The Top 0% Intro APR Credit Cards You Should Consider

Selective focus on credit card

Credit cards are the holy grails of credit. They carry a lot of weight when it comes to credit scores and financial profiles. Every debtor should have at least one credit card on his or her credit report. Each debtor should also make sure that the credit card of choice is one that works best for him or her. There are many types of credit card options from which a debtor may choose. One of the most popular types of cards is the 0% intro APR option.

Best Credit Cards With Zero Percentage APR

This credit card type has a promotion that offers the debtor 0% interest for a certain amount of time. After the promotional period ends, the debtor must pay the regular APR.

Consumers can take advantage of 0% intro APR credit cards in many ways. They can use them to merge their credit card accounts. They can use them to make large purchases without having to pay any interest. Also, they can use them to boost their FICO scores. We’ve taken the liberty to find some of the top 0% intro APR credit cards on the market right now that you should consider. Sift through this list and then pick the one that seems like it will suit your current needs. We can even help you find more.

Discover It Balance Transfer Card

Discover It Balance Transfer Card with 0% APRThe Discover It Balance Transfer card is a good choice if you’re looking for 0% intro APR credit cards that you can also use to transfer your balances. The initial 0% interest period is for the first six months for purchases and the first 18 months for balance transfers. After that, the annual percentage rate will increase to a 13.49% – 24.49% variable interest rate. This would be a great time to grab this card and transfer the balances from your other cards to it.

The Discover It Balance Transfer Card has other features and benefits to it aside from its promotional offer. You will also be free of paying any kind of annual fee because the current annual fee is $0. Other features that the card offers are features such as a free FICO credit score, social security number alerts, and friendly US-based customer service representatives. Furthermore, the card doubles as a cashback card. You can get up to 5% cashback on the purchases you make with the card. To make it even better, the credit card company will match your cash back earnings at the end of your first year. This card just keeps on giving!

To qualify for the Discover It Balance Transfer Card, you should have a credit score in the 700 point range. You should also be a US citizen who is at least 18 years of age since you will have to sign a credit card contract.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards CardThe Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card is another card that may interest you. It’s one of the 0% intro APR cards that also doubles as a rewards card. The introductory period of having a 0% APR will last for the first 15 months for your purchases. After the promotional period ends, your purchase APR will change to a 15.49%-25.49% variable APR. Your balance transfers will also be at 0% for the first 15 months you have the card. After that, you will have a  15.49%-25.49% APR, and you will also have to pay a 3% fee.

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card also has many other positive features that come with it. For one, you will not have to pay a fee for any foreign transactions that you do with your card. You will not have to pay an annual fee for this card either. Other features that you will have access to include features such as 1.5% cash back on all the purchases you make with your card. Additionally, you will also have access to a $150 bonus if you spend $500 on your purchases within three months after you get your credit card.

It’s worth it to take a look at this card and think about applying for it. You must be 18 years of age and be a US resident. Capital One is generally more lenient with their approval criteria than some other credit card companies are. You may be able to get approval for this card if you have a credit score of about 670.

Discover It Cashback Card

Discover It Cashback CardThe Discover It Cashback Card is another wonderful card offered to you by the Discover company. It is strictly a cashback card and does not offer balance transfers. Thus, it will be perfect for you if you’re not looking to transfer any of your balances. The Discover It Cashback Card allows you to earn 5% cash back on some of your purchases and 1% cash back on your other purchases. It also offers a cashback match as part of the promotion. You will receive a cashback match after the first year that you have the card.

This card is one of the 0% intro APR cards that will be a dream for you to own. Card features include features such as unlimited cashback, anytime redemption, amazon checkout, and social security number alerts.

You should have a credit score of at least 700 points to get an approval for this credit card. As usual, you must be 18 years of age or older.

BankAmericaCard Credit Card

BankAmericaCard Credit CardBank of America is one of the most prominent banks in the nation, and it offers consumers a credit card with its name on it. The BankAmeriCard Credit Card has a 0% APR introductory period of 18 months. After the initial introductory period ends, credit cardholders will have an APR of 14.49% – 24.49% on purchases and balance transfers. They will also have to pay a 3% fee when they do balance transfers.

The Bank of America Credit Card has many features for consumers to enjoy. It offers clients free access to their FICO score so that they know how it’s improving each month. The card also has no annual fee and no penalty APR. Therefore, a late payment will not cause a rise in a cardholder’s APR. It may, however, create a drop in the person’s credit score.

Applicants must have a very good or excellent credit score to gain approval for the BankAmeriCard. They must also be at least 18 years old and be a citizen of the US. Applicants do not have to be Bank of America customers, but being a customer may help them to gain approval for the card.

American Express Cash Magnet

American Express Cash MagnetSome consumers are into American Express cards. If you’re like them, you will love the American Express Cash Magnet O% APR credit card. This card offers a 0% percent APR for the first 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers. After the initial promotion ends, the cardholder will have to pay an APR of 2.99%-23.99%, and it is variable.

This card is a cashback card, which means that cardholders can earn money back on their purchases. The card offers a 1.5% cashback potential. The promotional offer for this card also includes a $150 bonus for new cardholders who spend at least $1,000 during their first month of owning the card.

The cashback system allows cardholders to earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase they make. They can use the cash back to buy merchandise, get gift cards, or pay toward their credit card bills.

Those two features aren’t the only features that this amazing card offers, however. Cardholders also have access to premium features such as no annual fee and the ability to use their cards in more than 3 million stores and websites.

American Express credit cards are generally hard to get. They require a credit score of 700 points or more for approval. A credit score of 700 or more is considered good or excellent. Card applicants must also be at least 18 years of age to apply. They can make their applications over the phone, or they go to the website and apply online. Sometimes, American Express sends offers to potential cardholders. A consumer can follow an invitation and visit the required site to apply for a card that way. Approval should be quick and painless.

Chase Freedom Card

Chase Freedom CardChase Bank offers the Chase Freedom card to consumers who have scores of 700 to 750 points. The Chase Freedom card has an introductory period of 15 months where cardholders do not have to pay any credit card interest on their purchases. After the initial 0% APR period ends, the cardholders will have a regular APR of 6.49% – 25.24%. Along with the 0% APR in the beginning, the Chase Freedom card gives a new cardholder a bonus payment of $150. The person has to spend at least $500 during the first three months of account opening.

The Chase Freedom card offers a myriad of additional benefits. One thing they offer that’s different from other credit cards is weekly access to the cardholder’s credit score. The Credit Journey feature keeps cardholders abreast of how they measure up in the credit world. Some of the other features that this card has to offer include features such as 5% cashback on certain categories up to $1,500 and unlimited 1% cashback on all other purchases. Cardholders will also get to enjoy a 3% introductory balance transfer fee and no credit card annual fee at any time. This one is worth a try if you have a good credit score, and you want to take advantage of some huge cashback opportunities.

Capital One Savor One Credit Card

Capital One Savor One Credit CardThe Capital One Savor One Credit Card is definitely a card that you can savor. It comes in a cute little peach color and a memorable name. It’s one of the 0% intro APR cards that you can get if your credit score is not in the “excellent” category. You may be able to land this card if you have a score of 660 or even a little less. You can certainly give it a try if you don’t have too many inquiries on your credit report at this time.

The 0% APR on this card lasts for the first 15 months after you open your account. You will have a 15.49% – 25.49% APR when the first 15 months of time goes by. You can still enjoy a myriad of features even after the initial promotional period ends. One feature that you’ll be able to enjoy is the $0 annual fee. It’s always a pleasure not to have to worry about an annual fee hitting your account when you’ve forgotten all about it. This card will also not charge you for any foreign transactions you conduct while you’re traveling. Your cash rewards are perhaps the best part of card ownership. You can earn 3% cashback on all of your dining and entertainment ventures. You can also earn 2% cash back on your grocery shopping. You’ll get 1% cash back in every other category, and there will be no limit to the amount that you can earn. Additionally, the card company will give you a $150 bonus if you spend $500 on the card in the first three months that you have it. That sounds like a deal that you shouldn’t ignore.

Capital One Venture One Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture One Rewards Credit CardCapital One offers quite a few credit card options to the masses. The Venture One Rewards Cards is yet another card that gives you a lot of perks and no hassle. It offers an introductory 0% APR for the first 12 months that you own the card. The difference between this card and other cards is that it also offers points that you can use for traveling. You’ll earn 1.25 miles for every dollar you spend on your purchases. You will also get a bonus of 20,000 miles when you spend $1,000 in the first three months that you have the card. 20,000 miles are equal to about $200 of travel.

This card has many more features for you to enjoy. For one, the regular APR is 14.49% – 24.49%, which is a bit lower than the ones on some of the other cards. You can also use your miles to travel whenever you want to travel. You won’t have to worry about blocks or blackout dates when you want to go somewhere. This card also has no annual fee, no balance transfer fee, and no foreign transaction fee. That’s a lot of no’s for a credit card, and we think you should take advantage of that. Another “no” that this card offers is no penalty APR. You don’t have to worry about being punished for being late on your payment for one month. This might be an excellent card for you to try to grab. Consumers have rated it with four out of five stars on some of the top credit card categories.

Get Approved for 0% Intro APR Credit Cards

Those are just a few of the cards that you can qualify for that have a 0% APR introductory offer. As you can see, most of them have high FICO score requirements. Don’t fret if you’re not quite in the credit category to qualify. You can take several actions to increase your score so that you can get one of these great cards in your hand.

First, you should apply for an easy-to-get credit card with a low initial credit line on it if you don’t already have one. You can qualify for several unsecured cards. Once you get approved for one, you can use it to build your credit score up so that you can get approved for 0% intro APR cards in the future. All you have to do is make your payments on time each month and keep your utilization down below 30%. The credit card company will monitor your usage and payment history. Your credit score will go up each month you make a timely payment and keep your utilization low. After a while, you’ll start getting offers from credit card companies you may have never heard of. You will be eligible for one of your favorite 0% intro APR cars as well. Work hard and continue to have faith. You’ll get to where you need to be soon enough.

