Choosing the Right Credit Card for You

Credit Cards are a fixture in today’s life. People from all walks of life use them for almost any and every financial transaction, from paying monthly bills to purchasing items off the shelf at groceries and convenience stores. No matter where a person goes these days, excepting perhaps for the absolute remotest corners of the earth, credit cards have become as acceptable as money, more so in some circumstances, because in foreign countries a credit card takes care of the usual bother of having a lot of travel funds converted into local currency.But with so many different credit card providers out there, and each with their own sets of package deals that offer different credit card rates and advantages, how do you go about choosing one that suits your personal needs? Here are a few simple things to keep in mind when selecting a credit card that will give you the best rates for your lifestyle.Look at the TYPE of card you’ll need. While it may seem like a credit card is a credit card, in reality there are many different types of cards available, just as in a bank there are many different types of accounts, each offering different features. Some of the more common types to choose from are as follows:Student Credit Cards – As the name implies, these credit cards are designed to cater to the needs of students. Since students generally operate with limited personal funding, the credit ceilings offered by these cards is set to keep purchases made by students within a reasonable level. Also, the interest rates are set to lower levels, again because of the assumption that the people who use these cards wont have as much financial capability. They will generally be working part-time at best, so the rates these cards offer tend towards the reasonable. The biggest drawback to a student credit card is the credit ceiling; this, however, isn’t such a drawback when you consider that the lower ceiling also allows the users to preserve their credit standing and not jeopardize themselves with overspending. If applying for a student credit card, look for ones with reasonable interest rates balanced with a credit limit that will keep expenses within the budget.Business Credit Cards – These cards are tailored to be used by people running a business. The main purpose of these cards is to be utilized in place of a business owner using his/her own personal credit card to help pay for the overhead costs of his/her business. Business credit cards generally have larger credit ceilings than regular credit cards due to the expected expenditures involved in operating a business. The rates for these cards, and the corresponding credit ceilings, are usually based on the financial status of the business entity for which the card is meant. When looking at these cards, keep in mind the projected fiscal ability of your business. Get a business credit card that can cover your overhead costs, and make sure that the interest rates are also at a level that your projected income can cover.Zero-interest Credit Cards – these are credit cards that have 0% interest initially. The name does not mean that the card permanently does not incur interest; rather, these cards have an introductory period, usually stretching between 6 months to a year, where no interest is incurred. Regular rates are applied after the period is over, however, so it’s a good idea to look at the interest rates and available credit ceiling after the initial introductory period expires.Low Interest Credit Cards – these credit cards generally have a lower interest rate than others; unlike zero-interest cards, which offer no interest rates for an introductory period then switch to regular rates afterwards, low interest credit cards maintain a lower interest rate on credits incurred throughout the lifetime of the card. In the case of these cards, look at other factors when choosing one; there may be annual fees involved in maintaining the card, or lower credit limits, for example. Look into these when deciding on a low interest card to apply for.Reward System Cards – these are credit cards which possess additional perks for usage. There are many types, including credit cards that offer airline mileage points, hotel credit rewards, gasoline points, and even cash reward credit cards. When looking at one of these credit cards, the interest rates of the card should of course be taken into consideration, but the main point is to see if the interest rates are offset by the rewards offered. AS long as the rewards suit your lifestyle, these cards make for a good option.These are just a few simple tips covering the different types of credit cards available on the market. When choosing a credit card, finding the best credit rate isn’t just a matter of looking for low interest cards; find one that suits your lifestyle and needs, and the rest follows.

