Credit Cards

"The Best US Credit Card Deal on the Internet Can be Found Right Here! If You're Looking for Good Credit Card Deal or Even a Great Credit Card Deal We Have Exactly What You Need. http://www.findyourcreditcards.com/"

Name:

Carmin Oliver is webmaster of http://www.findyourcreditcards.com/ where you can find "The Best US Credit Card Deal on the Internet Can be Found Right Here! If You're Looking for Good Credit Card Deal or Even a Great Credit Card Deal We Have Exactly What You Need."

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Credit card - Advantages and disadvantages

A credit card can be an asset to your lifestyle, but if not handled carefully it can become a liability, especially if you find it so convenient and easy to use that you lose control of your spending.

This short guide will help you understand how you can use your credit card so it works to your advantage, not against you.

Advantages

A credit card can:

1. Offer free use of funds, provided you always pay your balance in full, on time.
2. Be more convenient to carry than cash;
3. Help you establish a good credit history;
4. Provide a convenient payment method for purchases made on the Internet and over the telephone.
5. Give you incentives, such as reward points, that you can redeem;

Disadvantages

On the other hand, credit cards can:

1. Cost much more than other forms of credit, such as a line of credit or a personal loan, if you don’t pay your balance in full by the due date;
2. Damage your credit rating if your payments are late;
3. Allow you to build up more debt than you can handle;
4. Have complicated terms and conditions;

What is a credit card?

A credit card is more then a simple piece of plastic, it is first and foremost a flexible payment tool accepted at 30 million locations worldwide, and if the card balance is paid off every month, then no interest is charged on purchases made so, essentially, short-term credit is granted without the consumer paying any interest.

Among its many features it provides:

1. Access to unsecured credit (no collateral required against amounts charged)
2. Interest-free payment from time of purchase to the end of the billing period
3. Instant payment of purchases, allowing for instant receipt of goods and services
4. 24/7 access
5. Fraud protection

However before you decide to use your credit card, carefully consider all of the factors and weigh them against your personal needs and values.

What about credit card control?

Handling money and credit cards wisely is a talent few of us are born with. But it is a skill that can easily be learned. The place to start is with budgeting.

What is a Budget?

It’s simply an organized way of managing your finances, basically, it gives you an overall picture of where your money is coming from, when it’s coming in and how it’s being spent. A budget should be flexible, changing according to your circumstances.

Why Budget?

Budgeting helps us achieve short-term goals like paying the monthly bills on time; it’s also for longer-term financial goals like buying a home, a car, paying for an education,
a wedding or a holiday. When you take control of your financial affairs, you’re more confident about the future.

A budget is key to financial control. It gives you a “Polaroid picture” of where you stand financially and where you’re heading.

Credit card control tips

Use a low or no-fee credit card and save on the annual fee that some companies charge.

Only charge to your credit cards what you can pay off in full when the bill comes.

You might not use your credit card as much if you start believing that you have to pay off your entire balance at the end of each month.

A good way to help to reduce what you pay on your credit card is to search for a card with a lower interest rate. Many financial institutions now offer at least one of these types of cards.

Remember that when you take a cash advance on your credit card, the interest starts accumulating immediately and not on the due date of your credit card bill.

Also keep in mind that if you make only the minimum monthly repayment you may never get out of debt.

Conclusion

The main advantage of having a credit card is convenience but if you're not good at budgeting and managing your finances, the over-use of credit cards can leave you with a debt that's very difficult to pay back.


Carmin Olivier is the webmaster of www.findyourcreditcards.com If You're Looking for Good Credit Card Deal visit www.findyourcreditcards.com

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

How to use your credit card to establish a good credit history

If you're young and just starting out credit cards are certainly convenient and can help you establish a good credit history, which will be important when you need to make major purchases down the road. However, carrying a credit card comes with big responsibilities. Here are some tips on how to use your credit card wisely.