Final Thoughts

You can start applying for 0% intro APR credit cards right now, and you can have one in your hands in about two weeks. You can also contact us and let us help match you up with a credit card that will be perfect for you. We are not a lender, but we are an advocate. We help consumers find a wide variety of financial products and services they need. Loanry can assist you in finding credit cards, consolidation loans, personal loans, car notes, and more. We can also help you get access to debt recovery products and services. Just reach out to us and tell us what you need. We’ll be delighted to help you grab hold of it.

How to Prevent Credit Card Fraud: Swipe and Beware

Those horror stories you see on the news about someone’s credit card getting stolen and the thief racking up thousands in debt happen every week. Credit card fraud is scary. It does not need to happen to you though. You can protect yourself. As you prepare for the holiday shopping season, you need to prepare for the inevitable crush of shoppers, the fights over the last of an item and most importantly, you need to protect your credit card.

Most of my shopping gets done online since I stay pretty busy writing, so I am pretty ratchet about protecting my credit card information. Still, a few years ago someone did nab my information and I had to clean up a ton of problems on my credit report. Sometimes, I think I got invited to write here because I have learned so much the hard way. It happened to me and I can tell you how to protect yourself and how to clean up the mess if it has already happened to you.

Tips for Preventing Credit Card Fraud

Whether you shop in-stores or online, your credit card information remains at risk. You can keep it safer though. It just takes a few extra steps to avoid credit card fraud. You have to learn to be on the lookout for scammers and thieves. It is all in the preparation you make. Start with these tips to get yourself well prepared to shop.

• Tuck your credit cards into your purse or wallet and wear it close to your body. This makes it tough for thieves to snatch.
• In busy shopping centers or malls or in busy outdoor shopping markets, carry a small purse to make it tougher to steal or pick-pocket.
• Take only the credit or debit card you will actually use that day like the zero APR credit card you plan to use for that new stove. Leave everything else at home, especially your cash advance credit card.

• Quickly use your credit card and then put it away. The less time it gets exposed, the less likely your numbers can get stolen. Thieves can use their cell phone to photograph your credit card while it is out getting used.
• Keep your cards in a separate location from your wallet or purse. If you get pickpocketed, you only lose the cash in the purse or wallet.
• During a transaction, keep your eye on your card. Make sure you get it back before you walk away.
• Save your receipts, so you can compare them with your statement.

• Make sure that you have your credit card with you before you leave the shop or restaurant.
• Do not sign a blank credit card receipt. Write a zero into each unused blank or draw a line through it so no person can add to the receipt. Verify your total before signing it.
• Be just as vigilant when you stop for gas. Check the gas pump or ATM before you use it to make sure a credit card skimmer has not attached anything to the pump.
• Credit card thieves sometimes place credit card skimming devices onto the credit card readers at gas pumps or ATMs. This attaches over the regular credit card swiper and stores all data. Immediately report any such device to the gas station manager and go to a different gas station or ATM.

At-Home Tips for Safer Credit Cards

You also need to be extra careful at home. Handle your financial statements carefully.

• Shred anything correspondence with your bank routing number and account number on it or your debit or credit card number on It.
• Do not throw your credit card statements in the trash without shredding them first.
• Throw the shredded pieces away in different trash cans to thwart thieves from taping pieces together.
• Whether you phone your credit card company or they phone you – do not give your credit card number over the phone.

• When you phone your credit card company’s customer service, use the toll-free phone number on the back of your credit card.
• Do not return calls to a phone number left on your voice mail or sent via email or text message. It could be fake. Always phone the telephone number on the back of the card.
• Avoid sharing your phone number with anyone who calls you. You should ask to call them back at the number on the reverse of the card. Get their employee number or extension, so you can reach them directly.
• Make it simple to cancel your credit cards by keeping a record of your account numbers, expiration dates and the credit card fraud hotline for each company in your safe or in a safe deposit box. You need it to be in a location that only you can get to the information.

• You should be the only person to use your card. Do not lend it to your children, spouse or roommates.
• Do not leave your credit cards, shopping receipts or financial statements lying around the house or office.
• Open financial mail promptly and reconcile statements with the purchases you’ve made.
• Let your credit card issuer know immediately if your address changes.
• Let your credit card issuer know immediately if you are going on vacation or will be traveling.
• Never write your account number on the outside of an envelope.

Online Credit Card Safety

Your workplace may have a litany of rules for getting online and opening e-mails. Follow them at home, too. For real. They are doing that to keep their servers and systems safe. By following the same rules at home, you can do the same for yourself. You can keep your credit card, bank and investment account information safe, as well as your computer system. Start with these tips.

• Be wary of phishing emails. These appear to be from a company you genuinely do business with, but really come from a scammer. Avoid clicking on links in an email appearing to come from your bank, credit card company or any other business that you use. PayPal often gets spoofed in emails. Read the information provided in the email, then take action on it by going to the financial institution’s website on your own – typing the URL of the site into your browser yourself.
• Use caution when you use your credit card on the Internet. Enter your number only on sites you know are secure and legitimate.
• Use websites that use https:// to indicate there are secure.

• Look for the lock icon in the lower right corner of the browser.
• Create a really strong password for the card issuer’s website. Make it hard to guess. Keep it safe by not writing it down.
• Also, create really strong passwords for any website where you store your credit card number like Amazon or Walmart.
• A strong password contains upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters.
• Before you shop with a company for the first time, conduct an online search to read reviews and complaints. This includes online card shops. Use easily checked, reliable sites like Loanry.com or Cashry.com.

What to Do if You Lose Your Card or It Gets Stolen

As soon as you realize your credit card is missing, call your credit card issuer to cancel it. This prevents fraudulent charges. Make a list now of the phone numbers of your credit card companies’ customer service numbers. This makes it easy to find them when you need them.

You are liable for the first $50 charged after the card was stolen. This could be more if you do not report it quickly.
Carefully review your billing statements every month for unauthorized charges. One of the first signs of credit card fraud is unauthorized or duplicate charges. Any charge you see that you know you did not make; you should report to the credit card company right away.

Your credit card issuer can tell if it was an innocuous mistake or if you need to close your account and open a new one to avoid credit card fraud. Does that sound like a lot to go through just to keep your credit cards safe?

When I went through my problem with identity theft, the thieves had first borrowed my address. Once that happened, their information merged in with mine. Many organizations use the information from credit reporting bureaus to verify identity elsewhere. Want to know how bad it can get?

I could not set up a Federal Express account to schedule deliveries to my home because FedEx uses a credit bureau to verify your identity. They want to make sure they are delivering to the appropriate address for your packages and all the others that should go there. Problem was, I was and am the only person to have ever lived in that house. When the verification asked me which of the four people had been my roommate at my lake house, I was at a loss. It took months to clear everything up and I still do not have a FedEx account.

Report Losses and Credit Card Fraud

Call the card issuer as soon as you realize your card has been lost or stolen. Many companies have toll-free credit card fraud hotlines and 24-hour services handle these issues. If you think that your card was used fraudulently, you typically must sign a statement under oath that you didn’t make the purchases or open the account in question.

Why You Need to Call the Cops
You might not think of unauthorized credit card charges as a form of identity theft, but they are. Right after you cancel your credit cards, call the police, says the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

You also need to inform the credit reporting agencies and add a 90-day credit card fraud alert to your credit cards and overall credit report. It may seem overkill but you also need to inform the Federal Trade Commission which tracks this type of crime. The fraudulent charges to your account could be part of a larger crime spree.

“You may have to contest the charges or demonstrate to a credit card company that you are 100 percent innocent. Having the report doesn’t hurt. It’s a smart backup,” says Rob Douglas, editor of IdentityTheftInfo.com

When you report it to the credit reporting bureaus, request a credit freeze on your credit file. You need to call each of the three bureaus and make this report and make a request for the credit freeze. The freeze prevents the opening of any new credit accounts in your name. The freeze typically lasts 90 days. Sometimes there is a charge for the freeze, but you should be able to get it for free by sharing the police report with them. Realize that this freeze will also mean you cannot open new accounts during the 90-day period.

Something you will not read in other articles on this topic which, unfortunately, I can interject from hard won experience is that your credit card companies will all take this so super seriously that you will find it hard to live a normal life for the first few weeks after your identity gets stolen or the credit card fraud charges appear. That is because the credit card companies will bend over backwards to make sure you are you.

After I reported my credit card fraud charges and that hinky credit card account for the store I had not shopped at in 15 years, every credit and debit card I had was put on notice due to the freeze. So was my bank.

The first week passed uneventfully, and then I had to buy groceries. It was in Target while trying to pay for my purchases that I first experienced what you will if you ever have to put a freeze on your accounts. Not only will it stop thieves from misusing your accounts, but you will have problems, too. You have to prove you are you to use your credit cards.

I rang up my card company who explained that since I had requested the freeze, I had to prove I was me in order to use my cards. I laughed and said, “Well, you know that charge attempt from two minutes ago for X amount of money. Yeah. That is really me and I have about ten people behind me in line. How do I prove I am me, so I can check out and get my groceries home before my ice cream melts?”

After I literally had to violate nearly every direction I just gave in this article by reading out my full card number in line, plus providing my Social Security number and having called from my cell phone which is my official account phone and came up on their computer systems and providing my account PIN, they re-activated my card.
I swiped it and eureka! I could pay.

Customer service let me know that theirs was not the only account lock I would need to unlock before using anything. Every card I needed to use, I would need to call the company to unlock it and prove I was me due to the freeze. That meant that I had to do that two more times, but at least I knew to do it before I tried to swipe. The credit bureau will be so busy trying to take their report and gather crime fighting information that they will probably forget to tell you this detail. They did with me. I was clueless until standing in that line wondering why with my awesome credit and money in the bank, I could not pay anybody.

