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13 Jul 2010 11:54


Biz: Credit scores: FICO says some doing worse, others doing better

  • 25.5% of all consumers have credit scores below 600 – far higher than usual (blame unemployment)
  • 17.9% of all consumers have credit cards above 800 – also higher than usual (impressive) source
  • » Why this matters: Low scores tend to stick around a long time, as much as seven to ten years, making it hard to recover from bad decisions or worse luck. But it appears that those who stayed afloat during the recession learned an important lesson – paying down debt and spending less is better than having a low credit score.

16 Jun 2010 20:43


Tech: Know what’s missing from iPhone pre-sale stories? Credit for Gizmodo

  • 600k iPhones 4s sold in the first day of online pre-orders (whoa)
  • 10x more early demand for the phone than last year’s iPhone 3GS
  • no of course they didn’t give Gizmodo any freaking credit source

14 May 2010 10:55


Biz: Credit-card makers hit hard by the Senate’s debit-card changes

  • -8.5% decline in Visa’s stock since the Senate passed the changes last night
  • -7.5% decline in MasterCard’s stock; the amendment limits card fees source
  • » Other companies: Visa and MasterCard felt it the worst, but they weren’t alone. American Express and Capital One also fell sharply in trading this morning due to the amendment’s unexpected passage, which limits the fees card companies can charge merchants. It still needs to go through the House as part of the broader financial reform bill.

23 Apr 2010 15:00


Tech: Blippy folks on credit card leak: No, really, it’s not that bad, guys

  • While it looks super-scary and certainly sucks for the 4 people who were affected (to whom we apologize and are contacting), and is embarrassing to us, it’s a lot less bad than it looks at first glance.
  • A message from Blippy • Attempting to do damage control after it turned out some credit card numbers leaked. They claim just four cards were exposed through a Google search that looked fairly scary and got spread just about everywhere. The company better hope that’s the case – it just went through a venture capital round and doesn’t need this level of controversy right now. source

02 Jan 2010 17:36


Biz: Debit vs. credit: Some quick notes on using bank cards

  • With the new credit laws taking place in February and later this year, now’s a good time to start thinking about how to react to the changes now. As a result, debit cards will be in heavier use. But before you get started, here are some things to consider:
  • Introductory points:
  • 40% of credit card users pay their balances monthly – something important to note. Paying off said debt can help you avoid some of the larger interest charges
  • opt-in a change coming to overdraft fees in mid-year; the often-costly fees on debit accounts are responsible for $25-$38 billion each year in bank profits
  • Usage tactics:
  • debit Debit cards are easier for many consumers to acquire, and are a good cash replacement. They’re better to use for small purchases, but tend to have many fees.
  • credit The better your score, the better the credit. It’s easy to rack up heavy debt, but when used properly, they’re advantageous for larger purchases in particular.
  • Safety considerations:
  • In cases of theft By and large, you have more protections with credit – Visa and MasterCard protect consumers from all liability above $50. Debit cards will credit accounts as well, but it’s up to the bank, who takes responsibility for the loss.
  • In cases of disputes Again, users of credit have the legal advantage here – if a charge is disputed, you don’t have to pay while the charge is disputed. With debit cards, this is in the hands of the banks, not the consumer.
  • General protip If you use a debit card to make a purchase, don’t use the PIN. Instead, sign for the purchase. You get many of the same protections you would with credit cards, and you pay fewer fees for the privilege.
  • Other things to consider:
  • scores Paying back credit cards has a direct effect on your FICO score – important for large loans.
  • benefits Overall, you get stronger benefits – such as points – with credit cards than debit cards.
  • buffer Debit overdraft fees can come in handy if you’re short, but they can quickly add up. source

14 Nov 2009 12:25


Biz: Wal-Mart’s supplier credit-rating program genius, say smart people

  • I would expect a retailer’s credit quality always to be taken into account when a firm is lending money against that retailer’s receivables. If a vendor is owed the money by Wal-Mart that is very different than if a vendor is owed the money by [bankrupt] Linens N Things, for example.
  • GimmeCredit analyst Carol Levenson • Describing how Wal-Mart’s new policy, which allows suppliers to get credit on the back of the company’s very strong credit rating, is genius. Obviously, not every supplier can count on retailers to bail them out like this. But many are in a position to do the same thing, including Target, Kohl’s, TJX Cos. (the parent of TJMaxx, Marshall’s and other similar stores), Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walgreens. Considering that suppliers are likely in the tank in this economy, this could save them. • source

07 Oct 2009 09:50


Biz: We’re using debit cards more and charge cards less

  • +4.1% incresase in the use of debit cards to pay for everything
  • -16.8% decline in the use of charge cards to pay for everything source

02 Aug 2009 22:46


Biz: Retailers are pushing Christmas in July…and August…and September…

  • Maybe we’re a bit optimistic, but we thought the Christmas season started right after Halloween. The newest recession fighting scheme is to start the holidays early – way early – so customers can avoid buying on credit. Word on the street is that select Sears and Toys R Us locations are already ramping up, some even giving out candy canes. CANDY CANES. In the summer. Is nothing sacred? source

23 Apr 2009 08:29


Biz, U.S.: Next on the list: Obama takes on the credit card industry

  • The Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights brings more transparency to the contractual relationship and give consumers the tools they need to responsibly manage their own credit.
  • Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, D-NY • On her bill, which would level the playing field between consumers and the credit card industry, which often charges excessive fees that many consumers see as unfair. President Barack Obama will meet with leaders of the credit card industry today, during which he’ll likely attack some of their methods. • source

01 Apr 2009 10:37


Biz: Have a Circuit City credit card? Best Buy is taking pity on you.

  • From one big-box store to another. As you might remember, Circuit City collapsed pretty spectacularly earlier this year – perhaps the biggest non-financial entity to fall apart due to the credit crisis. But they did have their hands in the financial cookie jar a little bit with store credit cards. Rather than let the cards just die, Best Buy will accept them starting in May. Not good, not bad, just ambivalent. source