Sit. Stay. Roll over. Now go fetch a credit card with a low-interest rate…
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It's been kind of a quiet week in the news when it comes to credit cards, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it brings the really weird stuff bubbling to the surface.
Plastic for your pet?
You've heard of dead people occasionally being offered credit cards. And you've heard of dogs being offered credit cards. But this may be a first -- a dead dog.
The Observer, the paper of record for Sarnia, Ontario, reported that last week, Kelly Sloan of Sarnia, Ontario, was looking through his mail when he found an offer from Capital One.
"We're not offering our low long-term rate to just anyone," the letter stated. But, actually, yes, apparently they were offering the low long-term rate to just about anyone because the offer was mailed to Spark Sloan. Spark is the name of Sloan's dog, who died at the age of 13 -- over 10 years ago.
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Now, it's not completely Capital One's fault (although mostly, yes, it is). Sloan canceled his late father's Capital One credit card, and when the marketing materials and offers kept pouring into his dearly departed dad, the dutiful son asked the company to stop with the mailings. They didn't, and so one day Sloan -- apparently feeling mischievous -- filled out an application and put Spark's name as the consumer applying for the card.
Now, evidently, the dog is getting offers for credit cards, which may make people with bad credit and who want a credit card really shake their heads in disbelief. Still, maybe this should be the start of some sort of trend. Dogs give us so much joy, from being generally glad to see their owners to starring in some hilarious Super Bowl commercials. Maybe man's best friend deserves a rewards credit card with a low long-term interest rate.
Credit card debt drops most in hardest hit areas
Equifax is reporting that almost 60 of the top 100 metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) that have been clobbered by credit card debt have now, in the last year, seen serious declines in what they owe to credit cards -- into the double digits. The MSAs with the steepest drops were:
- Port St. Lucie, Fla., residents owe 23.59 percent less in credit card debt than they did a year ago.
- Ocala, Fla. is second with 20.97 percent.
- The Bremerton-Silverdale area in Washington state is close behind at 20.62 percent.
- Shreveport-Bossier City, La. clocks in at 20.10 percent.
- Bakersfield-Delano, Calif. with 19.05 percent.
In the press release, Equifax president Trey Loughran said, "It is interesting that MSAs from some of the states hardest hit by the recession showed some of the biggest reductions in credit card debt. This suggests that consumers from these hardest hit areas have been especially cautious in their spending and diligent in paying down their credit card debt."
In any case, it's always nice to see some good economic news.
If your credit card number starts with 5510
Relax. Do nothing. It's just a coincidence.
The police department in Heath, Ohio, is alerting their residents that a scam in the name of Hopewell Federal Credit Union has been going on, according to The Newark Advocate. Two of Heath's residents were texted with the news that their credit cards starting with the number 5510 had been deactivated. The residents were told to call a phone number to presumably get everything straightened out.
Well, obviously the scammer is hoping to either get lucky and land some panicked person who happens to have those numbers on their credit card, and then the person on the other end of the line can calmly ask them to repeat the entire number to make sure that this is, indeed, the right account. You can just imagine what the con artist will do if someone calls them and provides their full credit card number.
Anyway, if you're ever panicking over one of these mysterious messages, as The Newark Advocate suggests, call your bank or credit union directly and check it out. Don't call the number that the text message gives you.