Reporting Your Identity Theft

While we’re on the topic, reporting identity theft and fraudulent charges does not work quite the same as reporting typical theft like the stealing of a motorcycle. Rather than phoning the 911 line, you should call the non-emergency or business phone number of the local police department. Tell them you need to report a financial crime. If the officer balks at taking the report, you should let them know that you do not expect them to conduct an investigation, but that you are filing it to clear your name and help with the process of reporting it to the credit card companies and credit reporting bureaus. If they continue to balk, request to speak with their supervisor.

Here are five really important reasons to report credit card fraud and identity theft to the authorities.

• You help yourself psychologically because it is cathartic. You provide yourself some emotional resolution. Making a police report lets you take back some measure of control that was stolen from you.
• Your report provides you proof of the event. Some creditors will request the police report number.
• The report means you get the credit report/file freeze for free.
• The police might solve the case, especially if you are able to provide the suspect’s name and contact information.
• As mentioned, your data provides a piece of information that can lead to the solution of larger crimes.

An investigation could solve a credit card fraud. The more information you can provide, the more likely it is that the police will actually investigate. Cases get scored numerically based on available data provided. The reports that rank the highest by providing the most detail and information get the most attention. If you have identified a suspect or have an actionable activity to investigate, your case stands a better chance of getting investigated. But if a bank just got robbed though, the financial crimes folks will already be busy investigating that. If there already exists a higher-scoring credit card fraud case, they probably won’t investigate you aggressively.

Let Creditry Help with Managing Your Credit

You do not have to go it alone. You can get help safeguarding your credit. Use Creditry.com to help stop credit card fraud. This service helps you monitor your credit. It also helps you manage your credit.

When you stay on top of your credit and its use, you are safeguarding your identity. It is up to you, the consumer, to stop crimes from occurring. You can severely limit a perpetrator’s access to your private information simply by protecting your information. Limit with whom you share information about yourself. Limit where you use your credit and debit cards.


Also, limit what you share with others privately and publicly. Rather than using apps like Foursquare that reveal the address of the stores and restaurants you frequent, use Twitter or Facebook. You can still tout your favorite brands that way, but people will only know that you go to Starbucks, not the specific one you frequent. How does that help? It helps because your credit card companies note changes in your behaviors like you suddenly going to a location of a chain that you typically do not, however, it would be easy for a fraudulent charge to sneak by them if it was made at your usual location.

You can also protect your financial information by using store reward programs and apps to pay for items in-store. While at home on your super safe computer, load your Starbucks card with money to pay for the week’s coffees. In the coffee shop, you never have to expose your credit card. You can pay via the app on your cell phone or with the gift card you tied to your rewards account. Many shops and cafes now offer this type of app or card. You can even do this with Uber, pre-purchasing UberCash which then earns you a ride discount.

Final Thoughts

You can do a lot to protect yourself from credit card fraud. It begins with your vigilance. Use sites like Creditry and options like store apps to protect your credit cards. Keep on top of your finances. Look at credit card statements as soon as they arrive. Learn the vigilance necessary to protect yourself and, if something does go awry, report it to the police immediately. Stay on top of it and keep it on their front burner. Make sure you help educate others about what it takes to remain safe and protect yourself from credit card fraud. You are your first and best defense.

Use Creditry and Loanry to your advantage. You can even use Loanry to shop for the right credit card.

Tips for Paying Your Credit Card Bill on Time Every Month

Raise your hand if you have ever been or are in credit card debt? Ok, you do not really have to raise your hand, but I am willing to bet that at least 98% of the people who read this fit the bill. I am also willing to bet that you are reading this because you are in credit card debt or you are trying hard to stay out of it. Paying your credit card bill can be challenging.

I do not think I know a single person that has not experienced some credit card debt. And why is that? Because credit cards are designed to encourage us to borrow money. That is the entire point of their existence. Lenders give us this nifty little card that is supplied with money that we can spend, and then owe interest on.

I am not being cynical or negative here. These are facts. How else do credit card companies make money? They loan you the money, you pay it back with interest. It is just like a loan, but if it is so simple why are so many people in credit card debt and how can a person stay out of it? Let’s answer these questions one at a time.

Credit Cards 101

Take out your pencils and your notebooks- we are going back to school. Let’s start with some basic information on credit cards– really basic so everyone is on the same page.

How They Work

Credit cards are really just personal loans on a card from which you can continually borrow money. When you apply for a credit card, the lender takes a look at your credit score and credit history to decide if you are a good risk. If you have a good credit score and payment history- and an income- you will likely be approved. The amount you are approved for, your credit limit, is determined by how much they feel safe letting you borrow. It will usually depend as much on your income as it does anything else.

Once approved, you will receive a card in the mail within a few weeks. The card will have money attached to it that you can then use. When you swipe that card for a purchase, there is an agreement made between the credit card company and the seller in which the credit card company basically says, “I’m covering the sale.” The retailer then transfers ownership to you because they know they will be getting paid. Paying your credit card bill is on you, not them, so if the credit card company covers the cost, the item is yours.

And what then?

At the end of the billing cycle, the credit card company calculates the amount that you have used and the interest. They send you a bill of that amount where they are basically saying, “Hey, remember when I fronted you the cash to pay for your stuff? It’s time to repay, but it’s cool if you do not have the full amount. I added another number on your bill of a much smaller amount you can pay right now.” As you pay down or off the principle amount you owe, your credit limit will replenish and you can borrow it again. This is known as revolving credit.

Paying Your Credit Card Bill on Time Each Month

Yes, we have finally made it to the main purpose of this article- paying your credit card bill on time each month. Let me start by saying that it is not as hard as it may seem. It can be overwhelming in the midst of trying to figure everything out, but you can relax. I have some really simple tips for paying your credit card bill.

Budget

If you are like most people, you are really tired of hearing the word budget. Unfortunately, it is necessary. You can always find a new word to call it. Creating a budget is important if you want to pay your credit card bill on time. For now, let’s go with financial planning. That sounds a little better.

Again, financial planning is key to paying your credit card bill. You have to have the money to pay the bill, and you have to have a plan for getting that money. Rework your financial plan to make sure the funds you need for paying your credit card bill are included and set aside.

Also, paying your credit card bill once a month is not the only option. Try instead paying something out of each check. If your minimum payment is $25, try paying $25 out of each check. This will ensure that you are never late paying your credit card bill, and it can help pay down your balance sooner.

Set Up Auto Pay

Another awesome thing about technology is that is can now make payments for you. How awesome is that! You can set your credit card account to take money from another source when the payment is due- no thought necessary. If you are like I was and are rolling your eyes saying something like, “But my bill is due before payday. If I set up auto-pay, I might end up with overdraft fees.” Not if you change your due date, which is something most companies allow now.

Remember that they actually do want their money back, so most of them will work with you on things like this.
I would also like to point out the fact that using auto pay is no excuse for ignoring your bills. You still need to look at them and make sure that you are being charged correctly. Do not overpay simply because you stopped looking at your bill details.

Stay within Your Limit

Yes, this should be understood, but sometimes it is not. Some credit card companies are a little lax and will let you go over your limit. In fact, they have a fee for when it happens. Keep up with how much you use on your card, and stop when you are at your limit- earlier if you can.

Reminders

With all of this technology around us, there really is no excuse for forgetting anything. Set reminders in your Google calendar, the Asana app, your phone’s calendar, or where ever you keep up with dates. I love electronic ones because sometimes I get so busy, I forget to look at my calendar. I need reminders that actually remind me, so an alert on my phone or tablet is much better.

Only Borrow What You Can Afford to Repay

Part of paying your credit card bill on time relies on being able to afford your payment. There is a very simple way to make sure you can afford it. Do not borrow more than you can pay back.

Pay the Full Amount Every Month, if possible

Again, you need to be able to afford your bill, which you will not be able to do if the interest is growing astronomically. Try very hard to pay the full bill every single month so your payments do not get unbearable.

 Introductory Promotional Periods

Many credit card companies offer a promotional period in which you do not pay interest on your credit card charges. This might be for the first month, the first year, or any other length of time the company chooses. It is an incentive they offer for signing up. These promotional periods can be wonderful times to make large purchases, like a refrigerator, if you can pay it off before the promotional period is over. If you sign up for a credit card with a promo period, be sure you know the ins and outs of the promotion. And do not go on a spending spree just because you can. Remember, the idea is to actually make paying your credit card bill possible, so overspending is counterproductive.

Fees and Interest Rates

Every credit card that I have ever known has some type of fee attached, and there is definitely interest. Some fees you might come across are annual fees, late payment fees, and cash withdrawal fees. Most fees can be avoided. Pay your bill on time to avoid late fees, do not get cash withdrawal, and so on. However, annual fees can only be avoided if you find a company that does not charge them. There are a few out there, but before you make up your mind, check out the perks of the cards with annual fees. Sometimes you get rewards that will more than cover that fee, so compare before you choose.

Here comes the fun part: the interest and how it is calculated. This section could quite literally carry on for pages and pages because there is so much to the topic of interest, but we are going to stick with some basics.

Compound vs Simple Interest

Simple interest means that you pay interest on the amount of money you use on your card. If you use $200, the interest is calculated for that and that is it. The next month, you will again only be charged for the amount you have actually used.

Compound interest is very different. The simplest definition is paying interest on the interest that you already owe. Sounds crazy, right? To illustrate, let’s say I borrow that same $200 at 25% interest. I would then owe $250 back once interest was included. If I decide not to pay my bill in full this month and instead only make the minimum payment, there will be some interest left. So if I pay $25, I will still owe $225.

The next billing cycle, any interest that has carried over is now considered “borrowed” as well. Instead of being charged 25% only on what I have borrowed, it will be calculated on the full $225. The interest will simply add on top of the interest, i.e. compound. This will continue until you pay your bill in full. If you have the opportunity to choose a simple credit card over one with compound interest, that will be the wiser option. If you do not have that opportunity, attempt to pay your full bill every single month

Variable vs Fixed Interest

Variable and fixed interest are easier to understand. Fixed interest means that the interest rate will remain the same through the specified term while variable interest can fluctuate. With fixed interest, it is possible to somewhat predict your bill. Not so much with variable interest, though.

