Month: December 2020

5 credit card predictions for 2015

first_imgIndustry insiders predict more free credit scores and expanded credit access in the coming yearby: Susan JohnstonThis year Apple Pay launched and several major security breaches put consumers on edge. As we prepare to usher in a new year, U.S. News talked to several credit card experts about what to expect from credit card issuers in 2015.1. Expanded credit access. Lenders tightened their standards during the recession, making it tough for many people with blemished credit to get approved for credit cards or other loans. But as card issuers strive to expand their market share, they’ve loosened credit standards and made credit cards available to customers with scores below prime. “I think next year it’s going to be a lot easier for people to be approved for a credit card,” says Nick Clements, a former banker and co-founder of, a comparison website for financial products. “That’s a trend I see continuing from this year. Bad information tends to leave your credit report after about seven years, so a lot of bad stuff [foreclosures or other debts] is now leaving people’s credit reports. People’s scores are improving, but also banks are continuing to expand their credit risk acceptance.” Andrew Davidson, a senior vice president at Mintel Comperemedia, a market research firm that studies credit card offers, agrees. “As the economy strengthens and delinquency rates remain low, instead of targeting consumers with high FICO scores, they’re extending offers to consumers with less-than-stellar credit.”2. An uptick in balance transfer offers. During and immediately after the financial crisis, card issuers cut back on balance transfer offers, but experts say they’re now seeing more zero percent APR opportunities. “Those balance transfer offers came back after a couple years,” says Bill Hardekopf, CEO of, a free consumer resource on credit cards, “but the dilemma was the people with excellent or very good credit scores were the only ones those offers were going to.” Now, he says, more consumers will have access to these offers so long as the economy stays healthy. However, Davidson says these zero percent introductory periods are becoming shorter. Eighteen- to 24-month offers were common in the past, but 13 to 17 months is becoming the new norm. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Fifteen years to famous

first_img 14SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Great jobs sometimes come after a lot of hard Lisa HochgrafLast week my 11-year-old was worried about what job he would have in the future. In addition to telling him that he had some time to figure things out, I  suggested that typical career paths are a bit more windy than just deciding on a career and then making it happen.Over the holidays, I read Yes, Please! by comedienne Amy Poehler, famous from her time on “Saturday Night Live” and “Parks and Recreation.” In the book, Poehler underscores the idea that careers aren’t made in a moment, but rather from hard work and experiences along the way.“Good or bad, the reality is most people become ‘famous’ or get ‘great jobs’ after a very, very long tenure shoveling sh** and not because they handed their script to someone on the street [who’s famous and could help them],” she writes. “People still think they will be discovered in the malt shop, even though no one can tell you what a malt is anymore.“Everyone wants to believe they will be the regular guy from Sioux City who becomes a reluctant movie star despite his best attempts to remain a sensitive tattoo artist,” she continues. “People don’t want to hear about the fifteen years of waiting tables and doing small shows with your friends until one of them gets a little more famous and they convince people to hire you and then you get paid and you work hard and spend time getting better and making more connections and friends. continue reading »last_img read more

Some retailers still lagging in EMV readiness

first_img 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Brandon KuehlWhile the majority of card issuers appear to have their acts together on EMV chip cards, retailers are in another place altogether. ACI Worldwide surveyed merchants regarding EMV preparedness during a National Retail Federation (NRF) conference earlier this year. Of the retailers surveyed, 14 percent said they still have work to do, 19 percent said they’re not prepared and 22 percent stated they’re still evaluating their options.More than half (59 percent) of respondents said 2014 data breaches have impacted investments in payment security initiatives. Thirty-nine percent have already increased their investments, while 20 percent indicated they plan to increase such investments over the next 12 to 24 months.Despite retailers’ intent to increase investments in payment security, the survey found a notable lack of urgency regarding the migration to EMV and meeting the October 2015 liability shift deadline. Just 12 percent of retailers responding to the survey are already compliant, while a mere 19 percent are confident they will meet the October deadline.Instead, many are focusing their energies on sharpening their omnichannel presence by streamlining the shopping experience across multiple channels. Respondents plan to invest in their omnichannel sales and customer experiences above all else (37 percent), followed by mobile payments acceptance technology (20 percent) and online and ecommerce initiatives (20 percent). continue reading »last_img read more