Rebuild & Keep Good Credit Ratings by Understanding Your Credit Cards

Secured Credit Card is similar to a prepaid credit card since the funds you are using are actually yours and not the issuer of the credit card. Generally people who apply for secured credit card or prepaid credit card are people with poor credit or unemployed. Prepaid Credit Card spending limit is the amount of money you loaded to the card. There are no interest or finance charges on a prepaid card. With secured credit card, your credit line could be from 50% to 100% of your deposit depending on the institution giving you the secured credit. Therefore the company giving you the secured credit card has zero risk.Secured credit card can be very beneficial because it gives you an opportunity to rebuild your credit history and you are able to make purchases just as if you had an unsecured credit card. Many companies require that you have a credit card to make purchases, such as car rental, airline tickets, etc. Ensure that the company issuing the secured credit, routinely reports customers’ payment history to any of the three main credit bureaus namely Experian, Equifax and Trans Union. This reporting to the credit bureaus will rebuild your credit history over time.Closing unnecessary accounts and consolidating your bills to make payments more manageable could be an advantage financially. By not applying for too much credit within a short period of time is another factor that will help in rebuilding your credit rating. Additionally, even though secured credit is like prepaid cards, they do have certain fees attached.
Benefits are similar to that of an unsecured credit card, such as usually being paid interest on your balance in the bank, using Automated Teller Machines (ATM) to make deposits, withdrawals, and making purchases at participating merchants. Following the above steps will strengthen your credit rating.Unsecured Credit Cards are issued to individuals with good to excellent credit rating. Credit ratings depend on certain criteria, such as one’s ability to repay loans. These criteria include payment history, employment history, and financial stability. Individuals with excellent credit will most likely receive a lower interest rate. A major factor in maintaining excellent credit is making your loan payments on time thus avoiding late fee penalties.Customers should read the credit agreement to ensure that they understand their obligation to the creditor. Making payments on time will strengthen your credit rating. Unsecured credit cards has numerous advantages such as low interest rates, high credit limit, business name options, no annual fees, and low APRs on balance transfers up to 12 months. Closing unnecessary accounts and consolidating your bills to make payments more manageable could be an advantage financially. By not applying for too much credit within a short period of time is another factor that will help in maintaining a good credit rating.Rebuilding your credit takes time, patience, and consistency. If you consistently pay your bills on time, you will see an improvement in your credit ratings over time. There are no quick fixes for improving your credit report except for mistakes or inaccuracies that can be corrected, hopefully in your favor. Your credit information is maintained by the credit bureaus namely Experience, Equifax, and Trans Union for seven years. Therefore poor credit information will remain on your report for seven years. The good thing is that as negative information disappears with positive information, this will definitely rebuild your credit rating.Applying for secured credit card can be very beneficial because it gives you an opportunity to rebuild your credit history, and you are able to make purchases just as if you had an unsecured credit card. Many companies require that you have a credit card to make purchases, such as car rental, airline tickets, etc. Ensure that the company issuing the secured credit, routinely reports customers’ payment history to any of the three main credit bureaus namely Experience, Equifax and Trans Union. This reporting to the credit bureaus will rebuild your credit history over time.Business Credit Card
Business credit cards are very popular for small business owners because of the many benefits they offer. Benefits includes 0% Intro APR on balance transfers, no annual fees, high credit limit, low interest rates, cash rewards, bonus miles, free online account management to choosing card design etc., At iCreditOnline.com we have some of the best business credit cards from American Express, Advantage, Chase, Bank One, Bank of America, Discover, Citibank, Household Bank and more, with online credit card approval. Why waste time going to a bank when you can get a decision in less than 60 seconds with secure online credit card application. Online Credit Card Approval with Online Credit Card Application is fast and easy!Student Credit CardHaving a student credit card while still living at home or attending school away from home can be an advantage. It gives the student the opportunity to establish credit at an early age and to start asserting their independence. It comes in handy in case of emergency, it is less trouble and safer to carry a student credit card than to carry cash. Parents find student credit cards to be very convenient. They are able to make deposits to their children’s account while they are away from home. Students should be careful with their credit card receipts to avoid identity thief.If you consistently pay your bills on time, obtaining students credit cards is a good way to established credit rating and start building a good credit history while in school. Establishing and maintaining a good credit rating will make it easy to purchase a car, a home or obtaining a personal loan in the future. For students who are not committed to their financial obligation, getting a student credit card is not a good idea. Running up balances, finding yourself in debt, unable to make monthly payments will destroy your credit rating.Student’s credit cards generally have high interest rates. At iCreditOnline.com we offer some of the best student credit cards from Chase and Discover with 0% APR introductory rate for 6 months, no annual fees and online account access. Online credit card approval with online credit card application is fast and easy!Explanation of some of the credit cards we offer:0% Intro APR Credit Card or Balance Transfer Credit Card gives you the benefit of using this credit card without making any interest payment on the principal for a stated period of time. This credit card is marketed to individuals with good credit rating who want to transfer balance from a high interest credit card to a 0% intro APR credit card.Cash Rewards or Cash Back Credit Card earns a percentage on purchases made. This reward or cash back is credited to your account.Debit Card takes the place of carrying a checkbook or cash. This card is used like a credit card with certain limitations, such as not being able to rent a car. Purchase transactions are contingent upon having enough funds in your checking or savings account to cover the purchase. Verification of funds requires entering your Personal Identification Number (PIN) at a point-of-sale terminal.Low interest credit card saves you money. Having a good credit rating qualifies you for some of the best low APR credit card offers.Prepaid Credit Card spending limit is the amount of money you loaded to the card. There are no interest or finance charges on a prepaid card. Therefore the company giving you the prepaid credit card has zero risk. Generally people who apply for prepaid credit card are people with poor credit or unemployed.Secured Credit Card is secured by the amount of funds you have in your account. Your credit line could be from 50% to 100% of your deposit depending on the institution giving you the secured credit.Unsecured Credit Card is issued to individuals with good to excellent credit rating. Credit ratings depend on certain criteria, such as one’s ability to repay loans. These criteria include payment history, employment history, and financial stability. Individuals with excellent credit will most likely receive a lower interest rate and can receive instant online credit card approval. A major factor in maintaining excellent credit is making your loan payments on time thus avoiding late fee penalties.Travel Rewards Credit Card benefits may include travel accident insurance, free rental car collision/loss damage insurance, rebate on gasoline purchases, frequent flyer points or bonus miles towards airline flights, free quarterly and annual account summaries.