Pros and Cons of Credit Cards

Credit cards can be both a blessing and a curse, but they are almost necessary in today’s world. Below are two of the biggest pros and cons of credit cards that you should know:

Convenience

Credit cards are one of the most convenient financial tools ever, I believe. You do not have to worry about dropping or losing cash, it takes so much less time to check out, you can shop online with them, swipe them at the gas pump so you do not even need to walk into the store, and they let you spend money you do not yet have. Is there any wonder why people sign up for them?

About ten years ago, a friend and I piled our five children into her Expedition to visit this new thrift store about an hour from home. In truth, we had plenty of thrift stores nearby. We just wanted to get out. We walked around that store for probably two to three hours, jumped back in her SUV, and started to head home.

No more than two minutes down the road, we noticed that one of her tires were flat. We pulled into the next parking lot, which happened to be a WalMart- thank goodness. Here we were an hour from home in the summer time with five hot children and no cash. We thought we were being smart only carrying cash with us to the thrift store so we would not overspend. Though it was smart, we probably should have carried something extra.

Even worse, we had no one to call for help. My husband was in the military back then and a very long way from home. Her husband worked out of town, so he too was nowhere near us. Ever the hopeful one, I started clawing through my purse with the idea that some money would miraculously appear so we could purchase a tire. And like an answer to a prayer, I suddenly saw my credit card.

A credit card can come in handy

I had intentionally forgotten that I had signed up for this credit card because it was only meant for two reasons. The first was that there were times my husband would call and say he was back on post with no notice. As I did not want to miss the chance to see him, that credit card was intended to pay for gas, airfare, hotel stays, and so on in case we did not have enough in the bank.

The second reason for the card was, well, emergencies. With it being just me and two little ones, I did not want to be stranded with no one to call. The predicament we were currently in just happened to fit that second reason to a “T”, so to speak. I was able to purchase a tire so we could get home.

Pros and Cons of Credit Cards: Swipe?

 Credit

As I said, credit cards are incredibly convenient, and they can help you build your credit- if you are paying your credit card bill on time. Unfortunately, the convenience of credit cards also has the propensity to lead you down a dark path of financial ruin if you are not managing it well. To make it help your credit instead of hurt, follow these steps:

Being Responsible

Really, it all comes down to being responsible with your money and your debt. Do not borrow more than you can repay. Avoid borrowing just because you can. Make paying your credit card bill in full as often as possible a priority, and ensure that you are paying your credit card bill on time. Definitely pay more than the minimum balance so you bill stays manageable.

Staying Under 30%

Credit utilization is a huge factor in your credit score. Basically, it is the percentage of your available credit that you are using. You need to keep that utilization under 30%. For instance, if you have $1,000 of credit available to you, you want to be using less than $300. Why? Lenders like to know that you are worthy of borrowing money, but that you do not really need to. This means that you should not run out and spend the $1,000 on unnecessary items just because it’s there. If you do have to use more than 30%, just try paying your credit card bill down to 30% before the end of the billing cycle.

Know When to Use Your Card and When to Use a Personal Loan Instead

If a credit card is really just a loan on a card, why would you need a personal loan? Though it is, in fact, a loan, different terms, interest rates, and fees come with them. Most often, a personal loan has lower interest rates and longer repayment terms while credit cards are much more like quick cash loans- high interest and short repayment terms. You should be aware of the pros and cons of credit cards and personal loans.

Before we go any further, the following suggestions are relative to certain conditions, i.e. interest rates, promo periods, and so forth. These suggestions are based on having no promotional periods or other external factors that might affect prices and repayment- more on this in a moment.
As credit cards and personal loans are so different, they are actually each beneficial for different circumstances. Below is a list of times when each would be a better choice than the other:

Times to Choose a Credit Card:

  • If you need money for gas, some household supplies, or other items lower cost items.
  • A movie ticket
  • Grocery shopping
  • Paying a bill that is due before payday

These items would be best on a credit card because they are smaller purchases you could most likely pay off during the current month or by the next one.

Times to Choose a Personal Loan:

  • For purchasing a car
  • You have gotten behind on your bills and need some time to straighten things out.
  • Any purchase that will take you multiple months or longer to pay off, i.e. appliances
  • A vacation or wedding

These items are best for a personal loan because, most likely, you will not be able to pay off the full amount in one payment. Instead of putting something that will require multiple payments on a credit card that will charge you a lot of interest, look at personal loans instead. You are still charged interest, but it is spread out over payments instead of owing the full amount every month.

Credit Card Consolidation

If you are currently in a lot of credit card debt, you might consider credit card consolidation. This basically means that you are borrowing the money from another source to pay off your current debt. The new debt, ideally, charges less interest, and you only have one payment to make instead of multiple ones. There are two common ways to do this- with a personal loan and with credit card refinancing.

With a Personal Loan

If you owe a total of $1500 in credit card debt, you could use a $1500 personal loan to pay it all off at once. This gets rid of the ridiculous interest that is stacking up and choking the life out of you. Ok, maybe that was a little dramatic, but you get the idea. You need to be aware of the differences between credit cards and personal loans.

Once you have paid off those credit cards, you will owe the lender the $1500 back, but here’s where the benefits come in: Typically, your interest is calculated up front- most likely with a fixed rate- then spread out over a period of months or even years. Finally, you can breathe. Let’s look at how different it would be than continuing paying your credit card bills.

If you owe a total of $1,500 in credit card debt, you might be getting charged as much as $375 a month in interest alone. I do not know about you, but even if I could afford that, I would not want to throw away that much of my hard-earned money on interest- an intangible thing that brings me no excitement whatsoever.

Now, let’s say you a $1500 personal loan. For the sake of fairness- and to really drive home this point- we will keep the 25% interest rate (this is actually really high interest for most personal loans). You agree to a 12 month repayment period. All of this means that you owe a total of $1875 to the lender, and your payments will be $156.25 per month.

That’s it. There is no additional interest because it was already calculated and added into the total amount of the loan. For almost 1/3 of the credit card payment, you can pay your entire debt off and save more than $200 per month in interest- yes, please!

Credit Card Refinancing

You can also refinance your credit cards with another credit card. I know it sounds a bit counterproductive, but under the right terms, you will still save money. Again, we will use the $1500 debt and 25% interest as the current charges. You might be able to find a new card with much lower interest or even one that has the 0% interest for a year. By using the new credit card to pay off the previous ones, you are still consolidating into one payment with low or no interest.

Credit Card Shopping

Okay, do not get too excited. This does not mean to take your credit card out and enjoy a shopping spree. This type of credit card shopping actually means shopping around for credit cards. Never assume that you are getting the best deal. The card you have may have been the best option at the time you got it but credit card companies compete, so they are consistently changing what they can to win customers.

On a regular basis, shop around for the lowest APR credit card x and best terms. Take advantage of 0% introductory rates when you can. Remember that you can use a new credit card with no interest to pay off other cards and save yourself some money. Here’s a list of credit cards to consider:


You can put in your information right here on Loanry, and get offers within minutes.

Conclusion

It is sometimes amazing that something as small and thin as a credit card can destroy entire lives. But that is how powerful they are. If you use credit cards, you should work hard to master them instead of letting them master you. With the information and the tips here- as well as some determination- you can take control of your credit cards and your financial life.

Avoid These 7 Common Credit Card Mistakes to Save Money

Credit cards enable consumers to make big purchases that they would not otherwise be able to afford, offer convenience by reducing the need to carry cash, have electronic records that make it easy to track spending and identify fraud and can be a simple solution in case of an emergency. Credit cards have also gained acceptability since they allow users to build their credit history when used responsibly, with most of the cards offering reward programs that accrue to great benefits.

While managing your credit can seem like a lot of work, it is very critical as it impacts many aspects of your life. If users are not careful with how they use these little plastic cards, their actions may affect whether they get a job, security clearance, or secure an apartment. Before we explore common credit card mistakes to avoid, let’s look at responsible credit card usage.

Common Credit Card Mistakes to Avoid

How consumers use their credit cards is just as important as the particular card they select. The manner in which you use the card will play a vital role in determining whether you make credit card mistakes. Here are some common mistakes users should avoid in order to save money.

Making Minimum Only Payments

Most credit card issuers allow for minimum repayments to make it easier for users to repay their balance. This is usually a fixed amount that is calculated as a percentage of the balance. A factor that makes it tempting for those with a tight budget. While there are times when financial circumstances may force users to make minimum payments, doing this regularly is one of the most common credit card mistakes that will cost a borrower a lot and result in other financial implications.

Making minimum payments means that a consumer pays only interest and the applicable fees. In essence, their balance does not reduce through the payments. The result is that the amount of time it takes to pay off the credit card balance will increase significantly. This, in turn, increases the amount of interest that the user pays on their credit card. Regardless of whether you are using a credit card, you should resist the temptation to make minimum only payments.

The only time that minimum payment will make sense is when they are used as a strategy to get out of debt. However, increasing the monthly repayments helps to pay off the balance faster and at a lower cost.

Paying Bills Late

Just like with any other loan, borrowers have to repay the money once it has been made available to them. This is why it is important for credit card users to think carefully before making any purchase decision. Ensure that they are comfortable with repaying their loans.

Credit card debt is similar to other loans. Indeed, there are due dates by which users should pay their bills. Failure to send monthly payments on time will not only result in penalties. They will also hurt the user’s credit score. Most credit card issuers will charge late fees depending on the number of times that a consumer has been late over a given period of time. This is why it is recommended that users come up with a system to remind them of their due dates.

To understand why this is one of the credit card mistakes that can have a big impact, borrowers should be aware that the credit card issuer can raise the interest rates once the user’s credit score reduces. Every credit card holder should have a clear understanding of what the different actions and decisions they make in relation to their credit card affect their lives.

Loaning the Credit Card

One of the most common credit card mistakes that people make is giving their credit card to someone else. This may include giving it to a family member or friend as a favor or to make purchases on your behalf. While this in itself does not seem to have a problem, the credit card holder will have no control over the purchases that could be made in their absence.

