When You Don’t Have A Credit Card Grace Period

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Credit card issuers generally offer a grace period that allows you time to pay your bill without incurring interest charges on your purchases. The grace period usually lasts two or three weeks from the end of the billing cycle, and will be incorporated into the due date on your bill. Pay your bill in full by the due date and there will be no interest charges on any of your purchases. Carry a balance over to the next billing cycle, and you will be charged interest on the remaining balance.

However, the grace period usually does not apply to cash advances. Without a grace period, interest starts accruing from the date that a transaction is posted. To avoid unexpected interest charges, you must check the terms and conditions of your credit card and adjust your payment strategy accordingly.

Credit card companies love cash advances because they generate significant income. Payment indust…

Video: The Difference Between Debt Settlement And Debt Consolidation

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Any way you can save on your debt payments is worth it, right? Not if it damages your credit so that you struggle to get loans or credit cards in the future! Watch our exclusive video above to see MoneyTips Consumer Advocate Kristin Malia explain the important difference between credit card debt settlement and debt consolidation.

If you want to reduce your interest payments and lower your debt, join MoneyTips and use our free Debt Optimizer tool.

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Between A Scam And A Fraud Place – SMiShing Is Big Criminal Business

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Internet scam artists are moving beyond your email inbox to target your text messages as well. “SMiShing,” also known as SMS Phishing, continues to loot information from busy and unaware consumers despite its relative maturity as a scam method.

Here’s what you should know about SMiShing and how to protect yourself:

SMiShing occurs when a fraudster leverages the text capability of most handheld devices to contact a potential fraud victim. SMS text messages in this context are designed to stun, threaten or trick a victim into submission so that they click on or respond to the information contained in the fraudsters “SMiSh text.”

Fraudulent text messages may direct the user to call a certain number for further assistance. They often contain hyperlinks that inject malware directly onto the victim’s cell phone, enabling the fraudster to take over the phone and all its contents. Ransomware could be a common element of this attack as fraudsters attempt to rans…

9 Alternatives To Payday Loans

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You have an important bill to pay and not enough money to pay for it. A payday loan might be the solution to your problem – if you don’t mind paying very high interest rates. It’s not uncommon for payday loans to have APRs above 100%.

Is there a better alternative? We can think of at least nine.

1. Credit Cards – Credit cards are not a long-term answer for debt, but the interest rate is still considerably lower than the rates of payday loans. They may be a better choice for a short-term debt you can pay off relatively quickly. If you want more credit, check out our list of credit card offers.

2. Negotiation with the Lender – You might be negotiating from a greater position of strength than you think. Lenders may be willing to work with you to alter your payment plan, or even defer a payment if you’ve had a good credit history. If you’re going to negotiate, do it …

Construction Liens 101

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A construction lien, otherwise known as a mechanic’s lien, is a claim that is made against a property by a contractor, subcontractor, or other professional party involved in a construction project. These liens exist to protect construction professionals from non-payment for materials or services rendered.

If you are withholding payment to a contractor for a construction project of any sort for substandard work or another dispute, the contractor has a right to file a construction lien on your property. Unfortunately, the same principle allows a subcontractor to file a construction lien on your property if the contractor did not pay the subcontractor. You, as the property owner, are still potentially on the hook.

Do not ignore a construction lien filed against your property. In the best case, the lien makes it virtually impossible to sell or refinance your property. If it is …

Your Low Credit Score Could Cost You $45,000

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Your credit score is one of the primary items that lenders check when they consider loaning you money. A lower score means greater risk, and lenders will charge you a higher interest rate because of that difference – but how much could it cost you over the lifetime of a loan?

According to a new study from LendingTree, if you have only fair credit instead of very good credit, the difference can cost you over $45,000.

LendingTree analyzed loan data from their database to assess the costs of a lower credit score as applied to five different sources of borrowing (credit card debt, personal loans, auto loans, student loans, and mortgages). Interest was calculated based on the average loan amount for each type of credit. Combined, the loans totaled $310,263 – dominated by the average mortgage loan of $234,437.

At interest rates available with very good credit (740-799), the total interest payment over the lifetime of all five credit sources was $212,498. At t…

Why Millennials Aren’t Buying Homes

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Waiting to Buy

According to a new study by the Urban Institute, millennials are waiting longer than previous generations to enter the housing market. Approximately 8% fewer millennials of ages 25-34 own homes as compared to baby boomers and generation Xers at the same point in their lives.

Why are millennials late to homeownership? The Urban Institute provided several reasons:

External Factors

The study found three primary external factors keeping millennials from entering the market.

1. Lack of Supply – Affordable housing is rare in more popular urban areas that millennials prefer (and where jobs are located). Housing starts are at approximately 1.2 million – an improvement from the post-housing crisis 550,000 units in 2009, but still below levels from the 1960s. Low supply leads to high prices even for modest homes.

2. Tight Cred…

How To Negotiate With A Collection Agency

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Do you have a bill that has been turned over to a collection agency? Of course, you’ll want to make things right as well as remove the negative effect on your credit score. But what if you can’t afford to pay the bill in full? Why not try to negotiate with the debt collector? They likely bought the debt at a significant discount and may be more willing to accept a deal – and then you are on the path to a clearer mind and a better credit score.

If you decide to negotiate, make sure that you are prepared to follow through properly. Don’t try to shortcut by paying third parties to do it for you. Bankrate.com Chief Financial Analyst Greg McBride agrees, noting, “Don’t fall for this idea that another company’s going to be able to resolve this for you if you just pay them some fee.” McBride suggests sticking with the creditor or collection agency that owns the debt, since the current debt owner is the only one that can verify to the credit bureau that the debt has been paid.

Received A Credit Card Rate Increase Notice?

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How many times have you tossed notices from your credit card issuer without reading them? The best answer is “never.” You could be discarding a credit card interest rate increase notice.

Credit cards can change annual percentage rates (APRs) under various circumstances dictated in the terms and conditions of your credit card agreement (another document that you might have tossed).

Generally, the card issuer is required to provide notice of a rate change 45 days in advance, so you have at least one billing cycle to pay down your balance or consider alternatives. However, you should know that you don’t always receive explicit notice of an impending credit card rate increase.

When you incur a penalty APR from actions like missed payments, the effect is immediate because the terms were already spelled out in your card issuer’s terms and conditions (along with how …