Each week we point you to interesting news tidbits, personal finance advice, and scam alerts that we think you’ll find interesting or helpful. Check here every Friday for informative and slightly off-the-wall takes on issues related to the economy, credit, and identity theft. You never know what you’ll find in the Friday grab bag. Enjoy!
Move over terrorists, a new fear is in town
The latest Unisys security index shows that financial security is now the top-ranking fear of Americans. Financial anxieties include having your credit and debit cards used by someone else, as well as being unable to meet household financial obligations.
Which debt should you pay off first?
MoneyNing weighs the emotionally satisfying method of paying off small debts first against the financially smarter approach of starting with the debt that has the highest interest rate attached to it.
Should you buy a house?
Despite the allure of becoming a homeowner – a goal that is attainable for many right now due to record-low interest rates and falling home prices – Steve at MyWifeQuitHerJob.com explains why he’s still holding out.
Mortgage modification scams
This past year has seen an outbreak of scammers who prey on homeowners desperate to avoid foreclosure. These criminals charge between $1000 and $3000 to restructure mortgages, but in reality they do nothing except leave distressed homeowners in an even worse spot. The Fed is doing what it can to crack down on this kind of fraud, and advises that government-sponsored programs exist that don’t cost homeowners a dime.
Botched Credit Bureau Survey Leads to False Rumor
No wonder there’s so much confusion over whether employers see your credit score – even TransUnion can’t get its terminology straight. TU recently sponsored a survey that asked Human Resource professionals if they “utilize a Pre-Employment Credit Score.” (They meant to use the term “Credit Report”). Surprisingly, 13% responded yes, they did use credit scores. The misinformation then spread to a number of blogs and news sources, giving strength to the rumor that a low credit score could hurt your chances for getting hired. CreditScoring.com outlines the TU fumble.
White House pushes for quicker credit card reform
The White House has summoned top credit card company execs to discuss putting an end to the rampant interest rate hikes and card limit cuts. The Fed has passed a bill that will make it illegal for credit card companies to engage in unfair practices like these, but it doesn’t take effect until July 2010. Quicker action is clearly needed.