Management Of Credit

Learn more about credit management so it's so simple life

Betting for Football in New Ways

Many people in this world love to see sports and games. There are lots of sports that can be your favorite. But, almost all people around the world must be agree that football is one of the most adored and favorite sports in the world. This makes there are many people who are looking for the new ways to enjoy the game. For example is by getting the bet for the games. It is fun and for some people it can also give profit. Many people has tried and enjoy playing this kind of bet game for the sport, especially football. In fact, betting has been a kind of lifestyle. This makes many people get involved with the betting which is even becoming more modern nowadays.

If you are looking forward to get new experience in watching football games, why don’t you get involved more by getting included with your own games in the football betting online? Online betting is also popular in several years and get many fans included in it. As a fan, you will get them to be really fun and you will get more profit if you have right answer and prediction. One of the most popular sites for getting football betting is Sbobet, which has been popular in Asia. If you are looking for best way in playing online, this site can be your solution to get glorious winning. It is safe and trusted with many players. So, you don’t have to be afraid of getting tracked. Since it is also professional, you will have them to be suitable as what you need.

In this site, players will be guided, especially for the newbie players who want to get enough time in getting their profit to be boosted. In this site, you will be guided in how to register yourself. Then, you will also get the introduction to log in to your account. Before you start, you will be shown how to play them online. Besides, you will also get the live score available there. It is one of the most important things you can get. When it comes to your consideration, there are so many ways to enjoy your time while getting your favorite football team play. Don’t hesitate in getting involved with one of the biggest betting community in Asia. It is also a great chance for you so that you can get them to be suitable as you need. By considering them, there is no doubt you will have. Playing betting is never this easy and fun. So, get yourself included in the game and be your own satisfying needs.

Loans for People with Poor Credit Score

When you are looking for best financial solution in emergency needs, you can rely on No Credit Check Personal Loans. This is a kind of service which purposes on how you can get fresh money without having bothered by your poor credit score. Before that, you might get a difficulty because your credit application is rejected due to poor credit score you have. But, with this new innovation you will have your things settled.
In order to make your credit to be easier and so much effective, you can apply for this Unsecured Personal Loans For People With Bad Credit. which can be easily found in internet. There are lots of lenders which will give you the service, making it to be really considerable for everyone who needs the money fast. With fast and easy process you don’t have to be worried of the credit you are about to apply.
It is obvious that you can get best of loans by getting the one which doesn’t consider your credit score. But, you will also find advantage since the process will not take a long time. Some of the Personal Loans For People With Bad Credit. lenders are giving you promise that your application can be accepted within 24 hours and thus you will get the money overnight. Sound interesting, doesn’t it?

How to Rebuild Your Credit Without Getting into a Worse Situation

If you have bad credit, you do not want to end up making it worse by getting any form of loan or other credit that will get you in further trouble. Something like a very high interest loan that jumps your principle plus payback amounts into the stratosphere can make your credit worse. It is important to to check out informational websites such as bestratedbadcreditloans.com/poor-credit-loans. This is helpful in helping you to not make your bad credit worse.

Climbing out of a low credit score takes time. Even if you won a billion dollar lottery, you would not have great credit the next day. All of your old stuff would have to be paid off, and then you would have to have a track record of wisely using credit from then on out. You can’t just jump into great credit no matter how much money you might have won in our lottery example.

Getting a loan when you have bad credit can help you rebuild the credit you have lost.

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Bad Credit Auto Loans

happy bad credit girl in car

  • Advice for people who need a bad credit auto loan
  • How to increase your chances of loan approval
  • How to get your credit report with score & clean up your report
  • Where to get a bad credit car loan

If you have bad credit you should get your finances cleaned up before buying a car. Sometimes you can’t wait long enough for your score to improve. In this case, we will educate you on how to get the best deal possible given your situation.

