This Week In Credit Card News--Major Security Breach At Target, Consumers Lowering Card Debt

Posted: Dec 20 2013, 3:11pm CST | by


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Target Says 40 Million Credit, Debit Cards May Have Been Compromised in Security Breach

Target said that credit and debit card account information for 40 million of its customers may have been stolen during the height of the holiday shopping season. The retailer said customer names, debit or credit card numbers and card expiration dates were taken, along with the three-digit security codes often imprinted on the backs of cards, known as CVVs. The breach affected those who shopped in a Target store—not online–between November 27 and December 15. [Washington Post]

Americans Increasingly Paying Off Their Credit Cards

A growing share of Americans are regularly paying off the full balances on their credit cards than were prior to the recession, according to data released by the American Bankers Association. The trade group’s quarterly figures show that in the second quarter of 2013, 28.7% of all credit card accounts were “transactor” accounts–industry-speak for accounts whose balances are paid off in full each month. That’s a nearly 50% increase since the start of 2008, early in the Great Recession. According to ABA data, nearly 52% of cardholders have a credit score of 759 or greater, compared to just 41% in 2009. These high-credit-score individuals may be more likely to pay down their debt than other borrowers. [U.S. News]

Credit Card Issuers Still Cashing in on College Students, Alums

While government reform has significantly curtailed the number of credit cards being offered on college campuses, card issuers and universities are still cashing in. More than 1.2 million college-affiliated credit card accounts, which can be held by students, alumni or other cardholders, remained outstanding last year. Overall, issuers paid more than $50 million to colleges, universities and other groups related to the cards, down from more than $84 million in 2009, the report stated. Alumni groups received nearly $31 million, and colleges and universities received roughly $11.8 million. [CNN Money]

J.P. Morgan is Sued for Alleged Misconduct in Credit Card Collections

J.P. Morgan Chase’s legal problems worsened Tuesday when the State of Mississippi alleged it committed misconduct while suing credit card users for delinquent payments. The complaint alleges J.P. Morgan “knowingly and willfully made false and misleading statements” while recouping old debts and filed legal documents in Mississippi that were “uncertified and lacked evidence.” J.P. Morgan, according to the complaint, pursued Mississippi consumers for delinquent amounts they didn’t owe or debts that already had been paid. [The Wall Street Journal]

CFPB Orders $34.1 Million Healthcare Card Refund

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is ordering a $34.1 million refund to over one million customers who have used GE Capital Retail Bank’s CareCredit card. CareCredit cards are designed to pay doctor and dentist bills with no interest, but recent reports have indicated many consumers paid significant amounts of interest if their balances were not paid during the promotional period. []

Three Colleges Incorrectly Used State-Issued Credit Cards

Employees at three Washington universities used state-issued credit cards in violation of state policy, charging $226,583 worth of alcohol, gifts and other items to the cards, according to a report by the state Auditor’s Office. The audit report found purchases that were not supposed to be charged to state-issued credit cards at all three schools, with the largest amount–$197,265–at the UW. The UW is also the largest user of state credit cards among the six four-year public schools in Washington. [The Seattle Times]

Reducing Credit Card Debt in 2014

Christmas shopping has reached a frenzied pace, and millions of consumers are buying things they probably cannot afford. Many of us will enter January with credit card debt. Issuers are adding to the dilemma. Mailboxes have been filled with credit card offers as issuers aggressively market lucrative rewards and balance transfer cards, especially to consumers with good or excellent credit scores. Here are ten tips for reducing credit card debt in 2014. []

Federal Consumer Agency Sues Over Online Loans

It sounds like something from a movie: A $10,000 loan with an annual interest rate of nearly 90%, that costs more than $60,000 to repay. On Monday, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sued CashCall, two related companies and their owner, J. Paul Reddam, seeking to stop them from demanding payment for the loans. The bureau also is seeking refunds for payments that borrowers have made, as well as financial penalties. [The New York Times] Weekly Credit Card Rate Report

Based on the 1,000+ cards in the Complete Credit Card Index, the average advertised APR for credit cards is 14.46%, slightly lower than last week’s average of 14.47%. Six months ago, the average was 14.30%. One year ago, the average was 14.32%. []

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Source: Forbes

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