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Saturday, January 31, 2009

7 Tips To Improve Your Credit Score

These days most of us avail loans to buy a house, set up a business, or buy a car. Many students take loans to further their education. How soon the loan is sanctioned, the rate of interest, and the amount sanctioned will all depend on your credit score which is based on your credit report. People with scores of 700 and more are the beneficiaries of lower interest rates and quick sanctions. Imagine if your score is greater than 700 and another person has a score of 698 then the person with score 698 will have to pay interest that is higher by one-half percentage point. And, this means over a year a person with a lower score will pay USD 19,000 and more as interest on a loan of say USD 165,000.

A credit score takes into consideration: payment history, current earnings, current debt, length of credit history, types of credit utilized, and your new credit. If two or more members of your family are earning then apply for a loan jointly.

You can take a few simple steps and ensure that your credit score is higher than 700.

• Maintain a long healthy credit history. Keep alive your oldest credit card and be sure to pay all bills in time. Never keep bills pending over a 30 day period. If in a crunch at least pay the minimum charges due.

• Do not have too many credit cards. Learn to say “NO,” to offers of free credit cards. And, maintain a good credit limit. Avoid using all the available credit on the cards.

• Ensure that the credit report you have is accurate and that there are no errors clerical or otherwise.

• Plan your finance such that it is healthy. Consider debt consolidation.

• Never suddenly close or open accounts. This leads to suspicion that you are trying to manipulate your credit report.

• If you are having problems speak to your creditors well in advance and work out a stage wise repayment. Request the creditor to refrain from reporting the late payment.

• Late or delayed payments drive your score down so always pay bills dead on time. Keep a tab on due dates and ensure that all bills are paid.

Learn all you can about credit reports and scores and keep the criteria in mind while managing your finances. Maintain the debt-to-credit limit ratio and, if need be take the help of a finance planner. Even if advised refrain from filing for bankruptcy. All you need to do is to sit down and curtail expenses, plan you income-expenditure , and avoid spending what you have not earned.

10 tips to Protect Your Credit Card from Carder

The fast increasing crime in the world is Credit card fraud. Global Credit Card holders are mostly the victims of this illegal access to their accounts. Let’s take a closer look of the problems faced by international credit cards.

1. Repetitive use of credit card numbers. After a credit card number has been used and disregarded, say cancelled, credit card companies would reissue the same number to other cardholders. The personal identification numbers (PIN) is changed as well as the credit cardholder’s personal information. But it still bears the same credit card number.

2. Low standards when it comes to the use of cards by the participating merchants. This is a common problem encountered by international credit cardholders. Employees of the participating merchants have the full access to the account number as well as the security number of the card.

3. Account Statements given out by credit card companies contains less information about the participating merchant. It does not include relevant information about the vendor that charged any transaction on the credit card.

4. Unreliable blocking functions. Once a card loss is reported, it will still take months for the credit card companies to block the transactions being made through the stolen or lost credit card.

5. Lack of validation software. Participating vendors should have better validation software installed on their computer system.

6. Consumer unfriendly policies on fraud management. The policies on the present fraud management take the blame on the cardholders though not directly stipulated. This means that the policies on the fraud management of international credit card companies protect not the consumers but the company.

7. Lax standards on investigation about fraudulent transactions. This is the sad part for the victims of fraud through their credit cards. Getting the suspects charged though proven guilty of fraud seems to take on slowly.

8. Credit card fraud is usually committed through online transactions. This means that credit cardholders are not protected with the authorized or unauthorized use of their cards on purchases or services paid online.

9. Most of the companies that typically appear on charges are those associated with pornography industry. These companies are the ones that accept transactions even without verifying the cardholder’s information.

10. Most of the banks’ system is not compatible with other international credit card companies for the e-commerce. This is a potential weakness that would mean loss of clients so they would prefer to keep quiet about it.

0 APR credit cards Tips

Have you ever considered the luxury of always having a 0 APR credit card at all times, no matter what the circumstances? Well here is a check list of seven things you must do in order to make that an everyday reality.0 APR credit cards are here to stay. Now that we're well into the New Year we've learned (again) the lessons of the festive season. Zero interest credit is a nice idea, but why not extend it beyond your present credit card to the next, and the next.

This seven point checklist will assure the clever consumer of having that constant low APR credit for years to come.

1. Read the small print. Make sure it matches the offers on the credit card's advertising copy. In particular, check for clauses that differentiate between purchases and cash transfers, or even cash withdrawals. Check that the card doesn't stipulate a ratio between purchases and cash, charging an excess if the cash activity rises above the purchase activity (that is usually the way it is biased, but check to make sure).

2. Keep to the agreed credit limit as specified in the agreement. Do not exceed the balance limit as specified on your original agreement, or that'll be the trigger for extra charges.

3. Pay at least the minimum charge in full. Even better, set up a standing order or direct debit with your bank. You can arrange to have the minimum paid directly and electronically from your bank account every month.

4. Avoid late fees by paying on time. There is a danger with people who have the benefit of a 0% APR credit card that they will tend to become complacent about it and forget to pay it. Yes, it does happen. But every time a payment is received late credit card providers can and will charge a late fee. This can add up, especially if someone is habitually late. Again, an automatic direct debit from your bank account is the best answer.

5. Factor in any extras in the agreement, as stated in the small print (which you will have read). For example, an annual charge may be applied to offset the 0 APR. Some 0% APR cards do this but others do not. Bear in mind that the whole APR concept was meant to level the playing field as far as extra charges were concerned. By paying an annual charge for your card you are not truly getting a 0 APR card.

6. Make sure you have in mind a new low interest or 0 APR credit card waiting by to which you can transfer the balance of your present credit card. Why have 0 APR credit for 6 months or 12 months when you can have it for years and years? Always check the press and financial columns for new deals and credit card offers with this in mind. Join an Internet forum that specialises in such matters.

7. Make sure that you transfer the balance of your existing credit card to your new credit card in full and on time. In particular, allow for time to process the balance transfer and for all the paperwork involved (yes, even in the age of the Internet there is still a certain amount of paper involved!) and be careful to check that the opening balance allowed on your new 0 APR credit card is at least the same or exceeds the balance that you wish to transfer from your existing credit card, or the shortfall will cost you money!