Why Buyers with Bad Credit Get Taken Advantage Of By Lenders

  • You don’t know what financing options are available to you with your credit history
  • You are vulnerable to dealer tricks since you have limited options
  • Focusing on the monthly payment instead of the vehicle price

What to Expect from the Dealer When You Have Bad Credit

  • Extremely high interest rates
  • Lies about the lender “requiring you” to buy an extended warranty, credit life insurance, etc.
  • Lies about your credit report and score
  • Thinking you are desperate they are more likely to use common scams
  • Some loan providers require that you have had a previous auto loan

If you have bad credit, I bet many of the scams we describe have happened to you.

You can expect to pay a very high interest rate (much higher than you should have paid). The dealer may lie to you about the lender “requiring you” to buy extras. These extras may include an extended warranty or credit life insurance. Many times they lie to you about your credit score and tell you it’s lower than it really is.

If your credit score is too low to qualify for financing, this opens the door for a classic dealer trick! They require a co-signer for you to buy the car. However, they trick your co-signer into being the borrower with a little sleight of hand during the paper signing.

Since you have bad credit, the dealer thinks you are uneducated and will fall for all of their tricks. If they are correct, it could devastate your financial future. We will teach you what to look for and how to avoid getting ripped off. Protect yourself by reading the entire page.

Tips for People With Bad Credit

  • Watch out for 72 or 84 month loans – you will pay too much interest
  • Get your credit report and score so the dealer can’t lie to you
  • Use a bad credit lender like Auto Credit Express with a solid reputation
  • Don’t focus on a specific vehicle – you’re choices may be limited

If You Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail

You need to know the current state of your credit history (good or bad) before visiting the dealership, so you know the interest rate you should be paying. You can check your credit report and score online by visiting TransUnion or Experian.com (you get your 3 credit reports and 3 scores by Experian instantly online, with enrollment in Experian.com).

If you have bad credit, you’ll never ever get the 0% financing that you see in ads. Applying for financing without knowing your credit score is one of the biggest mistake a car buyer can make. Click here to use our loan payment calculator tools to play on even ground with car dealers and verify their numbers to make sure they are not payment packing your loan.

Help Finding Bad Credit Auto Loans

If your Credit Score is < 600 or you don’t have a past history of auto loans, don’t submit loan applications that get rejected, dropping your score even further. Apply to Auto Credit Express, they work with multiple lenders. They may be able to get you car financing from one of their high risk lenders, with decent online rates, even with a bankruptcy. If your score is > 550, $1,500 or more in monthly income, full time employment, Auto Credit Express should be able to help you.

Avoid Financing Options and Extras into High APR Loans

Many people with bad credit make this mistake. If you know you are paying 18% APR, then forget about adding items like warranties and insurance into your loan. Why pay the high interest on those too? That just digs you a deeper hole. You can buy those things after the fact directly without the car dealer markups and high APR.

Use Caution When Trading in a Car with a Loan Balance

We hear from our visitors all the time who traded in a car they owed money on and a couple of months later were shocked to hear the dealer did not pay off their car loan in ten days as promised. With this scam, when the bank calls, you are responsible because the old car loan is in your name, and the dealer didn’t pay it off. If you trade in your car that you owe money on, make the dealer put in writing that they’ll pay off your car loan in ten days, or no deal.

Watch Out for These Scams

Straw Purchase Loan – When You Have a Co-signer!
With car buying, a straw purchase is when the dealer tells you that with your bad credit, you can’t qualify for the auto loan so you need a co-signer. The co-singer is duped by the dealer and the loan ends up in their name! This will not help restore your credit. To Avoid The Scam, have both signers at the dealership so both signatures will be done together.

Financing Fell Through
In this scam the dealer will call you several days after the deal is done and tell you that the financing fell through and you will need to pay a higher interest rate. Avoid this scam by not financing through the dealership whenever possible.

