Using Credit Card Chargebacks

Checkbook publishes useful reports on consumer products and services. They have an updated report on using credit card chargebacks in cases of defective goods or fraudulent charges of any kind. The Fair Credit Billing Act gives consumers the right to dispute charges and withhold payment for goods and services that you didn’t accept or that weren’t delivered as promised. Consumers must first try to work it out with a seller (be sure to put it in writing), but if that doesn’t work, consumers should go online to the credit card company and ask for a chargeback. Checkbook asked its members...

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How Hard and Soft Inquiries Affect Credit Scores

How Hard and Soft Inquiries Affect Credit Scores Consumers are often confused about the effect of inquiries on their credit scores. CreditCards.com consulted experts about the differences between hard and soft inquiries, how the big three credit bureaus’ report on inquiries, and inquiries’ effects on credit scores. Their experts explained that a hard inquiry means the consumer actively applied. for credit. Soft inquiries are reported anytime you review your own personal credit report, your credit is evaluated by existing creditors, or you receive a promotional credit card offer in the mail. Soft inquiries have no impact on your credit report...

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Does Too Much Credit Hurt Your Credit Score?

Does Too Much Credit Hurt Your Credit Score? Does having too much credit hurt your credit score? Should you close credit cards to reduce your credit available? These are questions addressed by Barry Paperno a contributor to creditcards.com. Conventional wisdom 20 years ago was that if a borrower had access to too much credit, he or she would be tempted to use too much credit and get in trouble. But in the 1980s, FICO did a study and found that there was no evidence that having “too much” credit would change the consumer’s behavior. The same research confirmed that open...

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The FCRA’s Limits on Access to Your Credit Reports

CreditCards.com has an informative report on who is permitted to view consumers’ credit reports. The FCRA limits access to persons with a “permissible purpose.” Persons may access a consumer’s credit files if the consumer gives written consent or in connection with a credit transaction to which the consumer consented. Persons may also access a consumer’s credits for the purpose of checking an applicant’s employment history, in connection with an application for insurance, and for other limited purposes. The most common permissible purpose violation is in the case of identity theft. CreditCards.com describes a case in which a clerk at a...

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American Express Caught Deceiving Customers

The FDIC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have announced a settlement with American Express Centurion Bank of Salt Lake City concerning deceptive debt collection and credit card marketing practices. American Express will pay restitution $85 million to over 250,000 consumers and pay penalties of $27 million. The authorities found American Express engaged in the following outrageous practices: 1. Misrepresented that if consumers entered into an agreement to settle old debt (that was no longer being reported to consumer reporting agencies), such settlement would be reported to consumer reporting agencies and thereby improve the consumers’ credit scores. In fact,...

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