Credt Card: 0 APR Credit Cards

Are you a credit card fanatic? How many pieces of plastic do you have? You know, one of those individuals that acquire as many credit cards as possible? Now, first of all, this may get you into a serious financial bind. Sure, credit cards are a great way to deal with an unexpected expense, and can no doubt save your butt at times. However, these tricky little cards can also dupe you into spending carelessly.

We all know their typical spiel. Those clever credit card companies know just what you want to hear. That's why your mailbox is consistently filled with offers for 0 apr credit cards. They love to pitch that; don't they? Let's face it; we all light up at the number 0. It immediately tells us that we won't lose anything. Ha, that's a good one. But, while these 0 apr credit cards start out benign, they soon turn sinister. Suddenly the apr is through the roof, and you're shelling out tons of cash for interest rates every month.

When you checked your mailbox today, were there any pitches for 0 apr credit cards? I'm going to go ahead and guess there was at least one. Now, the question is; are you going to rip it open and read the whole deal, or simply tear it apart and throw it away? Don't get me wrong, we all like to have a credit card or two in our wallets and purses. Those 0 apr credit cards can come in handy if we get in a bind. The trick is using it wisely. This basically translates as not using it unless you have to. And I mean have to! There's no reason to stick something on your 0 apr credit cards if you can already pay cash.

Why grapple with the monthly credit card payment? Or maybe you're one of those rare individuals who pay their credit cards off completely each and every month. If you are, then many congrats to you. You're one of few. Although many of us, or probably most of us claim that this is how we will do it, we actually don't. Believe me, the credit card companies count on this. In the end, you'll probably want one of the 0 apr credit cards for some emergencies. The trick is staying strong and not using it for random shopping. If you are in search of current deals on 0 apr credit cards, then I suggest you get online. It's easy to pop open Google and do a quick search regarding 0 apr credit cards. However, be prepared, because loads of them are about to pitch to you.

0% Interest Credit Cards: The Truth Behind

If you are looking for a credit card then obviously 0% interest credit cards hold a lot of appeal for you. Anything at 0% interest nowadays grabs everyone's attention, for that matter! But as far as these 0% interest credit card offers go, there is a lot of subtle dodging that credit card companies and bank card issuers engage in to ensure you catch the bait.

So just go ahead and admit it. You are hooked. The 0% APR credit cards ad that you just saw in the brochure attached in the morning newspaper has piqued your interest. But seriously ... are these 0% interest credit cards for real?

The truth is they are and they are not. There are cards that live up to the promise of a 0% APR credit card, but the truth is that this 0% interest does not last long. It might just be an initial gimmick to get you to subscribe to the card offer and once you’re a cardholder, you have the 0% APR for just a limited time (3 months, 6 months, or if you’re very lucky 12 months) before they start charging you a higher rate of interest. The credit card game is truly an interesting one to watch, but not if you are the suffering player. Read on to know what you can do to make sure you are not the sufferer.

Understanding 0% APR Credit Cards

Yes, 0% APR credit cards do, in fact, hold a lot of enticement. But here is what you must do when you find a 0% APR card that has gotten your attention. Pay attention to the following:

1) How long the no-interest period will last?
2) Can you transfer other balances at the 0% rate?
3) What will the APR be after the introductory period ends?

When you are done assessing these factors, you can properly compare all of the interest credit card options available.

The Luxuries of Owning a 0% APR Credit Card

If you’ve already accumulated a huge debt on your previous credit cards, there’s good news for you. A 0% APR credit card can benefit consumers bad credit histories in a big way, if (and that's a big if) they can get approved for the card offer itself. That being said, a 0% APR credit offer allows cardholders to drastically cut down the interest being incurred on existing debt while it can also help consolidate debts on other outstanding high APR card balances. There are typically balance transfer fees associated with this type of consolidation, but if your credit is sufficient enough, you might be able to avoid fees altogether.

Pitfalls of 0 Interest Credit Cards

1) Most 0% interest credit cards offer 0% interest or no interest only for a limited amount of time, which varies between 6 to 12 months.

2) If you’re thinking of transferring balances from high interest credit cards, some of these cards might not even allow you to do so during the introductory 0% offer period.

3) Some 0% interest credit cards might also charge very high balance transfer fees.

4) Some of these cards also carry very high penalties for late payments and
automatically switch you to a much higher variable APR after incurring even a single late payment.

5) Some 0% APR credit cards charge a very high interest rate after the introductory (read honeymoon) period.

Yes, the picture is definitely not all rosy, even though you can most definitely save money on interest charges by using 0% interest credit cards judiciously. If cardholders fail to pay off their card balances prior to the introductory offer expiration, if they fail to make payments on time, or generally disregard their credit responsibilities, these credit cards can end up costing consumers significantly more than most will anticipate.

Credit Cards: Credit Cards jumping

Credit card jumping has become a common practice. Credit card jumping can be an effective way of reducing debt, providing consumers do not add any new debt. There are also other incentives for using 0% cards, such as charitable contributions, rewards points, air miles, travel insurance and much more. It is worth shopping around to get a reward as well as the interest-saving rate. The term refers to the habit of moving debt balances from card to card to take advantage of preferential rates. But just how worthwhile is credit card jumping for consumers?

UK consumers have staggering levels of debt. Consumer borrowing has grown by more than 50% in five years. It's no wonder that people are looking for new ways to ease the debt burden. Credit card jumping offers one possible solution.

Money Saving Device

People who are carrying large amounts of debt can save hundreds of pounds in interest simply by taking advantage of the latest credit card balance transfer deals. Many of these offer a 0% interest rate for a fixed period, such as three, six, nine or even 12 months.

As well as transferring balances from other credit cards to a 0% credit card, consumers are sometimes able to transfer balances from store cards and even outstanding loan amounts. It is worth checking to see if these transactions also benefit from the 0% balance transfer rate.

Transferring a balance to a 0% credit card means that any payments made are paying off the principal rather than the interest. This reduces the amount owed, which is good news for those using this as a debt management method. Many card issuers do charge a balance transfer fee to curb the practice of credit card jumping, so it is worth looking around for the best deal.

