Arizona credit cardholders might be interested in learning more about why credit card interest rates sometimes increase. In some cases, it is because a promotional APR has expired, so the cardholder is being charged the normal rate. Another reason is because the cardholder has missed two or more payments and is being charged a penalty rate. Those who are charged a penalty rate may have their rate reduced if they make on-time payments for six months or more.
Arizona residents may not be aware of the best ways to reduce debt. Consolidating debts and cancelling credit cards can help, but if certain precautions aren't taken, the result could be more harmful to a credit score in the end. It is possible that individuals attempting to consolidate their debt may be close to making their debt problems even worse. Pinpointing what the goal is when choosing to consolidate may help to avoid pitfalls.
In Arizona as in the rest of the U.S., the IRS requires creditors to disclose all canceled debts of $600 or more on a 1099-C tax notice. In most cases, the agency considers canceled debt a form of taxable income, so people failing to report such debts on their income tax returns could receive an audit that could result in additional taxes, penalties and interest. Those who receive these notices may want to speak with a tax professional before filing their income taxes to discuss their options.
In most cases, credit card companies will negotiate with consumers on past-due amounts to come to a settlement agreement. Some companies advertise services to do this for the consumer, and they can help in some cases. It is important to watch for scams, though, because many companies may attempt to take advantage of consumers or lure them in with false information, such as advertisements to settle debts for pennies on the dollar or guarantees that they will make unsecured debts go away. Some even claim to use a "new government program" to do all of this.
As Arizona residents may know, paying the minimum amount due on a credit card balance may be counterproductive. While there are times it might not be possible to pay more, the amount of interest paid on credit card debt may approach the original amount owed when a person pays the lowest amount possible. Hypothetically, someone with $18,000 of debt at approximately 18 percent interest paying about $400 per month would take about 76 months to pay it off. Additionally, the individual would pay about $12,200 in interest on the original $18,000.
Arizona residents who are being harassed by creditors may be interested in a Michigan woman's response to overdue charges at Kohl's, the well-known department store chain. The woman has filed a lawsuit against Kohl's for unfair collection practices in relation to the bill.
Arizona residents who are dealing with credit card debt may be interested in statistics about American credit card debt. Determining the exact number poses some problems, however. While many different companies gather data and attempt to determine the average American's credit card debt, the answer is not that simple.
Just like taking a medication, relying on credit cards can result in side effects for their users. One such effect is assuming that a person can live a lifestyle that he or she cannot afford. Once the amount of available credit runs out, the borrower may feel as if he or she is downsizing their lifestyle, which can lead to disappointment.
Arizona readers who are carrying the weight of credit card debt may be interested in an article discussing what happens if minimum payments are not made. While there will be bad news for a person's credit, the penalties will not be quite as harsh as some bill collectors may imply.
Arizona residents may be interested in the results of a survey recently conducted by an online credit education company. Results of the survey show that more than 50 percent of those respondents with $20,000 or more in credit card debt believe it is "extremely likely" that they will begin paying down their debts in the coming year. More than 60 percent said it was extremely important to establish a payment plan to keep them on track.