Credit Card Debt Consolidation – No Time Like the Present

Borrowers understand the problem with most solutions to out of control credit card debts all too well – the useful programs are also the most expensive. Filing for bankruptcy can cost thousands of dollars in legal fees above and beyond whatever the courts might charge. Meanwhile, debtors that need the service (as you’d expect) are those least likely to be able to pay. Debt consolidation of credit cards, though, is surprisingly inexpensive and may be the best alternative for a number of borrowers drowning in unpaid bills. In this article, we’ve put together some cursory information about the credit card debt consolidation program. This is just the tip of the iceberg, though. Interested debtors should always contact a certified professional in their area for a consultation in order to fully investigate their options.

Merchants have extended credit to customers since the beginnings of western civilization, but everything changed in 1950 when Diners Club first experimented with an independent credit card. Department stores and similar operations may have had their own charge accounts with customers – some may have even had plastic cards imprinted to expedite purchases or further their brand – but Diners Club was unique in that their cards were intended to be used for a number of different businesses. Starting with just a few hundred friends and associates of company founder Frank McNamara – primarily salesmen whose vocation demanded regular dinners with potential clients – and little more than a dozen Manhattan restaurants, the Diners Club had landed twenty thousand members in less than a year who could use their cards at almost a thousand different establishments.

Soon, the same company expanded into charge cards that could be used at different sorts of businesses and, a few years later, American Express and other corporations entered the quickly escalating industry. What made Diners Club so popular wasn’t just the convenience of cashless purchases, the cards provided members with access to immediate credit from businesses that had no previous experience with the customers (or reason to trust them). Didn’t seem that big of an idea at the time – since, initially, clients tended to be well off and employed at large firms – but that started the credit revolution.

Nowadays, the ordinary U.S. household boasts four credit cards and more than a dozen cards of one sort of another (including traditional charge cards for a specific business and debit cards that directly access bank accounts), and, for the a nation as a whole, there’s over a billion cards currently issued. It’s hard to even imagine the lives of most modern Americans without their daily dependence upon credit cards.

However for all of their advantages, there are just as many problems that credit cards have created. Those same households have amassed nearly five thousand dollars in debt – a significant portion of the average American’s income – and personal debt levels continue to rise. It’s not a great leap to blame credit cards for the rise in bankruptcy declarations of recent years. With ever greater availability of credit, especially for those borrowers not ready to shoulder the burdens or those who have actively demonstrated an inability to handle the responsibility, our country is starting to drown in debt. Over a million personal bankruptcies each year speak to a national addiction to thoughtless purchases that shows no sign of recovery even as the economy falters and unemployment skyrockets.

Not only do we continue to spend like there’s no tomorrow, we seem unable to save anything at all. Nobody seems to care about what happens when they retire, but, even as corporations drop pension plans and the prospect of social security disappears, escalating debts mean that Americans can expect to have a healthy portion of their dwindling retirement spent on debt payments. Do you want to be a burden on your family or reduced to accepting charity stipends? This is a very real possibility for borrowers who continue to ignore their debts.

Americans need to start thinking about their future, and one of the most important steps toward eventual financial stability is dealing with credit card bills. For the truly unfortunate, bankruptcy might be a solution, but the cost of attorneys and effects upon credit reports and credit scores (lasting up to ten years, depending on the program) makes this less than appetizing for any consumer that can avail themselves of another solution. Credit card consolidation, on the other hand, can take care of debts while maintaining borrowers’ credit ratings with relatively little damage. In this article, we’d like to discuss some of the more basic aspects of credit card consolidation so that debtors can fully understand all of the options available before it’s too late.

The basics of credit card debt consolidation shouldn’t be too hard to explain – add up all of your existing credit card debts and, yes, consolidate them to single payment. The benefits should be just as easy to imagine. First of all, those different payments and different payment schedules are minimized to just one payment. This not only helps eliminate postage and stress, but, with only one payment (often automatically deducted from bank accounts) to worry about, it’s that much less likely for borrowers to forget to send the payment in the mail and suffer the credit repercussions or late fees.

Of course, there are several other advantages to credit card debt consolidation. Interest rates should be greatly diminished. The monthly payments, as well, should be lower since, instead of combined minimums on a number of cards, there will be just the single payment, and debt consolidation counselors will help the borrower determine what they can pay after analyzing a true household budget. The result of that budget – and accompanying payment schedule – should in almost all cases ensure that credit card debts are repaid in a far shorter amount of time which will have clear positive consequence as regards both credit (since FICO scores are partially determined by debt balance) and eventual cash outlay (since the longer balances are carried, the greater the debts generated by compound interest). In every conceivable circumstance, those borrowers that qualify for credit card debt consolidation would be well advised to examine the choices available.

Now, there are a few different sorts of debt consolidation. Consumer Credit Counseling companies are probably the best known considering their seemingly ever-present advertising campaigns. The Consumer Credit Counseling approach does consolidate different cards into one account with a single monthly payment and work with borrowers on a payment schedule that satisfies the lenders while ensuring the monthly stipend is low enough that their clients can make regular payments. The interest rates are generally lowered and late or over-limit fees collected in recent years may be waived, but there’s unlikely to be any appreciable cut in actual funds owed. There is an initial cost for the debtors, though, and many of the Consumer Credit Counseling firms neglect to mention that they also charge fees to the credit card companies themselves. For obvious reasons, this makes their advice to clients worthy of suspicion, and there have been reports urging the government to further investigate the Consumer Credit Counseling industry.

