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Offbeat Millions of Americans Make a Costly Mistake When Paying Credit Card Bills

09:30  02 july  2018
09:30  02 july  2018 Source:   bloomberg.com

Millions wrongly carry balances to hike credit scores

  Millions wrongly carry balances to hike credit scores More than 1 in 5 credit card users pay unnecessary interest costs due to common misperception, new report findsCarrying debt means many are needlessly paying interest, or, as Matt Schulz, CreditCard.com's senior analyst put it: "Americans are essentially attempting to pay their card issuers to improve their credit scores.

, Millions Make the Same Mistake With Credit Cards . Listen to article. 2:01. Mistakes , of course, are bound to happen. More than one in five credit card users have carried a balance to help improve their credit scores, according to a study released Monday by CreditCards .com.

Thirty percent of credit card users making under thousand dollars per year have tried to improve their credit scores by carrying a balance, compared to 19 percent of those who earn over that amount. Many Americans are simply struggling to pay their credit card bills on time.

a screenshot of a cell phone: Americans Aren't Boosting Their Credit Scores © Bloomberg Americans Aren't Boosting Their Credit Scores

It’s natural to fret about your credit score. Most Americans would do almost anything to improve it. Mistakes, of course, are bound to happen.

More than one in five credit card users have carried a balance to help improve their credit scores, according to a study released Monday by CreditCards.com. But carrying a balance is not one of the factors that comprises a credit score—and doing so could lead to more harm than good. 

Leaving a balance past a payment due date causes cardholders to pay unnecessary interest, and could even negatively affect their credit score if the balance pushes their credit utilization too high.

Florida man accused of altering $1 money orders, depositing them for more than $2K

  Florida man accused of altering $1 money orders, depositing them for more than $2K Police say a Tallahassee man was altered $1 money orders to steal thousands of dollars .On May 4, 2017, James Saintyl deposited two $1 money orders in a bank account. One money order was altered to $1,200 and deposited in an ATM indicating it was for $1,965.42, according to court documents. The other was altered for $1,600 and deposited indicating it was $1,564.78. ATM footage showed 21-year-old Saintyl making the deposits. Using the same account, a purchase was made the next day at a grocery store for $1,305.67 and $400 was withdrawn from an ATM.

Roughly 5 million Americans move from one state to another annually and some states are clearly making out better than others. Imagine what happens when driverless cars hit the roads. We explain the idea known as “mobility as a service”.

That’s a costly mistake to make , and could explain why more than a quarter of Americans surveyed said Question 4, “Have you ever fallen into debt to pay for your holiday expenses in the past This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 48% of Americans Make This Costly Mistake

Twenty-eight percent of millennials with a credit card said they have made this mistake, while only 25 percent of Gen-Xers and 16 percent of those age 54 and older admit to the same blunder. 

The survey was conducted for the online marketplace CreditCards.com by market-research firm GfK, which gathered data last month from 1,000 Americans aged 18 and older.

“The fact of the matter is that carrying a balance will never improve your credit,” said CreditCards.com senior industry analyst Matt Schulz. “With interest rates at an all-time high, cardholders should aim to pay off their bills in full every month, and, more importantly, pay on time.”

Lower earners and those without a college education are also likely to fall victim to the misconception. Thirty percent of credit card users making under $50 thousand dollars per year have tried to improve their credit scores by carrying a balance, compared to 19 percent of those who earn over that amount. And 27 percent of cardholders without a college degree have done the same, compared to only 12 percent with a college education. 

Many Americans are simply struggling to pay their credit card bills on time. Forty-two percent admit to paying a credit card bill late. And, once again, millennials tend to be the most habitual late-payers, with 10 percent reporting they have paid a late fee five or more times.

More than half of millennials said they paid a bill late because they did not have enough money at the time.

To contact the author of this story: Riley Griffin in New York at rgriffin42@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Petri at jpetri4@bloomberg.net

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

For a day, I was one of the millions of Americans without a bank account. It was humbling .
Two and a half miles of walking, two failed attempts to cash a $15 check, one toy left behind at a checkout counter and $14 in fees for financial transactions that ordinarily wouldn't cost me a dime.That was my tally after a recent, frustrating morning in Hollywood spent standing in lines, filling out forms and wondering if I'd have enough money or time to get it all done.

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