Regardless of who uses the credit card, once the purchase has been approved, the person whose details appear on the card will be responsible for paying the bill. This is why it is essential to ensure that you are prepared for all the purchases that may be made when you loan the credit card. Failure to do this will result in unexpected interest and penalties.

With the temptation associated with credit cards. It is clear that the financial tools can lead one to spend beyond what they had budgeted for. Leaving purchase decisions to another person may sink you further into debt, leaving you with accumulated debts that you may not be in a position to afford. In the end, such a move may affect your credit score and limit your chances of accessing other loans.

Taking a Loan Offer without Comparing It With Others

Today, there are many companies that offer credit cards. While this is a good thing, it makes it difficult for consumers to choose the right credit card company. In addition, it means that it takes a considerable amount of time to ensure that you are getting the best possible offer.

If borrowers are to avoid common credit card mistakes, they should take time to compare the various possibilities available to them. A small difference in interest could result in significant savings in the long run. They could also ease pressure on your wallet when the bill statement is sent. Consumers should also not underestimate the importance of consulting financial experts before applying for and taking a credit card.

Ultimately, credit card cash advances should help users to meet their financial needs. They could make it easier for them to achieve their goals. Whether you prefer an apr credit card or a credit card, you should be sure that it offers the financial services you need. This, when combined with responsible use of the card, will help you avoid the headaches and frustrations that come with late payments and defaults.

Waiting to Report a Stolen or Lost Credit Card

There is a chance that credit cards will get lost or stolen. The decision you make after such an incident will affect your life in a major way. This is because the credit card holder can be a victim of identity theft. With their information being used in all manner of fraudulent activities. Although most of the credit cards today have security features in place, reporting the matter to the relevant authorities will help in canceling it.

Taking too long to report the loss or theft of the credit card gives the thief time to charge up the account. If the credit card holder reports the theft or loss of the card in good time, they will have no liability for any fraudulent charges that may be made.

It follows that one of the most serious credit card mistakes is failing or taking too long to report these incidences. Apart from law enforcement agencies, credit card users should inform the issuer in case of theft or loss.

Applying for Too Many Credit Cards at Once

Although debt can come in handy when one is in financial need. There is always a need to take out loans responsibly. When one is in need of financial assistance, they may be tempted to take out any loans that they qualify for. When it comes to credit cards, some people apply for too many of them at once. This ranks highly among credit card mistakes that could cost you a fortune.

Every single credit card application that a consumer makes has the potential to take away from their credit score. In case a consumer tries to apply for several credit cards over a short period of time, it will reach a point when denials become more frequent. This is because lenders will grow suspicious about the sudden increase in the number of applications. Financial experts recommend applying for the cards one at a time and on an as-needed basis.

Apart from affecting the applicant’s credit score, the more credit cards one has, the higher the chances of making huge purchases on impulse. This means that the consumer will have several bill statements sent to them at the end of the month. In the end, the credit card holder may be unable or struggle to pay off the debt.

Not Knowing Your Credit Card Terms

Most credit cards have very confusing terms and conditions. With limited knowledge on the financial tools, it will take a consumer a considerable amount of time to go through and understand the terms and conditions. However, not knowing what the credit card terms are could end up being one of the most costly credit card mistakes.

It may seem like a lot of work. Knowing the terms offered on the service and how the company handles late payments will help in financial planning. This also gives the consumer more control over the associated costs. They will also be in a better position to decide how to use and how not to use the card. They will be aware of how the creditor will respond to certain actions.

Whether you are using an apr credit card or a simple credit card, you should review the terms of the credit card at least once a year. This can be done by visiting the credit card issuer’s website or requesting them from customer service. The most important thing is to keep abreast of the terms and conditions.

This list is by no means exhaustive. There are many more credit card mistakes that could cost you a fortune. Right from the time that one is considering applying for a credit card, they should have a clear plan of how they intend to use the financial tool. Some of the actions and decisions that could prove costly include making purchases you cannot afford. Not to mention maxing out the card, paying annual fees, co-signing an account. Borrowers should educate themselves about the basics of credit cards if they are to avoid some of these mistakes.

Responsible Credit Card Usage

While a good number of consumers know that they can use credit cards to buy something, very few understand how they work. Most people get a bill at the end of every month and pay it off without realizing what impact using a credit card has on their lives. This results in many people making costly credit card mistakes.

Credit cards in their most basic form are loans from banks. These little plastic cards have the user’s name and credit card number on them. They also feature a chip on the front and a magnetic strip on the back. When looking to make a purchase, the user can either swipe it or insert it in the merchant’s machine. It is this machine that will read this information and communicate with the credit card company to determine whether the purchase is approved. The bill that users get and pay at the end of the month is usually a repayment of the loan they took on purchasing products or services.

Why You Should Use Your Credit Card Responsibly

There are numerous benefits that users will enjoy if they use their credit card responsibly. Perhaps one of the most notable is that the cards grant borrowers replenishable credit. This means that buyers are able to pay off certain purchases over an extended period of time. Consumers can also use credit cards to protect themselves in the event of a disputed charge by a retailer or service provider. The card not only gives the holder leverage but also offers an avenue for the payment to be corrected or reversed.

In a world where cash is used less and less, using credit cards responsibly can help in keeping track of spending habits and knowing where your money is going. This makes it easier to modify their budgets and organize themselves by relying on their spending records.

By using the cards responsibly and avoiding credit card mistakes, users with bad credit may have an opportunity to build their credit score. However, this will require them to borrow responsibly and pay their bills on time. Users should also avoid the higher rate card and resist any temptation to cancel or destroy the card. Over time, they will be able to build their credit and enjoy the benefits that come with it.

What Can Happen if You Are Not Careful with Your Credit Card Use

As much as credit cards offer several benefits, there are also dangers associated with using the cards. Users will particularly be exposed to these dangers if they do not embrace responsible financial habits or keep making the same credit card mistakes.

Here are some of the dangers of poor credit card usage:

Vicious Debt Cycles

Most users do not realize that credit cards can keep them in debt. Here’s how. Unlike other types of loans, credit cards work in such a way that most users are perpetually using and paying, resulting in a cycle of debt. Since users keep spending and paying interest, using the cards can be costly. Similarly, the interest and fees on credit cards add up quickly, especially if you lose track of how much you are supposed to pay. This could sink you into further debt and cause unnecessary frustrations.

Impulse Spending

Credit cards give users a lot of freedom, allowing them to be impulsive. Buyers can spend money in any place, at any time and in whichever way they see fit at the time. This means that they may end up buying items that they either had not planned for or do not need altogether. With credit cards, minimum payments will see users paying interest and fees on the card without actually reducing their balance. This means that consumers are likely to fall further behind each month if they keep paying only the minimum payment.

Personal Loans vs. Credit Cards

With the serious financial commitment associated with any loan, borrowers need to understand the options available to them before making a choice. When comparing credit cards with personal loans, there are a number of factors that borrowers should be mindful of.

The loan amount:

Personal loans would be a better option for borrowers who need a large amount of money that they cannot pay back quickly. This is because the interest will be calculated and spread out over a period of time to ensure manageable payments.

The loan term:

Personal loans have a significantly longer loan term than credit cards. This means that both the interest and the payments will be spread out over the full term of the loan. On the other hand, credit cards are not designed for long repayment periods, effectively having shorter loan terms.

When you need cash:

While credit cards can be considered to be a type of loan, they are not cash. What the user gets are cash advances at a fee. Personal loans are cash and are not associated with additional fees. Any borrower who needs cash or wants to make a purchase where there is no way to accept a credit card can consider taking out a personal loan.

Additional temptation:

Unlike a personal installment loan where a borrower knows how much they are approved for, a credit card can encourage impulsive buying. Depending on an individual’s financial discipline, they can decide whether to go for a credit card or a personal loan.

Credit cards give a convenient way out for those drowning in financial struggles. Instead of having to wait and save, users can get the things they need and want at that particular time. However, users should be aware of what an apr credit card offers them as compared to other cards.

Refinancing Credit Cards

Your Ultimate Guide to Credit Card Refinancing

While it is always advisable to avoid making credit card mistakes, one should not lose hope after making some. Certain mistakes can be corrected through credit card refinancing. Credit card refinancing can help borrowers to save money and avoid accumulating more debt. It can also save borrowers the hassle of having to think about several payments and instead focus on one payment.

Simply put, credit card refinancing means taking the current debt from one or more credit cards and transferring it to another one. When done right, refinancing can help to save the borrower the money they pay on interest on their current credit card. By reducing the amount of money you pay every month, this will also give you an easier time paying off the debt.

Another common way of refinancing a credit card is to get a refinancing loan to settle the debt. Most credit card users will take out a personal installment loan to pay off their credit card debt. With the loan terms and interest rates associated with personal loans, the borrower will be in a more comfortable position to meet their financial obligations. However, it is important to remember that there are positives and negatives to using personal loans to consolidate debt.

Alternatives to Using Credit Cards

Besides credit cards, there are other possibilities for anyone looking for a line-of-credit. Apart from educating themselves, borrowers should take time to ask different lenders what they offer. This will help them to make an informed choice and access financial products that will enable them to meet their needs. Today, although online lenders may be less well-known, they offer the kind of flexibility and creativity that borrowers need.

One of the best alternatives to using credit cards is to open a savings account. Even more where one can put in money for the extra things they would like to have. Whether it is a vacation, occasional shopping spree, or an emergency, savings will be a cheaper alternative. Even more as they do not attract fees and interest. It will also help consumers to avoid the common credit card mistakes that could cost them a fortune.

Apart from taking out loans with traditional and online lenders, consumers can also turn to family and friends to finance their purchases. For borrowing from family and friends to be considered a smart move, the money obtained should be put to proper use. In addition, the item to be bought should make for a necessary purchase. This will help consumers to avoid getting themselves further into debt.

Deciding Which Credit Card to Get

The importance of credit card shopping cannot be denied. It is not easy to decide which credit card is right for you. However it is important to consider your wants and needs. Users should also familiarize the different options that they qualify for at that particular time.

