Consumers whacked down credit card debt by 11% last year, and average debt loads dropped in every state.
Consumers are racking up credit card debt like it's 2008.
The Great Recession hasn't stopped Americans from swiping their credit cards and racking up debt.
Companies that claim to settle your debts for less than you owe can no longer charge up-front fees for their services. Instead, they have to wait to collect from consumers until they actually deliver on the promise.
The 64-campus State University of New York (SUNY) system, one of the largest state systems in the nation, adopted a set of reforms on Tuesday aimed at protecting students from deceptive credit card practices.
Finally, nearly two years after they were bailed out by Congress, big banks are beginning to ease lending standards for individuals and small businesses. But it's not exactly having the reception many believed it would. Just when credit becomes more available, there's little evidence of a surge in demand for it.
The amount of credit card debt consumers are carrying dropped to an eight-year low and delinquencies continued to decline in the second quarter as consumers looked to shore up their savings.
If you're in your 20s and 30s and feel cash-strapped, you're not alone. Between student loans, car loans, credit card debt and other expenses it's getting tougher to make a budget and stick to it.
Mired in debt from your plastic habit? Maybe you can't even qualify for a credit card. More and more folks are turning to alternative credit cards.
People who are denied credit or a job because of their credit history may soon be able to get their credit score free of charge, thanks to an amendment passed by the Senate Monday evening.
Getting credit? Not easy in this market. But it's even more difficult if you're between the ages of 22 and 34 according to a new survey.
When faced with a financial crisis, consumers more often are opting to pay their credit-card bills first before turning to their mortgage payments, according to a report released by Trans Union Wednesday.
Consumers scored a few unexpected victories in a set of Federal Reserve rules issued earlier this week.
For millions of credit card customers, here's the good news: As of Feb. 22, a new law will bar banks from a host of practices that consumer advocates have long blasted as unfair.
CNN's Eunice Yoon reports on how hot money from China is pushing up asset prices in Hong Kong.
CNN's Allan Chernoff introduces to us to a video store owner who has cut her $80,000 of credit card debt in half.
Rising unemployment is pushing strapped U.S. borrowers over the edge, with delinquencies and balances on delinquent credit cards surging -- that's according to an industry report. Here's your step-by-step guide on what to do if you can't afford your credit card payments.
The nation's banks raised credit card rates and increased their profit from lending to consumers in the first half of 2009, according to a consumer advocacy group.
College students are pulling out the plastic now more than ever. The average credit card balance is over $1,600. Here is what your college student needs to know before stepping foot on campus this fall.
Have you seen those ads being run by the debt-settlement outfits on bad late-night TV? Their promise is always the same -- to reduce your credit card debt to just pennies on the dollar without making you file for bankruptcy!
HLN money expert Clark Howard inspired one caller to pay off a massive debt. She shares her story and advice.
U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings rose 37% nationwide in May from the same time a year ago. And more Americans are filing Chapter 13 -- the type of bankruptcy where you have to pay back some of your debt -- rather than Chapter 7 -- which your slate is wiped clean. The American Bankruptcy Institute expects almost one and a half million new bankruptcies by the end of the year.
President Obama signed a bill on Friday that makes it tougher for credit card issuers to raise fees and interest rates.
Last summer, Maria Calderon was so overwhelmed by credit card debt, she couldn't sleep. She owed $21,000 on nine cards with interest rates as high as 29.99 percent.
Maria Calderon owed $21,000 on nine credit cards with interest rates as high as 29.99 percent. John Zarrella reports.
Question 1. My air conditioner is on its last leg. If I upgrade to a more efficient unit, is there a government rebate or anything else? -- Floyd, Florida
The average American family carries $8,000 to $10,000 in credit-card debt. A new Web site, called helpwithmycredit.org, was developed by the credit card industry to help consumers out. The site promises to help you manage your debt; communicate better with your credit card companies, and will hook you up with accredited credit counselors.
Expecting a hefty tax refund this year? You may have visions of plasma televisions and Hawaiian vacations. But with the economy locked in recession and the unemployment rate at a 25-year high, there might be more practical ways to spend the extra cash.
A Colorado woman pays off crippling credit card debt and then swears off plastic. CNN's Kyra Phillips talks to her.
Aokigahara Forest is known for two things in Japan: breathtaking views of Mount Fuji and suicides. Also called the Sea of Trees, this destination for the desperate is a place where the suicidal disappear, often never to be found in the dense forest.
CNN's Kyung Lah takes us inside an area in Japan known as the "suicide forest."
Gerri Willis, CNN's personal finance editor, answers readers' questions, providing actionable advice in this difficult economy.
Financial fitness is a lot like physical fitness: We all know what we should be doing -- eliminating credit card debt, saving for emergencies, socking away dizzying amounts in a retirement fund -- but finding a plan that works for the average person isn't easy.
