0 Apr Credit Cards The High Interest Rate Solution It May Be Time To Apply For A Credit Card Bankruptcy Debt Relief The Last Resort Free Payday Loans How To Get Yours
Over the past two years, the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates substantially. Consequently, credit card annual percentage rates have followed suit. Nearly all credit cards tie their interest rates to the prime rate, which has doubled to 8% from 4% during the string of rate hikes that began in 2004.This has led to interest rates on credit cards rising by 30% or more. Since August of 2006, the Federal Reserve has kept interest rates steady, and many economists believe the next move may be a reduction in rates. However, the rate reductions have yet to begin, and credit card interest rates remain relatively high.
For those who carry balances on their credit cards, high interest rates have resulted in higher monthly bills, with many seeing their minimum payment increase substantially. Fortunately, now, more than in recent years, 0% credit cards offer a safe harbor from high rates. There are two basic types of 0% credit cards: those that offer a 0% rate on balance transfers, and those that offer a 0% on purchases. The best credit cards offer 0% interest on both. How much savings can these credit cards provide? Let’s take a look at the math.
Let’s assume you’re carrying a balance of $10,000. If you simply pay the minimum each month, you will accrue close to $2000 in interest over the course of a year, thanks to daily compounding balances (too bad savings accounts don’t pay that type of interest). With a 0% balance transfer, you can expect to save all of that money, plus, you’ll be given time to pay down that debt. When the 0% period expires, not only is there a chance your interest rate will be lower, but, if rates do not go down, you can always transfer the balance to another 0% credit card. Plus, if you make a minimum payment of $150 a month, your balance at the end of the year will be closer to $8200, rather than $12,000. That’s quite a difference.
Now, if you’re fortunate enough to have no credit card debt, a 0% interest rate can be handy tool to avoid interest expenses on new purchases and free up some cash in the short term. Need a new fridge? Have to fix your car? Want granite counters for the kitchen? With a 0% credit card, you can defer the cost of these expenses for a year while taking advantage of high interest rates. How? By placing the cash that would have left your bank account into a high-yield savings account and taking advantage of rewards credit cards.
Let’s assume you will make $10,000 of purchases over the next few months. Using a credit card with a 0% interest rate and 1% cashback rewards, coupled with a high-yield savings account with a 4% interest rate can put about $500 extra in your pocket over the course of the year.
Of course, not everyone pays their balance in full each month. With average credit card interest rates in the 12% to 15% range, carrying a monthly balance of only $1000 can cost close to $150 a year. Saving $150 in interest charges may not be a fortune, but its surely enough to buy a nice dinner with a good bottle of wine.
No matter how you use your credit card, a 0% interest credit card can have a positive effect on both short and long term cash flows. Given that the alternative is paying more than 12% in interest, choosing a 0% credit card in this atmosphere of high interest rates is a no-brainer.
Are you deciding whether you should apply for a credit card? Well, to be frank, if you are like most of us, living in the civilized world, the answer to, should I apply for a credit card is, yes. Credit cards have transformed our lives. In fact, credit cards are a contemporary, commercial revolution. No matter, and almost anywhere you go you find ads on TV and websites, in newspapers and stores requesting you to apply for a credit card. Also, if you observe others around you, you will see that most people have credit cards. As a matter of fact, most people have more than one credit card. Nearly every adult and young adult applies for a credit card. So, should you apply for a credit card as well?
You will have to admit, if you think about it, there are a lot of benefits associated with credit cards. Seemingly, the most important benefit a credit card offers is convenience. For most people, convenience is the primary reason they apply for a credit card. Two decades, or more ago, when not many merchants accepted credit cards, that was not true. Today, it is hard to find a merchant who does not accept credit cards. Now, instead of carrying cash on you – which is neither convenient or safe – you may carry a small piece of financially, high powered, plastic instead. Now, you can get an interest free loan until the next monthly billing cycle. Also, you can buy now and pay later – when you are positioned financially to do so. That in itself is a great reason to apply for a credit card. Added to that, some merchants offer interest-free installment payment plans, making it easier for you to make a big purchase today and pay for it in monthly installments. So, as you can see, credit cards work as an instant long term loan as well and not only as a monthly loan. Other reasons to apply for a credit card include free rewards and shopping discounts for using your credit card. This is made possible by the relationship between credit card companies and merchants. For certain, credit cards offer many benefits.
