faster and easier than you may think. ... (See Credit freeze )

Credit card debt: Making a payment doesn't stop collection lawsuit -- Why making a payment on an overdue debt is the wrong thing to do when facing legal action. ... (See Making payment on overdue card debt)

Credit card APRs to rise as Fed raises rates again -- The Federal Reserve increased its benchmark interest rate by a quarter point on Wednesday to keep inflation in check ... (See Fed raises rates for the third time in 2018)

Weekly rate report: Average card rate registers at 16.92 percent for fourth week -- September 26, 2018: The average credit card interest rate didn?t budge Wednesday, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (more)

Child support: It's getting easier to pay by credit card -- A growing number of counties are trying to make child support payments more convenient and reliable for recipients by enabling credit card payment ... (See Child support payments via credit card)

How to freeze your credit now that's it's free -- Starting Sept. 21, credit freezes will be free in all 50 states. Here's how to put the ice on potential fraudsters. ... (See How to do a credit freeze)

Paying off credit card in full by mistake: Can you get a refund? -- If you paid your credit card balance in full accidentally, card issuers will generally refund the amount over the minimum payment due -- but the refund may take longer than you'd like. ... (See Paid card balance in full by mistake)

Weekly rate report: Average card rate remains at 16.92 percent for third week -- September 19, 2018: The average credit card interest rate held steady Wednesday, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (more)

Swipe fee settlement: Visa, Mastercard agree to pay merchants $6.2B -- Visa and Mastercard have agreed to pay merchants up to $6.2 billion to settle a years-long lawsuit over swipe fees. A similar agreement was rejected by a federal court in 2016. ... (See Swipe fee settlement)

More card issuers offering virtual card numbers to cut fraud risk -- Virtual account numbers have been around for years, but they're being used more now in the wake of the massive Equifax hack. ... (See Virtual account numbers)

Weekly rate report: Average card rate stays put at 16.92 percent -- September 12, 2018: The average credit card interest rate didn?t budge Wednesday, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (more)

Fed: Balances on cards rose in July -- Credit card balances rose at a 1.5 percent annualized rate in July, the Federal Reserve said, reversing a decline the previous month. ... (See Consumer credit report)

AARP study: Consumers putting themselves at risk of fraud -- A new study by AARP finds only 4 in 10 American adults have set up online access to all their bank accounts, and only 57 percent have done so with their credit card accounts ... (See AARP digital risk survey )

Equifax breach one year later: What has changed, how to protect yourself -- September 2018 marks the first anniversary of Equifax's massive breach, which prompted calls for tougher security. Continuing hacks, however, prove that breaches won't cease. ... (See Equifax data breach one year later)

Surprising credit card travel exclusions -- Your credit card's travel insurance may not cover injuries sustained while taking part in a protest or riot, driving under the influence, skydiving, or due to a pre-existing medical condition. ... (See credit card travel insurance exclusions)

Weekly rate report: Average card rate rises to 16.92 percent -- September 5, 2018: The average credit card interest rate inched up Wednesday, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (more)

Surprise medical bills: How to avoid charges on card-on-file -- Medical offices are getting broad authority to charge your credit card long after you visit from an obscure clause in their patient agreement forms. Here's how to avoid surprise charges. ... (See Avoid surprise medical charges on card-on-file)

Free credit freezes for all 50 states -- A credit freeze means you can stop anyone from opening new credit in your name and soon it won?t cost you a penny. ... (See Free credit freezes)

A caregiver's guide: Finance protection for those with Alzheimer's -- For someone with a diagnosis of Alzheimer?s disease, preventing identity theft and maintaining good credit can seem impossible. ... (See Caregiver's guide)

Weekly rate survey: Average card rate falls to 16.91 percent -- August 29, 2018: The average credit card interest rate dropped below 17 percent Wednesday for the first time in almost a month ... (more)

Credit card rewards and cardholder satisfaction statistics -- Rewards are key factor in cardholder satisfaction, with cash rebates being the most popular form of reward ... (See Stats)

Credit card limit decreased? Why it happens, and what to do about it -- A credit limit decrease can happen because your spending habits changed, or if your good credit is mixed up with someone else's bad credit ... (See Credit limit decrease )

Your personal data is being sought by a new set of actors -- Companies such as Google and Facebook have been collecting our data for years, but now a whole new set of actors wants to know more about who you are ... (See Credit card data)

Should you pay college tuition with a credit card? -- Many people use credit cards to pay tuition because it's convenient and it can earn rewards. But it can be a costly move. ... (See Pay for college with credit card)

Rate survey: Average card rate holds steady at 17.03 percent -- August 22, 2018: The average credit card interest rate remained unchanged Wednesday after rising steadily for more than two consecutive months ... (more)

Can you charge a card without customer approval? -- Charging a card on file before asking the customer for approval can backfire. These are your options for getting paid without hurting your business. ... (See Charge card on file without approval)

Privacy rights: As banks talk with Facebook, time to review opt-out options -- With Facebook seeking customer data from banks, federal privacy protections let you opt out of some data sharing by financial institutions. ... (See Review privacy rights)

How soon will my credit score recover from a collection item? -- A collection item stays on your credit report for up to seven years. After you pay it off, be sure to keep your other card balances low or pay them down to zero ... (See Collection items and your credit score)

Weekly rate report: Average card rate rises to 17.03 percent -- August 15, 2018: Just one week after scaling past 17 percent for the first time ever, the average credit card interest rate inched a tad higher Wednesday. ... (more)

NY Fed: Credit reports show fewer debts in collection -- Implementation of tighter credit reporting standards has meant a steep drop in collection demerits and an average 11-point increase in credit scores, says a New York Fed study. ... (See Fewer credit accounts in collection: NY Fed)

How to protect your info in this age of data breaches -- As data breaches increase, it is easier to cut the risk that your card data and other personal info will be stolen. Dark web scans, free credit reports and virtual card numbers can ease your anxiety about identity theft. ... (See How to cut your ID fraud risk)

Weekly rate report: Average card rate soars to record high of 17.02 percent -- August 8, 2018: The average credit card interest rate shattered a major record this week, soaring past 17 percent for the first time. ... (See Weekly rate report )

Fed: Card balances fell by $100 million in June -- Credit card balances fell slightly in June, according to the Federal Reserve ... (See Card balances)

End of signature requirement doesn't mean they're extinct -- Though the card networks announced no more signatures by the end of April 2018, many retailers still accept them as verification. Do you still need to sign your payment slip? That depends. ... (See Signature requirements)

Credit card issuers supervised by the CFPB -- Concerned about anti-consumer practices related to your credit card? Rest assured ? if your card was issued by a major institution, it is supervised by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. ... (See Banks supervised by CFPB)

Weekly rate report: Average card rate climbs to all-time high of 16.99 percent -- August 1, 2018: The average credit card interest rate climbed to a record high Wednesday, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (more)

Kroger Visa credit card ban extended to second division -- Supermarket giant Kroger announced another one of its store chains will no longer accept Visa cards due to high swipe fees. ... (See Kroger Visa ban)

What merchants should do when they suspect card fraud -- Suspect fraud on an otherwise approved credit card purchase? As a merchant you may be liable if you don't follow the card network's guidelines. Here's what you should know. ... (See Merchants and card fraud)

Interest-free card promotions threatened by rising interest rates -- As the Fed continues to raise interest rates, card issuers find it more expensive to lend and are tamping down on promotional offers. ... (See 0 percent promo offers)

How to protect your card details and ID from doxxing -- Even if you?re not in the public eye, just the fact that you have a digital footprint means you and your sensitive financial information could be exposed to the growing doxxing epidemic. ... (See Doxxing)

Rate survey: Average card rate holds steady at 16.96 percent -- July 25, 2018: The average credit card interest rate remained at a record high Wednesday, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (more)

How to protect your cards and accounts online -- As we shop more online and pay bills via our computers and phones, how can we protect our financial transactions? It all starts with a secure network and then following some steps to reduce the chance a fraudster can steal your card and personal info. ... (See Online card protection guide)

Rate survey: Average card rate climbs to record high of 16.96 percent -- July 18, 2018: The average credit card interest rate settled at a record high Wednesday after another major issuer increased rates in response to the Federal Reserve?s June 2018 rate change ... (more)

Rewards, credit availability could take a hit as credit card banks' profits fall -- Profits at U.S. credit card banks fell due to higher delinquencies and lower net noninterest income in 2017, according to a Federal Reserve report. ... (See Fed report on credit card banks' profits)

Here's what to do if Amazon packages go missing -- What can you do if your Amazon packages go missing? You have three layers of protection (including your credit cards) from porch pirates nabbing boxes. ... (See Amazon deliveries)

Weekly rate report: Average card rate jumps to 16.93 percent -- July 11, 2018: The average credit card interest rate inched higher this week after several cards adjusted APRs. ... (See Weekly rate report)

How you may be violating your card's terms of service -- Engaging in one or a number of any of these activities can result in your account being flagged ... or even canceled. ... (See Card term violations)

A guide to avoiding timeshare scams -- The Federal Trade Commission named timeshare scams one of the top frauds of 2017, making it one of the largest threats to travel security in the U.S. Our guide details what is a timeshare scam and how to avoid them. ... (See Timeshare scams)

Americans' fears of missing a debt payment rise -- Americans' fears of missing a minimum debt payment rose in June for the third month in a row, according to the New York Fed?s Survey of Consumer Expectations. ... (See Fears of missing a payment)

Fed: Card balances rose by $9.7 billion in May -- Credit card balances surged to a new record in May, according to the Federal Reserve ... (See Consumer credit card debt)

Rate survey: Average card rate climbs to all-time high of 16.92 percent -- July 5, 2018: The average credit card interest rate set another record this week, climbing to 16.92 percent ... (See Rate report)

How to avoid travel scams -- Summer vacation season is in full swing and so are travel scams aimed at getting your credit card info. Be on the lookout for misleading booking sites, fraudulent property rentals, bogus vacation discounts and Facebook posts promising free airline tickets. ... (See Summer travel scams)

Surcharges grow more common, even in states where they're banned -- Surcharges for paying with a credit card are growing, even in states where these fees to cover 'swipe fees' are banned by law. ... (See Credit card surcharges)

Is getting a HELOC wise for debt repayment? -- Without the ability to deduct the interest if used for debt repayment, HELOCs lose luster as get-out-of-debt plan. ... (See HELOC debt repayment)

CFPB settles with Citi over APR errors -- Citi is paying refunds to credit card users whose APRs weren't reduced in line with CARD Act rules after a rate increase. ... (See CFPB settles with Citi)

Rate survey: Average card APR climbs to a record high of 16.83 percent -- June 27, 2018: The average credit card interest rate smashed another record this week, climbing to 16.83 percent, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (more)

Supreme Court upholds credit card anti-steering rules -- The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Amex's 'anti-steering' rules, which block merchants from offering customers discounts for using a card that's cheaper to process ... (See Anti-steering rules)

How to stop collection activity on fraudulent charges -- Canceling a card for fraudulent recurring charges won't necessarily stop the debt from being sent to collections if left unpaid. ... (See Recurring charges in collection)

Supreme Court expands online sales tax collection -- Consumers will pay more for many out-of-state transactions as result of high court's decision in an online retail case ... (See Sales taxes on online transactions)

Rate survey: Average card APR breaks new record, climbing to 16.81 percent -- June 20, 2018: The average credit card interest rate soared to another 10-year high this week after the Federal Reserve increased its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percent ... (more)

Steps to fight fraud, repair credit damage caused by ex-spouse -- Sharing finances is common during marriage, but can backfire horribly when a marriage falls apart. Take steps to protect your credit and financial standing. ... (See Fraud charges)

Credit card APRs to rise again as the Federal Reserve raises benchmark rate a quarter point -- The Federal Reserve raised its federal funds rate a quarter point for the second time this year, meaning higher rates for variable rate credit cards ... (See APRs to rise as Fed raises rates)

Rate survey: Average card APR remains at record high of 16.75 percent -- June 13, 2018: The average credit card interest rate held steady this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (more)

Rate survey: Average card APR breaks new record, climbing to 16.75 percent -- June 7, 2018 The average credit card interest rate sailed to another record high this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (more)

How to report and protect yourself from credit card fraud -- Here are some good tips and resources to keep yourself protected from credit card fraud and identity theft. ... (See Identity theft protection)

When is a charge on a credit card unauthorized? -- Unauthorized charges on credit cards are forbidden, but what happens when the charge was made by a company you deal with on an ongoing basis? ... (See Unauthorized credit card charges)

Rate survey: Average card APR remains at record high of 16.73 percent -- May 30, 2018: The average credit card interest rate remained at a record high of 16.73 percent Wednesday, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

Skim Reaper: The death of card skimmers? -- A grimly named handheld gadget can detect card-data-stealing skimmers in compromised gas pumps, ATMs ... (See Skim Reaper)

Rate survey: The average credit card interest rate remains at record high -- May 23, 2018: The average credit card interest rate remained at a record high of 16.73 percent Wednesday, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Weekly rate report)

Bill that could help prevent synthetic ID fraud passes Congress -- Banks will have new tools to fight synthetic identity fraud under a bill headed to President Trump's desk ... (See Synthetic ID fraud)

Do I have to pay fees and interest included in a wage garnishment? -- The best time to argue your case or settle the debt for less than you owe was before the judgment was assessed. ... (See Wage garnishment)

Active-duty military can get fees waived, special perks from rewards cards -- Some credit card issuers waive annual fees for active-duty military members, so it may be worth considering applying for some high-end travel rewards cards. ... (See Active-duty military credit card perks)

Need to cancel a nonrefundable flight or hotel? You might have options -- Trip cancellation not covered by your card? Calling the hotel or airline directly and making a compelling case might get you a refund. ... (See Canceling nonrefundable trip booking)

Rate survey: Average card APR sets new record -- May 16, 2018: The average credit card interest rate broke a new record this week as lenders continued to adjust APRs on new cards, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

Credit card losses from synthetic identity fraud jump -- Synthetic identity fraud, in which thieves create identities for bogus people, is increasing, Aite Group finds. And losses from the fraud are expected to rise another 53 percent by 2020. ... (See Synthetic identity fraud)

Supreme Court OKs sports gambling ? will credit cards? -- Cards that allow betting at all treat it as a costly cash advance. That could change in wake of Supreme Court ruling allowing states to legalize sports betting ... (See Sports betting and credit cards)

Guide to LGBT finances: You can live a richer life -- This guide to personal finance for LGBT Americans covers five key areas ? retirement, insurance, marriage, children and credit card debt. ... (See Guide to LGBT finances)

Poll: Half of balance-carrying cardholders clueless about their APRs -- Millions of U.S. consumers are unaware of what it costs them to carry card balances ... (See Card APRs)

Rate survey: Average card APR remains at record high of 16.71 percent -- May 9, 2018: None of the cards included in's weekly rate report advertised new APRs this week. ... (See Rate report)

Child ID breaches rampant, usually caused by a familiar face -- In most cases, a family member or friend steals the child's data ... (See Child ID breaches)

How to accept credit cards at your next garage sale -- Mobile payments have made cash-only garage sales a thing of the past. ... (See Credit cards at garage sales)

Fed: Card balances fell by $2.6 billion in March -- Card balances fell in March, according to the Federal Reserve ... (See Debt )

Rate survey: Average card APR climbs to record high of 16.71 percent -- May 2, 2018: The average credit card interest rate set a new record this week, climbing to 16.71 percent, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See Weekly rate report)

5 money and credit lessons from people who went bankrupt -- Some top takeaways from a few who went bankrupt. Apply what they gleaned and you might be able to avoid your own trip to the courthouse. ... (See Bankruptcy lessons)

How do I stop a chargeback for a legitimate purchase? -- Disputing a purchase where a customer keeps the merchandise is called chargeback fraud. However, the burden of proof is upon the merchant. ... (See Reverse chargeback)

Rate survey: Average card APR breaks record, climbing to 16.68 percent -- April 25, 2018: The average credit card interest rate recorded another record high this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (more)

Spendthrift daughter racks up thousands on mom's card -- After racking up $1,500 in charges, mom told her to stop, but then she kept on spending. ... (See Spendthrift daughter)

Rate survey: Average card APR climbs to new high of 16.65 percent -- April 18, 2018: The average credit card interest rate smashed another record Wednesday, climbing to an all-time high of 16.65 percent, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Weekly rate report)

CFPB considers deleting complaints from website -- CFPB acting director John M. 'Mick" Mulvaney said deleting public database of consumer complaints about companies is an option ... (See CFPB complaint database)

Rate survey: Average card APR holds at record 16.62 percent -- April 11, 2018: The national average APR remained at its record high of 16.62 percent for a second week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Weekly rate report)

Consumers' fears of missing payments hit record low, NY Fed says -- Consumers' expectations of meeting their minimum debt payments reached a record level of optimism in March, New York Fed survey finds. ... (See NY Fed survey of consumer expectations)

Some California businesses, but not all, are exempt from surcharge ban -- Ruling by 9th Circuit Court early in 2018 exempts some, but not all, businesses from ban on credit and debit card surcharges. ... (See California surcharge law)

Fed: Card balances rose by $100 million in February -- Card balances continued to climb to new heights in February, according to the Federal Reserve ... (See Credit card balances)

Widow racks up card debt on deceased husband's card -- For 15 years, a widow used her late husband's card and now wants to walk away from the debt she racked up on it. ... (See Using deceased spouse's card)

Rate survey: Average card APR jumps to all-time high of 16.62 percent -- April 4, 2018: The average credit card interest rate broke a new record this week, landing within rounding distance of 17 percent for the first time ever, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Weekly rate report)

Steps to clear fraudulent accounts set up by a parent -- A minor is not morally, financially or legally responsible for the debt incurred fraudulently by a parent. ... (See Fraudulent accounts)

CFPB rollback of payday loan protection draws criticism -- Consumer advocates decry lack of enforcement actions and reopening of payday loan regulation by consumer watchdog agency led by Trump appointee. ... (See CFPB rolling back payday loan protections)

Can employer deduct card transaction fees from my commission? -- Before you invest time selling products for a company, know exactly how you will be paid. ... (See Card transaction fees)

Average card APR climbs to record 16.47 percent -- March 28, 2018: Interest rates on new credit cards rose Wednesday for the first time in seven weeks, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

Store-card issuers top list of complaints with the CFPB -- Retail cards were the top source of credit card-related gripes filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2017. ... (See Credit card complaints)

What are my rights regarding convenience fees for utilities? -- A homeowners association can charge a convenience fee for dues including utility charges because of a loophole in California law ... (See Convenience fees)

Can I fix late card payment damage after autopay fail? -- Whether the late payment is your fault or not, that mark on your credit report will be nearly impossibly to remove. ... (See Autopay fail)

Credit card APRs to rise as Federal Reserve raises rates again -- Credit card APRs will rise after the government's interest rate setting committee decided to raise its benchmark rate by 0.25 percent to keep inflation in check. ... (See Fed raises rates; card APRs to rise)

Rate survey: Average card APR holds still at 16.41 percent -- March 21, 2018: Interest rates on new credit card offers didn?t budge this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Weekly rate report)

Mom used my SSN when I was young; do I have to tell anyone? -- Whether she paid accounts on time or not, she committed fraud and those accounts need to come off your credit reports. ... (See Identity theft)

The solo traveler's guide to keep you and your cards safe -- As a solo traveler, you have to be extra cautious with the safety of your finances and lodging, because you don't have a backup. You should, however, have a backup credit card. ... (See Guide for solo travelers)

A 1099-C does not wipe out unpaid debt from credit reports -- Even when reported on your tax return, a 1099-C does not automatically clear an unpaid balance from your credit report. ... (See 1099-C and credit reports)

Busted for card theft? What to expect -- The penalties you face for using someone else?s credit card without their permission vary by state and how you used the card. ... (See Card theft penalties)

Rate survey: Average card APR holds steady at 16.41 percent -- March 14, 2018: Interest rates on new credit card offers remained at a record high this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See Weekly Rate Report)

Is bankruptcy an option when illness wrecks finances? -- Your first step is to create a detailed budget, then meet with a credit counselor. ... (See Bankruptcy option)

It may soon be safer to type passwords on public Wi-Fi -- New privacy protocol, WPA3, will better secure your online browsing activity and Wi-Fi-connected gadgets. ... (See Safer public Wi-Fi)

Under Senate bill, free credit freezes, fewer consumer protections -- Consumers will get free, fast credit freezes to halt ID theft under a Senate bill, which also cuts protections against unfair and risky lending. ... (See Free credit freeze proposal)

Study: ID theft hits an all-time high again -- ID theft incidents are spreading to many different account types, a Javelin study finds ... (See ID theft)

Flying with Pets: Policies by Airline and Airport -- Need to fly with Fido? Know that a few airlines help offset the sometimes substantial cost by offering rewards for traveling with an animal companion. ... (See Flying with pets)

Can I keep using ex-boyfriend's card? -- Even if you had permission to use the card during the relationship, to continue to use it after you break up is fraud. ... (See Using ex's card)

Can your card company impose a new annual fee on you? -- Card issuers can make changes to their products, such as start charging fees on otherwise no-fee cards. These are your options when hit with a new fee. ... (See Unexpected credit card annual fee)

Fed: Card balances grew by $700 million in January -- Card balances set a new all-time record in January, according to the Federal Reserve ... (See Debt )

Rate survey: Average card APR sits tight at 16.41 percent -- March 7, 2018: Interest rates on new credit card offers held steady this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Weekly rate report)

What type of card should I get before I go back to school? -- Once you quit working and become a full-time student, your chances of getting a card are pretty much gone. ... (See First card)

Paying with cards at marijuana dispensaries? It's complicated -- Marijuana is legal in 29 states and D.C., but remains illegal under federal law, which has hindered dispensaries' access to card processing options. Still, some might let you pay with plastic. ... (See Cannabis and credit cards)

Am I liable for unpaid bills on a company credit card? -- If you have a company credit with your name on it, you could be liable if the company isn't paying. ... (See Business card debt: Who's liable?)