Credit Cards for People With Bad Credit – How to Avoid Getting Ripped Off

If you’ve had credit problems, then you’ve probably received offers for credit cards aimed at people with bad credit. These offers range from legitimate, to questionable, to outright scams. How can you tell the difference? The answer is to read the fine print, usually to be found in a document called “Terms and Conditions.” To show you the difference between “the good, the bad, and the ugly” in the low-end credit card market, let’s take a look at the fine print associated with such offers.We’ll start with one of the more popular low-limit “starter” cards available today. These are actual terms published by a major company at the time this article was written. The card comes with a Visa logo on it and looks like a regular credit card, so you can use it as an extra piece of identification when you’re booking a hotel room, renting a car, and so on. In the “Terms and Conditions” document, the first thing we see is the annual percentage rate (APR), listed as 19.5%. That’s not a particularly attractive rate, but it’s not as high as a lot of other cards. A little farther down, we see that the APR for cash advances is higher, 25.5%, which is normal since there is greater risk involved to the company.Where it really gets interesting is the section that lists the fees associated with the card. In this example, there is an annual fee of $150! There is also a $29 fee to open the account, as well as a monthly “maintenance” fee of $6.50. Whew! That’s a lot of fees. But wait! It gets better. Toward the bottom of the document, buried in the fine print, we see something called “Available Credit Limitations.” In 8-point typeface (very tough to read on a computer screen or printed page), you are informed that your generous initial credit limit will be a whopping $300. On your very first statement, you will be billed for the $150 annual fee, plus the $29 setup fee. The $6.50 monthly fees will start appearing after you make your first purchase on the card.Let’s take a closer look at the math here. It will cost you $179 up front, plus $78 per year, to obtain $300 worth of credit. Your total cost for the first year is $257, assuming you pay off the balance each month and don’t incur any regular interest charges. Sound like a good deal? Does it make any sense at all to pay $257 to obtain $300 worth of credit? That’s 85.6% in effective interest! If you keep a running balance of $300 on the card, and just make the minimum payments every month, your effective interest rate will be 105.2% for the first year, and 95.5% for subsequent years. That’s some pretty expensive credit! This credit card offer, while legal, still counts as a total rip-off.As bad as the above sounds, it still only qualifies as “questionable” rather than being a full-on scam. There are much worse offers floating around out there. I’ve even seen some “deals” where the fees are so stiff you start out above the credit limit before receiving the card in the mail! In the bogus category I’d also include cards where you are forced to pay an advance fee prior to receiving the “guaranteed” credit card, which of course never arrives. There are also “catalog cards,” where you supposedly build credit by purchasing items through a card tied to one particular company and their catalog of goods. The problem is that the catalogs usually consist of grossly overpriced junk.So what constitutes a good credit card offer for someone who’s experienced serious credit problems and wants to take action toward rebuilding his or her credit? At the risk of annoying the big credit card marketing companies who target the “sub-prime” market (consumers with bad credit histories), my advice is to completely avoid any offer that comes to you unsolicited. Instead, do the research on your own. Check out http://www.bankrate.com for current offers by legitimate credit card companies. Shop and compare before you apply. Remember, the APR is only one aspect of your decision, and not necessarily the most important. What you want to look at very carefully are the annual fees, setup fees, and monthly fees.It’s important to realize that you may not be able to obtain an unsecured credit card when you’re just starting to rebuild your credit. Instead of paying $257 to obtain $300 in credit, you’d be far better off placing $250 as a deposit toward a good SECURED credit card from a reputable major bank. In this real-world example, the annual fee is only $29, the APR is 19.99%, and there are no setup fees or monthly maintenance charges. Your $250 deposit will net you $250 worth of credit (less the $29 annual fee), and you’ll build positive credit history just as quickly as with the ridiculously expensive offer discussed above. Plus that original $250 deposit is still YOUR money. After you’ve been granted unsecured credit again, and you’ve paid off any outstanding balance on the secured card, you can get your deposit back.One final tip. If you have the opportunity to join a credit union, you should consider checking out their offers for low-limit unsecured and secured credit cards. Credit unions frequently offer much better terms than regular commercial banks. Through credit unions, you can often find credit cards with no annual fees, lower interest rates, and more flexibility. Be sure, however, to confirm that the credit union reports account activity to the credit bureaus. Otherwise, your positive payment history on the new credit card won’t lift your credit score. And remember, no matter what card offer you’re considering, be sure to read that fine print!

