credit cards

Always consider cost before opening credit cards with annual fees
Are Gas Cards Still a Good Value in 2018?
As gas prices increase and interest rates on gas cards rise, is it still wise to use a co-branded gas credit card to fill up? Some experts say no.
Always consider cost before opening credit cards with annual fees
Are Credit Cards with Annual Fees Worth It?
Credit cards with annual fees can offer some valuable incentives, but you have to assess the cost of using the card and the credit card rewards you earn carefully.
How Much Should You Tip in 2017?
A new poll reveals credit card holders are some of the best tippers in the U.S., but how much should you tip in 2017? Who should you tip or not tip?.
23 Credit Cards Almost Cost Diane Her Marriage
Money problems caused by credit cards are a leading causes of divorce. Consolidated Credit helped Diane regain control of both her debt and marriage.
Cashless toll roads and rental cars: 6 tips

By Melody Warnick The advent of electronic-toll highways was designed to make traveling down toll roads easier for harried drivers. Goodbye brake lights, lines of cars and fumbling for coins, hello electronic transponders and license plate-readers. But if you’re in a rental car in an unfamiliar city, driving on an e-toll road with no cash […]

5 Ways to Save More Money This Spring

By Anisha Sekar Whether you’re saving for that summer vacation or still recovering from big spending over the winter holidays, spring is the perfect time to reassess your finances. You’re already doing your taxes, so you probably have money on your mind anyway. Save some extra cash this spring by heeding the following tips. 1. […]

Are you fighting with a financial bully?
9 Signs Your Spouse is a Financial Bully
If you're in one of these situations, it could be a sign you're in a relationship with a financial bully. We offer seven tips to even the playing field.
Complain and Win: 4 Tips for Calling Credit Card Customer Service

By Karen Haywood Queen A sense of dread fills many of us when we think about calling to report a credit card problem. The countless minutes spent listening to soul-destroying hold music — only to wind up with an unhelpful customer service agent who drops your call — are enough to make even the most […]

Which travel card perk is the most popular?

By Tony Mecia Free checked bags are the top travel benefit offered by credit cards, according to a random telephone poll of 1,005 consumers commissioned by CreditCards.com. The poll, conducted by GfK Roper Jan. 24-26, asked consumers which credit-card travel benefit respondents found most valuable. Twenty-two percent selected free checked baggage, beating out rental-car insurance […]

Credit is getting easier to find, Fed says

By Tim Mullaney (USA Today) The nation’s banks are slowly loosening the reins on credit, a survey of bank lending executives by the Federal Reserve said Monday. The clearest changes in the last three months came in commercial lending and in personal loans other than mortgages, the central bank said in a quarterly report released […]

Hacking & ID Theft: Are You Next?

By Scott A. Merritt At least 110 million consumers were affected by the hack involving Target and Neiman Marcus retailers. Whether or not millions more will have their identities manipulated and finances ruined within the coming months due to more breaches of security at other stores is anyone’s guess, says identity theft recovery expert Scott […]

Learn on to Better Manage Your Money during National Financial Wellness Month

By Jessica Williams What better time to tackle your holiday debt than to start taking a more proactive role during National Financial Wellness Month. It is not a coincidence that this month-long holiday follows the Christmas spending season as January is usually the time when Americans realize that they have financially overextended themselves. All month […]

Find alternate sources so you don't have to borrow money
How to Borrow Money From Family & Friends Without Straining the Relationship
If you're thinking you may borrow money from a friend or family member, consider your options first so you can get the funds you need with less hassle.
Ways To Stay Out of Debt During the Holidays

By April Lewis-Parks It’s that time of year again when are days are filled with Christmas carols, ginger bread cookies, and little children who continually remain on their best behavior in hopes of making Santa’s nice list. It’s the holiday season. It’s also that time of year when a lot of American consumers overspend and […]

Don’t Get Caught Off Guard This Black Friday or Cyber Monday

By Jessica Williams Did you know that most US retailers consider Black Friday as the unofficial start of the holiday spending season? Furthermore most Black Friday shoppers will spend 50 percent of their holiday budget on those sales. As these retailers have studied these trends, they have decided to actually start the Black Friday holiday […]

Insurance policies protect your money
Insurance Policies That You Don’t Need To Pay For
Insurance protection is useful for mitigating loss, but there are some instances where you're wasting money paying for insurance policies you don't need.
Hidden Credit Card Perks That Consumers May Be Unaware of

By Jessica Williams When it comes to credit cards, we as consumers have been told time and time again to read the fine print. Of course this was created to insure that the credit card lender is protected at all times, however credit card terms and agreements are not always out to get you. A […]

Steps to Creating a Personal Budget

By April Lewis-Parks It takes 21 days to build and keep a habit. This is a great thing to remember when starting and maintaining a good financial personal budget. How and what you choose to spend your money on will dictate the outcome of how minor or major your budgeting process will have to be. […]

How to do a credit card balance transfer
Helpful Hints For Completing A Balance Transfer on Your Credit Card
A credit card balance transfer can be a great way to consolidate debt, but only in the right circumstances. Here's what you need to know about transfers.
Four Myths About Credit Scores

Credit scores are essential for financial success, as lenders will use this figure to determine what terms and rate to offer on all loans – mortgages, personal lines of credit, auto loans. That being said, it is important to have a vast knowledge about this number, so people don’t do anything to damage their rating. […]

Receive More Cash Back Without Overspending

By April Lewis-Parks Cash back is one of the best benefits offered by your plastic, but if you spend more just to obtain additional rewards, you could find yourself deep in credit card debt. Fortunately, there are strategies you can use to get the most out of your card without extra spending. Strategy No. 1 […]

Reduce in retirement to save big
Five Expenses To Reduce In Retirement
Seniors living on a fixed income face increased risk of financial distress. If you take steps to reduce in retirement and cut costs then you can get ahead.
What You Need To Do When Canceling A Credit Card

After paying down credit card debt that has been a nuisance for quite some time, it may be tempting to cancel the card, so you don’t find yourself in trouble again. However, completing this process the wrong way can lead to your credit score falling, so be sure you know what you are doing. Only […]

Save Money On Back To School Clothes

With the new school year just weeks away for millions of students, parents across the country may be scrambling to buy their children new outfits for their first day. Many people opt to use their credit cards when shopping during these hectic times, as swiping their plastic gets them in and out of the store […]

Building A Credit Score Without Using Plastic

By Jessica Williams Many consumers find themselves with a damaged credit score after accumulating a pile of debt on their plastic, which leads them to shy away from these credit cards after they have been paid off. Fortunately, there are numerous ways people can build their credit rating without using their credit cards, such as: […]

Find cash flow with these alternatives to credit cards
Students Have Alternatives To Credit Cards
If you're worried your college student will run up credit card debt, these alternatives to credit cards may help everyone avoid problems with debt.
How do reward cards stack up?
Reward Cards: What’s right for you?
Credit users can gain even more of an edge with reward cards, but you have to be careful that the cost of using credit doesn't offset the rewards you earn.
Research before applying for that new credit card

Credit counseling services can teach borrowers a lot about credit cards and their intricacies. However, many of these details should be learned well before adding plastic to your arsenal of financial options. According to ABC News, one main area of credit cards many borrowers fail to understand before it’s too late is just how much […]

Achieve a perfect credit score
Steps to Achieving a Perfect Credit Score
It may seem impossible, but you can take steps to clean up your reports and build credit to achieve a perfect credit score with a little work.
Are Retail Reward Cards Really Helping you Save?

by April Lewis-Parks Nearly every financial professional will list coupons, discounts and perks as smart strategies for cutting down costs. After all, you wouldn’t pay full-price for a new dress if you could find the same one for half price. The problem is that this line of thinking doesn’t always apply when it comes to […]

In College, Make Sure You Get the Credit You Deserve!