Can I stop payment on other cards to devote all funds to one card? -- There are serious negative consequences if you neglect to pay the minimum payment on any of your cards. ... (See Stopping card payments)

Credit cards are top source of ID theft complaints, FTC says -- Credit cards, despite tighter security, have become the top source of ID theft complaints, according to a 2017 Federal Trade Commission report. ... (See FTC report on ID theft and credit cards)

Rate survey: Average card APR remains unchanged at 16.41 percent -- Feb. 28, 2018: Interest rates on new credit card offers held still this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Weekly rate report)

Consumer watchdog reverses course under Trump appointee -- Three months after taking charge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, John 'Mick' Mulvaney has stopped or reversed many of its efforts to protect consumers. ... (See CFPB's transformation under Mulvaney)

Credit card case before Supreme Court could change rewards game -- Consumers could get discounts for using one credit card over another, but rewards could be affected if Supreme Court rules against American Express's anti-steering rules. ... (See Card rewards' legal challenge)

Poll: 16 million Americans fear stolen cellphone more than identity theft -- Experts say personal data theft is a greater danger, but losing your cellphone also has risks ... (See Equifax breach and cellphone poll)

Citi to refund $330 million in interest charges to cardholders -- Citi discovered errors in re-evaluating APRs for millions of cardholders who resumed on-time payments after slipping up ... (See Citi refund )

Do I have to pay taxes on deceased husband's debt? -- If your husband had an estate, and if the estate had not been insolvent (had money in it to pay debts), the estate would have had to pay tax on any canceled debt. ... (See 1099-C)

Rate survey: Average card APR holds steady at 16.41 percent -- Feb. 21, 2018: Interest rates on new credit card offers didn?t budge this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Weekly rate report)

Will fraudulent use of mom's card jeopardize her J-1 visa? -- People living here on visas are at risk of having their status revoked if they commit certain crimes, but the offensives need to be both substantiated and serious. ... (See Fraud impact on J-1 visa)

Can I impose a minimum transaction of $10 for card purchases? -- If you're a small business wanting to impose a minimum transaction amount, know the rules the card companies have to avoid trouble ... (See Minimum transaction of $10 for cards)

Will canceled debt affect my Social Security income? -- Income from canceled debt is taxable, but shouldn't be counted as "earnings" by the Social Security Administration. ... (See Canceled debt)

5 months after Equifax breach, no new data security rules -- Five months after Equifax data breach, debate over tighter security rules continues ? but new tools let individuals lock their credit files. ... (See After Equifax, still no data security rules)

Rate survey: Average card APR stays put at 16.41 percent -- Feb. 14, 2018: The average credit card interest rate remained at a record high Wednesday, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

Should you transfer someone else's balance to your credit card? -- Assuming another's high-interest debt can help them lower their debt costs, but you may never get paid back ... (See Balance transfer )

Can a minor be sued for defaulted card debt? -- Since he was issued the card illegally, and can't repay what he charged, what are the consequences? ... (See Minor opened card)

Late payments on cards worsen as balances rise, NY Fed says -- Growing card balances are weighing heavier on consumers' budgets, New York Fed report shows, but problems remain low historically ... (See Credit card delinquencies on the rise)

Average card APR breaks new record, climbs to 16.41 percent -- Feb. 7, 2018: The average credit card interest rate smashed another record this week, climbing to an all-time high of 16.41 percent, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Weekly rate report)

U.S. cities with the heaviest credit card debt burden: San Antonio is No. 1 -- San Antonio residents would take the longest time to pay off credit card debt relative to income compared to other major U.S. cities, a analysis found. By contrast, San Francisco and Minneapolis residents would take the shortest. ... (See Cities with most, least card debt burden)

Wells Fargo: Federal Reserve's growth cap shouldn't hit credit card holders -- Wells Fargo cardholders won't be affected by the Federal Reserve's cap on bank's growth following the fake account scandal in 2016, banks says. ... (See Fed's cap effect on Wells Fargo cards)

Do I still owe card debt past the statute of limitations? -- Even if your card debt has legally expired, that doesn't mean creditors can't take you to court seeking payment. ... (See Card debt's legal expiration date)

Should I use insurance settlement to pay off card debt? -- A one-time cash infusion may help ward off having to file for bankruptcy. ... (See Insurance settlement)

Should you postpone retirement to pay off card debt? -- If you are approaching retirement and are still revolving credit card balances, it may be better to keep working until those debts are paid off. ... (See Retirement and card debt)

Can parking tickets still be reported to credit bureaus? -- Credit bureaus have tightened reporting rules, but companies still find ways to report small unpaid bills, such as parking tickets. ... (See Parking tickets in collections)

Everything you need to know about credit cards and sending your child abroad -- Parents should consider adding a credit card for spending and emergencies ... (See Card options for students abroad)

CFPB's structure is constitutional, appeals court rules -- The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Congress can insulate the federal consumer protection bureau from political pressure by shielding the director from being fired. ... (See CFPB's structure ruled constitutional)

Rate survey: Average card APR ticks up to record 16.39 percent -- Jan. 31, 2018: The average credit card interest rate inched higher this week, breaking another 10-year record, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

Am I liable for PayPal debt if I opened an account as a minor? -- If you owe, you should pay, even though PayPal restricts accounts to those under 18, unless authorized by a parent. ... (See PayPal debt)

Rate survey: Average card APR climbs to all-time high of 16.38 percent -- Jan. 24, 2018: The average credit card interest rate reached another 10-year high this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

Credit guide for military members and their families -- While federal laws give baseline protection, many credit card issuers go beyond the minimum and offer a range of benefits exclusive to military families ... (See Military credit guide)

When a delinquent account threatens employment -- If a surprise, forgotten delinquency is noticed by an employer, the best policy is honesty. ... (See Employer credit report checks)

What new Fed Chair Jerome Powell means for consumers -- While other White House appointees disrupt their agencies, Jerome Powell is expected to continue the Federal Reserve's course of gradually raising interest rates ... (See New Fed Chair Jerome Powell)

Interest rate reversal may be due to military debt protections -- The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act caps interest rates at 6 percent during active duty period. ... (See Interest rate reversal)

Rate survey: Average card APR jumps to all-time high of 16.35 percent -- Jan. 17, 2018: Average credit card interest rates set a new record this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

Can a minor be charged for credit card theft? -- If the thief used the stolen card to purchase items, that is considered fraud, though the penalty for minors may not be harsh. ... (See Card theft by a minor)

8 ways to negotiate better credit card fees, interest and debt -- Under certain circumstances and with the right approach, cardholders may be able to have their interest rates, account fees or even their balances lowered. ... (See Card negotiation tips)

Remove authorized users before filing for bankruptcy -- When things start to go south, immediately remove any authorized users to prevent bad credit marks from showing on their credit reports. ... (See Authorized users)

Judge lets Trump appointee remain as CFPB head -- A federal judge rules against a challenge that said Mick Mulvaney's appointment as acting director undermines the consumer protection bureau's independence. ... (See Legal battle over CFPB)

Rate survey: Average card APR remains at record high of 16.32 percent -- Jan. 10, 2018: The average credit card APR held steady at 16.32 percent this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

Chargeback rules for undelivered purchases -- Two federal laws protect consumers from being charged for items that never arrive as promised. ... (See Chargeback rules)

First-time fraud victims likely to be hit again -- With reload scams and sucker lists, some first-time fraud victims are fleeced over and over. ... (See Repeat fraud victims)

Financial guide for widows: building credit -- Tips for how to use a credit card to rebuild any lost credit or establish credit a new widow may not have. ... (See Financial guide for widows)

Help! I used the company card for personal expenses by mistake -- What to do if you use your corporate credit card for a personal expense ... (See Corporate credit card)

Credit card fraud victims who fought back -- Oftentimes, card thieves are not held accountable for their crimes. These victims made sure they were. ... (See True tales of card fraud victims who fought back)

Card surcharge ban laws take another blow -- State laws that stop merchants from charging you extra when you use a credit card took another blow this week from a California appeals court ruling. ... (See Credit card surcharges)

Rate survey: Average card APR climbs to record high of 16.32 percent -- Jan. 3, 2018: The average credit card APR shot up again this week after multiple lenders hiked rates, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Weekly rate report)

Year in review: top credit stories of 2017 -- Rising interest rates, a cash back card boom, a CFPB shake-up and new co-branded cards marked 2017. ... (See Year in review: top credit stories)

4 credit card trends to watch in 2018 -- Get ready for new rewards and ways to pay, but carrying a balance on your card will become more expensive ... (See Credit card trends)

Dad used my credit card to go on vacation -- You can file fraud charges and get the charges removed if your dad was not made an authorized user on the card. ... (See Credit card theft)

CFPB report: Deferred interest problems grow -- The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shifted away from criticism of the consumer credit card market in the latest edition of its biennial report ... (See Deferred interest problems)

Rate survey: Average card APR continues to climb -- Dec. 27, 2017: The average credit card interest rate hit another record high this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate Report)

Infographic: Late payment reminder preferences -- If a credit card payment is late, most Americans would prefer a nudge by email or text alert, a FICO study finds. Currently, most late payment notices are sent via email or U.S. mail. ... (See Late payment alert preferences)

Why you should never lend your debit card to a friend -- If your card is lost, misused or anything else goes wrong, your finances and good name can suffer. ... (See Lending out debit card)

Trump appointee can stay in charge of CFPB, for now -- Trump-appointee Mick Mulvaney will remain in charge of CFPB for now, after court offered no ruling in battle over the consumer protection agency. ... (See Legal battle over CFPB)

Texas law lets merchants ask cardholders to show ID -- A new Texas law lets merchants ask a customer paying with a credit or debit card for a government-issued photo ID to prove his or her identity. ... (See Texas cardholders may be asked to show ID)

How to cancel a gym contract without hurting your credit -- How ending a relationship with a service provider by closing the card on file can backfire. ... (See Canceling gym contract)

Rate survey: Average card APR soars to record high of 16.21 percent -- Dec. 20, 2017: Propelled by a Fed rate increase, the average credit card interest rate jumped to a new record high this week, according to the's weekly survey of new card offers. ... (See Rate Report)

Gas pump and ATM skimmers: How to spot and avoid them -- How can you spot card skimmers? Use your eyes, your fingers, a free Android app and your common sense to cut your fraud risk, but nothing is foolproof. ... (See How to spot card skimmers)

Card companies go above and beyond for military members -- Credit card companies offer a wide range of money-saving benefits exclusive to military families, but these perks aren?t widely advertised. ... (See Credit cards for the military)

Even if you win a chargeback billing dispute, the merchant can still sue -- You must first make a 'good faith effort' to work it out with the store ... (See Card disputes and lawsuits)

I mistakenly paid off my late husband's card. Can I get a refund? -- The odds of getting an issuer to refund a payment are slim to none, unless it was made to a stranger's account. ... (See Card payment refund)

3 major mobile payment security risks, and how to avoid them -- Experts say mobile payments are safer than physical cards and cash, but they aren't hacker-proof ... (See Mobile payments)

Federal Reserve raises rates for third time this year -- The U.S. central bank raised its benchmark rate a quarter point ? meaning higher APRs on most credit cards ? and projected more hikes in 2018. ... (See Fed raises rates; card APRs to increase)

Rate survey: Average card APR dips to 16.14 percent -- Dec. 13, 2017: The average credit card interest rate slipped Wednesday for the first time since May, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Weekly rate report)

Should my parents sell their home to pay off card debt? -- It's better to take the time to craft a thoughtful approach to getting out from under debt obligations. ... (See Selling house to pay debt)

Fed: Card balances surged by $8.3 billion in October -- Card balances marched toward an all-time high in October, according to the Federal Reserve ... (See G19)

Rate survey: Average card APR holds steady at 16.15 percent -- Dec. 6, 2017: The average credit card interest rate remained fixed at 16.15 percent this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See weekly rate report)

What to do when permission to use a card is revoked -- If you are given authority to use a card and then that permission is revoked, make repayment arrangements for unapproved charges in writing. ... (See Permission to use card revoked)

Trump appointee promises 'dramatically different' CFPB -- As CFPB's acting director, Trump appointee Mick Mulvaney has broad authority to slow the agency crackdowns on fraud and consumer refunds. ... (See Changes in CFPB under Mick Mulvaney)

Mandatory arbitration: Most credit cards allow a way out -- A survey of large credit card issuers finds most offer a way to avoid mandatory arbitration clauses that strip consumers' legal rights ... (See Mandatory credit card arbitration study)

Rate survey: Average card APR sits tight at 16.15 percent -- Nov. 29, 2017: Interest rates on new credit card offers held steady this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See weekly rate report)

Q&A: Unlink your bank account from deceased relative's card -- Having paid his bills with your account does not make you liable for the balances, nor does it give the creditors any reason to sue you. ... (See Bank account linked to deceased relative's card)

Rate survey: Average card APR remains at 16.15 percent -- Nov. 22, 2017: Interest rates on new card offers remained stuck in place this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate survey)

Card applicants getting approved more often, NY Fed says -- Credit card applicants met with success more often in the past year, New York Fed survey says, as applicants' credit improved ... (See NY Fed's Survey of Consumer Expectations)

Will my issuer close my card accounts when I retire? -- If you keep the cards open and active and pay on time, having a reduced income shouldn't cause an issuer to close your accounts. ... (See Closed card accounts)

7 easy ways to protect your credit while holiday shopping -- Fraudsters may be more likely to strike during the holiday season when consumer spending is high, so vigilance is especially important from November to January. ... (See Holiday fraud)

Consumer protection chief resigns, Trump to pick successor -- Richard Cordray, founding director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, just announced his departure; will be replaced by President Trump. ... (See CFPB chief announces departure)

Rate survey: Average card APR holds steady at 16.15 percent for ninth week -- Nov. 15, 2017: Interest rates on new credit card offers remained fixed at 16.15 percent Wednesday for the ninth consecutive week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Card APRs remain fixed)

NY Fed: Credit card delinquencies continue to rise -- Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Household Debt and Credit report says more balances are in late-payment status, but overall delinquencies are moderate ... (See Credit card delinquencies rising)

Go paperless without neglecting your card bills -- Help the environment, save money - but stay on top of your finances. Here's how ... (See Tips to go paperless)

CFPB sues country's largest debt settlement company -- Federal consumer watchdog accuses Freedom Debt Relief of misleading customers, collecting unearned fees ... (See CFPB sues Freedom Debt Relief)

Average card APR stays at 16.15 percent for eighth week: Weekly Credit Card Rate Report -- Nov. 8, 2017: Interest rates on new credit card offers didn?t budge Wednesday, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See Rate report)

Sex addiction, credit card debt often go together -- Sex addicts often use secret credit cards or pad business accounts to hide trysts, online porn purchases experts say. ... (See Sex addiction and credit card debt)

Banks tighten credit card loan standards, Fed says -- Federal Reserve survey of senior loan officers finds declining appetite for risk meant higher barriers for credit card applicants in the third quarter. ... (See Tightening credit card loan standards)

Former boss let me use his card, now he cries fraud -- If you used a card given by a former boss who is now threatening legal action against you, seek legal advice. You may be able to prove you used the card legitimately. . ... (See Former boss cries card fraud)

How to get repaid for charges on a card you lent out -- Allowing someone to use your card is worse than giving them access to your checking account as you can lose money you don't have yet. ... (See Lent card)

Post EMV: How retailers can avoid paying for fraud -- Two years after the rollout of EMV, here?s how retailers can avoid liability. ... (See Retailers, and post-EMV fraud)

Best card for someone over 65, with low income and no credit history -- Everyone has to start their credit history somewhere, and secured cards can be the building block to get you there. ... (See Secured credit cards)

Average card APR remains at 16.15 percent for seventh week: Weekly Credit Card Rate Report -- Nov. 1, 2017: Interest rates on new credit card offers held steady Wednesday, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See Weekly Rate Report)

Risks of keeping one card open during bankruptcy -- Once an issuer learns of the bankruptcy, it may close the card as you are now viewed as a higher risk. ... (See Bankruptcy)

Rate survey: Average card APR holds steady at 16.15 percent for sixth week -- Oct. 25, 2017: Interest rates on new card offers remained at a record high Wednesday, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

Senate repeals rule that allows consumers to band together and sue -- The Senate voted to strike down a consumer protection rule that would have restricted companies' ability to impose arbitration in disputes with customers ... (See Arbitration rule repeal)

Will banks raise APRs if stripped of legal shield provided by arbitration? -- Top regulators are feuding about the costs banks might pass on to customers if they're have to drop a shield from class-action lawsuits ... (See Will arbitration rule increase APRs?)

How to stop debt collectors from contacting you about a relative -- Collectors are allowed one phone call in an attempt to find someone, but after that, they are breaking the law. ... (See Debt collection )

Average card APR stays put at 16.15 percent for fifth week: Weekly Credit Card Rate Report -- Oct. 18, 2017: Interest rates on new card offers remained fixed in place Wednesday, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See Rates )

How digital nomads can process payments overseas -- Entrepreneurs looking to live overseas need to consider payment options for customers. There are multiple software options and processing options for the nomadic entrepreneur looking to take their life abroad ... (See Processing payments overseas)

Credit freeze laws in all 50 states -- States have passed credit freeze laws to combat identity theft and fraud. Here are the details for each state. ... (See Credit freeze state data)

6 reasons why an issuer may close your card -- If you?re not the ideal customer, your credit card account may be unexpectedly closed. ... (See Reasons issuer may close your card)

Debt relief firm that claimed ties to US government sued by CFPB -- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sued two companies both known as FDAA for an allegedly illegal debt relief scheme targeting credit card debtors ... (See Fake debt relief firm sued by CFPB)

In the wake of Equifax hack, Congress proposes credit bureau reform -- Lawmakers call for changes in credit report system to protect people's data, or at least give them more control over it ... (See Congress proposes credit bureau reform)

Rate survey: Average card APR stays at 16.15 percent for fourth week -- Oct. 11, 2017: Interest rates on new card offers held steady this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate survey)

Steps to take when a fraudster opens a card in your name -- A mysterious card statement that shows up in your name with a balance on it means you have to take action. ... (See Credit card fraud)

Poll: 1 in 4 Americans checked their credit after Equifax breach -- The flood of post-breach consumer action is encouraging, but many still didn't check their credit ... (See Equifax breach)

3 immigrants share how they achieved credit scores over 750 -- Immigrants can achieve high credit scores in the U.S., even though our system is confusing ... (See Immigrants and credit)

CFPB regulates payday loans, auto-title loans -- The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced a rule on costly payday and auto title loans designed to limit costly re-borrowing without cutting off access to emergency loans ... (See CFPB regulates payday loans)

Use free card services to monitor your credit in wake of Equifax breach -- With recent data breaches at Equifax and elsewhere, card issuers offer options that can help guard against errors and fraud ... (See Credit monitoring)

Rate survey: Average card APR holds steady at 16.15 percent -- Oct. 4, 2017: Interest rates on new credit card offers remained unchanged this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

Ex-CEO of Equifax proposes consumer control of their credit files -- Equifax ex-CEO Richard Smith told Congress the company will give consumers ability to lock and unlock their credit file for free, says other credit bureaus should follow suit ... (See Equifax ex-CEO testifies in Congress)

Military Lending Act credit card rules cap finance charges -- The Military Lending Act caps finance charges at 36 percent and adds other consumer protections for service members and their dependents. The law's credit card provisions kicked in Oct. 3, 2017 ... (See Military Lending Act)

Can an authorized user transfer debt onto shared card? -- When sharing a card, it's best both parties agree to a certain code of honor about how the card will be used. ... (See Authorized user)

Federal civil penalty fund pays refunds to scam victims -- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's civil penalty fund has allocated nearly half a billion dollars for victims of scams that were too broke to make refunds ... (See Civil penalty fund and scam victims)

How to avoid unnecessary fraud freezes in the wake of Equifax breach -- As banks tighten their security following the Equifax hack and other breaches, there are ways to reduce the odds of being hit with a fraud freeze unnecessarily ... (See Card security after Equifax breach)

Credit cards are now most common type of debt, Fed finds -- The Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances found 44 percent of families with card debt in 2016, outpacing mortgages for first time ... (See Fed: credit cards most common type of debt)

Rate survey: Average card APR remains at 16.15 percent -- Sept. 27, 2017: The average APR for new card offers remained at a record high Wednesday, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

Charged Up! podcast: How to protect your identity -- Don?t fall into the nightmare of losing your identity. Security expert Mark Nunnikhoven offers tips on keeping your identity safe ... (See Mark Nunnikhoven)

Gift cards: What to do when retailer files for bankruptcy -- If a retailer is on shaky financial ground, use that gift card while you can, experts say ... (See Gift cards and bankruptcy)

Fraudsters creating synthetic identities from personal info on web -- Synthetic identity fraud surges to $6 billion in 2016. Shift to EMV chip cards led fraudsters to seek out other scams, experts say. Auto lenders are a new target for fraudsters. ... (See Synthetic identity fraud)

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act: Protecting yourself from credit discrimination -- An August 2017 discrimination settlement against American Express highlights why regulators and consumers need to be more wary. ... (See Equal Credit Opportunity Act)

ID thieves covet SSNs over credit card data -- Social Security number breaches are outnumbering credit card data breaches 4 to 1 ... (See ID thieves go for the SSNs )

Q&A: Do I have to pay US debts if I now live abroad? -- It?s tempting to just ignore debts when they are on the other side of the world, but if you were ever to return to the U.S., your credit score would be toast ... (See Home abroad, debts in U.S.)

