What’s Important About Your Credit Card Receipt & Signature

credit-card-receipt

Our wallets are full of them, they’re scattered all over our cars, and we find them stashed in our pockets – and no, we aren’t talking about dollar bills or even loose change. We’re referring to credit card receipts. Despite being regarded by many as obsolete paperwork, receipts have a clearly defined role in the current payments landscape.

We’ll go into more detail about that below, as well as explain what’s included in a receipt, whether or not you have to sign them and tips for avoiding common mistakes.

FICO Score: Range, What’s Good & Free Options

FICO

The Fair Isaac Corporation issues one of the most widely-used credit score – the FICO Scores. Your FICO Score commonly influences the credit card and loan terms you can qualify for, the insurance premiums you pay as well as your ability to rent an apartment or lease a car.

This score is essentially a three-digit representation of the information in your credit report and ranges from 300 (Bad) to 850 (Excellent). One of the most confusing things about FICO Scores is that numerous variations exist, including individual scores based on Experian, Equifax and TransUnion credit reports and others tailored to specific types of transactions – such as mortgages and auto loans.

How to Build Credit as a Student: Tips, Pitfalls & More

Student Build Credit

It is extremely important to begin building credit as a student. Your credit score is very valuable, dictating what loan and credit card terms you can get, the insurance premiums you pay, your ability to rent an apartment or lease a car and – perhaps most importantly – your eligibility for certain jobs, particularly those requiring a security clearance or entailing monetary responsibility. And, the best part is, everyone starts with a clean slate.

That’s actually a double-edged sword in that only two paths exist from your starting point:  up and down. You don’t want to take the latter route, as it would take you into bad credit territory and leave you facing an even steeper climb in your already uphill quest for financial success. Starting your credit career on the right foot, on the other hand, puts you in position to save hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars after graduation.

VISA vs. MasterCard: Which Is Better?

Visa vs. Mastercard

Most people consider VISA and MasterCard to be interchangeable. And they’re pretty much right.  VISA and MasterCard are the largest card networks in the world, and instead of issuing credit cards – such as the likes of Bank of America and Capital One – they help merchants process payments and thereby influence where our credit and debit cards can be used. Cards on both networks are accepted in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.

Because of that, you should only incorporate card networks into your card comparison efforts if you’re torn between two offers. In other words, if two offers are identical in terms of rewards, rates and fees, then it’s appropriate to weigh the small differences that do exist between MasterCard and VISA.  Those differences come in the form of secondary benefits like travel protection, rental car insurance and extended warranties.

Credit Pulls: What Are Hard & Soft Inquiries?

Credit Pulls

As if there wasn’t enough confusion surrounding the topic of credit reports, credit inquiries – also commonly referred to as credit “checks” or ”pulls” – make things even more complex. That’s because there are two different types: hard inquiries and soft inquiries. And although both types are triggered by someone viewing your credit report, they have drastically different implications on your credit score. In addition to all of that, credit inquiries can also be perplexing because creditors have the option of viewing reports from multiple credit bureaus. But don’t worry. We’ll explain all of that and more below.

  1. Hard Inquiries vs. Soft Inquiries
  2. How to Dispute Credit Inquiries
  3. Tips for Minimizing Credit Score Damage

Pay Rent With a Credit Card: How To Do It, Cost & More

Pay Rent With Credit Card

Yes, you can pay your rent with a credit card. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Demos, an estimated 40% of middle to low-income households use plastic to pay for their rent, along with other basic living expenses. Many consumers also look to credit cards not only as a way to foot rent costs in the interim, but also due to the fraud protection plastic provides and the ability to supercharge rewards earnings.

But, does the fact that you can pay for rent using credit mean that you should? We’ll examine the pros and cons of doing so below, in addition to outlining the ways you can pay rent with and without a credit card.

Bankruptcy Exemptions: What You Can Keep

bankruptcy exemptions

One of the biggest questions bankruptcy filers have is what they can keep throughout the process — especially their house and car. Exactly what assets you can retain largely depends on whether you are filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy and whether your property is classified as “exempt” or “nonexempt.”

Exempt means you may retain the asset (or its value), whereas nonexempt describes property you must surrender to your bankruptcy case trustee — the person who administers your case. Read on to learn what you can and cannot keep in bankruptcy, how auto and homestead exemptions work, and whether federal or state exemption laws apply to your case.

Credit Card Fraud: What It Is & How To Prevent It

Credit Card Fraud

Financial scammers – especially those who are tech-savvy – are thriving in our digital age. Nearly 70% more Americans were impacted by financial data breaches in 2012 than in 2010, according to CardHub research, and $94 million worth of credit card fraud was reported in 2012.

Credit card fraud can be classified into two different categories. One is a form of identity theft, which occurs when someone else impersonates you in order to open credit card accounts under your name. Alternatively, the other type happens when your credit card or card information is retrieved to make unauthorized purchases. Both are troublesome to resolve, so one should take steps to stay informed and to protect themself.

Pay Taxes with a Credit Card: Pros & Cons

Pay Taxes With Credit Card And Other Alternatives

The IRS does indeed accept payment by plastic – a fact that leads many people to wonder about the viability of paying their taxes with a credit card.

There are various arguments to be made both in favor of and against such a strategy, and we’ll do our best to lay them out below.

How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: A Step-by-Step Guide

Filing Bankruptcy Chapter 7

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a daunting process for those who are going through it for the first — and hopefully last — time. But with adequate preparation and the proper guidance of a bankruptcy attorney, you can rest assured that the process will go without unexpected surprises.