For many young adults college is a time for studying, trying new experiences, and finding out what kind of career they would like to pursue. It is also a good time for them to start their financial and credit profile. Few college students will think about their credit scores while they are in school, however, […]

Are You Relying Too Much on Credit Cards?

By April Lewis-Parks Credit cards have several benefits that can help you better yourself. If used responsibly, they allow you to build a solid credit score, get out of a tight financial jam and enjoy spending perks, such as rewards and discounts. But if you fail to abide by the rule of moderation, you could […]

Are your finances on autopilot?

by April Lewis-Parks Most people operate under the mindset, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” This can be a great way to set a routine that works for you and keep to a schedule that helps you avoid forgetting about responsibilities, but when you apply this mindset to your finances, you may be missing […]

Are We Financial Slaves?

 By Ines Mato The concept of financial slavery is psychological, but no one is forcing you to be a slave. Many people feel this way because of giving into materialism. We work long days, pay bills to survive, and use credit cards to buy items we can’t afford. The problem begins when we rack up […]

Wealth-building strategies increase your net worth
Three Wealth-Building Strategies to Start Now
Building wealth and increasing your net worth doesn't require you to be ultra-rich. Here are 3 wealth-building strategies you can start today.
Creative Ways to Lower Your Credit Card Bill this Summer

 by April Lewis-Parks Being strapped down with credit card bills can create stress and make it more difficult to save money. In addition, heavy balances take away from your ability to use your money in more meaningful ways, such as booking a trip or taking part in a new activity or class. One of the […]

Coming Up With a Debt Management Strategy

 by April Lewis-Parks Debt is a burden no matter what your age is, but when you’re in your 20s and 30s, credit card balances, student loans, auto and housing costs can be downright crippling. When you’re just starting out or at a point where you’re trying to amass some kind of savings and investments, any […]

Leave Your Credit Card at Home on St. Patrick’s Day

 By Courtney Hall According to a 2009 survey, about 1 in 5 adults will celebrate on St. Patrick’s Day. No doubt green cocktails and Guinness pints will be flowing but make sure you have a plan to not overspend. A long night of celebrating can wreck havoc not only on your body but on your […]

When should you tap into your emergency savings?

by April Lewis-Parks Saving money for unexpected expenses so important! A rainy day fund can not only keep you covered should your car break down or if you are saddled with a medical expense, but it can also protect you from having to drain your hard-earned savings or max out your credit cards. But having […]

Are More Americans Starting to Use Credit Cards Again?

by April Lewis-Parks People have had a tumultuous relationship with credit cards since the recession. A sizable percentage of Americans struggling with unemployment and financial shortfalls were forced to rely on plastic and racked up significant credit card debt to meet their daily needs. Others shunned credit cards in favor of cash and debit cards, […]

Economic growth improves, but don’t rush to the mall yet

By Ines Mato As the U.S. economy shows signs of recovery, you might feel it’s time to swipe your credit cards again in all your favorite stores, but not so fast… Even though the economy has grown, permanent hiring remains stagnate and the housing market has not improved. The Federal Reserve reports that consumer borrowing […]

Students are a high risk for excessive credit card use
Experts Warn College Kids Against Excessive Credit Card Use
If your kids are on your tab while attending school, be careful that they take steps to avoid excessive credit card use that can lead to debt for you.
Economic Recovery Doesn’t Mean You Can Throw Budgeting Out the Window

by April Lewis-Parks The economy may finally be starting to turn itself around. Recent figures show better times may indeed be just around the corner. But that doesn’t mean you should stop doing what you’re doing to lower your debt, and it definitely doesn’t mean you can start freely spending again. Sticking with your “hard […]

Choose the right credit card
How To Cheat On Your Credit Card Homework
Doing your credit card homework to choose the right credit card for your needs just got easier thanks to card comparisons on NerdWallet.
Is a Summer Vacation Still Ahead for You and Your Family? If So, We Have Some Travel Planning Tips for You!

