Category Archives: Credit Card
One very effective way of reducing your overwhelming credit card debts is to transfer the existing credit card balance to a different company that offers a lower interest rate than the existing one. Credit card companies make their whole lot of money by charging the interests that you pay and it can usually go up to 25% or more. As an introductory offer, many credit card companies offer 0% interest rate for a limited period ranging from 3 months to 1 year. If you don’t let the interest to grow higher and go out of control, then you can pay off your credit card balance within a short period of time. If you cannot pay it off during the introductory period, then you can try the following tips.
- Stop over spending: it is very important to develop self-discipline within yourself. You can keep a check on your credit card debts when you become frugal and not spend unnecessarily. People who cannot stop themselves from using their cards can cut it totally or keep it in a safe place away from their reach. Use only that money that you need instead of borrowing more which can become a bigger problem. Try to use debit cards which can be a solution to many problems.
- Negotiate for a lower interest rate with your credit card company: if you are paying your credit cards at a very high interest rate, then you can call your credit card company and negotiate for a lower interest rate. If they don’t budge, then you can switch to another credit card company. It’s worth trying this shot.
- Paying more than the minimums: it is always suggested to pay more than the minimums every month. You will not only save a lot of money in interests but pay more towards the principal and reduce your debts. On the other hand, the credit card companies want you to pay only the minimums, because that’s how they make their money and do their business. Don’t let your hard earned money eaten away just in interests charged by the credit card companies.
- Creating a budget: It is very important to create a budget so that you know how much money you need to spend for basic living expenses. Once you have taken care of all the necessary expenses, then you can allocate the remaining funds towards paying your credit card debts every month. If you are following your budget every month, then it will be easier to know how soon you can lead a debt free life.
- Seeking professional help of a credit counseling company: If you are finding it hard to manage your credit card debts, then you can talk to a credit counseling company for help. There are different debt management programs ranging from 2 years to 5 years that can help you get rid of your debts. They will go through your financial situation, set a budget, and negotiate with your creditors for lower repayment arrangements. In most cases, they will talk with your creditors and get the interests and fees waived off, thereby reducing the total amount you owe. They can also stop all the collections calls from your creditors, reduce your monthly payments, combine everything into one single monthly payment and help you in avoiding bankruptcy. This will be your first step towards a debt free life.
Almost every credit card company offers reward programs to their customers. Some programs may be more rewarding than others. Therefore you should carefully read the fine prints and see how the reward program works. You should also have a fair idea of how to select a credit card that suits to your lifecycle. Credit card companies are there in the market to increase their profit margin, so they will keep a close eye on customers who don’t keep a close eye on every detail about the reward program. As an informed customer, you should be aware about some of the traps and don’t lose out any good deals.
Credit card companies will introduce new offers including rewards and bonuses that sound very enticing in the beginning. But at the end, it turns out to be very complicated and hard to follow. One of the complicated reward programs is the rotating rewards categories. In this program, the credit card company changes the types of purchases which qualify for the rewards every quarter, and the consumer has to sign up for them in each quarter. If he does not sign up, then does not earn any rewards on those purchases. Credit card companies assume that people will usually forget to sign up on time.
Another way the credit card companies try to catch new customers is by offering savings, but they make the redemption process very complicated. For example, a gas card is offered at a 25 cent discount on up to 20 gallons of gas at their proprietary stations, but the catch is that the customer has to spend $100 every month on the card. This way they are forcing the customers to buy their products in order to get discounts on their items. The rebate was automatically applied at the pump when it became eligible to use, but the remaining discount did not carry over to the next visit to the pump. So if someone needed only 10 gallons of gas, the discount on the remaining 10 gallons got wasted.
Things get more complicated when you do not know how many reward points are available or how many points have expired. And there were cases where points were not applied in the correct ratio on the specific category of goods or services offered. Therefore it is very important to read the fine print very carefully and get the full benefits of the reward program.
There are some program where the rewards or bonuses don’t start until a specific amount of money is spent on the card and the credit card companies allot a very high amount, making it tougher for the customers to get the benefits. For example, if you want to avail 15000 reward points or flight miles, your spending on the card in a year has to be above $40000. This type of offers can tempt the customers to do excessive spending, without realizing that they can later get into deeper debts, if they are not able to pay back the money to the credit card company on time.
Sometimes, a credit card company offers higher bonus incentive on some purchases, and the additional percentage is capped off after a certain dollar amount is spent on that card.