Generally, the entire Chapter 7 process — from filing to discharge — will last between three and six months. It is a much swifter affair compared to the three- to five-year timeline of Chapter 13 bankruptcy, in which debtors reorganize their debts. In a typical Chapter 7 case, you will make only one trip to the bankruptcy court, during which you’ll attest to the truthfulness and accuracy of your bankruptcy petition. The case will end shortly after you receive your discharge, and all your qualifying debts will be wiped out.

Most Common Debt Collection Scams & How To Avoid Them

Debt Collection Scams

Are you receiving demanding phone calls from debt collectors? Being threatened with a lawsuit? If your situation remotely resembles that of a loan shark hunting down its prey, then consider waiting before turning your wallet inside out – because there is a chance that you’re the target of a debt collection scam.

Debt collection scams have grown more prevalent in recent years, catching thousands of U.S. consumers off-guard. These schemes often involve fraudsters impersonating debt collectors to con individuals into repaying their “debts,” while simply pocketing the money themselves.

Can You File Bankruptcy on Student Loans?

Bankruptcy Student Loans

General wisdom says that student loans cannot be discharged in either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, many sources cite one exception to that rule:

If you can prove to the bankruptcy court that repaying your student loans would impose an undue hardship on you and your dependents, the court may discharge a portion or all of your student loans.

Should I Sign My Credit Card or Write “See ID”?

Credit Cards Banner

Is it better to sign the back of your credit card, write “See ID” instead or simply leave it blank? And how does each option impact fraud and certain card network perks?

There’s considerable debate regarding these questions, but let’s settle things once and for all: Yes, you technically need to sign your card, according to the rules set forth by credit card networks.

What Happens to Debt When You Die

What happens to debt when you die

We can’t tell you what happens when you die, but we can tell you what will happen to your debt. Whether you owe money on credit cards, mortgages, student loans or other types of debt, the rule of thumb is that your heirs will not be held liable. In other words, individuals cannot “pass on” or “inherit” debt when a loved one passes away.

There are, however, a few important exceptions to this rule. To learn more, continue reading below.

Bankruptcy Means Test: What It Is & Who Must Take It

Bankruptcy Means Test

The bankruptcy means test is an income-based method used to determine whether debtors qualify to have their debts wiped out under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code or restructured through Chapter 13. It is designed to limit eligibility for Chapter 7 liquidation to debtors who genuinely struggle to pay their debts or have insolvent businesses.

Below, we’ve spelled out the bankruptcy means test requirements and instructions for how to complete it.

Most Common Credit Card Mistakes & Tips to Avoid Them

Blind Leader

Credit cards can be tricky, and it’s common for people to make mistakes when using them.  The key is to learn from these mistakes and to avoid making them again.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the most common credit card mistakes to help you learn from the missteps of others.  So read up and find your way to sturdier financial footing.

How to Increase Your Credit Limit: Tips, Alternatives & More

How to Get a Higher Credit Limit

It is indeed possible to request and receive a credit line increase. Credit card companies grant them all the time, typically to trusted customers who have proven themselves capable of paying their bill on time every month and maintaining a reasonable credit utilization ratio . A good rationale for the bump in spending power – a recent raise, for example – doesn’t hurt either.

With that being said, it’s also important to examine your own motives in seeking a higher spending limit. Is it a noble pursuit, perhaps in seek of a lower utilization and a higher credit score? Or are you motivated by consumption, the desire to support unsustainable spending habits no matter how much debt you rack up? There are both responsible and reckless credit limit increases, you see, and it’s important to make sure you are not merely adding fuel to a fire.

What to Do If Your Credit Card is Lost or Stolen

Lost Wallet

It’s a gut-wrenching feeling – reaching into your pocket, wallet or purse for your credit card and coming up empty.  Yes, in this era of hackers and cybercrime, physically losing your credit card and potentially putting it into the hands of thieves is still a concern.

Continue reading below to learn how to mitigate the damage and hassle associated with losing your plastic.

How to Stay Out of Debt: Tips, Strategies & More

George Washington Pointing

Everyone wants to know how to get out of debt.  And considering that consumers have collectively racked up more than $182 billion in credit card debt since the beginning of 2011, it’s no wonder why.  But while scratching and clawing one’s way to debt freedom is indeed a difficult and commendable act, staying out of debt in the long-term should be your true objective.

How does one go about ensuring they stay in the black? There are a number of strategies, as you’ll see below, and it all begins with preparation.

Investing with Credit Cards: How It’s Possible, Why to Avoid It & More

Money Tree

While nearly 80% of U.S. consumers have credit cards and we make 20 billion credit card transactions each year (accounting for roughly 13% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product), there’s one thing that’s tough to do with plastic: purchase an investment.

Not only do Federal Regulations limit the extent to which you can make investments with borrowed money – which is technically what a credit line represents – but most brokers explicitly prohibit their customers from directly funding their accounts with credit cards. It makes sense, after all, since people would inevitably gamble with money they don’t have, rendering them unable to pay lenders back if investments don’t hit. Brokers also have their own mechanism for leveraged investing – margin accounts – that they wish to protect and promote. Credit card-based investing would represent unnecessary competition, especially since the brokers would have to foot the cost of credit card processing.

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Our content is intended for general educational purposes and should not be relied upon as the sole basis for managing your finances. Furthermore, the materials on this website do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. If you have any legal questions, please consult an attorney. Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions.