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Help me buy a car the right way, this time.

I just moved to Charlottesville, Va from California. Bought a car here quickly after getting here through Carmax which I am realizing now is way too nice, my car payments are too much ($247/month) and I worry too much about when parking, driving etc. (a 2010 Toyota Prius, 6 year loan that I owe 15k on). [more inside]
posted by ethel on Apr 12, 2014 - 11 answers


Can I gain something by strategically opening credit cards?

In January, I got my business successfully running, paid off and closed a bunch of personal credit cards, and began making a decent amount of money. Now I'm in a place to start opening credit cards and rebuilding my credit. Last time I looked (10 years ago), there were ways to open new credit card accounts, and as long as you were responsible about always paying off all of your balances at the end of every month, you could get bunches of free flights and bonuses and things. I recall people who played with new account bonuses as a relatively lucrative game. Is this still a thing? Is it worth the time?
posted by sirion on Apr 2, 2014 - 7 answers

Is your credit card cool?

I'm shopping around for a credit card for the first time in ages - I've decided airline miles are a sucker's game, and just want something more straightforward. I'd like to know if there's anything really forward-thinking going on in the credit card world, because it all looks like "fees versus rates versus weird points schemes". If you have a credit card that you love (or hate) can you tell me why? FWIW, good credit, revolve occasionally (once a year or so?), and willing to pay a fee for something truly good. I've looked at previous questions but it feels like the landscape changes so quickly!
posted by ersatzkat on Mar 28, 2014 - 29 answers

Taxes and credit cards

I owe the IRS a not-insignificant chunk of change. Is there some way I could benefit from this? [more inside]
posted by null14 on Mar 27, 2014 - 8 answers

Final pre-purchase car questions!

Continuing my car questions (1, 2, 3). We’re buying a gently used Forester. Two questions I need to resolve before picking up the car: should I finance any part of the purchase (can pay all cash), and should I pay to extend the bumper-to-bumper warranty to seven years? [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock on Mar 26, 2014 - 14 answers

Should I pay off this old bill?

I have an unpaid bill from three years ago for about $200 that no one's trying to collect anymore. Doesn't seem to have shown up on my credit rating / reports. Is there any upside to paying it now? Is there any potential downside? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 21, 2014 - 11 answers

Can I change my rewards program without changing my credit card?

I have a Visa credit card though an airline rewards program. I moved last year and have rarely been flying on that airline recently, since they don't have a lot of flights out of my current location. Since I'm not getting much out of the rewards, I'd like to change to another rewards program (not airline-related) that I'm sure to use more. I don't want to unnecessarily hurt my credit history by canceling the card and opening a new one. The new rewards card I'm interested in is also Visa, and offered through the same bank as my current card. Is there a way I can keep the same credit card account and simply switch reward programs?
posted by redlines on Mar 20, 2014 - 7 answers

Will this affect my credit?

I have near perfect credit. I only use my Discover card that I have rewards on and pay off the balance every month. I do have a credit card from a credit union that I never use. I just received a letter in the mail that stated that the credit union credit card is about to expire and won't be reissued due to inactivity. Will this affect my credit? If I don't care about the card, should I just let it "die"? Thanks
posted by kbbbo on Mar 7, 2014 - 10 answers

Getting cold feet on refinance with unknown 3d party credit union

Does anyone know the skinny on CU Community, a credit union lender based in Springfield, MO? [more inside]
posted by mmiddle on Mar 6, 2014 - 6 answers

How do I help someone Overseas build credit in the US?

How do I build someone's credit while they are overseas and not a US citizen? I am getting married to someone who is Japanese (in about 5 months) and lives in Japan right now. Because I know we will one day want to buy a house, I want to start building her credit as soon as possible because I know that it is easier to get a loan with two people signing instead of one. [more inside]
posted by locussst on Mar 4, 2014 - 10 answers

How can I finance an unlocked, no-contract Android phone?

I'm considering signing up for one of Brightspot Mobile's pre-paid plans. I will need to buy an unlocked (or T-Mobile) phone and I'm interested in a Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One. Is there any possible way I can pay for it in installments? [more inside]
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis on Feb 23, 2014 - 9 answers

Applying for a credit card with bank I stiffed 20 years ago.