There’s also the home equity loan approach. This option is also quite popular thanks to the number of commercials run (not to mention direct mail brochures and telemarketing calls), but it contains its own disadvantages. Essentially, as most homeowners already know, the home equity consolidation transfers all credit card debt to a secured equity loan or second mortgage upon existing property – typically a home. While the interest rates upon second mortgages tend to be far lower than those offered by credit card companies, they’re still far above what homeowners would expect from first mortgages and doubly so if there are already credit problems for the borrower. Considering the recent crisis in the sub-prime lending industry, these loans are harder than ever to take out, and, given falling home values across the nation, more dangerous than ever. After all, homes remain most Americans most significant investment and reducing equity in a time of national economic uncertainty shouldn’t be the smartest idea. More to the point, considering many of these mortgages are geared to fifteen or twenty or thirty year terms (or, in the case of negative amortization loans, open-ended), borrowers could end up paying their debts many times over and potentially never have their credit ratings restored. For a minority of homeowners with tons of equity and excellent credit despite out of control credit card debts (a rare breed, shall we say), the home equity consolidation approach may be something to consider, but, for most, there’s an easier and more beneficial alternative.

Debt settlement’s a relatively new industry and not quite as well known, but debt settlement or debt relief might just provide the best solution to overwhelming credit card balances. Within this program, certified debt settlement negotiators work with borrowers and creditors to lower the overall credit card debt balance in exchange for enrollment in a payment program typically lasting between three and five years. Not only does this eliminate a good portion of the consumer’s debt load in one stroke (sometimes by as much as half), but it helps the borrower be totally debt free in under sixty months. Also, in terms of credit ratings and FICO credit scores, the debt settlement programs are considered far more positive (though there will still be a notation assessed on the reports) than Consumer Credit Counseling, and future credit analysts will tend to judge the approach more favorably.

No solution to credit card debts beats old fashioned budgeting and money management, of course, but, for borrowers finding themselves in this predicament, that’s likely no longer in the cards. There are still paths out of debt that do not involve bankruptcy or second mortgages, though, and it’s the responsibility of every borrower concerned about his or her family’s financial well being to investigate every last one. As has been mentioned, the authors believe debt settlement to be the best hand of a stacked deck, but each debtor’s scenario is different. The important thing is to start taking charge of your credit accounts as soon as possible… without falling into an even worse situation.

Credit Cards For Kids – Which Style of Card is the Best?

Parents are turning to credit cards for their kids in record numbers all across the nation. For good reason too, they’re safer than cash and they allow parents to easily track their kids spending habits. That being said, the question is, what type of card you should use and what will it cost to use it. The three varieties are debit and prepaid cards, secured credit cards and student credit cards. Each of these cards have the visa ® and Mastercard insignia and are accepted most places regular credit cards are accepted.

Debit/Prepaid cards – The difference between these two cards is negligible, one pulls from a bank account and the other is preloaded like a phone card. These cards are largely used to fund children’s allowances, or college students that still receive money from home. If the children are under-age parents can have the cards issued into their names and simply have the child added as a user of the card.

These cards are also popular for undocumented workers as an alternative to the high cost of check cashing operations. For this reason, the fees associated with these cards range from barely acceptable to highway robbery. Most of the cards will charge a per-transaction fee or a flat monthly fee for using the card. What you need to pay particular attention to is the annual fees and the reloading fees. Many of these cards have neither, however, since these cards cater to each side of the economic spectrum you need to do your homework before getting one.

Secured Credit Cards – These cards differ from debit cards and prepaid cards in one area, they build credit by reporting to the credit bureaus. The only reason to use this card is to help your child build credit. This is because they require you to pay your credit limit up front, and then they charge you interest to use it. No really, think about it, you give the bank $500, and when you need to “borrow” some of your money, they charge you interest. Kind of sounds silly when you say it out loud, doesn’t it?

However, these cards can be a safe alternative for you to build credit for your child, if they are used wisely. The trick is, to get the card and never use it. Credit cards only have to be used once to begin reporting to the bureau. After that, you can tear the card up and never use it again. Most people mistakenly believe that the card has to be used regularly to build credit, this simply isn’t true. Credit bureaus only report, how long you have had the card, what your limit is and if you have been late on your payments.

Student Credit Cards – These cards are, for the most part, used by college students without the parent’s involvement. These cards usually give small initial limits and steady increases as the student shows fiscal responsibility. These cards aren’t designed for people with bad credit, but specifically for students without any credit at all. The credit card issuers will usually require that the student provide school transcripts, a diploma or a student id before approving the card.

This is an ideal way for student to build their credit or ruin their credit early in life. Many student loans have been turned down due to a poor payment history on student credit cards. Some student credit cards will require co-signers from the parents to ensure that the account is paid as agreed. Make no mistake though, if you cosign for your child, and he or she skips a payment or two, your credit will suffer right along with theirs.

