Friday Grab Bag – 4/24/2009

Finally, Finance 101 is here!

PFFW, or Personal Finance for Fiscal Wellness, is a one-credit course students will be required to take as part of the core curriculum at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

Dried-up job market makes it hard for students to pay back loans

With the recent release of Sallie Mae’s study on student credit card use, the media has been especially focused on rising college costs and student debt lately. A suggested rule of thumb for college kids? Don’t incur more credit card debt and student loans than your expected first-year salary.

NFC technology making its way to a cell phone near you

I’ve talked about Near Field Communication before, where waving a card or cell phone equipped with the technology might be all it will take in the future to complete a transaction. Nokia has just announced that it will release the first SIM-based NFC cell phone (model number 6126) into the marketplace in Q3 of this year. It’s not clear yet if “available in select markets” means it will be sold in the US. NFC technology is currently on trial here in certain 7-11’s and banks including Chase, Bank of America, Citibank, HSBC, and Wells Fargo.

New credit card technology in the works

Winners of this year’s Rice Business Plan Competition have an innovative vision for how credit cards will work in the future, and are actively working to bring their idea into the marketplace. They are working on developing a “reprogrammable magnetic stripe” that could generate one-time-use credit card numbers to reduce fraud, or even include data from several cards onto one to help slim down our wallets.

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Mexico’s senate caps credit card rates

When I first read this headline, I thought, “Wow, even Mexico is further along than the U.S. in terms of credit card reform.” But then I read that the average APR for our neighbors to the South is 42%. Yikes!

Last living Titanic survivor can’t raise enough money for nursing care

Millvina Dean auctioned off her remaining sunken ship memorabilia, hoping to raise $50,000. But it seems no one has money to donate to an old lady bid on unique Titanic items, and the sale ended up yielding only $8,000 – barely enough to cover two months in Dean’s current nursing home.

Fraud often comes from someone you know…beware your financial advisor

Personal finance columnist Ron Lieber shares his firsthand experience of almost falling victim to financial advisor fraud.

Credit card fraud gets taken to a new low

Stealing an elderly woman’s credit card is bad enough, but using it to buy gift cards which are in turn are used to buy drugs has to be a new low.

The case of the fraudulent tummy tuck

If you thought the identity theft situations parodied in the Citi Identity Theft commercials were too over-the-top to be real, here’s a story that will change your mind.

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