There is another clause by the credit card company regarding redeeming the points. There has to be a minimum number of points available in your account before they can be redeemed. Many people fall into this trap and they start overspending to get more points, and the credit card companies are counting on this.
Many people love the idea of using credit cards on a regular basis. They become so addicted towards it that it may sound scary for them to live without using it. Society will mold itself towards people using credit cards in order to survive. It is not at all necessary to be like this. Read this article to find out how you can manage your finance efficiently without using credit cards.
Many people have a poor credit history and they take loans from different lenders at very high interest rate. It also takes them years to rebuild their credit history. It will be a good move towards rebuilding your finance instead. You can buy things using cash instead of credit card. It will minimize the excessive use of credit cards.
You might be worried about your deposits. It is always better to pay for deposits rather than paying for interest on the credit card and various financial vehicles utilized when taking advantage of credit.
If you rent, the landlord will check your credit history, or perhaps you have bad credit, then it may not be that good to look at. If you have good credit, then you have plenty of options available on the internet. There are many people who are willing to rent without credit, but you have to do your research and check the ads online.
Many employers expect a good credit history from you before they offer you any job. If you do not have credit at all, but have good finance, they are willing to make exceptions. People having poor credit history must first work towards improving it without actually using it.
You will sure save more money if you don’t use your credit cards. When you are living on cash, keep aside a certain portion of your income that will take care of your three to six months living expenses, and just keep on building it. It is a fact that many people who use excessive credit are not able to save at all. It is important to take control of yourself and be financially sound.
Whenever you do any purchases, prefer using your debit card instead of a credit card. It is good to spend what you can actually afford and that also without using any credit. This will make your life more balanced in the long terms.
It is not difficult to live without credit cards. Follow these tips and do all the purchases that you need to do in your everyday life. Your goal should be to live a life that is stress free and credit free.
Almost all banks and financial institutions have a variety of credit cards for every individual. The main thing is to find out the best suitable credit card as per your individual requirements. One-size cards are not suitable for all. There are good available types of credit card to choose from offered by different companies. Some credit cards are available for selected use and there are other credit cards that are not only for selected use but can be used in many other ways.
Standard credit cards issued for general use. They do not come with variety of offers but you can transfer your balance to this card. This is the most common form of credit card available in your pocket. It comes with a very low interest rate because it does not come with any other variety of features. You just need a little credit in your name and this card will be ready for you.
There are many other types of credit cards available in the market, but this type of card is best for people who have bad credit. These credit cards are normally secured with your bank account and has less credit in it, along with lower interest rates. If you had poor credit in the past and want to rebuild it, then this one will be the best for you. It will help in reestablishing your credit worthiness and get variety of other credit card offers in the future.
Along with many other credit cards available in the market, there is a speciality credit card for selected people. The term “speciality” itself shows that it has some unique features for the particular group of customers. Students can also get a student credit card that can be used by them. It usually comes with a lower interest rate and you don’t have to make the payments immediately.
There is another type of credit card which is used for business purpose and is very helpful for a businessman. They can get this type of credit card through their trade. These credit cards have high credit limits and additional perks.
There is another type of credit card known as the pre paid credit card. It works the same like a gift card. Here, you have to load money into your card before you can make any purchases, like topping it up when you wish to use it. They are accepted almost everywhere like other credit cards.
Choosing the right credit card can be at times very tough. It involves a lot of decision and comparison factors. Every credit card comes with its own terms and conditions. Before you make any decision, make sure that you read the terms and conditions put by the credit card companies. You should be able to use your credit card in the right manner and don’t over extend your required needs.
Do you know what a credit card debt lawsuit is? When a consumer defaults in making payments on his credit cards, the creditor will use all possible ways to recover the debt from the debtor. They will go to the extent of taking him to the court and get a debt judgment against him. Many people do not realize the importance of a lawsuit and hence they miss the chance to defend themselves.
Why will a consumer default in making payments on his credit card debts? There can be a variety of reasons for it. It may be due to unemployment, health problems, sudden death in the family or may be due to other reasons. If the judge understands that the consumer is going through real financial hardship, they might rule in his favor and hence forbid the creditor from collecting the full amount from the consumer.
