Tag Archives: credit cards

Millennials and Credit Cards

good bad creditI remember my first credit card – an Elder-Beerman’s department store charge card with the astronomical limit of $500. I had just turned 22, and by age 22 and 1 month my ex had maxxed the thing out. Talk about starting your credit history with a bang!

People that age are called Millennials now, and many of them are making the same mistakes, according to a sobering but helpful article entitled “Credit Card Mistakes Are Costing Millennials Plenty: What Not to Do.”  Here are the common pitfalls the Millennials find themselves in..

  • Applying for too many cards and too often: You need a certain level of income to qualify for a credit card. If you don’t have it, you are rejected, and that goes against your credit score. Second, after a rejection, too many young folks just walk to the next kiosk in the mall and apply for a different card. Applying too often is another stain on your record. This article suggests waiting 6 months to a year between applications.
  • Avoiding credit cards altogether: Surprisingly, over 30% do this. It’s not enough to avoid bad credit, you also have to build GOOD credit. Having a credit card with a modest balance and making regular, timely payments is how you get auto loans, mortgage loans and good insurance rates later in life.
  • Taking it to The Max! Maxxing out your credit card suggests you are not in control. It’s also costly. If you hit the max, most credit cards will hit you with punishing interest rates of 25% or more! And yet, it happens, which is one reason why 21-25 year olds have $13K in debt, and by age 30 it has TRIPLED.
  • Last-second payments. Late fees, man, determined partly by your balance. High balance late fees hurt! The good news is that if it’s a rare occurrence, you have a very high chance (over 80%!) of getting the late fees waived.

So, the hazards are real. Best to be aware of them, and watch your step, because it can take YEARS to straighten this stuff out (trust me.) Be sure to read the original piece for more info about services that can help you stay on the straight path.  How about you? Are you of that age, making common mistakes? Or was that you 10 or 15 years ago? How did you pull it out? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Credit Crunch?

…or not?

I was preparing a blog post about how Americans were getting their act together on credit cards. Specifically, that our rate of late payments was the lowest in 5 years, suggesting that we were getting our financial houses in order, paying down debt, getting on the right track, etc, But, just now, I see that…

Consumer credit climbed more than forecast in May, led by the biggest jump in credit-card debt in almost five years that may signal Americans are struggling to make ends meet.  Bloomberg.com

The continuing soft job market seems to be the culprit, putting a damper on consumer confidence. But, there are things we must have and, it appears, we are now putting them on the ol’ plastic. The sad thing is, whether this is healthy or not, business and government don’t seem to care—as long as you are spending!

As for me, I had my share of youthful credit mistakes. I cleaned it up, paid it off and I haven’t looked back. But these are tough times. How are you handling it? More credit purchases? Less? Charging but paying it off quickly? Let us know!

(photo: flickr.com)

Stay-at-Home Credit Card Blues

Apparently, the recent credit reforms under the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (C.A.R.D.) are making it more difficult for stay-at-home spouses to get a credit card.

While non-working spouses could previously take out credit cards in their own names by citing household income data, the new rules, as spelled out by the Federal Reserve, require credit card companies to consider only individual income. That means anyone who doesn’t earn her own income, such as a stay-at-home mom, will have a much harder time qualifying for her own credit card.   USNews.com Money

As you might imagine, these folks aren’t happy. Worries about losing financial independence, concerns about finances in the case of divorce, and the ability for someone to get out of an abusive relationship have all been cited on various protest websites. Over two dozen congressmen are calling for action.

What do you think? Does this (as one protestor said) “Set women back 50 years?” Or does it only make sense to only issue cards to people who earn the income? Let us know! And read more here.

(photo: htmlgiant.com)