Click for More Details in our Top 10 Scams Section

How to Get Bad Credit Auto Loans

approvedYou can improve your chances of getting approved tremendously by raising your credit score. Unless you absolutely must by a car right now, take some time and try to pay down your balances as much as possible and try to get your score above 600. You may still be considered to have bad credit but will be much more likely to get approved. Once you have improved your situation save up some money to put at least 20% down on the car so you won’t be upside down. If you are, it sets you up for a common dealer scam in the future where they offer to pay off your current loan so that you can upgrade. The trick is that all they do is put your old loan amount into your next car’s monthly payment and you end up paying for two cars but you only own one.

  • Get your Credit Score so dealers can’t lie to you about your score.
  • Close old unused credit accounts. They drag down your credit score.
  • Remove erroneous previous addresses and other errors off your credit report
  • You should have greater than $1,500 monthly income, stable at least 6 months
  • Pay down your credit card balances as low as possible
  • Pay higher APR cards first before applying for auto loans

Be Flexible on Make and Model

Be prepared to compromise on the make and model of car that you will be able to purchase. If you have bad credit, the most important thing is to get financing. Sometimes the dealer can only get you approved on a limited selection of cars. Once you pay off this car and have made all your payments on time, it will help raise your credit score. When your score improves enough, the next time around, you will be able to get the car of your dreams.

10 Tips to Live Credit Smart

Your credit report acts as your financial references when you apply for new credit. Whether you’re trying to build credit for the first time or want to re-build your credit standing, the only way to build a strong credit history is to use credit wisely. Following are 10 tried and true tips to Live Credit Smart:

1. Get a copy of your credit report.

Your personal credit report is an easy-to-read record of your credit accounts and total indebtedness. It is a good idea to review your credit report at least once a year and when you’re getting ready to make a major purchase. You can request a copy of your report directly from Experian. You also should consider reviewing your reports from the other national credit reporting companies.

2. Know your credit score.

A credit score translates the information in your credit report into a number reflecting the risk of doing business with you. While there are many different types of credit scoring models, a higher score generally represents lower risk. To check your risk, request a credit score when you order your credit report. You will receive an explanation of what the score means and what from your credit report is most affecting it.

3. Provide complete, accurate and consistent identification on your credit applications.

This helps set up your credit history correctly from the beginning, ensures that your new accounts will be matched to the correct report and minimizes the chance that your credit file will be incomplete.

4. Set up a budget and live within it.

Credit should not be used to live beyond your means. By setting a budget and living within it, you will avoid using credit to overextend yourself.

5. Have some credit, but not too much.

A credit history shows creditors how you manage your debts. Having no credit history can make it difficult to qualify for new credit because creditors have no information to help them make a lending decision. You only need a few active accounts reported to the credit reporting companies to demonstrate smart credit management.

6. Pay your bills on time.

Late payments, called delinquencies, negatively impact your credit scores and affect your ability to get credit, since they indicate a stronger likelihood that you will make late payments again or will be unable to pay your debts in the future. If you fall behind on your payments, contact your lenders, which may work with you to set up a different payment schedule or interest rate.

7. Have a mixture of credit types.

A mix of accounts can show that you know how to manage all types of credit. It is good to have a history of repaying an installment loan, such as a car or student loan, but a revolving account, such as a credit card, demonstrates more clearly that you can responsibly manage credit because you have to control how much you charge and pay each month.

8. Keep credit card balances low.

High outstanding debt can affect your credit scores because it results in a high utilization rate, or balance-to-limit ratio, making you appear to be an increased credit risk. Keeping your balances low compared with credit limits shows that you aren’t tempted to charge more than you can pay and can handle larger amounts of available credit.

9. Use caution when closing accounts.

Closing an account isn’t always a good thing because it can result in an increase to your utilization rate. However, if you want to eliminate a few cards with high interest rates or fees – and you have ample credit available to you – the impact on your credit score should be relatively minor.

10. Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed.

Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed. Recent inquiries indicate you may have taken on new debt that isn’t yet shown on your credit report, and many inquiries in a short time might suggest you are trying to live on borrowed money.