If you are on the risk of being sued, it is important that you consult a lawyer who deal with judgment cases. Basically, when you receive the court summons, you have 20 days to file your answer to the court clerk. The summons will have the court date and time and its important that you show up on the hearing date. If you do not show up, there are more chances that the creditor will try to get a default judgment against you. It is a good idea to explain your situation to the judge with all necessary proof, and have the case turned in your favor.
A debt judgment is the creditors legal rights to garnish your wages, or put a levy on your bank account or personal property, until the debt is paid off. There are four states in which a creditor cannot garnish your wages. They are Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Pennsylvania. All states have their own set of laws regarding garnishment. In California, whatever your income is, up to 25% of your disposable income can only be garnished.
There are other states like New Hampshire in which wage garnishment is not the preferred method of judgment. They will either try to put a levy on your bank account or on your personal property. In most of the states, the creditor has the right to garnish between 10% to 25% of your disposable income as per the laws of the individual state.
If a consumer is receiving threats of judgment from several creditors, only one garnishment is allowed at a time on a first come, first served basis, who is able to contact the employer first.
There are certain exemptions to garnishment, like social security, pension payments, wages of the elderly and disabled cannot be garnished as per the laws.
- Helpful Resources:
if you are being sued for your old credit card debts, there’s nothing to panic. Although it can be very frightening experience, but there is a solution to it.
It is important to make rational decision. Often times, when people get served, they try to call the creditor or the attorney and try to work out some kind of payment arrangements to avoid the lawsuit. Unfortunately, not all the creditors are willing to work out a deal when it has gotten to that point.
That being said.. it opens the opportunity to negotiate with the creditor and try to settle the debt by at least 60% or more. Here’s the scoop. The creditor has already filed a lawsuit against you. There is no way now you can trust the creditor or the lawyer. They will try to collect all the points that you discussed with them to make their case stronger.
Most of the times, the creditors or the collection agencies will issue fake legal papers threatening legal actions against you. They will also find you as a good prospect for a “default judgment”.
A default judgment takes place when the debtor does not respond to the summons sent by their creditor. Usually a summons has 20 to 30 days to respond. Many a times, the debtors do not respond to the summons and thats how they get a default judgment against them. This is a golden opportunity for the creditor because they will add inflated fee plus interests, attorney’s fees, etc. And they will even garnish your wages or freeze your bank account until the judgment is satisfied in full.
It is important that you respond to the summons within the appropriate time frame with an “Answer”. You can feel a little secure and your assets are momentarily safe. Some cases move faster than others. But on an average the length of the time from the summons to the conclusion is almost seven months. Once you send them your Answer along with filing it at the court, the creditor is put on notice while the time you present your case.
You need to present a strong case to drop the lawsuit altogether. If your debt is more recent, you can use other tricks and still if they do not drop the case, it will move on to the discovery period. They will send you a document with lots of questions about the debt and you have to respond to it.
If you are not clear with some of the questions, then you can also send questions to your creditors during this discovery period. The creditors or the collection agencies have to respond to your questions to make their case strong and valid.
Do your research and you will not only save your money but also your credit rating. It is very important that you file your answers on time and pay close attention to every step of the process.
The recent economic crisis has affected the British taxpayer in a number of ways. Many have seen their disposable income dwindle, whereas others have been forced to cancel subscriptions and memberships in a hope to soften the blow of the increased cost of living.
Credit Crunch vs. Credit History
One aspect of people’s finances that has been indirectly affected by the recession is their credit history. This is because; when money is tight, any unexpected expenses such as car breakdowns or boiler call-outs can break the budget and force important bills to go unpaid. When this happens, the provider will often give you a few days to recover the arrears on the account prior to reporting a missed payment to credit reference agencies. If, you are still unable to pay having received notification from the provider, this will then be reported to credit reference agencies as a missed payment which will ultimately have a negative effect on your credit score.
Getting Approved for Credit
Having a poor credit score will affect your chances of being approved for credit in the future; it will also mean that you’re likely to have to pay over the odds for your credit. This is because lenders (both credit card and loan lenders) work on a risk-assessed basis, therefore if they are lending to high credit risk customers (those with bad credit) – the rates they offer have to be higher, if they are lending to low credit risk customer (those with good credit) the rates offered will be lower.
In order to recover their credit history, many look to apply for credit cards. However they are often left confused when presented with the sheer range of credit cards on offer these days. Low rate, foreign usage, reward points, cashback cards, 0% purchase and 0% balance transfer are just a few of the terms that you are likely to be confronted with when in search of credit cards.
