Carry a credit card balance? Your rates may be going up - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Carry a credit card balance? Your rates may be going up

Report by Lauren Lowrey - email | bio

Posted by LS

It's tough enough paying down debt, but it's even harder now. Banks are raising rates on consumers who pay on time, but let their balances ride.

We've found a few web sites that offer alerts and news about card changes before you're hit in the wallet.

  • Lowcard.com
  • Indexcreditcards.com
  • Cardratings.com
  • Cardtrak.com.

These are all credit-card comparison sites loaded with information.

For example, on Lowcards.com, there's an article for Citigroup customers who will receive notice in their November statement that their interest rate is going up by an average of 3%.

We also learned customers with J.P. Morgan Chase who have carried a balance for more than two years will be charged a $10 monthly fee starting in January.

In December, American Express will lob a 2-3% interest-rate hike across a number of consumers.

But you don't have to take all of this sitting down. You can actually opt out by either calling the credit-card issuer or send a letter. By opting-out, you agree to pay off the balance owed at your current rate. Also, it often means you stop charging new purchases on the card.

Links to useful sites

LowCard.com, IndexCreditCards.com, CardRatings.com, CardTrak.com and Credit.com are credit-card comparison sites with plenty of additional consumer news and information. BillShrink.com asks for some information about how you use credit cards and then provides several recommendations of cards that might make good values for you. The site will also email alerts when better deals arise. Similarly, CardHub.com is a card comparison site.

Others sites are useful for keeping track of your finances. And staying on top of your budget can help you reduce your use of credit cards. Mint.com, the free online personal-finance tool, now lets you check your online balances via mobile phone, helping you make sure you don't overdraw your checking account or overspend on your credit card while holiday shopping. Rudder.com is another free, online personal-finance planning tool.

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