(StatePoint) We are in the midst of the holiday season, and if you are like many people, you’ve probably already spent more than you anticipated.More consumers are looking to use a credit card this season to pay for gifts, and they plan to take longer to pay it off than in previous years, according to a recent NerdWallet survey. In fact, more than 39 million Americans are still carrying some of last year’s holiday balance on their cards today.While credit card use is common during the holidays, the key is making sure you use the right card, are aware of common fraud tactics and have a plan to pay off debt quickly. Here are some helpful tips from The United Services Automobile Association (USAA):• Pick the right card. The average American has 2-3 credit cards. During the holidays, make sure you use those cards that won’t leave you with financial regret afterward. Balance the benefits of reward points, zero percent APRs, or special deals, with the long-term … [Read more...] about Savvy Tips for Your Holiday Spending
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The Federal Reserve bumped up its most important interest rate another quarter point on Wednesday, its seventh rate hike since late 2015. The Fed's target federal funds rate is now between 2 and 2.25 percent, after the central bank kept it at zero or near zero in the years following the financial crisis. MagnifyMoney analyzed Fed data to see how the rates consumers pay for loans and earn on deposits have changed since the central bank started raising them. In short, we find Fed rate changes have wide-ranging implications for consumers. Credit card borrowers are paying $110 billion in interest annually, up $31 billion from the annual $79 billion they paid prior to the first Fed rate hike in December 2015, making introductory 0 percent APR deals all the more attractive for some borrowers. Meanwhile, depositors earned significantly more from savings accounts. In the 12 months ending in June 2018, depositors earned $26.8 billion in interest on their savings accounts, up $16.8 … [Read more...] about Fed rate hike: Here’s how it hits credit cards, loans, savings accounts
High school may have prepared you for college academically, but you may be less ready to handle your money, especially if you need student loans. More than two-thirds of college students at all levels said in a survey that they feel stressed about their personal finances, according The Study on Collegiate Financial Wellness, a 2017 report by The Ohio State University. Learning some financial best practices and turning them into habits now can help ease money worries. Here are six personal-finance lessons to take to campus. MAX OUT FREE FINANCIAL AID Get the most free aid possible before borrowing money. Every year, submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, to qualify for federal, state and institutional grants, scholarships and work-study. Search for additional scholarships with tools like the U.S. Department of Labor’s Scholarships Finder. TRACK YOUR LOANS If you do borrow, maximize federal student loans before private options. Federal loans offer more … [Read more...] about 6 college-money lessons you didn’t learn in high school
Susan Tompor Detroit Free Press Published 12:06 p.m. UTC Jun 14, 2018 For roughly a decade, millions of consumers could afford to focus on the rewards and ignore the rates on their credit cards. "They haven't really had to think too much about interest rates because they didn't change that much," said Robert A. Dye, chief economist at Comerica Bank. Game over. Get ready for higher rates on your credit cards after more rounds of Fed rate hikes this year and next. Many consumers may not realize it but the interest rates on credit cards aren't fixed. Most credit cards have what are called "variable rates." As a result, the interest rate consumers pay on credit card debt typically ticks up each time the Federal Reserve raises rates. On Wednesday, the Fed raised rates by a quarter-point once again. The target range for the federal funds rate will be 1.75 percent to 2 percent. A rate hike by the Fed translates into a higher prime rate. The Fed said economic … [Read more...] about Why Fed rate hike can drive you to pay down credit cards
It is hard to beat the convenience of a credit card for purchases, but does that same convenience make it worth paying your taxes by credit card? It might, but that depends on several factors involving money and time. "Your credit card is usually a high-interest option, but it is an option," opines Betterment head of tax Eric Bronnenkant. Before deciding whether to put your tax bill on plastic, consider the following: Fees – By law, the IRS cannot pay credit card transaction fees. As a result, credit card payments to the IRS are handled through secure third parties approved by the agency. See the IRS website for a list of the approved payment processors and their fees. What to Do When You Owe Taxes But Can't Pay the Bill Credit card fees are percentage-based with a minimum "convenience fee" for smaller bills ranging from $2.50 to $2.69. Percentages range from 1.87 percent to 2.00 percent of the total tax bill depending on the vendor and the type of card … [Read more...] about Should You Pay Your Taxes With a Credit Card?