So when I was in college I ran up a $700 credit card debt with Citibank visa. Then I didn't pay it. And for over a decade my credit was crap. But eventually I turned it around and have good credit again. So here's my question: I need to get a credit card for one of the biggest hotel chains as I stay there for business a bit. I'd like the benefits and points maximizing. Problem: the best card is run through citibank. Since my teenage folly I've changed my name but I still have the same SS#. Will applying today reactivate the debt with them?
posted by rileyray3000 on Feb 10, 2014 - 13 answers

What does the Target data breech actually mean to me?

I shopped at Target twice during the period last year that their customer data was compromised. I used my debit card once (which, ugh, I never shop with, but I must have needed cash back), and my credit card once. And apparently other information, like home and e-mail addresses, was also taken. How concerned should I really be, and how much effort should I put into changing card numbers and monitoring my own information? [more inside]
posted by LolaGeek on Jan 21, 2014 - 20 answers

Which credit monitoring services are reputable?

I'm looking for a credit monitoring service that will let me retrieve my full credit report once every 2 weeks. I'm okay with a < $20 monthly fee. I just want to know which services aren't a scam. [more inside]
posted by BenevolentActor on Jan 18, 2014 - 7 answers

Giving a business address for a personal credit card / Patriot Act

Aside from whether I should or why I should care what address I give a credit card company or bank, I am wondering whether the Patriot Act actually does allow consumers to give companies a business street address. It appears so but I'm no legal whiz so I'm looking for some answers out there. [more inside]
posted by trandolph on Jan 9, 2014 - 8 answers

Socially responsible credit card?

I need to sign up for a new credit card and am looking for one that is as socially/environmentally responsible as possible (i.e. not tied to big banks, corporations and/or oil companies who would be profiting off me as a consumer and doing bad things with that profit). Does such a card exist? I've searched online but am wary of bias.
posted by athousandtelephones on Dec 29, 2013 - 10 answers

How long should I wait before refinancing my car?

How long should I wait before refinancing my car? [more inside]
posted by Evilspork on Dec 15, 2013 - 4 answers

Can you explain these comments on my credit rating?

I have a fairly good FICO rating, but according to the report, these two factors are negatively impacting my rating. Can you explain these to me and--more importantly--offer some advice on how I can improve them? 1. Proportion of loan balances to loan amounts is too high. 2. Length of time revolving accounts have been established.
posted by jackypaper on Nov 14, 2013 - 10 answers

Recommendations for credit counselling

I am in financial difficulties because my wife and I are unable to work. The debts are mounting up, and I need some help. Can you recommend a credit counseling agency? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 29, 2013 - 5 answers

A medical bill was sent to collections. What do I do?

A medical bill was sent to collections. I am 25 and have no credit and no money. What do I do? Is it even possible to fix my credit? [more inside]
posted by dekathelon on Oct 21, 2013 - 13 answers

What's your favorite credit card?

I am (finally) shopping for a credit card and I want something with cash back and/or airline rewards. What do you recommend? [more inside]
posted by bluelight on Oct 1, 2013 - 26 answers

Do I really owe you?

Once a debt has gone to collections, is there any reason to pay it off? [more inside]
posted by eas98 on Sep 19, 2013 - 14 answers

I pay the creditor or I pay the government... any other options?

I'm on SSI for disability, with a long-outstanding credit card debt that's gone to collections. They keep offering me settlements, but a settlement would produce a 1099-C, and Social Security would count the cancelled debt amount as unearned income, which they take dollar-for-dollar out of my SSI checks. That's no better than paying the debt in full (which has been impossible for years and will be for years to come). Do I have any options other than continuing to ignore them? [more inside]
posted by WasabiFlux on Sep 18, 2013 - 16 answers

Help me deal with my gym's passive aggressiveness post-breakup stalking

I had a gym membership. Then I had a baby, and cancelled the gym membership in March. I was out of contract, paying month-to-month. Now they're trying to collect on post-cancellation "debts" for April through June. Help! [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 16, 2013 - 11 answers

Help me understand credit scores

In aug and this first week of sept, I have managed to pay three of my four cards off completely. I kept the highest balance the one because of it's age and it's the lowest %. So, now I have a credit card and a mortgage. Was paying them off a good idea? I applied for a starwood Amex and got denied. I understand it was too early but when will I see a jump in my credit and will I? I paid about 10k at average of 22%. It is a huge huge deal for me!
posted by femmme on Sep 12, 2013 - 9 answers

How to prevent someone adding me to their bank and other accounts?