A good alternative for parents to get credit cards for kids while allowing their child to build credit is to use a combination of the secured card and a prepaid card. As a parent, you can simply fund a secured credit card and stash it away, then use a low cost universal prepaid card to fund their expenses. This way, when the child leaves the nest, he or she has a good credit reference that could possibly get you ‘off the hook” from having to co-sign for that first car.

Average Credit Cards With Great Rates

Average credit cards are usually low on features and carry higher rates when compared to other credit cards. Most of the credit cards that consumers will find online are designed for people with very good credit or poor credit. However, in today’s market, the average credit scores nationwide for consumers have been trending downward. This is forcing banks and credit card issuers to focus on consumers who have fair to average credit more so than they have in the past.

When shopping online for average credit cards, consumers are typically offered credit cards that are geared towards consumers who have poor credit. This is simple economics, credit card websites make money when you are approved for a credit card, and credit cards in this class will allow them to get more credit cards approved. Unfortunately, in this scenario the credit card issuers win and the consumer loses.

However, if you know where to look, and which cards to apply for, consumers with average credit can find great deals in today’s credit card market. They may be buried on the last page of most credit card websites, but they do exist. Direct Banc is one of the few credit card websites that prominently displays the best of the average credit cards up front. These credit cards will carry the lowest rates and the best features for applicants with fair to average credit. Here are a couple examples:

IberiaBank Visa® Classic Card – IberiaBank is directly related to Pulaski Bank, one of these two banks recently bought the other one, I’m really not sure how it went down. Nonetheless, they offer a great credit card for those who have average credit. This credit card, like most credit cards, has a variable rate that hovers around 4% – 5% their credit threshold is stated as “Average”.

Average credit is an unclear term, and each bank has a different definition of what “average” is. What we have noticed at Direct Banc, is that IberiaBank defines average credit as one who has a few bumps and bruises on his or her credit but generally pays their bills on time. Ample discretionary income and residential stability are key factors for them as well.

Another great credit card for average credit is the Capital One® Platinum card. This card offers a low 8.9% interest rate for those with average credit who qualify. One of the great features you will find with this card is a 0% balance transfer feature. Transferring a balance from another card to a 0% interest rate will give consumers a huge break on their monthly payments. As with all cards, we suggest that you read Capital One’s® important disclosures for More Information.

Finding average credit cards for fair to average credit may be a little harder than hopping on a website and applying for the first card that you see displayed. Most of the cards you will see prominently displayed are either aimed at consumers whose credit is very good, or those whose credit is very poor. However, if you take your time, read the fine print, you can find great deals on average credit cards.

Bad Credit – Credit Cards

Bad credit-credit cards come in two forms: secured and unsecured. Secured credit cards for bad credit require the consumer to put some amount of cash into an account that is held by the lender. They are designed to provide you with an unsecured line of credit which will help you to establish or re-establish your credit through the used of a credit card. Have you fallen into bad credit like many people in today’s society have? They are For People With Poor Credit Scores – If you’ve had credit problems, then you’ve probably received offers for credit cards aimed at people with a poor / a low credit score / bad credit. These offers range from legitimate, to be questionable, to outright scams.

They often charge annual fees of up to $50 or more. This is a protective act for the credit card company.
Rate changes raise or lower the finance charge on the account. If you’re considering a variable rate pre-approved card, the issuer needs to provide various information that discloses, the rate may change and how the rate is determined – which index is used and what additional amount, the “margin,” is added to determine the new rate. Rates may be reduced after some time and the credit limit may be raised after you have established some credibility.

Financial decisions are personal, based on an individual’s situation. Consult with a financial professional before making any financial decisions. Financial needs are great, especially when you want to find the best deal out there for you.

Compare offers and apply online. Compare up to 3 at a time. Compare credit card designs to find the credit card that best reflects your personality. These cards come with a range of benefits including how to improve your credit rating to fixed amount payment plans.

Prepaid debit cards can be used like credit cards if they have the MC or Visa logo, but you cannot ‘borrow’ money you don’t have. There are a few prepaid debit cards with these logos and each has different fees and features. Prepaid cards work exactly like a credit card; however, money must be deposited into the prepaid credit card account before they can be used.

Unsecured loans offer no such alternative in the event of default. The lender, therefore, needs incentive to make an unsecured loan; this comes in the form of a high interest rate. Unsecured credit cards do not require a cash deposit, but they do generally require a decent credit history. The card’s limit is based on your credit history and can go up or down based on your credit rating and history of paying off the card. Unsecured credit cards are the classic credit cards that you seem most people using. The credit card lender lends you the money for your purchases; if you don’t repay within a month, you must pay interest.

Secured credit cards are usually given to those with bad or no credit history. A deposit is made; say $500, which gives the customer a $500 limit. Secured cards work somewhat like a debit card. When you open a secured credit card account, you deposit a certain amount of money into the account, which then determines your credit limit. Secured cards are exactly the same as regular credit cards except for this feature, which is a prerequisite for the extension of credit. The amount of money that you must deposit into the savings account varies with each program, but generally it determines your credit limit.

