An enterprising group of 18 current and former Miami Dade College students have been indicted for laundering $500,000 in other people's stolen income tax refunds through their Higher One student financial aid accounts, in exchange for a cut of the action.

For private student loan borrowers facing high, inflexible monthly payments in times of unemployment or other financial hardships, relief may be on the way.

A low credit score isn't just bad for your wallet. It also signals a higher risk of heart disease, says a new study.

Every week, I'd spend about 30 minutes clipping and ripping coupons from the Sunday newspaper. They piled up everywhere -- in the car, on my desk and, rarely, in my coupon book. But at most I'd save $10. Then I discovered discount gift cards.



If you are venturing out on Black Friday -- or even Thanksgiving night -- to snag some discounted booty, best of luck. Here are a few extra tips besides "plan ahead" and "make a budget" to help you save more and spend less:

Card issuers can -- and do -- cut credit lines at any time, causing many households to hold extra savings, new research says. And spending power on cards disappears just when consumers and the economy need it.

As the holiday season gets closer, you may notice a growing number of stores trying to tug at your heartstrings -- and your wallet -- by advertising charitable donations alongside traditional holiday promotions.

Millennials student loan debt and unemployment woes are burdensome and can make one leery to take on credit, but avoiding plastic is not a good way to go. In fact, I think spurning credit cards can make it even harder to get on your feet in the first place.

As I was booking a family holiday in the Bahamas, I was poised to pay $1,350 per ticket. Then I juggled travel dates. The result: two weeks on the beach for less than the original one week would have cost.



According to the parenting website, BabyCenter.com, many new moms are bluffing about their financial circumstances on the Web and posting pictures, status updates and videos that make them seem wealthier than they actually are

The Federal Reserve's policy announcements are written so densely that, according to a new research paper, it takes a grad school education to understand their prose. What if great writers wrote it instead? CreditCards.com's editorial staffers took on the literary styles of J.D. Salinger, Jane Austen, Mickey Spillane, Dr. Seuss, Hunter S. Thompson, Douglas Adams, George R.R. Martin and J.K. Rowling to show what a Fed statement might look like in their hands.

Researchers in the UK discovered an alarming vulnerability in the widely used EMV chip system developed by Europay, MasterCard and Visa. In their tests it takes less that a second for a phone to swipe over a card and have a transaction approved unbeknownst to the cards owner...

The next time you go shopping, you may want to skip lunch. A new study published Oct. 23 by Plos One found that people who are moderately hungry tend to make smarter choices with their cash.

The majority of consumers are more afraid of falling victim to a retail data breach than getting burglarized, mugged or even murdered, according to a new Gallup survey.

Studies show that paying cash can save you money compared to paying by credit card. But a recent bill from my daughter's chiropractor reminded me that, as with every rule, there are exceptions.



A striking number of renters are confused about what's included in their credit reports, according to a new study from the credit bureau TransUnion.

OK, show of hands: How many of you would have the crust to reject a credit card presented for payment, in person, by a fella named Barack Obama?

It happened recently to the President of the United States of America. While in New York City Sept. 24 to address assembled world leaders at the United Nations, the most powerful man in the world had his credit card spurned at a New York City eatery.



Refinancing your student loan could potentially save you a bundle on interest. But lenders' requirements are so stringent that most borrowers are unlikely to qualify for the best deals.

Reading your card agreement is a good way to avoid unpleasant surprises later. Here are a few of the most important terms to look for -- or look out for.

While conducting a survey of 300 higher education institution's credit card payment policies for CreditCards.com, I learned there are many factors that play into whether colleges and universities accept credit card tuition payments but, at the end of the day, it seemed to me that schools can do more to keep card payment fees lower and the convenience high.

If Apple Pay and similar mobile payment systems catch on with enough people, it will help undermine the data broker industry, which has been collecting and selling people's purchase histories for years. It may also help attract more privacy and security-conscious cardholders to mobile payments, which have struggled to gain traction with consumers.

Over the past few months I've decided to combat my financial stress in more constructive ways instead of over-indulging or ignoring obligations. Here are some tips that have worked for me that may refresh your financial outlook:

U.S. households are more bullish about their personal finances than they've been since 2009, according to a survey released Sept. 29 by Absolute Strategy Research. But a striking number of Americans are still skeptical that the "American Dream" remains intact and that the next generation will be substantially better off.

I am officially the owner of a 3-year-old, new-to-me car and a $9,300 auto loan. If you've been following my student loan debt saga, this news may come as a surprise. I'll admit I've had a couple brief moments of buyer's remorse since signing the papers, but despite all that, I firmly believe I made a good financial decision.

It was all my fault, and I felt awful about it. Worse yet, I was stuck with it, unless I got a break.

I'm talking about a $25 late payment penalty fee on a department store credit card that I opened within the last few months. As so many people have, I signed up for the card at the checkout counter, largely for the discount, and didn't really concern myself with the interest rate. But I would pay it all off in a big hurry, so I didn't have much to worry about - or so I thought.



A substantial number of young people are bucking tradition and putting off marriage until they feel more financially secure, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center.

Serving as the elected leader of the Cayman Islands is no day at the beach. Just ask William McKeeva Bush (no relation to the American political family), the first and now former premier of the Caymans, whose term in office ran from his election in May 2009 until his arrest and subsequent ouster from office in December 2012. Bush is currently being tried on 11 counts related to charging nearly $50,000 at hotels and casinos in Florida, Las Vegas and the Bahamas to his government credit card during his first year in office. He also faces three counts of importing explosives without a valid permit; no word on whether he charged them.

About

They're the pieces of plastic we love, and love to hate. Get the latest news, tips, research and more from the CreditCards.com staff.

Archives

Other Voices and Blogs

Useful Links

Subscribe to Taking Charge