There’s a 50% chance that you may have to go through the process of separating yourself from your ex-spouse’s credit. And while it’s really easy to co-mingle debt, it’s next to impossible to de-mingle it.
Whether it’s a mortgage, a student loan, a car loan — or the good (bad) old credit card debt, most Americans at some point in their lives borrow. And when that time comes for you, it pays off — literally — to understand how much that debt truly costs you. That means you shouldn’t just look at your monthly payment or the original amount you’ve borrowed.
If you’re vigilant about your finances, chances are you are intimately familiar with the contents of your wallet. But aren’t you curious to find out what your personal finance gurus and favorite celebrities carry in their wallets? Check out our new series, starting with an interactive infographic of the wallet contents of Mint.com founder Aaron Patzer.
Times are still tough, and many of us need an inspiration to start a budget, or to keep working on one. Some of us also need to change how we spend our money, or take stock of how we use our credit cards. Truth is, a good number of families get into debt because of misusing their credit cards. For this week’s roundup, we have eight stories of frugality and budgeting that should get us into thinking about our spending habits.
One of the main reasons many people use credit cards is getting freebies. Free flights, concert tickets and retail discounts are just a few of the rewards promised by major credit card companies. What’s less obvious, though, is how much money you must spend to get any of this stuff.
Rate hikes have been in the news frequently in the past year, not to mention limit cuts, fees and account closures. What hasn’t been making headlines nearly as much? The fact that there are still some banks out there offering credit cards with single-digit interest rates, some as low as 6%.
At first glance, it seems like a good idea: you open a credit card with a low interest rate and transfer all of your balances from high-interest accounts to that one card. By consolidating you both simplify and lower your payments. But with credit card companies, if it sounds easy and like it’s a customer benefit, it’s probably neither. I should know: I used to work in credit.
But one thing is certain: we adults have always had the right to apply for, open and use credit cards as we saw fit so long as we were old enough to sign a contract, which we can do when we’re 18. Thanks to some, we now no longer enjoy the privilege to make up our own minds on this matter.