Jul 9

Credit cards have a variety of uses in modern day living, for example you might need to book flights for which you don’t have the money upfront. In this situation you could use your credit card to make the purchase and then pay the balance off each month until you’re back at zero.

A major bonus of credit cards is the fact they are accepted all over the world from Australia to Austria. You need to look out for the logo that belongs to your credit card, usually displayed in the windows of stores and shops worldwide, and then you can shop until your heart’s content.

You can also use your credit card to purchase goods over the telephone and online, as well as in person, which adds to the convenience by paying with plastic.

Before you apply for a credit card it helps to think about how you will actually use the card. If you plan to settle the full balance every month then a card that has no annual fee and longer payment terms might be suitable for you.

If you think that you might carry over a balance from month to month then a card that offers a lower interest rate might be what you need. The lower the interest the better, as you end up paying less money back in the long-term.

If you plan to use your card to get cash advances it is wise to look for a card with low interest and lower fees on cash advances. Some cards charge more interest for cash advances than for purchases so this is a point worth checking before signing on the dotted line.

The annual percentage rate (APR) is the way of stating the interest rate you will pay if you carry over a balance, take out a cash advance, or transfer a balance from another card. The APR states the interest as a yearly rate so make sure you compare like for like when weighing up different cards.

Some credit card companies offer introductory APR rates so remember that a different rate will apply once the introductory offer expires.

Using a credit card can help to build a strong credit rating for yourself, which is a handy benefit when it comes to applying for loans and mortgages in the future. Bear in mind you need to pay your credit card balance off and use the card sensibly in order to boost your credit rating.

If you fail to keep up with credit card repayments you may in fact damage your credit rating and cause financial complications for yourself.

Using credit cards to pay for household bills and expenses is an easy way to keep all your spending in one place and makes it easy to track your finances. Just remember to pay the minimum balance off each month!

Jun 6

Struggling to meet spending commitments? While taking out a credit card could be an effective means of tackling money management problems, borrowers should ensure that they do not fall into the trap of getting themselves into an untenable financial position.

In a Money-AU article, Sharat urges people not to make one of the several common mistakes when it comes to credit cards. One of these, “which is something that nearly everyone does“, is purchasing unnecessary items on plastic.

This, the Money-AU.com writer states, can be avoided by taking the time to regularly examine credit card statements, something which could allow them to recognise what expenditure is wasteful.

Meanwhile, those looking for an effective means of keeping on to top of credit card expenditure may also wish to search for a product offers an interest free period on purchases.

Furthermore, borrowers are urged to ensure they are getting the most competitive deal possible.

Stating that the majority of people are too lazy to scour the market for a credit card coming with a good rate interest deal, the article states consumers should be particularly wary of rates provided on unsolicited credit card offers.

Those that have had money management problems in the past however were advised that they are unlikely to be able to obtain the most competitive rates or terms.

In addition, people need to make sure that they make repayments on their card on time, not only so that they avoid facing a fine from their card issuer but also they avoid incurring damage to their financial report, something that could impact upon their ability to access credit later on in life.

An earlier Money-AU article stated that while a 0% balance transfer deal can be an effective way of shift debts, borrowers should ensure they do not use the credit card for any purpose other than repaying what they owe.

Jun 4

In present financial scenario, plenty of us can’t help but to get into and live of credit to some degree and a common way in which plenty of us use credit cards. Though, it is crucial that you don’t misuse your credit card and that you are prudent about how and which credit card you use, as otherwise you could end up paying too much for your credit borrowing, which is something we can all do without these days.

Industry officials suggest that people with decent credit rating might still be able to get good deals on credit cards, and so you could still take advantage from keeping an eye on credit card rates by comparing credit cards and switching your card or provider in periodical basis, as this can assist you maintain interest payments down, and helps to make sure that best deal available for your requirements.

The other tip is to make sure that you move your credit card debt if you are paying over the excess in terms of payments. If you have a high interest credit card with a balance on it, try to switch for 0% balance transfer credit card deal, where you can avoid paying interest at all as long as you clear the balance within the interest free period.

People looking for a credit car to buy things should look for 0% purchase credit card deal, as these offer interest free period for an expanded length of time, so you have more time to repay what you owe for purchases without having to pay any interest on purchase that can save your good amount of money.

The other factor that experts recommend consumers to do is make sure that repayments on their credit card balances are made in time and for at least minimum amount needed, as otherwise high charges might be applied to the account, which will bump up what you owe. Try not to make cash withdrawals on your card, as this will be a subject of high fees.

