Sienna Kossman

My first interactions with credit cards occurred while working as a retail sales associate, pitching time-sensitive card perks to every customer who came through the checkout line. At the time, my 16-year-old self viewed credit only as an elusive gateway to overspending. Today, after many years of working odd jobs and completing a college degree, I hold a few lines of credit and understand that as long as you are proactive about maintaining financial literacy, credit can be a very beneficial tool, especially at a young age.

Prior to my graduation from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, I spent a summer writing consumer-friendly health and money articles for U.S. News & World Report. I’ve since developed a desire to continue learning how to better manage my personal finances and help others do the same. Today I am a staff reporter for, delving into the world of credit scores and reports.

Posts by Sienna Kossman

Living with credit, Research, regulation, industry reports

Millennials: Cards first, cash later (or never)

It’s no secret young adults love technology. We’ve grown up surrounded by digital devices and a world of information at our fingertips. And that’s why we love paying with cards over cash, too. For many millennials — myself included —…
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New products

Google’s making mobile payments ‘Hands Free’

Google wants you to start paying out of pocket, but not how you’d expect. Through a new mobile payment app called Hands Free, Google is making it possible to make in-store payments using your phone, but without ever actually taking…
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Fine print, New products, Rewards

Goodbye, Starbucks, and your watered-down rewards

I’ve been a loyal Starbucks customer and reward program user for the past five years — so much so that I once received a shiny, personalized reloadable gift card to congratulate my monthly spending status. I’ve been quite a faithful…
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Fine print, New products

Why is my card printed upside down?!

I’ve noticed that issuers are experimenting with different looks for credit cards these days. Some are printing card numbers instead of embossing them on the cards, while others are moving card information from the front to the back. Some have…
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Fine print, Living with credit

I clearly see interest-free financing for my Lasik surgery

Until now, I’ve used credit cards primarily as a tool for building my credit score — charging a bit on each card every month and paying off balances as soon as possible. But after being approved for a card boasting…
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