Secured bad credit-credit cards are the step down from the unsecured cards. They are easier to get approved for, but they also require you to “secure” them. Secure cards have been around for a while and are not likely to go extinct anytime soon. Perhaps, you’re confused as to whether getting one is actually a right take.

Cash back Credit Cards will give you back a small percentage of your overall spend, each time you use them, which means, over the course of a year, you will receive a percentage of your yearly spend back. This form of Credit Card could be a good source of gaining additional finance. Cash’s back rebates are easier than reward points to understand and despite the slightly lower percentage back offered by the former, many people still favor the convenience and simplicity that cash back reward credit cards provide.

Check to see if past financial ties (such as bills with ex-partners) have been removed. If a record does have to be amended, make sure it has been changed by ordering another report six week later. Check with the card provider as to what method they use. Check with the company to find out the specific reason that you were declined.

Student’s credit cards are one of these. Students and new migrants are also eligible. This card will help you rebuild your credit.

They are offered by credit card companies with some strings attached. You are usually provided with a lower credit limit and a higher-than-standard interest rate. They are not a bad thing. They are for the people who’re struggling to rebuild their finances. They are designed to help you elevate your credit score by demonstrating that you can be responsible with the plastic and do not need to be cut off from credit completely. Many providers actually offer them now because there is such a need for them, and so you have a choice if you do plan on getting one soon.

They are not the ordinary credit cards. These bad credit-credit cards give people who unintentionally damaged their credit scores and want to rebuild or improve their credit score. They are intended for people hoping to rebuild their credit history. They are designed for people who are unable to qualify for a regular credit card. There are many reasons why a person is denied for a credit card. They are no different. They exist to help a certain group of individuals.

Another option is trying and rebuild your credit or fix your fico score and will a little learning this is something that you can do yourself with do it yourself credit a repair program .Typically, the requirement is to make a deposit between $200.00 to $300.00 dollars with the credit card company to get matters underway. I have seen individuals with a 500 credit score get approved. Typically, this consolidated payment is lower than the original payments combined.

Companies offering these deceitful bad credit-credit cards make you open up a “bank account” in order to receive their credit card. After they deduct an enormous amount of your money you may wind up with just over a hundred dollars of available credit. Companies and lenders are getting tighter about their lines of credit. This change in the market affects many consumers, including credit cardholders.

Instant approval bad credit-credit cards occasionally require more info than what can be gained instantly to choose if they may approve your request. Instant approval cards are my favorite since you don’t have to wait for approval in the mail. Most of the time you’ll even know your credit limit and often have a temporary card number you can begin using right away.

Start with making a note of all the debts you have right now. Whatever bills you haven’t paid and creditor notes you may have been piling up, you need to sort through. Peoples who have the worse credits can even qualify for such a loan and fulfill all their personal short term or long term needs, that too at a very competitive rate than other loans. It is a significant help to the people who going through financial hardships and cannot find a way to come out. People are managing their own finances for the first time and credit is made available to them, often in larger amounts than it probably should be.

Remember, this is the only way you can boost your credit score and rebuild your credit. Your credit card company should also offer you an upgrade to a regular card if you have consistently proven to be a good payer. Remember though that not paying will further bring your score down. Remember, all- that sometimes count you – a reading was typed previously, then you were made payment so not to panic if you were recently made payment and this does not appear.

Thank you for taking your time to read this article. Information shared here does not constitute financial, legal, or other professional advice. This article is intended to provide general information only and does not give advice, which relates to your individual circumstances.

Credit Card Guide Australia

This guide has been written to inform you about getting the right credit card to suite your personal needs. There are hundreds of types of cards it is imperative you select the correct card. Selecting the correct card could save you hundreds of dollars in the long run or give you rewards such as free travel, appliances and other benefits.

What is a credit Card?
It is a plastic card with a magnetic strip, issued by a bank or financial institution to a customer to buy goods and or services on credit. Also called a charge card. Credit is money given to a customer to borrow over an extended period of time. Banks and financial institutions make money by charging an interest on money lent to the customer. Generally credit cards charge a high interest rate this is because a credit card is designed for small purchase for short periods of time.

What are the major banks in Australia?
Australia has four major banks with triple A (AAA) credit rating. This is the highest level of credit rating a bank or financial institution can achieve. The 4 major banks for Australia are:

Commonwealth Bank
St. George Bank
Westpac Bank
ANZ Bank

These banks are always recommend for borrowing money because they are most secure and regulated. However they don’t always provide the cheapest line of credit available. Sometimes smaller banks and financial institutions card offer cheaper credit and a better deal with better customer service. Remember to research all small banks and financial institutions, read the fine print on there contacts.

What credit card suits me best?
There are many types of credit cards on the market today, the shear amount of credit cards can make picking your credit card a difficult decision, and so we have divided all the credit cards on the market into 6 categories.

Balance Transfer
A balance transfer credit card is great for when you currently have a debit on another credit card (generally over AUD $5000) and you would like to swap it onto your new credit card with a new bank or financial institution for a lower interest rate. You will be given the option depending on the credit card for 6 months 12 months or lifetime interest rate, The lower the time the better the savings. Essentially you can move from card to card taking the lowest 6 month interest rate.

