43 Million American’s Credit Scores Now a Poor Risk for Lenders

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A quarter of Americans have a credit score below 599.

Credit scores of millions of Americans are sinking to new lows.  Figures provided by FICO Inc. show that 25.5 percent of consumers — nearly 43.4 million people — now have a credit score of 599 or below, marking them as poor risks for lenders. It’s unlikely they will be able to get credit cards, auto loans or mortgages under the tighter lending standards banks now use.

 

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First Cell Phone Radiation Law Passed in San Francisco

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Retailers must post how much radiation is emitted by the cell phones they sell.

We know what happens when a radioactive spider bites you. You become spiderman. But what happens when you get too much cell phone radiation? Nothing good, that’s for sure. And so the people of San Francisco will soon have a new cellphone radiation law to help.

 

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Federal Reserve Issues New Rules To Protect Consumers Against Gift Card Abuses

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Gift card rules take effect Aug. 22.

The Federal Reserve has issued new rules to protect Americans from getting stung by unexpected fees or restrictions on gift cards.  Gift cards have grown in popularity — with more than 95% of Americans having received or purchased them, the Fed said.

 

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How Will Credit Card Reform Affect Your Wallet?

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How will credit card reform affect your wallet?

The new law makes it more difficult for credit card companies to charge higher-risk customers higher interest rates and fees. To make up the difference, issuers say, they need to raise the terms even for good borrowers.

Here is a breakdown of the reforms and how they might affect your wallet:

 

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Federal Reserve Will Limit Overdraft Fees Charged By Banks

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The Federal Reserve released a long-awaited rule Thursday requiring banks and credit unions to get consumers’ permission before charging steep fees to pay debit card and ATM overdrafts.The final rule, which comes amid intense congressional scrutiny of bank overdraft practices, will take effect by July 1, 2010, for new customers and Aug. 15, 2010, for existing customers. The Fed released a preliminary rule on debit card and ATM overdrafts late last year, but didn’t say then if it would require banks to get consumers’ consent before signing them up for these programs.

 

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U.S. Federal Reserve Proposes Tough New Credit Card Rules To Protect Consumers

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The U.S. Federal Reserve on Tuesday proposed tough new credit card rules to protect consumers from potentially costly practices by lenders and moved to implement legislation enacted in May.  This action is considered by many to be a step in the right direction, and a step recommended in Thomas Frey’s paper titled the “Hornet Nest Theory“.

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48% Of Consumers In The U.S. Would Buy A Plug-in Hybrid Car

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PHEV

Nearly half of U.S. consumers are interested in buying a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, according to a survey released Tuesday by Boulder’s Pike Research.  According to Pike’s survey of 1,041 U.S. consumers, 48 percent said they would be “extremely” or “very” interested in buying a plug-in hybrid, or PHEV, with a 40-mile range on a single charge.

 

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2009 Global Consumer Trends

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Consumer trends around the world

It’s not going to be all work and no play for today’s consumers, even as the economy drags people down financially and emotionally, Mintel sees a continued focus on enjoyment and life fulfillment. While people around the world still feel pessimistic, Mintel sees them discovering ways to transform their lifestyles and lighten the mood.

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