Today, let’s take a closer look at credit cards and the things you need to know about them.
Fact 1: You have rights as prescribed by the Credit Reporting Act. Have you seen your monthly billing statement lately? If you have and you’ve observed that it contains errors, inconsistencies and even fraudulent charges then, we advise you to immediately dispute them with the credit reporting agencies. Always remember that the Credit Reporting Act offers consumers protection against unauthorized transactions, provided they can report such items to their respective card issuers, within two to three working days.
Fact 2: Not all secured credit card issuers submit timely reports of consumer activities to the three major credit bureaus. Hence, if you wish to use a secured card account to jumpstart or rebuild your credit history then, you should ask your card issuer upfront if it has close working ties with the credit reporting agencies. If their answer is YES then, you may proceed with your application for a credit card account. Otherwise, you may have to search for other firms that can help you reach your goal of establishing or rebuilding personal credit.
Fact 3: Apart from interest, there are other fees and charges imposed on various card accounts. For instance, secured credit cards come with security deposit requirements. Meanwhile, other programs may require you to pay finance charges and other related fees, depending on the transactions you will use your credit card for.
Fact 4: Credit cards are not made one and the same. In fact, they come with widely-varying rates of interest, fees and charges, payment terms and options, credit limits, and application requirements.
So, to get one that matches you needs, financial capability, and preferences; it is your responsibility to shop and compare the features imposed on various card programs. By doing so, you will most likely end up with a credit card brian club that will surely work to your advantage.
Fact 5: Some credit cards impose different rates on different transactions. There are cards today that carry multiple rates. Apart from the interest rate that will be charged on your bills, purchases and expenses, you may also incur fees for cash advance, balance transfers, and for other add-on facilities.
This means that if you’re keen on keeping your credit payments minimal, you should use these features sparingly. In fact, we suggest that you utilize them ONLY IF IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.
Fact 6: Managing multiple credit cards is a big NO-NO, especially if you wish to rehabilitate your credit history. That’s because with multiple lines of credit, your risk of incurring a huge financial obligation actually increases, especially if you find it difficult to control your spending habits. So, as much as possible, heed the advice of experts to manage at most two card accounts, at a time.
Fact 7: You can opt to get a fixed- or a variable interest rate. In fixed-rate programs, you can lock-in a low rate of interest on the credit card you wish to use, all throughout the term of your credit agreement. On the other hand, in variable-rate programs, the rate of interest may start low, but soon it could spike up depending on the changes that will occur in the prevailing rates in the market.