With the wide range of options available today, prospective users should do their research and ask the issuing companies the relevant questions. This will not only help them to avoid some of the credit card mistakes but also inform them of what they are about to get themselves into. Consumers can also talk to financial experts to help them learn the differences between the different credit cards, including an apr credit card and a simple credit card.

Smart Money Tip!

In the end, there is one thing that all credit cards have in common. The user is the customer and should end up happy with both the financial services and how they use the card. Ultimately, the more attentive and informed an individual is, the better the choices they are likely to make. This is in relation to choosing as well as using the credit card.

With proper guidance, you should not have any difficulties when deciding which card to get. The fact that you are reading this article shows that you are responsible and you’re already taking steps to protect your finances. Loanry is always here to help you make the best decisions. We bring you reputable lenders and credit card companies, together with our partner Fiona. If you’re interested in getting a credit card, start here:


So what’s the best way to avoid credit card mistakes?

One of the best ways to avoid costly credit card mistakes would be to embark on a thorough credit card shopping exercise. This will not only help you to identify financial companies that charge affordable interest rates. Also get a card that does not have hidden fees. However, with the numerous options available, making a decision on which card to get can be overwhelming. This is why we help consumers to find a lender, effectively helping them to increase their chances of getting financial services that meet their needs. As a third party that is not in the loan business, we ensure that the process is both quick and easy so that you enjoy a hassle-free borrowing experience. In the end, borrowers will meet their needs, achieve financial growth, and reach their financial goals through prudent management of the resources available to them.

Your Ultimate Guide to Credit Card Refinancing

We all have credit cards. Many of us use them, but we do not know the best way to do so. According to USA Today, Americans owe over $1 trillion dollars in credit card debt and that number continues to increase. USA Today states that about 40 percent of those who use credit cards are able to pay the balance due every month.

The other 60 percent have a staggering amount of credit card debt. There are tons of reasons why people owe so much in credit card debt. We will touch on some of those reasons as you continue reading. We are also going to talk about your options when you find yourself drowning in credit card debt, including credit card refinancing. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about credit card refinancing.

What Does It Mean To Refinance Credit Cards?

Credit Card Refinancing

Credit card refinancing is when you choose to take your debt from one or many credit cards and transfer it to another credit card. The overall goal is to save money on the interest you are paying on your current credit card debt. Typically, when you transfer money from one credit card to another, the new card gives you 0 percent interest on the transferred balance. Credit card refinancing can save you money in the long run. It helps decrease the amount of money you have to pay each month. If the interest does not build, you have an easier time of paying off your credit card debt.

Another way to refinance your credit cards is to get a refinancing loan. This is an actual personal loan that you use to refinance your debt. As with anything else, there are positives and negatives to obtaining a personal loan to consolidate debt. Some of these refinance options can be handled online with online applications. Today, it is much easier to file for credit cards and loans online with online card shops.

What Are Credit Cards?

In order to really understand how to use credit cards properly, you need to have a basic understanding of credit cards. I do not think many people truly understand how they work. They know they want to buy something, so they use their credit card. Then a bill comes every month and they pay what they can. Not knowing how this is truly impacting them is dangerous. So, let’s dig into the details of credit cards a little bit.

A credit card is a plastic card that has your name and credit card number on it. They have a magnetic strip on the back and a chip on the front. You can either swipe the card, or insert it so the chip can be read. When you swipe or insert the card into a merchant’s machine, it can read your name, account information, and other pertinent information to determine if your purchase is approved. A bank, such as American Express, Chase, or Discover secures the credit card. Individual businesses, or stores, such as Amazon, Best Buy, Target, also have a store credit card. While most credit cards can be used anywhere, they can only be used in that particular store. In its most basic form, a credit card is a loan from the bank.

Credit Card Basics Spelled Out: Credit 101

Bank gives you a credit limit

The bank gives you a credit limit and you cannot borrow beyond that limit. You can pay off the amount you borrow by a specific date each month. If you cannot pay the full amount, there is a minimum payment you must make. Any amount that you do not pay is subject to interest charges. If you do not make the minimum payment or make the payment late, the bank assess a fee. Only paying the minimum amount or getting hit with a lot of fees puts you in a dangerous place. You may run the risk of drowning in debt and need credit card refinancing. Keep reading for more about that.

When you use the credit card, that decreases the amount available to you. As you pay off the amount you owe, that increases the amount available to you. I will give you an example to illustrate how it works.

Your credit limit is $2,000. You purchased $500 worth of items. Your credit limit is currently $1,500. Your minimum monthly payment is $25. You owe $500, but can choose to only pay $25. If you only pay $25, you still owe $475 and will pay interest on that amount. If you pay $500, you owe $0 interest. If you pay $500, your available credit goes up to $2,000. If you only pay $25, your available credit is $1,575.

For better deals, you can shop for a credit card online! It’s easier and faster because you can find all the information you need in one place. Loanry helps you with that. Consider our suggestions below:

How Does Interest Work On A Credit Card?

I mentioned above that if you do not pay the balance in full each month on your credit card, you have to pay interest charges. That is typically how credit cards work. Some credit cards offer specials where you can get 0 percent interest for a set period of time. I am not talking about credit cards offering special deals. I am talking about a typical credit card interest scenario. It is important to understand how an APR credit card works.

For a typical credit card, they offer a grace period which is a period of about 15 to 30 days between when you purchase items and your monthly due date. Your due date is the same date every month. That means, if you pay off your credit card by your monthly due date, you do not have to pay interest. Interest is calculated on the balance you owe. Every credit card has a different interest rate they charge to your credit card. The initial rate they offer you is based on your credit score. Some credit cards have interest rates as high as 20 percent.

Let’s take an example

Let me show you what that looks like with real numbers. This is an example, the numbers may not be what you really see with your credit card.

Your credit card has available credit of $5,000. You have charged $2,000. Your available credit is $3,000. Your minimum monthly payment is $75. You can pay $500. Your new available credit is $3,200. However, you must consider the interest. Your credit card charges you 10 percent interest. That means you are charged 15.9 percent interest on $1,500 since that is the balance that is left. This is how you determine how much interest you owe. There are a few calculations that take place when determining interest.

First, you take your interest rate (15 percent or 0.1599) and divide that by the number of days (365) in the year:
0.1599 / 365 = a 0.00044 daily periodic rate

Then, you multiple the daily rate (0.00044) by your daily balance ($1,500):
0.00044 x $1,500 = $0.66

Lastly, multiply the number above by the days in your billing cycle (30):
$0.66 x 30 = $19.80 interest charged for this billing cycle

The bottom line is not paying off your full balance causes you to accrue interest and you pay more money. Over time, this amount adds up and may cause you to have such a high amount of debt, you may consider credit card refinancing.

What Are The Benefits of Credit Cards?

First, I am going to focus on the good things about credit cards. They can help you build your credit. If you are young, or do not have much in the way of credit, a credit card is a great way to begin to build your credit. You should be mindful that the only way you can build good credit is to use a credit card wisely and pay it off every month. Credit cards also provide revolving credit for you. You can keep a credit card forever. As long as you pay the bill timely and more than the minimum amount, you always have credit available to you. You can keep this for times when you have emergency expenses.

Credit cards offer you convenience because you are able to purchase something today even though you will not have the money for it until next week when you get paid. Credit cards provide you the opportunity to purchase the item when you need or want it, even when you do not have the money. Some credit cards offer rewards and incentives, and if used properly, you can actually earn money by using them. You can receive points that allow you reduced prices for airline tickets, dinner, or other items you buy. This translates directly to savings for you.

You can also use them to do credit card refinancing. Some credit cards offer special deals if you transfer the balance of a high interest credit card to a new lower interest one. This can save you money on interest charges, especially if you have 0 percent interest for a set period of time on balance transfers.

Pros and Cons of Credit Cards: Swipe?

What Are The Downsides of Credit Cards?

I would like to touch on the negatives to credit cards. They are another bill. Whenever you use your credit card, you still have to pay for your purchase. That becomes a bill at the end of the month. It is easy not to think about at the time of purchase because you do not have to pay any money in the moment. You will have to pay for it, eventually. There is that pesky interest that I keep mentioning. I keep bringing it up because it is important for you to remember. If you do not pay the bill in full, you have to pay interest on your daily balance. This is something you can avoid, but you must pay the bill in full to do so.

One thing I have touched on only a little bit is your credit score and how credit cards can impact it. Using credit cards improperly can cause your credit score to decrease. When you use credit cards properly, they can help you build your credit. The opposite of that is also true, improper use of credit cards can negatively impact your credit score. Late and missed payments are the most common ways credit scores are negatively impacted. This is true for loans, general bills, and credit card payments. Just using your credit cards can also impact your credit.

The higher your credit card balance, the more credit you are using and this is a negative mark for your credit. Also, the more credit you use the higher your debt to income ratio becomes which also negatively impacts your credit. Carrying a high amount of credit card debt may also put you in a position where you may need to consider credit card refinancing.

What Else Should I Know About Credit Cards?

As I have highlighted above, credit cards are an amazing tool at your disposal. There is a simple credit card that is simple to use. However, you have to use them responsibly. Credit cards can be a constant source of temptation for you. If you know that you have credit available on your credit card, you might feel compelled to make purchases. You may not need these items, or possibly cannot even afford these items, but because you have available credit, you purchase the item anyway.

This is can lead you down a dangerous path of quickly getting over your head with credit card debt. If you begin to feel like your credit card debt is out of control, you may want to consider credit card refinancing. You have to be aware of your own spending habits and will power when it comes to credit cards. There is no one to police you, but yourself.

Another consideration is identity theft. It is much easier with credit cards, especially with online purchasing. You probably have heard that gas pumps are the worse with stealing credit card information. Gas providers try to stay ahead of those who are out to do harm, but they always seem to be one step ahead of the technology used to prevent them from stealing information.

Face our today world!