Gerri Willis answers e-mailed questions about money. You too can have her answer one of yours.
If you're a NASCAR driver, you can't afford to be leaking fuel on the track. You won't be able to get the power you need. You won't be able to drive as far. You'll have to keep pulling over for more gas while your competitors accelerate around the track.
CNN Personal Finance Editor Gerri Willis explains what to do when you suffer a job loss.
The latest fall style for credit-addicted Americans: paying with cash.
Mortgages aren't the only loans in line for a government bailout.
Gerri Willis answers questions managing credit card debt, making sure your savings are safe and rebuilding credit after a foreclosure.
We made it through the bursting of the Internet bubble and now the bursting of the real estate bubble. Next we may be approaching the end of the most worrisome bubble of all: the standard-of-living bubble.
These days, more and more people are saying "Charge it."
Krista Wallis, her husband, Joe, and her 19-year-old son from a previous marriage were living a pretty good life in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Dear FSB: I am a small business owner (S-Corp) with over $100,000 in credit-card debt. Due to sharp drop in home sales and lack of cash flow, we are having a difficult time paying these credit cards. Being a business owner, I am looking for a program to combine and pay these cards off without having an adverse effect on my credit score. Your advice in this matter is greatly appreciated.
Question: I pay $300 a month on my credit-card balance of roughly $11,000. I have an extra $350 a month that I can use to further reduce my credit-card balance, or that I can invest in a Roth IRA. Which will give me the biggest bang for my buck? - William Scott, Spotsylvania, Virginia
You've thought about it, dreamed about it... now you can do it. Be debt-free in 2008. Here's how.
E-mail questions, holiday edition.
Stocks were poised for a lower open Tuesday as Federal Reserve officials voiced new worries about the economy, drugmaker Merck gave disappointing 2008 guidance, and lawmakers turned their sights on credit card debt as a fresh area of worry.
This past summer's subprime meltdown involved about $900 billion in now-suspect securitized debt, reckless lending, and consumers who buckled under the weight of loans they couldn't afford. Now another link in the consumer debt chain - credit cards - is starting to show signs of strain. And the fear that the $915 billion in U.S. credit card debt (an uncannily similar figure) may blow up has major financial institutions like Citigroup, American Express, and Bank of America strapping on their Kevlar vests.
The bullhorn message from the government to mortgage lenders has been: Bend. Do what you can to help struggling homeowners.
In another symptom of the subprime mortgage meltdown, stressed-out borrowers may be taking care of their credit card bills before making their mortgage payments.
Looking back, Harry Rogers can see where he went wrong.
Each semester, credit cards prove be a dangerous temptation for many college students short on funds.
Until last fall, Jessica Jaquez-Trejo and Willy Trejo seemed to be living an idyllic life. The El Paso couple had good jobs - Jessica, 30, teaches reading at an elementary school; Willy, 32, is a p...
Americans commonly use credit cards as part of their family finances. Sometimes the reliance on credit cards leads to an unhealthy amount of debt. CNN.com asked readers how they deal with credit card debt and asked them to share their stories. Here is a selection of responses, some of which have been edited.
Until last fall, Jessica Jaquez-Trejo and Willy Trejo seemed to be living an idyllic life. The El Paso couple had good jobs - Jessica, 30, teaches reading at an elementary school; Willy, 32, is a product engineer - and together earned a comfortable $90,000 a year.
The holidays might be over, but holiday bills often last well into the new year. Howard Dvorkin, the founder of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, joined CNN's Gerri Willis to help strategize how consumers can get out of debt.
When the bomb finally goes off, 20 minutes into Blues By The Beach, there is no burst of light, no loud explosion, no screaming. There is just an eerie silence, followed by a frenzy of lights, sire...
How does credit counseling affect your credit? -- Jill
I recently came into $3,500 windfall from a tax refund and sale of a vehicle and am wondering whether I'd be better off investing this money in a Roth IRA account or putting it toward my $8,000 in credit card balance? I've already been making more than the minimum payment each month toward this debt, but by applying my windfall to the credit card account I'd pay it off even quicker. What do you think is the best move?
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Ninety-seven percent of consumers seeking to file for bankruptcy so far this year cannot afford to pay back their debts, according to a survey by the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA).
A toughened bankruptcy law requiring debtors to seek credit counseling is doing to little to curb the number of consumers filing for bankruptcy, according to the Washington Post.
LOWER YOUR MONTHLY PAYMENTS!
It almost always starts out small. Maybe your DVD player conks out, and you don't have cash in the bank to buy a new one.
The new bankruptcy law that goes into effect today will require filers to seek credit counseling.