5 Newest Credit Card Tricks

Variable Interest Rates

Since the Credit CARD Act passed, many card companies are unable to raise interest rates on new cards issues in the first year. To bypass this law, credit card companies are switching from fixed rate cards to variable rate cards. Variable rate cards are linked to the prime rate and can rise at any time. The average fixed rate credit card has an interest rate of 13.4%, whereas the average variable rate has a rate of 13.7%. As the prime rate increases, many customers will face higher interest rates. Customers with low credit scores may be forced to pay interest as high as 35% over the next few years.

Annual Fees

According to Bankrate, 35% of new credit cards being offered have annual fees attached to them. Annual fees are ranging from $29 to $99 on new credit cards. Rewards cards are charging annual fees as high as $300 to $400. Current card holders are not escaping the wrath of card companies. 20% of current credit card customers are charged an annual fee, and this percentage is expected to increase dramatically over the next few years. Last month Citi Group hit long-time cardholders with a $60 annual fee. American Express and Bank of America have recently socked customers with annual fees as well.

Inactivity Fees

Are you one of those people that does not use your credit card that often? You are in for a shock soon, because card companies are hitting disciplined credit card users with inactivity fees. But don’t worry, you can escape these annual fees by just charging more! For example, at Citigroup, if you spend more than $2,400 per year, only then will you not be charged an inactivity fee. This is ridiculous! People will be forced to spend $2,400 plus any interest just to save $60.

Paper Fees

Prepare to be charged a fee for any transaction in which you receive a paper statement. Want an itemized statement? That will cost you. Companies are now charging fees for year-end statements, monthly paper statements, and all mailings. These fees are ranging from $1 to $5 per statement. Applying for a credit card isn’t free anymore either. Companies have started charging application fees regardless of whether you are approved for the card or not.

Foreign Transaction Fees

Fees for using a credit card in a foreign country are rising. Card companies are charging a 3% fee on all overseas purchases or anytime a purchase has to be converted from one currency to another. This fee is not restricted only to international travelers. If you make a purchase from a website that processes your transaction outside of the United States, then you may be subject to a fee from your credit card company.

Senior Tax Credit Tips: How to Claim Caregiver Tax Deductions

The following information has been reviewed and is accurate for the tax year 2014 in the United States.

Whether you are a senior citizen or a caregiver for one, tax season means accounting for the past year’s medical expenses. Both individuals and people who care for qualifying relatives can claim tax deductions and credits for out-of-pocket medical expenses. These costs can include a range of expenditures such as:

  • Dental treatments
  • Cost of transportation needed to get to a medical appointment
  • Health insurance premiums
  • Long-term care services

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) states, “Medical expenses are the costs of diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of diseases, and the costs for treatments affecting any part or function of the body.” For a full list of allowable medical expenses, see Publication 502 at the IRS web site (www.irs.gov). Read on about the rules that govern deductions and for more tax tips for seniors and their caregivers.

Caregiver IRS Tax Rules

To qualify for caregiver tax deductions and credits, the person you are caring for must be a spouse, dependent, or qualifying relative, as well as a United States citizen or resident of the U.S., Canada, or Mexico. A qualifying relative includes a parent, stepparent, father-in-law or mother-in-law, or any other person who lived with you all year as a member of your household. The caregiver and medical expense tax rules have several important qualifications:

7.5% rule

The 7.5% rule says you can only deduct medical expenses-for both yourself and your loved ones-if these costs exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.

Dependency Deduction

To qualify for a dependency deduction, you must pay for more than 50% of your qualifying relative’s support costs. The relative only qualifies as a dependent if he or she meets the gross income and the joint return test. He or she must not have a gross income in excess of $3,950 and cannot file a joint return for next year. If your relative doesn’t qualify as a dependent because of these tests, you cannot claim a dependency deduction, but you can still claim his or her medical expenses.

Multiple Support Agreement

If a group of people are sharing costs for a qualifying relative, a multiple support declaration (IRS Form 2120) can be filed to grant one family member the exemption. “This is subject to certain conditions,” says Ron Nagle, CPA, senior tax manager of Clothier & Head in Seattle. “Anyone who is paying medical and support costs with another person should consult a professional tax advisor.”

Long-term Care Medical Expenses

Long-term care medical expenses-including diagnostic, preventive, therapeutic, curing, treating, mitigating, rehabilitative, and maintenance and personal care services-are deductible if the services are required by a chronically ill individual and a licensed health care practitioner prescribes the care. An individual is chronically ill if unable to perform at least two of six activities of daily living, which are eating, toileting, transferring, bathing, dressing, and continence. An individual who is cognitively impaired and requires substantial supervision is also considered chronically ill.

Nursing services performed in a nursing home, an assisted living facility, or similar care facility are also deductible expenses if the person is principally receiving care for medical reasons. However, if a person is staying at a nursing home, an assisted-living facility, or similar care facility only for custodial reasons, only medical expenses are deductible; in this instance, meals and lodging are not deductible. If your qualifying relative is staying at a nursing home, assisted-living facility, or similar care facility for custodial care, a staff member should be able to state what percentage of care received qualifies as a medical care, says Nagle. Similarly, nursing services performed at home are deductible expenses. If the patient is chronically ill, certain maintenance and personal care services are also deductible.

Deducting Long-term Care Insurance

Senior citizens and caregivers should be aware that premiums paid for qualified long-term care insurance contracts are also deductible medical expenses. According to the IRS, the contract must:

  • Be guaranteed renewable
  • Not provide a cash surrender value
  • Not pay costs that are covered by Medicare
  • Provide that refunds, other than refunds upon death, surrender, or cancellation of the contract, and dividends are used only to reduce future premiums or increase medical benefits.

Many state governments also offer tax credits and deductions for caregivers on state income tax forms, so it pays to know your individual state’s rules.

Credit Card Companies Educating The Youth About Personal Finance

That title makes me want to puke.  I know that most readers do not want to hear me get on my soap box about why I think using credit cards are a huge financially poor choice, but you have to agree with me that it is a huge conflict of interest for a CREDIT CARD company to be teaching financial education.  Gee, I wonder if they are going to teach kids to use credit carsds and use them frequently?  My guess is that they will pitch them the same garbage that most adults buy into.  Basically, they will teach these kids to worship the credit score.  They will have them so worried about their credit score, that kids will start to worry if their school grades affect their credit score.  Here are some excerpts from the Capital One website about their financial education plans.

This one is called “Stash Your Cash” and it is targeted towards middle schoolers.

“Program Basics

  • The Stash Your Cash workbook and curriculum are available to all middle school students, teachers and parents.
  • Students will learn to set financial goals for the future, budget resources, understand and control debt, and realize the importance of saving for the future.
  • Capital One created the interactive learning module and workbook based on materials developed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (used with permission).

As part of this program, Capital One associates will visit several public middle schools throughout D.C. during May and early June to work with students on financial education. They will use a customized, interactive learning module and workbook, encouraging students to

  • set financial goals for the future
  • budget resources
  • understand and control debt
  • realize the importance of saving.

Individual D.C. middle schools will have the opportunity to earn up to $35,000 (based on their participation).”

They make it sound so official and great for your middle school child.  However, the one part that they conveniently slip in there is, “understand and control debt”.  They are not going to teach these students how to STAY OUT OT DEBT or ELIMINATE DEBT if they get into a bunch of debt.  They are going to teach them how to CONTROL IT.  Translation:  They will teach them how to use their credit cards.

The main problem with this is that Capital One is assuming that EVERYONE will be in debt someday.  And they are assuming this, because they WANT this.  If no one had debt right now, Capital One would not exist!  This is a huge conflict of interest, and it needs to be exposed.

Operation Hope is a non-profit movement/organization to broaden financial literacy in the lives of young people.  I know that Operation Hope has great intentions, but the organization is sponsored by Bank of America, US Bank, Citigroup, GE Consumer Finance, and other financial institutions whom rely HEAVILY on people borrrowing money from them.  As soon as I saw Bank of America, I said, “oh boy, this is not good”.  Ironically enough, I use Bank of America for my check account, but it is only because they have so many branches throughout the area that I live.  I think they are one of the worst financial institutions when it comes to looking out for themselves and not their customers.  Plus, their financial products are horrible.  The fact that they still have fee-based checking accounts puts them in the dark ages.

The point is that we need financial education for young people with an unbiased approach.  These financial institutions have an agenda when they sponsor programs like this.  They want to continue to teach people that they will be in debt the rest of their lives, so they might as well figure out how to “control” it.  Is there anyone out there who is on board for taking down corporate America and teaching young people how to “really” manage their money?  Email me or comment on this post.

How to Use a Credit Card & Rewards Wisely – 6 Tricks to Outsmart Credit Card Companies

credit card manDue to the recent economic recession, people have become more and more displeased with their banks. High interest rates, credit card fees, and poor customer service have left them clamoring for change and better treatment. The recent Credit CARD Act of 2009 is a step in the right direction, but it’s not an all encompassing fix.

Luckily, there is minority of people who have found ways to outsmart their credit card issuers and make the system, flaws and all, work for them. As one of those knowledgeable few, allow me to share a few credit card tricks I’ve learned along the way.

1. Never Carry a Balance

This is the holy grail of credit card use. As long as you pay your balance on time and in full every month, you will never pay a dime in interest or fees. Better yet, you will be earning interest on the cash you held onto from the time you make your purchase, to the time your statement becomes due. That’s up to 50 days in interest gains!

Tip: Register online for instant access to current account information. Log in frequently to ensure that you are not spending more than you can afford, and to pay in full when your statement comes due. Set up an automatic payment plan to ensure that you never miss a deadline.

2. Keep a Clean Card

Let’s say that you are unable to pay your balance in full every month, but you are steadily reducing your total debt. You’d like to be able to take advantage of the perks credit cards have to offer, but you don’t want to increase your debt load.

If you only have one card to begin with, and are already in debt, you should focus on paying that card off before opening any new accounts. However, if you have more than one credit card, there is a way to continue to pay down your existing debt without incurring interest on new purchases.

The key is to keep one card “clean” by paying its balance in full every month. As stated above, when you pay a card off each billing cycle, you avoid paying any interest or fees. This is not so if you continue to charge new purchases to cards that are already carrying a balance. When you carry a balance on a card, you incur interest on all new charges to that card at the moment of purchase.

Thus, as long as you pay the balance of the “clean” card in full every month, you can use it without worrying about incurring interest on your purchases. Just make sure that you never spend more on the “clean” card than you can easily pay for in full, while paying more than the minimum on your cards that carry a balance.

Tip: Don’t make non-essential purchases while you’re still in credit card debt. If you’re not disciplined enough to limit what you spend when paying with a credit card, the best solution is to pay for everything in cash or with a debit card while you are paying off your debt.

3. Know Your Statement Closing Date

If your pay your balance in full every month, you are getting a free loan from your bank from the time of purchase to the due date for that payment cycle. Federal Law now requires that banks offer a 21 day grace period between the date your statement closes and the date your bill is due.

As a result, if you make a purchase a day before your cycle closing date, you will have 21 days to pay for it before incurring interest. Complete a transaction the day after the cycle closes, and you will have an additional month until the next cycle closes, plus another 21 days to to pay off your balance.

Tip: When you get towards the end of your cycle, it pays to hold off on major purchases. By delaying your spending just a few days, you can gain an additional month of time until your payment is due.