Find The Best Credit Card Type

There are a variety of credit card types, each claiming to offer you the best possible deal. Finding the programs and incentives that works best for you is key to maintaining a good credit card history.Each type of credit card offer different benefits. Some are geared toward the individual consumer, while others are set up to work for small businesses. To find the type of card that best fits your needs, let’s review some of the options.Business CardsA business credit card offers the business owner an opportunity to keep business and personal expenses separate. The card may offer special business rewards and saving opportunities that go above and beyond what the individual card owner has. Since money management is essential for running a business successfully, this card may offer an expense management service that helps track outgoing money. You can obtain additional cards for employees who may need them for travel expenses and such. You may also have a higher credit limit than you normally would on an individual card.Student CardsMany credit card companies will issue student cards with lower credit limits and fewer incentives, helping new card users to keep their spending in check. However, note that many college students now graduate with credit balances averaging from $3,000 to $7,000. With high interest rates, these debts can be a real problem to pay off.Debit CardsPrepaid debit cards are 1 type of credit card that has grown significantly in recent years. Although it works like a traditional credit card when making a purchase, that is where the similarity ends. With a prepaid debit card, you actually set the credit limit yourself by depositing money into the debit card’s account. The amount you deposit determines the credit limit on that card. This is a great way to have the convenience of a credit card without the possibility of charging more than you can afford to pay off.Cards for Bad CreditEven with bad credit, it is possible to obtain a credit card. These cards come with some restrictions not typically found on other types of cards. Your credit limit will be lower and your interest rate higher. Some may require you to have a secured card, meaning you have to maintain a savings or some other type of account that will cover the expenses on the credit card. Once you have established that you will be responsible in your credit handling, some, if not all, of your restrictions may be lifted.Cash Back CardsMany cards will now offer you cash-back incentives for using their cards. Depending on how much your balance is, and how often you use the card, you can earn cash back for your purchases. Some companies offer 1% off your balance while others, like Sears, will offer you cash off purchases made in their store. Either way, if you are planning on using a card, finding one that will offer you a cash incentive is a smart choice.Low-Interest CardsOne of the more recent additions to the credit card world is the low-interest credit card. These cards offer a significantly lower interest rate than most of the older cards you may already have. As balance-transfer cards, most of them offer you the option of transferring a balance from a higher interest rate card and, for a specified period of time, your transferred balance will be at either 0% interest or something quite low. This can save you a fair amount of money if your plan is to pay it off.Reward and Incentive CardsSince credit cards have become such a lucrative business, many corporations have jumped on the bandwagon. Even airlines now offer credit cards that come with a certain amount of frequent flyer miles attached, depending on your balance and purchases. If you do a fair amount of traveling, this can be a real bonus. Along these same lines, reward credit cards are growing in popularity. Competition is stiff, and many card companies are now offering different reward or incentive options for using their cards. Once you accumulate enough points, the rewards pour in. These can be anything from travel insurance to small appliances. If you use a card regularly, finding one with a reward program can really pay off.Instant Approval CardsAnother form of credit card is the instant approval card. Once you fill out the application, a quick background check will be done and you will have your approval almost immediately. Regular cards can take up to 2 weeks to process. Although you can get instant approval, this does not always mean you can get instant credit. Some companies will supply you with a temporary credit card number and allow you to begin making purchases immediately, while others will not, due to an increase in credit card fraud potential.Protect Your CreditSince there are so many options in choosing a credit card, you should do a little research before you apply. Decide what type of card best fits your needs and apply for that one. Don’t go overboard, though. Applying for too many cards will negatively affect your credit rating.And, above all, once you get your new credit card, use it responsibly.