Debit Card (pre-paid)
A debit card is essentially a pre-paid credit card. This kind of card is great for customers who wish not to have credit access. Most Customers who use this card generally purchase items online, because this card works exactly the same as a credit card bar the fact you must put money into the card before you can purchase your good or service.

Frequent Flyer
A frequent flyers card is for customers who wish to get point for purchases and transfer these point into rewards such as free plane flights to locations depending on how many points you receive will translate to how far you can go. To gain points you must purchase items. The average points per dollar is 3 points to 1 dollar.

Low Interest
Low interest cards are for customers who whish to keep debit on there credit cards for extended periods of time, ergo if you wish not to pay off your debit and just paid the interest then this is the credit card you would use.

No Annual Fee
No annual fee cards are for customers who do not use there credit cards frequently.

Rewards Cards are for customers who frequently use their card for all or most purchases, for frequently using your card your bank will reward you with points, at the end of the year or specified time line you can trade your points for goods and sometimes services. The catch on these cards is that if you don’t use your point within the allocated timeline you will lose your points.

Information for Application?
What are does the law require you to be to get a credit card?

You must: Be 18 years of age or older.
You must meet your banks credit rating requirements
You must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or have a current Australian visitors visa
You will need to prove your gross annual income on paper
Your employer’s details (name and address)
Details of your own home if you have one (estimated value, amount owing on the property)
Details of any existing loans (investment property loans, personal loans, leasing, credit and store cards)
Any savings, investments and cheque account details (account numbers and balances)
Asset or investment details (value of property, shares, car, furniture and other assets)

Are you a new Bank customer? If you’re a new Bank customer, you will need to go to your bank branch and provide personal identification, along with the two most recent original pay-slips for the primary applicant. Personal Identification documents include one of the following documents containing your photo: Passport

Australian Drivers / Firearms licence
Proof of Age card
Or two different documents from this list: Birth Certificate
Citizenship Papers
Pension Card

How to increase your chances of Approval
To help increase your chances of getting approval on a credit card. Run a credit history check on your self. Visit the Veda Advantage, Dun and Bradstreet, and Tasmanian Collection Service, these website will give you a detailed report on your credit, these website can take up to 10 working days to provide you your report.

Read though your credit report and check it for inaccuracies and other data which is incorrect. Resubmit it.
Your credit report is just one factor a credit provider may take into account when assessing your application for a loan. Other factors may include your employment, your income, your savings and any existing liabilities.
It is recommended that when you apply for a credit card that you have been working for a minimum of 12 months at the same company.
Make sure your bank account show that you have money in it and that you keep money in it (save). This will show the bank or financial institution that you have the ability to repay your credit debit.
Bankruptcy in most cases will hamper your efforts in finding credit. If you have been bankrupt you may need to see a professional about fixing your credit.
Other liabilities such as mortgage personal loans and car loans can be a factor when the banks review your credit card application. Be sure you can make repayments on all your liabilities comfortably.

If you have been rejected for a credit card application you can always resubmit your application in 6 months (or less in some cases), contact your selected bank and discuses why you were declined. Once you know why you were not approved you can seek to correct your situation and then resubmit.

Get the Most From Your Credit Card

Credit cards can be a valuable money management tool if used properly. We have many choices in card features, perks, and rewards. Getting the most out of any credit card starts with choosing the one (or several) that best suits your needs. Credit cards offer more than a convenient way to pay, and if you manage your credit card accounts well, you can be sure to get the most out of your credit card while paying less for those benefits. The extras your credit card offers will depend on the type of account you qualify for. Carefully consider all aspects of any card before you apply, and use your card in the way that will benefit you most once you get it.

Secured cards and credit cards for people with poor or limited credit are usually bare bones credit cards that don’t offer many, if any, benefits. They charge significantly higher interest rates than other credit cards and usually have a somewhat steep annual fee. The only real benefit they offer is that they can help you establish or improve your credit until you qualify for better terms. You have to actually use your card to improve your credit history; just having the account open without using it won’t improve your credit. The best way for you to build your credit is to use your card every month, use no more than 30% of your credit limit, and pay your bill in full every month to avoid finance charges. If you’ve had one of these types of credit cards for some time, you’ve stayed within your credit limit, and you’ve always paid your bill on time, contact your credit card issuer to see if or when you’ll qualify for a better card. They may agree to return your security deposit, reduce your interest rate, or do away with the annual fee. You may even qualify for a card with rewards. Your credit score can be hurt by closing old accounts and opening new ones, so see if you can upgrade the terms of your credit card while keeping the same account number.

Regular credit cards are for people with average to good credit. Regular credit cards often have a reasonable annual fee and fair rates. They don’t require a security deposit and usually have a higher credit limit than cards for people with poor credit. Some come with limited rewards, such as travel miles, points you can redeem for merchandise, or even cash back. Cards with no annual fee usually don’t offer as many rewards or charge a higher rate of interest than cards with an annual fee; if you want a low rate or rewards, you might have to pay an annual fee. Basically, you’re going to pay for the use of credit somewhere. You can reap the benefits and avoid the costs of a credit card by choosing one with rewards you can use and no annual fee. If you can pay your balance in full every month, it really won’t matter what the card’s APR is. Many regular cards, and even cards for people with poor credit are marketed as “platinum”, but really don’t offer many benefits to validate the platinum status. Find out if you’re really getting better treatment from the platinum card before you apply; you may get a better deal from a plain vanilla credit card.