Mar 31

For those of us who need short term loans, we sometimes turn to credit cards to finance our purchases for 30 days or more. Not only do credit cards allow us extra time to pay off our debts, they can be a great way of tracking expenses for extended time periods (this is especially handy during tax time & for those of us who own our business’).

But, since there are thousands of different types of credit card offers out there – like student cards, gas cards, & business credit cards – it’s sometimes a little tricky to figure out which offer is right & whether a offer is really a good deal or not.

So, what can we do? Besides taking the time to do the legwork & investigate the different credit card offers, here are 3 tips to make sure that whatever card you get really is the best deal you can get…

  1. “Low APR Will Get You Far.” – 0% APRs are optimal. Some credit cards offer very low introductory teaser rates in order to get you signed up as a customer & then the rates will sometimes rise. However, these can be really great deals if you find the right one. For example, a few years ago, I signed up for a 0% APR credit card, but the 0% term ran for 18 months! Granted, the interest rate eventually rose, but by then, I had long since paid off my balance. Look around for true 0% APRs, but pay close attention for how long the 0% term runs for.
  2. “No Fee For Me.” Next, keep an eye open for credit cards with no annual fees. Some credit card companies impose annual fees on their card holders, regardless of credit card activity…But, other credit card companies offer “no annual fee” cards & that’s what you want to look for…Not having to pay a steep annual fee is a fantastic benefit- one that you definitely want to take advantage of. These cards allow you to use their services without having to pay $50 or $75 yearly. The less money you have to pay for any type of service the better, right?! You better believe it.
  3. “What’s in Store? Points, Gifts, & More…” During the last 20 years, credit card companies have seemed to get into some kind of competition with each other in order to offer different bonus’ in order to attract new customers. These credit card bonus’ range from free gas cards, frequent flyer miles, hotel stays, gift certificates to thousands of retailers, & just about everything else imaginable. And these bonus’ can be really great- however, just like the APR & no annual fee advice above, you’ve got to make sure you know what you are really getting & whether the terms can be changed when you aren’t looking. Personally, I’ve found that the Starwood cards from American Express have excellent rewards…mainly because the Starwood rewards are flexible enough to be changed into many different types of bonus’- everything from free hotel stays to Amazon points.

In closing, if you follow these 3 tips, you will be well on your way to getting a credit card that fits your situation just right. Good luck.

Feb 1

The Subprime-mortgage subprime mortgage crisis was sparked by the uptick in interest rates on adjustable-rate mortgages. Homeowners suddenly found themselves unable to make higher mortgage payments, and foreclosures soon followed. The same ugly scenario could repeat itself with credit cards.

Our economy has been bruised and battered after the housing market bust. It now appears that a new crisis-a credit card market meltdown-may be imminent.

This emerging cause for concern is related to the changes in credit card terms that banks are instituting to protect themselves from future losses. Credit card companies are increasing interest rates and reducing credit limits at the drop of a hat, causing strapped consumers to scramble to make escalating payments.

Harsh penalties

The fallout from the economic crisis has many credit card companies on the defensive. They’re reviewing all credit card terms, and doing everything to minimize their risk exposure among questionable customers. If you’re late on a payment, for example, you can expect an immediate increase in your interest rate.

While it may be fair to assess a penalty in the event of a late payment, the reaction by credit card companies is proving too severe for many cardholders. There have been numerous cases of banks raising rates to 20 percent or higher, which can significantly impact a person’s minimum monthly payment if she carries a balance.

Financial crisis, Act II

If those minimum payments skyrocket, another subprime-like financial crisis may be on the horizon. With the subprime market meltdown, declining home values made re-qualifying for a new home loan impossible. This pulled the rug out from under people who carried an adjustable-rate mortgage. Unable to qualify for a new loan, they were forced to make payments on the mortgage with the new higher rate.

The payments proved too high for many homeowners, and their homes fell into foreclosure. A similar scenario is occurring with credit cards. Consumers who have household budgets already stretched to the breaking point can’t afford significant increases in their monthly credit card payments.

Another drag on the economy

The revision in credit card terms could have drastic long-term consequences for the economy as a whole. Consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the economy’s overall activity. While incurring excessive debt isn’t a solution, neither is scaring shoppers. If people live in mortal fear of using their credit cards because a spike in their interest rate could ultimately lead to a home foreclosure, then many people will opt to pass on the trip to the shopping mall.

Not all the blame can be levied on credit card companies, which are doing everything they can to keep their heads above water. A more realistic penalty could be used to curb poor money management habits. It would help consumers in the short run, and aid the economic recovery in the years ahead.