What You Need to Know About Secured Credit Cards

There’s so much to learn about the different credit cards made available to the public today. First of all, it’s important to choose a credit card that aims to work for you and your lifestyle. Make it easy on yourself. If you do the research before committing and establish what you want to use a credit card for, the rest is easy.Secured credit cards are used in a number of ways. They’re convenient because they are used like a regular credit card. However, there is a difference between these credit cards and regular credit cards. These credit cards are secured. If you want a secured credit card, you’ll need to put down cash as collateral in order to secure one. It’s like making a personal deposit. That deposit becomes your line of credit, available to use when you need it the most. Credit cards that are secured, often times, contain limits as to how much you can deposit on the card at any given time. Most cards will hold up to $500.00. Depending on the credit card company, they may allow you to deposit more. In the end, the bank will reward you for making payments on your credit card – payments which have already been established because it’s coming from you in advance as a requirement of using the card. Therefore, owning a secured card will actually help you to establish a good credit rating. In fact, it is the perfect way to get your credit back on track if you’re suffering with poor, bad or no credit.Make sure to shop around for your secured card. Every company offers different perks and services, which get attached to your card. That is why it is important to do your research first. Establish what’s important. How do you plan to use your credit card? Where will you make the majority of your purchases? Most importantly, you’ll decide how best this card will work for you and your current situation. Make sure that whatever card you choose, that the supplier reports your history to credit bureaus. Otherwise, your card isn’t helping you build credit, and that is one of the most important factors in using a secured credit card. You will establish good credit and improve your credit rating considerably. You also avoid the risk of running into debt again, because you control what you spend.No-one will ever know that your credit card is prepaid. You can use it in your favorite restaurant and it will look just like any other card. Prepaid credit cards are one of the best ways to make your purchases without the risk of spending more than you can afford. You are completely in the driver’s seat.

It’s Easy To Find A 0 Apr Credit Card

Millions of Americans have credit cards, using them almost every day for everything from mundane things like groceries to exciting purchases like vacations. But unless you already have a 0 APR Visa, Mastercard, or Discover credit card, chances are you’re still looking for one. Who wouldn’t want a credit card that offered 0 percent APR?The APR is the annual percentage rate, and it determines how much interest you pay on your credit card. No-interest credit is the best, obviously; a credit card with no APR means you’re paying back only the amount you borrowed, with no additional charges. When the bank makes you a 0 APR credit card offer, you’re liable to jump at the chance! But you don’t need to wait for the bank or credit card company to come to you. You can get a 0% APR credit card yourself.First you’ll need to check your credit score. The credit card companies are more likely to give you a low-repayment credit card as a “reward” for being a low-risk consumer. Get a copy of your credit report from one of the online sources available — you’re entitled by law to one free credit report per year — and see if there are any blemishes that might prevent you from getting a 0 APR credit card. You should check your report even if you’re sure you’ve never done anything to earn bad credit, because mistakes can creep into your report. The last thing you want is to be denied an interest-free credit card because of something you didn’t even do!Once you’ve confirmed your credit report is solid, or done what’s necessary to clean it up, you can apply for a credit card with confidence. There are two ways you can go about getting no-interest credit. One is to approach your currentcredit card companies and request a lower interest rate. Tell them you’d like to do a balance transfer, point out your positive credit history, and ask for zero APR credit. Many times, they will give you 0 APR for a period of six months or a year, which is fine: Before the time is up, you can set up 0 percent APR on a different card and transfer the balance. If your credit stays good, you could move your balance from one card to another indefinitely, thus keeping 0 APR credit for the life of the loan.Another option is to open new credit cards that have 0 APR offers. These are easily found online, and the 0 APR credit card is usually an “introductory” offer, which means it switches to a higher APR after six months or a year. The same procedure applies: Take advantage of the offer, and then transfer the balance to another 0 APR credit card [http://www.newyorksocialist.com/category/finance-news/] before the time is up. Before you get any new credit cards, though, be sure to check into their policies on balance transfers. Some have different APRs for balance transfers as opposed to purchases.With a little work and careful spending habits, it’s possible for anyone with good credit to get a 0 APR credit card. Why should the credit card company get all your hard-earned money with its fees and APRs? No-interest credit is the way to go. Good luck, and happy spending!

