Sharon Djemal, Darby Lin O’Donnell and Sharon Randall: Save families …

The Great Recession devastated the financial health of families across California, especially the working poor families of Fresno and the surrounding San Joaquin Valley. Millions of Californians are still struggling with unemployment or underemployment, living paycheck to paycheck, barely able to make ends meet.

Last week’s budget deal in Sacramento takes steps to change that. In particular, the budget creates the state’s first earned income tax credit for the working poor, a sorely needed step. But more needs to be done, not just to get money into the wallets of low-income families but also to keep them from losing their money in the first place.

One set of bills...


Increase Your Car Buying Potential in 5 Easy Steps

Buying a car can seem like a daunting task, especially if you have damaged credit. You may be worried about several things: Will you end up getting a bad deal because of your credit history? Could you get in over your head with a vehicle that you cant really afford? Will you even be able to get approved for financing at all?

The good news is that following a few simple measures will give you the advantages you need to make your vehicle buying experience virtually stress-free.

Make a Plan to Get the Best Vehicle Deal Possible

You should never just walk into a car dealership assuming that you will be forced to accept the worst because of your credit situation.

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Credit-card pros urge caution with gas cards

Now that cheap gas is in your rear-view mirror, it’s time to look for deals to lower fuel costs.

“Gas prices have actually been rising all year — 30 percent since January,” according to WalletHub’s report “Best Gas Credit Cards.”

WalletHub and other credit-card pros offer advice on finding gas bargains.

An effective credit card can “earn up to 5 percent rebates on gasoline purchases along with a 1 percent rebate on other purchases,” said Bill Hardekopf, CEO of LowCards.com.

The average driver will need these deals, because he or she is digging deeper when filling up.

The average pump price in New York,...


New chip credit cards putting squeeze on small businesses

Associated Press photo by GERALD HERBERT — Waitress Courtney Jones processes a dinner tab with a Rail table-side credit card processing device at Tableau, a Dickie Brennan Co. restaurant, in New Orleans. Dickie Brennan Co., which operates four New Orleans restaurants, expects to pay more than $25,000 to replace card readers and software once chip cards are phased in and magnetic stripe cards.
Associated Press photo by GERALD HERBERT — Patron Jake Kratz, of Philadelphia, pays his tab with the Rail table-side credit card processing device at Tableau, a Dickie Brennan Co. restaurant, in New Orleans. Dickie Brennan Co.,...

Stolen checks, credit cards found in woman’s vehicle

Laura Cavazos

AUSTIN (KXAN) —  A woman who was caught with stolen mail and credit cards is facing a charge of fraudulent use or possession of identifying information, according to an arrest warrant.

On March 4, Austin police officers responded to 2900 Sunridge Dr. for reports of a man and woman stealing mail from the apartment complex. Officers made contact with a woman, later identified as 26-year-old Laura Cavazos, 26, inside a vehicle.

According to the arrest warrant, inside Cavazos’ vehicle officers found a check made out to her but the owner of the check said he never wrote her a check....


Couple warns others to do ‘homework’ when buying car on Craigslist


KMBCs Scott McDonnell reported that the couple did many things youre supposed to do when buying a car on Craigslist. They met in a public place and made sure there were cameras and people around. But there were some things they didnt do.

We sold our nicest vehicle that we had, that we didnt owe any money on, so we could liquidate because Ive been off work three months, said Debra Isabell.

Isabell and her husband found what they thought would be the perfect vehicle on Craigslist.

It said low miles, one owner, exclamation point 66,000 miles, Isabell said.

The next day they met to buy the car. The title was open, signed with a womans name , but not filled...


Police searching for men who stole woman’s purse, used credit cards in …

Virginia Beach, Va. Police are asking for the publics help in identifying two men who allegedly stole a womans purse and used her credit cards.

The purse was stolen from the victims car in the 1400 block of Riverside Drive sometime between midnight May 30th and 7 am May 31st.

Detectives are asking for assistance in identifying these two suspects.

Anyone with information regarding this crime is encouraged to call Virginia Beach Crime Solvers at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (1-888-562-5887) or by texting “VBTIP” and the information to CRIMES (274637).   Tipsters remain anonymous and could be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward if their information leads to an arrest.


6 Credit Cards With No Balance Transfer Fees

They hate them so much that, when they need a new credit card, many consumers flock to cards with no fees or credit cards that offer simple and easy-to-understand fee structures (we highlight a few of those simple credit cards in the Best Credit Cards in America series).

When you are trying to save money on interest by transferring your balance on one credit card to another with a lower interest rate, nearly every credit card will impose a 3% balance transfer fee on the amount of the transaction. So if you have to transfer a $4,000 balance, you will end up owing an additional $120 from the start. Ouch!

Thankfully, there are a few credit cards that do not have this fee. Here are six cards...


PayRange, A Startup That Enables Vending Machines To Take Credit Cards For …

PayRange, which makes a small device that plugs into vending machines that enables customers to pay with credit cards, said that it has raised $12 million in venture financing.

The company produces a device that plugs into vending machines that interacts with an app. It uses Bluetooth to connect to the app, wherein customers can make a purchase. The device works with basically any vending machine, making it a good way to retrofit existing machines to take credit cards as cash becomes increasingly less commonplace.

“There is a snack vending machine located in virtually every emergency room in this country,” CEO Paresh Patel said. “People often run to the ER without...


Credit Cards Stolen From Purses at Northbrook Court

Two cases of credit cards being stolen from purses at Northbrook Court were reported on consecutive days this week.

On June 23, a woman who had been dining with a friend at a Mall restaurant noticed her credit card missing the her purse that was located behind her when she went to pay the bill. She immediately called the credit card company, but found a purchase of $4,500 was already made at another Mall business.

The next day, another woman reported her credit cards were stolen from her purse while dining at the Mall and learned shortly after that theft transactions were attempted at the Mall using the credit cards.