4. When Traveling Outside the Country, Use the Right Card

I use my Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express (a Money Crashers partner) all over the U.S. because the Starpoints I earn when making a purchase are very valuable to me. But, when I leave the country, that card stays tucked deep inside my wallet and I instead use my Capital One card instead.

Why? My American Express card charges a 2.7% foreign transaction fee, which negates all the value of my rewards. Capital One is one of the few cards that doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees at all. Thankfully, consumers are learning that these fees are a ripoff and, like me, are refusing to use the cards when traveling. Due to this growing customer dissatisfaction, it looks like American Express and other companies are getting the message.

Recently, American Express announced they would drop these fees, but only on their Platinum and Centurion cards. Citigroup also announced that they would eliminate these fees on a number of their cards. Choose a fee-free card on your travels and deny your credit card company the opportunity to take your money.

Tip: When planning a trip outside the United States, contact your credit card companies and ask them what their foreign transaction fee is. It is also a good idea to inform them where and when you are traveling so they do not suspect you’re a victim of credit card fraud.

5. Get a Huge Sign-Up Bonus

Big spenders earn plenty of rewards each month, but the rest of us have to be more creative. The real credit card gurus out there have learned two simple lessons from the economic troubles of the last few years.

  1. Airlines need to unload. Troubled airlines become so desperate, they are willing to sell frequent flier miles by the millions to banks for cold hard cash, creating additional rewards for consumers.
  2. Anything to draw you in. Banks are so anxious to find new customers with good credit that they have been doling out unprecedented sign-up bonuses to attract them. For example, one bank recently offered 75,000 miles on American Airlines to sign up for a credit card.

The result has been a bonanza for card holders with good credit who can wait patiently for the best deals. Because your credit rating can suffer if you frequently open up new accounts, the experts always keep their powder dry before pulling the trigger.

Tip: Do not accept that cashier’s offer to save 10% on a smaller purchase when you open a retail store credit card. Apply sparingly, only for the credit cards with exceptional sign-up bonuses, in order to maintain your credit rating.

6. Cancel Your Card

If you want to get a new cable television or Internet service provider, you are lucky if you have one or two other companies to choose from. On the other hand, if you want to change credit cards, you have hundreds of different options available to you.

Even customers with subpar credit scores can expect their mailboxes to be full of credit card solicitations. As tempting as these can be, keep in mind that you don’t want to change credit cards like you change socks. Too much of this activity can affect your credit score and make it difficult to track your spending.

That being said, sometimes a change is necessary, whether it be for better customer service, or better rates and card perks. If your bank fails to meet your needs for any reason, you should not hesitate to end the relationship and move on.

Tip: When you shift your spending to a different card, try to keep your dormant account open until the annual fee is due. This will maximize the average length of your credit history, and in turn, improve your credit score.

Final Word

Like any other business, credit card companies are out to make money. Unfortunately, their tactics often involve creating rules that take advantage of consumers. Don’t use your cards blindly. Learn about additional fees you may incur, and pay your balance off each month to avoid interest. Take advantage of any perks you can to be sure your credit cards are acting as the valuable financial tools they should be.

What are some ways you’ve found to outsmart the credit card companies? Give your tips and tricks in the comments below.

7 Credit Card Tips Everyone Should Know

Credit card tips you should knowMost people agree that using a credit card to pay for day-to-day purchases is a smart idea. After all, credit is safe, convenient and rewarding. Plus, if you’re responsible, you’ll also be building a solid credit score with every swipe.

But are you really making the most of your plastic experience? Here are 7 credit card tips everyone should know:

1. Balance alerts can help you keep your spending in check

Keeping a watch on how much you’re spending with your credit card is easier than ever before. Most issuers allow you to set up balance alerts so that you’ll receive a text and/or an email whenever your total spending hits a certain threshold that you’ve set.

Sign up for this service so that you’ll get a notice when your credit utilization ratio is approaching the 30% mark – this way, you’ll know to make a payment before you jeopardize your credit score.