Credit freeze costs come under fire -- Following the data breach at Equifax, consumers, lawmakers ask: Why should we pay for credit bureau's blunder? ... (See Credit freezes: low-cost options)

Rate survey: Average card APR climbs to 16.15 percent -- Sept. 20, 2017: The average APR for new credit card offers inched up to another record high Wednesday, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate survey)

Card customers in Irma's path get help, fee waivers from banks -- Many card-issuing banks are cutting Hurricane Irma victims some slack, waiving fees and offering financial help ... (See Hurricane Irma)

How to undo fraud charges when thief is a family member -- When you don't want to file a police report on a family member who stole your card, you're stuck with the responsibility of paying the bill. ... (See Family fraud)

Q&A: What to know, what to do about Equifax data breach -- The data taken from credit bureau Equifax handed powerful tools for identity thieves, experts say. Here are steps to monitor your accounts and protect your identity from being hijacked. ... (See Equifax breach Q&A )

Credit bureaus tighten reporting rules: Who wins, who loses? -- Starting July 1, 2017, more documentation required for entries on unpaid taxes, medical debts ... (See Credit reports)

Survey: Average card APR stays at record 16.14 percent for fifth week -- The average APR for new card offers remained fixed in place this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See rate report)

How to handle friend who cries fraud over authorized user card -- When someone makes you an authorized user on a card account, they can't accuse you of fraud later. ... (See Authorized user)

How credit freezes work & what they cost -- Credit freezes can be great tools for protecting yourself against identity theft, experts say, but they're not for everyone ... (See How credit freezes work)

Fraudsters target video games for credit card fraud -- When it comes to gaming, your credit card can be compromised in a variety of ways, including account takeover, phishing and card theft through in-app purchases. ... (See Video game card fraud)

Equifax breach exposes data of 147.9 million U.S. consumers -- A total of 147.9 million U.S. consumers had information exposed included Social Security numbers and addresses, and the credit card numbers of 209,000 cardholders. ... (See Equifax data breach)

Q&A: Is shared CD at risk if I file for bankruptcy? -- If listed only as a beneficiary, then no; but if jointly owned, perhaps ... (See Bankruptcy and CDs)

Rate survey: Average card APR remains at record 16.14 percent for fourth week -- Sept. 6, 2017: The average APR for new card offers didn?t budge Wednesday, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rates)

Q&A: When bankruptcy doesn't make sense -- The desire to walk away from debt can be strong, but bankruptcy isn't always the cure ... (See Bankruptcy)

5 business expense card options for employers -- Owners should consider conveniences, rewards, frequency of employee purchases ... (See Expenses)

9 strategies to win the credit card payments game -- Rack up savings and reduce the impact of penalty fees, hiked rates and debt on your credit card bill by following these payment rules ... (See Payments)

Q&A: Library fines, parking tickets can no longer trash your credit -- The 2015 National Consumer Assistance Plan changed the way any kind of debt, including library fines and parking tickets, can be reported to the credit bureaus ... (See Fines)

Rate survey: Average card APR stays put at 16.14 percent -- August 30, 2017: The average interest rate for new credit card offers remained at a record high Wednesday for the third consecutive week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rates)

5 steps to rebuild credit after prison -- Prison can wreck your credit; bouncing back takes work ... (See Prison)

How many credit cards should you have? -- Wondering how many credit cards you should have? Experts say at least two, one from each card network, one from each type of rewards, and no more than you can handle ... (See Cards)

Can't pay card bills after medical crisis: What to do? -- If you have no assets and have protected funds, you are considered "judgment proof" ... (See Crisis)

Retailer gone bankrupt? What retail card holders should do -- You still owe any balances, even when the bankrupt retailer cancels its cards ... (See Retail cards and bankruptcy)

Rate survey: Average card APR stays at record high of 16.14% -- August 23, 2017: The average APR for new card offers stayed put this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rates)

CFPB: American Express discriminated in Puerto Rico, territories -- More than 200,000 American Express credit customers in Puerto Rico and U.S. territories are receiving $96 million in compensation for discriminatory practices, CFPB announced. ... (See AmEx)

Chip cards bring new fraud trends -- The advent of EMV chips has curtailed fraud from lost and stolen cards, but online fraud continues to rise ... (See Fraud)

Am I liable for check-cashing, credit card scam charges? -- The rules that provide zero liability don't help if you gave someone your card ... (See Scam)

Average card APR climbs to record high of 16.14 percent: Weekly Credit Card Rate Report -- Aug. 16, 2017: The average APR for new credit card offers hit another record this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See Rates)

New delinquencies rising for credit card users, New York Fed finds -- Newly delinquent credit card accounts are accelerating, a "potentially concerning" trend, New York Fed economists said ... (See Delinquency)

Borrowing from friends and family: Your 6-step guide -- If as a last resort you need to ask you family or friends for money there are way to make it more palatable for both of you ... (See Borrowing)

6 reasons entrepreneurs should get a business card -- Benefits such as expanded buying power, spending rewards and tracking assistance can help fuel business growth ... (See Upgrade)

2017 Credit Card Fee Survey: Consumers catch a break -- Changes to credit card fees have decreased, foreign transaction fees are going away, and the rest can be avoided. ... (See Fee Survey)

Rate survey: Average card APR remains at record high of 16.13 percent -- August 9, 2017: The average credit card rate remained at a record high this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See APRs)

Merchants say mobile wallets coming but won't cut fraud -- Most retailers and e-tailers believe mobile wallets will be widely adopted in the next five years, but only about a third think mobile payments will cut fraud ... (See Mobile wallet)

Can authorized user be arrested for card charges? -- If the primary accountholder gave you a card, then he is liable for the balance ... (See Arrest)

Rate survey: Average card APR soars to record 16.13 percent -- August 1, 2017: The national average APR for new card offers climbed again this week, reaching an all-time high of 16.13 percent, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rates)

Infographic: We may pay with finger, face, eye or voice in 2027 -- A survey found that 80 percent of respondents support payment technologies such as fingerprint sensing, facial recognition and retinal scanning ... (See Payments)

Consumer protection bureau warns about pay-by-phone fees -- The government's consumer watchdog issued a warning Monday that companies are charging pay-by-phone fees that can be unnecessary and misleading ... (See Fees)

Rate survey: Average card APR climbs to record high of 16.11 percent -- July 26, 2017: The national average APR for new credit cards smashed another record this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rates)

DIY credit card arbitration: You may be able to opt out -- Consumers can preserve their right to go to court instead of private arbitration in many cases by going through and opt-out process ... (See Arbitration)

Alerting card issuers of travel plans may soon be obsolete -- New industry-leading fraud detection technology can recognize when card members are traveling, eliminating the need to notify card companies of travel plans ... (See Travel)

Survey: Average card APR holds steady at 16.06 percent for third week -- July 19, 2017: The national average APR for new credit cards held still this week despite multiple changes to card offers, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rates)

Bad credit? You?re still a target for identity thieves -- Many consumers believe identity thieves won't touch them because of their poor credit. It's not true ... (See Identity theft)

Abolish the password? Card issuers are working on that -- Credit card issuers and banks aim to phase out passwords over the next few years with the help of biometric authentication ... (See Password)

Rejection of credit card applications rises, New York Fed survey shows -- Consumers got turned down for cards at highest rate since 2015, New York Fed survey says ... (See Credit)

Can you be too old for a credit card? -- By law, banks cannot consider age when they make a credit decision. However, other factors can often impact senior citizens ... (See Too old)

Student card survey 2017: Offers, terms become more generic -- Student cards morphing into more general-purpose cards ... (See Student)

5 apps to turbocharge back-to-school savings -- Mobile discount and coupon apps puts back-to-school savings at your fingertips ... (See Apps)

Rate survey: Average card APR remains at record 16.06 percent for second week -- July 12, 2017: The national average APR for new card offers remained above 16 percent Wednesday for the second week in a row, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rates)

CFPB rule: Consumers should be able to band together and sue -- Banks, GOP oppose measure that would end "mandatory arbitration" clauses that prevented class-action suits ... (See Arbitration)

Lenders' right to offset: What you need to know -- This little-known clause allows funds to be pulled from your accounts to pay debts ... (See Right to offset)

Card issuers' profits slip, Fed report says -- Profits weighed down by anticipated delinquencies, but they remain the highest in banking industry ... (See Profits)

Rate survey: Average card APR surges to record 16.06 percent -- One credit union bucks the trend by lowering card APR ... (See APRs)

6 percent of FICO scores to change under new credit rules -- The credit bureaus will remove all civil judgment and most tax lien data from credit files starting July 1 ... (See FICO)

Is it worth disputing card opened fraudulently at 17? -- Once the account is paid off, its score impact will eventually fade ... (See Score)

The ultimate guide to protecting credit in a freelance and gig economy -- A freelancing lifestyle can create credit nightmares without proper planning ... (See Gig economy)

Wrongly reported old delinquencies can keep credit score low -- Old delinquencies reported as recent by mistake can seriously damage your credit score. Identify any errors on your credit report and submit an investigation to credit bureaus ... (See Errors)

Rate survey: Average card APR jumps to record 16 percent -- Issuers cut back on mailing rewards cards offers ... (See Rate report)

Card refund tips for crowdfunding sites, scams -- While most charitable causes are legitimate, scams do happen. Can you get your donations back? ... (See Tips)

Immigrants reveal shock, confusion at US credit system -- Six immigrants from around the globe reveal their impressions about the U.S. plastic culture, and how they navigated the road to good credit. ... (See US)

Sally Taylor-Shoff: Trended data a no-go for FICO -- FICO's Sally Taylor-Shoff says there's little evidence trended data helps lenders or credit card issuers ... (See FICO)

Bluesnarfing: newest card fraud at gas pumps, ATMs -- With a skimmer and Bluetooth technology, fraudsters can sit nearby and intercept your payment transaction details ... (See Bluesnarfing)

Rate survey: Average card APR climbs to all-time high of 15.96 percent -- June 21, 2017: The national average APR for new credit card offers set a new record this week after multiple card issuers increased rates, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See APRs)

TransUnion to pay $60 million to consumers flagged as criminals -- A jury sided with a consumer who claimed TransUnion violated federal law over OFAC alerts ... (See Suit)

Executor not personally liable for deceased's card bill -- The estate is responsible, and state laws have to be followed ... (See Death)

CFPB: Many low-income consumers start credit on a bad note -- Lower-income consumers are more likely than those with higher incomes to become "credit visible" with negative items, according to the CFPB ... (See Credit)

Fed boosts rates another quarter-point -- The Federal Reserve voted to increase its target federal funds rate by a quarter point, triggering an equal rise in APRs on credit card balances ... (See Fed)

Survey: Average card APR jumps to new record of 15.89 percent -- June 14, 2017: The national average APR for new card offers bounced to another all-time high this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rates)

Consumer fear of missing a debt payment is on the rise -- Fear of missing a minimum debt payment rose for the third month in a row in May, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Survey of Consumer Expectations ... (See Fear)

Supreme Court gives debt buyers a pass from collection law -- In a unanimous Supreme Court ruling Monday, debt buyers can collect accounts they own without obeying the federal law that reins in professional debt collectors ... (See FDCPA)

Am I liable for cards in my name that I didn't use? -- If you're asked to take out credit cards for a friend's business, be careful about agreeing - you could be liable for the purchases ... (See Liability)

Can late payment on one card cause APR hike on another? -- The Credit Card Act of 2009 banned the practice of universal default, but there are some loopholes ... (See Rate hike)

How does a merchant know my new card number? -- Oftentimes changing your card number won't stop a merchant from charging your account ... (See Charges)

Store cards urged to reconsider 'deferred interest' credit card offers -- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sent a letter to retail card companies urging them to reform their 0-percent "deferred interest" promotions to make them simpler, less risky for consumers. ... (See Retailers)

House passes CHOICE Act that would gut consumer protections -- The House of Representatives passed a GOP-backed deregulation bill that would undo Dodd-Frank consumer protections, but it faces uncertain future in the Senate ... (See Dodd-Frank repeal)

Average card APR climbs to all-time high of 15.83 percent: Weekly Credit Card Rate Report -- June 7, 2017: The national average APR for new card offers reached another all-time high this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See APRs)

5-star reviews may help your small business get credit -- Online reviews, social check-ins are tested as credit scoring data, amid skepticism ... (See Yelp!)

How an immigrant can build credit in the U.S. -- Once you have documentation, it's time to begin your credit journey ... (See Immigrant)

CHOICE Act would let debt buyers raise interest rates -- One sentence in the Financial Choice Act that aims to repeal and replace the Dodd-Frank consumer protection law would allow debt buyers to raise interest rates beyond state-set limits ... (See Debt)

Infographic: Higher fraud numbers can mislead -- Card-not-present fraud increasing in dollar amounts but not necessarily in quantity of fraud instances ... (See Fraud)

Options for getting out of expensive car loan -- Once you sign the papers, your choices are limited ... (See Car loan)

Who to call in the first hours after fraud strikes -- Who to call in the first hours after you've been a fraud victim. ... (See Fraud)

Poll: 94 million Americans store their card information online -- Oldest shoppers most likely to let retailers keep their data on file, raising security and impulse shopping concerns ... (See Poll)

Rate survey: Average card APR jumps to record high of 15.82 percent -- May 31, 2017: The national average APR for new card offers broke another record this week, rising to an all-time high, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rates)

Infographic: Employees increasingly off the hook for travel card expenses -- Employers today rarely put responsibility on employees for travel card expenses ... (See Travel cards)

What to do when a customer uses someone else's card -- If you didn't verify the cardholder, you could be liable for the charge ... (See Fraud)

Can husband report wife for using his card to pay bills? -- He gave permission, then changed his mind and is now claiming fraud ... (See Fraud)

Court hears arguments on CFPB constitutionality -- The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals hearing Wednesday sets the stage for a decision that could reduce the independence and power of the federal consumer watchdog agency ... (See CFPB)

Rate survey: Average card APR falls to 15.77 percent -- May 24, 2017: The national average APR for new card offers dropped to a four-week low Wednesday, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See APRs)

6 steps to take when a credit card holder dies -- The task of notifying issuers, closing accounts can easily be pushed aside ... (See Steps)

Can I use deceased brother's cards to pay for his funeral? -- Even as an authorized user, using cards of a deceased cardholder is fraud ... (See Fraud)

Suspect card fraud? How to file a claim -- What to do when you spot a suspicious charge on your credit or debit card ... (See Claim)

Household debt passes pre-recession peak, NY Fed finds -- U.S. household debt has surpassed its pre-recession peak for the first time, says new data from the New York Fed. Economists say milestone doesn't mean consumers are over-leveraged ... (See Debt)

Rate survey: Average card APR remains at 15.79 percent for second week -- May 17, 2017: The national average APR for new card offers remained near record highs Wednesday, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

Should I liquidate my 401(k) to pay my husband's back taxes? -- He owes the IRS and wants his wife to cash in her retirement plans to pay the debt ... (See IRS)

Poll: Credit card fraud alerts surge, false alarms still common -- Consumers report a 15 percent increase in contacts from banks about credit, debit card fraud ... (See Fraud)

Prepaid card regulations survive GOP repeal effort in Congress -- Prepaid cards will get protections from surprise fees and other problems, as an Obama-era regulation survives Republican repeal attempt. ... (See Prepaid)

Rate survey: Average card APR dips to 15.79 percent -- Rate report template ... (See Rates)

8 ways to save on wedding costs, avoid debt -- Some frugal, chic strategies to save money on your nuptials and avoid relying on credit cards ... (See Wedding)

7 times when bankruptcy can make sense -- Common scenarios when bankruptcy should be seriously considered ... (See Bankruptcy)

Fed: banks ease grip modestly on cards in first quarter of 2017 -- Banks eased credit standards somewhat for credit card applicants in the first quarter, according to the survey of senior loan officers ... (See Fed)

Fed: Card balances rose $1.9 billion in March -- Credit card balances continued to flirt with the $1 trillion mark in March, according to the Federal Reserve ... (See Consumer debt)

Rewards cards draw a surge of complaints to CFPB -- Complaints about credit card rewards jumped 88 percent last year to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ... (See Rewards)

Rate survey: Average card APR spikes to all-time high of 15.80 percent -- May 3, 2017: The national average APR for new credit card offers busted another record this week, rising to an all-time high, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See APRs)

The new card skimming is called 'shimming' -- Shimming is the new way scammers are stealing your data from your EMV chip cards. Shimmers are hard to identify, but remain rare ... (See Shimmers)

I opened a credit card using my boyfriend's info. Did I commit fraud? -- Even if you got permission to open the card, you still broke the law, and the other person is an accomplice ... (See Fraud)

Can you be charged for unwittingly committing card fraud? -- There are many ways to get into legal trouble with credit cards without intending to break the law. ... (See Fraud)

Authorized user not liable for ex's card balance -- Legally, an authorized user is just a guest and not liable for balances ... (See Liability)

How couples can recover from financial infidelity -- Healing the relationship takes time, effort and care ? and sometimes the help of a professional ... (See Infidelity)

CFPB sues tribal lenders, seeks refunds for customers -- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has filed a lawsuit against four high-cost lenders owned by a California tribe, saying violations make the loans void ... (See Tribal lenders)

Average card APR climbs to record high of 15.74 percent: Weekly Credit Card Rate Report -- April 26, 2017: The national average APR for new credit card offers rose to another all-time high this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See APRs)

Sweeping deregulation plan targets consumer protection agency -- A hearing in Congress showcased the Financial CHOICE Act, with proposals to strip the major powers of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ... (See CFPB)

Refunds can be trickier with ride-sharing, vacation rentals -- Unhappy with Uber or Airbnb service? Check the fine print for refunds ... (See Refund)

Will removal of civil judgments boost my credit score? -- Thanks to new credit reporting practices starting July 1st. many civil judgments and tax liens will be removed from credit scores, but that alone might not increase your score automatically. ... (See Score)

Rate survey: Average card APR remains at 15.72% for second week -- The average APR for new card offers remained unchanged this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See APRs)

How to detect card fraud, identity theft -- Thoroughly reading through a current credit report is your first step ... (See Fraud)

Debt buyers may get exemption from collection rules -- The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday on whether companies that buy debt should be exempt from consumer protections that apply to debt collectors ... (See Debt)

8 myths about settling credit card debt -- Before you decide to try debt settlement, make sure you know the difference between common myths -- and the truth ... (See Debt)

Rate survey: Average card APR climbs to 15.72 percent -- April 12, 2017: The national average APR on new card offers inched up again this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See APRs)

Why card theft victims can't view store security tapes -- Police fear letting you view them would lead to vigilantism ... (See Theft)

Fed makes it official: Card balances reach $1 trillion -- Credit card balances have surpassed $1 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve ... (See Debt )

What?s the minimum age to be an authorized user? -- You can boost a child's credit by adding them as an authorized user, but cards' policies vary widely on how old the child must be ... (See Age)

Rate survey: Average card APR jumps again to record 15.71 percent -- April 5, 2017: The national average APR on new card offers climbed to another all time high this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rates)

Complaints about debt-protection plans remain high -- Surprise fees and no-show benefits still plague users of insurance-like programs designed to make payments when you can't ... (See Fees)

Supreme Court inflicts blow on credit card surcharge ban -- State laws that block merchants from slapping surcharges on credit card users were dealt a blow by ruling that they affect free speech rights ... (See Ban)

Rate survey: Average card APR climbs to record high of 15.63 percent -- March 29, 2017: The national average APR on new card offers inched closer to 16 percent this week, reaching a record high of 15.63 percent, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rates)

Repairing credit damage incurred as a young adult -- An old unpaid credit card bill can drag your scores down for years ... (See Damage)

Artificial intelligence shines new light on ?credit invisibles? -- Credit scorers are using artificial intelligence to analyze alternative consumer data, but some in the industry are wary ... (See AI)

Stopping thief who's opening cards in deceased mother's name -- The first step is to file a police report. Then contact the credit bureaus. ... (See Theft)

Experian fined $3 million for deceptive credit score marketing -- Experian falsely led people to believe they were buying credit scores actually used by lenders, consumer protection bureau charges ... (See Fine)

When an authorized user goes rogue: What to do -- You added a guest to your card. It backfired. What now? ... (See Rogue)

Average card APR rises to all-time high of 15.59 percent: Weekly Credit Card Rate Report -- March 22, 2017: The national average APR on new credit card offers climbed to another all-time high this week, reaching 15.59 percent, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See APRs)

How to clear fraudulent card accounts from credit reports -- When a family member opens cards in your name, you need to file a police report ... (See Fraud)

'The Aisles Have Eyes' author talks privacy and data in shopping -- Author Joseph Turow discusses coupons, data collection and privacy in the personalization of the shopping experience ... (See Data)

Applications dip, credit market shows signs of cooling off -- The market for consumer loans, including credit cards, pulled back in a February survey of consumers ... (See Market)

Online and mobile banking statistics -- Bank branches aren't a thing of the past yet, but that could be the way they're headed now that consumers can deposit checks, check balances and even open accounts via computer or smartphone ... (See Online, mobile banking statistics)

How tax liens affect your credit score -- Credit bureaus will scrub some unpaid tax debts, court judgments from reports, but those that remain will still sting ... (See Tax lien)

APRs on the rise as Fed steps up rate hikes -- Credit card users will pay higher rates on existing balances as the Federal Reserve votes to hike a key rate -- and predicts more to come ... (See Rates)

Average card APR remains at 15.51 percent for second week: Weekly Credit Card Rate Report -- March 15, 2017: The national average APR on new card offers stayed put this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See APRs)

How to file 1099-C on behalf of a deceased spouse -- The tax fallout from a 1099-C may not be as bad as you think ... (See 1099-C)

Buying a car? Don't fall for the Patriot Act credit check scam -- Shady car dealers invoke anti-terror law, run unnecessary credit checks to sell you on dealer financing ... (See Scam)

United Debt Counselors to refund some fees -- Federal Trade Commission says Texas debt settlement company blasted out deceptive mail to 100,000 credit card users per week ... (See Refund)

Rate survey: Average card APR climbs to record high of 15.51 percent -- March 8, 2017: The national average APR on new card offers inched up this week, rising to an all-time high, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See APRs)

How to improve credit while wages are garnished -- Two options: Pay garnishment off early and pay all other debts on time ... (See Garnish)

Fed: Card balances fell $3.8 billion in January -- Credit card balances fell in January, according to the Federal Reserve ... (See Debt )

Chip card delay at gas pumps extends skimming fraud -- Lack of EMV technology means pumps easily compromised by crooks ... (See Skimming)

What happens when you go over your credit limit? -- Credit card issuers can't charge over-limit fees without your permission ... (See Over-limit)

How to minimize the cost of a cash advance -- Cash advances can be costly, but if you take care and pay them quickly, they can be an affordable choice for emergency cash ... (See Cash)

CFPB reports credit reporting industry doing better -- The CFPB has made strides to protect consumers from credit report mix-ups, but it may not live to finish the job ... (See CFPB)

Poll: Few aware of embattled consumer watchdog -- Consumers would probably miss the federal watchdog agency if Republicans close or disarm it, but only 17 percent are aware of it ... (See CFPB poll)

Survey: Average card APR sits tight at record 15.50 percent -- March 1, 2017: The national average APR on new card offers stayed at a record high this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See APR)

Adding incarcerated brother-in-law to card can rebuild credit -- Authorized user status is a quick, easy way to jump-start a credit profile ... (See Prison)

Card fraud and opioid addiction: crimes that go together -- The bond between drug addiction and credit card crime is tragically interwoven ... (See Opioids)

Survey: Average card APR remains at record 15.50 percent -- Feb. 22, 2017: The national average APR on new card offers remained fixed at an all-time high this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rates)

Pay off credit card debt with tax refund? 5 questions -- Question No. 1: Do you have an emergency fund? ... (See Tax refund)

Why APR keeps rising on closed card with a balance -- Closed card's APR still rises when the Fed raises rates ... (See APR)

Congress may repeal CFPB prepaid card rule -- Consumer protections that have been on the drawing board for years are endangered by tide of deregulation in Washington ... (See CFPB)

Infographic: Identity fraud victims at record high -- A report has found that the number of U.S. identity fraud victims increased 17.6 percent, from 13.1 million Americans in 2015 to 15.4 million in 2016 ... (See ID theft report)

Survey: Average card APR climbs to record high of 15.50% -- Feb. 15, 2017: The national average APR on new card offers climbed to another record high this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rates)

Tax fraud crackdown to delay early filers' refunds -- The tax fraud crackdown has halved identity theft cases in the past year, but a new law to further fight fraud means refunds won't start flowing until after Feb. 15 this year. ... (See Tax fraud)

Online dating scams: How to protect your heart and wallet -- Romance scammers might persuade you to drain you bank accounts, max out your credit cards ? all to send them the cash. ... (See Romance scams)

Rate survey: Average card APR holds steady at record 15.44% -- Feb. 8, 2017: The national average APR on new credit card offers remained at a record high this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rates)

Emancipated minor repeatedly rejected for credit card -- Issuers tend to stick to age restrictions for entering into legal contracts ... (See Minors)

Financial infidelity: 12 million Americans admit to hidden account -- Keeping a hidden bank account or credit card is a risky move with potentially explosive consequences, experts say. Yet millions do ... (See Financial infidelity)

Banks expect credit card troubles to mount in 2017 -- Fed's quarterly survey of loan officers finds pullbacks, concern over debt, delinquency ... (See Survey)

Tax refund delays spark refund anticipation loan comeback -- Those tempted to grab quick-cash options should watch for fees ... (See Refund loans)

Study: Card fraud shifts online -- Consumers need to change their defenses, too ... (See Fraud)

CFPB levies $13 million in penalties for RushCard outage -- UniRush LLC and Mastercard failures in botched system conversion amount to breach of consumer protection law, agency charges ... (See RushCard)

Survey: Average card APR jumps to all-time high of 15.44% -- February 1, 2017: Rate survey: Average card APR jumps to all-time high of 15.44 percent. ... (See Rates)

Who can furnish payment info to credit bureaus? -- Behind on repaying a loan from a friend or family member? They can?t report you to a credit bureau. ... (See Furnish)

How to help kids build credit before age 18 -- Adding a child as an authorized user to a parent's card is easy to do ... (See Build)

Average card APR remains at record high of 15.42 percent: Weekly Credit Card Rate Report -- Jan. 25, 2017: The national average APR on new card offers remained at a record high this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See APR)

CFPB provides worksheet to help cut card spending -- Reducing card use can be easier said than done. Worksheet from U.S. consumer bureau provides one simple blueprint ... (See Worksheet)

Securely storing customer card data -- Business owners need to take down credit card information in a secure manner so that they don't make their customers' information vulnerable to theft and risk a fine themselves ... (See Security)

Americans' credit card debt hits $1 trillion -- Our national credit card balance is hitting $1 trillion this month - the highest level since the Great Recession ... (See $1 trillion)

You loaned out a card, got stiffed? Go to small-claims court -- You still have the pay the bill, but can pursue a civil suit ... (See Bill)

CFPB warning: incentives can harm consumers -- The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a broad warning about sales incentives, possibly signalling a new enforcement priority ... (See Warning)

Mobile credit card application is safe -- and easier now -- There's less fraud risk with mobile than mailing your personal info, experts say ... (See Mobile)

CFPB: Minn. bank tricked customers into costly overdraft fees -- Federal consumer watchdog charges TCF National Bank obscured fees and gave customers hard-sell to opt in for fees of $35 per overdraft ... (See Overdraft)

Cable service opened in daughter's name goes unpaid -- She gave her permission, but now may be stuck with the bill ... (See Bill)

Are reward points taxable or not? Yes. -- Reward points you get just for signing up for an account are taxable, but ordinary frequent flier miles are not ... (See Taxable?)