How do I prevent my mother from adding me to her accounts? [more inside]
posted by winna on Aug 30, 2013 - 9 answers

Is there a reason I shouldn't apply for/get a few more credit cards?

Lately I've been thinking I should apply for a few more credit cards in order to take advantage of points, cash back, and other bonuses. Assuming I am not currently in debt, I already own a home and don't foresee needing any loans in the near future, and assuming I pay my bill every month, is there a downside to doing this? [more inside]
posted by bondcliff on Aug 20, 2013 - 14 answers

Last apartment question on AskMe maybe forever hopefully

Is anybody going to rent to us in Chicago? We are recent graduates with mediocre credit, part-time jobs and no rental history. [more inside]
posted by stoneandstar on Jul 24, 2013 - 4 answers

How can I get a perfect credit score?

How can I get a perfect credit score? I have no debt and plenty of cash. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 17, 2013 - 16 answers

Recruiting Company for Employer Requesting Credit Report

I have been offered a job in the city I'm moving to -- only the recruiting company that the company offering me the position uses for hiring processes not only wants me to submit to the regular drug screen and background check -- but also to a credit check. According to my state's law, this may be illegal. I have hospital bills spanning from a surgery I had to get a few years ago after I lost my job/ insurance. Can I spin this in my favor at all or am I screwed? [more inside]
posted by camylanded on Jul 15, 2013 - 15 answers

Credit card fraud but card was never activated, is this even possible?

A few days ago my mom got a bill for a department store credit card, Dress Barn issued by Comenity bank, she opened up 5 years ago. She took advantage of the "get 20% off when opening a credit card with us" offers at the time. When the actual card came, it just sat unactivated in her filing cabinet. The card didn't have a visable expiration date on it. [more inside]
posted by glenno86 on Jul 9, 2013 - 10 answers

Debt, debt, go away! I'd like to have a life someday!

Right now I'm poor, I'm in debt, and I don't know the best way to proceed. Please help me make a plan to tackle my debts. [more inside]
posted by Zen unicorn rainbow zen journal on Jul 2, 2013 - 14 answers

Absolutely cheapest merchant fees?

How can I arrange for the absolutely cheapest possible merchant fees when processing a credit card online? [more inside]
posted by jsturgill on Jun 26, 2013 - 15 answers

What should I do given all these variables (home mortgage edition)

I'm getting married! And buying a house with my fiance! And I'm so, so confused about the best plan (longish question, totally special snowflake focus). [more inside]
posted by Lizlemondrop on Jun 21, 2013 - 10 answers

What is the legality for a web site to make credit transactions?

In order for any web site to charge one for services or goods, in this case services, what are they legally required to record and produce? I'm having a little trouble wording my exact question so maybe this will help. The web site in question provides phone service for inmates in correctional facilities and in order for one to receive calls from a loved one in the correctional facility you have to set up an account and attach a phone number to it while loading money for the overpriced service... $5 for 15mins. The company charged me a fee of $5 every time I was to load money on the account which did not show the rate for a call per min and also charged me numerous unknown fees. I could not tell why or how much I was charged which was made worse by their not being a way to track credits and charges to the account. When I contacted customer support they also could not account for the charges and would not refund them, refused to refund my visa purchase, and claims to have no way of producing charges and credits to my account. Their customer service is no help and I'm not sure how to handle the situation. [more inside]
posted by isopropyl on Jun 9, 2013 - 4 answers

What do "credit repair" places REALLY do, and is it effective...?

Is it worth it? Your experience? Is it something you can you just do it yourself...?! Recommendations on which one to use?
posted by TigerMoth on Jun 3, 2013 - 8 answers

How can my family bar my bipolar father from access to credit?

