Hit with a surprise fee on your credit card or bank statement? You might be able to talk them into dropping it.
This post comes from Allison Martin at partner site Money Talks News.
As you're examining the latest wave of transactions on your bank or credit card statement, you notice an unfamiliar fee. Should you just bite the bullet and not contest it, or should you ask your financial institution to have it removed?
The latter is the better choice. In fact, a survey conducted last year by Credit.com found that 44 percent of respondents were successful in getting a bank or credit card fee reversed because they asked or complained.
To help you should you find a fee on your statement, we've compiled some ways to boost your chances of getting those wallet-draining fees refunded to you.
The changes could lead to more bank lending and easier credit for some consumers.
This post comes from AnnaMaria Andriotis at partner site The Wall Street Journal.
A change in how the most widely used credit score in the U.S. is tallied will likely make it easier for tens of millions of Americans to get loans.
Fair Isaac Corp. said Thursday that it will stop including in its FICO credit-score calculations any record of a consumer failing to pay a bill if the bill has been paid or settled with a collection agency. The San Jose, Calif., company also will give less weight to unpaid medical bills that are with a collection agency.
The moves follow months of discussions with lenders and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau aimed at boosting lending without creating more credit risk. Since the recession, many lenders have approved only the best borrowers, usually those with few or no blemishes on their credit report.
The cost of school supplies quickly mounts. Here are six strategies that can help you save.
If you've never applied for a rewards credit card, you're missing out on generous sign-up bonuses, plus ongoing rewards for making everyday purchases.
This post comes from Summer Hull at partner site Money Talks News.
Did you grow up being told by your parents and grandparents that credit cards are dangerous and that you needed to pay for everything with cold card cash or checks written from a carefully balanced checkbook?
Well, your elders did you a favor in teaching you not to spend beyond your means. But these days, sticking to their lessons word for word will cause you to lose out on big rewards that can come from paying for purchases big and small with rewards-earning credit cards.
Banks are fighting to get you to pay with their credit cards when you purchase everything from groceries to hotel stays to dry cleaning to car insurance, and they are handing out points and cash back as a reward for doing so.
If you have the discipline to buy only what you otherwise would have with cash and pay off the cards each month, then you can get rewarded every time you swipe your credit card for purchases.
We surveyed major retailers and found the best prices on back-to-school clothes are at Wal-Mart but others stand out for best quality on certain items.
The outbreak in Africa has American insurers watching the news, but they're not excessively worried.
This post comes from Beth Orenstein at partner site Insure.com.
Two Americans who contracted the deadly Ebola virus while on a mission in West Africa have returned to the United States, where they are being treated in a special isolation unit of an Atlanta hospital. A half a dozen other patients around the country have had their blood tested because of a concern they might have been exposed to the Ebola virus when abroad.
Ebola is a virus that spreads through contact with blood or bodily fluids. The World Health Organization says Ebola has a death rate of up to 90 percent. The current Ebola outbreak is out of control in West Africa. To date, more than 900 people have died from it.
The missionaries' return to the United States has put some people on edge: Are Americans at risk at home? But health insurance companies, which would have to bear the brunt of the cost of treatment were there to be an outbreak, don’t seem worried.
Dr. Ajani P. Nimmagadda, an infectious disease expert and senior medical director for Cigna, says she thinks the possibility of an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. is extremely low.
Arkansas and Kentucky lead the nation with the sharpest reductions in the percentage of residents without health insurance. Gallup credits Obamacare.
This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News.
Whether you like it or hate it, Obamacare has been effective in reducing the number of uninsured in the U.S.
Its impact may be most significant in Arkansas, at least where sheer numbers are concerned, according to the latest Gallup-Well Being national survey. In 2013, Arkansas ranked next to last in the U.S. for its uninsured rate. Now, it's leading the country in the biggest reduction in uninsured. Arkansas' uninsured rate dropped from 22.5 percent in 2013 to 12.4 percent in the second half of 2014.
"While a majority of Americans continue to disapprove of the Affordable Care Act, the uninsured rate is declining, as the law intended," Gallup said.
Kentucky is a close second to Arkansas. Its uninsured rate plunged from 20.4 percent in 2013 to 11.9 percent now.
According to Gallup, the 10 states that reported the biggest drops in their uninsured rates all expanded Medicaid as part of the program and all created state-based online marketplaces where their residents could buy individual insurance. Some states refused to expand Medicaid for low-income people and also refused to set up an online marketplace, meaning their residents had to buy individual insurance through a federal marketplace.
Touring your home with a purpose -- and with a handful of tools -- helps you cut household costs and maintain your home's value.
This post comes from Marilyn Lewis at partner site Money Talks News.
Homeowners fantasize about making fabulous changes to their homes: adding rooms, beautifying the grounds, and remodeling kitchens and baths. In reality, however, these dream jobs may not be financially possible.
Don't let that stop you, however, from taking good care of the home you have.
Here are 15 small jobs that let you invest in your home and hold down household costs:
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