Consolidate a Credit Card to Reduce Your Debt

Strange though it may sound a credit card can be a useful tool in controlling debt. The properly chosen credit card can, in fact, be used to consolidate debt. There are several features to look for though if you plan to use a credit card in this manner. As is always the case before you scrutinize any credit card option, you should first have a clear understanding of your credit situation.Whenever you are approaching a decision about your credit it is of primary importance to pull your credit report. The government has mandated that all individuals be allowed an annual free credit report. When accessing this report make sure that you have gone to a truly free credit report site. Some companies lure people into their sites by advertising a free credit report and then ask for credit card information. Free credit reports are available from such sites but if you have supplied them with credit card information you may find that your card will be billed thirty days later for a credit report update. The charges will continue ever thirty days or so after the initial billing until you have cancelled the service. The best idea is not to give out any billing information in order to receive your free report.Get a report from each of the three credit reporting agencies (Experian, Trans Union and Equifax). When you ask for your report the site will also offer to send a credit score (FICO score) for a small additional fee; knowing your FICO is also beneficial and generally worth the nominal cost. Again, read the fine print and be careful not to set up any ongoing transactions.After receiving the three reports analyze them carefully. You are unique but your name may not be. Make sure all the credit card bills are actually yours. Also check to make sure your social security number is listed correctly. Social security numbers are keyed in by hand and thus subject to error. One digit misplaced can give you someone else’s derogatory credit. Report any errors to the agencies. Make the report to all three agencies as they do not share information.Now you have a list of all the revolving credit card debt that you owe, the balances and contact information. This is the money owed that may be ripe to consolidate on one credit card. Contact the creditors and find out what the current interest rate is on each card and if there are any programs which would allow you to reduce that rate. Let the companies know you are actively shopping for alternatives to your current rates. Customers in good standing with their credit card companies, customers with high FICO scores and customers who regularly charge and make their payments are valued by credit card companies. It may be that you will be offered incentives to retain their cards. Also, inquire about any balance transfer opportunities or other programs such as frequent flier miles.Now you are going to design your own program to consolidate credit card debt. Compile a list of all the companies with columns comparing the like features: Interest rates, penalties, incentives, credit limits. When choosing which company to use to consolidate your credit cards, look at all the features not just the interest rates. Narrow down the options to two or three cards. Speak with company representatives. It may be possible to negotiate even better terms.Once you have chosen an institution with which to consolidate credit card debt [http://www.springfieldsocialist.com/category/finance-guides], follow through and transfer as many of your outstanding balances as possible to that one card. Adjust your credit card behavior and be disciplined about your use of credit. Cut up all the other cards. You may even wish to close all accounts other than one for emergencies. Don’t carry the two remaining cards in your wallet. Remember, charge cards are nice as long as you, not the card, are in charge.

