Turkey day is around the corner. Are you ready for the feast? If your family is like mine, you may talk about all the things in your life that you’re thankful for while you share your Thanksgiving meal.
It can be easy to get swept away by all the negative financial news that’s still swirling around us. But there’s also plenty of good news out there too, this holiday season. Here are five financial things to be thankful for.
1. Americans are improving their credit scores. According to Experian’s second annual State of Credit list, which ranks major American cities by their average credit scores, five out of the 10 lowest-scoring cities improved their scores and decreased their debt since 2010.
2. Banks appear to be listening. After much public outcry, one of the nation’s largest banks announced it will not impose a $5 per month fee on account holders for using their debit cards. The move will save account-holders $60 a year and can be interpreted as a sign that the power of the consumer – to take your business elsewhere – is alive and well in America.
3. More jobs need to be filled. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that there were 3.35 million available jobs at the end of September, an increase of 220,000 jobs since August. Plus, hiring rose in September too.
4. Credit cards are getting fairer. And we’re all using them less. The federal Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009 has made it harder for credit card companies to add on fees and change interest rates. Plus, we’re using less unsecured (revolving) credit and more of the “good” secured (nonrevolving) type of credit, according to the Federal Reserve.
5. We’re paying down debt. Plenty of polls and studies throughout the year have indicated that Americans are doing their best to get out of debt. The aftershocks of the Great Recession may continue to linger, but so has this good habit that many of us relearned during the economic turmoil. We’re working toward paying down credit card and other types of revolving debt.