Getting The Best From Credit Card Jumping

To get the best from 0% credit cards, many savvy consumers move from card to card when the preferential rate period expires. This requires some organization, but credit card jumping can mean that debt balances continue to go down as consumers move money (or rather, debt) from card to card. Those who don't move their debt at the right time often find they are paying a much higher interest rate – and the debt is not being cleared. This strategy works best when consumers pay on time. Late payment can result in fees that increase consumers' level of debt.

Consumers who are using many credit cards to manage their debt should consider creating standing orders to manage payments automatically. It is also worth using a spreadsheet or calendar program to keep track of when it is time to move to the next credit card.

Credit card jumping can be a good strategy for people who are:
1. organized about managing debt
2. trying to clear a large debt
3. prepared to shop around for the best balance transfer deals
4. able to pay on time consistently so as not to damage their credit rating.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Credit Cards: 0% Balance Transfer

Have you ever been attracted to a credit card because it promises you a friendly interest rate that seems impossible? Most of us have at some stage jumped for one of these attractive offers. There are a growing number of credit card providers out there that will offer you 0% deals on either balance transfers or purchases, and sometimes they just seem too good to resist.

Particularly if you have a large outstanding credit card balance that you are currently paying a lot of interest on, these offers will be very tempting. In fact, many 0% balance transfer offers will save you hundreds of pounds on interest that you would otherwise have had to pay on your credit card balance. But no matter how attractive such offers may appear at the time, you should only ever take on another credit card if you have taken the time to review your finances and are satisfied that it is the right financial move for you at this time.

To look at a typical example, suppose you have one thousand pounds outstanding on a credit card that charges 10% APR. This means that over the course of a year, this balance will cost you 100 pounds in interest charges. Now suppose you find a credit card that offers you 0% on balance transfers for six months. Well it is pretty obvious that 0% is better than 10 and if you were to take up this offer, assuming there are no balance transfer fees, then how much will you have saved over the six month interest free period? The answer is 50 pounds. However, what will the interest rate revert to once the interest free period has come to an end? This is something you should be thinking about before you opt for the credit card, and not when the interest free period is about to expire and everything is more urgent. Suppose, for the sake of our example that the interest rate reverts to a rate of 25%. This means that over the next six months you will pay £125 in interest.

While this is a very simple example, it illustrates an important point when it comes to 0% balance transfers. In the example above if the customer had stayed with his 10% card, he would have paid £100 in interest over a 12 month period. In the same period, by opting for a 0% balance transfer for six months that then reverted to 25%, he ended up paying £125.

The point to remember is that just because a credit card offers you 0% does not mean it is the best deal out there. Look at the long term rates that the card will offer you, and compare these to the rates you are already getting from your credit card. If your existing rate is better than the rates that you will get from the new card once the introductory offer expires, then maybe you should remain loyal to the card you have.

So while this is going on you will not be spending on the new credit card, but you will be safe in the knowledge that you are saving the interest payments on the old debt.

0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards: Is That True?

On the surface, 0% balance transfer credit cards are incredibly enticing, especially if you have outstanding credit card balances. But there are a few details you need to understand before taking the balance transfer credit card plunge.

Some consumers seem to get in trouble overnight with credit cards. Seemingly broke and deeply in debt, some desperate card holders are constantly on the lookout for a quick fix for the credit problems. A 0% credit card balance transfer
might appear to be the perfect solution. Many among us desperately jump at such offers without much forethought. 0% deals on balance transfers or purchases might seem irresistible even to the most credit worthy person. But especially if you have a large outstanding card balance (or balances), a 0% credit card balance transfer will seem especially lucrative. And to no surprise, there is no shortage of these type of balance transfer offers currently available in the marketplace.

Regardless of your credit circumstances, you should exercise caution and thoroughly investigate all aspects of any credit card offer that you consider. Despite the obvious attractions of a balance transfer credit card, it is worth giving a second thought before you cut up your old credit card to make room in your wallet for the new one. Companies often fail to clarify the fine print, hiding those rather unpleasant details which could cost you dearly in the long run.

Let us start with a very typical credit scenario. Imagine having a $10,000 outstanding balance on a credit card with a 10% annual APR, translating to $1000 in finance charges on a yearly basis. On the other hand, imagine securing a credit card that offers you 0% on balance transfers for the first year of membership. Transferring your card balance to a 0% balance transfer offer would cut down your annual interest expense by $1000. Exciting, isn’t it?

But did you bother to check what the interest rate would be after the introductory interest-free period? The rate might turn out to be significantly higher than your existing card, and you do not want to be caught on the wrong side of a high APR. Forewarned is forearmed. You will need to plan ahead – and not just a day or two before the interest-free period comes to an end. Some consumers might be surprised to discover that when an introductory APR offer expires that the rate of interest can revert retroactively to an APR of 23% and beyond. If you do not pay off your balance systematically and end up with a large balance when the introductory offer expires, many times consumers are stuck paying out an outrageously high APR because they did not pay down their card balance at all. So above all, make sure to plan on paying off that balance before the introductory period expires or you may regret it.

0% Balance Transfer – Some Pointers

When considering balance transfers credit cards, help yourself by asking these questions:

- What will be the interest rate once the initial introductory 0% balance transfer period is
- Is it comparable to my current APR or will it be significantly higher? What is the net difference?
- Particularly if you plan to carry a card balance over time, what will be the long-term net effect of the difference in APR's?
- Do I want to get into the habit of switching from one 0% balance transfer card to another?

If your current credit card offers a better long-term ongoing APR than the new one, it makes more sense to stick with what you’ve got, especially if you have the means to pay off your card balance without incurring large finance charges. A balance transfer card most certainly has its own pros and cons but if you wish to use balance transfers to your advantage, make sure that you understand the net benefits of the card over the long term.

0% APR Credit Card: The Explanation

What Is A 0% APR Credit Card?

Many of us have heard about them, but has anyone every explained 0% APR credit cards to you? Well, for starters, the APR or annual percentage rate is the rate of interest credit card companies charge on outstanding payments. The amount you are charged depends not only on the rate of interest, but also on the method of calculation of rates of interest. 0% APR credit cards are credit cards that charge you no interest on credit, for a specified period of time. The best 0% APR credit cards offer 0% APR’s to customers for up to 12 months. After 12 months the credit card issuer charges you at the normal rate. The card issuer assumes a risk by offering you interest free credit for such an extended period. They balance that risk by offering 0% APR credit cards to only customers with the best credit.