How a business can fight fraudulent online orders -- If a business receives a fraudulent online order and ships the merchandise, is the company responsible for the cost? ... (See Fraud)

FICO?s Scott Zoldi: Card-not-present fraud a growing threat -- FICO analytics chief Scott Zoldi discusses the state of fraud protection amid the EMV shift and the use of trended data ... (See Fraud)

Survey: Debt collection problems widespread -- For the one-third of Americans who face collection attempts, threats, falsehoods and other abuses not unusual, survey finds ... (See Debt)

Supreme Court considers credit card surcharges -- If New York's surcharge ban falls, other states could domino, bringing retailers a step closer to charging extra to use plastic ... (See Surcharges)

How to deal with a spouse who spends compulsively -- What do you do when your spouse jeopardizes your family finances by opening numerous secret card accounts? ... (See Spouse)

Credit bureaus to refund $17.7 million for score marketing -- TransUnion and Equifax lured consumers into buying costly credit scores not really used by lenders, consumer watchdog says ... (See Refund)

Be cautious before helping seniors with their finances -- Know what you're getting into before stepping into a legal thicket ... (See Elder finances)

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

What is a foreign transaction fee? (+ details by card) -- Foreign transaction fees are becoming easier to avoid. If you travel in mind, here's how they work, which cards charge them and which don't ... (See Foreign fee)

Online fraud surges after EMV chip cards hit the US -- Crooks switch to where cards are still vulnerable ... (See Online fraud)

Fed study: Debit card payments trump credit cards and checks -- Number of US card payments in 2015 accounts for two-thirds of non-cash payments in the U.S. ... (See Study)

Survey: Average card APR jumps to record 15.27 percent -- Dec. 21, 2016: The average APR on new credit card offers rose to an all-time high Wednesday after the Federal Reserve increased its benchmark interest rate, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rates)

Which cards let you be a co-signer, joint account holder -- Some issuers let consumers share accounts, others don't ... (See Joint)

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

House lien from unpaid card debt shouldn't be a surprise -- No one can put a lien on your house without notifying you ... (See Lien)

Modern credit cards now a half-century old -- In 1966, MasterCard and Visa got their start; credit world dramatically different now ... (See 50 years)

Don?t be fooled by fake shopping apps -- Nine ways to be sure that download is the real thing, and not a fraud ... (See Fake)

Students steered toward high-fee bank accounts, CFPB warns -- Banks, colleges team up against unsophisticated kids ... (See CFPB)

APRs to go up as Fed raises interest rates -- Interest rate setters at the Federal Reserve raised their benchmark federal funds rate for just the second time in 10 years ... (See Fed)

Behind on child support? 9 ways you could be made to pay -- Those who fall behind face a legal system that prioritizes swift collection on behalf of children, which can make life miserable for those who don't pay ... (See Support)

Adding second card may boost thin credit file -- Adding a new card may help sagging score, but paying off debt in collections may help even more ... (See Credit score)

Detecting, preventing senior card fraud, abuse -- Seniors are more vulnerable to card fraud, but there are some protections you can put in place ... (See Fraud)

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 )

Elderly dad can't cover card bills and assisted living -- Adult daughter asks if she can just stop paying on dad's card debt ... (See Debt)

Can I use a card that I found on the floor? -- Paying with a card you found on the floor can lead to fines or jail time, a criminal defense attorney says ... (See Found)

Your options when a parent is financially irresponsible -- A child can take over with power of attorney or guardianship ... (See Take over)

Mixed credit files: How to avoid them, fix them -- Every Jr., Sr. and Smith beware: People with similar or common names are at risk of having credit report mashups ... (See Mixed files)

Deceased dad left trail of fraudulent accounts -- A grown son discovers dad used his info to open card accounts in his name ... (See Theft)

How to avoid credit card problems aboard a cruise ship -- Surprise holds, fraud freezes and going overboard with onboard expenses can all be avoided ... (See Cruise)

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)

Facing the consequences for unauthorized shopping spree -- He gave her his card number to pay rent, she went online and splurged. Now it's getting ugly ... (See Spree)

Who owns consumer data? CFPB launches inquiry -- U.S. watchdog agency will examine choice, security and control of digital financial information ... (See Data)

13 ways to make sure your identity is stolen -- How easy is it to get your identity stolen? Here are 13 easy ways ... (See Theft)

6 end-of-year steps to protect your credit -- With the big spending months closing in, take steps to keep your credit under control ... (See Year-end)

How Trump's election may affect credit, consumers -- US consumer watchdog agency may be leashed ... (See Trump and credit)

How to rebuild credit after a business setback -- After a business setback or bankruptcy, repay your debts, learn from your mistakes, and get back in the credit game ... (See Rebuild)

Fed: Card balances up $4.2 billion in September -- Credit card balances continued to push toward the $1 trillion mark in September, according to the federal government ... (See Fed)

Fraud alerts: Your credit's first (and free) layer of security -- A fraud alert notifies lenders that they should take special precautions to verify your identity before extending credit. But it comes with limitations -- and hassles ... (See Fraud alerts)

My ex-girlfriend charged over $7,000 on my card -- The issuer may not consider the charges fraudulent if she had permission to use the card ... (See Card)

Headed to a credit repair company? Know what to expect -- Hiring someone to fix your credit can be a positive step, just know who you are dealing with ... (See Fix)

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

Survey: Average card APR remains fixed at 15.18 percent -- Oct. 26:2016: Online card fraud rises, while card-present fraud drops due to EMV switch, according to the Weekly Rate Report ... (See Rates)

Get bankruptcy trustee approval prior to applying for credit -- If still in Chapter 13, you need approval before you can apply for a new credit card ... (See Credit)

CFPB orders halt to 'security interest' debt collection practice -- Navy Federal ordered to stop freezing customer accounts after fine issued ... (See CFPB)

SIM-swapping scam lets fraudsters drain your accounts -- If your smartphone goes dead suddenly, someone may have hijacked it ... (See SIM fraud)

What to do if you suspect card fraud by a customer -- How to prevent a purchase being made with a fraudulent card. ... (See Fraud)

Help! I maxed out 5 cards to 'help' online boyfriend -- Retired woman falls for scam, racks up $35,000 she can't pay back ... (See Scam)

Video: Inside the dark web -- Welcome to the dark web, where criminals can steal your identity anonymously. ... (See Dark web)

Survey: Average card APR remains at 15.18 percent for second week -- October 19, 2016: The average APR on new credit card offers remained at 15.18 percent Wednesday for a second week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rates)

Turning to credit to fund pricey addiction rehab -- As a last resort, your credit cards can provide a lifeline to recovery ... (See Rehab)

How to access elderly parent's credit reports -- If you suspect card fraud, the best way to find out is through a credit report ... (See Fraud)

Robo-comments on payday loans clog regulation-making machinery -- A record 1 million comments on a federal payday loan rule will prolong its review, but thousands of pro-payday comments are suspiciously alike ... (See Payday)

Navy Federal fined $28.5 million for debt collection tactics -- Biggest US credit union strong-armed its members, CFPB says ... (See Collection)

Social Security benefits protected from garnishment -- As long as your benefits are direct deposited to your bank, creditors can't take them ... (See Debt)

How Clinton or Trump presidency could impact card lending -- The winner of this November's presidential race could affect consumer protection and banking laws ... (See Cards)

If mom opens cards in your name, it's family fraud -- Start with a conversation, then get a police report ... (See Fraud)

Consumer agency finalizes prepaid card regulations -- Standardized fee chart makes it easier to compare costs ... (See Prepaid)

The big chip card switch: living with EMV -- Has the EMV chip card shift been successful? What we can expect of our cards in the near future. ... (See EMV )

9 confusing credit card terms explained -- The lexicon of credit card terms can be confounding. Here's some help ... (See Terms)

Paid a charged-off debt; now what? -- It?s not enough to just pay a charge-off and forget about it. There are some cases in which the information about the paid charge-off doesn?t get to the credit reporting agencies. ... (See Debt)

When a 'friend' racks up $11,000 on your card -- Your options? Take her to civil court, pay the debt or stop paying and risk being sued yourself ... (See Options)

Protect yourself from banks 'cross-selling' fake accounts -- Checking up on your bank requires more than reviewing account statements and standard credit reports ... (See Accounts)

APRs to stand pat as Fed puts off rate increase -- Credit card users were spared higher APRs for now, but should brace for an increase before year end ... (See Federal Reserve)

Video: Police scanners can now freeze prepaid cards -- Law enforcement agencies can now freeze and later seize funds found on prepaid cards in suspects' vehicles within seconds. This development is leading to questions of civil rights ... (See Prepaid)

Study: Rising interest rates will impact 92 million in US -- A study by credit bureau TransUnion finds that 92 million U.S. consumers will face higher monthly payments when interest rates rise, and 9 million will struggle ... (See Rates)

Dispute card accounts opened fraudulently by ex-spouse -- You have to take the proper steps to get the issuers to acknowledge the accounts aren't yours ... (See Fraud)

How to fix credit after dad opens card in son's name -- Son rejects dad's card offer, but finds out dad opened one anyway ... (See Credit)

Wells Fargo's huge fine: inside the numbers -- Wells Fargo will pay $185 million for secretly opening unauthorized accounts for its customers, and that's not the only big number connected to the case ... (See Wells Fargo)

Fed: July card balances rise 3.4 percent -- Consumer card debt continues its steady climb upward ... (See Debt)

Poll: Americans don't read or understand credit card agreements -- Asked to describe the agreements in one word, we use bad ones ... (See Poll)

Study: Credit card agreements unreadable to most Americans -- Despite a U.S. campaign for simplicity, contracts remain indecipherable, written at a grade level beyond the Average American's understanding ... (See Unreadable)

Compare readable, unreadable credit card agreement text -- We dare you to understand the text written at the 28th grade level ... (See Unreadable text)

Video: Unreadable card agreements -- Credit card agreements are said to be written on an 11th grade reading level. We came to a university campus with an excerpt from a credit card agreement to see if college students can make sense of what they are reading ... (See Card agreement video)

Readability battle: card agreements versus Harry Potter -- See how card agreements stack up in readability against familiar documents, from novels to nursery rhymes to the U.S. Constitution ... (See Card agreements versus Harry Potter)

Will incorrect income on car application jeopardize loan? -- The bigger problem lies in taking on a car payment you can't afford ... (See Loan)

Living together doesn't create common-law marriage or debt liability -- Keeping accounts separate can protect funds in case partner is sued for repayment ... (See Debt)

Shady business partner opens up credit in your name -- Straighten out the credit mess, then get a new partner ... (See Business)

Be wary of whose card you piggyback on -- If the credit bureau deems the account illegitimate, you'll be out of luck ... (See Piggyback)

First National Bank of Omaha refunds $27.75 million for add-ons -- Misleading marketing of credit card add-on products that did not deliver what they promised brings regulatory action ... (See Refund)

Deceased father's accounts dragging down son's scores -- Knowing exactly how dad's accounts got on son's credit is first step ... (See Scores)

Businesses must beware unauthorized card use -- Fraud liability, loss of ability to accept cards may follow if you don't follow merchant rules ... (See Unauthorized)

Recession foreclosures disappearing from credit reports -- With their credit reports cleansed, "boomerang buyers" are returning to a still-depressed housing market ... (See Home)

Is secured card best for rebuilding credit post-bankruptcy? -- If your score is high enough, you may qualify for a regular, unsecured card ... (See Credit)

As hotel data breaches mount, be alert for card fraud -- Regularly change passwords, watch accounts for suspicious activity ... (See Hotel)

When your card's big data collection goes from cool to creepy -- Some actions from credit card companies might be convenient for some customers and unnerving for others ... (See Data)

Teen falsifies birth date, gets card, charges $500 -- Her mom will pay off debt, but asks if her teen will come under fire from the issuer ... (See Teens)

How delinquent child support affects credit scores -- States vary in how they report it, so impact varies, too ... (See Scores)

Card options expand when bankruptcy falls off credit report -- At last, 10 years have passed since bankruptcy. Which card should you try for? We'll help you come up with a plan ... (See Post-bankruptcy)

Credit card ownership lags for those with low scores -- Credit card ownership is rebounding, but remains far behind levels seen before the recession, and consumers with bad credit are the ones doing without plastic ... (See Ownership)

Rewards bubble hasn't popped ... yet -- Points, miles and cash back gush at unprecedented levels, but what goes up must come down ... (See Bubble)

Fed: Revolving debt surges in June -- Balances on credit cards grew at a 9.7 percent annual rate in June, the Federal Reserve's consumer credit report said ... (See Consumer credit)

Safeguard accounts from card-stealing family member -- Keep cards safe and don't store details online to prevent fraudulent charges from happening ... (See Fraud)

Hiring a debt collector to enforce loan to friend, family -- When friends and family borrow and fail to repay, it may be time to bring in a professional debt collector ... (See Collect)

CFPB proposes new limits on debt collectors -- You'd have to be told if debt's too old to legally collect ... (See Debt collectors)

APRs hold steady as Fed opts against rate increase -- The Federal Reserve held off on lifting interest rates, giving credit card holders a temporary reprieve from higher APRs ... (See Fed)

CFPB lists our biggest complaints with credit cards -- Card complaints were up 9 percent in the second quarter as consumers groused about fees, costs, rewards and other issues ... (See CFPB)

Merchants hit by chargebacks look to hire help -- Frequent chargebacks cost time and money -- and for some merchants, it can make sense to hire professional help. ... (See Chargeback)

Employers running credit checks on job applicants must tread carefully -- The screening tool is increasingly seen as unfair by state legislatures, though they may make sense in some cases ... (See Credit checks)

NY Fed: Credit card applications up, rejections down -- Consumers applied for credit cards at a record rate in a June survey, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York ... (See Applications)

Buying gift cards with a credit card gets harder, for now -- Merchants waiting for certification of new equipment to process EMV chip cards are putting limits on gift card purchases, a favorite of credit card fraudsters ... (See Gift cards)

How to remove a 100-word personal statement from your credit report -- Even if you felt the need to dispute an unpaid bill or explain what led to a foreclosure in the past, there are a number of reasons why you might have a change of heart ... (See Remove)

Unpaid fees from canceled card can end up in collection -- When a card is canceled, triple-check that no balance remains ... (See Fees)

How do I tell when card debt legally expires? -- The statute of limitations in your state and your card agreement are the starting points, but individual cases can be complex ... (See Debt legally expires)

Credit paranoia or credit smart? Which precautions are worth it -- How to make sure that the desire to protect your credit information doesn't turn into an obsession ... (See Theft)

Fed: May card balances rise 3 percent -- Americans continued to reach for credit cards in May, as card balances rose $2.3 billion (3 percent), according to the Fed's latest consumer credit report. ... (See Debt)

Appeals court rejects $7.25 billion swipe-fee settlement -- An appeals court overturned a 2012 swipe-fee settlement that allowed merchants to surcharge Visa and MasterCard credit card transactions ... (See Surcharge)

Video: Protect your identity in ways chip cards can't -- While EMV chip cards can help prevent some fraud, identity thieves are looking for other ways to find your personal info and you might just be helping them ... (See ID theft)

Why should I opt-in to credit card issuer text alerts? -- Mastercard and Visa require that all card issuers provide opt-in alert programs for potentially fraudulent transactions ... (See Alerts)

How to choose a P2P payment service -- Here are the features to be aware of when choosing an app for paying friends ... (See P2P)

Paper versus online statements: 8 FAQs -- Frequently asked questions about switching from paper to online statements for your credit card account, or maybe switching back ... (See Paper statements FAQs)

Poll: Paper bank statements remain popular -- More than half of us still get them; younger consumers more likely to go digital with bank statements, a national poll finds ... (See Paper statements)

Maximum fee rises to $38 for repeat late fees -- The Consumer Financial Protection bureau raised the maximum late fee that credit cards can charge for repeat late fees by $1 ... (See Late fee mistake)

Low credit score? Mortgages now more expensive -- Recent changes to private mortgage insurance costs hurt low-score, low down payment buyers ... (See PMI)

Credit card statistics -- This is the web's largest and best-documented set of credit card statistics, from industry studies, government and university reports, and's original research ... (See Stats)

How a Canadian can restart credit in the U.S. -- A great score in Canada means little; you need to obtain a U.S. loan from a U.S. lender that reports to U.S. credit bureaus ... (See Canadian)

Fed dials back rate-hike expectations -- In a reprieve for credit card borrowers, the Federal Reserve decided against a rate increase for the fourth time this year and signaled a slower pace of increases ... (See Rates)

Fed: Credit card banking remains highly profitable -- Big card-issuing banks get triple the earnings, annual Fed profitability report says ... (See Profitable)

Business credit card statistics -- Many entrepreneurs rely on credit cards to keep their small businesses running. Check out these statistics on their charging and payment habits ... (See Business card statistics)

Card issuers need court judgments to seize debt payments -- Behind on card payments? Issuers can't withdraw debt payments straight from your -- or your spouse's -- bank accounts without legal action ... (See Debt)

Video: Credit card payment due dates explained -- There is more to your credit card payment due date than you may realize. Kristin Wong explains three things to keep in mind ... (See Video: Credit card due dates)

Set rules when adding child to your card for foreign travel -- As an authorized user, you can keep track of his charges and know he's covered in case of an emergency ... (See Travel)

Fed: April card balances rise 2.1 percent -- Americans continued to favor credit cards in April, as card balances rose $1.7 billion (2.1 percent), according to the Fed's latest consumer credit report. ... (See Balances)

CFPB proposes regulations on payday loans, other 'debt traps' -- Consumer bureau's rules aim to make small-dollar loans safer without cutting off emergency credit for subprime borrowers ... (See Payday)

Minor's co-signed bank account at risk of parents' garnishment -- Even if a minor earns the money, it's a parental asset , and one that would tempt a debt collector ... (See Garnish)

Video: Chargebacks hit merchants not ready for EMV chip cards -- Small businesses who have not upgraded to EMV chip card readers are facing expensive chargebacks from banks ... (See Chargebacks)

100-word credit report statement: 6 ways it can hurt you -- Sometimes too much information can come back to haunt you ... (See Report)

Most prepaid cards fail to disclose fees -- We checked 10 prepaid cards' disclosures against a federal model for transparency; 7 fall short ... (See Prepaid)

Prepaid card fee disclosure chart -- We checked the disclosure of fees for 10 widely available prepaid cards. Here's what we found ... (See Prepaid fee disclosure chart)

What types of income qualify on card applications? -- Gross or net? Household income or wages? Breaking down income qualifications when applying for a card ... (See Income)

10 warning signs of ID theft -- Data breach notices and bogus charges on your card are just two red flags. Here?s what to do if you suspect fraud ... (See ID theft)

Consumers? rights to accurate credit reports get boost -- Consumer advocates buoyed by a Congressional proposal to make the credit reporting system fairer and a Supreme Court decision upholding right to accurate information reporting ... (See Credit reports)

Authorized user kept charging on deceased dad's card -- Five years after her father died, daughter wonders who is liable for the balance ... (See Liability)

Dispute duplicate student loans entries on credit reports -- When a loan is bought and sold multiple times, it can create credit report havoc ... (See Duplicates)

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

Confessions of credit card customer service reps -- Current, former reps reveal what they can, can?t do when you call in ... (See Reps)

Some states offer exceptions to credit reporting rules -- Negative items can come off your report sooner in New York, California ... (See Exceptions)