Jan 10

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, signed into law on Dec. 4, 2003, gives every American the right to a free credit report every year from each of the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. What the law doesn’t do is give every American the ability to read their credit report. Not one word in the law says the credit bureaus have to write it in plain, easy-to-understand language. Go to Federal Trade Commission and click on consumers then credit and read it for yourself. Hopefully you’ll stay awake.

While all credit reports follow a basic format, some vary so what you are about to read doesn’t apply across the board. If you didn’t get it directly from one of the bureaus mentioned above, your best bet for a translation is the source providing your copy.

Here is the four-part skeleton most bureaus use. Part one is your identifying information. This would be information like your name, social security number, previous addresses, current address, date of birth, driver’s license number, telephone number, spouse’s name and your employer and length of employment. As with all sections, pay close attention because chances are pretty darned good, some of it is wrong.

 

It is wrong because this information comes to the bureau from a myriad of sources and the bureau doesn’t take the time to update or correct it. That leaves you as your own correcting agent.

Part two is your credit history. This is usually the longest part of your report because you probably have had department store accounts, multiple credit cards, multiple bank and other financial institution loans, mortgages, car loans, lines of credit, home equity loans and other transactions involving credit.

 

Sometimes you will see the bureau calls these accounts trade lines. No big deal because they are still your accounts.

These accounts usually start with when you opened the account then tell the type or kind of credit (installment, car loan, personal loan, etc.) and whether it is in your name or someone else is on the account with you. The total amount of the loan with your high credit limit or if it is a credit card, your highest balance follows. The next thing it shows is how much you still owed and if the payments are fixed or minimum monthly amounts. Your status, open/inactive/closed/paid, follow your payments then comes the item everybody wants to know, how well you’ve paid on the account.

This is where the bureaus list if you are late, and if late, how late and how often you’ve been late. If you are not late, it will show you pay on time.

Part three is called Public Inquiries or Public Records. This is where tax liens, judgments, foreclosures and bankruptcies are listed. You want this part to be blank and I do mean blank. If you see anything here, attempt to correct immediately if not sooner.

Part four is the Inquiries section. It is divided into two parts. Part one is the inquiries you initiate by filling out a credit application. This section is generally referred to as the hard inquiry section because you are the initiator of the inquiries.

The second part is called the soft inquiry section. What you’ll find here are the names of companies who have sent you offers of credit or current creditors who are monitoring your account.

 

Sometimes there is a fifth section called Remarks. Read it because you never know who reported what about you.

Each credit report bureau places an explanation of terms usually on the backside of the report pages. In it, they explain what the numbers and letters you see next to your accounts mean. So, if you see something like I9, don’t fret, as it should be defined in the explanation of terms.

Of course, I9 could be negative, so you may have to fret. Either way, you are now almost totally armed to deal with that free credit report the law said the bureaus had to give you.

Good luck and may all your credit be A+.

Jan 9

Have pending balances on your credit cards? Unable to pay off these high interest balances? Don’t get upset because balance transfer credit cards can help you to easily scrap off these credit card dues easily and reduce your credit card debts conveniently.

credit cardsGenerally balance transfer credit cards are offered at 0% interest rate for an introductory period, usually between 6-12 months. The 0% interest rate applies to your purchasing made during that introductory offer and this way you can easily save a great deal of money. It is suggested to pay off your balances on time each month. If you falter or miss your payments then you will end up paying extra in terms of extra fee than what you would have saved.

Before you apply for a balance transfer card, it is important to check out certain things. First check if there are any fees involved, as these vary from one card to another. Various companies generally charge a certain amount to bring over an existing balance. The usual rate is around 3 percent of the total amount and in many cases, the money you save in terms of interest will overshadow the cost of transferring. But contrary to this there are many cards that will not charge anything. With your balance transfer cards you can easily pay off you’re piled up debts that carry higher interest rate and can easily pay off all existing debts and become debt free.

Some of the cards come with additional benefits like rewards, discounts or cash back offer. You can choose you’re on this basis to make maximum out of it. When you start shopping with your credit card you get cash back facility or rewards on the purchases you make.

If you are facing credit problems then also you can apply for balance transfer credit cards. If you have CCJs, IVA, late payments, arrears, defaults and bankruptcy in your credit report even then you can easily approach for these cards.

Online you can easily apply and access wide information about balance transfer credit cards. You can apply by just filling up a simple application form with few personal details.

Balance transfer credit cards offer various benefits and easy financial assistance to all. You can easily apply and get these cards.