The Credit Builder Credit Card
However, when you have a poor credit history, there is only one credit card you should really be looking at and this is the ‘credit builder’. These are readily available from a range of providers who specialise in offering credit to those who have been refused elsewhere.
These cards will come with higher rates of interest; however they will help to improve your credit history providing you manage them immaculately. One way of avoiding these high interest rates is to pay the full balance off at the end of the month
So the simple answer is; yes, you can get a credit card with bad credit. The only problem is; you will have to pay higher rates for the privilege. However, if you can prove you are able to manage the credit, and never miss payments or exceed the credit limit – it will go a long way to improving your credit history.
This article has been written by Jason Scott on behalf of Guarantor Loans Online.
Use of prepaid debit cards continues to increase, reaffirming both continued personal finance troubles for many Americans as well as general distaste for banks. New stats reported by Javelin Strategy & Research show that the percentage of consumers who purchased prepaid cards rose from 11% to 13% between 2010 and 2011. The amount of cash put on these cards is expected to soar north of $200 billion next year, up from $28.6 billion in 2009.
Analysts say this is the result of stingier lending habits by banks. The days of credit card giveaways and free-for-alls is over, replaced by hesitant banking executives worried by defaulting trends in the American economy. Banks are also responding to legislation passed during the financial crises of recent years that puts heavy limits on fees that can be charged on credit card holders.
The results have been less standard bank accounts, less conventional cards, and more prepaid cards. Some analysts see nothing less than a financial revolution on the way that will entail non-credit cards, such as the ones you can get with Green Dot Credit Cards – Credit.com.
Consumers have been surprisingly tolerant of the prepaid card fees, willing to trade in a few bucks in order to have control over their finances—or, a better way to say it might be ‘not having the ability to lose control.’ With the prepaid cards, consumers load a certain amount of money onto the card and can then essentially use it like a checking account or credit card, only without the fear of overdraft or piling on exorbitant costs during a spending spree. Reloading more money onto the cards usually entails a fee of $4 or $5 dollars, though in some cases that fee can be bypassed or minimized by rewards programs.
Some of these services also offer budget apps and other tools and savings accounts. Many of the funds on the cards can be managed from grocery store kiosks and online.
Ultimately, what this trend shows is that people are willing to spend a little bit of extra money in order to ensure that they don’t spend too much. Major banks’ overdraft fees in particular have come under scrutiny, with some account holders finding they’ve accumulated multiple $35 overdraft fees in one day without ever receiving an alert. One can easily see why banks—who for so many years have preyed on interest rates, financial irresponsibility and debt—might be a little worried.
One of the greatest advantages of internet is that one can apply for an instant credit card on line. To get an access to instant credit card one has to fill up the forms or application on line. The online services are provided by most of the credit card companies. These kinds of services are offered by the credit card companies to satisfy their customers and also to sign up new customers. The response from the company is very fast, the only thing that you need to do is just fill up the application on line and get the answer via e-mail instantly.
Let me tell you that it is not as easy as it sounds. The instant credit card application has both advantage and disadvantage.
You might get the response of an application instantly, however to get the approval of the application might not be as easy. In spite of these companies using the advanced technologies or claiming to be the fastest to response to the customers query does not work that well. It is not always true that your application is not granted because you did not pay your bills. Your application may be rejected for various reasons.
The credit card companies are very strict in verifying your application. There are many reason which might me be alien to you like having problem with any of your existing credit card can force the companies to reject your application. In result you might feel embarrassment.
It is very risky to use the free schemes provided by the credit card companies that is the reason why you should always verify the details in a proper manner. Many a times credit card companies enforce high interest rate on these instant credit cards. These are simply scam. Even when you apply on line it is not worthy to trust as you are required to fill some of the personal details. It is important to verify whether the website that you are surfing is secured. At times you are asked to fill some of the question which might be dicey and if it so then you must stop then and there.
However if there is disadvantages then there are advantages too with these kind of instant credit card. The entire process works very fast, again the credit report plays a vital role like if you have a good credit report then it is easier to get the application a green signal. It can also be very helpful when you need the card in emergency. There are good offers for new users like the introductory offer.
There are various offers while you fill up the card application on line, so it’s very obvious that you can always go for the best option that you require. To maximize profits it is vital that you weigh the pros and cons of instant credit card application.
