Home > Personal Finance > Credit.com in the News 6/2/12

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This week the experts from Credit.com talked to the media about the latest news in prepaid cards, underwater mortgages, credit cards and paying the debts of a deceased loved one. Check out the highlights …

Susan Tompor of the Detroit Free Press is no fan of extra fees, and she definitely doesn’t want her family paying them to use a prepaid card. Prepaid cards are gaining popularity with celebrity endorsements and younger consumers are getting easier access to them. Credit.com’s credit card expert Beverly Harzog points out that these cards are even being marketed to young professionals. @freep @BeverlyHarzog

Those who have underwater mortgages know too well that relief can be hard to come by. The government run program HARP was created to refinance mortgages, but fell way short of helping its targeted number of U.S. households. Now with the latest iteration, HARP 2.0, there’s hope for more progress. Gerri Detweiler talks to NYT’s Bucks Blog about how the program does help mortgage holders refinance, but not in great numbers. This is a case of a well intentioned government program that hasn’t translated to a real momentum of relief to borrowers — yet. @nytimes @gerridetweiler

Beverly Harzog talks about all things credit on WOOD Radio. She gives great advice on how to obtain the best card by considering where your credit is, what rewards make sense for you and what your credit goals are. She also warns against having too many store credit cards. When encountering a pushy sales person who tries to get you to sign up for a card you don’t want or haven’t read up on: Just say no! @woodradio

Check Your Credit For FreeGetting a credit card for the first time is something many of us view as part of becoming an adult. Parents who provide their children with credit should also provide financial education. Beverly Harzog points out that younger credit users don’t always know the consequences of their spending habits and how that can be a lifelong mistake. Building credit is an essential part of a strong financial profile, but there are very adult responsibilities that go along with it. Children should be prepared, mature and disciplined enough before their parents hand over that 16-digit card. Check out some good options for first-time credit cards here. @USNews @DanielBortz

Continuing the theme of educating the young on the pitfalls of credit, Beverly talks to Fox Business about five common credit report mistakes college students should avoid. She stresses that everyone should keep any document that could legally effect your credit score. Beverly also advises to review your credit report to make sure there aren’t any fraudulent accounts on them. Detecting fraud can help prevent further damage to your credit. @FoxBusiness @FoxBizMoney101

Getting saddled with the debt of a loved one who has recently passed can be hard to bear. Our debt expert Gerri Detweiler tackled the difficult topic of who pays the medical debt of the deceased. In the best cases Medicare and private insurance will cover the entirety of the medical bills, but others aren’t as lucky. Gerri explains that you have to examine all of the medical paperwork that was signed and to seek counsel from patients rights specialists in order to know where you stand. @njdotcom

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Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team