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Credit Card Balance Transfers - Know How To Save Money

In 2004 Americans paid $412 billion dollars in finance charges to the credit card companies. If you contributed to this astronomical amount, you might be considering a 0% interest balance transfer to knock down those monthly payments. You also might think that this is a simple choice, that of course you should opt for a card that does not charge interest over any other card that does. Well, before you take up credit-card hopping as this month's attempt at exercising, there ar...

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In 2004 Americans paid $412 billion dollars in finance charges to the credit card companies. If you contributed to this astronomical amount, you might be considering a 0% interest balance transfer to knock down those monthly payments. You also might think that this is a simple choice, that of course you should opt for a card that does not charge interest over any other card that does. Well, before you take up credit-card hopping as this month's attempt at exercising, there are a few things you should be aware of when it comes to balance transfers.

Balance Transfer Fees. Many balance transfers can cost you a charge of 3% to 5% of your balance. Although many cards will cap this charge at around $50 to $100, some do not, and your charge could very well negate your savings from the lower interest rate.

Universal Default Clause. This policy is practiced by many credit card companies and you need to be aware of it. Under this policy if the cardholder is late on any of their bills, cell phone, electric, car, what have you, the credit card company can instantly take away the promotional interest rate and charge a higher rate.

The Fine Print and the *. Be sure to scrutinize the fine print and watch out for any conditional symbols such as the asterisk*. Many zero % interest offers are only given to candidates who qualify, namely those with a clean credit history. Be careful when applying under these terms as you might not qualify for the zero % interest but instead end up with an even higher interest rate.

Additional Purchases. Find out if new purchases qualify for the zero% interest as this will have important ramifications. If new purchases do fall under the 0% interest then you can rest easy. If they do not, you must be aware of the consequences. Let's say you transfer $5,000 and then make additional purchases of $500. Any payments you make will go towards the $5,000 first and the $500 will instead accrue interest at the higher interest rate until the entire $5,000 is paid. That $500 might end up costing you more than you saved with the balance transfer. **It is important to note that the balance transfer fee usually counts as a new purchase.

But do not be discouraged, balance transfers are a powerful fiscal tool, if used properly. Follow these steps and you are sure to beat the house.

Destroy The Old Card. Do not give the temptation a chance. Like the arms of an ex-lover you are trying to leave, you do not want to be wrapped up by them...again.

Destroy The New Card. If your main goal is to pay down the balance, cut the new card as well and you will not have to worry about interest charges on new purchases. Simply pay down your debt at zero interest.

Pay All Of Your Bills On Time. Do not fall prey to the universal default clause. Pay all of your bills (phone, auto, mortgage, etc.) on time and you will retain your zero % interest.

Call The Credit Card Company. When your promotional rate comes to an end, before transferring to another card, call your credit card company and tell them you are going to transfer your balance if they cannot give you a low interest rate. It will not be 0%, but it might be much safer then jumping to a new card and repeating this precarious process.

 

How To Avoid Bad Credit

Because we live in a society that is dependent on credit, having credit that is bad can make life very difficult. Many high paying jobs won't hire you. Lenders are unlikely to give you a mortgage.

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Because we live in a society that is dependent on credit, having credit that is bad can make life very difficult. Many high paying jobs won't hire you. Lenders are unlikely to give you a mortgage. Getting an unsecured credit card will also be hard, if not impossible. It is not a secret that many people have less than perfect credit. But why is this, and what can be done about it?

Many of the credit problems people experience is a self-inflicted wound. This means that most people are their own worst enemy, and hurt themselves. They are caught up in having the latest gadgets, clothes, shoes, or electronics. Few take the time to read articles like this to find out ways they enhance their personal finances. Because of this, many people don't try to change until they're in debt that may take years to get out of. The best way to avoid debt is to change your lifestyle. Statistics show that the average American household has almost $10,000 in credit card debt, and this should tell you something.

It should tell you that it doesn't pay to be like everyone else when it comes to your personal finances. Since most people borrow money, you should seek ways to save money. When you are in excessive amounts of debt, it is the credit card company or bank that ultimately wins. Once you credit has been ruined, they are the institutions that will decide if you will get a house or car. Many people are under the impression that they have to take out loans in order to have nice things. This simply isn't true.

While it is possible to be responsible with your loans or credit cards, it is sometimes best to simply not use them. If you feel like you're not responsible or spend too much money, it may be best to just save money instead. While most people go out and get car loans, it may be a good idea to buy a good used car. Instead of going down to the electronics store to buy the latest gadget, maybe it would be a good idea to wait until it depreciates in value. Instead of making a down payment towards a mortgage, why not look at foreclosed homes or tax liens?

You should strive to be different from others, especially when it comes to your personal finances. If you decide to get a credit card, read the fine print. The credit card company doesn't expect you to, because many people don't. When you decide to get a home, look for alternative methods to obtaining it other than the methods that will be given to you by real estate experts and mortgage brokers.