Wal-Mart sues Visa over debit choice -- Retailing giant says it wants to require PIN transactions on debit cards to reduce fraud and transaction costs ... (See PIN vs. signature)

Survey: Average card APR remains unchanged at 15.19 percent -- May 11, 2016: Average rates on new credit card offers stayed put this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rates)

Elder financial abuse: How families can cope -- Besides harming the senior who's been targeted, elder financial abuse often leaves relatives with psychological and financial stress surrounding what's happened to their loved one ... (See Elder abuse)

What to do when strange charges appear on your bill -- If there is a charge on your bill that you did not authorize, you should contact your issuer immediately ... (See Fraud)

Fed: March card balances rise 14.2 percent -- Consumers added $11.1 billion to their credit card balances in March, the Federal Reserve said Friday ... (See Balances)

CFPB proposes arbitration limits -- Consumers would get back their right to a day in court under a rule proposed Thursday by the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. ... (See Arbitration)

Shopping beacons with targeted marketing messages expand -- Tracking devices that let you opt in to receive location-relevant information on your smartphone are becoming more widespread ... (See Beacons)

How to protect your credit when your spouse starts a business -- You can help your entrepreneurial spouse make sure their startup doesn't jeopardize the family's finances ... (See Credit)

RushCard drops retail sales -- Market pullback comes six months after outage sparked federal investigation, class-action lawsuits ... (See RushCard)

Top 10 credit bureau myths -- Just how the bureaus work and who they work for are often misunderstood ... (See Myths)

Fed holds interest rates steady for now -- The Federal Reserve decided to keep its influential benchmark rate unchanged, while hinting at a rate increase later this year ... (See Fed)

How to build credit when you're not a US resident -- Getting a U.S. address and Individual Taxpayer Identification Number are the first steps ... (See Credit)

Video: Restaurants fight card fraud with tableside payments -- A pay-at-the-table approach may help stem fraud that can occur when a waiter disappears with your card. ... (See Fraud)

No permission needed for card updater services -- Merchants don't need your permission to use these services, but if you don't want to renew, you can always cancel your subscription ... (See Update)

Account takeover fraud rising -- As credit card numbers fall in value on the black market, thieves are turning to a much more lucrative form of ID theft ... (See Takeover)

Getting a refund tougher if you buy with debit card -- Late or nondelivery refunds not fully guaranteed with debit purchases ... (See Dispute)

Study: Payday loans trigger overdraft fees -- Online payday borrowers who miss repayment face average $185 in bank overdraft fees, federal study finds ... (See Payday loans)

Don't tap IRA to pay back taxes -- Cashing out IRA may cause you to end up with yet another tax bill ... (See IRS)

Mobile payments laws have gaps but you can still stay safe -- As the use of mobile payments grows, laws offering fraud protections have not caught up. Here's how to stay safe despite gaps in regulations ... (See Mobile)

Survey: Average card rate holds steady at 15.16 percent for 10th week -- April 13, 2016: The average credit card interest rate remained unchanged Wednesday, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rates)

Credit card companies may be analyzing your voice -- With call-center fraud rising, your voiceprint will authenticate you as a customer ... (See Voice)

Video: Payment biometrics go beyond mobile fingerprint scanners -- The latest wave of biometrics incorporate voice authentication, face recognition and other technologies to keep your payments secure ... (See Biometrics)

Credit Card Help: 9 things you need to know about prepaid cards -- Thinking about picking up a reloadable prepaid card? Here?s what you should know first ... (See Prepaid cards)

Handling employee abuse of business credit card -- It is not a crime for authorized users to put personal expenses on a company-issued credit card. But there may be simple ways to recoup the costs and prevent future abuse ... (See Abuse)

Paper or emailed credit card statements: Which are better? -- Electronic billing is convenient, saves trees -- but you might miss a payment ... (See Statements)

Fed: February card balances bounce back -- Consumers are adding to their credit card balances, as card debt increased 3.7 percent in February, the Federal Reserve said Thursday. ... (See Debt)

Rate survey: Average card rates remain fixed at 15.16 percent for 9th week -- April 6, 2016: The average credit card interest rate held firm Wednesday, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rates)

Salaries of CEOs at nonprofit credit counseling agencies -- As industry shrinks, executives pull in six- and seven-figure paychecks ... (See CEO pay)

Tax refunds: Urges to save it, spend it clash -- Study shows that most who spend it on needed items or paying down debt feel better rather than those who saved it ... (See Tax refund)

Threat of tax fraud, tax ID theft grows -- The year 2016 has already seen a surge in email tax fraud, the IRS warns, and private tax collectors may add to the confusion ... (See Tax ID theft)

8 embarrassing credit and debit card moments -- Times when cardholders wished the ground underneath them would open up and suck them in ... (See Moments)

Can a state mandate businesses accept cards? -- No law requires a merchant to take credit or debit cards in payment, but businesses that spurn them risk losing customers ... (See Acceptance)

Co-signed card leaves mom's credit in ruins -- When her daughter couldn't pay the bill, collectors turn to her mom ... (See Co-sign)

Banks reject more card applications -- Lenders stamped "reject" on more credit card applications in the New York Fed's latest survey, reversing course ... (See Rejection)

6 ways stay-at-home parents ruin their credit -- Taking care of your kids also means taking care of your credit. Avoid these credit mistakes that parents often make ... (See Credit)

Millennials most likely to fall prey to scams -- Younger generation comfortable, but not always careful, with technology ... (See Scam)

Car lien shouldn't come as a surprise -- People just can't randomly attach liens to your property without notice ... (See Car lien)

More merchants adding credit card surcharges -- Surcharges for paying with cards appear to be on the rise ... (See Surcharges)

5 times it makes sense to call your card's customer service -- If you?re confused about terms or have problems, just make the call ... (See Phone )

Wrong address in credit report worrisome, but won't hurt score -- Bureaus use formula to decide which address is current ... (See Address)

Cardholders spared APR increase for now -- The Federal Reserve's rate setting committee voted to keep its benchmark rate at the level set in December and lowered expectation for the pace of future increases ... (See Fed)

5 ways an ex can ruin your credit during breakup, divorce -- Heartbreak is compounded by financial hurt if there's revenge spending or a vacation with a lover on a shared credit card ... (See Divorce)

Wait for bankruptcy discharge before applying for credit -- Only in a few circumstances will new credit be allowed during bankruptcy proceedings ... (See Discharge)

What to do when kids charge $2,500 to your card for iTunes -- When kids use a card to rack up charges without your knowledge, you should dispute the bill ... (See iTunes)

Debt collectors prey on soldiers and veterans -- Military personnel move regularly, earn steady paychecks and have to protect their security clearances. That makes them more vulnerable to illegal debt collection practices ... (See Military)

Creating a financial backup plan for singles -- If a crisis keeps you from paying your bills, a financial backup plan can keep creditors at bay ... (See Single)

Promotional inquiries' impact on your credit score -- They crop up on your credit report when a lender has a 'prescreened' offer for you, but don't directly impact your score ... (See Inquiries)

How you type, move your mouse may help catch fraudsters -- Some banks and e-commerce sites are monitoring your unique typing and mouse movements to verify your identity and spot fraud ... (See Security)

Infographic: Data breaches grow more personal -- The theft of personal information accounted for 53 percent of 2015 data breaches. ... (more)

Yes, merchants can get new card info on recurring charges -- Updater services allow merchants to know when your credit card information changes, and to alter their records accordingly. If you don't want to continue the subscription, you'll need to cancel it directly ... (See Updater)

Authorized user not covered by service member's APR protections -- The SCRA won't help lower card APR for an active-duty authorized user ... (See Military)

New lenders shun FICO, create their own scores -- Alternative lenders are turning to homegrown scoring algorithms to evaluate 'thin-credit' customers ... (See Score)

Video: Digital fingerprints can be hacked, too -- No system is foolproof, but fingerprint hacking is an unlikely target for identity thieves ... (See Video)

How and when you can sue a debt collector -- Even if you owe the debt, you may be on the right side of the law ... (See Collection)

Best card to build credit post-bankruptcy -- The addition of a properly maintained credit card can speed up repair of a damaged credit history. ... (See Best credit card after bankruptcy)

Citi to refund $5 million to cardholders for illegal collections -- About 2,100 Citi cardholders will get $5 million back for inflated interest payments on debts sold to collectors, under a U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau crackdown ... (See Refund)

Video: Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 bankruptcy -- If you?re considering filing for bankruptcy, knowing the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 is essential. ... (See Video)

Spousal identity theft is fraud, so fight it -- To avoid liability for the debt, you'll need to report the fraud ... (See Spousal ID theft)

Tax refund: Using it to pay off credit card debt -- Five questions to help you decide where to apply that refund ... (See Tax refund)

What happens if you don't sign a credit card payment slip -- You might get away with it, but don't plan on eating at that restaurant again ... (See Bill)

Infographic: The demise of over-limit fees -- Credit card customers unanimously opt out of once-common fee ... (See Over-limit fee)

Fed: Card balances up for 10th straight month -- Credit card balances rose 7.5 percent in December, marking the 10th consecutive month of expanding credit card balances, the Federal Reserve said Friday. ... (See Consumer credit)

For tax purposes, card statements aren't detailed receipts -- Don't rely on your card statement if you want a precise record of spending; keep that original paper receipt ... (See Receipts)

FTC adds tools for ID theft victims -- Amid an epidemic of identity theft, the Federal Trade Commission launched a website designed to shorten the lengthy recovery process ... (See ID theft)

Fed pauses interest rate rise -- After raising its benchmark rate in December, the Federal Reserve decided to refrain from another increase, for now ... (See Fed holds steady)

Use caution when adding a friend as an authorized user -- No matter what your repayment arrangement is, you are ultimately responsible for any debt ... (See Authorized user)

How to fight medical identity theft -- When a thief steals your medical ID, it puts your health at risk as well as your credit. Here's what to do ... (See Fight medical ID theft)

Video: Medical identity theft victim speaks out -- After a woman's identity was stolen, it put her at risk for losing custody of her 4 children ... (See Medical ID theft video)

Card owner's dementia, death make it hard to prove theft -- The neighbor of a man with dementia went to town with his card. After his death, it's hard to distinguish theft from generosity ... (See Dementia, death and card theft)

Confusion high over credit card late fees -- Despite new protections, 1 in 5 consumers gets tripped up by a late fee. We explain the fine print you need to avoid them ... (See Late fee confusion)

Gas station skimmer theft rising -- Smaller devices, greater security elsewhere make fuel pumps a target ... (See Skimmers)

Stop debt collector's harassing phone calls -- There are laws to protect people from debt collection harassment and abuse ... (See Debt collection)

Marijuana businesses find card processing still elusive -- Some avenues exist for legal pot-based businesses that want to accept credit cards, but details are sketchy and insiders say some are full of risks ... (See Legal pot)

Online loan lead-generation sites may open door to fraud -- If you're searching for quick cash, beware: Some sites sell your info to unethical players looking for their next victim ... (See Online lead generation fraud)

Guide to the lottery, credit cards and what winning means -- Giant lotto jackpots inspire big dreams of living large. Here's what you need to know about buying that ticket, and the ups and downs of actually winning ... (See Lottery guide)

Maximum credit card late fee falls $1 for 2016, to $37 -- The maximum late fee that credit cards can charge will fall to $37 next year because of inflation adjustment ... (See Late fee cap)

5 ways to avoid (or deal with) late fees -- Late fees can quickly add up, and harm your credit. So avoid them if you can, and deal with them smartly if you must ... (See Late fees)

Fed: Card balances spike 7.4 percent -- Revolving debt balances increased yet again in November, the Federal Reserve said Friday. ... (more)

7 quick tasks to protect your ID -- Got 10 minutes? Then you can take a step to prevent identity theft. Each of these seven steps can be accomplished in 10 minutes or less. ... (See Prevent ID theft)

Video: Dumpster diving can expose your personal information -- One night of dumpster diving shows just how easy it is to become a victim of identity theft ... (See Dumpster diving ID thieves)

Credit score differences: How they occur, why they matter -- The credit files' data may differ, it can contain errors and the formulas used on it vary ... (See Credit score differences)

Rate survey: Credit card interest rates jump to 15.05 percent -- Dec. 23, 2015: Interest rates on new card offers rose to a one-year high this week after the Federal Reserve increased rates for the first time since 2006, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

US report: Colleges not disclosing card contracts -- A new report finds that many colleges are not disclosing their ties with credit card companies as required ... (See Campus cards)

How the prime rate is set -- One benchmark rate published in The Wall Street Journal affects millions of credit card APRs ... (See Prime rate)

How much is the average credit card debt in America? -- Measures of average credit card debt range from just over $1,000 to nearly $10,000, depending on the type of card and how it's calculated ... (See Average)

Fed raises interest rates, card APRs to follow -- The U.S. central bank pushed its benchmark rate up a quarter point, setting the stage for rate hikes on credit cards and other consumer debts ... (more)

What will an interest rate hike cost? -- Use this chart to find the added monthly cost of a quarter-point interest rate increase for a given credit card balance ... (See Interest rate chart)

Quarter-point interest rate calculator -- How a quarter-point increase in interest rates raises the cost of carrying a given credit card balance ... (See Quarter point rate calculator)

Game plans for avoiding bad-credit stereotypes -- Even if you're not borrowing money, you risk being tagged with bad-credit stereotypes at work, at home and in your relationships ... (See Bad credit game plans)

Police report needed to fix credit after mom steals child's ID -- Filing it will allow credit bureaus to repair damage from parental identity theft ... (See ID theft)

Video: EMV, RFID, NFC, WTF? -- You don't just hand over a piece of plastic anymore. You have EMV chips and NFC cards -- or is it RFID? What's the diff? We explain ... (See EMV, RFID, NFC, WTF?)

Putting a big-ticket item on a card: 7 questions -- Done right, a credit card can be the best tool for an expensive item. You can see whether it's right for you by answering these questions ... (See Big-ticket)

Fed: Card balances rise only 0.2 percent -- The expansion of credit card balances continued in October, marking eight straight months of growth, the Federal Reserve said Monday. ... (See Consumer credit report)

Dividing credit card rewards in a divorce -- If you have accumulated a slew of miles, and you're heading for divorce, they could become an issue in the breakup ... (See Rewards points and divorce)

Can I get away with maxing out my credit, filing for bankruptcy? -- Deliberatly maxing out cards with no intent to pay, then filing for bankruptcy could give a "fresh start." But it's a big risk, and morally dubious ... (See Max out)

US report: CARD Act saved consumers $16 billion -- The U.S. Credit CARD Act has cleaned up the worst practices in the business since it was signed in 2009, but tricks and traps remain, consumer bureau report says ... (See CARD Act report)

Magnetic stripe begins its farewell tour -- Like paper maps and clamshell phones, the magnetic stripes on the back of credit cards have started sliding into obsolescence. How soon will they disappear? ... (See Farewell, magstripe)

Card updater services keep customers' auto-payments flowing -- Services offered by card networks for merchants could help prevent customer attrition ... (See Autopay)

Parental conservators can block access to finances, credit -- Parents took over legal responsibility for son in credit card debt, filing bankruptcy on his behalf, and preventing him from getting credit on his own ... (See Conservators)

Revoking automatic debits from your account -- Auto payments can be convenient, but you have rights under the law to stop allowing access to your bank accounts if you need to ... (See Stopping auto-payments)

IRS won't care if you buy gift cards with reward points -- Even if you get a "cash back" reward card that you spend like cash, it's not considered income, so shop away! ... (See Rewards not taxable)

Making sense of confusing credit card statements -- Spotting fraud is hard when so many businesses put unfamiliar, but legitimate, names on your billing statement ... (See Confusing card statements)

Billing disputes lead list of credit complaints -- Billing disputes lead list of credit complaints in latest monthly survey from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ... (See Billing disputes)

Options limited when paying bills for relative in coma -- Trying to do the right thing - pay a comatose relative's card bill - is nearly impossible without legal authority ... (See Pay relative's bills)

Fed: Access to credit cards increasing -- Fewer applicants rejected for new cards, but issuers stingy with credit limit increases ... (See Credit access)

2015 Balance Transfer Survey: Shop around for the best deal -- Balance transfer deals are stable this year, a survey revealed, and balance-carrying cardholders should take advantage of offers soon before interest rates rise ... (See Balance transfer survey)

Rating fraud: Not all security breaches are equal -- Different types of fraud have different risks involved. Knowing those risks might save you a headache ... (See Fraud risk)

Younger borrowers closing delinquency gap -- Younger people have higher expectations of missing a debt payment, survey finds ... (See Young borrowers' delinquency )

7 things you need to know about gift cards -- Some things have changed about gift cards over the years. Here's what to know about the No. 1 requested present ... (See Gift cards)

EMV rules for vending machine owners -- Vending machine owners face a small liability risk if their card-accepting machines are not EMV compatible ... (See EMV and vending machines)

Fed: Card balances rise for 7th straight month -- Revolving debt rose 8.7 percent in September, according to a Federal Reserve report Friday. ... (more)

Watchdog agencies announce debt collection crackdown -- Federal and state regulators announced a coordinated effort to fight a growing tide of debt collection abuses ... (more)

'Coined' author Kabir Sehgal: Credit cards make money abstract -- Kabir Sehgal talks about the history of money and credit, and its relationship to humankind in his new book "Coined, The Rich Life of Money and How Its History Has Shaped Us" ... (See Kabir Sehgal Q&A)

Fraud risk minimal from contactless EMV cards -- A determined thief could intercept radio waves from a dual-interface credit card, but in practice it's not worth the bother ... (See Contactless EMV fraud)

Fed: Banks make credit flow a bit easier -- Consumers' appetite for cards grew in the third quarter, while banks were somewhat more willing to serve up new cards ... (See Credit terms ease)

Withholding a card payment: It's your right, but take care -- Withholding a payment in a billing or product dispute is legal, but you need to take these specific steps if you want it to stick ... (See Withholding payments)

Beyond bankruptcy: What happens when you fail Chapter 13 -- Americans who file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy are more likely than not to fail completing the debt repayment plan. Understanding why, and what comes next, can help you avoid common pitfalls ... (See Fail at bankruptcy)

Fed holds interest rates near zero -- After holding short-term interest rates near zero since the end of 2008, the U.S. central bank continued to put off an increase on Wednesday ... (See FOMC)

Most banks invisible on federal complaint website -- A gap in consumer protection law exempts thousands of smaller banks from the federal government's public complaint records ... (See Invisible bank complaints )

Autopay clients leave you open to more fraud, not EMV liability -- When customers use automatic payments, it's considered a card-not-present transaction. Those sales are not covered by the EMV liability shift rules instituted in October ... (See Autopay and EMV)

8 myths surrounding bankruptcy -- Filing for bankruptcy is a huge financial step, and many jump in with misconceptions of what it will and won't do ... (See Bankruptcy myths)

Frequent flier miles sometimes contain hidden tax -- If you accumulate miles that have been purchased, be prepared to see slight charges to cover a 7.5 percent excise tax the IRS imposes when companies buy miles from the airlines ... (See Frequent flier mile excise tax)

Video: What are variable interest rates? -- What are variable interest rates and how will they affect you? Find out in this Quick Tip video ... (See Variable interest)

Mystery bill may signal error, memory failure or fraud -- If an unknown credit card bill shows up in your mailbox, it's time to take a closer look at what is on your credit report ... (See Mystery credit card bill)

Payday lender prepaid cards: the worst plastic in the world? -- Payday lender cards "feature" a slew of gotchas and fees -- even for on-time payments ... (See Payday loan prepaid cards)

Joint card account means sharing gambling charges -- Getting a fraud alert for the gambling you charged on a joint credit card is a sign to come clean ... (See Gambling)

The scariest things on your credit report -- Avoid a credit scare by seeing what lurks in your credit reports ... (See Credit report)

Author argues have-nots better served by postal banking -- In "How the Other Half Banks," law professor Mehrsa Baradaran says the best bank for the poor already has branches, and blue boxes, everywhere ... (See Postal banking)

Forgotten card leads to post-divorce strife -- Shared cards during a marriage can create havoc after it's dissolved ... (See Shared cards)

Think you're a joint account holder? Think again -- Sharing a card can backfire when it comes to who's really liable for the bill ... (See Joint accounts)

Fed: Card balances rise for 6th straight month -- The country?s revolving debt balance grew 5.3 percent August, marking the sixth consecutive month of growth this year, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday ... (See Consumer credit )

CFPB moves toward restriction on mandatory arbitration -- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is considering a rule that would ensure consumers' right to band together and sue credit card issuers ... (See Arbitration rule)

Video: Do you need a credit card RFID protector sleeve? -- Thieves can theoretically capture data from your tap-to-pay card. The chance is small, but here's what you can do about it. ... (See RFID sleeve)

Does a business card's guarantor own its rewards points? -- Agreeing to guarantee a cardholder's debt doesn't automatically grant you the card's benefits ... (See Business rewards)

Even paid-off cards usually canceled in bankruptcy -- If a card has no balance, you'll still end up losing it ... (See Credit cards during bankruptcy)

7 merchant tips to understanding EMV fraud liability shift -- Merchants who can't process chip card payments may shoulder consumer fraud costs if an incident occurs and they're not "EMV-ready." Here's what you should know about the EMV fraud liability shift: ... (See EMV )

Card tips for rebuilding credit after bankruptcy -- After bankruptcy, how many cards will it take to rebuild credit scores? ... (See Credit scores)

Poll: Most cardholders lack smart-chip cards, despite deadline -- No EMV card yet? You're not alone. Even as an Oct. 1 deadline looms, 6 in 10 cardholders don't have a chip card yet, our national survey shows ... (See EMV card poll)

With chip card switch upon us, who do I call about fraud? -- Retailers will start to shoulder some responsibility for fraudulent charges, but consumers will see few differences starting Oct. 1 ... (See EMV fraud)

Banks making refunds for add-on products -- Fifth Third bank agreed to refund some $3 million to about 24,500 customers for debt protection coverage that regulators say was marketed falsely ... (See Add-on marketing refunds)

Why bankruptcy of the rich and famous is nothing like yours -- How the rich and famous stay wealthy post-bankruptcy while regular folks who file don't ... (See Bankruptcy)

ID thief may pay bills on stolen card, but needs to be turned in -- Police and card issuer need to know about the crime ... (See ID theft)

How to avoid big costs of deferred-interest financing deals -- No-interest financing is tricky, especially if you have more than one balance on the card. Here's how to avoid hefty costs for back interest ... (See Deferred interest)

How to squeeze the last dollar out of gift cards -- An estimated $750 million in unused gift card money was lost in 2014. Here is how you can avoid that fate ... (See Squeezing gift cards)

Cards have no built-in policies that pay off after death -- You can buy add-on insurance to pay the debt after you die, but it's usually not worth the price ... (See Debt after death)