What Determines Your Credit?

Your credit depends on a number of factors. Your credit score, also known as the FICO score is widely used as a credit rating for Americans. Since your credit rating will determine whether you are issued a 0% APR credit card, knowing what goes into the score helps a great deal. Your credit score is determined based on five parameters. The most important among these parameters is your current debt and your history of repayment of debt.

The other three parameters for calculation of credit score are the length of your credit history, amount of new credit and types of credit used. Based on these five parameters, the individual is given a score ranging from 300 to 850. This is indicative of the credit worthiness of the person at a particular point of time. People with credit scores above 770 usually qualify for a 0% APR credit card. However scores above 700 are also considered good. 0% APR credit cards typically require, at a minimum, very good credit and often will require excellent credit.

One method used by customers to avoid interest is balance transfer credit cards. It is possible to shift from a credit card that charges interest to a 0% APR credit card using a balance transfer, provided you have the requisite credit. Once the introductory period of the card expires, people often shift to other 0% APR credit cards using the balance transfer method. Doing this however harms your credit rating and can hurt your prospects of receiving good credit in the future.

Prudence Pays

It is good to be informed of clauses like the universal default clause. This clause states that if you default on your payments to one creditor, for example a bank, it affects your credit rating and can increase the rate of interest you are charged elsewhere. Responsible vendors realize that informed customers make for the best customers in the long run.

0% APR credit cards sometimes come topped with other offers. You can find a variety credit card offers online that come at 0% APR from the best companies. Choose the 0% APR card that makes the most sense financially and functionally. And always try to maintain you good credit rating that got you your 0% APR credit card in the first place.

0% APR Credit Cards: Save Money And Avoid High Finance Charges

I'm 100% sure that you've seen direct email offers, promotional brochures and Internet ads announcing:

"0% APR credit cards. Limited time offer. Apply today!"

You can't beat that for a credit card. That's just like buying something with cash. A great deal, especially if you don't have cash on hand. But you may be wondering, "How can the credit card companies and banks make money if they aren't charging interest?" Well, read on to find out whether or not these 0% APR credit card offers are just pulling your leg.

Deal Or No Deal

Every time you buy something using 0% APR credit cards, you pay absolutely no finance charges or interest rate charges on your entire credit card balance. Just think... you can refurnish your home, pay for your child's college tuition or go out on a spending spree without paying a penny more.

However, most 0% APR credit cards offer only "introductory rates" at 0%. This low rate may be limited to a specific time period, such as 3 months or as long as a year. In addition, 0% APR credit cards often allow you to transfer balances (up to a specific amount) from another credit card to take advantage of the zero interest deal. Once the introductory rate period ends, then the APR can go through the roof.

Okay, so maybe you can't get 0% interest into eternity. But, if you play your card right, you can still reap the benefits of these unique offers.

Making Zero Interest Work For You

You may already have several credit cards and can't imagine what you'd do with another. After all... personal finance experts advise against having too many credit cards. Before getting a 0% APR credit card ask yourself, "What is the APR on my credit cards?" and "Do I carry a balance on my cards from month to month?"

The average interest rate for credit cards is around 14%. On the low end, you may have a card that charges as little as 5% interest, whereas cards for those with bad credit or no credit can be a whopping 29%. Retail credit cards tend to have a high interest rate around 19%, even if you have A1 credit. If the interest rates on your cards are up into the teens, then you definitely need to consider other options (a 0% APR credit card), unless you pay off your balances on a monthly basis.

Don't throw money out the window and into the pockets of the credit card companies. If you have high interest cards and pay only the minimum balance, then it can take years to pay off. $1000 spent could nearly double to almost $2000 by the time it's paid off. The best thing to do is transfer the balance to a 0% APR credit cards.

Where To Find 0% APR Credit Cards

If you have good credit, chances are you've already been bombarded with mail offers. You might even find these special values available through organizations you belong to or companies that you do business with regularly. Other sources include your local banks and credit unions. And don't forget to search the Internet. It's a great place to comparison shop for numerous credit cards. Keep in mind that you usually need to have good credit to qualify for a 0% APR Credit Card.

0% APR credit cards allow you to avoid finance charges altogether. If you are in debt, this is especially helpful in that you can pay down your balance much more quickly. But be sure you don't end up in a situation where you transfer balances from one card only to fill the old card back up again with new purchases. If you've been thinking about making a large purchase but don't yet have the funds and don't want to take out a loan, then a 0% APR credit card will be like paying cash. Just be sure to pay off your balance before the introductory rate ends and finance charges begin.

0% APR Credit Cards: How You Can Save Thousands of Dollars

Low interest credit cards are available as alternatives to those with middle-of-the-road to very high interest rates. If you have a credit card with a high interest rate anywhere from 17% to 24% or higher, then you may not realize that it is costing you hundreds and even thousands of dollars every year in interest alone. Once you understand your credit and how it is impacting your debt situation, you will see how low interest or even 0% APR credit cards can be a much better solution.

Gather Your Statements

Collect your statements for all high and low interest credit cards. Include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, department stores, retailers, grocers and any other revolving accounts. For each bill, make a record of the total balance, minimum payment amount and interest rate. You might also want to include your estimated monthly payment (if it's more or less than the minimum) and the monthly finance charge.

Compare Cards

If you compare the numbers for each card, you will be able to see which ones are costing you the most money. The higher the APR and the higher the balance, the more you will end up paying in interest in the long run. And, if you only pay small amounts of what you owe, you can go on paying for over 20 years. Now you can see the benefit of having a low interest credit card.

Categorize Your Debt

Once you've figured out which are the low interest credit cards and which are high, you need to categorize them from highest to lowest. Then reorder them, if necessary, based on the estimated amount of interest you would pay for the entire year. In other words, if you have a high rate card with a low balance, the overall interest may be less than a low interest credit card with a very high balance. This step will help you to focus on the cards that are taking the most of your hard earned money.

Negotiate With Your Bank

Before you cut up your plastic or send it through the paper cutter, call you current credit card company. Many consumers don't realize it, but companies would rather lower your interest rate than lose your business. Tell them that you've been offered a better deal on a low interest credit card. They may just match that offer, saving you the time and effort used to close and open a new card.