The Pros And Cons Of Prepaid Credit Cards

Observers in the lending industry have estimated that there may be at least 50 million Americans who are not able to qualify for credit. These consumers are usually young, often members of the minority groups and unbanked…and they are faced with the long-standing dilemma of credit: how can I build my credit record if no one will give me any credit at all?One of the answers offered by credit card companies is a variety of prepaid credit cards, designed for use by specific segments in the market. The prepaid credit cards are meant for that significant portion of the population that cannot meet the qualification criteria for regular credit cards, or who qualified before but have since lost their credit due to repeated defaults and other reasons.Advantages of Prepaid Credit Cards For those who do not have enough credit history or have had it blemished, prepaid credit cards are an effective way to build or slowly rebuild credit. That may not happen immediately, but it is something to work on over time. The banks that issue prepaid credit cards are also prepared to extend normal credit the moment you are able to show that you have become a worthy credit risk.For the moment, you may have to make do with prepaid credit cards. You can use prepaid credit cards as you would any other regular credit card to purchase airline tickets, reserve hotel rooms, or order items online.Prepaid Credit Card for Students There is a special prepaid Visa credit card for students, which offers a lot of convenience not only for the students but also for their parents. These reloadable prepaid credit cards offer parents several options on how to reload. Parents can add money to reloadable prepaid credit cards by depositing money, by arranging an automatic transfer of funds from their account (a deposit account or their own credit card account), or by online transfer. Using the prepaid Visa credit card is no different from giving the regular allowance to their child, only they do so by electronic means and there is no more cash that changes hands.The big advantage of the prepaid Visa credit card is that the student is limited to spend only as much money as there is in the card. The parent is thus able to control to some extent the spending behavior of their child. They can use the prepaid credit card anywhere that the credit card brand is accepted.Prepaid Credit Cards as Gift Certificates Some prepaid credit cards function like gift certificates. You buy the prepaid credit card for a certain amount, and your recipient can purchase items with it at any of the brick-and-mortar stores or online merchants, and also for mail order items, that accept the particular credit card brand. Your recipient can use the prepaid credit card only up to the amount of money that you loaded on it. This particular version of prepaid credit cards is non-reloadable.Like any gift certificate, recipients of prepaid credit cards can buy whatever it is they want at any time they want. Unlike a gift certificate that, when it gets lost is lost forever to the recipient, prepaid credit cards may be replaced if it gets lost or is stolen.Prepaid Credit Cards for Travel There is a prepaid credit card designed for travel. These reloadable prepaid credit cards can be purchased in lieu of travelers’ checks or cash. In a way, it combines the best features of a credit card and a traveler’s check because of its convenience and security features. Should you lose the prepaid credit card while you are on travel, you can easily obtain an emergency replacement, both for the prepaid credit card and some cash.Prepaid credit cards for travel are accepted all over the world, and also allow you to obtain currency from ATM machines. When you need to reload and you are already traveling you can arrange for the reload by phone or online. Apart from the fact that it is a prepaid credit card, you can use it exactly like a regular credit card. That also means you enjoy other benefits just like a regular card — reimbursements for lost luggage of up to $1,000 per cardholder if your luggage is lost; zero liability if your prepaid credit card is used fraudulently after you lose it or have it stolen from you; purchase security up to $500 per claim for any items you buy with prepaid credit cards, which subsequently gets stolen or damaged for certain reasons.Generally, you can purchase prepaid credit cards of all the major credit card brands at their participating retailers. You don’t have to worry about not having acceptable credit because prepaid credit cards are made available without need of a credit report or a bank account. The only qualifications you need to have are that you have reached 18 years of age and that you must be able to present a valid identification issued by government.Disadvantages of Prepaid Credit Cards There are a few things about prepaid credit cards that may not be as convenient as the regular credit cards. For one thing, you load only so much money onto it. You will need to keep track of the balance on the prepaid credit card because not all of the merchant terminals where you use the card may be able to help you determine it. However, there are procedures that tell you how to determine your balance, and you will these detailed on the back of the prepaid credit card and in the instructions accompanying it.The process of reloading your prepaid credit card may be a little inconvenient to some. If you’re using cash, you would have to visit the participating outlet where you bought your reloadable prepaid credit cards. The more convenient way will be reloading online.There are also the charges. Prepaid credit cards impose an application fee, the amount of which varies with the issuer, and there is also a service charge that you have to pay monthly. You also have to pay for transaction fees, charges when you transfer funds to top up the balance, when you replace your prepaid credit card, and many other fees. To be sure about the fees, you should read closely the fine print on the prepaid credit card account.Prospects of Prepaid Credit Cards Prepaid credit cards do not provide credit; it is your money that you’re using. You are asked to pay other charges, so it is not for free. You are paying for the convenience and security of carrying plastic instead of large amounts of cash. People with bad credit will be able to act as if they had a regular credit card and enjoy the convenience of one.Issuers of prepaid credit cards realize that it is a good way to monitor the credit behavior of the cardholder. A prepaid credit card would be a source of information that indicates to the credit bureaus and issuing lenders about how you as the individual cardholder use the card to pay your bills such as utilities. If these consumer data could be formatted in such a way as to provide the basis for a statistical model on probable future behavior in spending, then this could become the foundation for building a credit history.You would benefit, because by using prepaid credit cards you are rebuilding your credit. The prepaid credit card issuers would benefit, too, because they would be making previously unproven customers bankable. More people could then qualify for regular credit, and that would mean tremendous incremental revenue for the lenders.