The secret to avoiding bad credit is not to do what many people do. Don't follow the crowd. Stop listening to the advice of so called "experts." These people are often not looking out for your best interests. Many people have bad credit because they lack discipline. They are not willing to "think outside of the box" and find creative ways of getting what they want. They choose to go for the easy money that is given out by credit card companies and banks.

Despite this, there is no such thing as easy money. While many people owe thousands of dollars in credit card debt, the credit card companies and banks make billions of dollars each year. New bankruptcy laws recently passed by the government will insure they continue to hold on to their profit. The best way to avoid debt is to change the way you look at yourself, and the world around you. You have to make the decision to avoid debt and protect yourself financially, because no one else will.

 

How to Avoid Bad Credit and Repair

Staying in touch with your payments each month can help you avoid bad credit. By keeping yourself organized when your payments are due, you are on your way toward avoiding bad credit. If you do your research on the marketplace before coming to a purchasing decision, you are definitely well on your way to avoiding bad credit and repair credit hassles. You want to consider all applications, including credit cards, student loans, mortgages, and car loans carefully to avoid being overcharged.

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Staying in touch with your payments each month can help you avoid bad credit. By keeping yourself organized when your payments are due, you are on your way toward avoiding bad credit. If you do your research on the marketplace before coming to a purchasing decision, you are definitely well on your way to avoiding bad credit and repair credit hassles. You want to consider all applications, including credit cards, student loans, mortgages, and car loans carefully to avoid being overcharged.

Making the wise decision ahead of the game is the ultimate solution to maintaining good credit. Most people when taking out a home mortgage loan are not aware of the options available to them. Many will walk in the bank door, fill out the application, and accept the terms & conditions when offered to them. If you ever heard the many reports that swept the pages of newspapers, television and other advertising sources…families and individuals are filing bankruptcy because they cannot afford their homes anymore. This is because these people did not take the time to check the marketplace first and searching the options available to them. There are many options available to a lender.

As you can see, the millions reported are in debt and searching for a way to repair their credit. The solution then to avoiding bad credit and repair is to research, invest wisely, make good decisions, and budget. Being informed and educated is two of the best tools offered to us but you must allow yourself the time to do it.

There are mortgage loans that offer overpayments and underpayments and these loans include vacation packages and lump sum payments to the borrowers. There are also other loans available that offer low mortgage monthly installments and low interest rates with insurance policies attached that will pay your mortgage if you are sick, unemployed, in an accident and so on. If you have an interest in this type of loan, discuss it with your lender. Make sure there are no “hidden costs” when applying for this type of loan i.e. prepayment penalty. On the other hand, there are mortgage loans that have high interest rates, high mortgages, and balloon payments attached. When balloon payments are attached to home mortgages it is almost guaranteed in a few years you will be searching for a solution to repair your credit. Just remember that the interest on an average home mortgage can cost a homeowner almost twice (or more) the cost of the home itself. There are very few home lenders willing to tell you the truth about the variety of home loans available. Most of the lenders are making money and you are a source of income. It is important to scope the terms & agreements carefully as well as reading all fine prints on any loan contract before you sign.

If you want to avoid bad credit and repair, you want to stay on the right path. Loans are agreements that are made between two parties and attached are interest rates and other fees. If you are applying for a home loan and want to avoid bad credit, it makes sense to learn what the fees include and how much those fees will cost you. Anytime you take out a mortgage loan there are upfront fees attached. In some cases, you can get a home for little or no cost. Avoid a loan with high interest as much as possible or you will end up paying almost all interest on your home. Perform a little research before coming to a decision on any loan because searching and investigating the marketplace can save you time and money.

Some home loans offer an ‘acceleration clause’, which covers you if you miss mortgage payments. The lender will apply the clause by allowing you leniency providing you make payments the following month on time. This type of loan is great for avoiding bad credit, foreclosures, and repossessions. The marketplace is swarming with realtors and other sources that will help you get a mortgage loan affordable to you with benefits included.

Car Loans
If you are applying for a car loan, it is also important to research the marketplace carefully before agreeing to any terms & conditions. Make sure that your find the best deals affordable to you. In college I learned a golden rule that applies to everyone. This rule is that most car dealers up the fees on cars 15%. This means if you negotiate with the dealer you can get a reduction on the vehicle up to 15%.

Credit Cards
Another word of advice is when applying for credit cards you want to stay away from cards that have fees attached with high interest rates. Avoid credit card offers that have upfront fees and offer a high line of credit. If some offers look to good to be true, it probably is. Credit card companies will offer low rates to “reel” you in. This is usually good to start but read the fine print because those low interest rates will jump after a period of time. If you pay your bill in full every month the rates won’t matter but if you begin to pay the minimum amount or more…look out!

Student Loans
If you want to advance your education, you might want to consider student loans. You may be qualified for a student grant from the government. This is the first place you want to start before committing your self to a loan agreement.




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