Ok, close your eyes and imagine…wait, don’t close your eyes because you wouldn’t be able to read this…just imagine that you’re a small business owner (which I’m sure many of you actually are) who isn’t always able to pay his credit card bill in full before the end of the month. Now, this isn’t uncommon for a small business owner, so you think nothing of it…until one day you wake up and see that the interest rate being applied to your credit card balance has suddenly skyrocketed. Your debt is now much more costly, your carefully-crafted budgets are useless, and you fall behind on more and more payments, and…BOOM, you’re out of business. Sounds like a nightmare, huh?
While this scenario is a bit far-fetched, 82% of small businesses have credit card debt, according to the National Small Business Association, and cost-of-debt increases can indeed wreak havoc on these companies, throwing off budgets, ruining business development plans and causing a whole lot of stress. This isn’t intended to scare you, but instead to show just how important picking the right credit card is to small business success. All of these headaches, as well as countless others, can be avoided if you know what you’re looking for and are able to ignore certain key aspects of conventional business credit card wisdom. This then begs the question: Just what should one look for when choosing a small business credit card?
1. Debt stability
2. Enhanced business expense tracking capabilities
3. Control over employee spending
4. Rewards for all employee spending
So, where does this leave us? Well, it leaves you with a choice. Do you value the simplicity of using a single credit card for all of your small business needs or would you divide and conquer.
One-card simplicity: In order to get all of the aforementioned characteristics in one card, you must open a Bank of America business credit card. Bank of America could be construed as the best small business credit card issuer, given that it’s the only one to voluntarily apply all of the CARD Act’s main tenets to its business credit card offerings. The CARD Act—personal finance reform legislation that took effect in February 2010—only legally applies to consumer credit cards, which means most business credit cards do not benefit from rules such as that which prevents issuers from increasing interest rates on existing balances for any reason other than the cardholder missing three consecutive payments.
Divide and conquer: Carry your credit card debt on a personal credit card in order to get all of the CARD Act’s protections and win the debt stability battle. Use the best rewards business credit card for purchase you will pay for in full prior to the end of the month in order to win the convenience and rewards battle. After all, there’s no rule against using personal cards for business purposes, and this strategy would allow you to get both the card with the lowest interest rate and the card with the best rewards on your company’s biggest expenses instead of a single card that is average across the board.
Finally, in case you were wondering, you won’t be opening yourself up to more personal liability by using a standard credit card for business spending. According to a Card Hub Study, most major credit card issuers hold small business owners personally liable for the misuse of business credit cards and report details of this use to the owners’ personal credit reports, so the biggest difference between personal and business credit cards would therefore have to be branding. So don’t worry about how your credit card is labeled, just use one of these basic strategies and focus your energy on running a successful business.
This is a guest post from Odysseas Papadimitriou, a former Capital One executive and the current CEO of Card Hub.
For many years, using a credit card while travelling abroad carried with it a couple unfortunate side effects: you could expect to see expensive transaction fees, not to mention a tacked-on exchange rate. But even so, American travelers knew that their cards would be accepted. The major card providers (Visa, MasterCard, etc.) are prevalent in population centers around the world, and being able to rely on your card saves considerable hassle, even though a fee will likely be included.
These days, though, American credit cards often don’t work overseas, due to a relatively new technology called chip-and-PIN. The technology stores all of a card’s information in a microchip, rather than in a magnetic strip on the side, which ultimately makes information more secure. The U.S., unfortunately, has not yet switched over to the new system. American credit card companies have been working to make the switch to microchips, but the process has been a slow one.
In the meantime, what should you do when traveling abroad? If all your cards have the magnetic strip, and if you prefer having a credit card to make purchases, then getting a prepaid travel card might be your best option. It works just like debit cards and Prepaid Cell Phones, but it is specifically set up for international use. While the card will carry high fees, it probably won’t be much different from using a credit card. Many major credit card providers offer this service.
Other options include cash, debit cards, and traveler’s checks, and all have their pros and cons. Cash is the most convenient option, and it is usually the cheapest, although there’s no recourse against stolen cash and many people feel uncomfortable carrying around large amounts of currency. Debit cards and traveler’s checks are safer options, but they often involve higher fees and are not accepted in many places.
Ultimately, if you’re planning to travel, it’s important to be aware of your spending options before you go and to plan accordingly. Most travelers will rely on a combination of cash, credit, and other payment methods. But a new and important step to take – even if high fees don’t phase you – is to check the encryption method of your credit card.