Choosing the right card

When selecting a credit card, you should consider your own needs. For example, if you're going to be carrying a balance (not paying off the entire bill each month) then it is imperative to seek out the lowest interest rates that you can find. But you may be limited by a few circumstances, one of which is your paycheque. Some credit cards require a minimum income level or charge an annual fee.

High limit credit card could be a recipe for disaster. Signing on the dotted line is fun. No money comes out of your bank account and no cash comes out of your wallet. Shopping has never been so easy. That’s why when starting out the best credit cards are the ones that have low spending limits, unless you can afford to pay for any of the charges that are made on it.

Just about all credit cards offer some type of incentives such as rewards points or cash back incentives. This is done for obvious reasons. The most common of which is to entice the cardholder into using it more often. Overall it is a pretty good deal to receive rewards for credit card charges as long as you bear in mind that this is not free money. Whether you realize it or not, you have already paid for those points.

Managing your account.

Managing your account online is a great feature; just about every body has access to the Internet and can easily access their credit card statements.

Studying your statement

You'll receive a statement that details what you've bought and what you need to pay. The purchases you've made will be tallied, just like on a bank statement. You'll need to pay attention to:

1. The amounts - Make sure your purchases are listed correctly by comparing the amounts to your own purchase receipts. Doing this will help you understand where your money is being spent and help you adjust your spending patterns.
The balance - If for any reason your statement seems a lot bigger than you thought it would be, you may be heading into a danger zone. Keep your balance within a range you can afford to pay off every month. And remember to save some credit for emergencies.
The minimum payment - You need to pay this amount each month toward the entire outstanding balance. Making substantial payments every month will help you keep the interest under control.
The purchase interest - This is how much you're paying on purchases that have not been paid off in full by the payment date. Whenever you carry a balance forward from the previous month, you'll pay this monthly interest.
The payment date - When you are busy and responsible for many bills, it's easy to forget when everything is due. However, paying bills on time is crucial to maintaining a positive credit record. Over time, it could mean the difference between being approved or denied for other credit, such as a car loan or a mortgage. Many credit card companies advise making payment a few days before the specified payment date to ensure receipt. Another option is to pre-pay your bills using telephone or Internet banking.
Staying out of the danger zones

It's a good idea to avoid the following, despite the temptation:

Cash advances - You'll pay interest on a cash advance from the moment the cash is in your hand. You may also be charged a service fee. Cash advances are great for emergency cash but avoid using them as an income supplement.
Hitting your credit limit - There are many reasons why hitting your credit limit can be dangerous. If you don't have the money to cover your purchases, you will definitely feel the discomfort that a large balance brings.
Impulsive purchases - Think about the purchase and why you are buying. Do you really need it? Don't let the ease and convenience of credit be the driver for purchasing the item.
Overusing the card - Credit cards aren't a substitute for saving and budgeting. When you can't afford to go to the movies, don't think of your credit card as a saving grace.

Use Your Credit Card as a Tool

A credit card can be a tool that you use to your advantage. If you play your cards right you'll prove to creditors that you are a person who can take care of business in a mature and responsible way. And a few years down the road, you'll have a good credit history.

About the author: Carmin Olivier is the Webmaster of www.findyourcreditcards.com where you can find "The Best US Credit Card Deal on the Internet! If You're Looking for Good Credit
Card Deal visit www.findyourcreditcards.com

Friday, November 11, 2005

The inside scoop on prepaid credit

Not everyone can qualify for a credit card. With past credit problems such as bankruptcies, repossessions, or even divorces, some people do not meet the stringent qualifications set forth by credit companies to receive a line of credit. However, there is a way to get your foot in the credit doorway without the best credit history: a prepaid credit card.

How does a prepaid credit card work?

Whether making a last-minute utility payment, completing an online purchase, or reserving a rental car, you can use a prepaid credit card just as you would a standard credit card. Lenders offer prepaid Master Cards or Visa cards that look exactly like the regular cards. Neither you nor the store clerk will be able to tell the difference.

