Senior Editor, Money Team

Eileen Ambrose is a senior editor and writer for the Money Team. She previously was a personal finance columnist with the Baltimore Sun.

Credit Card Issuers Show Some Love to Older Consumers

Is your credit card interest rate too high? You may get a lower rate just by asking, especially if you’re an older consumer. That’s a finding from a survey of nearly 1,000 consumers, released today by CreditCards.com. The  website, which tracks card offers, discovered that about two-thirds of people who asked for a lower rate got it. And the odds of a card issuer showing leniency on late payments also improved with your age. For instance, one-third of people ages 18 to 29 received a …

Regulator Seeks Greater Oversight of Auto Financing

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to extend its oversight to large nonbank auto-finance companies to make sure they are not discriminating against consumers. The CFPB announced today its proposed rule to expand its supervision to these companies, which would include the finance arms of auto manufacturers. “Nonbank auto-finance companies extend hundreds of billions of dollars in credit to American consumers, yet they have never been supervised at the federal level,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement. “Today’s proposal …

FTC Asks Older Americans to Help Spot Fraud

The Federal Trade Commission has created a new campaign to tap into the experiences of older adults to help others avoid being victims of fraud. “A lot of times in the media, [older] people are depicted as things happening to them; they are victims. We don’t actually agree,” says Jennifer Leach, a consumer education specialist at the FTC. >> Scams to Avoid “Most people age 60, 65 and older are doing great,” she says. “They are experienced people who have great …

Unpaid Student Loans May Impoverish Older Americans

Though a small percentage of older Americans carry student loans, those who do are incurring this debt faster, have a higher default rate and, as a result, can find themselves living in poverty in retirement, according to a new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office. While older citizens are more burdened by mortgages, auto loans and credit-card debt, student loans among this age group are a growing concern. And unlike young borrowers who have many working years ahead of them to repay, older …

Do a Midyear Checkup on Your Health Care Subsidy

Maybe you thought your work was done once you bought health insurance for the year on one of the government-run exchanges. Not quite. The IRS and other tax experts say now is a good time to revisit that purchase to make sure you’re getting the federal premium assistance you’re entitled to. Whether you’re getting too little - or too much and have to repay it later - there’s still time to contact the exchange and correct any errors for this year. >> Birthday …

FICO Eases Pain of Medical Debt on Credit Scores

FICO, the nation’s leading credit-scoring company, is making two changes that could benefit consumers with debt that has gone into collection. In its newest scoring model, FICO will no longer count debt in collection that has been repaid or settled. The company will also discount medical debt in collection, so it has less of a negative impact on consumers’ scores. More than half of unpaid collections involve medical bills. The medical changes alone could boost a consumer’s score by 25 points, FICO said when announcing …