Shop Around For 0% APR Credit Cards

Some banks just won't budge. You may have to do some digging to get a low interest credit card. Check online, talk to your local bank and sort through those direct mail offers. Ask your friends, family, co-workers and other acquaintances to learn about the cards they use.

Carefully Read the Fine Print

Many cards look too-good-to-be-true - 0% interest on transfers, lifetime low rate, frequent flyer miles, insurance benefits, etc. Often times, the offers are just that. 0% offers may only be applied to a limited amount or during a specific time frame. Fixed rates may increase if you so much as miss a single payment and so on. Pay close attention to all terms and policies, making sure to read the fine print. Don't accept a low interest credit card until you are sure you understand all that is involved.

Maintain Good Credit

Now you can stop throwing money down the drain. Treasure your low interest or 0% APR credit card and maintain your good credit rating. Pay more than the minimum amounts and don't get behind. Just as fast as you were able to lower your APR, it could jump up to astounding numbers.

0 APR Credit Cards: The Advantage That Yours

The era of 0% APR credit cards is still with us. Yes, you can obtain a spanking new credit card featuring a very low introductory interest rate and take advantage of what amounts to "free money" for you for up to one year. You can use your new card to your advantage, but you must be careful that you fully understand how a 0% APR credit card works to order to maximize its effectiveness. I will show you how, so please keep reading for all the informative details!

Soon after the new millennium started, interest rates began to drop to historically low levels. By 2002, loan rates for government funds dipped to just less than one percent, pushing consumer loan rates down with it as well. Credit card providers, seeing a terrific opportunity unfolding, immediately began to offer 0% APR credit cards to new card holders and even extended the offer to their current customers.

Today, interest rates have been climbing for two years, but 0% APR credit card offers are still available to you. Quite frankly, the entire lending business is very competitive and credit card providers are willing to forego interest for up to twelve months in order to get your business.

To maximize the effectiveness of 0% APR credit cards, there are a few things that you must know:

Limited Time Offer. 0% APR credit cards contain an introductory period lasting typically from six to twelve months. This means that anything you charge during that time will not accumulate interest. Go ahead and spread out your payments over several months: If you purchase something for $1000, you can make four equal payments of $250 interest free. Keep earning interest on your savings and let the credit card company fund your purchase!

Transfer Balances and Save Big! Many 0% APR credit card offers will allow you to transfer balances from your existing credit cards to your new card and waive transfer fees. If you owe $3000 on your current credit cards and are paying 19% interest on your balances, you could save nearly $600 in interest payments over twelve month's time!

Pay On Time. Do not be lulled into thinking that a 0% APR credit card doesn't require monthly payments. If you miss a payment or are late, you could find that your remaining balance is subject to interest charges and penalties as your card shifts to a default rate. Pay on time or kiss your 0% APR credit card rate goodbye!

Pay It All Off. In some cases, you must pay off your balance before the introductory rate period expires. If you don't, the default rate kicks in. Make certain that you clearly understand your card's terms.

Clearly, a 0% APR credit card has strong advantages for the person seeking to make new purchases as well as someone who wants to transfer their balances. Use a 0% APR credit card to your advantage and put some money back in your pocket!

3 Tips On Getting Approved By 100% Financing Bad Credit Mortgages

Plan On Cash Reserves And Low Debt Ratio

Subprime lenders look at several factors when determining a mortgage application’s status. Credit payment is important, but so are cash assets and income. These two factors can offset late payments or even a fairly recent bankruptcy.

Most lenders prefer to see at least six months of cash reserves for a no-money down mortgage. A low debt-to-income ratio is also critical.

Take Stock Of Your Credit Situation

With poor credit, you can’t afford to have mistakes in your credit report. Before applying for a home loan, go over a copy of your report and make sure all your information is accurate. You can get a free copy of your report online through many sites.

If you plan to secure financing in the next few months, don’t open or close any additional accounts. Such activity will only lower your score – at least for a short time. Instead, focus on spreading your debt across accounts or eliminating it.

Search For The Right Lender Online

There is a wide range of rates and fees charged for subprime home loans. The only way to find the best deal is to search for it online. Broker sites with multiple quotes are the easiest place to start.

Ask for loan estimates that include quotes on closing costs and fees for a “no money down” mortgage. This will give you a realistic picture of loan costs.

However, the problem isn’t so much about getting approved for 100% financing; it’s about getting a decent rate. Be open to all your financing options, including a down payment. Lenders are more than willing to work with your situation, regardless of your credit history.

0% APR Credit Card: The Traps Behind

A 0 APR credit card is ideal when you want to purchase something expensive but cannot find another way to finance it. There will be no interest charges for the in and you will have the introductory buffer period to pay off the expense. But buyer beware ... make sure you can pay the purchase off before the introductory APR expires.

These types of 0 APR credit cards are offered by popular credit card lenders including American Express, Citibank, Chase, HSBC, and Discover. These cards have many benefits to offer if you have a good to excellent credit rating.

Keep in mind, that the zero percent offered with these cards is not permanent. It is an introductory rate and is typically offered for ninety days to as long as 12 months. At the end of the interest-free or zero percent periods, cardholders will have to pay a higher ongoing interest rate. Generally, these rates could vary between 10 % - 14% and sometimes can be as high as 24%.

Most 0 Interest credit cards allow balance transfers from your existing higher interest cards and many will waive the transfer fees. This is one of the best methods to pay off debts at a faster rate, leading to substantial savings on the interest charges incurred.

It is possible that a single credit card can have multiple APRs including the following:
1) One APR for balance transfers, one for purchases, and one for cash advances – the APR normally would be higher for cash advances compared to balance transfers and purchases.
2) Tiered APRs – Different APR levels can be assigned for different account balance levels or tiers, e.g., 15% for balances between $1 - $500 and 17% for balances higher than $500, etc..
3) Introductory APR – 0 APR as the introductory offer and a higher rate upon expiration of the introductory period.
4) Penalty APR – A penalty APR rate may apply if you are late with your payments.

The Traps to Watch Out For:
A 0 APR credit card is an attractive proposition, and often is too tempting an offer to resist. However, it is essential to be informed about the often-untold catches in these lucrative offers.