To receive a card, fill out the lender’s application and open an account. You are required to deposit a minimum balance to begin your line of credit. After your account is established, you can use your card to charge items up to your balance limit.

Pros

A prepaid credit card is easy to get. It requires no other qualifications other than your down payment. The cards are available online and at several retail stores.


Your credit limit is completely under your control. You can have as high a limit as you wish, as long as you deposit the cash to meet it.


With the prepaid card, there are no interest charges or annual fees.


When you use your card, you aren’t accumulating any more debt. In fact, by making your credit card payment on time, you are actually improving your credit rating.


You can use your prepaid card anywhere they accept MasterCard or Visa cards.

Cons

Prepaid cards can be expensive to establish. A set-up fee of $5 to $50 is charged when you make your opening deposit, and an additional fee is charged every time you add more money to your account. These fees, on top of the money you have to put up to get the card in the first place, can be prohibitive to someone on a tight budget.


With a standard credit card, you wouldn’t be charged a set-up fee or an annual fee. Although, the interest you would be charged on your credit card payment would make up for this in the long run.


The money you put down in the beginning is often a big deterrent to people in need of a line of credit. However, if you tend to spend over your credit limit, this system of only purchasing what you can afford may be a good way to retrain your spending habits.


Some service providers will not accept prepaid cards for automatic payments. Check with customer service departments before you make plans to pay with your new card.

A prepaid credit card is a great way to build up bad credit. But it’s vital that you practice good financial habits along with owning the card. Make your credit card payment on time and in full. Manage your money with a budget and start a small savings account for emergencies. If you use your prepaid card and pay it regularly, you will eventually offset some of the mistakes you made in your financial past.

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Carmin Oliver is the webmaster of http://www.findyourcreditcards.com/

where you can find the best credit card offers online

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Sunday, October 16, 2005

7 Simple Ways to Increase Your Credit Card Limit

There are many people right now who would like to have a higher credit card limit.

The obvious reason for this, is that a higher credit card limit enables the purchase of otherwise unaffordable merchandise and services.

First and foremost, if you want to successfully increase your credit card limit, you need to remember that to get a higher credit card limit, you must abide by the terms and conditions of the Credit Card Company or bank.

Below are 7 other ways you can get a higher credit card limit.

The most important thing to do for getting a higher credit card limit is to prove your credit worthiness. This is the first thing that banks and credit cards companies look for when giving a higher credit limit.

• Attract positive attention from the Credit Card Company or bank by paying finance charges once in a while. Obviously, this is not advisable on a repeating basis and should only be used as a last resort to increase your chances of getting a higher credit limit.

Proving to credit card companies and banks that you are good "borrower" can be a convincing way to get a higher credit limit. But be careful because this strategy also means that you will be paying finance charges, which can accumulate in a hurry.

And always remember, a higher credit card limit means greater purchasing power, but it also increases the risk of your having to pay greater interest charges and other processing and late fees.

• Always spend within your credit card limit because doing so means that you are capable of controlling your expenses.

• Use your credit cards regularly. Don’t keep your cards for emergency use only. If you use your credit cards sparingly, banks and credit card companies will be unable to understand your spending and payback behaviour.

Under these circumstances, most banks and credit card companies will be reluctant to give you a higher credit card limit.

• Never make minimum payments. Instead, try to pay for the entire outstanding amount. This will usually give you a better chance of getting a higher credit card limit.

• Avoid late payments as much as possible. Not only will your increase payment increase, but you may also have to pay an additional fine for not clearing bills on time. This will also dim your chances of getting a higher credit card limit.

• The best and simplest strategy for getting a higher credit card limit is to use your credit card wisely. Always keep in mind that credit card companies keep a record of your transactions and payment patterns, so always pay on time.

The bottom line is that your performance in the records of banks and credit card companies will determine whether you’ll get a higher credit card limit or not.


About The Author

Carmin Oliver owns http://www.findyourcreditcards.com . He offers free, high quality resources and guides on credit cards. He also offers tools for finding a wide range of financial services including secured and unsecured cards, student and business cards, from the most reputable companies in the industry. Visit Carmin's site today: http://www.findyourcreditcards.com/

Saturday, October 08, 2005

A Credit Card Jargon Buster

Credit cards, as part of the financial industry, use a massive array of jargon.

You can’t be expected to recognise all these technical terms, and some of them are quite important

so here’s a quick guide, in alphabetical order.

Affinity card.

This is a credit card that gives a certain amount to a charity of your choice, depending on how much you spend.

It is generally best to avoid any charity that wants you to sign up for such a card, don’t let guilt lead you to a high interest rate.

APR. Annual Percentage Rate.

This is your overall interest rate, calculated yearly, and given as a percentage of your balance.

ATM. Automated Teller Machine.

A cash machine. It will give you money when you put your credit card in, but will probably charge an extra fee.

Balance transfer.

This is when you transfer your debt (‘balance’) from one credit card to another. The usual reason for this is to try and keep as much debt as possible on a lower-interest card.

Credit limit.

Your credit limit is the maximum amount you can spend or withdraw from your card. Going over your credit limit will result in your card no longer being accepted, and you being charged an over-limit fee.

Fixed rate.

A fixed rate card is one where you are given a rate when you sign up for the card and that rate, at least in theory, stays the same for the whole time you have the card. In practice, though, interest rates can be changed for almost any reason.

Grace period.

Your grace period is the amount of time between when you spend money and when you start paying interest on it. Good cards can have a grace period of up to two months – bad ones might not have one at all.

Minimum payment.

A minimum payment is the absolute lowest amount you can pay back to the credit card company each month – you should pay more, but you don’t have to. Minimum payments are usually around 2% of your balance.

Sub-prime.

This is a phrase used in the industry to describe customers who are a bad credit risk, but are seen as worth lending to anyway. If you are identified as sub-prime, you’ll start getting offers for loans secured on your property – they know that if you can’t pay, they’ll get their money anyway.

Teaser rate.

A ‘special offer’ low rate, usually written in enormous letters. You will see many offers with “LOW 4.9% APR” in inch-high letters, followed by “for first six months, 21.9% thereafter” in microscopic ones. Teaser offers can sometimes be worth taking, but not if they tie you in for longer than the period of the offer.

Variable rate.

This is an interest rate that is worked out by adding a certain amount to the current base rate. Taking this option will allow your credit card to be affected by changes in national interest rates

A good idea if you think they might go down, and a bad one if they’re on the way up.


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About the author Carmin Oliver is the ownwer and webmaster of http://www.findyourcreditcards.com/ where you can find the best credit card offers online.
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Friday, October 07, 2005

Credit repair basics

Have you ordered your credit report? Remember by September 1, 2005 every state will be required to allow you to one free credit report each year. If you are denied credit for any reason you are entitled a free credit report. Under any other circumstances you will have to order one.

If you have ordered your free report, have you looked through to make sure everything is correct? If it isn't then this is the article you need to read.

How to report a credit error:

Each credit bureau needs to be contacted. One bureau may have the correct information while the other two are wrong. By contacting each credit bureau you eliminate the hassle of having to do the process again when you find out that you didn't do it right the first time.

When writing to the credit bureaus, address one mistake at a time. If you report more than one mistake the credit bureaus can, legally, say you are filing a frivilous report and do nothing about it. Keep your letters down to one mistake and one mistake only. Yes, this may take some time to get through all the mistakes, but it is time well spent.

Each of the credit bureaus have PO boxes specifically set up for complaints. They change their PO box addresses often to make it harder for customers to find it and complain.

