Today’s college student cannot function without their Mac, iPod, Android… and their plastic of choice. In fact it’s the plastic credit card that is often financing these essential student purchases. And let’s face it- the last thing on these bright, young adult’s minds, who are getting their first taste freedom, is maintaining a clean credit history.
When one considers that your first line of credit marks the beginning of your personal credit history and ultimately dictates your credit score, it is hard to believe that many credit card companies actually market directly to these youngsters, hoping they will default, pay the minimum balance (which means they are mostly paying finance charges each month and not putting much toward their balance,) or transfer their debt to cards that ding them with high interest or finance fees. These kids are literally being set up to take on the difficult task of credit report repair in the future.
Clearly, learning financial responsibility, the basics of finance and the importance of maintaining and implementing tools to improve your credit score should be part of each student’s core classes. Until it is, students should be encouraged to take a personal finance course, budget wisely and use their credit card minimally.
Many consumers are unclear as to what exactly is covered in their home insurance policy. While the tree that landed in your living room may be covered, the engagement ring you lost may not be. Instead of making assumptions about what is covered under a standard homeowner’s policy, it is important to review your policy and find out.
A good time to review your homeowners insurance policy is when the renewal comes in the mail. Read the exclusions and limitations pages that highlight what is not covered. For example, even if your policy covers electronics you may be limited to $1,000 total per claim—most likely much less than adequate for the computers, cell phones and electronic devices in your home. To cover these items, you will need a separate rider to boost coverage. Contact your insurance agent for affordable home insurance quotes that include an additional rider to increase coverage for your valuable possessions.
According to The Wall Street Journal, proposals to cut interchange or swipe fees that total merchant services companies charge merchants would be challenging to implement, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report Thursday.
The GAO report said that even "consumers who do not use credit cards may be paying higher prices for goods and services, as merchants pass on their increasing card acceptance costs to all of their customers."
Today, interchange fees average about one percent to three percent of the purchase price. According to the article, some retailers see the interchange fees as a hidden tax on customers who end up paying higher prices after using credit card processing equipment because of retailers passing along the costs of the fees.
However, the Wall Street Journal reports that the American Bankers Association said this notion is incorrect. "Efforts by the merchant community to have the government interfere with the payment system amount to little more than retailers not wanting to pay their fair share and to have consumers bear this burden," said Kenneth Clayton, the association’s senior vice president and general counsel for card policy.
The fees — either processed in store or through a wireless credit card terminal — are a significant source of revenue for card issuers.
These days, budget-minded companies are looking for innovative ways to reduce spending and avoid hiring and training new employees. Many are turning to professional phone answering services and call center solutions to provide their clients with a 24-hour point of contact. Here are just some of the services that are available.
Emergency response specialists: Professional call centers can create emergency response telephone answering services with dynamic automated back-ups to ensure emergencies do not become disasters. Whether you need a doctors answering service for after-hour emergencies or a call center for medical alert systems, telephone answering companies can provide you with trained and experienced specialists who know how to handle emergency calls.
Courteous and articulate: While anyone can answer a phone, a friendly and professional voice is priceless.
Along with these important services, many customer support solution companies offer custom account design, free online management tools, voicemail service, specialty call screening and more.
Clear plastics container company Rexam is scheduled to close two U.S. plastics plants early next year in North Carolina and Florida, letting go about 285 people. Last month, the company announced the upcoming closing of its Hamlet N.C. plant, planned for the first quarter of 2010.
According to spokesman for Rexam Americas Greg Brooke, the company’s equipment will be transported from Hamlet to other U.S. plants to adjust overall production capacity. In addition, Graham Chipchase, group director of custom plastics packaging, said in a statement that Rexam is aligning manufacturing to improve operations.
“It allows us to improve the overall utilization of our existing operations, balance capacity and demand and continue our focus on delivering world-class quality products and services to customers,” he said.