Check your credit score before holiday shopping
News from Navy News | News from … – NavyTimes.com:

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2012/12/PRIMEoffduty-check-your-credit-score-before-holiday-shopping-120312w/

By Karen Jowers – Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Dec 5, 2012 10:49:57 EST

’Tis the season when our hearts are warmed by that giving spirit, and we madly search for the perfect gift for second-cousin Clara.

But before you pull out the plastic, think carefully about how long it will take you to pay off your credit card bill, and what kind of impact it could have on your finances.

In fact, here’s a new idea: Before you even set off on a shopping trip, be it online or to a department store, get the cold, hard facts about your finances.

Get a free copy of your FICO credit score before you shop, offered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Foundation to the first 5,000 Military Times readers (active-duty members and spouses only) who request it.

To get your free copy, go to the website through Dec. 17 and enter the code MT62BCTJ in the Financial Educator Code field.

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Check your credit score before holiday shopping
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By Karen Jowers – Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Dec 5, 2012 10:57:29 EST

’Tis the season when our hearts are warmed by that giving spirit, and we madly search for the perfect gift for second-cousin Clara. But before you pull out the plastic, think carefully about how long it will take you to . . .

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Don’t let your credit score put you on the naughty list this holiday season
News from Sacramento Bee:

/PRNewswire/ — The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and freecreditscore.com™ wants to help shoppers stay off the financial “naughty” list — and avoid identity theft “grinches.”

“Understanding how shopping behavior can affect credit scores during the holiday season leads to better buying decisions,” said Ken Chaplin, senior vice president of marketing for freecreditscore.com. “We offer a variety of articles and tools on freecreditscore.com that help educate people about credit information, which can help holiday shoppers stay on the financial ‘nice’ list this year.”

Here are a few guidelines to help consumers understand their score:

continues on Sacramento Bee
Before putting more purchases on those cards, know what you owe!
A credit score is directly linked to the number of credit cards a consumer possesses and the balance on those cards. The percentage of credit used on the cards weighs heavily on an individual’s credit score. If most cards are close to being maxed out, the credit score may suffer significantly. Before heading to stores, shoppers should assess the available balance on all cards to avoid maxing any out during the holidays.

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Check your credit score before holiday shopping
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By Karen Jowers – Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Dec 5, 2012 10:57:29 EST

’Tis the season when our hearts are warmed by that giving spirit, and we madly search for the perfect gift for second-cousin Clara. But before you pull out the plastic, think carefully about how long it will take you to . . .

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Keeping your credit score in check, this holiday season
News from KSFY:

Mayor Mike Huether announced, Friday, that Sioux Falls has the highest average credit score in the country. That’s according to Experian’s 2012 State of Credit report.

This year, the average credit score in Sioux Falls is 784, followed by Dallas and Waco, TX, in third.

With the holidays in full swing and shopping on our minds, it can be easy for spending to get out of hand.

I sat down with local credit expert about how to keep those scores high and stay in the black.

There’s no doubt, many of us have already taken advantage of those holiday shopping deals. Before you go overboard, there’s a few questions we need to ask ourselves.

“How much are you going to spend? Who are you going to spend it on? What are your goals? What are your priorities? After the holidays, what are your goals?” Marley Prunty-Lara said.

If you’re already in the red, but still need to make purchases this year, consumer credit counselor Marley Prunty-Lara with Lutheran Social Services says all you have to do is have a plan.

“We always talk to people about planning ahead of time and sticking to an agenda. This is how much I’m going to spend this weekend, next weekend, even that trip to the mall. Someone might come in and say ‘hey Marley, I don’t have a plan but I’ve been shopping a lot.’ It’s never too late to start,” Marley Prunty-Lar…………… continues on KSFY

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Putting Holiday Purchases on Plastic? Credit.com Offers 5 Holiday Shopping Tips
News from ParamusPost.com:

By Mel Fabrikant    Saturday, November 24, 2012, 04:36 PM EST   

As Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach, shoppers will inevitably be pulling out the plastic to pay for their holiday purchases. Choosing the right payment method, and in particular, the right card – credit, debit or prepaid – can make shopping easier, safer and more rewarding. Credit.com, a website that gives consumers a free monthly credit score and other free tools to help them manage their credit, offers five tips for holiday shoppers:
1. Don’t want to travel light? If you travel often – especially with family members – consider a rewards card that provides a free checked baggage for everyone traveling in your group. For a family of four, the savings can total $ 200 or more on one trip.

2. Bargain hunter? Consider a flexible reward card that allows you to use your points or miles on multiple airlines. Credit.com’s recent Best Credit Cards in America winner in the airline miles category, for example, is a card that is not affiliated with a specific airline. Instead, points can be transferred to multiple airlines’ rewards programs.
3. Know your limit. While charging as much as possible on a r…………… continues on ParamusPost.com

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Best credit cards for holiday shopping
News from MSN Money:

This guest post comes from Odysseas Papadimitriou at Card Hub.

Anyone who’s ever shopped during the holidays knows it can be a battle. High prices, aggressive crowds and the need to do so much in so little time make things tough on both you and your wallet. But having the right credit card will help. You can save hundreds of dollars simply by using one of the best credit cards for holiday shopping.