Fed puts off interest rate hike -- Federal Reserve policymakers kept their important benchmark rate near zero, holding credit card APRs steady for the time being ... (See FOMC)

Authorized users don't have to share credit reports -- Getting added to another's card doesn't mean they are privy to your private information ... (See Authorized user)

Credit card fraud and ID theft statistics -- Credit card fraud and identity theft are big worries these days, and we've got the statistics to back it up ... (See Fraud statistics)

My husband won't let me get an EMV chip card for our European trip! -- Many card issuers have switched to EMV chips, but some still have only magnetic stripes. Does it matter? ... (See EMV card )

Avoiding fraud in a post-EMV world -- Think you can breathe a sigh of relief as EMV technology takes off? Not so fast. ... (See EMV fraud)

Beware: Rebate and promotional cards can expire quickly -- They may look like gift cards, but they don't enjoy the same protections ... (See Promotional cards)

CFPB orders debt buyers to pay refunds, reform practices -- Encore Capital Group and Portfolio Recovery Associates will pay a combined $18 million in fines and provide $61 million in refunds ... (See Debt collection)

FDIC: Store card issuer Comenity must refund $61.5 million -- Cardholders were misled over payment 'insurance' add-ons, agency says ... (See Comenity bank refund)

Credit balances: what happens if you overpay your card bill -- Your money is protected by federal banking rules, but getting it back requires effort, and a big overpayment can trigger a fraud investigation ... (See Overpay)

Fed consumer credit report: Card balances rise 5.7 percent -- The national revolving debt balance rose 5.7 percent to $914.6 billion in July, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday ... (See Consumer credit report)

EMV terminal recommendations for small business -- With the EMV liability shift looming, merchants are looking to upgrade their credit card readers. These recommendations and tips can help you choose the right one ... (See EMV terminals)

Student card survey: Offers fewer but more generous -- The Credit CARD Act of 2009 imposed restrictions that thinned the ranks of student-oriented cards, but those that remain are pretty good, our survey finds ... (See Student card survey)

How a car repossession affects your credit -- Between late payments and collections, a repo can cause a 100-point score drop ... (See Repossession)

Ex still charging on old joint card account -- She thought all the cards had been closed. Years later, she finds out she was wrong ... (See Joint account)

Accepting credit cards won't affect nonprofit's tax status -- Getting a credit card reader to accept donations won't impact the personal finances of the person who opened the organization's business account ... (See Nonprofit)

If we go to biometric IDs, will hackers try to steal your face? -- Advocates of biometric identifiers say worries are overblown, but a GAO report says digitally stored records of fingerprints, palms, irises, faces raise ID theft and privacy questions ... (See Biometric hacks)

Household debt report: Credit card balances highest since 2010 -- Balances on credit cards climbed to their highest mark in several years in the second quarter, according to a new government report, reinforcing other signs that card use is climbing as the economy strengthens ... (See Household debt)

Rocky start for wallet-slimming 'universal cards' -- New devices promise to consolidate all your cards on one piece of plastic. But critics say they already are outdated ... (See Universal)

How to manage different balances on one card -- Know the best payoff method for a card with varying APRs on different balances ... (See Multiple balances)

Get authorization for customer's card before delivering goods -- If you don't take time to get a customer's credit card purchase authorized before you deliver their purchase, you may have little recourse ... (See Authorization)

Fed: Credit card balances rise for a 4th straight month -- Revolving debt rose 7.4 percent in June, maintaining the highest balance in five years, according to the Federal Reserve Friday. ... (See Consumer credit )

EMV holdouts: Why merchants are slow to make chip-card switch -- With the EMV liability switch coming in October, many merchants are still in the dark on what is required of them ... (See EMV holdouts)

7 tips for using budget apps safely -- Banks usually would cover fraudulent charges if your information were stolen in a breach. But there are other risks in putting all your account information in one app ... (See Using budget apps safely)

Subprime card applicants still facing tight credit -- The economy may be sunnier, but people with less-than-perfect credit are still getting a chilly reception from credit card issuers ... (See Lending standards)

How, when to get your file from specialty reporting agencies -- Little-known specialized bureaus have dossiers of important data, and you can often get their file on you for free ... (See Specialized reports)

Help! My estranged wife stole 2 million reward points! -- Ex-wife fools card company into transferring points to her account. How can he get the points back? ... (See Theft)

Identity theft packs an emotional toll -- A high percentage of identity theft victims feel stress at the violation, studies show ... (See Emotional toll)

Fed holds course but rate hike draws nearer -- APRs on variable rate credit cards will hold steady a while longer, as the Federal Reserve decided that the economy still needs support from cheap money ... (See FOMC)

Privacy or rewards? Some card programs force you to choose -- Some banks won't let you fully participate in their rewards program if you opt out of them sharing your data ... (See Rewards vs. privacy)

Getting the best exchange rate abroad -- Credit and debit cards offer the best rates for purchases, but there are a few pitfalls to avoid ... (See Exchange rates)

Be cautious with new credit when considering bankruptcy -- Getting a new credit card when you're about to file bankruptcy is rarely a wise idea ... (See Considering bankrputcy)

Rate survey: Average card rate remains stuck at 15 percent -- July 22, 2015: Interest rates on new credit card offers stayed in place again this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See Rate report)

Citi refunding $700 million for credit card add-ons -- Regulators ordered Citibank to refund $700 million to 8.8 million cardholders for debt protection, credit monitoring and same-day payment fees ... (See Citi refund)

2015 credit card fee survey: Average card carries 6 fees -- Credit card issuers are showing an ever-increasing appetite for fees, a new survey from shows, with the average card carrying six different fees. ... (See Fee survey)

The upside of an adverse action notice -- An adverse action notice provides insight into building a brighter financial future ... (See Adverse action)

Fed survey: Credit card rejections plunge -- The share of card applicants who were rejected for a card in the past year fell to 13 percent from 20 percent, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said ... (See Fed survey)

Rewards earned via business spending are tax-free, for now -- The IRS has been consistent in its interpretations, but increasing complexity could prompt changes ... (See Tax free rewards)

Chase refunds $50 million in robo-signing settlement -- Chase agreed to refund money and drop thousands of court judgments it won against cardholders in poorly documented lawsuits ... (See Chase robo-signing settlement)

2015 May credit card balances rise again -- After surging in April, credit card balances rose again in May, according to the monthly G.19 consumer credit report the Federal Reserve issued Wednesday ... (See Consumer credit report)

6 things to know before buying identity-theft protection -- Thinking about paying for a service that offers identity-theft protection? Know these six things first ... (See ID theft protection questions)

Canceling card doesn't wipe out charges for recurring services -- Once you allow recurring charges, they're tough to turn off, but canceling a card will just risk damaging your credit score and won't erase your obligation to pay ... (See Recurring charges)

Statute of limitations doesn't wipe credit slate clean -- Once a debt has passed the statute of limitations, that doesn't mean it gets wiped off your credit report ... (See Old debts)

Banks' internal 'behavior scores' can decide cardholder terms -- If you apply for a new card or higher limit from your existing card issuer, they'll judge you with a proprietary 'behavior score' that looks at how you've used their card before ... (See Behavior score)

$7 million in refunds coming for card add-on products -- Consumer protection bureau tells credit monitoring vendors to reimburse customers who paid for services they didn't get ... (See Add-on product refund)

Video: Protecting your child from ID theft -- A child's identity is much more valuable to thieves than an adult's because the theft will often go undetected for years. Here are steps you can take to protect your child from identity theft ... (See Child ID theft)

Lowering merchant fees on large sales -- If your business sells big-ticket items, merchant fees on credit card transactions can add up. That doesn't necessarily mean you should limit your card acceptance, though ... (See Merchant fees)

Don't fall for Internet loan scam out of desperation -- After bankruptcy, your choices for personal loans will be limited, but don't make a bad one ... (See Online loan scam)

Consumer bureau expands complaint data -- Shoppers for financial services have a new trove of material to research, now that the U.S. consumer watchdog is publishing consumers' specific gripes about companies ... (See Complaints data)

Notify card issuer immediately if accountholder dies -- Pick up the phone and let the credit card company know; it prevents new charges and identity theft ... (See Deceased)

Are you living with an identity thief? -- Deleted computer search histories and mysterious packages arriving in the mail can point to a fraudster living under your roof ... (See Fraudster)

FCC allows fraud alerts on cellphones -- The federal agency toughens rules against spam calls on cellphones, but creates an exception for banks to alert their customers to fraud ... (See Cellphone fraud alerts)

Fed gives cardholders reprieve on higher rates -- The Federal Reserve voted to keep a key interest rate at near-zero levels for now ... (more)

Credit score still damaged after report error fixed -- A "rapid rescore" won't fix a credit issue, but digging deeper into the credit score issue will help ... (See Credit score fix)

Remorseful fraudster must find way to repay business partner -- A small business owner who defrauded his partner seeks solutions from the creditor, but most must find a way to pay the debt -- or face legal repercussions ... (See Business fraud)

How to dispute a debit card purchase with a bank -- The protections aren't the same as credit cards, but you may not be completely out of luck ... (See Debit dispute)

2015 April credit card balances rise -- Credit card balances shot up sharply in April, the Federal Reserve said Friday ... (See June 5, 2015, consumer credit report)

Your rights under the Fair Credit Billing Act -- The FCBA allows you to dispute charges and temporarily withhold payment without hurting your credit score ... (See FCBA)

Fraud risk minimal on canceled RFID chip card -- RFID chips in credit cards continue to transmit information after you've canceled the card. The information isn't of much use to a criminal but it still doesn't hurt to destroy the chip ... (See RFID cards)

Top 10 phone scams to watch out for -- Phone scams are No. 1 choice of communication for fraudsters looking to cash in on unwitting consumers, and the phony credit card rate reduction is the No. 1 scam ... (See 10 scams)

Credit card delinquency statistics -- Our team has compiled statistics on U.S. credit card delinquencies over the years, collections, bankruptcies and much more ... (See Delinquency stats)

Reporting stolen cards on someone else's behalf -- If a friend or relative has lost track of credit cards, you can help, but only in a limited way ... (See Help)

Poll: Fraud alert false alarms common -- As banks get more aggressive in combating fraud, about 7 in 10 Americans contacted about possible fraud received at least one alert in error ... (See False alerts)

PayPal lending arm fined for deception, abuses -- PayPal Credit, formerly known as Bill Me Later, misled customers and ratcheted up their costs with unfair practices, consumer bureau charges ... (See PayPal fine )

8 steps to fighting chargeback fraud -- Credit card chargeback fraud is an ongoing problem for small businesses, which can have dire consequences. Though it's hard to detect, there are ways to fight back ... (See Chargeback fraud)

US proposes anti-steering rules on campus cards -- A proposed federal rule restricts marketing and fees on campus-affiliated cards that are lucrative for the schools but not the best choice for students ... (See Campus cards)

Defaulted business cards result in tax liability -- Canceled business card debt can resurface as income owed to the IRS ... (See 1099-C)

Advances in fraud analytics promise to stop crooks, not you -- Geolocation technology and better analytics should help card issuers more accurately determine when it's a fraudster using your card and when it's you ... (See Anti-fraud technology)

How to tell if a 'friend' stole your identity -- Sharing too much information with sketchy "friends" can put you at risk ... (See ID theft by "friend")

On a foreign trip, should I use credit cards at ATMs? -- The cards you use in the U.S. will probably work fine for international travels, but here are your options ... (See Foreign ATMs)

How to shop (somewhat) anonymously -- Worried about your personal information falling into the hands of data brokers or ID thieves? You can protect it at least somewhat without having to resort to cash-only buying ... (See Shopping (somewhat) anonymously)

Credit card balances rise in March -- Consumers' revolving debt load increased in March, ending two months of declining balances ... (See Fed consumer credit report)

Got a cellphone? Here come Smishing scams -- Think you're too savvy to fall for email scams? Fraudsters have a new tactic that targets your new constant companion -- your cellphone ... (See Smishing)

How mortgage settlements affect your score (and for how long) -- It's been years since the recession thrust millions of homeowners into default. If you've paid your other bills, maybe you can qualify for another mortgage ... (See Deed on report)

What ID thieves do with the financial data they steal -- High-tech hackers get all the headlines, but an analysis of identity theft claims data by Travelers show the most common way stolen data gets used is a low-tech one: Thieves snatch a card, then go out and use it ... (See Use of stolen card data)

Elder fraud cases on the rise -- Cons aimed at the elderly include a 'grandchild' in distress and threats from a government 'official.' They're effective and on the rise ... (See Elder fraud)

7 tips for using online alternative business lenders -- When banks turn them down for loans, small businesses are increasingly turning to online "alternative" lenders. The loans they provide can be a lifeline, but higher interest rates mean you should proceed with caution ... (See Online alternative business loans)

Video: Protect your privacy while using mobile shopping apps -- If you use shopping apps on your smartphone, you may be sacrificing your privacy in ways you aren't even aware of. Here are four steps you can take to protect yourself ... (See Mobile apps and privacy)

With economy slacking, Fed leaves interest rates alone for now -- The economy slowed in the first quarter, giving the Federal Reserve room to hold interest rates at rock-bottom lows ... (See Fed leaves rates alone )

CFPB issues first fine for unauthorized overdraft fees -- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined Regions Bank $7.5 million for failing to get customers' opt-in for overdraft coverage ... (See Overdraft fees)

6 tips for talking to your adult kids about your finances -- Older parents need to tell kids if they're financially fine, or in a bit of trouble. Here's how to do it with the minimum of shock and tears ... (See Family finances)

Synthetic identity theft crimes growing fast, targeting kids -- Synthetic identity theft is growing fast, and victims may be children or others who don't use credit, so they're unaware of the crime for years ... (See Synthetic identity theft)

401(k) accounts protected from collection -- After out-of-work husband runs up $30,000 on his wife's card, his wife wants to know if her 401(k) can be tapped for repayment ... (See Debt collection)

'Green' your spending with eco-friendly cards -- A handful of banks offer socially conscious credit cards that donate a percentage of your spending to environmental causes. ... (See Eco-friendly cards)

What to do if your credit card rate goes up -- With the U.S. economy on the upswing, an interest rate hike is expected soon. That could be a shock for credit card holders, who will face a higher cost for carrying a balance. But there are a few things you can do to minimize the pain ... (See Rising rates)

Pay for delete: A shady credit-report cleanup practice -- If a collection is bringing your credit score down, making a deal with the collection agency could get it taken off. However, this might not be as easy as it sounds ... (See Pay-for-delete)

Video: Answers to your most-common EMV questions -- As credit cards with secure chips begin to roll out across the U.S., we address some of the most frequently asked questions about them in a video interview with Smart Card Alliance head Randy Vanderhoof ... (See EMV answers)

Video: Do I need a PIN for my EMV credit card? -- New credit cards containing secure computer chips are being rolled out in the U.S. These EMV cards are sometimes called chip-and-PIN cards, which is confusing because you probably won't actually use a PIN like they do in other countries ... (See EMV PIN video)

Video: Do I need to swipe my EMV credit card? -- Banks are issuing new credit and debit cards with EMV chips, which enable more secure transactions than magnetic stripes. In the first of our four-part series on frequently asked questions about EMV, we discuss why you may still need to swipe your card ... (See EMV swipe video)

Poll: Right age to get a card? 22 -- Our national survey also finds millennials are conflicted about cards: They think they should have them early, yet one in four doesn't have one ... (See First card poll)

Valuing frequent flier miles on your tax return -- The IRS treats reward miles like coupons or rebates, not like income or expenses. That means you won't be taxed on miles earned, but you also can't treat an award trip as an expense ... (See Miles and taxes)

Cut prescreened offers to reduce theft temptation -- When your mailbox is flooded with card offers, it may be best to opt-out to reduce any risk of a thief trying to apply for credit in your name ... (See Opt-out)

How to check your child's credit report and prevent identity theft -- With a few exceptions, children shouldn't have credit reports. If they do, it could be an indication of fraud. Here's how to find out ... (See Child's credit report)

February 2015 credit card balances decline -- Credit card balances declined once again in February, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday. ... (See April 7, 2015, consumer credit report)

6 credit-based conspiracy theories -- To some, credit doesn't exist just to make paying for stuff easy and safe. Rather, a not-so-innocent back story with covert players is involved ... (See Conspiracies)

Teen's secret charges discovered by parents -- His parents report more than $2,000 in unapproved card charges, but discover the culprit is their son. Is it too late to call off the investigation? ... (See Teen card fraud)

Authorized users can sometimes gain late cardholder's rewards -- If a primary cardholder passes away, an authorized user on the account is not usually entitled to the account's rewards points. But program providers are often more generous than their rules convey ... (See Inherit rewards)

Payday loan alternatives more important than ever -- Having an alternative to high-priced payday lenders -- always a good idea -- could become more so if a federal crackdown shutters some storefronts ... (See Payday alternatives)

New rules proposed for payday loans -- The federal consumer watchdog is preparing rules that are expected to fight repeat payday loans without shutting borrowers off from quick cash ... (See Payday loans)

Crooks' new target: your rewards points -- Cyberthieves are plundering easy-to-hack loyalty program websites, grabbing your rewards points and a treasure trove of personal information that can put your identity at risk ... (See Rewards theft)

Q&A 'Future Crimes' author Marc Goodman -- Technology is rapidly evolving and so is cybercrime. Marc Goodman, author of "Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable, and What We Can Do About It," explains ... (See Marc Goodman)

7 debts you may not have to pay -- Paying your debts is honorable, and usually a legal requirement, but there exceptions when it can be erased, or it wasn't really yours to start with ... (See Debt escape)

1099-C snarls mortgage qualifying -- An incomplete tax form and an old charged-off debt may cause mortgage underwriters to turn down your home loan application ... (See Mortgage qualifying )

Fed signals step toward higher rates -- The Federal Reserve indicated that the countdown is ticking toward higher interest rates later this year ... (See Fed's loses patience)

Complaints data show which cards pay refunds most, least often -- A look at 14,000 credit card complaints sent to the federal consumer bureau shows big differences in how cards solve disputes ... (See Cards complaints data)

Bankruptcy should be removed automatically from credit reports -- The notation that you have filed a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy should be deleted automatically from your credit reports after seven or 10 years -- but you better check ... (See Bankruptcy)

Consumers trust their own bank to safeguard personal info -- Americans trust their banks the most and social networking the least to keep their personal information secure, a Gallup poll finds ... (See Information security)

Merchant guesses card expiration date to renew subscription -- No laws specifically prohibit subscription-based businesses from guessing a customer's card expiration date to auto-renew their payments, but the practice is iffy ... (See Card expiration)

5 financial tips for the newly engaged -- Planning your future finances should be equally as important as planning your nuptials, experts agree. Here are five money tips to remember when you and your partner start a life together ... (See Engaged finances)

Why you should file a police report for card fraud -- To your horror, a thief racks up charges on your card. You call the police. Will officers come roaring in, sirens blaring? No, but filing a formal report can help in many ways ... (See Police report)

Credit check not needed for public school loans -- Federal school loans, such as those given after applying for the FASFA, don't take credit into account. So going back to school already in debt could add up quickly ... (See Student loans)

For foreign travel, go for the chip, don't hold out for a PIN -- Having a credit card with an EMV chip will make it easier to get around in Europe, but don't insist on one that requires a PIN rather than a signature ... (See Chip-and-PIN)

Study makes the case against credit card arbitration -- Millions of consumers have been forced to accept arbitration clauses in case of disputes, but few understand them, says a new study ... (See CFBP arbitration study)

Credit reports to raise standards to improve accuracy -- The big three credit bureaus will take steps to reduce errors on credit reports and improve the dispute process under a settlement announced Monday ... (See Credit report accuracy settlement)

January 2015 G.19 report: Card balances down -- Credit card balances decreased at a 1.6 percent annual pace in January, the Federal Reserve said Friday ... (See Consumer credit)

1099-C frequently asked questions -- Wonder why you received a 1099-C in the mail? Most taxpayers don't realize forgiven debt is considered income, and questions abound ... (See 1099-C FAQ)

It's not fraud if you lend your card out -- The odds of prosecuting someone for card fraud for using your card when you gave your permission are pretty fruitless ... (See Card fraud)

An insider's view: How FICO scores burst from secrecy -- columnist and former FICO official Barry Paperno recounts how credit scores went public, and why they're as confusing as ever ... (See FICO history)

Poll: Wealthy getting EMV cards first -- Chip-bearing EMV cards, and the extra fraud protection that goes with them, are being issued first to wealthier cardholders, a poll shows ... (See EMV cards)

Credit card interest rates drop to 14.87 percent -- Feb. 25, 2015: Average rates on new card offers fell Wednesday for the first time in nearly two months, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

Tougher rules coming for debt collectors -- Federal regulators are writing a major update of debt collection rules for the first time in decades, but the penalty will remain a wrist-slap ... (See Debt collection rules)

Study: Law creates many too broke to file for bankruptcy -- A decade after a federal bankruptcy reform law took effect, a new class of Americans has been created: the permanently insolvent ... (See Too broke for bankruptcy)

Collectors still calling after a 1099-C 'Cancellation of Debt' tax form -- Just because you received a 1099-C and may have paid taxes on an unpaid debt, that doesn't mean you're free from collection attempts ... (See 1099-C)

Judge: Merchants can steer you to lower-cost card -- Merchants should be allowed to offer consumers discounts or perks to use a lower-cost credit card, a federal court ruled ... (See American Express anitrust ruling)

7 exceptions to 'zero liability' policies -- Despite "zero liability" promises from credit card companies and protection from federal laws, there are instances where you might be on the hook for fraudulent credit and debit card charges ... (See Zero liability)

What to do when a new gift card shows zero balance -- You give (or get) a new gift card, and the first time it's used, pfft! It's empty. Whether the problem is fraud or simple human error, follow these steps to retrieve its value ... (See $0 balance gift cards)

Households staggering under student loans -- While problems with most other loans are easing, student loans are entering uncharted heights and late payments are surging, says new data ... (See Report: Student debt surging)

Dangers of applying for an online payday loan -- Considering an online payday loan? Don't. These sites often scatter your personal information to the Internet wind, opening you up to, at best, bad deals, and at worst, relentless fraudsters ... (See Online payday loans)

Beware shady merchant processing contracts -- A lawsuit by an out-of-state company that supplies credit card machines deserves the plaintiff's attention -- but scams exist in the industry so read your contract carefully and talk with a lawyer if in doubt ... (See Merchant contracts)

Being financially prepared for the death of a spouse -- If your spouse passed away, could you seamlessly take over the household finances? If not, some quick information sharing can save you from more heartache ... (See Finances)