Almost every family likes to take a trip during the summer. The kids are off from school, the weather is sunny and warm and everyone is happy. But you should be prepared before you take that trip to ensure personal and financial safety and well-being. Go over you itinerary with your children and set a […]

New Swipe Fees Could Cost You

Will new swipe fees put plastic on ice? Debit cards: Take out a little piece of plastic, swipe, approve, done. Cash: Dig through your wallet to see what bills you have, take out the correct number of bills, wait for your change, put money back into wallet, careful not to drop any coins, wallet becomes […]

Don’t Let Debt Get You Down – Run It Down…

By April Lewis-Parks Debt has been a curse to many Americans, especially since the economy bottomed out, the cost of living went through the roof and good paying jobs met the same fate as the dinosaurs, even for those who have working experience and a decent education. Aggravation and frustration greet people each morning and […]

How to Measure Your Debt Load – Healthy vs. Unhealthy

By Samantha Savory Credit-card debt doesn’t have to be bad  – but it must be managed properly. Using credit cards is one of the primary ways Americans establish a healthy credit score.  Credit cards also act as great emergency fund resources when a big unexpected cost comes up – but using credit cards must be […]

What’s Holding You Back from Negotiating with Your Creditors?

By Kathryn Katz When you’re struggling to put food on the table and a roof over your head, your credit card payments can get behind. If you’re delinquent more than 60 days, you could suddenly find your interest rate has sky rocketed and your minimum payments are more than what was previously expected. If you’re […]

Cool, Scary, or Scary Cool? Warning Impulse Shoppers – Do Not Get This App!

By April Lewis-Parks People who want to go shopping at local retailers without the hassle of waiting in long checkout lines now have the option of taking on more credit card debt directly through their Smartphones. Here’s how it works: You take a picture of your credit card using an app by Aisle Buyer, and […]

As gas prices rise, more people using credit cards to pay at the pump

By April Lewis-Parks While many people may be wary of taking on more credit card debt, some are being forced to do so by the high cost of gas these days. The country has seen the price of gas rise considerably in recent weeks as oil has continued to climb, and some experts predict it […]

Yes, You Can Get Out of Debt

l By April Lewis-Parks The average American household carries somewhere around nine thousand dollars in credit card debt. So even though the majority of Americans spend more than they earn, it is possible to get yourself out of debt if you’re willing to adjust your spending habits. You first need to assess your debt load.  […]

Spring Clean Your Credit Card Debt

By Kathryn Katz Why not use spring as a springboard to clean up your credit card debt. With food and gas prices rising it’s time to wipe out any unnecessary spending and pay down your credit cards so you’ll have money for more important things. Credit card debt acts like an anchor for many people […]

10 Easy Ways to Start an Emergency Fund

By April Lewis-Parks The car breaks down, the furnace in your house blows, your child needs braces and you don’t have the disposable money to cover the financial consequences. It happens every day and many people are stuck paying by credit card or financing for months into the future at alarming interest rates, putting themselves […]

Be smart about using your credit cards
7 Expenses You Should Never Put On A Credit Card
Some expenses that fall outside of your regular budget should never be put on a credit card unless you want to wind up with serious high-interest debt.
Personal Stories of Debt; How to Overcome and Thrive

By April Lewis-Parks Each year Consolidated Credit holds a short story contest for their clients. The Miss Money Bee writers would like to congratulate the winners and share their inspirational stories with you! Melissa Cupp and Chris Korb are a married couple from Berryton, KS. who’s story begins: Two summers ago, we hit financial rock bottom. […]

How Much are You Saving?