The credit card market’s upper tier boasts unprecedented value, as issuers compete for the business of the roughly 45% of consumers who have excellent credit. They’re offering sign-up bonuses, 0% introductory interest rates and great ongoing rewards. You just have to figure out what you’re looking for in a credit card.

If you want a quick payoff

The Chase Sapphire Credit Card offers the most valuable initial bonus on the market, giving cardholders who charge at least $ 3,000 during the first three months 40,000 bonus points. They can be redeemed for a $ 400 statement credit or $ 500 in tra…………… continues on MSN Money

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Tips for a safe and sane holiday shopping season | The Republic
News from The Republic:

The holiday shopping season is in full swing. Hordes of us are expected to be out scouting the malls and neighborhood boutiques or hovering at our computers to shop online over the next few weeks.

To ensure you have a safe-and-sane holiday shopping season, we’ve gathered tips from consumer experts. Here’s a look:

— Don’t blow the budget

Before leaving home, make a list of everyone you’re shopping for and the amount you plan to spend. One tip to keep your holiday spending sane: Carry cash; when it’s gone, you know you’re done shopping.

Other ideas: Pick names among family members or have a “Secret Santa” program so everyone is buying for one relative, not dozens. Instead of buying gifts for every friend on your list, host a potluck dinner or dessert night as a festive, less-costly way to celebrate the season.

— Mind the plastic

If paying with plastic, designate one card for holiday spending. If you spread your p…………… continues on The Republic

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Top 10 tips to rein in your holiday spending
News from CBC.ca:

There’s lots of advice out there telling you how you can rein in your own holiday spending. Here’s a list of top tips. The Quartier Petit Champlain is illuminated with Christmas lights in Quebec City Dec. 22, 2010. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

You read the headlines and the entire world seems to be mired in red ink these days.

Some of the biggest countries in the world are staggering under huge debt loads, as are Canadian consumers, according to the Bank of Canada and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

But, cheesh folks, it’s the holiday season. What is a poor gift buyer to do?

The U.S. just had its biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, and spending is way up from last year for the first few days of the official holiday season, even though real income there is stagnant.

Spending is expected to be higher in Canada, too. A Royal Bank of Canada survey foun…………… continues on CBC.ca

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Tips to help holiday shoppers avoid overspending
News from The Republic:

If consumers actually do what they say they’ll do, this will be another slow holiday season for retailers.

Forty-one percent of consumers report they will spend less this holiday than a year ago, with a mere 8 percent expected to open their wallets more, according to an annual survey released Monday by the Consumer Federation of America and the Credit Union National Association.

And some of these frugal consumers have good reason to cut back. Of the 1,011 adults surveyed by the groups this month, 37 percent say they are financially worse off now than they were a year ago.

Of course, retailers aren’t ready to concede defeat. They’re pulling out lots of gimmicks and sales to entice shoppers into the stores. Many retailers didn’t even wait for Black Friday to officially kick off the shopping season, with some opening on Thanksgiving Day.

As usual, many of us will wind up spending more than we want, despite our intentions.

…………… continues on The Republic

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Fashion Savvy Cyber Monday Sales
News from Joonbug.com:

Fashion Savvy Cyber Monday Sales

Score the best deals and steals for all your holiday shopping!

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Credit Scores, Credit Cards


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Holiday shopping tips: Plain Dealing
News from Plain Dealer:

What not to do: Wait until Christmas Eve to shop, like these folks did in 2004.

Strap on your running shoes, stick the credit card between your teeth and head into the holiday shopping jungle.

Whether you’re invading the mall or flipping open the laptop, use these tips to avoid trouble:

Plastic

• Don’t be quick to open new store cards. Many stores offer discounts if you open a credit card account. But having lots of store cards can ding your credit score, as can opening several new cards all at once. Unless you have great credit and shop at a store often enough to make the discount or card perks worthwhile, skip these offers.

• Use credit cards, not debit cards. Debit cards don’t give you the dispute rights of…………… continues on Plain Dealer

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Credit freeze may be best defense against identity theft
News from Allentown Morning Call:

Dear Liz: A large safe containing our passports, Social Security cards, birth certificates, checks and credit cards was stolen from our home several days ago. We notified our bank and credit card companies. Is there an advantage to requesting new Social Security numbers? If we do this, would it affect our credit in any way?

Answer: New Social Security numbers wouldn’t necessarily protect you from identity theft and could create additional complications.

Thieves might still be able to use your old numbers to establish new accounts, and those fraudulent accounts could show up in your credit reports. If for some reason the credit bureaus didn’t combine the records for your old and new numbers, then you could be left without any credit history at all, which could make getting future credit difficult.

The Identity Theft Resource Center, which advises victims and has a fact sheet on this issue (No. 113, ava…………… continues on Allentown Morning Call

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5 Steps to Prep Your Credit for Holiday Shopping
News from Forbes:

Image by AFP/Getty Images via @daylife

Never mind store sales, coupon clipping and daily deals; savvier spending this holiday season starts with protecting your credit, and it starts right now.

With the recent controversy over debit card fees, more consumers may turn to payment alternatives like credit cards for the holiday shopping frenzy. However, relying on credit for major purchases may also make you vulnerable to overspending and credit health damage. Your New Year won’t be off to such a happy start when saddled with debt and a poor credit score.

If you plan to shop with…………… continues on Forbes
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