The credit agency must get in contact with the creditor that is reporting the late payment/incorrect data within 30 days and either change the data, if it is incorrect, or delete the data altogether. If they don't get a response from a creditor within the 30 day period they have to delete the data. This puts trying to correct mistakes to your advantage.

Trying to straighten out your credit can be a time consuming process and you may wish to use a credit agency to help you get everything correct. As always though, let the buyer beware. Credit repair scams are everywhere and if you don't watch out you can become a victim.

Persistency pays off, by getting you a better credit rating and credit score. By repairing your credit you should be able to get a credit card, home loan, auto loan, refinance, etc., that you have been looking to get and be able to get it at better interest rates.

This is all good for you...Because Money Matters

About the author:James Mercer posts articles of interest to those wanting to learn more about the financial world the runs their life Monday-Friday at www.becausemoneymatters.blogspot.com

Beware of Bogus Credit Repair Companies!

So-called "credit repair" companies claim they can remove negative information from credit reports. Advertising as "Credit Advisors," "Credit Rating Correction Services" or "Credit Consultants," they trumpet variations on this message: "Turned down because of bad credit? We can help!"

Many of these companies charge hundreds if not thousands of dollars for the promise to "clean up" bad credit reports. But the truth is, these companies can only do what you could do yourself--at no charge.

Nobody can remove negative information that is accurate from your credit report. No company has a "secret" ability to remove all negative information.

But this doesn't stop their claims. This deceptive quote is from a credit repair company brochure: "Charged-off accounts, collection accounts, judgments, tax liens, repossessions, and even bankruptcies can be removed from your credit records in less than one year (five to seven month average)."

One tactic is to bombard credit reporting agencies with requests to verify information. If a credit reporting agency cannot verify an entry within 60 days, it will remove the information from the report.

But if the information is later verified to be accurate, it will go back in the report.

Before you even consider signing a contract with a company that promises to repair your credit, remember these facts:

You may obtain a copy of your credit report on your own.

You have the right to dispute entries in your credit report.

Beware guaranteed credit offers!

Credit repair and other companies often claim they "guarantee" to get you a credit card, regardless of your credit history.

In fact, these companies do not always honor their guarantee. Sometimes, they'll just take your money and run--you will not get any credit, regardless of what they promised.

If they get you a card at all it often will be a "secured" bank credit card, with high up-front "application" fees, that requires you to deposit and keep several hundred dollars in a savings account, or a card that only allows you to buy items in a catalogue from a business that you probably never heard of.

(You can apply for a secured credit card by yourself. For a free list of banks that do not charge application fees for secured cards, see the information from Consumer Action in the "For More Information" section below.)

Credit repair companies often advertise on television, in newspapers and even on matchbooks.

Sometimes they require consumers to dial a "900" telephone number to get more information. Calls to 900 numbers can cost $2 or $3 a minute, so listening to a few minutes of information about the cards can be expensive.

Some companies try to get people a credit card by having them apply using financial information of other people with good credit histories.

It is a criminal act to apply for credit under someone else's name--do not do business with one of these companies.

Law enforcement agencies have shut down many credit repair outfits, but it is hard to stop a fraudulent credit repair outfit unless people complain about it.

Therefore, be careful about responding to credit repair ads and be sure to complain to the agencies listed below if you think a credit repair company took advantage of you.

For more information

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) publishes information for consumers on the subject of credit and enforces federal laws on credit.

For a list of free publications, write to the FTC's Public Reference Department at the address given below.

While the FTC does not handle individual cases, it can act when it sees a pattern of possible law violations develop.

Complaints about credit reporting agencies and credit repair scams must be in writing. Send them to: FTC Credit Practices Division, 6th St., N.W., Washington, DC 20580.

Contact your local consumer protection agency or your state Attorney General's office. Many Attorneys General have toll-free consumer hotlines.

These numbers may be listed in the "self-help" or government sections in the front of your phone book.

