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Fees and Reports

Scott Bilker Scott Bilker is the founder of DebtSmart.com and author of the best-selling books, Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card DebtCredit Card and Debt Management, and How to be more Credit Card and Debt Smart. Receive the 5-Year Loan Spreadsheet when you subscribe to his email newsletter.

As of the end of January 2013, merchants are now allowed to charge customers a surcharge, or checkout fee, for using credit cards. That charge could be up to 4%, but is supposed to be no more than the merchant is charged for processing the transaction. Of course, how can we ever know the real fee. The bottom line is that it’s going to cost us more to use our credit cards. However, this could backfire on merchants because people, me specifically, will either use cash and buy less–a lot less–or do business with those who don’t charge this fee.

Also in the news, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported on 2/11/13 that 5% of consumers had errors on one of the three major credit reports. That means you must be sure to keep an eye on yours! You don’t want to end up in that 5% group because you may end up paying more interest than you should.

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