Today, there is technology where a thief just has to be within a certain proximity of you and can steal your credit card information. You have to be alert about when and where you use your credit card. When shopping online, make sure you are using a secure checkout process. In the website address, you will see a lock that is closed to indicate to you the website is secure. If the lock is not there, or it is open, do not make a purchase on that site because it is not secure.

According to creditcards.com, 16.7 million people were impacted by fraudulent activity in 2018. Most credit card companies help protect you from fraudulent activity. Many of them will send you a text or email when a purchase is made, so you know immediately if there is fraudulent activity. Credit cards also have mobile apps that enable you to lock your credit card from use if you believe it is lost or stolen. Credit card companies are working hard to protect you and them from fraudulent activity.

Are There Options Other Than Using Credit Cards?

When it comes to credit card debt it is especially important that you remember even though you are not paying money upfront, you still have to pay. If you know that you may not have the best control over your impulse to shop if you have credit cards, you might want to think of alternatives. You can open a savings account and put money in there for extra things you might like to have. Some people call this a rainy day fund. It could be for vacation, emergencies, or just an occasional shopping spree.

It is money set aside for just that purpose, so you are not spending money needed for bills. You are not raking up credit card debt. This way you do not have to worry about negative implications to your credit rating. You will not have to worry about bills coming in at the end of the month.

Saving money for your needs is a great alternative to getting yourself further into debt. If you have ever felt like you were drowning in debt, you know what a terrible feeling that is. Anything that you can do to prevent yourself from getting into the downward debt spiral, is a smart financial move. If you have been deep in debt previously, you want to do everything you can to prevent that from happening again. If you are currently in debt, you want to get out of it as soon as you can. You may feel like it is impossible for you to save money when you are working hard to pay your current bills. This is the time when you may consider credit card refinancing.

What Is Bill Consolidation?

I mentioned a little bit about debt and bill consolidation above, but I want to dig in a little deeper. The major difference between credit card refinancing and bill consolidation is what debt is being paid. Bill consolidation does not just have to be credit card debt. It can be any type of debt that you have. It is consolidating all of your debt into one manageable payment. Often, you are paying off high interest debt with a lower interest loan or credit card. When you are considering consolidating debt, you need to understand what components make up your debt. This helps you determine which debts you want to consolidate and how to do that.

In the following sections, I touch on the positives and negatives about credit card refinancing. It is important to fully understand the pros and cons of consolidation when you are considering it. When you consolidate your debts, you take on more debt initially. No matter if you obtain a loan to pay off your debt, or open a new credit card to consolidate credit card debt, you are adding to your debt to income ratio.

What Are The Benefits to Bill Consolidation?

There are many obvious advantages to consolidating your debt. The biggest one is taking all of your debt with many different payments and consolidating into one payment. This allows you to focus on paying off one payment instead of many different payments. This also allows you to focus on paying off your debt faster. You know exactly what amount you have to pay each month. It does not change based on usage like a credit card does. The interest rate is fixed and does not change based on how much money you pay each month.

VIDEO: How to Consolidate Credit Cards Using a Personal Loan 

Credit card refinancing may also be able to give you a lower interest rate. This is not always the case. However, when it is, it can significantly lower the amount of money you pay over time. When you have a lower interest rate, it decreases the amount of extra money you are paying on top of the actual money borrowed. When you think of interest, you should think of it as a fee the bank, or lender, charges you to borrow money from them.

What Are The Negatives of Bill Consolidation?

There are some negatives that you should consider with credit card refinancing. One major thing you should be mindful about is the interest rate. You should make sure that the interest rate you are given during consolidation is actually lower than what you are paying now. If you end up paying a higher interest rate, you may end up paying more money. When you consolidate your credit, you may have a long repayment time frame. It may take you up to five years to pay off the consolidated amount. Keep in mind that it may take you longer to pay off your debt if you do not consolidate it.

Unlike a loan, there is no time limit to how long it takes you to pay off your credit card debt. In fact, if you only pay the minimum, it could take you over 10 years to pay off credit card debt.

Another major negative to consolidation is you feel like you have managed your debt. Since you have consolidated to one payment, you may feel like you have paid off more debt than you really have. You still have the same considerable amount of debt. You just have one payment. You need to be mindful that you do not get yourself back into the cycle of credit card debt. You actually might want to consider cutting up all but one credit card. Then you might want to hide that credit card so you have it for emergency purposes only.

How Does My Credit Impact Debt Consolidation?

VIDEO: Debt Consolidation for Bad Credit Explained 

I have not talked too much about your credit score before now, so let me give you some helpful information. Your credit score directly impacts the interest rate you receive during credit card refinancing. That in turn becomes a direct impact on the money you pay each month. Your credit score may seem like it is not that important, but it is a huge deal. Your credit score is prominently displayed on your credit report. Your credit report is a detailed listing of all of your activities involving credit. It shows your payment history, how much debt you have and how you use it.

It shows the age of your credit. It shows all of your late or missed payments. It even shows loans on which you have defaulted. All of these items listed on your credit report impact your credit score. It is built, or destroyed over time and gives lenders an indication of your credit worthiness. It takes hard work to build your credit score. However, it only takes one or two missed payments to send it downward.

What Is Considered Bad Credit?

Now that you know how easy it is to negatively impact your credit, let’s focus on what is considered bad credit. A typical credit score range from 350 to 850. Most people have a credit score somewhere between 600 to 750. Good credit falls somewhere between 670 to 800. Anything below 570 falls into the danger zone of bad credit. When you have bad credit, it is much harder to get a good interest rate. You may find it is difficult to be approved for a loan. Lenders feel those with bad credit scores may not be the best candidates for credit card refinancing at a lower interest rate.

Conclusion

I have given you a lot of basic information about credit card refinancing. It is easy to feel like you have no control when you are buried in debt. There are websites that help you focus on getting your debt under control. They can help provide guidance for credit card refinancing so you can feel like you are making sound decisions. When making financial decisions, it is best to have all the information and make rational decisions. This will go a long way to helping you become debt free.

Personal Loans versus Credit Cards: What is Better?

Both personal loans and credit cards offer a lot of benefits. And they are both advertised on a very constant basis, so they cannot really be ignored. When it is time to choose one, however, confusion can set in, and that is never a good feeling. It is also not good for decision making. In my firm belief, knowledge is actually power. When I am educated on something, I feel much more confident, and I am much less likely to make a bad choice. On that note, let’s dive into how personal loans versus credit cards work, how you can benefit from them, and how they compare to one another.

How Credit Cards Work

It was only recently that I learned that there are many people who do not know how exactly credit cards work. And who can blame them, really? When you sign for a credit card, you get a long list of terms and conditions that give you a headache to read, and hives trying to understand. That’s if you do not fall asleep by the third section or so. Be honest, how often have you read all of the terms and conditions? How often have you skimmed or just completely bypassed them? Nobody? Yeah, me neither (ahem).

In truth, though, there are few people who really know all that they need to know about credit cards. This lack of knowledge is usually what gets them into trouble. So let’s just break it down a little bit. In the most basic explanation, when a credit card company decides to lend money, they attach said money to a card. You swipe the card, the money is subtracted from your account, and the credit card company covers the purchase with that.

Now, they have actually loaned you some of that money, and they are going to charge you interest. Interest is really just a fee you pay for borrowing the money. Simple enough? The problems come in when the credit card holder does not know the interest rate or how it is calculated, what fees come with being a cardholder, or that the minimum payment due is way less than what should actually be paid. For future reference, just in case you want to skip over the terms and conditions, at least look for the three things listed below and be sure you understand them.

Associated Fees

Some credit card companies charge different fees in addition to the interest. Here are some of those fees and what they mean to you:

-Late Payment Fee:

This is pretty self-explanatory but do understand that if you have a late payment fee by the end of the billing cycle, you will probably get charged interest for that too. A $30 late payment fee can quickly double or triple if interest continues to grow.

-Returned Payment Fee:

This is simply when you make a payment but do not have the funds to cover the payment, which can lead to more interest just like a late payment fee.

-Annual Fee:

Some, though not all, credit card companies charge annual fees. Before you run away from that fee, though, check out what the card can offer you. No one wants to pay a fee but if you that fee is only $20 and you get $300 worth of perks you can use, I would say it’s worth it. Do your research here and checkout reviews from other customers.

-Cash Advance Fee:

Many credit cards will allow you to withdraw your credit as cash, but they usually charge a fee for it. While this option is great when you are ina cash pinch, it may cost you more than its worth.

Personal Loans versus Credit Cards

-Over-Limit Fees:

This is very simply the extra money you pay if you use more than the credit card company approves. Going over your limit is not possible on all cards. Some set very strict limitations, which is good since it keeps you from over-spending. It is important to know from the beginning whether or not this is possible with your card.

You might notice other fees mentioned on your terms and conditions, like foreign transaction fees. Unless you travel outside of the country, this will not affect you. If you do travel to other countries, learn this fee, as well. For any other fees that you do not recognize, ask your credit card company to explain them to you.

Interest Rates

It is really, really, really, super duper important to understand your interest and how it gets added on. First and foremost, know your interest rate. You can find credit card interest rates all over the place. You might find a 0% APR credit card, then again it may go up to 30% APR. Typically, they fall somewhere between 13% and 23%. 

Now for a little math lesson, and a little vocabulary along the way. Unless your credit card says otherwise, your interest will be compounded. If you Google compound, you will notice that it is described as something being added onto something else, a mixture of things, and so on. My favorite definition of compounded when referring to interest is a little lower down the page. As a verb, compound means “to make something bad worse”. Yep- I think that about explains it.

If you look back to the first definition, you may be wondering how this all applies to interest. Every month that you owe money on your credit card, you get charged interest and that interest is added to your regular balance. The next month, interest is added again, but it does not just get added to the amount you have used. You are also charged interest on last month’s interest. And that continues until it is paid off.