Tips for Credit Card Consolidation

Credit card consolidation may save you a considerable amount of money, especially if you’re transferring the balances from high APR (annual percentage rate) credit cards to low APR credit cards, or better yet, one of the many credit cards that offer zero percentage APR for balance transfers.There are five distinct reasons why credit card consolidation may very well be an excellent choice for you.The first, as we just mentioned, is because your current credit card or cards are costing you far too much in annual fee or APR. It may be that the card you use for credit card consolidation may not offer a permanently low APR but rather a short term zero or low APR percentage for any transfer. Go for it! You can always do credit card consolidation, or just one bulk transfer to yet another card when the low introductory rate runs out on this newest one you’ve chosen.Annual fees can be a strong incentive for credit card consolidation as well. These can add up, especially if you have several credit cards. While many cards have annual fees around $20 or $25 dollars, some can carry an annual fee as high as $250. Keep in mind, however, that doing credit card consolidation by transferring to a card that has no annual fee is only advantageous if you’re going to use that card for the year. If, however, you’re looking at a card whose introductory rate is six months, after which the APR skyrockets, that low or nonexistent annual rate is not going to be much help to you.Your other credit card consolidation option may well be a personal signature or collateral loan. While it might seem that using a loan as a resource for credit card consolidation is a little like robbing Peter to pay Paul, the fact is that your monthly loan payment will be much easier to accomplish than the use of one credit card. Why? Because you won’t have the temptation to use that credit card and rack up even heftier credit card debt.If your credit card payments have been continually late they’ve probably affected your credit. Credit card consolidation may be a good way to reduce the debt and improve your credit standing.One last reason for doing a credit card consolidation is to make a little money from it – right up front. There is so much competition among the various credit card companies that some literally offer to give you money back immediately if you’ll transfer your credit card balances to them. They do this by saying that they’re going to reduce that debt.If, for example, you had a total of $2000 in credit card debt on your current credit cards, you might do a credit card consolidation with a new credit card that offers to forgive five percent of your debt. What this means is that the minute you do the credit card consolidation, transferring your outstanding balances on your current cards, you’ve made five percent of $2000, or $100 instantaneously.

Credit Trap: What They Don’t Tell You About Credit Cards In College

In industrialized nations, going into debt starts early. It’s easy for an eighteen-year-old to get credit cards and fall into debt, especially if they’re headed for college.I remember my first year in college as a 17 year old. Credit card offers were plastered all over the university campus. I don’t know what saved me from falling into the credit trap when I was in college but many of my friends were not so lucky.Many of them started out by using credit cards for textbooks, then stereo equipment and clothes. Then the next thing they knew, they were drowning in credit card debt.No one told them what they were getting themselves into.
Often, credit cards that are geared toward college students come with very high interest rates. Credit card companies say that this is due to the fact that students often have limited credit histories and that they have a higher default rate than other groups.However, what credit card companies don’t tell you is that young lives are being ruined by credit card debt due to dropping out of college, bankruptcy, job rejections (due to poor credit histories), loan denials, inability to rent apartments, professional school rejection, and even suicide.A leading expert on the credit card industry reports about a number of these incidences including the suicide of some college students due to credit card debt in his book: Credit Card Nation.
I think there should be a law against openly marketing credit cards to young college students. However, the situation is quite different; credit card companies are often given free reign in college and university campuses to market their wares to unsuspecting college students.And what about those ubiquitous student loans that are often pushed at college students?Financial Aid officers make it far too easy for students to sign on the dotted line.”It’s a low interest loan”, they say. “You don’t have to pay it off until you graduate”, they say.But what they fail to tell you is that student loans and credit card debt can put you in chains for years for which you cannot afford to make one financial mistake or you and your family could be put out on the street.Furthermore, none of us know what is promised for tomorrow. We don’t know if we will be healthy or sick; nor if we will get that well-paying job after graduation from college.Speaking of getting a well-paying job after graduation, another thing they don’t tell you in college is that it may be a good idea to check your credit report BEFORE you go out on your first job interview.What does a person’s credit report have to do with getting a job you may ask?Well, a new trend in hiring these days is that many employers are checking potential employees’ credit histories first before they consent to hiring you (great, isn’t it?).So, just what are they looking for when they look into your credit report? Well, my guess is that they probably will be looking at how much debt you owe and your payment history.If what they read from your credit report indicates that you are a credit liability, then chances are you may not get that job you wanted.These are just a few of the many truths that they don’t tell college student about credit card debt before they sign on the dotted line.A prepaid debit card is a MUCH better alternative to a credit card for a college student because a prepaid debit card actually helps you to stay out of debt as the money you spend is your own. Not only that but they are also useful tools for teaching college students financial management skills.And of course, nowadays, there are a variety of debit cards available including debit cards issued by the two major names: Visa and MasterCard.So, if you are a parent of a college student, be sure to educate your child about the dangers of credit cards debt BEFORE he heads out for the college campus. And if you can, why not consider giving him a prepaid debit card to send him money while he is away at college?