These agencies can offer you advice and may also be able to help resolve your complaint.

Consumer Action's free complaint/information switchboards offering non-legal consumer advice and referrals can be reached from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays. Chinese, English and Spanish are spoken.

Call either (415) 777-9635 (San Francisco office) or (213) 624-8327 (Los Angeles office). Consumer Action has a free list of secured credit card banks that do not charge application fees.

To receive a free copy, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Consumer Action Secured Credit Card Survey, 717 Market St., Suite 310, San Francisco, CA 94103. (Available in English only.)

The Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) assists consumers who have problems in paying their bills--before their good credit ratings suffer.

Your local CCCS office can help you work out flexible payment plans to make debt repayment more feasible.

Call (800) 388-CCCS for an interactive recording that will provide you with the phone number of the office nearest to you.

Spanish-speakers can call (800) 68-AYUDA (800-682-9832) between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. central time.

Before you sign a contract with any company, check it out with the local Better Business Bureau (BBB), a non-government service which advises consumers on fraud prevention.

Call your local BBB. If you cannot find a local number listed in the phone directory, call the Council of Better Business Bureaus at (703) 276-0100 for a referral to the office nearest you.

© Copyright. http://www.deleteuglycredit.com

Omar M. Omar is the owner of http://www.deleteuglycredit.com. The website is dedicated to provide credit consumers with information about their credit right and how to dispute inaccurate information on their credit report.

Omar M. Omar is also the author Of "The Credit Repair Bible" book.

You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, in your Newsletter, on your website, or in your E-Book, as long as the author's Resource Box is included with the article.
omar@deleteuglycredit.com

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Alternatives to Credit Cards

Are you one of those people who only ever got a credit card for the convenience of being able to pay without cash, or because you weren’t aware of any other easy way to borrow money?

Millions of us are, thanks to the unavoidable advertising of the credit card industry, and few people realise just how many alternatives to credit cards there are. Let’s take a look at a few.

Debit Cards.

Debit cards are often used in many European countries, but are relatively unheard of elsewhere. Basically, they’re just like credit cards and are accepted everywhere credit cards are accepted

– the only difference is that they take any money you spend directly from your bank account, instead of you getting a bill at the end of the month. You should be aware, though, that you aren’t as well-protected from fraud with a debit card as you would be with a credit card.

Pre-Paid Credit Cards.

These are cards that work just like credit cards, except that you can’t have a negative balance
– you have to put money on the card before you can spend it.

That means that you ‘top-up’ the card, like you would a mobile phone. This is good if you want to know how much you’re spending, not to mention that you can even give the cards to children.

They’re also safer than debit cards, since someone who stole the card could only spend whatever money was on it at the time.

Bank Overdrafts.

A good bank overdraft, used together with a credit card, can be a far better way of borrowing money than using a credit card.

Your overdraft limit is set by the bank according to how much you gets paid into your account each month, and you don’t need to pay it off until you want to.

Basically, it just gives your account the facility to go into minus numbers, if you want it to. Many banks charge relatively high interest rates for overdrafts, but rarely as high as a credit card
– and they will give much better rates for good customers.

Real Loans.

When you’re buying one big thing at a fixed price (like a car), or you’re going to spend all the money on one type of thing (home improvements, for example), it’s worth budgeting it all out and going to a bank or another loan company.

They’ll be able to lend you the money at a much better rate than a credit card would, simply because they know why you’re taking the loan and can set regular monthly payments for you to repay it.

Credit Unions.

Credit unions are like banks, only more local. They are co-operative, owned by their members and run by the community, and are a great place to borrow money.

This is because there are limits in law on how much interest credit unions can charge, and they don’t need to make a profit for owners or shareholders, because they don’t have any. It’s well worth checking if there’s one in your area.


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Carmin Oliver is an expert author and webmaster of http://www.findyourcreditcards.com/ where you can find the best credit card offers online.
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