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Personal Finance Roundup
• Credit-Card Traps You Still Need to Watch For [Smart Money]:President Obama signed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009 Friday afternoon, marking a major milestone in consumers’ love-hate relationship with credit cards. But while it's being touted as a big win for cardholders, the new legislation hardly means they can start swiping that plastic worry-free.
In fact, as the new rules go into effect in nine months (though some will kick in as soon as 90 days) and banks start curtailing the abusive practices this legislation reins in, other practices will likely emerge that can hurt consumers just as badly. “The pendulum may have swung in the wrong direction”, says Dennis Moroney, research director and senior analyst for TowerGroup, a research and advisory-services firm focused exclusively on the financial-services industry. “The banks now have to respond to these changes.”
You may not like that response. Whether you use your credit cards as a tool to rack up free rewards points or you carry debt that you’re hoping to repay one day, you should watch out for new fees, higher interest rates, less generous rewards and fewer promotional offers. Here’s what you need to know. Read the online article...
• New Credit-Card Law: What It Means For You [Smart Money]:Credit-card reform reached a major milestone Friday when President Obama signed into law legislation that promises to put a stop to many of the card industry’s most controversial practices.
Responding to the public outcry by consumers who have seen their rates raised for no reason, credit lines cut below their existing balance or accounts closed (among other things), Congress hustled to get the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (aka CARD) Act, passed and in front of the president before his Memorial Day weekend deadline.
The swift pace is a big change from when the financial crisis exploded last fall. Back then, most attention was focused on financial market regulation and bank assets. But as SmartMoney has been reporting since the crisis began, credit-card issuers have been making significant moves that affect good customers as well as bad — with important consequences for consumer spending and the economy overall. Read the online article...
• Saving Matters More Than Ever [The Wall Street Journal] Read the online article...
• Seven Things You're Wasting Money On: From bottled water to overdraft fees, how to avoid these budget-busters. [The Wall Street Journal] Read the online article...
• $ave By Getting A Grip on Your Money [The Early Show, CBS ] "Vera Gibbons On Turning Your Financial Life Around By Getting Your Arms Around Your Household Outlays." Read the online article...
• The 9-step guide to your finances [MSN Money] "Most of us can't tackle all of our spending and saving needs at once. But following this outline, in order, can make it a lot easier to keep your finances on track." Read the online article...
• Defense Finance and Accounting Service
• Military Pay and Benefits Web site sponsored by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness
• SaveAndInvest.Org - A free service of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation
• Bankrate.com - News, tips and advice to compare mortgage rates, home equity loans, CDs, car loans, credit cards and money market accounts
• Powerpay.org - Helping debtors become savers
• Federal Trade Commission - Protecting America's Consumers
• Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation - Preserves and promotes public confidence in the U.S. financial system
• Consumers Union - Nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports
• Financial Privacy Now - From Consumers Union
• The USAA Educational Foundation - Provides free financial education and publications
• Better Business Bureau Air Force Line - BBB Air Force Line, in partnership with the USAF Airmen and Family Readiness Centers (A&FRCs), encourages Air Force personnel (including Reservists and National Guard), retirees, and their family members to use the free consumer services and materials offered by BBB.
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