6 steps to protect your business from ID theft -- Attention to security issues is often lacking among the self-employed and small-business owners. But protecting your company's and your clients' financial data is critical to avoiding a disaster that could tank your business dreams ... (See Business ID theft)

December 2014 G-19 report: Card balances up -- Credit card balances were on the rise once again in December, the Federal Reserve said Friday. ... (See Fed G.19 consumer spending report)

Pros, cons of getting a business card for personal use -- Business cards sport features personal cards don't have, and no rule prevents someone without a business from getting one -- but watch the catches ... (See Business cards)

CFPB orders refunds for 98,000 subprime cardholders -- Cardholders of Continental Finance Co. are due refunds of excess fees that absorbed more than 25 percent of credit limit ... (See Continental Finance refunds)

Fighting back against the growing threat of tax fraud -- Tax fraud scams have skyrocketed as rip-off artists file phony tax returns on consumers' behalf. To avoid getting burned, be alert to their tricks ... (See Tax fraud)

Receipt requirements: Law differs from card network rules -- You don't legally have to print your business's full address on customer receipts, but MasterCard and other card networks have more stringent requirements ... (See Receipts)

ID theft means surprise loan denial -- The bank turned down his loan application due to his mortgage and five credit cards. Since he doesn't have any cards and rents a room, it's ID theft ... (See Denied loan)

Sharing medical cards not allowed -- Medical card expenses are generally reserved for the cardholder, family members and even pets, but not your latest girlfriend or boyfriend or BFF ... (See Medical cards)

Fed keeps rates low amid mixed economic signals -- The Federal Reserve indicated that it remains on course to hike interest rates later this year ... (See FOMC meeting Jan. 28, 2015)

Beware auto-renewals' endless charges -- Signing up for magazine subscriptions or a free trial could haunt you for months or years, ringing up endless charges on your credit card through automatic renewals ... (See Auto-renew)

Video: Credit card agreement -- Quick guide -- Your credit card terms and conditions can be a little overwhelming. But when signing up for a new card, it's important to know what you're getting into. We've created this short list of the most important terms to watch for ... (See Terms and conditions video)

A day in the life of a common credit card crook -- Those who make, buy and use stolen credit cards have workdays like the rest of us. See what the daily grind is for the crooks who would profit from your card data ... (See Card crook workday)

Know your fraudster: 8 types of card criminals -- Card fraud has become a big industry, with criminals specializing in each stage of the crime, from malware coders to skimmer installers to mules ... (See Know your fraudster)

Unpaid joint car loan sullies ex's credit -- She was in charge of payments, but neglected to tell her fiance when they were late. Now that they've broken up, she wants to know if she can fix his credit ... (See Car loan)

FTC: Many credit report disputes go unresolved -- When a credit bureau rejects a complaint about an error, only 30 percent of people agree that their report is accurate ... (See FTC credit disputes report)

Payments made out to your LLC are harder to garnish -- As a small-business owner, if you have an LLC it's best to have clients make checks out to the LLC rather than to you personally. Besides helping separate your personal and business finances, it may help protect you from wage garnishment for past debts ... (See Garnishment and LLCs)

6 steps to getting a credit card chargeback -- A chargeback from your credit card issuer gives you a refund when the retailer won't. Here's how to navigate the sometimes confusing chargeback rules ... (See Chargebacks)

7 times to put yourself in credit card timeout -- There are key moments in life when putting away the cards and paying off any balances can be the best moves for your financial future ... (See Card timeout)

CFPB urges colleges to compare deals for student accounts -- Colleges that endorse a bank in return for a fee should take a hard look at the cost for students,federal watchdog agency says ... (See CFPB)

Jail or no? Penalties for using partner's credit card -- Stealing a business partner's credit card can lead to prosecution and jail time. But charges rung up by an authorized user are not considered theft ... (See Partner)

Video: Mobile wallet security -- is it safe to photograph your credit card? -- Memories of celebrity phone hacks may rightly make you nervous about capturing an image of your credit card for a mobile wallet. But it's not the same as taking a regular photo, as long as you're using a secure payment app ... (See Mobile security)

New protections from financial 'gotchas' in 2015 -- New rules coming in 2015 from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should make it safer and less expensive to use plastic and other forms of consumer debt ... (See 2015 CFPB preview)

6 ways to give a charitable donation by credit card -- Choices abound for giving to charities by credit cards, but make sure you watch the fees and get your tax deduction ... (See Charity donations by credit card)

Secret financial escape plan for domestic violence victims -- It?s common for abusers to keep victims in the dark about household finances and to limit access to bank accounts, but using a bit of stealth can help build much-needed financial independence ... (See Escape)

There's no quick credit score fix -- Credit scoring formulas are as complicated as our often-tangled personal lives. There are no quick fixes, so keep your focus on the big things, such as on-time payments ... (See No quick fix)

Steps to take when a family friend steals your card -- When someone you know fraudulently uses your card and racks up big debt, you have to file a police report in order to clear up your credit ... (See 'Friendly' fraud)

Mobile shopping apps raise privacy and security issues -- A investigation reveals that mobile shopping apps may be accessing your phone's camera, text messages, flashlight and more, and collecting data you're not be aware of ... (See Shopping app privacy )

4 ways to evaluate mobile shopping app privacy, security -- While app developers, security experts and the federal government debate how to regulate mobile data collection, there are a number of steps consumers can take to protect their privacy and increase data security while using mobile shopping apps ... (See Mobile app privacy)

Lifting Cuba restrictions means easier credit, debit use -- Consumers will find it easier to pay for things in Cuba after President Obama lifts restrictions on use of U.S.-issued credit, debit cards there ... (See Cuba)

Over-limit card scam fools cardholder -- A cardholder gave her bank info over the phone to her card issuer to prevent an over-limit charge. But it probably wasn't her bank who called, but a thief ... (See Scam)

Fed: Countdown to higher rates continues at 'patient' pace -- Interest rate setters at the Federal Reserve signaled that near-zero market rates are approaching an end, but they'll not be rushed ... (See Fed 'patient' with rate hikes)

7 high-tech holiday scams -- As they attempt to spoil your holidays, crooks are turning to technology, using email, apps and phony online surveys in service of their cons ... (See Holiday scams)

Campus card agreements continue shift from credit to debit -- Special deals to market credit cards on campus are declining, but other types of plastic -- which face less disclosure -- are gaining ... (See College cards)

Biometrics: Your body could be your next password -- Call it body language: Finger prints, vein scans, voiceprints and other unique biological means of authenticating a person?s identity for credit card purchases are closer to reality than they are to the Jetsons ... (See Biometrics)

Authorized users can't access credit card account information -- Authorized users cannot access the individual account information, which can be frustrating if you think you're a joint account holder ... (See Account information)

CFPB moves to soften medical debt's impact -- It's unique among debts, so medical debt deserves to get special scrutiny, the federal consumer watchdog agency decides ... (See Medical debt)

Don't be fooled by these 6 data breach myths -- Do you think hackers target only large retailers? Or that smart-chip cards will be our security salvation? Think again. ... (See 6 data breach myths)

Fed: Credit card debt rises 6.2 percent -- Revolving debt increased at a 1.3 percent annual pace in October, according to the Federal Reserve's preliminary G.19 report on consumer credit. ... (more)

8 ways seniors can ease student loan debt pain -- Student loan debt carried by seniors has quadrupled, but the elderly don't have a lifetime of increasing earnings ahead to help them cope ... (See Student loans)

9 tips for using mobile gift cards safely -- A growing number of mobile gift cards and apps let you give, receive and use gift cards all on your smartphone -- no traditional wallet needed. Convenient, right? But they also present new security issues ... (See Mobile gift cards)

Banks that make the most money, and the least, on credit card loans -- The most costly card companies are ones you probably never heard of -- but whose cards you just might carry ... (See Yields)

What yield does your bank make on credit cards? -- Using 2013 federal bank data, we list 500 U.S. banks and show the percentage yield they make from credit card holders, before and after losses ... (See 500 banks' yields)

Understanding 'consent' to charge a card -- A merchant needs consumer consent before charging their debit or credit card for a purchase. But there are some gray areas where misunderstanding of the law can cause disputes ... (See Consent)

Inheritance spent, bankruptcy looming -- She inherited $36,000, but instead of paying her credit card debt, she spent it. During bankruptcy, does she have to reveal where the money went? ... (See Bankruptcy disclosure)

Landlords limited in ability to pull tenants' credit reports -- Though a tenant has left rent unpaid and thousands in damages, that's not enough to give a landlord the right to pull a credit report ... (See Tenants' credit reports)

Card applications fall among younger, lower-score consumers -- Fewer young people and people with low credit scores are applying for credit cards, according to a new consumer survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York ... (See Card applications survey)

If loan to friend or family goes bad, you may take a tax deduction -- When friends or family borrow from you and then default, the IRS allows a bad debt tax deduction -- if you documented the loan and file the right forms ... (See Bad debt deduction)

Online fraud may surge after EMV chip card rollout -- U.S. issuers are replacing traditional magnetic stripe credit cards with cards containing counterfeit-resistant EMV chips. But fraudsters are expected to adapt, turning to online and other forms of fraud ... (See Online fraud surge)

Ex didn't pay up, so your student loan defaulted? Go after him -- The court said he had to pay half of his ex-wife's student loan, but he shirked, and she isn't making enough, so now the loan's in default ... (See Default)

'Spam Nation' author Brian Krebs sheds light on card data black market -- An insider on the digital black market, Brian Krebs uncovers major credit card breaches before the big retailers know what hit them. He takes readers along in his book "Spam Nation" ... (See Spam Nation)

Adding yourself to spouse's card is fraud -- Taking the liberty of adding yourself to your spouse's card as an authorized user is considered fraud, and you could be charged with identity theft ... (See Authorized user fraud)

New rules aim to tame prepaid cards -- The fee-laden cards, gaining in popularity, would have to disclose more about those fees under rules unveiled by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ... (See Prepaid rules)

Retailer beacons track your phone as you shop, raising privacy issues -- Retailers increasingly are using electronic beacons that track consumers' smartphones to analyze shopping behavior, improve service and offer customized deals. But the technology also raises privacy concerns ... (See Beacons)

Shared card leads to collection mess after a bankruptcy -- When Dad declared bankruptcy, the debt collectors shifted their attention to his daughter to collect a $3,600 balance on the credit card they shared ... (See Shared card)

2014 Penalty Rate Survey -- Those who fall 60 days behind in credit card payments face an average penalty interest rate of 28.45 percent, according to's survey of 100 major U.S. credit cards ... (See Penalty rates survey)

Fed: Card balances rise once again in September 2014 -- Credit card balances rose at a 2 percent annual pace in September after a short-lived balance decline in August, the Federal Reserve said Friday ... (See September G.19 consumer credit report)

Steps to rebuild credit after bankruptcy -- After declaring bankruptcy obtaining secured credit sources and becoming an authorized user can help bring life back to your line of credit ... (See Bankruptcy)

Credit card ownership statistics -- How many credit cards does the average American have, and what types do they have? We've compiled industry statistics to answer those questions and more about who's carrying what cards ... (See Card ownership statistics)

Credit card interest rates remain at 15.09 percent -- Nov. 5, 2014: Average rates on new card offers held steady Wednesday at 15.09 percent, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

Currency changes to aid blind slow to take shape -- New technology and phone apps have made it easier for blind consumers to discern cash, despite delays in physically changing the currency ... (See Blind)

Fed: banks ease grip on cards -- Just as banks are finally lowering their barriers to credit card ownership, consumers aren't so keen to accept them, says a new Fed survey of senior loan officers ... (See Banks loosen grip)

Know your rights under the Truth in Lending Act -- This federal law provides bedrock consumer protection by requiring lenders to disclose credit terms in a standardized way, and sets the rules for fees and billing ... (See TILA)

Options limited if authorized user refuses to pay charges -- Call it authorized-user blackmail: A daughter adds her dad to her card, he runs up the balance, but threatens to stop payments if she closes the card ... (See Authorized)

How early payment can result in late fees -- Leaving town? Paying your card bill early can backfire if you miss making the minimum payment by the due date, leaving you with late fees and penalty rates ... (See Early payment, late fee)

Negotiation is key for defaulted student loan -- When a private student loan is in default, bringing the loan current may require a lump-sum payment as well as written proof of what you can afford to pay ... (See Default)

EMV switch won't eliminate travel woes -- As issuers roll out more secure chip cards in the U.S., they're opting for chip-and-signature technology, rather than the chip-and-PIN standard used in many other countries ... (See Chip-and-PIN)

Fed ends special stimulus for economy -- The Federal Reserve announced the end of its bond-buying program, but signaled that it will keep its main lever on interest rates at near-zero levels ... (more)

Retailers push system to rival Apple Pay and other mobile wallets -- Two drugstore chains switched off support for Apple Pay, as a group of big retailers gets behind a rival system for checkout smartphone payments ... (See Mobile payments)

Teach your teens about these 5 scams -- You've alerted your teen to many dangers lurking in the world, but have you ever had a talk about how to avoid being scammed? ... (See Teaching teens)

How a DUI can tank your credit -- While a conviction for driving under the influence won't show up directly on your credit report, the financial ramifications that follow a conviction can really flush your score ... (See DUI)

Old-school phone scammers make comeback with modern twist -- Old-school telephone fraud is making a comeback as fraudsters are again more likely to contact you by phone than through websites or email ... (See Telephone scams)

After the breach: Should you enroll in ID or credit monitoring services? -- Many retailers whose databases have been hacked are offering credit monitoring or identity protection services. Depending on what you sign up for, the services can prevent full-out identity theft, or simply duplicate steps you can take on your own ... (See Breach)

Co-signing backfire ruins chance to lease an apartment -- A kindhearted gesture backfires for a man who co-signed his sister-in-law's lease: She broke her lease, left a debt, ruined his credit and his ability to rent a new home ... (See Co-sign)

Rule makes privacy statements more meaningful -- Banks can skip mailing their privacy statements as long as they don't share your information in ways that are restricted by law ... (more)

Q&A: 'Bad Paper' author Jake Halpern roams debt collection's Wild West -- Author Jake Halpern goes undercover as a debt collector and uncovers a world of rich characters, conflicts and unsavory behavior ... (See "Bad Paper")

Cardholder annual privacy statements: You have limited opt-out options -- Cardholders are limited in preventing card issuers from sharing their personal information, but federal law lets you opt out of some info sharing (and annoying marketing) ... (See Annual privacy statements)

Poll: Many cardholders will avoid stores hit by data breaches -- As retail data breaches become more common, nearly half of 985 U.S. cardholders polled by say they're likely this holiday season to avoid stores that have been hit ... (See Breach poll)

Obama puts federal might behind chip-and-PIN card security -- A White House move to encourage the roll out of chip-and-PIN security strengthens the push for new weapons against data breaches and ID theft ... (See US goes chip-and-PIN)

Credit rehabilitation programs don't do anything you can't do -- The money you give to a credit rehabilitation company could be better spent paying down debt because what those companies do you can do yourself ... (See Credit rehab)

Banks seek rule change to allow more cellphone fraud alerts -- Despite a plague of data breaches, banks fear lawsuits if they send fraud alerts via text messages and cellphone calls, according to an industry group ... (See Fraud alert texts)

Credit reports key to detecting fraud -- If you suspect someone is trying to open a card account in your name, fraud alerts and credit report monitoring can stop thieves before they start stealing ... (See Fraud)

Your rights if a merchant charges you but delays shipping -- You ordered your item and your card was charged, but the merchant takes forever to ship. Do you have any rights to demand faster shipping? ... (See Delayed shipping)

Q&A: Rep. Alan Grayson wants changes to 'unfair' frequent flier programs -- The Florida Congressman says airline practices are deceptive and his complaints have sparked an investigation by the Department of Transportation ... (See Devalued rewards)

How to fix credit report damage from authorized user status -- A mom added her daughter as an authorized user to her card seven years ago, but then filed for bankruptcy. Her dad asks if it's too late to get the card off his kid's credit report ... (See Credit report)

Fed: Card balances down in August -- Credit card balances decreased at a 0.3 percent annual rate in August, a first after five straight month of rising card debt, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday. ... (See August 2014 Federal G19 report)

2014 Credit Card Tuition Payment Survey data -- Find out whether the four-year college or university you're considering will allow you to make tuition payments by credit cards -- and at what cost ... (See 2014 tuition payment survey data)

Buy now, pay forever: Beware negative option plans -- Free trials that aren't free, automatic renewals and other types of "negative option" offers that end up on charging your credit card ... (See Negative options)

Joint truck lease leaves widow in a lurch -- Leasing a new truck with your spouse doesn't seem like it would be a big deal, unless all of a sudden one spouse is left making the payments alone ... (See Lease)

Proposal would extend Military Lending Act to credit cards -- An overhaul of protections for soldiers would have a big impact on credit cards, but the proposal is heading for a fight with the banking industry ... (See Military lending)

Credit reports hold longer memory than issuers -- You let a card go unpaid for years, then finally paid the account off. The odds of the card issuer remembering your behavior aren't as big as the credit bureaus ... (See Unpaid)

6 ways to thwart pickpockets -- Cybercriminals and data breaches get all the headlines today, but don't forget low-tech, fast-fingered pickpockets are still out there, blending in the crowd, eager to snatch your wallet ... (See Pickpockets)

Charged items have a low risk for repossession -- If someone charges your gift on credit, but then doesn't pay the bill, the odds of it being repossessed are slight. But the risk does exist ... (See Repossess)

U.S. Bank refunds $48 million for add-ons -- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau extended its crackdown on bank add-on products to U.S. Bank, which charged for credit protection products that consumers didn't always receive ... (See $48 million refund)

Study: 7 percent of employees have wages garnished -- About 7 percent of workers had wages garnished in 2013, and workers age 35-44 are most likely to endure that stressful and sometimes humiliating fate ... (See Wage garnishment study)

New industry tools fight credit card fraud -- Card issuers, retailers and other companies are coming up with a host of new tactics to try and stem credit card fraud ... (See Anti-fraud tools)

Fed holds course toward rate hike in 2015 -- The Federal Reserve indicated that it will keep interest rates at historic lows for the time being to support the job market, but higher rates are coming ... (See Sept. 17, 2014: Fed holds course)

Don't be 'breakage' -- 7 tips to avoid losing gift card value -- About $1 billion worth of gift cards will go unused in 2014. The industry calls that lost value "breakage" or "spillage" and it means big profits for them and lost money for you ... (See Breakage)

6 ways to outsmart data brokers -- You can't stop data brokers from harvesting information on what you buy, how much you make and even how healthy you are. But you can limit what they see ... (See Data)

Mobile payments raise consumer protection worries -- Consumer advocates worry a mobile finance boom will make it easier to snoop on your buying habits, or even clean out your mobile wallet ... (See Mobile protection)

Be careful with inheritance, spending before bankruptcy filing -- If you're about to file for bankruptcy, what do you do when you know you're about to inherit some money? Can you spend it? ... (See Inheritance)

Fed: Card balances rise for a 5th straight month -- Credit card balances increased once again in July, marking the fifth straight month of rising card debt this year, the Federal Reserve said Monday ... (See G.19: Fed says card balances rise)

Pay by smartphone? Consumers wary, poll says -- A poll shows consumers are wary of using their cellphone to make payments. But some experts say it's only a matter of time before most do ... (See Mobile payments)

Video: the road to wage garnishment -- Garnishment is complex -- the rules vary by state, your employment status and your income. But it all starts with a failure to pay bills on time ... (See Wage garnishment)

Fed survey says consumers' card discipline is holding firm -- Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances finds that debt burdens remain in check long after the recession's plunge ... (See Survey of Consumer Finances)

CFPB warns card issuers: Reveal costs of 0% promotional offers -- No-interest promotions are costly for credit card users who lose the grace period and must pay interest on new purchases, regulators warned ... (See CFPB 0% offer warning)

Payment options budding for legal marijuana businesses -- Eager to profit from the fast-growing, legal cannabis market, some entrepreneurs are offering new payment approaches, but it is too soon to tell how they'll hold up in the long term ... (See Marijuana payments)

Video: 5 credit card questions to ask before traveling overseas -- Before you hit the road, let your card issuer know where and when you'll be traveling, so it doesn't mistake those overseas charges with fraudulent activity. Then, start asking some questions ... (See Travel)

Wrong account info doesn't absolve debt responsibility -- If your card account lists an incorrect Social Security number as yours, that doesn't give you a free pass on paying any debt you've racked up ... (See Wrong info)

Tips for detecting card theft -- Yes, there are crooks out there waiting to steal your card info, but if you're vigilant you can stop them before they do too much damage ... (See Theft)

Renting a car? Know whether your card adds insurance -- Renting a car can put your credit card benefits into play, but only if you know what's covered and avoid the exclusions ... (See Insurance)

Capital One edits language allowing visits at home or work -- Capital One said it is dropping language in its general purpose card agreements allowing visits at home or work, but keeping those rights in store cards for now ... (See Cap One)

Campus cards generate big rewards, but not for cardholders -- Colleges reap lucrative payments from banks in return for granting exclusive rights to the campus debit card business ... (See Campus cards)

Seniors vulnerable to credit card fraud -- As people get older, even when they are intellectually still very sharp, it seems to become more difficult for them to determine who to trust and when ... (See Fraud)

8 keys to safe credit, debit card use on campus -- Students who enter college also begin a lifelong journey with credit and debit card use. Here is how to do it safely ... (See Campus card safety)

Federal watchdog slaps auto lender for credit report errors -- The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined auto lender First Investors Financial Services Group Inc. for putting errors on thousands of consumers credit reports ... (See Fined)

Credit card life after bankruptcy -- After bankruptcy, issuers will be wary of lending to you. Applying for a secured card is a way to boost your FICO score and show lenders you can be trusted again ... (See Bankruptcy)

6 signs of bad financial advice -- While good sound nuggets of money advice can help you keep money in your pocket, bad advice can leave you digging out of financial hole ... (See Advice)

Should your small business accept bitcoin? -- Five years into its existence, the virtual currency bitcoin is gaining legitimacy with major U.S. retailers. Small-business owners may find new opportunities in joining them, but should carefully weigh the risks before jumping in ... (See Bitcoin)

Maxed out cards? Don't open another one -- She's maxed out five credit cards and can't pay what she owes on them, but asks if it's OK if she can use the new credit card she got ... (See Maxed out)

Health care companies turn to 'big data' -- More health care companies purchase intimate details about patients, such as their income and buying habits, and use it to make predictions about their health ... (See Health care data)

How to spot and prevent medical identity theft -- While credit card breaches have grabbed headlines, fraudsters have been homing in on an even more lucrative source of identity theft: medical records ... (See Medical ID theft)

