Credit cards search has never been this fast and easy to do with Silver

Silver Screen ShotSilver is a new mobile application that helps you to find the best credit cards in seconds, get all the details you need, and even let you apply directly from your mobile device. With Silver, you stay on top of your credit cards, so you never miss a renewal or get hit with annual fee & interest fees again.

With constantly fluctuating rates and available services, the developers of the Silver mobile app understand how difficult and time-consuming it can be to research and compare the plethora of credit cards that exist in the market.

How Silver works is simple: users answer a short questionnaire that reveals what they are looking for in a credit card. From better interest rates to exclusive services and perks, Silver reviews users’ answers to provide them with a comprehensive list of credit cards that match their needs. Hundreds of cards can be instantly compared using the app’s easy-to-use and intuitive interface. Once users find the cards they are interested in, they can view card details, apply and even be instantly approved from their mobile device! Silver uses a unique algorithm to make finding the credit cards that makes the most sense for you quick and painless.

Created by graduates of Wharton and the Harvard Business School, Silver was born out of the frustration of receiving an overwhelming influx of credit card offers, and the demand of others in the market for a credit card could benefit from using the Silver app.

Silver is available for free on Android and iOS.

The Mileage Plus Credit Card: How it Made my Trip an Affair to Remember

I’ve been a single mom for almost five years now. Doing all of the parenting on my own is not easy, but I love the close relationship that I have with my two kids. During a normal week, I wake up early, drop the kids off at preschool, go to work, pick up my kids and spend quality time with them in the evenings. Being a mom is incredible, but it does not leave much room for time with my friends.

Last summer, one of my high school friends called me with an exciting offer. She was planning a girls’ weekend at her beach house for the following year. I am blessed to have a wonderful group of friends from high school that I am still close to, and connecting with those ladies sounded like something I just had to do. However, I also had a lot of expenses for my home and my children, so I wasn’t quite sure how I would be able to cover the cost of my trip. [Read more...]

Credit Cards Pros and Cons

Agencies like bank, financial institute are offering their clients to opt for another credit card even if they already have, to generate more business by them. Customers are also trying to get as many cards so that they will be able to have more credit limit. But the question is having a lot of card is good option for the customers or will it create future problems to their users. Let’s figure it out by discussing the pros and cons of having many cards.

Pros:

If a customer has many cards then it is very obvious he’ll have good credit limit if he required on the time of uncertainty. But need of number of cards required only at the time when your card don’t have sufficient limit. So if you repaying your debt on time it will enhance your credit reputation. Banks may extend your card limit so you don’t need number of cards with increase in high interest rate. [Read more...]

Building My Credit History: An Update

As some of you might remember, my first ever post here at This That and the MBA was about how I had no credit history. That’s right. I have a very unique problem here in the PF world. No student loans, no debt, no coming-back-from-the-edge-of-the-financial-cliff story. I literally had no credit history. I explained in the first post that this happened because I was afraid of credit cards and how I might misuse them. But, that led me to being (almost) 27 and having no credit history. Oops. I finally decided that I had a few options: open a credit card with a co-signer, take out a small loan with a cosigner, or apply for a secured credit card.

I decided to go the Secured Credit Card route.

I spent a lot of time deciding which route I would take. My husband has excellent credit and it would have been easy to add my name to one of his cards or have him cosign with me for a new card. But truthfully, I wanted to do this myself. I am a very independent person and did not like the idea of having to rely on anyone else to help build my credit! Besides, building my credit is more important to me than it is to anyone else so I wanted to take responsibility for it!

How the Secured Card Works

The bank I work for offers a Secured Credit Card so I decided to try them first. The minimum “deposit” was $300 so I added $200 to my brand new New (to Me) Car Fund, which brought the total in that account to $304 dollars, just enough to apply for the card. I was so relieved when it was approved on the first go! After a few days $300 was withdrawn from that account and my new credit card was mailed out to me. Now all I have to do is use it wisely!