2. Spending analysis tools make sticking to your budget a cinch

One of the most underrated online banking features offered by most credit card issuers these days is the spending analysis tool. This allows you to see a breakdown of how much you’re spending with your card in different categories (restaurants, travel, general merchandise, etc.). You can usually choose to view this on a per-month basis or take a look at your spending patterns over time.

Be sure to look around for this tool the next time you log into your card’s online banking platform. It can provide some helpful insights into where you’re doing a good job sticking to your budget, and where you might need to cut back.

3. Mid-cycle payments could improve your credit score

Every month, your credit card issuer sends a report about your account to the three major credit bureaus. Included on this report is your balance, which is used to calculate your credit utilization ratio.

However, this data isn’t necessarily sent over after you’ve made your monthly payment – it could be reported at any point in your billing cycle. If you tend to charge a lot to your card each month, getting into the habit of making a payment mid-cycle will keep your credit utilization ratio low. This, in turn, will help 30% of your credit score determined by amounts owed.

4. Shopping through rewards malls will earn you stellar rewards

If you’re a big online shopper, you should definitely use your credit card’s rewards mall every time you place an order. This is an easy and convenient way to earn tons of extra rewards on every dollar you spend. And don’t assume that your particular issuer doesn’t offer this benefit. Even if it’s not widely advertised, look around a little the next time you visit your credit card’s website. You’ll probably find some type of rewards mall or portal that you never noticed before.

5. Moving your due date could help you avoid missing a payment

Missing a credit card payment is bad news for your FICO credit score, since 35% of it is determined by your history with making on-time bill payments. If your credit card billing due date comes at an inconvenient time during the month, consider switching it. You can usually do this online or by placing a call to your issuer. This one simple move could go far toward preserving your good credit.

6. Strategic swiping is the best way to maximize rewards earning

Using just one high-rewards card for all your spending is a good way to rack up a lot of points. But getting a couple of cards that earn big in the merchant categories you spend the most in and then using them strategically is a great way to pump up the volume on the rewards you’re accumulating.

For example, if you spend a lot on gas, dining and travel, getting both the Chase Freedom® and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a smart idea. You can use the Chase Freedom® at gas stations when they’re featured as a 5% category (which historically happens 2 out of 4 quarters per year) and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card when you travel and dine out. Then, transfer all the points you racked up on gas spending with the Chase Freedom® into your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card account and bingo – you’ve got a boatload of points to use toward your next vacation.

Chase Freedom® Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Freedom Credit Card

on Chase’s
secure website

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase’s
secure website

Signing Promo
Earn a $100 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening Earn 40,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
APR
0% for 15 Months on purchases and 0% Intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99%-22.99% (Variable) The ongoing APR is 15.99% Variable
Annual fee
$0 Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Details
  • Earn a $100 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn a $25 Bonus after you add your first authorized user and make a purchase within this same 3-month period
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After the intro period, a variable APR of 13.99-22.99%
  • Unlimited 1% Cash Back on every purchase
  • 5% Total Cash Back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter
  • You’ll enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months like Gas stations, Restaurants and Amazon.com. It’s free and easy to activate your bonus each quarter!
  • No annual fee and rewards never expire as long as your account is open
  • Earn 40,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $500 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees, plus chip-enabled for enhanced security and wider acceptance
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value – that means 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points
  • Premium Travel and Purchase Protection Benefits, including Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Purchase Protection and more
  • 24/7 direct access to dedicated customer service specialists
  • Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

7. APR promotions could save you big bucks on interest

If you’ve gotten into some credit card debt or need to make a big purchase that you don’t have the cash to cover, capitalizing on a credit card APR promotion could be just the ticket. By picking a card that’s offering a long 0% rate on purchases or balance transfers, you can dodge the sky-high finance charges that would come with using your usual card.

Just watch out for balance transfer fees, and be sure to make your payments on time. If you don’t, your deal might get canceled and you could end up paying interest after all.

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