1. The 0 APR is a Limited Time Offer – In general, the 0 APR offered is only for a limited period. The period could vary from 3 months to 12 months. This implies that purchases made during this period will not attract any interest. You need to be cautious about the expiry period and remember to pay off before the period ends inorder to avoid hefty interest charges.

2. Once the introductory period is over, the 0 APR credit card may have a ridiculously high interest rate like 20% or higher.

3. On-Time Payment – Most of these 0 Interest credit cards require you to pay the minimum payment on time every month during the introductory period. Late payments will result in penalties that include shifting the remaining balance to a much higher APR.

4. Complete Payment – Certain 0 APR cards require you to pay off the balance entirely before the expiration period of the introductory offer. If not, the default high interest rate could be applied to the entire balance. Ensure that you understand these credit card terms clearly.

5. Applicability of the 0 APR – Most of the 0 Interest cards offer the 0 APR on new purchases and balance transfers in the introductory period. However, there are some cards that offer 0 APR on balance transfers only with higher applicable APR's on new purchases.

6. Other Fees – Some credit card companies compensate the 0 APR by charging high annual fees or transfer fees on balance transfers.

7. Cap on Balance Transfer – Certain cards may have a cap or limit on the balance transfer amount. This means that the 0 APR will apply only for the amount within the cap limit and anything more will be charged the default higher APR.

While it may be an attractive offer to go for 0 APR credit cards, it may not be a wise decision in certain scenarios. So, before you seriously consider a 0 APR credit card, it is essential to compute credit balances, interest rates, and your pay off capability. Read the terms and conditions carefully to avoid credit traps. Understanding the fine print could have substantial savings apart from trouble free credit rating.

10 Things To Improve Your Credit Reports

1) Pay your bills on time. A consistent history of timely payments will greatly improve your credit profile and will, therefore, make you more desirable to lenders. In many cases, a strong payment history in your credit reports will also result in better interest rates.

2) If possible, pay your bill in full every month. This will help to save you money in finance charges, especially credit cards with high interest rates, and will make your credit reports even stronger.

3) Avoid carrying a balance of more than 50% of your total credit limit on any credit card.

4) If you notice any incorrect information on your credit reports, dispute it in writing with the credit bureau immediately. You may also find it helpful to contact the creditor directly, notify them of the incorrect information and ask that they correct it with the credit bureau and on each of your credit reports.

5) If you have recently filed for bankruptcy, start rebuilding your credit with either a secured credit card or one that is known to be bankruptcy-friendly. The latter often requires higher interest be paid, but your credit score will begin to rise after three months of a steady payment history is listed in your credit reports.

6) If you have old accounts that are listed as being open, but are actually closed, call the creditor and send a letter to the credit bureau. Often times, creditors simply never report an account as being closed with the credit bureaus. If you have a lot of available credit on your report, potential lenders may wonder why you need all of this open credit and what your plans are for it’s use. A large number of apparently open accounts with a zero balance may put you in the high risk loan category if the lender suspects you plan to increase your debt load substantially with your unused credit.

7) Avoid excessively applying for credit as this may lower your credit score because of multiple inquiries.

8) Use your credit cards for necessities only and avoid spending more than you could repay within six months.

9) If your credit cards have excessively high credit limits that you never plan to use, call the creditor and ask that they reduce your credit limit to an amount that you are comfortable with. This will not only reduce the temptation of overspending, but will also prevent potential lenders from seeing that you have a lot of available credit and suspecting that you plan to go into serious debt.

10) The best way to improve your credit reports is to review the information filed with each of the three major credit bureaus every six months. These include TransUnion, Experian and Equifax.

Friday, January 16, 2009

0% APR Credit Cards: How To Eliminate Your Debt

APR is the annual interest rate known in industry jargon as the Annual Percentage Rate. It is a reflection of the cost of credit. In the old days everybody paid a standard APR based on bank rates. It was usually about 18 per cent. The use of low APR came with the emergence of the monoline bank. These were banks that only issued credit cards and did not take any deposits or issue conventional loans. For their business model to work well large numbers were important for these breed of pioneering bankers and credit cards issuers so low APR teaser rates were successfully used to lure as many new card users as possible. It is interesting to note that what started off as a marketing gimmick has now become an almost permanent part of the credit card industry in America and today 0% APR credit cards can in fact play a significant role in helping a person reduce or get out of debt.

The gimmick seemed to have worked so well that today it is difficult to find a credit card company that does not offer some type of incentive APR during the first 6 months or one year. The more popular credit cards offer 0% APR for the first year.

Usefulness Of A 0% APR Credit Card In Reducing Debt

A 0% APR credit card can be extremely useful for somebody who wants to reduce their large credit card debt. For instance if you have a credit card debt that remains at about $10,000 and the APR is 20% then you will end up paying a whooping $2,000 in interest payments alone. With a 0% APR credit card the $2,000 could all go towards reducing that crippling debt. It is therefore clear that 0% APR credit cards can offer much needed financial breathing room for somebody in a serious credit card debt situation.

Consolidation Or Transfer Necessary To Benefit From 0% APR Credit Cards

Transferring a credit card debt or credit card debt consolidation are all-important first steps that will need to be taken before a person in deep credit card debt can enjoy the benefits of a 0% APR credit card. The objective here would be to have all the person’s outstanding debt payable to one credit card company and at a 0% APR rate.

The importance of 0% APR credit cards in helping an individual or business to get out of credit card debt cannot be understated.

Although many potential card users place a lot of importance in being able to obtain a 0% APR credit card, the truth of the matter is that it is only attractive and beneficial to two groups of people. Firstly persons able to settle their credit card balances on a month to month basis to whom the 0% APR rate means that their cost of maintaining a credit card is very minimal. Secondly those in debt also benefit because the 0% APR credit card greatly assists them in their efforts to reduce their debt.

0% APR Credit Cards: A True Benefit or Too Good to Be True

A 0% APR credit card is an opportunity for you to cash in on a good amount of savings across the board. If you are like many, you are realizing that this might be a great way to realize true benefits from a credit card without having to pay much for it. Yet, there is much more to know about these 0% APR credit cards. You should take the time necessary to find the right opportunities for your specific needs. In many cases, this is a great option, if used in the right manner.

What Is 0% APR?

