Posts Tagged: ‘credit cards’

U.S. Credit Card Debt Exceeds $1 Trillion for the First Time

March 14, 2018 Posted by kingcade

Consumer credit card debt in the United States has exceeded $1 trillion for the first time, according to a recent study by WalletHub.  The average U.S. household owes $8,600 on credit cards. Florida is in the top 5 states with the highest credit card debt burden, according to CreditCards.com.

Financial experts attribute this increase to consumer confidence.  In the fourth quarter of 2017 alone, consumers added $67.6 billion while the charge-off rate remained at historic lows.  Charge-off rate refers to the percentage of credit card users whose unpaid balances credit card companies are unable to collect.

Household indebtedness in the fourth-quarter rose to $13.15 trillion from $12.96 trillion in the third quarter, an increase of 1.5 percent. Mortgages accounted for the largest component of household debt, according to a quarterly report published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

In addition, the average credit score for U.S. consumers has declined.  It is now 675, just four points lower than the average in 2007, according to consumer credit reporting agency Experian.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

 

New Data shows 43 Percent of Credit Card Holders Have More Than $15,000 in Debt

March 8, 2018 Posted by kingcade

According to the Federal Reserve, credit card debt is the highest it has ever been in the U.S. In December, American’s had a total of $1.029 trillion in credit card debt. This means the average household had $8,732 in credit card debt. A survey conducted by Student Loan Hero reported that 43 percent of credit card holders surveyed had more than $15,000 in credit card debt and 58 percent had at least $6,000 of credit card debt for more than a year.

The Federal Reserve also reported that the average interest rates on credit cards are approximately 14.99 percent, which makes it much more difficult for Americans to pay off their debt.

Carrying a consistent credit card balance is detrimental to your financial well-being. One option that is often overlooked by cardholders is getting a credit card consolidation loan. According to Student Loan Hero, only 52 percent of cardholders that have more than $6,000 in credit card debt have consolidated.

Below are three ways credit card consolidation loans may help you.

  1. They typically come with lower interest rates than credit cards do, meaning you are paying less in the long run.
  2. Installment loans set firm repayment plans, unlike credit card companies. This means you are more likely to pay off your debt when making your minimum payment each month.
  3. They combine your payments. This comes in handy if you have debts across multiple credit cards.

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If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Life After Bankruptcy: Getting a Credit Card Again

October 25, 2017 Posted by kingcade

If you have recently filed for bankruptcy, you may be wondering about the possibility of getting a new credit card. Before you apply for a credit card, it is important to make sure you have a stable job and the ability to pay your other bills such as rent and utilities.

If bad financial decisions led to your bankruptcy, you may want to avoid getting a credit card for a while. However, if unexpected events such as a divorce or a job loss led to your money problems, you may be able to handle a credit card again.

Below are three important things to consider before filling out a credit card application:

  1. Timing is everything. Your bankruptcy must be discharged before you can get a credit card. Lenders will deny a line of credit during a bankruptcy proceeding because the account can be included in the bankruptcy. It takes approximately three months for debts to be discharged after the initial filing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy entails a three to five-year partial repayment plan and therefore takes much longer to be fully discharged.
  2. Weigh your options, good and bad. A recent bankruptcy will drag down your credit score for some time. As a result, you will likely receive credit card offerings from subprime lenders. Keep in mind that these credit cards typically come with higher interest rates and low limits. In addition, they typically require frequent fees that are much higher than most. A better option after a bankruptcy discharge is a secured credit card. This type of card is designed for consumers with bad or no credit. They are backed by a security you are required to put down. Secured cards have low limits and high interest rates but do not typically charge annual fees.
  3. Monitor your credit score. If you do get a secured card, do not spend more than 30 percent of the credit limit and pay off the balance every month. If you follow these two rules, your credit score should improve in time.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Beware of Credit Card Skimming Scams at Gas Stations

October 25, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Consumer protection officials are warning consumers about a new form of high-tech theft that can affect all credit and debt card users. Scammers are using devices known as ‘skimmers’ at gas pumps to steal account information from debit and credit cards that are swiped. These devices are also commonly found at ATMs.

According to Mississippi state Attorney General, Jim Hood, the devices are difficult to detect and come in two forms: internal or external. The external devices fit over the actual card readers at the pumps. The internal devices are typically communication cables connected to a device that records data from the cards.

“These devices may go undetected for weeks, all the while gathering sensitive account information from unsuspecting consumers,” Hood said. “Consumers need to call their financial institutions immediately if they see any unauthorized activity on their accounts, and watch closely for signs of tampering when using gas pumps or ATMs.”

Authorities offer the following tips to avoid becoming a victim of card skimming:

  • Pick pumps close to the entrance of the gas station or convenience store. Skimmers usually target pumps that are not near the entrance.
  • Pay with cash.
  • If you’re using a debit card, choose the option to process the payment as credit so scammers do not have access to your PIN.
  • Lightly wiggle the card reader on the pump. External skimmers might feel loose and come off.
  • Ask gas stations and convenience stores what type of anti-skimming measures they have adopted.

According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, more than 250 skimmers were confiscated from gas pumps between July 2015 and July 2016. Approximately 100 consumers’ card numbers were stolen from each device and $1,000 stolen from each consumer.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Credit Card Use Increasing Among Consumers with Low Credit Scores

August 30, 2016 Posted by kingcade

According to the latest quarterly report on household debt, credit cards are making a comeback in a big way.  In the second quarter, total household debt increased by $35 billion to $12.3 trillion. The two driving factors: auto loans and credit cards.

While auto loans have been on a steady incline for the past six years, rising credit-card balances are a new development. After the 2007 Great Recession, households cut back on credit-card use until 2014. This was also in part to financial institutions strengthening credit requirements for risky borrowers.

Since that time, card balances have risen by about $70 billion. From 2008 to 2013, total household debts dropped by more than $1.5 trillion. However, first student loan and auto loan balances began to rise, and then mortgages and finally credit cards.

The report reveals that credit cards are returning among individuals with low credit or subprime credit scores below 660. Among people with credit scores between 620 and 660, the share that had a credit card increased to 58.8% in 2015 from a low of 54.3% in 2013. Among those with scores below 620, the number of people with a credit card increased to 50% from a low of 45.6% two years ago. Both figures for 2015 are the highest since 2008.

These figures were generated from the New York Fed’s Consumer Credit Panel that analyzed millions of consumer credit reports from Equifax.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.