What Exactly Using It Wisely Means

Unfortunately a lot of people still think you need to carry a balance and accrue interest on a credit card in order to build credit history. NOT TRUE! Do not fall prey to the interest mongers! I digress. My plan is to use my card for a few pre-planned expenses each month and then pay off the full balance before the due date. The awesome thing about the secured card is that it reports your payments to all three credit bureaus. The scary thing about the secured card is that it reports your payments (or lack thereof) to all three credit bureaus. This is not the card you want to miss a payment on. However, if you use it wisely and pay it off each month, it can be a really quick way to build up some credit history. Once the bank feels I’ve been responsible with the card for a long enough period of time, they will refund my $300 deposit and send me a “regular” Unsecured Credit Card.

Unfortunately, one credit card does not a credit history make. To have “good credit” you need to have had various types of credit extended to you over a period of time. It is good to have had loans, credit cards, and the like that you’ve handled well in the past. Creditors also look at things like the length of time you’ve had certain credit accounts, debt to income ratio, and how you’ve handled it all. So while this credit card is not the only thing I’ll need to have great credit, it will certainly enable me to have enough credit history to continue building my credit in other ways.

What have you done lately to build, improve, or maintain your credit?

Why the CFPB & Stay-at-Home Spouses Need to Go Back to the Drawing Board

stay at home spouseIf we’re talking about a common sense approach to finance – as is the motto of This That & the MBA – the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed solution to the stay-at-home mom credit crisis certainly doesn’t qualify.  In fact, it might even create a rack of far more serious issues, such as a trend toward mediocre credit card terms and overall banking instability.

Do I have your attention yet?

Hopefully I do, even if you are a bit confused at this point.  A bit of background is obviously in order if you’re to fully understand the issue at hand, so here’s what you need to know.

Background

Back in October, a new rule originally set forth in the landmark Credit CARD Act of 2009 took effect, requiring credit card issuers to abandon the long-held practice of using household income to evaluate a credit card applicant’s ability to pay.  The rationale was that since applicants could list debts at the individual level, household income obscured underwriting efforts and made it possible for people to get high credit lines they couldn’t possibly afford.

For example, an applicant who lists $100k in annual income and only $10k in debts might seem like a great candidate, but what if all that income came from the applicant’s spouse and was already earmarked for other expenses?  That would paint an entirely different picture of the would-be customer, but the credit card issuer would have no way to tell.

That’s why legislators decided to change the rules.  However, the new individual-income system led to what CFPB Director Richard Cordray has called an “unintended consequence,” making it harder for stay-at-home spouses to access credit.  That’s no small matter either, considering that having an open line of credit in one’s own name is the most efficient way to build credit.  Your credit standing in turn affects not only your loan and credit card rates, but also your insurance premiums, housing situation, and transportation options.

In short, the inability for stay-at-home spouses to freely access credit throws off household dynamics in the short term and stands to increase the burden on divorcees and widows in the future.

A Problematic Solution

In response to the understandable outcry from consumer activists, the CFPB proposed basically repealing the aforementioned CARD Act rule by allowing people to list on credit card applications third-party income to which they have a reasonable expectation of access.  This proposal is open for public comment through June, so you should probably know why it’s a bad idea.

  • Third-party income would prevent accurate underwriting:

    As explained earlier, the off-balance use of shared income and personal debts makes it impossible for underwriters to determine how much a given applicant can attribute to monthly credit card payments.  The corresponding need for guesswork naturally creates a system in which some already overextended people get approved for accounts, while others who are truly more deserving do not.  What’s more, because banks can’t determine which people should get the absolute best terms, more applicants wind up getting approved for something average.

  • Banks would need to compensate for increased defaults:

    When people who can’t afford high credit lines get approved for them in increasing numbers, banks inevitably find themselves with more and more unpaid bills they can’t collect on.  That has a trickle-down effect, prompting new fees and putting downward pressure on rates and rewards.  It might even force banks to layoff some employees.

