Living with credit

America the credit-ful and other things to know this week

Taylor Tompkins

This week’s (un)lucky number is:  16

In a historic Rounding Numbers first, this number is unlucky for multiple reasons. The first reason is 16 percent is the average credit card APR, according to our Weekly Rate Report. Sixteen is also the number of times so far this year that average card APRs have set a record high. With more Fed hikes expected, you’re probably thinking, “Well, how bad could it get?” The answer is very bad — more than 20 percent bad. But don’t despair just yet; if you look hard enough, you can find a decent credit card rate or even one that is dropping. Oh, and check’s guide to dealing with rising rates for tools and tips for how to get a lower APR (sometimes all you have to do is ask) and ways to cut your debt.


This week

These are the things to look forward to this week.

Ch-ch-changes: While you were eating too many hot dogs and falling asleep at 4:30 p.m. or huddling with your dog to console them during fireworks displays Saturday, your credit score might have crept up a handful of points. But more than likely it didn’t. (Sorry, did I get your hopes up?) About 11 million consumers gained fewer than 20 points July 1 when new restrictions were put into place on credit score reporting. But hey, it couldn’t hurt to check and see, right?

‘Murica: This Fourth of July, there’s a lot on Americans’ minds. Should our beloved country build a wall to insulate itself from Mexico? Should we ban people from certain countries from entering?  Should we embarrass ourselves while singing our favorite “Hamilton” song in hopes that we could mayyyybe get into the show? While pondering these important immigration issues, some who are already here may be trying to figure out the complex American credit industry with their mountains of offers and pressure to have a good credit score.



Camp WatchWhatYouSpend: School is out and your kids are at home — and they’re driving you insane. You’ve given them unlimited screen time just to get them out of your hair so you can finally sit down for five seconds and drink a Dr. Pepper in peace. But this is your chance to teach them something they aren’t learning in school. According to a study by the Programme for International Student Assessment released in June, American teens are pretty bad when it comes to money. So maybe instead of playing Monopoly, which will only end in tears and slumlords, play some of these money management games with your little (and not so little) ones.


What you might have missed last week.

Who runs the world: Some people say our billionaire president doesn’t respect women. But no one has told him yet that women are better at credit than men. But something tells me we won’t see Melania paying the first family’s bills anytime soon.


The livin’ is easy: You’re probably plotting that perfect getaway to a tropical island to escape the heat. Or if you’re like me, at least dreaming of it. Well, while you’re basking in the cool waters or the white sand, take some time to check out the best apps top travel bloggers highly recommend.

Tangled in the web

Here are things from around the internet that the staff are reading.

The headline says she got out of debt, but we’re not too sure this story is giving sound advice. -Mamamia

Your wife will kill you and then bring you back from the dead to kill you again if you lose this ring. It carries all your passwords and credit cards. -engadget

Forget chocolates and tacos, send your friend money on Venmo so she can go out and drink him away. -Buzzfeed

Reach out to us

For more ideas to keep your sugar-filled kids away from you but also good with money, subscribe to our email newsletter.

Our experts won’t tweet to the world about your bleeding facelift, but they can still be intimating. Sneak me your questions and I will pass them along. I can be reached at or at @taylor_paige13 on Twitter.

And while you’re reading my tweets about my moderately famous dog, follow us at @CreditCardsCom. We even made this easy little button for you.

And while you’re scrolling through dog videos on Facebook because your aunt Darla won’t let you leave the family Fourth of July picnic to get fireworks, check us out there, too. (Yes, there’s an easy button for that as well.)

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