My bipolar father will go on crazy consumer debt fueled sprees of spending / gambling. What can we do on a severely limited budget to ensure he doesn't end up homeless or otherwise in major trouble? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 28, 2013 - 10 answers

Applying for rental house - need advice

Husband and I are seeking a rental home. We found a nice house and the landlord has invited us to apply. Last time we applied for rental the property manager had us do a credit/background check via an online service. This new landlord gave us a paper form asking for SSN, DOB, our checking and savings account numbers, employment history, and other info. The landlord is an older person with a couple investment properties. I'm sure this is not a scam, but I am reluctant to hand all my ID and bank numbers to a stranger. Advice? Anyone know a simple, reputable online background checking service that I can suggest to this landlord? We would pay the fee. My goal is to make the landlord comfortable so we can lease the house. The Seattle rental market is very tight. This landlord has his pick of many worthy applicants. We have excellent credit, references, etc.
posted by valannc on May 26, 2013 - 9 answers

Is this company expense policy whacked out, or is it just me?

Corporate has just handed down a large change to our T&E policy that involves us submitting original unredacted copies of credit card bills and/or applying for a company credit card that we need to pay ourselves. This seems really out of line but I don't know how to respond. Slight snowfall to follow... [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 24, 2013 - 24 answers

Bank closed old account for overdraft. How much will this affect me?

An old (free) checking account in another state started becoming inconvenient (no local locations and bad phone service), so I moved my direct deposit elsewhere. I left a little money in the account, thinking having an older account would help with credit. I recently found out, however, that several months ago, they closed down the free checking service and switched to a fee checking service. While this was happening, it eventually drained the money out of the checking account and went negative. They apparently also closed the account for overdrafting, How badly is this going to affect my credit? Can I take any steps to mitigate it? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 14, 2013 - 11 answers

Best strategy to improve credit rating

Through a mixture of screwups and missed opportunities, I'm pretty sure my credit rating is either dismal or nonexistent. What's the best strategy to improve it? (Snowflake details inside.) [more inside]
posted by littlegreen on Apr 28, 2013 - 7 answers

Calm, cool, and collected.

I would assume that a company has a legal obligation to notify a consumer of outstanding charges on his or her account in a timely manner – namely, before sending that account to collections. Is this so? Can you direct me to the specific Federal or local (Massachusetts) statutes that establish this obligation? [more inside]
posted by donmateo on Apr 24, 2013 - 6 answers

What is a good credit card for a band (or a small LLC) ?

We're looking to obtain the best credit card possible for a 5 person band with minimal expenses and income. We're an LLC incorporated in NYC. Band expenses typically include food, gas, merch supplies (shirts, blank CDs etc) and the occasional cash withdrawals, but the big anticipated purchase is a van (used -- no more than $5k). Suggestions for checking accounts also welcome...
posted by qzar on Apr 18, 2013 - 2 answers

Navigating the world of credit

Just found out my credit score sucks, now what do I do? [more inside]
posted by bumpjump on Apr 12, 2013 - 19 answers

What do you use your Visa rewards points for?

I've just recently been alerted to the fact that there's such a thing as reward points on my Visa. I checked into my account for the first time and found out I have about 35,000. I have no idea how to use them. [more inside]
posted by madonna of the unloved on Mar 28, 2013 - 18 answers

I desperately need $300.

I think I've reached the end of my rope, credit-wise. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 27, 2013 - 38 answers

Convince me not to get a personal loan to pay off my credit cards.

Should I take out a personal loan to consolidate my credit card debt? Does anyone have any experience with personal loans through Discover? [more inside]
posted by royalsong on Mar 26, 2013 - 29 answers

Needed: Credit Card That Allows Hard Spending Limit On Companion Card/AU

Hello I am in need of a credit card that allows me to set a hard limit on authorized users. In addition I need for the card to allow a different limit for the primary and secondary card. [more inside]
posted by flummox on Mar 21, 2013 - 14 answers

Business credit with employee usage alerts?

Is there a business credit card that can alert you in real-time (or close to it) when your employees' cards are used? I currently use Chase Ink and it disappoints in this regard. I can setup real-time alerts, but they only work for the primary card, not all employee cards. I was a little incredulous of this at first, but my Chase rep confirmed it is so. Any business cards that can do this? (ideally with cash back, esp. for gas; ideally visa). thanks!
posted by grammalvsu on Mar 21, 2013 - 3 answers

Help me be better with money

I am freaking out right now because I just got two letters from collections agencies. I should have paid the bills. I know that. I just … didn’t. And I know I’m terrible with money and want to change that, but when I think about money and the giant hole of student debt that I’m in I feel like, what’s the fucking point, and I become overwhelmed with hopelessness and I shut down. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 18, 2013 - 15 answers

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