Premium credit cards are for people with good to excellent credit. Credit card issuers want your business, and they will offer you their best terms because they know their competition is offering you their best deal, too. You have many choices in credit cards with no annual fee, great interest rates, and generous rewards. Many even offer extras like extended product warranties, roadside service, car rental insurance, and travel accident coverage at no charge. Some offer special discounts at selected merchants. You are likely to qualify for high credit limits because credit card issuers know they can trust you to manage your debt well. If you are interested in a credit card that’s available to people with average credit simply because it offers benefits that are important to you, check with the card issuer before you apply. They may be willing to sweeten the deal due to your stellar credit rating.

Getting the most from your credit card

Be true to yourself when choosing a credit card. Before you shop for any product, the first step is to know what you want and how you’re going to use it. Then you’ve reduced your choices to products that suit your needs. Once you’ve decided what type of product you actually need, you can further narrow your choices based on the price of the product. It’s no different with credit cards. You may get credit card solicitations every week in the mail, but what are the chances that it’s the best one for your needs when you have so many to choose from? Every day a retailer wants you to apply for their credit card at checkout, as if the card’s incentives will prevent you from shopping anywhere else. Don’t let them suck you in just because they offer credit; be sure that you’ll benefit from the use of that particular card before you apply.

Rewards aren’t freebies; they come at a price. I overheard a conversation in a store at checkout the other day, a shopper’s friend commented that the shopper had spent way more than she said she was going to. The shopper replied, “Oh, it’s okay, this card gives me rewards and the minimum payment is really low.” Her response showed that she was not being rewarded at all, but being punished. It’s too bad; she obviously didn’t realize it. It’s fun to think of all the things you can do with your credit card rewards; travel the world, redeem points for gift certificates, or even get cash back. But it’s important to understand how much those rewards are actually costing you if you carry a balance.

For example, many rewards cards generally give you one point for every dollar you spend. One hundred points equals one dollar in redemption value. So what it boils down to is that for every dollar you spent, you get back one cent. To get one full dollar back, you have to spend one hundred dollars. If you carry a balance, that one hundred dollars will accrue an annual finance charge of anywhere from ten to thirty dollars, depending on your card’s APR. How can you call it a reward if you are paying that kind of interest? You can’t, that’s why it’s so important to pay your balance in full every month to truly benefit from the rewards your credit card offers.

Another way people are missing out on their rewards is by overspending simply to build up rewards points. If you are hoping to earn a plane ticket valued at three and fifty dollars, you would have to charge thirty-five thousand dollars on your credit card. That’s a lot of money! It’s better to pay for your ticket outright rather than buy stuff on impulse just to accrue rewards points. You can benefit from the card’s rewards only if you are using your credit card for things that you would normally buy anyway. Use your rewards card for everyday purchases, like gas and groceries, to build up points based on what you normally spend, without spending more just to get the rewards. Over time, you can redeem your points or miles to get a bonus, without breaking the bank to get that bonus.

For people who don’t pay their balance in full every month, a card with a low APR is the way to go. Forget about the rewards you’ll be “missing”; many rewards cards charge a significantly higher rate of interest than a no rewards card. The card issuers have to make up for the cost of their rewards somewhere, and they often do it by charging a higher APR. If you always carry a balance, and you can get a card with an APR that’s 5% lower than a rewards card, you’ll automatically be saving five dollars in interest for every hundred dollars you spend. That’s a much better deal than the one dollar you’ll get back with a rewards card!

It’s up to you to decide what kind of credit card will benefit you most. You must consider your spending habits, as well as your debt repayment habits. It’s great to be rewarded for buying the things you already spend money on, as long as you aren’t paying more in interest charges than the rewards are worth.

Why People Choose Credit Cards?

Owning Credit cards is a fact of life these days. Not only you can use credit cards to pay for what your purchase at stores, your gas, and your bills, you can also use them to build your credit history. Unlike many countries around the world, your credit history in the U.S. can determine whether you can get a car loan or even one for your college education. At the end of the day, your credit card is a tool can help you save on your everyday costs and build a better credit history.

Credit cards are great cost savings tools if they are used the right way. Many consumers apply for credit cards that come with a lot of cost savings features but do not tap into their cards’ potential. A good credit card is like a good car. If you don’t use it the right way, it is not going to benefit you the way it should.
Consumer credit cards and business credit cards are very much different, and the thought process that goes behind choosing them is different as well. But, most consumer and business credit card holders choose one credit card over the other due to one of the following factors:

Annual Fee: a credit card with an annual fee is simply looked down upon by most consumers. Consumers simply do not like to have to pay a fee on an annual basis to have the right to own a credit card. What many consumers do not consider is the fact that credit cards with annual fees often come with more features and cost saving benefits. Business credit card holders are more open to the idea of paying an annual fee to business credit card issuers. So there is no wonder credit cards such as the Plum card and American Express Gold are the most popular business credit cards on the market.

