Banking

My Credit Card Debt Is As Bad As Substance Abuse

I now, embarrassingly late in the game, see credit-card debt as a problem for many that is nearly as pernicious as drug and alcohol addiction.

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I’d Like a Prize-linked Savings Account, Please

PBS Newshour has a terrific segment on prize-linked savings accounts—accounts which give savers the chance to enter a lottery to win prizes as small as $50 and as large as $25,000. The more money an individual puts into his or her savings account, the more chances there are to win. The difference between this lottery and something like “Mega Millions” is that it doesn’t cost anything—the person gets to keep all the money saved, plus any accrued interest. The prize-linked savings accounts are typically CDs, which means savers are putting their money into accounts that they can’t touch for at least a year, and this has helped people who weren’t savers before change their behavior.

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Questions for a Multinational Bank

$JPM VC Jimmy Lee is taking over @JPMorgan on 11/14 at 1pm ET. Tweet Qs using #AskJPM & learn more about him here: http://t.co/eTDT8pJeq8

— J.P. Morgan (@jpmorgan) November 13, 2013

JPMorgan canceled a Twitter Q+A session with vice chairman and veteran investment banker Jimmy Lee yesterday after they realized that people could be mean on the internet.

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We Are Bad at Choosing Password Hints

Al Jazeera America has an article called “123456, your mom and other things that shouldn’t be your password,” which is pretty self-explanatory: It seems as if a lot of people are not very good at choosing passwords, or even when they are, they sometimes make the mistake of making the password hint too easy to identify.

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What a Professor Studying Low-Income Communities Discovered After Working for a Payday Lender

Lisa Servon studies low-income communities and is a professor of urban policy at the New School in New York. Partly to make money so she could make ends meet, and partly to get an inside look at payday lenders, Servon decided to work at a check-cashing place in the Bronx and at a payday lender in California.

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Simple Is Letting Me Get Them New Customers!

I do genuinely love Simple, the startup bank with pretty white debit cards that is not a bank at all but in fact a well-designed front end for a regular old big bank called Bancorp. But if you’re going to put your money in an evil bank, you might as well have a pretty app and great customer service, right?

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Asking for that Credit Limit Increase

And because I like to throw in some harder personal finance stuff into our mix from time to time, here is a post from our pals at Credit.com on figuring out when to request a credit limit increase.

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Ordering the Checks We Don’t Write Anymore

I write one check every month, and that single check goes to my landlord. Aside from the occasional voided-check-to-an-employer, that’s basically it. Most everything else is auto-debited, or credit card-ed, or PayPal-ed. So it always comes as a surprise when my shoebox stash runs out every two years or so, and I’m faced with the sad chore of reordering checks.

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Why It Takes So Long in the U.S. to Transfer Money

Last week Logan was in the office and she said, “I transferred money from one bank account I have to another a few days ago and it still hasn’t showed up yet. Where is the money right now? Why does it take so long for that money to show up?”

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The New $100 Bill is Out and Collectors Are Scrambling for the Rare Ones

The new $100 bill will start to circulate today and will have all kinds of new security features like a blue strip that appears to change when you move it. The security measures are supposed to help prevent counterfeiting—especially since 65 percent of $100 bills are actually held outside of the U.S.

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Baby’s First Fraud Alert

I got a call from an unknown number Saturday morning. I ignored it. An hour later they called again. Straight to voicemail. This time they left a message. It was fraud prevention from my bank. Please call them back. My stomach dropped and I logged into my account online.

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