Tag Archives: credit cards

Things to Know Before Getting Your First Credit Card

There are many upsides to having a credit card, such as building one’s credit score, making certain purchases, and even earning cashback points. With the right practices and money management habits, people can do quite well and set themselves up for financial success. However, without the proper knowledge, individuals who manage to obtain credit cards can wreak serious damage upon their financial standing and sink themselves into debt for years or decades to come. For these reasons and more, an awareness of the following facts, prior to getting one’s hands on a credit card, is absolutely paramount.

The Charges Must Be Paid Back

Most people are very young (18-22 years old) when they receive credit cards within their own names. While individuals in the foregoing age range are, in fact, adults, they may not necessarily have the knowledge of everything which comes along with credit card ownership. Virtually everyone has heard horror stories of someone swiping their card repeatedly and then being unable to pay the monthly bill. An inability to pay the bill when it comes due results in subsequent interest charges.

Interest is a hole which can take years, decades, or even a lifetime to climb out of. For this reason, starting off with a low credit limit (no more than $500) is usually best. However, regardless of the credit limit, people must be sure to pay back the money which they “borrowed.” It’s worth noting that certain credit card plans provide grace periods before charging interest on unpaid balances. Not all credit cards plan do this and, to be on the safe side, anyone who charges a credit card should be sure to make the appropriate payments before or when the bill comes due.

Building Good Credit Takes Time and Discipline

Merely having a credit card and paying off the balance will not immediately engender good credit. Time and consistency are considerable factors in the development of good credit; people who are truly serious must ongoingly pay off their charges and abstain from incurring any interest. Moreover, credit card users are advised not to spend more than 30% of their credit line. There are no penalties for surpassing the 30% threshold, but adhering to it truly helps one establish their credit and finances.

Credit Cards are Not For Everyone

Despite the upsides of credit card ownership, they are only applicable when people punctually pay off their balances and avoid debt. Individuals who struggle with money management skills or suffer from low income might do well to hold off on obtaining a credit card. Credit should only be used by people who know they can afford to pay back what they’ve charged. Credit cards are not free money; at some point, the bill always comes due.

 

Authored by Gabrielle Renee Seunagal

How Can You Change That Low Credit Score?

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Low credit score–you had no idea! How did it happen without you even being aware? Look, if you don’t pay attention to your financial habits and work to keep your credit rating healthy, it will drop, and you won’t be alerted about that either. It’s murky waters out there, but you can keep from drowning. Too many Canadians are hit hard with a poor credit score they had no idea about. The sad news is that bad choices from the past can come back and haunt you, ruining what was a great score before you ever realize what is happening. The tips below can help you avoid financial mistakes and help you to get your credit score back up where you need it to be!

 Let’s Get Started Getting That Credit Score In Shape

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So, the first step to take is to become more proactive with your finances and your credit.  Understanding how to keep track of data like this can help you catch a suspicious transaction that has the potential of destroying your credit too.

  1.   If you carry a high balance on your credit card every month (even if you pay it off) it goes against you. This makes it appear you rely on your credit card to survive month to month. Some have the idea that this builds credit, as long as there is a 0 balance carried over. It’s simply not true. Don’t exceed 40% of your available credit.
  2. One of the biggest mistakes an individual can make is applying for too many credit cards. Every time you apply for a credit card you have the potential of denting your score. This makes you look needy and might steer good creditors away.
  3. Sadly, some Canadians can find their accounts sent to collections without ever having any idea of it. Those accounts which are more prone to this happening are medical. It might not seem fair, but it happens almost daily. Much of this falls onto the fault of insurance companies not paying claims on time. However, consumers are the ones who suffer financially.
  4. You need to consistently check for errors on your credit report, because they do happen. If you find something that is concerning, or which you know is not accurate then you should make the proper contact so that the issue can be resolved and your credit can be repaired.

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Just these 4 simple practices can help to make a difference in your financial habits and certainly your credit rating. We all make mistakes, it’s natural. It’s how you approach your mistakes that change your life. Start building a good, solid credit history today and pay attention to your own financial habits as well. Slowly but surely you’ll see that score begin to rise!

The Facts And Myths To Help You Manage Your Credit Card

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Are you aware of the facts and myths associated with settling your mounting credit card debt?  This does apply to those who struggle with climbing interest rates and late penalty payments on credit cards too. Year after year consumer debt has risen 4.9%, according to financial analysts and this gives pause for concern when it comes down to Canada’s financial stability.

One of the most prevailing factors we want to discuss here has to do with Canadians ballooning debt and unfortunately too many families living above their means.  This has led to the current mounting household debt crisis and the lack of ability to pay this down in a timely fashion.  Clearly, educating Canadians on how to manage their credit card might be seen as dire, as opposed to hitting a financial crisis.

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Believe it or not, cutting a credit card up or calling the company and having it closed are not wise choices. These acts can make financial matters worse, though very few Canadians are aware of this.  Did you know that if you have a credit card and you don’t use it enough you can also suffer from a dent to your credit report and receive a penalization from the credit issuer too? All of this just might have you pondering how Canadian families are supposed to curtail spending and how they can manage and balance their credit cards more efficiently? The following myth busters will help you learn how to properly manage credit card debt so you can finally see some hope from crushing household debt.

Demystifying Credit Card Debt

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Debt consolidation is not always the best way to move past credit card debt

This can be an expensive option and what many Canadians don’t realize is that it doesn’t just do away with the blemishes that are on a credit record.  You’ll still have a trail, even if it is shown you’re making consolidation payments.  Consider all your options before going with this.

A financial advisor can be extremely expensive and not always the answer

Many Canadian advisors are paid through commissions, which doesn’t place their interest directly with the consumer.  What does this mean?  It means they might advise you in the wrong direction and cost you more money in the long run.  Weigh your options here carefully!

Credit card debt is necessary for improving credit scores and paying bills on time

So many see credit cards as a way to immediately improve their credit scores, but the reality is that it takes a great deal of time for specific credit cards to do this.  One time of getting behind on a payment is all it takes to curb your credit score in the wrong direction.

Paying only the minimum credit payment will keep me in good standing

Paying only the minimum payment will sink you further and further into credit card debt.  Here is another fact:  credit card companies will reward you for making that minimum payment on time every month by offering more credit every 6 months.  You should avoid this type of pitfall.

Paying off old, adverse credit card accounts will improve your credit score

This is not so.  Little do many Canadians know that paying off adverse credit card accounts won’t make an immediate improvement in their financial portfolio.  This will show as paid off, but it will take up to 6 years for the score itself to improve and offer a positive influence.

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Credit counseling services are available for Canadians all across British Columbia who are struggling to keep up with debt and find viable ways to control and minimize it.  Don’t fall prey to the consolidation scams and other myths out there that can create more adversity financially.  There is certainly a solution, but it takes time.  Just remember, you didn’t create this debt overnight, so have patience and focus on positive reinforces that will guarantee you move past it.