Friday Grab Bag – 10/23/2009

Step right up…79.9% APR limited-time offer!

First Premier Bank recently sent a comically horrendous credit card offer to a San Diego resident: a card boasting a 79.9% APR, plus a $75 annual fee. What I want to know is how bad was this person’s credit to qualify for an offer this insulting?? Thanks to Dual Income No Kids for sharing.

Credit scores sliced and diced by e-mail address

Congrats to! You beat out Yahoo, Hotmail, and even Comcast e-mail users in the best credit score contest. I’m not sure of the point of this latest Credit Karma study (it seems as arbitrary as ranking credit scores according to consumers’ hair color or favorite food), but it’s interesting nonetheless.

New bill to ban employers from checking your credit

Personal Finance by the Book offers the details of Congressman Steve Cohen’s new bill that will prohibit potential employers from poking around in our credit pasts. This could be especially helpful considering the current unemployment rate, and all those struggling to find work in part because of tattered credit histories (which could be caused from having lost their jobs in the first place). Stupid vicious cycles.

I thought BofA was supposed to be the good guy

Bank of America was standing tall above other banks who are changing terms and charging fees left and right in this critical period before the CARD Act takes effect. But now, BofA has just announced that there will be new annual fees for some cardholders come 2010. These fees will range from $29 to $99, and could be charged to those who pay back their balances in full each and every month.

Save like it’s a bill

When debt is high, and bills like the mortgage and car loan are screaming for your attention each month, it’s hard to think about putting money aside into savings. But Find Secured Cards offers an easy step-by-step calculation to figure out exactly how much you should be paying your future (hopefully retired and relaxing-on-the-beach) self.

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Actor in debt alert!

I hate to follow the Hollywood drama (can we please banish the words “Jon” and “Kate” from the media forever, please?) but sometimes it’s comforting to know that even movie stars have trouble with their finances. American Express has filed a civil suit for $20,000 against Jeremy London, who you may recognize from Mallrats or 7th Heaven. (Interesting Jeremy London tidbit: he didn’t star in 1993’s Dazed and Confused, but his twin brother Jason did. Who knew?)

Smooth talker woos his way to bank account information

Miguel Bell of Philadelphia supposedly used his “considerable charms” to talk bank tellers into handing over private account information, which Bell then used to cut fraudulent checks. He and his partners in crime (at least twenty of them) stole over $1 million from customers’ checking accounts at eight different banks.

27-year old nurse steals seniors’ credit information

Erica Fowler, a nurse in Norfolk, Virginia, added her name to the credit card accounts of nine of her elderly patients and went on a $14,000 spending spree.

Texting + phishing = smishing

Now, beware fishy e-mails, phone calls, and texts. Called smishing (“sms” or “short message service” combined with phishing), identity thieves are now sending fraudulent texts to get at your personal information.

Carnivals are not just for clowns

Our friends over at One Family’s Blog have gathered some great posts in the latest edition of their ongoing roundup. It’s better than a spin on the ferris wheel and full of great information to help you stay on top of your finances.

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