There’s a certain mystery about applying for a credit card: Is your credit score good enough for the best card and rate? Just how much credit might you get if you are approved? What does everyone else get?
A few years ago, homes provided a deep and seemingly endless pool of loan collateral. Now, depressed real estate values and tight lending standards are prompting some brokers to float the idea of using stocks and other securities as collateral for people with healthy portfolios but limited borrowing options.
The devilish deficit dance going on in Congress right now has been a convenient distraction for big U.S. banks. They’ve not only escaped new taxes for now, but they also are relishing their taxpayer bailout by earning robust profits.
At least some of the millions and millions of dollars that consumers shell out to buy their credit scores could be misspent, and possibly even damaging, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau suggested in a report released today.
Competition is heating up in the lucrative high-end credit card market, where annual fees can run into the hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. Issuers are offering luxury benefits and exclusive rewards programs in an attempt to win the loyalty of affluent consumers.
Do you know how your credit score is calculated?
Most people don’t because it’s a trade secret, and the private firms that collect credit data are poorly regulated. You have better chance of reading classified U.S. State Department cables on Wikileaks.
The din of hallowed halls is quieting and as college students reach for their diplomas, they may also be reaching for some new plastic. Grads who have reached the ripe-old-age of 21 are now unencumbered by credit card regulation and free to start building a credit history — and choosing the right card can mean extra rewards.