0 APR credit cards are Not Just for Christmas
0 APR credit cards are here to stay. Now that we're well into the New Year we've learned (again) the lessons of the festive season. Zero interest credit is a nice idea, but why not extend it beyond your present credit card to the next, and the next. This seven point checklist will assure the clever consumer of having that constant low APR credit for years to come.
1. Read the small print. Make sure it matches the offers on the credit card's advertising copy. In particular, check for clauses that differentiate between purchases and cash transfers, or even cash withdrawals. Check that the card doesn't stipulate a ratio between purchases and cash, charging an excess if the cash activity rises above the purchase activity (that is usually the way it is biased, but check to make sure).
2. Keep to the agreed credit limit as specified in the agreement. Do not exceed the balance limit as specified on your original agreement, or that'll be the trigger for extra charges.
3. Pay at least the minimum charge in full. Even better, set up a standing order or direct debit with your bank. You can arrange to have the minimum paid directly and electronically from your bank account every month.
4. Avoid late fees by paying on time. There is a danger with people who have the benefit of a 0% APR credit card that they will tend to become complacent about it and forget to pay it. Yes, it does happen. But every time a payment is received late credit card providers can and will charge a late fee. This can add up, especially if someone is habitually late. Again, an automatic direct debit from your bank account is the best answer.
5. Factor in any extras in the agreement, as stated in the small print (which you will have read). For example, an annual charge may be applied to offset the 0 APR. Some 0% APR cards do this but others do not. Bear in mind that the whole APR concept was meant to level the playing field as far as extra charges were concerned. By paying an annual charge for your card you are not truly getting a 0 APR card.
6. Make sure you have in mind a new low interest or 0 APR credit card waiting by to which you can transfer the balance of your present credit card. Why have 0 APR credit for 6 months or 12 months when you can have it for years and years? Always check the press and financial columns for new deals and credit card offers with this in mind. Join an Internet forum that specialises in such matters.
7. Make sure that you transfer the balance of your existing credit card to your new credit card in full and on time. In particular, allow for time to process the balance transfer and for all the paperwork involved (yes, even in the age of the Internet there is still a certain amount of paper involved!) and be careful to check that the opening balance allowed on your new 0 APR credit card is at least the same or exceeds the balance that you wish to transfer from your existing credit card, or the shortfall will cost you money!
Bad Credit Credit Cards – Build Credit With A Major Credit Card
For the millions of consumers with bad credit and no credit, getting approved for a major credit card takes a lot of effort. Unfortunately, establishing credit is as equally challenging as re-establishing credit. Creditors consider both types of people as risky applicants. Thus, they are less eager to extend a line of credit. However, there are ways to get around this problem. Bad credit credit cards are intended to make it easier for some to obtain credit.
The Importance of Establishing a Good Credit History
Even with poor credit, you will be able to finance many purchases such as a home or vehicle. However, good credit has certain advantages. Those with a high credit score receive prime rates on home loans and auto loans.
For some, low rates may not be a huge deal. Yet, low interest rates on loans can potentially save you hundreds each month. Moreover, having good credit unlocks the door to better financing alternatives.
Similarities Between Having No Credit and Bad Credit
Unfair as it may be, some lenders group those with no credit and individuals with poor credit into the same category. This makes it harder for young people and those trying to establish credit. Individuals with poor credit made certain mistakes that justify a lender's reluctance. On the other hand, those with no credit history have zero credit mistakes. So, why do some lenders deny credit to those with no credit history?
In a nutshell, before granting a credit card or loan, lenders will review credit reports to examine past relationships with other creditors. It’s a way to determine an applicant's likelihood of repaying funds. If you have no credit history, lenders become uncertain. Instead of taking a gamble, they rather deny an application.
Getting Approved for a Bad Credit Credit Card
Getting approved for a bad credit credit card is easy. The tricky part is finding a lender that specializes in this sort of credit. Use the internet to your advantage. Many bad credit credit card lenders offer online applications and instant approvals. If you are hoping to build a good credit history, this is one of the easiest approaches.
There are two types of bad credit credit cards. If you are approved for an unsecured card, you may receive an initial low credit limit. However, as you maintain regular payments, the creditor may gradually increase the spending limit. With a secured credit card, applicants must open a saving account with the lender. In the event that you decide to stop making payments, this account serves as collateral.