There are a few ways to apply for a credit card. You may choose to apply for a credit card in person, on the internet or, by phone. Often enough, you will, as such, be approached by sales representatives, whom will ask you to apply for a credit card with their organization. In applying for a credit card, you must fill-in a credit card application form (which is easy to fill-in). When you apply for a credit card and fill-in an application form, you are entering into a formal agreement with the credit card issuer, basically stating you will uphold you side of the agreement, which is to pay your monthly credit card bill, on time. After you have submitted your application, the credit card company makes credibility checks into your financial background and if everything is fine, you receive a credit card.
The process of applying for a credit card is easy, however, you may or may not desire a credit card, it is a matter of personal choice. Still, for most people who don’t have a credit card yet, the recommendation is, for greater financial power, apply for a credit card, today.
Are you buried neck-deep in debt? Do you owe a total of more than a hundred thousand dollars? Have you been repeatedly turned down by debt relief services? If so, don’t lose hope because there is still one last resort for you and that is to file for bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy debt relief has been the way out for thousands of people who have no idea of how to escape the financial hole they have inadvertently trapped themselves in. There are even individuals who have filed for bankruptcy more than once in their life.
However, before you join their ranks and go for bankruptcy debt relief yourself, you have to make sure first that there is really no other option for you.
The moment you file for bankruptcy, you will immediately be free of all existing debts. This idea might sound very appealing especially for someone who is already up against the wall in terms of financial obligations. However, you will have to completely understand the workings of the bankruptcy debt relief system before you affix your signature on the bankruptcy documents.
Probably the biggest drawback of bankruptcy debt relief is that once you are officially declared bankrupt, your Credit Bureau report will be stamped with the word ‘Bankruptcy’ in big, bold letters. When the lending companies see this on your record, you can be sure that they will not be sending any credit card offers your way.
Usually, your credit report will be cleared only after a period of seven years. This means that during this time, you will have to live on whatever cash you have because no creditor will be crazy enough to lend money to someone who obviously doesn’t have the means to pay for it. Of course, you can always borrow from generous relatives and friends but that would probably push down your rank in their list of favorite people in town.
Seven years can be a pretty long time and it may not be worth the initial freedom that you can get from bankruptcy debt relief. It is therefore critical that you try all alternatives first before filing for bankruptcy. There are thousands of institutions in the country that offer debt counseling services.
Before opting for bankruptcy debt relief, it would be a good idea to consult with some of these financial experts and bankruptcy attorneys so that you can determine if bankruptcy debt relief is in fact the best option to take.
When you are at a financial website that claims to offer debt relief programs, the first thing you have to look for is whether the address and phone number of their company is listed on the site. If there is no contact information and only a P.O. Box number is supplied, that is a sure sign of a scam and you shouldn’t waste your time on that site.
If a telephone number is listed, you must try calling the debt relief program company. Communicating on the phone with an actual person is always better than just corresponding with them via email.
Everyone has heard about payday loans. You have seen the advertisements and possibly received them in the mail, too. If you have need of some quick money, then a payday loan may be a solution to your need. What makes it even better is that it does not take long to fill out an application, and you can have your cash within 24 hours – some even send it within an hour.
Payday lenders are all over and are generally easily available through the whole Internet. The process involved in applying for a payday loan is not complex and enables you to get your cash quickly. The application takes up to about 10 minutes. This will usually be followed by a phone call for a little more information. Once approved – your money will be on the way. For those who have never had a payday loan before – it is free the first time.
In order to get your cash, you do not need to have good credit. In fact, they will not check your credit at all. So, even with bad credit, you can still get a payday loan. They do have a tracking system, though, and it is used by payday loan lenders to keep track of how many payday loans you may have out at one time. Generally, the maximum number of payday loans at any time is three.
The information that you will need to fill out the application is rather simple and straightforward. You will be asked about your employment – your current details and your employment history. These lenders would like you to have been employed for six months at the same place, and make a minimum of $1,000 each month. Most of them, however, will require an income of $1,500. If you do not have full time employment, and are on limited income, the requirement is down to about $900 each month. They also will ask for an active checking account – one that has been active for at least six months.
Once they approve your payday loan, the money will be sent to your checking account. It will also be taken out of the account, too, or they will simply put your postdated check through the bank.
The first loan will not provide much – possibly up to $400. After that, though, and if you have paid on time each time, the amount that you can get increases to a maximum of about $1,500 with some lenders.
Payday loans are a great way to get cash in a hurry. Only the first one is free, however – and not all of them will do this. After that, you will probably only want to use it when you have no other choice. The interest rate is high – sometimes even very high. It runs anywhere between 15 and 30% in most cases, so you will want to shop around some in order to get the best rates. As you can see, it costs for the convenience – but it is quick and will help you in those emergency cash needs..
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