NCUA budget process tops this week’s Hill hearing slate

first_img 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr NAFCU staff will be on Capitol Hill this week for a House Financial Services subcommittee hearing on NCUA’s budget process and transparency, at which NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz is expected to testify.On Friday, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit will hold a hearing titled “National Credit Union Administration Operations and Budget.” The hearing is also expected to address recent rulemakings, such as the current risk-based capital proposal. Matz’s testimony will mark her first appearance before Congress since 2011.On Thursday, the House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing titled “Ending ‘Too Big to Fail’: What is the Proper Role of Capital and Liquidity?” Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, has said he will hold a series of hearings on the impact of Dodd-Frank to mark its five-year anniversary. He noted that since the passage of the law July 21, 2010, “the big banks are now bigger; the small banks are now fewer.”Other hearings NAFCU plans to monitor include: continue reading »last_img read more

NAFCU slams FHFA principal reduction move

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger lodged serious concerns Thursday upon the news that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will offer a one-time principal reduction to an estimated 33,000 seriously delinquent, underwater borrowers.Berger said the association remains committed in opposing principal reduction. “We fail to see how principal reduction will do anything to strengthen the housing market,” he said. “NAFCU has always supported protecting consumers, but we believe principal reduction sets a dangerous precedent. Credit unions have a strong history of doing everything they can to keep members in their homes.”News of the principal reduction was released yesterday afternoon by the Federal Housing Finance Agency.According to FHFA, about 33,000 borrowers will be eligible for a principal reduction modification under the program. Servicers must solicit eligible borrowers no later than Oct. 15, 2016. continue reading »last_img read more

The madness of negative interest rates and why you should care

first_imgTwo prevalent items have surfaced in the first quarter of 2016 – market volatility and questions on negative interest rates. The two are very much interrelated and have become a hot subject for discussion with credit union management teams, directors and even members. This article will simplify the complex topic of a negative interest rate policy (NIRP) by discussing who, what, how, and why at a macro level.Question: Why are we hearing about negative interest rates?The possibility that at some point over the next few years our economy will slow and reenter recession cannot be ruled out. Sure, the U.S. economy is currently growing, jobs are being created and inflation seems to be moving in the desired direction. However, three noteworthy events have occurred since the FOMC voted unanimously to hike short-term rates in December 2015: 1) the European Central Bank further cut rates into negative territory; 2) the Bank of Japan adopted negative interest rates; and 3) the Federal Reserve Bank published their annual stress tests for the largest institutions which included a severely adverse scenario with negative interest rates here in the U.S. These three items are eye-opening in magnitude and present meaningful downside risk to the economic health of the U.S.; hence the market volatility thus far in 2016. Vigilance is clearly warranted given that these risks could serve to further erode credit union margins. continue reading » 11SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

10 best and worst ways to handle financial stress

first_imgMoney is a significant source of stress for a staggering 64 percent Americans, and that stress can cause health, personal and relationship problems, according to data recently released by the American Psychological Association. The way in which you deal with your money problems can have a substantial impact on your circumstances in the long run.We talked to financial experts, who shared with us the 10 best ways to handle financial stress, as well as the 10 worst. Whether you’re managing debt, living paycheck-to-paycheck, or considering a bankruptcy, practice these expert tips to help you figure out how to deal with financial stress — in the best way possible.Best Ways to Handle Financial StressSome stress-busting strategies are far more effective than others. Here are some of the best ways to overcome the stress that accompanies money problems. continue reading » 61SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Raising selfless children in a materialistic world