When a company offers you a credit card at a 0% APR, they are basically allowing you to borrow funds for no interest. There are generally some fees that are associated with the credit offers, but in most cases, you will see that they are still quite an affordable option. In most cases, the APR that is offered to you will one of two types. Some credit cards will offer you a standard APR, or annual percentage rate that is the rate you will likely hold for the time that you hold the line of funds. Others will offer a lower introductory offer. Normally, a 0% interest credit card is offered for an introductory time period only.

Should You Use It?

If you have the choice between two offers of credit, one with a lower rate than the other, you may be tempted to just go with the lowest offer. Yet, there is more to it than just that. In fact, you need to consider what the interest rate will be after the introductory period is over. For example, if you have two offers, one lower in the six month introductory period than the other, you may be tempted to go with the lowest offer. Yet, in the long term, that line of credit may have a higher rate. Determine which offers the best overall ability for you to get what you need in the least expensive manner.

The Benefits Of 0%

Yet, even with that said, there are plenty of benefits of selecting a 0% APR credit card. For example, if you know that you will be paying off that line of credit quickly, within the introductory period, it is well worth making the switch. After all, there is not anything better than borrowing money for free. If you have a credit card currently that has a much higher interest rate, you can save yourself quite a few fees if you do a balance transfer to the 0% APR credit cards as well. Here, make sure that the rate applies to balance transfers before making the move.

In short, a 0% APR credit card is an opportunity for you to invest in paying less. To benefit from them, make sure to get all the facts and take the time necessary to compare them. To find these offers, simply check out the opportunities offered by the lenders. Most credit card companies do offer some form of introductory rate reduction offer including 0% interest credit cards.

0% APR Credit Cards: All You Need to Know

For starters, the APR is the commonly-used acronym for "Annual Percentage Rate," which is the annual month-to-month rate that you can expect to get for your credit card balance. Naturally, if you frequently carry your credit card balance over from month-to-month, it is important for you to have a low or even 0% APR credit card.

0% APR credit cards are an appealing option for frequent shoppers that rely on having a low monthly interest rate when they cannot pay off the entire balance of the credit card in any month. But what you really need to know about 0% APR credit card offers, often times is never discussed.

How it Works

Every credit card company makes money when shoppers use the card, but do not pay off the balance at the end of each month. Because the credit card company has lent shoppers money so that they can make their purchases, the credit card company will charge interest on the balance until the entire balance is paid off. The credit card company has the potential to make a generous profit from the balances of their customers each month. Naturally, as a consumer, having a 0% APR credit card means that your balance is carried over from month-to-month without any charges applied.

Beware of High Interest Rates

It may seem like credit cards actually lose money by investing in a 0% APR credit card promotion. However, the 0% APR credit cards actually help credit card companies find customers. For example, if there is a shopper that has a high APR (some are up to 20%) and he or she is having a hard time paying down the balance of the credit card, the purchaser is in an ideal situation to transfer their balance to a 0% APR credit card for a period in which they can focus on working down their debt. The situation is ideal for someone who is in short-term debt. However, to balance the 0% APR credit cards against the credit card company's need to make a profit, as soon as a trial period expires, many credit card companies will increase their rates drastically. As a consumer, you need to read the fine print so that you are aware of the deadlines associated with this change-over.

Where to Find a 0% APR Credit Card

It may seem harder than it really is to find a 0% APR credit card. It's advantageous to find a card that doesn't require you to pay a month-to-month rate on the unpaid balance. However, credit card companies frequently enact 0% APR credit card promotional deals, so take a look around for what deals are available to you currently.

0% APR credit cards can make managing your debt very easy. While most of them do not require annual fees, it is important for you to understand what you are agreeing to before you sign a contact with a company. While most 0% APR credit cards eventually increase the rate after a set period of time, the duration of the promotional period varies by company. As with any credit card agreement, a little research and education into the details of a 0% APR credit card can go a long way towards helping you make a decision that can positively effect your finances. Choose wisely!

Credit Card: Tips And Trick to Use 0% APR Credit Cards

As with all credit card types, there are a certain tips and tricks surrounding 0% APR credit cards that all potential card applicants should be made aware of. With the help of a 0% APR credit card, it means that you need not only pay the outstanding balance; and what more you could even charge up to the limits without having to sustain any monthly interest charges. However, sometimes, one tends to think just how these credit card companies can afford to provide 0% APR credit cards, and make a profit out of it?

Although 0% APR credit cards may not comprise any monthly charges, it is sure to come with annual fees which you are obliged to pay for the privileges of a 0% APR credit card. These annual fees usually run from $15 to $20 or sometimes, even higher. Having a 0% APR credit card doesn’t mean that you can pay your dues whenever and whichever way you intend to. It IS necessary to make your payments on time, or else, you will have to pay for high overdue fees. For each late payment, the 0% APR credit card holder has to pay fees that may range from $20 to $40. With habitual late payments, these meager amounts may accumulate to a hefty total!

It should be remembered that 0% APR credit cards are usually offered for only a stipulated period of time. This credit card interest may hold good for only a fixed period of time, usually ranging from 3 up to 15 months. On the completion of this period, a higher rate of interest may come in vogue, usually 12% or higher. You could easily transfer any existing credit card balances to a new 0% APR credit card to get 0% interest on the transferred balance. In this way, the credit card holder has to pay less interest for a stipulated period of time, and thus get a chance to clear outstanding balances as quickly as possible.

When applying for a 0% APR credit card, it is always better to read the terms and agreements of the credit card. Not to overstate an obvious question, but why should one do so? Simply because many credit cards may come with a default rate wherein late payments not only incur a late payment fee, but it would also include a default rate that will be added to the annual percentage rate. This in turn doubles the figures on the existing balances and on the new purchases made on the card moving forward. Ouch!

One very important point to take into account when applying for a 0% APR credit card is to read all paragraphs of the agreement, otherwise known as the fine print. This is because though it is illegal for a credit card company to hide their fees and charges, it is nonetheless legal for them to mention these points in small print! The 0% APR credit card companies thus usually announce in large and bold print about their 0% APR but hide the facts that this is only for a limited period of time and any extra fees which might be included are done so in very fine print.