Balance Transfer: balance transfer features matter to both consumers and business owners. Credit cards that come with low balance transfer APR are almost as popular as cards that come with higher APR but no transfer fees. The standard balance transfer in the credit card industry is 3%. But there are minimum and maximum amounts that you could be charged, and those amounts differ among various credit card offers. At the end of the day, lower transfer rates are useful to people who are planning to transfer very high balances to their credit cards.

Introductory offers: credit card offers are very powerful in attracting and retaining card holders for a while. Chase, Advanta, American Express, and Discover all offer credit cards that come with introductory 0% APR for 6-15 months. Some cards only focus on purchase APR, while others focus on both balance transfer and purchase APRs. It is given that credit card companies may limit their introductory offers with the economy struggling, but introductory offers are still one of the most popular reasons people choose one credit card over another.

Life-Time benefits value: there are a few brave men and women among us who stick with one or two credit cards for more than a couple of years. These folks choose their credit cards based on its life-time cost saving value. Credit cards that come with life-time balance transfer or purchase rates are very popular to this group.

There are many other factors that you need to consider before applying for a credit card. However, the above factors are considered to be the most important by most business and consumer credit card holders. At the end of the day, you should have a clear goal about what you need to accomplish with a credit card before choosing a credit card. That way you can save yourself a lot of time and headache and get the best out of your credit cards.

Credit Cards For Bad Credit – What Are My Options?

Are there credit cards for bad credit? The answer is yes. If you have been over 30 days late on loan, charge card, or mortgage payments, if you have unpaid medical bills, or if you have legal judgments against you such as child support or other lawsuits, you may have “bad credit”. There are many of us who have been unable to keep up with our monthly bills and have fallen behind in the last 12-24 months.

You may be thinking there are no options or credit cards for bad credit. That is not true. Access to a credit card is almost required in this age of technology we live in. This increasing need for consumers to make credit card purchases creates the demand for more and more credit cards for bad credit.

There are three types of credit cards that are available for people with bad credit. The first type is called a prepaid credit card. With a prepaid card, you get out of it exactly what you put in. Similar to a checking account, you deposit a certain amount of money into an account and this is your spending limit. When your prepaid credit card balance reaches $0, you can “recharge” it by depositing more money into your account. Prepaid cards are great for budgeting, online purchases, and those that cannot obtain a conventional checking account. Approval is usually guaranteed regardless of your credit score and there is no need to deal with the credit bureaus.

The second type of card you can obtain is a secured credit card. With a secured card, you deposit a cash amount into an interest-bearing savings account. This amount becomes your collateral. You are then issued a card and a line of credit in the amount of your deposit. When you make purchases, your credit limit decreases, monthly payments are calculated, and you are sent a bill. If you make purchases, a monthly payment is expected just like a regular credit card. Secured cards are great because they function like regular credit cards allowing you to book travel arrangements such as hotels and rental cars that do not accept prepaid cards or debit cards. Like prepaid cards, approval is usually guaranteed regardless of your credit score. Unlike prepaid cards, many secured card issuers report payments to credit bureaus. This can be a great way to establish or re-establish your creditworthiness by showing timely payments. After several consecutive timely payments, many secured card issuers will increase your credit limit without requiring an additional deposit.

The third option is an unsecured credit card. This is a regular charge card that does not require a deposit, and your credit score is taken into consideration. If you have bad credit, the limit on an unsecured card may be lower than a person with good credit, and you may be subject to slightly higher interest rates and/or fees, but the advantage is that you will not have to make any kind of deposit up front. Many unsecured credit cards for bad credit come with credit limits up to $1000. Making small purchases and timely monthly payments can help you re-establish creditworthiness as most unsecured card issuers report your payments to the credit bureaus.

Click here to get credit cards for bad credit [] or click here to do a low interest rate credit card [] search. Remember, making timely payments is a sure way to prove creditworthiness. And if your credit is bad, you should also consider debt negotiation, debt settlement, debt counseling, and credit repair. Getting your debts under control is key toward achieving better credit.

Using a Credit Card For Rebuilding Credit

How often have you seen the advertisement online or in your mailbox telling you how you should apply for their credit card to repair your credit? The advertisements are right to some extent; credit cards can help you when you are trying to repair your credit, if used correctly. The problem is that most people try to repair their credit with horrible credit cards while using the same spending habits that caused their bad credit to begin with.

A large majority of the people who set out to repair their credit, with the aid of a credit card, do so with the wrong credit cards. There is a right way, and a wrong way to repair your credit and using a credit card is only one small part of the process. We monitor the applications and approvals of credit cards across the web that are designed and marketed for those seeking to repair their credit. The overwhelming majority of the cards that people are applying for are going to hurt their credit, not help it.

The correct way to use a credit card to repair your credit is not to use it. People that are recovering from bankruptcy or other credit problems need to face the fact that they aren’t going to get a good credit card right out of the gate. Conceding this fact, we must now begin to pick the best of the worst credit cards in which we can use to re-establish our credit. The main thing to be aware of is that you are getting a credit card to help to restore your credit, not necessarily to use it. This leaves us with two options: secured credit cards and unsecured credit cards.

