Today I read an article about Mango Money prepaid cards that made me scratch my head. In case you haven’t heard of the new prepaid card offered from MasterCard and distributed through Wal-Mart, here’s a break down of what the card is and how it works. Basically, it’s a prepaid card that allows you to have access to a debit card though you don’t have an account. You pay $10 upfront and … well, I don’t really understand what happens after that. The Mango Money site says that you can load money from another bank account (huh?), have it transferred from one Mango Money account to a different Mango Money account or pay $5 to have your funds loaded onto your card by purchasing a Green Dot refill card at Wal-Mart. Do I really have to say it? WTH?
Nothing about this makes any sense. You want to have access to your funds? Open an account at a local credit union. You want to pay few fees to manage your money? Open an account at a local credit union. You don’t want to carry around your paycheck in cash? OPEN AN ACCOUNT AT A CREDIT UNION.
In case you aren’t clear: Mango Money wants to charge you to use your hard earned money.
Mango Money = bad.
Credit Unions = good.
Locate a credit union by visiting the Credit Union Coop and putting in your zip code.
Since April is Financial Literacy Month I’ve invited a few folks to share their blogs with my readers throughout the month.
As we all know, the new CARD Act has a restriction that will prohibit people younger than 21 from applying for a credit card unless they have a co-signer that is older than 21 years old. That means that parents with students that will be heading off to college soon may want to co-sign for a card for their child to use in emergency situations, but how do you know which card is a good fit for a college student? This guest post from Digerati Life discusses some of the pros and cons of credit card usage for college students and which credit cards may be the best option for your student.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people tell me that monitoring their credit score isn’t important. I’ve heard everything from, “I don’t use credit anyway” to “mine is already bad, so whatever”. Folks don’t realize that though we usually think of credit cards when we think of credit, our credit scores are used to dictate many areas of our lives.
Utility deposits – many utility companies will want to run your credit score in order to turn your services on. You may be asked to provide a deposit if your credit score isn’t up to snuff. We all need electricity, water, gas, etc. Keeping your credit score up lowers your total moving costs by not requiring deposits.
Jobs – employers have been known to run your credit and conduct a background search. More and more often that stack of papers in your application packet will include a request you pull your credit scores. Employers think that if you have a low score you might be tempted to steal or might be distracted from working. Having education and experience is great, but in this day and age it might not be enough to land a great job.
Loans – the interest rate that you will be offered on car loans, home loans, credit cards, etc. is based, in part, on your credit score. The higher the score the lower the interest rate. The lower the interest rate, the more money you save.
It’s important to monitor your 3 credit reports. Make sure that your reports are error free and that you’re taking proactive steps to keep your scores as high as possible. Read more about how to maintain stellar credit scores in Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook.