Tag Archives: credit cards

0% APR Introductory with Balance Transfer Option

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The Christmas Holiday Season brings retailers 25% and more of their yearly sales. It is safe to assume the month of January most likely shows the highest consumer credit card balances. As impulse buying often is the culprit in charging more than we planned, it is easy to see how one could get carried away during the ‘season of giving.’

Now it’s January and those bills have started coming in. Two or more credit cards with high balances can take a bite out of your budget. The easiest solution for many consumers is to apply for one of the many 0% APR introductory credit cards with balance transfer options. This could lower their payment by consolidating their bills and at 0% interest to boot!

When you’re looking into all the offers of 0% Introductory credit cards that allow you to transfer the balance from other cards, you need to compare offers carefully. Be sure you read the fine print. We often get into the habit of getting excited with the hype and fail to read the details.

When you’re considering a new 0% APR credit card, look into how long the introductory period is. It varies from card to card. It can be six months or twelve months with some newer offers up to eighteen months. How long is it going to take you to pay the balance down to where you are comfortable with it?

Then there’s the issue of the balance transfer. Is there a fee for the balance transfer? Some cards do not charge a fee to transfer and others charge as much as 3%.

The 0% offers usually apply towards any amount you transfer over from other cards; but, does it apply to new purchases? This feature also varies. Sometimes it’s just the ‘balance transfer’ amount and other times it includes ‘new purchases’ as well.

Another thing consumer should be concerned with when applying for a 0% APR introductory offer with a balance transfer feature, is what is the interest rate after the introductory period is over? This really can vary by several percentage points. Is it comparable to the competitors?

Finally, individuals need to be aware that if they should become delinquent prior to when the twelve-month period is over, that 0% APR is gone. The offers can now charge as much as 32% in some instances when your account is not kept up with the terms of the card. This could put quite a dent in the balance owing and the monthly payment as well.

The 0% APR introductory offer can be a great help to your financial situation. Just be sure to read the fine print. Know that you will be able to keep the terms and that the additional features of the card, including rewards offered, is what you are looking for.

How To Get A Credit Card With Bad Credit

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The Credit History report is like the Hall Monitor in the world of credit cards. The credit history report will serve as a security for credit card companies to screen out the bad weeds and the good weeds.

However, it might be hard for some of us to maintain that perfect credit history. This is because life is not perfect; some of us will encounter problems in our cash flow to pay off certain bills. When that happens, it damages your credit score more. 

The lower credit score you have the harder time it is for you getting a credit card or even loans. Lower credit scores may even give you problems finding a job or an apartment.

To be on the fair side, credit card companies do look at other matters when you apply for a credit card. It will only serve as a consideration. The other thing they look at is your credit history. On your credit history, they will base how many times you’ve paid late, how much debt you owe and how much is the credit still available. They will also look at the time you have spent with your job and if you have been earning a steady income with that job.

The lender will usually consider person who has made late payments but has seen that the debt to income ratio is manageable. This means that you can make enough money that can pay off the debts you currently owe.

When also applying for a credit card. Limit your application to a few numbers of credit card companies. The greater number of pending applications you have, the more damaging it could be to your credit score. Try to research before applying for a credit card. Check out the cards that are catered for people with low credit scores.

If you are afraid of all the bad things and risk involved when getting a card also consider the benefits the credit card is able to provide. If you are a person who is repairing or improving your credit rating. You are most likely using all the cash you must pay out those bills. Therefore, making you have less money available for emergency purposes.

Having a card will give you the money you need. However, do be responsible with the card and do not overcharge it. Also learn to pay the bill of card on time.

It is suggestible for people with bad credit rating to get secured credit cards. These cards work by making the user deposit certain amount of money to the card company. The limit you have is the amount you have deposited. When you use the card, the amount will be deducted to your deposit.

The good thing about this is, when you are not using the deposited money, the money will be earning form the interest. It also helps improve your credit rating.

27,400 Cases of Identity Theft Daily – Will You Be Next?

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Did you know that within the United States alone, there are 10,000,000 victims of identity theft every year. That is a stunning 27,400 cases every day or 1,140 victims every hour. What is even more disturbing is that by all indications, this problem will get worse before it starts to get better.