Most people opt for the unsecured variety, which in my opinion is a mistake. Most unsecured credit cards for bad credit are going to hit you with a lot of front loaded fees in lieu of making you put down a deposit. You can expect to pay anywhere from 50$ to $75 up front for your annual fee for starters. Then, some cards have other up-front fees like a monthly maintenance fee, account processing fees and some even charge an application fee. All in all, up front fees could be around $150 on a card that only gives you a $300 limit.

If you know you are going to have high fees and a low credit limit you should give serious thought to getting a secured credit card with lower rates and fees. Think about it, if you have to pony-up $300 for a deposit, at least all of the money would be yours and you would still have the $300 limit. Also, using a secured credit card gives you the ability to raise your own credit limit, which strengthens your credit. Used correctly, a secured credit card will cost you less, save you on fees and act as a savings account for you.

As you may know, secured credit cards allow you to raise your credit limit by making additional deposits. If you get your secured card, never use it, and make a $100 a month payment to that card for one year you will have a credit card with a $1500 credit limit. This looks a lot better to someone who looks at your credit than a $300 limit. Loan officers and underwriters have no way of knowing whether a credit card on your credit report is secured or not, unless it has a $300 balance.

What you definitely do not want to do is use your credit card. Most people are unaware that it makes no difference in your credit score whether you use the credit card or not. In fact, if you do use your credit card and exceed 35% of your credit limit, your credit score will begin to deteriorate. The best credit reference on a credit bureau is the one that never has to be touched, it shows restraint. Think about it, having a secured card allows you to pay fewer fees, dictate your own credit limit, build a savings account and helps you to rebuild your credit. This is definitely the best, and least expensive, way to go in my opinion.

Bad Credit Credit Cards – Who Needs Them

United States without credit cards. You won’t be able to rent a car or a hotel room, and very many merchants will not accept a personal cheque without a credit card. Now such persons as those who migrated to the United States, college and university students who have very little or no credit history, or persons who did not do too well at managing their credit history, should apply for credit cards that cater for this.

There are three basic types of bad credit credit cards. These are:

Prepaid – Very similar to the standard debit card. You open an account and place a deposit in it. This deposit will become your card limit. With this type, you are not extended credit by the bank since any purchases made come directly from your deposit. When you have exhausted this, you can no longer use the card until you make another deposit. This type of card can be likened to the training wheels on a bicycle, and are excellent in helping you to budget and to live within your means. The major downside of such a card however is that they cannot help you to rebuild your credit. This is because no credit is being extended to you, and as such, these accounts are not reported on by banks to the credit bureaus.
Secured Bad Credit Credit Cards – With this type of card, you will have to open some type of savings account and deposit a sum of cash in it. This will be held as collateral by the bank that issued the credit card to you, and for as long as you have the credit card, you will not have access to those funds. You can deposit more to be held as collateral for the card as you go along. Now the amount deposited will normally represent the credit limit on the card. It can be a little more. If you default in the payment on this card, the bank will deduct from your savings to pay it. The interest rates and charges on this card will normally be more that the typical credit card. This type of card should be reported on by the issuing bank. This is great card for learning money management and savings.
Unsecured Bad Credit Credit Cards – This will be similar to the normal credit card. The interest rates and fees may however be significantly higher than the current market rate. In some instances, you will be charged a fee upfront as the cost of extending the credit facility. This fee is separate from the annual fee. The credit limit that is extended to you on such a card will generally be low and depending on how well you manage it, the issuing bank may increase it as time goes by. This type of credit card should be reported on by the issuing to the various credit bureaus.

Bad credit credit cards are generally designed to help these persons build or repair the credit record. Most of them would generally incorporate some feature that will encourage the cardholder to save. Now because these cards are used as training wheels, it is very important that you ensure that they are reported on. You may not want to use this type of card for too long a period of time. So exercise your right to free credit reports and ensure that they are being accurately reported on.

Orchard Bank has a few bad credit credit cards that cater for the needs of persons with bad credit history. These include:

Orchard Bank Platinum MasterCard®
Orchard Bank Classic MasterCard®
Orchard Bank Secured MasterCard®

This card allows you to establish or repair your credit. Anywhere you go, it guarantees acceptance and buying power. It will help you manage everyday finances – from unexpected expenses to opportunities you can’t pass up. Some of the benefits include:

Monthly reports to all three credit bureaus – Helping you to create a strong credit history
24 hour online account access which allows you to keep on top of all transactions made with your card
Use your Orchard Bank MasterCard card for online shopping knowing that you will not be responsible for unauthorized charges
Periodic reviews of eligibility for credit limit increases
Free online bill pay

Other recommended bad credit credit cards include:

New Millennium Bank Platinum Visa® or MasterCard®
Horizon Gold Credit Card
Some of the features of these cards include:
Guaranteed approval
The report to all the major credit bureaus
High introductory savings rate.

It is important that you choose the right card that is most suited to your needs from the list of bad credit credit cards that is available. Repairing or establishing you credit rating is very important and this particular card selection may be the key. So choose wisely.