If you frequently use your credit cards to pay for unforeseen expenses, you may want to take a closer look at your monthly budget. According to the inaugural study from the J.P. Morgan Chase Institute, many people endure significant fluctuations in their monthly income and expenses, but fail to adjust their monthly spending when their income temporarily recedes.

Using popular social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, scammers are soliciting individuals with schemes that promise "quick cash" if victims share their debit account information, PIN number or ATM card. It's an emerging scam known as "card cracking."

Shopping on your smartphone may be more convenient than visiting a brick-and-mortar retailer, but it could also cause you to spend more than you would otherwise, according to a new study published in the Journal of Retailing.

Carrying excess credit card debt isn't just bad for your credit score; it can also take a toll on your mental health, according to a new study published in the Journal of Family and Economic Issues.

Along with wedding season brings wedding costs -- even if you're only attending the wedding as a guest or the bridal party and not actually getting married. Here are five tips to help you save on wedding party expenses without being a cheapskate or worse, irritating the busy, happy couple.

Judi Strong used her own savings to start her small business in Lexington, Kentucky, 15 years ago. Now she says federal regulators are about to close her down. At first it sounds like a horror story about big, callous government. But Strong doesn't run a bakery or a corner store. She's the owner of Cash in a Dash, a payday loan company with five offices in the Lexington area. "I just feel like it's a needed business," Strong said in an interview. Many of her customers are regulars, she said, who use small loans to tide them over between paychecks the way other people use credit cards. But her customers pay interest rates many times higher than credit cards, even the most expensive ones.

In the past couple of months I've gotten repeated phone messages from a company implying it wanted to serve me with legal papers; a debt collector looking for someone named Janice Leake; the "U.S. government" calling from a Kansas City area code; a number reportedly associated with a credit card rate reduction scam; a call from an area code that doesn't exist; and several other numbers that I don't know.

I don't trust anybody anymore -- at least not if they're calling me from a phone number I don't recognize.

Good financial hygiene requires a high tolerance for tedium, but many people with ADHD have trouble paying attention to things that don't interest them. As a result, boring but important tasks -- such as balancing a checkbook -- often get left undone.

Friendly bank tellers that smile and give you a piece of candy (if you're lucky) can help with all your banking needs, but for many -- especially young adults -- they'd rather forgo these brick-and-mortar niceties in exchange for more mobile banking options, according to a new survey.

Toy stores are full of specially designed piggy banks promising to teach kids how to save. According to a new study published in the Journal of Consumer Affairs, however, parents may want to hold off on purchasing a brand-new piggy bank -- or opening a savings account in their child's name -- until their kids are old enough to benefit.

While we may not be able to completely deter hackers from going after our digital data, better understanding the threats -- and attacks -- they make against large companies is a good first step to slowing down their progress and federal lawmakers are tackling that task this week.

Some people get less from a degree than they put into it. But you can improve the odds of educational success by looking up a school's default record on student loans.

A family in Lexington, Massachusetts has come up with an unusual game for teaching their 11-year-old son about money: Every month, they hand over a wad of receipts and the family's monthly credit card statements and ask him to look for unusual charges.

While compromised health care data may not specifically include credit card numbers or banking information, this type of breach has the potential to create longer lasting, more significant damage, opening the doors to all sorts of identity theft issues -- medical and financial alike.

Credit card payment protection programs that charge a lot for skimpy benefits have received a thorough shaming from regulators. But some of them still quietly siphon money from the accounts of unwary cardholders.

According to banking executive Kevin Tynan, bankers may be wasting their time worrying about the cash-strapped millennial generation. Millennials don't spend enough to be profitable and they're more likely to change banks if they find one they like better.

A new survey found that millennials are more inclined to use reloadable prepaid cards than other age groups, favoring the payment cards for their budgeting assistance and security perks.

Are you one of the lucky ones getting a tax return this year? Here are four rules for using your extra income in ways you'll enjoy without derailing good financial habits:

Despite the hype surrounding the Apple Watch, Disney's MagicBands are already delivering on the promise of wearable payments -- and more. But there are still glitches.

It's not that I don't trust him. My husband is better at handling money than anyone I know. But I still peek at the card offers he gets, and keep tabs on his bill paying. But that's me -- and the millennial generation, according to a new study from J.P. Morgan Chase. The study says a surprising number of Americans are hiding their credit scores from their partners, and openness about credit matters is associated with age: The younger you are, the more open you are.

It's entirely possible to build a positive credit history by using credit cards while living paycheck-to-paycheck, but you have to tread carefully. Here are five tips to help you do just that:

I've been thinking pretty seriously lately about applying for my first American Express card after receiving some tempting offers. But with all the bad press the card issuer has been getting over the past few months, I'm starting to wonder: Are American Express cards as valuable as they used to be?

A March 2015 study by Principal Financial Group found that 63 percent of millennials started saving for retirement at or before age 25, but less than one-third are saving enough to secure a strong retirement later on.

The convenience checks from my credit union arrived just as I'd been musing about all the things we could do or buy once our savings account again reached critical mass. Temptation beckoned, but then I remembered that convenience comes at a cost.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau intends to issue regulations on prepaid cards' high-priced overdraft loans, so, as usual, it opened up an avenue for public comment. The outcry, however, is far from usual, as more than 500 customers of the prepaid company Netspend -- after some prompting from the company -- flooded the CFPB with comments. Nearly all pleaded to keep their high-priced loans, often with a tinge of desperation.

It's now easier than ever to see your credit score for free thanks to a growing number of credit card providers offering cardholders free scores. But according to a study from the credit bureau TransUnion, access hasn't brought clarity. Despite easier access to their scores, the three-digit numbers still mystify.


They're the pieces of plastic we love, and love to hate. Get the latest news, tips, research and more from the CreditCards.com staff.


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