Let’s take an example:

So, if you spend $200 of your $500 credit limit, and your interest is 20%, you owe $240 the first month. You make a minimum $20 payment, which leaves your balance at $220, so $20 of that is still interest. The next month, if you have not used any additional credit, your interest will be calculated with your balance of $220. The interest would be $44, making your balance $264- $64 of which is interest. Again you make a minimum payment and again you still have interest.

Do you see what I mean? Every month, interest is just piled on top of itself, and if you carry on paying just minimum payments, you will find yourself in a debt hole so big that you cannot see the light. Make sure that you understand your interest before you use your card.

Payments

Carrying on from the last section, credit card payments can be tricky little guys, too. When you get your terms and conditions, look at the minimum payment amount. Now, do yourself a favor: multiply your credit limit by your interest rate. That is the amount of interest you will owe if you had to use every bit of your limit, so it’s your worst case scenario. Does your minimum payment cover that amount? Most likely not, so you will have to pay more than the minimum payment to stay above water. At the very least, you need to pay your interest and as much extra as you can to pay off your balance.

It is also important to understand that credit cards affect your credit in more ways than just saying you pay or you do not. They can affect your credit utilization, which is a big deal. Lenders want to see that you have money available to you but that you are in good enough shape, you really do not need it. Ideally, they want to see that you are using 30% or less of what is available.

So every time interest is compounded on your credit card, it shows as you using more of your credit. Your credit is going down over something that you did not even get to enjoy because 90% of it was interest. I don’t know about you but if I am going to go into debt over something, I would at least like to get some enjoyment from it.

To shop for various credit cards and find the best one for you, look at the following list. Now that you know all about credit cards, you are capable of making an informed decision for your situation.


How Personal Loans Work

Personal loans work a bit differently. You get approved for a loan, the lender gives you your cash- or a check or direct deposit. You are sent home with a payment plan. If you follow it, you will have your loan paid off on time. A minute ago I mentioned credit utilization and how a credit card can affect it. A personal loan can, too, but it happens in a different way.

Any time you open up a new account, your credit is affected. Over time, it will either improve your credit or make it worse. With a credit card that continues to compound interest, it will just get worse and worse. With personal loans versus credit cards, the biggest hit to your credit is the initial one when you get the loan. As you make payments and decrease your balance, your credit improves.

Obviously, you can do this with a credit card, too, if you can pay the balance in full each month. It is just that it is often easier and more attainable for a personal loan to improve your credit. When you are not fighting an uphill battle with interest, you can usually pay things off more quickly. In one way, personal loans are no different than credit cards, and that is that you have to know your fees, interest rates, payments, and how it all works. Any time you sign a financial contract, you need to understand it. Below are some things to look out for and understand.

Associated Fees

Some personal cash loans do have fees attached to them, but you can find loans that do not. Two of the most common fees you might run into are application fees and origination fees. Application fees cover the costs of actually processing your application, so they are non-refundable. They also must be paid before they start the process.

Origination fees cover any costs that might be associated with the lender giving you the cash, such as processing fees. This amount is usually a percentage of your loan and taken out of the loan upfront. If you are approved for a $1,000 loan that has a 10% origination fee, you will actually only receive $900. This means that if the lender charges an origination fee, you need to apply for more than you need so you still get the full amount.

As previously stated, not all loans require fees. When you do run into them, they will vary between loan places. You can always ask up front what fees might be required, or read the terms and conditions, as lengthy and boring as they may be.

Smart Money Tip!

Typically, interest rates will be much lower for personal loans than they will with credit cards. You will often find them between 5% and 36%, with higher credit scores getting lower interest rates. The good thing about personal loan interest rates is that with most loans, the interest is calculated for the entire loan at the beginning, and then it is spread out over monthly payments.

So, even if a credit card’s interest rate is lower than a loan you find, check how the interest is determined and whether or not it is compound. A credit card with even 2% interest can grow into a monster if the interest is compounded monthly.

Payments

Loan payments are also typically different from credit card payments. With a personal loan, you can get fixed interest and fixed payments for a fixed term. If you get a personal loan for the $500 instead of the credit card, your monthly payments will look much different. We’ll say that the interest on the loan is high at 36% and your repayment term is one year.

$500 x 36%=  $180 Interest
$500 principle + $180 Interest= Total Due $680
$680 / 12 months= $56.67 per month (including interest)

That is a little more than double the credit card’s minimum payment and yet you will have it all paid off in one year. With the credit card, you could literally owe for the rest of your life.

To find a credible lender to get a loan from, provide us with required info in the form below and we’ll find you personalized offers:


How to Choose Between Personal Loans versus Credit Cards

We are now down to why you came to this article: you need to know how to choose between personal loans versus credit cards. Here’s the thing- choosing between them is really all about what you need and what you plan to do. Before you go any further, you need to be clear on your goal. Are you looking for a way to pay a bill? Buy a home? Buy a car? Go on vacation? Or just build up some credit?

Hopefully your goal is not just to spend money for fun, but if that is your goal, be honest about it. What you need the money for will often tell you which one you need between personal loans versus credit cards. For instance, if it is a really short term loan that you can pay off in a couple of weeks, like gas or groceries, a credit card would be better. The following are times when you should definitely look for personal loans versus credit cards.

If You Need a Large Amount

When you need a large amount of money that you cannot pay back quickly, choose personal loans versus credit cards. Again, the interest will be calculated and spread out in manageable payments. Using a credit card for a large amount is more than likely going to dig you a very big hole.

When You Need to Borrow for a Long Period of Time

When comparing personals loan versus credit cards to use for a long time, personal loans most definitely win. Think about the interest we talked about. It is just going to grow and get larger over time with credit cards. Personal loans spread your interest and payments out over the full term, which is typically between one and three years, though it can vary. Personal loans were designed for long repayment periods. Credit cards were not.

If You Need Cash

This may seem obvious, but credit cards are not cash. You can get cash advances from credit cards, but there is likely a fee associated with that- and a hassle. On the other hand, a personal loan is cash. Even if it is handed to you in the form of a check, you can take it to the bank and get cash without an additional fee. If you need the money specifically for a cash transaction, like maybe paying your best friend back or even paying your landlord who has not way to accept a credit card, a personal loan would be more convenient.

When You Need to Consolidate Debt

Let’s say you owe $2,000 in debt. Thanks to the interest on all of these debts, you need to pay $500 per month just to keep the bill collectors off your back, but that $500 is not really helping you get out of debt. Instead of working yourself to death, try applying for personal loans versus credit cards. If you are approved for a $2,000 loan at a 14% fixed interest rate, the entire interest is $280. If you use that loan to pay all of the debts off, you only owe one payment. So there is the convenience, but there is another bright side.

Even if your repayment term is only one year long, your monthly payment will only be $190. That is almost one third of what you were paying every month when you were paying separately. The even better part is that, as long as you make your monthly payments, your loan will be completely paid off at the end of your repayment term. So in short, you are making one lower payment with lower interest to get everything paid off with personal loans versus credit cards or separate debts which can be endless.

When You Need Set Payments and Terms to Actually Pay Off

Your monthly payments with credit cards depend on how much credit you have used. If you have used $200 and your interest rate is 20%, you will owe $240. However, that is probably way more than the amount that the bill states as due. In fact, if I have not made it clear enough, that is the big way that credit card companies make money. If you only pay the minimum amount, it is not even going to touch the full amount due.

The following month, even if you do not use the card again, you will owe more. This is because interest is calculated again and it includes the interest that you did not pay off the previous month. It is a tangled web that just spreads as long as you will let it. All the credit card company needs is your minimum payment. As long as you are paying that, they will also let the web continue to grow.

Personal installment loans, on the other hand, generally have a fixed interest rate and fixed monthly payments that are due for a certain period of time. When that time is up, your loan should be paid off. When you pay your monthly bill, you are working toward the principle as well. You know how much is due every month. While you can expect the same minimum payment for the credit card each month, that amount is actually putting you in a deeper hole- I repeat this fact because I really want these words to stick in your head. The bottom line is that when comparing personal loans versus credit cards, if you want a fixed monthly payment that will eventually end, personal loans win.

If You Don’t Need Additional Temptation

I definitely do not need additional temptation. With a personal loan, I know how much I am approved for. I know off the bat how much I have to use, so I tend to be more careful. If I get a loan for $4,000 to buy a used car because my car stopped working, I know that I only have that $4,000. I cannot spend that money on anything else or I will not have the money for the new car. We have to have a car to get around, so unless my children are starving or without necessities, that loan will only be spent on the car.

This can be different with a credit card, even when you know better. Let’s say I got a credit card with a $500 limit for the purpose of emergencies and necessities in between checks. Sounds reasonable and like a great idea- until one of my kids needs new shoes. I can find a way to hold off on the shoes, but it is just so much easier to get them on the credit card and tell myself it’s no big deal. That might be true with some people- some really strong willed people.

Me, on the other hand, as soon as a bill with a disconnection notice comes in the mail, I would probably use the card again. Maybe even when I just had a bad day and “need” some ice cream to make it better. And then again when my kid needs those shoes. Why? Because like many people, I live paycheck to paycheck, and sometimes those paychecks are not enough, especially when your car breaks down or the laptop you use for work stops working.

A credit card gives a convenient way out.

Most people are aware that a credit card needs to be repaid, but they also know it does not have to be paid just yet. When you are drowning in a sea of financial struggles, a credit card seems like a life line. It can ease that weight for the moment. It can provide things that we need and want right now instead of having to wait and save. In a world of instant everything, is it any wonder that we expect and choose instant gratification and solutions?

When it comes to personal loans versus credit cards, credit cards definitely have their advantages, but those advantages come at a very steep price. For these reasons, I feel safer taking out a loan than opening a credit card. How about you? Can you responsibly handle a credit card? Or will it get you into more trouble? If you know that a credit card is not a good idea in light of your will power and spending habits, go for a personal loan instead.

Conclusion

I hope you have enjoyed and gained some insight from the comparison of personal loans versus credit cards. And I hope that you are confident enough to make good choices. When it is time to look for a personal loan or compare credit cards, let us here at Loanry, help you find a lender that might be a good fit for you.