first_imgIn an age where anything can be purchased from anywhere at any time, it is more important than ever to instill in your children the value of being grateful and non-materialistic. This can be very difficult when they are faced with ever evolving technology and constant competition among peers. When children leave home, it is almost impossible to control their environment and what they will be faced with when out in society. You can, though, do your utmost at home to maintain a level of humility within them.Spend time each month going through belongings. Weed out things that are no longer used or worn and donate them to local charities. Teach your children about the less fortunate in your community and how contributing unwanted items can help so many and really make a difference. Minimalizing the value placed on material items can also help them down the road when they earn their own money; learning frugality at an early age will set them up to successfully manage their own personal finances. Fewer material items in the home also means less clutter and less time needed for house cleaning, leaving more room for quality family time.Place abundant value on finding happiness away from material objects. It is essential that children understand that money cannot buy them happiness and self-confidence. Even if they have the latest item on the market, if they don’t feel good about themselves, no material possession can fill that void. Lead them away from frivolity and help them find other sources of joy. Help them find a hobby they enjoy and lift them up when they branch out and try new things. Introduce them to community groups and organizations that are based in giving back, such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.It may be hard to turn down your child when they look at you with those puppy dog eyes and ask for the newest toy or coolest pair of shoes. If you can hold your ground, though, and steer them away from a materialistic life, they will be better for it. 47SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Wendy Moody Wendy Moody is a Senior Editor with Wendy works with the editorial team to help edit the content including current news, press releases, jobs and events. She keeps … Web: Detailslast_img read more

Mobile wallets: We’ve come a long way baby

first_img 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr No, really, we have!The dream of leaving your leather wallet at home and using other form factors for payments, primarily smartphones, has been the dream of analysts and prognosticators for many years. Every year, at least one publication stakes the claim that the next year will finally be that year.In 2013, Mobile Payments World asked: “2013: The Year of the Mobile Wallet?”The following year, Kantar US Insights stated: “2014 Could Very Well be the Year of the Mobile Wallet.”In 2015, asked: “Will 2015 Finally Be the Year of the Mobile Wallet?”And in 2016, Affinion titled an article: “2016: The Year of the Mobile Wallet?”Given the inaccuracies of these predictions, it would seem that the use of mobile wallets has simply stalled for the past five years. But looking back a little further, it is amazing to see how radically the mobile wallet space has changed. Going all the way back to 2011, PC Magazine was already asking the question: “Could our wallets be replaced one day soon by our smartphones?”. That article contained an infographic depicting the top contenders at he time to replace credit cards with your smartphone. continue reading »last_img read more

4 reasons you should hit the gym (other than weight loss)

first_img 25SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: Details For any of us that have ever bought a gym membership at the beginning of the year, either we’ve stayed vigilant and gotten into better shape, or we went regularly for a few weeks and gave then gave up. Then there are those of us who are somewhere in-between. We haven’t been regularly in a long time but we keep fighting to make use of that membership. If you’re still trying to inspire yourself to be a regular gym rat, here are several reasons why you should hit the gym, other than losing weight.Better sleep: Who doesn’t want to improve the sleep they get? Studies have shown that exercise directly effects the quality of your sleep. In fact, in a study of the long-term effects that exercise has on sleep, “after 4 to 24 weeks of exercise, adults with insomnia fell asleep more quickly, slept slightly longer, and had better sleep quality than before they began exercising.”Less sickness: Regular exercise can help decrease your chance of heart disease, as well as other illnesses like diabetes and osteoporosis. Being fit can also decrease your likelihood of contracting seasonal illnesses like cold and flu by almost 50 percent. Your body can take a beating when you exercise regularly, and this will teach your body to fight back and become stronger.Increased happiness: We all like being happy, and exercise can help you improve your happiness. Exercise can decrease your risk of developing depression and anxiety and the endorphins released when you exercise can turn your frown upside down. You usually feel great after you finish a workout, and these endorphins are the reason why.Extra energy: You might think a workout would take a lot out of you, but your body wants to be active. When you’re stuck in a rut, it’s hard to get free, but once you do, you’ll feel better than ever. Not only will your energy level increase, but your body will become stronger and your quality of life will improve.last_img read more