Credit card complaints Q1 2014: a graphical look -- What are credit card users angry about? Billing disputes, say the complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the first quarter of 2014 ... (See Complaints)

Customers with overdraft protection pay quadruple in fees -- People who opt for overdraft protection on their debit transactions pay a lot more in total fees than other checking account users ... (See Overdraft protection fees)

8 ways to get friends to repay a personal loan -- A pal was in a bind and turned to you for help. Sensing urgency, you agreed, but now you're not getting repaid and your frustration is growing as fast as the excuses ... (See Repay)

Fed: Card balances rise, keep pace with slow spending growth -- Credit card balances increased a modest 1.3 percent in June marking a fourth month of continued revolving debt growth, the Federal Reserve said Thursday ... (See Card balances rise)

P.F. Chang's names 33 restaurants hit by data breach -- P.F. Chang's China Bistro has named the places and times it suffered a data breach, with 33 of its 210 U.S. restaurants being hit for weeks or months ... (See P.F. Chang's data breach)

Banks loosening grip on credit cards, says Fed survey -- Banks continue to get more generous with new cards, but subprime applicants still feel a chill, according to the Federal Reserve's quarterly survey of loan officers ... (See Senior loan offiicers' survey)

New moves to protect military members from financial fraud -- Federal and state regulators are cracking down and pairing with other groups to offer education, protection and recourse for military service members in the crosshairs of financial fraudsters ... (See Military and fraud)

Fines owed to city exempt from bankruptcy -- In most cases, back taxes, student loans, child support and fines owed to a governmental body are exempt from being discharged in bankruptcy ... (See Fines)

4 reasons why college kids need a credit card -- You might want to shelter your college kids from the complicated world of credit (and potential debt) for as long as possible, but at some point they will need to learn the ropes ... (See College)

When is a bankruptcy officially discharged? -- The day you no longer are responsible for debt repayment after you file for bankruptcy depends on whether you filed under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 ... (See Discharge)

Fed holds course toward higher interest rates -- Zooming economic growth in the second quarter didn't prompt the Federal Reserve to hasten its pace toward an interest rate hike in 2015 ... (See FOMC meeting July 30, 2014)

How America pays: Fed study paints big picture of card trends -- How many credit cards are there? How many debit cards? How many checks do we write? The Federal Reserve's new payments study paints a statistical portrait of how we spend ... (See Payments study)

Study: Data breaches pose a greater risk -- It used to be that just 1 in 9 victims of a data breach had the hacked info used against them. Now the odds are 1 in 3, says a new study ... (See Breach)

CFPB expands complaints system to prepaid cards, pawnshops -- The federal consumer watchdog significantly expanded its consumer complaints program to include an array of financial products found outside banks ... (See Complaints)

Tax lien won't impact shared credit card -- When adding someone with a tax lien to your card as an authorized user, that won't open any doors to the Internal Revenue Service ... (See Uncle Sam)

Anatomy of a credit card -- With the coming of chip cards, the anatomy of a credit card has become even more crowded. Do you know what all the parts are and what they do? ... (See Card anatomy)

Small banks, credit unions keep debit rewards programs alive -- Three years after big banks started pulling the plug on debit card rewards programs, many small banks and credit unions are finding surprising success in offering similar rewards to their customers ... (See Debit rewards)

Fed: Card balances extend growth -- Balances on credit cards grew again in May, extending April's record-setting surge, the Federal Reserve said ... (See Consumer credit report, July 8, 2014)

Higher One grows to dominate college debit card market -- A little-known upstart has quickly grown to dominate the campus debit card business, but it is now drawing heat from Congress, regulators ... (See Higher One)

Do predictive scores violate your privacy? -- Marketers are combining vast stores of data into predictive scores that help them decide what offers you see -- to the concern of privacy advocates ... (See Predictive scores)

Video: 5 steps to secure smartphone data -- Your smartphone may be lost, stolen or hacked ? and along with it goes your financial and personal data. To secure personal data on your smartphone, take these five simple steps ... (See Mobile data security)

GE Capital to refund $225 million to 749,000 customers -- The No. 1 issuer of store credit cards is paying $225 million to 749,000 consumers, with most of the money going to Spanish-speakers excluded from debt relief offers ... (See GE Capital)

P.F. Chang's goes old school to combat fraud -- P.F. Chang's China Bistro restaurants in the U.S. have dusted off old-school manual card readers to use while the chain investigates a potentially large-scale data breach ... (See P.F. Chang's)

Fed shrugs at inflation, holds rates steady -- The Federal Reserve signaled that it will continue the cheap money policy that it has penciled on its calendar through sometime in mid-2015. ... (See FOMC holds rates steady)

Child charged merchandise on mother's account? Return it -- A child who charged merchandise without permission needs to learn a lesson; have her stand by as Mom calls the card company -- and the cops ... (See Unauthorized)

Poll: As card fraud rises, so do false alarms -- As data breaches soar, so do credit card fraud false alarms that block or flag legitimate credit card transactions, says a new poll ... (See Fraud false alarm)

CFPB seeks lower-cost ways to serve up mobile banking -- As banking moves to mobile devices, banking regulators want to make sure consumer protections and cost savings go along ... (See Mobile banking)

On-time payments cure the stinkiest credit -- With not much credit or income, a reader's best ally is time and a lengthy series of on-time payments, says Erica ... (See On-time payments)

Are schools putting students? personal data at risk? -- It's become the norm for school districts to turn over sensitive student data to outside "cloud computing" companies, a practice that has ignited concerns about student privacy ... (See Student data)

5 tips to protect your child's data, privacy at school -- As cloud-based technology moves into schools, it puts more data about your children onto remote servers. Here's what to know and do to safeguard that information ... (See Children's data: 5 tips)

Card debt rises sharply in April -- Balances on credit cards soared at a 12.3 percent annual rate in April, extending March's modest gains despite consumers' continued reluctance to open their wallets, according to the Federal Reserve's monthly consumer credit report ... (See Consumer credit report: Card balances rise)

FTC calls for data broker regulation -- Depending on your income, habits, health and ethnicity, data brokers may label you an Urban Scramble, Rural Everlasting, Truckin' & Stylin', Bible Lifestyle or Plus-Size Apparel ... (See FTC study)

6 fears that keep people from financial advice -- Nearly half of Americans don't know who to trust for financial advice. Here are wise ways to get over that and other fears ... (See 6 financial fears)

Can businesses charge large test payments? -- Gas stations and restaurants add temporary "holds" on credit card bills until they know the final balance, but other merchants should avoid this tactic ... (See Test charges)

Mom opened checking, credit accounts in my name, left a mess -- Fraud, even by a family member, is a crime that should be reported in order for you to start the process of salvaging your credit ... (See Family fraud)

'Dragnet Nation' author Julia Angwin: May I have my privacy back? -- The Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter's book investigates who is watching us online, what they're doing with the data (including selling it), and why it matters. ... (See 'Dragnet Nation')

4 ways crooks cash in on your personal and financial data -- You've heard about data thieves, but have you wondered what they do with it once it's stolen? Here's how crooks convert your info to their cash ... (See Cashing in data)

CFPB: Credit scores for medical debt are unfair -- Study by consumer watchdog agency finds that medical debt collection weighs too heavily on people's credit scores ... (See Medical debt and credit scores)

Prepaid debit cards: With all the scams, are they worth it? -- Prepaid debit cards fill an important financial need for people without traditional bank accounts, but they have fewer protections and are prone to scams ... (See Prepaid debit scams)

Banks expect credit to ease near pre-recession levels -- A Fed survey of senior loan officers finds bankers expect a hefty increase in credit card growth, the first big jump since the Great Recession ... (See Card lending easing)

Credit card balances post spring growth -- Card debt rose in March for the first time in 2014, as consumer spending surged ... (See consumer spending increase 2014)

Judgment-proof debtors have an imperfect shield -- If you are poor enough, a court judgment for debt has little threat. You're "judgment-proof," with wages and belongings shielded by law from collectors -- but that does not mean you can relax ... (See Judgment-proof debtors)

Settling a debt after a judgment -- Even after a judgment is entered against you, it is still possible to settle a debt for less than the court-determined amount -- maybe much less ... (See Settling debt after judgment)

Debt judgment may trigger bankruptcy -- Bankruptcy shields you from debt collectors, but comes with serious consequences that must be weighed ... (See Debt judgments and bankruptcy)

Court judgments for debt: Your options after the gavel -- A court judgment for debt can lead to seizure of wages and property, but there are steps to protect yourself after the decision comes down ... (See Judgments for debt: after the gavel)

They divorced, he died, she's stuck with his $40,000 student loan -- Even though they were divorced before his death, she co-signed on his $40,000 student loan, which means she's asked to repay. What are her options? ... (See Student loans and death)

Fed takes poor GDP in stride, leaves interest rates outlook unchanged -- The Federal Reserve maintained its course toward higher interest rates in 2015, downplaying a poor first-quarter showing by the economy ... (See Federal Reserve)

During Chapter 13 bankruptcy, secured cards tough to get -- Banks may reject your credit card application, even for a secured card, while you're under the strict money diet imposed by a Chapter 13 bankruptcy ... (See Secured card)

Applying for a credit card? Your odds for approval -- Thinking of applying for a card? The odds of having your application approved depend on the issuer, the card and your credit score ... (See Application approval odds)

Prepaying principal, paying ahead not the same -- Your auto lender would probably prefer you just pay ahead, since that won't cost them anything. But if you want to lower your costs, prepay the principal ... (See Prepaying)

Divorced woman still cleaning up ex's financial mess -- Five years after their breakup, a woman is trying to see if there's a way to undo the financial damage her ex dumped on her and she unwisely kept ... (See Ex's mess)

Cashless toll roads and rental cars: 6 tips -- If you ever find yourself stuck in a rental car on an e-toll road with no cash option, you have more choices than get gouged now or gouged later ... (See E-toll rental tips)

Taking over parents' finances: first steps -- Don't wait until it's too late, get information now and make necessary changes while they still have the capacity and legal authority to do so ... (See Parents' finances)

Foreign boyfriend's check-cashing request sounds like fraud -- The Internet has created an industry of romantic swindlers whose sole purpose is to rob you by making you think with your misplaced heart ... (See Swindler)

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)

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 interest rate increases will cost cardholders -- Consumers will pay up to $192 million more a month on their credit card balances starting this month, according to Federal Reserve data ... (See Rising card 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)

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 ... (See Card debt falls)

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)

9 signs your spouse is a financial bully -- Many couples argue over money, but what if your spouse takes away your credit cards or demands you turn over your paycheck? Watch out: you might be married to a financial bully ... (See Bully)

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)

Credit cards that offer free credit scores -- A growing number of card issuers give you a no-cost way to watch the number crucial to your financial health ... (See Scores)

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 ... (See Consumers want free credit scores)

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 ... (See data breaches national policy)

'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)

Poll: Who Americans blame for data breaches -- As data breaches mount and put personal information at risk, a poll finds most Americans lay the blame on laxness by retailers ... (See Data breach blame)

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 ... (See Capital One debt collections)

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)

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 ... (See Demand for credit cards)

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)

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-building 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 ... (See credit card late payment fees)

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)

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 rise in March -- Consumers added credit card debt in March amid growing incomes and an improving job climate ... (See G.19)

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)

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 ... (See AmEx refunds add-on products)

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

Video: How to use EMV smart chip credit cards -- U.S. financial institutions are finally issuing credit cards with EMV computer chips, which are widespread in other parts of the world. They promise to be more secure than traditional magnetic stripe cards ... (See EMV cards)

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 ... (See long-term and short-term rates)

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

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)

Sample promissory note for loans to family, friends -- If you're lending to a relative or friend, you'll want to craft a written agreement. This free sample promissory note spells out how and when you are to be paid, and what happens if the borrower doesn't repay the loan ... (See Sample promissory loan note)

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 Mandatory 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)

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)

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)

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)

How small churches can master credit cards -- Small churches face unique problems when it comes to using credit cards responsibly. But the right approach can prevent problems and allow churches to focus on their higher calling ... (See Churches)

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 ... (See Banks expand credit limits)

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? Probably not -- A web of state laws, retailers, card policies restrict or ban the practice ... (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)

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)

Video: Hoard or shred? Organizing financial records -- Having too many paper records lying around may increase your risk of identity theft. But some documents are essential to save -- mainly for tax purposes ... (more)

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 increase charged-off debt? -- 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 ... (See Card debt falls)

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, there are other options, including passbook or CD loans, credit builder loans and alternative credit scores ... (See Credit without a card)

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 and finances)

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)

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 1 in 5 people who sign up for deferred interest deals on big-ticket items actually wind up owing finance charges ... (See Deferred interest trap)

Deferred-interest, 0-percent financing 'deals' costly for many -- About 1 in 5 people who sign up for 0-percent, deferred interest deals wind up owing accumulated finance charges ... (See Deferred interest)

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 ... (See Merchant comsumer debit fees)

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)

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 "trended data" 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 Trended data)

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)

Didn't make that donation to charity? Watch out for fraud -- If you see a small donation to a charity on your credit card but don't remember making the gift, you may be a victim of fraud. Small transactions like these are often tests to see if a stolen card number is working ... (See Charity donation scam)

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 ... (See credit card balances up)

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)

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)

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 ... (See rates remain low)

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)

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. ... (See Card balances rise)

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)

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 ... (See Credit report errors)

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)

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)

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 ... (See Federal Reserve low intrest rate)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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 put on your credit card -- Wedding-related mishaps can turn any mild-mannered bride into a bridezilla, but sometimes your credit card can come to the rescue ... (See Wedding)

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 ... (See credit card balances up)

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)

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)

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 ... (See Federal Reserve low interest rate job growth)

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)

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 credit 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 ... (See credit card balances up)

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)

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 ... (See CARD Act impact)

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 )

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)

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)

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)

Where to file tax returns for free: 10 options -- 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 Free 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)

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?)

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)

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 often have skimpy info -- 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 '' 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

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)

Merchants may require up to $10 minimum credit card purchase -- If you're a small business wanting to impose a minimum transaction amount for purchases, be sure to know the rules the card companies have to avoid trouble ... (See $10 minimum purchase OK on credit cards)

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)

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)

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)

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 to avoid 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. ... (See 5 mistakes)

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 ... (See 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 -- A federal law is supposed to guarantee that credit report errors get fixed. So why do some people wind up spending months or even years trying to remove legitimate errors that are ruining their credit? ... (See Credit)

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)

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 -- You've spent months trying to scrub errors off your credit reports to no avail. Before you give up completely, try these surefire steps. ... (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)

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." ... (See credit card scam)

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)

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)

The federal funds rate, the US prime rate and Libor: A primer -- Confused by the federal funds rate, the prime rate and its British cousin, Libor? Here's all you need to know about the benchmark interest rates that help set the cost of 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 survey of major card issuers shows ... (See Credit protection plans pulled)

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)

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 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)

Fair Credit Reporting Act: a guide to your rights -- 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: Weekly Rate Report -- August 8, 2012 -- Credit card interest rates held steady for the second straight week, according to the 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)

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: Weekly Rate Report -- July 25, 2012 -- Credit card interest rates rose for the first time in nearly two months, according to the 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: Weekly Rate Report -- Credit card interest rates stayed put for the second straight week, according to the 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)

Settlement lets retailers 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: Weekly Rate Report -- Credit card interest rates remained untouched this week, according to the 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: Weekly Rate Report -- Credit card interest rates dipped this week, according to the 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, research shows ... (See Ability to pay) 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 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 seven 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)

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 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)

Weekly Rate Report, June 6, 2012: Credit card interest rates down slightly -- Credit card interest rates dipped slightly this week, according to the 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)

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)

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)

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 ... (See Prepaid calling cards)

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) poll: About 6 million in US hid bank accounts from spouse, partner -- Call it financial infidelity: A 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)

'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 the lottery -- 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 Win the lottery? No thanks)

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 the IRS with a credit card -- Paying your taxes by credit card is convenient, but the fees will likely outweigh any rewards ... (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 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)

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)

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 Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See Rate report)

Cards with no foreign transaction fees surge -- Competing for well-heeled travelers, an increasing number of credit card issuers have reduced or even dropped foreign transaction fees ... (See Foreign transaction fees )

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)

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)

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)

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 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 -- Credit card points not taxable, but sign-up bonuses for bank accounts are ... (See Card rewards taxable)

9 things you should know about your credit card receipt -- They're those annoying scraps of paper that litter your purse or flutter from your wallet at inopportune moments, but receipts for credit card transactions are actually worth paying attention to ... (See Credit card receipts) 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 Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See Rate report)

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)

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)

Minimum payment survey: How much your issuer charges -- A survey of the minimum payment requirements of major credit card issuers shows they're no longer raising minimum dollar-amount payments, but consumers should still pay as much as they can each month. ... (See Minimum)

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) 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 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)

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)

Steps to recover from spousal fraud -- 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 ... (See Congress independent income )

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 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)

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)

Wallet battle: Merchants push debit, banks push credit card -- 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 Retailers vs. banks )

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)

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)

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)

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)

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 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)

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)

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 free, 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)

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 via credit card? FTC proposes quicker refunds -- 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)

What merchant category codes are, how they are used -- Consumers can save if they know how their favorite stores are coded ... (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 Security)

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: 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)

9 low-tech ways to manage money and credit -- Forget the apps, alerts and software. Old-fashioned ways of keeping track of how and where you spend often are the most effective ... (See Low-tech money management)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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) 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 Weekly Rate Report ... (See Rate report)

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)

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)

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 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)

Payment history: The most important credit score component -- If you never miss a payment, your credit score will remain in good shape ... (See Credit score payment history)

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 Stolen computer and ID theft)

FTC: was $275 million ripoff. Site shuttered, multimillion dollar con alleged -- 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)

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) 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)

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)

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)

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)

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 exceptions to paying tax on that debt you didn't have to pay ... (See Forgiven debt exceptions)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

Is PayPal Safe? 10 security tips to protect yourself -- More than 192 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)

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)

Paid late? 6 on-time payments can erase penalty rate -- 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)

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)

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)

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? Sorry, 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) 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)

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: 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)

Video: Why you don't understand your credit card agreement -- A 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)

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)

10 things NOT to do when you apply for a credit card -- When applying for a credit card, doing any of these 10 things could hurt your chances of getting approved ... (See Credit don'ts)

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? ... (See Blocked card)

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)

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)

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)

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 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 analysis ... (See Credit card agreements)

Video: Consumers try in vain to read credit card agreements -- 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's readability study -- Lawmakers, consumer advocates, banking industry officials and financial literacy and readability experts react to the analysis of the readability of U.S. credit card agreements ... (See 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 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 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 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)

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)

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 questions )

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 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)

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)

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)

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)

Zero-liability policies: How they work, what to do when they don't -- 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)

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)

Credit card interest rates remain unchanged -- Interest rates on new credit card offers were unchanged this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report, after banks largely refrained from adjusting their card offers. ... (See Rate report)

7 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)

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 Weekly Credit Card Rate Report, ending a record string of declines. ... (See Rate report)

Cellphone payment system options multiply -- The trend of paying by cellphone, 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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)

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)

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 ... (See Data pass tactics)

Currency changes slow to aid 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)

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 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)

Interest rates fall as issuers modify credit card offers -- Interest rates on new credit card offers fell this week, according to the 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)

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)

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 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 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)

Law compels speedy estate settlement for card debt -- 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 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 10 places NOT to use your debit card)

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, guardianships: taking over someone's finances -- 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 How long to keep records)

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)

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 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)

Payment options other than credit cards for parent with dementia -- There's always cash or gift cards, but you can also get him a prepaid card or add him as an authorized user to one of your cards, but with a preset credit limit ... (See Dementia payment options)

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)

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 ... (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 ... (See Town hall)

New credit card era begins with latest CARD Act provisions -- It's a new day for credit cards. As of Feb. 22, 2010, new consumer protections within the Credit CARD Act of 2009 take effect. ... (See CARD Act debuts)

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 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)

Charitable charging under scrutiny -- While many card companies waived transaction fees for Haiti donations, some are considering waiving fees on charitable giving permanently. ... (See Haiti)

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, "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 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'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)

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 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)

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 Weekly Credit Card Rate Report, but the typical borrower may not benefit. ... (See Rate report)

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)

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. ... (See personal finance)

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 ... (See personal finance debit card)

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. ... (See personal finance reward cards)

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. ... (See personal finance phone payments)

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. ... (See personal finance housing)

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. ... (See personal finance ID Theft)

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)

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)

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' -- Tips to avoid losing gift card value -- About $1 billion worth of gift cards will go unused in 2014. The industry calls that lost value "breakage" or "spillage" and it means big profits for them and lost money for you ... (See Breakage)

Don't expect to see cellphone payment history on your credit report -- Don't look for your cellphone 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 Cellphone payments and your credit)

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 Gift card questions)

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)

Gift card regulations: Fees, expiration limited by US law -- Clearer disclosures of gift fees terms and conditions were mandated by the Fed in August 2010 and still impact gift cards today. ... (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 -- Debit card overdraft policies must not be forced on consumers, say new Federal Reserve rules. Consumers will now have a choice ... (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!)

The high price of cash-advance convenience checks -- The checks put instant cash just a signature away, but convenience costs: Watch out for fees, high interest rates and ID thieves ... (See Convenience checks)

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 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)

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)'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)

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)

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 Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

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)

Piggybacking, meant to jump-start credit, can backfire -- Becoming an authorized user on a parent, guardian or other adult's credit card account can have pitfalls as well as rewards ... (See Piggybacking)

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)

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 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 -- 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, 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 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)

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 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 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)

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 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)

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)

Debt collection sample letters -- Often, people in debt can restrict how and when debt collectors can contact them, but to be heard, debtors should assert their rights in writing ... (See Debt collection sample letters)

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)

Credit card video: Credit CARD Act to bring big changes -- Connie Prater, senior writer for, 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)

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 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. ... (See card complaints)

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 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 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, 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)'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 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)

Free credit reports: How to get the actual free one -- The federal government has mandated the three major credit bureaus give free credit reports to consumers at least once per bureau per year. Here's how to get your ... (See Free credit report)

Credit Card Help: How to dispute, fix credit report errors -- Credit report errors are more common than you expect, but it's on you to get them fixed before they cost you big the next time you go looking for a loan, a home or even a job ... (See Dispute)

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)'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 proposal)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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 Taxes on credit)

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)

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)

What is a credit card? 7 things you must know -- 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)

12 consumer protections in the Credit CARD Act -- The 2009 credit card reform law made sweeping changes; here are it 12 biggest consumer protections ... (See CARD Act 12 consumer protections)

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)

'Contactless' credit cards spark concerns for data privacy -- The credit-card swiper you now use at the