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Archive for April 2011


MoneyRates.com reveals banks that pay top interest rates

Published 4/28/11  (Modified 8/29/11)

MoneyRates.com reveals banks that pay top interest rates By Jim Sloan

Let's face it: Interest rates for savings accounts are dismally low these days. You have to work pretty hard to find a bank paying more than 1 percent, and even then you don't know how long the best online savings account or high interest savings account will remain at the top.

MoneyRates.com has taken the legwork out of finding the best high interest savings for you with a recent analysis of approximately 100 banks to determine which ones provide the most consistently high yield savings and money market accounts.

Top 10 banks for savings accounts

The website does this quarterly by measuring the average rates offered by banks over each day of the three-month period to calculate the best high-yield savings account offered over the long haul. You can use this information to put your money in a high interest savings account that has a history of being consistently high.

For instance, even though the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation recently reported that interest rates nationally averaged an abysmal 0.15 percent, the MoneyRates.com analysis found seven banks offering high interest savings above 1.00 percent in the first quarter of 2011. That list was headed by American Express Bank at 1.269 percent and was followed by Discover Bank at 1.224 percent and Capital One Bank at 1.221 percent.

Another measure of the consistency of this group of banks was the fact that...

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Student loans adding up: Here's what you need to do to dig yourself out

Published 4/27/11  (Modified 3/27/14)

Student loans adding up: Here's what you need to do to dig yourself out By Beth Orenstein

College students now owe more money for their education than the nation owes on credit cards. According to a recent story in the New York Times, last year, student loan debt outpaced credit card debt for the first time. Not only that, but student loan debt is expected to top a trillion dollars - a figure that's hard to fathom.

The mountain of student debt is rising at a rapid pace. According to those who track it, in 1993, less than half of those graduating were in debt when they did so. Eleven years later, two-thirds of those receiving bachelor's degrees owed big time. Last year, those who borrowed money to attend college graduated with an average debt of $24,000 - as much money as their grandparents probably paid for their first home.

Burden of student debt likely to worsen

The situation is only likely to get bleaker. Public colleges and universities may have no choice but to raise tuition and fees as the states reduce the subsidies they give them - states across the country are facing their own budget crises and have to cut somewhere. Higher education is an easy target.

Not only do graduates owe money for their schooling, but many also owe on credit cards. They'll be paying for a long time. And with the sour economy and unemployment still near 10 percent, how easy can it be to find a job that covers living expenses and debt payments?

Tips for digging out of student debt

So, if you're about to graduate and owe on loans and credit cards, what can you do to dig yourself out of debt?

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5 reasons to get credit cards for your teenagers

Published 4/19/11

5 reasons to get credit cards for your teenagers By Kathryn Hawkins

Want to help your teenagers learn financial responsibility before they head off for the wild world of college? Then consider making them authorized users on your credit card account while they're still under your roof. You may worry about them racking up huge bills, but in fact, teaching your children how to manage credit now with no fee credit cards linked to your account will help them avoid getting into debt later. Here's why you shouldn't be afraid to hook your kids up with credit cards.

  1. A supervised environment is the best place to start. A student credit card is all too often many people's first exposure to credit cards. However many find themselves unprepared since they often have little understanding of cards' payment terms and interest rates. As a result, students often get in over their heads: In a 2008 survey, Sallie Mae found that the average college student...
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Is your credit card making you sick?

Published 4/12/11  (Modified 4/21/11)

Is your credit card making you sick? By Kathryn Vercillo

Spending is on the rise in the midst of flu season. What you may not realize is these things feed into each other.

The more time spent with others and the more money your hands touch the more likely it is that you're going to get sick. And if you think dirty cash is the only way that money makes you ill, think again. Those credit cards you whip out to pay for new gadgets and dinners with loved ones are also covered in germs.

5 reasons credit cards collect germs

Here are the five biggest reasons credit cards are likely to carry germs:

  1. Flu germs remain alive on surfaces. That includes the plastic of your credit cards. These germs can live anywhere from a few hours to several months!
  2. Germs thrive in the conditions where you keep your credit cards. Most people store credit cards in wallets, purses and pockets. These are all dark, warm, slightly moist places--great conditions for germs to thrive.
  3. You're too casual about where you place your credit cards. You set credit cards down on counters and stick them into restaurant cardholders. Instead...
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Is PayPal safe? What you should know about using PayPal for online purchases

Published 4/11/11  (Modified 4/21/11)

Is PayPal safe? What you should know about using PayPal for online purchases By Jim Sloan

Late in 2010, a freelance software developer in Seattle released a free program that lets someone see what you are doing on your laptop or smart phone while on an unsecured WiFi network. The program then lets them log on as you on all the sites you just visited.

So even if the password you entered to get on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon or eBay is encrypted, this software (Firesheep) can snatch your cookie--that segment of code that contains your computer and site settings and other private information--and allow another user to become you. More than a million people downloaded the program in three months, the New York Times reported.

Sound scary? It is, but the developer released the program to point out the need for what computer engineers call "end-to-end encryption"--something that is used on PayPal and on bank websites to protect users' highly sensitive financial information.

Why PayPal is so safe

PayPal is safer than most sites because it automatically...

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Traveling abroad? Chase, British Airways card makes Europe easier to reach with bonus Avios

Published 4/8/11  (Modified 7/31/14)

By Jim Sloan

Editor's Note: Thank you for your interest, these offers have expired and are no longer available.

If you're one of those chaps who likes to hop the pond for a quick getaway, you've got to take a look at the British Airways Visa Signature Card.

For a limited time, British Airways and Chase Card Services are offering new sign-ups to the British Airways Visa Signature Card a bees knees bonus of 50,000 bonus Avios.

You need a good to excellent credit score to be considered for the card...

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