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Archive for the ‘Credit Cards’ Category

What features should I look for in a bank account?

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Choosing a bank account can be more difficult than a lot of people realize. Some people may think that all bank accounts are more or less the same – but in fact, different bank accounts can offer very different advantages.

There are a few things to think about. First of all, what kind of account do you want? A regular current account, perhaps, or a bad credit bank account? There’s also a ‘managed’ account, in which the account provider takes care of budgeting for you. An example of a managed bank service account can be found here.

Interest rate
A lot of current accounts offer little or no interest on your balance at the moment due to the low base rate, but some still do pay a reasonable rate. If you regularly receive money into your account (e.g. your salary), it could be worth finding an account that will offer something back on your balance.

But you will have to ‘balance’ this against the other benefits on offer – you might find that you’re better off with an account that doesn’t pay interest if the other benefits are good enough.

Overdraft facility
Even if you’re the kind of person who avoids debt like the plague, many people would argue it’s important to have access to some kind of credit for emergencies. Most bank account providers offer some kind of overdraft facility, and it’s worth comparing what the different accounts have to offer.

Ideally, you’ll want to find an overdraft with the lowest possible interest rate, but you’ll also have to consider the overdraft limit (an account with a £1,000 overdraft limit provides more protection than one with a £500 limit – but if you’d prefer to avoid temptation, you might prefer the lower limit after all).

An overdraft may not be necessary if you have a lot of money in savings or if you have a suitable credit card that you’d rather use, but it could still be useful to have.

Additional benefits
Increasingly, many banks are starting to offer ‘extras’ to entice customers. This might include things like free insurance, roadside recovery or access to better deals on the account provider’s other products, such as loans or mortgages.

Sometimes, the value of these extras can exceed what you would get back from an interest-paying account, so it’s well worth thinking about.

What do you do when your bank account has been frozen by a collector?

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010
qurious_q asked:

My friends credit card was declined during dinner and she called the bank and they told her a lawyer in another state froze her account. The bank does not know who the creditor is, only the lawyer.

It has been a week and the lawyer has not returned any calls and his the phone number provided is a cell phone. We are talking over $5k frozen. She swears she owes no one, has perfect credit, just received a recent copy of her credit report and everything.
Could it be possible identity theft? I’ve done searches trying to find this lawyer, a address or something and cannot find anything, the bank cannot either. Help me, help my friend.

What happens if a bank account is garnished for an amount more than the available balance?

Thursday, March 4th, 2010
bank account
tkessandoh asked:

My friend just got his account garnished today by american express for $19,800. He only had $400 in the account. Now is HSBC bank account balance is (NEGATIVE) $19,400.

Does that mean American Express got there money and he owes HSBC? Bank?

Can my bank account be garnished if it is a joint account with my fiance?

Thursday, February 18th, 2010
bank account
legolas32xx asked:

I recently had a judgment from an old credit card bill, and I just heard of garnishing a bank account, so I was wondering since it is a joint account can they garnish it?

Tune Your Financial Planning into Recession Mode

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Tune Your Financial Planning into Recession-Mode

Everyone is hurting in our current down spiraling economy. Markets are down, investments are tough-going, people are worrying about losing their jobs. Conditions are different now, and your financial planning should change with the new recession conditions.

There is no one rule for financial planning, and this statement holds true especially during a recession. Your financial planning strategy will depend on your age – whether you are near retirement or not. It will depend on the kinds of assets you own and the business or career you have established. Financial planning will depend on how much risk you are willing to tolerate – there is always a tradeoff between risk and expected return. In other words, everyone has different needs when it comes to money.

Current Economy Investing Strategies:

That being said, there are some commonly agreed upon changes you should make. First – investments. You will want to shuffle your investments around to adapt to the recession. One theme when it comes to recession moding is having liquid assets. Job security is at a low, and if you find yourself out of a job, you will need access to cash; you do not want to have to borrow money.

