Link of the Day: The Death of the Credit Card Economy

The days of easy credit appear to be coming to an end.  Credit card companies have been decreasing credit limits for consumers over the past six months.  As a result, some people are finding it harder to buy things when they are forced to pay immediately.

While easy credit is coming to an end for some people, card companies are continuing to mail pre-approved credit offers to those with a solid credit history.  Remember, one can opt out of these pre-approved mailings.

Matt / Google+

Opt Out of Credit Card Offers

If you’re like me, you might receive one or two credit card offers in the mail every day.  These annoying letters attempt to entice consumers to sign up for them with promises of a 0% APR for six months, sporting goods, or bonus frequent flyer airline miles.  While some people might enjoy receiving these mailings, the majority of people that get them do not.  In addition to creating more trash that needs to be thrown out, these credit card offers also increase the risk of identity theft.  Although it may appear to be overkill, shredding these pre-approved credit card offers is highly recommended, as it makes it harder for potential thieves to acquire your personal information.

If you are sick of these mailings there is help.  Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a person is able to opt out of receiving these mailings.  In order to do this, one has to go to a website and enter some personal information.  The website is www.optoutprescreen.com and it works in conjunction with four consumer credit reporting companies (TransUnion, Equifax, Innovis, and Experian).  It will take up to a few months to completely stop receiving credit card offers, but the amount of junk mail one receives from credit card companies will be reduced significantly.

Matt / Google+

A Great Time to Buy a House

During the real estate boom of the mid-2000s many sellers were in the driver’s seat. With the collapse of the real estate market, homebuyers are now the ones in control. Many of them are making all sorts of requests from sellers including having the home heating oil tank filled, repaving driveways, and even covering the buyer’s closing costs. If you are in the process of looking to buy a new house, now could not be a better time when it comes to leverage in negotiations.

Matt / Google+

Credit Card Rage

You might want to think twice about carrying a credit card balance. Credit card companies have long been accused of deceptive practices, but they are getting more aggressive with the recent credit turmoil. Today’s link of the day from BusinessWeek tells the story of David Giantomasi, who paid his credit card bill every month without missing a payment. Recently, the interest rate on his account with Chase increased from 7.99% to 19.99% without there even being a late payment. This shows that while it cannot always be avoided, carrying a credit card balance can have unforeseen consequences.

Matt / Google+