Another trick that is up the sleeve of 0% APR credit card companies is to install sky-high APR’s right after the amount of 0% APR balance transfers are paid down. In other words, the money you first pay to the credit card company is applied to the transfer, and any other purchases you make will be charged a high APR. Sometimes, credit card companies may also go to the extent of sending you a different card than the 0% APR credit card you had initially applied for. In this way, you are not allowed the 0% APR but a different card offer with different terms and conditions. The card issuers typically rationalize this behavior based on the card issuer determining that you do not meet the qualifications for a 0% APR credit card. Qualifications for a 0% APR credit card is usually found in the small print of the agreement, and is usually overseen by applicants!

It can thus be seen that though 0% APR credit cards do seem to be rather inviting, there are some loopholes and tricks to their use. As always, it is highly recommended to read the terms and conditions on the card application agreement for the 0% APR credit card, or any type of credit card application, thoroughly in order to avoid any future problems, headaches or financial surprises.

Credit Card: How to Get Benefits from 0% APR Credit Card

There is nothing better than saving money with a 0% APR credit card. These 0% interest rate cards allow you to spend hundreds less each year in interest allowing you to buy many other things that are important to your daily needs.

There are many lenders these days offering 0% APR credit cards. If you are thinking of applying for a 0% APR credit card, it is well worth taking the time to research and compare all the offers and benefits available. Although many company's offer 0% interest credit cards, in most cases it is for an introductory period only. You should take the time to compare the agreements and conditions carefully, as these vary considerably from lender to lender. It's also important that you take into consideration the permanent rates that the lender charges. While 0% interest credit cards may look tempting, it's no use entering into an agreement if you struggle to make payments because the permanent rate is too high.

The benefits of a 0% APR credit card may seem obvious, you don't pay any interest! But many of the 0% interest cards also offer other benefits. Some come with reward schemes like rebates, others with cash back offers. The reward scheme applies to your purchases, where the lender may give you a percentage of cash back for every dollar you spend. They may also have a reward scheme where you can accumulate points depending on how much you spend. These points can then be exchanged for merchandise which the companies offer to their customers. While the points on offer are strictly in favor of the card company, you can still save on the retail purchase price of these goods, which is a benefit.

If you are currently paying interest on your current card or cards, why not think about changing to a 0% APR credit card? If you have a few cards the monthly payments can soon become a considerable sum. You can save yourself money by changing to one of the 0% interest cards. Just think, instead of paying out maybe $100 or so a month in interest, you could be paying out a lot less while reducing the amount you owe.

Most banks or credit card companies will allow you to transfer the outstanding balance you have on your current card to one of their 0% interest credit cards. That means you could consolidate all your outstanding balances on your current cards by transferring them to your new 0% APR credit cards. Some lenders may have a limit on the total money you are allowed to transfer. It's important that you read the terms of the offer and understand them fully before committing yourself to an agreement. You don't want to be penalized by any fees you may have to pay if transferring a balance.

The new lender you have transferred your balance to, may have a time limit on their 0% interest credit cards. If you want to keep your payments low, or keep reducing your balance then you should think about changing your card or transferring the balance before the 0% APR credit cards offer runs out. It is worth checking your agreement at this stage just to make sure you will not incur a fee for transferring your balance to another card.

If you've done your homework and chosen the correct card in the first place, this shouldn't be a problem. You should start to look for your new 0% APR credit cards, or card, a month or so before your offer terminates. This will give you time to apply and be able to transfer your balance as soon as your 0% interest credit cards offer ends.

There is an important fact about a 0% APR credit card that most people overlook. Most agreements state you must make ALL your 0% APR credit card payments on time. If you make a late payment on your 0% interest credit cards then the offer becomes invalid immediately.

Credit Card for Online Payment

Today, commerce and technology blended as a one package – this is what online credit cards are. With the advent of internet, the knowledge and communication barriers were broken. Also, with internet, came the concept of e-shops or virtual shops that existed only on the internet. You could shop at these shops by making use of their online credit card payment-acceptance ability. Once the online credit card payments were verified and approved, the goods got delivered to your door. This is what we call convenience at its best.

With more and more e-shops getting setup everyday, online credit card usage is becoming even more popular. The possibility of receiving online credit card payments has given a totally new dimension to shopping. Now, you can not only shop from the comfort of your home, you can even get discounts on these products. This is really amazing. No need to bother about the weather, no need to worry about the traffic jams or any other thing. Just go to an e-shop, select a product, make use of their online credit card payment-acceptance facility to make the payment and be ready to receive the goods at your doorstep.

With online credit card processing facility, starting a business (an online business) has become just unbelievably easy.

However, there is nothing without pitfalls. One of the pitfalls of online credit card usage is the possibility of online credit card fraud. This online credit card fraud can happen in two ways. The first one is related to the company, on whose website you made online credit card payment for purchase of goods; this company itself could be fraudulent i.e. it could take the online credit card payment from you but not deliver the goods to you. Moreover, they could use the details of your credit card (received through the filling up of online credit card payment form by you) for fraudulent purposes. The second type of fraud is committed by fraudsters who use various softwares/devices to capture the details of online credit card payments (as you enter them on the online credit card payment form of a website). These softwares are popularly known as spyware and these fraudsters as online spies. The spyware works by capturing keystrokes or taking screenshots of whatever you do on your computer and then passes it on to the spy. However, there are anti-spyware softwares available which can be used to counter such spyware.

So, the advent of online credit card usage facility is a boon to us. However, you must exercise caution when making online credit card payments e.g. don’t access your bank accounts or make online credit card payments from internet cafes (unless you are absolutely sure about the credentials of the internet cafĂ©).

Invest: Law 72

If you invest only once, so there's time where the amount of your investment will be two-folded. For example, if you invest $ 1 million in deposits that give 12% interest rate per year (in the roll over each year), the $ 1 million money you two will be folded within six years.
How is calculated by using the Law 72. For the number 72 with interest rates of investment products. This means:
= 72: 12
= 6 years old.
That period of time it takes for your investment can be of two
Of course, the higher the results of your investment, the more quickly the two of your investment. For example, if you deposit interest rate is 24% per year (in the roll over each year), the $ 1 million money you two will be folded within 3 years (72: 24 = 3). Compare the interest rate if you deposit only 12%, which takes 6 months so that the money you $ 1 million folded into two.