Tim Westrich


Compact View

Card Sharks Article
Citigroup Inc. announced on November 14 that it would raise its credit card interest rates just weeks after accepting $25 billion from the federal government to help the economy recover. (AP/Jin Lee)

Card Sharks

Banks tapping the government’s $700 billion financial rescue package are raising interest rates instead of helping the economy recover, observes Tim Westrich.

Tim Westrich

Help for Main Street Article
The Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights will help consumers dealing with credit card debt. (Flickr/SqueakyMarmot)

Help for Main Street

Landmark credit card protections passed by the House in the midst of bailout negotiations are good news for consumers, writes Tim Westrich.

Tim Westrich

Credit Card Showdown Article
Congress and the Federal Reserve could take measures this month that would help protect consumers who use credit cards responsibly. (Flickr/Brett L.)

Credit Card Showdown

Both Congress and the Fed could pass much-needed protections to help consumers manage rising credit card debt, writes Tim Westrich.

Tim Westrich

Avoiding Costly Overdrafts: Think Twice Before You Swipe Your Debit Card Article

Avoiding Costly Overdrafts: Think Twice Before You Swipe Your Debit Card

Even checking accounts—probably the most basic account in banking—contain a plethora of hidden traps these days and practice a type of “gotcha capitalism” that will get you if you don’t take a few steps to avoid the most common pitfalls.

Tim Westrich

Your First Car Loan: Know Before You Go Article

Your First Car Loan: Know Before You Go

So, you’re finally on your own with a new job. If you’re like most Americans, a car is a necessary item—88 percent of Americans use their car to get to work. The path to getting an auto loan is full of pitfalls that can extract extra money over the course of the loan. And with the price of gas at record levels, getting a car that will serve your needs and fit into your budget may require some planning.

Tim Westrich

Six of One, Half Dozen of the Other Article

Six of One, Half Dozen of the Other

As consumers are less able to access home equity loans, they are turning to credit cards to continue their consumption—meaning it’s more important than ever to improve credit card terms.

Tim Westrich

The Young and the Indebted Article
A student at the University of Missouri.

The Young and the Indebted

High fees, high interest rates, and complex terms that come with credit cards are particularly damaging to increasing numbers of young people who use plastic.

Troubled Homeowners Need Breathing Room Article
An unfinished development in suburban Las Vegas awaits completion. Struggling homeowners who bought when the market was high are now stuck with resetting adjustable-rate mortgages and payments they can't afford. New legislation could help them avoid foreclosure. (AP/Isaac Brekken)

Troubled Homeowners Need Breathing Room

A new House bill would give borrowers and servicers more time to renegotiate mortgages so that homeowners can keep their homes, writes Tim Westrich.

Tim Westrich

Plastic Reforms Article

Plastic Reforms

Regulators and lawmakers shouldn’t miss the opportunity to help Americans avoid “credit card hell.”

Tim Westrich

The State of Minorities Article
A crowd of job seekers joins a line of hundreds of people seeking to apply for employment at the M&M's World store in New York. (AP/Mark Lennihan)

The State of Minorities

Hispanic and African-American households are likely to suffer first and to suffer more in the current economic downturn, write Tim Westrich and Amanda Logan.

Amanda Logan, Tim Westrich

Credit Card Crash-Test Article

Credit Card Crash-Test

Every day, average American families' financial health is challenged on all fronts: fewer job opportunities, declining home values, and rising prices for necessities like health care, education and child care. With the prospect that gas could approach $4 per gallon this summer, many Americans' budgets will reach a breaking point. Too many families are only a layoff or medical emergency away from financial ruin.

Tim Westrich

House of Cards Report

House of Cards

Report details the relationship between slowly growing U.S. mortgage markets and the suddenly aggressive growth of credit card debt.

Never Pay Another Overdraft Fee Article

Never Pay Another Overdraft Fee

New overdraft protection legislation will give Americans a clear choice about whether they want to pay fees to have their transactions covered.

Tim Westrich