 

  • It would put added stress on the economy: 

    By now, we’re all keenly aware that when big banks suffer, so too does the overall economy.  It’s therefore in our best interest to avoid adopting new rules that would unnecessarily hamper the banking industry’s soundness and security.

A Preferable Approach

It would be one thing if the CFPB’s proposed course of action was the only one available, but there are indeed viable alternatives.  I, for one, suggest a two-part fix that would:  1) require card issuers to offer joint applications; and 2) eliminate income verification for secured credit cards.

Joint applications enable couples to apply for a shared account using their combined income and debt.  Since each party also lists their own Social Security Number, both people are able to build credit under their own names.  Many issuers already offer joint applications, but everyone must do so or else stay-at-home spouses will be at a disadvantage in terms of selection.

There is simply no need for income verification with secured credit cards since users are already required to place a refundable security deposit that acts as their credit line, preventing overspending and protecting issuers.  Eliminating that requirement would enable any stay-at-home spouse who has at least $200 (the standard minimum deposit) to open a card and independently build credit.

Together, those two steps would theoretically make everyone happy.  And considering how admirably the CFPB has conducted itself thus far, there’s probably a good chance its leaders will eventually wake up and smell the coffee.  But we’ll just have to wait and see.

Odysseas Papadimitriou is CEO of both the credit card comparison website Card Hub and the personal finance social network Wallet Hub.

Photo by: mike and steph boyle

The 3 Most Popular Types Of Credit Cards And Who They Are Designed For

best credit cardsThese days, one of the most popular topics in the personal finance industry is credit cards. They seem to be the center of discussion on blogs, financial T.V. shows and even in newspapers! This should come as no surprise knowing the the vast majority of consumers in the United States use credit cards and use them option. As this financial option has evolved, more and more different types of credit cards have become available to consumers. Today, we are going to go over the top 3 most popular types of credit cards, who they are designed for and, what has made them so popular. So, without further ado, here they are…

 #1 Most Popular – Balance Transfer Credit Cards

If you are looking for a credit card, chances are, you are looking for one that offers balance transfers. Balance transfer credit cards have really become a household name in the past few years. This is because these cards allow you to use them to pay off other, higher interest rate accounts at lower short and long term interest rates. Balance transfer credit cards also come with promotional interest rates in most cases. These are low, often times 0% short term interest rates that will last from the day you open the new card to the end of the promotional period. These cards are designed for consumers with good to excellent credit scores who have a debt to income ratio of less than 15% who would like to reduce interest rates or consolidate debts into 1 easy to manage account.

 #2 Most Popular – Secured Credit Cards

Another very popular type of credit card these days is the secured credit card. The reason this option is called “Secured” is because before consumers can use a new secured credit card, they will need to place a security deposit with the lender. In most cases, the security deposit will be refunded after 12 months. These credit cards are designed for consumers who have bad credit scores or little to no credit at all who would like to start improving their credit scores. Therefore, the security deposit is there to alleviate the lender of the added risk associated with loaning to consumers with poor credit scores. Secured credit cards are great for showing credit reporting agencies that you are a worthy borrower because they generally report to all 3 major reporting agencies every month. The key is, keeping your card in good standings!

#3 Most Popular – Cash Back Credit Cards

When it comes to cash back credit cards, the name really says it all. These are credit cards that offer consumers cash back on purchases that they make using it. In most cases, this will happen through a point system. Every time consumers use their cash back credit cards for qualifying purchases, they will be given points. As their points accumulate, these consumers will be able to redeem them for cash back rewards. With that said, it’s easy to see why cash back credit cards have become so popular…who doesn’t like cash back?

 About The Author – Joshua Rodriguez

This article was written by Joshua Rodriguez, proud owner and founder of CNA Finance and avid personal finance writer. Join the conversation about this article on Google+!

Photo by: taxcredits