By Kathryn Katz Believe it or not, by saving just a little bit more and choosing the right savings vehicle, you can end up saving big over a period of time. Right now the average personal savings rate is 5.3%. If you’re the average American that makes $49,777 after taxes, then you’re looking approximately $2,638 […]

Warning on Prepaid Debit Cards

By Kathryn Katz In an effort to reduce their credit card usage and avoid high interest rates, many Americans are turning towards prepaid debit cards. Partially, because they think it will help control their spending, but also because credit card companies are actively pushing consumers with low-income and/or bad credit towards this new, emerging product. […]

Hey Big Spenders, Holiday Bills Will Fill the Mailbox Very Soon

 By April Lewis-Parks The combination of rising credit card minimum payments and reduced credit limits coupled with record levels of unemployment are challenges for many Americans as we enter 2011 and even with all this, holiday spending was up 3.3% over last year. Christmas 2010 could go down as the holiday season that Americans spent, […]

Holiday Shopping Blunders to Avoid

 By April Lewis-Parks Did you know that more than 13 million shoppers are still paying off last year’s holiday debts, according to Consumer Reports. If money is tight is year, and really that is the reality for most people, remember that it is fine to cut back on gifts. But if you do plan on […]

Holiday Budgeting: Making Tough Choices in a Recovering Economy

By April Lewis-Parks The holiday season is officially here and you might be tempted to pull out the credit cards and charge this year’s holiday gifts, but we have some tips to help you get the most out of your holiday shopping: Create a Holiday Budget – Don’t start your holiday shopping until you know how much […]

Presto chango credit card tricks
Top Five Fightening Credit Card Tricks that Last Beyond Halloween!
Don't let your creditors fool you into frightening debt problems! Avoid these credit card tricks in order to treat yourself to a better credit outlook.
6 Tips For Managing Your Student Loan Debt

By Samantha Savory I have been fortunate to stay away from credit cards and have no credit card debt.   I stayed away from credit cards beacuse my mother always  told me to not get a credit card unless I have an income to pay it back.  Now, student loan debt, that’s a different subject.  Most young people […]

Want a good score? Well it is no surprise that paying down credit card debt is key.

By April Lewis-Parks A new report shows over the past two years, the amount of Americans with FICO scores at 600 or below, has risen. About 25% of the U.S. adult population has a low credit score and will have to pay high interest rates on any credit that they need; auto loans, mortgages, business […]

Don’t be Afraid to Negotiate with Your Creditor

By April Lewis-Parks Millions of Americans are becoming anxious because they now realize how important it is to reduce their credit card debt. Minimum monthly credit card payments total in the hundreds and consumers just don’t earn enough money to meet those financial requirements. Some people panic and stop making payments because they’re not sure […]

More People Falling into Business Credit Card Debt Traps

By April Lewis-Parks This week, Senator Charles Schumer made headlines again after he asked the Federal Reserve to provide more protection for consumers against business card issuers. The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act that went into full effect on August 22 does not affect business card companies. The Associated Press reports that Schumer wrote a […]

If Debt Stress is Taking it’s Toll I Have Strategies to Help

Stress is like a silent alarm going off inside your body and you probably have experienced the results of that alarm — an increased heart rate, headaches, muscle tension, an upset stomach, heart palpitations and the terrible feeling of being trapped or paralyzed. When you begin to total up your debt your body reacts to […]

Young Women May Be More Likely to Get into Debt Because of Work Expenses

By April Lewis-Parks Women trying to build their careers are more likely than their male counterparts to incur debt, according to a new analysis by ConsolidatedCredit.org the nation’s foremost national non-profit debt counseling organization. Looking at the financial records of more than 40,000 Consolidated Credit customers nationwide revealed a pattern: that single women 18-25 seek […]

It Can Pay To Be Credit Savvy

By Anessa Gross Using credit cards can be tricky, but mastering the skill has its benefits. While credit cards used to be the way to buy now and pay later, companies have been adding more incentives for consumers to choose and use their cards. If, any only if, you can keep a handle on your […]