If you have investments in stocks, you may be tempted to liquidate them for fear that the stock market will fall even further. Common advice says don’t do it – it can cause you to lose a very large amount of money in a very short amount of time. The prices for your stocks may be falling right now, but it is important not to panic and sell. If you have the time to wait out the recession, it is a better idea to take advantage of the low stock prices and buy more stocks for the better times ahead. As always, it is a good idea to diversify investments to spread out the risk – with a variety of stocks including foreign stocks, real estate, government securities, etc. – . The advantages of a mutual fund apply just as much now that we are in a recession, perhaps even more so given the volatility of the markets. As said earlier, there is no rule of thumb when it comes to how you should invest your money. Stocks are a risky investment and not very liquid. You do not want to have to sell your stocks for cash in the current market if you lose your job.

Reaching Retirement:

For the older investor, the recession is coming awfully close to retirement. Just like in a healthy economy, this means that you want to be more conservative with your investments. But because of the recession, you may not have time to wait for the stock market to pick itself up again. Older investors especially will want to put less money in risky investments like stocks to keep assets safe and to maintain liquid cash. To recession-mode consider keeping a larger than usual sum in a money-market account and in your regular savings account.

Reducing Debt & Spending Reduction:

Debt is something you will want to take care of to recession-mode your financial planning. If you are in debt you are paying interest, money you could be saving. Debt also means that you are making monthly payments, payments you may not be able to cover if you lose your job. Because of the recession, you will want especially to get rid of credit card debt as soon as possible. Credit card debt can kill you with interest rates upwards of 15-20 percent. If you have a mortgage or an auto loan, consider that interest rates are at records lows. It may be smart to refinance these loans. You may need to cut back on expenses to successfully pay off debt. This may require cutting luxuries – extra TV channels, the new clothes, etc. There are an endless number of tips you can take advantage of to cut expenses. To share a few, you might share transportation and rooms, stop smoking, cut memberships and subscriptions, and use coupons.

To summarize, reconsider your investments, keep liquid assets, and settle debt. Armed with this advice, you can begin recession-moding your financial planning.

Financial Planning in a Bad Economy – Part 2 Shopping Banks, Safe Stocks, Dividends

Monday, March 9th, 2009

This continues the two part financial planning series. Previously we discussed the importance of budgeting and the downfall and ease of credit card pitfalls.

In a down market it is ok to hunker down in safe places as well as places which have been dreadfully dangerous. FDIC backed banks, badly beaten down stocks, and commodities can all be apart of your financial planning and investing future in a down economy and beat up financial market.

Shopping Banks is Safe and Wise

Although banks are collapsing in on themselves, as long as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures the bank, you can leave your money in a bank with peace of mind. The FDIC insures up to $250,000 of your deposit, which means that you are guaranteed this money no matter what happens. Making sure that the bank you chose is FDIC insured is crucial; furthermore, many people have just lost money by giving their money to banks that were not FDIC insured. Even though interest rates are not the greatest right now, it is better than nothing. Take the effort and look around banks in your area for the best interest rates for savings accounts and certificates of deposit. Taking this extra effort really will pay off.

Savings accounts generally have a much lower interest rate than certificates of deposits. However, money can be taken out of savings deposits anytime, but money can only be taken out of certificates of deposit at certain times. If you have extra money that you do not need right away, placing it in a certificate of deposit is a good idea. You can find certificates of deposits that last for three months, six months, one year, two years, or even more. The longer the time period; the higher the interest rate will be. It may seem minuscule, the extra money generated by the interest rates can add up quickly.

Stocks, Commodities, & Dividends

Investing in the stock market is very risky at this point in time, making money in the stock market is still possible. Doing plenty of personal research on companies and stocks from the Internet or literature is the first place to start. Just be warned that the greater the return on your money, the greater the risk of losing your money. Some stocks to steer away from are bank stocks. The government may nationalize these banks, which would make your stock basically disappear.

If you are looking for stability and are willing to take a lower return, search for stable companies that are recession proof. These companies would include those items that people cannot live without. Commodities, like gold and oil, are also items that will virtually never completely lose their value in the present time. Also, if you feel uncomfortable about investing your money even after researching, you may want to consider hiring a financial adviser who will do the investing and research for you.

Another way to make money on the stock market is searching for dividends. A dividend is a certain amount of money a company will pay a shareholder for every stock of that company he or she holds. Some companies have no dividends while others have dividends as high as $4.00. Dividends vary from company to company with some paying quarterly and some paying biannually. However, be cautioned that companies can change the frequency or price of the dividend at anytime.

Planning financially, making money, and saving money are still very possible in a down, unpredictable market. Taking the time and extra effort to research about banks and the stock market is worth it. Look for high interest rates in banks and high dividends in stocks. Additionally, get debt paid off as soon as you can to avoid a bad credit score, credit collectors, and interest rates taking over your life. Lastly, do not forget to write out a budget, and specifically give a set amount of money to spend on your living costs and luxuries to avoid spending excessive money.

If you missed Financial Planning in a Bad Economy – Part 1 here it is.

Receive Investor’s Business Daily 30% off Print Price

Monday, March 9th, 2009

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If you liked this subscription deal, you may also be interested in our Financial Planning in a Downed Economy Article.

Financial Planning in a Bad Economy – Part 1 Budgeting and Credit Cards

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

This post is a two part series on financial planning and wise savings ideas in a down or troubled financial market.

In an economic market filled with volatility and uncertainty, knowing how to financially plan and where to invest money can be a mystery even to experts. With people losing jobs left and right, financial stability is hard to find for anyone. Therefore, everyone should know how to manage and know where to invest his or her money. Money can be saved in a bank or invested in the stock market even in a down market as this.

Concisely Budgeting Saves Money

The most basic key to successful financial planning is literally planning and writing out a budget. If you can physically see where your money is going and how much you spend on a certain items or luxury unnecessary, you are more likely to save money. If you track your spending habits without changing anything for the next week, you would be surprised in where you see your money go. People do not plan to fail; they fail to plan. Planning out exactly how you will spend your money, and adhering to your plan will result in saved money and extra cash for you. A big player in what got the economy in a downturn is excessive spending and buying. If you know that you cannot afford something, simply restrain yourself, and do not buy it.

Credit Card Pitfalls

Too often people forget that they will have to pay that credit card bill back. When you use a credit card, it is easy to think that you are not really spending your money because you are not physically using cash, but rather a plastic card. However, this money will absolutely have to be paid back at one point in time, and if you do not have the money, you will feel the consequences: bill collectors and a ruined credit score.

Do not waste your money on a new couch or car when you know that you are in risk of losing your job. You will need all the extra money you can save. If you know that you have some sort of credit card debt, as hard as it may be, try and get it paid off as soon as possible. Just making the minimum payment on credit cards is a trick by the credit card company. You will never pull yourself out of debt if you just pay the minimum payment because the interest will catch up faster than you can pay.

People tend to neglect the fact that interest rates do add up quickly if not paid off in time. Additionally, you need to carefully review the terms of your credit card. Too often, credit card interest rates will go up after a certain amount of time, thus, increasing the amount you will have to pay. Sadly, this happens to many unfortunate, poor people, but this is just the way the credit industry works.

In summary, simply creating a financial budget allows one to think carefully about where money goes and if your hard earned cash is being wasted or not. In addition to financial planning through budgeting , also relates to avoiding credit card pitfalls. It is easy to get caught up in credit card debt because of the ease of use, the delay of realization, and the killer credit card interest rates.

For more financial planning ideas in a down economy check out Shopping Banks and Safe Stocks and Dividends.

Discover Card $50 Cashback Bonus

Saturday, March 7th, 2009
Get $50 Cash Back from Discover!

Discover Card $50 Cashback Bonus

Discover is running a $50 Cashback bonus for signing up for their standard Discover Credit Card. A solid $50 Bonus like this used to be around a lot more before we ran into the bad economy. Discover Card has always been one of the most solid and reliable credit companies around.

Here is the overview on the $50 deal.

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If you liked this deal, you may also be interested in our Financial Planning in a Downed Economy Article. will be launching soon.

Monday, January 26th, 2009 is a personal blog to inspire, interest, and inform individuals and small businesses about money, investments, debt, credit, and the consumer financial world. The goal of this site is to promote positive financial behavior.

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