3 Tips to Help you Deal with New Credit Cards

By | October 21, 2013

There are many reasons why your wallet may be feeling the pinch right now, and poor lending choices are one of the culprits. If your credit ratings have been affected by lost jobs, poor income levels or bad credit scores, you may need to spend quite a bit of time, money and personal energy restoring your credit record through credit repair efforts and renewed borrowing.

If you are considering high interest credit credit cards from sites such as BadCreditOffers (which provide links to different types of cards, different rates and conditions), I would caution you:

1. Know the Credit Card Interest Ratesbadcreditoffers-1[2]

Rates for most credit cards are typically between 10%~20%, but can go much higher depending on the card, the agreement, and the penalties.

Know this and understand this. Don’t be fooled by “Intro APRs”, “Low Rates”, Freebies, or Minimum Payments. Always know the full rate, work out how much you would have to pay at that rate, and calculate how much interest you would pay over 12 months on a typical amount for your own budget.

Oh, and beware those N/A statements. Know why they say “N/A”!

2. Read the Agreement before you sign!

Make sure you read the agreement, esp. if you are going to use the card a lot. Make sure that you understand what penalties may be applied, what rights you have under the agreement, and who you need to contact if you have problems.

If you don’t understand the agreement, don’t sign it until you are happy that you do. Find someone who can explain it to you.

3. Check those Statements carefully!

When you get your card, keep it safely along with a record of your usage of the card. Then make sure you check those statements carefully each month. Check off each item as it appears and query any that are incorrect. Then make the payment before the due date to avoid penalties.

I am thankful that I can read my statements (even though they are in a language I’m not competent at), I do have someone who can understand the agreement, and I religiously check each and every statement. It really helps to keep tabs on your credit cards and your usage patterns. But I’m assuming you already do that, don’t you?