A new bankruptcy law goes into effect today, making it harder for consumers to prove that they should be allowed to clear their debts in what's known as a "fresh start" -- or Chapter 7 -- bankruptcy.
Lower your monthly payments! Reduce your debt in seconds!! Watch your credit scores soar!!!
All the recent talk about the changing bankruptcy law may have you taking a second look at your finances.
President Bush is soon expected to sign into law a bill that will make it difficult, if not impossible, for many consumers to wipe away their debts through bankruptcy.
There is a lot going on right now that could affect your credit.
The New Year is a great time to make changes.
You bought the perfect holiday gifts for your family and friends, along with a little something for yourself. While that December merrymaking may seem priceless your January MasterCard statement will remind you that it was not.
Retailers probably celebrated Tuesday's news that shoppers used their charge cards for a record number of transactions over the holidays.
When Hollywood, Fla. couple Ted and Kristie Long married four years ago, they merged not only their lives but also their debts. "We each had a couple of credit cards with big balances and lots with...
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE FREE OF CREDIT-CARD DEBT? To have a financial cushion to fall back on? To know you have the skills to save and invest for any goal—and to guarantee your financial future?
When Hollywood, Fla. couple Ted and Kristie Long married four years ago, they merged not only their lives but also their debts.
How would you like to be free of credit card debt? To have a financial cushion to fall back on?
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - You're well past the age of 6. But admit it: when it comes to meeting your financial goals, you're not past the impatience of a first-grader on a car trip.
Last year thousands of Americans discovered a pot of gold in their own living rooms. Or so it must have seemed: Spurred by historically low interest rates and sky-high housing prices, homeowners to...
For most of last year, homeowners enjoyed luscious mortgage rates below 6 percent.
Last year thousands of Americans discovered a pot of gold in their own living rooms.
BEND, Ore. (CNN/Money) - Americans have home equity to burn, or so you would think.
Got a tax refund coming? Last year, taxpayers netted $2,033 on average -- and this year could be even better. Tax experts say refunds could rise to $2,500 this year...which begs the question what should you do with your refund?
Two and a half years ago, Sue and Charlie Jordan gave up high-paying corporate jobs in Minneapolis (his as an architect and hers in equity research) and purchased a picture-perfect resort in a town with a picture-perfect name -- Hanging Horn Village in Moose Lake, Minn.
Two and a half years ago, Sue and Charlie Jordan gave up high paying corporate jobs in Minneapolis (his as an architect and hers in equity research) and purchased a picture-perfect resort in a town...
Credit-card debt in the U.S. -- now averaging $8,000 per household -- is at an all-time high.
Here's a phenomenon The Feminine Mystique didn't foresee. According to Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, which studied some 5,000 clients, young women are more likely than men their age to b...
GANDER MATTOX GRANDVIEW, MO.
Americans don't know jack about soccer, right? It was bad enough when the Germans crushed the U.S. team in the opening round of the World Cup in Paris without raising a sweat, but when the Yanks go...
Sandra Deneault's parenting style sounds pretty familiar: "I've always put my kids first," says the 52-year-old mom. She's up before dawn most mornings doing household chores, holds down three jobs...
It's no secret that the credit card business is looking ugly. Competition is intense, profit margins are shrinking, and lots of cardholders aren't paying their bills. Dig into the statistics that l...
THE TRONOLONES OF AURORA, ILL. (pictured above) and the Dorans of Chandler, Ariz. (above right) seem to be typically prosperous American families. Both are headed by two-career couples who bring in...
Rose," calls John Reid toward the bright kitchen of his six-bedroom, antiques-filled post-Victorian home, "have I spent any money on you lately?"
The phone rang just as Jerry Woodard, 36, arrived home in Elmira, N.Y. late Sunday night after driving back from a hot, six-day workweek in Youngstown, Ohio last July. He answered with his customar...
Sitting across from the PRESIDENT EGAN campaign placard that he saved from his days as student body president at the University of Washington in Seattle two years ago, a slightly red-faced Mike Ega...
Faster than you can say $30 a barrel, Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait transformed the prevailing attitude on the economy from guarded optimism to low-grade anxiety. Growth had turned feeble eve...
Three years ago, Leslie Hamilton of Boston, then 27, went on a diet and lost 70 pounds. As a result, she recalls, ''I had no clothes that fit.'' So Hamilton began a giddy wardrobe-buying spree. Pre...
First, bonds took a beating. Then stocks collapsed. Now from the crow's nests of many economists comes the shout: ''Recession dead ahead.'' It's enough to make the saltiest investor reach for the D...
Michael and Cynthia Proctor never asked for their first credit cards. Four of them more or less appeared pre-approved in the couple's Huntsville, Texas mailbox in the summer of 1982. At the time, M...