Identity theft happens when your personal information is stolen and used to commit fraud. This is a very serious offence that can ruin your good name and credit, and cost you lots of time and money.

Have you put anything in place to protect yourself from this problem? Identity thieves can only take advantage of you if they get valuable information from you such as your social security number. Here are some pointers on how to protect yourself from this crime, detect it, and report it.

One of the first things you can do to protect yourself from this menace is not to keep your social security card or any form of identification that has your SSN on it, on your person. Memorize your SSN and keep your Social Security Card in a secure safe at home or at a bank. Do not divolge your SSN to anyone without first knowing exactly what they are going to do with it and how they are going to store and protect it.

Never give out personal information on the phone or internet unless you are absolutely sure you know who you are dealing with, and that the information being requested is necessary.

Obtain your FREE credit report annually from the three national consumer reporting agencies, and carefully review them. Review your financial accounts regularly, looking particularly for charges you did not make.

Be very careful with the disposal of your trash. You should invest in a small shredder, so that you can shred any document you wish to dispose of, especially those that may have sensitive information on them such as credit card statements or health insurance forms.

If you should ever become a victim of identity theft, you must act very quickly and do the following:

Contact your credit card company and have your credit card(s) cancelled.
Contact at least one of the three free national consumer reporting companies, and have them put a fraud alert on your file.
Contact each creditor where your credit has been misused, and inform them about the fraud. Ensure that you follow this up in writing.
Contact your local police department and report the fraud, and get a copy of the police report. This will be a very valuable document to prove that you are a victim of identity theft and that you have reported the matter to the police. This should therefore protect you from debt collectors.

So please take care of your personal information. Be alert and immediately report it should you become a victim of this crime.

Every year there are 10,000,000 victims of identity theft every year in the United States alone. Will you be the next victim. Find out how to protect yourself.

Does Closing a Credit Card Hurt Your Credit Score?

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When you have decided to start repairing your credit, the first thing you will go for is probably your credit card account(s). For many people, credit card accounts contribute largely to negative entries. And if you pay off the balance or cancel it completely, you figure it will be a big step in the right direction. 

Should You Cancel Your Credit Cards?

No, you shouldn’t. It is a bad idea. One of the biggest determinants of your credit score is your credit history. It is, therefore, better to keep the credit account open. Holding on to the account will help you maintain your current score or improve it. 

Besides, if you cancel the credit card, it will still remain in your credit report. And it will be there for ten years. It is part of your credit history which makes up 15% of your credit score. 

Your Credit Score May Get Hurt If You Close Your Credit Cards

Having open credit card accounts contributes to your credit history, even when it has negative entries. It is better to clear late payments than to close the cards. 

This may be confusing because closing a credit card account may seem logical. But a few months after you close the accounts, your score will most likely drop.

Why does this happen?

How you manage your open credit accounts greatly determines your credit score. If you close the account, the only thing that will matter is the history and it may not be good. 

An exceptional credit score shows that you have well-managed long-term accounts. 

Too many credit accounts are not good for your score. But the solution is not closing them. Rather, you should avoid opening many accounts. 

So if you have an open credit account, don’t close it. 

Credit Utilization Will Fall

If you close your credit cards, your credit utilization will be negatively affected. This is the percentage of available credit used. Lower credit utilization increases your score. In fact, credit utilization makes up for 30% of your credit score. 

Cancelling a card lowers your available credit. And if you spend what you usually spend using your credit cards, the utilization ratio goes up. 

To improve credit utilization ratio, pay off your credit card balance (or most of it) and use credit cards less. 

Closing Your Credit Card Account: Alternatives

Instead of cancelling your credit card, it is better to stop using it or use it less. But there’s something else you can do. Contact your credit card company. See if they can waive your annual fee. 

You can also switch to a no-annual-fee card. Everything will stay the same. The only thing you may lose is the rewards point program. 

How About Reopening Credit Cards Accounts?

If you had already closed the credit card account, talk to the issuer and ask whether they can reopen it. They will definitely take a look at your report first. And they may consider if you have improved.